5 Stars Out Of 5
A must-have for Bible geeks
February 12, 2015
For those looking for a very, very literal English translation of the whole Bible, there's nothing else like YLT. Side-by-side with other 'literal' translations (excepting DLNT, but that's NT only) there is no comparison to how much closer YLT is getting you to the original. Reading YLT comes close to the feeling of doing your own translation, with original verb tenses, articles, and where at all possible the original sentence structure preserved in translation.
Just to understand what you're getting: YLT is not a smooth read in English. Word order Yoda-like experience you will. Young occasionally introduces extra words [in brackets] to fill out sentences, but does so very sparingly. Be aware this is a mid-19th century translation done when the AV was king of the hill so you get older verb forms like "cometh" and "behoveth"; although there are some more modern-sounding word updates such as "love" for "charity", "Holy Spirit" for "Holy Ghost", "reign of God" for "kingdom of God." There are also some literal-but-quirky choices like "age-during" for "eternal".
Speaking of quirky, Young's translation philosophy, explained in the prefaces, is uniquely his own. But it's very consistent and logical in its way, and Young's minimalism will grow on you. YLT allows and requires you to interpret what you are reading rather than having an interpretation handed to you (often invisibly) by a translator.
The text Young uses is essentially a Received Text like that behind the AV. Although Young is aware of text-critical issues he explains that here his focus is on translation, not textual criticism.
This edition is a big, chunky volume that is barely manageable one-handed. But with that, you get generous type size, with nice weighty and opaque pages. Chapter numbers are in arabic numerals unlike some other editions. The OT is formatted with line breaks after each verse, but the NT is in a smoother-reading paragraph format.