An Analysis

For the English reader, the Mickelson Clarified Translation provides a fully precise and unabridged translation of the biblical Greek text, the 1550 Stephanus (also called Textus Receptus).

(closest to gray line is better (i.e. closer to 1550 Stephanus)

A Unique Word Form expresses a concept and may occasionally express several unrelated concepts, such as the English word "bat".
A Distinct Word Form communicates a specific concept within a given context with a single word form. It is a contextual use of a Unique Word Form, such as "a wooden bat".
Overlapping Word Forms occur in a given text when a Unique Word Form expresses more than one Distinct Word Form within that text.

For example, "A bat was flying around the stadium. A player was up to bat and hit a home run. The crowd erupted as his bat went flying, and the bat flew away." This overlapping use of the word form "bat" requires diligent attention of behalf of the reader to discern what concept is expressed with each and every use. "Up to bat" and "his bat" are contextual uses of the same fundamental concept, a wooden stick used in sport. The other "bat," a flying mammal, is a completely unrelated concept sharing the same unique word form. Thus, there is overlap.

These concepts regarding word forms are critical components to understanding the outward (and measurable) quality and accuracy of a translation.

The contextual evaluation of quality and accuracy is an inseparable and intimate part of translation as well, and it requires an in-depth, firsthand review.

The 1550 Stephanus contains 17,534 unique Greek words (or word forms). A tiny number of these Greek word forms are used for two unrelated concepts. This is similar to how the English word "bat" may describe a wooden stick used in sports or may describe a flying nocturnal mammal. The word "bat" is one unique word form, but it represents two distinct concepts or "distinct word forms." The 1550 Stephanus contains 17,602 distinct word forms. This creates 68 overlapping word forms which requires the reader to determine proper context to know which concept is being expressed.

In English, it can take a few discrete or individual English words combined together to properly express one Greek word. The English sentence, "He was speaking," contains three discrete English words which are expressed by one Greek word form "ἐλάλει." Thus, the combined form "He·was·speaking" is the corresponding English word form for the Greek word form "ἐλάλει." To properly express the Greek text in English, it requires more English word forms than exist in the Greek scriptures due to changes of context and their proper expression in English.

The King James Version uses approximately 32,000 distinct word forms and more than 24,200 unique word forms in the New Testament. This is an 80% increase of distinct word forms in English over the Greek text itself, while only using 5,965 individual English words. At first glance, this would indicate expressing almost twice as many concepts than actually reside in the Greek text. An in-depth analysis shows that while extraneous concepts are expressed, the majority of the Greek concepts are merely inconsistently expressed due to poetic license of English expression, sometimes at odds with the original Greek text. In essense, the King James Version is much more of a poetic adaption of the Greek scriptures than a literal or a consistent translation. Although it served its purpose in its day, it impedes proper correlation of Scripture.

Correlation shows how one passage of Scripture relates and corresponds to another passage. Correlation is critically important in understanding the Scripture both as a whole and in detail. King James provides the overall message well enough for a general understanding and application, but it is not suitable for the more skillful and accurate comprehension of Scripture, let alone critical application or precise exegesis of various passages.

Noah Webster (of dictionary fame and prowess) greatly improved on the King James with his revision in 1833. Webster's Revised New Testament translation contains 29,220 distinct word forms and 20,678 unique word forms with an overlap of 8,542 words. This is only 66% more distinct word forms, a 24.9% improvement. A definite and measurable improvement of English clarity and discreteness of concepts expressed from the Greek text.

The Mickelson Clarified Translation (MCT) of the New Testament Greek vastly and measurably improves translation of Scripture to modern English by verifiably reconciling the Hebraic-Koine Greek biblical vocabulary to English. The MCT contains 20,815 distinct word forms and 18,939 unique words forms with an overlap of 1,876 words. This is a mere 18.3% increase of distinct word forms, which is much more reasonable for an accurate English translation that still expresses each Concept for concept, Context for context, and Word for word™.

By comparison, this is a 77.5% improvement of consistency and clarity over the King James and a 68% improvement over the Revised Webster's translation. But this measurement alone does not show the further increase of conceptual and contextual clarity that the MCT provides. There is a larger vocabulary of English words used to clearly denote each Greek word or concept. There was an old saying, "The Greeks had a word for it" - and now the MCT has a matching and consistent word form for each context switch as well, in Modern English.

(closest to gray line is better (i.e. closer to 1550 Stephanus)

This graph shows the additional word forms used in these three English reference translations.

Word Form Increase Distinct Unique
1550 Stephanus: +0.0% +0.0%
2013 Mickelson Clarified: +18.3% +8.0%
1833 Webster's Revised: +66.0% +17.9%
2003 King James Version: +89.7% +38.1%

My ongoing analysis of the Greek New Testament shows that an accurate and consistent English translation should contain an additional 18%-23% distinct word forms. Any less, and concepts are being lost and obscured; any more, and concepts are being added and also obscured. These additional distinct word forms are required due to the differences between Greek and English expression of the same or contextually similar concepts.

(closest to gray line is better (i.e. closer to 1550 Stephanus)

This chart shows the number of word forms that are duplicated in English while representing different Greek words in Scripture. This is a measure of obscurity. In these instances, one cannot discern in English which Greek word is actually being expressed. While no duplication is desirable, it is not truly feasible since Greek is more finely detailed and expressive of thought than English. And as the decades and centuries keep passing, English speakers are continuing to dilute and diminish the English language such that, presently, the common public English vocabulary is insufficient to comprehend and communicate the full expression found in the Greek New Testament. Fortunately, the English words lacking from the general public vocabulary are still found within the higher levels of general college vocabulary.

Duplicate Words Forms Occurrences
1550 Stephanus: 65 133
2013 Mickelson Clarified: 1,377 3,013
1833 Webster's Revised: 3,584 12,126
2003 King James Version: 3,630 12,798

This chart shows two loosely related items. Discrete Words are the individual English words used used within a translation, such as "speak, spoke, was speaking, spoken." There are five discrete English words within those quotes. These discrete English words can be used alone or be combined to match the meaning of each Greek word in the New Testament.

Grammar Clarifiers Discrete + Grammar Discrete Words
1550 Stephanus: (N/A) 0 17,534 17,534
2013 Mickelson Clarified: 6,715 13,745 7,030
1833 Webster's Revised: 2,989 8,746 5,757
2003 King James Version: 3,238 9,203 5,965

The higher number of discrete English word usage in the MCT enables it to clearly express discrete concepts and contextual meanings without obscuring and overlapping similar, though distinct, Greek words and thoughts.

Secondly, the "Grammar Clarifiers" is a count of how many times an English word or phrase is inserted into the English translation to clarify in English what is naturally understood in the Hebraic use of the Koine Greek language. These are the italicized words that should appear in an English translation.

English lends itself to express and follow two trains of thought at one time in a given passage. The practice and mode of thinking by the biblical Hebraic-Koine Greek writers enabled them to easily handle three or more trains of thought with ease in Greek. This is why some Greek passages are difficult for the English-only speaker. It can be quite a challenge to readily comprehend the original Greek text or a verbatim, literal English translation. Some Greek passages extend beyond three trains of thought, and others, like some of Peter's writings, almost beg to be paraphrased or summarized in English, rather than be translated. But his expression is deserving of being translated and carefully worked through by the reader.

Hopefully, dear reader, you will comprehend why I found it necessary to undertake all that was required to bring this work to its present state of fruition. This work is a reference translation for the remaining generations that follow, and it adds a measure of clarity and consistency not yet found elsewhere. In that respect, I hope this endeavor raises the minimum requirements expected of all future Bible translations.

A servant of Jesus,

Jonathan K. Mickelson

Visual Example of Consistency