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  • Author: MLV Translation Committee
  • theWord Version: 3.x - 4.x
  • Tab Name: Modern Literal Version

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theWord Module Download:
Download Modern Literal Version (NT - 2011) 1.0

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New Testament Literal Copyrighted

MLV Translation Committee

theWord Version:
3.x - 4.x

Tab Name:
Modern Literal Version

The Modern Literal Version is just what it claims to be. A modern-speech version which is as literal as possible while still being readable.

This translation has been over 20 years in the making, and numerous Greek professors and scholars have worked on making it the best they possibly can.

One thing that this version excells at is making readings more uniform. Instead of translating one Greek word into 86 different English words (which happens in many translations...including the KJV), this version seeks to translate it with one Greek word, whenever possible unless another meaning is called for by the context and usage of the word in question.

Restrictions of 1999 & 2011 copyright as follows:
  • Copyright is to make sure the actual text is not changed by anyone other that the Modern Literal Version New Testament Committee.
  • Quotes used are to be noted by "Modern Literal Version" or "MLV".
  • Under no circumstance can any or all of Modern Literal Version New Testament be sold! Including no handling or shipping fees! Please report any violations. “We want to be rich in money as well as spirit.” (smile)
  • If you want to incorporate this version into computer form, the answer for non resale (true non profit or give away) is YES but the request must be formal. (Paper trail.) At any given time you “sell” your product, the MLV must be removed from the product.
  • If you want to incorporate this version into book form please contact us immediately.
The Modern Literal Version Of The New Testament came about because of a desire to let the public have the American Standard Version on computer disks; the King James Version was available in 1987. The ASV has been for years the translation held by most scholars as being the most accurate version ever made and the standard by which others should be judged. The ASV is also known as being the version with the least amount of doctrinal or denominational bias. After some consideration, it seemed better to make a more literal modern English revision of the ASV and then place it in the Public Domain. A group of scholars, who believe in the total authority and inspiration of the Bible, were assembled to undertake the revision.

The original intention and guidelines for the Modern Literal Version were:

1. To retain the literalness of the original ASV.

2. To boost the accuracy of the original in the places where there were inconsistent translations. This can be done by translating the same Greek word into as few different English words as possible and trying not to translate different Greek words into the same English word(s). (Some Greek words actually have more than one meaning and the context determines which meaning should be used. No language can be treated like a math equation. The New Testament is its own best commentary when you see the same Greek word rendered the same throughout. Careful attention was paid to synonyms, antonyms and compound words.

The New Testament contains approximately 5100 different Greek words, almost 600 are proper names, 1200 are compounds of two words that could be rendered the same as if the two words were not in compound or contracted form. This translation is so faithful to the original language in English that it could be used as a medium from which to translate a foreign language New Testament. Many languages of the world have no translation available. Missionaries fluent in both languages could translate from the MLV, until a better translation from the Greek is available.

3. In places where a literal translation could not be understood or was an idiom used by the common Greeks, the literal Greek would be footnoted. Example: "unto the ages" an idiom for "forever". See also Jam_1:23 & footnote. (These are not as common as many people would have you to believe).

4. To keep the number of footnotes down to about what the KJV had originally or less.

5. Translate the original languages, word for word into English. In so doing, this translation is the Word of God, not our opinions of what God said.
6. Use supplied words and mark them as such, as opposed to paraphrasing (Dynamic Equivalence or whatever other excuses are made for paraphrasing and sloppy translation principles).

7. Do not attempt to make the MLV a translation that is perfect everyday English, but try to make it understandable to the mass majority of English speaking people. Verses in the MLV may start with conjunctions like 'and,' 'but' or 'for'. This was a good way to split 50+ word sentences in Greek into English. Large amounts of punctuation typical of English is not used. The original Bible only had punctuation used to distinguish between different words that are spelled the same.

8. Translate certain verses, that have been misinterpreted for years by many religious groups, as close as possible to the original language.

9. To arrange the Greek object-subject-verb order into English.

10. To use “The New Testament in the Original Greek” by Robertson & Pierpont. (The Majority Text as referred to by most.) Once you take out spelling mistakes and contractions, 98% of all manuscripts agree 99% of the time. The other 2% is what makes up the “Higher Textual Criticism.” The two main manuscripts used as the basis of the “Higher Textual Criticism” by Westcott & Hort, the UBS and others disagree with each other 30,000 times and neither are complete Matthew to Revelation. That is not the God we worship!

11. Show testament parallels by placing the O.T. reference at the end of the quote and mark the quote with a single quotation mark (').

12. Further break down of chapters into more paragraphs. (Some chapters may require a footnote like Act_1:1-26; Act_2:1-47.)

13. Render the money system as English or transliterations and place it in the Appendix.

14. Insert a chronological chart throughout the Gospel of Mark and Acts, so that a person can read the entire New Testament in chronological order.

15. Show a Harmony of the New Testament by show AD dates and when epistles were written and show the locations in the Book of Acts. (Start a Mark then, go to Acts.)

16. Many of the 1st person active tense verbs are to be rendered "is VERB-ing" to help show continual action. Many people wrongly say the "-eth" ending used in older translations meant continual action. It was simply the way they spoke in the 1500's to the 1800's.

17. Use "may" or "might" for the subjunctive mood where the ASV used "should" and "shall" and where many modern translations wrongly use "will."

18. Use "will" for all future tenses. Though not Proper English, it is the way most people speak. "Shall" is retained in questions.

If you would like to publish the Modern Literal Version in any form please contact me at US (740) 695-1520.

In Christ,
G. Allen Walker, Secretary of the New Testament Committee, June 9, 1999. Revised 2011.


The MLV is a "word for word" translation of the Original Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text. It does not use paraphrasing, dynamic equivalence or any other fancy wording to describe paraphrasing. Any form of paraphrasing would make the opinions of the translators your "Word of God." Punctuation and capitalization are not inspired and have been kept to a minimum. Chapter and verse numbering, though not inspired, are retained.

This translation leaves present tense unchanged. The Greeks wrote in present tense to give the reader the feeling of "being there."

The words of Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit are in Red.

<F> Are footnotes and appear at the end of the chapter. The footnote appears in {} with verse numbers given.

{ } Contains words not in the Bible. Such as the reference to the Old Testament. It may be an exact quote, a paraphrase by the inspired writer or simply the location of the historical event. Single quotes are used at the beginning and end of actual quotes or paraphrases of such.

italicized words These are words added by the translators. They do not have a Greek counterpart. The articles "a" "an" are always supplied though not marked.

Acts of is supplied to Greek Plurals that have no English Plural. Example literal "discernings" would be rendered "acts of discerning" in the MLV. "Acts" does not in anyway mean "Acting."

Admonish means to "instruct with warning."

Angel a transliterated word, in simple terms-- not translated. The English equivalent would be "messenger." Only context can determine if the messenger was from God or man or the Devil.

Apostle a transliterated word, in simple terms- not translated. The English equivalent would be "one sent" with the meaning of "one sent on a mission."

Assarion see under Denarius.

Baptism a transliterated word, in other words not translated, the English equivalent is "immersion" or "dipping." For a Bible definition read Rom_6:1-6. Baptism is NOT used in the Modern Literal version. In 1999 till baptism was changed to immersion in about 2002 over 75% of the comments for revision of the Modern Literal Version from readers or visitors to the Christian Library were "make baptism immersion."

Believe in verb or adjective or noun forms are one of those very few Greek words which carry more meaning than the simple ‘believe’ translation. The words carry also the meaning: obey, had been persuaded. The antonym of ‘believe’ is ‘disobey’ in the Greek language. See Joh_3:36 MLV for both words together.

Believe on literally in the majority of all places in the New Testament means "believe upon".

Believe in literally in the majority of all places in the New Testament means "believe into". Similar expression to Mat_28:19 "... into the name... ".

Belt, impossible to tell from context if it is a simple belt or a complex series of leather straps used to hold tools, weapons, money, and even protect the body like minor armor. The girdle (belt) was worn across the waist or across the chest.

Charity in the MLV does not mean "money." It may include money but literally means "good, merciful or kind acts."

Centurions were military commanders over 100 soldiers.

Chief-captains were military commanders over 1000 soldiers.

Congregation was the original translation by Tyndale and then later changed to 'church' by the Catholics and perpetuated by the Church of England in the King James and American Standard Versions. The word could be translated 'assembly' also as did Robert Young, and many have done such. The original Greek word, even in the Bible, carries no special reverence. It is used to describe Jews, a mob, a local congregation, and the congregation of believers worldwide, Mat_16:18. Using "called out" would be like saying a "pineapple" is an "apple produced by a pine tree." The word was in use in all Greek writings which meant some form of "leaving your home to assemble elsewhere, generally in public for town announcements."

Cohort is a military term to describe a group of 600 soldiers.

Containers used with the volume they contain, is the way the MLV translated various Greek words as opposed to footnoting and transliterating them. Example "Cor" from a Hebrew word was translated as "peck and a half containers." (Many disagree about the exact size. We don’t see that makes a real difference to your salvation in Jesus the Christ.)

Covenant can be translated as "Testament" or “Will” as in Last Will & Testament. It was translated uniformly as "covenant" because "testament" has no verb forms in English. It is the Old or New Testament, or just a simple agreement, context decides. The Old Testament Law was until the death of Jesus and the New Testament Law is after his death, Heb_9:1-28; Heb_10:1-39. By rights the first four books and the first chapter of Acts of the New Testament, as it is commonly called today, are really part of the Old Covenant with God. See Gal_4:4, also.
Denarius is the standard money used in the MLV, the break down is as follows:
  • Denarius is money equivalent to a day's wage of the normal working class. It was a brass or copper coin with Caesar's face on it. It became worthless about 52 AD after this particular Caesar died.
  • 2 Drachma: is worth about 4 denarius, translated as "four-denarius."
  • Assarion, 2 Leptons, or Quadran are copper coins the cost of a dove or 2 sparrows, about a couple of mouthfuls of food. About 50 cents US.
  • Mina: equals about 200 denarius. 80% of a year's salary in modern terms. In context probably meant a whole years wage.
  • Slater: a coin equal to 2 drachma or 4 denarius, translated as "four-denarius coin."
  • Talant is about 58-80 pounds of silver. Equal to about 1 million dollars in US money today. Has nothing to do with ability, as the KJV and others used a terrible choice "talent" for the transliteration of the Greek word.
*for represents the Greek preposition "eis" that is literally translated as "to" "toward" "into". It never means "because of." Sometimes to substitute "leading toward" works very well to get the meaning across and has been used by many translation in some places. This preposition expresses forward action in the Greek verb where the English word "for" can be used with verbs of actions past or future. All Greek words in the Modern Literal Version that mean 'because' are translated as 'because'. (SEE the exception below.)

for* represents the Greek word "gar." It is a conjunction with no exact English equivalent. It is a mild form of "because." (See more below.)

For has no true Greek equivalent. “To” is the literal translation in all places in the Modern Literal Version excluding the above examples for prepositions and the dative case of nouns. (Also, “in/on behalf of” Greek equivalent is translated as such.) To best describe "for*," the conjunction, is "We put people in jail for* murder." To best describe “*for” the preposition, is "We put people in jail to murder." )

Fornication is any premarital or extramarital sexual acts between two or more people. Does not mean in any way "lust." It means physical sex, including all variations of physical sex. People who have claimed scriptural divorce using Mat_5:28 need to read the rest of the Bible!

Furlong Isa_1:1-31/8 of a mile in English. But in the MLV it is a "Stadium" which Isa_1:1-31/8 of a Roman mile 607 ft. (53 ft. less than an actual furlong).

Gentiles in Greek is also ‘nations.’ The word means all nations not Israel or all people who are not Jews.

Gird means to put on your belt, the final act of dressing yourself for the public or for a job. See BELT too.

Gospel means literally good news. It is also used to mean Jesus and his teaching in general. (1Co_15:1-4; 2Th_1:8, etc.). The Greek word in translated “good news” in other contents.

Harlot a sexual promiscuous individual or a prostitute, primarily female. Context is not always certain which meaning should be used.

Hosanna Hebrew word meaning "Save me, I pray." or "Please deliver me."

Immerse* or "dipping" is a translation of the Greek word "baptizo" and its variations. Baptize has been retained by most translations (see Baptism above) due to denominational influences. This word has a perfect English equivalent and so will be used. For a Bible definition read Rom_6:1-6. The Greek word was common to the Greeks and is used to describe a "bath" "washing dishes" "ceremonial washing" and "Christian baptism." See Footnoting in Mar_7:1-37, Rom_6:1-23, Mar_16:16, Col_2:12-14, etc. This word never meant “shower”. There is a Greek word for sprinkling and it is use in the New Testament also.

Jude, Judas are both from the same Greek word. Judas is retained except in the title of the Book of "Jude". Judas the Apostle (son of James) could be the same as Judas, Jesus' half brother, the brother of James, the writer of the Book of Jude but probably not.

Keep in the MLV is one of those very few Greek words which carry more meaning than the simple ‘keep’ translation. The word carries with it: to guard and/or watch over.

Like* literally is "as." Common to their language, slang in English.

Love* is the all giving all loving love. The Greeks had different words for love. This word is "agapaw" "agapao" in Greek.

Mina see under Denarius.

Offend, Offense literally means 'caused to stumble' or a 'cause of stumbling.'

Only begotten which literally means "only born of" or "only born by" would be a contradiction in the Bible since "we are all sons of God through Christ Jesus" and Mary bore multiple children. Its Greek synonym is "firstborn" which too is a contradiction since Abraham had two sons and the "only born of" was the second son. Others have used "one and only," "only," "only born." All of these are contradictions also. One other translation used "only unique," but this removes the "born" part. The way to think of this is that the physical "firstborn" had special rights or privileges. "Only special born" would then settle all instances in the New Testament and would still fit the Greek. It is the figurative "firstborn" in respect to special privileges or rights.

Pentecost a transliterated word literal means "50th" as in 50th day after Passover.

Quadran see under Denarius.

Quarternion is a group of four soldiers

Satan a transliterated word, translation would be "adversary" or "enemy."

Spirit, is retained in capitalized form from the ASV. If you as the reader believe Spirit is not the Holy Spirit just ignore the "S."

Talant see under Denarius.

That* Greek "hina" which literally means "in order that" but is just too wordy for some verses.

Vehemently is an intensified verb of the Greek word translated as ‘exceedingly’. This is what the 149 scholars of the KJV & ASV chose to use so we just keep it but in the actual 5 places it occurs.

Washing* or immersion or immerse for verb form; SEE BAPTISM

World* means the land, the globe or the Roman kingdom; hard to tell even from context.

You* represents the Greek word or word form that means plural "you" in English.

Your* represents the Greek word or word form that means plural "your" in English.


Thank you for this translation. How would I go about editing the names contained within the text for my own personal enjoyment and reading? The main weaknesses I find in pretty much the majority of Bible translations is the hubris (arrogance) of the translators in changing the original names of the prophets, the name of YHWH and of course, the names of the Apostles and their friend and brother, Melekh Yahushua/Yeshua Mashiach. It would be so nice not to be forced to read the pagan names that the translators chose to represent the Kadesh (holy or set-apart) name of our Father and Redeemer.

with respect,

Grey, if you are still looking for original names, you may like Restored Name King James Version of theWord under their downloads.
This module needs updating
Interesting translation has some very fresh elements. On the downside I find the frequent markings, such as the asterisks to designate slight differences in word meanings, to be distracting.

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