New Testament TransLine

The New Testament TransLine is a combination of a TRANS-lation and an out-LINE. It is a literal translation arranged in outline format so as not only to translate the words, but also to visually display the flow of thought contained in the Greek words. The outline format allows the translation to correspond more closely to the Greek forms, grammar, and sentence structure than ever before seen in an English translation, and thus allows the reader to see many things that would have been obvious to Greek readers of the first century, and to see the flow of thought contained in the Greek, as the original writers intended it. The goal of the New Testament TransLine is to enable Bible readers who do not know Greek to gain a depth of insight into the Word formerly available only to those who do. It puts the power to understand God’s word at a much deeper level into the hands of all God’s people.

Click here to see a sample NT book- Ephesians.  Or, buy the New Testament TransLine here.


  • A literal translation from the Greek corresponding more precisely to the original Greek words and grammar than anything possible in a translation done in prose format. Words not in the Greek are in italics or in [brackets]. Words emphasized in the Greek are in bold.
  • A visual display of the flow of thought of each book based on the Greek grammar.
  • An overview of each book using the words of the biblical writer.
  • Notes on alternate meanings of a Greek word that help flesh out its meaning.
  • Notes in English listing all the places a Greek word is used in the New Testament for over 3200 words, 59% of the New Testament vocabulary. Thus you can confirm the translation and gain valuable insight into the meaning and usage of a Greek word without knowing any Greek. Abbreviated notes on over450 additional words (8%) are also included.
  • Notes on interpretation that explain the meaning where needed, or that list the different interpretations made of a particular passage.
  • Notes describing over 3000 textual variations in the Greek manuscripts that lie behind all English translations.
  • The Greek word number (GK number) for each Greek word in the notes. Using this number, readers who do not know any Greek can directly link up to other helpful tools using these word numbers.

Using the New Testament TransLine:

  • The outline style. When you read, consider the outline numbers as simply a different kind of verse numbering system. Use them to follow the flow of thought. Each outline number is made up of a number and a letter, such as 1A., 1B., 1C., 1D. The letter indicates the outline level (like the traditional  I., A., 1., a. i.). The number indicates the sequential points at that level (like the traditional I., II., III., IV., V.). This style is used because it permits a deeper outline (in one place the outline extends to the “J” level), and is easier to follow over multiple pages. The introduction and conclusion are numbered in the traditional style to separate them from the main flow of thought of the book.
  • Focus on the New Testament text. Just by reading the translation and following the outline connections,you will understand the flow of thought in most cases. You can read all the “A” points of a book to see the main divisions of the book. You can read all the “B” points under a certain “A” point to see how that point is developed, etc. Using the overview as a guide to the flow of thought, you can follow what is being said at every level throughout the book. This is God’s Word. This is where the emphasis of your reading and meditation should be placed. Think about what you do and do not understand, what you want to know and pursue, and what God is calling you to do in response to His Word.
  • Use only the notes that interest you. The notes are included to assist you, and to be there as a reference when you need them. They speak to many levels of interest, so you will not be interested in all the notes all the time. Just follow your own interests, which will grow as your understanding grows. The notes are not intended to be read all at one time as you are reading the New Testament text. But when you desire, the notes will enable you to study a Greek word by looking up and comparing all its uses, for example.
  • Use the GK numbers to access other tools. Since the study of the meaning and usage of Greek words is so highly profitable in understanding the New Testament, the Greek word numbers (GK numbers, based on the Goodrick and Kohlenberger numbering system) for each Greek word have been included in the word notes. The reader with no knowledge of Greek can use these word numbers to directly access Kohlenberger’s Greek-English Concordance to the New Testament (this is often more convenient than looking up the verses one by one), Verbrugge’s The NIV Theological Dictionary of New Testament Words (this provides a full view of the meaning and usage of significant Greek words), and other tools using this numbering system. The New Testament TransLine will serve you well as the starting point for your studies.
  • Reference numbers and letters. The small number after a word links you to the corresponding note on the facing page. The small letter after a word links this word to the cross references at the bottom of the facing page. This cross reference links you to the note on this Greek word in the New Testament TransLine. Look for the same English word at the cross reference noted, although the form may be different. For example, if you are looking for “doing” in 1 Jn 3:9, the form at the cross reference may be “doing”, “does”, “did”, “do”, or “done”. If the English rendering at the cross reference is not the same, then the word to look for is provided after the cross reference. For example, on “appeared” in Mt 1:20, look for a form of “shine” in Phil 2:15.
  • Verse numbers. The verse numbers down the right hand side of the page indicate that the verse begins on that line, at the left margin. If a verse does not begin at the left margin, or if more than one verse begin on one line, then a raised dot marks the place where the verse begins.
  • Old Testament references. Unless otherwise noted, all references to words in the Old Testament (such as, “Same word as in Gen 1:1”) are to the Greek words in the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament (but always using the standard English/Hebrew verse numbers).

How does the outline format contribute to the translation?

  •  Understanding translations. Two general approaches exist for making translations. One is called formal equivalence, or word-for-word translation. It seeks to convey the words and grammar used by the writers as much as possible. The NKJV, NASB, RSV, and the New Testament TransLine are examples. The other method is called dynamic equivalence, or thought-for-thought translation. It seeks to convey the meaning intended by the writers, using normal and pleasing English terms and grammar that convey the same meaning, rephrasing sentences as needed. This is done to various degrees based on how far the focus is moved from the Greek to the English, and how much “interpretation” is added to the “translation.” At one extreme the translation remains close to the Greek, but enhances or clarifies the meaning in English. The NRSV is an example. At the other extreme the translation is a paraphrase completely rewritten into words and phrases chosen by the translator to convey what the translator feels is being said. The Living Bible and The Message are examples. All of these approaches are valid and useful.
  • Word-for-word translation. Even word-for-word translation, however, cannot follow the Greek absolutely. English is just too different from Greek. Greek does not rely on word order as English does. Long “run on” sentences are normal in Greek, but difficult to follow in English. A strictly word-for-word translation is very difficult for an English reader to follow. To experience this for yourself, just look at an interlinear Greek New Testament, which has the English words printed directly under the Greek words.
  • The outline format. The outline format permits a translation that corresponds much more precisely to the Greek words and sentence structure. Even the flavor, style and feel of the Greek can be reflected in English. For example, you will see and feel the difference in the writing styles of the four Gospel writers. The outline format serves as a skeleton on which to hang the phrases and sentences, avoiding the need to add words or rephrase in English. For example, Eph 1:3-14 is one long sentence in the Greek. In a prose-format translation, it must be broken up into smaller sentences in order to be understood in English. But this very process, while absolutely necessary and unavoidable, obscures the apostle’s flow of thought. The outline format provides a framework that allows you to see Paul’s words and his flow of thought as they are in Greek, and the notes help you see the places where people disagree about the flow of thought. Thus the outline format clarifies the meaning intended by the apostle. Commentaries do a wonderful job explaining the New Testament on the Greek or the English level and are essential tools. But often the more words one uses to try to explain the flow of thought, the harder it is to grasp. With the New Testament TransLine, the flow of thought is contained in the outline structure itself. Words of explanation are replaced by the visual presentation, allowing you to focus directly on the words of Scripture.
  • Comparing translations. Imagine a translation scale of zero to ten, where zero is the Greek New Testament and ten is an exciting English paraphrase such as The Message or The Living Bible. A one would be a Greek-English interlinear. A five would be a translation that seeks to perfectly balance the Greek and English, staying as close to the Greek as possible, but using English sentence structures and phrasing so as to be beautiful and elegant in English. The NASB, KJV, and RSV would be examples of a five. The NRSV would be a six; the NIV a seven. There are many wonderful translations available between five and ten. But none have been able to be more literal than the NASB, for example, because of the limitations of the prose format. The New Testament TransLine would be a three, opening a view into the New Testament never before seen by English readers.

Limitations of the New Testament TransLine:

  • The translation. Because the New Testament TransLine is more closely equivalent to the Greek, it is also more foreign-sounding to the English ear. Translators call this “translation English,” meaning that it reflects the Greek ways of writing rather than the English ways of writing. In good English translations, this is not desirable, since a certain beauty and elegance in English is being sought. But since the goal of the New Testament TransLine is not elegance in English, but to more closely reflect the Greek writings, a more foreign-sounding translation is to be expected. By way of comparison, the NIV expresses the thoughts contained in the Greek using the full breadth and beauty of English, foregoing strict conformity to the Greek phraseology. The New Testament TransLine expresses much more of the breadth and beauty of the Greek phraseology, sacrificing normal English idiom. The RSV, NASB, and NKJV represent the best attempts to strike a pleasing balance between the two languages. There is no perfect translation, only translations that achieve the balance of translation goals they set out to accomplish. The New Testament TransLine is aimed at providing a view of the Greek not currently available to the English reader, even though this results in a translation that from the point of view of English idiom and grammar is inferior to all of the other versions mentioned. But this limitation will not hinder you at all, because if you use the New Testament TransLine together with your regular Bible, you will have the best of both viewpoints! You will be able to clearly see and appreciate the choices made by the translators of your version—how they made short sentences out of long ones, how they smoothed out a foreign-sounding idiom, how they clarified a difficult phrase or sentence, how they phrased the Greek in proper and pleasing English.

Think of it this way. When you hear a foreigner first learning to speak English, you commonly hear such a person rendering the forms and sentence structures of their native language in English words. It sounds foreign to English-speakers. It is improper English. Sometimes it is difficult to understand. As the person learns more English, they adopt the commonly understood English patterns of expression. In a similar way, since the New Testament TransLine is seeking to give the English reader more insight from the Greek point of view, the Greek forms and structures are retained to a greater degree than proper in good English, but not to such a degree that the meaning is obscured. This allows the reader to see and feel more of the Greek. For example, when referring to a man, the Greek form of expression can be “he,” “he” or “he himself ,” “the one,” “this one,” or “that one.” All of these are rendered as such in the New Testament TransLine, according to their form in the Greek way of speaking, whereas in the polished English translations mentioned above, they are usually all rendered with the simple “he,” according to their function in the normal English way of speaking. In general, the New Testament TransLine seeks to render the actual form of the Greek expressions. When this cannot be consistently done, or when it obscures rather than illuminates, then it is rendered according to its function in normal English, and a note is provided with the more literal rendering.

  • The outline. The outline itself does not come 100% straight from the Greek. No such thing is possible. Said in reverse, the Greek grammar alone does not demand that every point be connected exactly as in the New Testament TransLine. The flow of thought is contained in the events, the ideas, and the grammar. When the flow of thought is contained in the ideas, sometimes it is easy to see and follow, other times it is very difficult. In the places where the reasoning is difficult, meditation on why the thoughts are connected as they are in the New Testament TransLine will result in the reader thinking about the same things Greek scholars and commentary writers think about. In all cases, the outline is based on consideration of every Greek word and the immediate context, with the goal of accurately reflecting what is there. The guiding principle has been that the words themselves must carry the flow of thought. The most natural, simple, clear connection of thought has been sought.
  • The problem passages. When they exist, the multiple viewpoints on a word or verse are listed. The supporting arguments for the views can be found in the commentaries. The goal of the New Testament TransLine is to alert you to these issues so that you can direct your meditation and study according to your interests. Since the New Testament TransLine is an annotated translation, not a commentary, I do not express my own opinion about which view I prefer (although sometimes it is necessary to reflect a view in the translation). To do so would be of little value without analyzing the issue and all the views, and giving the reasons for my preference, and this would have added considerable length to this volume.

Click here to see further notes for English readers on the Greek translation.

Click here to see further notes on the Greek text behind the New Testament TransLine.


Italics indicate words that are implied by the grammar of the Greek word, phrase, or sentence structure, or are required in normal English grammar. They are part of the literal translation.
[Brackets] indicate words added to clarify the meaning intended by the biblical writer. Skip over these words if you like, and what remains will be the literal translation.
Bold words are the words actually emphasized in the Greek by the biblical writer. For example, sometimes a subject is emphasized, “But I say to you,” or, “they will be comforted.” Sometimes the Greek word order is arranged so as to place emphasis on a word.
Dashed words are single Greek words translated by multiple English words. For example, “announced-as-good-news” represents a single Greek word. Such words are dashed when linked to notes, and on some other occasions. Every occurrence of such words is not dashed.
Small numbers (superscript) after a word point to a note on the facing note page.
Small letters after a word point to the list of cross references at the bottom of the note page. The reference listed for that letter gives the location of the note on that word.
Verse numbers in the right-hand column mark the beginning of each verse. If the verse does not start at the beginning of the line, a raised dot marks the place.


Or, means that alternate translations of that Greek word or phrase are being given.
That is, means that an explanation of what is said is being given.
Some … Others indicate different views as to the meaning.
Elsewhere only means that all the other places where that Greek word is used are listed.
Same word as means that some of the other uses are listed, but not all.
Related to indicates that another form of the same root word is being given. For example, the noun, verb and adjective forms of the same Greek root word might be listed.
Some manuscripts say indicates that a variant reading is being given.
{A}, {B}, {C}, {D}, {N}, {K} are ratings of the probability that the reading in the text is the oldest. This is explained here
GK 2652 is the Greek word number for that word. Use it to find that Greek word in products that use the GK numbering system.