TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) are popular for Bible translations, so I've come up with one. The "Open Access Translation" (OAT) Bible. It would be the first Bible to be translated with a Creative Commons license. The question is--which license? The question is whether we would want the translator to be able to add this to her CV, in which case we would have to go with a "No Derivatives-By Attribution" license, or whether we would want people to be able to modify the Bible for their own purposes. For the Open Scrolls Project, J. Davila suggested that I go with the "No Derivatives-By Attribution" license, and I agreed to this. This way, all the changes to be made to the Bible could be suggested on a single website, where they could be reviewed by the general editor(s) and the editor(s) for the particular biblical book. The main contributors to each book's translation would get credit and could know that their work would not be mangled. Nonetheless, the translation could be freely copied and printed at no charge if kept intact.
In order to make such a translation, three things are necessary, or at least desirable--volunteer translators, open access translation software, and some funding (to pay the general editor? to pay a modicum to all active translators? to promote the project and the result? to legitimate the effort?).
Active volunteer translators, and even moreso competent ones and excellent editors for quality control, will be the hardest to come by. Funding, therefore, could be a way to solve that problem. But who would do the funding?
The easiest part would be open access translation software--because I would be happy to write it.
An effort began recently to provide the New Testament in plain English, at The New Testament in Plain English
blog (noted via the Better Bibles Blog
). I would like to merge my efforts with this one. What I envision is two websites operating in parallel, one a blog site (such as the New Testament in Plain English blog) and the other the translation itself. On the translation site, there would be plenty of resources on the Greek and Hebrew and on existing translations--think the Bible Gateway and Perseus rolled into one. There would also be the editable text of the new translation itself. Editable, that is, by submission and then approval by the editors, selected for their qualifications. There would also be links back to the blog to the posts that discuss the textual problems of particular verses. These links to the blog would be created manually through the translation site or automatically by finding words such as "John 1:1" in the blog text. Of course, I am open to suggestions on how this might work better, or questions if I'm not clear about what I envision.
PS-- I'm not concerned about the "OAT" title. Feel free to suggest a better one.