Recovery Version

Recovery Version
Full name Holy Bible Recovery Version
NT published 1985
Complete Bible
Authorship The editorial section of the Living Stream Ministry
Textual basis

OT: Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS; revised 1990 edition)

NT: Novum Testamentum Graece (Nestle-Aland 26th edition)
Translation type Formal equivalence
Publisher Living Stream Ministry
Copyright © 2003 Living Stream Ministry

The Recovery Version is a modern English translation of the Scriptures from their original languages. It is a result of roughly three decades of translation and revision work by the editorial section of Living Stream Ministry, from 1974 to 2003. The New Testament was published in 1985 and revised in 1991, and the Holy Bible was published in 2003. Text-only editions of the New Testament and of the Holy Bible became available in 1993 and 1999, respectively.[1]


The Recovery Version is a recent translation of the Bible from the revised 1990 edition of the Hebrew Scriptures, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia,[2] and the Nestle-Aland Greek text as found in Novum Testamentum Graece (26th edition).[3] The translators believe that Christians’ understanding of the Bible has progressed in the past two thousand years, in part due to "philological and exegetical scholarship that makes more precise the meaning of the biblical words or phrases or practices" [4] and in part due to an accumulation of Christian experience. This understanding forms the basis of this translation, with guidance from the major authoritative English versions.

The Recovery Version attempts to avoid biases and inaccurate judgments and to express the message of the Bible in English as accurately as possible. Its translation is essentially literal/word-for-word/formal equivalent, seeking to preserve the wording of the original Hebrew or Greek text and the personal style of each biblical writer. Its translation is transparent; interpretive ambiguities present in the original text are left unresolved in this translation for the readers to consider. It is comparable to the English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible. Commentaries are included separately in footnotes.

Translation methodology

The Recovery Version conforms to a particular philosophy of Bible translation which is less common in the present day. Every translation of the Bible embodies a philosophy about what the Bible is, about the relation of its writers to God, and even about God Himself. The trend today is away from a more literal rendering of the ancient text toward a more literary one; newer translations seek to make the Bible easy to read and understand. But while the LSM editorial section did not aim for obscurity, they contend that "the deep things of God are not simple for human language, that the mind of Christ is not shallow or easily explained, and that the content of the Bible comes not merely through our renderings but by the Spirit through spiritual words." LSM believes that their view about Bible translation reflects Paul’s words to the Corinthians concerning the ministry in general: "Which things also we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things with spiritual words" (1 Cor. 2:13). LSM also states that:

Our words, our translation, must be with spiritual words, else the Spirit, we maintain, has no way nor any responsibility to bear the spiritual things of the Bible to our readers. We admit that translation of this sort is sometimes not the easiest to read or comprehend, but we are compelled to sacrifice easy reading for deeper truth. Though we are for the casual reading of the Bible, we maintain that the Bible is to be studied carefully, and we so translate it, attempting to leave in our work the fine points expressed in the original.[5]

The New Testament Recovery Version embodies a multitude of decisions on the original form of the Greek text. While the Recovery Version follows the Nestle-Aland 26th edition for the most part, it has departed in various places based on the study and consideration of the manuscripts by the LSM editorial section. In determining the original form of any verse, the LSM editorial section considered the larger context of chapter and book and similar portions of the Bible, frequently receiving guidance by other major authoritative English versions. They did not assume that the most recently discovered manuscripts or the manuscripts of oldest date were necessarily the most accurate. Departures from the Nestle-Aland text are sometimes indicated in the footnotes of the Recovery Version. Thus, the Greek text underlying the New Testament Recovery Version is unique, even if it is quite close to the accepted scholastic edition of the day.[5]

Following the principle used in translating the New Testament, the translation of the Old Testament is based on the current scholarly text of the Hebrew Scriptures, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS; revised 1990 edition). Departures from this edition are generally indicated in the footnotes. Frequently the ancient translations of the Old Testament into Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, and Latin were consulted for clarification of the Hebrew text, and in some instances these translations were adopted in the Recovery Version; the reading of the Hebrew text is generally given in the footnotes. As much as possible the poetic structure of the Hebrew text, as indicated by BHS, has been preserved.[6]

LSM expected that readers would quickly note the use of the name “Jehovah” in the Recovery Version. In spite of the historical linguistic arguments against its use, no other rendering of the Tetragrammaton has the same heritage that Jehovah has in classic English literature. While previous Bible translators, based on a faulty understanding of the Hebrew vowel pointing, might have mistakenly transliterated the name “Jehovah,” their great influence has firmly embedded the name Jehovah into the English language, as evidenced by its inclusion in modern dictionaries. LSM’s employing of the name Jehovah is motivated not by linguistic considerations but by a recognition of the heritage of the English language and by the LSM editorial section’s desire to be true to their convictions as translators that “the name of God, revealed and delivered to His saints (Exo. 3:16; 20:7), should be deliberately rendered in the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.” Furthermore, LSM states that “deference to ancient religion and confusion from modern sectarians are no reasons to shrink back from the use and enjoyment of God’s personal and revealed name." Therefore, Jehovah is rendered in 6,841 places of the Old Testament in this translation.[6]

Study aids

Textual comparison

Comparison of select verses with other versions
King James Version Recovery Version English Standard Version New International Version New American Standard Bible Note of significant differences
Genesis 4:7b and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and his desire is for you, but you must rule over him. And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it." But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Gen. 4:7, note 1: Sin and Satan are one (Rom. 7:8 and note)...Satan as sin is crouching at the door, waiting for the opportunity to seize and devour us...[10]

1 Pet. 5:8: Be sober; watch. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking someone to devour.[7] See also 1 Pet. 5:8 in the KJV, the ESV, and the NIV.

Psalm 51:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Do not cast me from Your presence, and do not take the Spirit of Your holiness away from me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. "The only three passages (Psa. 51:11, Isa. 63:10-11) where we have in our translation Holy Spirit, the Hebrew is properly...'the Spirit of His holiness.' It is thus of the Spirit of God that the word is used, and not as the Proper Name of the third person. Only in the New Testament does the Spirit bear the name of 'The Holy Spirit.'"[11]

Psa. 51:11, note 2: The title the Spirit of holiness used here and in Isa. 63:10-11 is not the same as the Holy Spirit used in the New Testament...[7]

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16, note 2: Believing into the Lord is not the same as believing Him (John 6:30). To believe Him is to believe that He is true and real, but to believe into Him is to receive Him and be united with Him as one. The former is to acknowledge a fact objectively; the latter is to receive a life subjectively.[7] [note 1]
Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. I am able to do all things in Him who empowers me. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. εν (en) means in.

ἐνδυναμοῦντί (endynamounti) means makes dynamic inwardly. Christ dwells in us (Col. 1:27). He empowers us, makes us dynamic from within, not from without. By such inward empowering Paul was able to do all things in Christ.[7]

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, θεότητος, translated into "Godhead," is unique in the New Testament. In Romans 1:20, θειότης is translated divinity or godhood. Here Paul is speaking of the essential and personal deity as belonging to Christ. So Bengel: "Not the divine attributes, but the divine nature."[12]

"Godhead" refers to deity, which is different from the divine characteristics manifested by the created things (Rom. 1:20).[7]

Other languages

There are complete and partial editions of the Holy Bible Recovery Version in other languages, including Chinese (恢復本),[13] French (Version Recouvrement),[14] German (Wiedererlangungs-Übersetzung), Indonesian (Alkitab Versi Pemulihan), Japanese (回復訳),[15] Korean (회복역),[16] Portuguese (Versão Restauração),[17] Russian (Восстановительный перевод),[18] Spanish (Versión Recobro), and Tagalog (Salin sa Pagbabawi).


  1. The Greek word translated "in" in the KJV, ESV, and NIV and "into" in the Recovery Version is "εἰς," meaning "into." Please also see Nestle, Erwin. Novum Testamentum Graece Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006. Print.


  1. Chamberlin, WIlliam J. Catalogue of English Bible Translations: A Classified Bibliography of Versions and Editions Including Books, Parts, and Old and New Testament Apocrypha and Apocryphal Books. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1991. Print.
  2. Würthwein, Ernst. The Text of the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Biblia Hebraica. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1995.
  4. Harrelson, Walter. "Recent Discoveries and Bible Translation." Religious Education 85.2 (1990): 190.
  5. 1 2 RecoveryVersion. Living Stream Ministry, 2003. Web. 2 February 2013.
  6. 1 2 Witness Lee and LSM Editorial Section. ‘’Holy Bible Recovery Version.’’ Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 2003. Print.
  7. Crim, Keith R. “Translating the Bible: An Unending Task.” Religious Education 85.2 (1990): 202
  8. Harrelson, Walter. “Recent Discoveries and Bible Translation.” Religious Education 85.2 (1990): 186-187.
  9. “'Eternal Victory' at the Olympics.” The Daily Beast. The Newsweek Daily Beast Company, 21 Feb. 2002. Web. 14 Jan. 2013.
  10. Holy Bible Recovery Version. Ed. Witness Lee and editorial section of the Living Stream Ministry. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 2003. Print.
  11. Murray, Andrew. The Spirit of Christ. New York: A. D. F. Randolph & Co., 1888. Print.
  12. Vincent, Marvin R. Word Studies in the New Testament. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887. Print.
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