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One of the distinctive characteristics of the United Bible Societies’ (UBS) translation program is its involvement in scholarly editions and helps for translators. Bible Society personnel have contributed significantly to the development of the theory and practice of translation, and have provided a wide range of scholarly and practical tools for Bible translators. These “Helps for Translators” include the UBS Handbooks, the journal The Bible Translator, as well as other books that deal either with theory or practical matters such as how to prepare Bible manuscripts indexes.
Another facet of this program is the publication of scholarly editions—the Greek and Hebrew texts used by translators, and materials based on those texts, such as synopses of the four Gospels or Bible dictionaries. Work on these materials is sponsored by the Bible Societies, and often involves some Bible Society personnel, as well as other scholars.
All of this work is carried out with the express purpose of assisting the process of Bible translation. Our conviction that translations must be based on the best possible Greek and Hebrew texts led to the development of the UBS Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament Text Project, for example. The fact that UBS Translation Officers are not able to be with translators at all times led to the development of the UBS Handbook Series. These books are a constant help to translators. The development of these materials is to ensure that our translations are of the highest quality possible.
The value of these materials is not limited to translators. Any teacher or student of biblical languages will find a number of Bible Society publications on his or her bookshelf. The Bible Societies are the major distributors of Greek and Hebrew texts, not because there are so many translators in the world, but because the scholarship that has gone into the editing and preparation of those texts is acknowledged as being the very finest, and thus scholars everywhere rely on our materials.
The UBS Handbooks are also useful to pastors, Bible students, Sunday School teachers and others interested in knowing more about the Bible. The material is practical and yet scholarly.
TO ORDER: UBS publications may be obtained through your national Bible society (click "Bible Societies by Area" on the home menu). A number of Bible Societies have online bookstores:
American Bible Society online shop
German Bible Society online shop
When a book has been published by a commercial publisher for the Bible Societies, you will find a link to that publisher.
You may view the catalog online by following the navigation links in the menu at the left, or download the complete catalog as a PDF file:
UBS Scholarly Editions and Translator Resources Catalog