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The in-depth revision of the Ostervald version

After discussing methodology, we used the Authorized King James Bible in parallel with the 1744 Ostervald French Version. After an exhaustive verse-by-verse examination of the two texts, we identified and listed all the differences. Using the Scrivener’s Greek Text and the Masoretic Hebrew Text, we validated our understanding of the original text. A thorough comparison was then made with the Noah Webster 1828 English Dictionary and the Robert Historical Dictionary of the French Language to make sure that the words meant the same thing in both languages.

Another challenge with this work was to maintain the integrity of the French language. A literal translation is not always possible. For example, in English, one might say, “I have a frog in my throat.” But in French, the same expression would be phrased, “I have a cat in my throat.” Go figure!

Some even tried to make a “French King James Bible” by literally translating the King James Bible. Doing so can change the proper sense and integrity of the meaning of the text as previously illustrated. That is why we do not call our work a translation but an in-depth revision.

The importance of remaining impartial

We deemed it necessary to be objective. We endeavoured to exclude personal views and convictions from this revision. We stayed faithful to the meaning of the words used by God. It was never our intention to modernize the Bible or to fit the culture of our days, but to provide an accurate rendering of God’s Holy Word. It may require the student of the Word to study with his dictionary next to him, but we trust that it will only help him to see more of God’s treasures in it.

The purification process

When the work was completed, the Dean Burgon Society offered us seventy-five free printed copies to serve as a draft for a one year proof reading. Those copies were then sent to several French speaking pastors throughout the world. After collecting all their observations, we corrected typographical mistakes and replaced some words for better accuracy.

We followed the same method as the King James Bible translators and used the italic form for words that were not found in the “Received Text” but are there to overcome the difficulties of translating from one language to another.

Now that the work is complete as far as the New Testament is concerned, we would like to place it in the hands of every conscientious student of the Word. We are available to answer your questions via