I'm trying to figure what the shortest translation is of the bible because our professor is making us hand-write some pretty lengthy passages. Though I can't get around writing it, he doesn't care what translation is used.

The book, specifically, is Mark. In case there was a translation with a particularly short translation of Mark.

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    The English translations of the scriptures do not vary much in length. Translating Greek into English necessitates a certain number of words in order to accomplish the task. – Nigel J Oct 8 '20 at 1:17
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    Just don't choose the Amplified Bible! – curiousdannii Oct 8 '20 at 1:53
  • Just under 15,000 words in Mark – Kris Oct 8 '20 at 3:13
  • The Danny DeVito version? – Ruminator Oct 10 '20 at 19:41
  • Does something like the Reader's Digest Bible count? – Samuel Bradshaw Oct 11 '20 at 19:33

Mark’s Gospel contains 16 chapters. I have taken, at random, one particular verse (from Mark 2:15) to compare the number of words used in different translations as a rough guide as to which translation delivers the sentence in the least number of words:

Later he happened to be reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many of them and they began following him – New World Translation – 36 words

And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him – Authorised King James Version – 34 words

Later, Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. (There were many people of this kind among Jesus’ followers.) – New Living Translation – 32 words

Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers – The Message – 29 words

And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him – English Standard Version – 28 words

While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him – New International Version – 27 words

I have to confess that if your criterion for selecting a particular Bible translation is the brevity of words it contains, then you may be missing the purpose of the course you are taking – not to mention the purpose of studying the Bible, which is to UNDERSTAND what is being said. As far as your professor is concerned, I am amazed that the Bible translation used does not matter.

  • +1 for pointing out the issue of missing the point. – JBH Oct 11 '20 at 20:33

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