settings icon
share icon

What is Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)?

Young’s Literal Translation, YLT audio

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible was first translated in 1862 by Robert Young, a Scottish publisher who was self-taught and proficient in various ancient languages. Young also compiled Young’s Analytical Concordance and Concise Critical Comments on the New Testament. A revised version of the YLT was published in 1887 and a new revised version in 1898, a year after Young’s death.

Young’s Literal Translation - Translation method
Young’s Literal Translation is an extremely literal translation that attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the original Greek and Hebrew writings. Young was especially concerned that many English translations changed the tenses of Greek and Hebrew verbs, and he insisted on using the present tense in many places in which other translations use the past tense, particularly in narratives. Young’s Literal Translation also consistently renders the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (divine name) throughout the Old Testament as "Jehovah," instead of the traditional practice of representing the Tetragrammaton in English as "LORD" in all capitals.

Young’s Literal Translation - Pros and Cons
Young’s Literal Translation is very fitly named. It very likely is the most strictly literal English translation ever developed. The literal renderings of the verb tenses are especially unique and can be quite valuable in studying God’s Word. Aspects that are usually only clear to those who can study the original Greek are clarified in the YLT. The strictly literal translation method can make Young’s Literal Translation somewhat difficult to read and in some instances very unnatural sounding in English.

Young’s Literal Translation - Sample Verses
John 1:1, 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;” “And the Word became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.”

John 3:16 – “for God did so love the world, that His Son -- the only begotten -- He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.”

John 8:58 – “Jesus said to them, `Verily, verily, I say to you, Before Abraham’s coming -- I am;'”

Ephesians 2:8-9 – “by grace ye are having been saved, through faith, and this not of you -- of God the gift, not of works, that no one may boast;”

Titus 2:13 – “waiting for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,”

Return to:

Bible Versions

What is Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)?
Subscribe to the

Question of the Week

Get our Question of the Week delivered right to your inbox!

Follow Us: Facebook icon Twitter icon YouTube icon Pinterest icon Instagram icon
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
This page last updated: January 4, 2022