Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’, but ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” ’ ” (New King James Version)Such a three-level quote is difficult to follow. Note the three quotation marks at the end of the verse. Other translations such as God’s Word reduce the three-level quote to two levels by making the last quote indirect (He said that he is the king of the Jews). Note that only two quotation marks are needed at the end of the verse.
The chief priests of the Jewish people told Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The king of the Jews!’ Instead, write, ‘He said that he is the king of the Jews.’ ”Other translations such as the New International Version modify the three-level quote a different way so that only one quotation mark is needed at the end of the verse.
The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”In the The Better Life Bible, I also translate direct quotes in Greek frequently as indirect quotes so the meaning is conveyed clearly and naturally for my target audience.
Categories: Bible translation, quotes, clarity, natural English, Better Life Bible