"Words without thoughts never to heaven go." ~ William Shakespeare
Words matter; especially God's words; and especially if you're acting them out in front of people! You better know exactly what you're saying and why. The Revised Geneva Translation (based on Shakespeare's favorite Bible translation) was born from my need to memorize and speak Scripture out loud and with the correct meaning, emphases and inflections; an ancient practice (as it turns out) dating back to Jesus' time and before.
The RGT is a 21st Century update of the 1599 Geneva Bible. It eliminates archaic and potentially distracting 16th Century words and phrases, while at the same time maintaining the strict attention to original intent for which that version of The Holy Bible has always been known. In scholarly terms, it is a formal equivalency, featuring elements of both the Alexandrian and Byzantine text-types, predominantly the latter (e.g. it excludes the doxology of Matthew 6:13b, but includes Mark 16:9-20, John 7:53-8:11 and the Johannine Comma of 1John 5:7). Examples of translations that use the Alexandrian text-type include the NIV, NASB, and ESV. Examples of the Byzantine or "Majority" text-type include the KJV, NKJV, and the 1599 Geneva Bible.
For us, the reasons for the favoring of the Byzantine text-type over the Alexandrian are best-summarized by fellow lay-minister, Reese Currie, in his wonderfully humble and insightful essay called "Textual Choices and Bible Versions". We highly recommend reading it in its entirety HERE.
"So, did text get left out of the Alexandrian text or added into the Byzantine? This remains the question we need to answer for ourselves. I have provided as much information as I can for you to formulate your own answer to the question. My answer is this: in light of the fact that no one can prove the Byzantine text ever changed; that the readings of the Alexandrian text may be incomplete due to its being a regionalized text; that the public availability throughout all time of the Byzantine text would have served as a safeguard against changes as massive as alleged; upon the testimony of the church fathers of readings that never existed in the Alexandrian text type; and finally, the fact that the Alexandrian text type ceased to exist in the Greek, in light of the Biblical doctrine of providential preservation, the Majority Text must be considered the most trustworthy possible text of the Holy Bible." ~Reese Currie, Compass Distributors
In addition, the RGT strives to preserve the textual cadence and poetry that is so essential to Elizabethan literature. Just as in all preceding centuries, Biblical text in the 1500’s was meant to be heard and seen, as much as read, because so many of those who received it were illiterate and needed to memorize it and speak it back to each other often in order to facilitate meditation. And so the living and active characteristic of God’s word is very much kept in mind on these recordings.