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Of the three basic types of translation-literal, literal-idiomatic, and idiomatic-the translators of the ISV® opt for the second, offering a translation of the Bible that makes every effort to reproduce the culture and exact meaning the original biblical text without sacrificing elegance and readability in contemporary English.
In addition, the ISV® treats subtle nuances of the original texts with special care. For example, it carefully preserves the literary forms of the original languages, translating original-language poetry into poetry, giving English readers a sense of the Bible's original poetic language. It also takes special note of synoptic parallels in the New Testament, comparing all parallel passages in original languages and rendering parallels exactly where original language manuscripts contain word-for-word parallels and translating parallels approximately when indicated by original manuscripts. This attention to parallelism allows readers to understand connections between the synoptic gospels more clearly.