We thank the Lord that His precious Word is so available to us today. It has not always been so. In fact, from the sixth to the fourteenth centuries, the Bible was largely inaccessible to the public. During this period, the bright light contained in the Bible and many of the precious truths revealed in it and enjoyed by the early Christians were not generally available. Since the 1500s, beginning with Martin Luther's groundbreaking realization that justification is by faith, the Lord has continued to gradually recover more light and truth from His Word. This recovery in spiritual and scriptural understanding has ushered in a corresponding recovery in both the individual and the corporate aspects of the Christian life. The Recovery Version of the Bible is so named because its text and footnotes crystallize many of these truths and experiences.
In 1385 John Wycliffe translated the Bible into English from the Latin Vulgate. This translation and its subsequent distribution was instrumental in opening the door to the spread of the truth. Around 1525 the Bible was translated into English directly from the original languages by William Tyndale. Since then many excellent English translations have followed. The Recovery Version of the Bible is translated from the original languages according to principles and standards of translation established by major English translations of the last five centuries.
The Recovery Version of the Bible was translated and revised by the Editorial Section of Living Stream Ministry from 1974 to 2003. The Recovery Version of the Bible contains numerous study aids, including, the subject and background of each book; detailed, interpretive outlines; enlightening footnotes, valuable cross-references, and a variety of useful charts and maps. All of these study aids were written by Witness Lee, who received much help from the writings of noted Bible expositors throughout church history, including his co-worker, Watchman Nee. The New Testament Recovery Version in its current format in English was published in 1991, and it is also available in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Japanese, and several other languages. The Recovery Version of the Bible, including outlines, footnotes, and cross-references for both the Old and New Testaments, is now available.