In my other life, I am the editor of Faithlife’s Bible Study Magazine, and one of my first acts as editor was to give myself a column: “Word Nerd: Language and the Bible.” They said I could. I also turn all the columns—plus a few that aren’t in print—into YouTube videos for the Logos Bible Software YouTube channel. Like and subscribe and all that.
One of my first videos was on an obscure feature in the NASB, little asterisks that indicate when they translated historical presents (like, “Jesus goes into the city”) as pasts (like, “Jesus went into the city”). Good English just demands past tenses, even though the Greek is clearly in the present tense. It just sounds so breathless, so weird, even though it is, yes, possible to match the Greek with an English present. The fact that even the NASB couldn’t bring itself to translate these “literally” shows that forms don’t match one-to-one across languages.
FWIW, using the magic of Logos Bible Software, I was able to count the number of times the KJV translators translated historical presents as present vs. past. It was a mix. They didn’t have a specific policy they consistently followed.
Literaler is better...