Friday, February 1, 2008

The New Testament in Modern English translated by J. B. Phillips

Greetings my fellow book-bloggers! Today is the day I cease being the guy with zero books…we are actually going to celebrate here at my house later this evening.

I confess to having had some feelings that verged on resentment to Carlton’s totally unfounded claim that the Casefiles are in some way “light” reading. It is entirely out of spite that I have decided to scupper my plan to read the thrilling and often baffling adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy. There’s always next year.

J.B. Phillips spent 14 years working on what eventually became an entire translation on the New Testament in Modern English. He began translating the epistle of Colossians as a way to pass the time spent in the London underground stations during World War II air raids. As a young Anglican pastor working with young people he sensed the need for a version of scripture that was more accessible and relevant to their lives. The effect that his early work had on his youth group, combined with some encouraging words on the translations from C. S. Lewis spurred Phillips to complete his translation in 1958.

I really enjoy reading Phillips’ version. I tell people that his goal was to make scripture read as if it had been written in our time, to people like ourselves. However, he works to achieve this without sacrificing a strong adherence to what the original language text actually reads. I feel that he managed to get the mixture of modern language and literal interpretation just about right. A good translation to pick up if you are bored with the version of scripture you normally use or if you haven’t read the New Testament in awhile.

2 comments:

Nihil Novum said...

I somehow completely missed this review.

Carlton said...

"The thrilling and often baffling adventures of Frank and Joe Hardy."
Tony Prito was an enigma, am I right!?