Here’s a question I get on occasion, which I addressed fully six years ago on the blog.
Do you have any plans to publish your own “best” version of the NT in English? From reading several of your books, it does seem as though you probably already have a translation sitting in a drawer somewhere. I have not been able to find scholarly reconstruction that was produced in the last three and a half decades. Most of the newer “translations” are theologically motivated and sound more like modern slang. Have any of your colleagues/ students produced a readable version you would recommend? (Thousands of footnotes do not make for a readable text!) I would very much like to see your translation/interpretation sitting on a bookshelf.
No, as it turns out, I have never written out a full translation of the New Testament. For several reasons. First, there are a number of excellent translations already available that have been done by some of the best NT scholars on the planet. My translation would be different, but not necessarily better. Of course, I would think that where mine differed it would be better: otherwise I wouldn’t translate it differently! But I don’t think I can personally improve on what is out there. Relatedly, that is because the translations now available have, for the most part, been done by committees. That has good and bad sides to it, but the good side is very good: it means that individual idiosyncrasies are taken off the table, so that one’s own unusual views that do not have widespread scholarly support do not enter into the translation. Finally, I think it is more than a bit arrogant for an individual to think s/he can do a better translation than what is out there for a book so widely translated as the Bible. That’s not true for every ancient text, of course, but there are lots and lots of Bible translations done by committees that have spent many years, in most cases, on them.
My preferred translation, by the way….
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