This is an excellent handbook for students and others interested in biblical translation. Metzger, who himself has served on the translation committees for three versions, provides a readable account of ancient translations before turning to a selection of English translations from John Wycliffe's, near the end of the fourteenth century, to Eugene Peterson's, still in process at the beginning of the twenty-first. Metzger devotes considerable attention to the problems translators face and the strategies adopted during the courses of different translations to address them. The result of Metzger's labor is, more than a historical overview, a primer that equips readers to make critically informed judgments about available translations and achieve better understanding of the biblical text. Steven SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Back Cover
The Bible has been translated more often than any other piece of literature and is currently available in over two thousand languages, with several languages having numerous versions. Outlined here is the history of Bible translation, including a careful analysis of more than fifty versions of the Bible.
One of the most respected living biblical scholars, Bruce Metzger begins this engaging survey with the earliest translations of the Old and New Testaments, before proceeding to English versions dating from the eleventh century to the present. Metzger explores the circumstances under which each translation was produced and offers insights into its underlying objectives, characteristics, and strengths. Since the author has served on a number of Bible translation committees, his knowledge of the evolution of Bible translation flows not only from careful research but also from personal experience.
"A highly informative and interesting account of the history of the English Bible. Professor Metzger has pointed out the qualities-good and bad-of all the versions, from that of John Wycliffe to the New Revised Standard Version of 1990. He has not neglected the Jewish translations of the twentieth century or the simplified, easy-to-read versions, and even includes the various paraphrases of the English Bible. All of this is done with clarity, humor, and sound judgment. His book will be a valuable vade mecum for all pastors, students, scholars, and general readers."
-Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J., Catholic University of America
Bruce M. Metzger
(Ph.D., Princeton University) is George L. Collord Professor of New Testament Language and Literature Emeritus at Princeton Theological Seminary. An expert in ancient biblical manuscripts, he has participated in three major Bible translation projects and was chairman of the NRSV translation committee.