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The Kingdom New Testament: A Contemporary Translation Hardcover – October 25, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


“Wright’s Kingdom New Testament is both faithful and fresh, both lucid and enlightening, both careful and creative. Bringing to bear his wealth of scholarship and a lifetime of study, it will serve us well for many years to come. Enthusiastically recommended.” (Dr. Ben Witherington, III, Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies, Asbury Theological Seminary)

“Wright, the world’s most influential New Testament interpreter, gives us in The Kingdom New Testament, a readable and dynamic translation marked by precision, personality, and power. The Kingdom New Testament will be unsurpassed-- this is the one translation I’d want everyone to read.” (Scot McKnight, Karl A. Olsson Professor in Religious Studies, North Park University)

“[The] Kingdom New Testament: a comforting voice for struggling newcomers, a fresh voice for translation-tired veterans. I know of no one more qualified to take the message of the New Testament and put it into words that the modern person can fully understand.” (Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Professor of Biblical Studies, Wheaton College)

Translations often are either too ‘popular’ or too ‘formal.’ This fresh translation of the New Testament strikes a fine balance between the two as it ably rescues truth from familiarity. I recommend it highly to all who love the New Testament. (Kenneth E. Bailey, Professor of New Testament (Emeritus) The Ecumenical Institute, (Tantur) Jerusalem)

“[The Kingdom New Testament] will confirm Professor Wright’s position as the J.K.Rowling of Christian Publishing.” (Church Times)

“I hope everyone gets a copy. . . . Translation is brisk and energetic, gender neutral, and has some real surprises. . . . There is something quite distinct about [Wright’s] translation: he wants the reader to feel the 1st Century, to hear a Jew call Jesus ‘Messiah’’or ‘King.’” (Scot McKnight, Jesus Creed, Patheos)

“The Kingdom New Testament sparkles with many gems of spirited English.” (Books&Culture)

“Reading Wright’s volume feels like sitting in on a Greek Bible class with a great teacher.” (Christian Century)

“Wright’s readable text serves as a refreshing, helpful way to re-hear familiar narratives.” (Religious Herald)

From the Back Cover

The New Testament for the Twenty-First Century.

Most readers of the New Testament have grown overly familiar with the biblical text, losing sight of the wonder and breadth of its innovative ideas and world-changing teachings about the life and role of Jesus of Nazareth. N. T. Wright invigorates these sacred texts with an all-new English translation that allows contemporary readers to encounter these historic works afresh.

With the insight and expertise of "the world’s leading New Testament scholar" (Newsweek), this approachable, engaging translation features accessible, modern prose that stays true to the character of the ancient Greek text by maintaining the vibrancy and vigor of the original works while also conveying the most accurate rendering possible.

The Kingdom New Testament will help the next generation of Christians acquire a firsthand understanding of what the New Testament had to say in its own world, and what it urgently has to say in ours.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062064916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062064912
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

N.T. WRIGHT is the former Bishop of Durham in the Church of England and one of the world's leading Bible scholars. He is now serving as the Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. For twenty years he taught New Testament studies at Cambridge, McGill and Oxford Universities. As being both one of the world's leading Bible scholars and a popular author, he has been featured on ABC News, Dateline, The Colbert Report, and Fresh Air. His award-winning books include The Case for the Psalms, How God Became King, Simply Jesus, After You Believe, Surprised by Hope, Simply Christian, Scripture and the Authority of God, The Meaning of Jesus (co-authored with Marcus Borg), as well as being the translator for The Kingdom New Testament. He also wrote the impressive Christian Origins and the Question of God series, including The New Testament and the People of God, Jesus and the Victory of God, The Resurrection of the Son of God and most recently, Paul and the Faithfulness of God.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Myers - Writing at RedeemingGod on November 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recently read NT Wright's The Kingdom New Testament, which is a contemporary translation of the New Testament.

I think this is the first book by NT Wright that I did not like.

Some of the sections are great, but for the most part, his contemporary translation of the New Testament suffered from the same two problems that most other contemporary translations suffer from.

The first problem with contemporary translations is that they are contemporary.

What I mean is this: Since culture and language changes so rapidly, what is "contemporary" now is no longer "contemporary" a few years from now. Contemporary translations of the Scriptures have a short shelf-life. Some contemporary translations from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s sound almost ridiculous today.

As I read NT Wright's contemporary translation, I cringed at some of his word choices, as some of his phrases are already out of date. For example, in Matthew 23 when Jesus pronounces woes upon the Pharisees, NT Wright uses the phrase, "Woe betide you." Maybe this is a British phrase, but I cannot recall hearing anyone ever use it. I looked it up online, and it was very popular in the 14th century, and was still in use by some in Great Britain up until about 20 years ago, but almost nobody uses it today. So NT Wright's contemporary translation is already out of date in this instance, and there were numerous places this happened. One more example is in Matthew 2:8, where Herod says to the Magi: "Off you go." I'm sorry, but no king then or now would speak with such informality.

When a contemporary translation fails at being contemporary, it ends up sounding silly. It is almost better to have a woodenly literal translation that sounds archaic, but is at least consistently archaic.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By G. Passantino on July 24, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
N T Wright (aka Tom Wright) is one of my favorite theologians & authors. I've used several of this "Everyone" commentaries, & so was eager to see his own translations gathered in one volume. Good Bible study is never dependent on only one translation, & with that in mind, I find this translation a welcome addition to my study aids. I purchased the Kindle version, anticipating that it would be a good alternative reference in discussion, teaching, or oral presentation. I've had to limit my use in all but the last application since the Table of Contents is spread over many, many pages & there is no way to jump to any particular book, chapter, or passage. Consequently, one must take an inordinate amount of time to electronically page through the table of contents to move from one passage to another. This will NEVER work as a reference source, only a reading source. Having made my Kindle criticism, I am very pleased w/the translation as a whole & find it refreshing & illuminating as I read through a single section. It is perfect for the Bible reading I share w/my husband.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rafee Jajou on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I can tell NT Wright fans had unmet expectations. Maybe that's because they imposed too much "NT Wright"-ness on a book that's actually not authored by him. Remember, this is a translation. This isn't NT Wright in all his freedom of thought and voice. He's constrained by the words of scripture themselves. His job was simply to translate them. The South London punk rocker in his neighborhood, or the 30-something unchurched Mexican-American could pick it up and understand it. The knowledgable student, like myself, could read it and find fresh perspective.

I think the accessibility of this book to the masses, not the theology student, is timely and beneficial. Biblical illiteracy is epidemic. It's quite useful for studying parallel with other translations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Robinett on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I should say that I am a fan of Wright and that, as such, I think this is a wonderful translation. One thing that struck me as I was reading Paul's letters is that they are love letters. That had never come across in other translations. Paul loved and deeply cared for the people in the churches he founded and Wright captures that better than any other translation I have read.
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96 of 136 people found the following review helpful By Fr. Charles Erlandson on October 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of N.T. Wright. He's a fellow Anglican, but more importantly I've enjoyed numerous works of his, especially his nuanced insights into St. Paul's language and theology. He's not only a first-rate theologian but also an excellent popularizer. For these reasons I had the highest hopes for his new translation of the New Testament: "The Kingdom New Testament."

While there's a lot to appreciate in Wright's effort, there are also a number of negative elements, the most negative of which is his insistence on inclusive language that distorts the meaning of various texts.

Wright's translation was written as part of his "Bible for Everyone" series. I've read and reviewed several of these popular commentaries on the New Testament, and they're excellent. Wright helpfully lays out his philosophy of translation in his Preface. He draws attention to the fact that his work is a translation and not a paraphrase, like, for example, Peterson's "The Message." I greatly appreciate this fact. He's opted for conveying an informality and sense of excitement and energy over a more formal or stately prose, an approach which ends up having both pros and cons, although in theory I like the attempt.

On many levels, I applaud Wright's attempt to make the New Testament fresh again by using less formal language. For example, in Matthew 1, Wright chooses to use "family tree" instead of "genealogy," which I think is a nice replacement word: it makes the language more familiar and easier to understand, without sacrificing meaning. There are numerous other examples of such happy word choices. As a whole, Wright's text reads very nicely and accomplishes its purpose of making the text less formal and more energetic.
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