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5.0 out of 5 stars If I had to only pick one English translation..., November 26, 2010
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This review is from: Concordant Literal New Testament With Keyword Concordance (Hardcover)
I don't actually recommend using one translation when engaging in major study of the Jewish and Christian scriptures. But if I had to pick one translation to start major study with, it would be this one.

It's a little old--the translation dates back to the turn of the 20th century--so the editor (Knoch) didn't have access to quite as many copies of scripture as modern textual critics do. But the differences are relatively minor, and can be easily supplemented by a good copy of the UBS or Nestle-Aland collated text. Knoch usually follows the critical scholars of his day (Westgott and Hort), although on occasion he uses material from the Textus Receptus.

This is not an interlinear work--it doesn't show Greek with English nearby. There are several fine printed (and internet) tools for that, including Green's Textus Receptus. But Knoch's translation is at least as useful in its auxiliary details as Green's two literal translations (I would say moreso, although Green's is very useful too); and more importantly the text features a compiled concordance helping locate all examples of every unusual and most usual words in the New Testament text. (Not every use of "and", for example, but every use of common important words like "God" and "Jesus", as well as every relatively uncommon word.) Knoch's translation tends to be a little more helpfully literal than Green's (and others I own) as well. No other source I own (more than a dozen) or have read (dozens) bothered to explain that the Greek word for "righteousness", dikaiosune, is a compound word meaning "just-togetherness", for example. But when I checked around I found Knoch was right about that. It makes quite an exegetical difference in translation, too! (Although it should be noted that Knoch still translates it as "righteousness", as usual, in the actual text.)

If any readers are bothered that Knoch was a trinitarian universalist, I can report that I used this text for years (even as a trinitarian universalist myself) without realizing the author believed God would save all sinners from sin. (Edited to add: several months after writing this review I discovered that Knoch was a high Arian instead, not a trinitarian. Frankly I think it is to his credit as a translator that I have been using his text for years for help in my trinitarian apologetics!) The only peculiarity I can think of in regard to that issue, is that he typically translates the adjective 'aionios' as 'eonian', leaving readers to figure the meaning by context. (There are many other uses of similar prepositional phrases in the NT, like "into the eon", which are often translated in English as "eternal" or "everlasting", which he renders back into their original and textually correct prepositional phrases, too. But non-universalists shouldn't have any problem with that, if they're actually reading their beliefs out of context: this is a literal concordance tool, so phrasing is going to be rather odd-sounding to English readers anyway!)

Certainly I would (and do) include this in a library of research materials without giving it overall priority. But I can also say that I've learned from and have been helped more by this translation than any other I've owned. It was long held as a serious (if introductory) research tool by scholars, and still deserves that place today 100 years later. I never write exegesis on a term, or a passage, without first checking this (among several other works).

(Edited to add: I bought my copy from another site years before writing this review; but since then I have bought a copy from Amazon, or one of its resellers rather, as a present for my Sunday School teacher. I mention this in case it lists my purchase date which would naturally post-date this review and so might seem strange.)
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