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The New Testament: A Translation Hardcover – October 24, 2017
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At last, we have a translation that captures the different voices of the original authors. Paul's Greek is rushed and broken, Mark's is rough, and Luke's is smooth and appealing. The language in Hebrews is elegant and elevated, that in 2 Peter and Jude is purple and bombastic, that in Revelation tangled, that in John's gospel simple but mysterious, etc.
More importantly, the readings of Paul and the gospels break with a lot of unfortunate precedents and restore the mystery and first-century perspectives of the texts. This reading can revolutionize your understanding of the theology of the New Testament. Read the Introduction and the Postscript carefully. In fact read the Postscript before you read the translation. This book is full of surprises that radically revise conventional readings. The book of Romans will never seem the same to you. The book of Jude is amazingly weird when translated properly. And the translation as a whole preserves the metaphysical and religious imagery and concepts that others gloss over.
So why 4 instead of 5 stars? Despite his efforts to give us a nakedly literal translation, the author's antipathy to the Augustinian-Reformed tradition bleeds onto the page in ways that detract from his goals.
For instance, his translation of Acts 13:48: "And hearing this, the gentiles were elated and gave glory to the Lord's word, and as many as were disposed to the life of the Age had faith." I can't find a way to insert the Greek alphabet here, so I will transliterate: the word he translates "disposed" is from the verb "tasso." To begin with, every one of my half dozen NT Greek lexicons gives similar definitions: "put in official rank or position" / "station (a person) in a certain place" / "appoint to" or "establish (a person) in" an office / "order" / "fix" / "determine" / "appoint" / "assign". [cf. Rom. 31:1, where the authorities are established/appointed by God]. Maybe the author would claim that he means "disposed" somewhat along those lines, but any native English speaker reading his translation will take it to mean that those gentiles who looked favorably on (or desired) the life of the Age, came to faith. That is misleading, at best.
Furthermore, despite his general success in honoring tenses, moods, voices and the like, who would not take "disposed" as an active verb as he uses it here? "Tetagmenoi" is, in fact, a perfect, passive participle of "tasso". And there are no textual variants for that verb in Acts 13:48. Thus, it's a past tense verb where the appointing happened prior to the gentiles believing; and the appointing is what happened to them, not what they did. A literal translation would be something like: "...and they believed, as many as were having been appointed to the life of the Age." Modern translations may clean up the word order and replace the participle, but there's a reason they are in agreement on the gist of the verse, viz., it's pretty clear what Luke wrote. There's really no justification for Hart's deviation from the more traditional rendering.
That's one example. No translation is perfect. No translation is free of biases, this one included.
That said, I will enjoy having not only a fresh and exciting translation, but one oriented toward Orthodoxy's rich biblical and theological tradition.