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The New Testament - Desk Edition

Kevin Mayhew

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Product Code: 1500858

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Quick Overview

Freshly translated with a cutting-edge commentary,
this edition is perfect for study and sermon preparation.
Standard-sized print

Many translations of the Bible have an overall style and uniformity which irons out irregularities and is defined by various factors, such as amplifying the text or producing easy-flowing reading or modern English. Nicholas King’s fresh rendering of the New Testament is not only innovative but also illuminating and faith strengthening.

His translation strives to keep as close to the original Greek as possible, frequently incorporating idiomatic or grammatical peculiarities. This results in a translation which is exceptionally stimulating, sometimes startling, but with the result that it shakes off the dust which often settles on passages which have become tired from over familiarity or frequent quotation.

Nicholas King’s translation is infused with raw power. Readers will gain new insights and find the Bible imbued with renewed meaning and vigour.

"Instantly accessible, with comments both lively and unobtrusive which bring the text home to readers of all backgrounds. This is a fine and quite distinctive addition to the ranks of Scripture translations. As a guide to the kind of study that will nourish a robust and grown-up faith, it will be hard to beat." Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

"I welcome this fresh translation of the New Testament. Nicholas King has succeeded in putting into English something of the raw power that the first Christians experienced when they heard or read the documents." Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster

"Wonderfully refreshing, like a splash of cold water on one's face. The translation hits you between the eyes and certainly makes you sit up and take notice, waking you from the torpor of over familiarity with the text . . . amazing new insights and understanding that come to light. A splendid piece of work" Desmond Tutu, Former Archbishop of Cape Town

"A cutting-edge translation that offers a fresh encounter with the Scriptures, engaging heart and mind. Captivating, a real gem!" Roy Searle President Elect of the Baptist Union of Great Britain

"Lively touches which make this new translation gripping and attractive. I hope that this translation will become an icon for the twenty-first century" Henry Wansborough OSB, General Editor of The New Jerusalem Bible
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Product Code1500858
NameThe New Testament - Desk Edition
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorNicholas King
Short DescriptionFreshly translated with a cutting-edge commentary, this edition is perfect for study and sermon preparation.
Pack Size1
Size297 X 210mm
Count592 Pages
Date Published26 Jan 2006
Product Link
I was enthralled by it. Review by Christopher Rowland - Dean Ireland's Professor of Exegesis of Holy Scripture, Queen's College, Oxford
Star Rating
Nicholas King’s translation of the New Testament is an exciting project. His aim is to get people to read the New Testament. I was enthralled by it. I am sure that readers will find his translation and commentary highly stimulating and a book to which they will come back again and again. They are in for a real treat. (Posted on 22/02/2011)
I welcome this fresh translation... Review by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor - Archbishop of Westminster
Star Rating
I welcome this fresh translation of the New Testament; Nicholas King has succeeded in putting into English something of the raw power that the first Christians experienced when they heard or read these documents, and I commend this new version to all Christians and to interested non-Christians also. (Posted on 22/02/2011)
A real achievement Review by Paul Stebbings
Star Rating
That translations of the New Testament do not appear very regularly is a clear indication of the enormity of the task that Nicholas King undertook when he began his work on this one. He writes in his introduction, indeed, that ‘Translation cannot be done’ (p.9), though his achievement here impressively demonstrates that it can.

Translation reminds us that texts – in this case, the books that make up the New Testament – do not come to us as though they had fallen out of the sky, or by some other miraculous means. They come through a long and complex process of translation and interpretation. Translation is not an easy task: it took Jerome thirty years to finish his Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible, and we should not forget that William Tyndale was burnt at the steak in 1536 for producing his English version.

Nicholas King’s translation is a real achievement. While I am cautious about some of its particularities, it has made me think afresh about what translation is, and about how different answers to that question affect the ways in which we read the New Testament. I have spoken to several people who positively enthuse about this ‘fresh’ (as Nicholas calls it) translation: about its accessibility, and about the vibrancy of its tone and of its spiritual ethos. They have a sense of this New Testament as a living collection of documents which provides sustenance for life’s journey.

It is difficult to do justice to the richness of this translation in a short review. I have therefore selected a few key features and examples of texts which illustrate how it makes an important contribution to our understanding of the New Testament.

Firstly, as well as the translation itself, we have an insight into the mind of the translator, through the fascinating introduction. So-called standard editions of the New Testament generally contain some notes at the beginning, usually explaining how a committee tried to arrive at decisions regarding the translation. But we are rarely given such an intensely personal and honest reflection on the translation process as here. The second striking thing about this New Testament is the presence of translator’s notes throughout the text. These notes provide information and help, not overwhelming the reader with technical jargon but allowing for pauses and reflection. The notes at the end of Luke’s Gospel, for example, prompt readers to think about the Gospel as a whole, and invite them to form their own opinions: ‘Which of these features of Luke’s Gospel has most struck you in your reading of it?’, the translator asks (p.217). These notes are of particular assistance in approaching some of the Apostle Paul’s more challenging phrases.

Moving onto the translation of some specific passages, I find Nicholas’ translation of Mark’s Gospel very interesting indeed. The language has a real sense of urgency about it that closely reflects the way the present tense is used in the Greek. It is as if everything is happening quickly and happening right now. The sense of crucifixion in Mark 15:25-39 is made very vivid indeed:

“Now it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the inscriptions of his charge was inscribed ‘The King of the Jews’. And with him they crucify two brigands, one on [the] right and one on his left”.

Nicholas’ translation of the Beatitudes is both interesting and challenging. The passages (Mathew 5 and Luke 6) are very familiar, and the use of the word ‘congratulations’ might not be to everyone’s liking. But nevertheless conveys something of Jesus’s message about how the Kingdom of God is genuinely good news for all.
Another familiar passage that received startling treatment is Jesus’ ‘Bread of Life’ discourse in John 6:

“So Jesus said to them, ‘Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you do not have life in yourselves. The one who munches on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life…” (p.236)

The use of the word ‘munch’ will no doubt shock some people, but once again, Nicholas King’s translation actually remains much closer to the Greek than others which steer clear of uncomfortable words. The Greek word that John uses here is very graphic indeed, and means ‘to gnaw’: Jesus is emphasising the scandal of eating his own flesh.
All that remains is to encourage everyone to pick up this translation and think afresh about the New Testament. In Nicholas King’s own words, ‘Just read it and listen’ (p.12). (Posted on 27/04/2010)

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Nicholas King

Nicholas King SJ is a Jesuit Priest who taught for many years in South Africa, and then at Oxford University, where he has now returned as Assistant Catholic Chaplain, after teaching as a Visiting Professor at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, then at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, and at Heythrop College, University of London. He is also Provincial's Delegate for Formation for the British Jesuit Province.

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