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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Politics of the Revised Version: A Tale of Two New Testament Revision Companies
Cadwallader, Alan H.

London: T&T Clark, 2019 pp. xvi + 240. $114.00

Series Information
Scriptural Traces: Critical Perspectives on the Reception and Influence of the Bible, 14

Description: Alan Cadwallader explores the intricate tensions and conflicts that infused the work of revision of the Authorised Version of the Bible between 1870 and 1885. The Promethean aspirations of the venture actually generated one of the most bitter instances of the political manoeuvres involved in the translation of a sacred book. Cadwallader reveals how the public avowal of unity and fraternal harmony that accompanied the public release and marketing of the New Testament revision in 1881 and the Old Testament revision in 1885, masks fraught historical realities that threatened the realisation of the project from the beginning. Through a thorough examination of private correspondence, notebooks kept by various members of the New Testament Revision Companies in England and the United States, and other previously unstudied primary sources, Cadwallader examines and presents the complexities of the political situation surrounding the translation. He exposes the competing interests of an imperial, sovereign nation and a seriously divided Established Church floundering over its continued relevance; the ambitions and significance of Nonconformity in a nation's highly contested religious environment; the agonistic conflicts that erupted from assertions of national and international prestige and responsibilities; and the ultimate control exercised by publishing houses that fundamentally flawed the process of revision and the public acceptance of the final product.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Translation and Translation Theory, Reception History

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Review by Geoffrey R. Treloar
Published 8/6/2020
Citation: Geoffrey R. Treloar, review of Alan H. Cadwallader, The Politics of the Revised Version: A Tale of Two New Testament Revision Companies, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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