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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The New Testament: A 21st Century Translation
Straus, Michael

Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2019 pp. xvii + 564. $36.00

Description: My goal in this translation has been to bring some fresh turns of phrase to the Gospels, histories, letters, and revelatory texts already familiar to English readers and listeners, not least because they are the source of sayings and stories embedded in our language by virtue of the long dominance of the King James Version of the Bible. Although the Hebrew and Greek materials used for that version had their flaws, the quality of the English can hardly be improved upon. Some later translations relying on better materials have improved the accuracy of the text, but rarely the rhythm and force of the style. My aim is therefore not to supplant other translations so much as to shed light on obscure passages; capture aspects of the man Jesusí personality as presented distinctively in the Gospels; convey in relatively plain language Christian doctrine and experience as related in Acts and the Epistles; and reflect the atemporal nature of the Book of Revelation. I have generally aimed for fluid, contemporary languageóavoiding the overly literal, freely adopting the colloquial, and taking grammatical license where the writer employed imagery not subject to standard linguistic limitations. My goal is a user-friendly translation at once enjoyable, novelistic, and at times poetic.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Greek

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Review by Zachary K. Dawson
Published 10/15/2020
Citation: Zachary K. Dawson, review of Michael Straus, The New Testament: A 21st Century Translation, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2020).


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