John Heading, Aberystwyth
Graphic Guide to Modern Versions of the New Testament. By Herbert Dennett. pp. xiv + 142. 12s. 6d. Samuel Bagster & Sons Ltd.
This Guide is written for those who believe that the original Scriptures were given by divine inspiration, this holy concept applying to the original languages chosen by God through which to make known His mind to men. The author of the Guide, in discussing the various types of versions available and translation problems from Greek to English, shows clearly that no one single translation can convey to the reader of today the full sense that the original conveyed to its first readers. Moreover, the translator’s doctrinal bias, his literary style, his faithfulness to the Greek idiom and to the Eastern scene, as well as the particular Greek manuscripts used, all tend to colour the translation with a certain haze not present in the original. To what extent, then, is the Authorized Version of value in detailed New Testament study? How can a believer, desirous of learning the mind of the Lord, distinguish between the dozens of other translations available, in order that faith may rest upon the certainty, “Thus saith the Lord”? The author of this Guide examines some forty translations, describing their accuracy, their sources, their peculiarities, their doctrinal bias and their value in reading and in detailed study. Numerous quotations of well-known verses are given, showing how the translators strive to employ the English idiom in all its richness to express the thoughts of the original Greek. The Guide is complete, in that it deals with the Authorized and Revised Versions, literal versions, modern-speech versions, Catholic versions and American versions. A guide to concordances, showing how each is arranged, is also included. The Guide is well worth reading for its own sake, but the student of Scripture will thereby be adequately prepared to decide which versions are most suitable for his own particular mode of study. J. H.
Our brother has specially written for Precious Seed two articles dealing with some of these topics; we hope to print these in due course.