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It’s been many years in coming, I don’t even remember how long I’ve been waiting for this, but NT Wright is finally releasing his definitive work on Paul in 2013. Michael Bird spells out the release here.

In other NT Wright news, I just found out last week that Wright has published his translation of the New Testament. It is called The Kingdom New Testament. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but Robert Gundry has an extensive review of it here. Gundry concludes:

Does KNT work, then, as a translation in the sense taken for granted by J&J [Gundry’s moniker for the average church-goer] when reading both KNT’s subtitle, “A Contemporary Translation,” the back ad’s description of KNT as “modern prose that stays true to the character of the ancient Greek text … conveying the most accurate rendering possible,” and Tom’s own statement of having “tried to stick closely to the original”? No, not even by the standards of dynamic/functional equivalence, of which J&J are ignorant anyway. Too much unnecessary paraphrase. Too many insertions uncalled for. Too many inconsistencies of translation. Too many changes of meaning. Too many (and overly) slanted interpretations. Too many errant renderings of the base language.

But there is a body of religious literature characterized by all those traits, viz., the ancient Jewish targums, which rendered the Hebrew Old Testament into the Aramaic language. So KNT’s similar combination of translation, paraphrase, insertions, semantic changes, slanted interpretations, and errant renderings—all well-intentioned—works beautifully as a targum. Which apart from the question of truth in advertising isn’t to disparage KNT. For the New Testament itself exhibits targumizing, as when, for example, Mark 4:12 has “lest … it be forgiven them” in agreement with the targum of Isaiah 6:10 rather than “lest … one heals them” (so the Hebrew), and as when 2 Timothy 3:8 has “Jannes and Jambres” in agreement with a targum of Exodus 7:11-8:19, which in the Hebrew original leaves Pharaoh’s magicians unnamed. Hence, Tom’s Targum. Trouble is, J&J won’t know they’re reading a targum.

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