Already The New English Bible is being hailed by some readers as a sure and swift successor to The King James Version, while others disapprove it on the ground that some important passages combine translation with objectionable interpretation.CHRISTIANITY TODAYfeatures this major appraisal of the New Testament translation by Dr. F. F. Bruce, Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at University of Manchester. Note additional comments at the conclusion of the essay


When the biblical versions associated with the name of John Wycliffe appeared towards the end of the fourteenth century, the leading authorities in the Church of England held a synod at Oxford, presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, which forbade anyone to translate any part of the Bible into English, or even to read such a translation, without the approval of his bishop or a provincial church council. When William Tyndale published his English New Testament in 1525, it was greeted with scathing condemnation by some men who were no mean judges in such matters; Sir Thomas More, for example, declared that Tyndale’s work was so bad that it could not be mended, for it is easier to make a new web of cloth than to sew up all the holes in a net. When the King James Version appeared in 1611, Dr. Hugh Broughton, one of the greatest Hebrew and Greek scholars in England, sent a message to the king to say: “I had rather be rent in pieces with wild horses than any such translation by my consent should be urged upon poor churches.… The new edition crosseth me. I require it to be burnt.” Nor were critical voices wanting when the British Revised Version appeared—the New Testament in 1881 and the whole Bible in 1885. Dean Burgon, no mean textual scholar and a master ...

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