On March 16, 1970, the complete text of the New English Bible is due to be published, nine years after the appearance of the New Testament part of the work, and nearly twenty-four years after the adoption by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland of an overture from the Presbytery of Stirling and Dunblane calling for production of an entirely new English translation of the Bible. The Church of Scotland approached the Church of England and the principal free churches of Great Britain and Ireland, and a joint committee of the cooperating churches was set up in 1947. With these churches were also associated the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the National Bible Society of Scotland. Three panels of translators were appointed, to take responsibility for Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha; a fourth panel was created for consultation on literary and stylistic questions.
Several changes in the membership of the committee and the panels have been occasioned over the years by death, emigration, and other causes. But Professor C. H. Dodd has seen the enterprise through as general director from start to finish. In addition, he has served as convener of the New Testament panel. The Old Testament panel has met under the convenership of Professor Sir Godfrey Driver, joint director, and the Apocrypha panel under the convenership of Professor W. D. MacHardy, deputy director.
The New Testament translation was discussed by me in the March 13, 1961, issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. It was impossible at that time to foresee how successful the translation would be in terms of sales: within twelve months some four million copies had been bought—and not only bought, but read. In the ...1
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