Saturday, August 15, 2015

Auntie's Full Shelf Challenge 12

BookThe New Testament in Modern English.

Author: J. B. Phillips

Info: Copyright 1958: New York:  The Macmillan Company

Where acquired: Thrift store find.

Why:  I'm an avid user of the King James Version of the Bible.  Even after years of reading and studying it, I still get bogged down in some of the Elizabethan English and phraseology.  I've seen many good quotes from the Phillips Translation, found it online at, but hadn't seen any physical paper copies on the shelves of the bookstore.  When I saw this one at the thrift store I immediately purchased it.  My intention was to read this over Lent.  As you can see, it took a little longer than that.  :)

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # #

What it's about:  

Phillips, who was a British minister and Bible Scholar, translated the New Testament into more modern English because his Bible students had difficulty understanding the King James Version.  The translation was completed during the World War II era and published in the late 1950's.  (Info from

Favorite Quotes:  There are way more than this, but I will keep it to a minimum

Colossians 3:14 - And, above everything else, be truly loving, for love is the golden chain of all the virtues.

I Thessalonians 1:2-3 - We are always thankful as we pray for you all, for we never forget that your faith has meant solid achievement, your love has meant hard work, and the hope that you have in our Lord Jesus Christ means sheer dogged endurance in the life that you live before God, the Father of us all.

I Thessalonians 3:10a - How can we thank our God enough for all the joy you give us as we serve him...?

Hebrews 13:4 - Both honourable marriage and chastity should be respected by all of you.

I John 3:8 - Now the Son of God came to earth with the express purpose of liquidating the devil’s activities.

What I Liked:
  • This Bible version is very scholarly even while trying to be an easier read for the masses.
  • Phillips merely translated from the original Greek texts (info from Wikipedia); he didn't throw in his own commentary or interpretations as some other versions, such as the Good News Translation, have done. 
  • Though the "modern" English is from 1940's Britain, it had a conversational flow to it.
  • This is going to sound weird, but having an original hardback copy of the 1958 publication thrilled me.  Although the previous owner wrote in it (I hate that and I couldn't erase it all), this worn volume felt like I was touching a bit of history and spirituality at the same time.
What I didn’t like: 
  • No true verse numbers.  I know with this type of translation it's difficult, but still.  It's easier to read through but not easy to accurately quote or locate individual passages.
  • No references for Old Testament quotes, plus they were quoted in King James.
To sum up:  This translation is excellent for those who can't (or won't) wade through King James English, those who want to spice up their Bible reading with something less familiar, or simply to have another view on scripture.  It doesn't deviate from the message or history of the New Testament.  It simply restates it.

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