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Word

On the Translation of the Bible

Word

On the Translation of the Bible

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Hardback

£25.00

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780241448816
Number of Pages: 320
Published: 03/11/2022
Width: 16.2 cm
Height: 24 cm

Signed copies available while stocks last. From the Sunday Times bestselling author of A History of the Bible, this is the story of how the Bible has been translated, and why it matters The Bible is held to be both universal and specific, the source of fundamental truths inscribed in words that are exact and sacred. For much of the history of Judaism and almost the entirety of Christianity, however, believers have overwhelmingly understood scripture not in the languages in which it was first written but rather in their own - in translation. This book examines how saints, scholars and interpreters from ancient times down to the present have produced versions of the Bible in the language of their day while remaining true to the original. It explains the challenges they negotiated, from minute textual ambiguities up to the sweep of style and stark differences in form and thought between the earliest writings and the latest, and it exposes the bearing these have on some of the most profound questions of faith: the nature of God, the existence of the soul and possibility of its salvation. Reading dozens of renderings alongside their ancient Hebrew and Greek antecedents, John Barton traces the migration of biblical words and ideas across linguistic borders, illuminating original meanings as well as the ways they were recast. 'Translators have been among the principal agents in mediating the Bible's message,' he writes, 'even in shaping what that message is.' At the separation of Christianity from Judaism and Protestantism from Catholicism, Barton demonstrates, vernacular versions did not only spring from fault lines in religious thinking but also inspired and moulded them. The product of a lifetime's study of scripture, The Word itself reveals the central book of our culture anew - as it was written and as we know it.

Dr John Barton

John Barton was the Oriel and Laing Professor of the Interpretation of Holy Scripture at the University of Oxford from 1991 to 2014 and, since 1973, has been a priest in the Church of England. His bestselling A History of the Bible: The Book and Its Faiths was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize for History, won the Duff Cooper Prize and has been translated into more than ten languages. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2007 and is a Corresponding Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Immensely scholarly, well written and sprinkled with light touches. Who knew, for example, that there is a Lowland Scots version of the story of Christ's temptation in which the Devil speaks like a posh Englishman? Barton's book demonstrates that the history of biblical interpretation, with its vast implications for centuries of theology and politics, is inseparable from the issue of translation -- Daniel Rey * Literary Review * Fully displays John Barton's great gift for explaining complicated things lucidly and judiciously -- Robert Alter Enjoyable ... A great point that Barton made in his 2019 bestseller A History of the Bible is that the Bible has, for most of its history, been read in trans lation -- Christopher Howse * Telegraph *

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