Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Unvarnished New Testament

Based upon a radical and startling premise, Andy Gaus' Unvarnished New Testament asks "Why not present the New Testament simply as it appears in the original Greek?" The result is something inviting and invigorating, a refreshing look at familiar (for me) texts. What Eugene Peterson works to capture in his translation, The Message (sometimes succeeding and sometimes miserably failing), Gaus captures with far more consistency and accessibility. Peterson's "updated" language is so "current" as to be dated, while Gaus' language is simple, but never reads as slang. Written in the form of paragraphs, with the numbers removed, Gaus' translation is a reminder that this text was meant to be taken in large chunks more than individual verses, and challenging the reader to dig the way the would into any good book. I read it Matthew to Revelation and discovered a translation that I will most certainly be revisiting and recommending. I would like to see The Unvarnished New Testament made more readily available to the general public. In the meantime, it is worth making the effort to find.

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