The NT for Pulpit and Pew (NTPP)
Down through the years of personal Bible meditation and public ministry, I have used, enjoyed, and profited from all the standard evangelical versions of Scripture. Still, somewhere along the way I found myself dreaming of a single version that would incorporate the unique strengths that I found in each one of them. Then, early in 2014, there came a thought: “You’ve been pondering this for quite awhile; why not try your hand at it?” Was it from above? God knows. But this much I do know: From that day on I never looked back, but spent the next several years enthusiastically bringing the project to completion . . . and learning to be more grateful than ever for the standard evangelical versions!
Truly, Bible translation is a collaborative work! Others—many others—have labored, and I have entered into their labors. It is important that I acknowledge them here.
First, I want to thank the gifted scholars who prepared the online version of the NET Bible. In my long journey from Matthew to Revelation their website has been my constant and trusted companion. It supplies not only the modern Greek text of the New Testament, but also a wealth of textual, grammatical, lexical, historical, and theological notes, together with thought-provoking translations from many different Bible versions. I praise God for this online resource, and others like it (Bible Gateway, Bible Hub), all of which are so useful to bush-league scholars like me.
There were additional helpers as well. Favoring as I do an essentially word-for-word translation of Scripture, I repeatedly consulted the standard versions mentioned above (ASV, NKJV, NIV-1984, NRSV, NASV, ESV, BSB). Along the way I also turned to the outstanding New Testament Commentary, written by William Hendriksen and Simon Kistemaker. Finally, in moments of acute distress I sent up occasional cries to my son-in-law, Dr. Chris Azure, who teaches New Testament Greek at Mid-Western Baptist Theological Seminary. For all of these strong supports I am deeply grateful.
It is especially important that I acknowledge the skilled and patient labors of my two trusty proofreaders, Susan Roush and Costas Cleater. A colleague for years, Susan has stood at the front lines of the great battle for accuracy and readability, helping me choose a pleasant format for the print edition, carefully researching and insisting on proper grammar and punctuation, and spotting any number of errors, omissions, and infelicities. Costas, a new friend living “across the pond,” kindly volunteered his own set of eagle’s eyes to back up Susan and me (thanks to him we now use words like “howler” and “clanger”). I cannot fail to see the hand of the Lord in providing me with two such loyal and capable helpers. I thank you both with all my heart.
Finally, I want to thank the Lord himself. It has been about four years since, as it seemed to me, he encouraged me to pursue this project; I cannot imagine having completed it without his constant enablement. That said, I remain keenly aware of my personal fallibility, and also of the perils of translating Scripture as a lone individual. Along the way I have done what I could to defend myself against these liabilities. And yet, unavoidably, my work will contain flaws. Thus, for all that is good in this translation, I give heartfelt thanks and praise to God. As for the rest, I alone am responsible. And if, as you read it, you should happen upon some of “the rest,” I will consider it a kindness if you contact me and point it out (click here) As I said, Bible translation is a collaborative work!
I have submitted this translation to my good friends at Redemption Press and it is now available in hard copy. Also, I hope soon to offer a Reader’s Version for those who would like to read the NTPP without the distraction of its many side and foot notes.
Have the lonely labors of a retired pastor and bush-league scholar borne a little fruit? That will be for you to decide. I can definitely affirm, however, that this particular journey has been one of the most rewarding and enjoyable of my life, not least of all because it has enabled me to behold more clearly than ever the precious nuances of our great love letter from the Lord. If in some small way The New Testament for Pulpit and Pew enables you to experience the same, I shall be happy indeed!