New Testament

A Translation

David Bentley Hart

View Inside Price: $35.00


October 24, 2017
616 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300186093
Hardcover

From one of our most celebrated writers on religion comes this fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament

David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of “etsi doctrina non daretur,” “as if doctrine is not given.” Reproducing the texts’ often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts’ impenetrability and unfinished quality while awakening readers to an uncanniness that often lies hidden beneath doctrinal layers.
 
The early Christians’ sometimes raw, astonished, and halting prose challenges the idea that the New Testament affirms the kind of people we are. Hart reminds us that they were a company of extremists, radical in their rejection of the values and priorities of society not only at its most degenerate, but often at its most reasonable and decent. “To live as the New Testament language requires,” he writes, “Christians would have to become strangers and sojourners on the earth, to have here no enduring city, to belong to a Kingdom truly not of this world. And we surely cannot do that, can we?”

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, and a philosopher, writer, and cultural commentator. He is a fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Studies and has held positions at the University of Virginia, Duke University, and Providence College. He lives in South Bend, IN.

“In its simplicity and freshness David Hart’s New Testament translation will sound as strange and wondrous to twenty-first-century, English-language speakers as the Greek of the New Testament sounded to first-century speakers of Greek.”—Robert Louis Wilken, author of The First Thousand Years

“This scrupulous, knotty, learned rendering of some of the most familiar texts of our culture makes us see with new clarity just what was and is uncomfortably new about the New Testament.”—Rowan Williams, theologian and poet, Cambridge

“In this age of committee-generated translations of the Bible, a fresh and pointedly different translation of the New Testament by a single scholar is a remarkable achievement. Hart's approach is intentionally provocative, and strong reactions are sure to follow.  Let the games begin.”— John P. Meier, author of A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus

"David Hart's translation of the New Testament is a theological and ecclesial event of the first magnitude. By providing, for the first time, a literal English translation of the Greek (and demonstrating that the most literal can be the most strikingly beautiful rendering) Hart has shown, after 500 years, that the core of Reformation theology is un-Biblical and that certain currents of Latin theology are dubious or inadequate. This new version, which should become the standard one for scholarly use, also makes it clearer that, while doctrinal liberalism is wishful thinking, credal Christianity only emerged from a plausible but subtle reading of sometimes teasingly ambivalent texts.  Hart's brilliant postscript amounts to a call for a more genuinely Biblical orthodoxy: universalist, synergic, participatory, cosmic, gnostic (in a non-heterodox sense) and communitarian."—John Milbank, University of Nottingham

“This necessary, brilliantly presented translation reads like taking a biblical studies class with a provocative professor.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)