By N. B. Hardeman The evidence from external sources regarding Jesus is indeed meager, but there are reasons for such. At the time he lived, the world was absorbed in military greatness. Only heroes and heroines on the field of battle attracted attention. Worldly glory and deeds of earthly valor were worthy to mention, but moral force and spiritual achievements were passed into obscurity. The weapons used by Christ and his disciples were not carnal. He had no great armies, clad in brilliant uniforms, bearing aloft his unfurled banners. He had no great political powers or men of wealth to sing his praise. He was from a despised town and lived among the poorest of earth, and hence, why should a historian take notice of one so humble?
I have noted previously my love for various English translations of the scriptures. I love trying out new translations and I believe the more translations we have, the more likely we will capture the original words and meaning of the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. In the mail today came SENT, the Spoken English New Testament by J. Webb Mealy.
I like the explanation given for this new translation, SENT:
In ancient times reading aloud was actually the standard way of reading a book. In fact, most of the New Testament was written to be read aloud in Christian communities. The Gospels record the spoken teachings and conversations of Jesus, and they were regularly read aloud to groups of Christians. The Apostle Paul typically dictated his letters with his voice, rather than writing them by hand. And many non-Pauline letters (such as 1 John, James, and the letters of Peter and Jude) appear to be composed of material from sermons. Perhaps most obvious of all, passages of the New Testament are read aloud in churches every single week!
This is so true. One of my complaints about some translations that I use heavily is that they are difficult to read aloud in services because the English is not natural. Unfortunately, many readable translations are not as accurate or as trustworthy. I am hopeful that SENT will be able to walk the fine line of accuracy and readability.
SENT arrived as a preliminary edition in paperback. I have only thumbed through SENT so far, but I like what I see. It is in single column format, which I love. I have every translation possible in single column format because I believe it is advantageous for reading and studying. There are extensive footnotes which is nice. I just purchased a NET Bible because having the translation footnotes is helpful in understanding the translators’ reasoning for a particular rendering. SENT is printed on a nice white paper and its dimensions are 6″ x 9″ x 1″. So it is a really nice size with a nice size font that encourages the eyes to read on.
I just finished reading the NLT New Testament, so SENT has arrived in perfect time. I was just about to start on the TNIV, but I will start with SENT and read through the entire New Testament. As I read, I will from time to time post on the rendering choices, both positive and negative. After quickly running to a few passages like Acts 2:38 and 1 Peter 3:21, I feel pretty good about the accuracy of SENT. I didn’t find any “curve balls” there as I often do with other readable translations.
If you are interested in SENT, you can read it online here. But why not purchase a copy from the website while you are there and help out a person’s labor of love, especially if you love English translations like me.