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compelled it. For whoever enjoys the privilege of knowing divine truth is a debtor to all who use the same language.
This translation has been made directly from the original Greek, Nestle's text being generally followed. In the English phrasing originality has been neither sought nor shunned. The translator owes much to “The Twentieth Century New Testament," Weymouth's "New Testament in Modern Speech," and Moffatt's “New Translation of the New Testament," and of course to the Revised Versions and the old King James Version. How freely he has departed from any and all of these a slight examination will show.
The ideal of a translator is to serve as a plate-glass window through which the man who does not read Greek will see in English just what he would see if he did read Greek. But the realization of this ideal is far from possible. Changing the figure, we may say that to translate from one language into another is like playing on the piano what was written for the violin. The fundamental melody may be faithfully reproduced, but many subtle effects which the composer intended are inevitably lost, and effects which he did not intend are added. The effort to reproduce Greek overtones has led to much unnatural straining of the English language in all of our versions.
No one knows better than a translator himself how far his work falls short of perfection, and how open it is to just criticism. Many defects spring from the very nature of what is attempted. No one can avoid them. But defects due to ignorance or oversight can be corrected in future editions, and the translator will be most grateful to have his attention called to them by any of his readers.
Proper names have been left as they are in the American Revised Version. Whimsical and haphazard changes in names are unscholarly in themselves and annoying to readers in the use of maps and works of reference.
Not only have English readers a right to have the New Testament in the very language which they are using to-day; they have a right to have it in an attractive form like that of the other books they are now reading. The wholly unnatural form in which it has been assumed hitherto that the New Testament must be published — its dim and crowded gray pages - must be held accountable for much of the neglect to read it. The present version enjoys the inestimable advantage of coming from a press whose name dear to readers — is a synonym for legibility and beauty.
The translator cannot close this preface without a personal word to the unknown readers who have been constantly in his mind. Although a lifelong student of the New Testament in Greek and English, these days spent in the consideration and expression of its thoughts, sentence by sentence, have brought to him a fresh and holy surprise. Often has he paused in the work to ejaculate with St. Peter, "Master, it is fine for us to be here!” With the hope that you in reading it may often share the same thrill of joy and wonder, this translation is affectionately offered.
W. G. BALLANTINE SPRINGFIELD, MASS.
January 1, 1923.