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the phrase, and the whole expression of it. In other words, A word for word translation often obscures the meaning of the original instead of translating it truly.
As a writer in the Sunday School Times well says: “No living language is stationary. Part of it is dying, and part of it is either attaching new meanings to old words or gaining a new vocabulary. What was in many expressions plain English to Wyclif was obsolete to Tyndale, and what was plain to Tyndale was obsolete to King James' revisers. If King James' Version were printed today just as it was first issued, it would be understood only by antiquarians. If this is true of successive centuries in the same country, it is equally true of different countries with the same tongue in the same century. The American use of words differs largely from the English. So it will hardly be denied that spellings and meanings that are foreign to us and make the Bible harder to be understood in America, ought to be replaced by spellings and words that are usual and clear with us. There is no good reason why our Bible should contain words which cannot be found in our best school dictionaries.
The Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek was, by deliberate choice, written in the language of the plain people. The writers had a large vocabulary
at hand, but they all chose the plain, strong words of their people.
Translators and revisers should strive to make the Bible as clear to their people as the original writers made it to their people. There is no sufficient excuse for preserving words or usages in the Bible that cannot be understood by intelligent people not trained in antiquarian lore."
As the New York Churchman in a leading editorial well says:
“ The modern world is searching the Scriptures with an intensity that no previous generation has shown. Everywhere there is zeal to examine the testimony, to cross-question the witnesses, to get at the message from above that men everywhere feel is there. The world has the zeal, and more and more it is becoming a zeal according to knowledge. There may be eddies here and there, delusions of literal interpretation, but the main current is unmistakable. Bibliolatry is being replaced by a more rational and a more spiritual attitude of mind, by a more reasonable service."
What is to be found in the following pages, then, is an attempt at a faithful translation of St. Paul's letters. It is not a “literal” or “verbal” translation, on the one hand, nor is it a paraphrase, on the other. With the Poet Horace and the great Hilary as our guides, we have attempted to place before the American reader, not only the essential substance of St. Paul's arguments and exhortations, but the subordinate phases of his thought as well, and to do this, not only with constant reference to the original Greek, but also to the Hebrew idioms which it so often contains.
With the confident assurance that the same Spirit who inspired the effort and brought it to its culmination, will also see to its effect, this translation is sent out to accomplish the Father's purpose, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
FRANK SCHELL BALLENTINE, Christ's Church Rectory,
Scranton, Pa., Whitsuntide, 1901.