We are using David Hart’s translation of the New Testament this winter. Hart recognized a certain smoothing over of the varied voices making up our gospels, Paul, and Revelation. Rather than a product overly reliant upon the sound of the translator’s voice he tried to reclaim a raw range of sophistication, vocabulary and syntax evident in the original Greek manuscripts that we often miss. Changes in tenses, sometimes jarring (and educational) word choices more akin to first century speech, and surprising tone in the episode telling are quickly evident. While some (like Paul and Luke) were learned writers, others were simpler in their style. Hart wanted to relay that.
“Where they wrote bad Greek, I wrote bad English” he says, and our listening on Sunday mornings has taken on an immediacy that brings old lessons into new light.