|How to get a copy|
The base texts for this revision are the translation of the four Gospels by the Rev. John Clowes, published in his commentary in the year 1805, and the book of Revelation found in the English translation by John Whitehead of the Apocalypse Revealed. This revision also builds on the work of the Rev. Louis Tafel in the late 1800's, who compiled an exhaustive Greek-Latin vocabulary list showing how the Writings render the Greek words of the New Testament. Combining these with other resources (such as Searle's Index and the Latin of the Writings for Scripture) into an integrated research application on the computer, we have been able to review and revise Clowes and Whitehead's translations in detail. There is of course always more to be done, for each word of the original language in each verse of the Sacred Scripture contains Divine truths beyond measure. Indeed we are taught that in the contents of just five verses of the sixth chapter of Matthew, the Lord's Prayer, there are more things than the universal heaven is capable of comprehending. (AC 6619)
Realizing our limitations, we present here a New Church translation of the New Testament that has been almost 200 years in the making. Our priorities, which are similar to those of Clowes and Tafel, are the following:
First: Faithfulness to the original language of the Letter of the Word, keeping the translation as consistent as possible, in the light of the internal sense and the Latin rendering found in the Heavenly Doctrine.
Second: Maintaining English usage in a reverent style which reflects the fullness, holiness and power of the Letter of the Word; while at the same time striving for clarity of meaning and good style and grammar, so that it may serve as a basis, containant and support for the spiritual meaning within.
Almost always the second priority follows as a consequence of the first, for the Letter of the Word was written in accommodation to the natural mind of the man of this world, and throughout this work of revision we have sought to find this accommodation in the Word itself. Each word is like a precious stone given to us by the Lord, each phrase and verse is like a jewel, beautifully arranged to reflect and transmit the light of heaven from within, and the more a translation reflects this arrangement and beauty the more the glory of the Lord can be seen. There are aspects of the Sacred Scripture that cannot truly be brought into what we call standard English. Nevertheless, a translation faithful to the original text in the light of the Heavenly Doctrine can translate to the average English reader what the Lord has revealed to man. It is with this hope that we offer this present revision of the Sacred Scripture.
In presenting this New Church revision of the New Testament we are well aware of its limitations, its imperfections, and the need for improvements. But rather than wait another one hundred or two hundred years in an effort to make a translation which is both faithful to every word of the original, and acceptable to everyone in the church, we have printed this revision of the New Testament, with the hope of publishing the whole of the Word within a few years. It is our hope that those who read this revision will give us comments and suggestions so that, when we publish the Sacred Scripture in its entirety, we will have the benefit of these ideas.
Revisers: Stephen D. Cole and Andrew J. Heilman, with the help of Roy Odhner, Kate Pitcairn, Charles Cole, and many others.