Published: 15/12/2017
ISBN: 9781788035019
Format: Paperback

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St John's Gospel
A Lawyers Translation from the Original Greek
by Malcolm Bishop QC

John’s story of Jesus is arguably the most outstanding of the four gospels because it tells us so many things about him that cannot be found in Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Much of what we learn about Jesus in John has to do with the fact that he is presented as the complete revelation of God in human form. Yet readers often struggle with John because the language used in many English translations can be very formal. In Malcolm's translation of the original Greek he has sought to make John easier to read not just by using contemporary language and idioms, but also by highlighting the extensive use of the present tense in John’s narrative.

In English we typically tell stories in the past tense. But in John he intersperses the past with the present to create a more lively, edgy narrative. Unfortunately translators of the New Testament today convert the narrative present tense into a simple past tense, to make it conform to our habit of story telling or referring to the past. This means that much of the pace, immediacy and earthiness of John’s gospel is lost to the reader.

In this translation Malcolm preserves John’s use of the present tense to allow the reader to experience the colour and vividness of his story, and so capture something of the essence of why Jesus was such a compelling figure to his contemporaries and such a challenging individual to us today.

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