Despite the fact that our shelves are sagging beneath the weight of all the scriptures that have appeared in the last forty years or so, we still await a version that strikes us as a genuinely contemporary version. Life and language move so quickly that it is a matter of running to stay in the same spot, and translators of the scriptures are characterised by care and caution rather than by the need to keep pace. Move on new must, however, if we believe the scriptures have abiding value for every age and culture as a unique record of humankind's adventure with God.
What usually passes for a paraphrase rather than a translation indicates the degree of venturesomeness in elucidating the meaning. An attempt at word for word translations produces not clarity but ambiguity. According to the gospels, the genius of Jesus lay in his ability to put into language that could be grasped by ordinary people things that the scribes obscured by their sophistication or pedantry. This new translation takes the bull by the horns in providing a translation of the early Christian scriptures in the idiom of today.
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John Henson has the exciting capacity to awaken fresh interest in material that seems familiar. He is never dull, sometimes provocative and occasionally inspirational. I recommend his work to anyone who enjoys an unpredictable reading of Scripture. ~ John Rackley, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.
I found this a literally shocking read. It made me think, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me angry and it made me joyful. It made me feel like an early Christian hearing these texts for the first time. John Henson and the ONE Community have made the Bible accessible and alive so that a new generation may hear the news and experience it as good. ~ Elizabeth Stuart, Professor of Christian Theology, King Alfred's College, Winchester, and Bishop of the Open Episcopal Church.
I can't rate this version of some of the Christian scriptures highly enough. It is amazingly fresh, imaginative, engaging and bold. It will startle and delight Christians and many more of us who are alienated from the scriptures by the stuffiness and irrelevance of their translations. Like the Bible itself, it deserves to be a bestseller. ~ Adrian Thatcher, Professor of Applied Theology, College of St Mark and St John, Plymouth
It spoke to me with a powerful relevancy that challenged me to re-think all the things that I have been taught. ~ Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Eastern University.
With an extraordinary vigour and immediacy, Good as New constantly challenges, surprises and delights you. You may not agree with all its renditions-I defy you to-but you will find yourself rethinking what you thought you knew. Over and over again you feel like you're reading about Jesus for the first time. An invaluable new angle, completing and refreshing. Say what you like about Good As New (as I'm sure you will anyway), it has its priorities right. ~ , Ship of Fools
Certainly lives up to its title. Not simply another translation but a recreation of the original power and immediacy of the Gospels and Epistles. Reads both fluently and idiomatically, breathing new life into texts that are almost too familiar. ~ , Scientific and Medical Network Review.
Fully lives up to the sub title description. At the heart of his interpretation is his understanding that Jesus' genius lay in uptting into language understood by ordinary people things obscured by the scribes' sophistication or pedantry and he has applied this philosophy to powerful effect. A 450 page immensely valuable addition to scriptural understanding and appreciation. ~ , Methodist Recorder
A short review cannot begin to persuade readers of the value of this book. if you feel you can really face what Jesus and the writers of the New Testament really meant rather than have your ears dulled by the versions we normally hear, then buy this book-and read it. But only if you are brave enough. ~ , Renew
From the Foreword by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. What would Christianity look like, what would Christian language sound like, if we really tried to screen out the stale, the technical, the unconsciously exclusive words and policies, and to hear for the first time what the Christian Scriptures were saying? John Henson has devoted much of his life to wrestling with this challenge, and has for many people made those scriptures speak as never before-indeed, as for the first time. Patiently and boldly, he has teased out implications, gone back to roots, linguistic and theological, and re-imagined the process in which a genuinely new language was brought to birth by those who had listened to Jesus because they knew they were in a genuinely new world. John's presentation of the Christian gospel is of extraordinary power simply because it is so close to the prose and poetry of ordinary life. Instead of being taken into a specialised religious frame of reference-as happens with the most conscientious of formal modern translations-and being given a gospel addressed to specialised concerns-as happens with even the most careful of modern "devotional" books - we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshipping that is fully earthed, reconisably about our humanity. I hope that this book will help the secret to be shared, and to spread in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike. ~ Rowan Williams