Many translations of the Bible have an overall style and uniformity which irons out irregularities and is defined by various factors, such as amplifying the text or producing easy-flowing reading or modern English. Nicholas King’s fresh rendering of the New Testament is not only innovative but also illuminating and faith strengthening.
His translation strives to keep as close to the original Greek as possible, frequently incorporating idiomatic or grammatical peculiarities. This results in a translation which is exceptionally stimulating, sometimes startling, but with the result that it shakes off the dust which often settles on passages which have become tired from over familiarity or frequent quotation.
Nicholas King’s translation is infused with raw power. Readers will gain new insights and find the Bible imbued with renewed meaning and vigour.
Nicholas King is a lecturer at Oxford University. He is a well-respected New Testament scholar and has been working on The Old Testament a ground-breaking translation from the original Greek for the past few years and has also completed his New Testament Study Guides.
Nicholas King SJ was born into a strongly Catholic family in Bath, UK, and was educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, and St John’s College, Oxford, where he studied Classics.
He had always enjoyed the study of Latin and Greek; in those days in the (perhaps rather odd) British educational system, it seemed quite normal that he started Latin and French at the age of 8 and Greek two years later. A series of good teachers made it natural to apply to read the subject at Oxford (as far as he can recall, he never thought of anything else).
"When I went to Oxford, it was with the firm intention of becoming a barrister (and the strong hope of being comfortably off). I had done a certain amount of debating as a schoolboy, and the editor of our local newspaper had lent me a copy of the life of F. E. Smith. Greatly to my astonishment, however, at a particular moment, which I can date to within a few minutes, I knew, beyond any shadow of doubt, that the only thing that I could do and be happy was to join those very Jesuits who had educated me at Stonyhurst, and had put up with my adolescent eccentricities. I applied then and there to the Jesuits, but they very sensibly told me to finish my degree. That was four-and-a-half decades ago, and I have seen no reason to change my mind (so far!)"
- Nicholas King
Instantly accessible, with comments both lively and unobtrusive which bring the text home to readers of all backgrounds. This is a fine and quite distinctive addition to the ranks of Scripture translations. As a guide to the kind of study that will nourish a robust and grown-up faith, it will be hard to beat.
- Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
I welcome this fresh translation of the New Testament. Nicholas King has succeeded in putting into English something of the raw power that the first Christians experienced when they heard or read the documents.
- Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster
Wonderfully refreshing, like a splash of cold water on one's face. The translation hits you between the eyes and certainly makes you sit up and take notice, waking you from the torpor of over familiarity with the text . . . amazing new insights and understanding that come to light. A splendid piece of work
- Desmond Tutu, Former Archbishop of Cape Town
A cutting-edge translation that offers a fresh encounter with the Scriptures, engaging heart and mind. Captivating, a real gem!
- Roy Searle President Elect of the Baptist Union of Great Britain
Lively touches which make this new translation gripping and attractive. I hope that this translation will become an icon for the twenty-first century
- Henry Wansborough OSB, General Editor of The New Jerusalem Bible