We are very excited about this book and feel it is crucially important and has huge potential. Many of the Bible translations in the English language usually have an element of style and uniformity imposed on them, which is defined by a particular agenda. This could be to amplify the text in order to explain word meanings, to paraphrase it, to produce smooth-reading, to use a limited vocabulary for easy reading, or to produce a translation in more modern English, etc. Nicholas Kings translation is highly unusual and innovative. His aim has been to keep as close as possible to the original Greek in every way, including grammatical errors and idiomatic peculiarities. As a consequence, his text is at times startling, exceptionally fresh and stimulating, and because of this it is possible to gain exciting new insights. Sometimes passages which have become tired because they are so familiar to us, have been so frequently quoted and favoured, or heard so often in church, jump out with renewed vigour and meaning. This translation is infused with a raw power.
It is exceptionally useful for individual or group study as it is accompanied by a running commentary and very accessible notes which explore the teaching, personalities and purposes of the New Testament writers. The notes after each chapter end with a question to help draw out various themes to provoke thought or discussion, frequently relating these to relevant issues for Christians today.
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