Saturday, February 10, 2024

Second Testament

I have been reading the New Testament for more than forty years. Over that time, I have used many translations. I find that I get different perspectives when I read from a different translation.

I am currently reading Scot McKnight’s new translation called Second Testament. His approach to translation is unique. He tries to reflect the structure of the original Greek.

The thing that I like most about this translation is that Scot assiduously avoids the religious words that dominate most English translations. For example, he uses the word “deliverance” for the “sozo” related Greek words instead of the usual religious translation “salvation”. I find this really refreshing, and it has forced me to think more clearly about the gospel message and the nature of what Jesus achieved.

The Second Testament is not an easy-to-read English paraphrase. The English sentences are often quite clunky, like the Greek text being translated. So it takes serious reading. However, it is well worth the effort. I have gained new insights that were hidden in the other translations that I have read.

One interesting difference is that Scot McKnight does not use the word “eternal”. He translates the Greek word “aionios” as “era”. I understand that this is a better translation. For example, instead of “eternal life”, he refers to the “Era’s life”, and instead of “eternal punishment”, he refers to the “Era’s chastisement” (Matt 25:44).

The one trusting the son has Era Life (John 3:36).
This translation jarred me into thinking more clearly about what Jesus was saying.

On a lighter note, I wonder if Scot has been influenced by Taylor Swift, as Her Era’s Tour has made the word “era” very popular. I doubt that she has been reading the Second Testament.

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