The Gospels

Modern Library. Mar. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9780399592942. $28. REL
Is there a need for another translation of biblical books? This question might immediately come to mind when considering this new translation of the four Gospels. Yet, Ruden is one of the leading translators of ancient classical literature and has taken a unique and innovative approach in this latest book. Her goal is to directly present the Gospels, allowing readers to easily interact with and respond to them. Her translation draws closely from the Greek text, showing clearly such elements as wordplay, humor, color, and imagery. She also takes care to translate with contemporary readers in mind, avoiding words and phrases that might be misleading or unclear. As a result, her translation refers to Jesus as a builder rather than a carpenter, and the apostles as envoys. It states that Jesus was wretched with pity instead of showing compassion. Although some passages may be awkward to those unfamiliar with the Gospels, this accessible translation is overall a welcome addition for all interested in a better understanding of the books of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John.
VERDICT An instructive and thought-provoking translation of the Gospels, and their historical context, that will interest a variety of readers, from students to scholars.
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