NEW TESTAMENT INTRODUCTION
Throughout this version, I have adopted the philosophy of Kenneth Wuest, who said that in his translation he would use as many English words as it takes to give the Greek meaning.
∙ features expanded and amplified meanings of many
of the words in the Greek New Testament;
∙ provides multiple renderings of some phrases and
sentences, where these are viable;
∙ includes readings from different eclectic Greek
texts, as well as from early individual manuscripts
that present a significant change in the meaning of
∙ supplies optional functioning of noun and adjective
cases, where the context supports these options;
∙ expands the renderings of the Greek verbs to show
the meanings of their individual tense
On one occasion of multiplying "the loaves and the fishes," after the meal Jesus told His disciples to "gather up the fragments, so that nothing will be lost." This version presents to you many "fragments" of meaning of the Greek text that have often been lost to the reader of the common translations.
This is a work that seeks to give the reader some involvement in the process of translating by presenting a range of semantic meanings of significant Greek words in the midst of the text. Expansions and amplifications are placed in parentheses. Other optional renderings of either phrases or sentences are made parenthetical and come after the word "or," followed by a colon. 1 Corinthians 7:19 provides an example:
The circumcision is nothing, and the
uncircumcision is nothing - but to the contrary
[what matters is the] observing and keeping of
the goals implanted from God (or: of the
impartation of the finished product within, which is
God; or: God's inward directives to [His] end).
Readings from other manuscripts (MSS) that differ from the eclectic texts (texts that are a compilation of what are considered by textual scholars to be the best readings from the many available manuscripts) are normally enclosed in brackets, but are sometimes conflated (i.e., joined together) into my version. Also enclosed in brackets are words that I have added to make the English rendering sensible (see above example), as well as occasional notes, comments and suggested possible meanings of the text.
In each passage, read the bold type first without the additional meanings. Then read it with the other word meanings. Prayerfully consider the possible meanings and the context and let the Holy Spirit give you understanding and revelation.
Koine Greek is an inflected language. The functions of nouns, adjectives, etc., are indicated by their spelling - which also determines the case for each. However, the cases (especially the genitive and the dative) have a variety of functions. The translator must determine which function the author intended. This is normally determined by the sense of the context in which the word is used. Sometimes the function is clear, but many times it is not. To allow the reader to have some freedom from the translator's bias or personal choice, I have parenthetically included the other options. While reading the text, be aware that these other options exist. A classic example, presented in W.E. Chamberlain's An Exegetical Grammar of the Greek New Testament, is Romans 8:24. Here is a prepositional phrase with no expressed preposition, but only the word "expectation (or: hope)" in the dative case. The question is, which function of the dative is appropriate to the context: the instrumental, the locative, or other? The following rendering of this verse is my solution (showing the optional prepositions underlined, for this example):
24. For in the expectation (and: with hope)
we are suddenly made whole and healthy
(or: You see, by the expectation we are
delivered and saved; For, to expectation we
were at one point rescued; To be sure, we
were kept safe for the expectation)! Now
expectation (or: hope) being continuously
seen (or: observed) is not expectation (or:
hope), for who continues hoping in
expectation for what he also constantly sees
The function of the genitive case can be to show possession, indicate source, describe qualities or characteristics, state relationship, give reference or concern, or present definition or identity (also called "apposition"). I have often presented this last function using the construction "which is," rather than "of." And example of this is found in John 2:21:
Yet That One (= He) had been speaking about the
Sanctuary (or: inner Temple) which is His body.
This gives the correct meaning of what John said. I have also put this as a possible translation of the genitive in such cases as John 1:29:
God's Lamb (or: the Lamb from God; the Lamb
having the character and qualities of God; or, in
apposition: the Lamb which is God).
As well as giving expanded meanings, in places I have also conflated my text by simply giving more than one meaning of a Greek word, joined by the word "and." For example, the Greek word "dunamis" means equally "power" and "ability." To aid in readability I often render this word "power and ability."
When an individual manuscript (MS), or a group of manuscripts (MSS), has a reading that is different from the eclectic texts which I am using, at times I conflate the readings, since this is a practice found in some of the manuscripts.
The Greek texts that I have used are: Nestle-Aland, 27th Ed.; Westcott and Hort; Tasker; Panin; Griesbach; and the Concordant Greek Text. My understanding of koine Greek has been influenced by many scholars, beyond my initial course of study at Arizona State College, Flagstaff, in 1962. Especially influential have been A.T. Robertson, Kenneth Wuest, William Barclay, Marvin Vincent, and the scholars of the Concordant Publishing Concern. The lexicons which I used were those by Liddell and Scott; J.H. Thayer; E.W. Bullinger; Baur, Arnt and Gingrich; and by Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg and Neva Miller. The works of James Strong, Robert Young, Ray Summers, Dana and Mantey, W.D. Chamberlain, Ronald Ward, and R.C. Trench should also be mentioned. Some words I researched through their usage in the LXX. Others I have rendered based upon the meanings of their Greek elements.
It is impossible to translate without some amount of interpretation and latent personal bias. I have endeavored to produce what I believe is an honest translation, and have tried to overcome any personal bias via the use of multiple renderings. Where possible, I have stayed close to the literal side of the translating spectrum. I have occasionally moved to the paraphrase side, but I put these in parentheses, following an "=" sign. Such are only one suggested possible idiomatic rendering, and by their very nature include a certain amount of interpretation. They should be considered only as a potentially viable idea.
An example of my use of auxiliary words is to insert "continuously, keep on, habitually, repeatedly, normally, presently, constantly or progressively" with the Greek present tense, which describes continued or lineal action. The reader will thus know what the writer meant when choosing the present tense rather than the aorist.
There are divided opinions among scholars regarding the aorist tense, which is not really a verb "tense" at all, e.g., in comparison to English verbs. This is a "fact" tense which gives no indication of the type of action of the verb. Many translate this as a simple past tense; others as a simple present tense. I have presented both options, e.g., "do (or: did)." In some cases I have also followed scholars who greatly emphasized the punctiliar (or: point) aspect of this tense by adding such descriptive words as "at once," or "suddenly," or "at some point," according to what I perceive the context calls.
This work has been a labor of love... a love for the Word, for the Truth and for people. It began as a quest to better know the Scriptures, but it has become a journey into the heart of our Father. What started as a personal challenge grew into a desire to share the wonders I found in His inexhaustible Word. This is by no means a finished work, but continues to be an ongoing and unfolding revelation.
My prayer is that the One who makes all things real, the "set-apart Breath-effect," will breathe these words into each and every heart that reads them. May God use this work to bring blessings to each reader, and to bring His reign into every heart.
To God be the glory,
NEXT: New Testament Overview
New Testament (JMNT)
Easy tip for discovering God's beautiful message in the JMNT: Type keywords for that Bible verse you always wondered about into a search engine (especially if you can't remember the exact book, chapter & verse in the Bible), and compare the Bible verses from other translations that come up in the search results with the JMNT. Simply make note of the scripture reference online (e.g.: John 3:16, etc.), then make the comparison by looking up the verse in Jonathan Mitchell's translation. You don't need to read large portions of the JMNT in one sitting to discover how the comparisons may change your life (and your views about God) in a very rewarding and empowering way. Instead, simply meditate on any new insight being revealed, and then put even the smallest seed of truth into action in your daily life . . .
and watch God make it grow (1 Corinthians 3:7)!
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GOD'S MESSAGE OF
WHICH BRINGS GOD'S
GIFTS OF HIS SPIRIT,
HIS LIFE, HIS GRACE,
HIS POWER, HIS
FAIRNESS, HIS PEACE
AND HIS LOVE