Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, John

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Contents

  1. Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech
  2. Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, John by Richard Francis Weymouth
  3. edited by Richard Francis Weymouth and Ernest Hampden-Cook

The third edition, the basis of this online book, was first published in , and the source edition for these online texts was published in Later editions were also published, but may still be under copyright.

Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech

The electronic transcription was originally published to a computer bulletin board by Mark Fuller, and it was then adapted for Project Gutenberg by Martin Ward. Some corrections from the print original have been made, as noted in the preface section; and the numbering of the books and formatting of the verse numbering was probably introduced in the digital version. It is also possible that some editor's notes have been stripped out; I see general book introductions in the Prefaces and Instructions section, but no other notes included with the books in this online edition.

In Weymouth was the first to receive the degree of doctor of literature at London University, after a severe examination in Anglo-Saxon, Icelandic, and French and English language and literature. The degree was not conferred again till In also, Weymouth, who was elected fellow of University College, London, was appointed headmaster of Mill Hill School, which had been founded by nonconformists and was now first reorganised on the lines of a public school.

A zealous baptist, Weymouth was long a deacon of the George St.

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At Mill Hill he proved a successful teacher and organiser and a strict disciplinarian, and the numbers increased. Among his assistants was Sir James A. Murray, editor of the 'New English Dictionary. Thenceforth he chiefly devoted himself to biblical study.


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As early as he had joined the Philological Society, and long sat on its council. In he was awarded a civil service pension of l. On textual criticism of the Greek Testament Weymouth spent many years' study. The latest results of critical research he codified in 'Resultant Greek Testament, exhibiting the text in which the majority of modern editors are agreed,' Weymouth's last work, which was issued after his death and proved widely popular, was 'The New Testament in Modern Speech' ; 3rd edit.

A portrait, an excellent likeness, by Sidney Paget [q. II], was hung in the hall of Mill Hill school; and a memorial window is in the chapel. Weymouth was twice married: The Translation of the New Testament here offered to English-speaking Christians is a bona fide translation made directly from the Greek, and is in no sense a revision.

The plan adopted has been the following. An earnest endeavour has been made based upon more than sixty years' study of both the Greek and English languages, besides much further familiarity gained by continual teaching to ascertain the exact meaning of every passage not only by the light that Classical Greek throws on the language used, but also by that which the Septuagint and the Hebrew Scriptures afford; aid being sought too from Versions and Commentators ancient and modern, and from the ample et cetera of apparatus grammaticus and theological and Classical reviews and magazines—or rather, by means of occasional excursions into this vast prairie.

The sense thus seeming to have been ascertained, the next step has been to consider how it could be most accurately and naturally exhibited in the English of the present day; in other words, how we can with some approach to probability suppose that the inspired writer himself would have expressed his thoughts, had he been writing in our age and country. Lastly it has been evidently desirable to compare the results thus attained with the renderings of other scholars, especially of course with the Authorized and Revised Versions. But alas, the great majority of even "new translations," so called, are, in reality, only Tyndale's immortal work a little—often very little—modernized!

But in the endeavour to find in Twentieth Century English a precise equivalent for a Greek word, phrase, or sentence there are two dangers to be guarded against. There are a Scylla and a Charybdis. On the one hand there is the English of Society, on the other hand that of the utterly uneducated, each of these patois having also its own special, though expressive, borderland which we name 'slang. But again, a modern translation—does this imply that no words or phrases in any degree antiquated are to be admitted?

Not so, for great numbers of such words and phrases are still in constant use. To be antiquated is not the same thing as to be obsolete or even obsolescent, and without at least a tinge of antiquity it is scarcely possible that there should be that dignity of style that befits the sacred themes with which the Evangelists and Apostles deal. It is plain that this attempt to bring out the sense of the Sacred Writings naturally as well as accurately in present-day English does not permit, except to a limited extent, the method of literal rendering—the verbo verbum reddere at which Horace shrugs his shoulders.

Welldon, recently Bishop of Calcutta, in the Preface p. With a slavish literality delicate shades of meaning cannot be reproduced, nor allowance be made for the influence of interwoven thought, or of the writer's ever shifting—not to say changing—point of view. An utterly ignorant or utterly lazy man, if possessed of a little ingenuity, can with the help of a dictionary and grammar give a word-for-word rendering, whether intelligible or not, and print 'Translation' on his title-page.

On the other hand it is a melancholy spectacle to see men of high ability and undoubted scholarship toil and struggle at translation under a needless restriction to literality, as in intellectual handcuffs and fetters, when they might with advantage snap the bonds and fling them away, as Dr.

Obviously any literal translation cannot but carry idioms of the earlier language into the later, where they will very probably not be understood; 2 and more serious still is the evil when, as in the Jewish Greek of the N. Greek, even in the writings of Luke, contains a large number of Hebrew idioms; and a literal rendering into English cannot but partially veil, and in some degree distort, the true sense, even if it does not totally obscure it and that too where perfect clearness should be attained, if possible , by this admixture of Hebrew as well as Greek forms of expression.

It follows that the reader who is bent upon getting a literal rendering, such as he can commonly find in the R. One point however can hardly be too emphatically stated. It is not the present Translator's ambition to supplant the Versions already in general use, to which their intrinsic merit or long familiarity or both have caused all Christian minds so lovingly to cling.

Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, John by Richard Francis Weymouth

His desire has rather been to furnish a succinct and compressed running commentary not doctrinal to be used side by side with its elder compeers. And yet there has been something of a remoter hope. It can scarcely be doubted that some day the attempt will be renewed to produce a satisfactory English Bible—one in some respects perhaps but assuredly with great and important deviations on the lines of the Revision of , or even altogether to supersede both the A. Of the Various Readings only those are here given which seem the most important, and which affect the rendering into English.

They are in the footnotes, with V.

edited by Richard Francis Weymouth and Ernest Hampden-Cook

As to the chief modern critical editions full details will be found in the Resultant Greek Testament , while for the original authorities—MSS. Such valuation is not attempted in this work. Considerable pains have been bestowed on the exact rendering of the tenses of the Greek verb; for by inexactness in this detail the true sense cannot but be missed.

That the Greek tenses do not coincide, and cannot be expected to coincide with those of the English verb; that—except in narrative—the aorist as a rule is more exactly represented in English by our perfect with "have" than by our simple past tense; and that in this particular the A. Even an outline of the argument cannot be given in a Preface such as this. But he who would make a truly English translation of a foreign book must not only select the right nouns, adjectives, and verbs, insert the suitable prepositions and auxiliaries, and triumph if he can over the seductions and blandishments of idioms with which he has been familiar from his infancy, but which, though forcible or beautiful with other surroundings, are for all that part and parcel of that other language rather than of English: Now a careful examination of a number of authors including Scottish, Irish, and American yields some interesting results.

Taking at haphazard a passage from each of fifty-six authors, and counting on after some full stop till fifty finite verbs—i. But in the writers of the N. The two conjunctions for and therefore are discussed at some length in two Appendices to the above-mentioned pamphlet on the Aorist, to which the reader is referred. The Notes, with but few exceptions, are not of the nature of a general commentary.

Some, as already intimated, refer to the readings here followed, but the great majority are in vindication or explanation of the renderings given. Since the completion of this new version nearly two years ago, ill-health has incapacitated the Translator from undertaking even the lightest work. He has therefore been obliged to entrust to other hands the labour of critically examining and revising the manuscript and of seeing it through the press.