I recently blogged about the new Bible translation, the Christian Standard Bible. I didn’t realize until alerted by commenter MarkB that a new translation led by Lutherans is also in the works, the Evangelical Heritage Version.
This comes from an independent venture known as the Wartburg Project. Those doing the work are scholars from the Wisconsin Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The publisher will be Northwestern Publishing House, the publishing arm of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS).
The plan is for the completed Bible to be released this Fall, in time for the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation on October 31. You can download The Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Psalms on Kindle for 99 cents at Amazon, or free if you have Kindle Unlimited. You can also get free downloads of the lectionary readings and the passion history.Do you see a problem with a “Lutheran Bible”? Is that too much like the Jehovah’s Witnesses having their own Bible so as to give support for their own idiosyncratic teachings? The American Translation by William F. Beck is another Lutheran translation, but its clarity of expression has won it non-Lutheran fans. The Wartburg Project insists that the Evangelical Heritage Version is not sectarian but can be used by all Christians.
That was certainly the case with Luther’s translation. When Luther was in hiding at the Wartburg castle, he translated the Bible, known at the time only in Latin, from the original Hebrew and Greek into vernacular German. William Tyndale, who studied at Wittenberg, emulated Luther’s translation (including its phraseology) by translating the Bible into English. Tyndale was burned at the stake for doing so–in Brussels at the behest of the Anglican King Henry VIII, not the Catholics, as I had long assumed–but his Bible (and thus Luther’s Bible) had a great influence on the King James translation that would come. The Bible began to be translated into many other languages. The Wartburg Project evidently seeks to be part of that tradition.
After the jump is an excerpt and link to the project’s website giving the “Rubrics” for the new translation.
Here is why I am excited about the Evangelical Heritage Version: At the Christian Standard Bible post, I complained about how so many contemporary translations get rid of the Bible’s ambiguities and figures of speech in their zeal to explain what the verse “really means.” I want what the text says. That includes the poetic and stylistic features of the original.
According to these Rubrics, the translators of the Evangelical Heritage Version agree with me! I put the Rubrics that show the translators’ literary sensitivity in bold. [Read more…]