a radical new translation of The New Testament

Salley Vickers at Literary Review:

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian who has made waves in his own sphere through his radical atavism (he refers often to the early Church fathers’ concept of the divine), his sympathy for and grasp of the languages and cultures of the ancient world and his unsqueamish, ferocious attacks on modern atheism. Perhaps more relevant to this readership, he writes acute and vivacious prose that betrays a thoroughgoing knowledge of literature, both secular and sacred. This is worth bearing in mind when considering his latest and, to date, boldest project: a fresh translation of the books of the New Testament.

Hart’s stated aim is to offer an ‘almost pitilessly literal translation’ that is ‘not shaped by later theological and doctrinal history’, with the intention of making ‘the familiar strange, novel, and perhaps newly compelling’. ‘Where an author has written bad Greek,’ he announces bluntly, ‘I have written bad English.’ In doing so he has provoked a backlash of complaints from more traditionally minded colleagues, as well as attracting some respectful applause.

more here.