Monday, February 06, 2012

J.B. Phillips: A Translator's Testimony

J.B. Phillips translated the New Testament into modern English during the war years of the last century. He wrote a little book describing his experience of translating the New Testament and the shocking insights he gained while working closely with the Greek text.

Phillips on 1 Corinthians 15:

"For me, the translator, this fifteenth chapter seemed alive and vibrant, not with pious hope, but with inspired certainty. Quite suddenly I realized that no man had ever written such words before. As I pressed on with the task of translation I came to feel utterly convinced of the truth of the resurrection. Something of literally life-and-death importance had happened in mortal history, and I was reading the actual words of people who had seen Christ after his resurrection and had seen men and women deeply changed by his living power. Previously, although I had known something of the "comfort of the Scriptures" and had never thought them to be false, I must have been insulated from their reality simply because they were known as "scripture". Now I was compelled to come to the closest possible terms with this writing and I was enormously impressed, and still am. On the one hand these letters were written over quite a period of years, but there is not the slightest discernible diminution of faith. And on the other hand it was borne in upon me with irresistable force that these letters could never have been written at all if there had been no Jesus Christ, no crucifixion and no resurrection. The more I thought about it, the more unthinkable it became that any of this new courageous, joyful life could have originated in any kind of concocted story or wishful thinking. There had been a stupendous event, and from that was flowing all this strength and utter conviction." (Ring of Truth: A Translator's Testimony, p. 26-27)

Phillips on the Gospels:

"It is, in my experience, the people who have never troubled seriously to study the four Gospels who are the loudest in their protests that there was no such person. I felt, and feel, without any shadow of doubt that close contact with the text of the Gospels builds up in the heart and mind a character of awe-inspiring stature and quality. I have read, in Greek and Latin, scores of myths but I did not find the slightest flavor of myth here. There is no hysteria, no careful working for effect and no attempt at collusion. These are not embroidered tales: the material is cut to the bone. One sensed again and again that understatement which we have been taught to think is more "British" than Oriental. There is an almost childlike candor and simplicity, and the total effect is tremendous. No man could ever have invented such a character as Jesus. No man could have set down such artless and vulnerable accounts as these unless some real event lay behind them." (Ring of Truth: A Translator's Testimony, p.57-58)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Divine Healing in the Health and Wealth Gospel

For anyone interested in the topic of divine healing, I highly recommend this article by Douglas Moo entitled "Divine Healing in the Health and Wealth Gospel", which does a superb job analyzing the doctrine of "healing in the atonement" and "the prayer of faith". His thoughts are informative and balanced.

Douglas Moo - Divine Healing in the Health and Wealth Gospel