The NewTestament TransLine published by Wipf & Stock, who kindly sent me review copies of the two-volume set, is “A Literal TRANSlation in outLINE Format,” which, as author Michael Magill explains in the Introduction, is “not only to translate the words, but also visually display the flow of thought contained in the Greek words” in which the New Testament was written.
Although this TransLine edition probably isn’t one we’ll want to use to just sit down and read cover to cover, it’s an excellent resource for those of us who want greater clarity and deeper insight into God’s Word. As the Introduction tells us:
“Think of it this way. When you hear a foreigner first learning to speak English, you commonly hear such a person rendering the forms and sentence structures of their native language in English words. It sounds foreign to English-speakers. It is improper English. Sometimes it is difficult to understand. As the person learns more English, they adopt the commonly understood Englsh patterns of expression. In a similar way, since the NewTestament TransLine is seeking to give the English reader more insight from the Greek point of view, the Greek forms and structures are retained to a greater degree than proper in good English, but not to such a degree that the meaning is obscured.”
In addition to this approach to translation, the author provides outlines of the text to demonstrate the Greek way of thinking as one thought flows into another. For example, verses in the fourth chapter of Matthew show this thought process:
3B. “You are the light of the world
1C. “A city lying on a hill is not able to be hidden
2C. “Nor do they burn a lamp and put it under the basket, but on the lampstand – and it shines on all the ones in the house
3C. “In this manner, let your light shine in front of people so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in the heavens.”
Those verses also include references to corresponding footnotes on the adjacent page. For instance, the note for “light” says, “That is, the source of spiritual truth, reflected from God, lighting the darkness. Note Phil 2:15.”
As that footnote clearly shows, we don’t light up ourselves, but God does. And our part is to refrain from hiding that light.
Then, if we think in terms of the “lamp” available during the time of Christ, we know such lighting fixtures had no electricity, unwieldy cords, switches, or breakable bulbs! And so, the word “burn” and its corresponding footnote remind us of the kerosene lanterns used between Jesus’ cultural era and ours, but with either type of “lamp” relying on fire, which brings to mind one of the symbols for the Holy Spirit. In this manner we’re to glow through the glory of the Lord where all can see and be drawn to the light of Christ.
To order, click here:
New Testament TransLine, Volume One, paperback