Translating the New Testament: N. T. Wright vs. David Bentley Hart

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Tim Widowfield

First, N. T. Wright reviewed David Bentley Hart’s translation of the New Testament. Then Hart responded. I haven’t enjoyed a near slap-fight between intellectuals this much since William F. Buckley offered to sock Gore Vidal “in the goddamned face.”



N.T. Wright: “The New Testament in the strange words of David Bentley Hart

David Bentley Hart: “A Reply to N. T. Wright

It’s worth reading both with care and thoughtful reflection. Here’s a taste from Hart (with my emphasis added):

. . . Wright objects to (and dismissively misrepresents) my observation that Paul may literally mean what he seems explicitly to say in 1 Corinthians 10:11, that some of the stories recorded in the Torah may already be allegorical in form rather than strictly literal historical narratives. For Wright, to say as much is to discount the presence of Israel’s history in Paul’s thinking on the covenant. What on earth is Wright talking about? Does he really know so little of the age in which Paul wrote, and of the diversity of views in Jewish thought at the time, as to think that, for an educated student of Gamaliel, only something like a fundamentalist literalism could be counted as faith in the reality of God’s presence with Israel through the generations? (Well, the question answers itself, really.)

Wow. That one landed hard.


The following two tabs change content below.

Tim Widowfield

Tim is a retired vagabond who lives with his wife and multiple cats in a 20-year-old motor home. To read more about Tim, see our About page.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Translating the New Testament: N. T. Wright vs. David Bentley Hart”

  1. If I were an omnipotent omniscient god I’d solve this problem by immediately replacing every bible, torah, koran and copy of The God Delusion with a personalized copy of what I want everyone to know.

    I guess that’s why I’m not god, I actually have a solution.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Vridar

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading