2018-01-27

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

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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.

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Tim Widowfield

Tim is an RV Park host who lives with his wife and six cats in a 20-year-old motor home. To read more about Tim, see our About page.

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2 Comments

  • john dauria
    2018-01-27 20:01:12 UTC - 20:01 | Permalink

    He also offered to smack Noam ? Chomsky in the mush on one occasion…I haven’t read the post yet …what a fool

  • Bob Jase
    2018-01-29 00:12:02 UTC - 00:12 | Permalink

    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.

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