November 7, 2012
The Bible in English, Please
George Weigel, Denver Catholic Register
Biblical translation is an inexact science: a truth of which I was reminded on a recent visit to the American Bible Society’s Museum of Biblical Art in New York, where I enjoyed a brisk walk through a fine exhibit, “More Precious than Fine Gold: The English Bible in the Gilded Age.” The curator, Dr. Liana Lupas, pointed out the Modern American Bible, a New Testament translation by Frank S. Ballentine, published as the 19th century was drawing to a close. One suspects that Mr. Ballentine’s labors were influenced by a commitment to Prohibition, then a hot cause among many American Protestants; his translation of Luke 5:30 has the Pharisees inveighing against Jesus’ eating with “saloon-keepers and prostitutes,” where the original Greek ...