ONT - 1985
The Original New Testament
New Covenant
[Home] [Contacts] [Versions]

This version was edited and translated from the Greek by the Jewish historian of Christian beginnings, Hugh J. Schonfield. The publisher describes it as "a radical translation and reinterpretation." The term "Original" in the title is intended to convey that it aims at giving back the contents of the New Testament documents to the modern world in the meaning intended by the writers and at the same time to represent as closely as possible the original structures.

It was felt to be desirable not to use familiar ecclesiastical terms where they could be avoided since in doing so would give the impression that they were particularly Christian. Some examples are as follows: "baptism" (immersion), "church" (community), "apostle" (envoy), "bishop" (supervisor), and "deacon" (administrator).

The Old English has been kept only for the language of prayer and occasionally to retain the flavor of an orientalism. As a rule, proper names are in their most familiar form, thus "Isaiah" and "Elijah", not "Esais" and "Elias."

What we have been accustomed to reading in the various versions is largely an idealised interpretation created by the various schools of Christian faith and piety. Set beside these hallowed versions the Original New Testament is an Epstein among the Old Masters, which may shock and even antagonise traditionalists before it comes to be understood and appreciated. The translator has sought to approach these records objectively, as if they had recently been recovered from a cave in the Holy Land or beneath the sands in Egypt.

Harper and Row (1985)

[Tyndale House, Cambridge, United Kingdom]

John 1: 1 - 3

'In the Beginning was the Word.
      And the Word was with God.
So the Word was divine.
      It was in the Beginning with God.
By it everything had being.
      And without it nothing had being. ... .'

Comparisons which include this version: