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From the back cover:

Monsignor Knox has just completed his task of translating the Bible, on which he has been engaged for the past nine years. To celebrate the occasion he has collected here in a short book eight essays, discussing the principles of translation in general, the peculiar difficulties of Bible translation, the failings of previous versions and various detailed criticisms of his work as it has so far appeared.

  Quite apart from the fascination of watching, as it were, the processes of a literary masterpiece in the making, and the wit and skill with which the critics are given their answer, this is a book that may well have a permanent value. The habit of Bible translation is spreading— after Knox, the Church of England Commission. “It seems doubtful whether we shall ever again allow ourselves to fall under the spell of a single uniform text, consecrated by its antiquity”, says Monsignor Knox. What is important therefore is that the principles underlying this version should be clearly understood by those who will come after. “Let them ask, not how I did the thing, but how I thought it should be done. Often they will disagree, but their own ideas will be clarified none the less by the effort of disagreement.”

  “What matters is that the Bible should speak to Englishmen not only in English words, but in English idiom. Any translation is a good one in proportion as you can forget, while reading it, that it is a translation at all”— so writes Monsignor Knox.  And he gives three rules for the translator: be accurate; be intelligible; be readable.

  Monsignor Knox practises what he preaches, as readers will immediately agree. Here, in fact, is a first-class translation: contemporary in the sense that there is not a word or a phrase to mystify a modern reader and yet deriving from an earlier and more vigorous tradition of English. The result may well be accepted as one of the most memorable books of the century.

6" X 9" softcover

101 pages


On Englishing the Bible

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