The Gospels - A New Translation
The Gospels: A New Translation by Sarah Ruden
"In this ... new translation of the Gospels, Sarah Ruden treats the books of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John with unprecedented precision, uniquely concentrating on the original words and sensitively reflecting on their historical and literary context, to give us the most accessible version of the text available to date. Stripping away the accretions of later theology and pedantry that cover standard English editions of the Bible, this translation presents each Gospel as a narrative that can be read clear through and understood on its own terms."--Publisher's description.
“Electrifying . . . one of our greatest living translators . . . [Sarah] Ruden’s rhetoric throughout is sharp and bright, as compulsively readable as she contends the originals were written to be.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Fascinating . . . [Sarah Ruden’s] new translation of the four canonical accounts of Christ’s life is somehow both clever and wry, serious and sincere. . . . [It returns] much of the Gospels to the fresh clay from which they were made, before they hardened into their familiar forms. . . . For anyone wanting to read the Gospels anew, it will be a welcome and challenging companion.”—The New Yorker
“Let the epistemic humility that guides her in this work, her English translation of the canonical gospels, be for us a lesson in how to read the Bible. Like all translations, Ruden’s thought-provoking version of the gospels is an interpretation. It’s not the only translation you should work with, but it’s one of them. Add it to your library.” —National Review
“Ruden (The Face of Water) wrestles fresh meaning from Christianity’s sacred texts in her startling new translation of the four Gospels. Working from the original Greek text and within the context of the ancient Greco-Roman-Jewish era, Ruden strives to rescue a ‘defensively hermetic’ text from ‘under the muffling, alien weight of later Christian institutions.’ The result makes the familiar unfamiliar and intriguing… This audacious translation is essential reading for anyone who thinks they already know the Gospels.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ruden is one of the leading translators of ancient classical literature and has taken a unique and innovative approach in this latest book….Her translation draws closely from the Greek text, showing clearly such elements as wordplay, humor, color, and imagery. She also takes care to translate with contemporary readers in mind, avoiding words and phrases that might be misleading or unclear…. An instructive and thought-provoking translation of the Gospels, and their historical context, that will interest a variety of readers, from students to scholars.”—Library Journal
Sarah Ruden was educated at the University of Michigan, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. She has translated a number of ancient literary works, among them Vergil's Aeneid and Augustine's Confessions, and is the author of Paul Among the People: The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time and The Face of Water: A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible. She is a past recipient of Guggenheim and Whiting awards, and completed the Gospels translation with the help of a grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. Formerly a scholar-in-residence at Yale Divinity School, she is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.
Translator: Sarah Ruden
Publisher: Modern Library, February 2023
Paperback, 416 pages