PREFACE TO THE BIBLE STUDY NEW TESTAMENT
A STATEMENT OF PURPOSE July 1974
The motto of World Radio,
is: “Preaching Jesus Christ to every man in his own language.” My purpose is to
do just that in the type of American English in use today. As one of the
Pioneers said: “It would be just as reasonable to require men to worship God wearing
long beards, with Jewish or Roman clothes, as it is to hand them West Monroe, Louisiana
the Bible in archaic language which is less intelligible and more easily misunderstood.” [A. Campbell 1826] An accurate translation will transmit the message of the original writers in the usage, style, and idiom of the language of translation. In other words, one who reads a translation today should receive the same understanding from the language that a citizen of the First Century world did from reading the original manuscripts in Koine’ Greek.
In this book will be found the thinking of the Pioneers of the Restoration. The People’s New Testament by B. W. Johnson serves as a pattern, but this is not a revision or even a paraphrase, it is completely new. Almost a century has passed since Johnson completed his work. Manuscripts more ancient have been discovered since then (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls). More is known about some questions. A strong case can be made linking the thieves crucified with Jesus to the Zealots, who were armed terrorists. Some new study gives light to the thorny problem of 1 Cor. 14:34-35. More emphasis has been placed on the sacrifice of Christ extrinsic to ourself, and how we reach out through faith to seize it and make ourselves part of it. Some new thinking on the Book of Revelation penetrates the veil which the Middle Ages placed over this book. I have adopted the overall view called “synchronistic,” which to me seems the most logical and reasonable explanation of this book [which was obviously written to suffering Christians in the last ten years of the First Century]. Twenty-five years of my personal ministry, over five hundred books (many by the Restoration Pioneers), plus thousands of papers, tracts, magazines, etc., of widely varying religious communities, have been distilled in this book. I have made a conscious attempt to avoid the language of any one group, and as much as possible, to avoid “technical church language.” The style grows out of spending three and a half years trying to pack as much meaning as possible into a daily five-minute radio program. I have used a conversational approach, and you will sometimes find an unusual grammatical construction, either to conform to current usage, or to stress some special fact. I have made an effort to conform to the vocabulary of the Today’s English Version, Third Edition. In this book are the two most important translations of our time. When Good News for Modern Man first came out, I recognized in it the same empathy as the Authorized Version of 1611. This makes it unique among the new versions. I believe that Good News for Modern Man (The Today’s English Version) has already become the New Authorized Version, and that this is God’s will. It has had its “baptism of fire,” survived, and gained strength. This same phenomenon has taken place in many other languages, and we have the counterpart of “Today’s English Version’’ in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, etc., - a flood of new versions making God‘s Truth available in spoken language of common people. I believe God is using these new versions to call men to himself - just as He used the German version by Luther, the English version by Tyndale, etc.
The New International Version is described as a worthy successor to the American Standard Version of 1901. Pat Patterson calls it: “A careful new translation.” It is an “evangelical” version, made in scholarly style. This makes for both strengths and weaknesses. This version has yet to undergo its “baptism of fire,” but will certainly survive to take its rightful place.
The name of this book shows its purpose: “The Bible Study New Testament.” There can be no “short-cut” to spirituality! God has revealed himself to us in a book - the Bible - and we must STUDY to find him. Paul said (in the language of King James): “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. ”
July 1974. Lynchburg, Virginia
R. D. Ice
Bible Study New Testament - May 27, 2003.
Greetings from Wild & Wonderful West Virginia, the scene of much history. This has been my home since 1986. I am the preacher and an elder of the Union Church of Christ, about five miles SW of Philippi. I will be 74 on June 25th, 2003.
I wrote the final material for the Bible Study New Testament from 1974-1976. College Press in
, was the publisher. Thanks to brother Don DeWelt and others. It was originally planned as a paperback for
the mass market, and some language and style was aimed that way. I got permission from the American Bible
Society to use their TEV Good News Bible; and from the International Bible
Society to use the NIV. These were quite
popular at the time, and the NIV has since been widely used among the
brethren. The Good News Bible also
continues in wide use. Joplin, MO
I followed the general outline of Johnson's Notes [The People's New Testament, B. W. Johnson], but the material is all my own. I did careful research from the original languages and made careful comparison with what others have written. [I wrote, commenting on James 4:1. "For this reason I have not relied on my own scholarship, but have drawn heavily from the minds and abilities of many individuals.] I used Young's Analytical Concordance, The Expositor's Greek Testament, Alford's Greek Testament, La Sankta Biblio translated by Zamenhof, many other writings, plus my years of experience.
I did a poor job of proofreading. I had onIy a typewriter, no wordprocessor or spellchecker. I wrote waste for water in one reference (waste and the Spirit); and cased for chased in another. Please excuse such errors. I could plead that only someone who has dealt with writing and printing can appreciate all that goes into searching for printing errors, misspellings, and wrong words. Yet the Lord allowed me to get this into print.
A one-volume edition of the BSNT was printed shortly after the two-volume, and some of the errors were corrected. Also I wrote a new introduction for the one-volume edition, and added a longer word-subject list.
I have written extensively in brotherhood publications, especially The Bible Herald,
WV (when Clifton Inman was editor) and The
Firm Foundation, (when Reuel Lemmons was
editor), the Gospel Advocate, and others.
Through the electronic medium and the Internet, much lives on - which I
hope the Lord will approve of and bless, as He has continued to bless me over
the years. Austin,
Yours in Christ, R.D.Ice. Written from
5-27-2003. Barbour County, West Virginia
P.S.: I have included a copy of the Adobe 5 reader to read the books in .pdf format. I am also including some things I found of interest and use. P.P.S: Church of Christ Ministry Manual. http://cofcministrymanual.blogspot.com/
P.P.S: College Press has now made the Bible Study New Testament available as a PDF download.