The Restored New Testament

The Restored New Testament : A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas

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For the first time since the King James Version in 1611, Willis Barnstone has given us an amazing literary and historical version of the New Testament. Barnstone preserves the original song of the Bible, rendering a large part in poetry and the epic Revelation in incantatory blank verse. This monumental translation is the first to restore the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew names (Markos for Mark, Yeshua for Jesus), thereby revealing the Greco-Jewish identity of biblical people and places. Citing historical and biblical scholarship, he changes the sequence of texts and adds three seminal Gnostic gospels. Each book has elegant introductions and is thoroughly annotated. With its superlative writing and lyrical wisdom, The Restored New Testament is a magnificent biblical translation for our age.

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  • Hardback | 1504 pages
  • 152.4 x 236.22 x 53.34mm | 1,292.73g
  • WW Norton & Co
  • New YorkUnited States
  • English
  • REV.
  • 039306493X
  • 9780393064933
  • 366,189

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Author Information

Willis Barnstone is a poet, translator, and religious scholar. Author of The Gnostic Bible, Cafe de l'Aube a Paris (French), and The Restored New Testament, he is a distinguished professor emeritus of comparative literature and biblical studies at Indiana University.

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Review quote

"Starred Review. In an achievement remarkable by almost any standard, and surely one of the events of the year in publishing, renowned poet and scholar Barnstone has created a new and lavish translation-almost transformation-of the canonical and noncanonical books associated with the New Testament...The high bar Barnstone has set for himself is the creation of an English-language Scripture that will move poets much as the 1611 King James Version moved Milton and Blake. Only time will tell if Barnstone has achieved his goal, but his work is fascinating, invigorating, and often beautiful. Essential." "This heroic enterprise, an expansive single-handed edition of the New Testament, is a substantial addition to the sixty-odd publications of the poet and translator Willis Barnstone." -- Frank Kermode

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Back cover copy

Barnstone s new English version of the core texts of Christian scripture is almost startling in its freshness. Scraping away many centuries of stylistic fussiness and supersessionist distortion, he gives us a set of Gospel narratives that are bold and direct in their simplicity and that show how steeped the first Christians were in the Jewish world from which they derived. Robert Alte Willis Barnstone sThe Restored New Testament is both an eloquent, fresh translation of the Four Gospels and of Revelation, and also a superb act of restoration, in which these Christian scriptures are returned to their Judaic origins and context. The introductory material is wise and poignant, and makes an authentic contribution to the common reader s understanding of the Gospels. Harold Bloom Willis Barnstone sThe Restored New Testament is breathtaking, new, astounding. It is a courageous, a daring book; but, by some magic, it appears not nouveau and experimental but deeply rooted and ancient. Did you think Jerome s or Tyndale s or James s Song of the Sparrows from Matthew was thrilling? Look at Barnstone s. Or look at his version of Paul s heartbreaking lines of love in Corinthians 13. If Barnstone, through a long life of poetry, translation, story, and memoir, in language after language, had nothing else but this book, it would be a lifetime of extraordinary achievement. We are blessed by it. Gerald Stern Much will always remain obscure about the humane and undogmatic rabbi Yeshua, who may or may not have aspired to be his people s prophesied Messiah. Indeed, there is no uncontested evidence that he ever lived. Nevertheless, he is the protagonist of narratives as powerful as The Iliad in their quite opposite spirit. What we learn from Willis Barnstone is that the gentle teacher who can still be discerned in those stories had little in common with the man-god whose cult, over two millennia, has licensed the persecution of Yeshua's own folk. The always amazing Barnstone has outdone even himself in this beautiful, scholarly, yet profoundly subversive book. Frederick Crews "

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