Tikkun has an interview with Willis Barnstone in which they discuss Barnstone’s Restored New Testament. I’ve read through a fair share of the RNT (my own interview with Barnstone should be coming out soon in the Journal of Italian Translation), though not all of it – 1500 pages! – and not only is it a strikingly fluid translation in modern English, but it also importantly restores the book to its original Jewish context. You don’t get that, for some reason, reading previous versions.
Basically, in the New Testament only the bad guys are Jews. The hero Jews, meaning Jesus, disciples, and family, come through anachronistically as from a world of later church fathers. In the Old Testament, the Jews are annoyingly called Israelites, children of Israel, Hebrews, anything but Jews (except in Esther), while in the NT the word Jew is used everywhere as a curse. Yet the New Testament was written about Jews, for Jews, and by Jews. Who else were they? Galileans descended from Mars?
I have precious little time to do any writing these days, much less blogging. Anyway, you should read the Restored New Testament because you probably haven’t even read the unrestored one, and because (yes) it’s a major work of literature. Should you think the NT stale and boring, this is a new version just for you.
From Buffalo News:
Here, from the same publisher and officially published a week apart [The Book of Genesis Illustrated By R. Crumb Norton], are two of the most important books of 2009. Willis Barnstone’s “Restored New Testament” is the Samson attempt of one great scholar and translator to knock down ancient pillars of error, injustice and persecution. In that endeavor alone, it may be the most important book of the year.
All those grinches who love Christmas (I’m not necessarily one of them) but can’t stand all the religious mishaguss about angels and babies with magical powers will be glad to know that there is a book out there for you: The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. If, for whatever reason, you want to add a little biblical spice to your festivities, I recommend Willis Barnstone’s fresh-off-the-presses Restored New Testament.
Me, I’m going to spend Christmas Eve at the movies watching the Sistine Chapel get atomized in a resurrection of gigantic Mayan zombie power. Just in time!