REB selections from 1 Timothy

Posted: 18th July 2007 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

I have the opportunity to read from my compact REB New Testament on the bus to and from work and it’s been a wonderful way to transition through the day. Every once in a while, I’ll find a passage with language that is just incomparable to other translations. These selections from 1 Timothy made me smile:

“When I was starting for Macedonia, I urged you to stay on at Ephesus. You were to instruct certain people to give up teaching erroneous doctrines and devoting themselves to interminable myths and genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation, and do not further God’s plan for us, which works through faith.

This instruction has love as its goal, the love which springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a genuine faith. Through lack of these some people have gone astray into a wilderness of words. They set out to be teachers of the law, although they do not understand either the words they use or the subjects about which they are so dogmatic.” (1 Timothy 1:3-7, REB)

And later:

“Anyone who teaches otherwise, and does not devote himself to sound precepts – that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ – and to good religious teaching, is a pompous ignoramous with a morbid enthusiasm for mere speculations and quibbles. These give rise to jealousy, quarrelling, slander, base suspicions, and endless wrangles – all typical of those whose minds are corrupted and who have lost their grip of the truth.” (1 Timothy 6:3-5a, REB)

I have no idea if the language accurately conveys the original Greek, but it certainly speaks in English with a flourish!

  1. Jay says:

    I also have the REB red NT and have read it and enjoyed most of it – some places are unique or it has an “English” wording from across the sea but it is refreshing.

  2. Yes, the REB has been my favorite “reading” Bible for a long time now, even with the odd British’isms. I also have a text-only hardback from Cambridge that looks and feels like a classic literature tome, and the translation reads like it too. I don’t know if the REB’s translation voice matches the tone of the original languages, especially in the NT, but it certainly is beautiful to read!

  3. R. Mansfield says:

    It’s hard to imagine that the REB is approaching two decades in age now. I wonder if there are any plans for a third revision.

  4. I asked Peter Kirk that question a while back – if he’d heard any rumblings of an REB update – and he seemed to indicate that the REB wasn’t in significant use these days in the UK except in a few of the more liberal churches. I thought I read somewhere that the Jerusalem Bible might be getting a third update, but I can’t be sure right now.

  5. Lingamish says:

    The answer is, no, it doesn’t match the Greek. But I kinda like it.