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This is a gift to the wider church.

Rev Dr Alexander Yule


Know... again

The Koine Greek word for “read” literally means “to know again”.

This translation of the Gospels has been created so that people may “know again” the stories and words of Jesus, to hear them clearly and with fresh perspective.

It has been embraced enthusiastically by prominent academics across many denominations and traditions, and has already become the regular text for Gospel readings in many churches and Bible study groups.

High Fidelity

This translation feels both very familiar but also subtly different. For many, the experience is one of hearing the Gospels with greater clarity, similar to hearing familiar music played through quality hi-fi equipment. As with the music, the readings are more vibrant, engaging and inspiring.

You will often hear something quite “new” from this text, even though you may have heard it a hundred times before.

The hi-fi metaphor is also appropriate in that the aim of this excercise is fidelity - a true rendering of the original manuscripts in a manner that aligns naturally with the intentions of the authors and captures more of the inherent excitement and gravitas of the original texts.

Many times I have heard that the NT books were intended to be heard, not read. This new, fresh translation takes that seriously and provides a text designed to be read out loud to hearers. I have used this excellent resource in formal worship, in small group settings and in personal meditation... I highly recommend The Gospels for Hearers.

Rev Lindsay Cullen
Zone minister, Uniting church, NSW, Australia

Features of the translation

There are a number of aspects that stand out when comparing The Gospels for Hearers with traditional translations.

SPOKEN: The distinctive characteristic of this work is that it is translated to be spoken, to be read aloud in a public forum, as the original manuscripts would have been. The result is text that is raw and arresting, making public readings dramatic and memorable.

ACADEMICALLY SOUND: The scholarship is rigorous, thorough and tested against the leading commentaries. It has also been enthusiastically received by prominent New Testament scholars.

INDEPENDENT: This translation is the work of one person, with complete freedom to render the Koine Greek faithfully, honestly and with startling clarity.

CULTURALLY BROAD: The language is contemporary, intelligent and direct. It is not overly influenced by either American or British idiom, but aims for a broader English vernacular.

PASSIONATE: While most modern translations are technically “accurate” or culturally “relevant” they are generally quite restrained and polite. The original manuscripts, on the other hand, are often far more emotional and robust. This book delivers more of the passion and earthy humanity as written.

TRANSPARENT: The hearer is presented with text that is less “enhanced”, even if the original is ambiguous, complex or confusing. This approach provides greater access to the original text, allows more space for the intelligence of the hearer and is, perhaps surprisingly, very readable.

ALIVE: The Koine manuscripts are treated as “living” texts, not archaeological treasures, academic treatises or sacred objects. They were written by individuals, utterly transformed themselves, for the growing community of believers. They have lived generations, as vital today as when they were written.

The book itself

In terms of the physical form, The Gospels for Hearers is designed to embody the translator’s intention that the text should be read aloud.

It is a large format hardcover book (the page size is US Letter, very close to A4). The print is big and black, on white paper with good opacity. The book lays out well on a flat surface and the centre margins are large to ensure text doesn’t curve out of sight.

The text on the page has been 'shaped'; formatted in a dynamic fashion to facilitate public reading. This work was done, patiently and carefully, by the Rev Bill Johnston, an ordained minister, poet and actor with degrees in Divinity, Law, Media Studies and Literature; drawing on a lifetime of public speaking and engagement with Scripture.

Other features that enhance spoken readings include:

VERSES are numbered occasionally, and sit outside the text block.

THE FONT is Caslon, chosen for it’s readability and pleasing aesthetic.

FORM: The book itself is nice to hold, with a good weight and texture.

A work of love

This book is a labour of love; a deep, abiding love for the words of the Koine Greek translations and the sense of closeness and connection they provided to the central figure; Jesus Christ. It is the result of 30 years of patient work; researching, translating, and reading aloud in church.

The purpose is simply to bring English speakers closer to the original manuscripts, and to share something of the passion, urgency and power of these wonderful texts - to give people a chance to “know again” the Gospels of Jesus.

The Gospels for Hearers is published by Dianggellia Press

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