TWU trio among top scholars to launch first book in the New English Translation of the Bible used by the Apostles

“The translation will give us glimpses into how the Apostles and the early church used and understood the Scriptures. This event marks a new chapter in the history of biblical scholarship.”
Peter Flint, PhD, Septuagint translator and professor of religious studies at TWU

Langley, British Columbia—Top biblical scholars from across North America will assemble in the Lower Mainland on March 17 to launch the first completed book in the New English Translation of the Septuagint, the first translation of Greek Old Testament manuscripts in 150 years. In a symposium at Trinity Western University, the public will have the opportunity to meet, question and listen to internationally renowned biblical studies experts chosen to translate the Bible used by the Apostles and quoted in the New Testament.

“The translation will give us glimpses into how the Apostles and the early church used and understood the Scriptures,” says Peter Flint, PhD, professor of religious studies at TWU. “This event marks a new chapter in the history of biblical scholarship.”

Flint is one of three Trinity Western scholars, along with approximately 30 others from North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia, working to complete the translation of manuscripts dated to the first few centuries after Christ. Acclaimed for his translations for The Dead Sea Scrolls, the first English Bible based on the Dead Sea Scrolls, Flint will contribute his translation of the book of Numbers for this edition.

“There are dozens of translations of the Hebrew Bible into English, but there is only one translation of the Greek Bible into English that is freely available—and it was translated over 150 years ago,” says Flint. “The fact that the Apostles Paul, Peter and James and all of the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke quote the Greek Bible makes a modern translation fundamental to our understanding of Scripture.”

Portions of the Septuagint are already used in modern day Bibles to clarify unclear verses in Hebrew manuscripts. As Rob Hiebert, PhD, of Trinity Western's Associated Canadian Theological Schools (ACTS) notes, evidence from additional manuscripts has been discovered since the last English translation of the Greek manuscripts.

“The development of Scripture was an unfolding process,” says Hiebert, who, after four years of work, has completed the initial draft of his translation of the book of Genesis for the publication.

“The aim of the symposium is to look at the Scriptures in some of its earliest forms,” says Hiebert. “And what the study of the Septuagint confirms is that God has faithfully transmitted his Word down through the centuries. The Septuagint is opening up new windows in our understanding of the Old Testament, how it was put together and how it was interpreted.”

Poring over these texts with Flint and Hiebert is Larry Perkins, PhD, also of ACTS, who is translating the book of Exodus. It is anticipated that the entire Old Testament will be completed in five years.

The conference will launch two new publications—The Psalms, the first completed book for the New English Translation of the Septuagint and translated by Albert Pietersma of the University of Toronto (published by Oxford Press), and the Invitation to the Septuagint by Karen Jobes of Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California and co-authored by Moises Silva (published by Baker Books).

Pietersma will speak on the New English Translation of the Septuagint, and Jobes, on its relevance for the present-day church. Flint will speak on the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Hiebert about the Septuagint as a cultural and exegetical document and Perkins on the Septuagint and the New Testament. Also, the newly acquired rare manuscript, the Codex Vaticanus, will be displayed in facsimile form at the conference.

“This conference is aimed for pastors, students and people who want to know more about God and His word,” says Flint. “We think it is a good time to hold a conference. We have three of the top Septuagint scholars here at TWU, we're launching two new books, and people are beginning to understand the importance of the Septuagint as the Bible of the early church. We believe that the time of the Septuagint has come for today's church.”

For further conference information phone (604) 888-7511, ext. 3267 or e-mail chirstopher.young@twu.ca.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling 2,850 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2012-08-21
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