The rendering of the Greek text of the Epistle to the Hebrews into modern English presents a flowing and easily understood translation of one of the most beautiful biblical studies of the nature and ministry of Christ. The English rendering comes from an extensive and excellent Commentary entitled The Epistle to the Hebrews by Richard D. Draper and Michael D. Rhodes forthcoming in 2019.
This translation seeks to correct one of the major problems the King James translators were unable to overcome. These men were classists and knew well the power and beauty of the Attic prose of Plato and Aristotle. Unfortunately, “the rubbed down and difficult Greek” of the New Testament era held a number of mysteries they were unable to solve. This left a number of passages, especially in the dense and difficult writings of the epistles, very hard to understand in their translation.
In this new rendering of the Greek text, the current translators have attempted to present the true sense of the New Testament writings as faithfully and clearly as possible in modern English. It strives to balance the esoteric details of a text with the importance of communicating the breadth of its meaning as clearly as possible to English readers. Sometimes grammatical and syntactical forms that make good sense in Greek seem stilted, odd, and even weird when translated word for word into English. The translators’ purpose has been to render the Greek in such a way that an educated reader could readily understand its meaning. They have consistently tried to avoid an overly “literal” translation, which would likely obscure original intents. They have, therefore, followed Bruce Metzger’s dictum to be “as literal as possible, but as free as necessary” in order to communicate to the English reader the meaning of the text.
This Rendition is part of the BYU New Testament Commentary series. This scholarly project aims to create a faithful modern English translation together with a full, in-depth, carefully researched Latter-day Saint commentary for each book on the New Testament. As of 2019, volumes have been published on Mark, Luke, First Corinthians, and Revelation. More of the New Rendition and commentary volumes will be added in coming months and years.