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COPYRIGHT, 1923, BY HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The Riverside Press
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.
THERE are millions of people who understand no language readily except the living English of to-day. Surely they ought to have the New Testament - the most important of books in that language.
The majesty and beauty of the old King James Version the Westminster Abbey of English literature — should not blind us to the fact that, for inquirers eager to know the divine message, it is three hundred years behind the times. Since King James's day the tireless researches of scholars have given us a more correct copy of the Greek original and a clearer understanding of its meaning than our forbears possessed. Then, too, in the course of these centuries the English language has gone on changing, until now many words once familiar have been long forgotten and many still in use have taken on new significations. Present-day readers of the old version meet with many sentences that convey to them no meaning at all or a meaning that is mistaken.
As long as fifty years ago, it was recognized that the situation had become an impossible one, and the Convocation of Canterbury led off in the movement for revision. Out of this came the English Revised Version of 1881 and the American Revised Version of twenty years later. But these revisions did not aim to be more than revisions. They corrected faulty details while leaving the broad fundamental disadvantages untouched. Common people never could be much interested in them.
To meet the present urgent need a number of translations into modern English have recently been put forth. Some of these are of great merit, and yet every one of them seems to leave something still to be desired. The present attempt sees the light much as St. Luke's Gospel did. "Inasmuch as many others have been trying their hands at the task, it seemed good to me also,” having devoted many years to Biblical studies, to offer my contribution. In fact a profound sense of obligation