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The New Testament in Modern English

4.39  ·  Rating Details ·  294 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
An enduring scriptural treasure and a classic of Christian literature, this modern translation is a beautiful and true rendering of the New Testament.

Written in 1958, The New Testament in Modern English is one of the most dynamic and lively translations to ever appear in print. Phillips’ rendering of Holy Scripture into contemporary English is accessible and powerful to a
Paperback, 576 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Touchstone (first published 1958)
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Aug 31, 2015 Fred rated it really liked it
5-Stars for this wonderful, wonderful translation of the New Testament

3-Stars for the horribly flawed and compromised Kindle Edition

This is a wonderful translation of the New Testament. It's less literal (and therefore LESS word-for-word accurate) than my beloved New King James Version and less vernacular (and therefore MORE word-for-word accurate) than my beloved The Message.

Let's compare shall we? Here's John 3:16-21 in all three translations:

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only
Jul 29, 2013 Charmaine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
This is a wonderful, illuminating translation of the New Testament that left me wanting to read it again and again. Because it is written in prose form without verse numbers, it flows and seems to move along rapidly. I found it particularly helpful in understanding Paul's epistles. For example, compare this translation of I Corinthians 13:4-8: "This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience--it looks for a way of being constructive. It is not possessive: it is neither anxious to impress nor ...more
Cheryl Gatling
One turns to "modern" translations of the Bible with the hope that words that have become somewhat dry and stale through much repetition will suddenly appear new and fresh. In that I was mostly disappointed. There are occasional turns of phrase that are striking, but for the most part, this is the familiar old Bible as I know it. Learning the background of the book, that was not surprising. Phillips began writing his own translation of the "Letters to Young Churches" during the Blitz. He thought ...more
I don't rate the Bible. It rates me, and I come up short:
"For there is no distinction to be made anywhere: everyone has sinned, everyone falls short of the beauty of God's plan." (Romans 3:23, Phillips)
It tells me about the consequences:
"Sin pays its servants: the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23a, Phillips)
But it also gives me the way out of my dilemma:
"But God gives to those who serve him: his free gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b, Phillips)

Phillips began
Jan 17, 2014 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sunday-reading
I highly recommend the Phillips translation as a "reader's edition." It flows well, making the gospel narratives more connected. The more familiar language also makes it easier to keep track of Paul's arguments over the course of a whole letter.

2013 Reading
Sadly I did not meet my goal to read all the New Testament in 2014, though I did cover most of it. I tried to read the Pauline Epistles in chronological order rather than order of length (as they are included in the canon) but I kept track poo
"It’s a runaway bestseller that I’d oddly never read. I was encouraged to do so by Professor Joseph Weiler of NYU, who argued an important case in the European Court of Human Rights defending the Italian state’s ability to put crucifixes in public classrooms. He suggested that I ought to check out the New Testament, as I had only read the Old. Even though you know how the story ends, it’s still a great read after 2000 years. Highly recommended to Jews, Muslims, and those of non-Christian faith w ...more
Jan 14, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite translation I've read so far. It's immediate and relatable but doesn't feel dumbed-down or too casual. My fondness for this translation may or may not be affected by the discovery of a four-leaf clover pressed inside this particular library-book-sale edition. My one issue is that I don't like when they have paragraphs and don't mark the individual verses. I am not sold by the argument that it makes reading smoother, and it causes more problems than it solves, in my o ...more
Dec 19, 2012 Kent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bible
A couple quotes can sum up this book. The book is about the mission and work of the Son of God

("Christ Jesus entered the world to rescue sinners." [1 Timothy 1:15])

and the resultant transformation of the people of God

("But you are God's 'chosen generation,' his 'royal priesthood,' his 'holy nation,' his 'peculiar people' ... In the past you were not 'a people' at all: now you are the people of God. In the past you had no experience of his mercy, but now it is intimately yours.'" [1 Peter 2:9-
Erik Graff
Jun 16, 2015 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
Although I've two religion degrees, my meagre Greek has all been self-taught. The results being negligible I've had to rely on lexicons and the work of other translators when performing exegeses. Consequently I've long been in the market for competent translations of the bible and other ancient texts, picking this one up while I lived in New York City and employing it, along with other translations, for exegetical projects.
Ken Bickley
Jan 01, 2014 Ken Bickley rated it it was amazing
I used this for my daily Bible readings in 2013, and was not disappointed. Phillips' translation changes very little except that it makes the meaning of some obscure passages clearer. Not for those who think KJV is the "original" though.
Sep 05, 2012 Meredith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Meredith by: Dan Murray
currently reading:



Hebrews & Philippians, Nov. 2010

Romans, Summer 2011

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Fall 2011 Acts December 2011


This translation has deepened my understanding of & love for these books.
This was translated by a man that wanted to bring the energy of the source material into a modern text. I could read it like a normal book and thankfully it surpasses other modern adaptations that have no shortage of modern opinion thrown in.

Recommended especially for Sunday School teachers for use with their students.
Feb 20, 2013 Don rated it it was amazing
Commissioned by the British government and given to school aged children to have a readable version of the New Testament, this translation by the renowned Greek scholar J.B. Phillips continues to be a classic - one of the most accurate and readable versions of the New Testament ever translated into English.
Mar 19, 2008 Shannon rated it it was amazing
I'm not normally a big fan of Bibles that paraphrase the scriptures rather than translating directly, but I really appreciate this version. J. B. Phillips wrote this for his Sunday school class initially, but it spread from there.

A great book to have alongside your Bible.
Stephen Perry
Apr 03, 2012 Stephen Perry rated it it was amazing
A wonderful translation! God's Holy Word is presented in a personal, accessible style. It's easy to read anywhere. Reading this translation twice before was very special to me and opened up new insights into the Gospel message for me.
May 20, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Best description of Love I've ever read (paraphrased here): Love is constructive, always building up, never tearing down.
I've read this whole translation during Lent once, in under 40 days, that's how readable it is.
Jun 13, 2012 Steven added it
Shelves: read-parts
read part of it -- after finding it in a dumpster! a plain style, if I recall. coming from a reader who eventually got pretty much through the whole bible, and the new testament before that.
Roger Welch
May 08, 2011 Roger Welch rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
I was planning to read all of it this year as my NT option, but found it more dated than I expected. This was the first 'modern translation' I owned back in '67. Back to the NIV then.
Bill Tillman
Feb 05, 2010 Bill Tillman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Bill by: Any believer
Shelves: christian
J.B. Phillips gives a new outlook on New Testament reading, his interpretation is very enlightening. This is my third copy, gave away to worthy friends the first two.
Jan 01, 2014 Melissa is currently reading it
01/01/2013-third time
Covenant Presbyterian Springfield Ohio
Call Number: 220.5 PHI (2 copies)

A gift from the library of Pat DILTZ. One copy in Youth Library and one in Library Lounge.

Jan 22, 2013 Joy rated it really liked it
I really believe this is my favorite Bible. Too bad it's not an official translation. It is readable in just my style.
Dec 05, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
One the absolute best New Testament paraphrases I've ever read. Pretty darn close to a translation!
Nov 13, 2013 Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scriptures
Very good translation of the NT by an individual. Easy to read and understand. Highly recommended.
Carolyn Thomas
Sep 12, 2015 Carolyn Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite version of the New Testament. So easy to read and understand.
One of several Christian Bibles (New Testament in this instance) in my library.
May 16, 2009 Alexis added it
The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips (1996)
Jun 18, 2016 Shawn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Is is the first Bible I read after God saved me.
Mar 24, 2009 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
The Phillips version is great for quotes.
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John Bertram Phillips or, J. B. Phillips (16 September 1906 – 21 July 1982) was an English Bible scholar, translator, author and clergyman. He is most noted for his version of The New Testament in Modern English. Phillips was born in Barnes, Surrey. He was educated at Emanuel School in London and took an Honors Degree in Classics and English from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He was ordained an Ang ...more
More about J.B. Phillips...

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