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The New Testament in Modern English

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  179 ratings  ·  28 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 powe
Paperback, 576 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Touchstone (first published 1958)
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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
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
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
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
Oct 29, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
Although I've two religion degrees, my 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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
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.
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
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.
Rebecca Coday
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
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.

I really believe this is my favorite Bible. Too bad it's not an official translation. It is readable in just my style.
One the absolute best New Testament paraphrases I've ever read. Pretty darn close to a translation!
Ryan Adair
Very good translation of the NT by an individual. Easy to read and understand. Highly recommended.
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)
The Phillips version is great for quotes.
Douglas Wilson
Scripture. Also read in May of 1981.
Mahogani Red
Mahogani Red marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Gene Davis
Gene Davis marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
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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...
Your God is Too Small Ring of Truth Letters To Young Churches: A Translation of the New Testament Epistles Four Prophets: Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah Plain Christianity

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“You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.” 4 likes
“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.” 1 likes
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