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The New Testament in Modern English
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The New Testament in Modern English

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  363 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Edited by J.B. Phillips
Verse numbers indicated
Introductions to each book
5 1/4 x 7 5/8 % Font size: 9
Hardcover, Student, 576 pages
Published December 1st 1972 by Macmillan Publ. Co (NYC) (first published 1958)
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Community Reviews

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Rating details
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Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is the first Bible I read after God saved me.
One of my favorite translations.
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 19, 2012 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-
"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
Erik Graff
Sep 27, 2011 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.
Oct 05, 2010 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stephen Perry
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ken Bickley
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Roger Welch
Feb 03, 2011 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.
The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips (1996)
Feb 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Phillips version is great for quotes.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really believe this is my favorite Bible. Too bad it's not an official translation. It is readable in just my style.
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
second 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.

Dec 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One the absolute best New Testament paraphrases I've ever read. Pretty darn close to a translation!
Douglas Wilson
May 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scripture
Scripture. Also read in May of 1981.
Carolyn Thomas
May 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite version of the New Testament. So easy to read and understand.
Jan 01, 2014 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
01/01/2013-third time
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.
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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...
“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.” 2 likes
More quotes…