Welcome to our most recent Creative Commons offering
THE SPOKEN ENGLISH NEW TESTAMENT
A New Translation from the Greek by J. Webb Mealy
Click here to download full PDF (590 pages)
“Here’s a translation that successfully bridges the gap between conformity to the original Greek of the New Testament, and the English language as it is normally spoken nowadays. No small feat!”
– Robert H. Gundry, Scholar-in-residence and Professor emeritus of New Testament and Greek, Westmont College
“This version has the potential of being one of the best Bible translations I have seen.”
– Peter Kirk, Better Bibles Blog
Why should there be a “spoken English” New Testament?
In ancient times reading aloud was actually the standard way of reading a book. Most of the New Testament was written to be read aloud in Christian communities. The Gospels record the spoken teachings and conversations of Jesus, and they were regularly read aloud to groups of Christians. The Apostle Paul typically dictated his letters with his voice, rather than writing them by hand. And many non-Pauline letters (such as 1 John, James, and the letters of Peter and Jude) appear to be composed of material from sermons. Perhaps most obvious of all, passages of the New Testament are read aloud in churches every single week!
What’s unique about this Spoken English New Testament (“SENT”)?
SENT gives the reader the closest possible rendering of the scriptural text, while rendering the text into natural and accessible spoken English.
SENT supplies numerous easy-to-understand explanations of Bible words and and terms, and gives many “literal” and alternative renderings in footnotes.
SENT assists reading aloud by sounding out unfamiliar words, names, and place names. Italics in the main text help the reader by suggesting words to emphasize when reading a sentence aloud.
SENT has been tested and improved with the help of dozens of real readers who read the text aloud in focus groups. Various kinds of Christians and non-Christians when reading a sentence aloud.
SENT has been placed into the Creative Commons, and may be freely incorporated into other educational materials. PDF editions of the full text are available free of charge from the publisher.
J. Webb Mealy holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from the University of Sheffield, England, and is an experienced editor of academic books in biblical studies. A Christian theologian, biblical scholar, and peace and justice activist, he makes his home in Whitsett, North Carolina.
Published by Head, Heart & Hands Books, an imprint of Human Development Books, Eugene, Oregon, in cooperation with Lulu.com.
Click here to download full, free, PDF (590 pages)
Printed copies available from Lulu.com ($20 plus shipping)
(printed book and free PDFs)
Fractal Illustrations by Vicky Brago-Mitchell
By Dennis Rivers and friends. This book is offered to all free of charge in PDF format, thanks to
the generous support of many benefactors including the Estates of Hector and Winnifred Tate.
The Five-Wings-of-the-Heart is a mandala teaching, a vision of spiritual life expressed through vivid visual forms. This vision is about saying YES to life in five widening circles, and about nurturing that life under very difficult circumstances.
The Five Wings path mirrors the deep journey of human spiritual development, from asking for blessings, to opening to blessings, to becoming a living blessing.
I share it with you as one possible path toward living mindfully, compassionately and creatively in a world facing a set of enormous and overlapping challenges. These include the climate crisis, perpetual war, relentless inequalities, runaway industrial poisoning of the Earth, and global species extinction.
The Five Wings mandala series, influenced by both systems theory and ancient wisdom, is an open-ended invitation to, and exploration of, living an eco-spirituality of kindness and clarity, no matter how violent and confused the world around us has become, or may yet become.
In the course of my life I have become convinced that to live for peace, reconciliation with nature, and creative love, in a world as profoundly addicted to war and greed as our is, is the true “Great Work”, as Father Thomas Berry named it, the noblest calling of every person in our time.
Inspired by the lives of many eco-saints, the Five Wings practices express my desire to begin “living the answer,” “being the world I want to see,” and personally embodying the reverence-for-life virtues I hope everyone will practice. In my view, two elements make this “living the answer” different today from how it might have unfolded in previous eras.
First, through electronic communication, we know much, much more about the unprecedented damage being done, and about the pain being inflicted. And thus we have, many of us, a more keenly felt pain for the world, and an unavoidable sense of responsibility to transform the world in which we live, and clean up the toxic messes we have made.
And second, there is a growing mountain of evidence, from all the Earth sciences and from the study of complex systems, that everything here on Earth, including us, is deeply interwoven with everything else. We are all in the same ecological, climate crisis, nuclear meltdown boat. So the fate of all those “others,” way over there, will soon be our fate.
(Many native peoples appear to have known this for a long time. Ecology and systems theory seem to me to be modern rediscoveries of it.)
This theme of deep connectedness is also at the heart, both uplifting and challenging, of most spiritual traditions across the world. But in our individualistic, short-sighted, take-all-you-can-get culture, so many people do not want to recognize that essential interwovenness This seems to be true no matter how many regretful and traumatized combat veterans come back from our wars abroad, or how many species of plants and animals disappear forever as we humans push them over the cliff of extinction.
It is not at all clear how we humans will survive if we do not develop a more interwoven and cooperative vision of the world and ourselves. The work of the great ecologist, Donella Meadows, on inflection points in complex systems, suggests that creating and living such a vision is the deepest social change work we can do.
More than half a century ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., contemplating U.S. preparations for a nuclear war that (we now know) would have killed all of us, warned us in the strongest possible language, that if we did not learn to live together as brothers [and sisters] we would surely perish together as fools. Today, it is clear that learning to live together as sisters and brothers desperately needs to be reaffirmed in relation to all people on Earth, and extended to reach the entire web of life, upon which our lives are utterly and totally dependent.
Please find your way to live that deep green awakening of connectedness and compassion, and to garden it in the garden of human life.
May the Five-Wings-of-the-Heart mandalas help you on your way.