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This page provides a review of a reference work that was consulted while working on the Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT). To purchase a copy of the third edition, click here.
Wuest, Kenneth. The New Testament: An Expanded Translation
Good idea, but can be improved upon
This translation is included as Volume Four in Wuest’s “Word Studies in the Greek New Testament.” So there is no need to purchase it separately if you’re getting the four volume set.
That said, Wuest’s Expanded Translation brings out nuances of the Greek text that are often missed in traditional translations. Such expanded renderings can often be eye-openers to the meanings of passages. However, it can also be overly tedious to read.
For instance, consider 1John 2:6. In the NKJV, it reads, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” But in Wuest, it reads, “He who is constantly saying that he as a habit of life is living in close fellowship with and dependence upon Him is morally obligated just as that One conducted Himself, also himself in the manner spoken of to be conducting himself.”
Most of the “expansions” in this verse have to do with the verbs being in the present tense, which Wuest is taking as indicating linear or ongoing action. In this evaluation, Wuest is probably correct.
However, note how awkward the verse is to read. For comparing one verse to a standard translation this is not problematic, but to read the entire NT would be tedious. Moreover, making it hard to compare just one verse is that Wuest does not number each verse; he just gives the verse number range for each paragraph in the margin.
Moreover, Wuest is using the Critical Text as his Greek textual base. I explain in detail why I prefer the Majority Text to the Critical Text in my book Differences Between Bible Versions. Wuest is also one of the versions I evaluate in my book.
All that said, when I first got Wuest’s version, I found the “expanded” idea to be intriguing. It is similar to the idea behind the Amplified Bible. However, I think his translation is superior to the Amplified Bible for accuracy, but still, not ideal for the reasons indicated.
So that is part of the reason I believed God was leading me to produce my own “expanded” type of translation, but one based on the Majority Text, and thus my Analytical-Literal Translation of the New Testament (ALT) came to be.
For comparison, 1John 2:6 in my ALT reads, “The one saying [or, claiming] to be abiding in Him just as that [One] walked ought also in the same manner himself to be walking.”
Note that my version brings out the ongoing sense of the present tense with the English participle (…ing). This and other ways of bringing out nuances of the Greek tense in my version is explained in my book Companion Volume to the ALT.
So I would recommend Wuest’s translation, and my ALT provides a similar type of version to compare it to.
Review of Wuest, Kenneth. The New Testament: An Expanded Translation. Copyright (c) 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.
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