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2 Stars Out Of 5
An inferior translation to others currently available
March 14, 2016
The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books are indeed among the most important texts one could and should read to understand the contours of Judaism in the centuries around the turn of the era and, thus, the most fruitful background reading one could and should do for understanding the New Testament writings. I am personally very enthusiastic about promoting awareness of these texts and making them as broadly accessible as possible. While the "God's Word" translation is very accessible in terms of reading level, it has achieved this at the cost of introducing unnecessary distance (a nice way of saying "inaccuracies") between the translation and the original text. I was asked to endorse this particular translation by the publisher and regretfully had to decline after seeing it, urging them to consider a revision of the whole "God's Word" translation.
Aside from my qualms about the accuracy of this translation (qualms that extend to the New Testament of the "God's Word" translation, and to a much greater degree), I would recommend against it for another important reason: it does not include several important texts that are readily available in other (better) translations of the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals -- 3 & 4 Maccabees, 2 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh, and Psalm 151. You can find these in the New Revised Standard Version, the English Standard Version, or the Common English Bible, any of which I would recommend above this translation. ESV would be, in my opinion, the most accurate (being a recent revision of the RSV/NRSV Apocrypha), the CEB the most readable. The NRSV, however, remains frankly the translation of the Bible I require in class and use most often, when I turn to one, and this text is available in a dizzying array of editions, study Bibles, and the like. I would personally recommend the NRSV Oxford Annotated Apocrypha, 4th edition. For just a few dollars more here on CBD, you'll get a much more reliable (though, granted, aimed at an 11-grade reading level rather than a 6-8-grade reading level) translation of the Apocrypha and up-to-date study notes/annotations to help you along.
By way of disclosure, I was personally involved in the CEB and ESV translations, but I receive no material benefits from promoting those versions -- just the benefit of directing sisters and brothers to more accurate representations of the original, which is why I undertook to participate in those translations in the first place.
I was very pleased with the quality of the book,the thickness of the pages,the size of the print is large enough.The monogramming I ordered was nicely done.Although I do not consider this book to have the same reverance or authority as the Holy Bible,I believe it has value for Christians in helping to understand Jewish customs,and traditions,and Jewish history.