March, 2011

Reflections on the Bible

These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:25-26

Dr. E.V. Rieu was a classical scholar and translator for many years.  He rendered Homer into very modern English for the Penguin Classics.  Rieu was sixty years old and a life-long agnostic when the same firm invited him to translate the Gospels.  His son remarked:  “It will be interesting to see what Father makes of the four Gospels.  It will be even more interesting to see what the four Gospels make of Father.”  The answer was soon forthcoming.  A year later, Rieu, convinced and converted, joined the Church of England.

In an interview with J.B. Phillips, Rieu confessed that he had undertaken the task of translation because of “an intense desire to satisfy himself as to the authenticity and spiritual content of the Gospels.”  He was determined to approach the documents as if they were newly discovered Greek manuscripts.  “Did you not get the feeling,” asked Canon Phillips, “that the whole material was extraordinarily alive?”  The classical scholar agreed.  “I got the deepest feeling,” he replied.  “My work changed me.  I came to the conclusion that these words bear the seal of the Son of Man and God.”      J.B. Phillips, The Ring of Truth