Having a facsimile of the English Matthew Bible in my library, I always wondered why no one took the 1549 or the 1537 editions and brought the scripture up-to-date using more fitting and understandable language for the 21st century. Then, some time ago, when I was doing research on the Matthew Bible, I discovered Ruth, and just what I had hoped for: a New Matthew Bible (NMB) in a form of English that doesn’t require old English dictionaries in order to understand the text.
Ruth M. Davis has brought one of the most important Bibles in English history, the Matthew Bible, to a new plateau, which I find both poised and balanced between the paraphrase and the literal. The NMB contains a startling clarity, but not at the expense of beautifully crafted sentences, echoing the KJV, while flowing much better. Flow, flow, flow is how I describe the NMB when I compare it to other Bible versions. The NMB is just a better ‘epic poem’ conveying the Word of God; a greater art of God’s inspired word to man than all other published translations.
When I read/study the NMB, it seems I am almost breathing in God’s long letter to me. For words to flow on the page of the most important book of all time, the Holy Bible, they must be coupled with poise and beauty upheld by the English language. The NMB is God’s grace and power woven into the context of God’s holy words.
— Pastor Victor Stevens-Rosenberg, Ph.D., Green Valley, Arizona, USA
I have read the parts of the New Matthew Bible that you have edited, and they are the best English versions I have read, and more readable than the KJV and Geneva bibles. The notes are also very valuable.
—Kai Lehtinen, Finland
This is the most exciting news ever. I can’t wait to get a copy of the October Testament in my hands.
I use Tyndale’s New Testament 1526 edition for my daily readings, and seeing his work so beautifully brought to life again – it is just beyond words for me to express my gratitude and awe. It is patently obvious that the Holy Spirit has inspired you to take on this monumental task, and you have willingly declared, “Send me.” What
No one reading the scriptures you have posted could fail to feel moved by the whole experience. Just as when reading Tyndale one gets to have the feel of the man, so when reading your work one hears one voice speaking in your exposition. This is not the work of a committee, but of one person doing God’s work, and this is in itself very moving and humbling to the reader.
You have put your hand to the plough and have not turned back. The work you have put on line is absolutely beautiful and moves the Christian heart. This of course is where God’s kingdom is.
Just to quote from Tyndale’s The Obedience of a Christian Man – “God is but his word, as Christ sayeth, (John viii.) I am that I say unto you; that is to say, That which I preach am I, my words are spirit and life”.
Thank you for giving us anew in God’s word the gift of eternal spirit and life.
—Brian Totton, Belfast, Northern Ireland
I constantly complain about the lack of interest in the use and understanding of good English. And that, here in England! What a joy therefore to read aloud the updated version of Tyndale’s work in the October Testament. Like music to my ears! Congratulations to Ruth and to all concerned.
—James Sutton, Stoke on Trent, England
Although my husband, Victor, and I own a facsimile of the first Matthew Bible, sadly I’ve never spent any time studying it because of the old English language barrier. It is just too difficult to understand without multiple Old English dictionaries at hand. Then Victor found the New Matthew Bible Project website and we read excerpts from the New Matthew Bible (NMB). What beauty in the language, what beauty in our Lord’s Word, a holy resonance is heard.
There is a fluidity and a clarity to the NMB that I have not encountered in other Bible translations. When you read the scripture, whether it is silently or out loud, it is truly a thing of great beauty and the meaning becomes incredibly clear. As one reads the NMB, you feel the Lord’s hand, and as Ruth says ‘God’s seal of authenticity is truly revealed’.
Ruth has put great love into this project; one feels it through-out the whole text. Her love and devotion to our Lord become evident in her every word, especially in the
‘Introduction’ where the reader gets to know Ruth on a more personal level. My heartfelt thanks go to her dedication for bringing this project to fruition so the world might share in the beautiful language of the updated New Matthew Bible. May we all find new meaning in our Lord’s words.
—Susanne Reed, Ph.D., Green Valley, Arizona, USA
You’ve done an amazing job, Ruth. I knew after reading the first few books that the New Matthew Bible would be my favourite. I believe you have achieved your goal of “not making a modern bible from an old one, but to render it understandable for today,” while maintaining the clarity of our faith that I believe has been lost in modern translations.
—Michael Hendrix, Macomb, USA
I read the book of Romans that you posted on your website, and it is amazing: so understandable! I never before realized that we have as our fruit to be sanctified (Romans 6:22).
The value of Ruth’s New Matthew Bible lies in the faithful and very readable translation into more modern English. Also, her articles which discuss aspects of Tyndale’s translation and his theology are helpful.
—Robert Taylor, Shreveport, Louisiana
Absolutely fantastic! I received my copy of the New Matthew Bible and I must say that I am thrilled with your efforts towards the finished product. Words fall short in describing this masterpiece and the joy it is in treasuring each and every passage that you have brought back to life. You should be very proud of the delight and joy you have provided in this powerful translation. Your love for this endeavour truly shines through. I await with anticipation the day when this entire bible finally sees the light of day.
—Terry Nilan, Surrey, British Columbia