The New Testament in Basic English
E.P. Dutton & CO., Inc.
The form in which the New Testament is not simply another example of the Bible story put into present-day English. The language used is Basic English.1
Basic English, produced by Mr. C.K. Ogden of the Orthological Institute, is a simple form of the English language which, with 8502 words, is able to give the sense of anything which may be said in English.
Working with the Orthological Institute, a Committee under the direction of Mr S.H. Hook, Professor of Old Testament Studies in the University of London, has been responsible for a new English form of the Bible based on the Hebrew and the Greek.
In this undertaking, the latest ideas and discoveries in connection with the work of putting the Bible into other languages were taken into account, and when the Basic form was complete it was gone over in detail by a Committee formed by the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press.
The Basic New Testament, which in this way was watched over by two separate groups of experts through its different stages, is designed to be used wherever the English language has been taken root.
Frequently, the narrow limits of the word-list make it hard to keep the Basic completely parallel with the Greek; but great trouble has been taken with every verse and every line to make certain that there are no errors of sense and no loose wording. It is only natural that, from time to time, some of the more delicate shades of sense have not been covered; on the other hand, it is well to keep in mind that in the Authorized Version the power of music of the language sometimes take so much of the reader's attention that these more delicate shades are overlooked.
In fact, the Basic expert is forced, because of the limited material with which he is working, to give special care to the sense of the words before him. There is no question of the Basic work taking the place of the Authorized Version or coming into competition with it; but it may be said that this new English Bible that it is a marked degree straightforward and simple and that these qualities give it an independent value.
1 The language of this Note.
2 By the addition of 50 Special Bible words and the use of 100 words listed as giving most help in the reading of English verse, this number has been increased to 1000 for the purpose of putting the Bible into Basic.
Back to: Ogden's Basic English
or back to : Reading Books.