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The Gospels


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A remarkable and accessible new translation of the Gospels, destined to become a definitive edition of these canonical texts, from one of today's most respected translators of ancient literature.

About the Author

Sarah Ruden was educated at the University of Michigan, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. She has translated a number of ancient literary works, among them Vergil's Aeneid and Augustine's Confessions, and is the author of Paul Among the People- The Apostle Reinterpreted and Reimagined in His Own Time and The Face of Water- A Translator on Beauty and Meaning in the Bible. She is a past recipient of Guggenheim and Whiting awards, and completed the Gospels translation with the help of a grant from the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. Formerly a scholar-in-residence at Yale Divinity School, she is currently a visiting researcher at the University of Pennsylvania.


"One of our greatest living translators . . . [Sarah] Ruden's rhetoric throughout is sharp and bright, as compulsively readable as she contends the originals were written to be."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Fascinating . . . [Sarah Ruden's] new translation of the four canonical accounts of Christ's life is somehow both clever and wry, serious and sincere. . . . [It returns] much of the Gospels to the fresh clay from which they were made, before they hardened into their familiar forms. . . . For anyone wanting to read the Gospels anew, it will be a welcome and challenging companion."--The New Yorker "Ruden (The Face of Water) wrestles fresh meaning from Christianity's sacred texts in her startling new translation of the four Gospels. Working from the original Greek text and within the context of the ancient Greco-Roman-Jewish era, Ruden strives to rescue a 'defensively hermetic' text from 'under the muffling, alien weight of later Christian institutions.' The result makes the familiar unfamiliar and intriguing... This audacious translation is essential reading for anyone who thinks they already know the Gospels."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Ruden is one of the leading translators of ancient classical literature and has taken a unique and innovative approach in this latest book....Her translation draws closely from the Greek text, showing clearly such elements as wordplay, humor, color, and imagery. She also takes care to translate with contemporary readers in mind, avoiding words and phrases that might be misleading or unclear.... An instructive and thought-provoking translation of the Gospels, and their historical context, that will interest a variety of readers, from students to scholars."--Library Journal

Praise for Sarah Ruden

The Aeneid "The best translation yet, certainly the best of our time."--Ursula K. Le Guin
"The first translation since Dryden's that can be read as a great English poem in itself."--Garry Wills, The New York Review of Books

The Face of Water "If you seriously want to know what the Bible says . . . Sarah Ruden is the best guide you are likely to find: friendly, informal, yet with a scholarly grasp of just how unrealizable perfect translation is."--J. M. Coetzee "This combination of casual ease and serious scholarship allows Ruden to bring fresh insights into even the most familiar stories. . . . A true pleasure for anyone with an interest in translation or the Bible."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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