19 JUNE 1947, Page 15


SIR,—Surely ,a word of congratulation and of thankfulness should be addressed to the Bishops of Durhafn and Truro flit- their promised .new

translation of the Bible. Our rapidly changing speech carries us ever farther and farther from 1611. The language of the Authorised Version, particularly to our younger- folk, is archaic and has simply no contact

whatever with the quick alert speech of today. The R.V., with its sith, attent, pransing, synchamine, wot, ensample, will not do. Moffatt, with glens, wolds, plenty soap, a heifer, Davidsburg, and ever-wavering shall and will, is inadequate. We want the best of these three versions and of the twentieth century, Weymouth, Knox, Fenton, Goodspeed and the rest, if the great messages of Old and New Testament are to solve our colossal problems. Education in England is starting out on a new path, but we place in the hands of our keen, able boys a book whose English, were they to copy it, would bring them a returned essay marked with a zero. What can they make of " Having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled " or " They zealously affect you, but not well ; yea, they would exclude you, that you might affect them " ? This cotton-wool English of a long-vanished past baffles and rebuffs them. We ask from our new benefactors one thing: intelligi- bility. What better guide can they have than the words of the 1611 translators: "Now what can be more auailable than to deliuer God's booke unto God's people in a tongue which they understond? . . For is the kingdom of God become words or syllables? Why shold we be in bondage to them if we may be free? "—Yours, &c.,