John Henson is a retired Baptist minister who has been the translation coordinator on behalf of ONE for Christian Exploration for the last twelve years. ONE is a network of radical Christians and over twenty organisations in the UK. In different ways they work to renew the Church from within, believing that all denominations should make more rapid progress towards unity and a more urgent response to contemporary issues. This translation is unique in being a community translation in which anyone interested in the work, not just members of the ONE community, have been welcomed to contribute. Contributions have come from all across the spectrum, from fundamentalists to liberals, all denominations, and hundreds of people have been involved. The criteria for inclusion has been understanding the aims of the translation, which is clarity for the ordinary person.
"What would Christianity look like, what would Christian language sound like, if we really tried to screen out the stale, the technical, the unconsciously exclusive words and policies, and to hear for the first time what the Christian Scriptures were saying? John Henson has devoted much of his life to wrestling with this challenge, and has for many people made those scriptures speak as never before-indeed, as for the first time. Patiently and boldly, he has teased out implications, gone back to roots, linguistic and theological, and re-imagined the process in which a genuinely new language was brought to birth by those who had listened to Jesus because they knew they were in a genuinely new world. John's presentation of the Christian gospel is of extraordinary power simply because it is so close to the prose and poetry of ordinary life. Instead of being taken into a specialised religious frame of reference-as happens with the most conscientious of formal modern translations-and being given a gospel addressed to specialised concerns-as happens with even the most careful of modern "devotional" books-we have here a vehicle for thinking and worshipping that is fully earthed, recognisably about our humanity. I hope that this book will help the secret to be shared, and to spread in epidemic profusion through religious and irreligious alike." 'John Henson has the exciting capacity to awaken fresh interest in material that seems familiar. He is never dull, sometimes provocative and occasionally inspirational. I recommend his work to anyone who enjoys an unpredictable reading of Scripture.' - John Rackley, President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. 'I found this a literally shocking read. It made me think, it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me angry and it made me joyful. It made me feel like an early Christian hearing these texts for the first time. John Henson and the ONE Community have made the Bible accessible and alive so that a new generation may hear the news and experience it as good.' Elizabeth Stuart, Professor of Christian Theology, King Alfred's College, Winchester, and Bishop of the Open Episcopal Church. 'Nowadays we have a generation that has never read the Bible and knows nothing about Christ. This translation bridges the gap by really putting it in the language of today's street population and making it attractive to them. I wish it every blessing and success.' Derek Rawcliffe