Thursday, April 2, 2015

Fr. King's Response to Missing Portion of Baruch

A recent discussion on this blog concerning the Fr. King translation of the Bible has pointed out that Baruch 6, the Letter of Jeremiah, was left untranslated.  Well, our King Bible correspondent Russ emailed Fr. King and received this following response from him:

Many thanks for the e-mail. I think that I have heard from the other person in question. The publishers are willing to put those 72 verses on the website; and when I get a moment I am willing to attempt the translation, but that may take a while, as I am absolutely overwhelmed with work just at present.


owen swain said...

God bless Fr. King for his generosity and thanks be to God for the goodwill of his publisher. Should you get the opportunity please convey my / our thanks.

owen swain said...

For those looking for further sample readings here's a link I found that includes OT and NT samples. Wonderful if brief.

Russ said...

Owen, my thoughts exactly. He has graciously answered a couple more emails and I will pass it on. And thanks for the link. I was not aware of it. Have you checked him out on YouTube?

owen swain said...

Russ, yes I have listened to his talks on the gospels of Mark and John and have his talk on ecumenism in my warch-later queue.

Russ said...

I haven't gotten to his ecumenism one. So much to read, so much to view...

owen swain said...

From the Sales Department of the publisher:

"Good afternoon Owen,

Unfortunately there is no e-book planned at present. In regards to the missing portions, there is planning for those to be updated in the future but as of yet nothing has been set in stone.

Please advise if i can be of further assistance.

Kind regards


hoshie said...

Tim and Russ,

I recently sent an email to guy I know in Germany who collects Bibles. It seems Fr. King published his translation in parts between 2004-2013. I asked him about the last chapter of Baruch (aka the Letter of Jeremiah in other versions). He told me "The Letter of Jeremia is superscribed" in Jeremiah 45:1-5. Fr. King published the prophets in 2013. I'm unclear if the letter is printed in these verses or whatnot. Since the complete Bible is now out, I can't say for sure.

owen swain said...

Tim, Russ, hoshie,

As I have a copy of the full Bible, the Presentation edition, I checked and can verify that yes the verses of Jeremiah 45:1-5 are superscribed, following Jer.44.30 and are noted with the heading, "An oracle for Baruch (45:1-5)" in bold and verse one in bold.

The end of this Jer45.1-5 is followed by three similarily marked short passages: 52.1-11 / 52.12-27 / 52.28-34.

The translation footer notes carry no particular information. Certainly the above does not comprise the complete book of Baruch.


wxmarc said...

Oh, so is it correct to say that Fr. King did include the letter of Jeremiah? He just placed it at Jeremiah 45:1-5 instead of Baruch 6?

Thanks to Russ's excellent reviews and Owen's suggestion, I also just purchased a copy of the presentation edition of this bible from Book Depository. To me, the most appealing feature of this bible is Fr. King's formatting of verses and commentary in the New Testament. I often find the traditional format of footnotes and cross references distracting, and interrupting my reading of the text. I'm constantly jumping back and forth between footnotes and text. I'm excited about reading a New Testament that allows for a more natural flow to reading, while still offering helpful commentary.

owen swain said...

as to correctness, I can only say, those verses are indeed there and they are those in Baruch 6.

as to your description of the reading of the New Testament - you have taken the words almost word-for-word out of my mouth and described my reading over this past weekend.

wxmarc said...

In case anyone is interested, I just found an essay on biblical translation written by Fr. King in a book-length compilation entitled: What is is that the Scripture Says?: Essays in Biblical Interpretation, Translation, and Reception in Honour of Henry Wansbrough OSB. Some selected pages of his essay are readable on the Google Books preview at this link.

I wish the entire essay was available, but even the free pages on Google Books offer some interesting insights on biblical translation. Fr. King discusses "formal equivalence" vs. "dynamic equivalence," saying that in reality, these terms are describing the translator's priority for the original vs. the target language. He also describes his own translation philosophy as "shoot first, ask questions later" saying that "a scholar who has lived for a good many years with a particular document may well have an insticnt about what the original author was getting at, and so his or her first instinct about how a phrase or word should go into the target language may well outstrip his methodological presuppositions, and demand to be taken seriously..."

I found these reflections well worth reading.

Jeff S. said...

I just emailed the publisher - Kevin Mayhew - regarding the possibility/availability of Fr. King translating the missing Letter of Jeremiah.
Will report back if/when they reply.

wxmarc said...

Jeff, I believe this issue was resolved. The Letter of Jeremiah is located at Jeremiah 45:1-5 in Fr. King's translation, instead of Baruch 6, where it is commonly located in other bibles. So, it's not missing. It's just in a different location.

Jeff S. said...

I read that earlier comment on this blog too, but the Letter of Jeremiah is actually 72 verses and not merely 5 verses, as you'll see by checking NABRE, NRSV, etc.

Jeff S. said...

Besides checking out other Catholic Bibles to verify that the
Letter of Jeremiah is 72 verses, just read the email response of
Fr. Nicholas King himself as posted at the very top of this particular
blog topic by Russ:

Many thanks for the e-mail. I think that I have heard from the other person in question. The publishers are willing to put those 72 verses on the website; and when I get a moment I am willing to attempt the translation, but that may take a while, as I am absolutely overwhelmed with work just at present.

wxmarc said...

Oh, I'm sorry. I somehow glossed over the explicit mention of 72 verses, and I never double-checked it when I got my copy of Fr. King's translation. I just looked up Jeremiah 45 in Fr. King's translation and compared it with the opening verses of Baruch 6 in the NRSV. I don't see any correspondence between the two texts. They are completely different. On the other hand, Jeremiah 45 exists in the NRSV, and it is clearly similar to Fr. King's rendering. This text is not the Letter of Jeremiah. It is a proper part of the Book of Jeremiah.

Fr. King's translation of Baruch ends with verse 9 of chapter 5. Chapter 6 is nowhere to be found.

Jeff S. said...

I received an email back from Fr. Nicholas King this morning containing two attachments:
(1) Letter of Jeremiah
(2) NOTES for Letter of Jeremiah

I forwarded the email to Timothy so he can put them up online for the rest of you to click on and download.

Fr. King's email taught me a new word: lacuna !
Dear Jeff,
Well spotted! The lacuna was drawn to my attention only recently, and I have produced the two attached documents by way of making amends!
Nicholas King SJ

Caeremonarius said...

Hello: I bought the full Fr Nicholas' full Bible based on the comments and reviews on this blog. I did not see that the documents in question were ever added to the blog or posted on the publisher's website. If someone could send me links to download or the PDFs themselves, I'd be most appreciative!

Please email to Filipino.melkite(at) Thanks!