A modern English blending of the New Testament
Everything Jesus said and did, nothing more, nothing less.
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From the late 30s to the late 50s, my father, Charles Templeton, (known then as Chuck Templeton) was one of the best known evangelists in North America. He and his best friend Billy Graham toured the USA, Canada and the World preaching about Jesus. In 1948, my father started work on a challenge most biblical scholars had declared to be too difficult -- a synthesis of the 4 main books of the New Testament into one narrative. This is difficult because even the first three don't agree completely, and the book of John is quite different from the others.
Here is the endorsement Rev. Billy Graham offered for the dustjacket:
However, today if you've heard of Charles Templeton's religious career, it is because in the late '50s he gave up his faith, and for the rest of his life, until his death in 2001, he was an agnostic. His last book was entitled Farewell to God. In spite of this, he remained fascinated with the life and philosophy of Jesus the man even if he no longer felt him to be Jesus the divine.
As such, in the early '70s he sought to complete his work, and using his improved writing skills (he had since become Canada's leading journalist and editor and would become a writer of bestselling fiction) he completed the task, paraphrasing the blending of the 4 books into modern English.
Of course, there was doubt as to whether people would accept a Bible version written by such a famous apostate. To remedy this, a board of recognized biblical scholars from the church and academia was convened. They reviewed the work for biblical accuracy and assured that it contained all that Jesus said and did -- nothing less, and nothing more.
So why write and publish such a book, if one is not devout? Quite simply, the New Testament is one of the most important books of world history, regardless of whether you believe in the divinity of its subject or not. It is the philosophical underpinning for most of the world's powerful nations, and the foundation of faith for a billion Christians and related creeds.
Yet at the same time, remarkably few (even among the faithful) have really read it in full. The "standard" translations are dense, and in language archaic to most modern readers. No matter who you are, you should read this book, for without it you can't understand much of western history. This paraphrase will allow many more to access the work. At the end, an index links each page with the King James bible verses that were the source material.
The book reached the bestseller lists in 1973, and was published in many editions and translations around the world, but is now out of print.
I've now put this work up online for free. Feel free to link to the work, or to print out a personal copy. However it remains Copyright © 1973 by the Estate of Charles Templeton, so contact me if you wish to print multiple copies or make it available elsewhere in electronic form.
You should also consider reading Hints on reading a book on a computer.