"Maybe not on purpose, but higher critical scholarship seems to have made every effort to erode the faith of the readers of Scripture."

“Thus says the Lord” is a phrase repeated countless times from the pulpit worldwide on Sunday mornings. Yet, the author establishes through his work that the original intent and language of the author gets lost in translation, a paraphrasing of scripture rather than an exact recounting of what is said by the Lord and his disciples. Acknowledging the modern translation of biblical scripture, Reverend Malone is adamant that these sacred writings are intended to be educational and informative for committed Bible students. At the core of the work is the author’s desire to spread understanding of the truth, in its purest form, unfiltered and unhindered by any ulterior agenda.

An extensive preface precedes the writings themselves, giving significant context as to the author’s motives as well as the uniqueness of the project. Once the text begins with a deep dive into the Book of Revelation, the work switches fully to Greek, covering all three epistles as well as the final “Gospel of Jesus Christ.” As the literature progresses, Reverend Malone denotes the evolution of the eclectic modern text to show the origins of the most authentic New Testament Bibles.

In nearly every way, this scholarly work is an incredibly comprehensive and meticulous study of St. John the Apostle’s writings. Upon first glance, the scripture can be daunting, but once the eyes adjust, the reader becomes privy to a deeply meaningful and analytical depiction of scripture. Simultaneously, the author breaks down the scripture with a version in Codex Alexandrinus and another in Codex Sinaiticus. The presence of these versions speaks to an ancient time with hallowed scripture through which the truth of mankind has been disseminated for centuries. Though the majority of the text is in Greek, right under each line, the author has systematically derived an exact translation. For those who are truly engaged and prepared to embrace scripture in its root form, Reverend Malone’s comparisons to the early papyri and uncials will be thoroughly relished.

Upon examining the syntactical elements of this work, it is evident that not only has it been carefully crafted, but it takes what could perhaps be perceived by readers as dense and complex and presents it in a far more digestible manner. In the earlier parts, Malone deconstructs how best to process his efforts and alerts readers to potential pitfalls in the reading experience before they can even occur. Particularly in a modern era ruled by uncertainty and doubt, the author is determined to set the record straight on “what is truth,” highlighting the responses of the apostles and evangelists of Christ. Nevertheless, Reverend Malone is resolute, unflinchingly consumed by his love for Jesus Christ. Never once does he point a finger maliciously at the myriad modern translations and the notion that they may lead unsuspecting believers astray. More than anything else, the author has lit the flames that will spark thought-provoking discussions and push readers to probe deeper into the meanings of scripture rather than simply taking what they receive at face value.

A 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

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