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The New Testament: An Expanded Translation (Commentary style)
HOW IT WORKS WITH THEWORD BIBLE SOFTWARE
For clarity’s sake, let me start by stating that there are two separate modules that make up the Wuest library. Both can be purchased independently; in fact, they are not available as a package deal.
[If you’re like me, you’ve owned Wuest in multiple formats: think “blue hardbacks.” There is a hybrid module that replicates Vols 1-3. His expanded translation, Vol 4, is it’s own independent general book purchase.]
For clarity’s sake, let me continue; the Wuest Expanded Translation of the New Testament is not a TW bible (not in the .ont/.nt format). It is formatted as a .gbk “General Book” module. That means it will not show up in the Bible window, but rather, it will show up with all of your Topical Books. It is broken up with chapters and verses; but again, it is not a TW Bible. All right – on to the rest of the review.
First – let’s start with the hybrid commentary module. Wuest’s comments on the Bible – both his commentaries and his 6 topical books – are all in just one hybrid module. The top screen shot shows all three volumes in this beautifully built hybrid module. The top red arrow points to Volume I (which is in the main window). The second red arrow shows Volume 2. These two red arrows show all of the “commentary” parts of this hybrid module.
The blue arrow points to Volume 3, which is all of Wuest’s topical content.
Volumes 1-2, from a functional-practical point of view, operate exactly like a commentary. Click the Bible at Rom 3:24, and the Wuest comments for Rom 3:24 (v24-26 actually) pops right up in the window.
Volume 3 operates just like a general book. Click and read away.
Now look at the second screen shot. The red arrow shows you the comments on Rom 3:24-26 (check out how small the slider bar is on the right side of the pic! That’s a lot of comments!).
What is really cool about this resource can be seen at the yellow arrow. It points to the Greek word for “grace” (charis). But notice how there is both an anglicized and a Greek version for the word? When you right-click the Greek word (xaris), “tw magic” happens. The right-click menu allows you to look up xaris in all of your Greek resources (TDNT10, BDAG, TDNTa, etc.). So click on xaris, and you can immediately see the BDAG entry. But get this: it also finds the entry for “Grace” & “Mercy” in Wuest’s Studies in the Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament (Vol 3)!! Isn’t this cool software??!!
Finally, the blue arrow simply highlights that original pagination has been maintained – making it easy to create “keep your professor happy” footnoting for acacdemic papers.
Secondly, let me show you the Expanded Translation premium module in the third picture. While Wuest didn’t comment on every verse, he did an expanded translation on every verse. So it reads like a Bible translation – a rough, literal, expanded translation (kind of like the Amplified Bible, but “amplifiedier.” PLEASE NOTE: This is not a TWBible, but rather a General Book module. There is not lemma lookup like with a Bible module (click on an English word, see the Strong#, etc.); but you can still use the right-click menu on any individual word and find all kinds of helpful (but not directly lemma related) information.
So in a Bible window, click on Rom 3:24, and the Wuest Expanded Translation window goes directly to Romans 3 (the Expanded Translation is one chapter per chapter; I know that is a little confusing, but that is the proper way to say it). From there, it reads like a Bible translation laid out in paragraph format with verse numbers inserted. Finding your place is actually very fast. AND you can have three windows open – 1) a Bible; 2) the Wuest hybrid module; and 3) the Wuest expanded translation. These all would work in tandem.
This is another nicely formatted TW module. And as long as you remember that 1) there are two premium modules to purchase; and 2) the Wuest An Expanded Translation is not a TWBible, but a TWBook, you’ll be fine.
I happily recommend Wuest’s works to the TW userbase.
Kenneth Wuest was a long time Greek teacher at Moody Bible Institute back in 1920’s, ‘30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. (Yeah – he taught almost 30 years). At that time, Moody was one of the leaders in both dispensationalism and fundamentalism.
When he started writing, it was his intent to bring the nuance of the Greek language out for the non-Greek speaking English reader. This reviewer thinks that he hits that mark pretty well.
His first book was entitled Treasures from the Greek New Testament for the English Reader. This was a collection of twelve essays (which became twelve chapters – imagine that!) that are topical. His second book was a commentary on 1Peter entitled First Peter in the Greek New Testament for the English Reader (do you see a common theme?). It is pleasantly verse by verse.
Over the course of his writing career, he wrote commentaries on Mark, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1Timothy, 2Timothy, Hebrews, 1Peter, 2Peter, 1John, 2John, 3John, & Jude. [If you’re keeping score at home, that means he missed Matthew, Luke, John, Acts, 1Corinthians, 2Corinthians, 1Thessalonians, 2Thessalonians, Titus, Philemon, James, and Revelation.]
In addition to his commentaries, he also wrote six topical books – all revolving around word studies in the Greek New Testament.
I’ve already noted that Wuest is both dispensational and evangelical in his doctrinal outlook. I also mentioned that in the era he wrote, Moody was considered a fundamentalist institution. That’s good.
I would like to point out that Wuest was not a KJV lover. He served on the translation team that produced the NASB. He actually published an entire expanded translation of the New Testament. But as you might think with his NASB background, his own translation is based on the Nestle Greek text, and not the Textus Receptus (which is the text behind the KJV). Personal kudos for rejecting the ASV; but he was one of the early proponents within the fundamentalist movement to depart from the KJV. He makes no apologies for correcting “error” in the KJV. For this reason alone, I don’t recommend this resource to anyone not grounded in bibliology.
Again, please note that his NT commentary covers only 15 books of the NT (of 27 total books); but because he left off four of the five longest books in the NT, his commentary actually covers far less than 50% of it. However, where he does have comments, they are more than sufficient. For me, they are right in the sweet spot between “sufficient” and “verbose” (I guess I like ‘em a little longer than sufficient…).
I like to provide an example from Rom 3:24 in these reviews. So here is Wuest on Rom 3:24 –
QUOTATION BEGINS – “Freely” is dōrean [δωρεαν], “freely, for naught, gratis, gratuitously, without just cause.” “Grace” is Charis [Χαρις] which signified in classical authors a favor done out of the spontaneous generosity of the heart without any expectation of return. Of course, this favor was always done to one’s friend, never to an enemy. But when Charis [Χαρις] comes into the New Testament, it takes an infinite leap forward, for the favor God did at Calvary was for those who hated Him. It was a favor clone out of the spontaneous generosity of God’s heart of love with no expectation of return. There are no strings attached to grace. It is given dōrean [δωρεαν], gratuitously. Of course, grace in the form of salvation is so adjusted that the one who receives it, turns from sin to serve the living God and live a holy life, for grace includes not only the bestowal of a righteousness, but the inward transformation consisting of the power of indwelling sin broken and the divine nature implanted, which liberates the believer from the compelling power of sin and makes him hate sin, love holiness, and gives him the power to obey the Word of God.
This grace shown the believing sinner is made possible, Paul says through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. “Redemption” is apolutrōseōs [ἀπολυτρωσεως], the verbal form of which is apolutroō [ἀπολυτροω], “to redeem by paying the lutron [λυτρον] price.” There are three words translated “redeem,” agorazō [ἀγοραζω], “to buy in the slave market” (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23, 2 Pet. 2:1), Christ bought us in this slave market of sin by His own blood; believers are His bondslaves; exagorazō [ἐξαγοραζω], “to buy out of the slave market” (Gal. 3:13; 4:5), the redeemed are never to be put up for sale in any slave market again; and litroō [λιτροω], “to set free by paying a price” (Tit. 2:14, 1 Pet. 1:18): the believer is set free from sin and free to live a life pleasing to God in the power of the Holy Spirit. The redemption price, the precious blood of Jesus, makes it possible for a righteous God to justify a believing sinner on the basis of justice satisfied. This Paul proceeds to explain in the next two verses. – QUOTATION ENDS
This might be a little longer than his typical comment, but you get the flavor here of how he writes.
Language Skills Needed
Did you remember the ending phrase in his titles? “…for the English Reader.” While a little bit of Greek is helpful (he does use words like “aorist,” “imperfect,” “middle voice,” and even “pluperfect,”), he actually does a pretty good job of explaining the importance of each of those words in his exposition. So Greek is helpful, yes, but not essential in profiting from this work. HOWEVER: keep reading for more info on the necessity of language skills.
Wuest and I are going to disagree on this. His work; my review. Wuest would tell you that his target was the Bible disciple who wanted to know more about his English Bible by expanding all of the nuances of the Greek into English. Fair enough. I would tell you that Wuest does not like the KJV, believes there to be translation errors in it, and those errors are due to the KJV coming from a corrupt Greek text. Hmmm. I have a problem with that.
Some of his comments are based on the Nestle text, which differs regularly from the TR. A knowledge of Greek will be very helpful – especially to those expositors who, like me, use the KJV/TR. When he makes an argument based on the Nestle text, it will be very helpful to know what the TR instead says. So due to his theological bias, I don’t recommend this resource to anyone who is not clear in his stance on bibliology. I have it tagged above as “Pastoral” for this reason.
And Then There’s All This Topical Content
Let’s not forget that he wrote six topical books, totaling almost another 100 chapters. From a personal perspective, this will be a harder tool to use (how are you going to find his interesting comments on “crowns” in a topical presentation?). But the writing is just as good, even though it may be hard to find.
I like Wuest very much, as a matter of fact. It is too bad he did not finish all of the NT Books. I wish he had. And with the above mentioned foibles in mind, I recommend the use of his writing to you. This is a DDT approved Good Resource.