Word Come Alive, an extended translation (paraphrase), will help you get back on track with reading your Bible. Respected UK Bible editor Martin Manser is compiling a fresh translation of the New Testament. He has just completed the four Gospels, Acts and some of Paul’s Letters. He is currently editing Revelation and will then turn to the other Letters. He plans to complete this paraphrase of the New Testament within the next few years.

Now Available on Accordance:

  • Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
  • Acts
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • 1-3 John
  • Revelation

Coming next: Romans  

Touching God’s Heart 

Martin notes, “My aim is to produce a text that reads well in contemporary, natural English. I want this paraphrase to have a powerful effect on readers, with a fresh, incisive quality that will make readers sit up and think.”

Martin is an editor with over 200 books under his belt in his 40-year editing career. His background is English-language dictionaries (he wanted to write dictionaries from the age of 6!). So he has edited about a dozen thesauruses (or thesauri, if you prefer). He has worked on an extensive range of Bible versions; NIV, ESV, NLT, KJV, NRSV, GNB, NIRV, as well as compiling books on business skills such as project management and leading training courses. 

Martin is finding the editing work challenging but also immensely fulfilling. He senses that he is touching the very heart of God. (The Bible translator J B Phillips wrote, “Translating the New Testament was like rewiring a house with the mains left on.”)

This paraphrase is aimed at both new and experienced readers of the Bible. Readers without a knowledge of the Bible but who want to understand its message find the text accessible. Experienced Christians who may be so familiar with the language of the Bible that it has little or no impact on them also find this text helpful. Teachers and preachers will find this paraphrase to be a useful reference resource in their preparation. 

A unique feature of the paraphrase is the use of italics to show words of explanation that Martin is adding. Examples are:

Mathew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are worn out, overwhelmed and weighed down by the stresses and strains of life. I will relieve you of these heavy burdens. Submit to me; live your life harnessed to meFollow me and become my apprentices. Let me teach you and train you because I am sensitive and humble in heart and you will find spiritual strength and refreshment. Following me is a delightful joy, not a chore or heavy burden.”

Luke 15:31 “Then the father responded tenderly to the elder brother, ‘My dear son, you are always with me. You’ve been with me all the time. Everything I have is yours. All the privileges of being my son have always been yours to enjoy.'” [Final sentence added to bring out what the elder brother had missed out on]

John 3:26 “he is baptising people and everyone is going over” [over is added to explain switching loyalties from John the Baptist to Jesus] “to him.”

John 14–16 “the Mentor” to refer to the Holy Spirit as the “Advocate,” “Counsellor,” “Helper”

Acts 1:8 “You will receive power from heaven when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Only when you’re brimming over with the energy of the Holy Spirit will you be equipped to take the initiative and be effective witnesses for me. The Holy Spirit will mobilise you to boldly declare the good news. You will go out in ever-widening circlesfirst to Jerusalem, next to all of Judea and Samaria and then eventually to the furthest corners of the earth.”

Martin passes drafts of his text by a panel of Greek experts (including Dr. Pieter Lalleman, Pastor of Knaphill Baptist Church, Surrey, England and Senior Research Fellow of Spurgeon’s College, London; and Gervais Angel, formerly New Testament Greek Examiner for the Church of England and tutor in New Testament Greek at Trinity College, Bristol, England) and also a team of native English speakers to ensure that the text flows naturally.

Well Received

Martin Manser
Martin Manser

Word Come Alive has been well received by Christian leaders. Derek Tidball (former Principal, London School of Theology; Visiting Scholar, Spurgeon’s College, London) commented, “An excellent job …  I valued the expansion sentences you have included being in italics so that they could clearly show they were not strictly part of the original text. It reads smoothly and provides a very true but accessible version of the text. The quality of English is … superb and the meaning of the passages picked up very well. It will be of great benefit to many.” 

UK Vineyard Pastor Steve Burnhope noted, “I think this version of John’s Gospel is excellent. I’m very comfortable with the interpretative approach that’s been taken in the italics, which really enhances readers’ understanding, while avoiding any discernible (inappropriate) cultural or theological bias. Well done!”

Word Come Alive has already struck a chord with readers. Martin commented, “I know of churches and individuals who have been helped by it. Some Christians are using the John’s Gospel in personal evangelism: one church is even giving away copies at their local market.” 

Comments include, “This can’t be the Bible … I can understand it!” “What you’ve written has nurtured my soul.” “This version lifts the story up out of the archives and into the light of day.” 

Martin is a member of Southcourt Baptist Church, Aylesbury, Bucks, England.

Word Come Alive New Testament
Reg Price $14.90
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Note: Purchase of this product will include free future updates that will add the rest of the New Testament as they are released in Accordance.