What's In A Name: Meditations Upon the New Testament
Thursday, May 13, 2010, 7:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco


An evening of conversation between

Willis Barnstone & Don Lattin

exploring
The Restored New Testament: A New Translation with Commentary, Including the Gnostic Gospels Thomas, Mary, and Judas

by Willis Barnstone
published by W.W. Norton

For the first time since the King James Version in 1611, Willis Barnstone has given us an amazing literary and historical version of the New Testament. Barnstone preserves the original song of the Bible, rendering a large part in poetry and the epic Revelation in incantatory blank verse. This monumental translation is the first to restore the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew names (Markos for Mark, Yeshua for Jesus), thereby revealing the Greco-Jewish identity of biblical people and places. Citing historical and biblical scholarship, he changes the sequence of texts and adds three seminal Gnostic gospels. Each book has elegant introductions and is thoroughly annotated. With its superlative writing and lyrical wisdom, The Restored New Testament is a magnicent biblical translation for our age. .

Willis Barnstone is joined by noted journalist and religion writer Don Lattin in an exploration of language, religion, and a refreshing analysis of the classic religious text known as the new testament.

Willis Barnstone presents a truly fresh and needed translation in which shine the literary quality and Jewish background of early Christian writings. He restores the Aramaic and Hebrew personal and geographical names (while not disguising the misguided anti-Judaic bias) and replicates the poetic flow of the original. That the New Testament is written in Greek and received without reference to its Semitic sources is virtually neglected by the guild. This mistake haunts us, but Barnstone's scholarship and poetry can open our eyes.

—David Trobisch, Trockmorton-Hayes Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Bangor Theological Seminary, and author of  The First Edition of the New Testament

Willis Barnstone, former O'Conner Professor of Greek at Colgate University, is Distinguished Professor of comparative literature, and founding member of the Institute of Biblical and Literary Studies, at Indiana University. A Guggenheim fellow, a poet, and the author of Poetics of Translation: History, Theory, Practice, he has received many honors over the years including the Emily Dickinson Award of the Poetry Society of America, the W. H. Auden Award of the New York State Arts Council, a PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Special Citation, and the Midland Authors Award. Barnstone divides his time between Bloomington, Indiana, and Oakland, California.


Don Lattin is a freelance journalist and religion writer. He is the author of Jesus Freaks - A True Story of Murder and Madness on the Evangelical Edge (HarperOne 2007); Following Our Bliss - How the Spiritual Ideals of the Sixties Shape Our Lives Today (HarperSanFrancisco 2003); and is the co-author (with Richard Cimino) of Shopping for Faith – American Religion in the New Millennium (Jossey Bass 1998), THE HARVARD PSYCHEDELIC CLUB – How Timothy Leary, Andrew Weil, Ram Dass and Huston Smith Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America. His work has appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers across the country.