Publisher: American Bible Society
The GNTCE (also known as Today's English Version or Good News Bible) with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha was one of the first meaning-based (or functional equivalent) translations of the Bible into English. It was originally published in 1976, then it was revised in 1992. The GNT presents the message of the Bible in a level of English that is common to most of the English-speaking world. The GNTCE is still used widely in youth Bible study groups and in less formal worship services. Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha The following books: Tobit, Judith, Esther (the Greek text), Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch, Letter of Jeremiah, Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, 1 Maccabees, and 2 Maccabees, formed part of the Septuagint Greek text and were interspersed among other books of the Old Testament. This Greek text was not only widely used by Jews but was known as well by numerous "God-fearing" Gentiles who were attracted to the high moral teachings of the Old Testament, even though they had not themselves become converts to Judaism. One can thus readily understand how and why early Christianity, as it spread among Greek-speaking Jews and Gentiles, employed this Greek text. In fact, the majority of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament are based on this translation. Precisely when Jewish leadership officially adopted the traditional 39 books of the so-called "Hebrew Canon" is not known; nor is there agreement as to exactly what criteria were used in determining the canon. According to tradition the determination of the books of the Hebrew canon was made about A.D 90, but there is evidence to believe that official and widespread agreement on this issue came somewhat later. Among Christians it was apparently only in the fourth century that the issue of the canonicity of these books arose, a situation which is reflected in Jerome's placing these books in a separated section in his Vulgate translation of the Old Testament. In 1546 at the Council of Trent the Roman Catholic Church officially declared these books to be sacred and canonical and to be accepted "with equal devotion and reverence." At the time of the Reformation Martin Luther did not regard these books as Scripture but as "useful and good for reading." In his German translation of the Bible he followed the practice of Jerome in placing them at the end of the Old Testament with the superscription "Apocrypha." Protestants generally continued this practice in their translations of the Bible into such languages as Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovenian, French, Spanish, and English (King James Version). Among Christians who do not accept these books as Scripture there is, however, widespread agreement as to their importance in providing much valuable information on Jewish history, life, thought, worship, and religious practice during the centuries immediately prior to the time of Christ. Accordingly, they make possible a clearer understanding of the historical and cultural situation in which Jesus lived and taught. Catholics speak of these books as "deuterocanonical" to indicate that their canonical status as Scripture was settled later than that of the protocanonical books. Protestants usually refer to these books as Apocrypha.