About the Faithful New Testament

William Zeitler, a Greek New Testament scholar of four decades, sat down one day in 2008 and published The Faithful New Testament, a Bible Translation with the abbreviation, FNT. This translation is notable because it uses the English language to precisely say what the written Greek language says. Despite this, it is still a very fluid translation, and simple to read.

This results in some translation decisions that might seem particular. Consider:

Blessed are the poor in the spirit
For theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.
Faithful New Testament Matthew 5:3
Blessed are the poor in the spirit
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
King James Version
Blessed are the poor in the spirit
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Revised Standard Version
Blessed are the poor in the spirit
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
New American Standard Bible
For some reason, the translated of the other three incredibly popular versions did not feel it worthwhile to accurately translate the Greek here. While it is a minor change, and not necessarily an important theological change, it does show that Zeitler was more stringent to consider the Greek over the English in these cases.

Regarding ἀγαπάω (agape), and φιλία (philía)

The Faithful New Testament also trusts in the intelligence of its readers. Zeitler knew that words translated to love sometimes comes from different Greek words, such as ἀγαπάω (agape), and φιλία (philía). Rather than leave the reader ignorant of which Greek word is being used, Zeitler translated them as "agape-love" and "philia-love" respectively. Now we can more easily understand Jesus's conversation with Peter at the end of John!

When therefore they ate breakfast, Jesus says to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, do you agape-love me more than these? He says to them: Yes, Lord, you know that I philia-love you. He says to him: Be feeding my lambs. He says to him again a second time: Simon son of John, do you agape-love me? He says to him: Yes Lord, you know that I philia-love you. He says to him: Be shepherding my sheep. He says to him the third time: Simon Peter, do you philia-love me? Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time: Do you philia-love me? And he said to him: You know everything, you know that I philia-love you. Jesus says to him: Be feeding my sheep.John 21:15-17

Regarding ζωη (zoe), and φιλία ψυχη (psyche)

The Faithful New Testament also does this with "life." In most translations, ζωη (zoe) is always translated to "life."" That's not the issue, rather ψυχη (psyche) is sometimes translated to "life" or as "soul." This leaves many completely ignorant of how Jesus viewed psyche, which was not as an incorporal soul that is detached from our actions and purely dictated by our intentions. Instead, Jesus thought that the psyche was life itself. As such, Zeitler has left zoe and psyche and zoe-life and psyche-life respectively, so that we may judge how Jesus wanted to use these words ourselves.

And this has resulted in a markedly different experience in certain areas of the gospels. Consider:

And you will agape-love your God from all your heart, andall your psyche-life, and all your mind, and all your strength. Faithful New Testament Mark 12:30
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. King James Version
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. Resived Standard Version
AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. New American Standard Bible

Regarding Archival

Since William Zeitler’s website, The Faithful New Testament, is still online, we have decided not to publish our archive of the website. Should his website go offline, we will publish his material on our website. We will likely also do our best to ensure his translation spread to other places as well, such as popular software like e-Sword and BibleTime, as well as an epub version for those who like to download digital books.