Thanksgiving: It’s a Trip!

Start out with the resolve to give thanks. The list starts to mushroom. Learning most definitely that no man is an island. No longer blind to blessings. Now constantly on the lookout. Life thrills with opportunities to bless and be blessed. Thrilling prayer vistas open. Disney World. Who needs Disney World? (Colossians 4: 2)

Born in Glasgow, Moffatt was educated at the University and the Free Church College in that city.  After ordination in 1896, he spent fifteen years in parish work for the Free Church of Scotland. He then lectured at  Mansfield College, Oxford, for four years, and Glasgow for twelve, before being appointed Washburn professor of church history at Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1927. He retired in 1939.

Among his many books on biblical criticism,  An Introduction to the Literature of the New Testament (1911), which is a wide-ranging survey of modem critical scholarship, reveals his own very liberal standpoint. But his most widely known work was the popular “Moffatt Bible”,  a single-handed and somewhat colloquial translation of the entire Scriptures (New Testament, 1913; Old Testament, 1924). This was a remarkable achievement for one man, even though he attracted much criticism from other scholars for trying to overcome literary difficulties by freely rearranging verses and even chapters. He also depended far too heavily on critical theories for his rendering of the Old Testament in particular. Subsequent findings in the fields of archeology and philology have shown his theories to be untenable.

Moffatt also edited a series of commentaries covering all the books of the New Testament (seventeen volumes, 1928-1949), which were all based on his translation. He himself contributed the volumes on 1 Corinthians and the general Epistles. In addition to theological and biblical works, Moffatt wrote several books on English literature. (Christian Classics Ethereal Library)

Attend to your prayers, maintaining your zest for prayer by thanksgiving; and pray for me as well, that God may give me an opening for the word, to speak of the open secret of Christ for which I am in custody. Pray that I may unfold it as I should. (Moffatt translation vv. 2-4)


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