And Your Daughters: Did You Know?

Did you know there is a translation of the New Testament produced by a woman?  For a long time I didn’t know there was.

But we have The Montgomery New Testament, originally called The New Testament in Modern English, originally published in 1924. It is still in print.

Helen Montgomery’s life is as fascinating as her translation.  When she was chosen to be President of The American (now, Northern) Baptist Convention in 1921, she was the first woman to head a major denomination.  Prior to that (1914), she was elected the first president of the Women’s American Baptist Foreign Mission Board.

She was known nationally and internationally for her work in advocating women’s rights, partnering with such leaders as Susan B. Anthony. Additional interesting information about her is easily available online.

Because she produced her translation almost one hundred years ago, it does not have the inclusive-language feature.  This was not an issue for women then in the way it is today.  Her only aim–perhaps drawn from her missionary interests–was to produce a version of the New Testament that would speak an accurate and persuasive word to those whose native (or acquired) language was English.

But I often like to see how Helen viewed a particular passage, sometimes finding that her choice of words opens the way to a fresh way of encountering scripture.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to And Your Daughters: Did You Know?

  1. Marcia says:

    Thank you for this information. I went through the “Blood and Ink” exhibit years ago about the formation of the Bible and the many translations, but did not recall this. Facinating! I love the fact that women often have a different perspective and therefore offer a different dimension to both Scripture and preaching. Thank you again– I will re-read this version with special interest and a new awareness. Blessings on this glorious Day our Lord has given us.

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