Bible translators who have dared to lay their hands on John’s Gospel and attempted to put the notoriously disjointed text into some semblance of order, have not fared well at the hands of reviewers. In 1913, the noted British scholar, James Moffatt, published a New Testament in which sections of John had been painstakingly re-arranged. Generally speaking, he was not thanked for his efforts and was still dealing with attacks from conservative fellow-churchmen when he died in 1944.
In 1985, Hugh J. Schonfield presented a version of John’s Gospel with a less radical re-arrangement. Oddly, although he drew attention to a great many other controversial issues in his notes, Schonfield’s version attracted little attention, either positive or negative.
Bible scholar, John Howard Reid, has now published a new translation of John’s Gospel with an even more radical re-arrangement of the text. In “Essential Bible Wisdom: GOOD NEWS by John, the Beloved Disciple, and John, the Elder”, Reid has attempted to reconstruct the disciple’s original manuscript before it fell into the hands of John, the Elder, who not only edited and re-arranged the disciple’s work, but added many interpolations of his own. For the first time ever, the elder’s contributions are now clearly marked in the text itself, rather than being hidden away in obscure footnotes.
Reid has also restored the Gospel’s original Foreword and Afterword. He expresses surprise that this has never been done before as scholars have known for many centuries that an early editor had incorrectly attached these two sections to the elder’s First Letter.