Readings from the Roots presents The Revised Common Lectionary in a new translation with brief introductions. The translation aims to reflect these readings’ original historical contexts and so expresses the theological and social meanings they had for those who originally wrote and read them.
The goal of this project is to give contemporary readers a more comprehensive grasp of the scriptural sources that comprise the foundation of Christian faith.
This approach reduces the potential, inherent in many existing translations, for imposing on the Hebrew Bible and even the New Testament ideas derived from later Christianity that are, in fact, foreign to those texts.
This approach seeks to reduce, for example, the potential for anti-Judaism that sometimes has been associated with supersessionist readings of the Christian message. The goal here is to enrich Christianity through its roots in Judaism, without creating false adversarial relationships. Such enrichment is appropriate insofar as it accurately aligns with Christianity’s foundations in the life and teachings of Jesus, a Galilean Jew; moreover, the church’s self-awareness in regard to past patterns of slanderous anti-Jewish interpretation calls for it.
A team of scholars produced these translations for Holy Week 2018, following principles explained here. The project offers these texts freely for use and comment, and believes that this critical translation will help overcome a heritage which has distorted the memory of Jesus’ death. Scripture presents the cross as a beacon that guides people of every culture to see their common humanity, and neither worship nor study can be adequate without an awareness of that perspective.