Letters to Young Churches | J.B. Phillips
As you know, I have been revisiting my favorite spiritual classics … books written by authors who have fought the good fight and remained faithful to the end. This week I am diving into the works of J.B. Phillips … but this week is a little bit different because I have a very special guest joining me: Peter Croft, the youngest grandson of J.B. Phillips.
J.B. Phillips is a man who left an incredible legacy that changed so many lives, and Peter started a non-profit that highlights that faithful life. Today on the podcast Peter shares some insight into his grandfather’s work and stories of his incredible life. A few facts to start:
- J.B. Phillips was a Greek scholar and graduated from Cambridge University.
- He was a pastor in southeast London and led a youth group during the. They couldn’t wrap their minds around Paul’s letters, which shocked him and prompted him to communicate these letters in a way the young men would understand. He saw their lives change because they understood scripture.
- In the 1940s, with the help of C.S. Lewis, he wrote the first popular modern translation of the Bible. He first wrote Letters to Young Churches with an introduction by C.S. Lewis. Four million copies were sold and he ended up writing the whole New Testament, completed in 1952.
- Phillips wrote a total of 26 books, including his translations. He described his translation works as “rewiring the house with the electricity still on.” And in Ring of Truth he wrote that “if he was convinced of the truth before he started his translation work, he was a hundred times more convinced after it.”
Throughout his grandfather’s work, Peter has found these messages … and they are the messages he wants to continue to share with the world through the J.B. Phillips Society:
- The Bible is real and it is alive.
- The spirit of God is just as powerful today as it was in the first century.
- Jesus is the most compelling and beautiful life ever lived … and He the reason for our existence.
Just a handful of books and translations by J.B. Phillips:
- New Testament Christianity
- Your God Is Too Small: A Guide for Believers and Skeptics Alike
- Appointment with God
- Ring of Truth: A Translator’s Testimony
- Making Men Whole
- Letters to Young Churches: A Translation of the New Testament Epistles
- The Young Church in Action: A Translation of the Acts
- The New Testament in Modern English
- Four Prophets: Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Micah
- The Inside Story: In Modern English: As Told In Luke, John, Acts, and Romans
- The Book of Revelation: A New Translation of the Apocalypse
Peter says this of his grandfather: “The act of translating for him clearly had an effect on his soul… The way the Scripture spoke to him was amazing… He wanted people to experience the Scripture as a living document.”
One of the verses that really came alive for me in his translation is Romans 8:18: “In my opinion, whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has in store for us. The whole of creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their home.”
I hope that you experience the Bible as a “living document.” My prayer for you and for me is that all of creation can stand on tiptoe and see us living a faithful life, carrying out the work that God has for us.
And won’t you please join me in praying for Peter and the good work he is doing?
SUBSCRIBE IN ITUNES
- The mission of the J.B. Phillips Society is “To passionately convey the living quality of the New Testament to a new generation, through the works and witness of J.B. Phillips.” Visit the website here.
- Subscribe to the J.B. Society newsletter here.
- Donate to the J.B. Phillips Society here.
- Listen to Peter Croft’s podcast, New Testament Readings on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play.
- Follow the J.B. Phillips Society on Instagram and Facebook.
- If you have a favorite quote or verse translated by J.B. Phillips, please reach out to Peter to let him know.
- Get a vintage copy of one of J.P. Phillips’ books in my online shop.
- Learn more about Apartment Life.
- Learn more about other ACF Ministry Partners here.
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- Join my home church, Austin Christian Fellowship, online.
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