he NT
in verse

Introduction to The New Testament in verse

A good translation must refer to the original text,
learning from the weaknesses as the strengths
of the previous translations.
(Hans Kung)

Poetry is what is lost in translation
(Robert Frost)

At its beginning, the Greek text of the New Testament was a long, fluid, limpid river flowing quietly through simplicity and clearness. It was so fascinating that anyone, learned or unschooled, rich or poor, could look at himself in it, and discover his true being. So it was, so it must be again: a well of living water for the Christians of our time, as well as for all those, believers or not, who interested in the Scriptures, feel sometimes perplexed by their meaning.

With the time the message conveyed by this stream has lost part of its purity. Several translators, all along the centuries, have endeavored to transcribe it into the language of their time, and nowadays we find many different versions, but quite often we wonder whether they use the same text, the Greek original matrix. Their work, indeed, is invaluable, as they form a precious chain from Origen with his Greek Hexapla, Jerome with his Latin Vulgate, Wycliffe, whose English Bible paved the way to the sumptuous Authorized King James Version, to modern biblical scholars. They were all dedicated to making the word of God accessible to the people of their time. Many of their finds subsist today, and we are grateful to them for their contribution. Still, when we look back at the Greek we cannot help observing that something is missing. We have lost its true meaning sometimes, its simplicity often, but above all and essentially its rhythm. Accordingly, the ambition of The New Testament in verse is to achieve three aims:

  • faithfulness,
  • clarity and
  • musicality
  • .

These ingredients being found, I had just to combine them into the adequate construction, and for that purpose I have designed a three-stage rocket. The first stage, I call it truth, because it has to be solid, credible, embedded in the original Greek, consequently authentic, faithful to the idea meant by the author with all its subtleties. Destined to restore the message of yesterday, this stage seeks to find, as says Eugene Nida, the "closest natural equivalent words" for today. To achieve that goal, I have compared the original with seven copies, six English versions and my own in French (La Bible en vers), and I chose from one version or another, a few times from my own.

The second stage, I call it crystal, because it must show clearness without ambiguity, simplicity without sophisticated constructions, in a word transparency. This supposes precision mechanics made of elements combined in a syntax everyone understands: what is the use indeed of speaking the truth if you are not understood? Translating is not photocopying, for literal interpretations are obviously treacherous. Still many times some versions get lost in the word for word, verging on nonsense, when they are not out of context. Sometimes, the Greek being so concise, we must be more explicit, but always faithful to the text: we must not disconnect from the first stage.

Finally, to pleasantly complete our rocket, the third stage is rhythmic: it reproduces the rhythm of the oral style of the narrative, of the sayings which where repeated and repeated with, as says Diarmaid Mac Culloch, “a punchiness which would make each saying easy to remember and recite long after listeners had first heard it shouted in public.” Of course, my version is not really versified, unless we understand “free verse”. The idea is to recall the rhythm of the words, their musicality, the atmosphere of the beginnings. Indeed they were spoken loudly by the reader and by the “lector” first. Isn’t that the way Jesus gave his message, for he wanted to be sure that the crowd would not only pay attention to his words : “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”, but memorize them: “You have eyes but you don’t see, You have ears but you don’t hear! Don’t you remember? (Mk 8:18)”. That is why he used the technique of these times consisting of many repetitions, parallelisms and well known formulas. Naturally, the Gospels authors followed suit, making great use of the immemorial oriental process with short sentences, simple words, and they wrote simply, without sophisticated constructions, in a style everyone understands. I had to retrieve the rhythm of these phrases so musical, so simple, yet loaded with meaning, and to respect their slow pace. In short, I had to restore the original Greek with all its color and shades. What better way of achieving that result than in verses? That expression, I felt, was the only way to recreate the ancient tone and structure.

Now our rocket is ready to take-off and to put in orbit The Good News satellite, which anybody will be able and happy to hear and trust, since it is truthful, crystal clear and melodious. May this satellite be received in the whole world! I have worked alone, following my inspiration (Do not quench the Spirit! 1 Thes 5:19), modestly, but didn’t the theologian and philosopher Bernard de Chartres of the 12th century assure us that being like dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature. For myself, I am bringing my little stone to the building of the evangelical message for today, to ensure that more and more find or find again the path of the Gospels through poetry and harmony.

Jean Bescond

My path

  • 1942

    I was born in Finistère (end of the earth) Brittany, a lovely place North-west of France.

  • 1948

    Primary education at Quimper in a boarding school
    (quite young: a priest uncle is director)

  • 1953

    Classical studies (Greek, Latin)
    at Pont-Croix in a Seminary college (studious)

  • 1959

    Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Primary school teacher.
    Wonderful (young again)

  • 1960

    Porto-Novo, Benin. French and Latin teacher in a secondary school
    (two unforgettable years)

  • 1962-63

    Military service in Algeria
    (just after independence, as for Ivory Coast and Benin)

  • 1964-74

    I work in a local bank in Brittany. Diverse functions in various places (interesting contacts)

  • 1974-77

    Sydney Australia in BNP, called there French bank (another world, fascinating, cosmopolitan)

  • 1978-2002

    Back to Brittany. In another local bank. Adviser, itinerant, manager, bank insurer

  • 2002

    I enjoy my retirement in Brittany with my wife, reading, writing, meeting friends, walking along the seaside close to our place and visiting quite often our daughter who is a senior lecturer in England. Here starts:

My journey into the Bible

  • 2002

    A few months just before retiring I make a chance discovery, a papyrus that would change my life :

    • This papyrus is the famous (not for me at that moment) papyrus P52
    • I quickly look at the words on it in a Greek Bible, inherited from my priest uncle
    • I refresh my knowledge of the Greek Language. Like riding a bike-you never really forget…
    • I check different French versions and I find many differences between them
    • I decide to give a version closer to the Greek text.

  • 2010

    Le Nouveau Testament en vers (The New Testament in verse) :
    My first book is published

  • 2011

    Ainsi cheminèrent les papyrus de la Bonne Nouvelle
    (how the Gospel papyri came to us)

  • 2013

    La Bible en vers
    (the whole Bible in verse)

  • 2014

    I start to compare different English versions of the New Testament with the original Greek

  • 2016

    Parole d’Evangile, parole trahie? (A study of the major discrepancies in the French versions). All the French books are published at Editions Golias (France).

    My version in verse of the NT is now completed. Publishers are welcome to contact me!

The Greek New Testament is the New Testament.
All else is translation.

A few of the major discrepancies


Do you mean now or later?

Herod is about to search
For the child to kill him. (Mt)

NIV, NASB and NLT with Herod is going to search, or GNT with will be looking for do not really convey a sense of danger, even less KJV and NKJV with will seek. NRSV is the only version to give the correct meaning of mellei: is about to.

This you know!

This you know:
If the owner of a house
Knew at what time of night
Would come the thief,
He would stay awake
And not let the thief
Break into his house. (Mt)

This is evident. Of course they know that, no need to tell them! All the versions but GNT are confused with the Greek which uses the same form for you know (indicative) and know(imperative).

A matter of chronology

So, once you have put aside
All kinds of malice, deceit,
Hypocrisy, envy and slander,

Like newborn babies,
Long for pure spiritual milk,
For by it you will grow up,
And you will be saved, (1 Pet)

Lit. : Having put aside (past participle, not present): this is a precondition before verse 2. Once you have… you will… We find the same construction in verse 22 (as you have purified your souls…). This is not clearly expressed by the versions.


What about me?

As for me,
I baptize you with water
For your repentance, (Mt)

He said, ‘‘It is me
Who should be baptized by you,
And it is you who come to me!’’ (Mt)

These two verses are only two examples of the necessity to stress the pronoun when it is opposed to another. Greek omits subject pronouns: the pronoun is understood from the verb ending, and is used only to emphasize the subject. In 3:11 NASB is the only one to express ego (I).

In 3:14 again the subject is emphasized: ego and su (I and you). This emphasis is expressed by no one. Moreover all versions use the interrogative, when it should be exclamative.


To be or to become?

But I say to you,
Love your enemies
And pray
For those who persecute you,

And you will become children
Of your Father in heaven, (Mt)

Believe in the Light
While you have the Light,
And you will become
Children of the Light.’ (Jn)

Those two examples show that, here again, there is a precondition, a process to follow, and we should find you become, not you are.

Was Jesus tempted?

Then Jesus
Was led by the Spirit
Into the desert
To be put to the test
By the devil. (Mt)

To be put to the test rather than to be tempted of all versions. Can God be tempted? NIV recognizes in note: The Greek for tempted can also mean tested. Doesn’t James tell us:

When you are tempted,
Do not say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil,
And he himself tempts no one.

A matter of confidence

And they brought to him,
Lying on a bed, a paralytic.
When Jesus saw their faith,
He said to the paralytic,
‘’Be confident, son! (Mt)

Tharsei is be confident, more than take heart (NRSV and NIV), take courage (NASB and GNT), be encouraged (NLT), be of good cheer (NKJV). Jesus asks many times for confidence from the one who wants to be healed. So it is an act of faith, not a show of human courage.

Keep or observe?

But Jesus said,
‘Let her keep the observance:
She is only preparing me
For the day of my burial. (Jn)

Lit. : leave her, so that she observes it for the day of my burial. Tereo : observe, keep an observance, keep my word, the observance here, the general meaning being of observe, never keep something. So all the versions are wrong with keep the perfume, but NLT: She did this in preparation for my burial.

Didn’t Paul live as a citizen?

Above all, behave as a citizen Worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Phil)

Politeuomai: to be a citizen, live as a citizen. As acts 23:1. this is ignored by all, but NLT which however understands citizens of heaven.

Born again or born from above?

Jesus answered,
‘Truly, truly I say to you,
Unless one is born from above, Jn

Anothen has two meanings: again and from above. The context requires the latter, as it will be seen below: born from the Spirit. As NRSV. All the others say again, but in their notes NIV and GNT accept from above.

Does the Law condemn before hearing?

‘Does our law judge a man
Before hearing him
And knowing what he is doing?’ Jn

Judge (krino), not condemn of NIV and GNT, which is katakrino (found at 8:10).


Must we not resist evil?

But I say to you,
Do not take revenge (Mt)

As GNT. All the others: do not resist. Do not resist an evil person? In fact, anthistemi is: stand (histemi) in front of (anth), answer to.

Words, only words

All the neighbors
Were filled with awe,
And everywhere
In the hill country of Judea
These words were repeated. (Lk)

And Mary
Treasured all these words (Lk)

And with them
He went back to Nazareth
And was obedient to them.
His mother treasured
All these words in her heart. (Lk)

Rhemata means words, nothing else, and the Latin Vulgate rightly says verba. So we may be surprised to find in these three examples rhemata translated by things or matters. We find words only once (NRSV at 2:19, but things otherwise). KJV is correct (and the best) with sayings twice (1:65 as NKJV and 2:51). Yet it is clear that Mary is keeping as a treasure the words she has heard.

Isn’t Kingdom of God within us?

No one will say,
“Look, here it is!” or “There it is!”
Because the Kingdom of God
Is already within you.’ (Lk)

We cannot say in your midst as NIV and NASB, or among you (NLT and NRSV). Entos, which we find only twice in the New Testament, here and at Mt 23 :26 (the inside of the cup opposed to the outside) obviously means inside, within, (KJV, NKJV, GNT), what the others admit, but only as a possibility in their notes. The Gospel writers use en, para, pros or en meso to express the idea of among, in the middle of. The Latin Vulgate says rightly intra vos (inside you). Most of the French versions are also wrong here.


No faith at all or lack of faith?

And there
He did not do many miracles
Because they did not have faith. (Mt)

Apistia is unbelief (privative prefix a), not just a lack of faith (NIV), which we have found in 6:30 and 8:26 (you of little faith) with a different word: oligopistoi.

You are Christ or you are the Messiah?

‘But what about you?’
He asked,
‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered,
‘You are the Messiah!’ (Mk)

Christos is here evidently the Messiah everyone awaits, but only for NRSV, NIV, GNT and NLT.

The prophetesses and deaconesses of that time

There was also a prophetess,
Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, (Lk)

I commend to you our sister Phoebe,
Who is a deaconess
Of the church in Cenchreae. (Rom)

KJV, NKJV and NASB are the only one to see in Anna a prophetess (prophetis). The others see a prophet. As for Phoebe, she is acknowledged as a deaconess by NASB, but in note only. She is a servant for KJV, NKJV, NASB and GNT, a deacon for NRSV, NIV and NLT.


Didn’t Jesus go straight to his disciples on the sea?

He saw that the disciples
Were straining at the oars:
They were rowing
Against the wind.
Shortly before dawn
He went out to them,
Walking on the sea.
He was about to join them,

But when they saw him
Walking on the sea,
They thought he was a ghost,
And they screamed. (Mk)

All the versions understand pass by. Was Jesus going to ignore his disciples? Parelthein does not mean only pass by. It also means come forward, join. We find that meaning in Luke 12:37 (he will come to them).

What Jesus just supposed to be the son of Joseph?

He was known As the son of Joseph, (Lk)

As NLT only. Nomizo: acknowledge, consider, know as. Rather than as was supposed, as was thought, which are rather confusing.

Did the servant ask his master to cancel his debt?

Then calling him, the master
Said to him,
‘You wicked servant,
I cancelled all your debt,
Because you begged me. (Mt)

The servant did not ask his master to cancel his debt. He only implored him: ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay back everything.’ He never begged to forget his debt, as understood by NIV (because you begged me to) and GNT (because you asked me to).

Did Paul just go and visit Peter?

It was three years later
That I went up to Jerusalem
To be taught by Cephas.
I stayed with him fifteen days. (Gal)

GNT, alone, with to obtain information, gives its real meaning to historeo (inquire of, ask, visit a person for the purpose of inquiry). It is clear that Paul wants to know more about Christ. The others understand only that Paul went to visit or to know Peter. Is that all? It looks as if they were minimizing the significance of this event.

Didn’t Jesus talk to women?

Just then
His disciples returned
They were surprised to find him
Talking with a woman.
But no one asked,
‘What do you want?’
Or ‘What are you saying to her?’ (Jn)

Two observations here. First, the disciples are just surprised to find him talking with a woman: when they left Jesus, he was alone. But why these versions: they marveled (KJV and NKJV), they were astonished (NRSV), amazed (NASB), shocked (NLT), greatly surprised (GNT)? They were just surprised (as NIV). The verb thaumazo contains different shades of meanings, and it is important to choose the right one to paint the scene, depending on the context.

No one asked, ‘What are you saying to her? (Ti laleis), not why are you talking to her of all versions. Laleo (speak, talk, say) is often an intransitive verb. It is not always so, and we have a good example of the transitive at John 12:49 ti laleso (what I will say) and 16:18 with ti lalei , (what he says) where all the translations agree on what. Anyway is it credible that the disciples should be amazed or shocked to find Jesus talking with a woman to the point of asking him why he speaks to her?

Did the Law bring sins?

When the Law came, the sins
Became more apparent,
But where there were more sins,
There were more and more grace. (Rom)

NLT, alone, gives the real meaning of this verse: God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. Rather than the versions: the Law came to increase the sins. In fact the literal the Law came so that the sins abound must be understood as so that the sins may be seen as abounding. For can we believe that God sent the Law to increase the sins?

Didn’t Jesus suffer enough?

Now I rejoice
Because I am suffering for your sake,
For in my turn
I take again fully upon myself
The extreme sufferings of Christ
For the sake of his body, the church. (Col)

This passage, which has been written about extensively, needs a few clarifications, for we find translations as I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church (NRSV), the others being much the same. Is Paul really completing the sufferings of Christ, since he would not have suffered enough?

The verb antanapleroo we have here consists of three parts, and we must break it down to understand it clearly : anti means: in my turn, ana: again, pleroo: fully accomplish. So we have: I fully accomplish again in my turn.

But what mystified most the Bible scholars is this word: Husterema: extreme condition. Undoubtedly this word also refers to what is lacking, and we find that meaning many times in the New Testament. But to fully apprehend the word, we must turn to its etymology, its original significance, which is the fact of being behind, the extremity, indigence. We find an example of husterema as indigence in Lk 21:4.

All these people gave their gifts
Out of their wealth,
But she out of her indigence
Put in all she had to live on.

Are we really worthless servants?

It is the same with you.
When you have done
Everything you had to do,
Say, “We are only servants.
We have just done our duty.’ (Lk)

Only, or ordinary as GNT. Chreios means: that we need, indispensable. So achreios is: not indispensable, not essential, and consequently ordinary. But worthless (NRSV), unworthy (NIV, NASB and NLT) or unprofitable (KJV and NKJV) are misleading… and demeaning. What the servants just say is: it is not a matter of being worthy or not, for we did just what we were to do.


Tempted or tested?

Then Jesus
Was led by the Spirit
Into the desert
To be put to the test
By the devil. (Mt)

Jesus answered,
‘‘This also is written:
‘Do not put to the test
The Lord your God.’’’ (Mt)

As we have seen before, all the versions say to be tempted in 4:1. But just six verses later, excepted KJV and NKJV which are consistent in their way with tempt, all the versions have now rightly put to the test or test. Yet we have the same verb as before (peirazo).

Just a word

The centurion replied,
‘’Lord, I am not worthy
For you to come under my roof.
But just say a word, (Mt)

NKJV is right with but only speak a word, according to the Greek: but say only by a word (logo). Not NRSV, NIV, NASB and NLT with just say the word, or GNT with give the order. This is not the same.

In the evening, many
Who were demon-possessed
Were brought to him.
With a word
He cast out the spirits (Mt)

Logo as in 8:8, is rightly, but incoherently, understood here by all but KJV (his word).


Don’t versions miss parallels?

Believes in the Son
Has eternal life,
But whoever refuses
To believe in the Son
Will not see life,
For God’s wrath will remain on him. (Jn)

Apeitheo as opposed to peitheo (believe) clearly means refuse to believe not disobey (NRSV, NASB, GNT and NLT).

I do, however, speak wisdom
To those who are adults in their faith,
But not the wisdom of the world,
Not the wisdom of our rulers
Which will pass away with them. (1 Co)

Brothers and sisters,
I could not speak to you
As spiritual people:
You still are of this world,
You are mere children in our faith. (1 Co)

This parallel between children in our faith and adults in their faith is not significantly expressed by the versions.

After this, knowing
That everything now was fulfilled,
That Scripture might be fulfilled,
Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty. (Jn )

Teleo is repeated. The parallel is respected only by NASB (accomplished, fulfill). The others have finished or completed for the first teleo, accomplished or fulfilled for the second one.

Are you so foolish?
You began with the Spirit.
Are you now finishing with the flesh? (Gal)

Epiteleo (finish, complete, bring to perfection) is obviously finish here as apposed to enarchomai (begin), but only for NRSV, NIV and GNT, the others understanding perfect.


Who is holding the other in his heart?

It is right for me to feel this way
About all of you,
Because you hold me in your heart,
And because all of you share with me
The grace of God all the time:
When I am in chains,
When I am defending the gospel,
When I am establishing it firmly. (Phil)

Lit.: because of you to have me in the heart. Understood as because of me to have you in the heart by all but NRSV correctly (because you hold me in your heart). It is logical to hear Paul say he is happy to see the Philippians love him, and he explains that they share with him his sufferings and his fight for the faith. Moreover he speaks again of their love a little later:

And this is my prayer: That your love May grow more and more, Enriched with true knowledge And understanding,

Who was saved first?

No! This is what we believe:
We are all saved the same way
Through the grace of the Lord Jesus,
And this means they are saved too.’ Acts

Lit. : but through the grace of the Lord Jesus we believe to be saved the same way , and they too (are saved). Which means: we believe that salvation applies to everyone in the same way, so it applies to them too. The versions understand we are saved, just as they are, which is not logical, since Peter has just been stressing the equality between first and new believers, the latter being compared with the first: he welcomed them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us (verse 8), and not the reverse. Moreover Peter is just repeating what he already said (11:15-17). NLT is right, but incomplete: We believe that we are all saved the same way.


Didn’t they choose eternal life?

Hearing this,
The Gentiles were filled with joy
And praised the Word of the Lord,
And they believed,
All those who had chosen eternal life. (Acts)

Tetagmenoi (pluperfect participle): having agreed on, having chosen for oneself. The verb tassomai (to place in certain order, position, choose) must be understood here as to place oneself (middle voice), and word for word we have: all those who were having placed themselves toward eternal life. This, evidently, greatly differs from all the versions, which declare: all who were appointed or chosen. These believers have not been destined: they have destined themselves to eternal life. We find the same verb in the middle voice at 28:23: taxamenoi (aorist participle) : having chosen, understood as such by all versions.

Besides their choice is linked to their faith: they believe and they choose eternal life. For this is not the case for all the Jews:

But some Jews
Refused to believe,
And they stirred up the Gentiles,
Turning them against the brothers. (Acts)

Apeitheo (refuse to believe) is opposed to pisteuo (believe). So in conclusion everything is a matter of faith!

ABC: From Antioch To Zion


It was at Antioch that the believers
Were first called Christians. (Acts)


And it will be given to you,
And you will find,
And it will be opened to you. (Mt)

Born from above

Jesus answered,
‘Truly, truly I say to you,
Unless one is born from above,
No one can see
The Kingdom of God.’ (Jn)

Children of God

For they are children of God,
All who are led by the Spirit of God. (Rm)

Children of the Light

Believe in the Light
While you have the Light,
And you will become
Children of the Light.’ (Jn)

Once you were darkness,
But now with the Lord you are Light.
Live as children of Light. (Eph)

You are all children of the light,
You are children of the day.
We do not belong to the night,
We do not belong to the darkness. (1 Thes)


So whatever you believe,
Keep your own conviction
Between yourself and God.
Blessed is the one
Who does not feel guilty
When he does what is right
In his opinion. (Rom)


Then he said to Thomas,
‘Put your finger here,
Look at my hands.
Reach out your hand
And put it in my side.
Don’t doubt, believe!’

Thomas said to him,
‘My Lord and my God!’

Then Jesus told him,
‘You have believed
Because you have seen me,
Blessed are those who believe
Without seeing!’ (Jn)

But if any of you lacks wisdom,
Let him ask God,
Who gives to all generously
Without reproach,
And he will receive wisdom.

But he must ask with faith,
Without doubting,
For the one who doubts
Is like a wave of the sea,
Blown and tossed by the wind. (Jas)


What then must we do,
Brothers and sisters?
This: when you come together,
One will sing a hymn,
Another will teach,
Another will give a revelation,
Another will speak languages,
And still another will interpret.
Everything must be done
For the edification of the church. (1 Cor)


Finally, all of you, be of one mind,
Show empathy, love one another
As brothers and sisters,
Be compassionate and humble. (1 Pet)


The man replied,
‘How can I understand
Unless someone explains it to me?’
And he invited Philip
To come up and sit with him. (Acts)


‘’The eye
Is the lamp of the body.
If straight is your eye,
Your whole body
Will be full of light. (Mt)


The Lord said,
‘If you had faith even as small
As a mustard seed,
To this mulberry tree
You could say,
“Uproot yourself
And plant yourself in the sea,
And it would obey you.’ (Lk)

To have faith is to be confident
In the things we hope for.
To have faith is to be convinced
We will receive things we cannot see. (Heb)


For what of God
Appears as pure folly
Is wiser than human wisdom,
What appears as weakness
Is stronger than human strength. (1 Cor)

Good News

Jesus went
Through all the towns
And villages,
Teaching in their synagogues,
The Good News of the Kingdom
And healing
Every disease and sickness. (Mt)


He said to them,
‘Go throughout the whole world
And preach the Gospel to all people. (Mk)


For where is your treasure,
There also will be your heart. (Mt)


We even boast
About our sufferings:
We know that suffering
Develops perseverance,

Brings confidence
And confidence
Gives hope,

And hope
Does not disappoint:
God has poured out his love
Into our hearts
Through the Holy Spirit,
Who has been given to us. (Rm)

For it is this hope
That saves us.
But if you see happen
What you hope,
It is not any more hope:
Why should anyone still hope
When he sees this happen? (Rm)

Inward man

So we do not lose heart.
Our outward man
May be wearing out,
But our inward man
Is being renewed every day. (2 Cor)

It’s me!

They were still talking about this,
When Jesus himself
Stood among them.
He said to them, ‘Peace to you!’

They were terrified
And, in their fright, they thought
That they were seeing a ghost.

He said to them,
‘Why are you troubled?
Why these doubts in your hearts?

Look at my hands and my feet!
It’s me!
Touch me and see!
A ghost does not have
Flesh and bones,
As you see I have.’ (Lk)


Consider it all joy,
My brothers and sisters,
When you face all kinds of trials,

That the testing of your faith
Produces endurance. (Jas)

Kingdom of God

The Pharisees asked Jesus
When the Kingdom of God
Would come.
Jesus answered,
‘The Kingdom of God
Does not come
As those things you can observe.

No one will say,
“Look, here it is!” or “There it is!”
Because the Kingdom of God
Is already within you.’ (Lk)


I am the Light
And I have come into the world,
So that everyone
Who believes in me
Should not remain in darkness. (Jn)


Should I speak
All the languages,
Those of men,
Those of angels,
If I do not have love,
I am only a noisy gong,
A clanging cymbal.

Should I have
The gift of prophecy,
Should I have the key
To all mysteries,
To all knowledge,
Should I have such faith
That I could move mountains,
If I do not have love,
I am nothing.

Should I give all I have
To the poor,
Should I give up my body
To be burned,
If I do not have love,
I gain nothing.

Love is patient,
Love is kind.
Love is not envious.
It is not boastful,
It is not arrogant.

Rejects all things shameful.
It is not selfish,
It never becomes angry.
Love forgives.

Love does not rejoice
In iniquity,
Love rejoices in the truth.

Love always endures,
Always keeps faith,
Always hopes,
Always perseveres. (1 Cor)


And Mary said:
‘My soul praises the Lord

And my spirit rejoices
In God my Savior,

For he has considered
His humble servant.
From now on all generations
Will call me blessed,

For the Mighty One
Has done great things for me.
Holy is his name!

His mercy is upon generation
After generation
Toward those who fear him.

With his arm
He has done mighty deeds.
He has scattered
The proud in their heart.

He has brought down
Rulers from their thrones
And the humble he has lifted up.

He has filled the hungry
With good things
And sent the rich away empty.

He has helped Israel his servant
Remembering his mercy

To Abraham
And his descendants for ever,
As he spoke to our fathers.’ (Lk)

With the same heart
They all were constantly in prayer
With the women,
Mary the mother of Jesus,
And his brothers. (Acts)

New nature

Do not lie to each other,
Now that, having stripped off
Your old nature
And all its practices,

You have clothed yourselves
With your new nature,
Which is renewed
As you learn to know your creator
And become like him.

In this new nature
It does not matter who you are:
Greek or Jew,
Circumcised or uncircumcised,
Barbarian, Scythian, slave or free:
Christ is everyone,
Christ is in everyone. (Col)


There is no longer Jew or Gentile,
Slave or free, men and women,
For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal)


They said to each other,
‘Didn’t we have our hearts
Burning within us while on the road
He talked with us
And opened our minds
To the Scriptures?’ (Lk)

In our heart
We have plenty of room for you,
But in your heart,
You have no room for us.

In return, I speak to you
As if you were my children,
Open your hearts to us! (2 Cor)


I leave you peace,
I give you my peace.
I do not give it to you
As the world gives.
Your hearts
Should not be troubled.
Do not be afraid! (Jn)


To escape these desires,
You must do your best
To add to your faith goodness,
To your goodness, knowledge,

To your knowledge, self-control,
To your self-control, endurance,
To your perseverance, godliness,

To your godliness, brotherly affection,
And to your brotherly affection, love.

For if these qualities are in you,
And increasing, they will keep you
From being ineffective
And unfruitful in your knowledge
Of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Pet)


Those fights and quarrels among you,
Where do they come from?
Don’t they come
From the conflicting desires within you? (Jas)


If there is no such thing
As resurrection of the dead,
Then Christ
Has not been raised either.

And if Christ
Has not been raised,
Then our preaching is vain,
And you believe in vain. (1 Cor)


All the believers were together
And they shared everything they had. (Acts)


Then he breathed on them
And said,
‘Receive the Holy Spirit. (Jn)

Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thes)


About this we have much to say,
But it is hard to explain to you:
You are so slow to understand!

You should be teachers by now!
And you still need someone
To teach you again
The basic things about God’s word.
What you need is milk,
Not solid food! (Heb 5)


So Jesus said to the Jews
Who believed in him,
‘If you hold to my teaching,
You are truly my disciples.

Then you will know the truth,
And the truth will make you free.’ (Jn)


Thank God, I speak
More languages than all of you.

But in the church
I will rather speak five words
Everyone understands
To teach others
Than ten thousand words
In a language you don’t know. (1 Cor)


Then, when we have all achieved
Unity in our faith
And in our knowledge of the Son of God,
We will be adults in our faith,
As fully
As the fullness of Christ. (Eph)


I am the vine,
You are the branches.
If you remain in me,
If I remain in you,
You will bear much fruit.
Without me,
You can do nothing. (Jn)


He said,
‘I am the voice of one
Shouting in the desert,
Make straight
The way of the Lord,
As the prophet Isaiah said.’ (Jn)

He was approaching Damascus,
When suddenly
A light from heaven
Shone around him.

He fell to the ground
And heard a voice say to him,
‘Saul, Saul,
Why do you persecute me?’ Acts


Jesus said to him,
‘I am the way,
The truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father
But through me. (Jn)


Oh, how deep are the riches
Of the wisdom of God!
How deep his knowledge!
His judgments,
You will try to know in vain,
His ways,
You will never explain! (Rom)

But if any of you lacks wisdom,
Let him ask God,
Who gives to all generously
Without reproach,
And he will receive wisdom. (Jas)


The Word
Was the true Light
Which, coming into the world,
Gives Light to everyone. (Jn)


For the Kingdom of God
Is not in words,
It is in works. (1 Cor)

What good is it,
My brothers and sisters,
If you say you have faith
But do no have works?
Will you be saved by such faith? (Jas)


So do not worry
About tomorrow,
For tomorrow will worry
About itself.
Sufficient is for the day
Its own trouble. (Mt)


Now God makes us right
When we place our faith
In Jesus Christ,
And this is true for everyone
Who believes,
No matter who we are, (Rm)


Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’,
Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’.
Anything else you will say
Comes from evil. (Mt)


But you have come to Mount Zion,
To the city of the living God,
The heavenly Jerusalem.
You have come to myriads of angels
Gathered in joyful assembly, (Heb)


I have tried to make my version pleasant. It was essential for me to reproduce the rhythm of the original words, their musicality, the atmosphere of the beginnings. I am happy to say that this pleased Jean-Marie Le Clézio (the literature Nobel Prize Literature 2008), who honored me with his congratulations for my work in French (letter on the website).

Weighting, valuating every word, I have fought against the wrong words, and finishing my race I hope I have like Paul fought the good fight. I wish you will enjoy reading my version as much as I did writing it.

God bless you!

Jean Bescond
Contact: Publishers, journalists and anyone interested in my work are welcome to contact me at labibleenvers@orange.fr or fill the following form.