The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel
By G. Ronald Murphy
Why this book?
The ninth-century author is unknown. I am the translator and commentator. If you know the Gospel story but have never heard it expressed in another world’s words and values, you are in for a treat. When I was translating it, I found every day brought a chuckle or a smile as the world of Palestine and Near East became the shores of the North Sea. Christ becomes a “chieftain” with his twelve “thanes/men” around him, “faith” becomes “loyalty,” Judas is described as a “loyalty liar,” and Jesus changes water into wine at Cana so that all the guests can continue having a merry time on the benches. Though we are a thousand years away, we still speak Saxon in a way. It still hits home.
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