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Sacred Heart University

Biblical Studies

2006

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Full-Text Articles in Religion

"Monkeying With The Bible”: Edgar J. Goodspeed's American Translation, R. Bryan Bademan Jan 2006

"Monkeying With The Bible”: Edgar J. Goodspeed's American Translation, R. Bryan Bademan

History Faculty Publications

Devotion to the Bible remains an underappreciated aspect of American religious life partly because it fails to generate controversy. This essay opens a window onto America's relationship with the Bible by exploring a controversial moment in the history of the Bible in America: the public reception of University of Chicago professor Edgar J. Goodspeed's American Translation (1923). Initially, at least, most Americans flatly rejected Goodspeed's impeccably credentialed attempt to cast the language of the Bible in contemporary "American" English. Accusations of the professor's irreligion, bad taste, vulgarity, and crass modernity emerged from nearly every quarter of ...