in the Language of the People

Translated from the Greek by


Montreat Edition




At the end of August 2005 the last copy of the Millennium Edition of 2000 was sold and it was necessary to do a second printing.  It became the first of the Montreat Edition.

  The hardback is a rich wine red as before and we now have available a navy leather-- both
 printed on a thinner paper so that the thickness of the book is slightly less than 1" rather than
      1 3/8" for the former Millennium Edition.
Many people who have ordered copies since 2006 have been pleased with the new Montreat edition.  It has now been through two more printings and it is about time for a third printing and perhaps a digital edition.




In addition to the short introduction to the translator above,  you may be interested in reading a much longer biography just published by the Florida Baptist Historical Society in October 2007, which includes about thirty pictures of Williams and his family throughout his career.  Click here.


January 20, 2016





Dr. Williams, in retirement in Lakeland, Florida, thumbing through the new Moody Press publication of the New Testament in 1950.







Dr. Richard K. Moore
Head of New Testament Department, Baptist Theological College of Western Australia,
Perth, Australia  (now retired)
Dr. Robert O. Byrd
Professor, School of Religion, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
Dr. Peter Rhea Jones
Professor of New Testament, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA
Dr. R. Alan Culpepper
Dean, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta,  GA
Dr. Lamar Williamson
Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of
Christian Education,  Richmond, VA
John Mostert
"What You Should Know About the Modern Versions," Moody Monthly, November 1949



For information concerning orders




" With the re-issuing of Charles B. Williams’ dynamic translation of the New Testament, a new generation of readers will have a good chance to experience the vibrancy of Christian scripture. Williams liberates the old story from the shackles of familiarity and, in the process, reintroduces the readers to New Testament authors who seem more nearly our contemporaries than figures from antiquity. The liveliness of this translation can enliven the community of faith."–Richard F. Wilson, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Mercer Univ., Macon, GA


". . .after a lifetime of preaching, teaching, and writing, I’m more convinced than ever that the Williams New Testament is a splendid, accurate rendering of the original Greek that speaks the faith of our fathers in the language of our children. . . .  I commend the Williams NT translation for your use and do that without reservation." –Johnnie Godwin, publishing consultant, author, former publisher, commentary writer, former pastor


"Students of the New Testament and faithful Bible readers will be grateful that the Williams translation has been reprinted.  The Williams New Testament is well known for its accuracy and clarity.  Greek students will find it a reliable guide to the meaning of Greek verbs, and every reader will find stirring new insights into the message of the New Testament."–R. Alan Culpepper, Dean, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer



"The Williams translation . . . has been the most helpful translation I have found.  I have used it almost exclusively in the pulpit and in the classroom.   Congregations purchased and used it, and students often have asked where they might find   copies.   I have been privileged to search and find a copy here and there for students.   It is therefore a great satisfaction that the translation is once again being made available to the people.   I recommend it most highly.   It has blessed my life and ministry." – Dr. Winfred Moore, Baylor University Visiting Prof. of Religion; Director, Center for Ministry Effectiveness; Retired Pastor, First Baptist Church, Amarillo, TX



"[The Williams translation] was one of the pioneer modern speech translations, a milestone along the road of American translations.  The ‘language of the people’ has changed dramatically since Williams’ work was done [in 1937], but it offers a helpful perspective to those engaged now in translation work.   And it still rewards the diligent Bible student with exciting insights."–Roger A. Bullard, Ph.D., Prof. Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy, Barton College, Wilson, NC 



 . . .[Dr. Williams’ translation] is neither a word- for-word translation nor a paraphrase.   He avoids these extremes of woodenness and of shapelessness, getting beyond the words to reproduce the thoughts being conveyed in the original.   To translate the Greek idiom literally often hides the meaning; so Dr. Williams seeks a corresponding English idiom that will convey it.   His rigorous endeavor results in a most readable English translation.   For example, he renders the obscure ‘steward’ as ‘trustee’; ‘propitiation’ as ‘atoning sacrifice’; ‘genealogy’ as ‘family tree’; ‘sepulcher’ as ‘tomb.’   The translation frequently resonates with an earthy vernacular.   In Acts 16:11, ‘we sailed from Troy and struck a bee line for Samothrace.’"–W. Clyde Tilley, article in Biblical Literacy Today, Summer, 1989, p. 9. [At the time article was written, Dr. Tilley was Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Union University, Jackson, TN.]



"While the ability to communicate clearly in one’s own language is essential to produce a helpful translation, on its own it is not enough.   The translator needs to be competent in the original language, in this case the koiné (common) Greek used by the New Testament authors. . . . The vast majority of readers of the New Testament in English are not able to read [it] in its original language, but in Dr. Williams they have a competent guide.  At the same time those who do know Greek can benefit from his translational insights."–Richard K. Moore, Retired  Head of New Testament Department, Baptist Theological College of Western Australia (excerpt from foreword of this edition)


"The Williams translation has stood the test of time and scrutiny.  It has found a niche and met a need.   The translation appeals especially to Greek students, but at the same time it draws out the Greek verb tenses so that lay persons can feel the flavor of the original language.  It deserves a new generation of readers because it enjoys winsome readability.   Dr. Williams’ passion to communicate [the true meaning of the original texts] bleeds through in this excellent translation."--Peter Rhea Jones, Professor of New Testament, McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University, Atlanta


"The republication of The New Testament in the Language of the People by Dr. Charles B. Williams more than six decades after its first appearance in 1937 is abundant proof that the translator achieved his goal:  'to make this greatest book in the world readable and understandable by the plain people.'  Although subsequent research has called into question [some of] the notes at the head of the New Testament books, Dr. Williams's scholarly mastery of the Greek language and respect for the style of each writer, combined with the down-to-earth qualities of a farmer's son and the reverence of a devout Christian, have produced a text that is a reliable resource for teachers and preachers in the church."  --Lamar Williamson, Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, VA


"My initial acquaintance with the Williams translation of the New Testament came from the pastor of the church where I was converted and raised.  He fervently used and defended the King James but he occasionally noted that it was the translation of C. B. Williams that helped to clarify the meaning of some passages.  I immediately assumed that if my pastor found it so useful it would be of benefit to me.  I was not disappointed.  It gave me my initial experience of a translation other than the KJV.

When I began to study Koiné Greek, the Williams translation was my regular companion.  It was and remains a challenging standard for gauging my efforts as a translator.  While there have been immense changes in our culture and communication, its language remains sufficiently plain to make it a valuable resource for Bible study and teaching.  This is a translation that deserves to remain in print because it remains so useful."--Robert O. Byrd, Professor of Religion, Belmont University, Nashville, TN  



[The following selection is quoted from an article published in November 1949 by John Mostert, a faculty member at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, entitled "What You Should Know About the Modern Versions," in Moody Monthly, p. 157.  He wrote the article reviewing several popular translations of that period and he devoted two columns of his article to the recently published Moody edition of the Williams New Testament.  We think that his critique then is just as timely sixty-six years later.]

"There are several translators who have brought out the shadings of the original text in very readable versions.  One of the best of these is Williams' translation. . . . For accuracy and perspicuity of translation, this is one of the finest private translations produced in recent years.

As students of the Greek New Testament are well aware, the present tense in the Greek possesses the predominant idea of continuing action; the imperfect, durative action in the past; the aorist, punctiliar action; and the perfect, completed action.  Observe how Williams treats the Greek verbs in his rendering of Luke 7:22,23.  This is typical of his handling of the present tense:

     And so He answered them, 'Go and report to John what you have seen and heard:  the blind are seeing  and the crippled are walking, the lepers are being healed, the deaf are hearing, the dead are being raised, and the poor are having the good news preached to them.  (Italics designate the verbs in question.)

Again, note his rendering in a yet more significant passage, the verbs of which have definite theological implications when considered in the light of their tense:

     But if we continue to live in the light, just as He is in the light, we have unbroken fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son continues to cleanse us from all sin.  If we claim, 'We are already free from sin,' we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in our hearts (I John 1:7, 8).

. . .Williams has also taken care to convey the various shades of meaning found in certain forms of Greek nouns.  The meaning of the passage becomes more specific when we read in Romans 15:5:  'May God who gives men patient endurance and encouragement, grant you such harmony with one another . . .'