It has been a long series. You have probably been through a roller coaster of emotions. I have as well—veering between a grudging respect of David Bentley Hart, his ideas and insight, and revulsion at his attitude toward his peers and the cavalier way he treats the theological tradition he is heir to. I have reserved most of my editorializing and assessing, trying instead to point out his assumptions while testing them out. That holding back will end soon, but first a brief discussion of his “Concluding Scientific Postscript”.

What is it? Well, it seems to be supplementary material too long for footnotes, as well as stuff that would have made the introduction a very long and shaggy read. It begins with an article under the title, “A Note on the Prologue of John’s Gospel: An Exemplary Case of the Untranslatable.” It is a fascinating work just over four pages in length on the nuance of the Greek of John 1, the late antique notion of the Logos inside and outside of Christianity, and the prologue’s relationship to John 21, which Hart offers as its interpretive key.

The labeling of the prologue as “untranslatable” reminded me of a private theory of mine: the increasing pessimism I see in translation. Whether in the world of biblical and liturgical translation or literary translation (in Dostoevsky, for example), I see a retreat from confidence in translatability of ideas. Perhaps the mid-20th century heyday of dynamic equivalence was naive in its belief that nothing would be lost in translating thought for thought, rather than word for word, but the confidence I see from proponents of stridently literal ideas seems just as hubristic to me.

Following this is a section named “Translating Certain Words: An Irregular Glossary”. It is a collection of explanations that would have crowded out the text if they were footnotes to renderings which might seem, in Hart’s words, “somewhat eccentric, or even perhaps a little perverse.” Here he mentions the three Church Fathers whose writings most influenced this translation: Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, and Theodore of Mopsuestia. He reasons that he chose these “trustworthy exegetical guides” for reason of their “complete linguistic proficiency, penetrating exegetical insight, and genuinely redoubtable theological powers.” I suspect that he also selected these three because they are among the Fathers who proposed the sort of apakatastasis which Hart supports: a non-permanent Hell, and the eventual salvation of all. Later, he comes up with a list of other writers of the early Church who he believes were universalists of one sort of another: Clement of Alexandria, Makrina, Diodore of Tarsus, Theodoret of Cyrus, Isaac of Nineveh, Gregory Nazianzus.

That some or all of these figures at one time proposed the possible salvation of all isn’t a shock to Catholic scholars. I hate to bring up Balthasar again, but in Dare We Hope… he puts forward the interpretation that Christian theologians turned away from this universalist presumption when they saw that Christians who believed in the apokatastasis weren’t acting very much like Christians. If we are to have any faith in the development of doctrine under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this theological course correction is just as valid as modern attempts by the Church to distance itself from an extreme understanding of Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus.

But I digress. The words that Hart discusses in this glossary are as follows:

“aionios”: often translated as “eternal”, but Hart prefers “of the Age” or other similar constructions, noting that it could mean as little as a single lifetime, or could have some kind of mystical significance as to the succession of ages. (about six pages).

“Gehenna” is of course the valley just outside the city of Jerusalem associated with child sacrifice to Moloch and Ba’al that had become a refuse dump. Rather than transliterating it, as is done in many translations, Hart renders it “The Vale of Hinnom”, which he thinks gives it a sort of “gauzy otherworldliness” that he thinks Jesus’ hearers would have associated with the concept. Hart thinks that it is not clear how this area became a shorthand for place of judgment, but makes use of this space anyway to express his ideas about Hell and judgment. (about four pages),

“Ioudaioi” is traditionally translated “Jews”, but Hart prefers rendering it “Judeans” in all cases, even when it would seem more appropriate to use “Jews”. “I thought it better,” he writes, “to preserve the unity of the word and the concept in the language of the ancient authors than to impose distinctions that would make the texts conform more readily to our cultural categories (and historical sins).” (one page)

“logos” is often translated as “the Word” in John’s prologue, where Hart simply transliterates it. The word was used for many ideas and concepts in the New Testament, however, and Hart does not transliterate it universally, or give it a one-word equivalence, as he did with “Ioudaioi”. He mentions, interestingly, that in one Chinese translation of the New Testament, the word is given the rendering “tao”, which, Hart thinks, “is about as near as any translation could come to capturing the scope and depth of the word’s religious, philosophical, and metaphoric associations” as used in John’s prologue. (just short of two pages),

“proorizein” is often translated following the Vulgate as some form of the verb “to predestine”. Hart points out that its meaning is more like planning, not deciding irrevocably beforehand. “It certainly possesses none of the grim, ghastly magnificence of the late Augustinian concept of ‘predestination’”, he writes. (one page)

“anthropos” is translated as “man” or “human being. “I have not striven in this translation for ‘inclusive language’ at least where it would involve altering the text. For one thing, I would dislike the pretense that the text does not use the sort of language that it does, and I think readers can be trusted to know that these are first-century writings. Moreover, mine is not a version written for liturgical or homiletic purposes, but an attempt to make the original text visible through as thin a layer of translation as I can contrive to superimpose upon it.” (one page)

“erga” can mean everything from “task” to “skill” to “feat”, but is often translated as “works” as in “works of the law”. Hart explains here the Eastern Christian idea of Synergeia, where God gives the grace and ability to do good, but that we are not predestined to do so, as well as reiterating that we cannot interpret Paul as teaching anything other than the fact that God will judge us according to our works. (two pages)

“hypokrites” is nearly transliterated in “hypocrites” in many translations, but Hart insists that it is more properly translated into something like “charlatans”, as he does. (one paragraph)

“ethne” is often translated “nations”, “peoples”, or “gentiles”, and Hart does not differ from other translations in this regard, but simply wants to reiterate to his readers that behind these concepts is a single Greek word and concept. I feel it has become acceptable to use the single word “nations” as a rendering of “ethne”, but maybe I’m naive in saying so. (one brief paragraph)

“lytron” and the related word “antilytron” both relate to Christ’s work as redeemer. Hart wishes to point out that this concept was primarily using contemporary civil law related to the manumission of slaves as illustrating Christ’s work of salvation. He notes that God paid our manumission fee to the devil, “our principal slaveholder, so to speak, or to death, the household of our bondage.” He notes, though, that eventually some Christians began to misunderstood as Jesus giving a fee to the Father for our freedom, one he lampoons as God paying God off, or God rescuing us from God. Rather, “the work of salvation is depicted as a single, unified act of rescue, whereby God the Father, through the Son, redeems (that is, ‘buys back’) his children from the slavery into which they have been sold, even at the most terrible of costs (the death of the divine Son).” (one page)

“dikaios” and its related words are often rendered as just, righteous, etc. Hart does not completely do away with the word, as Knox did, but still has qualms about how it is commonly understood, especially in the proto-protestant and protestant concepts like “imputed righteousness”. (one page)

“pistis” is traditionally translated “faith”, though Hart notes it can also be understood as “fidelity” or “faithfulness” and that it was never understood as intellectual assent, but rather “to have trust in something or someone”. (one paragraph)

“kosmos” is usually translated as “world”, but Hart chooses to transliterate it into “cosmos”, as our modern concept of the world is missing things the ancients would have thought important parts of the cosmos: different heavens, spiritual beings and forces, and so on. (one page)

“metanoia” is usually rendered “repentance” but is translated by Hart into phrases which retain the “change”, or “turn” or “transformation” aspects of the word, which most completely means an interior change toward God. (one page)

This goes on for several more pages, covering “psyche” (soul), “pneuma” (spirit), “sarx” (flesh), “porneia” (fornication), and makarios (blessed). The discussion of the difference between the concept of “soul” and “spirit” in the ancient world and the New Testament letters is quite interesting.

The postscript ends with ten pages on authorship concerns for the books that make up the New Testament. Since lists are easy to read and I’m a bit tired of restating Hart’s ideas in paragraph form, lets run through Hart’s opinions:

-The indisputably Pauline letters are (in chronological order) 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, Philemon, Philippians, 2 Corinthians, Romans.

-He notes that the case for doubting the authenticity of Pauline authorship on any of these is “rather feeble”.

-The other books of the New Testament are authored by persons uncertain, pseudonymous, or anonymous.

-Mark’s is the first Gospel, written in about AD 70. Matthew was written a decade or two later, but was not written by the disciple. Hart does not question the two source hypotheses and Marcan priority. (If you are a Matthean priority, Two-Gospel, or Griesbach partisan, make yourself known in the comments!)

-Luke-Acts might be the last Gospel written, perhaps even by the early second century. (Perhaps I read more “orthodox” or “conservative” New Testament scholars than I once did, but this is the first time in a long time I’ve heard someone assign a second century date to a Gospel.)

-John was from the very late first century and very well may have been written by a person in the community founded by John the Apostle. He notes the many differences between this Gospel and the synoptic tradition, which he chalks up to the fact that “it is obviously meant as a theological document rather than as a simple record of events.” This seems to me to be the sort of statement made habitually years ago, when the synoptic authors were thought unable to have sophisticated theologies of their own.

-Of the Pauline corpus thought not to be written by Paul himself, Hart notes that it is not so simple to dismiss Paul’s involvement in these. He mentions that 2 Thessalonians, Ephesians, and Colossians do have significant minorities of scholars who are in favor of Pauline authorship.

-Hart is not persuaded by the case for 2 Thessalonians’ Pauline authorship, but has an interesting two-page digression on how the case against Pauline authorship of Ephesians and Colossians is weaker than it seems. If one reads Paul through the lens of “magisterial Protestant tradition”, they will seem irreconcilably different than the “authentic” letters, but that need not be the case. “Paul was not a Lutheran, or Calvinist, or even Augustinian. And so, when the Paul of the authentic letters is freed from the Paul of theological myth, it turns out that Colossians not only says nothing different on these matters at all, but does not even necessarily sound any distinctly different intonations.”

-In the end while he did not come to believe that Ephesians and Colossians were definitely written by Paul, he came to believe that the theological evidence to the contrary was nonexistent and the stylistic evidence is weaker than one may think.

-The Pastoral epistles seem to have been written by a single person, but comes from a later Christian generation than Paul, likely the early second century.

-Hart endorses Origen’s comment that “only God knows who wrote” the Letter to the Hebrews.

-Hart sees no reason to doubt that the Letter of James is an early work from the Jewish-Christian community from Jerusalem.

-Hart does not know who Jude is, or “what exactly provoked him to write his short, exasperated letter.”

-The writer of the three Johannine letters is not the same as the writer of the Gospel or Revelation, but seem to come from the same “community of shared discourse” as the former work.

-While he does not think either Petrine letter comes from the Apostle, he is willing to hear out those who say that Peter is the indirect author of the first letter. The second, however, he puts as a very late document, which uses a large amount of Jude’s letter verbatim.

Hart finishes his postscript with a short apology to those he has scandalized by questioning the traditional authorship of some of the New Testament texts, but reiterates the scholarly evidence and speaks on biblical inspiration. “This translation,” he points out, “is the work of someone who believes in divine inspiration, if not in ‘verbal inspiration’ or in the literal factual accuracy of every discrete feature of these texts…”

My Review

After all this, what do I think about Hart’s translation?

I have read it cover-to-cover twice, including all footnotes and supplementary material. I am not usually excited to read a translation on the literal end of the translation spectrum, but I found this book interesting to read, if only to see where it differed from my preconceived notions of the biblical text. I think I have a better idea about certain aspects of the New Testament world for having read this translation, especially the spiritual world and the revolutionary import of some of Jesus and Paul’s teaching on wealth and acquisition. Just by virtue of speaking English, my understanding of Paul is partly through the eyes of the early modern Reformers and modern evangelicals, more through osmosis than any intentional reading. I think that Hart’s supplementary material has helped me understand Paul in a more Catholic sense.

On the negative side, this is not a translation that will help me grow in the virtues I most want to cultivate: obedience and humility. Hart builds his theology out of Patristic material, but in a way that appears more to me like a movement towards restoring an imagined early Christianity. Reading this New Testament makes me feel like I’m in the middle of an argument.

What many will find is that a text like this can take away the peace of mind one has in trusting the Church’s teaching. Hart would applaud this, noting that this is a false peace, but I disagree. I strongly believe in the Spirit’s guidance of the Church and do not wish to spend my time prayerfully reading scripture being guided along by someone who dismisses large chunks of the tradition of the Church as wrongheaded from the start. As an example, the Vulgate translation of “prooreizen” as “predestination” surely could have been more accurate, and certainly colored the theology of the Reformation, but we cannot blame the Reformation on one word from the Vulgate. The Reformation, no matter the arguments about soteriology, was truly about ecclesiology, politics, and economics. At any rate, Catholics who interpret “predestination” think in terms much like Hart says we ought to when we think of “prooreizen”.

I don’t think I will read this again, but I’m glad I read it. I would suggest those of you who find themselves intellectually battling with Calvinists might find some interesting material here. My favorite thing about the translation is the urgency I feel in books like Mark, with all the sloppy changes in verb tense. I also like that it is quite different and so it feels like encountering the New Testament anew. Still, while one may interpret things Hart writes in his introduction as saying that he wishes to create a translation free of theological bias, this is just as flavored by his own theology as the NIV. Treat it as the most argumentative interlinear of all time.

24 thoughts on “The David Bentley Hart Translation of the New Testament — Guest Post by Bob Short (Part 6)”

  1. Marc,
    Thank you so much for this inspiring series. Especially, thanks for a lot of hard work. To me; one great lesson you have transmitted is that one should never depend on just one Bible translation; or, more importantly one translation methodology to gain the best understanding of the Bible.

    Lastly, if we approach Bible study as an exercise as an effort unto itself; we can lose ourselves in arcane word studies and miss the overarching narrative of the Bible story; and, more importantly, the spiritual depth that provides us a pathway to our salvation. Hence, I totally agree with your statement: “I strongly believe in the Spirit’s guidance of the Church and do not wish to spend my time prayerfully reading scripture being guided along by someone who dismisses large chunks of the tradition of the Church as wrongheaded from the start.”

    It is not sola scriptura; but scripture and Magisterium.
    Thanks again for your efforts!


  2. I have never heard of this guy before, he seems like a bit of a crank.

    I mean, maybe there it’s nothing wrong with producing the translation of your own that displays all of your, oh let’s say, quirks,which showcases all of your particular let peeves. I could see it being fun to create something like that, although I’m not sure it’s a good idea to publish something like that for the general audience.

    But often he seems to have this attitude that his way is the only legitimate way and that all other translations that have been done up to this point have just been completely wrong. And this attitude really turns me off, to put it mildly.

  3. Biblical Catholic,

    Some people who know of the man might use the same language to describe him: “a bit of a crank.”

    David Hart is quite famous in philosophy circles. Though he has created this translation of the New Testament and even written a book that was supposed to argue against the New Atheist Movement (the arguments are hard to follow and somewhat circular, I have to say), perhaps the fact that he identifies as both a Christian and a democratic socialist (yes, there is such a thing as the Democratic Socialists of America or DSA) might make a few people raise some eyebrows.

    I don’t have any judgments against the man, but he has publicly claimed to be a Marxist while at the same time appointed as Templeton Fellow at the University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study in 2015. That has left me scratching my head.

    He is intelligent, true, but I don’t understand the creation of political groups like “Christians on the Left” and Christian Socialism altogether. As a Jew, I just stand on the sidelines (even though I am not against atheism or Christianity).

    I find a lot of what Hart does as both genius and an enigma.

    1. Carl Hernz, if I may change the subject somewhat, you’ve mentioned that you’re a Jew a couple times recently – didn’t you describe yourself as a Hebrew Catholic on Tim’s old blog years ago? Or am I confusing you with someone else?

      1. Surly,

        My ancestors were force-converted during the Spanish Inquisition and expelled from Spain in 1492. Around the time of my writing for Tim, a lot was happening to try to right those wrongs for my family and all the descendants of all the Jews who underwent such things.

        Spain and Portugal began to offer citizenship to these descendants, and the Catholic Church released “The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable.”

        After going back and forth on going to the synagogue or staying the Catholic Church, the words of a priest changed everything for me:

        “Catholics should be Catholics and Jews should be Jews.”

        The priest spoke on the document “The Gifts and Calling of God are Irrevocable,” saying that the Church wants to right the wrongs of the days of force-conversions. Jews are supposed to be Jews, he said. God doesn’t want Catholics to convert to Judaism anymore than he wants Jews to convert to Catholicism. He wants Catholics to become better Catholics and Jews to become better Jews.

        Those words from that priest changed everything for me.

        I am a member of Judaism these days if this is what you are asking. But a Hebrew Catholic is also a Jew, since a Jew does not need to subscribe to Judaism, so to speak. A child of Abraham is a Jew regardless of their religious affiliation.

        1. Thanks for the reply! I was mostly curious since I’ve always read your posts with great interest, since I’m woefully ignorant of the original scriptural languages.

        2. This is always awkward to write, but that priest is simply wrong, what he said is not the doctrine of the Catholic Church, and the text he references is not doctrinal or magisterial. (It is worth noting that Card. Ratzinger even wrote a gentle correction of that document in 2018.)

          The doctrine of the Church is that salvation is through Christ, and that all must come to the Father through Christ. While we can exclude here from consideration those of any background who, through no fault of their own are ignorant of Christ, the doctrine of the Church must be what it always has been, what it is in Romans 9, in Acts 4, and the entire book of Hebrews, that all men, Jews and Gentiles, who are made one in Jesus Christ, likewise only find rest and salvation in Jesus Christ, “Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved.”

        3. The one thing that I’ve been taught though, correct me if I’m wrong, once someone is validly baptized into the Catholic Church, regardless if their ancestors were coerced into the Church, that person who was validly baptized is forever Catholic and a member of God’s Kingdom. There’s no going back. One cannot be unbaptized. Baptism leaves an indelible mark on the soul of the person.

          A baptized Catholic can certainly stop practicing their Catholic faith and of course they have the free will to self-identify as a member of another faith tradition, but in the Church’s eye (and I presume in God’s eye) they’re still Catholic and a member of the universal Church through their valid baptism.

    2. A Christian Marxist? That makes no sense at all. I guess I was right in labeling him a ‘crank’. But I don’t regret buying his translation because I kind of like collecting ‘weird’ Bible translations. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the book ‘The Passover Plot’ from the 60s, but the author of that elaborate conspiracy theory, Hugh Schoenfield, made his own wacky translation of the New Testament. I own it. I like wacky and kooky Bible translations.

  4. I don’t doubt Hart has described himself as a Marxist, since he seems to have a biological need to use language that will provoke a reaction. I heard an interview once where he was complimentary of the Democratic Socialists of America in a way that made me assume he was in the party. There is a small but vocal group of Christians in those parties, attracted by some of the Bernie movement’s detente with socially conservative people who are in favor of his economic ideas. The DSA in general doesn’t seem that different in its programs than what Christian Democrats of different sorts were doing in Western Europe a generation or two ago. This being America, though, there is a shrill anger to everything that happens politically and a new and shallow radical-chic aesthetic, which seems to be the main difference between them and their respectable European cousins.

  5. I think Hart deserves to be taken seriously. It sounds like he has cantankerous personality. But that is not the same thing as a “crank”, if you mean a cranky, fringe individual who is not to be taken seriously. I have read articles by him, and perused his NT translation in a book store. He knows his stuff and is a serious scholar. His critique of the Protestant mis-interpretation of Paul is spot on. His argument that Jesus and the early Christians were not fans of wealth, were “socialist” in the sense that they shared property in common, and that they would not have been reconciled with modern capitalism is thought provoking at least, and quite possibly correct. I would like to learn more. It doesn’t strike me at first glance as that different from critiques of capitalism by Francis and JPII. But I could be wrong – again I’d like to learn more.

    Will I ever make his NT my primary daily reader? Absolutely not. Will I learn from it? Almost certainly.

    He does have a habit of hyperbolically overstating his position sometimes, which does make him come across as a “crank”. But behind the cantankerous there is a lot of substance. Not a figure to be casually written off.

    1. First of all, calling someone a ‘crank’ is not the same as calling him either stupid or crazy. In fact, to be a crank requires a certain degree of intelligence, a crank is someone who is too smart by half.

      Secondly, the reason I called him ‘something of a crank’ because of the introduction to the translation which I have read, where at several points he seems to be implying that he believes that after more than 700 years of translating the New Testament into English, that he has finally, and for the first time ever, produced an accurate translation. No matter how smart or educated he might be, that is not a reasonable position.

  6. Also, I can’t find anything online where Hart says he is a Marxist. In fact I found a podcast where he says he doesn’t like Marx very much, and “despises” his developed philosophy, and blames much of the terror and totalitarianism of the Soviet Union on Marxism.

    So let’s be careful here, lest we castigate a man for things he never said. I can find things were he calls himself a “Christian Socialist”, and says that the early Christians were “communist” in the technical sense that they lived in communes and shared property in common, or at least shared things in common when the need arose. But he’s not a “Marxist”, not even close.

    1. The early Church was not socialist. That is the kind of flippant, superficial analysis of the Book of Acts that one would expect from someone who is trying to be a provocateur, not a theologian or Bible scholar.

      1. BC: I don’t want to belabor this point too much, but if you reread my comment you’ll see that I didn’t say that Hart called the early church was “socialist”. He said it was “communist” in the technical sense that they shared property in common, . To be precise, he said he heard a bishop say that, and he agreed. I don’t see anything controversial about that.

        He probably says things like that to get a rise out of people. It sounds like his strategy is working!

        1. The statement that the early Church was ‘communist’ is not a position that any serious scholar would hold. It’s the kind of thing you would read in a political pamphlet by a communist propagandist who was trying to manipulate religion for political purposes. One verse, distorted and taken wildly out of context about the Church ‘sharing everything in common’ does not make for a serious argument.

  7. Thank you for this series. I quite enjoyed it even though I have had Hart’s NT since it was released. I have been a reader of Hart’s for quite some time and as many have said, he’s a unique combination of brilliance and belligerence. I believe I stated on a post quite a while back that I enjoy his NT translation and also quite enjoy his notes/commentary. With all of that said, the best position is that which Jim commented above. We don’t read the Scriptures in isolation but in light of the teaching of the Church. Granted, I’m Eastern Orthodox and most of you are Catholic, but generally speaking we agree that the Bible is the Church’s book.

  8. Bob, I just listened to a podcast by Hart where he talks about Marxism as something he “despises”, that Marxism led directly to the death and terror of the Soviet Union, and that Marx wanted to “turn the whole world into a factory.” Which was kind of funny.

    So I can’t imagine that he ever called himself a Marxist. A communist? Maybe. I could see him praising “communism” to get a rise out of folks. He points out that the early Christians were communist – they held property in common. A socialist? Absolutely – he’s a Christian Socialist, and quite explicit about that. He sees socialism as something much older and broader than Marxism.

    Hart may speak hyperbolically, but at the same time he’s very precise. What I mean by that is, he might say something is “horrible” when really it’s just “not so great”, but he would never say “Marxist” when he meant “Socialist”. My guess is he called himself a “Christian Socialist”, and Carl heard “Marxist”. The term “socialist” is political kryptonite in the U.S., and we mistakenly conflate it with communism.

    TLDR: He’s not a Marxist!

    1. Well there we have it, everybody, he is not a Marxist!

      Because of his tendency to overstate his position, I assumed that someone had read something I hadn’t where he did describe his politics as Marxist.

      On another note, I don’t think it requires an exegetical abuse to read the book of Acts and see that the Jerusalem Church held all goods in common. Hart refers to evidence that early Christians did this in Edessa and presumably other places, but the biblical evidence is clear and irrefutable when it comes to the Jerusalem Church.

  9. My description of Hart as a “Marxist” is one of those lines where I may have needed to walk a little better due to how one describes Socialism.

    Hart claims to be a Socialist and is in favor of socialism which I and others have judged (or perhaps mislabeled) him as a “Marxist.” The reason is that Hart’s view of socialism is no different from Marxism in the eyes of many of his critics and others.

    But like many of you, Hart doesn’t favor the label of Marxist for himself. Hart claims that Marxist models of socialism are not true models of socialism, but offers little else to explain why what he embraces is any different according to one critic. ( Marxism is sometimes viewed as a subset of socialism, but not as something independent or different.

    Where I have failed due to a sloppy description based upon my own failed opinions, forgive me. I may not be exactly accurate, but what does it matter? Is a Marxist incapable of making an accurate translation of Scripture? Or do you dislike the idea that you’ve been reading and discussing the work of such a person? Are we to judge this translation now on Hart’s private life?

    If you are going to review and discuss a Bible translation that is without an imprimatur, rescript or other mark of Church approval, you cannot expect to run into a work that might be colored by sublunary philosophies. (And before someone says something, I am not saying that this one necessarily is.)

  10. Post Script:

    Beyond anything else I’ve added, do take into account that my poor choice of words in trying to describe what I’ve read of Hart’s defense of his own values can also be attributed to my communication problems. I’m on the Autism Spectrum, after all.

    So if I can’t get what I am trying to say across just exactly so or if you feel that I don’t have it just right about Hart, it might really be that I am wrong or I am expressing it wrongly.

    1. Don’t worry, Carl. Thanks as always for being part of the conversation.

      It is hard to nail Hart down. He doesn’t quite fit into the usual ideological boxes that we can describe in short-hand.

  11. Hi Carl, thanks for clarifying. My two young sons are on the Autism Spectrum, and that is something I’m always trying to learn more about. Thank you for sharing about that – I’m sure that can be difficult. But I think you have expressed yourself very clearly here!

    All of us sometimes miscommunicate, or are misunderstood, on the Internet. It’s the nature of the beast sometimes. I have often contributed more heat than light to threads, and for that I apologize.

    I’m going to sidestep the whole “are Marxism and Socialism the same thing?” topic for now!

  12. Bob, I just want to say thank you for an excellent in-depth look at DBH’s translation. I’ve owned a copy of it for over a year now, and I find it useful for comparison. I’ve never read through extended sections of it, but if I’m studying a passage in-depth, I occasionally pull Hart’s translation off the shelf for an alternative angle on how to translate the text.

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