Willis Barnstone is a poet, translator, and religious scholar. Author of The Gnostic Bible, Cafe de l'Aube a Paris (French), and The Restored New Testament, he is a distinguished professor emeritus of comparative literature and biblical studies at Indiana University.
"The vividness and beauty of the language emerge in a fresh way... with evocative simplicity." -- Robert Alter "Great and original... The writing in this form, as poetry, adds a new dimension to their beauty, conciseness, paradox, and mystery." -- Gerald Stern "Four of the best things in America are Walt Whitman's Leaves, Herman Melville's Whales, and the sonnets of Barnstone's The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets, and my daily corn flakes-that rough poetry of morning." -- Jorge Luis Borges "This recasting from the Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, presents Jesus' words poetically and faithfully to their full power - that of poetry." -- Elliott Bay Book Company "Barnstone offers excerpts from The Restored New Testament, his innovative and much-praised 2009 translation." -- Library Journal "Like most early prophets, Jesus would have spoken in a form of poetry, albeit one based on patterns of sounds, repetition, and other devices of prosody quite different from the Greco-Roman forms. What Barnstone has now produced, he hopes, is a sequence of Jesus's aphorisms." -- The Chronicle of Higher Education "A book landed on my desk with the curious title The Poems of Jesus Christ. 'Somebody putting words in Jesus' mouth?' I wondered. Not at all. The poet and scholar Willis Barnstone has simply gone back to the biblical text, translating from the original, and shown how Jesus in the gospels speaks in pure poetry." -- Guideposts "In restoring the words of Jesus to their rightful poetry, and making an excellent case for this necessity, Barnstone brings their music, passion, ethics and intellectual rigor into a more complete view." -- Barbara Berman - The Rumpus "Barnstone's The Poems of Jesus Christ is indeed an impressive and inspiring book. It convincingly demonstrates how the teaching of Jesus, spoken in verse, was "imbued with joyful or sorrowful insight and inlight." -- California Literary Review "When I read such verses aloud, it does not matter to me whether a poem or poetic saying comes from King James, Douay-Rheims, New Revised Standard, New Jerusalem Bible, Revised English Version, or any of the dozens of translations I've read and loved. But, once again, Prof. Barnstone took our idea to a new level... After the second full reading and the third and fourth randomly-done peeks, I continue to recommend this book highly." -- Mary Harwell Sayler - Rattle