Steven T. Byington

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Steven Tracy Byington (birthname Stephen) (December 10, 1869 – October 12, 1957) was a noted intellectual, translator, and American individualist anarchist. He was born in Westford, Vermont, and later moved to Ballardvale section of Andover, Massachusetts. A one-time proponent of Georgism, he converted to individualist anarchism after associating with Benjamin Tucker. He was a firm believer in the promotion of individualist anarchism through education. He said "Anarchism has undertaken to change men's minds in one point by removing their faith in force" (Quasi-Invasion and the Boycott in Liberty, X, 2). He began a "Letter Writing Corps" in 1894 which targeted specific individuals, including newspapers, to familiarize others with the philosophical doctrine. He is known for translating two important anarchist works into English from German: Max Stirner's The Ego and Its Own and Paul Eltzbacher's Anarchism; exponents of the anarchist philosophy (also published by Dover with the title The Great Anarchists: Ideas and Teachings of Seven Major Thinkers).

Byington was a cum laude graduate of the University of Vermont in 1891 and a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa. He was considered a master of at least twelve languages, including classical languages. Paul specifically mentions his "some ability" in Arabic and Zulu, plus European languages.[1] His writings included observations on new forms and changed usage of English words, publishing 25 articles in the journal American Speech from 1926-1946. However, he had a "handicap of speech" which made preaching difficult so despite his seminary training, he spent many years working as a proofreader.[1]

Over the course of sixty years he translated the Bible from original texts and entitled it The Bible in Living English. It was published posthumously in 1972 in New York by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. He published a review of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, the English translation usually associated with the Jehovah's Witnesses, in The Christian Century magazine, November 1, 1950, in which he indicated the translation was "well supplied with faults and merits."[2]

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  1. ^ a b Paul, William (2003), English Language Bible Translators, Jefferson, NC and London: McFarland and Company, p. 42 
  2. ^ Byington, Steven. "Review of The New World Translation." The Christian Century. 1 Nov. 1950. Web. 10 Nov. 2011

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