Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by coton boy, Aug 11, 2015.
Oh I got you.
For the daily office, and anytime I'm reading aloud I use the King James. I also use a dramatized audio KJV for listening.
I also have on my shelf:
- The Douay Rheims, Challoner revision
- The English Standard Version
- The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: Revised Standard Version
- The Orthodox Study Bible
- The Septuagint with Apocrypha by Sir Lancelot Brenton
- EOB: New Testament by Fr. Laurent Cleenewerk
- The New Testament: A Translation by David Bentley Hart
The Douay Rheims and Brenton's I use for reference, to see what the Vulgate and the LXX have to say. The RSV is for when I want to silently read more than a chapter or two at once. Fr. Laurent's and DBH's are personally annoying for me since they're so different from the KJV and RSV which I'm used to, but I read them occasionally for that very reason. Fr. Laurent's New Testament also has the best appendices of any Bible I've owned.
My ESV and Orthodox Study Bible almost never get used.
I head there was a church fathers Bible. I would love to get one if that was true.
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
This is the gold standard.
I have the "Catena" app on my phone, which is a mini gold standard of its own. You have the verses of Scripture, click on one, and for it pop up the commentaries on it from Ambrose, or Chrysostom, or "Severus of Antioch, AD 538":
Only over 1000 for the book copies
The Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture is just a hair out of my price range....
The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today's readers.
It causes me a bit of concern to see that they don't present all of what the early fathers wrote about a subject, but rather they pick and choose (hand selecting, and shaping) what the reader gets to see. Although it might be entirely accurate in portraying what was then believed and taught, the potential seemingly exists for some editorializing to have taken place, don't you think?
There's certainly at least a hypothetical chance of that, given how much else today is "shaped" by the manipulative powers that be.
That being said, in this particular case I haven't heard of anything worrysome, so the editors can be trusted. If even a few concerning "shapings" emerge in the future, then the entire series will be besmirched, so they know that they are treading a fine line.
I also don't think you could have literally everything written by everyone, because the ancient times had a very high rate of literacy, and thus there are so many more books available that you could easily result in a collection 5-10x the current size.
The only format where it would be possible to functionally make all of the the ancient commentaries available, is online. There could be 100k or 200k pages in the database, but you'd only be exposed to the 15-20 writers on the one verse you were checking up on.
But in terms of a print format, I can't imagine the absolute entirety of the ancient commentaries getting printed in one set.
I thought about picking up this set, but reconsidered and just bought the 32-volume Hendricks set of the Church fathers writings instead. It was expensive, but you get the full texts and not just excerpts. The translations are a bit old -- the original editions were put out in the 1880's I believe -- but they are quite comprehensible for a modern reader. It can be hard to find the full 32-volume run, however; if you use Logos or Accordance software, it's both easier to cheaper to get it in an electronic edition (which also takes up much less shelf space).
My favorite Bible now and for many years is the ESV, specifically the hardcover edition with the center-column references. I've been buying fake-leather Bibles for a long time, but just lately I've joined the hardcover mafia. I'm no longer a fan of floppy covers or gilded pages. Modern Smyth-sewn hardcovers lie flat even in Genesis and Revelation, so I find it a better form-factor. I'm not crazy about study bibles as a general rule, but I also find the ESV study bible a valuable resource.
The Catena app is fantastic. It's useable online too: https://www.catenabible.com/mt/1
Most believers prefer to study an accurate and up to date version of the scriptures rather than an outdated antique stylization.
Atheists, poets, linguists and some sects prefer the KJV. Most believers love it's poetic language but don't use it for instruction or doctrinal discussion.
The New Testament was written in Greek, not the Elizabethan English of 400 years ago. Most disciples of Christ want to know what He said in language they can easily understand today because they intend to put what He said and what they read, into practice.
I found that the difficulty of the KJV disappears quickly with use. I have only a highschool education, and I initially had trouble understanding the KJV. But after maybe two months of daily Matins and Evensong I could speak like a Shakespeare character. I think anyone who routinely reads aloud from the KJV, or even just hears it at church every Sunday, will get used to it in a reasonable time.
If we all use a Bible that's in our own dialect of English, we're going to need a lot of different Bibles and we'll have to update them constantly. And that's a great thing for personal reading but liturgically it would be a mess. For example, I've tried a few modern British translations and as an American there were a lot of words I didn't understand. Likewise, if someone across the pond -or even a Yankee- saw Christ saying "Y'all are blessed when people diss you..." it would sound just as foreign as Cranmer and Coverdale. Even right now, I'm writing in a way that's very different from how I speak so that you guys will find me intelligible.
I don't mean to suggest there's no place for modern translations - they're very useful - but I don't think the KJV has outlived it's usefulness yet either.
The KJV is still useful, admittedly, just as the Coverdale Psalter is still useful, but they should come with a 'meaning safety warning' for the average person in the pew.
The KJV was never a new translation anyway, it was itself a correction of some errors in previous translations and itself was in no way a perfect rendition of the original scriptures, just an improvement on some others. It was slanted in respect of positively supporting the 'Divine Right of Kings' at the command of King James and many of the words used used in it have significantly changed in meaning but are still in circulation with their different meanings so the language is sometimes as confusing as some passages of Shakespeare can be to the modern ear.
That having been said though, it is still better as a standard than any colloquial transliteration or amplification 'translation'. It just needs to be checked against reliable modern translations to make sure that an accurate understanding is obtained by the reader. The danger of it being used by sects that insist upon its exclusive use in order to bolster their particular peculiar theological stances, is palpable though, especially when the sonourous poetic language it routinely uses is employed to add gravitas and engender an air of superior authority and unquestionably divine veracity, thus better to manipulate sect members and marshall them into line with a leadership's ideals.
Like what others have mentioned here, I too, have a Bible collection. I personally gravitate towards the Revise Standard Version (RSV), the 1st edition that was released in the early 1950s. A lot of my preference has to do with sentimental value; a beloved family heirloom that has been passed down through 3 generations now, still in use. The me, it's the perfect blending of using elevated English yet still being readable at the same time. I'd like to revisit talking about this translation later. For now, I want to focus on sharing an edition of 'The Living Bible' some may not be aware about.
It's called 'Lindsell Study Bible: The Living Bible' by 'Tyndale', published in 1983. It includes the usual marginal references, a concordance, and colored maps with index aid in the back. Some background on Harold Lindsell; he was one of Billy Graham's close friends. Identified as a theological conservative evangelical, based on his Bible notes, I would characterize him as being more conservative than Billy Graham (early 1960s Billy) while being more liberal when compared to someone such as Bob Jones Sr. or a similar caliber, religiously speaking.
This Bible is chalk full of cross-references--treasure trove galore! It's an ongoing, endless maze of a scavenger hunt; simply a great feature to have if this is something you enjoy. Before I forget to mention this, the great thing about Lindsell's take on 'The Living Bible' in this edition is that it has the cool advantage of 'The Living Bible' in being able to easily grasp the words and phrases with clarity, while his notes beef up and address 'The Living Bible' weakness of missing core details. Lindsell is all about the small details. For example, in the earliest parts of Genesis (can't remember which chapter) he goes to great lengths to explore the creation story, even presenting much of the evolutionary side in an even-handed way, yet still makes his case for biblical creationism. He also points out facts about the Hebrew calendar in order to shore up the oversimplified info in the scriptural text (e.g. the section stating 'It was Day. It was Night")--my own paraphrase to get the idea across.
Another feature that sets this Bible apart is how it is set up like a notebook journal, formatted with bulletin points, letters, adjacent numbers. It's a very clean system, making it organized. I wished more Bibles today would have this. The Bible text is wide margin so you don't have to squinting your eyes trying to read down into the gutter. Also included are introductions, annotations, topical headings, outlines, footnotes, encyclopedia, pronunciation guide, a foreword (just checking), and additional indexes. Of course, it contains the Bible Canon order of books (66 total) from Genesis to Revelation. Apocryphal books not part of the package, for better or worse. Since it's already a study bible, it would have been huge if it did contain them.
The intros to each Bible book start with a brief defense of traditional authorship and historical dates, providing contrasting theories and the approaches behind them--the how and why. He also talks about the style and the content, giving the main theme for the books in these intros. I especially like how he goes over the characteristics of the biblical people such as Adam and Eve, Moses, and Abraham without getting carried away. His footnotes are a treat: short, simple, yet informative. He also does a good job in explaining Hebrew terminology. Another strength of Lindsell is his ability to explain the physical geography, the names of locations, being able to relate them to their respective Bible passages and how they play a role in the events and people's attitudes (both 'natural' and 'moral'). The font size of the regular text looks to be 7.5, give or take; the footnotes being 6.5. The print is bold and crisp and the pages are thick enough that there is only mild ghosting or see-through, not affecting the text you would want to read.
This is an excellent introduction Bible for the new believer or an easy-reading cover-to-cover bible with substance for the learned and continued learning. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I enjoyed writing this piece. Feel free to ask any questions about this Bible and I'll answer as best as I can. Beware: not all study Bibles of this edition has a concordance.
Would it be helpful if I attached 6 pages of one of my KJVs? It contains a list of words that have changed meaning since 1611. It gives the old meaning, plus the verses that are applicable to it.
Some readers in here might find that interesting. Two of the ones most commonly confused are 'careful' and 'presently'.
Careful now means 'taking due care', whereas it used to mean primarily 'anxious'. Presently, now has come to mean 'at some time or futre date'. "I shall do it presently, but at the moment I'm busy". Whereas it used to mean 'presently', in the instant, right now, in the present moment.
I've had a copy of the Jerusalem Bible about 20 years - bought as a teenager in a Hampshire market town Christian bookshop (now closed). Read it a fair bit, though find the use of Yahweh rather than "The Lord" odd.
Though the oldest Bible I still have was a Living Bible paraphrase for kids my Gran got me for my 10th birthday in December 1986.
Presently still means "at this moment" to me. Presently we have a covid pandemic. I'm always amused when told the American President will appear momentarily, and then appears and fails to dissapear in the blink of an eye.
But here is my list of changed word meanings, the mods may deem this worthy of a more accessable place in the forum.
I've been impressed by the ESV, of late. Pretty solid! And the KJV as the classic of course.
I've also started to become fond of the Psalms composed in an english poetic meter, which makes them a lot more fun sometimes. Check out this legendary version of Psalm 1, from the Tate and Brady edition of the Psalms:
How blest is he who never consents .... by ill advice to walk;
Nor stands in sinners' ways, nor sits ... where men profanely talk.
But makes the perfect law of God ....... his business and delight;
Devoutly reads therein by day, ........... and meditates by night.
Like some fair tree, which, fed by streams, ... with timely fruit does bend,
He still shall flourish, and success ................. all his designs attend.
Ungodly men and their attempts ....... no lasting root shall find;
Untimely blasted, and dispers'd ......... like chaff before the wind.
Their guilt shall strike the wicked dumb ... before their Judge's face;
No formal hypocrite shall then .................. amongst the saints have place.
For God approves the just man's ways, ...... to happiness they tend;
But sinners, and the paths they tread, ........ shall both in ruin, end.
I am on my third Psalms reading of the year now. I have read the Coverdale and the Septuagint version and I much prefer the Coverdale.
One of the reasons I love ACNA's 2019 BCP is that they use the Coverdale psalter even though they use the ESV translation elsewhere. The Septuagint may be more true to the Hebrew poetic form, but it renders the English translation rather stiff and discordant. Coverdale's translation brings out the music.
The Lexham Septuagint is a bit better than the old Brenton or the NETS in this respect, though.