Thursday 19 May 2011

A Wonderful and Unfinished History

I like this title of a little booklet excellently written by Peter Hallihan and issued by the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS).  You should like the price - just 60p!  In fact they are too cheap to bother ordering alone, so we will give one free with each order during this momentous month of May.  Exactly 400 years ago the Authorised Version (AV) of the Bible was issued, and linguistically as well as spiritually we are in its debt.  How good God has been to English speaking peoples!  But how few acknowledge it now, and indicate it by an insatiable appetite for yet another new translation.  Hallihan remarks 'Is it not ironic that where the Gospel went by word of mouth, the immediate hunger was for the independent stability and endurance of the written word of Scripture, whereas today vast sums are spent trying to make the written word look and sound like a short-lived, ever-shifting spoken form!' (p19).
Now here is a rather murky preview of a book hot off the press of Gospel Standard Trust Publications!  'The King James Bible: Its History and Excellence.'  This paperback is also amazing value for money at £3.50.  We have just received it in this week.  It contains articles by former Strict Baptist chairmen of the TBS on reasons for the usefulness of the AV today, and also has a history of the English Bible by John R Broome.  Interestingly the original 'Translators to the Reader' found in the 1611 version is reproduced.  Only some TBS Bibles have this in them nowadays.  It helpfully outlines the principles of translation, and the reason for a new one, and was written by Myles Smith on behalf of the translators.  Colour as well as black and white photos are included.
An indication of the endurance of the AV was brought home to me today.  I have just packed up Matthew Henry Study Bibles for a destination in Zambia, which will be used by pastors and others.  The request insisted on the AV.  By implication also the language of the puritan Matthew Henry (harder to follow than the AV) is acceptable also!  It just shows that where there's a will there's a way.

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