Showing posts with label KJV. Show all posts
Showing posts with label KJV. Show all posts

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fighting Words

Page from a Gutenberg Bible (1454)
This week I stopped at the downtown public library and saw an exhibition of rare religious texts. With permission, I photographed some of the treasures they had on display. The images you see here are presented in the order of the document’s dating, oldest first.

Witness to the Generations

I meditated on these centuries-old relics for quite a while, considering the many human lifetimes that have passed since the words were pressed and penned onto their pages. Even back then, the sources of those words were already ancient. Most of the books were Bibles, their text copied or translated from a succession of painstakingly hand-copied manuscripts whose original sources have been almost entirely lost in antiquity.

Two columns of clean, bold type stared out at me from the page of a Gutenberg Bible, 558 years after the ink went dry. So much history has passed since then, so many generations born into lives that were “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Thomas Hobbes, 1651). The black and red of the letters seemed not to have faded at all, unlike the colors of whoever pressed the type onto the page in Mainz, Germany–and his child, and that child, and so on. At least twenty generations of lives blooming and fading: a succession of pink-faced infancy transforming into the gray of old age and death, or worse, a dark red death on the endless battlefields of crusade and conquest.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Watered down KJV?

I offer this post tongue in cheek, in light of the King James Onlyism that pervades many Laestadian churches. Growing up, our only options were either the King James Version or a Finnish translation. Since I don't read Finnish, I was stuck with the King James. The Finnish version some churchmembers used was a modern translation! I'd hear things like, "it's so much clearer in the Finn." Irony!

Hurrah! At long last, I've finally found an online King James Bible. What's that you say? It's easy to find the KJV online? You could not be more wrong. Not this King James Bible, the original and best:

Original 1611 King James Version

What's the difference? Well, the original KJV contains a whole lot of prefatory and commentarial matter not found in your average off-the-shelf pseudo-KJV, as well as the Apocrypha. But more relevant to me is that your garden-variety KJV has been updated, reworded, and worst of all re-spelled, so that it no longer provides any adequate hint of the original language and pronunciation of 1611.

For example? Well, your namby-pamby, watered down, fit-only-for-Evian-drinking-fundamentalists fake KJV will start out something like this:

Genesis 1

1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Whereas the REAL KJV starts out like this:

called GENESIS

1 The creation of Heauen and Earth, 3 of the light, 6 of the firmament, 9 of the earth separated from the waters, 11 and made fruitfull, 14 of the Sunne, Moone, and Starres, 20 of fish and fowle, 24 of beasts and cattell, 26 of Man in the Image of God. 29 Also the appointment of food.

IN* (*Psal. 33.6. and 136.5. acts.14.15. and 17.24. hebr. 11.3.) the beginning God created the Heauen, and the Earth.
2 And the earth was without forme, and voyd, and darknesse [was] vpon the face of the deepe : and the Spirit of God mooued vpon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, * (*2.Cor.4.6.) Let there be light : and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that [it was] good : and God diuided+ (+Hebr. betweene the light and betweene the darknesse.) the light from the darknesse.
5 And God called the light, Day, and the darknesse he called Night: + (+ Hebr. and the euening was, and the morning was &c.) and the euening and the morning were the first day.

So if you're man -- or woman -- or Christian enough to take your Bible STRAIGHT UP, without any dilutions or distortions, go read it in Hebrew manuscript. No, no! I mean, go check out this site. It's really cool.

*italicized portion originally posted by Vanity in the Bible and Christianity forum on ISCABBS