Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bay Psalm book sold at auction!

One of 11 known copies of the 1640 Bay Psalm book sold at auction on Tuesday in New York City. The auction was conducted by Sotheby's on behalf of Boston's Old South Church. It was purchased by David Rubenstein for 14.2 million dollars. He plans to loan it to libraries around the country. You can pick up a facsimile by Applewood books for slightly less - just over 11 dollars.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gideons Revised Berkeley Version in Modern English

One more post about the Bibles distributed by the Gideons: This time it is the oldest of the modern English versions they have distributed. It is The Revised Berkeley Version in Modern English. I believe that the Gideons started using this version in 1974. However, I have had difficulty verifying that date. It was discontinued in 1983 in favor of the the New International Version. I have found three different types of changes:

  1. Footnotes were removed throughout the text.
  2. Brackets around text were removed.
  3. Verses, at least in the New Testament, were changed to conform to the Textus Receptus.

An example of the changed verses can be found in John 3:16. In the original Berekeley version of 1969 it had "His only Son." In the Gideons edition it reads "His only-begotten Son."

While these differences are interesting for those of us that study Bible versions, they should not draw attention away from what God is doing through Gideons International. The organization is drawing closer to two billion Bibles and testaments distributed! These are not just in English. There are Gideons in 190 countries across the globe. More than two Bibles or testaments are being distributed every second. Every time I hear a Gideon speak, I hear a new testimony of someone whose life was forever changed because they had a Bible to read. Please support the Gideons in prayer and donations!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gideons edition of the English Standard Version

The Gideons International recently began distributing the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Bible. They distribute a modern English translation in addition to the King James Version (KJV). Previously, they used the New King James Version (NKJV). I believe that when HarperCollins bought Thomas Nelson the contract with Gideons for the NKJV was not renewed. This left them looking for a new modern English version.

The Gideons' agreement with Crossway allowed them to make changes to the ESV. Verses that were only in footnotes in the original ESV are restored. Other changes were made that often bring the ESV into agreement with the Textus Receptus. A full list of the changes in the New Testament was developed by Joshua Holman. You can read his list here. I have not found any changes to the Old Testament yet. You can read about the switch in the June issue of The Gideon.

You can read the Gideons' edition of the ESV online at their website. The link is for their reading schedule. Be sure to click on ESV under "select version."

Each camp will decide which issue to distribute. The existence of a modern English version does not mean they quit distributing the KJV.

I continue to be excited about the mission of the The Gideons International. According to their website history:

It's been just over 100 years since The Gideons International placed the first Bible in a hotel room in Montana. Today, Gideons are organized in more than 190 countries around the globe. Bibles and New Testaments are printed for distribution by The Gideons International in more than 90 languages. Through God's grace and to His Glory, more than 1.8 billion Bibles and New Testaments have been placed through our association, and the work continues. . .

“The sower soweth the word.”—Mark 4:14

Thank you, Joshua Holman, for links, your excellent chart and all your help!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

unauthorized immersionist Americanized English Revised Version

That mouthful of a title means this: In 1881 Samuel Wells Williams published a New Testament that contained the English Revised version with the changes preferred by the American committee incorporated into the text (thus Americanized). Since the agreement was that the American Committee would not publish their work for 14 years, it was unauthorized. He also translated the Greek baptizo as "immerse" (thus immersionist). I recently, thanks to the Newberry (a library in Chicago), finally verified the existence of this text. The full bibliographic entry is:
The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Translated out of the Greek: Being the Version Set Forth A.D. 1611, Compared with the Most Ancient Authorities, and Revised A.D. 1881, by English and American Scholars; Embodying in the Text the Readings and Renderings Preferred by the American Members of the International Committee of Revision ; Together with Important Emendations, Having Regard to Philology, Usage, Context, and Doctrinal Import. New York: Published for Samuel Williams, Formerly Pastor First Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., by Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1881.
I do not know if Williams made any other changes to the text. But I deeply appreciate the help of the research librarians at the Newberry in verifying this interesting little New Testament.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Bible Translation Sites with recent updates

There are some Bible versions that are still being updated. A few that I have noticed recently:

I'm sure there are others but those three are ones I check frequently for translation updates. Please add others in comments if you know of ones that are updated often.