Friday, May 22, 2009

Interview with a Bible Hunter

Interview with a Bible Hunter

I am pleased today to present to you an interview with William J. Chamberlin, author of the CATALOGUE OF ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS: A Classified Bibliography of Versions and Editions Including Books, Parts, and Old and New Testament Apocrypha and Apocryphal Books. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1991. His work is the most complete reference on English Bible versions. He is a Bible Collector, Bible Hunter, Museum Curator and much more. This is your chance to discover something more about him and his work.

Bradford:      Hello, Mr. Chamberlin. Thank you for agreeing to this interview. You'd prefer I not call you Mr. Chamberlin, right?
William: Thanks right. Mr. Chamberlin, my father, died several years ago. Please call me Bill.

Bradford:      Obviously you are interested in Bibles. How long have you been a collector?
Bill:      I started collecting in 1969 (40 years ago). It started when I was shopping at an old dusty used book store in Toledo. I came across volume one of the Thomas Scott Bible dated 1816. What attracted it to me was a Sprague family record that was near the front. I purchased it for $3. This then led me to the National Archives to obtain the war record for one of the sons mentioned in the Bible. He died in a battle located at Washington, NC where 9 men died. I still had no idea if he was from the North or the South. After receiving his war record, I placed a small article in the Toledo Blade newspaper about the Sprague family. A lady called me and said she can prove beyond any doubt that she was related. To make a long story short, I ended up with the only copy of the Canfield family tree completed in 1854. The root of the tree went back to 1340 and gave the history of how the family name evolved from DePhillo to Canfield. The Tree was beautiful being approximately 24 inches by 36 inches. Emily L. Sprague, the mother in the Bible, was a Canfield and was listed on one of the branches.
     So, I started to look for old Bibles with family records. It didn't take long for me to notice that in some of the Bibles I purchased, the text was easier to read than others. This really appealed to me and so I started to search for old Bibles for that purpose - a better understanding of what the Scriptures were telling me. One of the older Bibles I purchased had a notation in the back with a small list of Bibles for sale and contact information for Walter Coslet. I contacted him which started a very long friendship. It turned out that Mr. Coslet had the largest private collection in this country. He was instrumental in my becoming a serious collector.

Bradford:      Some might want to ask, "do you have all these Bibles in your collection?"
Bill:      No, I do not have all the versions listed in my book. There must be 10,000 of them listed in my book.

Bradford:      How many versions do you have?
Bill:      I collect only English versions- I now have 2,080+/- versions. This adds up to approximately 3,000 volumes when counting the multi volumes sets, the 1st, 2rd and 3rd editions, the revised edition, etc. This doesn't include the digitized Bibles, which number approximately 1,963 versions plus approximately 475 online only versions I have downloaded onto my computer.

Bradford:      One question I imagine people ask you a lot is "what is your favorite version of the Bible?" or "What is the best version?"
Bill:      I believe as the original 1611 KJV translators stated in the "To the Readers", "We do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English... containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God." Therefore, I don't have a favorite for I use ALL of them in my studies.
     No perfect translation, version, or edition of the Bible exists. All translators tend to lean towards their own religious beliefs when choosing the words they use in their translations, including the KJV. The KJV was to support the doctrines of the Church of England.
     There are many accurate Bibles or should I say, there are some Bibles with only a few errors, in existence today. In fact, I would suggest that most Bibles today have a high level of accuracy. Some inaccuracies that have slipped through have been discussed more than others here and there. EVERY BIBLE VERSION HAS SOME INACCURACIES.
     However, we can consider nearly every Bible version as accurate, as long as we understand what kind of Bible version we are using and who the targeted readers are. In addition, we need to know who the translators are and their background, both educational and religious, and then watch for the areas where they chose to use a word which was influence by their religious tradition in their translating.
     That should explain why my collection includes 275 Bible bibliographies, books describing various versions and, in most cases, supplying information on the translators and editors as well.

Bradford:      What is the most unusual translation you have ever seen?
Bill:      Dr. Dymond's New Testament. It has never been published, however, I own the original manuscript which was done on the back side of scratch paper (8.5" x 11") cut in half. It's an expanded translation with a lot of material added in order to make it more understandable. He also used a lot of space-age words in the translation. I do treasure this manuscript. I do have other original English translation manuscripts, but this one is unusual. I also have the KJV N.T. hand-printed on scrolls where each book is on it's own scroll, thus, 27 scrolls making up this copy of the KJV.
Bradford:      You and I came up with a term for what we do. Want to tell everyone what that is?
Bill:      Bible Hunters. We search out any and all digitized English versions we can find on the world wide web. Some of the Internet sites are free and others have a yearly fee where old books can be found. Since Microsoft's old books database was shut down due to pressure from used bookstores, I believe its just a matter of time before more will give in or will start charging a fee for every book downloaded. Thus, a true Bible Hunter, and I only know of two, will spent a lot of time searching for English versions of the Bible and parts thereof and then download them.
     I have found approximately 475 English versions that can ONLY be found on the Internet. These need to be downloaded immediately, as you find them, for web sites come and go daily for various reasons. Once a site with a non-published Bible version shuts down it may be lost forever. My book was completed before things like books began to appear on the Internet.
     (Editor's note: You can get a very good start on that digital collection by visiting my links page at the Bible Reader's Museum and my blog about new and interesting Bible versions.)

Bradford:      You really aren't just a collector. I know you are also a Bible reader. Would you share with us what Bible(s) you've read?
Bill:      There are too many to list. I have a list which I stopped updating several years ago. From 1969 to 2006 I read 13 complete Bibles, 27 New Testaments, 7 Old Testaments, and parts from over 2,000 translations of single books of the English Bible. The only reason I made the list was that I did not want to read the same translation more than once until I had read every one in my collection.

Bradford:      Why have you read so many different versions?
Bill:      I have no desire to be bogged down in the technicalities of the original languages even if the original autographs were to be found. Variant translations seem the ideal way of understanding the opinions of what was originally written, though there is no full equivalency to be expected between languages. Therefore, we need translations that better reveal how the original expressed itself (literal), translations that express the thought that the translator "understood" and paraphrases which bring out the opinions of what scholars conclude was understood by the original readers. This being the case, we can rely on God's Holy Spirit to guide us in our study of God's written Word. And new translations can help us in our studies.
Bradford:      Do you have any recommendations for people interested in the history of the English Bible?
Bill:      The history of the English Bible is a very interesting adventure. There are a lot of good books in print that deal with the history of the Bible. One can start with my book. Then they could add the following: The English Bible in America by Margaret Hills, 1962; Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible by A.S. Herbert, 1968; A Visual History of the English Bible by Donald L. Brake, 2008; The English Bible; a History of Translations by F. F. Bruce, 1961; The Bible in English. Its History and Influence. By David Daniell, 2003.
     Now, if one would like to go a step further into the history of the English Bible, then reading about the translators can really build up one's faith. The following books can be most helpful in this regard; English Language Bible Translators. William E. Paul. Mcfarland & Co., 2003; The Forbidden Book. Lollard House, Shippensburg, PA, 1992; Bible Editions & Versions. International Society of Bible Collectors Quarterly journal; The Indestructible Book. The Bible, It's Translators, and Their Sacrifices. W. Kenneth Connolly. Baker Books, 1996.

Bradford:      What about advice for beginning Bible collectors?
Bill:      Start with modern translations where there are a couple hundred available. Then, as your collection begins to grow in size, start adding older versions. Just remember that not all Bible collectors have a large number of volumes. Either way, you will need to be patient and don't give up. Remember that collecting in itself does not mean must, but reading and understanding what you are reading is most important. It can lead one to a very close relationship with your God.

Bradford:      Rather that list every job you've had - was there one that stands out as a favorite?
Bill:      I actually had two favorite jobs. I loved my job as editor of my church's Sunday, 12 page bulletin. This job was very rewarding to me. I also loved my job as a Project Manager, where I was solely responsible for projects up to $10 million. This was an exciting job with new challenges every day.

Bradford:      You have also studied for the ministry, specifically chaplaincy, is that correct?
Bill:      Not exactly correct. I studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit to become ordained in the Catholic Church as a Deacon receiving three levels of degrees in Pastoral Ministry. However, because of my handicap I dropped out 6 weeks before ordination. As a Layperson, I could do anything a Deacon could and I did.
Bradford:      Were you called to work as a chaplain, then?
Bill:      One was NOT related to the other. My education at the seminary was for the purpose of ordination in the Catholic Church as a Deacon, a clergyman and the lowest position in the hierarchy; the highest is a Bishop and the lowest is a Deacon.
     I started as Chaplain at the hospital before I started going to the seminary. In fact, I was the only Lay chaplain at the hospital where I served for 14 years. I received training at the hospital's Chaplain's office in Pastoral Care of the Ill. It consisted of approximately 2 hours a session with about 12 sessions. I also rec'd training at the seminary in Pastoral Care of the Ill.

Bradford:      What was it like for you being a Chaplain?
Bill:      The first 8 years at the hospital was as a chaplain on call for Crisis Intervention, usually where death was pending or had taken place. Its was not an easy ministry. It was rewarding work for me. I learned how to pray with people from all faiths both Christian & non-Christian. Let me related to you why I stopped my ministry in Crisis Intervention.
     One evening, I was called to the hospital for a 17 day old baby that died. The baby had never been out of the hospital and the parents had never held their baby boy. I got to the hospital just before the parents, both sets of grandparents and some aunts & uncles. It was a very difficult time. I got the idea to ask the parents if they would like to hold and rock their baby for the first and last time. They said, "Yes, is that possible?" So, I asked the nurses to dress the baby boy. I got a rocking chair and brought it into a private office. The parents, and all the family members there each took a turn at rocking the boy.
     One of the grandmothers ask me if I would do the funeral. I asked them which faith they were, if any. I was told Catholic. Since I was also Catholic, I had to ask for permission from the Catholic priest responsible for the area where the hospital was located. He knew me well and gave permission. (As I had previously stated, I can do anything a Deacon can do even though I was not ordained. All I need to do is to ask for permission.). The funeral was held at a chapel located at the cemetery. Over 200 people came to the service. It was a very hard time for me - here was this tiny casket and all were in tears after my sermon for I started out my sermon by confronting the parents with their anger with God for taking their baby. I used the Bible to show them that death is the result of sin and who was really responsible for sin and the death of their child. I showed them how even God was crying with them over the lost of the boy. As the sermon progressed I showed them the love that God has for all of us with his providing a means for all of us to receive salvation through His son, Jesus. Well anyway, from that time onward, I changed to bedside ministry.

Bradford:      Do you belong to any organizations related to Bibles, collecting or the study of Bibles?
Bill:      I belong to a few:
     I am President & curator for the Bible Museum & Biblical Research Foundation located in Clarkston, MI.
     I am Vice President for the International Society of Bible Collectors.
     I am a member of the four different Bible Translation Discussion groups on the Internet.

Bradford:      How long have you been a member of the International Society of Bible Collectors?
Bill:      I have been a member of the ISBC since around 1969 or 1970. So, its been approximately 40 years.

Bradford:      What is your role with the ISBC?
Bill:      I am Vice President. I help to set the ISBC's goals along with the Executive Committee. I chair the Executive Committee when the President is not available, etc.

Bradford:      As an officer in the ISBC, what is your hope for its future?
Bill:      My hope for the ISBC is growth in membership and, maybe someday, ownership in their own building.

Bradford:      You also have a Bible museum. Describe that for us?
Bill:      First of all, I built a special building (24 feet x 28 feet) behind my modest home. The building is well insulated but has no drywall or paneling Most of the walls are covered by bookcases anyway. Of course I have electricity in the building, thus lights, a dehumidifier and overhead fans but no heat (this keeps book worms out). It has 9 foot high walls so standard 8 foot boards can be used to build bookcases. All books are on bookcases not in glass cases like other museums. I want the books to be used. (I do not allow anyone to handle the Bibles unless they wear surgeon's gloves. They protect the old paper from body oil & acid.) Museum hours are by appointment only.

Bradford:      What was your goal in forming the museum?
Bill:      There were several reasons for setting up the museum. First, I wanted to preserve old Bibles. Then I wanted to make them available to all who might be interested in God's Written Word.

Bradford:      What is the oldest Bible in the museum?
Bill:      1582 Rheims N.T. (An incomplete copy.)

Bradford:      How many volumes are in the collection?
Bill:      Approximately 2,080 hard copy versions which add up to 3,000 volumes, approximately 1,963 digitized versions which add up to 2,600 digitized volumes, and 475 online only versions. One word of explanation about the online only versions. I have downloaded most revised copies of each and for those that were in progress I downloaded enough revisions of each so as to put together an evolution of any given translation with all the changes made to them over a period of time.

Bradford:      What about donations to the museum, are they tax deductible?
Bill:      Donations to the museum are tax deductible. It doesn't matter if the donations are books or money, a tax receipt is issued to the donor.

Bradford:      What kinds of Bibles, Books or other things does the museum need?
Bill:      The museum needs Bible versions from the 1500s. However, it will accept any Bibles, for the museum is allowed to sell its duplicates and use the money for Bibles they do need. The museum needs original English translation manuscripts, whether published or unpublished. The museum also needs old Bible bibliographies and books on the history of the English Bible.
     The museum is also in need of any artifacts from the Holy Land. The museum does have a couple of very neat items. It owns a handle from one of the containers that held a Dead Sea Scroll. In addition, it has a piece of tile from Masada, and a large tile (6" x 6" x 0.5" thick) from an old temple, and an oil lamp from the time of Jesus.

Bradford:      What motivated you to begin this study of English Bible versions?
Bill:      My need for a written "want list" of Bibles that I didn't have in my collection motivated me to started the research. It grew and grew in size to the point I thought if I needed a list like this then so would others. That is what started my adventure. I saw where my research could turn into a bibliography such as had never been done before. Almost all of the bibliographies I had in my collection list complete Bibles, Old Testaments and New Testaments with little said about parts of the Bible (single books) and none had listed any single chapters or single verses. I wanted my book to include everything.
     I did a lot of traveling as a Project Manager. Every place I went I looked up all the libraries in that area. I spent hours, days, and sometimes weeks going through each and every book in their religious book sections. I would look at every book to see if the author used a common translation for their scripture quotes or did their own translating. I went through stacks of old & new religious magazines searching articles for new translations of the scriptures or parts of scripture. The result of all this work is in my book.

Bradford:      Have advances in computer technology helped or hindered your work?
Bill:      Computers have both hindered and helped with my work. When I started my research back in 1968-69, there were no Internet databases containing Bibles. All my research was done in libraries. Now the computer, through the Internet, provides much more bibliographical material on old Bibles than all the libraries I spent so much time searching.
     It has been a hindrance in the fact the only true Bible Hunters, I know, keep coming up daily with Bible versions to either add to my book, or to expand from a short title to the full title, or to help add to the publication history of many entries in my book. Many of the old Bible bibliographies I used for the first edition of my book had short titles for the versions they were describing. This was often the only information available, and so, I used that information for lack of anything else. The actual hindrance is that it seems that there is NO end to the gathering of new data for the book. When & how do I stop?

Bradford:      What changes would you like to see in terms of technological resources relating to Bibles?
Bill:      I would like to see ALL old Bibles that are in libraries (even private libraries) digitized and put on the Internet for our use. Many are not made accessible even when they are well beyond the copyright laws. All books older than 1923 are no longer under the copyright laws and should be available for anyone to read and/or download for offline use.

Bradford:      You have been studying Bibles for many years. Have you noticed trends in Bible versions?
Bill:      Yes, there have been some that most people most likely would not even notice.
     The first one that most people are not aware of is the fact the KJV, from 1611 through the mid-1800s most always contained the Apocrypha. Then, for the next 100 years, it was a very rare version that contained it. Since about 1950 many Bibles now include the Apocrypha again. Some of the most well-known versions, such as the Revised Standard Version, have the Apocrypha. Catholic Bibles have always contained the Apocrypha.
     The second one deals with a form of God's name. Even though the Hebrew Scriptures have always had God's name over 6800 times, most old Bibles used God's name just a few times, if at all. The form of God's name used up until, I believe, 1895 was Jehovah, an English name that first came into use in the 1300s. Since about 1895 the form of God's name that became most popular was Yahweh. In the last few years, a lot of "Name" Bible versions have come into existence.

Bradford:      Have you done things to help future generations study these Bibles the way you have (aside from the obvious resource of your published book)?
Bill:      I am sorry to say that the only thing I have done is to preserve 2,080 or so English translations/versions in my museum. After I am no longer living here on the earth, the Bible Museum and collection will be passed on to the International Society of Bible Collectors. Since the ISBC does not have their own building in order to house the collection (which consists of more than just Bible versions) I am trying to locate an institution which would house it for the ISBC. In addition, I would give them around 4,000 religious books (this includes approximately 400 books dealing with creation/evolution) that are not a part of the Bible Museum. I don't want my life's work shut away in some room where it can not be used.

Bradford:      Have you written any other publications as a result of your study?
Bill:      Yes, I have written a booklet and about 50 or so articles that have been published in magazines, journals, news papers, etc. I have also put out a regular column for the ISBC's journal. I am also going to have a Bibliography of Bible Bibliographies ready for publication, hopefully by the end of the year.

Bradford:      Your book contains an amazing number of Bible versions. How long did you work on the book (once you knew you would be writing a book)?
Bill:      I worked for 23 years (every day of the week even if only for a few hours), which included 4 years to type it for I type with just two fingers and still do.

Bradford:      How in the world did you ever find all those different versions?
Bill:      I found them though a lot of time and patience. I never gave up on the project. Since I wanted to produce something that had never been done before, I collected Bible bibliographies, other collector's lists of what they had, I was given a card file 72 inches long that contained a lot of Bible versions, a lot of entries from the letters Walter Coslet and I exchanged over the 25 years or so that we communicated before he died. (I don't throw anything away.) Finally, through a lot of "leg work", I was able to put together seven - 3" notebooks full of possible entries for my book. They would include stick-ons, photocopies of titles page data, hand-written notes from small note pads I carried with me every where I went.

Bradford:      How much time did you spend in libraries?
Bill:      23 years in all. Some days I was in a library all day. Then there were times it took me a week or more in given library. The most time I spent at any one library was every day for a month. Since I traveled a lot as a project manager, I would go to the library after 2 pm until they closed and then I would go for a late supper. I would spend every hour I could find to do research in a library. None of this time was taken away from my family for I was gone anyway on business, that's not saying that my family didn't give up some of their time with me for they did.

Bradford:      Some of us know about Herbert's and Hills' Bible bibliographies. But how many Bible bibliographies did you use to do your work?
Bill:      Maybe 200 of them were used for that is all I had at the time.

Bradford:      What other resources did you use?
Bill:      I mentioned most of them previously, however, there are a couple I did not mentioned and will now.

General Catalog of Printed Books: Photolithographic Edition to 1955. London:
   Published by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1965.
     Vol. 17 Bible; Complete Bible - O.T.
     Vol. 18 Bible; --N.T.
     Vol. 19 Bible; --Appendix
Library of Congress Catalogs; National Union Catalog, vol. 2, pages 234 to 595, 1983.
Library of Congress Catalogs; National Union Catalog, 1956 through 1967, vol. 12, pages 6 to 192
Brown University Library Catalog, approximately 1,000 photocopy pages.
Catalog of Books Contained in the Library of the American Bible Society, Embracing Editions of the Holy Scriptures in Various Languages, 1855, 1863, & 1870.
Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of the Holy Scriptures in the Library of the British and Foreign Bible Society Compiled by T. H. Darlow and H. F. Moule. 4 Vols. London: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1903-1911. (Vol. 3)

Bradford:      What do you like best about your book? What would you change if you did it all over again?
Bill:      What do I like best? That's a hard question for me to answer. I guess maybe it's comprehensiveness (complete Bibles down to single verses in some obscure religious magazine).
     I would like to change the type of font and the size of the font. This was dictated to me by the publisher. It was Courier type font which every single letter takes up the exact same amount of space. In other words, the "i" takes the same amount of space as a "w." Then they limited me to the max number of pages. I went over by a hundred pages. To get down to that, I had to remove a lot of annotations.

Bradford:      Bill, your published book is really the second best resource on English Bible versions, isn't it? (I'm referring of course to the upcoming new book.)
Bill:      You are counting your chickens before they are hatched aren't you?

Bradford:      Guilty! But is something in the works?
Bill:      Yes, I am in the process of completing a two companion Bible Bibliographies. One volume will contain the canonical books (those that were, at one time or another, considered canonical) and the other will contain the Pseudepigrapha (non-canonical books O.T. & N.T.) books.
     I know you are wondering why not two volumes? Well, I had numerous people say they would purchase a copy of my book if it did not include books that are not scripture. They are the same ones who will not purchase a Bible if it contains the Apocrypha. (Even though the Apocrypha were in the first edition of the KJV all the way up to the mid-1800s.) Because I really don't want to offend anyone and because of the size of the first book, I decided to separate them. I am not even calling them volume one and volume two. They will be entirely separate one from the other, and so, I am referring to them as companion books.
     I guess I would not mind if there was a third companion book. It would sort of tie them all together. My Bibliography of Bible Bibliographies.

Bradford:      Any idea when can we will see it published?
Bill:      I am doing everything I can to get it them published this year. Sometime I will need to draw a line and say "stop." I do need to find another publisher and I need to work on it first.

Bradford:      What will be the volumes of your next work?
Bill:      Hopefully, there will be only one volume - the canonical books of the Bible (those that were at one time considered canonical). Then after that or even at the same time, its companion book with non-canonical Bible books will get published.

Bradford:      Has much changed since 1991, when Catalogue of English Bible Translations was published?
Bill:      I guess one can say that if one wants to include the fact that:
  1. Hundreds of new entries have been added,
  2. Many, many short titles have been replaced with full titles,
  3. Many of the unknown dates have been replaced with actual dates,
  4. It now contains hundreds of new listings of "Online Only" versions which have never been published and may never be published and where they were located on the Internet at one time or another. (I have downloaded all of them.),
  5. It will also include unpublished English manuscripts.

     In my revised book, I was able to save 25% of the space by using Times New Roman font. (I hope the next publisher will accept the font I have used this time around.) I need the added space. After removing the Pseudepigrapha (non-canonical) books, and adding the newer versions since 1991, the enlarging of many of the short titles, the adding of the older versions I did not know anything about back in 1991, my book is back up to 1,022 pages and I am not done yet.
     In fact, the changes are so numerous that the book may be published as a new book and not as a 2nd edition.

Bradford:      How many new Bibles versions do you think will be added?
Bill:      I have no idea. I can say, though, there are approximately 400 additional pages.

Bradford:      Will this next book(s) be it? Will you have gotten all the Bible versions listed?
Bill:      Absolutely not. As long as we have new Bible versions coming out each year and as long as older versions are being found, there will be the need for new "next edition." The one thing I have learned over the last 17 yrs since the 1st edition, is that I most likely will never have all Bible versions listed. In just the last two years I have discovered parts of 7 original manuscripts which have not been published. These works deserve to be listed as well. One of them is almost all of Paul's writings, five are parts of the Book of Job, and one is part of the Song of Songs all done by different translators. They are all a labor of love. So, will I ever have all listed? NO!

Bradford:      If this study never ends, how did you decide in 1991 that it was time to publish?
Bill:      In 1990, I decided to see if there would be any interest in this type of book. I knew I could make it useful to anyone with a question about a English Bible versions, but, would a publisher see what I envisioned. So, I sent out six samples and got back five rejections saying the subject matter was not what they publish. I also received a letter back from the New York Public Library who use to be in the publishing business. In it, they stated that I should sent a sample copy to Greenwood Press and that they were sure that Greenwood would give it "the serious consideration it deserved." Before I got a sample put together, I received a letter from Greenwood requesting a copy. Their letter seem to say that they were going to publish it even though unseen. Evidently, the New York Public Library contacted them directly and based on that they decided to publish it.
     This time, I waited until the 1st edition had run its course. All the published copies were sold and now it is only published upon demand. So it is time for an even more comprehensive listing of English Bible Versions & Editions. Maybe this time, it could be advertised not only as a Bible Bibliography, but, a book that could be used for a history of the English language and also for the history of the English Bible.      You know, most people and some collectors believe that Wycliffe translated the first scripture into English. That is not technically true as can be seen from my book. Wycliffe was the first to translate the first complete Bible into English but from the Latin and not the original languages.

Bradford:      How can people get in touch with you?
Bill:      The Bible Museum & Biblical Research Foundation      6413 Snow Apple Drive      Clarkston, MI 48346-2455      U.S.A. E-mail: or
Bradford:      Bill, thank you for giving us your time and answering all these questions.
Bill:      I consider it an honor that you had asked me to do this interview. Thank you and may God bless you.

Bradford:      I'm going to give you the last word. Anything else you'd like to say?
Bill:      I pray that my life's work will help some young people to develop an appreciation of God's written Word. May it encourage some to begin to collect the hard work of the many God loving English translators and editors of the Bible. My hope is that they will become more than just collectors, but, real lovers of God's Written Word as we have it in our English language. This, then, can lead to the glory & praise of our heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior.
      Only then will the full purpose of my Bible Bibliography be fulfilled.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

More links, and a couple sets

I've been blessed with some extra time to search out links for Bibles. Right now I'm concentrating on Google Books. Next I may turn to Internet Archive. I've also added a couple things to the Sets page: The Polychrome Bible and the International Critical Commentary.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Peshitta Translation Project

This is another translation of the Peshitta being done by Rick Wills of Wellsprings of Torah. Matthew was made available in 2005 - no other books are on the site.

MacDonald Idiomatic Translation Bible

I haven't heard of this one yet. It is included with Bibleworks 8. If anyone is fortunate enough to afford this fine software, could you send information along about this version? So far, I find no mention of it except on pages about Bibleworks.

Spirit of Prophecy Version

This is a literal translation called the Spirit of Prophecy Version. The introduction on the website gives the reason for a new version of the Bible: "The main reason for producing a new Bible translation is to finally have a translation that, for the first time in history since the time of the prophet Daniel, corresponds with the present truth." PDF downloads of the translation (still in process) are available.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Expanded Bible: New Testament Update

The Expanded Bible: New Testament is indeed based on the New Century Version (I'd have known that yesterday if I'd read the introduction). The introduction says it is a "modified version" of the NCV. Since William Chamberlin and I both need to catalog this new work properly, I looked for differences. I found several with the briefest of searches. I did not consider the bracketed expansions. One such example is found in Matthew 5:3 (I've removed the expansions here):

NCV Those people who know they have great spiritual needs are happy
EB-NT They are blessed who realize their spiritual poverty

I'm not trying to establish any theories or complaints - just to properly categorized the base text.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Expanded Bible New Testament

Late again! This one was announced on April 30th. I just read about it at Fredericksbug Church of Christ blog. This is a new Bible version from Thomas Nelson. The New Testament is ready and available in a PDF download. It is much like the Amplified Bible in its format. One blog reports that it is a revision of the New Century Version. I haven't found confirmation of that yet. Its predecessor, the Amplified Bible was finished in 1965 and updated (minor) in 1985. The expansions are marked to show if they are an alternate rendering, a literal rendering, a traditional rendering, a comment or an expansion. This is very helpful for study and keeps one from jumping about to different resources. Finally, there is an entry on the blog of Wayne Hastings who is the Senior Vice President and Group Publisher of the Bible Division for Thomas Nelson Publishers. The translators (revisers?) are Tremper Longman III, Mark Strauss and Daniel Taylor.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Revised English Version Link

I just discovered I messed up the link for the Revised English Version in a previous posts. Here's the link and the previous post is fixed as well.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Money you'll save

The other day I had an e-mail about a Bible a Pastor had purchased. I found a copy for sale on for $450.00 (he picked up his copy for 25 cents!). It got me to thinking what it would cost to have the "virtual Bible collection" in real, paper copies. I've added a page on my website listing prices found plus links to free downloads. With 17 Bibles listed so far (some multi-volume sets) the total is up to $83,895 (USD). While links are given for the free downloads, you're on your own for the 84 thousand dollars.