Thursday, December 29, 2011
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I received a complimentary copy of the Expanded Bible in Kindle format from Thomas Nelson publishers. This gift did not affect my review in any way.
When I requested the Bible from Thomas Nelson's "Booksneeze" program the title read "Expanded Bible: NKJV." What I got was just the Expanded Bible. It turns out it was an error in the listing. So if you see an Expanded Bible listed as NKJV, don't believe it.
I find trying to use a Bible on the Kindle for reference work very frustrating. One problem that the publisher added was in the way the bracketed notes are categorized. Many of the notes begin with a superscript letter indicating the type. For instance a literal rendering starts with L while a traditional rendering starts with T. Unfortunately, on the Kindle these do not appear enough above the line to be noticeable. Thus the notes end up looking like: [Lbook] or [Tbegot]. Footnotes and cross references, however, worked fairly easily. I moved the cursor to a footnote, clicked on it, read it, then pushed "BACK" and was right back where I left off. Overall, I found the formatting for the Kindle was well done. Links are provided for jumping to a verse. It is the nature of books on e-readers that makes it awkward to use.
The Expanded Bible is much like the Amplified Bible in its format. Except for the format, though, it does not appear that there is any direct relationship between the two versions.
The Expanded Bible is a revision of the New Century Version. As such, it inherited some of that version's characteristics. One of these is the use of gender neutral language. For instance, Matthew 4:4 reads "...A person lives not on bread alone..." The NCV is intended to be easier to read. This may appeal to some who struggle with reading.
I certainly would not choose this for a daily reading Bible. But it is interesting to read a few passages and see variants of certain words or phrases. 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. The idea of combining an "easy to read" text with the complications of parenthetical notes (or bracketed expansions) seems strange. I believe the work would have been better combined with a more accurate version.
Friday, November 18, 2011
After a couple posts by Theophrastus led me to the blog, BLT - Not Just a Sandwich I discovered another work worth mentioning here. (Thanks, Theophrastus, that's three posts you've given me this morning).
In April W. W. Norton will publish The Poems of Jesus Christ by Willis Barnstone. Jesus' words will be presented in poetic format. It isn't stated but it may be that this will use the text from Barnstone's Restored New Testament.
The Poems of Jesus Christ
Theophrastus left a comment that should be made a regular post. Recently Harper Collins purchased Thomas Nelson. The point was made that "This will give HarperCollins three Bible publishing imprints: Zondervan (NIV etc.), Thomas Nelson (NKJV etc.), and HarperOne (NRSV etc.)"
Also, I read that InterVarsity Press is going to purchase Biblica Books. However, they will be purchasing the book publisher, not the Bible publisher.
I don't follow the corporate world much, but expect these changes may have some impact on the Bibles produced. I tend to forget about the business aspects of Bible publishing. Thank you, Theophrastus and Louis for the information and reminder!
Thursday, November 17, 2011
I will not comment on Jefferson's editing of the Bible, only on the Smithsonian's work in producing this facsimile. This review is for the The Jefferson Bible, Smithsonian Edition: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Just note, if you haven't heard the history, that Jefferson did select, cut out and paste verses from other Bibles to form his work.
The book comes with a thick plastic dustcover with the title and Jefferson's picture on it. If you remove the plastic, the book underneath looks exactly like Jefferson's original volume. It almost feels like a leather cover. It is neat to imagine I am holding his actual bound volume in my hand.
The first part of this work has the history of Jefferson's Bible and the conservation efforts taken to preserve it. Full color pictures show key figures in the story, part of the conservation work and even one original Bible that Jefferson used to cut out the passages. The conservation effort section was especially interesting. It highlighted several difficulties Jefferson's work presented. Many different papers are in it since he glued from several books onto yet another type of paper. Two different adhesives were used. And several different formulations of ink were used as well.
The second part of the book is, of course, Jefferson's Bible. It is a high resolution, exact facsimile. It was photographed while disbound for restoration. I expected glossy, full color pictures of each page. And they are full color. But the paper used makes it look like you are seeing the original. In my opinion it is better than a glossy photograph would be. The foldout maps, his marginal notes and even his hand written table of contents are all included.
On page 56 I thought I found a mistake. A rectangle of paper was glued down in mine that did not match the original online. It didn't open out. Later I tried again and discovered it was a flap, just stuck. A little extra pull and it opened up. It exactly matches the flap that Jefferson glued onto his original, including where the ink stuck to the page margin behind it!
I have two other editions of the Jefferson Bible. The first was published by Wilford Funk in 1940. It simply re-typeset Jefferson's Bible in paragraph format with no indication of where he cut and pasted. This probably helps present what Jefferson intended but loses all the history of his work. The second edition I have was published in 1964 by Clarkson N. Potter. It has re-typeset text with marginal notes to show where in the gospels each passage is found. It is followed by a black and white facsimile. It is readable, but nowhere near as clear as this recent publication. The technology was not available then to do what has been done now. The Smithsonian edition far outshines these two.
I am impressed with all the work that went into preserving the original and reproducing this facsimile for us. I hope those behind this work will produce other facsimiles. I believe this is well worth the price and recommend getting a copy now while they are available!
The Jefferson Bible
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
(answer: Acts, Zephaniah)
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The Voice New Testament. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4185-5076-9.
I received a complimentary copy of The Voice: New Testament from Thomas Nelson publishing. Their provision of this work does not influence my review either positively or negatively.
Well over a year and half ago I first reviewed The Voice: New Testament. When a copy was made available again, I wasn't inclined to request it. There is no indication on the cover or title page that this is a revised edition. However, the copyright page now shows at date of 2011. The listing on Amazon.com says that it is "revised and updated."
I decided to check my complaints of 2010 and see if they still appplied to the newest edition. While I could determine some changes that were made, other problems were still there.
One complaint I have is the deliberate insertion of "the voice" theme. I noted that this version adds and changes words to support that theme "Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God" John 1:1). I still wonder if the new translation yielded this theme or the translators changed their work to support their ideas.
Another troublesome passage was in 1 John 1:112 where it read "His own people, who have heard the voice before, rebuff this inner calling and refuse to listen." This has been changed in the 2011 edition to "Even though He came to His own people, they refused to listen and receive Him." The italics are used to indicate "that would have been obvious to the those originally addressed." However, it is obvious that the inserted words show passages where the translators ideas are inserted into the text. That is, ideas that do not come from the Greek New Testament. I certainly objected to the italicized portions, but also to the concept of "inner calling." I am pleased to see that both the italicized portions and the "inner calling" have been removed from the latest edition.
Many of the syncretistic passages have been removed from this latest edition. However, too much of the translators theology still shows through for me to be comfortable with this work.
One aspect I do like about this version is that way it was set up on the page. Conversations are arranged that way, with brown lettering indicating the speaker. It is interesting and helpful to see the New Testament presented as a script.
This remains a document of the emergent church movement, not a faithful rendering of the New Testament. I will not recommend it to anyone other than as a curiosity or an example of how theological bias clouds translation.
The Voice New Testament: Revised & Updated
Monday, November 7, 2011
I've added a new item from the Bible Reader's Museum. This one is available on Amazon.com, through the Kindle Publishing program. It is a thoroughly edited, original spelling edition of William Tyndale's New Testament of 1534. The Tyndale Reader's New Testament has links to the chapters, but not verse numbers. Since Tyndale's work did not have verse numbers, this edition does not either. As time permits, other historical English Bibles will be produced in Kindle format as well.
Tyndale Reader's New Testament
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
If you've never read Vincent Price's Critical Emphatic Paraphrase of the New Testament, you are not alone. Only 120 copies of the first edition were produced. It was "published" on a spirit process duplicator. Does anyone know what that was? Was it that big round metal drum with those awful smelling chemicals?
The Bible Museum in Michigan loaned a copy to Richard Estes who re-published this rare New Testament. Richard scanned the pages, ran them through an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process and then edited the resulting text. I browsed a copy at the the recent convention of the International Society of Bible Collectors. It appears very well done. Since it is re-typeset the text is much clearer than a picture of the original.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The best page for reading both transcribed texts and scans of actual pages of historical English Bibles is Bibles of the Past. He has just added a link for scans of a Wycliffe Bible! (That's where I got the link I added to my links page on the Bible Reader's Museum.)
For those of you trying to read Bibles or books on your iPad there is now another option. Adobe has released a free acrobat reader for the iPad. I found out about it on the App Shopper website. There is an excellent description of the program there. I was able to open PDFs I had been reading in GoodReader using the "Open In" feature. I need to test it with some of the PDFs that crashed other readers. Oh, yes, the reader is available for the iPhone as well.
I will probably continue to use GoodReader. It is my favorite application on the iPad hands down. It reads pdf, html, txt, doc, images, audio and video. It has an easy to use transfer utility built right in (no cable needed). It can also sync with online file storage. Annotations are easy - including writing or drawing freehand. I am using it to edit the new version of my book, "The Encyclopedia of English Bible Versions."
Monday, October 17, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Heroes and Villains of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011. ISBN 978-1400316854.
The Bible text included in this book is from the International Children's Bible (ICB), a close relative of the New Century Version. It is very simple to read. I was surprised how much of the text was included. This is more of a selection of Bible texts with pictures that a story book. The ICB is not suitable for Bible study or adult reading. But since this is just selection of stories it should not be a problem.
The book consists of 50 Bible passages with devotional material. There are 16 Old Testament heroes, 9 Old Testament villains, 17 New Testament heroes and 8 New Testament villains.
At least one of the pictures could be considered borderline by some. There is a picture of Eve being tempted by the serpent. While it is not revealing, it is one of those that stops just short of being so. The picture of Daniel in the lions den has an amusing feature. It appears that Daniel and the male lion are looking at something together. The pictures are computer generated or designed. They do not look cartoonish, but almost like a real photo.
I would have like more insights and lessons along with the Biblical text. The extra material is very brief. It is a short devotional to accompany the text, not an actual study. But I was looking for a book to use in children's Bible study classes. This is obviously for a child's personal reading.
By picking out some of the heroic (and villainous) figures this might help capture the interest of children. It could be a good introduction to reading a full Bible. I plan to share this with some youngsters at church to see what they think about it.
I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for review purposes. This did not affect my review in any way.
Heroes and Villains of the Bible