It feels strange for me in Jerusalem to be enjoying the Good Life of culture this week, at the International Book Fair, during a week that has seen so many killed in Christchurch and Libya, and when yesterday evening a Grad missile fired from Gaza exploded in the city of Beersheba.
But I guess we have to make the best of life while we still have it..
Yes . . . well, so the Book Fair is actually a big trade show for authors and publishers, held every two years.
But there are plenty of exhibits, lectures, and discussions for us regular people to enjoy too.
Admission is free and there are little freebies to fill up your bag. They even give you a strong bag at the entrance!
Many of the books are for sale, deeply discounted.
The 25th Jerusalem International Book Fair 2011 coincides with the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.
On display is a facsimile the same size, binding, and type of paper as that of the original first printing of the KJV.
It is very big and looks very heavy! (Reminded me of my University of Michigan days, shlepping the heavy Kittel/Stuttgart Biblia Hebraica to my Biblical Hebrew class every day, oi.)
Enlarge the photo and see if you can read it. The print looks like old German script, no?
So many Christians over so many centuries kept on translating the original Hebrew.
On display was one poster for each of the versions, starting in 1380:
Wycliffe, Gutenberg, Erasmus, Tyndale, Coverdale, Matthew, The Great Bible, Stephanus Greek Text, The Bishop's Bible, and the King James of 1611.
The folks manning the exhibit of bilingual Bibles said to tell my readers that you can get a free printed copy in Hebrew-to whatever your language is and also a free Scriptures CD-ROM.
Back home I looked up the website of this 70-year-old UK-based organization.
Allow me to QUOTE its stated object:
"God gave the Holy Scriptures to man as the one true source of light. He chose Jewish writers as the instrument to pen His word and to carefully preserve it down through the centuries. The Hebrew heritage of the Word of God is real, and a great debt is owed to the Jewish people for this most precious gift. Out of gratitude to them and in partial repayment of our debt, The Society for Distributing Hebrew Scriptures exists to provide Jewish people worldwide with a free copy of the Holy Scriptures in bilingual format, i.e. in Hebrew and in the reader’s daily tongue.".
And you can be sure they tack on the New Testament to the back of every "Hebrew Scriptures" that they give away!
Sorry for that little rant. Tomorrow I promise to show you pictures from the Fair that are lighter and more fun.