Thursday, February 24, 2011

400 year anniversary of King James Version

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.


Rayna Eliana said...

That little rant was one I would have made, also.

Nice photos...interesting facts.

cieldequimper said...

I am so unknowledgeable about these things. But I do agree that this feeling of "life goes on as usual" while others suffer is strange.

Winchester Daily Photos said...

Winchester will also be marking the 400 years of the King James Bible. 2 wardens from Winchester College were involved in its translation.

DawnTreader said...

I think it is a bit like that all over the world just now. (Or all the time, come to think of it. Some news just seem to come closer to us personally than the rest.)

"Returne unto thy rest, O my soul: for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee." (one verse I was able to read from your photo of the KJ Bible)

richies said...

I have some Bible pages from a 1613 edition of the King James Version. The old writing style and spelling makes it difficult to read. One of my favorite bibles to read is the Tanakh; especially the Psalms. The version that I have is also known as the NJPS, and it only contains the Old Testament.

An Arkies Musings

Anonymous said...

The script is what we used to call "Black Letter" and the Germans made it famous during world war two. It comes off beautiful and when I was teaching handwriting it was one of the easiest for beginners to learn as the chisel edged pen nib does all the work.

Robin said...

Yes, I couldn't agree more about the rant. Not very altruistic when you scratch the surface a tiny bit.

My photography is available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

Leif Hagen said...

I love when they have free give away stuff and a bag to put it all into! Looks like a very interesting outing, Dina!

Sara said...

The incongruity of enjoying life in one part of the world while others are suffering and dying in another part of the world sometimes hits me the same way. I suppose back in the day when news took weeks and months to arrive, life seemed a little less strange.

Can you imagine being a print setter in the 1600's! Each word spelled out backwards, letter by letter...each individual letter hand boggles my mind.

You know how I love I am enjoying your post here and look forward to what else you have to show us.

Anonymous said...

It is this the version that I like most when it come to English translation.

And yes, hopefully until Easter all these things will just be a memory. Please have a good Friday you all.

daily athens

Cloudia said...

Just enjoying a normal life in Israel is "doing something" valuable ESP in a world of upheaval.

The Chilean Miners! How cool

shalom & Aloha from Honolulu,

Comfort Spiral


Paulina Millaman said...

For Spanish Speakers, the equivlaent of King James Bible is the "bible of the bear" or Reina - Valera First version in 1569. THe oringin of this translation was the early spanish protestant movement as consequence of The Reformation.

Reader Wil said...

A very interesting post, Dina. I cannot read this bible in the German script. But the first psalm is psalm 116. I have also a King James Bible, but it has modern script. I don't like it when the New Testament is given to people who don't ask for it. Christians don't like to be forced to read other religious books, why do they confront other people with christianity.

jeannette said...

In hubby's seminary days, he hated Greek and avoided at all cost to take the required class, and he LOVED Hebrew.
At the same time I was going for my undergrad. college degree and took some Greek classes for my "foreign language" requirement, and I loved Greek.
So I always teased him with that, and told him he should teach me Hebrew -but he never got to it!

Suzanne said...

Rant baby rant. I'm behind ya!

Francisca said...

With the world become so much smaller and accessible, it is harder to know how to manage one's emotions, for sure! And proselytizing seems to be the way of the world; not something I like much. Did you buy any books at the Book Fair?

Dina said...

Shalom friends. I do thank you for your fascinating input!

Francisca, I stocked up mostly on discounted books to mail to my grandchildren in Australia and Los Angeles.
I went back a second time, the day before the fair was closing, and by then many of the books at the display of India were being quietly given away for free!