The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Confessions of a Bible hoarder (answering a meme)

Dave tagged me with this Bible meme, and he asked for it, because I think I have about 50, and that's after giving about 10 away recently (and I'm intending to find more good homes for a bunch more of them in the near future).

1. How many bibles are in your home?

At least 60, including at least 2 of my wife's and 49-50 of mine that I've accounted for, plus a few I no doubt haven't accounted for, as well as a few copies of the Town Church's NIV pew Bibles a a few copies of the Contemporary English Version that are in my office here in the parsonage, but really belong to the church.

2. What rooms are they in?

Mostly in my office, but a few in various rooms of the house, and a few in the garage, where last summer I unpacked many boxes of books that hadn't seen the light of day since we escaped from Indiana in 1998.

3. What translations do you have?

Here's a numerical breakdown of how many of each version I've accounted for - wish I could tell a few more stories about a few of them, but I'll give you a few highlights. Ones with an * have at least one copy with some or all of the Apocrypha/Deuterocanonicals.

WHOLE BIBLE IN ENGLISH:
New American Standard Bible 4
NIV 2
English Standard Version 1
Amplified Bible 1
NKJV 2
KJV 3
* Douay-Rheims 1
Revised Berkeley 1 (a sadly neglected, underrated version)
American Standard Version 1
Revised English Bible 1
* New American Bible 1
NRSV 1
* RSV 4
Living Bible 1
"The Message" 1 (the lady who bought it for me later felt a little apologetic when she actually read it & found it a bit lacking, an interesting bit of discernment considering she's a Christian scientist)
* "An American Translation" (Smith-Goodspeed) 1
New World Translation (Jehovah's Witnesses) 1 (in spite of the deliberate heretical mistranslations here & there, I'd have to say that overall it's still a better version than "The Message")

WHOLE BIBLE IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE:
* German Bible, Martin Luther's translation 1
Norwegian 1
* French "La Bible De Jerusalem" 1
* Spanish 1

GREEK NEW TESTAMENT:
UBS 4th edition - 1
Nestle-Aland 26th edition - 1
Hodges-Farstad "Majority Text" - 1
Textus Receptus (underlying KJV & NKJV - 1
Westcott-Hort 1
Greek-English interlinear published by the Watchtower in 1942 - 1
(a real find, it's probably the single best book the JWs ever published - and that's probably why they let it go out of print & into obscurity, because it's a little too easily used against them. Also a find because the Greek text, rather than being eclectic, is based squarely upon the 4th Century "B" manuscript, one of the chief witnesses for the "Alexandrian tradition")

ORIGINAL LANGUAGE & ANCIENT VERSION OLD TESTAMENTS:
Hebrew Bible, published in Great Britain 1
* Septuagint, Brenton's Greek-English edition 1

NEW TESTAMENTS OF VARIOUS DESCRIPTIONS:
Malagasy New Testament 1
Japanese-English NT1
Wuest's Expanded Translation 1
KJV at least 1
4 Translation Parallel NT 1
Orthodox Study Bible NT (NKJV) 1
Latin NT (not the Vulgate, I think it was done by Beza or some other Calvinist) 1
"Today's English Version" NT - at least 2
A few Gideon NTs, mostly NKJV

4. Do you have a preference?

Hard to say - I might do a separate post on that question. I tend to use the NIV, ESV, NKJV, NASB, & Amplified the most, which for most people wouldn't be narrowing it down much.

5. Nominate an interesting verse:

"In that day the LORD will whistle for flies from the distant streams of Egypt and for bees from the land of Assyria." Isaiah 7:18, NIV

Tagging Lars & Phil again - you've graciously cooperated before, I promise you I won't hit you with another for awhile, at least. And an open tag for anyone else who wants to make a go at it.

As mentioned above, I'm trying to find good homes for many of these.

5 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

If I may correct something I said about my Watchtower-published interlinear Greek-English New Testament (impressively titled the "Emphatic Diaglott", BTW), I misinterpreted something on the title page & preface, and the Greek text is an eclectic one edited by one J. J. Griesbach (1745-1812, not a Witness), though the B Manuscript does seem to have been a major influence overall in this book, especially in the English translation found in the margin. At any rate, it's a little too easy to use to challenge the JW's own doctrines. The hard part is persuading them to listen.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous michael h said...

"Escaped from" Indiana???

Wow, that is an interesting list.

As always, yay for the Revised Berkeley (Michael is the one to blame or thank for my being a fan, folks). Also known as the Modern Language Bible. Do you know anything about *why* this translation is so neglected? I don't know much about the history of it at all, but though he took a few liberties, he gets it right in some passages where other translations don't and I think it deserves a place with NASB and other popular contemporary literal translations.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Indiana really isn't so bad, though on the other hand I've never seen a place so spiritually choked by Freemasonry. But without being more specific, it was good to "escape" from some things that were facing us there at the time.

I really don't know why the RBV never really caught on. Perhaps it's like the excellent "Gospel of John" film that came out a couple of years ago but got lost in the wake of "The Passion of the Christ".

2:37 PM  
Blogger BronxBarbie said...

Hey Mike: I was not there, but it sounds like you had an encounter with a - want to get their point across only - JW!

However you may want to add to your research and investigation the Strong's Concordance and Dictionary (about 5 inched thick!); that can assist you in seeing translationally which is the closest with the current English dialect.

For example, check out the Hebrew and Greek words for Hell: Sheol and Hades. See if you'll burn baby burn if ya don't act right :^D!

Holla back if ya wish at http://thejscene.blogspot.com

5:47 PM  
Blogger Memra said...

Interesting comments about the NWT and KIT. Glad to see you're open-minded and can see the good in both, despite what you term "heretical" teachings.

Of course, I don't consider them heretical since I'm a Witness, but these are only two of the Bible translations I have.

I also have most of the newer English translations: NKJV, NRSV, NEB, CEV, NASB, ESV, GNB, Amplified, NIV, C. B. Williams, J. B. Phillips, Moffatt, Rotherham, NAB (Catholic), NJB (Catholic), as well as Biblica Hebraica Stuttgartensia, Novum Testmentum Craece, Vulgata, Septuaginta, as well as Bibles in Syriac and Coptic. And I might have missed one or two.

Most JWs I know love the Bible, in whatever translations and languages we can get our hands on.

3:58 PM  

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