Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Geneva Bible

A great pleasure! I have just received my copy of the recently reprinted Geneva Bible, the translation that the Pilgrim Fathers mainly used. The Geneva Bible was the popular version in the English-speaking world until the "official" King James Bible gradually supplanted it.

I bought my copy via World Net Daily and it cost me rather a lot, which may seem rather mad since I already have many Bibles, including three recensions of the Greek New Testament (i.e. in the original Greek) and some excellent modern translations. But it is exciting to read the words of the Bible just as they were read by the great English Protestant reformers who changed the world and whose reforms are the basis of our entire modern civilization.

Because it was so popular in its day, the Geneva Bible underwent many printings, not all of which were identical. The version I have is a reproduction of a 1599 printing. The King James Bible, of course, was first printed in 1611.

I tend to judge Bible translations by their translation of the first few verses of the Gospel of John. John 1:1 is much used by afficianados of the originally pagan Trinity doctrine to justify their nonsensical dogma. So I was most pleased to see that the Geneva translators gave in their footnote a much better sense of the original Greek than we usually see. The Geneva Bible was renowned in its day for its many informative footnotes and they are still a useful resource. The explanatory footnote for John 1:1 reads: "The son of God is of one, and the selfsame eternity or everlastingness, and of one and the selfsame essence or nature, with the father". That puts the sense of the original much more clearly than the literal translation of the original text itself. The underlying idea in the Greek original -- that the Logos was of divine essence -- is clearly there in the Geneva footnote.

If I were to express the meaning of the original Greek in a purely Anglo-Saxon vocabulary, I would translate it as "And of god-stuff was the word". (See also my many previous exegetical comments on John 1:1 -- e.g. here and here)

So the Geneva Bible did allow the people of the 16th century to get close to the original meaning of the New Testament. And the transformative power of doing that was evident then and continues to this day. Those now ancient words still have enormous power to move the minds of men. The many clergy of the "mainstream" churches who think they have a better or more "modern" message to preach from their pulpits are just self-defeating fools. There is no substitute for the original Gospel.



China Hand has some speculations on developments in Chinese politics. Mirror site here or here

Colombia: Uribe soars after freeing hostages: "President Alvaro Uribe is still soaking up the glory of last week's spectacular rescue of 15 high-profile hostages held in the Colombian jungle for years by leftist rebels. Polls released Sunday show that Mr. Uribe's approval rating -- which was already at 73 percent - soared to 91 percent after the rescue, which freed French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, three American defense contractors, and 11 Colombian soldiers and police. Wednesday's bloodless intelligence operation tricked the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) into taking their most prized hostages on a helicopter they believed would transport them to the group's top leaders. Instead, the chopper was piloted by undercover military operatives who took the captives to freedom."

Hungary: Violent protests disrupt homosexual parade: "Dozens of protesters in Budapest have clashed with police escorting a march by gays and lesbians through the center of Hungary's capital city. Police said at least seven people were injured including a journalist and two police officers and a total of 45 people were taken into custody. Stefan Bos reports for VOA that Saturday's violence followed several earlier attacks against gay groups in Budapest. ... Hundreds of people demonstrated here for gay rights during the day Saturday in what is known as the Gay Pride Parade, despite threats from far right groups.Gays, lesbians and their supporters tried to dance and wave to spectators standing behind iron fences. Soon, troubles began as protesters, some shouting anti-semitic slogans, attacked marchers with eggs, bottles and rocks."

Agricultural policy: The seen and the unseen: "How can a program that benefits the few at the expense of the many survive in a democratic process? The sugar program concentrates benefits on a few thousand sugar beet producers and a much smaller number of cane growers and processors of sugar and sugar substitutes. The costs of the program are spread across all the rest of us, with the average consumer bearing an annual cost of less than $10. In contrast, a one-cent premium in sugar price has been estimated to benefit each sugar cane farm by $39,000. Over the last five years, the average U.S. sugar price has been about 10 cents per pound higher than the world price. Understandably, sugar producers and processors are much more active than consumers in periodic fights over sugar legislation. The sugar industry made political contributions of $3.3 million dollars during the 2006 election cycle."

Only cops and crooks have benefited from $2.5 trillion spent fighting grug trafficking: "The United States' so-called war on drugs brings to mind the old saying that if you find yourself trapped in a deep hole, stop digging. Yet, last week, the Senate approved an aid package to combat drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America, with a record $400 million going to Mexico and $65 million to Central America. The United States has been spending $69 billion a year worldwide for the last 40 years, for a total of $2.5 trillion, on drug prohibition -- with little to show for it. Is anyone actually benefiting from this war? Six groups come to mind. The first group are the drug lords in nations such as Colombia, Afghanistan and Mexico, as well as those in the United States. They are making billions of dollars every year -- tax free. The second group are the street gangs that infest many of our cities and neighborhoods, whose main source of income is the sale of illegal drugs. Third are those people in government who are paid well to fight the first two groups. Their powers and bureaucratic fiefdoms grow larger with each tax dollar spent to fund this massive program that has been proved not to work."

Gains in Iraq may lead to pullouts: "Security in Iraq continues to improve even after the withdrawal of nearly 25% of U.S. combat brigades, increasing the prospects of further cuts in American forces. Although U.S. commanders are cautious about predicting further withdrawals, interviews with military experts and recent official statements indicate growing optimism about the potential to pull out more forces. "I believe the momentum we have is not reversible," said Jack Keane, a retired Army vice chief of staff who helped develop the Iraq strategy adopted by President Bush in January 2007. There will be "significant reductions in 2009 whoever becomes president," said Keane, who regularly consults with Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq."

UAE to cancel Iraq's $7 billion debt: "Dubai has forgiven the nearly $7 billion Baghdad owes it, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Sunday. UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan promised to "put out these debts," appoint an ambassador to Baghdad, and "help Iraq building the holy shrines that were targeted by the terrorists," al-Maliki said in a written statement. Al-Maliki and the sheikh met Sunday, the first day of a two-day official visit. Al-Maliki was accompanied by the Iraqi ministers of Interior, Commerce and Industry. "Our biggest challenge is now the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the economic situation and to provide services to our citizens," al-Maliki said. Debt relief is a major issue for Iraq, and the United States has urged other nations to forgive Iraqi debt, most of which is held by Arab states"


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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