Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Geneva Bible

I've been doing a rather unusual Bible study for me. I've been listening - over and over, actually - to J. Vernon McGee's Psalms study. What is unusual is that I've been using the Geneva Bible translation as reference, while writing notes into my NASV. I have often consulted more than one translation at a time just to see all the different nuances of meaning. I use a free download program called E-Sword. Many of the Bible translations featured on E-Sword are free, such as the Geneva. In addition, you can compare texts in E-Sword side by side, which is less bulky than actually pulling out physical books. To be truthful, though, I LOVE my books, the feel of them, the rustle of the turning page, vewing past notes. Sometimes the sheer joy of handling the extra books beats out the ease of the electronic, so I might have E-Sword open on my computer, but I am balancing - or trying to - 5 books in my lap, or on the floor.

I purchased a facsimile of the Geneva Bible - this one to be exact, but there are much more expensive editions that I lust after, but can't justify spending the money.

The Geneva Bible is the one the Puritans used. I'm not sure why this fascinates me, but it does. We all know and venerate the King James in it's beauty, but the Geneva preceded it, and was used by our forefathers. I fell in love with the Geneva translation when I read this verse in 1Kings 11:1 "Bvt King Salomon loued many outlandish women: both the daughter of Pharaoh, and the women of Moab, Ammon, Edom, Zidon and Heth,".

The use of the word "outlandish" to define foreign is so much more picturesque and actually adds to the meaning. Solomon was not supposed to marry foreign women because of their worship of other gods and the influence this would bring to himself, his house and his reign. The word "outlandish" not only literally means from "out of the land" or foreign, but in modern parlance, it is a slang term for something strange, exaggerated, ridiculous - and wouldn't the worship of other gods be just that? That verse did it for me. Of course, I ordered the facsimile copy, which means it looks just like the copy the Puritans read and there are "u's" where today there are "v's" and other quaint old English language tidbits. That makes me love it all the more - I can see the history of the English language. For instance, "would" is spelled "wold" - probably from German origin - so that kind of explains why we have a silent "l" in a word - at one time it was pronounced, and, like a guest that won't leave, it hides quietly inside the modern word to this day.

No comments: