Item description for General Introduction to the Bible, A by David Ewert...
Overview David Ewert combines the story of the history of the biblical text with the story of the men and the women who went to great extremes to provide their generation with the Word of God in a language that could be understood.
Publishers Description There are two strands woven together in the history of the Bible and its translations. One is the development of the biblical text: its materials, texts, and translations. The second is the story of the men and women who went to great extremes, at times risking death, in order to provide their generation with the Word of God in a language that could be understood. David Ewert skillfully combines both these elements in this informative and captivating book, beginning with what 'Bible' means, how the Bible is organized, and how various books were named. He explores such other matters as the development of the biblical languages, the canon and the history of the testaments, and early versions of the Bible. English translations, from the time of Wycliffe to the present, are the focus of several chapters. A General Introduction to the Bible is filled with photographs of ancient texts, pages from various Bibles, photographs of key individuals and settings -- all of which add understanding to the Bible's history. Maps and charts show the development of languages, textual families, and the relationship of various translations and revisions. There are suggested readings and an extensive glossary and index.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.07" Width: 6.09" Height: 0.76" Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Release Date Aug 14, 1990
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0310453712 ISBN13 9780310453710 UPC 025986453718
Availability 0 units.
More About David Ewert
The late David Ewert was professor emeritus and retired as president of Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Reviews - What do customers think about General Introduction to the Bible, A?
Comments Emphasising Respective Merits & Textual Integrity of the 2 Primary Catholic (Douay-Rheims) & Protestant (AV/KJV) Bibles Jan 2, 2009
David Ewert's account of many aspects of the Bible's transmission down through the centuries is very interesting and much of it quite pertinent even to the average informed Christian layman. There seem to be far too many common misunderstandings about both the historic Douay-Rheims, Douay-Rheims-Challoner, and Authorised "King James" version Bibles among Christian laity and even among the clergy and scholars in the Protestant and Catholic ranks.
Nevertheless, it remains true today as it has in the past that the two strongest and most faithful Bible versions in English are the Authorised "King James" Version (translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text of the Old Testament, various Greek and Latin texts of the books of the Apocrypha, and Byzantine "Textus Receptus" Greek of the New Testament), the ultimate Scriptural authority in English for Anglicans and Protestants, and the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version (translated throughout from the Clementine Latin Vulgate Bible). The comments here deal with these two great English translations ("versions") of the Bible into English.
The Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version never attained the kind of near conformity in wording of editions across the years of the Authorised "King James" Version (A.V.). The A.V. Bible did benefit from its "Crown Copyright" protection from having to endure the ravages that unauthorised and bold revisions, or other changes to wording, inflicted upon other versions. The small variants which do exist in the texts of the A.V. as the university presses of Cambridge and Oxford in England (and in Scotland of the few publishers there licensed by the Crown to publish the A.V. there) are so superficial as to require rather a lot of effort to detect. They derive from various officially-sanctioned revisions, to matters only of minute detail, to the A.V. that the two leading British universities undertook, with Royal approval, in the 17th and 18th centuries. These licensed university publishers in the United Kingdom often printed the A.V. for the Bible societies, as well, in Scotland, such privileged publishers with important lines of Bible in their catalogues as Eyre & Spottiswoode and Collins. These university and private British publishers often printed the A.V. for the Bible societies in the U.K. and even abroad.
The most grievous variance is the increasingly frequent omission over the years of the A.V.'s Apocrypha (and, yes, the deutero-canonical books are an authentic part of the A.V.!), due to unrelenting pressures from the "dissenters" (or "non-conformists") of Britain's various non-Anglican Protestant denominations and sects, and especially due to early opposition to the inclusion of the Apocrypha in Bibles printed or distributed by the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Trinitarian Bible Society in Britain (representing many non-Anglican Protestant groups as well as the more Apocrypha-friendly Church of England) and by some Bible societies elsewhere. This policy of the various Bible societies to exclude the Apocrypha has waned in recent decades regarding editions of the A.V. and other translations which they publish and/or distribute, although the T.B.S. still excludes the Apocrypha from editions printed for distribution under its auspices.
The Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version never benefited from a Crown Copyright, the license reserved in the United Kingdom for the A.V. as the Crown's official Bible, the British Crown itself being by law Anglican and hence moderately Protestant. Even editors and publishers abroad in non-Commonwealth countries have tended to respect the textual integrity of the A.V.; most American editions of the A.V. (even though the A.V.'s British Crown Copyright is less often or so consistently enforced in the U.S. of A. as it has been in Britain and the Commonwealth) have tended to display variants only in spelling, paragraphing, extent or content of alternate readings in the marginal notes, presence or absence of "St." or "Saint" in the titles of the various books as attributed to their various authors of the New Testament, brief summaries in italics or in small print at the start of chapters, and other such surface matters.
This Christian reader has editions of the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Bible as published in the U.S.of A. by various firms and as published by the Catholic Truth Society in the U.K., which tend to have divergences in the wording which are fairly minor, but far more numerous and easily detectable than the tiny variants which occur in various editions of the the A.V. Apparently the degree to which editors chose to follow Challoner's revisions, so elegantly worded, to the wording of the Douay-Rheims Version varies from one edition to another of the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version. Such divergences, perhaps, are somewhat regrettable, but such minor divergences in editions of the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version should not be taken to deny the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Bible the status that it so richly deserves as the foremost of Roman Catholic Bible versions in English.
Surely anyone who takes the effort to scrutinise the wording of the Douay-Rheims Bible in its pre-Challoner form will notice the considerable differences immediately! This reader first became aware of the matter in consulting the portion for the original Douay-Rheims Version as found in the Octapla New Testament (published to mark the appearance of the Revised Standard Version), a publication which included eight versions that either had preceded or followed the A.V. and which led before 1611 to the A.V.'s wording or which revised the A.V. after 1611, leading to the R.S.V. One truly appeciates Bp. Richard Challoner's contribution to the Douay-Rheims Bible when one struggles with the cautiously well-intended but crude and excessively pedantic literalism which was the approach of the original Douay-Rheims Bible's translation teams (one for the O.T., another for the N.T.) who together rendered the Bible from the Clementine Latin Vulgate into English for Anglophone Roman Catholics. It is Bp. Challoner's magnificently literary recasting of the Douay-Rheims Bible that has assured its ability to endure over the centuries since Challoner revised it. Certainly it is incontestable that Bp. Challoner chose to incorporate much wording which echoes that of the A.V., but not indiscriminately, and, let one emphasise, to the great improvement of the Douay-Rheims Bible's readability and literary elegance.
At this point it is useful to to quote at some length the comments of one learned scholar, going by the monicker "AmbroseSJ", who very well summed up (in a Forum of the excellent WWW site, Catholic Answers) the source of the variants which occur in various editions of the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version as follows: "Bishop Challoner himself, produced 3 major variations of his N.T. The one of 1749, 1750, and 1752. The one in 1752 was rather a comprehensive redraft. The O.T. of 1750 always remained largely unrevised by Challoner, or later editors. The 1752 edition of the N.T. was extremely popular in the late 18th century, was often reprinted, and was used as a basis by some other "editors" that made further changes or revisions. After 1800, the 1749 edition was ascendant, and was either reprinted, or used as the basis for new editors. So that by the end of the 19th century, there is a very complex history of the Challoner Bible with its various lineages."
So, long live the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version of the Holy Bible in all of its glory, whatever one thinks of the relatively minor variants in which it has existed over the years! Despite what its detractors state, the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version remains the best and most faithful, the most wholely and beautifully Catholic, of all Bibles in English. Long may the Authorised "King James" Version also endure, for its great fidelity and incomparable beauty!
These comments are not meant to denigrate the scope and content of with what David Ewert in his book deals, but rather to put emphasis on what really matters most for the average English-speaking Christian, namely, about which Bible version(s) to use as authoritative for his own study and understanding of Holy Scripture.
Review Jul 25, 2008
The book was in great condition just as it was stated. I received it much quicker than expected. Thanks
Wealth of information, interesting read Mar 10, 2004
This book is a great source of background info on the written Bible. Most interesting to me is the history of Bible translation (languages, scholars, manuscripts, influences). The author covers the history of writing/printing, formation of the Bible canon, theories of translation, and issues related to the scribes. Also included is commentary on the modern English translations. The author goes into enough depth to provide a basis of understanding and good reference, but the style allows it to be read straight through. Surprisingly, I found this book to be a page-turner!