First Word Last?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Phillip, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. Phillip

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    I have looked at many olde Bibles. I noticed in the early (17th century) Bibles a practice that I have not seen in newer Bibles (unless I have just missed it.)

    The Bibles printed the first word of the next page at the bottom of each page.

    This is very handy when dealing with thin pages. You have the word in your head when you flip the page and it confirms that you have not turned two pages together.

    When did this practice start and when did it end?

    What do you think about this practice?

    I know this has nothing to do with doctrine, but it is a translational issue that I feel helped when reading the Bible.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    I've seen that too and actually wondered what the word was there for! Duh. Help the public reading since turning the page might cause you to lose a beat.

    I like it, but with limited public reading (and I really don't need it for personal reading) now in most churches, can't see it will ever return.
     
  3. Plain Old Bill

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    But it is an interesting note.
     
  4. Ziggy

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    It's called a "catchword" and was used not only to assist the (oral) reader as he prepared to move from the bottom of one page to the top of the next, but also to aid the bookbinders when trying to assemble consecutive quires of printed text.
     
  5. HankD

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    But are they inspired?

    HankD
     
  6. Phillip

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    But are they inspired?

    HankD
    </font>[/QUOTE]If it is the AV1611, YES, if it is the Geneva, Nah! :D
     
  7. Phillip

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    Actually, I use it during personal reading of my AV1611 replica.

    It seems to help with the flow, but often I turn two of the thin pages at once. It is a lot easier to make sure this does not happen with the word added.

    I personally would like to see it, especially on Bibles with the leaf-style thin pages.
     
  8. Biblethumper

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    I agree with Ziggy, but I don't think that it was meant to help readers in the way Phillip stated.

    Do these Bibles have page numbers? My father has a 1611 replica, and it does not have page numbers, so the binders used these catchwords to make sure the pages are in the right order.

    Funny in my father's Bible there is a place where they made a mistake at the top where it says what book you are in. Guess no one noticed! =)
     
  9. robycop3

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    BT, what publisher made your father's replica?
     
  10. Ed Edwards

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    Both the Henderson and the Nelson
    accurately portray the 1611 original.

    The guide word in bolted larger print
    on the 3rd page of Micah says "Ioel".
     
  11. Phillip

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    Biblethumper, I didn't mean to imply that this was the reason the words were there; my implication is that it helps me read. That's all.

    However, I think Dr. Bob may also be right because these Bibles were often used for public reading.


    In order to use it as a binding reference, it could only be used to catch mistakes. Obviously, anything else that is more complicated would be a problem since many pages often start with the same word. I am assuming that is what you mean.
     
  12. Biblethumper

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    roby, I don't know, as I do not have access to it right now, he got it from this web site: www.biblebelievers.com
     
  13. Craigbythesea

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    :eek:

    Duh! [​IMG]

    Dr. Bob is incorrect here :rolleyes: ! I have a number of books from this period, and they all include this feature. It had NOTHING to do with the public reading of the books; it was a feature that the printers used to help them keep their pages in the proper sequence. Two examples

    1. I find this feature in my 1607 edition of Thomas Roger’s Treatise on the 39 Articles of the Church of England., which is not exactly a book that one would read from the pulpit.

    2. I find another good example of such a book in my 1691 edition of Edward Pococke’s, A Commentary on the Prophesy of Joel, a very technical commentary on the Hebrew text of Joel, not at all a book designed for public reading anywhere.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    I don’t know when the practice started, but it ended sometime before 1806. The newest book that I have that includes this feature was printed in 1760. I checked books in my home library printed in the following years and did not find this feature in any of them.

    1806
    1812
    1813
    1817
    1820

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Craigbythesea

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    I also checked two early 19th century Bibles in my home library, printed in 1817 and 1824 respectively, and neither one of them uses catchwords.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    One must understand book-binding a little here to see that a word at the bottom of the page has nothing to do with keeping pages in order. Member of my previous church was in the business and showed me how it worked.

    Pages of the Bible were printed 8 to a piece of paper, folded, bound and THEN cut. I have many old books whose pages were "missed" in the cut; you probably do to.

    The pages are printed in a certain order, folded a certain way so that they are ALWAYS in the proper order. Then cut. It isn't like you or me colating a report and getting a page out of order and looking at the word match (bottom of one page to top of next).

    Sorry.
     
  17. Craigbythesea

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    If that is the case, what is the purpose of the catchwords? They most certainly have nothing to do with reading books from the pulpit or lectern because even very technical books printed in the 17th and 18 century very commonly use them throughout the book. Indeed, Edward Pococke’s commentary on Joel quotes extensively from Hebrew and Arabic sources in Hebrew and Arabic making the public reading of the book an absurdity unless one believes that the public audience understands English, Hebrew, and Arabic. :D .

    :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Craigbythesea

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    What is a "catchword" and where is it found?
    “The catchword is a word printed on the bottom line of a page, usually the verso, which corresponds to the first word of the following page. The catchword is intended to aid the printer in collating the printed sheets before they are bound.”

    Source: Brown University’s website:
    Brown University&gt;Women Writers Project&gt;Research and Encoding&gt;training Materials&gt;On catchwords

    [​IMG]
     

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