When is it a 'Bible'?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    I have worked around printing my entire professional career. The unspecified 'Bible' translation to be primarily discussed in this topic is a readable text, in visual form like a hardcopy, which tactilely can be experienced (not an audio recording, for example) as a result of the printing process. The following five scenarios are intended to be thought-provoking.

    At the Bible factory there has been some problems. It seems some units of your favorite version has been produced that has Holy Bible (nice gold foil embossed) on the front cover but the pages inside are entirely blank! Not a drop of ink inside. Is this a 'Bible'?

    Additionally, the Bible factory has some of your preferred version that has been produced with Holy Bible (gold foil embossed) on the cover but the pages inside are mostly blank. A few pages have random ink splatter, spots, and smudges (it seems to be precisely the amount of ink normally used to reproduce the correct text). Would you defend this as a 'Bible'?

    Also discovered were some finished units that had a pefectly produced Holy Bible cover but all the alphanumeric characters printed on the pages inside were so hopelessly scrambled, malformed and blurry that there was no decipherable or comprehendible text. Is this properly callled a 'Bible'?

    Some other product was manufactured with Holy Bible on the cover but about half of the pages inside randomly appear blank. The other half appear perfectly normal (but no individual book of Scripture is more than 65% complete). Is this a true 'Bible'?

    Finally, some units of your favorite version (the Holy Bible cover was fine) was discovered with some random errors (a few on almost every page) and occassionaly some missing text (approximately 10% from the standard text). But the manufacturer is able to insert an Addendum in the back of the book with all the ommitted text and with every error identified. Is this a genuine 'Bible'?

    Does a 'Bible' only come into existance when printed in its' fully finished form (accurate and complete)? If not, when then (at what point in the printing process) does a 'Bible' first emerge? A possibly surprising answer may be revealed.
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Jan 1, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2009
  2. franklinmonroe

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    It is my hope that thinking about the initial three scenarios would make it abundantly clear to anyone that a bound volume of paper leaves is not a 'Bible' simply because the cover bears the title Holy Bible; nor is a book with ink smeared pages a 'Bible' if those ink formations do not form recognizable characters in a prescribed order that can be understood as language. In this case, you cannot correctly "judge-a-book-by-its-cover".

    The fourth scenario presented a partially complete 'Bible'. I would suggest that the portions of the intended text that have been properly reproduced are indeed Scripture; but the defective volume cannot be sold as a 'Bible'. From this, I conclude that accurate text does not necessarily need to be included in a comprehensive collection to be recognized as genuine Scripture.

    Furthermore, a 'New Testament' is justifiably identified as a true record of God's words. A little Gospel of John is part of God's revelation. A single verse or even a few words on a scrap of papyrus is Scripture. Pages that are blank, or with obscured text, or with erroneous text are unworthy to be called part of the 'Bible'; but those portions that accurately reflect God's words (even when mixed with the unworthy pages or verses) are still His words. I think this shows that we need to be very careful about how we treat various versions with which we may disagree with a few renderings (when in fact, we would agree with the overwhelming majority of the translation).

    Which brings me to the fifth scenario: although this 'Bible' is hypothetically produced with flaws in the text, each problem is identified in an Appendix; although some words are omitted in the primary text, all of the Scripture is ultimately contained between the covers. While perhaps not ideal, I think this one is a genuine complete Bible.
     
    #2 franklinmonroe, Jan 2, 2009
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  3. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    My response follows:


































    cheers,

    Jim

    OH, Hope I was clear on that.
     
  4. LeBuick

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    It isn't a Bible until the put KJV on the cover... :BangHead:
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    Isn't this a similar description of the so-called MV 'Bibles' (usually based upon eclectic Greek) by Textus Receptus advocates? It is a fact that the earlier (primarily Alexandrian) Greek texts are about 10% shorter in length than later (mainly Byzantine) texts. But most MVs do include the Majority text readings in footnotes or by some special typographic treatment (such as brackets or italics) within the main text.
     
  6. Ed Edwards

    Ed Edwards
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    So my nKJV is a Bible :wavey:
     
  7. Reformer

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    Are you saying no one had a bible until 1611?
    And if so, Do you use the 1611 or a different KJV?
     
  8. EdSutton

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    [Sigh!]

    Sorry about that for 1570 years of church history. ;)

    And even among the English, so sad that Tom and Dick (Was there any Harry?) also missed this, as well, along with five Johns, two Bills, Nick, Myles, and Bob, for a dozen names, just for starters. And that is all before 1900, no less. :tear:

    Oh yeah, and since some might be a bit confused, with only first names and nicknames, that would include Matthew, de Hereford, Darby, Coverdale, Wyclif, Young, Wesley, Tyndall, Purvey, Taverner, Whittingham, and Rogers. Y'all can match 'em up, I presume. :D

    Ed
     
  9. EdSutton

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    Is your leg painful enough, yet?

    It was just pulled enough by LeBuick to be completely dislocated.

    And you even aided him, no less!! :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
    #9 EdSutton, Jan 4, 2009
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  10. gb93433

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    So that puts Genesis at 1611 A.D.?
     
  11. preachinjesus

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    Maybe we shouldn't get so caught up in the Book but be more concerned with living its content regardless of the presentation. :)
     
  12. gb93433

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    Now that requires work and discipline.
     
  13. franklinmonroe

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    Exactly! Hopefully some of us have taken a moment to think about how a printed 'Bible' comes into existence. It is printed like any other book. Its just ink on paper. It seems to be just like any other book until its' significance is recognized by an individual.

    Clearly, people that will not respect what the 'Bible' actually is will probably not show special consideration to any printed 'Bible'. The unbelieving skeptic might simply treat a printed 'Bible' like any other book (put it in a drawer, read it as literature, etc.) or even mistreat it (throw it away or destroy it). Conversely, some people may virtually worship a printed English 'Bible'; not so much the ink on the page, but a certain textual arrangement.

    In one sense, the 'Bible' is just ink on paper; I think a 'Bible' is a book (actually a collection of books) and is a tool. But more importantly, in another sense I think The Bible (as content) certainly transcends ink on paper, and even a certain prescribed English text.
     
    #13 franklinmonroe, Jan 6, 2009
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  14. franklinmonroe

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    I know I own some Bibles that have a few printer's errors in them, yet I still use them. Are these books disqualified by the mistakes from being true 'Bibles'?

    How many problems can be tolerated in a 'Bible' before it loses its 'inspired' status? Perhaps it is not the mere quantity of defects, but the severity of a defect that is crucial to this determination. What objective criteria is there to measure the intensity of an imperfection in a 'Bible'? Is it a "jot or tittle"?
     

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