December 03, 2013

This Just In...

The Knox Bible and other old-timey versions stick to some rather old-fashioned book names, “Paralipomenon” and “Ecclasticus” and “Osee” and “3 Kings”. I don't know why it would kill makers of these Bibles to provide the modern names of the books next to the old names in the table of contents. Spent some time setting up a cross-reference lists. Seems complicated enough to have something like 70 books in the Bible without having some of them named three different things.

Set (trivial) rant off.

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Lady Wisdom

Satisfying read of late: I swum in the heady sea of the Book of Wisdom, one of my favorites, and perhaps understandably so given that it's said to be the book closest in time to the New Testament writings and thus having that “modern” NT sheen to it that I find compelling. The book was written by a erudite Jew in bookish Alexandria, an intellectual quite familiar with the Greek philosophers and a sort of Thomas Aquinas of his time in his attempt to reconcile Greek philosophy with revelation.

Some of the book reads like poetry in the Knox if not in the more blue collar Message. I went from Bible to Bible like flower to flower, from the NJB to the NAB to the NRSV to the JB. These Bibles I have downstairs are inconveniently located and I dream of some innovative placement developed in retirement; a built in shelf along the edge of the coffee table or, better yet, a science fiction-inspired floating tray of Bibles. Alas and alack there is no cure for laziness I suppose.

The sheer physicality and diversity of Bibles is intoxicating. The perfect font and elegant flourishes of The Message:Catholic Ecumenical Version seem to in some ways undercut the “vulgate” language. I can't hold the Knox and not dream of getting it rebound like the blogger at Catholic Bibles did. The Little Rock Study Bible (NABre) was surprisingly pleasant, with graphics and sidebar. The magisterial Vatican Bible, over a foot tall and had for only $25, complements the collection by offering a stunning tableau for the Holy Scriptures, garnished with medieval art. It's the closest thing I have to an illustrated manuscript.

Then after having drunk my fill of those wondrous words, I caught some of Karl Ove's My Struggle and was lucky enough to hit a bright spell, a stretch of happiness, in the life of the main character. Then onto Mobius Dick, for a rich taste of that quintessential New England chowder, but not before a bit more of Wiker's fascinating history.

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