Cosmic Rays

At some point can we just leave it alone and allow it to be a mystery? 

I’m referencing an article about the “big void” that appears to be inside the great Pyramid of Khufu. The lead headline states “Cosmic rays discovers Void”. I mean, who isn’t going to be interested? Cosmic, rays, pyramids…Voids!

The Pyramids have always been Cosmic! Hundreds, thousands, of people have spent time sitting under pyramids hoping for a symbiotic connection to Khufu. People have worn tinfoil-hats in pyramid shapes. Our currency has a pyramid topped with an eye, now that is certainly “Cosmic”.

Reading further it states that “muon” particles have been used to penetrate the stone blocks. What? Where did “muons” come from? I never read about muons. I could have used that in Scrabble. Heck, muons seem more important to me than voids in a pile of stone.

Admittedly, those stones have been mostly a mystery for about four thousand years. Now, muons are going to leave nothing unknown. It’s kind of sad really, the notion that man leaves “no stone unturned”. 

Well, thanks to “muons” we don’t have to turn over stones to find things, making the idiom pointless. I’m struggling to keep up.

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment


I’ve been thinking about this for months on and off. It certainly is an American idiom, but as it does describe a universally human action, it may have more descriptive words in other languages.
The Western United States has a very colorful history. Many books written about shootouts and gun battles. Usually they occur in the dusty Main Street, with one opponent at one end, and the other opponent at the other. The winner was the fastest draw. Almost like the medieval belief that the strongest was right, blessed by God.
While “Might is Right” is an interesting concept, this was not what was happening in the Old West. It was more like “Sneak was Best”. Waiting at night in the shadows, then shooting the person in the back was more common than the duel in the street. I’ve even heard that there is only one documented occurrence where “the duel” actually happened. Most of the violence was more a surprised ambush. Although in the West it was called “bushwhacking” as the assailant crouched behind a convenient bush beside the road. It didn’t even matter to jump out if you still got a good shot under cover.

The term “bushwhacker” was applied to the individual who practiced this, and it was one of the worst things you can say about a person. According to Webster’s it was first used in 1866, the same year that “bamboozled” was used. Apparently this was a particular bad year for human behavior.

Most other dictionaries have a split in the word, in 1810 it was a person that lived in the forest, whacking bushes to get around. Later, during the American Civil War it described irregular troops that fought by ambush on the Confederate side, particularly in Missouri.

There are still “bushwhackers” today, and there are more than you might think. Without thinking about it, you may have done this a few times yourself. It’s not a good thing, but it does pop up now and again. And for some people they embrace it, and polish their abilities to a fine art.

I ran into one a few months back and it shocked me to the core. I was as surprised as some traveler walking down the trail when sudden rifle fire ripped up the landscape, trying to find my flesh. This time it wasn’t bullets, it was words!

Bushwhacking in conversation can be confusing, upsetting, and unnerving. It is always a surprise because of the very nature. Having an argument is clearly a problem, but you are not surprised by the comments, you are getting dished on, and you dish back. A bushwhack in an argument is like getting a frying pan hit your head from behind. Surprise! You lose!

 My logic tells me there are at least four reasons to bushwhack.

1. You love the power of the sudden win.

2. You don’t believe a “fair fight” will go your way.

3. You aren’t sure that you will win, but you love the chaos it creates.

4. You can’t use a gun, and this is the next best thing.

But what is the expectation or the motive? In the Old West you might get the traveler’s money. But what is won in a surprise attack during a conversation? It can be a show of knowledge which directs the listeners to the bushwhacker. An effective way to gain the praise of the audience, so long as you are subtle about the bushwhacking. It is also a useful way to pivot off to a direction that is less dangerous. I suppose this might be the best use of the technique.

Again, the secret thing about bushwhacking is the surprise. It is generally the bush that you hide behind, but it can be the nature of your relationship. You meet a new person at a church function and you don’t expect a surprise attack. This was what happened to me recently.

It was someone older than me, and perhaps fearful that his communication skills had lost a step. Certainly in earlier years he was quite impressive with positions and responsibilities. But now the years had passed and he felt he needed the advantage. In a very conversational manner he invited a question. Of course he already had the answer. And his answer was powerful enough that even if you agreed with him, he had the upper hand. And if you didn’t agree with him then you were toast, and everything you said thereafter was suspect.

Wow, it sounds like politics. I suppose the most polished bushwhackers today are part-time politicians. I say this because bushwhacking takes up most of their time.

The problem for me is that the element of surprise is no longer there. I expect to be bushwhacked by politicians. I do not expect bushwhacking in Church. Although I suppose some people feel that it happens a lot. At least, in my experience it is a rare thing.

What can I offer you from this experience? Not much! I can say, do not be surprised, and be cautious! This sounds good but mostly it is bad advice. Expecting attack every moment is a sad way to live. I can say to take just a quick moment after being “bushwhacked”, to analyze the event. What is the motive? Understand the dynamics! Perhaps even be compassionate about the reasons found.

Instead of countering and drawing yourself further in the bushes, you might say, “Interesting opinion”, and leave it at that.

Most importantly, if you find that you tend to “bushwhack”, try another way. Spend more time phrasing your argument with reason and care. In other words, don’t shoot from the bush beside the road.

Posted in Commentary | 2 Comments

Frozen Things

I seem to be attracted to frozen things, items, concepts, words, and images.

If you have the time and patience, it is well worthwhile to research refrigeration. It’s been around for quite sometime, although the new “compact” versions for the home are fairly recent.

Well, at least I remember having an icebox when I was young. Perhaps we were just poor and I didn’t know it. Hmm, we didn’t have television, we had a party-line telephone, and we had an icebox. Yep, we were poor in finance, rich in spirit.

The icebox was great to keep things cool. I think the water vapor as the ice melted added a little something extra to the lettuce. The milk bottle always had beads of perspiration, and of course it was delivered fresh every other day. The Iceman Cometh twice a week.

The chips of ice in the street combined with the tar of the asphalt and made a cold chewing gum. How our teeth and gums survived that I do not know.

But frozen food? Nope, that was a mystery. The supermarkets began to have frozen food but it was for the upper crust that had refrigerators. Now, even if you did have a refrigerator the freezer compartment held two ice trays and room for one frozen pea package, and two frozen corn. I’m not sure that anything else was available frozen.

We had corn and peas growing in the backyard, but I dreamed of the day that we could have frozen vegetables. So… modern, inventive and fresh (frozen).

Several years later we had a black and white TV with rabbit ears. More like Jurassic Park rabbits, because the ears were monstrous whip antennas. Much of my youth was spent being the channel changer (five channels, but the adults never watched two of them), and the antenna adjustor. The adjusting mostly ended with me watching the program from the back, while upside down, while holding on for dear life.

I was still thrilled, it was my television, and the images were sharp and clear because of my efforts, even if they were upside down.

On the refrigerator side of things, the freezer compartment was much larger. Large enough for four TV dinners. What? How perfect!

We also had this great cart that stored six folding TV trays. All that was necessary was to sit comfortably, unwrap the heavy tin foil lid and eat from the nifty compartments. Don’t want your food touching other foods? This was perfect, the gravy never mixed with the cranberry sauce!

Is having food mixing a real thing? It all ends up in the same place! Or perhaps it is a distant memory of a perfect time when foods were served in compartments?

I loved my frozen foods! Then a miracle happened, my father fell victim to a TV commercial. One years worth of frozen foods delivered twice a year. So much cheaper to buy in bulk, and, get this, a brand new “deep” freeze delivered with the food FREE.

The most powerful word in the English language. This was “deep” because you were in danger of falling in to pick up that last frozen steak. It was big, so big that it deserved a room of its own. Most families had to put it in the garage.

For the first time we felt pretty well off because we had a laundry room off the kitchen that was almost the width of the house. The washing machine shared it with about thirty tropical fish tanks.

Heck with the fish, they migrated to other rooms, even the bathroom. We placed that shiny white coffin of frozen food just a step away from the kitchen. I mention it as a coffin because it was certainly possible to fall in and have lid lock down on you. And if a certain child would actually get in to see how cold it was, and when the light goes off… well, no need to buy an extra coffin.

I never really talked with my parents about the twice a year delivery of frozen food but it was fabulous for me. No worries about food, we had six months worth right there. We had tubs of ice cream, tons of TV dinners. We had peas and corn, forget the garden.

I was hooked on frozen. Years later I realized the quality of frozen words in time. Books that captured frozen ideas, photos that captured frozen moments. It all made sense, I was addicted to the thaw of frozen things.

Posted in Commentary | 2 Comments

Thoughts on Bibles, Part 2

Things were beginning to heat up, no pun intended. The Church was getting very concerned that the study of theology was becoming uncontrolled. They had many examples of schisms within the church, such as Arianism, and more recent Catharsis of southern France. The best solution at the time was to declare them heretics and burn them at the stake.

This new threat was not particularly regional, as the above examples, but more about the changes in technology. The system that produced copies of Bibles was altered forever with the printing press.

True, the Catholic Church benefitted from the invention of printing. Thousands of monks no longer had to sit in Scriptoriums all over the world, to produce by hand the Bible. Gutenberg’s invention now allowed the bulk of printing to be done to through mass production, leaving the monks to apply gold leaf and create the illuminated page details.

The actual content of the Bible was still in Latin and it was still the Vulgate. When John Wycliffe opened the door by translating the Vulgate into the vernacular, then the Church truly lost control because the vernacular (common tongue) belonged to the people, not the Church.

It’s interesting to note that possibly the printing press producing literate works in the vernacular was more responsible for defining borders of countries than all the Kings, Popes, and wars combined.

If you spoke, wrote, and read French, then it meant that you lived in France (mostly).

Following the need for an English Bible, William Tyndale turned his attention to the problem. He was born in England in 1494, well after Gutenberg’s invention, and he was 23 when Martin Luther published his 95 thesis’s, which began the Reformation. Tyndale spoke and wrote in at least seven languages and had already published many articles and books.

Europe and England had changed forever with the Protestant belief taking hold in the North countries. It still wasn’t regional in the same way as a political rebellion. One city in Germany might be Catholic, and the very next city could be Protestant. In Holland there was a heavy Spanish Catholic influence, and the Dutch Reformed Protestants were also very strong.

With the Catholic Church actively persecuting those who did not use the Vulgate Bible, it soon spilled over as a political concern, with civil wars now being fought across Europe on a faith basis. They were still Christians, but now the bloodshed was based on what translation was used for the Bible.

To be sure, the fears of the Catholic Church remain today. Many untrained pastors lead church in unusual ways, with many interpretations of scripture. Sometimes the concerns are less when the pastors are from the main denominations. Although when I tell individuals that I attend a non-denominational church, I have gotten the response, “Oh, that’s where you get to believe in anything you want?” They are implying that there is no overarching authority to control the direction of belief.

It is truly a minefield, and there are too many examples of cults to dismiss this concern entirely.

When Tyndale turned his attention to an English translation of the Bible, he knew the risks. His life was at stake (no pun) but he still applied his considerable talents to the task. Just as Jerome rejected the Greek Septuagint as unfit, Tyndale rejected the Latin Vulgate. Using the Masoretic and the older Hebrew sources, he found that English actually was closer in many instances to the original Hebrew. The vernacular English was much more flexible than Latin.

There were times that even English could not convey what Tyndale thought the Hebrew was conveying. In those cases he simply invented an English word or phrase. This was not as unusual as it might seem. Creating a printed word in the vernacular was actually an exercise in how to spell what was for centuries an oral tradition. It was quite easy to go from learning how to spell a spoken word, to the creation of a new word for a new concept.

Tyndale was in contact with Sir Thomas More and Erasmus, as well as other scholars of the age. Erasmus collected “phrases” that had been created and then became common in the vernacular.

In Erasmus’s Adagia there are many phrases from Tyndale that became poplar because of his Bible translation. William Shakespeare also created these phrases found in his published work. Because a phrase is in 17th century English, many people think the phrase is from Shakespeare, and if not Shakespeare then the Bible (King James), when actually it came from William Tyndale’s work, including his Bible.

The following phrases were created by Tyndale: “let there be light, and there was light,” “male and female created he them,” “who told thee that thou wast naked?” “my brother’s keeper,” “the Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face shine upon thee,” “thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all thy soul and with all thy might,” “the salt of the earth,” “the powers that be,” “a law unto themselves,” “filthy lucre,” and “fight the good fight.”

In addition he created the words Jehovah, mercy seat, atonement, scapegoat and Passover.

It’s interesting that even Passover is more often used by Jewish people, even though there is still the perfectly good Hebrew word of pesach.

The word of atonement was created to help explain Yom Kippur. In the section that describes sending the live goat sacrifice into the wilderness, Tyndale create two new words, “scapegoat” to describe the goat, and “atonement” to describe how the priests laid the sins of the people upon the goat below sending the goats away.

Even more curious is that the word “atonement” could be pronounced in the fashion that is more in keeping with Tyndale’s invention. It should be thought of as “at-one-ment”, and “atone” is more correctly pronounced as “at-one“.

It is very hard to separate the political world, the religious split, and the abundance of translations from each other. They are all interwoven. Certainly the Geneva Bible translation of 1560 was the main Bible of the Reformation in Europe. In England, there were several, and initially the Wycliffe was used until the Tyndale/Coverdale Bible was published.

Then, in 1611, the first edition of the King James Bible began to be used, and surpassed all others as the authorized Bible of the Church of England.

About 76 percent of the Old Testament and 84 percent of the New Testament text of the King James Version is based on the words of Tyndale.

Additionally, the House of Stuart, to which James belonged, had Scottish roots and was primarily Catholic. So, there are some places in the King James Version that seems closer to the Vulgate than Tyndale.

The first edition from 1611 is also famous for not having a single “J” throughout the entire book. There was King Iames on the first page and references to Ioshua, Ionah, and Iesus, but nothing with a “J”.

The letter “J” had been invented by Italian scribes 200 years before the King James Version, but it was thought too common to be used in an important Christian book. However the very next edition, the letter “J” replaced all those capitol “I’s”.

The King James still has a huge market and many people feel the uncommon beauty that comes across in passages. In fact, in many cults that have a “Word from God”, it appears that God speaks 17th century English, similar to the text of the King James.

In 2012, the top five translations that were sold were…

1. New International Version

2. King James Version

3. New Living Translation

4. New King James Version

5. English Standard Version

In 2014, a study found the top five bibles that were used in Bible studies were…

1. King James Version (55%)

2. New International Version (19%)

3. New Revised Standard Version (7%)

4. New American Bible (6%)

5. The Living Bible (5%

The following is not a complete list, but it does show 100 of the most common translations of the Bible into English.
* Abbreviated Bible – TAB – 1971, eliminates duplications, includes the Apocrypha

* American Standard Version – ASV – 1901, a.k.a. Standard American Edition, Revised Version, the American version of the Holy Bible, Revised Version

* American Translation (Beck) – AAT – 1976

* American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed) – SGAT – 1931

* Amplified Bible – AB – 1965, includes explanation of words within text

* Authentic New Testament – ANT – 1958

* Barclay New Testament – BNT – 1969

* Basic Bible – TBB – 1950, based upon a vocabulary of 850 words

* Bible Designed to Be Read as Literature – BDRL – 1930, stresses literary qualities of the Bible, includes the Apocrypha

* Bible Reader – TBR – 1969, an interfaith version, includes the Apocrypha

* Cassirer New Testament – CNT – 1989

* Centenary Translation of the New Testament – CTNT – 1924, one of the few versions translated solely by a woman

* Common English New Testament – CENT – 1865

* Complete Jewish Bible – CJB – 1989, a Messianic Jewish translation

* Concordant Literal New Testament – CLNT – 1926

* Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Translation – CCDT – 1953, includes the Apocrypha

* Contemporary English Version – CEV – 1992, includes Psalms and Proverbs

* Coptic Version of the New Testament – CVNT – 1898, based on translations from northern Egypt

* Cotton Patch Version – CPV – 1968, based on American ideas and Southern US culture, only contains Paul’s writings

* Coverdale Bible – TCB – 1540, includes the Apocrypha

* Darby Holy Bible – DHB – 1923

* Dartmouth Bible – TDB – 1961, an abridgment of the King James Version, includes the Apocrypha

* De Nyew Testament in Gullah – NTG – 2005

* Dead Sea Scrolls Bible – DSSB – 1997, translated from Dead Sea Scrolls documents, includes the Apocrypha

* Documents of the New Testament – DNT – 1934

* Douay-Rheims Bible – DRB – 1899

* Emphasized Bible – EBR – 1959, contains signs of emphasis for reading

* Emphatic Diaglott – EDW – 1942

* English Standard Version – ESV – 2001, a revision of the Revised Standard Version

* English Version for the Deaf – EVD – 1989, a.k.a. Easy-to-Read Version, designed to meet the special needs of the deaf

* English Version of the Polyglott Bible – EVPB – 1858, the English portion of an early Bible having translations into several languages

* Geneva Bible – TGB – 1560, the popular version just prior to the translation of the King James Version, includes the Apocrypha

* Godbey Translation of the New Testament – GTNT – 1905

* God’s Word – GW – 1995, a.k.a Today’s Bible Translation

* Holy Bible in Modern English – HBME – 1900

* Holy Bible, Revised Version – HBRV – 1885, an official revision of the King James Version which was not accepted at the time

* Holy Scriptures (Harkavy) – HSH – 1951

* Holy Scriptures (Leeser) – HSL – 1905

* Holy Scriptures (Menorah) – HSM – 1973, a.k.a. Jewish Family Bible

* Inclusive Version – AIV – 1995, stresses equality of the sexes and physically handicapped, includes Psalms

* Inspired Version – IV – 1867, a revision of the King James Version

* Interlinear Bible (Green) – IB – 1976, side-by-side Hebrew/Greek and English

* International Standard Version – ISV – 1998

* Jerusalem Bible (Catholic) – TJB – 1966, includes the Apocrypha

* Jerusalem Bible (Koren) – JBK – 1962, side-by-side Hebrew and English

* Jewish Bible for Family Reading – JBFR – 1957, includes the Apocrypha

* John Wesley New Testament – JWNT – 1755, a correction of the King James Version

* King James Version – KJV – 1611, a.k.a. Authorized Version, originally included the Apocrypha

* Kleist-Lilly New Testament – KLNT – 1956

* Knox Translation – KTC – 1956, includes the Apocrypha

* Lamsa Bible – LBP – 1957, based on Peshitta manuscripts

* Lattimore New Testament – LNT – 1962, a literal translation

* Letchworth Version in Modern English – LVME – 1948

* Living Bible – LB – 1971, a paraphrase version

* McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel – MCT – 1989

* Message – TM – 1993, a.k.a. New Testament in Contemporary English, a translation in the street language of the day, includes Psalms and Proverbs

* Modern Reader’s Bible – MRB – 1923, stresses literary qualities, includes the Apocrypha

* Modern Speech New Testament – MSNT – 1902, an attempt to present the Bible in effective, intelligible English

* Moffatt New Translation – MNT – 1922

* New American Bible – NAB – 1987, includes the Apocrypha

* New American Standard Version – NAS – 1977

* New Berkeley Version in Modern English – NBV – 1967

* New Century Version – NCV – 1987

* New English Bible – NEB – 1970, includes the Apocrypha

* New Evangelical Translation – NET – 1992, a translation aimed at missionary activity

* New International Version – NIV – 1978

* New Jerusalem Bible – NJB – 1985, includes the Apocrypha

* New JPS Version – NJPS – 1988

* New King James Version – NKJ – 1990

* New Life Version – NLV – 1969, a translation designed to be useful wherever English is used as a second language

* New Living Translation – NLT – 1996, a dynamic-equivalence translation

* New Millenium Bible – NMB – 1999, a contemporary English translation

* New Revised Standard Version – NRS – 1989, the authorized revision of the Revised Standard Version

* New Testament in Plain English – WPE – 1963, a version using common words only

* New Testament: An Understandable Version – NTUV – 1995, a limited edition version

* New Translation (Jewish) – NTJ – 1917

* New World Translation – NWT – 1984

* Noli New Testament – NNT – 1961, the first and only book of its kind by an Eastern Orthodox translator at the time of its publication

* Norlie’s Simplified New Testament – NSNT – 1961, includes Psalms

* Original New Testament – ONT – 1985, described by publisher as a radical translation and reinterpretation

* Orthodox Jewish Brit Chadasha – OJBC – 1996, an Orthodox version containing Rabbinic Hebrew terms

* People’s New Covenant – PNC – 1925, a version translated from the meta-physical standpoint

* Phillips Revised Student Edition – PRS – 1972

* Recovery Version – RcV – 1991, a reference version containing extensive notes

* Reese Chronological Bible – RCB – 1980, an arrangement of the King James Version in chronological order

* Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible – SNB – 1976, a version whose concern is the true name and titles of the creator and his son

* Restored New Testament – PRNT – 1914, a version giving an interpretation according to ancient philosophy and psychology

* Revised English Bible – REB – 1989, a revision of the New English Bible

* Revised Standard Version – RSV – 1952, a revision of the American Standard Version

* Riverside New Testament – RNT – 1923, written in the living English language of the time of the translation

* Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition – SSBE – 1981, the sacred name and the sacred titles and the name of Yahshua restored to the text of the Bible

* Scholars Version – SV – 1993, a.k.a. Five Gospels; contains evaluations of academics of what are, might be, and are not, the words of Jesus; contains the four gospels and the Gospel of Thomas

* Scriptures (ISR) – SISR – 1998, traditional names replaced by Hebraic ones and words with pagan sources replaced

* Septuagint – LXX – c. 200 BCE, the earliest version of the Old Testament scriptures, includes the Apocrypha

* Shorter Bible – SBK – 1925, eliminates duplications

* Spencer New Testament – SCM – 1941

* Stone Edition of the Tanach – SET – 1996, side-by-side Hebrew and English

* Swann New Testament – SNT – 1947, no chapters, only paragraphs, with verses numbered consecutively from Matthew to Revelation

* Today’s English New Testament – TENT – 1972

* Today’s English Version – TEV – 1976, a.k.a. Good News Bible

* Twentieth Century New Testament – TCNT – 1904

* Unvarnished New Testament – UNT – 1991, the principal sentence elements kept in the original order of the Greek

* Versified Rendering of the Complete Gospel Story – VRGS – 1980, the gospel books written in poetic form, contains the four gospels

* Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures – WVSS – 1929

* Wiclif Translation – TWT – 1380, a very early version translated into English

* William Tindale Newe Testament – WTNT – 1989, an early version with spelling and punctuation modernized

* William Tyndale Translation – WTT – 1530, early English version, includes the Pentateuch

* Williams New Testament – WNT – 1937, a translation of the thoughts of the writers with a reproduction of their diction and style

* Word Made Fresh – WMF – 1988, a paraphrase with humour and familiar names and places for those who have no desire to read the Bible

* Worrell New Testament – WAS – 1904

* Wuest Expanded Translation – WET – 1961, intended as a comparison to, or commentary on, the standard translations

* Young’s Literal Translation, Revised Edition – YLR – 1898, a strictly literal translation

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment

Thoughts on Bibles, Part 1

All bibles are based upon the Tanakh, the 24 books of the Jewish Bible. Generally, the current Jewish Bible is derived from the Hebrew Masoretic text. The first five books are called the Pentateuch, and are always given in the same order, as they are considered the history of the Jewish people. They are also called the Books of Moses, or the Torah. The rest of the books are organized as the Prophets, and the Writings, and they are not always in the same order in the various translations. They were compiled by various scribes in Israel and Babylon over hundreds of years, and the Masoretic text version was codified between 700 ad 1000 AD.

There is also the Greek translation of the Hebrew pre-Masoretic texts, called the Septuagint. It was supposedly commissioned by the Greek King of Egypt, Ptolemy II, the son of the general of Alexander, in the 3rd century BC. The Jews of Alexandria did not have full command of Hebrew, so Ptolemy found six scholars from each of the 12 tribes, and placed them in 72 isolated rooms with only the command, “Write me the Torah of your leader Moishe (Moses).

The additional books of the Tanakh were added at various times during the next several centuries. Nearly 600 years after the first commission, it was known by the Latin term “translation of the Seventy”, or the Septuagint, sometimes abbreviated as LXX.

The Septuagint includes numerous books no longer considered canonical in some traditions: Esdras, Judith, Tobit, Maccabees, the Book of Wisdom, Sirach, and Baruch. When Jerome translated what was to become known as “The Vulgate Bible”, he included these texts as the apocrypha. Jerome used only the Hebrew sources as he thought the Septuagint to be the inferior.

The books of the New Testament were written in Greek at various times between 50 and 96 AD according to most scholars. Some of the leading scholars believe the first 4 of the 27 books were written before 70 AD. The first four books are generally called The Gospels, and the first three are further grouped as the Synoptic Gospels (one eye), meaning they witness the events with a similar perspective.

The Gospels are followed by Acts, the Epistles (Letters), and the last book is Revelation. The earliest books so far are fragments of two stories of the Epistles, 1 Thessalonians in 51 AD, or possibly Galatians in 49 AD

It is significant that we call the New Testament writings as books because they were originally produced as Codexes, printed on parchment or vellum. This was much easier to produce, versus the traditional Old Testament Scripture written on scrolls. Even today, the Torah in the Synagogue is on one continuous scroll.

The Catholic Church began to use the Vulgate as the official bible and the Greek Orthodox Church used a version of the Septuagint. The Protestant Churches used various Latin versions without the Apocrypha, and several versions that were translated in the vernacular, or the language of the people.

Vernacular languages were unique to the regions, or country, and were spoken, but not written. Literacy was not wide spread, and was controlled by the Church. Writing a book was tedious, with all copies being written by teams of monks. If it was going to be published it was going to be published in Latin. After the printing press was invented, it was much easier to print in the vernacular, with printing presses springing up in nearly every large city in Europe, except Russia.

An English version of the Vulgate Bible was translated by John Wycliffe in the early 1380s. How much of the translation was by Wycliffe can be debated, but he certainly organized the effort. The Catholic Church was unhappy with the translation of the Vulgate but during Wycliffe’s lifetime there was no direct opposition. However, after Wycliffe’s death in 1384 he was excommunicated and declared a heretic. He was exhumed from his gravesite, his body burned at the stake, and the ashes spread into the River Swift.

The only Bible allowed was to be the authorized version of the Vulgate in Latin, and all others were to be burned, and the translators burned at the stake.

An example of the changes in English over 300 years…

Later Wycliffe: For God louede so the world, that he ȝaf his oon bigetun sone, that ech man that bileueth in him perische not, but haue euerlastynge lijf.


King James Version: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment

Birdhouses of Lafayette

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment

Off Trail

Posted in Commentary | Leave a comment