Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New English Bible: My finest quality Bible!

 I bought this bible about 7 months ago. I have always been a bit of a bible freak - ever since I got saved in early 2011. Different translations, different bindings of the same translation. I just love it. It's that thoroughly modern quest to find the 'perfect bible'. After getting over my KJV obsession that arose after listening to Steven Anderson. I am now back to normal - after something of an 'episode'. Anyway, I do need a reading bible, which I decided would be the Revised English Bible. But I had to have a look at my old favourite, the New English Bible.

 The leather is Calfskin, a fine calfskin as well, not the modern stiff as a board junk that many bibles have nowadays. This has obviously been worked, and thus used alot, you can tell because the India paper has yellowed somewhat, indicating this bible has been open. Also when I first got it the lining was detached from the leather, resulting in me using (oh noes) superglue to glue it back down, bad behaviour, but it worked!
 Okay, I have no idea why but the picture is upside down. Anyway, you can see the beautiful lining, very very nice looking. If you look to the right, you can see where my supergluing resulted in a little bit of damage (due to me trying to scrape a bit of dry glue away).

 
 A bit blurry due to my haste in photography. If you can make it out its a list of the denominations involved. This is an ecumenical bible, which some may see as good, and others 'the Devil's work'. Personally, I know the KJV was an ecumenical work, meant to appease all the various denominations. For better or worse, the NEB is what it is, the only problem I have with it is its level of interpretation, and the influx of 'modern' scholarly influence.

Quite a bit of ghosting here, but this is due to the flash, when you are actually reading it under normal light, its absolutely fine.

The preface explains alot of the 'iffy' features in the bible, transposition, multi-denominational input etc.
 Concise readers guide, its actually quite helpful, it just explains some of the theological terms, helps a new believer understand some of the stuff in the bible that may be a bit jarring.

I've actually used it myself, in this blog! Thats how good it is. It's like a concise guide to biblical theology, a concise readers guide!
 For a size comparison I decided to put it side by side with my Collin's reference bible. It's not a big bible, about the same size as a Pitt Minion (as thou shalt see momentarily).

It's no hassle to hold in your hand, its very light, it probably weighs about the same as a Pitt Minion. Needless to say, it has been my go-to bible, it isn't at the moment because I'm a creationist, and this bible interprets certain passages in light of modern science (referring to behemoth in Job 40 as a crocodile, and amending the text to suit). This doesn't mean it isn't a reading bible, I would use it for that, just not for doctrinal purposes - If you understand what I mean.


 Size comparison with a Pitt Minion (NKJV). I thought to myself, what is the most popular bible binding, it must be Pitt Minion, everyone knows what what of them is like.

So here you go.

Pitt Minion top, NEB bottom.
 Okay, another size comparison, as you can see these bros are almost identical in size. The big difference is in font size, the Pitt minion has a 6pt and I think the NEB has 8pt? I can't be sure. but there you go!

This is a photo I made yesterday (Jan 8th) I have recently wiped my computer, and I came across the original Ebay photo (below). 
 All it took was a lot of olive oil (be careful! do not use too much) a lot of love, and some wax! and it went from dried out, orange, to shiny, soft, supple mahogany. Honestly these photos do not do justice to the beauty of my bible. When I first saw this photo on ebay, I thought that was the natural colour, to find out what the actual colour was, was a bonus. Had that bible sold on ebay been the dark brown I managed to recover, instead of £16 you could easily have imagined £36 for it. Its as good as new, in my eyes at least.



When it comes to the translation, its good, its 'scholarly', so in a few places the non-salvatory doctrines (creationism for instance) have had an artistic, perhaps literary evaluation before being put in print. Theres also a feature called transposition, where verses are moved around to sound better. This is certainly something to be considered before using this translation. To find out more the kind of influence on this translation, I would suggest having a look at one of the cambridge bible commentaries - When I read one, I was infuriated, they don't view the bible as the word of God, but as an ancient work of literature. At many points, they blatantly say something to the effect of "The bible may say this, BUT...." Which to me shows just how irreverent modern scholarship is. However, the translation used in that commentary WAS the NEB, so the fact that the commentators are contradicting the bible shows that it is still good for use. I find that the literary beauty of the NEB far outweighs any concerns with its accuracy. It's not based on the Tyndale line (Tyndale is my favourite overall translation by the way) which I think is a plus, because trying to fit Tyndale's language and sentence structure into a modern language setting is fruitless. It may sound like Tyndale, and it may sound more modern THAN Tyndale. But its some weird hybrid. The NEB (and now the REB) is elevated language, but in its own right, not because its an update of Tyndale. Being free from those bonds allows it free-reign to express itself. Now, I would be careful to take doctrine from it, in fact the NEB was never meant to be a stand-alone translation, but was meant to be a commentary used in conjunction with the KJV. That is how it should be used. You can get an NEB single column from Ebay for less than £5, something like this is much rarer, but they do come up every now and again. I would say, enjoy it, the NEB was a pioneer, the first dynamic translation, and for many the first truly understandable translation. It may have some 'rebellious' translation choices, but many admire it just for that. Read it, compare, and most of all, enjoy!



                                   I still can't believe how beautiful that leather is!


p.s. just a few pictures of the layout.




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