Early English Bible translations on display during 2-day lectures
November 15, 2005
KANSAS CITY – The sacrifice and struggle to get the Bible translated into the English language will be the topic of a special two-day lecture series from Harold Rawlings of The Rawlings Foundation Nov. 29-30, starting at 10 a.m. each day at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Harold Rawlings is one of the world’s leading authorities on the English Bible, having assembled an incredible collection of Scripture,” Midwestern President Phil Roberts said. “No one’s education is genuinely complete until they have been exposed to his knowledge of the Bible and its history.”
As part of the lectures Rawlings will be bringing 14 English Bibles from his collection, dating back to the 1600s, for viewing. Here are some of the Bibles that will be on display:
• Tyndale’s New Testament 1551 – William Tyndale was the first to translate the New Testament into English from the Greek (1526 A.D.). The translation was made from Erasmus Greek New Testament. Tyndale’s Greek Testament would form the basis for all subsequent English versions for the next 400 years. It is no wonder he is often called the Father of the English Bible.
• 1611 King James Version Bible – This is the first edition of the King James Version and is known as the “noblest monument of English prose.” It was a translation made by a committee of scholars and based on the Bishops’ Bible, although translators gleaned from all the preceding English versions of the Bible, particularly William Tyndale’s translation.
• Gutenberg Facsimile Gen. 1:1 – A facsimilie page from Gutenberg’s Bible, the first major book to be published by the new process known as moveable type. The year was approximately 1454-55. The emergence of this new technology meant that for the first time Bibles could be printed in a fraction of the time it took to hand-write one; and they would henceforth be affordable to the average wage earner.
• Erasmus Greek New Testament 1535 – This is the first printed Greek New Testament. It also contains Erasmus’ revision of the Latin Vulgate New Testament and was the basis of Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament and the prototype of the Textus Receptus. This edition (1535 A.D) was the last of five editions printed during Erasmus’ lifetime. The first edition was printed in 1516. It is sometimes called the book that changed the world.
Rawlings, who received his Ph.D. from Louisiana Baptist University, is the author of Trial By Fire, an account of the struggle translators like John Wycliffe and William Tyndale, fought to get the Bible into English. A full description of the translations in the collection are available online at: h ttp://www.haroldrawlings.com/. The lectures are free and open to the public.