Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Victorian Celebration

A Literary Odyssey is hosting The Victorian Celebration, an event for June and July! I am very excited to be participating in this challenge on my blog, Becky's Book Reviews. I'm more than half tempted to see if I can find ways to participate here at Operation Actually Read Bible.

I started thinking, which Bibles (or Bible translations) would have been available during the Victorian period (1837-1901)? Of the translations available during those decades, which ones are *still* available and/or still in use today? The obvious answer, of course, is the King James Bible. But it wasn't the only translation available though it may have been widely used, and generally accepted and respected.

One of my favorite websites is called Bible Research. It has a page which lists nineteenth century English versions of the Bible. They list around twenty-five "new" translations of the Bible during the time between 1837 and 1899. Of course, almost all of these "new" translations of the Bible were just revisions (some small or slight, others more ambitious) of the Authorized Version (aka The King James Version).

Of particular note, at least particular note--to me--is the English Revised Version. The New Testament appeared in 1881, the Old and New Testament appeared in 1885, the Bible with the Apocrypha appeared in 1895. This "revision" or "translation" of the Bible was the basis for the American Standard Version of 1901. The American Standard Version of 1901 was the basis for the Revised Standard Version. The New Testament of the RSV appeared in 1946, the whole Bible (Old and New) was published in 1952. A second edition of the RSV was published in 1971. The ESV uses the RSV as its starting point, it is a revision of the RSV. The ESV was first published in 2001, it has had several editions including one in 2007 and 2011.

There are several places to read the ERV translation. It is available online at the Bible Research site, for example.

The Darby Bible was also published in 1890; the New Testament was published in 1867, 1872, 1884. This is available to read at

Young's Literal Translation was also published in the Victorian period; it was published in 1863, 1887, 1898. This is available to read at

American Bible Union had a "modern revision" of the KJV published in 1864, 1865, and 1891. This was just the New Testament, I believe. I found it online here through an archive site.

What about Christian classics from this time period? OR What about books written by Christian preachers, teachers, and theologians living and working during the Victorian period? I have found that many books "by" certain teachers/preachers are really collections of their teachings, writings, sermons and edited together into a book for modern readers. (I'm thinking of many Spurgeon books.)

Those that come to mind include:

Charles Spurgeon
J.C. Ryle
Charles Hodge

and perhaps *some* works by:

A.B. Simpson (1843-1919)
Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)
E.M. Bounds (1835-1913)
Andrew Murray (1828-1917)
Alexander Whyte (1836-1921)

I am officially-unofficially participating with my Christian reading. I am not committing to reading just the King James Version or the English Revised Version. I just couldn't make that commitment. But I would like to read *a little* in some of these older translations. And I would definitely LOVE to read some Spurgeon this summer! And if I find time to try J.C. Ryle then I'd be happy with that too!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

No comments: