Monday, April 11, 2011

The book that changed the world

Last week I had the privilege of attending the opening of a new exhibition in Adelaide. The Book that Changed the World celebrates the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. Hosted by the Bible Society Australia and currently in the Barr Smith Library at Adelaide University, it is a fantastic exhibition.

It contains some historical bibles of Australia, including Captain John Hunter's Bible which came with him on the First Fleet in 1788, bibles for convicts (early 1800s), a bible to mark federation in 1901 and various bibles for wartime.

For me though, the main attraction of the exhibition are the very old bibles it contains, which show the development in translation and language:
  • There are 2 printed Latin Vulgates (the bible first brought to England), from 1495 and 1537
  • A 1571 volume of a Saxon bible - showing Saxon printing and writing (the language spoken in England)
  • A number of illustrated bibles
  • 1551 Tyndale Bible - one of the first printed English Scriptures
  • 1607 Geneva Bible -widely used bible of the English Reformation. The one on display belonged to William the Shakespeare
  • 1611 First Edition of the King James Bible
Rev Dr John Harris spoke on the night, giving a wonderful history of the King James Bible, especially how it came to be produced, the language of English at the time, and how the King James Bible has impacted the English language for 400 years. Most people of my parents generation or older grew up hearing the King James Bible, and while I did not, it is amazing how familiar the language is. If you have ever:
  • escaped by the skin of your teeth (Job 19:20)
  • had a fly in the ointment (Ecc 10:1)
  • noted that your cup runneth over (Ps 23:5)
  • walked through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4)
  • seen the writing on the wall (Daniel 5)
it is thanks to the King James Bible.

Of course the bible is not only a wonderful document of history, but God's living word given for all people at all times. The Bible Society have done an excellent job of creating an exhibition which clearly shows not only the historical significance of these bibles, but the real impact the bible has made in the lives of so many people.

If you are in Adelaide, it's worth making a visit to see this exhibition, it will be here until April 28. Thankfully for others, it is then touring the Eastern states. It will go to Parliament House in Canberra, and then onto other major cities. Tour dates can be seen here.

1 comment:

Deb L said...

Thanks so much for this information! Of course, I'll have to wait till October before it comes to Melbourne but that's really worth going into the city to see.