- Hardcover: 1258 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st edition (November 1, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671879596
- ISBN-13: 978-0671879594
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.5 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Bible: Designed to be Read as Living Literature, the Old and the New Testaments in the King James Version Hardcover – November 1, 1993
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From Library Journal
This updated edition of the Bates bible (first published to enormous acclaim in 1936) appears at a time of increased interest in the Bible as literature. What does it offer new readers? Traditional chapter and verse numbers have been removed, and the books, especially narrative material, are divided into sense units. Poetry is printed in verse, and characters are identified in dramas (Job and Song of Songs). Material believed to hinder readers' enjoyment and understanding (genealogies, legal codes, repetition) has been omitted. Finally, the King James Version (KJV) is used because of its stature as a classic. Still, the question remains whether readers are attracted to the Bible as a literary classic or as scripture. If the former, all the editorial work can be justified. If the latter, it is debatable whether there is any "clutter" that needs to be deleted. In addition, the KJV is possibly not the best choice for presenting the Bible as "living literature" to people in the late 20th century. While this volume may inspire many to read the Bible for the first time, it is not the last word in "reading Bibles."-- Craig W. Beard, Univ. of Alabama, Birmingham
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
One of the great characteristics of the Bible is its flexibility. In an effort to improve upon its readability, Bates, succeeded by Lodowick Allison, has produced a great reader with a fluid format that heightens the literary quality of scripture. It is not intended as dilution of the sacred text. Rather, it presents the stories, poetry, and chronicles that have made the Bible a treat for the imagination as well as the spirit. "Begats" and regulatory statutes are absent. This rendition enjoyed a popularity between 1936 and 1957 and was featured in its first year as a Book of the Month. Allison has renovated the work as necessary. (Surprisingly, "thous" and "arts" remain in the text, but one is hard put to tamper too much with the language of the King James version.) A successful effort to draw readers into the mystery and mission of "the greatest story ever told." Gary Young
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What you get here is basically two (two!) classics in one! The Bible itself, and just about the only translation which has ever been hailed as a masterpiece: the King James Version.
The book begins just as you would expect: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," and, before five more pages have gone by, it is dealing with the mysterious facts of human sexuality ("they knew they were naked") and the downright evil of human murder ("Am I my brother's keeper?")
This is an important book, quite obviously a cornerstone or foundation of that disappearing thing we call "Western civilization." I recommend this book heartily to all readers, but I would note that I am not making that recommendation from a fundamentalist perspective. Not at all.
Please indulge me. Shakespeare is not literally true, in every syllable. But he writes magnificently, and he is very often, magnificently RIGHT. ("DON'T KILL YOURSELF OVER FIRST LOVE." "DON'T GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING TO YOUR CHILDREN BEFORE YOU DIE." "DON'T MURDER YOUR LOVING WIFE BECAUSE OF SOME LYING SNAKE." "DO NOT MURDER YOUR WAY TO POWER.")
In somewhat the same way, the Bible is not literally true, in every syllable. But it is magnificently written, and it is often magnificently RIGHT. ("HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND YOUR FATHER." "DO NOT KILL." "DO NOT GET DIVORCED." "THE UNIVERSE HAS A BEGINNING, AND IT HAS AN END." "YOU ARE THE CHILD OF A GOD WHO LOVES YOU.")
It is most certainly "food for thought." At the very least.
But neither the Bible nor Shakespeare is suitable for a ten-paragraph "review." Some things do not boil down to Cliff's Notes.