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The Imitation of Christ (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – September 18, 2003
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The Thomas à Kempis fan club includes St. Ignatius, Thomas Merton, Thomas More, and even Agatha Christie's Miss Marple. (She reads a chapter of The Imitation of Christ every night before sleep.) Imitation has exerted immense influence on Christian worship, ethics, and church structure, because it gives specific yet broad-minded guidance about the central task of Christian life--learning to live like Jesus. Better to read this book a little here and there, now and then, than to try gobbling it cover to cover. Imitation is no triumph of orderly thinking, but it's a great monument and incentive to deep living. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
If a man tells you that he is fond of the Imitation, view him with sudden suspicion; he is either a dabbler or a saint...Heaven help us if we find easy reading in the Imitation of Christ -- Ronald Knox None, I believe, except the Bible, has been so universally read and loved by Christians of all tongues and sects -- Thomas Carlyle The most influential devotional book in Western Christian history --Professor John van Engen --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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I was very pleased to see these new leather zip-cover versions, as I've gone through a couple soft cover versions with daily wear and tear, in and out of the backpack, etc. There are two versions in these similar covers, two different translations by two seperate publishers. The one pictured here is my personal favorite, published by TAN, it is the same trusted and true old translation that is found in the beloved old 'Confraternity of the Precious Blood' versions.... that familiar little blue soft-covered version with stunning b&w detailed pictures to meditate upon as you read. This version was originally translated from Latin by Richard Challoner D.D., and is more true to the original translation. Though it is written in an older style of proper English, it is easy enough for most people to comprehend, and the older writing style has much artistic, poetic charm that is often times lost in some of the newer 'up-to-date' English translations. Remember, this is the second most translated and published book in history next to the Holy Bible! The other new leather zip-cover version available now looks nearly identical to this, but rather than a Cross on the front cover, it has a 'Chi Ro' design and omits the authors' name. This version, equally impressive, is put out by the Catholic Book Publishing Co., and is the same translation (edited by Clare L.Fitzpatrick) that is available in the small red hardcover version that is quite popular by the same publisher. This too is an excellent version, but the translation is much more modern and more readable by the everyday layperson, or anyone who wishes to hear this timeless wisdom in a more easily accessible version without the 'thee's, thou's, and shall's" of the aforementioned version. It's personal preference, example...
first line of the TAN version = "He that followeth me, walketh not in darkness," ..... as opposed to the CBPC's version, "No one who follows Me will ever walk in darkness." (John 8:12).
~But, to be truly enlightened and touched by these timeless words of wisdom of the Spiritual Life, I reccommend buying both versions, and absorbing both as to get a better understanding of these holy and guiding words. There are those who may say that A' Kempis's writings are 'not for everyone', as most of his writings were written to give guidance to the young novitiates of his monastic order where he served as Novice Master for a time, but please do not let that turn you away from the holy and life changing power of his spiritually uplifting direction that still speaks to many today. If you have any call to any form of holiness, or just want to enhance and reinvigorate your daily spiritual life, there is no way that you can go wrong with Thomas A 'Kempis and this, his most well known and loved body of work.
I just purchased a kindle copy described as translated by Leo Shirley price. It is not.
Amazon advertises quite a few Kindle books that are not the edition it claims. This is dishonest, that is, to claim that something is what it is not. This disappointing! However ....
This book is simply wonderful. Next to the Bible the Immitation is my dearest spiritual companion. The translation I use most often is that published by the Monastery of the Precious Blood In Brooklyn, NY.
The book has the "ring" of truth of someone who also knows the Christian scriptures. Sometimes he restates the scriptural truth or verse paraphrased. Secondly, I think the original writing has been "transliterated" in the sense that this version reads rather smoothly, not cryptically, and is easy to understand.
Our small group at Church of the Apostles has begun reading this book and we discuss it Monday evenings.
The one thing I do not like about the Kindle version is that you don't have page numbers. The reader or ipad only indicates % of the book read. This makes it more difficult in a group of 6 or 8 persons. So when a leader says: do you agree with what he says in chapter 2, page so and so, everybody is scrambling to reference it because some have paper versions and others have electronic versions.
I can't get past the huge errors in Bible verse citations throughout this edition however.
Like in Book I Chapter 21 it concludes with a Psalms quote as being from Psalms 79:6, but the correct reference should be Psalms 80:5. In Book I Chapter 23 verse 7 its cross reference with Ecclesiastes 7:1 makes no sense. The copy editors who inserted these citations and cross references didn't seem to bother at all with ensuring their cross references and citations were accurate or made sense.
Buy the book for its Old English style of translation, the cool zippered book format, and Thomas a Kempis' spiritual insights, but don't expect the Bible cross references to be accurate or make sense.
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Timely and deeply challenging, this book has stood the test of six centuries and remains a...Read more