A new book from an old time…
As much as I love to write I love to read. If there is a book sale on or 30 minutes to kill I will find a bookshop to browse and buy. I collect them. Any book, some inherited, some recommended and some to me are just important books that I should have in my collection. A book of poetry by Jim Morrison, the works of Oscar Wilde, a book on conspiracy theories, an old hardback book all about Koalas from the 1960’s to name a few, all jammed together in harmony on my wonky bookshelf.
My latest purchase was actually born from a movie. I was watching The Book of Eli when it came to me that of all the books I have I don’t own a Bible. I’m not religious, not even christened but I do have faith, my own faith developed and changing constantly over the years, from learning and reading texts of all religions. I see great merit and fault in all of them. With any story told, context is changed, messages are taken in a way to suit the current world we live in today. Words used for good, or words used to judge others. The movie by the way was pretty good, not a run of the mill action movie and a pretty cool twist at the end which I won’t spoil for those who haven’t seen it.
So I began my search for a Kings James version of the Bible and found that as part of the 400th anniversary of this influential piece of written work there was an exact reprinted replica in the language of England in 1611 available to purchase. What can’t you buy online these days? Word for word, page for page this beautiful, weighty book is replicated, it even has fancy gold leaf edging. The pages are tissue thin, and at the beginning there are even instructions for the reader and interesting maps and even God’s family tree. All ornately scribed with finely inked pictures.
The language is what fascinates me most. It takes time to get your head around the changes in uses of letters and in particular vowels as we know them today. For example corn becomes ‘corne’ and the I’s and J’s are swapped around ‘Jacob’ becomes ‘Iacob’. Here’s an excerpt;-
“And Pharaoh said vnto Ioseph, I haue dreamed a dreame, and there is none that can interpret it: and I haue you say of thee, that thou canst vnderstand a dreame, the interpret it”
It’s intriguing to me how words and language change throughout the centuries. What I love about the text is just how cleverly it is written. The emphasis on certain words, the structure of sentences, all there to be effective sermons and in some cases almost singing and in a chanting pattern to the listener i’m sure when communicated from the pulpit. Small phrases in small chapters to stick in the mind and be believed and repeated to others as part of a growing, strong organised faith.
Religious or not, this is a book worth a look if you love the written word. Read it as the truth or fiction, either way it’s an amazing collection of stories told in an extremely clever way, perhaps one of history’s best sellers?
Is there a book in history you would love to own?