Zwinglius Redivivus

The Gutenberg Bible (1454) – The First Printed Bible

Posted in Bible by Jim on 21 Aug 2018

The German Bible Society publishes this beautiful facsimile.  Mine arrived today and I could not be more pleased.  It’s fantastic and the companion volume is brilliant.

These things tend not to have a very long shelf life, so I recommend you get one while you can.  It’s worth every penny.

Commentary of the Day

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Books, Commentary by Jim on 20 Aug 2018

Available today for $5 in PDF.  Just paypal me.

The First Testament

Posted in Bible, Book Review, Books by Jim on 20 Aug 2018

IVP Academic have published this new translation of the Old Testament by John Goldingay.  A review copy arrived in the mail (or, in the post for the Brits) today.  I’ve been looking forward to this day since the volume was first announced – having used Goldingay’s earlier volumes to great profit.  More anon.

Most translations bend the text toward us. They make the rough places smooth, the odd bits more palatable to our modern sensibilities. In every translation something is gained and something lost.

In The First Testament: A New Translation, John Goldingay interrupts our sleepy familiarity with the Old Testament. He sets our expectations off balance by inviting us to hear the strange accent of the Hebrew text. We encounter the sinewed cadences of the Hebrew Bible, its tics and its textures. Translating words consistently, word by word, allows us to hear resonances and see the subtle figures stitched into the textual carpet. In a day of white-bread renderings of the Bible, here is a nine-grain translation with no sugar or additives.

Saturday Book Notes: The Commentary

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Commentary by Jim on 18 Aug 2018

Everyone needs a commentary on the Bible that they can understand and that answers their questions about the meaning of the text.  So I wrote one for lay people on the whole Bible.

The set runs $75.  This very low cost has been decided upon because I’m very keen to make it accessible to a lay audience.  At $75 it’s less than any other commentary on the entire Bible, so a bargain indeed.   Listen to Prof Dr Ralph Keen- ‘$75 is a mere fraction of its true value!’

So if you or someone you know has wanted to get a copy of the collection in PDF format, you can do so from yours truly for $75 by clicking my PayPal Link.

Today With Bullinger

Posted in Bible, Books, Bullinger by Jim on 18 Aug 2018

In Sacrosanctum Jesu Christi Domini nostri Evangelium secundum Matthæum Commentariorum libri XII. fol. Tig. 1542, was translated by Frisius into German, with the title, “The Hope of the Faithful,” and published August 18, 1544.

The preface to the volume is lovely. Really lovely.


The Bible, Qumran, and the Samaritans

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources, Dead Sea Scrolls by Jim on 17 Aug 2018

Read the TOC and frontmatter here.

Quote of the Day

Posted in Bible by Jim on 9 Aug 2018

Nobody who fails to keep a tight rein on the tongue can claim to be religious; this is mere self-deception; that person’s religion is worthless.  Pure, unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father, is this: coming to the help of orphans and widows in their hardships, and keeping oneself uncontaminated by the world. (Jas. 1:26-27)

Having a Sense of Shame is Wise

Posted in Bible by Jim on 8 Aug 2018

Preserve a sense of shame in the following matters, for not every kind of shame is right to harbour, nor is every situation correctly appraised by all. Be ashamed, before father and mother, of depraved behaviour, and before prince or potentate of telling lies; of wrong-doing before judge or magistrate, and of impiety before the assembly of the people; of sharp practice before your companion and your friend, and of theft before the neighbourhood you live in. Before the truth and covenant of God, be ashamed of leaning elbows on the table, of being ungracious when giving or receiving, of ignoring those who greet you, of gazing at a loose woman, of repulsing your fellow-countryman, of misappropriating another’s portion or gift, of paying court to another man’s wife, of making advances to his servant-girl — do not go near her bed- of saying disagreeable things to friends — do not follow up a gift with a taunt- of repeating everything you hear and of betraying confidences. Then you will know what true shame is, and you will find yourself in everyone’s graces. (Sir. 41:16-27)

Words of Wisdom

Posted in Bible by Jim on 8 Aug 2018

Do not waste many words on the stupid, do not go near a dolt. Beware of him, or you will have trouble and be soiled by contact with him; keep away from him, and you will have peace of mind and not be exasperated by his folly.  What is heavier than lead, and what is its name if not ‘fool’?  Sand and salt and a lump of iron are a lighter burden than a dolt.  (Sir. 22:13-15)


Quote of the Day

Posted in Bible by Jim on 7 Aug 2018

O death, how bitter it is to remember you for someone peacefully living with his possessions, for someone with no worries and everything going well and who can still enjoy his food! O death, your sentence is welcome to one in want, whose strength is failing, to one worn out with age and a thousand worries, resentful and impatient! Do not dread death’s sentence; remember those who came before you and those who will come after.  This is the sentence passed on all living creatures by the Lord, so why object to what seems good to the Most High? Whether your life lasts ten or a hundred or a thousand years, its length will not be held against you in Sheol. (Sir. 41:1-4)

Who Is it that is Truly Happy?

Posted in Bible by Jim on 6 Aug 2018

There are nine things I can think of which strike me as happy, and a tenth which is now on my tongue:

  1. the man who can be proud of his children,
  2. he who lives to see the downfall of his enemies; 
  3. happy is he who keeps house with a sensible wife;
  4. he who does not toil with ox and donkey;
  5. he who has never sinned with his tongue;
  6. he who does not serve a man less worthy than himself; 
  7. happy is he who has acquired good sense
  8. and can find attentive ears for what he has to say; 
  9. how great is he who has acquired wisdom;
  10. but unsurpassed is one who fears the Lord. (Sir. 25:7-10)

Luther’s Bible Was Sent to the Printer on this Day in 1534…

Posted in Bible, Luther by Jim on 6 Aug 2018

And it was published the next day. The. Next. Day. Putting to shame all publishers today who take half a year to get a book printed.

Martin Luther started work on his famous translation of the Bible in 1521, and on August 6, 1534 permission to print was obtained from the Elector of Saxony. The first complete copy left the press of Hans Lufft at Wittenberg, the next day, August 7, 1534.

To be sure, prep work was done in the months leading up to the publication- but permission was granted one day and the volumes were out the next.  It’s astonishing what one can achieve when one has a herd of compulsive Germans on the job.

That said, it is a beautiful edition.  I have a facsimile of it and it’s just simply gorgeous.  I got it when it came out in 2011.  If you want to obtain one these days… the two volumes may be a bit harder to find.


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Quote of the Day

Posted in Bible by Jim on 2 Aug 2018

Everyone who knows what the right thing to do is, and does not do it, commits a sin. (Jas. 4:17)

Quote of the Day

Posted in Bible by Jim on 1 Aug 2018

Woe to those who call what is bad, good, and what is good, bad, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. (Isa. 5:20)


Posted in Bible by Jim on 31 Jul 2018

Whenever ‘Christians’ tell you that you should be quiet and not denounce evil you know that they are motivated by evil itself and by no means should you listen to them.

Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, And do not be still, O God! For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head.  (Ps. 83:1-2)

We cannot ask God to act if we are timid and fearful and afraid to speak out.

Quote of the Day

Posted in Bible by Jim on 29 Jul 2018

Better a youngster poor and wise than a monarch old and silly who will no longer take advice (Eccl. 4:13).

How Much Would A Luther Bible Cost when It Was First Published?

Posted in Bible, Luther by Jim on 29 Jul 2018

lbOur Saxon friends write

Did you know that when Luther’s Bible was published in 1534, the Bible cost a equivalent of 17 fat geese?

So I asked- how much is that?  They replied

The September Testament one and a half Gulden. Two Gulden acht Groschen the complete Bible. (60 Gulden was a equivalent to a small farm).  One and a half Gulden was an annual salary of a maidservant. A teacher’s 3 3/4.

Concerning Luther’s own salary they remark

As preacher at the City Church Luther had been receiving an annual salary of 9 Gulden since approx. 1514. In 1523 this sum was still the only cash at his disposal, since his Augustian professorship gave him free lodgings, together with brewing rights, a claim to payment in kind, but not to a salary. It was only in 1524 that Elector Frederick granted him an annual salary of one hundred Gulden. The new elector John ultimately accorded him two hundred Gulden so that Luther would earn as much as Philipp Melanchthon. This sum was a top salary for a Wittenberg Professor at the time, but the big house, the runaway monks and nuns the Luthers took in, and the continual guests made the household expensive to run. Luther calculated his annual expenses at about five hundred Gulden (Btw Luther never earned anything from his writing, he refused to accept a penny from them).

Neat, right?!?!  And we think books are expensive today!  It cost over a year’s salary for the goodly maid to buy a single Bible.  Astonishing.

I bought a two volume facsimile of the 1534 Bible and I think it cost around $199.  So, quite a bargain!

The Good Old Days…

Posted in Bible, Books, Church History by Jim on 27 Jul 2018

When the herd weren’t allowed to distort the Scriptures-


Posted in Bible by Jim on 26 Jul 2018

Ill-gotten wealth will vanish like a torrent, like the single thunder-clap that heralds rain. When he opens his hand, he rejoices, by the same token, sinners come to ruin. The sprigs of the godless will not make many branches, tainted roots find only hard rock. The reed that grows by every lake and river’s edge is the first plant to be uprooted. (Sir. 40:13-16)

All of the Psalms, On Youtube

Posted in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources by Jim on 25 Jul 2018

This is right cool

Listen to all 150 psalms in various languages and styles. Each of the following numbers leads to a playlist on YouTube for that psalm:

Go to the link above for the list.