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Friday, July 25, 2014

Fragments of faith

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

(Photo)
Dr. David Brown details the significance of a replica of the Gutenberg Press to a group of students at Victory Baptist Academy.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons) [Order this photo]
You can hold a fragment of history in your hands this week during Bible & Literature Missionary Foundation's 43rd annual Scripture Conference, which ends today. Morning sessions have been held at Faith Baptist Church, with evening sessions at Victory Baptist Church. It's part of a celebration honoring 400 years of the King James Version of the Bible.

Dr. David Brown presented a lecture this morning on the history and preservation of what some consider the most revered version of the Bible.

History lives

(Photo)
Historical versions of the Bible are on display at Victory Baptist Church today.
(T-G Photo by Tracy Simmons)
Both original Bible versions and replicas from throughout history are on display in the sanctuary of Victory Baptist.

So is a remarkable bit of history -- a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls, on loan from the Ink & Blood Museum in Murfreesboro.

It's a small bit of text from the Isaiah Scrolls, not much bigger than a half dollar, But, dated from 100-200 B.C., it's likely the oldest item you'll hold in your hands this week.

Just as with today's currency, misprints and mistakes in printing are among the most collected versions. These days, the versions are better known for their mistakes than their content.

Unusual variations

On display is the "wife beater" Bible -- an edition of the Taverner's Bible, one of the first to contain commentaries. At I Pet. 3:7 it states [sic] "And if she be not obediente and healpful unto hym, endevoureth to beate the fere of God into her heade, that thereby she may be compelled to learne her dutye and do it."

Then there's the "britches" Bible, a Geneva version which in Genesis 3:7 notes Adam and Eve as making "breeches" instead of "aprons" for clothing.

In 1631 a printer left out a critical "not" in the list of "shall nots" in Exodus 20, leading that version to be termed the 'Wicked' Bible.

Also on display is the "Vinegar Bible" from 1717 in which a heading at Luke 20 reads, "The Parable of the Vinegar" instead of "Vineyard."

Story told

Dr. David Brown and wife Linda, who curate the display, have been in ministry for the past 40 years.

A well-educated and practiced minister, Brown encountered a collection of Bible history compiled by Dr. Jewell Smith 20 years ago and was entranced by the story and long history of the modern-day text.

"I thought the story needed to be told," Brown said.

Brown, pastor of First Baptist Church of Oak Creek, Wis., travels six to seven times a year to display his collection and speak about the history of the Bible.

"We are so blessed by the men who gave their lives ... because they felt a burden for the people to read it for themselves," said Brown.

If you go

Historical Bibles will be on display through 7 p.m. today in the sanctuary of Victory Baptist Church, 2200 N. Main St. Admission is free.