Old Testament. Here he has access to 1,400 valuable Hebrew manuscripts Photo by kind permission of The British and Foreign Bible Society
Basis of Modern Translations
The basis of new translations is the purest text which can be obtained from the original tongues in which the Scriptures were written - the old Testament in Hebrew and the New in Greek. As time goes on we have greater opportunities of getting a pure text than in earlier ages, when fewer manuscripts had been discovered. For instance, the earliest manuscript of any portion of the Bible, in the original language, which is at present known to exist was only found in 1892 in Egypt - written on papyrus in the third century. This and many other manuscripts have been discovered, not only since the publication of the Authorised Version, but also since the publication of the Revised Version (New Testament, 1881; Old Testament, 1885).
This colossal task is being carried out - this is written in 1911 - by Dr. Ginsburg, the famous Hebrew scholar. Day after day he is at work in the British Museum, where he has access to over 1,400 valuable Hebrew manuscripts. These he is able to compare with early English editions of printed Hebrew Bibles (1482-1525), and also with ancient versions, one of the most important of these being the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch, believed by some to date back to 333 b.c. The original of this is in an ancient ark at Nablous (Shecham) among other Samaritan relics. Several copies of it are to be found in Europe.
As an instance of Dr. Ginsburg's research, we may quote the following: In the Authorised Version, verse 6 of the 24th Psalm runs, "This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob." In the Revised Version it is translated, "That seek thy face, 0 God of Jacob," "O God" being printed in italics to show that, although the translators believed this to be the correct translation they had no proof of it. Dr. Ginsburg has recently discovered an old Hebrew manuscript giving the passage as "O God of Jacob." Many other instances could be given of conjectural emendations receiving manuscript authority.
If we turn to the New Testament, we shall find that the Greek in which it was written was sufficiently unlike any other known Greek as to be termed, in the past, "New Testament" Greek. Recently, owing to excavations in Egypt, documents have been discovered, proving it to have been the ordinary, every-day language of the people, such as the disciples, chiefly simple fisher folk, would have been likely to have written in. It is a fresh proof of the truth of our New Testament that its style is rather popular than literary. It was written in the language of the people, for the people. Our Authorised Version to-day is still the most popular version among English-speaking people. of the Authorised Version
The Revised Version is certainly the more scholarly and correct; but of the Authorised it has truly been said that its uncommon beauty and marvellous English "lives on the ear like a music that can never be forgotten." "It is," said Father Faber, after he became a Roman Catholic, "like the sound of church-bells which the convert scarcely knows how he can forgo. Its facilities seem often to be almost things rather than words. It is part of the national mind and the anchor of the national seriousness. The memory of the dead passes into it. The potent traditions of childhood are stereotyped in its verses. It is the representative of a man's best moments; all that there has been about him of soft and gentle and pure and penitent and good speaks to him for ever out of his English Bible. It is his sacred thing, which doubt never dimmed and controversy never soiled; and in the length and breadth of the land there is not a Protestant with a spark of religiousness about him whose spiritual biography is not in his Saxon Bible."
It has been said, and with truth, that English literature owes more to the Authorised Version of the Scriptures than to any other source. The greatest of our prose writers have willingly acknowledged the debt of gratitude which they owe it for their noblest passages.
Purpose of the Tercentenary
The spring of 1911 will see the celebration of the tercentenary of the Authorised Version.
Sunday, March 26, is to be observed throughout the country as Tercentenary . Sunday, and on March 29 a great meeting will be held in the Royal Albert Hall.
The object of these celebrations is not to glorify one particular version, excellent as that is, nor to promote the advancement of one particular society; nor is the collection of funds the end in view, but rather to call the attention of Great Britain to the debt we owe to those who have given us so priceless a treasure in our own tongue, and that we may express our national thanksgiving for it to Almighty God. Similar celebrations will be held in Canada, Australia, and the United States.
Small Charity Bazaars continued from page 429, Part J
Points to Receive Attention
The majority of the public are interested in fortune telling, and on bazaar days are in high good humour, therefore it would be an excellent idea to place, say, four pretty girls in gipsy costume - the number of girls should be according to the size of the room - to read the visitors' fortunes out of their teacups. They might charge sixpence per person, and the fortune, of course, would have to be very brief; but the "art" can easily be learned by studying one of the fortune cups, which can be bought.
Novel, easy competitions will provide far quicker and larger sources of income than the ordinary "raffles." A good idea for the former is to place ten lighted candles in a row, and make the spectators blow all ten out by a single effort. Threepence could be charged for every attempt, and the winner - who makes a rare appearance - be given a pretty brooch, or some similar reward. A variation of the idea is to have all the candles lit by a single match.
I have known a voting table also to be a very vivid source of interest - the method generally employed is to take three questions of general interest, say, for example, Should M.p.'s be paid? Should you marry without being in love? Who is your favourite actor? The object is to make the questions attack both different sections of the press and of the people. Twopence or threepence is charged for every vote recorded, the voter only signing his number, which is assigned him by the attendant, and of which the latter keeps a record. The questions should be changed daily, and a prize awarded to the person whose vote agrees with the majority, and whose coupon is first drawn from the ballot-box. The results should be prominently posted up.
Another idea is to get a tailor's dummy - a local tailor will willingly lend one, dress it up in a man's costume, devoid only of a tie. The ladies among the visitors will be required to choose and buy a tie in the bazaar - it ought not to cost them more than sixpence - which they consider most suitable for wearing with the suit, and pin it on. I have only once seen one of these figures used, and I counted over 200 ties pinned on to it.
Of course, a jury of men decide the "nicest" ties, and a prize is awarded daily.
A "Rose Lottery"
A novel form of lottery is called the "Rose Lottery." Bunches of roses of different colours are placed in large vases - there should be two or three vases, and ladies are asked to close their eyes and choose a rose, it having been previously decided which rose on that particular day shall be the winning colour. Say a red rose is chosen, when a lady picks it out she carries it to a stall at the other side of the bazaar (this idea is to relieve too much congestion at one stall), where an enormous rose-decorated basket is prepared containing prizes, the winner is allowed to put in her hand and take her chance of what she secures. Some special prizes ought to be featured and advertised to draw people to the lottery. A pretty variation on the idea is to have invisible prizes tied on to the stems of the roses and let the public draw at will - they, in any case, keeping the rose or other flower which they draw. Novelties such as I have named not only make the inward success of the bazaar. but they give the journalists something to write about - something to tell the public, and bring them down.
There are two very important points which ought to receive the attention of bazaar organisers, the first is, that either a bank or two well-known persons should be selected as custodians of the receipts, and when the bazaar is over a statement of accounts ought always to be issued - at any rate, to those who chiefly assisted at it. To observe strict business rules does not cast a doubt on anyone's honesty, but does avoid the grumbling one often hears at the loose management of the financial end of charity entertainments.
The second point is that someone should be appointed to give correct information to the Press. When possible, typewritten particulars of any special events, names of stallholders, etc., should be in readiness for the journalists. At present it is no unusual experience for those unfortunate individuals to wander round and round the bazaar, forlornly searching for someone who will " tell them anything about anything." Result, dearth of notice in the papers.
Tact, firmness, and originality, but, above all. not too many mistresses to direct affairs, spell success for charity bazaars.
A difficulty sometimes confronts the organisers in obtaining back the books of raffle counterfoils and books of unsold tickets from the distributors, but the follow-ing plan has been found to work well. A special raffle for some dainty prize should be advertised for those helpers only who returned their counterfoils and money by a certain specified date. Women sellers, above all, nearly always become punctual under this plan.
At the conclusion of the bazaar there should be a final meeting of the committee, and on this occasion all accounts ought to be presented, and the bazaar affairs generally wound up. The secretary should then write letters of thanks to firms or persons who were prominent in assisting the bazaar.