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Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada)
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THE MODERN READER'S BIBLE
THE MODERN READER'S BIBLE
by PH.D., EDITED BY RICHARD G. MOULTON M.A.
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Convenient Edition of the Revised Version (of 1881-1894) of the Old & New Testaments, with Selected Writings from the Apocrypha, Aug. 16 2014
What one finds in this volume, "The Modern Reader's Bible: the Books of the Bible, with Three Books of the Apocrypha, Presented in Modern Literary Form", is Richard Green Moulton's edition of the Revised Version (R.V.) of the Holy Bible (NOT to be confused with either its A.S.V. variant or with the much later R.S.V. Bible) of 1881-1894. (R. G. Moulton, incidentally, is not to be confused with the Dr. Moulton, i.e. William Fiddian Moulton, who was a member of the committee whose labours had produced the Revised Version.) The R.V., by 1894, had come, finally, to the conclusion of its project of translation and of supposèd revision (of the A.V., a.k.a. K.J.V.) to comprise within itself the Old Testament, the Apocrypha (or "deuterocanonical" writings, as they also are known), and the New Testament, at last all present and accounted for. Moulton's edition of the R.V., for its part, is printed as so distinctively formatted on its pages to enhance the reader's pleasure, convenience, and understanding of it, with some slight changes in the R.V.'s text, as the Macmillan Co. published, reprinted, and reissued, from 1907 onwards, Moulton's handiwork in a single volume.

Regarding that, Moulton informs the reader of his edition that its text "is one construed specially for this work, for which the Editor alone is responsible. It is based upon the English Revised Version, with choice between the readings of the text and [of the] margin [i.e., with the result that Moulton's edition opts to elevate into position within the text itself wording which had been originally in the R.V. only as possible alternative readings relegated to the notes of its marginalia], and with some slight changes of wording as are involved in the adaptation to modern literary structure." (The R.V.'s own original choices in such regard so often were based as much on pedantic caprice as on any sound principles that the user of Moulton's edition of it should not be unduly concerned about all this!) As he edited the R.V., Moulton included only three of the deuterocanonical writings found in the R.V.'s complete Apocrypha. Those deuterocanonical writings, which Moulton selected and included for their literary value, are, namely, Tobit, Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus (the latter-most of those three sacred writings now being more commonly known as "Sirach").

At least, that is what one gathers from the verso of the title page and from the preface to the book, as well as from leafing through it. Moulton's edition of the R.V. is not an extended mere sampling of passages from the Bible which are of highly literary importance, but, rather, it comprises the entire books of the Old and New Testaments in their full texts, together with some selected writings (also in the complete texts for these three of them) from the Apocrypha.

Among anthologies, per se, chosen from the texts of the Sacred Writings of the Bible and Apocrypha, a fine one that stands out from so many other such anthologised Scripture editions, is one chosen and edited for the delectation and use of students, especially of literature, with notes of explanation and literary commentary preceding, interspersed with, and following the writings that are found in the Bible and its Apocrypha, namely, the classic anthology that Roy B. Chamberlin and Herman Feldman confected generously and extensively from the text of the great 1611 A.V. Bible, "The Dartmouth Bible: an Abridgment of the King James Version, with Aids to Its Understanding as History and Literature, and as a Source of Religious Experience" (Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin & Co., 1950). This anthology of the A.V. Bible, thankfully, is more elegantly printed in larger typeface, friendlier to the reader's eyes, than the comparatively cramped typeface and page layout of Moulton's edition of the R.V. Bible. However, each of these editions has its own respective and differing usefulness and intended purpose, aiming for somewhat different sectors of readership among those who approach the Holy Bible from divergent angles as a document of historical and literary value.

Moulton confines his comments on the Biblical writings to his Preface and other preliminary material at the front of the volume, and to very extensive explanatory, historical, and literary essays, introductions, and notes on the various contents of the Bible's at the end of the volume. Moulton's explanatory texts in his edition of the R.V. add up to lengthier such commentary than what one finds in Chamberlin's and Feldman's anthology of the A.V. Bible. Moulton, and alike Chamberlin and Feldman, intentionally put less stress on "higher" and "lower" criticism than one tends to find in later "study" or "annotated" editions of the Bible. Moulton's interest in the Bible is not in text criticism of it so much as in the historical and literary value of the writings within the Holy Scriptures.

Moulton provides rather frequent and helpful sectional titles, to guide the reader's attention and to help him to grasp the importance of the Biblical text, at various places with the books of the Bible. In Moulton's edition, the text of Scripture mostly appears in a single column, which, among other things, abets the lineation of the verses of poetical books, or of such passages elsewhere within those Sacred Writings that are primarily in prose, but which burst out occasionally into appropriately poetical expression, a device that is particularly helpful to understanding the ancient writers' resort to a variety of literary forms. Special typographical presentation and formalities here and there, of this among numerous other kinds, help to make the structure of some portions of the Sacred Text more readily evident to the eye as set out on the pages.

In contrast to such highlighting (perhaps even to render "low-lit"), Moulton presents "the really tedious stuff" (of genealogies, minutiae of the Law, ceremonial and architectural details of the Tabernacle and of the Temple, and like rather frankly boring matter) in double columns; this makes it easy for the casual reader to skip over such passages that are of so little interest to many readers. (I wish, however, that Moulton had done that more frequently; even, for example, in the book of Ezekiel's prophecy, and elsewhere, too, in the Bible, there are long stretches of dull and tiresome text intruding upon the main aim of any particular sacred writing that can be of less than stellar interest and which could benefit from presentation in such double columns.) Rather than to present the Bible's highlights and to exclude what is of less interest to the reader of cultivated literary and historical orientation, Moulton's presentation of the text allows the reader to decide, from the entire contents of the Old and New Testaments, and from that of the parts of the Apocrypha that Moulton included, what is of interest to himself to read.

Concerning the Apocrypha, the inclusion of only three books from it, among the other writings within the deuterocanon, seems a bit too niggardly and restrictive. Surely the story of Judith (excluded) is at least as well known and entertaining to read as Tobit (included) happens to be. The books of First and Second Maccabees (excluded) are of paramount importance, as extending the Bible's historical narrative somewhat closer to Jesus' and His Apostles' time. Third (or, as it also is accounted, First) Esdras also would have been helpful to include, as its narrative is more chronologically recounted than it is within parts of the books of Ezra and Nehemiah which appear within the Old Testament itself. On the other hand, the wild speculations and flights of fancy in Fourth (or, as also accounted, Second) Esdras are very inferior and highly speculative stuff best omitted, as Moulton opted to do . The book of Baruch (which, in the R.V., includes the related Epistle of Jeremiah) contains stunningly vivid and clear prophecies of later times, making it a regrettable exclusion from the sampling of the Old Testament's deuterocanonical writings in Moulton's R.V. edition!

On the other hand, many Christians regard the tales of Daniel's prowess as an investigative detective, recounted in the less canonical portions of the Book of Daniel which Protestants consign to the Apocrypha, to be, admittedly, a bit superficial or even dubious, making their absence from Moulton's edition an understandable choice. And so it goes with yet more of the Apocrypha's concededly uneven and variable content.

Moulton's very choice, so many years ago, to use the then fashionable Revised Version for his "reader's edition" of the Bible makes his interesting way of presenting the text of the Holy Scriptures less appetising than would have been the case if he had edited the Authorised ("King James") Version (A.V.) in a similar manner to what one finds in "The Modern Reader's Bible". The Revised Version, most memorably (also infamously and deplorably) entailed the contribution of that perversely scholarly and infamous duo themselves of "Westcott and Hort" (i.e., Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort), both of whom were among the members of the R.V. revision committee.

The R.V.'s revisers essentially retained most of the Tudor/Stuart English of (roughly) Shakespeare's time found in the A.V. Bible, but ironed it out flat and rather lifeless, as a result of certain of the 1881-1894 revisers' pedantic principles, in a way that reduces the awesome literary value that one encounters in the A.V. itself. The R.V. and its American variant, the American Standard Version (A.S.V.) of 1901 (NOT to be confused with the considerably later "New American Standard Version", the N.A.S.V. being a revision of the A.S.V.), additionally, followed a school of textual criticism that, at last, is falling, albeit gradually, into the disrepute that it all too richly deserves, but which, alas, still has been in evidence also in such well known Bible versions as the Revised Standard Version (another revision of the A.S.V.) and such paraphrastic renderings as the New International Version, among many others. No doubt, like so many others, Moulton back in 1907 was confident that the R.V. (and A.S.V.) would come to displace the A.V. from the public's favour. Thankfully, that did not turn out to be the case. So, although Richard G. Moulton's edition of the R.V. Bible has many still welcome features, the R.V.'s own leaden style weighs it down considerably. This Amazon-reviewer once doggedly read the entire A.S.V. Bible (which only differs slightly from its parent R.V.), plus the R.V. Apocrypha (which the the publication of the A.S.V. omitted), both from cover-to-cover, and that was the most deadly tedious and frustrating read-through of the full Bible in any of the numerous translations ever undertaken to read in full.

Despite all that has been said above, there still are avid advocates of the R.V. (and of the A.S.V. and the N.A.S.V., as well). They will find Moulton's presentation of the R.V. Bible very welcome, as well as particularly and lastingly "reader-friendly", with the abidingly useful explanatory material that it includes as a cherishable asset.

The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book (1922)
The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book (1922)
by W. J. Armitage
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 41.64
6 used & new from CDN$ 35.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Distinguished Canadian Anglican Clergyman and Liturgist Reveals the What, How, and Why of Revision Leading to First Canadian BCP, Aug. 5 2014
The potential purchaser should bear in mind that the account of Canada's own Book of Common Prayer by Adn. William James Armitage, a distinguished Canadian clergyman of Halifax, N.S., is that, specifically, of the first such B.C.P. for the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada (later known as the Anglican Church of Canada).

Archdeacon Armitage was the chief figure in the making of a distinct edition, that of 1918/1922, of the B.C.P. for the Dominion of Canada's Anglicans. The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada previously had used the 1662 B.C.P. of the "mother church", i.e. of the Church of England, with, in some places, various supplemental texts for use therewith. Adn. Armitage's accomplished his work memorably well, and thus laid a sound foundation upon which the 1959/1962 Canadian B.C.P. progressed through the later revision leading to its own publication. In his account of the first Canadian Prayer Book, Armitage meticulously recounts every significant detail in the work upon, and in the results of, the 1918/1922 B.C.P. for every one of the of the sections of that liturgical work.

Another Canadian clergyman, a zealous Low Church Evangelical, who worked on the 1918/1922 Canadian B.C.P. revision, was Dyson Hague, active in London, Ont. and in Toronto of those years. He left a brief account of the Canadian 1918/1922 revision in Chapter 24, "The Canadian Prayer Book, 1911-1918", found on p. [261]-272 of his book, "The Story of the English Prayer Book: Its Origin and Developments, with Special Chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian Prayer Books" (London, Eng.: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1926). In those pages of his book, Hague warmly praised Adn. Armitage.

However, of course, it is Adn. Armitage's fuller-length account of the first Canadian B.C.P. which is the more authoritative and more copiously detailed account of the revision project and of the Canadian B.C.P. which resulted from it. Because of his intimate knowledge of every aspect of the 1918/1922 edition of the Canadian Prayer Book, the preparation of which he guided along and on which he laboured with such devotion and with such supreme competence, Armitage was able to recount a phenomenal amount of detail and lore relating to the Prayer Books of England and of the then-new one for Canada.

Armitage's book about the 1918/1922 revision still bears close reading after all these years and despite the advent, later on, of a subsequent revision, i.e., that of 1959/1962, of the Anglican Church of Canada's Book of Common Prayer.

The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book
The Story of the Canadian Revision of the Prayer Book
by Armitage W. J. 1860-1929
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 20.38
6 used & new from CDN$ 20.38

4.0 out of 5 stars How the First Complete and Distinctly Canadian Edition of the Book of Common Prayer Came Forth, Aug. 4 2014
The potential purchaser should bear in mind that the account of Canada's own Book of Common Prayer by Adn. William James Armitage, a distinguished Canadian clergyman of Halifax, N.S., is that, specifically, of the first such B.C.P. for the Church of England in the Dominion of Canada (later known as the Anglican Church of Canada).

Archdeacon Armitage was the chief figure in the making of a distinct edition, that of 1918/1922, of the B.C.P. for the Dominion of Canada's Anglicans. The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada previously had used the 1662 B.C.P. of the "mother church", i.e. of the Church of England, with, in some places, various supplemental texts for use therewith. Adn. Armitage's accomplished his work memorably well, and thus laid a sound foundation upon which the 1959/1962 Canadian B.C.P. progressed through the later revision leading to its own publication. In his account of the first Canadian Prayer Book, Armitage meticulously recounts every significant detail in the work upon, and in the results of, the 1918/1922 B.C.P. for every one of the of the sections of that liturgical work.

Another Canadian clergyman, a zealous Low Church Evangelical, who worked on the 1918/1922 Canadian B.C.P. revision, was Dyson Hague, active in London, Ont. and in Toronto of those years. He left a brief account of the Canadian 1918/1922 revision in Chapter 24, "The Canadian Prayer Book, 1911-1918", found on p. [261]-272 of his book, "The Story of the English Prayer Book: Its Origin and Developments, with Special Chapters on the Scottish, Irish, American, and Canadian Prayer Books" (London, Eng.: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1926). In those pages of his book, Hague warmly praised Adn. Armitage.

However, of course, it is Adn. Armitage's fuller-length account of the first Canadian B.C.P. which is the more authoritative and more copiously detailed account of the revision project and of the Canadian B.C.P. which resulted from it. Because of his intimate knowledge of every aspect of the 1918/1922 edition of the Canadian Prayer Book, the preparation of which he guided along and on which he laboured with such devotion and with such supreme competence, Armitage was able to recount a phenomenal amount of detail and lore relating to the Prayer Books of England and of the then-new one for Canada.

Armitage's book about the 1918/1922 revision still bears close reading after all these years and despite the advent, later on, of a subsequent revision, i.e., that of 1959/1962, of the Anglican Church of Canada's Book of Common Prayer.

Le Chihuahua de Beverly Hills 1, 2 & 3
Le Chihuahua de Beverly Hills 1, 2 & 3
Offered by Prestivo3
Price: CDN$ 74.05

4.0 out of 5 stars One Chihuahua Movie, 2 Chihuahua Movies, 3 Chihuahua Movies, Wow! Here Goes! Chihuahua Movie x 3 = Canine Entertainment Bliss!, Aug. 1 2014
I know how much cinephiles loathe these motion pictures and others of its genre, but, dudes and gals, loosen up! It is great to have all three together! Along the way commenting on the three films, I'll mention the separate DVD editions of each one, for reference's sake. Sure, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: [1]", the first movie in Disney's Chihuahua Trilogy, is more than a little "sappy", but take some time out to be "sappy and happy" viewing this movie (available as viewed on DVD, among other DVD and Blu-Ray editions, as Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 057850/02)! The adventures of these chihuahuas, other dogs, and assorted animals is a delight, especially for those who have a "tender spot" for the hounds! This movie never was meant to appeal to the viewer's sophistication. On the other hand, it is not any sort of "chihuahua exploitation film", either.

My favourite hounds in this California-Mexico romp are Papí, Chloé's ardent male admirer and very determinedly valiant chihuahua, and Delgado, the down-on-his-luck, butch German shepherd who rescues, and does various acts of kindness for, Chloë, even when he misinterprets the reasons for Chloë's second disappearance. Then, too, who cannot love the thronging hoard of chihauhuas among the ruins of an ancient indigenous culture? Seeing Chloë try to find the mighty voice of her "inner chihuahua" (as opposed to pampered pet squeaks and whimpering) with the aid of the leader of this pack of chihuahuas is very amusing; I wish that this bit of animal humour had been more extended!

This is a pack of fun, and not just for children! Have a barking good time watching this film, in the theatre or at home on the DVD or Blu-Ray player!

The Chihuahua cinema concession continues, without letdown in inspired fun, with parts two and three, the sequels of the Chihuahua trilogy, i.e. "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: 2, the Family Just Got Bigger" (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment 105886) and "Beverly Hills Chihuahua: 3, Viva la Fiesta, Family Always Matters" (Disney 109086/02). Each leading canine cast favourite hound will bound around on your screen for more Chihuahua mania!

The second film of the series is the only one that seems even slightly routine, mostly concerned with the swank dog show that Chloë and Papi, plus one of their canine buddies, come to dominate, but, alas, not to win. The two Chihuahuas and their pups also, with Delgado's expert help, catch some bank robbers.

My favourite of the two sequels, however, is the "Beverly Hill Chihuahua: 3", which is wonderfully zany and replete with one madcap antic after another. In that one, Papi and Chloë (and the others) celebrate daughter Rosita's "quinceañera" (its timing reckoned in equivalent "dog years"), while some skullduggery has been taking place at a fancy Beverly Hills pet hotel, where a treacherous female employee and a suspicious administrative hound, on behalf of the leading rival such establishment, the two of them colluding with an outside secret agent, are undertaking some disloyal commercial spying and sabotage, which Delgado, Papi, and others uncover and thwart, saving their human master's and mistress' jobs there while they are at it. The canine Mariachi band for Rosita's party and during the rehearsals for it is especially droll and endearing.

Don't miss these movies! You and the children or teenagers of your household also might enjoy the attractively written, printed, and illustrated "junior novels" published so far (as of mid-2014) which are based on the first two films of the trilogy!

J'ai tué ma mère
J'ai tué ma mère
Offered by Prestivo3
Price: CDN$ 50.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Precociously Artistic & Accomplished Film; Fortunately at Last another Edition of It Exists Which Does Include Subtitles, July 24 2014
This review is from: J'ai tué ma mère (DVD)
As sometimes happens with Québec films, this one, initially released on DVD in some editions in French only with no English subtitles (or even none at all in either language), came out initially unilingually, but now that the passage of years has made "J'ai tué ma mere" ("I Killed My Mother") internationally successful enough, a new edition (Kino Lobber K-1068) has appeared with the English subtitles included but with the dialogue still heard in French, as so many Anglophone viewers of non-English-language motion pictures prefer. It has been worth the wait, to say the least of it!

Only 25 at the time of this writing (2014), and only only 20 years old when "J'ai tué ma mere" was filmed and released, and this film is, at that (but before "J'ai tué ma mere", more limitedly as actor only), one of several films already to his credit by 2009, Xavier Dolan is an incredibly precocious cinematic genius. His artistry seems to have appeared, fully formed and functioning in all of the cinematic activities that his career embraces, right at the very outset of his career, accomplishing brilliantly all aspects of it simultaneously in "J'ai tué ma mere"!

The film is quasi-autobiographical and, given how subjective its entire subject is, about the conflicted relationship of the teenaged boy (16, then 17 years old during the action) with his mother (and, in passing during a scene, with his estranged father, too), the film is marvellously and judiciously well paced and coherent. Dolan, who acts in the film as well as directs it and had written its screenplay, looks very much the lad in his late teens, even if he was slightly older than that at the time of the film; many young guys at 20 still are decidedly adolescent in appearance, as Dolan looks in this film.

Recounting the story line in great detail for Amazon seems rather pointless; there is a good entry, including numerous fine reviews, on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDb) that sum up and assess the film nicely. Most of the time Hubert (Dolan's role) is vituperatively at odds with his suburbanite, middle class mother, Chantale (acted by Anne Doral), who has to have (and does have) the patience of a female Job to deal with Hubert, but he has intermittent tender moments with her, too. Hubert's relationship with his teenage male paramour, Antonin (acted by François Arnaud, a sumptuously attractive lad himself at the age he was when making the film!), has attained mental maturity sooner than Hubert, but he still sizzles with gay teenage ardour, as Hubert does, in the lovers' sex scene together). Sometime folks forget that such early maturity as Antonin's can be a part of being human at that age. Niels Schneider, whose Apollonian fair, curly-headed blond, male loveliness were so astonishingly, achingly present in Dolan's film, "Les Amours imaginaires" (of 2010, the year following "J'ai tué ma mere"), being, albeit in a different and contrasting sort of way, even more gorgeous than Dolan himself, plays the beautiful school chum, Éric, who has a gay crush on Hubert at the Roman Catholic, rural boarding school to which Hubert's parents have sent him in order to deal with their son's obstreperous behaviour. Being the target of a gay-bashing incident there, in Magog, drives Hubert to run away from the boarding school, his patient mother finding him in the same locale as that of the opening of the film, where Dolan and Chantale had lived blissfully in Hubert's early childhood. Things turn out that it is Antonin, not Éric, who holds Hubert's affection and loyalty, as, the viewer feels reassured at movie's end, does his own mother, despite the ruggèd ways that the two have been traversing during Hubert's teen years.

The actors are all very fine, including, not mentioned so far, Hubert's caring school teacher, Julie (played by Julie Clément), at public school prior to Hubert's banishment to the Magog area's private school, and Antonin's mother, Hélène (acted by Patricia Tulasne), a more exuberant woman and readily accepting mother than Chantale is for Hubert. They and the rest of the cast are all very fine actors, totally believable.

Get this movie on DVD soon! Now that there is a North American edition with English subtitles, there is no longer any excuse to delay doing just that!

The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale Revised edition [Paperback(1986)]
The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale Revised edition [Paperback(1986)]
by J.I. Rodale
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from CDN$ 28.26

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, the Most Practical Thesaurus of English among Single-Volume Works of This Kind, July 13 2014
This is the thesaurus (for that is what "The Synonym Finder" is, essentially) to which I normally make first use when I need to find a word to substitute for another for greater clarity, to avoid repetitiousness, and similar needs in writing in English. Rodale's work, whether in the 1978 or earlier or subsequent editions, is not necessarily the most scholarly or learnèd of such works, and its alphabetical dictionary arrangement is less academically ideal (but, really, so much handier) than the logical and associative format of a classed thesaurus (which philologists prefer), but I have found "The Synonym Finder" to be the most practical thesaurus, as well as the most compendious, of those (many!) similar works which I use or, in the past, which I formerly used to use.

Second resort, in the infrequent instances where Rodale does not quite give what I need, is the classic 1978 hardbound revised, updated "Library Edition" of "The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", as edited by Norman Lewis (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978).

With these two works at hand near my desk and also duplicated at my computer, I only seldom find that I need the many other thesauri and dictionaries of synonyms that I also happen to possess.

Synonym Finder by Rodale, J.I. (1997) Paperback
Synonym Finder by Rodale, J.I. (1997) Paperback
by J.I. Rodale
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, at Least Certainly for Daily Practical Use, among Rich Array Available of One-Volume Thesauri of the English Language, July 13 2014
This is the thesaurus (for that is what "The Synonym Finder" is, essentially) to which I normally make first use when I need to find a word to substitute for another for greater clarity, to avoid repetitiousness, and similar needs in writing in English. Rodale's work, whether in the 1978 or earlier or subsequent editions, is not necessarily the most scholarly or learnèd of such works, and its alphabetical dictionary arrangement of entries is less academically ideal (but, really, so much handier) than the logical and associative format of a classed thesaurus (which philologists prefer), but I have found "The Synonym Finder" to be the most practical thesaurus, as well as the most compendious, of those (many!) similar works which I use or, in the past, which I formerly used to use.

Second resort, in the infrequent instances where Rodale does not quite give what I need, is the classic 1978 hardbound revised, updated "Library Edition" of "The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", as edited by Norman Lewis (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978).

With these two works at hand near my desk and also duplicated at my computer, I only seldom find that I need the many other thesauri and dictionaries of synonyms that I also happen to possess.

The Synonym Finder
The Synonym Finder
by J. I. Rodale
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.16
46 used & new from CDN$ 8.02

5.0 out of 5 stars The One Thesaurus (or the First One) To Have, Saving Others as Back-up, July 12 2014
This review is from: The Synonym Finder (Paperback)
This is the thesaurus (for that is what "The Synonym Finder" is, essentially) to which I normally make first use when I need to find a word to substitute for another for greater clarity, to avoid repetitiousness, and similar needs in writing in English. Rodale's work, whether in the 1978 or earlier or subsequent editions, is not necessarily the most scholarly or learnèd of such works, and its alphabetical dictionary arrangement of entries is less academically ideal (but, really, so much handier) than the logical and associative format of a classed thesaurus (which philologists prefer), but I have found "The Synonym Finder" to be the most practical thesaurus, as well as the most compendious, of those (many!) similar works which I use or, in the past, which I formerly used to use.

Second resort, in the infrequent instances where Rodale does not quite give what I need, is the classic 1978 hardbound revised, updated "Library Edition" of "The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", as edited by Norman Lewis (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978).

With these two works at hand near my desk and also duplicated at my computer, I only seldom find that I need the many other thesauri and dictionaries of synonyms that I also happen to possess.

Synonym Finder New Edition by Rodale, J.I. published by Little, Brown US (1997)
Synonym Finder New Edition by Rodale, J.I. published by Little, Brown US (1997)
by J.I. Rodale
Edition: Paperback
4 used & new from CDN$ 28.26

5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Practical and Comprehensive One-Volume Thesaurus of English That I Know of!, July 11 2014
This is the thesaurus (for that is what "The Synonym Finder" is, essentially) to which I normally make first use when I need to find a word to substitute for another for greater clarity, to avoid repetitiousness, and similar needs in writing in English. Rodale's work, whether in the 1978 or earlier or subsequent editions, is not necessarily the most scholarly or learnèd of such works, and its alphabetical dictionary arrangement of entries is less academically ideal (but, really, so much handier) than the logical and associative format of a classed thesaurus (which philologists prefer), but I have found "The Synonym Finder" to be the most practical thesaurus, as well as the most compendious, of those (many!) similar works which I use or, in the past, which I formerly used to use.

Second resort, in the infrequent instances where Rodale does not quite give what I need, is the classic 1978 hardbound revised, updated "Library Edition" of "The New Roget's Thesaurus in Dictionary Form", as edited by Norman Lewis (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978).

With these two works at hand near my desk and also duplicated at my computer, I only seldom find that I need the many other thesauri and dictionaries of synonyms that I also happen to possess.

A Bible Fit for the Restoration: The Epic Struggle That Brought Us the King James Version
A Bible Fit for the Restoration: The Epic Struggle That Brought Us the King James Version
by Andrew C. Skinner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.68
15 used & new from CDN$ 3.23

4.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute from a L.D.S. Mormon Author to the Grandeur and Continuing Importance of the Authorised "King James" Version Bible, July 10 2014
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This book, Andrew Skinner's "A Bible Fit for the Restoration: the Epic Struggle That Brought Us the King James Version", published in Springville, Utah, by C.F.I. (Ceder Fort, Inc.; xvi, 112 p., ISBN 978-1-59955-908-7), is a pleasant little potted history to read of the Bible in English up to the Authorised "King James" Version (A.V). Another, longer, L.D.S. Mormon tribute to the A.V. Bible appeared the same year, namely Kent P. Jackson's "The King James Bible and the Restoration" (published jointly by Deseret Book and the B.Y.U. Religious Studies Center; ISBNs 10: 0842528024 and 13: 978-0842528023).

This reviewer considers English versions which have appeared subsequent to the A.V. to be as irrelevant and valueless as Skinner himself regards suchlike, who dismisses them quickly (but not vehemently) in a few words! That (i.e., at the A.V.) is the proper stopping point, later versions having too many problems and thus limited use, mostly due to:

(1) the corruption that inhers in their aberrant underlying texts in, variously, Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin,

(2) excessive (or even total) resort to paraphrase where it is not needed,

and

(3) unbelieving or heretical bias in preserving, employing, and rendering the texts used.

Andrew C. Skinner, the author, does not attend much to such matters. He is more concerned (although justifiably) about Divine Providence's role in preserving, restoring, and transmitting worthy and correct texts of the Holy Scriptures across Christian history. Considering how much pretension there is to undertaking a scholarly study of the issues, such seemingly scholarly auspices having well funded Skinner's work concerning the transmission of the Holy Scriptures and the translations (especially those into German and English) of the sacred texts, Skinner's little study seems rather lacking in such learnèd initiative; his originality, to the limited extent that it is evident at all, amounts to proposing ways in which the history of the Bible, concentrating on its translation and propagation in English, paves the way for Mormonism's rise and the use of it in Mormon history, especially in L.D.S. (rather than R.L.D.S.) circles, notably during the founding years of "Prophets" Joseph Smith Jr. and Brigham Young. Frequent speculations, dubious and little more than mistakenly pious in kind, about how God, through the influence of the Authorised "King James" Version of the Bible upon Joseph Smith Jr.'s work and sense of mission, paved the way for the "Restoration" (i.e., for the Mormon concept thereof, ignoring the wider Restoration Movement which Alexander Campbell and others had originated).

Despite Skinner's illusions (or misrepresentations) about L.D.S. Mormonism's authenticity as Christian (regardless of the fact that L.D.S. Mormon scholars themselves also use the term "henotheism" to apply to their essentially pagan system), his book is a worthwhile read for Christians who seek a brief introduction to the historical context of the Bible, the Reformation (including precursor movements), and historical personages therein. Those interested in such matters, as well as in how Mormons perceive them, will find this book a pleasant and at time informative read. Especially worthwhile is Skinner's treatment of John Wycliffe, his pioneering English translation, and his followers, the Lollards, who paved the way, to some extent, for the English Reformation. William Tyndale and his path-breaking English translation (of the N.T. and a major part of the O.T.), and, before that, of course, Martin Luther and his vernacular German version, also receive greater emphasis than do other figures (whom Tyndale's and Luther's towering importance overshadows) in this survey of the Bible in the vernacular.

One particularly remarkable influence that the A.V. exerted, in the history of the Bible in English, that this little book (probably because of its contempt for Roman Catholicism) is a matter that Skinner unwisely ignores. This is the transformation of the Douay-Rheims Version (a translation, as Wycliffe's had been, from the Latin Vulgate Bible), an English version which Skinner only barely mentions, from the Douay and Rheims translators' dowdy, awkwardly Latinate English idiom into something far more graceful and literary, when saintly Bp. Richard Challoner, in revising the Douay-Rheims Version's text in the first half of the 18th century, metamorphosed it utterly into something far more graceful and memorable when his revision drew heavily from the wording of the O.T., Apocrypha, and N.T. of the Authorised "King James" Version (a Bible which the original Douay-Rheims translation itself had influenced to some extent) in overhauling the style of this Roman Catholic Bible to improve it dramatically. Bp. Challoner gave the world the only other Bible in English (i.e., the Douay-Rheims-Challoner Version) that has been of any long-lasting importance (and Challoner's version is, indeed, momentous and is coming back into use in Traditionalist Catholic circles). For that matter, one even may state that Bp. Challoner's Douay-Rheims revision rightly can share, to some large (but not quite total) extent the kinds of honours which the A.V. itself has enjoyed over the centuries.

There are helpful b&w photos, illustrations, and photo-reduced facsimiles within Skinner's book to help the reader. The book is printed on good paper and in clear, somewhat large and nicely spaced type, attractively set within a glue binding that is sturdy and easy to manipulate to hold open without incurring the danger of cracking it apart.

The references appearing at the ends of chapters (often mentioning Mormon works little known to Christians, some of them perhaps worth following up for later consultation, at least for curiosity's sake) are worth consulting. Surprising it is, however, that in discussing and making bibliographical references to the English Bible which Wycliffe and those who assisted him produced, there is, among modern editions (and reprints) a text of its N.T. in modernised English spelling, greatly aiding use of it, which Skinner neglects to cite. This is "The Lollard New Testament: the Wycliffite Translation of c[a]. 1380 A.D. as Revised by John Penry and Others, c[a]. 1388-1389 A.D., in a Modern Spelling Edition with Introduction & Glossaries", edited by Stephen P. Westcott (Fairfax, Va.: Xulon Press, 2002; ISBN 1-591602-42-4).

There is, as well, in Skinner's book an index of personal names, which also facilitates use of the book, although an index including geographical and topical references would have aided the user even further. Readers who revere the A.V. Bible will enjoy this 400th anniversary tribute to that glorious work.

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