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R. Magnusson Davis (Canada)

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In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible by Alister McGrath (26-May-2011) Paperback
In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible by Alister McGrath (26-May-2011) Paperback
7 used & new from CDN$ 38.76

3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Little errors might mislead., June 24 2016
This is a readable popular history. McGrath explores the interesting topic of the by-gone technology of printing and reviews James 1's antipathy toward the Geneva Bible - in particular, its notes. But he makes little errors concerning those few things about which I personally have a little knowledge, having to do with the Matthew Bible, which makes it difficult to trust him concerning those matters of which I am not particularly knowledgeable.

I realize it can be difficult to sort out fact from fiction in history, because 'experts' often disagree and contradict each other. I think McGrath has in places followed the wrong 'experts.' It doesn't appear that he has done any original research, but has relied on other historians, and in places has not investigated as closely as he might have.

He credits the KJV committee with giving us the word "Jehovah." Not so. Tyndale gave us this word in 1530 in his Pentateuch. Likewise with the phrase "Lord of hosts," which was Tyndale's coinage.

On p 93 he says that King Henry's Sept 1538 injunctions to set up 'the largest volume' of the bible in Churches meant the Matthew Bible. This must be, he says, because Coverdale's 1535 bible was a small quarto. But the quarto edition was Coverdale's third; his first two editions were large folios just like Matthew's version, a fact which is easily ascertained from Herbert's Catalogue of Printed Bibles. (see here Historical Catalogue of Printed Editions of the English Bible, 1525-1961) Therefore his conclusion is invalid. On this point, I suspect he was following Joseph Chester, whose biography on John Rogers is full of errors.

He suggests (perhaps unintentionally - p 93) that John Rogers took his marginal notes from Pierre Olivetan's 1535 bible. I have a full facsimile of that bible, and can tell you Rogers did not get his notes from it. (He did however take the Table of Principal Matters from it and seems to agree with Olivetan a lot.)

Also I have learned that many critics of early English bible translations do not understand how our language has developed. McGrath (p 194-195) criticizes the KJV for inaccuracy in translating the Greek verb that is often rendered 'rejoice' in English. He assumes the Greek had one narrow meaning. But in fact it had many meanings that are now obsolete, and we need to understand the biblical 'rejoice' as Tyndale used it as also having many obsolete senses. It is correct to understand both the Greek verb and the early English verb 'rejoice' as meaning not only rejoice, but also boast, glory, be content, be complacent, be satisfied, be proud, etc. The KJV did not 'pay a price in terms of accuracy' as McGrath said, simply because it used several words to translate the Greek, but was attempting to capture the correct nuances in the context. Whether it accurately succeeded is another question, but in any event, it is not wrong to use different words to render ancient Greek.

I will probably finish up reading this book, but I can't really recommend it.


The Immortality of the Soul; The Magnitude of the Soul; On Music; The Advantage of Believing; On Faith in Things Unseen
The Immortality of the Soul; The Magnitude of the Soul; On Music; The Advantage of Believing; On Faith in Things Unseen
by Augustine
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 51.94
13 used & new from CDN$ 44.68

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit tedious., June 4 2016
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This collection of Augustine's works is a bit tedious. I can see the germs of scholastic theology here.


Christian Instruction; Admonition and Grace; The Christian Combat; Faith, Hope and Charity
Christian Instruction; Admonition and Grace; The Christian Combat; Faith, Hope and Charity
by Augustine
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 51.78
9 used & new from CDN$ 44.78

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful and deep read, June 4 2016
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This volume contains some of the best works of Augustine that I have yet read.

Admonition and Grace is one of the best examinations of the problems we wrestle with concerning free will and predestination that I have ever read. It is Augustine's mature view, and much better than his early work, On the Free Choice of the Will.

He covers the problem of the perseverance of the saints. Perseverance proves salvation, and is itself a gift of grace, not entitling us to boast, but to fear. He discusses whether Christians should be admonished, and shows that if you will not be admonished, and if you resist rebuke, you are not a Christian. He shows how admonishment is not inconsistent with perseverance or salvation by grace. He explains how thought we may have free will, yet if we sin, we are slaves to sin.

His other essays in this volume are a joy to read. The only complaint I have is that the bible translation used (a Catholic one?) is not always good. In some contexts it doesn't make sense, and it seems something else was intended. Also, I am not sure I like the use of 'charity' instead of 'love' - as in, "Faith works through charity."


John Rogers (Classic Reprint)
John Rogers (Classic Reprint)
by Joseph Lemuel Chester
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 22.36

1.0 out of 5 stars Bad facts, bad opinions = bad biography, June 4 2016
Verbose, rambling - Chester went wrong on the facts too.

He concluded that the gentle Myles Coverdale was a hypocritical rogue (wrong) who bore a secret grudge against John Rogers (wrong) because Rogers’ bible, the Matthew Bible, was so much more successful than Coverdale’s 1535 bible (wrong), and Coverdale’s bible was a total moral and practical failure (wrong) and so was Coverdale himself (wrong).

He says, against all accepted authority (apparently following Anderson, who wrote Annals of the English Bible), that Coverdale was never in exile on the Continent, but stayed comfortably in England while Tyndale and Rogers were in exile overseas battling for God’s word (wrong – Coverdale made at least 3 trips in exile from England).

He also says that the only three people who deserve any credit for the Matthew Bible are Tyndale, Rogers, and John Frith. Coverdale doesn't count (wrong). Take a look at page 33. How this can be is not clear, but either he thinks Roger translated half the Matthew Bible himself (wrong), or that he stole Coverdale’s work and so changed it that it deserves to be called an original work (wrong).

Save your money. If you want to learn about the Matthew Bible, a good resource isThe October Testament: The New Testament of the New Matthew Bible

The October Testament is the Matthew Bible New Testament lightly updated, with historical information. So you get to read the scriptures, John Rogers' commentaries, and all about it.


Tyndale New Testament, The: 1526 EDITION
Tyndale New Testament, The: 1526 EDITION
by Hendrickson Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 57.78
21 used & new from CDN$ 41.52

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful facsimile, and valuable for research, April 27 2016
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We live in a truly blessed age when we can for a nominal cost have this beautiful edition of Tyndale's 1526 New Testament. Only two original copies are left in the world, and this replicates the best one.

Tyndale did go on to revise this New Testament in 1534, making over 5000 changes, including reversions to Hebrew manners of speech that he did not recognize in his first translation. When he worked on the Pentateuch he learned much that enabled him to return and improve the New Testament. Then a final revision followed in 1535.

Tyndale's older English is beautiful, but in places very difficult to understand. His 1535 New Testament has been lightly updated by Baruch House Publishing to bring out the full meaning in a delicate update that leaves the historic words of the faith intact:
The October Testament: The New Testament of the New Matthew Bible
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The New Testament: A Reprint of the Edition of 1534 with the Translator's Prefaces and Notes and the Variants of the Edition of 1525
The New Testament: A Reprint of the Edition of 1534 with the Translator's Prefaces and Notes and the Variants of the Edition of 1525
by N Hardy Wallis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 98.95
11 used & new from CDN$ 98.95

5.0 out of 5 stars It's faithfulness is wonderful, though the older English can be difficult, April 27 2016
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It is a gift to have Tyndale's New Testament available to read. It's faithfulness is wonderful, though the older English can be difficult, and thus the full meaning is obscured.

Tyndale's 1534 New Testament was not his last. He went on to make a final revision in 1535, called the GH edition, which was carried by John Rogers into the 1537 Matthew Bible.

Readers will be blessed to read the gentle updating of Tyndale's 1535 New Testament as it was published in the Matthew Bible, complete with Reformation commentaries, now published in a version which brings all its truth out in full meaning while keeping the historic words of the faith and beauty of Tyndale's English:
The October Testament: The New Testament of the New Matthew Bible
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On the Trinity
On the Trinity
by St. Hilary of Poitiers
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.04
4 used & new from CDN$ 11.04

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality scanned edition, April 21 2016
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This review is from: On the Trinity (Paperback)
This is a scanned copy of another work, and there are way too many typos. "rite Ward" apparently means "the Word." Don't waste your money. I returned it.


Dojo Daycare
Dojo Daycare
by Chris Tougas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 15.25
35 used & new from CDN$ 8.62

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jihad ninjas?, Jan. 7 2016
This review is from: Dojo Daycare (Hardcover)
The "Master" looks like a pirate. The ninja's are dressed all in black, with black balaclavas, and look like miniature Jihadists. They get up to nasty and wrongful tricks - what fun! Is it redeeming when at the end of the day they remember their good little ninja creed?

Then they all line up in a row and give a low bow.

The kids get to enjoy mayhem and naughtiness, and the adults get to say that the book teaches good lessons.

But ... little minds are being softened and prepared with dangerous images. I am not saying this is deliberate. But I would not want my children to be absorbing the subtle images and teaching of this book, or the companion book, "Daytrip," which features a jihad ninja with a flaming pitchfork saying "Hay-ya!" I believe it risks preparing vulnerable young minds to accept things that are not acceptable.


The Apostolic Constitutions: The Original Canon Law of Early Orthodox Christianity
The Apostolic Constitutions: The Original Canon Law of Early Orthodox Christianity
by Fr. Jack Ashcraft
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.56
5 used & new from CDN$ 15.56

1.0 out of 5 stars Two serious problems, March 9 2015
First, this is a cheaply produced work. Numerous are the defects:

1. There are no page numbers.
2. Typographical errors abound: "not a novice, rest, being puffed up with pride"; "not given to vain 398 deceits"; "Thou shalt not take girls to smite the soul"; "As Christ does to his Farther", etc.etc.
3. There are frequent references to footnotes that are not there. Most appear to be scripture references.
4. Spacing is terrible where headings were justified across the entire page.

Second, it's not really apostolic. My suspicions were confirmed when I read the restrictions on marriage for certain clergy. For example, after a bishop is ordained, he may not marry. And if his wife dies, he may not remarry. As if there are different standards for some Christians than for others? Is God a respecter of persons when it comes to matrimonial standards? Do we see the Roman Catholic prohibition on clergy marriage creeping in?


Matthew's Bible, The: 1537 EDITION
Matthew's Bible, The: 1537 EDITION
by Hendrickson Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 57.68
24 used & new from CDN$ 57.68

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lost treasure restored, and even more..., Jan. 11 2013
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This Reformation Bible is the joint work of William Tyndale, John Rogers, and Miles Coverdale. It’s truth and teaching are invaluable. Few people know that the Matthew Bible was the first authorized English bible. The insights contained in the notes and commentaries are wonderful in an age marred by much false teaching.

Needless to say, however, not only is the early modern English typography difficult, so also is the old English, which contains many words and expressions that we use differently today, and obsolete grammar. A great addition to any library as a companion to this volume is the work of Baruch House Publishing, which has updated the New Testament of William Tyndale as it was contained in the Matthew Bible, including the notes and commentaries. The updating is so light that it is hardly perceptible, and the historic language of the faith is maintained. However, the full sense can now be appreciated:
The October Testament: The New Testament of the New Matthew Bible
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