"Christians And The Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 3, No. 10: October 8, 2002 _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. BETTER THAN THE KING JAMES BIBLE? YOU BET YOUR BREECHES! 2. FREE AND INEXPENSIVE OFFICE SUITES (MANY MS-COMPATIBLE)! 3. GLORIA GAYNOR'S "I WILL SURVIVE": LESSONS OF LIFE LEARNED? 4. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ The latest revision of this issue of "CATI" can be accessed online at http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati73.htm. The Web page edition makes it especially easy to visit the links. Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. See the end of this issue for more information on "CATI." _______________________________________________________________ 1. BETTER THAN THE KING JAMES BIBLE? YOU BET YOUR BREECHES! (Internet links appear at the end of this article, after the main story has been told.) If you're a fan of the King James Version, read this article anyway. Unless you're an expert in the history of English translation of the Bible, I think you're in for some rather fascinating reading and for some surprises! (The same goes for people who prefer another translation to the King James.) So what Bible am I saying is better than the King James? Is it the New American Standard Bible? Or the New International Version? Or the New King James Version? Or the more recent English Standard Version? And how can we improve on the Bible which was used by William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, John Milton, and John Donne in England and which was brought to Plymouth by the Puritans who came to America? Well, actually I like (and use) all of the translations just mentioned, but I have a different translation in mind. (And as for the question relating to Shakespeare, Bunyan, Milton, Donne, and the American Puritans, we'll come back to that later.) Let's do a quick survey of some of the more important (or better known) early printed editions of English translations of the Bible. (I admit that it's a simplification of the situation, but it'll give you a rough idea of how events occurred.) There were two main streams involved within Protestantism. One was more Puritan (or Calvinistic) in theology and favored a republican form of government for England, and the other was more Anglican (or semi-Arminian) in theology and favored England's having a monarchy and an official state church. (I leave it up to you to figure out which of these two groups King James favored!) We begin our story with John Wycliffe, who was an early English Reformer (he was known as "The Morning Star of the English Reformation"), and he is reponsible for an English translation's being completed about 1355. (He himself translated part or all of the New Testament, and Wycliffe Bible Translators are so named in honor of Wycliffe's early efforts.) The Wycliffe translation was not published (i.e., printed), however, until 1850, so let's look at the first translations into English which were printed. Wycliffe challenged the Roman Catholic priesthood, and William Tyndale (another early English Reformer did so as well. (Tyndale was in fact martyred in 1536 for having done so.) Tyndale's Bible (1525) was the first printed English New Testament. His primary source was Erasmus's edition of the Greek New Testament. Miles Coverdale's Bible came along in 1535, but Coverdale knew neither Hebrew nor Greek. His translation was based on Latin, German, and English translations (i.e., Tyndale). At the request of Thomas Cromwell (yes, he's the one who urged Henry VIII to proclaim himself head of the church), Coverdale came out with what became known as the Great Bible in 1539 and what became known as Cranmer's Bible in 1540. Short digression: Cranmer here is Archbishop Cranmer, and Cranmer's Bible featured an illustration on the title page showing Henry VIII seated while Thomas Cromwell and Archbishop Cranmer are giving out the Bible to the people. In 1560 came a translation that was not so supportive of the King: the Geneva Bible, a Bible more in the tradition of the Reformers and Puritans. (Notes in this Bible, for example, state that at times it is right to disobey a king.) It is called the Geneva Bible because it was translated by a committee made up of Protestant exiles in Geneva (possibly including John Knox). The Geneva Bible is based on Tyndale, but is also influenced by John Calvin's Institutes. (One of the translators, William Whittingham, who had previously published a translation of the New Testament, was a brother-in-law of John Calvin.) Although little-known today, the Geneva Bible played a very important part in the history of the English translation of the Bible. It was the first Bible to be divided into numbered verses and the first Bible to be set in roman type. It had extensive notes that were "Calvinistic" in perspective (as might be expected in a Bible born in Geneva!). It was the most widely read Bible in private homes for fifty years at least, but -- although a favorite translation of the people -- it was not a favorite translation of the Anglican church (or, as we shall see in a moment, of King James I). Incidentally, many of the phrasings that people love in the King James Bible were not original to the King James Bible, but originally appeared in the Geneve Bible. (And still others go back to Tyndale's Bible.) So the King James Bible cannot rightfully claim credit for such renderings. (What it can claim credit for is its support of the removal of the Calvinistic notes of the Geneva Bible and perhaps some toning down of the Reformed/Puritan emphases.) Back to our story. The Geneva Bible enjoyed tremendous success, but the Geneva Bible of 1560 was answered by the Bishops' Bible of 1568 (instigated by Archbishop Parker). The Bishops' Bible built not so much on the Geneva Bible, but on the more Anglican Great Bible and Cransmer's Bible. Important: it is the Bishops' Bible that later became the basis for the "Authorized Version," i.e., the version authorized by King James. In spite of the challenge from the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible ruled supreme in the people's hearts for fifty years. The less Calvinistic King James Version of 1611, however, gradually became (as the "authorized version") the main English translation, and it has kept that position for over three hundred years, only fairly recently receiving serious challenge from many more modern English translations, including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and other versions previously mentioned (e.g., NASB, NIV, NKJV, ESV). It seems ironic that some Calvinists are so strongly supportive of the King James Version, when one of the reasons why the King James Version came into existence was to get away from the Calvinism of the Geneva Bible (and, of course, from the notes indicating that it may be right in certain circumstances to disobey the king). Here's how the Geneva Bible translated Genesis 3:17: "The eyes of them bothe were opened ... and they sowed figge-tree leaves together and made themselves breeches." Thus the Geneva Bible got a nickname: "The Breeches Bible." Do I have a better Bible than the King James to suggest? You bet your breeches! It's the Geneva Bible (i.e., the Breeches Bible) which came before the King James Version. Don't rush out to buy a copy immediately, however, because you will have trouble finding it at a reasonable price at your local bookstore (unless you don't mind paying one to three hundred dollars). If you do have an interest and the money (and if you love good books), I suggest you check out this Web page: The Complete 1599 Geneva Bible $99.50 http://www.leviticus11.com/1599gb.htm I'm fortunate in that I spent only $25 or so for a facsimile of the 1560 edition, which was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1969. Here are some interesting comments that appear on the book jacket for the University of Wisconsin 1560 facsimile edition that I own: ______________________________________________________________ / The Geneva translators combined impeccable scholarship with remarkable felicity of style.... The Geneva Bible was also exceptionally popular because of its copious annotations and commentaries.... The Geneva notes were inevitably strongly Protestant and somewhat Calvinist in tone. The Bible's popularity was greatest, therefore, wherever a strong Protestantism prevailed. It was the preferred Bible of the Puritan clergy in England, Scotland, and America in its time.... However its Calvinist flavor provoked the ire of the Anglican establishment.... The popularity of the Geneva Bible gradually declined during the reign of Charles I, as the Authorized, or King James, Version grew in favor. But among scholars, clergy, and the common people, there were some who still used the Geneva Bible, complaining of the King James Version that "they could not see into the sense of scripture for lack of the spectacles of those Genevan annotations." Oliver Cromwell, too, continued to prefer the Geneva Bible [and] issued to his troops in 1641 ... a 16-page pamphlet made up of extracts from the Geneva Bible.... The influence of the Geneva Bible is evident in the language of the greatest writers of its time. Unquestionably, it was the version Shakespeare used.... The Geneva Bible was also known and used by the two great Puritan writers of the next century --John Bunyan and John Milton. Many writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries [including John Donne] knew the Geneva Bible, and its influence on the English language, both directly and through the great writers who echoed it, is incalculable. \______________________________________________________________ I didn't tell it that well, but I think you'll agree that the story is a fascinating one full of surprises. Now I have some good news for you. On the Internet, not only can you find more fascinating information about the Geneva Bible, but also the Geneva Bible itself! Am I suggesting that you should read the Geneva Bible instead of the KJV, NASB, NKJV, or ESV? Of course not. But it is a story of which we ought to be aware. I appreciate the literary beauty of the King James Version, although much of that beauty was not original with the King James Version, but goes back to the Geneva Bible or before that to the Tyndale Bible. And since I am concerned not just with beauty, but with truth, I appreciate the way more modern translations (including NASB, NIV, NKJV, and ESV) help us to understand the Bible. In my opinion, little is gained by pitting one translation against another. Rather, I would stress taking advantage of the strengths of each. What impresses me is not the differences, but the unity. Even where differences in wording occur (perhaps because of the readings of different manuscripts, I am not aware of any case where any major theological doctrine is affected. Some translations may be better than others for particular purposes (and there may be significant problems in ssome translations done by cults or Protestants who have a defective view of the Scriptures), but I personally have no hesitation in recommending any of the following English translations: King James Version (if supplemented by a more modern translation as needed), New American Standard Bible, New International Version, New King James Version, or English Standard Version. I see them all as the Word of God given to us. Finally, here are links to use if you'd like to explore further: ARTICLES ABOUT THE GENEVA BIBLE: A Puritan's Mind: "The Geneva Bible" by C. Matthew McMahon http://www.apuritansmind.com/PuritanWorship/GenevaBible.htm A Puritan's Mind: "An Introduction to the Geneva Bible" by Michael H. Brown http://www.apuritansmind.com/PuritanWorship/BrownMichaelIntroductionGenevaBible.htm A Puritan's Mind: "The Original Geneva Bible" by Dr. Roger Nicole http://www.apuritansmind.com/PuritanWorship/NicoleRogerOriginalGenevaBible.htm Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics: "The Geneva Bible: The Forgotten Translation" by Gary DeMar http://www.reformed.org/documents/geneva/Geneva.html THE GENEVA BIBLE ITSELF (1599 EDITION): The Geneva Bible: Sample Texts (Gen. 2:15-22; 3:1-7; Ps. 23; 1 Cor. 13; Rev. 21:1-5) http://smith2.sewanee.edu/gsmith/courses/Religion391/DocsEarlySouth/1560-GenevaBible.html Center for Reformed Theology and ApologeticsRTA: 1599 Geneva Bible (see links at bottom of page) http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html The Reformed Reader (Reformed Baptistt): 1599 Geneva Bible (click on appropriate link in left column) http://www.reformedreader.org/ ChristiansUnite.com: The 1599 Geneva Study Bible http://bible.christiansunite.com/genindex.shtml _______________________________________________________________ 2. FREE AND INEXPENSIVE OFFICE SUITES (MANY MS-COMPATIBLE)! Microsoft Office (also known as MS-Office) sets the standard, but it is expensive (it can easily run from $300 to $450). Those who want to be good stewards of the money God has entrusted to them may want to consider whether there are practical alternatives that are less expensive. The purpose of this article is to provide a survey of free and inexpensive office suites, most of which are MS-compatible. Two definitions: an "office suite" is an integrated set of programs useful in the office (and often in the home). Such an "office suite" ordinarily includes a word processor, a spreadsheet, and perhaps more (such as a graphics or photo program or a presentation program). "MS-compatible" means essentially that a program can read and/or write files in a format compatible with the corresponding MS-Office program (Microsoft Word for word processing documents, Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets, etc.). Most of these office suites can be downloaded on the Internet. Caution: some of them can be long downloads, so if you have a slow connection to the Internet, you may perhaps want to ask a friend who connects at a faster speed to download the suite for you. (Another option is to order it on CD, but there is a charge -- usually small -- associated with that.) I'll be commenting here on seven office suites, most of which are free. (There are also free, MS-compatible, stand-alone word processors available, but I may comment on them in some future issue of CATI.) One of the things I've discovered is that "free" software need not be inferior to software-at-a-cost. Some of the suites may not contain alternatives for all of the programs in MS-Office and some of the programs may not contain all of the features of the related program in MS-Office, but in general I think that you will be impressed with the power of these programs and that you will find that they will do everything that you (if you're like most people) need to do with such programs. OK. First, let's look at three office suites that are very similar: OpenOffice, StarOffice, and SOTOffice. They are MS-compatible. The following Web page notes how OpenOffice and StarOffice both present an alternative to MS-Office that is well worth your consideration: "Replacing Microsoft Office" http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/filters/specialreport/0,14622,6022804,00.html I have OpenOffice installed on our two main computers, even though we also have MS-Office. When Microsoft Word somehow got corrupted on my wife's computer, OpenOffice became very useful (especially for reading or modifying Microsoft Word documents). OpenOffice runs on Windows, Linux, and other platforms. It includes a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a drawing application. Here's the home page for OpenOffice as well as other useful links to discussions of OpenOffice: OPENOFFICE Home Page: http://www.openoffice.org/ "Considering OpenOffice.org" by Dan Farber (May 15, 2002) http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2865704,00.html "A Free Office Suite: A suite of feature-rich office productivity applications" by Anil Chopra (August 21, 2002) http://www.pcquest.com/content/software/102082107.asp "Free office suite reaches milestone release" by Matthew Broersma (May 2, 2002) http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2863667,00.html "OpenOffice.org--the people's StarOffice" by Todd Volz (May 15, 2002) http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2865668,00.html OpenOffice is "open source," which means that anyone can see the "inner workings" of the program and suggest improvements. A key company that has done that is Sun, whose StarOffice 6.0 is not a free program: it costs $74.95 (which is still quite inexpensive, compared with MS-Office). How do OpenOffice and StarOffice differ? Here's is Sun's answer: _____________________________________________________________ / StarOffice 6.0 software is a commercial product aimed at organizations and consumers while OpenOffice.org 1.0 is aimed at users of free software, independent developers and the open source community. StarOffice includes licensed-in, third-party technology such as: Spellchecker and thesaurus, Database component..., Select fonts..., Select filters..., [and] Integration of additional templates and extensive clipart gallery. In addition to product differences, StarOffice offers: Updates/upgrades on CD, Sun installation and user documentation, 24x7 Web based support..., Help desk support, Warranties..., [and more].... http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/6.0/faq.html#1q5 \______________________________________________________________ Here's the home page for StarOffice as well as other useful links to discussions of StarOffice: STAROFFICE Home Page http://wwws.sun.com/software/star/staroffice/6.0/ Review of Sun Microsystems StarOffice 6.0 http://www.zdnet.com/supercenter/stories/overview/0,12069,535514,00.html "StarOffice suite may be bitter pill for MS to swallow" by Jonathan Blackwood (May 15, 2002) http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2865566,00.html "Why it's real hard not to try StarOffice" by David Berlind (May 16, 2002) http://techupdate.zdnet.com/techupdate/stories/main/0,14179,2865769,00.html Partly based on OpenOffice, "SOT Office 2002 is a free productivity suite for Windows and Linux." It includes a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a drawing application. Here's where you'll find their home page: SOT OFFICE Home Page: http://www.sot.com/en/linux/soto/ Although not as well-known or as popular as OpenOffice and StarOffice, SOT Office claims to have some advantages over both (and over MS-Office as well): Advantages over other office products: http://www.sot.com/en/linux/soto/advantages.shtml Taking an independent approach from the preceding, 620Pro PC Suite includes a word processor (MS-compatible), spreadsheet (MS-compatible), and a graphics or photo editor. It runs on Windows. The best way to learn about this office suite is to take the guided tour (keep clicking on "More Info ..." at the bottom right of each page until you complete the tour): 620PRO PC SUITE 2001 Home Page http://www.software602.com/products/pcs/index.html As the site says, "This suite is COMPLETELY FREE for commercial and non-commercial use," although also available is a "PLUS" enhancement for $29.95, which will "add the following professional features: thesaurus and hyphenation, web photo album, mail merge with database support, RTF and XML export, bar code support and text-to-speech." Also offered is "a low-cost, easy-to-use PDF conversion tool" for $19.95. There are three other products which deserve at least a brief mention: ThinkFree (free; runs in Windows or on Macintosh; includes word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program), EasyOffice (standard version is free; premium version is $39.95; runs in Windows; it is not obvious what is included in the freeware version); and Ragtime Solo (not really a suite, but instead a single program with word processing, spreadsheet, and graphics capabilities; runs on Windows and Mac; "free of charge for non-commercial use"). ThinkFree Office Home Page http://www.thinkfree.com/ EasyOffice Download Page http://www.e-press.com/demo_downloads.html EasyOffice Testimonial Page http://www.e-press.com/testimonials.htm RagTime Solo Home Page http://www.ragtime-online.com/ ThinkFree Office and EasyOffice are MS-compatible, but that feature is not claimed for RagTime Solo. So Microsoft may set the standard with MS-Office, but other useful office suites are available, and many of them are free, as you have seen. Most also allow you to exchange files with someone who is using Microsoft Office. Note well: you do NOT need to have Microsoft Word to read or write or modify a Microsoft Word document. Six of the seven products just mentioned seem to provide that capability. Most are free, and the ones that aren't free are inexpensive (at least as compared with Microsoft Office). If you don't own Microsoft Office (or even if you do, but are dissatisfied with Microsoft), try out one or more of these programs. You may find that investing in one of these is a wise use of your time and your money (i.e., if any money is required)! _______________________________________________________________ 3. GLORIA GAYNOR'S "I WILL SURVIVE": LESSONS OF LIFE LEARNED? Whether or not you like contemporary pop music, you cannot deny that Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is certainly a musical phenomenon. Originally issued in 1979 (a hit song then, earning her the title "Queen of Disco"), it continues to be a popular song frequently heard over the airwaves today. (If you hate pop music, you can skip most of this article, but you should read the P.S. at the end.) One reason for its continued popularity is probably its positive outlook, its commitment to continuing on in spite of heart-breaking circumstances: "Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye? Did I crumble, Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no, not I. I will survive. Oh as long as I know how to love I know I'll stay alive; I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give, and I'll survive, I will survive. Hey hey." The problem is that the optimism stated has no foundation or solid base. Without Christ, we have an arrogant presumption or a Pollyanna-like sentimentality, and nothing more. The point is well made in the following video: I Will Survive Alien Song Video Page http://www.phoenix5.org/humor/AlienSong.html (See James 4:12-16 for a Biblical statement of my main point here.) But Gloria Gaynor changed (she became a "born-again" Christian about twenty years ago), and she changed the lyrics to "I Will Survive": "I will survive; He gave me life; I stand beside the Crucified One; I can go on; I will be strong; For my strength to live is not my own; I will survive!" (See Philippians 1:20-21;4:13; etc.) Although she is not Reformed in her theology, she is an evangelical, "born-again" Christian who is very open about expressing her faith. For example, her continuing strong Christian convictions come out (often in a very refreshing way) in interviews she has granted (including those that involve the secular news media), such as the following: Girlposse.com: 15-Question E-Mail Interview with Gloria Gaynor http://www.girlposse.com/reviews/music/gloria_gaynor_interview.html Soon Online: Gloria Gaynor Interview: Beyond Surviving http://www.soon.org.uk/page32.htm Sunday Telegraph: "The day I had my showdown with the Lord" http://www.gloriagaynor.com/pressclippings/sunday_telegraph.shtml thecelebritycafe.com: Gaynor, Gloria - Disco Diva http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/gloria_gaynor.html Links to other interviews and articles can be found here: gloriagaynor.com: Press Clippings http://www.gloriagaynor.com/pressclippings/index.shtml Let me provide an illustration of how direct she is when it comes to expressing her faith. Here are two responses to questions asked in an interview by Dominick A. Miserandino of thecelebritycafe.com: ______________________________________________________________ / DM) How much of an influence is religion in your day-to-day life? GG) Oh everything! Actually it's not religion, because to me religion is a bunch of man-made rules and regulations, and what I have is a personal relationship with Christ where he is my Lord and Savior, guard, guide and governor. And what I do, I do because I love, honor and respect him. So that makes a big, big difference. DM) Do you find it hard to keep with your faith and have the career your have? GG) Not at all, I find it a lot easier because I don't have to make decisions alone. I make decisions with his wisdom. When you're being guarded, guided and governed by someone who is omnipotent, it gets kind of difficult to go wrong by your own stupidness ... which does happen from time to time. http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/interviews/gloria_gaynor.html \______________________________________________________________ I understand that Christian comedienne Chonda Pierce in her video "be afraid ... BE VERY AFRAID" does a parody of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" (although I have not tet seen the video): CMCentral.com: video review http://www.cmcentral.com/videofilm/18.html This (like the "Alien Song" video) is additional evidence of the continuing popularity of the song. I think the story of "I Will Survive" is a fascinating one. The song - as sung by Gloria Gaynor - has itself already survived for twenty-some years, and (as we have seen) it has undergone a transition (although few may be aware of it) from self-affirming to Christ-affirming. To Him be the glory! P.S. Whether or not you are a fan of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" (and especially if you aren't), I think you'll enjoy the "Alien Song" video, which was done by the same film studio which produced the animated feature "Toy Story": "Alien Song" video http://www.gloriagaynor.com/video/aliensong.mpeg Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 4. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: INFORMATION ON CATI NEWSLETTER Like to know what this is? This is the seventy-fourth issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). Like to subscribe to this free email newsletter? Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (but be sure to include your name in the note). Like to read past CATI issues and articles (or even search CATI for a particular subject)? Go to http://cati.org and you'll find an archive of past issues (arranged in reverse chronological order), a partial index of articles (arranged alphabetically by topic), and a search engine specifically for use with CATI. Like to pass along this issue to others? You may. Permission is hereby granted to pass along any issue of CATI to someone else, provided that it is passed along in its entirety with no changes made. (For now, I prefer that you send the complete issue, although I may in the near future provide guidelines for passing along individual articles.) Like to use material from this newsletter (say, on a Web page or in a publication)? For permission to do that, send a note to email@example.com (explaining what you'd like to use and for what purpose). Reasonable requests are usually granted. Like to unsubscribe? That's also easy. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (but if you decide to unsubscribe, you'll be missed, so any thoughts about the newsletter that you would be willing to share at that time would be much appreciated). Like to tell your friends about CATI? That is not only much encouraged, but also an encouragement to the editor! CATI is a lot of work (albeit a labor of love) and (since it is a free newsletter and I intend it to stay such) provides no financial income, so what keeps me going with this personal endeavor is knowing that people are finding it to be helpful, instructive, and enjoyable. (Comments from readers are always welcome, so let me hear from you!) Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2002 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved.