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Thread: Geneva Bible and the Name Jesus

  1. #1

    Default Geneva Bible and the Name Jesus

    I have a question about the Geneva Bible (1599) as it appears in Bibleworks. In Bibleworks, the name "Jesus" appears in these verses:

    Matt. 1:1, 16, 18, 21, 25; 2:1; Jn. 19:19; 21:20; Acts 1:1; 2:22; 4:10; Rom. 13:14

    Jesvs appears in these two:

    2 Co. 1:1; Eph. 1:1

    In other online editions of the Geneva Bible, "Jesus" doesn't seem to appear at all. For example:

    Matt 1: 1 The booke of the generation of Iesvs Christ the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Abraham.

    From Studylight.org:

    ( http://www.studylight.org/desk/?l=en...n=gen&oq=&sr=1 )

    In Bibleworks, it reads:

    Matthew 1:1 The booke of the generation of Jesus Christ the sonne of Dauid, the sonne of Abraham.

    I suppose it is possible that the difference is that the version on Studylight is given as from 1586, while Bibleworks' edition is 1599.

    Can anyone provide any clarification?

    Wayne

  2. #2

    Default JESUS IESVS etc.

    I have several scanned PDF versions of the Geneva Bible. In my 1560 edition, Jesus seems to be fairly consistently spelled Iesvs. However, in one of the 1599 editions, it is not consistent - for example, in Matt. 1:1 it is Iesus (not Iesvs) and on the same page, in Matt. 1:25, it is IESVS.

    This was a time in England when there were no dictionaries, and you could spell words which ever way you felt like. Shakespeare was notorious for spelling words differently. The letter I was generally I, not J, and the letter U was sometimes U and sometimes V like Latin.

    So I think the answer is that it varies, depending on the edition of the Geneva Bible, and is not consistent even within the same printed book. The early editions of the KJV had similar variant spellings - not the modern spellings of words that are consistently used today.

  3. #3

    Default Jesus again

    In fact I have another 1599 Geneva Bible where the I and J are used inconsistently, as well as the u and v, - i.e. sometimes it is Iesus and other times Jesus. This also affects other names starting with J, such as Iacob/Jacob.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewan MacLeod
    In fact I have another 1599 Geneva Bible where the I and J are used inconsistently, as well as the u and v, - i.e. sometimes it is Iesus and other times Jesus. This also affects other names starting with J, such as Iacob/Jacob.
    Ewan, thank you for your responses. If you have time, would you mind checking if some of the times "Jesus" appears in the verses the 1599 text the same as in the Bibleworks electronic 1599 edition? (Matt. 1:1, 16, 18, 21, 25; 2:1; Jn. 19:19; 21:20; Acts 1:1; 2:22; 4:10; Rom. 13:14)

    Thanks,
    Wayne

  5. #5

    Default Comparisons

    Here are the results:

    Verse 1599 #1 1599 #2 BibleWorks
    Matt. 1:1 Iesus Iesvs Jesus
    Matt. 1:16 Iesus Jesus Jesus
    Matt. 1:18 Iesus Jesus Jesus
    Matt. 1:21 JESUS Jesus JESUS
    Matt. 1:25 IESVS IESVS JESUS
    Matt. 2:1 Iesus Jesus Jesus
    Jn. 19:19 IESUS IESVS JESUS
    Jn. 21:20 IESVS Jesus JESUS
    Acts 1:1 Iesus Jesus Jesus
    Acts 2:22 Iesvs Jesus JESUS
    Acts 4:10 Iesus Jesus Jesus
    Rom. 13:14 IESUS IESVS JESUS

    I have another 1599 Geneva Bible, which I could check if it was important.

    I don't think there is any consistency in printed Bibles between I and J, and U and V. To make matters worse, there is inconsistency in the capitalisation. Also sometimes the I/J in Jesus is an embelished (fancy) letter, so while it looks like a J because it is embellished, there is a possibility that it is still an I, but just one that looks very difference from the other I's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewan MacLeod
    I don't think there is any consistency in printed Bibles between I and J, and U and V. To make matters worse, there is inconsistency in the capitalisation.
    There was no consistency whatsoever, even between editions, nor in spelling in any of the English Bibles before about 1769, when a great measure of standardization was brought to the KJV. In fact, in some verses the same word would be spelled differently.

    The same was true of the writers of that era. John Bunyan even spelled his own name differently from one signature to another, and his manuscripts contained spelling variants existing in the same word on the same page. This was generally true of the writers of those early English generations.

    To demonstrate how minutiae of this sort can be abused, and regardless of where one stands on the bible version issue, it used to be almost funny to watch critics of the KJV, many of whom claim to be "experts" in textual criticism, attempt to use this technicality as ammunition by citing a "statistic" which asserts that there are some 75,000 changes between the 1611 KJV and the KJV you buy off the shelf today.

    Of course, over 99.9% -- LITERALLY -- of these "changes" are due to the gothic font in the 1611 edition as opposed to the roman font in the modern edition, and spelling variants such as "forme" to "form".

    I wonder if there is a way in BibleWorks to return a search that would differentiate these things?

    For instance, in the first example you gave --

    Matt. 1:1 Iesvs Jesus

    By the above standards this would be considered as two changes between the two editions, all in one word.

    Of course, the change is artificial, for the two words mean the same person and the same thing, and for all practical purposes, are identical.

    The moral of the story is, you can't judge a book by its font or its spelling, but you can judge an "expert" by his statistics.
    Last edited by Adelphos; 07-18-2006 at 09:39 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Regular expression search

    In English versions, it is possible to use a regular expression search to simplify some of these complications. For example,
    ~[IJ]es[uv]s
    will find Jesus, regardless of how it is spelled.

    Before the days of dictionaries and mass printing, some or all of these spelling differences could have been due to the difference between people's accents. For example, publishers in different parts of the country might spell words according to how it sounded, but it would sound different in various locations. Just imagine the mess we would be in today if that practise had continued, and the 1769 standardisation of KJV spellings hadn't happened. There would be one KJV for use in the deep south states, one for native New Yorkers, one for Canadians, etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewan MacLeod
    In English versions, it is possible to use a regular expression search to simplify some of these complications. For example,
    ~[IJ]es[uv]s will find Jesus, regardless of how it is spelled.
    That's helpful, but is there a way to synthesize all the differences so that an actual count could be returned?

    I suppose a few passes through the WLM might accomplish this, but it would be nice if a search, perhaps a GSE construction, could do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ewan MacLeod
    Before the days of dictionaries and mass printing, some or all of these spelling differences could have been due to the difference between people's accents.
    That is exactly the case. We don't realize today, what with computers and all, that back then speech was the dominant currency, not the written word, so spelling was only a peripheral matter. As long as it SOUNDED right, it didn't matter in the least how it was SPELT!

    The English language in its written form was still in its infancy, and on top of that, as you stated, you had different accents thrown in as well.

    What most people don't realize is that the Bible was the textbook that taught the English speaking world how to read. The very etymology of many of our words come straight from Genesis and Mattehw and John and Revelation and Psalms, et cetera.

    And as an example of how golden a pedagogue the Bible was, all one need do is read John Bunyan, for he learned to read from the Bible, and then he learned to write from the Bible, and he did all this without formal schooling. Just one example.

    Anyway, it would be nice to see BibleWorks put through its paces on a search like this, if it can be done. Push the envelope, I say!

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