Category archives: history

Mistakes in the Bible

The blog “God Didn’t Say That” has a useful discussion of three types of errors that occur in Biblical manuscripts.

We’re used to mass-produced Bibles printed by machines, so we forget the type of errors that are found in handwritten manuscripts. (Try, someday, to copy a page from the Bible by hand, and when you’re done, count the errors you made. Then take a moment to give thanks you only have to copy a single page.)

Generally speaking, these errors aren’t all that significant, because they occur in a few manuscripts (duplicates of an ancestral manuscript where the error first occurred) but not in others. The article is interesting, though, because it describes the different types of errors and discusses the different approaches that translators use to deal with them.

Here I Walk

To commemorate its 500th anniversary, Andrew and Sarah Wilson are retracing Martin Luther’s journey from Erfurt, Germany, to Rome. Almost daily (or even several times a day) they post something to their blog Here I Walk. I’m finding it fascinating. Here’s a taste:

The people of the Middle Ages were not fond of mountains. It takes a leisured class with energy to waste and life to spend to appreciate inaccessible rocks where nothing grows, places where it is always cold and snowy and things can fall upon you unawares and smash you. Frequent lightning, the creaks and groans of glaciers, the crashing of falling rock, icy-cold gush ing rivers: these were unnerving to a people who weren’t likely to reach 40 years of age even staying on the farm.

(from “Crossing the Alps with Nothing but a Cloak, Staff, and Sandals,” posted September 25.)

I encourage you to take a look at it. (In the interest of full disclosure, or name-dropping, or both, I should mention I took a class at Princeton where Sarah Wilson was a preceptor (“graduate assistant”), and for a couple of weeks they lived in the same building as we did.)