Sunday, September 23, 2018

Canonical as a Bible

This is an old Swedish Bible translation, known as the Bible of Charles XII, or “Karl XII:s Bibel”. Charles XII or Karl XII was king of Sweden during the Great Nordic War and is mostly known for his attacks on Russia. The Bible translation that wears his name was first printed in 1703. This edition from 1873 apparently lacks the Apocrypha due to influence from Reformed theology. The official Lutheran editions did include them.

Karl XII's Bible was replaced in 1917 by a new translation, known simply as “the 1917 translation”. Once again, the poor Apocrypha were excluded as an ecumenical gesture to the Free Churches outside the Lutheran Church of Sweden. The 1917 translation is the edition most Swedes grew up with. When introduced, it was considered “modern” and some diehard conservatives actually refused to use it, sticking with the 1703 version! A kind of Swedish version of King James Only fundamentalism.

This e-version lacks illustrations, which is a pity, since half the fun of old family Bibles is looking at the pictures. My copy of the Karl XII Bible includes a stunningly beautiful illustration of dinosaurs and mammoths drowned by the Deluge…

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