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A Bible Fit for a Queen

November 22nd, 2011 | By Nicholas Gray | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image On Wednesday 16th November I was in Westminster Abbey, London, for a national celebration of  the 400th anniversary of the KJV Bible. Queen Elizabeth, The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles were sttting 20 row in front of me. She had a very white hat but that is about as much as I saw of Her Majesty!  There were 2000 worshippers in the Abbey and the singing was magnificent. As Allan customers will know, we are the Queen's Bible Publisher for Scotland. Four valuable and beautiful first editions of the 1611 Bible were processed to the high altar along with a modern 'People's

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4oo Cheers for Cambridge

September 2nd, 2011 | By Nicholas Gray | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image I'm struck , in this 400th anniversary year of the birth of the King James Bible, how much Cambridge University Press have been doing to fly the KJV flag around the world. They have an honourable history of publishing and printing this most majestic of English versions. Indeed some KJV enthusiasts swear ( under their breath of course!) by the  'Pure Cambridge Edition' - whatever that may be. However, historically, the source of all modern KJV Bibles is the Blayney revision of 1769,  published by Oxford University Press. This is the settled text which the American Bible Society adopted and which

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The King and I

June 30th, 2011 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image  King James VI ( of Scotland) and I (of England) was born in a room next to where this famous oil painting of the King now hangs at Edinburgh Castle. His mother was Mary Queen of Scots, whom her cousin Elizabeth of England  later beheaded for alleged treason. A  few feet away are the Scottish crown jewels arrayed in all their regal spendour and guarded by stern men in kilts.
I was at a reception there last weekend to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the KJV Bible when the great and the good of Scottish society (apart from me) gathered to

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Small World

May 5th, 2011 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image You watch the news on TV or read it in the press. You view with horror the tsunami and earthquakes in Japan and the devastation they cause. You feel deeply for the people whose lives have been affected. And then you move on... to the next bit of bad news.  Then it catches up with you. Turns out that the unique India paper for the wide margin Bible that you had planned to print in Holland from the French paper supplier is to be made in their Japanese  mill. And suddenly that earthquake is affecting R.L.Allan  in ways no-one had imagined. It's a very small world and

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The Unchanging Word of God?

March 2nd, 2011 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image Is the Bible the unchanging Word of God? There is a fierce debate about the text of particular Bible versions. It took over 150 years for the KJV Bible to settle into a fixed form and even now readers seek the 'Pure Cambridge Edition', the supposedly authorized, authorized version from the mists of time around 1900.  Those of us who also publish Oxford settings are not too delighted with that notion! It worries me that the Bible text changes. In the pre-digital age of the 1970s to 90s, modern Bible translations were quietly updated every seven years or so. No fuss was made about

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Meet Robert Allan

January 25th, 2011 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image
Robert Allan, company founder, circa 1860. This is a hand-painted photo of the company founder and Bible publisher Robert Allan. It was taken around the time that R.L.Allan & Son was first  established in 1863. He used such photographs as visiting cards, as was the custom at the time.
As well as Bibles, Mr Allan published the works of John Nelson Darby, the Father of Dispensationalism, and other Victorian religious writers. Darby produced his own Bible translation in the late 19th Century which is still in print today, but not available  from Allan's.
In the photo it looks as if Mr Allan

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Sorry!

January 12th, 2011 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image In mid November some parcels purporting to contain cartridge ink were sent in planes from Yemen to the USA. Instead of harmless cartridge ink, they concealed explosives. One of these parcels bound for the USA turned up on aircraft in Scotland. Fortunately, none exploded and no-one has been hurt. Ever since, airports in the USA and Europe have been on high alert for other terrorist bombs concealed in planes. As a result the US Department of Homeland Security required that every incoming parcel over one pound in weight be indiviually screened for explosives. As a result, it's caused huge disruption to

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Small is Beautiful

December 2nd, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image As you may know, R.L. Allan have a reputation for making larger format, hand-finished Bibles.  But what is the smallest Bible you have ever seen? Can you beat mine? I have a tiny KJV Bible which is only one and a quarter inches high and just over one inch wide! It is beautifully bound in brown calfskin and the whole Bible is completely legible with the aid of a tiny magnifying glass which is kept in a pocket inside the front cover. I produced this tiny marvel at a meeting of librarians this week and immediately they told me "This is a Bryce Bible, named after the printer, which was

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St Andrew’s Day Celebrations

November 30th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image 30th November is a great day for the Scots, and also the Russians, and the Greeks. We all celebrate St Andrew as our national patron saint.  In Scotland we'll be eating haggis and turnips and remembering the disciple whose special gift was introducing people to Jesus. On a recent trip to the beautiful Amalfi coast in Italy I was surprised to discover displayed in the cathedral crypt there the relics of this venerable saint whose bones are claimed to have been carried there a thousand years ago. Andrew is both modern and ancient. A befriender and a real disciple. What a great legacy to

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The Church at the Heart of the Mosque

October 22nd, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image In historic Cordoba, south Spain, where I was last week, there is a magnificent and ancient mosque. It stands as a memorial to Spain's Moorish past. The carefully preserved mosque stands in the centre of the old quarter and the modern life of the city passes obliviously around this bastion of past religious glory. In Cordoba there is one of only three synagogues in Spain, abandoned in 1492 when Jews were driven out of the country. Inside and at the heart of Cordoba's huge mosque is a much smaller sanctuary - a Christian church. The mosque is a mausoleum to the past, but the beautiful church within is a

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