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Hand-made in Hoddesdon

September 14th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image Last week I was with 60 young Christian publishers from post-communist Central and Eastern Europe - countries like Latvia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, Macedonia and Poland. In their 20s and 30s, these gifted young communicators are forging networks to ensure the future of Christianity in Europe. One Czech publisher, Alex Flek, decided 15 years ago to translate and publish the Bible into the modern Czech language. Brought up as a Marxist, he went to theological college soon after his conversion, studied and learnt all he could and completed the task last year. The Czech 21 Bible has sold 100,000 copies

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Getting it down on Paper

August 20th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image I've written about paper before, but it's such an important part of  the physical characteristics of any book, including the  Bible, it's worth another scribble. Ironic of course that this blog is not set down on the white stuff at all, and comes to you digitally. A sign of things to come, surely? I was in the Oxford home of well-known Christian author Stephen Lawhead this week, poring over the advance copy of his new book The Skin Map,  and we were admiring the uncut pages of the fore-edge, but more especially we examined the book's paper.  How it flowed. Did you know paper flows?

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Great Uncle Cecil, R.I.P.

July 28th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image A recent significant birthday ( you're how old?) brought the magnificent, newly published two-volume Oxford Companion to the Book. This is a veritable cornucopia for bibliophiles. I was delighted to discover in its pages a reference to my publishing grandfather John Gray in an article, coupled with his brother Cecil. Except that he had no brother. Shock, horror! This authoritative book on The Book is not error-free. It is corrupt.  Reminds me that this is sometimes how we treat the Bible. Unless we understand the human element in the transmission of God's word to us, we may treat it as a magical tome. The intention of the editors

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Name that Bible!

July 13th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image The English Channel island of Guernsey, just off the coast of France, is  British but actually not part of the United Kingdom. It's a bridge to the continent of Europe, if an island can be called a bridge. Guernsey makes for an ideal  vacation spot and I was there last week, basking in the hot summer sunshine on offer. On holiday you can browse through second hand shops to your heart's content, and so I did. I chanced upon a Bible I had published way back in 1982. It was in good condition and a snip at just one pound. The Revised Authorised Version was the first British

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Red, White & Blue

June 18th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image How to celebrate 400 years of the King James Bible? Why not a special Allan Bible to mark this special anniversary? I'm thinking of something patriotic since the Queen holds the copyright to the Authorized Version of the Bible. And something to appeal across the wide ocean of Bible lovers. So we've settled on the KJV Longprimer setting  - Allan's best - to be bound in Atlantic blue calfskin with full leather linings, embellished with white head and tail bands, blue under gold page edges, and cardinal red ribbon markers. The Longprimer Blue, with red and white thrown in for good measure. That should be a bit special. Watch out for full details as

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The Feel Good Factor

June 4th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image Whither for the Bible? I see that Amazon are preparing a new version of their Kindle e-book format to compete with Apple's iPad and Sony's Book Reader. Keeping up with the new ways to read is exhausting - and expensive. The new Kindle even has 'electronic ink' to make it look closer to the real thing.  It's got traditional book publishers worried. The Bible has transitioned from oral to parchment to printed paper and now to the electronic medium. Paper, print and leather may not be sacrosanct, but they do feel good! There's something comforting and re-assuring about a well-made Bible. You don't need

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Summer and Winter

May 25th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image When the thermometer hits 80 degrees in Scotland, everyone cheers. It's so rare. But this week we've been on a high... and a low. It has plunged back down to 55 degrees today. No wonder I treasure our garden conservatory. It is our cedarwood summer house which allows us to live inside outside all year round, despite the vagaries of the  Scottish weather. A few summers ago I was editing the British text of the New Living Translation for Tyndale House. I came across the story in Jeremiah where King  Jehoiakim was in his 'winterized' apartment, cutting up the the scripture scrolls with his penknife

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Meaning of Yapp

May 13th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image You'll be hard pressed to find the work 'yapp' in a dictionary. Yapped is the past tense of how a small dog barks when it is agitated. But when a Bible is 'yapped', that is something quite different. I understand that the word yapp is a 6th century old English word meaning 'wide' or 'open', and it later came to mean 'bent' or 'curved'. Most often the word  is used as a surname . Apparently the phone book reveals that there are plenty of Yapps in Shropshire, England.  At any rate, there was a Mr Yapp who was a 19th century bookbinder in London and

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Spoilt for Bible Choice

May 7th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image Ever wondered what folks read before the good old King James Bible came along in 1611? I've been finding out as I help organize an  exhibition here in Glasgow of early Bibles, to be called 'Divine Write'. Our University has the best UK collection, including a pre-Reformation illuminated Latin Vulgate of 1490, a Wycliffe New Testment of the late 1300's, through Coverdale of 1535, The Great Bible of 1539, the first (Geneva) Bible printed here in Scotland in 1579, and on to the Bishops' Bible of 1568, to the majestic King James Version of 1611 and beyond. I can't wait to see these important translations

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All Greek?

April 30th, 2010 | By Ian and Dominique Metcalfe | Category: Bibles Direct Latest
Default Image "Might Allan produce a Greek New Testament in a fine leather binding?"  a customer asked last week.  That would be a shift for us, wouldn't it?  Worth pondering at any rate. I was reminded of Miss McClung ( wonderful name) who policed the Bibles department in my father's Christian bookstore when I was a boy.  She allowed customers to inspect the Bibles displayed in her glass cabinet only once they'd first donned a pair of white gloves to protect the stock. A customer asked to see a Greek New Testament and, after a thorough and fruitless search of her inventory, Miss McClung declared that

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