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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Wonders of the Bible is now on YouTube

I have begun to place content on YouTube. I am also looking to the possibility of moving the WOTB blog over to my WOTB domain. If you are a member of YouTube, I hope that you will consider subscribing to my video postings.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Revival Wooden Nickel

Today's selection is known as a "wooden nickel". It is announcing a revival meeting at the Broadway Baptists Church, and the speaker is a Dr. Ken Chafin. It appears from a web search that Dr. Chafin was born in 1926, and passed in the year 2001, at age 74. So we would place this piece, of course, within that time frame.

Wooden nickels are very collectible, and are seeing somewhat of a surge in popularity once again here in the 21st century. They have a very interesting history in the United States -- of which I will not duplicate here, since any web search will bring up far more information that anyone could ever hope for.

 Dr. Chafin had a very successful life serving the Lord in many leadership and administrative capacities, including pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston, and serving as dean of the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. He wrote several books and recorded LP records.



Saturday, August 1, 2020

August is Christian Ephemera Month

As the title of this newest post states, August is going to be Christian Ephemera Month here at the Wonders of the Bible Blog. I have been a collector of ephemera dating back to the mid 1970's, beginning with my laser and holography collection. In fact, I was a collector of ephemera before the founding of the Ephemera Society of America (founded in 1980). I have always loved "old paper".

With this month (August 2020), I will be showcasing selections from my Christian-based collection. I don't do much with this aspect of the collection, as most people view it as "junk that other people would just throw away" ... which is precisely what ephemera is all about: collecting the throw-aways of yesteryear.

I hope you enjoy the month. I will try to post on a regular basis. There is certainly a lot to choose from!

This selection today is a printed pamphlet called "Truth in a Nutshell" by Harold F. Sayles. It is known as a "tract". No year of publication is noted, but I would be willing to guess that it falls sometime in the late 1800's to early 1900's.

I would love to be able to make audio files while reading these pieces ... what they wrote back then, still holds true today. Maybe that is a project for sometime in the future.

-- Frank DeFreitas

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Original Declaration of Independence

Original Declaration of Independence found in Philadelphia

Original Declaration of Independence found at Leary's Book Store in Philadelphia

I thought I would post one additional item pertaining to the Declaration of Independence before closing out this month. As readers may remember, I spent the entire month of June -- leading up to the 4th of July -- announcing my new presentation and exhibit titled "Christ, Creation, and the Declaration of Independence" that I have created for the Semiquincentennial celebration. I had ordered this press photo in June, but it got lost in the mail, and was finally delivered on July 27.

I am very glad that they found it, because it shows the actual first printing of the Declaration of Independence. It was found stashed away in a book store in Philadelphia, It is now one of the most famous of the copies that were printed overnight on July 4-5, 1776 by printer John Dunlap. It is also interesting to note that this particular piece -- more than likely -- remained in Philadelphia, while the other copies were dispatched throughout the colonies.

Declaration was found at Leary's Book Store in Philadelphia

As you can see and read on the top press photo, it was being readied for its offering at auction. It was purchased in 1969 for $404,000.00 by Ira G. Corn, Jr. and Joseph P. Driscoll of Texas

They then proceeded to do something very interesting indeed: in 1970 they arranged for R.R. Donnelley & Sons of Chicago to painstakenly reproduce exacting copies. Special paper was made, and it was die-cut to match the edges of the original. It's surface was matched -- both front and back -- to show every detail of the Philadelphia piece. I believe that they were then printed via letterpress -- with customized type cast from the impressions that Dunlap's press had made upon the original. All-in-all, there was no expense, nor time, spared to create what is today known as one of the greatest facsimile recreations in the history of the printing industry.

In Congress, July 4, 1776. A Declaration By the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress Assembled.

Corn-Driscoll copy of Dunlap Broadside at Dallas Public Library

I am very happy (and blessed) to be able to have one of these Corn-Driscoll facsimiles in the Wonders of the Bible collection. In addition to the facsimile, I have copies of the original R.R. Donnelley paperwork that went with it as well.

There are 26 known copies of the Dunlap Broadside (as its known), both full sheets and fragments. It is not known how many of the Corn-Driscoll facsimilies are known to still exist.

As an interesting side-note, the Dunlap Broadside was on exhibit for the Bicentennial's American Freedom Train tour -- but -- it was not an actual Dunlap from 1776 ... it was a Corn-Driscoll facsimile that was on the train!

Come out to one of my presentations now (2020) through the year 2026, and see my collection of Declaration's. I will present how the Word of God gets to us through visual arts, science, and communication technologies ... showing, telling, and exhibiting that history. And, don't forget, you'll also get a chance to view the World's Smallest Declaration of Independence through a powerful laboratory microscope. You'll not find anything like it anywhere!

Frank showing the world's smallest Declaration of Independence

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Apocalypse 1554, Lyons, France

Title page to the Book of Revelation (Apocalypsis). It contains Chapter 1:1-4, along with several beautiful woodcuts. Its size is 3 x 4.5 inches (7.5 x 12 cm), so it is a rather small leaf. It was printed in Lyons, France by Sebastian Gryphius, 1544 edition.

I love to collect title pages, and my focus -- whenever possible -- is on the title pages of both Genesis and Revelation ... the first and last books of the Christian Holy Bible. I have both of these in the first edition, first printing, of the 1611 King James (He) Bible (very rare!), and I like to use them as my "bookends" for the rest of my exhibit items.

Of course, this leaf is printed in Latin. This is Jerome's "standard" version, and it quickly took over all other Latin versions. His sources include many of the "Old Latin" Bibles, and also from non-Latin sources, such as the Septuaginta (Greek translation of the Old Testament), and whatever Greek manuscripts of the New Testament he could find.

Today, it is known as the Vulgate Bible (Biblia Vulgata; Biblia Latina; and Biblia Sacra, Latin for Holy Bible).

It was made to be more accurate and easier to understand than the Old Latin versions, using everyday Latin rather than the more "elegant" Ciceronian Latin.

It reigned supreme in the Western Church, even over the Greek and Hebrew versions, for over one thousand years.

For me, personally, I am fascinated by the "Old" Latin translations, because -- if I understand correctly -- the eventual King James Bible and the Protestant Reformation grew out of the very early use of the Old Latin translations. I'm assuming that this information and history is not of very great interest to others, because there is very little to learn about it. I believe that they would be known as the Italic translations -- i.e. the Italia Bible of 157 -- and the groups themselves behind them were actually the precursors to the eventual Protestant Reformation.

The lineage would be: Peshitta Bible 150; Italia Bible 157; Wycliff Bible 1382; Erasmus Bible 1522; Tyndale Bible 1525; Luther Bible 1534; Coverdale Bible 1535; Matthew Bible 1537;  The Great Bible 1539; Stephanus Bible 1550; Geneva Bible 1560; Bishop Bible 1568; Beza Bible 1604; King James 1611.

In any case, this is the Jerome Latin Vulgate -- which didn't have very much to do with the Reformation movement itself, other than spur on new translations by others such as William Tyndale (ex: changing the term "penance" to "repentance", etc.).