Friday, January 13, 2017
Herman strikes again
Last month (December) Rachael posted that there had been a flurry of interest in an old post on Herman Heinfetter. You can find the original (reprinted from a Bible Collectors' magazine) if you use the search facility on this site. Herman produced several Bible translations in the 1840s through to the 1860s in London, UK.
Those interested in this work can try google and download a pdf, although one comment suggested that these might not be complete. So - I went online to try and obtain a print copy.
The original is very rare, or more accurately - originals are... Herman produced a number of editions as part works and then complete works and two different translations - one called A Literal Version and one called An English version. They were privately produced in very small numbers. But shopping around I found that as well as ridiculous prices for print on demand, it was also possible to obtain both versions quite cheaply. I won't give the links because one already appears to have changed by this time of writing, but a search should yield something similar.
From "abebooks" came The Literal Version of around 450 pages from 1863. It only cost around 14 GBP including mailing from India. Yes - India. The downside was that it was reduced in size. I have seen an original in the Bible Society library, and while this size looks good in the bookcase, Herman's copious notes were pretty small in the original, so you need very good eyesight or a magnifying glass. For the general reader, this version reads like an interlinear.
From Amazon came The English Version of over 800 pages from 1864. This only cost me 8 GBP including mailing. It came from the UK, but was originally reprinted in the US. This was full size and is far more readable and user-friendly.
So what has this to do with this blog? Herman Heinfetter was the pseudonym of a British businessman who was a longtime member of the Anglo-Biblical Institute. His real name was Fred Parker, and he made his money as (quote) "an animal charcoal manufacturer". Although apparently a loner, with no direct connections to Unitarians, Adventists or Age to Come adherents of the day, he knew of the works of George Storrs. And his translation has some unusual features, like the use of "a God" in the last clause of John 1 v.1 and the regular use of "Jehovah" for the name of God over 150 times in his New Testament.
These non-traditional translation decisions may be rather familiar to many readers of this blog.