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This Glossary is divided into two sections:

Section 1

Bible Features

Bible paper: Thin and strong, lightweight paper which reduces the thickness of the Bible and makes pages easier to turn.

Black text: Scriptures in which all the text is in black print, rather than having passages in red or other colours.

Calfskin leather: A very strong and beautiful split calfskin leather with an attractive grain.

Clear print: Print designed so that its size and type provide excellent readability.

Flexible vinyl cover: A hard-wearing vinyl-coated paper, producing a strong ‘paperback’ book.

Gift presentation box: Attractive box or slipcase available with many luxury editions of the Bible, designed to protect the Bible.

Gilt edges: Page edges covered with gold-coloured foil to complement the colour of the cover. Art gilt has a burnished gold appearance.

Goatskin leather boards: A hardback binding covered with goatskin leather.

Hardback: Heavy cardboard covered in attractive cloth, leather or vinyl.

Head and tail bands: A decorative band of cloth at the top and bottom of the spine to enhance the appearance of the Bible.

Imitation leather-grain: A binding material designed or grained to resemble leather. Some editions have a hand-stitched look.

Marker ribbon: A fine quality ribbon for use as a bookmark. Some have two or four marker ribbons.

Meriva full leather: a superior quality full leather

Paperback: Items bound in strong, heavy paper.

Paragraphed text: Biblical text divided into paragraphs.

Pictorial hardback: Cover displaying an attractive photograph.

Pictorial paperback: Cover displaying an attractive photograph.

Pocket size: Small Bible or New Testament that fits in pocket or handbag.

Print size: Size of the print used in the text of Bibles and other publications, given in standard typographic points.

Reinforced sewn binding: Bible binding which is sewn rather than glued.

Rexine leathercloth hardback: Heavy cardboard covered in attractive cloth, leather or vinyl.

Semi-yapp page protection: The overlapping edges of more expensive limp bindings, designed to protect the page edges.

Sewn binding: Bible binding which is sewn rather than glued.

Stitched decorative binding: Soft, flexible material decorated with visible stitching.

Stitched two-tone imitation leather: Soft, flexible material decorated with visible stitching.

Thumb index: Labelled cut-outs on the outer edge of the Bible’s pages designed to help locate the start of books.

Vinyl covered hardback: A hardback (casebound) binding covered with a vinyl material.

Vinyl covered lightweight board: A hardback (casebound) binding covered with a vinyl material.

Vinyl covered paperback: A heavy paper binding covered in strong, flexible vinyl.

Zip: A zip-fastener sewn onto three edges of the Bible, providing protection to the pages when not in use.

Bible Contents

Bible word list: Brief explanations of words in the Authorised (King James) Version that are unfamiliar, no longer in everyday use, or now used with a different meaning.

Chapter summaries: Summary of the content of each chapter at its beginning.

Concordance: Alphabetical list of words, used for locating a verse or identifying related material, listing places in the text where particular words may be found, with their chapter and verse.

Daily reading plan: This is the M’Cheyne plan for reading through the whole Bible once in two years—the Psalms and New Testament twice.

Epistle Dedicatory: The traditional dedication to King James I written by the translators of the Authorised (King James) Version.

Family record pages: Pages for recording family details such as names, births, deaths and marriages.

Gift presentation page: Page at the front of the Bible for recording the name of giver and recipient, date and occasion on which the Bible was given.

Headings: Informative phrases given at intervals in the text, particularly in paragraphed format editions.

List of pronunciation of words and proper names: Lists incorporating a phonetic system for indicating the way difficult words and names should be pronounced.

Maps and gazetteer: Maps of Biblical locations; the gazetteer lists place names referenced on the maps.

Metrical Psalms: Psalms arranged for singing. Our edition is that approved by the Church of Scotland in 1650.

References: System by which verses with a similar wording or theme are linked throughout the Bible. This may be located in the centre of the page or at the side margin. Some references are indicated by bold figures in the text.

Self-pronouncing text: Texts incorporating a phonetic system for indicating the way difficult words and names should be pronounced.

Translators to the Reader: The translators’ original preface to the 1611 Authorised Version. Also available here.

Twelve pages of line drawings: Photographs or drawings of Biblical areas or items such as animals or plants.

Section 2

This is the second part of our Glossary containing a list of theological and textual terms that are mentioned in our Statement of Doctrine of Holy Scripture as well as in some of our articles. Section 1 above contains a list of terms that are used in our product descriptions and most commonly found on our sales pages.

Ancient Versions: For example, the Septuagint (dated approximately between 250 and 150 BC) and the Peshitta, Coptic (Sahidic or Thebaic, and Bohairic), Ethiopic, Old Latin (Vetus Itala), and Vulgate, produced in the first few centuries of the Christian era.

Apographs: Copies of the original and inspired manuscripts. The Trinitarian Bible Society (following the Traditional Text of the Protestant Church) regards the Masoretic Hebrew and Greek Received texts as the best representatives of the Autographs.

Autographs: The original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts written by the inspired writers, which are now unavailable.

Byzantine: The Byzantine era is 312-1453 AD. The texts produced by Erasmus, Beza etc., which in time became known as forms of the Received Text, were to a very great extent derived from the Byzantine family.

Complutensian Polyglot: The Polyglot Bible, conceived in 1502 by Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros (1437-1517) and produced at Alcala (Latin: Complutum) in Spain, was an edition in which the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin Vulgate texts appeared side by side. The fifth of the six volumes contained the text of the New Testament in Greek, and a Greek glossary with Latin equivalents. This was printed in 1514 (as the first printed Greek New Testament), but the Polyglot was not actually published until 1520 and then not generally circulated until 1522.

Critical texts: Texts constructed without adequate regard to the historical place given to manuscripts and particular readings within the Church of God, and relying on a few old, but nevertheless unrepresentative, manuscripts and readings which have lain in obscurity for many centuries. Critical texts are such as the Westcott/Hort or Nestle/Aland texts, both of which rely heavily upon Codex Sinaiticus, Aleph – 01 (4th cent.) and Codex Vaticanus, B - 03 (4th cent.).

Dynamic equivalence: The principle of translation that attempts to recreate on the reader of the receptor language the impact the original text had on the original recipients, without being bound literally to reproduce the words as nearly as possible. (The translator then assumes the role of interpreter, to determine the thought intended in the original. This often results in an interpretative paraphrase that has little or no relationship to the original language text.) While all translations may need to employ dynamic equivalence to a limited extent, the Trinitarian Bible Society rejects the extensive and unnecessary use of this method of translation.

Eclectic: By definition, ‘selecting what is considered best from various sources’, but in practice, it usually means heavy dependence on Aleph and B. The differences between the Critical texts and the Eclectic texts are based very largely on nothing more than the editor’s subjective considerations.

Extant Copies: Copies of the Greek manuscripts that have survived until the present time. Although the extant copies are of various ages, completeness and accuracy, the great majority of them (over 90%) agree with the traditional form of the New Testament found in the printed editions of the Received Text.

Formal equivalence: The principle of translation that accepts every word of Holy Scripture as being of divine origin and therefore takes into account every word in the original language to ensure that as far as possible the grammar, the form, the vocabulary and the syntax of the Hebrew and Greek are followed in the translation ('As literal as possible, as free as necessary'). The Society believes this is the only acceptable method of translation.

Infallible/Inerrant: The word ‘infallible’ means ‘not liable to prove false, erroneous, or mistaken’, while ‘inerrant’ means ‘free from error’ or ‘unerring’. Historically, Protestant theologians have used the former term to affirm that Scripture is absolutely truthful and trustworthy. The words apply, in the first instance, to the Autographs, and then to the true Text providentially preserved within the Masoretic Hebrew and Greek Received Texts. In modern usage the terms are often used interchangeably, both declaring that God’s written Word is wholly and completely true.

Inspired: The Greek is theopneustos, ‘breathed out from God’ (2 Timothy 3:16). Scripture is of Divine origin and authorship, the product of the Divine breath. Inspiration is ‘plenary’ (from the Latin, plenus, meaning ‘full’), which signifies that inspiration is complete and entire, so that the Scripture as a whole is the Word of God (‘all scripture’). Inspiration is also ‘verbal’ (from the Latin, verbum, meaning ‘word’), which signifies that the very words of Scripture are God-given, ensuring that His Truth has been correctly and properly communicated. ‘I…will put my words in his mouth’ (Deuteronomy 18:18; cf. 2 Samuel 23:1, 2). ‘And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful’ (Revelation 21:5; cf. Jeremiah 30:2).

Majority Text: A text based on the majority of manuscript witnesses. The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, edited by Zane C. Hodges and Arthur L. Farstad (1982), is a modern example of the Majority Text. Although close to the Received Text, there are a number of differences and some of these are significant (e.g. John 7:53-8:11; Acts 8:36, 37). Furthermore, as no detailed collation of all surviving manuscripts has taken place, the exact majority text cannot yet be determined; and even if one day that became possible, the resultant text could only be provisional and tentative, because the discovery of further manuscripts might change minority readings to majority readings, or vice versa. The doctrine of providential preservation, however, teaches that the Church is - and always has been - in possession of the true text of Scripture.

Manuscripts: Originally written on papyrus or vellum. The Greek manuscripts are divided into those known as Uncials, written in capital letters, and Minuscules or Cursives, written in small, joined handwriting.

Masoretic: From the Hebrew, masorah, transmission. The Masoretes (Jewish scholars and scribes) were active from 500 AD (some think much earlier) to about 1000 AD and it was their purpose to hand on the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament as they had received it. One Masoretic text was edited by Jacob Ben Chayyim for the second rabbinic Bible published by Daniel Bomberg in Venice in 1524-25. This is the text underlying the Authorised Version.

Old Latin: The Old Latin translation was undertaken considerably before that of the Latin Vulgate so closely associated with Jerome (c. 342-420). The Old Testament was translated from the Septuagint, the New was one of the earliest translations of the Greek (quoted by Tertullian [d. c.220] and Cyprian [d. c.258]). It is available only in fragments today.

Providential Preservation: See Westminster Confession of Faith, 1:8 - ‘The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of the writing of it was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and by his singular care and providence kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical (Matthew 5:18)…’. As taught in Psalm 117:2 and Matthew 24:35 etc., God has preserved His Word through the ages. The professing people of God under the Old and New Testaments have been His instruments in its preservation (Psalm 147:19, 20; Romans 3:2).

Thus the Hebrew Old Testament text used in the synagogues of our Lord’s time (and later preserved by the Masoretes) and the Greek New Testament text, acknowledged by the Greek Church throughout the Byzantine period [312-1453 AD], and long after, and preserved in the overwhelming majority of existing Greek manuscripts, have historically been accepted by the people of God as the providentially preserved Scripture. The printed editions of the Greek text, commencing with Erasmus in 1516, although based on a relatively small group of available manuscripts, have been found faithfully to reflect the great majority of these manuscripts. Erasmus’ first edition included, in a few cases, readings from the Latin Vulgate. This was largely due to the fact that some of the Greek manuscripts available to him were incomplete (e.g. his manuscript of Revelation was missing its last six verses). In Erasmus’ fourth edition in 1527, however, he made use of the Complutensian Polyglot which contained an edition of the Greek text based on a number of other Greek manuscripts and, in the light of the Complutensian, his Greek New Testament was thoroughly revised. However, a few readings taken from the Latin, for which there are now no extant Greek manuscripts, have always been included in the various printed editions of the Received Text.

Received Text: The Byzantine text was the text underlying the earliest printed editions of the New Testament. The various editions of the Received Text, or Textus Receptus, of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries represented (with a few very minor differences) the Byzantine Text-type. Erasmus edited five editions of the New Testament text from 1516 to 1535, and others were produced by Estienne (the Latin form of his name is Stephanus), Beza, and Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir. The phrase ‘Received Text’ comes from the Preface to Elzevirs’ second edition (1633). This title has been used over the centuries to classify all the printed editions of the Greek text of the same provenance.

Textus Receptus: See Received Text.

Translation: The rendering of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures in other languages which, when accurate, are to be received as the Word of God.

Trinitarian Bible Society, William Tyndale House, 29 Deer Park Road, London SW19 3NN, England · Tel.: (020) 8543 7857
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