Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Knox New Testament: Chanticleer Edition (1946)

Back in August, we had a major rain event in southeast Michigan which caused severe flash flooding. Many of the sewers in my area backed-up, causing sewage to come out of the drains in many homes in my area, including mine.  We had a total of two feet of sewage in our basement, which took the better part of a week to clean up and have sanitized.  Many of my books were in the basement at the time, including a few of my favorite Knox editions.  One of them was the compact New Testament, which I often used.  (I am still not sure why I even had it in the basement back then?)  So, over the course of the past few months I have been trying to find at least a few of the books I lost.  The compact Knox has been difficult to find. However, I have been able to purchase, along with three-volume Knox which I posted about last week, this beautiful hardcover Sheed & Ward The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Chanticleer Edition) in the Knox translation.  There are a number of things which I think make this Bible simply amazing, including the fact that it was published in 1944, only a year after Knox completed his New Testament translation of the Vulgate.

As the preface states: "This edition of Monsignor Knox's translation of the New Testament has been designed to bring to the reader an especially fine volume."  This is done through a number of ways.  First off, there are 30 color illustrations, selected from art museums and galleries in the US and England, scattered throughout this volume.  They all depict, chronologically, the life of Christ.  They are printed on a thin glossy paper, which does not interfere with page turning.   The illustrations contain works of Giotto, Van Eyck, Fra Angelico, and others.

Secondly, this Chanticleer Edition also provides a very attractive page layout.  There are chapter headings, which are adapted from woodcuts from the Biblia Vulgar Historiata.  These are very beautifully done and really add to the overall look to each and every page.   

Thirdly, to enhance reading, the book is set in 10 point Linotype Janson in a single-column format.  I love single-column format Bibles, and it is great to see it done so well.  Yes, Catholics can have nice looking Bibles!  In addition, the marginal notes, which are usually found at the bottom of the page in most Knox editions, are on the side in 6 point Old Style Italics.  All of this makes this edition conducive reading this "new" translation in large chunks.

Last, but not least, this edition comes with some attractive end papers, which are also composed of past woodcuts.  They represent the genealogy of Jesus.  They are based of the ones done by Michael Pleydenwurff, from the "Nuremberg Chronicle," the first edition being printed in 1493.

So, this is an outstanding Bible in almost every way.  If you love the Knox translation then this should be a part of your library.  I can't say enough about how beautiful this edition is.  I also love the art work, both the prints and woodcuts, that give this volume a real sense of history to it.  The fact these wonderful works of art are combined with Knox's "new" translation of the New Testament provide the reader a wonderful mix of both the Church of the modern era and of history.   


Russ said...

I really think Knox is looking over you.

Jesse Edwards said...