After being unavailable for several years, the Cambridge University Press has finally decided to reprint a Cameo Reference Edition of the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible with the Apocrypha. This is huge news for those of us in the Patrimony as it has been impossible to find a complete, regular edition of the KJV Bible for quite some time. Cambridge has made available two versions of David Norton's New Cambridge Paragraph Bible, but the gigantic proportions of this book make it impractical for most applications (though the text itself is of significant academic importance). The Anglican Parishes Association has reprinted the Preservation Press' combination edition of the 1928 American Book of Common Prayer and the full KJV (itself a reprint of an earlier Oxford Press edition), but this book is of exceptionally poor quality with almost unreadable photographically-reproduced print and an atrocious (supposedly leather) cover.* And Hendrickson Publishers offers a novelty version of the "original" 1611 version (itself a photographic reproduction of a quirky 19th century version). But if one wanted to acquire a normal hand-sized edition of the AV with the so-called Apocryphal books in the last few years, he was essentially out of luck, with those few copies appearing on eBay or Amazon Marketplace commanding prices upwards of $400!
Why is this important? Since the middle of the 19th century (in 1826, the British and Foreign Bible Society decided that no BFBS funds were to pay for printing any Apocryphal books anywhere), most copies of the Authorized Version of the Holy Bible were printed without the Apocrypha (or Deuterocanonical Books) rejected by Protestants. In addition to their being part of Holy Scripture, the unauthorized omission of these books is of great concern to Anglicans of the Prayer-book tradition as many of the office lections are drawn from them. An eviscerated KJV prevents the user from praying the liturgy.
The books in question, following the example of the Luther Bible being printed in an inter-testamental section under the heading "Books called Apocrypha" or simply "Apocrypha," are:
- 1 Esdras (Vulgate 3 Esdras)
- 2 Esdras (Vulgate 4 Esdras)
- Rest of Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4-16:24)
- Ecclesiasticus (also known as Sirach)
- Baruch and the Epistle of Jeremy (all part of Vulgate Baruch)
- Song of the Three Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24-90)
- Story of Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13)
- The Idol Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14)
- Prayer of Manasses
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
The new edition, bound in something called Black Calfsplit Leather, will be available in May 2010 and is ISBN 9780521146142. Deo gratias!
It is also my understanding that a new version of the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible in a smaller format is forthcoming… This one is due in June 2010 and, in a leather binding, is ISBN 9780521198813. Perhaps these new editions have something to do with next year's 400th anniversary of the publication of the Authorized Version?
* It also should be noted that the Anglican Parishes Association is the publishing arm of the so-called Anglican Catholic Church (Original Province) (ACC-OP), an organization inimical to the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus and actively working to undermine traditional Anglicans coming into communion with the Holy See. Caveat emptor.