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TITLE-PAGE OF THE FIRST EDITION OF KING JAMES'
BIBLE (THE “ AUTHORIZED VERSION ”), 1611.
This little book has been written at the request of Dr. C. J. Ridgeway, Dean of Carlisle, as one of a series for the use of young people of Confirmation age. It does not pretend to compete with several popular books in which the history of the English Bible is given more in detail. But it does attempt to do what I think no other has done, viz. to tell, in a brief form, and in simple and colloquial language, the Story of the Bible from the early ages in which parts of the Old Testament were written to the latest Missionary Versions in heathen lands. And the last two chapters are designed to confirm the faith of the young reader in the Scriptures as in a very real sense the Word of God, and to guide him in his personal study of it.
I wish to say frankly that I write as one who is not afraid of Biblical criticism. There
is no question that some popular ideas about the Bible, or parts of it, have undergone modification owing to the results of the scientific study of its contents by scholars, many of them devout Christians; and it would not at all surprise me if some of the ideas we still hold should have to be corrected by further research. The astronomers of the 16th century and the geologists of the 19th have much enlarged our conceptions of God's creation ; and more recently,
l the discoveries in Egypt and Assyria have affected our systems of chronology. It may well be that other branches of study will show us more of our mistakes. But it is not the Bible that will suffer in the long run. Its influence in the world is greater to-day than at any former period. Never was it so widely and reverently studied. Never was its divine power as God's instrument for the conversion and edification of men so manifest. Our puny theories may wither like the grass, but the Word of God shall stand for ever.
I wish to thank the British and Foreign Bible Society for the illustrations, the specimens of type, &c., and the Religious Tract Society for facsimiles of two Versions; also