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PREFACE

This book, first published in 1909, aims to present in convenient form a considerable body of Old Testament narrative. The usual book, chapter, and verse divisions of the Bible often fail to suggest vital differences in literary material, structure, and style. The present volume seeks to select many narrative passages interesting in themselves and important in the development of the whole Hebrew record, and to arrange them with attention to the unity of individual episodes and to the coherence of scattered fragments of story. The selections adhere strictly to the simple Bible text, with no summaries of narrative, and with no other notes than the few brackets which explain the meaning of significant Hebrew proper names or of obsolete English words. The text is based on a collation of eight editions of the King James or Authorized Version, with preference for the Oxford text.” It differs from the usual form only in the neglect of italics, in the adoption of convenient paragraphs, and in slight changes in capitalization due chiefly to the omission of verse divisions. From the literary viewpoint the Authorized Version still holds supremacy. Gain in precision of rendering in the Revised Version has not outweighed the sacrifice of somewhat of the

breadth and elemental vigor of the earlier translation. It is the Authorized Version which for three centuries has been an integral part of English literature, the source of endless reference and allusion, the crowning achievement of English prose.

YALE UNIVERSITY, January 28, 1911,

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