Two Questions about the Baptist Covenant Theology Collection ...

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Stephen Paynter | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, May 12 2014 11:03 AM

It is an exciting time for being able to study Reformed Baptist covenant theology, with the new collection making its way out of community pricing into Pre-pub development status ... https://www.logos.com/product/40846/baptist-covenant-theology-collection. Well done Logos! Thank you.

I have two questions, however ....

Firstly, do we want these resources to retain the original spellings, or do we want them to have spellings modernised? (I'm not sure what Logos's normal policy is for these kinds of resources)

Secondly, in my suggestion post, http://community.logos.com/forums/p/69496/510342.aspx#510342, which I flatter myself might have helped inspire this collection, I included one book which did not make this collection ... my cheeky question is ... is there any chance it might be snuck into this collection? In particular, it was:

  • Thomas Patient (?-1666). "The Doctrine of Baptism and the Distinction of the Covenants", 1654.

In my original post, I wrote:

I have recently been reading Pascal Denault's fascinating and informative little book, "The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology: A Comparison between 17th century Particular Baptists and Paedobaptist Federalism" Solid Ground Christian Books (Birmingham: Alabama), 2013. Which, by the way, would be great to have in Logos.

Anyway, he returns to the early writings of the Particular Baptists to discover what their Covenant theology actually was. However, when one looks into it, many of the books he looks at are practically impossible to get hold of. It struck me that this would be a great collection to gather together and put on community pricing. The books he references include:

  • John Spiilsbury (1598-1668), "A Treatise Concerning the Lawfull Subject of Baptisme", 1643.
  • Henry Lawrence (1600-1664), "Of Baptism", 1646.
  • Thomas Patient (?-1666). "The Doctrine of Baptism and the Distinction of the Covenants", 1654.
  • John Bunyan (1628-1688), "The Doctrine of Law and Grace Unfolded", 1659 (Already in Logos)
  • Edward Hutchinson (?-?), "A Treatise Concerning the Covenant and Baptism", 1676.
  • Nehemiah Coxe (?-1688), "A Discourse of the Covenants that God made with Men before the Law", 1681.
  • Benjamin Keach (1640-1704),"The Display of Glorious Grace, or The Covenant of Peace Opened", 1689.
  • Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), "The Everlasting Covenant", 1693.
  • John Owen's treatment of the covenant from his Hebrew's commentary, Hebrews 8:6-13 - (already in Logos).

+

  • 1644 First London Confession of Faith
  • 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith (2nd London Confession)

Posts 1178
David Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 4:10 PM

It can be a little dangerous asking for the spelling to be "modernized" as this can become only a partial translation of the original language which "modern" readers assume is a complete translation and hence miss that several of the words employed in the original have undergone a significant shift in meaning. Additional problems creep in given there are now well entrenched but different "modern" spelling versions of English in different parts of the world. Your list above illustrates a further problem: the use of alternative spellings in the originals.  Which is the correct spelling in use in the 1640's ?

  • John Spiilsbury (1598-1668), "A Treatise Concerning the Lawfull Subject of Baptisme", 1643.
  • Henry Lawrence (1600-1664), " Of Baptism", 1646.

Past practice has been to retain the spelling of the original, even in places where it were reasonably obvious an error had been made (in case the author had intended a no longer well understood figure of speech).

It will be interesting to see whether Logos retain the original fonts wth the two versions of "s"  (where English practice used to follow the Greek).

Things become a lot more interesting for even earlier texts in English which used a more extensive alphabet (a lot was lost when a more limited alphabet was introduced to align with the letters readily available for European printing presses.....), those some were partially recovered as printing became more dominant.

Posts 205
Stephen Paynter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, May 12 2014 11:20 PM

David J. Wilson:

It can be a little dangerous asking for the spelling to be "modernized" as this can become only a partial translation of the original language which "modern" readers assume is a complete translation and hence miss that several of the words employed in the original have undergone a significant shift in meaning. Additional problems creep in given there are now well entrenched but different "modern" spelling versions of English in different parts of the world. Your list above illustrates a further problem: the use of alternative spellings in the originals.  Which is the correct spelling in use in the 1640's ?

  • John Spiilsbury (1598-1668), "A Treatise Concerning the Lawfull Subject of Baptisme", 1643.
  • Henry Lawrence (1600-1664), " Of Baptism", 1646.

Past practice has been to retain the spelling of the original, even in places where it were reasonably obvious an error had been made (in case the author had intended a no longer well understood figure of speech).

I can see the logic of this position - but to open these resources up to the widest readership, I wonder if some standardisation might not be desirable - perhaps with footnotes to the original spelling where it is deemed it might be significant. I assume (as a Brit) that American English would be the standard modern spelling adopted.

I have seen this modest editing of works from this era, e.g. in the version of Coxe's work on the covenants, "A Discourse of the Covenants that God made with Men before the Law", republished in "Covenant Theology: From Adam to Christ" by Reformed Baptist Academic Press, 2005.

To my (no doubt rather feeble) mind, "bad" spelling can be a real block to the readability of a work.

David J. Wilson:

It will be interesting to see whether Logos retain the original fonts wth the two versions of "s"  (where English practice used to follow the Greek).

Things become a lot more interesting for even earlier texts in English which used a more extensive alphabet (a lot was lost when a more limited alphabet was introduced to align with the letters readily available for European printing presses.....), those some were partially recovered as printing became more dominant.

Again I can see why purists might want this, but the idea of it feels me with horror. The elongated "s" and the "v" for "u" etc, are part of what makes facsimile reproductions of these works practically unreadable. Part of why I was so excited to see this collection was the idea that at last I might have access to these works in a modern type-face.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 13 2014 12:23 AM

Stephen Edward Paynter:
"bad" spelling can be a real block to the readability of a work.

hmmm ... do you think the adjective "bad" might indicate why its a block to readability? I suspect that if you approach it as unfamiliar spellings and typeface, that you'll be surprised at how quickly it becomes easy to read. You are correct that initially it is difficult and off-putting. And some people like to build their self-image in being able to read what is difficult for others ... making it seems more mysterious and difficult than it actually is. I hope that which ever approach Logos takes, everyone gives it a fair shake.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 13 2014 4:46 AM

Stephen Edward Paynter:
The elongated "s" and the "v" for "u" etc, are part of what makes facsimile reproductions of these works practically unreadable.

Hoping elongated "s" has appropriate character when digitized, which looks a bit different than "f"

Initial glance at images reminded of 1611 KJV.  Reading images became easy in a few seconds (albeit your mileage may vary).

Keep Smiling Smile

Posts 5
Joshua Chubb | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Jul 9 2014 5:46 PM

f vs ſ

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