Author Archives: Ian Binns

Visit to the Bible Collection at the Stuttgart Library

10/15/18

Today I met with Dr. Christian Herrmann, the head of the Historical Collections department at the Württembergische Landesbibliothek (State Library of Württemberg). I reached out to him a little over a week ago to see if I could set up a visit to look at the Bible Collection, which he also oversees. I was expecting a simple visit where he would set me up in a room with a few editions and let me just look over them. I was in for a surprise. He took me downstairs to the full collection and spent almost 2 hours with me showing me several different versions of the Bible.

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9/19 Reading (Isaiah 7-9; Matthew 9-10)

Isaiah 7: Here we see the beginning of a story of Ahaz, King in Jerusalem, who is fearful of attacks from Israel and Aram. God tells Isaiah that he will protect him and to trust in him. Ahaz says that he will not test the Lord. Now I took this as a good thing, but according to the notes, Isaiah viewed this as Ahaz not trusting God.

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9/8 Reading (Isaiah 1-3; Psalms 97-98)

Introduction to Isaiah: This is the first of the prophetic books. Introduction in CEB makes this book sound pretty interesting. I want to get into the text, but I need to definitely reread this later. In fact, I think that once I’m done and start to explore writing a book, I will come back to all of the introductions to each individual book, the introductions to different sections in the Bible, and the additional essays from each Bible. And I’ll read this source (here).

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9/7 Reading (Song of Songs 7-8; Matthew 5-6)

Song of Songs 7: WOW! Now this chapter is where things get interesting. A friend of mine made a comment several months ago that there was references to all sorts of sexual acts in this book, including oral sex. And yep, here it is. The man first describes the woman’s body in a similar fashion to how he did in earlier chapters. Of course this focuses on her entire body.

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9/5 Reading (Song of Songs 4-6; Matthew 3-4)

Song of Songs 4: This chapter is of the man celebrating the woman’s beauty. First half is pretty descriptive, focusing on her eyes, teeth, lips, cheeks, neck, and breasts. The second half continues with the man expressing his love for her as well as celebrating her beauty. At one point he refers to her as “my sister, my bride.” Now, according to the notes, the use of the word sister “is common in ancient Near Eastern love poetry. It doesn’t imply that the lovers are genetically related but is symbolic of their closeness” (p. 1081 OT). I wonder how Biblical literalists deal with instances like this?

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9/3 Reading (Song of Songs 1-3; Matthew 1-2)

Introduction to Song of Songs: I’m actually kind of excited about reading this book. Curious too. Several people have described this book as sexual and erotic. Should be interesting.

I do find it interesting that the Hebrew title of the book is Song of Songs and yet many people call it Song of Solomon because several people attribute the book to Solomon. However there is some debate on that. Always fun to get that information.

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