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New Bible first from Church of God translator

by Darlene Warren

Fred Coulter, head of the Christian Biblical Church of God, based in Hollister, Calif., and president of York Publishing Co., also of Hollister, has published a new version of an old book, the Bible.

The Holy Bible in Its Original Order: A New English Translation is available from Century One Books, a mail-order company owned by Bob Ellsworth of Pasadena, a friend and former WCG ministerial assistant to Mr. Coulter.

The Journal spoke with Mr. Ellsworth by phone to find out what the new Bible is all about.

From the beginning it was not so

The translation of both Testaments is Mr. Coulter's. The order of the individual books is based on the work of another longtime Church of God member, Ernest Martin, who died in 2002.

The new Bible does not follow the usual order of the King James Version. In the KJV, for example, the first book of the Old Testament is Genesis and the last is Malachi. In Mr. Coulter's volume the first book is still Genesis, but the last is 2 Chronicles.

The different arrangement reflects what Mr. Coulter believes is the "inspired order" of the Bible.

The arrangement is different for the New Testament as well.

"In the 4th century the Catholic Church wanted to promote Rome," Mr. Ellsworth explained, "so they changed the sequence of the books of the Bible, placing the book of Romans after Acts."

In the new Bible the four Gospels are followed by Acts and then James, rather than Acts and then Romans.

Publishing and more

Another COG member, Philip Neal of Collinsville, Miss., who helped edit the translation and its helps, including commentaries and maps, comments in an essay in the front of the volume:

"While no translation is flawless, this translation far surpasses the standards of many recent English translations and has indeed fulfilled the requirements for a faithful translation."

Orders keep coming

Mr. Ellsworth reported that the first printing of 7,000 copies of the Bible is almost sold out, and 10,000 more are on order.

"A couple of weeks ago a Christian Science lady from Boston, in her 80s, ordered the Bible," he said, "because she had been looking 25 years for a Bible that was the way it was before the Catholics started fiddlin' with it, as she put it.

"I think something your readers need to know is this is the first complete Bible translation to emerge from the Ambassador College-Church of God arena."

Mr. Coulter credits the late Ernest Martin, Ph.D., Bible scholar, historian, educator and elder of the Worldwide Church of God, who began his study on the subject of the "inspired order" many years ago.

Dr. Martin wrote a scholarly thesis called The Design and Development of Holy Scripture concerning, among other things, what he concluded was the proper order of the biblical books.

"Some of Dr. Martin's original research is in the commentaries that make up this body of work," Mr. Ellsworth said.

The Bible, complete with its impressive leather binding, is available from Century One Books, 111 S. Orange Grove Blvd., Suite 300, Pasadena, Calif. 91105, U.S.A., at a special price for Journal readers of $95 plus $8 shipping and handling. The book can also be ordered by phone (800) 852-8346 or by postal mail.

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