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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: January ::
Re: Psalm 46
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0055  Wednesday, 13 January 1999.

[1]     From:   Carl Fortunato <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 12 Jan 1999 21:17:42 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

[2]     From:   Peter Hillyar-Russ <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 08:19:07 -0000
        Subj:   Re: Psalm 46

[3]     From:   Bruce Young <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 09:46:06 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

[4]     From:   Mike Jensen <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 08:48:48 -0800
        Subj:   SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

[5]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 09:32:30 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

[6]     From:   Bruce Fenton <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 13:05:40 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

[7]     From:   John Savage <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 16:23:24 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carl Fortunato <
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Date:           Tuesday, 12 Jan 1999 21:17:42 EST
Subject: 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

The King James Bible has a very small vocabulary - about 8,000 words.
Shakespeare has a gigantic vocabulary - I've seen estimates from 25,000
to 40,000.

The translators of the King James Bible are not anonymous.  They are
known. Shakespeare is not among them.

William Shakespeare's knowledge of Hebrew was absolutely nil, so how on
earth could he be a translator of the Psalms?  His knowledge of Greek
was not much better.  He would be a VERY strange choice as translator,
since he didn't know the languages.

The REAL coincidence is the simple fact that there are precise Hebrew
words that directly translate as "shake" and "spear" approximately
equidistant from the beginning and end of Psalm 46.  But, alas for the
conspiracy theorists, Shakespeare couldn't have had anything to do with
that, since it happened 2,500 years before he was born.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Hillyar-Russ <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 08:19:07 -0000
Subject:        Re: Psalm 46

Whilst the coincidence of the 46th words from front and read of the 46th
psalm, translated in Shakespeare's 46th year make a delightful
discussion
topic -

It must be remembered that it only works at all if the word 'Selah' is
not included in the counting. This may be a Hebrew punctuation mark, or
musical indication - but it is a word in the AV version, and should have
been included in the great cryptographer's counting if he wanted to be
convincing. It wasn't.

Peter Hillyar-Russ

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Young <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 09:46:06 +0000
Subject: 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

It's worth noting that much of what has been said about the sense of a
single voice in the King James Version and about the glorious style of
the translation can be accounted for by the contribution of William
Tyndale, who translated much of the Bible into English some 80 years
before the KJV.

Here's part of an abstract of a recent article on the subject by Jon
Nielson and Royal Skousen-"How Much of the King James Bible Is William
Tyndale's?: An Estimate Based on Sampling," Reformation 3 (1998) 49-74:

"Based on 18 sampled passages from those portions of the Bible that
Tyndale translated, we conclude that for the New Testament Tyndale's
contribution is about 84 per cent of the text, while in the Old
Testament about 76 per cent of his words have been retained."

I've been trying, unsuccessfully, to track down a Tyndale translation-or
for that matter a Great Bible, Geneva Bible, Bishop's Bible, or Rheims
version-to see where "shake" and "spear" come in these versions.  It
seems to me checking these versions, probably consulted by the KJV
translators, would show what adjustments had to be made to make Psalm 46
work out as neatly as seems to in its placement of the words.  If only
minor adjustments were needed, who's to say it had to be Shakespeare
himself that did the adjusting?  Could a scholarly wag have made the
adjustments as a little private joke?

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Jensen <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 08:48:48 -0800
Subject: Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

Aaaaarrrrgggh!

(The sound of me screaming.)

Last year someone posted a learned message about the translation team of
the KJV, naming names, criteria for being on the team, etc.  I wish I
could remember who, for he (I think it was a man) deserves much credit.
Will someone please repost that and put a steak through the heart of the
current discussion before it gets any sillier.

Mike Jensen

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 09:32:30 -0800
Subject: 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

I would tend to think that the greatest weakness with the whole Psalm 46
pseudo-cypher is the contention that a translator involved in the KJV
would bury his name in the text by moving a couple of words from earlier
translations.  Can anyone find the names of similar translators buried
in other psalms?

Cheers,
Sean.

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Fenton <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 13:05:40 EST
Subject: 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        Re: SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

An interesting book by Norrie Epstein called The Friendly Shakespeare is
particularly good for students, beginners or those who like interesting
tidbits presented in an entertaining way.  The author mentions the Psalm
46 and one point I have not heard in this discussion, that James I was a
patron of Shakespeare.  Is this true?

Interestingly, Epstein mentions a couple of other codes:  the 'E Ver' de
ver 'code' in Sonnet 76 as mentioned by John Savage, Midsummer Nights
Dream Act III.1.137-43 in which the first letter of each line, read
downwards spell "O Titania", a similar code in Comedy of Errors Act
1.1.141-50 (which, in a roundabout way spells "Want my Baby").  Epstein
mentions Hugh Black of Canada who 'deciphered' the first four lines on
Shakespeare's tombstone as "FRA BA WRT EAR AY," of course this means
"Francis Bacon Wrote Shakespeare's Plays." There are many others ranging
from the far fetched to the absurd. We can find basic codes anywhere.
With the loose applications used by some Oxfordians and Baconians my own
name Bruce Fenton clearly appears:

Merry Wives of Windsor Act 1.4
MISTRESS QUICKLY .......
master,--I may call him my master, look you, for I
keep his house; and I wash, wring, BREW, bake,

of course BREW means Bruce and lo and behold...36 lines later
Enter FENTON
not only that, in 10 years I'll be 36 years old

So yes, we can get codes anywhere but I would agree with John Savage,
the additional facts surrounding Psalm 46 (the age, date, spacing, etc.)
make it a much better possibility than any others.  If you are looking
for some that are truly a stretch, pick up Epstein's book and review
some of the sources she recommends.

Bruce Fenton

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Savage <
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Date:           Wednesday, 13 Jan 1999 16:23:24 -0500
Subject: Re: Psalm 46
Comment:        SHK 10.0048 Re: Psalm 46

>Actually I did write the plays, in a previous incarnation as Queen
>Elizabeth.

Ah, but does your name appear in the psalms?
 

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