Thompsons Chain Reference and Westminster Reference Bible

Discussion in 'The Literary Forum' started by Gavin, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    So they made Bibles with fine Corinthian leather too?

    [video=youtube;E_HMIN0nGl0]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_HMIN0nGl0[/video]
     
  2. cwjudyjr

    cwjudyjr Puritan Board Freshman

    Does the WRB have the Confessions?
     
  3. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    The WRB appears to share the same text size as my Windsor (i.e. not Matthew Winzer, hehe) bible.
     
  4. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    No.
     
  5. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    Chris,

    What the Schulyer treatment?
     
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Evangelical Bible now has their own high quality or premium line of Bibles, Schuyler Bibles. The ESV with the confessions was the first one to be released. The second one is a single column NKJV. I'm not sure what's up next for them (unless it's the Westminster) but you can keep abreast of the latest news by liking EB's FB page. They take polls to gauge what their audience wants, which, If I recall correctly, was a factor in how their ESV came out. It was probably a factor in the choice of the NKJV since there is a paucity of high quality NKJV's today, especially with the demise of Nelson's Signature Series. In the case of the WRB my guess is that it would primarily mean a better cover, art gilt edges and better paper. I don't know what else they would be able to do with it unless it were to be something like adding confessions or some other study helps. At a glance their ESV looks like the Classic Reference Ed. text block and I know that the NKJV is the Nelson Single Column text block that was released a few years ago. I don't have the WRB yet but my guess is that the cover is something like the Windsor. Nice, especially for the price, but not in the same league as R.L. Allan or the better Cambridge covers.

    My Windsor that I got about 2 years ago is already showing signs of coming apart. I hope that's because it was printed and bound in Belarus instead of the Netherlands by Jongbloed. (But I know at least two people who have had the Calfskin TBS Concord split on them after about a year's use. I think those were made in the UK. I held off buying that one because the Westminster is cheaper and appears to be a better value if the cross refs. is mainly what one is after.) My Windsor has the wavy pages that J. Mark Bertrand or someone else noted as well. It never had a "new Bible smell" either and instead smelled similar to newspaper inside and had a similar feel as well, including being somewhat susceptible to smudging. (I see that some new lower end Cambridge editions are being made in Belarus as well, with similar quality paper/print and maybe smell as well.) I haven't heard of any problems with the WRB though, which I understand is being made in the Netherlands. Since the Windsor was so inexpensive I didn't bother to send it back, etc. although in retrospect I probably should have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  7. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    The WRB is not like the Windsor. The kind of leather used for the WRB is a softer leather that actually has that new bible smell. Although, when you open it up, that new bible smell has that new glue smell that somewhat competes with it it. At any rate, I am still very happy with the WRB.

    As far as the cross-references are concerned, I have been very pleased. But only time will tell.
     
  8. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Someone probably already mentioned it, but Subject Chain references and Cross References, while not totally unrelated, are really two separate things. The Thompson would be more akin to its contemporary, the Scofield, although the latter has far fewer subject chains and has a much more obvious doctrinal slant.

    The interesting comparison for me would be the Westminster Reference Bible and something like the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and the more recent Nelson's Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, which was produced by the man (Jerome Smith) who had also worked on the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge some years ago. I don't know about the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, but Nelson's Cross Reference Guide was produced by a premillennialist and likely a dispensationalist. I don't know how that impacts the work as a whole, but he felt the need to insert a note about unfulfilled prophecy in Isaiah. I don't have it handy right now and I can't recall the note in detail. As a historic/covenant premil, I might even have some agreement with such a note in general terms but in my opinion it's not necessary in a work that is supposed to help one compare Scripture with Scripture and isn't supposed to be a commentary. (However it doesn't have many other notes.) But I think some kind of bias probably cannot be helped in at least some cases, however few. Someone of a particular doctrinal perspective might make connections or associations that others perhaps might not.

    As far as any bias, Thompson was a Methodist and John Brown of Haddington of course was Presbyterian. Many over the years have vouched for Thompson's neutrality and lack of bias or agenda. Not having one, I can't say one way or another although I have seen at least one dispensationalist complain about the eschatology in the Thompson. I've wanted to get a Thompson for the past several years, but the red letters they have now are practically pink, which is practically impossible for me to read.
     
  9. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Nelson's Cross Reference Guide to the Bible has at least twice the number of references for Luke 24:27 compared to what Patrick posted above. But Nelson's is 1521 pages. Not too easy to cram all that into a Bible! It also uses the KJV. The forward says it's because the KJV is still the standard for close study. My guess is that legal reasons had an impact as well (perhaps a decisive one?) since it includes practically every word of the text. I guess they could have used their own NKJV text but the KJV is still more popular and at this point likely always will be.

    It may be that the Westminster Reference Bible may contain the most extensive set of cross references of any purely reference Bible in history. From what I understand, Brown's Self-Interpreting Bible had all of these cross references (or most of them anyway, as Patrick surmised above) but the later editions also include some extensive textual and other notes in the margin (historical and geographical, if memory serves) as well as fairly extensive commentary at the bottom of the page. Brown's original edition had some notes as well, although evidently far fewer than the early 20th C editions. (I don't have one to compare and don't know whether or not the old one is online.) Thus, unlike the WRB, the Self-Interpreting Bible is essentially a Study Bible, one that of course predated the Scofield by many years. The later editions were 4 vols, but part of that was due to the hundreds of photographs of the Holy Land that were included, as well as the relatively large print. (The Bible text is probably 12-14 pt.) It also includes the Apocrypha (without notes) and Brown's Metrical Psalms, among other material.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  10. Gavin

    Gavin Puritan Board Freshman

    Traditional Methodists are very much in line with the Covenant and Reformed Theology, with the greatest exception being one the point of Limited Atonement (and they are zealous evangelists)
     
  11. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    Here is a link to a thread I started awhile ago. You may download Brown's bible there.

    http://www.puritanboard.com/f29/john-brown-haddingtons-self-interpreting-bible-pdf-download-68398/

    The "other material" in Brown's bible looks into areas of bible study that modern study bibles do not. It is definitely worth looking at.

    I wasn't aware that the apocrypha and Metrical Psalms were in Brown's bible. I might double check later today. Also, the notes do appear to be quite extensive. I would be very happy if someone would reprint this work!

    As far as the cross references in the WRB, TBS includes Brown's references and the references in from their Concord Reference Bible.
     
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    The Apocrypha is at the end of Vol. 3. I'm thinking that that's where the Metrical Psalms are too.

    A reprint would be nice although I'm not sure what the demand would be beyond Reformed Bible geeks. I have to think it would be less than the Geneva. The pictures could be taken out, which would cut down on the size of the work. I have been thinking that someone could publish Brown's reflections on each chapter and have a very nice devotional work. (With regard to devotional quality Reformed KJV's, Reformation Heritage is working on one that is slated for 2014.)

    Do note that this isn't a rare book. Copies are readily available for purchase online. At any given time there are several copies available on ebay. (I can't recall looking to see what might be listed on sites like Abebooks.) But I think one might be hard pressed to find a copy of the Self-interpreting Bible that is ready for regular use unless it has already been rebound. I did see one set a few months ago that looked good at a very reasonable price ($30 incl. shipping) but I didn't bid in time. The first 2 vols. I got a few years ago were very cheap (something like $2.50 apiece, plus shipping, which was probably over $10) and I got them just to check it out even though I knew that the back cover was coming off both of them. I had thought I could get the other 2 vols. and have them rebound, but finding the right two volumes was harder than finding a new set. The paper in these is in good shape, especially for books that are around 100 years old.

    The reason I say one would be hard pressed to find one that is immediately ready for regular use is that some if not all of them seem to have had a defect where the cover on the spine eventually came off (i.e. the part that has the title written on it.) Both sets I have are like that. (You can see examples here and here although the ebay links will be no good in a few days.) The full set that I have has a tight binding, but I can't use it without parts of it flaking off everywhere. Someone had put library tape on it but it eventually came off. These are the more recent 4 Vol. sets. I think one set of mine is 1916 and the other one dates from the 20's. (But it might be 1905. I've seen all of those dates at different times on ebay.) I don't think it was republished after the 1920's but the 4 Vol. set was reprinted many times over the course of maybe 25-30 years. The latest I've seen is 1924 or 1925. You can see also that the older 1 vol copies from earlier in the 19th Century are usually listed at a price that many of us probably would hesitate to pay--$250-$600 range with $400+ probably being most common. Those have the work of Henry Cooke included. (By and large it appears to be sound and helpful material, as is the case with Josiah Porter's material added to the later editions. But many will find the notes on creation to be objectionable if nothing else.) Finding one that only has Brown's work alone might be very difficult.

    I have seen that copy at Google Books that you've linked. It's good to get an idea about what kind of information is included, but to me due to the size of the work and the lack of a hyperlinked Table of Contents, it's practically unusable in that format unless one has a lot of time to spare. But looking at it now, it seems that it may be a little more user friendly in Google Play. But as far as I can see you can't even search by page number, which you can do in the regular Google Books interface. There is an original Thompson's Chain Reference (1908?) in Google Books too, as well as a 1909 Scofield.

    Edit: SWRB did do a photocopy reprint, but it seems to me that going the ebay and rebind route would be better. An outfit called Nabu Press recently issued a reprint that appears to be a paperback.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    The question of apostasy/conditional security is a big difference. Many will cite it as being THE major difference between themselves and the usual Baptist types and will refer to anyone who believes in either Perseverance of the Saints or eternal security as being a Calvinist. That's the case even if they're essentially in agreement on the other 4 points. I've seen some refer to Billy Graham as a Calvinist for that reason. Prevenient Grace is another big difference, although it seems to me that that's a more coherent and orthodox position than the Semi-Pelagianish views that many evangelicals believe when it comes to things like Original Sin, with some denying it outright. (This essentially Semi-Pelagian view includes many Wesleyan/Arminians, Methodists and Pentecostals as well, regardless of what their doctrinal statement says.) In my experience, many Methodists will have little understanding of Covenant Theology either, although some of the more well read clergy will give that as one justification for paedobaptism. But many believe in some form of baptismal regeneration as well. Their liturgy outright states that it imparts the new birth.

    I don't know if any of that comes through in the Thompson i.e. Arminianism, apostasy, entire sanctification (if Thompson even believed that--it seems that many in his day in the Methodist denomination (as opposed to Wesleyans) did not.) I suspect that those views probably do not come through in his work, whereas the failure to "rightly divide" between Israel and the Church to the satisfaction of the traditional dispensationalist will be much more obvious.

    I won't belabor the point, but For what it's worth Methodists in North America and very likely the UK are not known for zealous evangelism. A great many of them don't think there's really anything to be saved from. That's not to say that there are no evangelicals among them however.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  14. cwjudyjr

    cwjudyjr Puritan Board Freshman

    Perhaps my experience with Methodistism isn't the norm, but in the Baltimore/Washington Annual Conference I found the Methodist Church to be Arminian. Your perspective that they are in line with Covenant/Reformed postions, with the one exception intrigues me.

    Can you point me to where I can look into this?

    Thanks!
     
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I can only guess that he was thinking of my reference to a dispensationalist complaining about the eschatology of the Thompson i.e. that it didn't distinguish Israel and the Church. As I noted previously, there are certainly more differences than that (e.g. conditional security, conditional election, resistible grace) unless he is referring to some group of Methodists that are not traditional Arminians.

    Your experience is certainly the norm. In many cases they are simply outright liberal and traditional Arminianism would be a vast improvement. If it weren't for the votes of the conservative Africans at the General Conference on issues like homosexuality, the United Methodist Church would be as bad or worse than the PCUSA. There are certainly a good many evangelicals, but they are surely in the minority in North America. Good News and the Institute for Religion and Democracy are two evangelical groups.

    Perhaps there is a redoubt of conservative Methodists in Australia as there is with the Sydney Anglicans? I know of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists but am not familiar with Methodist groups Down Under.
     
  16. cwjudyjr

    cwjudyjr Puritan Board Freshman

    [/QUOTE]

    I can only guess that he was thinking of my reference to a dispensationalist complaining about the eschatology of the Thompson i.e. that it didn't distinguish Israel and the Church. As I noted previously, there are certainly more differences than that (e.g. conditional security, conditional election, resistible grace) unless he is referring to some group of Methodists that are not traditional Arminians.

    Your experience is certainly the norm. In many cases they are simply outright liberal and traditional Arminianism would be a vast improvement. If it weren't for the votes of the conservative Africans at the General Conference on issues like homosexuality, the United Methodist Church would be as bad or worse than the PCUSA. There are certainly a good many evangelicals, but they are surely in the minority in North America. Good News and the Institute for Religion and Democracy are two evangelical groups.

    Perhaps there is a redoubt of conservative Methodists in Australia as there is with the Sydney Anglicans? I know of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodists but am not familiar with Methodist groups Down Under.[/QUOTE]

    I was a member of the Methodist Church in the 1980's and early 1990's and became disillusioned when it became evident the slide to liberalism wasn't only social but also theologically. This was in the early years after my conversion so it took me awhile to know there was something non-Biblical going on and what that was.

    As I recall, in the early 90's there was a group within the Methodist Church from the south, Alabama I think, called The Confessing Movement that was trying to call the denomination back to biblical standing. Not long after I looked at the PUSA and found it wanting, more than the Methodist Church. Ended in the PCA and have been very pleased with the biblical foundation in it.
     
  17. Gavin

    Gavin Puritan Board Freshman

    .
    I must humbly concur with Conrad and Chris and admit I wrote this too hastily. As I hit the enter button I thought uh oh Can of worms.
    I did have Whitfield and one or two early Methodist in mind. Admittedly the last 150 yrs or so it has become a free for all.
    The Methodists largely merged into the Uniting Church (along with many Presbyterian churches and Congregational) here in Aus and doctrinally speaking have taken the broad road. I was not referring to such as these.

    Some time ago, I was fortunate enough to find a copy of Suttcliffs commentary. Suttcliff was a Wesleyen Methodist but from the notes I have read, with some exception s , they seemed pretty orthodox to me, and if those notes were compared with the modern day free will Methodist, (who along with many free will Baptist congregations are really Pentecostals in sheep's clothing ) they would indeed be considered closer to us than to them. Spurgeons comment on his notes can easily be found.

    Maybe Thompson had drifted away from these Methodist pioneers, I don't know, but he could have chosen to go with dispenationalism yet didn't
    .
    I think this topic would be better discussed in a different thread, but I did notice that one of the contributors for Prof Beekes upcoming Study Bible is a Methodist.
     
  18. cwjudyjr

    cwjudyjr Puritan Board Freshman

    Ah, that makes sense. I know many in the Methodist Church who are strong believers and at its root in history has a strong evangelical past. It's unfortunately today's leadership that has become less dependent on scripture.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    Conrad
     
  19. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    Just received my WRB yesterday. A fine Bible in comparison to Allen. It will take some time to offer a good summary of my opinion but I will say I do like the fact that the modern definitions of archaic words in the margins is quite helpful as opposed to turning to the back of the Bible.
     
  20. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Dr. McKnight is a Methodist much more in the stamp of Whitefield. But the Evangelical Methodist denomination is quite small, and certainly not representative of contemporary Methodism.
     
  21. Claudiu

    Claudiu Puritan Board Junior

    So what's the early consensus? For those who were able to follow some of the cross-references, how are they in comparison to the Thompson? I'm looking to get a cross-reference bible, and debating between the Westminster and Thompson.
     
  22. reformedminister

    reformedminister Puritan Board Sophomore

    I still think the TCR has more references overall and more Bible helps than the WRB, but I must say that I am really enjoying the WRB.
     
  23. Ask Mr. Religion

    Ask Mr. Religion Flatly Unflappable

    I think the WRB has more cross-references in total than the TCR. The TCR folks have 100,000 indexes aside the verses in the bible. These indexes are topical items comprising 4451 categories (so there is a great deal of repetition). These 4451 categories index into 8,000 topics. At the back of the TCR is where these topics have verses listed, the boldface verses among them which are given in full text which increases the page count of the TCR's backmatter. I have not counted the number of actual verses that are cross-referenced, but there would need to be 200,000/4451 = 44 verses per each category index. I just do not see that many verses, but I could be wrong.

    EDIT: In case I am giving the wrong impression I just want to say that I enjoy owning both Bible versions. The TCR has served me well over the years and it is a fine Bible for folks that want something less than a full-blown study Bible with notes offering men's interpretations of the verses.

    AMR
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  24. sevenzedek

    sevenzedek Puritan Board Junior

    If you want to an easy to follow chain of references, the TCR has it. The WRB, on the other hand, does not have the chain system. However, there are several things I enjoy about the WRB in comparison to the TCR.

    * All black text rather than the pink words of Christ.
    * The smooth leather feel that looks regal but modest.
    * The paper seems to be a better quality. The paper has a very light creamy color that has a high quality look to me.
    * Marginal notes for archaic words and translator's notes.
    * Four ribbon markers if you decide that is what you want.
    * Simplicity. There is an enjoyable simplicity about the WRB. It a bible. And when I pick it up it looks and feels like it wants to be read copiously from cover to cover. The TCR has too much material in the back and I find the subject headings in the margin to be a distraction. Others would see this as more of an advantage.

    If one wanted the best of both worlds, one could purchase a WRB and purchase the TCR reference material apart from the bible. I have seen the TCR material in a book all on it's own. Of course, the e-Sword bible for the iPod has this for free (without the Kirkbride extended material).
     
  25. Gavin

    Gavin Puritan Board Freshman

    I think there is a distinction to be made, Thomson s is more of a Topical Reference whilst the Westminster is more a cross reference.
     
  26. Beau Michel

    Beau Michel Puritan Board Freshman

    I cut my spiritual teeth on the Thompson Chain Reference Bible.I have used in to much profit in the past.It is an excellent Study Bible.
     
  27. Beau Michel

    Beau Michel Puritan Board Freshman

    Does anyone know if the Thompson Chain is available in the ESV?
     
  28. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    This is probably the chief reason why I have never purchased a Thompson. I don't like red letters to start with and find them hard to read now beyond a few verses. (It's not as bad if it's a duller or darker red printed that is printed on relatively thick paper, as with older Nelson Bibles.) The ink in the current Thompsons are beyond red and are essentially pink, as you note. Considering the cost and not being sure I'd use it that much, I've never pulled the trigger. Cambridge has also decided that everyone wants red letters and doesn't offer an alternative in most of their versions. But I think the Clarion is "black letter," a welcome change. The same goes for Oxford, although I don't know if they publish anything now except for Scofields and liberal versions.

    I've got what I call "Study Bible Fatigue" at this point anyway having just recently purchased two more massive tomes. I'll probably get the WRB (and maybe sooner rather than later lest it become temporarily unavailable) but don't see getting a Thompson any time soon unless it's maybe a used copy in good condition at a good price.
     
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