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Biblical Antiquities of Philo (trans. M.R.James)

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

For a few versions now, BibleWorks has included R.H.Charles’ edited translation of Old Testament pseudepigraphal writings from vol. 2 of his 1913 Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament (APOT). This collection of pseudepigrapha related to the Old Testament has since been ‘replaced’ by James Charlesworth’s Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (OTP), which provides more modern translations based on new manuscript evidence. APOT still retains a great deal of usefulness - especially for its notes, etc. (as are available in the BibleWorks module). One text that is present in Charlesworth’s OTP, but not in Charles’ APOT, is the work commonly referred to as “Pseudo-Philo.” In 1917, a few years after the publication of Charles’ APOT, M.R.James translated this Latin text wrongly attributed to Philo of Alexandria. The Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum or (Biblical Antiquities) is now often referred to as Pseudo-Philo, and is often abbreviated either Ps.-Philo or L.A.B. (or LAB). This translation made a previously overlooked piece of early Jewish literature available to the English speaking world.

LAB is a fascinating retelling of the biblical story from Genesis through the reign of King Saul. Manuscripts only exist in Latin, though it is believed by several scholars to originally have been composed in Hebrew. It is thought to predate the destruction of the temple (70 AD). Because of this early date, LAB is extremely significant for its representation of first century Jewish interpretation of Scripture.

This BibleWorks version provides the English translation of M.R.James’ 1917 Biblical Antiquities of Philo. The footnotes have been retained throughout (and will display in the Analysis Tab in BibleWorks. Cross references to the Old Testament have been omitted from this version for formatting reasons (though a CHM file of this text may be released in the near future that will retain OT cross references and include James’ introduction).

To install the files, download the archive and unzip the files to your /BibleWorks 9/databases folder. If you want the book name to display properly in your browse window, then you will need to append the following line to your default bookname file (typically books.bna in your /BibleWorks 9/init folder:

LAB,Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum,L.A.B.,Ps-.Philo

NOTE: Because of some of the features in this version, the text will best display in the latest update of BibleWorks 9. It has not been tested on earlier versions of BibleWorks (and will certainly not work on versions earlier than 8.)


This version is converted from the electronic text made available freely on the Internet Sacred Text Archive, where James’ Biblical Antiquities of Philo was scanned and edited by Bruno Hare (2004). The site states that these files are free for public domain use as long as proper attribution is retained.

Scans of the original publication of James’ translation are available via the Internet Archive:

James’ translation was republished in 1971 with an extensive prolegomenon by Louis H. Feldman, providing commentary and corrections on James’ translation and introduction. It is highly recommended that one consults Feldman’s notes when using this translation for research. Alas, it is not in public domain, so the notes cannot be fully incorporated into BW. Daniel J. Harrington produced a fresh translation of Pseudo-Philo in Charlesworth’s OTP 2:297-377. Howard Jacobson wrote A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum (1996) and provides the Latin text, a new translation, and copious notes.

New Version - Targum Isaiah English Translation

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

Jay Palmer has been gracious enough to provide to the BibleWorks community a number of great resources from the Targumim and other Hebrew cognate literature. Here is a brief description of his work on this version.

The Chaldee Paraphrase on the Prophet Isaiah

Translated by Rev. C. W. H. Pauli,

London: London Society’s House, 16, Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

The following English Language translation of the Isaiah Targum of Jonathan was compiled by Rev. C. W. H. Pauli for the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews in 1871. Notably, this work, at times, displays a Christian tone. However, while the text can be compared with the TAR/ Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon database within BibleWorks, Pauli’s edition is helpful for those who desire to study the Isaiah Targum.

Pauli’s footnotes, which at times are helpful, are available for viewing within the BW Analysis Window.*

This edition of the Isaiah Targum of Jonathan is found at various websites and is public domain.

Thanks for the work Jay!


Version Updates (Tacitus/Sophocles/Book Name file)

Monday, January 19th, 2009

With the release of BibleWorks 8, there have been new versions incorporated into the main package, such as all the Greek Pseudepigrapha or the Babylonian Talmud. Because of these additions, there has been an overlap of book names between what BibleWorks 8 uses and some of the names adopted in some of the user databases found here. The following updates should fix those problems.

1. This book name file can be saved to your “init” subfolder in the BibleWorks 8 folder. Under the main menu Tools: Options: Bible Versions: Book Names you can tell BibleWorks which book name list to use. By default BibleWorks 8 uses the file “books.bna” Downloading this file called books_2.bna therefore will not write over the original version nor will it work until you tell BibleWorks 8 to use this version of book names by making the change mentioned above. ~~ DOWNLOAD!

2. Because of overlap, changes have been made to the Sophocles-Greek, Tacitus-Latin and Tacitus-English databases. If you have already have these in BibleWorks, it will be necessary to run them through the Version Database Compiler as though you were installing them for the first time in order for this update in book names to work properly.

~~ DOWNLOAD Sophocles-Greek

~~ DOWNLOAD Tacitus-Latin

~~ DOWNLOAD Tacitus-English

New Version - Amidah

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

NOTE: Files updated as of 12/13/2008, re-download if you want the latest.

Jay Palmer (BigJayOneill on the forums) has put together two versions - the Hebrew text of the Amidah (also known as the Shemoneh Esreh or 18 Benedictions), along with an English translation. Jay describes the text in the files below:

The Shemoneh Esreh (18) / Amidah, which means the Standing Prayer, was a central liturgical text within ancient Israel and continues as an essential component within the modern synagogue.  The liturgy functions as a vehicle for the congregation to articulate, as well as stimulate, devout expression to the God who hears prayer.

The oldest form, or forms, of the Amidah Prayer predate the time of Jesus of Nazareth (1) and was known, simply, as “The Prayer (s)”.  Jewish tradition claims that the practice of the Amidah Prayer was instituted by the Patriarchs and formalized by the men of the Great Assembly, which was presided by Ezra the priestly scribe, (2) around the year 450 BCE.  Jewish scholars established the present ordering of the individual elements within the prayer, which is utilized in modern times within the Synagogue, around the conclusion of the first century of the Common Era.

Within the New Testament, we see that the Apostles, after they had their life-changing experiences with Jesus of Nazareth, continued to practice the Amidah.(3)  Interestingly, some have suggested that the Gospels recorded events where Jesus quoted from the words of the Amidah Prayer.(4)  Also, some authors of notable early Christian writings (5) utilized a form of the Amidah Prayer when instructing their particular Christian community.

NOTES (references below expanded for the sake of linking):
1. Sirach 36:1-17 and Sirach 50:22–29 (200 BCE).
2. Nehemiah 8Nehemiah 9.
3. Acts 3:1 and Acts 10:9.
4. Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:26, Luke 20:37 (Same account) and Matthew 11:25.
5. 1 Clement 59, 60, 61, Didache 9:4, and the Apostolic Constitutions, Book 7:33–38.

See the notes in the BWW files for information for more information about the text and translation. For more information about the Amidah, see the Jewish Encyclopedia article.

To install, copy decompressed files into your BibleWorks/userdb directory. Then use the Version Database Compiler to compile the versions. Copy the *.bww files to your BibleWorks/databases directory.

Thanks Jay!


User-database: Miles Coverdale version (1535) of the Bible

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Thanks to Bob Venem who has put together a few other great modules on the early English Bible we now have another version at our fingertips.

While I personally haven’t much experience with Miles Coverdale’s version, I was able to learn from Wikipedia that Coverdale was not proficient with either Hebrew or Greek (hardly the first!), and so made his translation from “‘five soundry interpreters’ in Latin, Enlgish and ‘Douche’ (German).” So while it may not be great for exegesis, it will be useful to those who are interested in early versions of the Bible in English.

DOWNLOAD! [This file has been withdrawn]

Updates: Bishops’, King James 1611, Wycliffe

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

As was promised earlier, Bob Venem with the help of others (especially Mark Eddy) have finished verse-mapping files (.VMF) for the three olde English versions Bishops’, King James 1611, and Wycliffe, which are now available. The files will look the same if you have already downloaded them, but included will be a file that ends in the extension .vmf. You will want to place the .vmf file in the subdirectory/folder called “databases” in your BibleWorks directory. The verse-mapping file ensures that when you read a verse in these versions, even if their versification doesn’t agree with another Bible version you are reading, that you will get that same verse as long as it is contained in that Bible version.

For instance if you look in the browse window in the ESV for Psalm 3:5 you will get: ESV Psalm 3:5 I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the LORD sustained me.

but if you also have the Hebrew WTT shown, you will see that the corresponding verse to that in Hebrew is not referred to as Psalm 3:5, but Psalm 3:6. The reason that you get the correct verse to show up (even if it is a different number) is because someone spent the time making a verse-map for the ESV and WTT.

Now this same feature will extend to these three Bibles.


[These files have been withdrawn]

User-database: Horace’s Works (Latin x2 and English)

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Well it’s been a quiet time lately, but both of your hosts have successfully completed major portions of their Master’s degree programs. In addition to that, I have been very busy attempting to put together some major projects for BibleWorks users. Trust me, you’ll love ‘em!

But meanwhile, I was able to complete a first edition of Horace’s works in two Latin versions and one English translation! The difficulty with finding English translations for poetical works is that line breaks never agree with the Latin line breaks which makes it impossible to line up texts without lots of work. But then again it takes a lot of work to translate the Latin into English in the same number of lines and still maintain a good poetic feel to the text.

In any event, Horace is a great poet who lived during the time of the great transition from Caesar of the name Julius to Caesar of the name Augustus. If you need some more basic material you can start at Google or perhaps Wikipedia.

DOWNLOAD Latin, Latin version 2, English!

Look for some more hints on how to use Latin in BibleWorks in the coming days!

User-database: Bishops’ Bible, 1568

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Yet another addition by Bob Venem to the early English Bible collection is the Bishops’ Bible edition of 1568. This version is a precursor to the King James Version and perhaps will be a little easier to understand than the Wycliffe edition. While the King James Version has become the gold star, the Bishops’ Bible is an important piece in the history of the translation of the English Bible.

DOWNLOAD! [This file has been withdrawn]

Note that both this database and the King James Version 1611 might have some verse mapping issues (mostly in the Psalms), these will eventually be fixed in further releases. Those will be released here, so stay tuned.

User-database: King James Version, 1611

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

Another great Bible version for those interested in the early English Bible, Bob Venem has now made available the King James Version of 1611 for users of BibleWorks. This will be a treat for people who can’t get enough of their thees and thous.

DOWNLOAD! [This file has been withdrawn]

User-database: John Wycliffe’s Middle English Translation of the Vulgate (1388)

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

For fans of the (pre-)Reformation period, the history of the Bible, Beowulf, and Bible databases in general, Bob Venem, a fellow BibleWorks user, has made available to all BibleWorks users the text of John Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into Middle English. This will be a fun one for the linguists and philological nerds out there including myself!

DOWNLOAD! [This file has been withdrawn]