Monday, December 6, 2010

Ben Chifley and the Bible

Steve Howes loaned me his copy of L F Crisp's biography of Ben Chifley.

There's an interesting footnote on page 10, which comments that Chifley, who loved to read, spent many hours systematically reading through the Bible. In later years, says Crisp, he traversed it from cover to cover some eleven times. I am assuming he would be reading the Douay-Rheims Roman Catholic Bible, but maybe it was his Presbyterian wife Elizabeth's King James Version.

He also enjoyed exploring new versions, such as Monsignor Ronald Knox's translation and also his book about translation called On Englishing the Bible. In his correspondence there is a letter written in the last year of his life to the Kandos parish priest, which says
I am returning under separate cover the copy of On Englishing the Bible, which you so kindly lent me and which I took the opportunity of reading yesterday.
I found the book very interesting and, for a work on the subject of the Bible, containing much humour.

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