Tolkien, Bard of the Bible

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And in moments of exaltation we may call on all created things to join in our chorus, speaking on their behalf, as is done in Psalm 148, and in The Song of the Three Children in Daniel II. PRAISE THE LORD … all mountains and hills, all orchards and forests, all things that creep and birds on the wing.

J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter to Camilla Unwin, Letters, p. 400.

Introduction : Tolkien reader of the Bible

The Bible stands as a particular influence on Tolkien’s life and work. This conclusion has been well documented, even at the outset of Tolkien studies, and few scholars would now question the finely woven biblical tapestry of the Middle-earth corpus. Randel Helms pointed out, as early as 1981, in Tolkien and the Silmarils, the numerous parallels one could make between Tolkien’s work and the biblical narratives.1 Christina Ganong Walton concluded, in her article ‘Tolkien and the Bible’, that ‘Tolkien was familiar with the Bible in all its aspects because of his religious devotion and his work as a philologist’.2 Others have also indicated extra-Biblical influence, including Mesopotamian mythology, thus reinforcing the centrality of biblical patterns in Middle-earth.3 However, the reader must be careful not to be carried away by mere parallelisms, symbolism and other biblical reminiscences and must resist the temptation to create a Middle-earth analogical to the Bible. Verlyn Flieger helpfully provided a corrective against such theological over-enthusiasm in several of her own commentaries on Tolkien.4

The question of the precise influence the Bible exerted on Tolkien is, however, still an open question, but apart from this issue, one can also ask Tolkien if the Bible stood as having a personal specific role. For example, apart from the superficial biblical influence on, and reminiscence in, Tolkien’s corpus, Tolkien scholars can also explore Tolkien’s reading of the Bible. Such is the subject of this brief article. Tolkien was indeed a reader of the Bible, referring several times to key biblical pericopes and this reading was distilled in his imagination, infusing biblical imagery and typology in the most extraordinary and natural manner. Tolkien did not balk at giving spiritual admonitions when needed, but on the rarest occasions and only to those considered to be part of the close family. That, however, is not significant enough to posit any relevant conclusions on Tolkien’s reading of the Bible. Indeed, one should not expect a middle twentieth-century English Roman Catholic to expand on his own feelings about one or other biblical verse. Furthermore, quoting from the Bible does not indicate any specific views on the sacred text. For that, one might turn to the field of exegesis and interpretation.

Turning to a more relevant question, some might ask, given Tolkien’s own convictions about language and translation, which Bible translation was Tolkien personally favouring.5 Unfortunately, to this question, there is no definite answer, even though one might venture a few guesses—but nothing more. Some, of course, would picture Tolkien reading from a Bible translation in old Norse, Welch, or any other language which he knew so well. Though Tolkien reading the Bible in foreign translations is far fetched, he most likely could read the texts in Latin, that is, in Jerome’s Vulgate translation. Tolkien could also have chosen one of the English Bible, among others, until the publication of the Jerusalem Bible, the Douay-Rheims or even the Wycliffe Bible. There is no doubt that Tolkien had a personal knowledge of these three translations. As for the Jerusalem Bible, we will make further comments in the later part of this article. The Douay-Rheims was the ‘official’ Catholic Bible in use in Britain during the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century.6 As such, it is indeed plausible that Tolkien had to use the Douay-Rheims at St. Alosyus’s Church, one of the Oratorian-founded church in Oxford.7 Finally, even though Tolkien could have labelled the Wycliffe Bible a ‘Protestant Bible’, he certainly had come across this translation, if only in his studies of Chaucer and other writers of the same period.

If Tolkien had a solid interaction with, and knowledge of, English Bibles, one can also picture Tolkien reading directly from the Vulgate. In support of Jerome’s Latin translation, one might stress Tolkien’s very traditional Catholicism, one he branded “Tridentine,’ and given his dislike of Vatican II’s change from a Latin Mass to a vernacular one, the option is not incongruous with Tolkien’s character. On this precise point, one could fin similarities between Chaucer and Tolkien, or rather, find similar questions in the debate about Chaucer’s priviledged choice of Bible translation. Indeed, Chaucer scholars have debated about Chaucer’s use of an English or Latin Bible. Grace Landrum, for example, argued in a classic essay, ‘Chaucer’s Use of the Vulgate’, that, on aesthetic grounds, Chaucer could never have read from a vernacular Bible. W. Meredith Thompson, Landrum’s heir in Chaucer studies, concluded that the Wycliffe Bible ‘does not produce a single clear-cut case of stylistic borrowing’ on Chaucer.8 Furthermore, aesthetic preference for language and texts would have prevented Chaucer from departing from the Vulgate Bible. Not being a Chaucer scholar, I would only point out that aesthetic motivation is not enough to discard Chaucer’s use of a vernacular Bible.9

It would be tempting to apply the following conclusion on Chaucer’s use of the Vulgate to Tolkien: ‘It is almost impossible to conceive of Geoffrey Chaucer [J. R. R. Tolkien] as feeling himself among the people in need of Wycliffe’s vernacular version. Certainly it left no impress on his style’.10 However, vernacular language always played an important, if crucial, role in Tolkien’s theory of language and mythology. Hence, one cannot imagine the Catholic traditionalist Tolkien merely content to read from the Latin, even though Latin remained for him the religious language.

Poet of the Bible

As most Tolkien scholars are aware, Tolkien was not only a Catholic believer but also a Bible translator, requested by the General Editor of the Jerusalem Bible, Father Alexander Jones of St. Joseph’s College, because of his expertise in language, philology and lexicography. Thus Tolkien became part of this formidable task of publishing a new Catholic translation in the English language. The French Bible de Jérusalem had been published as a single volume 1956 under the direction of the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem. This newest French translation of the Bible was immediately considered to be the best Catholic edition to date. The success of the French Bible de Jérusalem immediately inspired Father Jones to undertake the same task for English readers. These two projects, works of a century, were encouraged by a renewed call from the Pope himself to engage in Bible translation.

In 1943, on St. Jerome’s feast, Pope Pius XII had issued an encyclical letter, Divino Afflante Spiritu, on the promotion of Biblical Studies and scholarship. This official statement from the Head of the Catholic Church encouraged Roman Catholics to faithfully continue the task of translating and interpreting the Scriptures from the original Hebrew and Greek, rather than from Latin. As he reminded Catholic scholars:

it is the honorable, though not always easy, task of students of the Bible to procure by every means that as soon as possible may be duly published by Catholics editions of the Sacred Books and of ancient versions, brought out in accordance with these standards, which, that is to say, unite the greatest reverence for the sacred text with an exact observance of all the rules of criticism.11

This papal call to the whole Catholic community, spoken by the Vicar of Christ himself, and the achievement of the French Bible de Jérusalem, resonated in Britain with particular strength. This probably explains why, the very next year after the publication of the French transaltion, Father Jones sought for English scholars to be part of a collective attempt at producing the English equivalent, the Jerusalem Bible. One well understand the appeal on Tolkien, but also the immense pressure it represented. This original and monumental task undertaken by Jones was a natural outcome of Pope Pius XII’s Divino Afflante Spiritu.

The importance of the Jerusalem Bible cannot be overestimated. First, as Dierickx noted ‘it is the first new and complete collective translation for more than 400 years’, and as such, its importance must be taken into account.12 Second, the purpose was not merely to provide English-speaking Catholic believers with a new translation, but rather to attain major translating proficiency, to create a sort of paradigm-shift in the translating process. Neither a biblical paraphrase made for the largest readership, nor a scholars’ edition accessible only to Bible exegetes, the Jerusalem Bible was meant to incorporate both modern readability and historico-theological expertise. To Father Jones this reflected the two main dangers faced by the Church: “the reduction of Christianity to the status of a relic …’ and “its rejection as a mythology.’

To achieve this noble goal, the translators were encouraged to be faithful to the original phonetic and linguistic text, both Hebrew and Greek. Particular attention was being paid to avoiding ‘foreign rhetorical quality that was the essence of the Authorized Version’.13 In fact, the Authorized Version was utterly repudiated as a model of Bible translation. To achieve this task, Father Jones turned to several key collaborators and decided to write Tolkien on January 30, 1957 to inquire about Tolkien’s interest in the project and request a sample translation. After this first step proved successful, Father Jones visited Tolkien on July 2, 1957.14

Two points that might well have been part of the discussion between the editor and Tolkien during their few and brief meetings were the two main goals of the soon-to-be English translation: aggiornamento and approfondimento. The latter was defined as ‘the need to read the Scriptures with the understanding and due sense of history they deserve’ as well as the deepening of theological thought. As to the former, aggiornamento, it is best seen as being the task of ‘translating into the language of to-day’, or literally, as a ‘bringing up to date’, expression that became the motto of John XXIII’s pontificate.15 It is crucial to underline the importance of the term aggiornamento in a pre-Vatican II context since the term will be debated during the Council and none other than Cardinal Yves Congar would be the promoter of what was seen as a progressive perspective.16

The use of aggiornamento was nonetheless contested by the more traditionalist part of the Council preferring the rival concept of ressourcement, a re-orientation of the Church along Tridentine lines. It seems that the Editor of the Jerusalem Bible decided for a more reformist approach. In fact Alexander Jones thus presented, in the foreword, the main goals of this new translation:

The translator of the Bible into a vernacular may surely consider himself free to remove the purely linguistic archaisms of that vernacular, but here his freedom ends. He may not, for example, substitute his own modern images for the old ones: the theologian and the preacher may be encouraged to do this, but not the translator. Nor must he impose his own style on the originals: this would be to suppress the individuality of the several writers who responded, each in his own way, to the movement of the Spirit.17

As a lexicographer, a philologist and a literary critic, Tolkien must have been very sensitive to the editor’s warning:

The translator of the Bible into a vernacular may surely consider himself free to remove the purely linguistic archaisms of that vernacular, but here his freedom ends. He may not, for example, substitute his own modern images for the old ones: the theologian and the preacher may be encouraged to do this, but not the translator. Nor must he impose his own style on the originals; this would be to suppress the individuality of the several writers who responded, each in his own way, to the movement of the spirit.18

Tolkien’s own view of translation was in line with the Editor’s comments. In fact, Tolkien always stressed the necessity of respecting the original language. In the ‘Nomenclature’, formerly known as ‘Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien indicated that names in English should ‘be translated into the other language according to their meaning (as closely as possible’, thus advancing a view similar to the dynamic equivalence theory.19

Many reviewers have praised the work of translation done in the Jerusalem Bible, especially with respect to translation of literary genre. Frederick C. Grant for example comments that

[t]he great value of the work is the translation. Despite the extravagant encomiums of some writers who have had very little experience in Bible translation and hail this as the “definitive” translation for the English-speaking world, it does possess considerable freshness of rendering or expression. Poetry is printed as poetry, much more of it than in the RSV, especially in the Gospel of John. “Yahweh” is used, not the Elizabethan and Jacobean “the Lord.’ This is a great gain, for it carries over the deeply religious intimacy and yet profound reverence of the Hebrew poets, prophets, and storytellers.20

And indeed, this is a striking when comparing Tolkien’s translation of Jonah and the previous Douay-Rheims version of Jonah 2. Tolkien’s rendering provides a rhyming and rhythm that brings forward the intense spiritual experience of Jonah instead of conveying a purely descriptive form of his prayer-song.

Despite these successes, the achievements of the Jerusalem Bible as an example of aggiornamento seems not to have been completely convincing. For example, even though he granted the translation has ‘real vitality which is refreshingly original, and lends a heightened impact to the thought of the ancient author’, Gleason Archer, former professor of Old Testament and Semitics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, commented in his review:

The avowed purpose of these translators is to abandon all traditional Bible-English and to produce a completely new rendering on the basis of contemporary English vocabulary and usage. This pursuit of modernity has not gone to the extremes of the New English Bible, nor is it a mere Phillips paraphrase … To an even greater extent than was true in the RSV there has been careless, inconsistent, capricious handling of the text of the original.21

The reviews of the J.B. have, unsurprisingly, not been unanimous, reflecting the difficult task of providing a new Bible translation. There is no denying that Tolkien, in accepting the offer to be part of this translation project, was taking upon a very important task, one that carried great responsibilities, that of a work that was both ‘ambitious work as attractive in format, vigorous in expression, often felicitous and vital in its wording’.

Given the importance, to the English-speaking Catholic Church, of such a project, the question remains: what was Tolkien’s role in this Bible translation? There is actually much discussion about his involvement. Commenting on him being named a ‘principal collaborator’ of the Jerusalem Bible, Tolkien said:

Naming me among the ‘principal collaborators’ was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of the Jerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing pressure of other work, and only completed ‘Jonah’, one of the shortest books.22

And indeed, Tolkien translated only a very short portion of what he was originally asked to accomplish. With much discernment, Sir Anthony Kenny, nephew of Alexander Jones, the general editor of The Jerusalem Bible, described a meeting with Tolkien, calling him ‘a difficult collaborator’.23 And when the General Editor comments: ‘A list of collaborators will be found in the introductory pages: to all of these we express our thanks, not least because they have been so patient with changes in their manuscript for which the General Editor must accept the ultimate responsibility’, one can wonder whether, in Tolkien’s case, the thanks-giving should not go to the editor’s patience rather than to the translator’s.24

Hammond, in his descriptive bibliography provides a helpful and concise summary of what we know about Tolkien’s involvement wit the Jerusalem Bible:

According to Tolkien himself, in a letter to Charlotte and Denis Plimmer of 8 February 1967, he was originally to have translated a large amount of text, but under pressure from other work, completed only Jonah (“one of the shortest books”), and otherwise “was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others.’ According to Anthony Kenny, A Path from Rome: An Autobiography (London: Sidgewick & Jackson, 1895), Tolkien was asked to translate Judges and Jonah, but in the end contributed only a revision of the latter. According to Carpenter’s Biography, Tolkien’s only contribution was the original draft of a translation of Jonah, which was extensively revised by others before publication. But it was reported in the Tolkien Society bulletin, Amon Hen, no. 26 (May 1977), that according to Darton, Longman, & Todd Tolkien also worked on the Book of Job, providing its initial draft and playing an important part in establishing its final text.25

Some have noted, that to imply that Tolkien worked on the translation of Job is certainly a mistake since Tolkien translated the prophetic book of Jonah.26 However, there is no confusion in saying that Tolkien worked on Job as it was first commissioned to him. But he did not actually translated it. One must have mind-reading abilities to conclude that Tolkien never worked on this portion of the Old Testament. The very fact is that the editor likely asked him to translate the book of Job; that we have no traces of Tolkien having done so, or not done so; and that the editor, having finally ran out of patience, gave the book of Job to a more time-reliable translator.

The only part Hammond does not include in his summary of Tolkien’s involvement, but that is included in the Companion and Guide, is the portion from Isaiah 1:1-31 that Tolkien had sent Father Jones as a sample translation.27 This sample made quite an impression on Father Jones who was already very enthusiastic about Tolkien’s anticipated participation, and he replied that Tolkien’s work on Isaiah was the exact kind of translation he was expecting—though not resulting in Tolkien being offered to translate Isaiah. Regarding Tolkien’s actual work on other books no proof has yet been found that he had worked on the book of Job, Judges or on the Pentateuch, even though we know that Tolkien sent the sample translation of Isaiah—perhaps sign of a personal preference for the prophets.

In any case, Tolkien seems to have been, at first, very cautious about accepting this offer mainly because he thought the translation was to be mainly from the French to the English, thus being a translation of the Bible de Jérusalem.

He invited J.R.R. Tolkien to join the board because he wanted to provide a good English style and maintain an accurate translation. He hoped that Tolkien would agree to translate the earliest books of the Old Testament, the Pentateuch, but Tolkien was able to contribute little because he had too much other work and answered he was no French scholar.28

But that misgiving was soon rectified by Father Jones, who, in a letter dated 14 February 1957, makes clear that the primary focus is not on French, but on English—and of course in the Jerusalem Bible being a translation from the Hebrew and Greek.29 With Father Jones adamant about him translating only from the Old Testament, Tolkien immersed himself in Hebrew to make sure he would be able to fully participate in the work of the Jerusalem Bible came his retirement in 1959.30 Tolkien reiterated this commitment when Father Jones visited him in Oxford on July 2, 1957, but some wish he could have put as much vigour in the actual translation as in his valedictory address.31 Of course, Tolkien had previous knowledge of Greek, both classical and koine, since he attended headmaster Gilson’s classes on the New Testament, in Greek.32

Whatever precise role Tolkien had in the translation process, one thing should be clear: that he could have played a greater role in the Jerusalem Bible had he not procrastinated his translation work—as he did with much of his academic obligations. To his credit, Tolkien quite plausibly finished the translation of Jonah in a month time.33 After a first series of comments from Father Jones, Tolkien was sent Joshua to translate, and here end our knowledge of Tolkien’s actual work as a translator.34 Longer portions of the Bible have been left untouched by Tolkien, and one can only wonder what the Pentateuch—especially Genesis—would have read like if Tolkien had known how to put his priorities straight. In any case, Tolkien had planned to work on Joshua, Judges and even 1 and 2 Samuel, but that was only Tolkien’s ideal plan, one that never came true.35

Apart from translating Jonah and being offered other books as well, Father Jones came to Tolkien for translating advice, especially with regard to writing a “guideline to the translator.’ This early commendation would suggest that Tolkien was among the first translators contacted by Father Jones. In fact, if Tolkien had been asked to be part of the translation during a later part of the project, such guidelines would certainly have already been written. Consequently, it is rather significant that Father Jones asked Tolkien to write the guidelines to the translation—guidelines Tolkien most certainly, and unfortunately, actually never wrote. Most likely, Tolkien was also asked to one of the editors for the Bible, and not merely one of the translators. Tolkien, however, declined the privilege commenting he was not willing to take upon any editorship but would happily comment on texts.36 This would naturally lead us to think that, for Father Jones, Tolkien was one of the first and finest Catholic scholars to undertake such a task.

Tolkien in translation

To begin with, we must consider that Tolkien’s interest in the translation of Jonah might have come from his lifelong love with Middle English texts. In fact, the Middle English alliterative poem Patience can be considered a commentary on the book of Jonah, mainly concerned with patience in suffering.37 There is little doubt that Tolkien knew well this poem, as he did have a solid expertise in the works of the Pearl poet, editing and translating with his colleague E.V. Gordon, ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’.38 Given Tolkien’s role in translating the book of Jonah, we could wonder if his translation displays any singularities. Asking such a question comes back, in a way, to ask about the distinctive characteristics of the Jerusalem Bible‘s approach of Bible translation. First then, as Olivier-Thomas Venard has argued, one must remember that the translators of the J.B. Had to work within a peculiar English framework made of deep, intertwined, interaction and mutual influence between the development of English Bibles and of modern English:

It is clear that compared with his French-speaking colleagues, the British biblical scholar is more aware of the cultural implications and consequences of his work. Biblical translation played a great part in the very making of modern English, whereas it was nearly absent in the emergence of the French language.39

However, this peculiar English context was, in the J.B.’s overall translation, affected by an influence of French syntax, at times at odds with a more natural use of modern English. For example, French typically and prominently use nouns where it is not necessary for the English syntax.40 Dierickx finds a good example of this French influence in the use of ‘to get in the boat’ instead of ‘to embark’ (1:3). However, even if this French syntactical influence was proven, this would not justify Dierickx’s claim regarding the translation of 1:3. In fact, it seems that the structure itself reflects the Hebrew syntax and not the French one. The MT’s choice is reflected in the LXX and in the Vulgate’s use of ‘et descendit in eam’. Even though ‘to get in the boat’ is less natural than the common ‘to embark’, it does not, in any significant way, demonstrate an hypothetical French influence. Even though Dierickx over stresses the influence of the French translation, Venard is certainly right in concluding that there is an essential difference in the way French and English scholars approached the careful task of Bible translation.

Second, the style of the J.B. made it consistently longer than previous versions. Dierickx, indicates for example that the J.B. is regularly 10-15% longer than the N.E.B. If talking about longer units, the N.E.B. has a terseness not present in the J.B. Dierickx surmised that the longer phrasing of the J.B. might reflect the influence of the French translation—despite the claims of the Editor. Indeed, French typically and prominently use nouns where it is not necessary in English as in ‘to get in the boat’ instead of ‘to embark’.41 This choice, in turn, affected the translation in a manner that might not have been anticipated by the translators:

I think that we can say, provisionally, that the Jerusalem Bible translators have had to pay the price for their intention of appealing to the serious and informed reader, and of fostering ‘deeper understanding’. To reach those aims, they have had to dissociate themselves, at least partly, from the popular tradition of Bible translating in English, and this in turn has had some effect on the purely linguistic form of their text, where the radical modernity of the grammar and syntax does not quite compensate for much more conservative features of vocabulary and style.42

It is true, then, that the J.B. often uses words and expression that were not part of the common popular English. Examples given by Dierickx include:

Gen 4 : guardian (J.B.) vs. keeper (A.V. )

2 Chro 13.5 : sovereignty (J.B.) vs. kingdom (A.V. )

Mat 7.7 : search (J.B.) vs. seek (N.E.B.)

Eph 4.18 : “intellectually they are in the dark” (J.B.) vs. “their minds are clouded” (N.E.B.)

Mat 24.25: “conscentious” (J.B.) vs. “honest” (N.E.B.)

Notice that the N.E.B. regularly prefers the shorter, more Germanic terms while the J.B. favours terms Greek or Latin in flavour, preferring longer and learned terms.43 Even though German was somewhat familiar to Tolkien, one should remember that Latin was to him crucially important to the reading of the Bible and for practical devotion.44 Significantly, Tolkien’s Quenya, the language of High-elves, is according to him, ‘composed on a Latin basis with two other (main) ingredients that happen to give me “phonaesthetic” pleasure: Finnish and Greek’.45 Latin was literally, to Tolkien, a language of lore, as Quenya happened to be in Middle-earth.46

Third, if the Jerusalem Bible sought for aggiornamento in its translation, this meant that the translators had to remove many archaic forms still used both in the King James and in the Authorized Version:

certain fixed ways of expounding and narrating, certain definite idioms, especially of a kind peculiar to the Semitic tongues, so-called approximations, and certain hyperbolical modes of expression, nay, at times, even paradoxical, which even help to impress the ideas more deeply on the mind.47

This removal of obsolete forms can strike us as very out of place for Tolkien who, in his own writing, usually sought obsolete forms. Indeed, archaisms are, as has been observed, regularly used in Tolkien’s corpus.48 Certainly, Tolkien did use archaism but for more than mere aesthetic reasons: archaisms reflect the development of words, languages, and meaning.49 In particular, the Editor of the J.B. decided to preserve the historical setting of biblical texts, as well as preserving ancient measure systems: talent (N.E.B., ‘bag of gold’), denarius (N.E.B., ‘ten pounds’), cubit (foot), scribe (lawyer), or even praetorium (N.E.B., ‘courtyard’ or ‘residency’). At times, the choice of eliminating archaisms seems to have been rather subjective as is the case in the choice translators made between ‘will’ and ‘shall’. In fact, the choice between these two verbal forms is never, as Dierickx indicated, systematic:

Explanations can be suggested here and there, but it is impossible, for each of the modern Bibles, to elaborate from a collection of examples a system that would have general value, or even simply account for the majority of cases. Even the A.V., I think, is not entirely consistent in its use of shall and will. We must accept the arbitrary nature of some choices as a fact.50

The issue of archaism became obvious with respect to the use of the ‘ye’ and ‘thou’. Dierickx, for example, quotes from Deut. 11.22-25 and other Old Testament texts to show the consistent elimination of ‘ye’ in the J.B. (contrasting with the A.V.). This choice of a modern and popular use of pronouns is actually one of the most consistent change in the J.B. This is particularly striking in the books of Psalms or in the Decalogue. Hence the formulation ‘O Lord, thou art …’ (A.V.) becomes ‘O Yahweh, you are …’ (J.B.) but also in the Song of Jonah in chapter 2. In this doxological poem, Tolkien reflects the general choice of the editor of the J.B. Comparison between Tolkien’s translation of verse 8 and the Douay-Rheims’s version is revealing:

Douay-Rheims

When my soul was in distress within me,

I remembered the Lord:

that my prayer may come to thee,

unto thy holy temple.

Jerusalem Bible

While my soul was fainting within me,

I remembered Yahweh,

and my prayer came before you

into your holy Temple.

While Tolkien seemed to have personally favoured this more archaic form ‘thou’, he ‘regretfully supported’ the use of ‘you’ in the Jerusalem Bible, most likely for readability reasons.51

Some have also noticed that the use of Yahweh, instead of ‘Lord’, marked a very interesting intrusion of archaism in this otherwise modern English version.52 However, this would be to miss the point. Indeed, the use of Yahweh is not indicator of archaism but of the conscious choice, made by the editor, to fully respect particular aspects of the original text. Moreover, the use of Yahweh is highly significant in the book of Jonah, as has been noted by Hebrew scholars. The different expressions used in Hebrew to refer to ‘God’ or ‘the God’ are witness to the different attitudes of the main protagonists. In fact,

In Jonah a clear distinction is made between the sailors who, having heard from the prophet the name of his god, 1:9, beseech Yahwe to deliver them, 1:14, and become Yahwe-worshippers,

1:16, and the king of Nineveh and his nobles who, having heard nothing else than that a prophet had predicted the destruction of the city after forty days, can only use the term Elohim in their proclamation, 3:7-9.53

Therefore, Tolkien’s use of the three variant expression ‘God’, ‘Yahweh’, and ‘Yahweh-God’ is consistent with exegetical scholarship. These three expressions serve, for the author of Jonah, to make important theological distinctions. As Claude Lichtert concluded: ‘The act of naming God is inscribed in the framework of the narrative and in the interaction of the protagonists’.54

Reading Tolkien’s translation of Jonah, it would be tempting to use the footnotes to interpret the translation itself. For example, considering the indication that ‘Nineveh was a city beyond compare: it took three days to cross it’ (3:3), one might interpret Tolkien’s translation as not presenting a ‘literal’ translation but a hyperbolic one, a view consistent with the footnote (of 3:3) noting that ‘there is similar hyperbole … to evoke the fabulous size of Nineveh’—and thus stressing the non literal nature of the book of Jonah’s description of the city’s size. However, this would be a serious mistakes for, as the ‘Editor’s Foreword’ explains, ‘the introductions and notes are a direct translation from the French, though revised and brought up to date in some places—account being taken of the decisions and general implications of the Second Vatican Council’.55

In fact, it is impossible to ascribed such a view to Tolkien for there is not enough information about his own position. One more thing can be said, however: if by this hyperbolic explanation, one wants to say that Tolkien could never have believed the immense size of the city, one should remember that Tolkien was quite ready to believe in a literal reading of Genesis.56 The mere presence of extraordinary events or descriptions did not preclude Tolkien from a traditional reading of the Bible—then seen in his translation. The Pearl poet also understood this to simply refer to the sheer size of the city adding:

Thus Jonah the Jew came to journey one day

On his trek without talking to townspeople there.57

As for Thomas Aquinas, he prefers to simply consider these three days to describe Jonah’s journey around the city58. We should also consider, as an alternative explanation of these ‘three days,’ Theodoret’s comment that Jonah was ‘wandering through the marketplaces, highways, and byways, preaching that “in yet three days Nineveh will be destroyed” ».59 C.F. Keil made the same comments: ‘in a city the diameter of which was 150 stadia, and the circumference 480 stadia, one might easily walk for a whole day without reaching the other end, by winding about from one street into another…’60 It simply is impossible, then, to conclude whether Tolkien believed this description to be mere hyperbole or whether he chose any of the above explanations—we cannot discard any interpretation, even the more literalist options. In any case, the point is that one should refrain from arguing on the basis of non authorial footnotes.

An interesting feature of Tolkien’s translation is his rendering of two parallel passages in Jonah 1:2 and 3:2, the latter repeating Yahweh’s formal command to Jonah to go to Nineveh. Below are the translations of three different versions:

Authorized Version

1:2: Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it …

3:2: Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

Douay-Rheims

1:2: Arise, and go to Ninive the great city and preach in it …

3:2: Arise, and go to Ninive the great city and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee.

Jerusalem Bible

1:2: “Up!’ he said, “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and inform them …’

3:2: “Up!’ he said, “Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’

Tolkien’s translation of these two verses provide a great balance between the other two versions. First, the rendering ‘Up!’ for the Hebrew קום introduces a dynamic syntax, a freshness in a deceptively common command. Second, one notice that the D.R. has exactly the same command given by God to Jonah, thus reflecting the exact same wording in MT as well as in the LXX. Moreover, D.R. Significantly chose the verb ‘preach’ both times, thus not making any distinction of purpose between the two commands. By contrast, the A.V. makes an important distinction in using two different verbal forms, i.e., ‘cry against’ in 1:2 and ‘preach to’ in 3:2. This is an crucial qualifier regarding the mission imparted and repeated to Jonah, Yahweh’s judgment against Nineveh underlined by the used of ‘cry against’ in the first command. Tolkien clearly emphasises this contrast by using a more ‘neutral’ verbal form in 1:2 (‘to inform’) and a verb with a clearly redemptive tone in 3:2 (‘to preach’). Even if there is no significant change in both MT and LXX, many translations accord with both A.V.‘s and J.B.‘s stand. The French literal Chouraqui version reads, in 1:2, ‘crie contre elle’ (‘cry against her’) and in 3:2, ‘crie-lui’ (‘cry unto it’).

Catholic translations of these verses are, in fact, anything but unanimous. Significantly, the Bible de Jérusalem translates both verbs with the same “annonce-leur,’ thus making no difference of purpose between the two divine commands addressed to the prophet. The Maredsous Bible, translated by the Benedictine abbey of Maredsous, with the participation of the Abbaye de Hautecombe, has 1:2 read ‘élève la voix contre elle’ (‘cry out against it’) while 3:2 reads ‘fais-lui connaître le message’ (‘inform them of the message’), introducing a subtle distinction in the manner the content of God’s message was to be communicated. However, even then, the immediate context of Jonah’s first and third chapter gives solid ground for making the difference in communication indicated by Tolkien’s use of two different verbal forms. Tolkien thus makes a theological point, best summarized by E. B. Pusey, one leader of the Oxford Movement:

God says to Jonah the self-same words which He had said before, only perhaps He gives him an intimation of His purpose of mercy, in that he says no more, cry against her, but cry unto her. He might cry against one doomed to destruction ; to cry unto her, seems to imply that she had some interest in, and so some hope from, this cry.61

It would seem, then, that Tolkien’s own translation of Jonah would carry theological implications fruits of his own translating and meditative work, but one can conjecture, also coming from his knowledge of interpretations such as that of Pusey and Newman.

Significantly, the J.B. often followed the interpretation of the Church Fathers. For example, with respect to the disputed meaning of יתעשת in 1:6, Tolkien, not surprisingly, followed the exegetical choice of Jerome who reads ‘think again’ (Tolkien, ‘spare us a thought’), a choice better supported by the Chaldee but also by the equivalent nouns in Job 12.5 and Psalms cxlvi.4 This particular choice is made over against the other option of translating יתעשת as a hithpael, therefore conveying the meaning of ‘shown himself shining’, option favored by Calvin and others. Whether one follows Calvin or Jerome, both translations are consistent, if not with the original text, at least with the following clause: ‘and not leave us to die’. Tolkien, whether aware of this grammatical distinction or not, provided a translation that brings forward the grace of God’s forgiving message.

The last lines of the book of Jonah highlight the prophet’s uneasiness about the forgiving nature of Yahweh-God who sent him to Nineveh. In Tolkien’s translation, God concludes: ‘And am I not to feel sorry for Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left…?’ (4:11). This rhetorical question makes God’s goodwill the central motif of the book of Jonah. As the Pearl poet concludes: ‘

Thus appears, through one’s pains and one’s penance, the fact:

Patience, though displeasing, is proof of goodwill.62

Conclusion

There would certainly be more to be said about Tolkien’s translation of Jonah, as well as on Tolkien’s use and interaction with the Bible. There is still great challenge in Tolkien studies for one who would like to press the issue further. Indeed, all the relevant material is not easily accessible and Tolkien’s personal library is in part lost to us—the rest remains in the guarding hands of the Tolkien Estate.63 For example, the publication of Tolkien’s actual translation of Jonah is extremely difficult to find.64 Despite the difficulties, there is much to be gained from Tolkien’s work as a Bible translator. The picture we gain from our current knowledge is that of a man who used all his academic skills and knowledge, his expertise in linguistics and also in the creation of language, to help provide a unique translation. Tolkien’s storytelling and imagination were there at the service of the faith he received.

In many ways, the words of conclusion on Tolkien’s Jonah belong to John Henry Newman, leader of the Oxford movement and one of the greatest spiritual influence on twenty century English Roman Catholicism. His poem serves as a well suited conclusion to this article:

DEEP in his meditative bower,

The tranquil seer reclined;

Numbering the creepers of an hour,

The gourds which o’er him twined.

To note each plant, to rear each fruit

Which soothes the languid sense,

He deem’d a safe, refined pursuit,—

His Lord, an indolence.

The sudden voice was heard at length,

« Lift thou the prophet’s rod! »

But sloth had sapp’d the prophet’s strength,

He fear’d, and fled from God. {160}

Next, by a fearful judgment tamed,

He threats the offending race;

God spares;—he murmurs, pride-inflamed,

His threat made void by grace.

What?—pride and sloth! man’s worst of foes!

And can such guests invade

Our choicest bliss, the green repose

Of the sweet garden-shade?65

_________________________________

Notes :

1Randel Helm, Tolkien and the Silmarils (London: Thames and Hudson, 1981); J. E. A. Tyler, The J. R. R. Tolkien’s Companion (New York: Avon, 1977)

2Christina Ganong Walton, “Tolkien and the Bible,’ in Michael Drout (ed.), The J.R.R. Encyclopedia (New York: Routlege, 2006), p. 62.

3Nicholas Birns, ‘The Stones and the Book: Tolkien, Mesopotamia, and Biblical Mythopoeia,’ in Tolkien and the Study of His Sources: Critical Essays, ed. Jason Fisher (Jefferson: McFarland, 2011), pp. 45-68. L. J. Swain noted parallels between Gimli and Gilgamesh, “Gimli,’ in Michael Drout (ed.), The J.R.R. Encyclopedia (New York: Routlege, 2006), p. 242. J.S. Ryan noted nominal reminiscences between Tolkien’s corpus and mesopotamian mythology, including the presence of a “Suruman” in the records of Akkadian king Sargon of Agade (associated with metalwork, like Saruman), thus allowing the possibility of discerning a doublet Saruman/Sauron and Suruman/Sargon. See J.S. Ryan, “Saruman, `Sharkey’ and Suruman” Mythlore 12/1 (Autumn 1985), pp. 43-44.

4Birns, “The Stones and the Book,’ p. 46. See Verlyn Flieger, Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002) and Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien’s Mythology (Kent: Kent State University, 2005).

5For Tolkien, the starting-point of any translation should be a respectful and serious approach of the text. When approached by the Swedish translators, Tolkien reacted quite angrily to the project, on the ground that they did not treat the text with respect. Tolkien, Letters, p. 304. Moreover, Tolkien commented that “in principle, I object as strongly as it is possible to the ‘translation’ of the nomenclature at all (even by a competent person). I wonder why a translator should think himself called on or entitled to do any such thing. That this is an ‘imaginary’ world does not give him any right to remodel it according to his fancy, even if he could in a few months create a new coherent structure which it took me years to work out.” Tolkien, Letters, 249-250. No doubt Tolkien could have made the same comments about the process of Bible translations.

6The Douay-Rheims take sits name from the two places where the translation was accomplished: the New Testament at Rheims in 1582, and the Old Testament being published at Douay in 1608-1610. The Douay-Rheims was the only and official Catholic translation of the Bible, even if it included several revisions throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. See Richard N. Soulen and R. Kendall Soule, Handbook of Biblical Criticism (Cambridge: James Clark, 2001), p. 50.

7The author tried to contact the Oratory for further information, without any success.

8W. Meredith Thompson, “Chaucer’s translation of the Bible,’ in Norman Davis and C.L. Wrenn (eds.), English and Medieval Studies Presented to J.R.R. Tolkien on the Occasion of his Seventeenth Birthday (London, 1962), pp.183-199 (here p. 187).

9See for example Craig T. Fehrman “Did Chaucer Read the Wycliffite Bible?’ The Chaucer Review 42/2 (2007), pp. 111-138. The standard view of Grace Landrum argued that Chaucer, for aesthetic and one might say, traditional, reasons, could never have read a vernacular Bible.

10Grace W. Landrum, “Chaucer’s Use of the Vulgate” Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 39/1 (1924), pp. 75-100 (here p. 87). This statement is, in a nutshell, the position of many Chaucer scholars, contra Fehrman.

11Pius XII, “Divino Afflante Spiritu,’ The Holy See, http://www.vatican.va, accessed July 22, 2012.

12Jean Dierickx, “Attitudes in translation: Some linguistic features of the Jerusalem Bible,’ English Studies 50 (1969), pp. 10-20 (here p. 10).

13Dierickx, “Attitudes in translation,’ p. 12.

14Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide, vol. 1, “Chronology” (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2006), p. 508.

15As a matter of fact, the term aggiornamento was chosen by Pope Paul VI to describe his own purpose: “We cannot forget Pope John XXIII’s word aggiornamento which We have adopted as expressing the aim and object of Our own pontificate. Besides ratifying it and confirming it as the guiding principle of the Ecumenical Council.’ Paul VI, “Encyclical of Pope Paul VI on the Church, August 6, 1964,’ The Holy See, http://www.vatican.va, accessed July 22, 2012.

16Congar will comment, after the Council: “We demand that the conciliar aggornamento would not with the adaptation of ecclesial life but go as far as a full evangelical ressourcement and the invention, by the Church, of a way of being, speaking and engaging, that would meet the challenge of a complete evangelical service for the world. Pastoral aggirnamento must go that far.‘ Yves Congar, Vraie et fausse réforme dans l’église (Paris: Le Cerf, 1968), p. 11.

17Jones, “Editor’s Foreword,’ p. vi.

18Ibid.

19J.R.R. Tolkien, “Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings,’ in Jared Lobdell (ed.), A Tolkien Compass (La Salle: Open Court, 1975), p. 153-201 (here p. 155).

20Frederick C. Grant, ‘Review of The Jerusalem Bible,’ Journal of Biblical Literature 86/1 (1967), pp. 91-93 (here p. 91).

21Gleason Archer, “The Old Testament of The Jerusalem Bible,’ Westminster Theological Journal 33 (May 1971), pp. 191-94 (here p. 192). Archer continues: ‘Instead of confining themselves to an accurate rendering of the received text of the Masoretic Hebrew Bible, as amended on the basis of the ancient versions under careful controls of scientific textual criticism, the translators have allowed subjective considerations to have free rein. The interpreter’s conception of what the ancient author ought to have said permits him to substitute entirely different Hebrew words for those of the Masoretic Text, even where such a change finds no support whatever in either the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Septuagint, the Targums, the Syriac Peshitto, the Old Latin, or the Vulgate. Such inventions of the translator are usually footnoted as “correction”, but quite often they are not.’ Ibid.

22J.R.R. Tolkien, The J.R.R. Tolkien Letters, Humphrey Carpenter (ed.) (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), p. 378.

23Sir Anthony Kenny’s memoir [A Path from Rome: An Autobiography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986)] is cited both by Scull and Hammond in their Reader’s Guide, and by L.J. Swain in his entry on “Judaism” [Michael D.C. Drout (ed.), The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment (New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 314–315]

24Jones, “Editor’s Foreword,’ p. vii.

25Wayne G. Hammond and Douglas Allen Anderson, J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography (St. Paul’s Bibliographies,1993), p. 278.

26Birns, “The Stone and the Book,’ p. 46.

27Scull and Hammond, “Chronology,’ p. 501. This letter is dated 14-19 February 1957.

28Reported on the website of The Tolkien Library, http://www.tolkienlibrary.com, accessed July 22, 2012.

29Scull and Hammond, “Chronology,’ p. 501.

30Ibid., p. 504.

31Tolkien apparently made quite an impression during his address, entering the room poetically declaiming entire lines of Beowulf, which he probably knew by heart. One reporter noted that his “melodramatic declamation in Anglo-Saxons proved yesterday that he takes ample vigour in his retirement.’ Quoted in “Tolkien’s Farewell,’ The Oxford Mail, 6 June 1959. Quoted in Scull and Hammond, “Chronology,’ p. 543. Tolkien’s “Valedictory Address” is published in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1984).

32Tolkien, Letters, p. 395.

33Tolkien sent Father jones a first version of his translation of Jonah early March 1957. Scull and Hammond, ‘Chronology’, p. 501.

34Letter from Jones to Tolkien, 12 March 1957. Ibid.

35Letter from Jones to Tolkien, July, 3, 1957. Op. cit., p. 508. Consistent with his habit, Tolkien had a difficult time perfecting his translation of Jonah. In fact, Tolkien did not sent the complete and revised translation before April 25, 1961! (Op. cit., p. 74). It also seems that Tolkien was not able or willing to work on the penultimate revisions and that his translation of Jonah was finally revised by others (Op. cit., p. ).

36Letter from Jones to Tolkien, July 3, 1957. Scull and Hammond, Op. cit., p. 508.

37“Patience,’ in Casey Finch (trans.), The Complete Works of the Pearl Poet (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

38J.R.R. Tolkien and E.V. Gordon (eds.), Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1967). Tolkien makes several references to the Pearl poet and his works in his own scholarly studies. See for example J.R.R. Tolkien, Letters (Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000), pp. 316 ff.

39Olivier-Thomas Venard, “The Cultural Backgrounds and Challenges of La Bible de Jérusalem” in Philip McCosker (ed.), What Is It That the Scripture Says?: Essays in Biblical Interpretation, Translation, And Reception in, Honour of Henry Wansbrough OSB (London: Continuum, 2006), pp. 111-134 (here p. 113).

40Vinay and Darbelnet, Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais (Paris: Didier, 1977), p. 102.

41Ibid.

42Dierickx, ‘Attitudes in translation’, p. 20.

43Art. cit., p. 18.

44Tolkien indeed had a solid knowledge of Latin, the “ordinary” religious language used at the Birmingham Oratory and the traditional liturgical language of the Roman Catholic Church. See Tolkien, Letters, 395. Tolkien was also used to recite several traditional prayers in Latin, such as the Gloria Patri, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Laudate Dominum or the Magnificat (Tolkien, Letters, p. 66).

45Tolkien, Letters, p. 176.

46Ibid.

47Pius XII, ‘Divino Afflante Spiritu’, paragraph 37. In the case of Jonah, the discussion was somewhat rendered more complex by the intrusion in the original texts of some forms of Aramaisms or what some have qualified as archaic Hebrew but, notes the Old Testament scholar C.F. Keil, “the so-called Aramaisms, such as המיג to throw (ch. I. 4, 5, 12, etc.) … belong either to the speech of Galilee or the language or ordinary intercourse, and are very fare from being proofs of a later age, since it cannot be proved with certainty that any one of these words was unknown in the early Hebrew usage …’ C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament. The Twelve Minor Prophets, vol. 1 (Grand Rapinds, Eerdmans, 1969), p. 381.

48A helpful list can be found on the Encyclopedia of Arda, http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/words.html, accessed July 20, 2012.

49Archaisms do not, however, reflect stages of human development as Ross Smith has argued: “modes of thinking vary from one stage of human development to another and modes of speech change accordingly.’ Ross Smith, Inside Language: Linguistic and Aesthetic Theory in Tolkien (Zollikofen: Walking Tree Publishers, 2007), p. 126. In fact, it is rather difficult to find in Tolkien proofs of a connection between the development of language and the notion of “stages of human development,’ especially as set forth by Barfield (contra Flieger, Splintered Light. Logos and Language in Tolkien’s World (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002). This is where Barfield’s influence on Tolkien’s linguistic theory finds it true limits. The semantic unity of language and thought, which represents the essence of Barfield’s Poetic Diction: A Study in Meaning (Middletown: Wesleyan University Press,,1973). Indeed had, as Flieger forcibly argued, a great influence on Tolkien. However, some parts of Barfield’s theory remain alien to Tolkien’s view of language and myth. For example Barfield can conclude that myth is not a disease of language, but of thought. Contrasting with this view, Tolkien’s argument was that myth is never a disease neither of language, nor of thought, but rather that language is a ‘disease of myth’.

50Dierickx, ‘Attitudes in translation’, pp. 15-16.

51Scull and Hammond, Companion and Guide, p. 502. One also should notice that Tolkien did not make systematic use of ‘thou’ in his writings, neither in The Silmaillion or the Lord of the Rings, not even in the more epic Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (London: HarperCollins, 2009).

52Archer, ‘The Old Testament of The Jerusalem Bible,’ p. 192.

53Nathaniel Schmidt, “Yahwe Elohim” Journal of Biblical Literature 33/1 (1914), pp. 25-47 (here p. 34).

54Claude Lichtert, ‘Récit et noms de Dieu dans le livre de Jonas’, Biblica 84/2 (2003), pp. 247-251 (here p. 250). As Schmid tcommented: ‘The author of Jonah used the name Yahwe except here the circumstances seemed to him to demand Elohim. Thus in 1:6, before the mariners have learned to know Yahwe, they naturally employ the term Elohim. In 3:3 is an idiom. The Ninevites could not be said to believe in Yahwe of whom they had never heard, hence Elohim in 3:5 and in the proclamation, 3:7-9.’ Nathaniel Schmidt, “Yahwe Elohim” p. 36.

55Jones, ‘Editor’s Preface’, p. v.

56‘… partly in contact with C.S.L., and in various ways not least the firm guiding hand of Alma Mater Ecclesia, I do not now feel either ashamed or dubious on the Eden “myth”. It has not, of course, historicity of the same kind as the NT, which are virtually contemporary documents, while Genesis is separated by we do not know how many sad exiled generations from the Fall, but certainly there was an Eden on this very unhappy earth’. Tolkien, Letters, p. 110.

57‘Patience’, p. 199.

58‘Jonah immediately carries out the command that he has been given. Nineveh to which the prophet was journeying, was a great city, which it took around three days’ journey to circle’. Thomas Aquinas on Jonah, Aquinas Study Bible, http://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible, accessed July 18, 2012.

59Jeanne Marie Heisler, Gnat or Apostolic Bee: A Translation and Commentary on Theodoret’s Commentary on Jonah (Ph.D. Dissertation, Florida State University, 2006), p. 68. Theodoret further indicates that with regard to “about a walking journey of three days,’ some have understood the meaning as the area which came under the jurisdiction of the city being a three day’s journey according to both its length and breadth. But, others have understood the meaning as the one who was preaching was able to wander around the whole city in three days. But whether someone accepts the meaning one way or the other, he does not cause any injury to the truth.Nevertheless, it seems to me that the second interpretation is more reliable, and what follows compels me to choose this version.’ Op. cit.

60C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary, p. 405. Pusey’s explanation is somewhat different, Pusey, The Minor Prophets, p. 380. Pusey was, with cardinal John Henry Newman, one of the great influential figures of the Oxford Movement. Whereas Newman entered the Roman Catholic communion, Pusey remained in the Anglican Church, becoming one of its most influential theologian for that time. This relation between Pusey and Newman is relevant for our study of Tolkien because, as we well know, Newman was theologically influential on Father Francis Xavier Morgan, the guardian of the Tolkien brothers.

61Pusey, The Minor Prophets, p. 413.

62‘Patience’, p. 207.

63It would for example be fascinating to know if Tolkien had annotated copies of the Bible and other theological resources as Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae.

64The author has tried to obtain this volume [J.R.R. Tolkien, The Book of Jonah (Gardners Books, 2009)], but without any success. One of the bookstore manager contacted, in Australia, concluded after checking its availability that this book was listed as ‘publication abandoned’. Email to the author, June 6, 2012.

65John Henry Newman, ‘Jonah’ in Prayers, Verses, and Devotions (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2000), p. 574.