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June 12, 2017

Smallpox … Polio … Malaria

When I was a child in the 1930s and ’40s, my parents would not let me go to a public swimming pool for fear of catching the dreaded disease polio. Through the work of researchers, a vaccine for this disease was finally found. Organizations like Rotary International, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and various world health organizations have put many millions of dollars into immunizing the children of the world. We are all hoping that this fight is about over and that polio will be gone forever from our world.

I’m active in Rotary, and the question was asked, “What do we do next?” Malaria was given consideration, but many felt it was too complicated a task. However, researchers like Dr. Elizabeth Winzeler BA ’84 (Chronicle, winter 2017) show that we may be close to a breakthrough.

Smallpox is gone, polio almost, and many in the world, along with Dr. Winzeler, are working on malaria. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and pray for their success in finding a cure so the rest of us can pitch in with labor and dollars to get rid of another of the world’s health problems.

John Martin BS ’56
Tigard, Oregon

More on the Geneva Bible

“The Geneva Bible: A Glimpse Into the 16th Century” (Chronicle, Winter 2017) caught my attention for a number of reasons. Last year, during a road show by the new Museum of the Bible being built in Washington, D.C., I had seen a copy of the Geneva Bible. The 1599 edition discovered by Sam Bussan BA ’18 in Watzek Library, and now located in its archival repository, is a rare find indeed.

The Geneva Bible, sometimes called “Shakespeare’s Bible,” is the first English translation of the whole Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek. (Previous translators had used the Latin Vulgate.) The translators also added margin notes, which elaborated the difficult passages for the curious reader.

During the late 16th century, every home in Scotland was required to possess a copy of the Geneva Bible, but after King James VI of Scotland assumed the throne of England as King James I, he wanted a new version without margin notes. King James believed wholeheartedly in the divine right of kings, and after his new version was completed in 1611, only the “authorized” version could legally be printed in England. The Geneva Bible faded from use.

David Eugene Andrews BA ’76
Rancho Santa Margarita, California

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