At the threshold of american personalism: providing the personal access to God’s Word in Elizabethan Bible translations

  • V. O. Patsan The Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk national university Address: 72, Gagarin av., Dnipropetrovsk, 49010, Ukraine
Keywords: Absolute Personality of God, Bible, personal principle of being, godlikeness of the human person, transmission of God’s Word into human languages, Biblical background of American personalism


The article is aimed at defining the ways to the exposure of theistic basis of personhood which were paved by the personalist philosophy founded in the USA in the late nineteenth – early twentieth centuries. Having become an initiator of historical-philosophical reconstructing the genesis of American personalism in Ukraine, the author actualizes the problem of perceiving the Scripture text by the personalistic trend sprung from the Protestant soil in North America. The article substantiates the approach to reflecting this process based upon the meta-ontology of personality expounded by patristic trinitology at the turn of Antiquity and the Middle Ages and disclosed for rational consciousness of the modern era by the personalistic mode of thinking appealed to Orthodox theology. Prepared by the previous results of the author’s elaboration of the actualized problematics (represented in his publications in Ukrainian and foreign periodical scientific editions) the article focuses on the theological foundations of the personalist philosophy of the USA connecting its unsteadiness with the departure of Protestantism from Christian dogmata affirming personal principle of being, Absolute Personality of God and godlikeness of the human person uncovered by the Revelation. Correlating horizons of personalistic perception of God Breathed Book with reconstructions of the Bible topology of personhood which were performed in the Scripture translations providing the personal access to God’s Word, the author analyzes the transmission of Biblical concepts of personal being in English Scripture versions appeared during the reign of Elizabeth I (the Geneva Bible, the Bishops’ Bible), initially accepted by the Protestant denominations of North America and formed the Biblical background of personalistic thinking in the New World. The study reveals the premises of reducing the spiritual source of personality to personalized ratio in the doctrine of the classical American personalism clarifying the perspective of its further investigation.

Author Biography

V. O. Patsan, The Oles Honchar Dnepropetrovsk national university Address: 72, Gagarin av., Dnipropetrovsk, 49010, Ukraine
candidate of theology, senior lecturer


Arhimandrit Evlogiy (Patsan), 2008.. Pravoslavnoye ucheniye o roli razuma na puti bogopoznaniya: dissertatsiya na soiskaniye uchenoy stepeni kandidata bogosloviya (Orthodox Teaching about the Role of the Mind in the Way of Cognition of God). KDA, Kiyev (in Russian).

Batkin, L. M., 1995. Ital’anskoye Vozrozshdeniye: Problemi i lyudi (The Italian Renaissance: Challenges and People). RGGU, Moscow (in Russian).

Bahtin, M. M., 2015. Tvorchestvo Fransua Rable i narodnaya kul’tura srednevekovya i Renesansa (The Creativity of Francois Rabelais and Popular Culture of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance). Eksmo, Moscow (in Russian).

Bibihin, V. V., 1998. Noviy renesans (New Renaissance). MAIK «Nauka»; Progress-Traditsiya, Moscow (in Russian).

Bibler, V. S., 1975. Mishleniye kak tvorchestvo (Vvedeniye v logiku mislitel’nogo dialoga) (Thinking as Creativity (Introduction to the Logic of Mental Dialogue). Politizdat, Moscow (in Russian).

Korelin, M.S., 1896. Ocherki ital’anskogo Vozrozshdeniya (The Essays on the Italian Renaissance). Moscow (in Russian).

Losev, A. F., 1978. Estetika Vozrozshdeniya (The Renaissance Aesthetics). Misl’, Moscow (in Russian).

Losskiy, V. N., 2007. Bogoslovskoe ponyatie chelovecheskoy lichnosti (The Theological Concept of the Human Person). Bogovideniye. Belorusskyi Egzarhat – «Harvest», 400 — 411. Minsk (in Russian).

Patsan, V. O., 2015. (Evlogiy, episkop Novomoskovskiy) «Za obrazom i podoboyu Bozshoyu»:bibliyni vitoli ideyi osobistosti» («In the Image and Likeness of God»: the Biblical Origins of the Concept of Personality»). Gileya: naukoviy visnik: zb. nauk. praz’/ [red. kolegiya: V. M. Vashkevich (gol. redactor) ta in.]. «Vidavnitstvo «Gileya» 99, 233 – 244. Kiyev (in Ukrainian).

Patsan, V. O., 2015. (Evlogiy, episkop Novomoskovskiy) Amerikans’kiy personalizm u suchasnomu istorikofilosofs’komu diskursi: aktual’ni aspekti vivchenya (American Personalism in Modern Historical-Philosophical Discourse: the Actual Aspects of Study). Gileya: naukoviy visnik: zb. nauk. praz’/ [red. kolegiya: V. M. Vashkevich (gol. redactor) ta in.]. «Vidavnitstvo «Gileya», 96, 378 – 385. Kiyev (in Ukrainian).

Rodniy, O. V., 2012. Renesansnaya filosofiya cheloveka i smehovaya kyl’tura Vozrozshdeniya: grani dialoga (The Renaissance Philosophy of Man and Revival Culture of Laughter: the Margins of Dialogue). Novaya ideologiya, Dnepropetrovsk (in Russian).

Tarasova, A. A., 2014. Spetsifika dialoga epohi Vozrozshdeniya (The Specifics of the Renaissance Dialogue). Istoricheskie, filosofskiye, politicheskiye i yuridichskiye nauki, kul’turologiya i iskusstvovedeniye. Voprosi teorii i praktiki 10, Part 2, 181-185 (in Russian).

Bertocci P. A. Borden Parker Bowne and His Personalistic Theistic Idealism/P. A. Bertocci// The Boston Personalist Tradition in Philosophy, Social Ethics, and Theology/Ed. By P. Deats, C. Robb. - Macon, Ge.: Mercer University Press ,1986.

Bowne K. M.: An Intimate Portrait of Bowne/ K. M. Bowne//The Personalist. - 1921. - № 2.

Brown Jr. A Short History of Our English Bible/ J. Brown//WRS Journal. - 2003. - №10(2). - P. 17 – 26.

Bruce F. F. History of the Bible in English/ F. F. Bruce. - Oxford University Press, 1978. - 288 p.

Comfort Ph. W. Essential Guide to Bible Versions/ Ph. W. Comfort. - Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, 2000. – 320 p.

De Mar G. The Forgotten Translation [The Electronic Resource]/ G. De Mar. - The Regime of Access to the Source:

Ewert D. From Ancient Tablets to Modern Translations: A General Introduction to The Bible / D. Ewert. - Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1983. - 284 p.

Flewelling R. T. Studies in American Personalism/ R. T. Flewelling// Personalism. Science. Philosophy. Theology: Biannual. - 2004. - №6. - P. 23 – 42

Gacka B. Z. A Presentation of Personalism [The Electronic Resource]/ B. Z. Gacka - The Regime of Access to the Source:

Greider J. C. The English Bible Translations and History/ J. C. Greider. - Xlibris Corporation, 2007.

Holquist M. Dialogism. Bakhtin and His World/ M. Holquist. - London and New York: Routledge, 2002. - 238 p.

Kenyon F. G. English Versions/ F. G. Kenyon// A Dictionary of the Bible, dealing with the Language, Literature and Contents, including the Biblical Theology [ed. by J. Hastings]. - New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons of New York, 1909. - 992 p.

Knudson A. C. The Philosophy of Personalism/ A. C. Knudson. - New York: Abington, 1927. - 434 p. - P.34

Kyrlezhev A. The Post-secular Age: Religion and Culture Today/ A. Kyrlezhev// Religion, State and Society. - 2008. -№ 1(36. - P. 21-31

Lampe G. W. H. The West from the Fathers to the Reformation/ G. W. H. Lampe//The Cambridge History of The Bible [ ed. G. W. H. Lampe]. - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975, repr. 1980. - P. 365-387.

Lewis J. P. The English Bible from KJV to NIV: A History and Evaluation./ J. P. Lewis. - Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981. - 451 p.

Metzger B. M. The Bible in Translation: Ancient and English Versions/ B. M. Metzger. - Baker Academic, 2012. - 208 p.

Moulton W. F. The History of The English Bible/ W. F. Moulton. - London: Charles H. Kelly, new and revised edition, 1911. - 232 p.

Noah W. H., Brown D. L. Introduction to the Geneva Bible [The Electronic Resource]/W. H. Noah, D. L. Brown. - The Regime of Access to the Source:

Plumptre E. H. English Translations of the Bible [The Electronic Resource]/ E. H. Plumptre – The Regime on Access to the Source:

Poetry and Dialogism. Hearing Over/ ed.: Scanlon, M., Engbers, C. Palgrave. - Macmillan UK, 2014. - 216 p.

Post-secular Philosophy: between Philisophy and Theology/ ed.: Ph. Blond. – London: Routledge, 1998. – 392 p.

Price I. M. The Ancestry of Our English Bible/ I. M. Price. - New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 2nd rev. ed., 1934. - 456 p.

Simms P. M. The Bible in America/P. M. Simms. - Wilson – Erickson, New York, 1936. - 394 p.

Wegner P. D. The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of The Bible/ P. D. Wegner. - Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, corrected printing, 2000. - 464 p.

Wellace D. V. The History of the English Bible [The Electronic Resource]/ D. V. Wellace – The Regime on Access to the Source:

Werkmeister, W. H. A History of Philosophical Ideas in America/ W. H. Werkmeister. - New York, NY: Ronald, 1949. - 559 p.

Williams Th. D. Bengtsson J. O. Personalism [Elektronniy resurs] / Th. D Williams, J. O. Bengtsson. - Rezshim dostupu do dzsherela: /

Wilson A. N. The Elizabethans/ A. N. Wilson. - Hutchinson Paperback, 2011. - 448 p.

How to Cite
Patsan, V. O. (2016). At the threshold of american personalism: providing the personal access to God’s Word in Elizabethan Bible translations. Scientific and Theoretical Almanac Grani, 19(2), 131-145.