"Old Family Bible and Psalm Book" - Oil Painting

Avril Brand

Kilrush, Ireland

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Oils on canvas 40 × 40cm

These are some of our most treasured possessions in Ireland. We brought this old Family Bible back from South Africa last year, as well as my father’s very old Psalm book which he used as a child.

It took quite a while to do this painting which will remain in our family. Maybe one day, the painting will also be a treasured possession in our family.

Thank you to my friend, Johann Claassen, for writing about the history and importance of the Family Bible to Afrikaner and Trekker families.

Today, as in the old days, the Afrikaner is once again under threat and over 3000 South African Afrikaner farmers, men, women and children have been brutally murdered over the last few years.

May you find strength and courage once more in the faith and determination that made you trek into the wilderness of Africa and survive the horrors of the concentration camps during the Anglo Boer war.

This is a short English translation of Johann Claassen’s beautifully writen history of the old Dutch Bible.

The Dutch Bible’s role in the time of the Great Trek

As part of a family’s preparations to join the Great Trek, careful consideration was needed to decide what to take and what to leave behind. Farms and other property were hurriedly sold, sometimes at ridiculous prices because the market was overloaded. Auctions were held of the family’s furniture and other personal belongings. What was left behind was lost forever by the family.

The most important possession of any Trekker family was the Bible. Almost every family had the large and heavy old Dutch Bible. It was one of their most valuable possessions. It was also called the State Bible, referred to as “The Book”.
The Bible and other spiritual books were safely kept in the Voorkis on the trek wagon and was used not only for the evening’s religious gathering but also to educate children. The Trekkers strongly identified with the Israelistes of old so the Old Testament was the most read part of the Bible.

The Bible was also used to record the family’s genealogy as well as other events such as ship wrecks and it became a reliable source of imformation for research in South Africa.

http://wiki.nuwegeskiedenis.co.za/index.php/Ned...

Die Nederlandse Bybel se rol in die tyd van die Groot Trek

As deel van ’n gesin se voorbereiding om deel te neem aan die Groot Trek, moes daar deeglik besin word oor wat saamgeneem en wat agtergelaat moes word. Sekere goed kon egter eenvoudig net nie agtergelaat word nie. Plase en ander eiendom moes inderhaas verkoop word, soms teen belaglike prys aangesien die mark oorlaai was van grond. Vendusies is gehou van die gesinne se meubels en ander persoonlike besittings. Dit wat agtergebly het, was vir ewig verlore vir die betrokke familie.

Eetware soos beskuit, rys en droë vrugte asook koffie, wyn en brandewyn en ander nie-bederfbare items, is saamgeneem. Ook draagbare kombuisgereedskap soos messegoed en breekgoed en pekelbalies, trekgoed soos trektoue en rieme, klere en doekgoed soos komberse en linne, gereedskap wat kon help om ’n nuwe lappie grond aan die gang te kry, katels, tente, medisyne, groentesaad ensovoorts.

Dan was daar ook die kosbaarhede wat aan die Trekker gedra is of wat in die ou linnekis gebêre is; dinge soos juwele, sakdoeke spieëls, snuifdosies, tabakpype, vêrkykers en wandelstokke.

Dan was daar ook ’n item waarsonder jy nie ’n Trekker-gesin sou gesien het nie. Die Bybel. Feitlik elke gesin het ’n uitgawe van die groot en swaar ou Nederlandse Bybel besit. Dit was een hulle waardevolste besittings. Dit was ook genoem die Statenbijbel en saans as daar gelees moes word, was daar bloot gepraat van “Die Boek”. “Sannie, bring daar vir ons die boek”, sou die vader van die huis sê en almal sou geweet het waarvan daar gepraat word.

Hierdie Bybel en ander geestelike boeke was veilig in die Voorkis op die Ossewa gebêre en was, afgesien van die aand se godsdiens-beoefening, ook dikwels gedurende die dag gebruik om in die afwesigheid van skole, die kinders daarvolgens op te voed. Die Ou Testament is by voorkeur gelees aangesien die Trekkers hulself met die Israeliete van ouds vereenselwig het.

Jacobus Uys, bykans 70 jaar oud toe hy met ’n groep familielede begin trek het, se seun was die beroemde Piet Uys en die familie was dus bekend aan die Oosgrens gemeenskappe.

Toe hierdie familie deur Grahamstad trek, het die Engelse gemeenskap ’n Statebybel aan die Uys gesin oorhandig. Die inskripsie in die Bybel lui: “Dit heilig boek is gepresenteerd aan den heer Jacobus Uys en zyn vertrokkene landgenoten, door de inwoonders van Graham’s Stad en omtrek, tot een vaarwel gedendteeken van hun Hoogachting en hartelyke leedwezenop hun vertrek. De angstvalligheid welke zylieden betoond hebben om te trachten een Prediker te verkrygen en hunne stiptelyke na zoeking der Heilige Instellingen, zyn duidelyke bewyzen dat in hunne wandelingen om een aander land te soeken, zy zich zullen laten geleiden door de bevelen in dit Heilige Boek begrepen en standvatiglyk aankleven aan dezelfs Heilige Wetten – de strenge besluiten van den skeppe van het heelal – den God van alle natien en volkeren.”

For the full article, please visit: Johann Claassens article

Artwork Comments

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