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Toward the end of the third century, he returned to his native land in order to undertake missionary work. Among his converts was Tiridates I, king of Armenia, who then sent out a herald to command all his subjects to adopt Christianity. Thus, by royal edict, Christianity was made the established religion of Armenia and was embraced by the populace through wholesale baptisms. In his program of evangelism, Gregory was assisted by co-workers from various backgrounds—Armenians trained in Hellenistic culture as well as Armenians under Syrian influence. During this period, before the invention of the Armenian alphabet, books and documents existed only in Greek and Syriac, and their translation was left to oral interpretation.
Consequently, it was through such cultural bridges that the Armenians received both Greek and Syriac Christianity, as well as the literature of both these peoples. The earliest attempt to construct an Armenian alphabet was made by a certain Bishop Daniel. Since he was a Syrian, he probably took the Aramaic alphabet as a pattern. According to the historian Koriun, the alphabet was found to be unsuitable for representing the sounds of the Armenian language.
The foundation of Armenian literature, including the translation of the Bible, dates from the early part of the fifth century. The chief promoters of this cultural development were the catholicos primate of the Armenian Church, Sahak ca. At length and with the help of a Greek hermit and calligrapher, Rufanos of Samosata, about A. After creating the Armenian alphabet, Mesrop gathered about him a band of keen scholars. Sending some of them to Edessa, to Constantinople, and as far as Rome in search of manuscripts of the Scriptures and of ecclesiastical and secular writers, he inaugurated a program of translation that enriched and consolidated Armenian culture.
With the help of Sahak and perhaps other translators, the rest of the Old Testament was finished about — More manuscripts of the Armenian version are extant today than those of any other ancient version, with the exception of the Latin Vulgate. The earliest dated manuscript is from the ninth century; it is a copy of the four Gospels written in A. Among noteworthy features of the Armenian version of the Bible was the inclusion of certain books that elsewhere came to be regarded as apocryphal. Many other uncanonical writings of the Old Testament are preserved in Armenian manuscripts.
Most scholars have been impressed by several types of evidence pointing to a close affinity between the Armenian and the Greek text. Syrian influence, however, can be seen in the circumstance that the early Armenian New Testament included the apocryphal Third Epistle to the Corinthians, as did the early Syriac canon. Another noteworthy feature of Armenian manuscripts in general is the presence in many of them of lengthy colophons, or notes, supplying information on a broad range of topics.
Frequently, these comments provide eyewitness or contemporary accounts of historical events that transpired during the production of the manuscript. One such note in an Armenian copy of the Gospels written in A. In any case, more than one hundred Armenian manuscripts of Mark lack the last twelve verses, ending at The Georgian Version Georgian is a agglutinative language i.
The country of Georgia, located to the north of Armenia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, was known in antiquity as Iberia, whence is derived the name of the illustrious monastery of Iveron on Mount Athos. The earliest tradition concerning the introduction of Christianity among the Iberians tells of the missionary work of a Christian slave woman named Nino, who, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine, had been taken captive by Bakur, the pagan king of Georgia. In spite of some legendary details concerning miracles performed by Nino, historians are inclined to accept the date of about the middle of the fourth century for the introduction of Christianity among the Georgians.
How soon after the evangelization of Georgia a translation of the Scriptures was made in the native language is not known exactly. Before a translation could be made in written form, however, the Georgians needed an alphabet of their own. According to Armenian traditions, after St. Mesrop had drawn up an alphabet for his fellow countrymen, he became concerned about the lack of an alphabet among the neighboring Georgian people.
After he had invented an alphabet that represented the sounds that occur in that language, King Bakur of Georgia arranged that it should be taught to boys of the lower social classes at various districts and provinces. Apart from such traditions, however, it is generally accepted that at least the Gospels and some other parts of the New Testament were made available in written form for Georgian Christians by about the middle of the fifth century.
Lazarus, translated into English by Rev. Lazarus, It is debated whether the translation was made from Greek, Armenian, or Syriac. The oldest manuscripts that are dated in a colophon are of the ninth and tenth centuries, though earlier fragments exist. A feature of Georgian paleography that bears in some measure upon questions of the dating of manuscripts is the style of the script.
A new stage in the history of the spiritual, literary, and cultural life of Georgia began at the close of the tenth century. Noteworthy in this development was St. Euthymius d. In addition to translating various Greek liturgical and homiletical works, St. Euthymius turned his attention to revising and completing the Georgian New Testament. He was the first to translate the Book of Revelation, which for centuries was not regarded as canonical by the Georgian Church. His work must have been completed sometime before A. The Ethiopic Version The time and circumstances of the planting of the church in Ethiopia are difficult to ascertain.
The account in Acts —39 of the conversion by Philip of an Ethiopian who was chamberlain to the Candace or queen of the Ethiopians is often assumed to have a bearing on the introduction of Christianity into Ethiopia. Conflicting traditions in the early church assign the evangelization of Ethiopia to different apostles.
The first more or less firm literary evidence we have for the presence of Christianity in Ethiopia comes from the close of the fourth century. After the royal family had been converted to the new faith, Frumentius went to Alexandria, where he obtained missionary co- workers from Bishop Athanasius and was himself consecrated bishop and head of the Ethiopian Church.
How rapidly the new faith spread among the populace we have no information. There is no indication that the conversion of the king was followed by any royal decree for the enforcement of the faith upon his people. Concerning the next century and a half, little specific information about the church in Ethiopia has come down to us. Early in the sixth century, a Christian traveler, Cosmas Indicopleustes, visited the country and reported that he found it thoroughly Christianized.
The stimulus to growth seems to have come partly because of support given by Christian rulers and partly from encouragement provided by the immigration of Christian believers from other lands. The latter were chiefly Monophysites who, having been condemned at the Council of Chalcedon in , were persecuted by Byzantine rulers.
They then found refuge in Ethiopia, which, because of its remote geographical location, remained unaffected by religious controversies raging elsewhere. Noteworthy among the immigrants who helped to evangelize the remaining pagan areas in the northern part of the Aksumite kingdom were monks, nuns, priests, and hermits from Egypt and Syria. They founded monasteries, developed the liturgy, and made translations of sacred books into the native language. Of the several thousand Ethiopic manuscripts in European and American collections, about three hundred contain the text of one or more books of the New Testament.
Unfortunately, most of these manuscripts are relatively late, dating from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. The earliest biblical manuscripts come from the fourteenth century. One of the most remarkable Ethiopic manuscripts so far as iconography is concerned is the Pierpont Morgan MS. The Arabic Versions In antiquity the geographical term Arabia encompassed the territory west of Mesopotamia, east and south of Syria and Judea, extending to the Isthmus of Suez. When and how and by whom the gospel was brought to these diverse areas is not known, for the data are scattered and inconclusive.
On at least two occasions during the first half of the third century, Origen was invited to Arabia in order to participate in doctrinal discussions, convened because of certain heretical tendencies on the part of contemporary leaders Beryllus and Heraclides. At a later date, efforts were made to introduce Christianity among the nomad tribes.
It also appears that about the same time Christian missions penetrated the southern part of the Arabian peninsula from Ethiopia. Who it was that made the first translation of the Scriptures into Arabic is not known. Various traditions have assigned the honor to different persons. The earliest translations probably date from the eighth century. According to an analysis by Ignazio Guidi of more than seventy-five Arabic manuscripts, the Arabic versions of the Gospels existing in manuscripts fall into six basic groups: 1 those made directly from the Greek; 2 those made directly from or corrected from the Syriac Peshitta; 3 those made directly from or corrected from the Coptic usually the Bohairic dialect ; 4 those made from Latin; 5 manuscripts of two distinct eclectic recensions produced by the Alexandrian Patriarchate during the thirteenth century; and 6 miscellaneous manuscripts, some of which are characterized by being cast in the form of rhymed prose made classic by the Koran.
Furthermore, more than one Arabic version has been corrected from others derived from a different basic text. From the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century, other Arabic translations of the Bible were made for various ecclesiastical groups as well as in a variety of forms of Arabic. The former include translations made for Melchites, Maronites, Nestorians, Jacobites, and Copts; the latter include, besides classical Arabic, those forms of the language currently used in Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, and Tunisia, as well as the vernacular of Malta. During the second half of the first millennium of the Christian era, it was the lingua franca of an extensive area centered on Samarkand and adjacent parts of Central Asia.
Early in the twentieth century, a variety of Sogdian documents came to light at Turfan in northwest China. In addition to remains of Manichaean and Buddhist texts, several Christian documents were also found. Among these are fragmentary copies of passages from the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke, and John, as well as several verses of 1 Corinthians and Galatians.
The various Sogdian documents have been assigned to the period from the ninth to the eleventh century. The Christian texts are written in a purely consonantal script resembling Estrangela Syriac. It is thought that the translation was made following the vigorous Nestorian mission in Central Asia during the seventh century. The Old Church Slavonic Version During the ninth century, a mission to Moravia in what is now the Czech Republic had a profound influence on the cultural development of many Slavic nations. Although the mission failed in the country for which it had been intended, the work eventually produced unexpected results among the Bulgarians, Serbians, Croats, and Eastern Slavs and became the basis of the oldest Christian Slavic culture.
Information concerning the Moravian mission has come down to us most fully in two Slavonic sources entitled Vita Constantini and Vita Methodii. They were two brothers, native Greeks of Thessalonica, Methodius being born about the year , and his younger brother, Constantine, in or Since large numbers of Slavs had settled in the neighborhood of Thessalonica, which was an important outpost of the empire and the second city after Constantinople, the two brothers were acquainted from childhood with the Slavic dialect spoken in the district.
The younger brother, having completed his university education at Constantinople, took orders and became librarian of Santa Sophia. Arriving in Moravia about , the brothers were received with honor and began the instruction of pupils who were assigned to them. At this time, Constantine translated several liturgical books into Slavonic and also started to train Moravians for the clergy. Soon afterwards, a controversy developed over the introduction of the Byzantine rite, sung in the language of the Slavs, into a land over which the bishops of Passau and Salzburg claimed spiritual sovereignty.
There was, however, one requirement that both pontiffs imposed: the Scripture lessons were to be presented first in Latin and then in the Slavonic translation. After doing missionary work for several years in Moravia, the two brothers set out for Rome. According to both Vitae, Constantine fell ill while in Rome and, sensing that his end was approaching, took monastic vows and assumed the name Cyril. Fifty days later, he died February 14, and was buried in the basilica dedicated to St. Subsequently, Methodius returned to Pannonia in what is now western Hungary as archbishop of Sirmium including, probably, Moravia as well , a province that had lapsed at the time of the Avar invasion in the sixth century.
Following his election as pope in , John VIII, having become aware of the situation, saw to it that Methodius was released, and the Slavonic liturgy was reinstated in Moravia. Upon the death of Methodius in , the German clergy renewed their efforts to forbid the use of the Slavonic liturgy in Moravia, and the disciples of Methodius were brutally expelled from the country and in some instances sold into slavery.
Thus, extinguished in its first home, Slavonic Christianity was carried by these refugees to other Slavic lands. Attention must now be turned to the invention of the Slavic alphabets and the earliest translation of the Scriptures into Slavonic. The difficulties that the modern philologist faces, however, arise from the fact that the extant Old Church Slavonic manuscripts present us with two distinct alphabets, the Glagolitic and the Cyrillic. Which of the alphabets Cyril invented, the relationship of the two alphabets to each other, and their antecedents, are questions to which widely divergent answers have been given.
Today, however, there is widespread agreement that the alphabet invented by Cyril to take to the Moravian Slavs was that now called Glagolitic. The oldest manuscripts in this script date from the late tenth or early eleventh century. The Cyrillic alphabet is, most scholars agree, of later provenance than the Glagolitic and is based on the Greek uncial script of the ninth and tenth centuries. This alphabet, which is considerably less individualistic than the Glagolitic, may have been devised by St. Kliment, a pupil of Cyril and Methodius and an active missionary in Bulgaria.
After some amount of local variation, in a great Bulgarian council held at Preslav not only decreed the general use of the Slavic language in the church but also finally codified the Cyrillic alphabet, making it official for both ecclesiastical and secular use. The Nubian Version During the early centuries of the Christian era, Nubia, which lay between Egypt on the north and Ethiopia on the south, comprised three independent kingdoms.
When it was that Christianity first reached the Nubian people is not known. Probably Christian influences began to penetrate Nubia from the time that the church became firmly established in Upper Egypt during the third and fourth centuries. During the fourth century, the vast stretches south of Philae would have given shelter to more than one Christian driven from Egypt by the persecutions ordered by the Emperor Diocletian.
The first formally designated missionaries arrived in Nubia about the middle of the sixth century. These belonged to rival factions, the Monophysite and the orthodox Melchite. Questions as to how far each group prospered, what language or languages were used in the liturgies, and whether it is possible to determine from the surviving ruins of churches which form of Christianity prevailed at a given location have been widely discussed and need not detain us here.
It is enough to mention that during the succeeding centuries the number of churches in Nubia multiplied and were counted, we are told, by the hundreds. For about five centuries, Christianity flourished, providing the chief cohesive element in Nubian society. However, by the end of the fourteenth century, having been cut off from the rest of the Christian world by Arab invaders pressing southward from Muslim Egypt, the weakened Nubian Church was ready to expire. The growing power of the Arabs hemmed in the Nubian Christians on the north, east, and west, and finally the whole population apostatized and embraced Islam.
When it was that the Scriptures were translated into Nubian is unknown. It was only in the twentieth century that evidence for the Nubian version came to light. In Dr. Carl Schmidt purchased in Cairo a quire of sixteen mutilated pages from a parchment codex acquired in Upper Egypt. This contained a portion of a lectionary for Christmastide, corresponding to December 20 to Except in two instances, the sequence and the choice of the lessons find no parallel in the Greek and Coptic lectionaries hitherto examined.
The exceptions involve the two passages appointed for December 25 Gal. Like other texts of Nubian, the lectionary is written in an alphabet that is essentially Coptic, reinforced by several additional letters needed to represent sounds peculiar to the language. Toward the end of the twentieth century, several other biblical fragments in Nubian came to the attention of scholars.
These include the Nubian text of verses from the Gospel according to John and the Book of Revelation. Browne, Bibliorum sacrorum versio palaeonubiana Louvain: Peeters, When and how that happened are obscure, but in the third century Tertullian and Origen witness to the existence of British churches, the former stating that there were places in Britain subject to Christ which Roman arms had not been able to penetrate. Among delegates who attended the Council of Nicaea A. Although initial developments of the church were wiped out by Teutonic invasions in the fifth century, significant advance began again with the arrival in A.
In Britain, as elsewhere, missionary work proceeded almost entirely by means of the spoken word. Any translation of the Scriptures consisted of a free and extemporaneous rendering of the Latin text into the vernacular speech. Interlinear translations into Old English begin to appear in the ninth and tenth centuries.
Among surviving copies of Anglo-Saxon renderings of the Gospels in various dialects are the famous Lindisfarne Gospels, a Latin manuscript now in the British Library written by Bishop Eadfrith of Lindisfarne toward the end of the seventh century. About the middle of the tenth century, a priest named Aldred wrote between the lines a literal rendering of the Latin in the Northumbrian dialect. A similar gloss is provided in the Rushworth Gospels, a manuscript copied from the Lindisfarne Gospels and now housed in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
The Rushworth glosses are practically transcripts of the Lindisfarne glosses so far as the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John are concerned, but in Matthew the Rushworth gloss is an independent rendering in the rare Mercian dialect by a priest named Farman. According to an inscription, the manuscript was given by Bishop Leofric d.
The Norman conquest of England A. For some three centuries, Norman French largely supplanted English among educated people; Latin, of course, continued to be used by the clergy. In the fourteenth century, English translation of parts of the Scriptures began to appear again, the form of the language being what is now called Middle English. A strong believer in the Bible as the Word of God addressed to every person, he felt the need to provide the Scriptures in a form that the ordinary reader could use.
Interested in both religious and political reform in England, Wycliffe had powerful enemies who finally were able to bring him to trial for heresy. At a synod held at Blackfriars, London, on May 21, , twenty-four theses from his writings and sermons were condemned as heretical or erroneous. It is doubtful whether Wycliffe himself took any direct part in the work of translating the Scriptures; he died at Lutterworth of a stroke on December 31, One need not, however, have any qualms about referring to the Wycliffite Bible, for it was under his inspiration that the work was done.
In fact, two complete versions of the Scriptures were produced by his pupils and colleagues, John Purvey and Nicholas of Hereford.
Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, Luke by Richard Francis Weymouth | BookFusion
These were handwritten inasmuch as printing had not yet been invented. The first version, produced about , was extremely literal, corresponding word for word to the Latin, even at the expense of natural English word order. The second version, which appeared about , was more free and shows a feeling for native English idiom throughout. In the Wycliffite Bible was condemned and burned.
Purvey and Nicholas were jailed and forced to recant their teachings. But just as his ashes were carried by that river to multiple points, so his message went far and wide during the following centuries. In spite of the zeal with which the hierarchy sought out heresy, about one hundred and eighty copies of the whole or of parts of the Wycliffe versions have survived, mostly dating from before Of these, fifteen copies of the Old Testament and eighteen copies of the New are of the older version.
Replacing a number of similar and fragmentary attempts at translation made in the same period, it remained the only English Bible until the sixteenth century, when printing was invented and newer translations began to be published. This inauthentic letter 1 The first printed edition of the complete Wycliffite Bible did not appear until , when Josiah Forshall and Frederic Madden issued the earlier and the later versions, printed side by side in four volumes Oxford University Press. The Scriptures were made known in their original languages; the first printed Hebrew Bible was issued in , and the first published Greek New Testament, an edition of Erasmus, in Scholars like Erasmus and reformers like Luther worked for the right of all to read the sacred text.
At this time, William Tyndale, born about and educated at Oxford and Cambridge in Greek and Hebrew, came upon the scene. While still a young man, he conceived the idea of making a new and better English version of the Bible, based on the original languages. About he sought help and encouragement from the bishop of London in the production of such a version but was vigorously rebuffed.
The next year, having decided that it would be virtually impossible to do what he had in mind anywhere in England, he left England for Hamburg, never to return. While in Germany, he found it necessary in order to escape interference to move from place to place several times. Despite such interruptions, by the middle of his translation of the New Testament was complete, and printing was begun at Cologne. A quarto edition was interrupted by the authorities at the instigation of a bitter enemy of the reformers, Cochlaeus Johannes Dobeneck.
From it only a fragment of Matthew thirty-one leaves is extant, although it is believed that three thousand copies were published after the work was resumed at Worms. Here also an anonymous octavo edition was first published. So vigorous was the opposition of the English authorities, however, and so zealously did kings and bishops collaborate to destroy the Tyndale publications as they were being smuggled into England that only four copies of the original edition and the revisions of and are known to have survived, and one of these is very fragmentary.
On May 21, , through the treachery of a young Englishman named Henry Phillips, he was kidnapped, conveyed out of Antwerp, and imprisoned in the fortress of Vilvorde, some six miles north of Brussels. Tyndale also worked on a translation of the Hebrew Old Testament but was unable to complete it before his death. He published the Pentateuch in and Jonah in There is evidence that he translated other portions of the Old Testament besides those already mentioned, most probably to the end of 2 Chronicles with several prophetical books, but he did not live to publish them.
On October 6, , he was put to death by strangling and his body burned. Its simplicity and directness mark the work as a truly great achievement in literature, apart from its epoch-making religious importance. It became, in fact, a foundation for all subsequent efforts of revision, so much so that 80 percent or more of the English Bible down through the Revised Version has been estimated to be his in those portions of the Bible on which he had worked with such skill and devotion.
After becoming a priest, he developed a consuming passion for learning, especially in the field of biblical studies. He apparently found it discreet to spend some years outside of England because of his Protestant convictions. Here he became acquainted with Tyndale and his work and may have been encouraged to attempt a complete edition of the Scriptures in English. The edition that he published in , printed perhaps at Cologne or Marburg, was not authorized in any way, but Coverdale dedicated it to the king and queen in polite and flattering phraseology, and it met with no serious opposition.
The Vulgate rather than the Hebrew order of books was used in the Old Testament, and for the first time, the books of the Apocrypha were separated from the other Old Testament books and printed by themselves as an appendix to the Old Testament—a precedent followed by English Protestant Bibles ever since insofar as they include the Apocrypha at all. In general, the Tyndale portions of the edition are superior in quality, but Coverdale occasionally improved the phrasing by reason of a special aptitude for euphonious English and for a fluent, though frequently diffuse, form of expression.
While the work is uneven in this respect, some permanent contribution was made to the language of the English Bible. The work is generally attributed to a man named John Rogers, a Cambridge graduate and friend of Tyndale. Published perhaps at Antwerp, the translation follows closely the Tyndale version. The French ambassador wrote that Rogers died with such composure that it might have been a wedding. Possessing a good knowledge of Greek, he was in a position to translate the Apocrypha for himself; his version, especially of 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, and Judith, differs greatly from the versions by Coverdale and by Matthew.
Taverner was a client and pensioner of Thomas Cromwell, who in appointed him clerk of the Privy Seal.
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The fall of his patron in put a stop to his literary work and made his position unsafe. For a time he was imprisoned in the Tower of London because of his activity in the translation and revision of the English Bible. He succeeded, however, in regaining the royal favor, and under Edward VI in , was granted a general license to preach, though a layman.
He died in Although his version was almost immediately eclipsed by another revision, it does have the honor of being the first to be printed completely in England. Coverdale did not remain content with the first edition of the Great Bible; he continued his work of revision, and when a second edition appeared in April , it represented a considerable advance over the first edition, especially in the poetical sections of the Old Testament. Six further editions were issued between July and December The order adopted in the Great Bible is that given by Erasmus in his Greek New Testament, and this order was followed by the principal English versions after Because of political changes in England, the several editions of the Great Bible had a varied reception.
At one time it was ordered placed in churches, at another time ordered removed, and then later again ordered placed. In restrictions were put upon the reading of the Bible, and in a general burning of Bibles commenced. The authorized Great Bible alone was allowed, and its reading was limited to the upper classes.
The edition of is printed in a rather peculiar black-letter type in double columns. The majority of the notes are gathered together after the chapter to which they pertain.
Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, 1 Thessalonians by Weymouth
The edition of includes 3 Maccabees in the Apocrypha. A cut of the Evangelist appears before each Gospel, and at the beginning of the dedication stands a woodcut initial, representing Becke offering his book to the young king, Edward VI, and instructing him in the duties of his high station.
And if she be not obedient and healpeful unto hym: endeavoureth to beate the feare of God into her heade, that therby she maye be compelled to learne her dutye and do it. But chiefely he must beware that he halte not in anye parte of hys dutye to her warde. The Geneva Bible Roman Catholic ascendancy and persecution under Mary —58 made further Bible translation and publication in England virtually impossible. English Protestant scholars fled to Switzerland for safety and gathered at Geneva, the headquarters of the Reformed type of Protestantism. Although no names of the translators appear in the Geneva New Testament, which was published by Conrad Badius at Geneva in , the work is mainly credited to William Whittingham, a brother-in-law of John Calvin,3 who was an able scholar and the successor of John Knox as minister to the English congregation at Geneva.
The Old Testament, which was translated by a group including Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and others of uncertain identity, was published in , together with a careful revision of the New Testament. Some of the notes were doctrinal and some hortatory. As might be expected, the notes were Calvinistic in tone. When the Geneva Bible was first published, Calvin was the ruling spirit in Geneva, and the features of his theological, ecclesiastical, political, and social system are accordingly reflected in the marginal annotations of the English Bible issued in the city of his residence.
Wright in B. New York: Macmillan, , p. Royalty and clergy, however, and especially Roman Catholic circles, were disturbed by certain of the interpretations. A number of novel features contributed to the usefulness and popularity of this Bible. Instead of heavy, black-letter type, roman type was used for the first time. It was the first English Bible with numbered verses, which became the basis of all versification in later English Bibles.
Weymouth New Testament WNT in Modern Speech Bible
The convenient quarto size and consequently cheaper price also contributed to its popularity. Besides the marginal annotations, it included a variety of other helps, such as maps, tables, woodcuts, chapter summaries, and running titles. An argument is prefixed to each book. As a result of these various features and the superior and attractive character of the version itself, the Geneva Bible enjoyed an immediate and widespread reception and usage. From to , not a year passed without a new edition. In no fewer than ten editions were issued. About editions of various kinds, 96 complete, were published, 8 of them appearing after the publication of the King James Version in Consequently, in Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, initiated the effort to produce a revision of the Bible that might supplant the Genevan and other versions.
After about four years of work, the first edition was issued in in a very large and impressive folio. The customary black-letter type was employed, and roman type served the function of the italics that had been used in the Geneva Bible. The New Testament was on thicker paper, to withstand wear. Among the latter were many taken over from the Geneva Bible. While some sections are therefore close to the Great Bible, especially in the Old Testament and Apocrypha, others depart freely from it. The Douay scholars undertook, for the first time in the history of the Roman Church, to replace the available Anglican and Genevan Bibles—unacceptable from their point of view—with an English version of their own.
By —10, funds for the publication of the Old Testament in two volumes had become available. By this time, the college had moved back to Douay, and the version is therefore known as the Douay or Rheims-Douay Bible. There was also a strong tendency to retain technical words for example, pasch, parasceve, scenopegia, azymes without alteration. The New Testament was again printed in and Consequently, the version is now often called the Douai Bible.
There is also a positive side. The dogmatic intentions of the translators found expression in the preface and in the notes that accompany the text. Annotations in the form of marginalia and notes at the end of chapters rival those in the Geneva Bible in profuseness and exceed it in polemic nature. Consequently, Bishop Richard Challoner, the vicar apostolate of the London district, assisted in making a thorough revision of the New Testament in In the following years, with indefatigable labor, Challoner revised the Old Testament twice, in and , while doing the same for the New Testament no fewer than five times, in , , , , and The two Testaments were united by Challoner in a five-volume edition published at London in — 50 3d ed.
In order to reconcile differences among the various parties, the king called for a conference to be held in January at Hampton Court. Both bishops and Puritan clergy alike were invited to consult together on the subject of religious toleration. After much inconclusive debate, Dr. John Reynolds, president of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and spokesman for the Puritan party, raised the subject of the imperfections of the current English Bibles and proposed that a new, or at least a revised, translation be made. The particular objections which he mentioned were neither numerous only three passages were referred to: Ps.
Most of the remaining fifteen rules dealt with method of procedure. James himself appears to have taken a leading role in organizing the work of the translation. Six panels of translators had the work divided among them; the Old Testament was allotted to three panels, the New Testament to two, and the Apocrypha to one. Two of the panels met at Oxford, two at Cambridge, and two at Westminster. When any panel had finished the revision of a book, it was to be sent to all the rest for their criticism and suggestions, ultimate differences of opinion to be settled at a general meeting of the chief members of each panel.
No previous financial payments had been made to the translators. The payment for revision brings up the larger question of the cost of the work. Neither king nor parliament had much money to spare, but those who were not already holders of an ecclesiastical benefice were not forgotten when these fell vacant. The payment to the revisers was probably only a small part of the cost of printing and publication.
In it was revealed that Robert Barker, the publisher, had paid thirty-five hundred pounds for the completed and corrected manuscript of the Bible. This manuscript no longer exists, having probably perished in the great fire of London. The team of revisers was a strong one. It included the professors of Hebrew and Greek at both universities, with practically all the leading scholars and divines of the day. There is a slight uncertainty about some of the names, and some changes in the list may have been caused by death or retirement, but the total number of the revisers was from forty-eight to fifty.
Eventually, he became acquainted with so many languages that, so it was said, had he been present at the tower of Babel, he could have served as interpreter general! Andrewes is still known today for his famous devotional classic, Preces Privatae, a collection of prayers, mainly in Greek, compiled for his personal use; it has several times been translated into English.
The work, begun in , had taken the incredibly short time of two years and nine months of strenuous toil to prepare for the press. This superb essay, written probably by Miles Smith, begins in a leisurely and learned fashion, justifying the principle of Bible translation.
It then goes on to declare the necessity of this new rendering, explaining that it is a revision, not a new translation, and that the revisers, who had the original Hebrew and Greek texts before them, steered a course between the Puritan and Roman versions. Unfortunately, modern editions of the King James Bible usually omit this 1 For an account of what is known of the lives of the individual translators, see the research of Gustavus S. Paine, a reporter for the Christian Science Monitor.
Another informative account is Olga S. The first concerned the use of marginal notes where there is uncertainty about the wording of the original text or about its interpretation. Although the translators were aware that some persons might fear that such notes would bring into question the authority of the Scriptures, they were convinced that such notes were necessary. The self-imposed law of fairness that led the translators to permit as many English words as possible to share in the honor of representing one word in the Hebrew or Greek text has, as might be expected, marred the excellence of their work.
Sometimes the effect is simply the loss of the solemn emphasis of the repetition of the same word. Sometimes it is more serious and affects the meaning. Side by side with this fault, there is another just the opposite of it. One English word is used to render several Greek or Hebrew words, and thus shades of meaning, often of importance to the right understanding of the passage, are obscured. Edited by Erroll F. Rhodes and Liana Lupas, it provides a facsimile of the preface; this is followed by a transcription in modern orthography with explanatory notes; and thirdly, a slightly abbreviated form accommodates the text to modern American usage.
Running titles and prefatory chapter summaries were included, many reflecting the influence of the Geneva Bible. There were several tables and charts. The apocryphal books were given between the testaments without any distinguishing comments. Appointed to be read in Churches.
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Anno Dom. Three folio editions appeared in , among which were more than two hundred variations in the biblical text. In the original printing, the number of marginal references to corresponding passages, including those in the Apocrypha, was about nine thousand. Large as this number may seem, it is but a small fraction of the references in some well-edited modern Bibles. These references doubtless have their value, but it cannot be denied that some of them obscure the meaning of the statements to which they are attached.
They indicate, for the most part, alternative or more literal renderings. In some cases, they specify variant readings in the original text; in other cases, they give brief explanations of words or expressions. And they saddled him. A great deal of the praise, therefore, that is given to it belongs to its predecessors. For the idiom and vocabulary, Tyndale deserves the greatest credit; for the melody and harmony, Coverdale;5 for scholarship and accuracy, the Geneva version.
The merits are not the same in all the books.
From the division of the work among six independent panels, there arose naturally a considerable inequality in the execution. In the Old Testament, the historical books are translated better than the prophetical books, which present greater difficulties. The Book of Job is the most defective and is in several places unintelligible. The rendering of Isaiah, especially in the earlier portions, contains many errors and obscurities. In the New Testament, the Gospels and Acts and even the Apocalypse are far better done than the Epistles,6 notably Romans and Corinthians, which abound in minor inaccuracies.
In assessing the strengths and the weaknesses of the King James Version, one must acknowledge that the final product was certainly the best English Bible that had thus far been produced. Its English style is widely recognized as superb. There was no standard edition of the Hebrew Masoretic text of the Old Testament.
In the New Testament, the late and corrupt Greek text of Erasmus as popularized and slightly modified by Stephanus and Beza was necessarily used, since nothing better was available. Codex Alexandrinus, the very existence of which was unsuspected by the translators, was not to arrive in England for a score of years; Codex Vaticanus, though reported in the Vatican catalog of , would for several centuries remain inaccessible to Protestant scholars; and Codex Sinaiticus, its value unrecognized, lay undisturbed at St.
The first printing of the version, as would be expected, contained some typographic errors—averaging about one in ten pages. Still more comprehensive corrections and amendments were made by Dr. Thomas Paris, Cambridge, , and by Dr. With the publication of the King James Version, the history of the English Bible closes for many a long year. Partly, no doubt, this was due to the troubled times that came upon England in that generation and the next. When the constitutions of church and state alike were being cast into the melting pot, there was little time for detailed discussion as to the exact text of the Scriptures and little peace for the labors of scholarship.
But the main reason for this pause in the work was that, for the moment, finality had been reached. The version of was an adequate translation of the Greek and Hebrew texts as they were then known to scholars, and the common people eventually came to find that its language appealed to them with a greater charm and dignity than that of the Genevan version to which they had been accustomed.
A few attempts were made later in the seventeenth century to revise the King James Version or even to produce a fresh translation, but nothing came of them. The Long Parliament seriously thought of a new revision. As time passed, expressions of dissatisfaction with the King James Bible began to be replaced by the growth of approval for the version. From the s onward, critical evaluation became increasingly favorable, and the version quietly superseded all its predecessors and rivals in the family and in the church.
It owes its authority and popularity not to royal favor or legal enactments, but—what is far better—to its intrinsic merits and the verdict of English readers in general. In the board charged a committee to investigate the matter and prepare a standard text for the society. Further changes were made in to conform the orthography to American usage, and pronunciation marks were placed over most proper names.
No further changes were made until the Reference Bible of , in which the text was arranged in paragraph form, section headings were inserted, pronunciation marks simplified, a few changes in punctuation and orthography introduced, and a new system of references prepared. In older editions of the King James Version, the frequency of the connective and far exceeded the limits of present-day English usage. Biblical linguists agree that the Hebrew and Greek original words for this conjunction may commonly be translated otherwise, depending on the immediate context.
Therefore, the Nelson NKJV frequently replaces and with alternatives such as but, however, now, so, then, and thus, when the original language permits. Contrary to the style of the Bible as well as unsupported by the biblical manuscripts , pronouns referring to God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are capitalized. Much more serious is the continued reliance on an inferior edition of the Greek text see pp. The fact is, however, that several English translations appeared in both Britain and North America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Most of these private versions, as they may be called, are often passed over in complete silence by historians of the English Bible and are a forgotten chapter in its history. The following are among the more noteworthy examples of such translations. In the preface p. He aimed at elegance, perspicuity, and propriety, and achieved pomposity. My soul with reverence adores my Creator! Whom thou hast now sent into the world to bless mankind—to impart happiness to Israel, and to diffuse sacred light among the benighted Heathens! One day the younger approached his father, and begged him in the most importunate and soothing terms to make a partition of his effects betwixt himself and his elder brother—The indulgent father, overcome by these blandishments, immediately divided all his fortunes betwixt them.
In , shortly after the death of his mother, Charles emigrated with his father and two or three of his brothers to America. John Thomson became ill on the voyage and died within sight of the coast. One night the lad overheard that the smith was planning to have him indentured as an apprentice. But he had higher aspirations than the forge and escaped by running away. On the road, a kindhearted woman of a local family offered him a seat in her carriage.
During their conversation together, she asked him what he wanted to be. The precocious reply that he wanted to be a scholar so pleased her that she took him home and put him in school. After gaining a solid grounding in the classics from Alison, a graduate of Edinburgh University, in the late s Thomson opened a school of his own on the farm of John Chambers in New Castle County, Delaware. At the end of , Thomson moved to Philadelphia where he became a tutor in Latin and Greek at the new Philadelphia Academy, established by Benjamin Franklin and which later became the University of Pennsylvania.
To this end, Thomson was chosen to serve as secretary for the Delaware Indians in their meetings with colonial officials. In Thomson abandoned teaching for a series of business ventures. He first established a Philadelphia dry goods business, which did not prosper. He next turned briefly to rum distilling but moved, in , to New Jersey as the business manager of an ironworks of which he was part owner. By the autumn of , he had returned to Philadelphia and the following year was a leader of resistance to the landing of the East India Company tea, writing incendiary handbills in support of the patriot position.
Thereafter, he was increasingly, and finally totally, engrossed by politics. In the events preceding the American Revolution, Thomson played a large and influential role. Unanimously chosen as secretary of the Continental Congress, for nearly fifteen years he sat at the secretarial table and listened to the debates, minuting the birth-records of a nation. Thomson had hoped for a significant post in the new government, but none was offered him.
By late summer of , Thomson was reconciled to the fact that he would never again hold public office; he sent a letter of resignation to President Washington and received in reply a handsome acknowledgment of his services. Thomson had been aware that when the New Testament writers quoted from the Old Testament, they almost always used the Septuagint version.
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His edition, however, was a so- called Puritan Septuagint, which included only the books approved for the Old Testament by the Westminster Confession of —48, and which omitted the noncanonical Apocrypha and the hymns in the third chapter of Daniel. For the New Testament, it has not been ascertained which edition of the Greek text Thomson utilized.
In any case, it can only have been some uncritical copy of the so-called Textus Receptus Received Text with meager indications of variant readings. Thomson published his translation of the Old and New Testaments at Philadelphia in —9. The printer, Jane Aitken, was one of the very few woman printers in America and certainly the first woman to print any part of the Scriptures. Consequently, it had only a limited sale and was not financially successful. Many of the unsold copies were eventually disposed of as waste paper.
To occupy his time after the death of his wife, Hannah, in , Thomson turned once again to biblical studies. Often the changes in wording reflect changes in language that had taken place in the United States. Thomson realized this, and he devoted a great amount of time to his task making at least four complete manuscript copies of the entire Bible in order to insure that his rendering used the language of the people.
The style is sparse and easy-to-read nineteenth-century English. The New Testament is perhaps more polished than the Old Testament, but both make interesting reading. Some familiar passages as rendered by Thomson illustrate the language and the soundness of his rendering. The Lord is my shepherd. I shall want nothing. In a verdant pasture he hath fixed my abode. He hath fed me by gently flowing water and restored my soul.
For though I walk amidst the shades of death: I will fear no ills, because thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff have been my comfort. Thou hast spread a table before me; in the presence of them who afflict me. With oil thou hast anointed my head; and thine exhilarating cup is the very best. Thy mercy will surely follow me all the days of my life; and my dwelling shall be in the house of the Lord to length of days. Minimum Requirements: Windows 95, 98, NT 4. Click here to download from our site and install these components. Zephaniah They have been created from public domain electronic texts, and have been checked for accuracy.
To use, you must save and unzip the. Click Here to download Microsoft Hhupd. Stop The Genocide in South Africa. Frames Parallel Greek New Testament. Frames Parallel Hebrew Old Testament. This software uses Microsoft Agent technology to read the Bible. Download MS Agent Components johnhurt. Read Online. For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of YHVH, to serve him with one consent. Click on the" Read Online " link below to view each chapter as a web page. SpeedBible KB Free.