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THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS:
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WITH THE FoRMER TRANSLATIONS

DILIGENTLY COMPARED AND REVISED.

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The following is copied from Collins' * of the Bible, printed in New York in 1807.

AS the DED1cation of the English translation of the BIBLE to king James the first of England seems to be wholly unnecessary for the purposes of edification, and perhaps on some accounts improper to be continued in an American edition, the Editor has been advised by some judicious friends to omit it, and to prefix to this edition a short account of the translations of the Old and New Testaments from the original Hebrew and Greek in which they were written. To the Jews were first committed the care of the sacred Writings, and for many ages they were in a manner confined to that chosen people. There was then no need of translations into other languages; yet was the providence of God particularly manifest in their preservation and purity. The Jews were so faithful to their important trust, that, when copies of the law or the prophets were transcribed, they observed the most scrupulous exactness: they not only diligently compared the one with the other, but even counted the number of letters in each book, and compared and recorded the numbers. The first translations that were made of the Old Testament were after the Babylonish captivity. They are called the Targums, which word in the Chaldean language signifies Translations. They are also often called * Chaldee Paraphrases; some of them are exact translations of different parts of Scripture ; others are properly paraphrases, containing enlargesents, explanations, and even additions. Several of them are yet extant, and they are often mentioned by the ancient fathers of the Christian church. Some have affirmed that the five books of Moses and that of Joshua were translated into Greek before the days of Alexander the Great. But the | most remarkable translation of the Old Testament into Greek is called the Septuagint, which, if the opinion of some eminent writers is to be credited, **as made in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 260 years before the Christian era. At any rate it is undoubtedly the most ancient that is how extant, and on many accounts deserving notice, though not to be put * on a level with the Hebrew text, as has been sometimes done. The New Testament was originally written in Greek, and no sooner was *gospel spread through the nations than it was found necessary to trans** the inspired Writings for each into its proper tongue. Some trans*tions of the Old Testament, different from the Septuagint, were made on Greek from the year of Christ's birth 128 to 200. It is generally * > *eved that the church of Antioch was favoured with a Syrian transla* of the Bible as early as the year 100. The Ethiopians of Abyssinia ** a version of the Bible, which they ascribe to Frumentius, of the fourth *Ery. Chrysostom, who lived in the end of the fourth, and Theodoret, | *ived in the middle of the fifth century, both inform us that they had * Syrian, Indian, Persian, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Scythian versions. oncient Egyptians had the Scriptures translated into their language. *Georgians have a version in their ancient language. The most an*** German translation is supposed to have been made by Ulphilas, A.

D. 360. The Old Testament of all these translations, except the Syrian,
is taken from the Septuagint, and not immediately from the Hebrew text.
We will now give some account of the translations of the Bible into the
English language. There have been some who have affirmed that Adelme,
Bishop of Sherburn, who lived in the beginning of the eighth century,
translated the Psalms into the Saxon tongue. That however is uncertain,
as some of the best historians make no mention of it; yet it is possible,
as he was a man of great parts, and of great learning for those times, and
said to be the first Englishman who wrote in the Latin language. About
the same time, or a little after, Bede, commonly called the venerable Bede,
translated some parts of the New Testament, some say the whole Bible,
but that is not probable. Near 200 years later king Alfred translated the
Psalms into the same language. In 1382 Wickliff finished his translation
of the Bible, which is yet extant; that is to say, there are copies of it in
some publick and private libraries. All these translations were made from
the Vulgate. In the reign of Henry the eighth several editions of the Old
and New Testaments were published in English; one of the most remark-
able is that of William Tyndal in 1530. The translation of the New Tes-
tament was made from the original Greek, but probably the Old Testa-
ment either from the Latin of the Vulgate, or the Greek of the Septuagint.
This was soon followed by the improvements of Coverdale and Mathews.
By order of the king, Tonstal, Bishop of Durham, and Heath, Bishop of
Rochester, made a new translation, which was published in 1541 : but, not
pleasing Henry, was suppressed by authority. In the reign of king Ed-
ward the sixth another translation was made, two editions of which were
published, one in 1549, and the other in 1551. In the reign of queen Eliza-
beth another translation was made, which, being revised by some of the
most learned of the Bishops, went by the name of the Bishops' Bible. This
professed to be translated from the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and the
Greek of the New, though in some instances, when there was a differ-
ence, it preferred the Septuagint to the Hebrew.
This last circumstance, with some others, induced king James the first
to select fifty-four persons, eminent in learning, and particularly well ac-
quainted with the original languages in which the Old and New Testa-
ments were written, to make a new translation of the whole Bible. In the
year 1607, forty-seven of those persons, the other seven probably having
died, assembled together, and arranged themselves into committees, to
each of which a portion was given to translate. They were favoured not
only with the best translations, but with the most accurate copies, and the
various readings of the original text. After about three years assiduous
labour, they severally completed the parts assigned them. They then
met together, and while one read the translation newly formed, the rest
had each a copy of the original text in his hand, or some one of the ancient
versions, and when any difficulty occurred they stopped, till by common.
consultation it was determined what was most agreeable to the inspired
Original. This translation was first published A. D. 1610, and is the one
which has been ever since that time printed by publick authority, and gen-
erally used in the British dominions. It may be added with safety, that
it has been generally approved by men of learning and piety of all de-
nominations, of which its having never been superseded by any other, for
one hundred and eighty years, is a sufficient proof.

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Account

of THE

of the

NEW TESTAMENT.

Years from the birth of Christ.

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Year, from the death of Christ.

Luke, - - - - - - - - - 30 Paul's two Epistlesto Timothy, the one to Titus, and the 2d Epistle general of Peter, - - - - - 30 John in the Isle of Patmos wrote the Revelation, - 61 — Gospel, - - - - - - 63 — three Epistles near the end of his life, - - - 65 N. B. The times of writing the Epistle of James and that of Jude not so cer

tainly known, but sup

posed, - - - - - - - - - 33

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