« PreviousContinue »
TO THE READER.
The following is copied from Collins' Edition of the Bible, printed in New York
AS the DEDICATION 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 the Chaldee Paraphrases; some of them are exact translations of different parts of Scripture ; others are properly paraphrases, containing enlargements, 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, was 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 the gospel spread through the nations than it was found necessary to translate the inspired Writings for each into its proper tongue. Some translations of the Old Testament, different from the Septuagint, were made into Greek from the year of Christ's birth 128 to 200. It is generally believed that the church of Antioch was favoured with a Syrian translation of the Bible as early as the year 100. The Ethiopians of Abyssinia have a version of the Bible, which they ascribe to Frumentius, of the fourth century. Chrysostom, who lived in the end of the fourth, and Theodoret who lived in the middle of the fifth century, both inform us that they had the Syrian, Indian, Persian, Armenian, Ethiopic, and Scythian versions. The ancient Egyptians had the Scriptures translated into their language. The Georgians have a version in their ancient language. The most ancient 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 remarkable is that of William Tyndal in 1530. The translation of the New Testament was made from the original Greek, but probably the Old Testament 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 Edward 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 Elizabeth 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 difference, 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 acquainted with the original languages in which the Old and New Testaments 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 generally 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 denominations, of which its having never been superseded by any other, for one hundred and eighty years, is a sufficient proof.
The Names and ORDER of all the BOOKS of the OLD and NEW
TESTAMENTS, and of the APOCRYPHA, with the Number of their Chapters.
8 66 52
The Books of the Old Testament. GENESIS hath Chapters
Ecclesiastes hath Chapters Exodus
The Song of Solomon Leviticus
27 Isaiah Numbers
36 Jeremiah Deuteronomy
34 Lamentations Joshua
24 Ezekiel Judges
21 Daniel Ruth
Hosea 1. Samuel
31 Joel II. Samuel
24 Amos I. Kings
22 Obadiah II. Kings
25 Jonah I. Chronicles
29 Micah II. Chronicles
13 Zephaniah Esther
10 Haggai Job
42 Zechariah Psalms
150 Malachi Proverbs
48 12 14 3 9 1
7 3 3 3 2 14
I. Esdras hath Chapters
The Books called Apocrypha.
9 Baruch, with the Epistle.of Jeremiah 6
The Prayer of Manasses
The Books of the New Testament. Matthew hath Chapters
28 1. Timothy hath Chapters Mark
16 II. Timothy Luke
24 Titus John
21 Philemon The Acts of the Apostles
28 To the Hebrews The Epistle to the Romans
3 1 13 5 5 3
16 The Epistle of James I. Corinthians
16 I. Peter II. Corinthians
13 II. Peter Galatians
6 I. John Ephesians
II. John Philippians
Ill. John Colossians
Jude 1. Thessalonians
Revelation II. Thessalonians
1 1 22
THE OLD TESTAMENT.
THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS.
and herb yielding seed after his kind, and 1 The Creation of heaven and earth. 26 the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in
Of man in the image of God. 29 The itself, after his kind : and God saw that it appointment of food.
was good. IN the beginning God created the hea- 13 And the evening and the morning ven and the earth.
were the third day. 2 And the earth was without form, and 14 And God said, Let there be lights in Foid; and darkness was upon the face of the firmament of the heaven, to divide the the deep : and the Spirit of God moved day from the night: and let them be for upon the face of the waters.
signs, and for seasons, and for days, and 3 And God said, Let there be light: and years. there was light.
15 And let them be for lights in the fir4 And God saw the light, that it was mament of the heaven, to give light upon good: and God divided the light from the the earth : and it was so. Jarkness.
16 And God made two great lights ; the 5 And God called the light Day, and the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser darkness he called Night : and the eve- light to rule the night : he made the stars ning and the morning were the first day. also.
6 And God said, Let there be a firma- 17 And God set them in the firmament ment in the midst of the waters, and let it of the heaven, to give light upon the earth: divide the waters from the waters.
18 And to rule over the day, and over .7 And God made the firmament; and di- the night, and to divide the light from the vided the waters which were under the fir- darkness: and God saw that it was good. mament from the waters which were 19 And the evening and the morning above the firmament: and it was so. were the fourth day.
8 And God called the firmament Hea- 20 And God said, Let the waters bring ven: and the evening and the morning forth abundantly the moving creature that were the second day:
hath life, and fowl that may fly above the 9.5 And God said, Let the waters under earth in the open firmament of heaven. the heaven be gathered together unto one 21 And God created great whales, and place, and let the dry land appear: and it every living
creature that moveth, which the waters
brought forth abundantly after 10 And God called the dry land Earth, their kind, and every winged fowl after his and the gathering together of the waters kind : and God saw that it was good. called he Seas: and God saw that it was 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be good.
fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in 11 And God said, Let the earth bring the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and 23 And the evening and the morning the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, were the fifth day. whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: 24 And God said, Let the earth bring
forth the living creature after his kind, 12 And the earth brought forth grass, ll cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of
and it was so