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Authorized Version
The title page to the 1611 first edition of the Authorized Version Bible by Cornelius Boel shows the Apostles Peter and Paul seated centrally above the central text, which is flanked by Moses and Aaron. In the four corners sit Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, authors of the four gospels, with their symbolic animals. The rest of the Apostles stand around Peter and Paul. At the very top is the Tetragrammaton "יהוה".
The title page's central text is:
Conteyning the Old Teſtament,
Newly Tranſlated out of the Originall tongues: & with the former Tranſlations diligently compared and reuiſed, by his Maiesties speciall Comandement.
Appointed to be read in Churches.
Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the Kings moſt Excellent Maiestie.

ANNO DOM. 1611 ."
At bottom is:
"C. Boel fecit in Richmont.".
Full name: Authorized Version
King James
Abbreviation: KJV or AV
Complete Bible published: 1611
Textual basis: NT: Textus Receptus, similar to the Byzantine text-type; some readings derived from the Vulgate. OT: Masoretic Text with Septuagint influence. Apocrypha: Septuagint with Vulgate influence.
Reading level: US and Canada Grade 12,[1] US and Canada Grade 8-10[2]
Copyright status: Public domain due to age, publication restrictions until 2039 in the United Kingdom
(See Copyright status)

The Authorized King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Holy Bible begun in 1604 and completed in 1611 by the Church of England.[3] Printed by the King's Printer, Robert Barker,[4] the first edition included schedules unique to the Church of England; for example, a lectionary for morning and evening prayer.[5] This was the third such official translation into English; the first having been the Great Bible commissioned by the Church of England in the reign of King Henry VIII, and the second having been the Bishop's Bible of 1568.[6] In January 1604, King James I of England convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.[7]

James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy. The translation was by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from the Textus Receptus (Received Text) series of the Greek texts. The Old Testament was translated from the Masoretic Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek Septuagint (LXX), except for 2 Esdras, which was translated from the Latin Vulgate.

While the Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England, it was apparently (unlike the Great Bible) never specifically "authorized", although it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. However, the King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible; so necessarily the Authorized Version supplanted it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible — for Epistle and Gospel readings — and as such was "authorized" by Act of Parliament.[8] In the United States, the Authorized Version is known as the King James Version. The earliest appearance in print of the phrase "authorized version", to mean this particular version of the Bible, was published in 1824.[9] The phrase "King James version" first appeared in print in 1884.[10]

By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars.

Throughout most of the world, the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. In the United Kingdom, the British Crown restricts production of the Authorized Version per transitional exemptions from the Copyright Act 1775 (which implemented this clause) in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Schedule 1, section 13(1)), which expire in 2039. Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, HarperCollins and the Queen's Printers have the right to produce the Authorized Version.


Earlier English translations

The followers of John Wycliffe undertook the first complete English translations of the Christian scriptures in the 15th century. These translations were banned in 1409 due to their association with the Lollards.[11] The Wycliffe Bible pre-dated the printing press but was circulated very widely in manuscript form, often inscribed with a date earlier than 1409 to avoid the legal ban. As the text translated in the various versions of the Wycliffe Bible was the Latin Vulgate, and as it contained no heterodox readings, there was in practice no way by which the ecclesiastical authorities could distinguish the banned version; consequently many Catholic commentators of the 15th and 16th centuries (such as Thomas More) took these manuscript English Bibles to represent an anonymous earlier orthodox translation.

William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English in 1525.

In 1525, William Tyndale, an English contemporary of Martin Luther, undertook a translation of the New Testament.[12] Tyndale's translation was the first printed Bible in English. Over the next ten years, Tyndale revised his New Testament in the light of rapidly advancing biblical scholarship, and embarked on a translation of the Old Testament.[13] Despite some controversial translation choices, the merits of Tyndale's work and prose style made his translation the ultimate basis for all subsequent renditions into Early Modern English.[14] With these translations lightly edited and adapted by Myles Coverdale, in 1539, Tyndale's New Testament and his incomplete work on the Old Testament became the basis for the Great Bible. This was the first "authorized version" issued by the Church of England during the reign of King Henry VIII.[6] When Mary I succeeded to the throne in 1553, she returned the Church of England to the communion of the Roman Catholic faith and many English religious reformers fled the country,[15] some establishing an English-speaking colony at Geneva. Under the leadership of John Calvin, Geneva became the chief international centre of Reformed Protestantism and Latin biblical scholarship.[16]

These English expatriates undertook a translation that became known as the Geneva Bible.[17] This translation, dated to 1560, was a revision of Tyndale's Bible and the Great Bible on the basis of the original languages.[18] Soon after Elizabeth I took the throne in 1558, the flaws of both the Great Bible and the Geneva Bible (namely, that the Geneva Bible did not "conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its beliefs about an ordained clergy") became painfully apparent.[19] In 1568, the Church of England responded with the Bishops' Bible, a revision of the Great Bible in the light of the Geneva version.[20] While officially approved, this new version failed to displace the Geneva translation as the most popular English Bible of the age - in part because the full Bible was only printed in lectern editions of prodigious size and at a cost of several pounds.[21] Accordingly, Elizabethan lay people overwhelmingly read the Bible in the Geneva Version - small editions were available at a relatively low cost. At the same time, there was a substantial clandestine importation of the rival Douay-Rheims New Testament of 1582, undertaken by exiled Roman Catholics. This translation, though still derived from Tyndale, claimed to represent the text of the Latin Vulgate.[22]

In May 1601, King James VI of Scotland attended the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland at St Columba's Church in Burntisland, Fife, at which proposals were put forward for a new translation of the Bible into English.[23] Two years later, he acceded to the throne of England as King James I of England.

New version

The newly crowned King James convened the Hampton Court Conference in 1604. That gathering proposed a new English version in response to the perceived problems of earlier translations as detected by the Puritan faction of the Church of England. Three examples of problems the Puritans perceived with the Bishops' and Great Bibles were:

First, Galatians iv. 25 (from the Bishops' Bible). The Greek word susoichei is not well translated as now it is, bordereth neither expressing the force of the word, nor the apostle's sense, nor the situation of the place. Secondly, psalm cv. 28 (from the Great Bible), ‘They were not obedient;’ the original being, ‘They were not disobedient.’ Thirdly, psalm cvi. 30 (also from the Great Bible), ‘Then stood up Phinees and prayed,’ the Hebrew hath, ‘executed judgment.’[24]

Instructions were given to the translators that were intended to limit the Puritan influence on this new translation. The Bishop of London added a qualification that the translators would add no marginal notes (which had been an issue in the Geneva Bible). King James cited two passages in the Geneva translation where he found the marginal notes offensive:[25] Exodus 1:17, where the Geneva Bible had commended the example of civil disobedience showed by the Hebrew midwives, and also II Chronicles 15:16, where the Geneva Bible had criticized King Asa for not having executed his idolatrous grandmother, Queen Maachah. Further, the King gave the translators instructions designed to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology of the Church of England. Certain Greek and Hebrew words were to be translated in a manner that reflected the traditional usage of the church. For example, old ecclesiastical words such as the word "church" were to be retained and not to be translated as "congregation". The new translation would reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and traditional beliefs about ordained clergy.

James' instructions included several requirements that kept the new translation familiar to its listeners and readers. The text of the Bishops' Bible would serve as the primary guide for the translators, and the familiar proper names of the biblical characters would all be retained. If the Bishops' Bible was deemed problematic in any situation, the translators were permitted to consult other translations from a pre-approved list: the Tyndale Bible, the Coverdale Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Great Bible, and the Geneva Bible. In addition, later scholars have detected an influence on the Authorized Version from the translations of Taverner's Bible and the New Testament of the Douay-Rheims Bible.[26] It is for this reason that the flyleaf of most printings of the Authorized Version observes that the text had been "translated out of the original tongues, and with the former translations diligently compared and revised, by His Majesty's special command."

The task of translation was undertaken by 47 scholars, although 54 were originally approved.[27] All were members of the Church of England and all except Sir Henry Savile were clergy.[28] The scholars worked in six committees, two based in each of the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and Westminster. The committees included scholars with Puritan sympathies, as well as High Churchmen. Forty unbound copies of the 1602 edition of the Bishops' Bible were specially printed so that the agreed changes of each committee could be recorded in the margins.[29] The committees worked on certain parts separately and the drafts produced by each committee were then compared and revised for harmony with each other.[30] The scholars were not paid directly for their translation work, instead a circular letter was sent to bishops encouraging them to consider the translators for appointment to well paid livings as these fell vacant.[28] Several were supported by the various colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, while others were promoted to bishoprics, deaneries and prebends through royal patronage.

The committees started work towards the end of 1604. King James I of England, on 22 July 1604, sent a letter to Archbishop Bancroft asking him to contact all English churchmen requesting that they make donations to his project.

Right trusty and well beloved, we greet you well. Whereas we have appointed certain learned men, to the number of 4 and 50, for the translating of the Bible, and in this number, divers of them have either no ecclesiastical preferment at all, or else so very small, as the same is far unmeet for men of their deserts and yet we in ourself in any convenient time cannot well remedy it, therefor we do hereby require you, that presently you write in our name as well to the Archbishop of York, as to the rest of the bishops of the province of Cant.[erbury] signifying unto them, that we do well, and straitly charge everyone of them ... that (all excuses set apart) when we prebend or parsonage ... shall next upon any occasion happen to be void ... we may commend for the same some such of the learned men, as we shall think fit to be preferred unto it ... Given unto our signet at our palace of West.[minister] on the 2 and 20 July, in the 2nd year of our reign of England, France, and of Ireland, and of Scotland xxxvii."[31]

They all had completed their sections by 1608, the Apocrypha committee finishing first.[32] From January 1609, a General Committee of Review met at Stationers' Hall, London to review the completed marked texts from each of the six committees. The General Committee included John Bois, Andrew Downes and John Harmar, and others known only by their initials, including "AL" (who may be Arthur Lake), and were paid for their attendance by the Stationers' Company. John Bois prepared a note of their deliberations (in Latin) - which has partly survived in two later transcripts.[33] Also surviving is a bound-together set of marked-up corrections to one of the forty Bishops' Bibles - covering the Old Testament and Gospels,[34] and also a manuscript translation of the text of the Epistles, excepting those verses where no change was being recommended to the readings in the Bishops' Bible.[35] Archbishop Bancroft insisted on having a final say, making fourteen changes, of which one was the term "bishopricke" at Acts 1:20.[36]



Lancelot Andrewes, John Overall, Hadrian à Saravia, Richard Clarke, John Layfield, Robert Tighe, Francis Burleigh, Geoffrey King, Richard Thomson, William Bedwell;
Edward Lively, John Richardson, Lawrence Chaderton, Francis Dillingham, Roger Andrewes, Thomas Harrison, Robert Spaulding, Andrew Bing;
John Harding, John Rainolds (or Reynolds), Thomas Holland, Richard Kilby, Miles Smith, Richard Brett, Daniel Fairclough, William Thorne;[37]
Thomas Ravis, George Abbot, Richard Eedes, Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile, John Peryn, Ralph Ravens, John Harmar, John Aglionby, Leonard Hutten;
  • Second Westminster Company, translated the Epistles:
William Barlow, John Spenser, Roger Fenton, Ralph Hutchinson, William Dakins, Michael Rabbet, Thomas Sanderson;
  • Second Cambridge Company, translated the Apocrypha:
John Duport, William Branthwaite, Jeremiah Radcliffe, Samuel Ward, Andrew Downes, John Bois, Robert Ward, Thomas Bilson, Richard Bancroft.[38]
Archbishop Richard Bancroft was the "chief overseer" of the production of the Authorized Version.


English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments—and there is evidence that these were widely read as popular literature, especially in Puritan circles.[39][40] By the mid—17th Century, however, Puritan theologians were increasingly uneasy at the intermingling of Biblical scripture with popular culture in general, and with the Apocrypha in particular. Further, these theologians were also inclined to reject books which owed their inclusion in the Biblical canon to ecclesiastical authority. Starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. After the Restoration in 1660, Dissenters tended to discourage the reading of the Apocrypha in both public services and in private devotion.

The Church of England in the Thirty-Nine Articles had included the Apocrypha within the canon of "Holy Scripture". Article VI Of the Sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation asserts:

And other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine

The Authorized Version included the Apocrypha; all the books and sections of books present in the Latin Vulgate's Old Testament — the translation of Jerome (Hierome) — but missing in the Hebrew. Indeed, the Book of Common Prayer specifies lectionary readings from the Apocrypha to be read in Morning and Evening Prayer in October.

The standardisation of the text of the Authorized Version after 1769 together with the technological development of Stereotype printing made it possible to produce Bibles in large print-runs at very low unit prices. For commercial and charitable publishers, editions of the Authorized Version without the Apocrypha reduced the cost, while having increased market appeal to non-Anglican Protestant readers.[41] With the rise of the Bible societies, most editions have omitted the whole section of Apocryphal books.[42]

The Apocrypha were excluded from most Bibles following a withdrawal of subsidies by the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1826, which resolved [43]

That the funds of the Society be applied to the printing and circulation of the canonical books of Scripture, to the exclusion of those books and parts of books which are usually termed Apocryphal

The society revised its position in 1966.

Authorized Version

While the Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England, it was apparently (unlike the Great Bible) never specifically "authorized", although it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. However, the King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version supplanted it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England. In the 1662 Book Of Common Prayer, the text of the Authorized Version finally supplanted that of the Great Bible in the Epistle and Gospel readings - though the Prayer Book Psalter nevertheless continues to use the older version.

The case was different in Scotland, where the Geneva Bible had long been the standard Church Bible. It was not till 1633 that a Scots edition of the Authorized Version was printed - in conjunction with the Scots coronation in that year of Charles I.[44] The inclusion of illustrations in the edition raised accusations of Popery from opponents of the religious policies of Charles, and of William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury. However, official policy favoured the Authorized Version, and this favour returned during the Commonwealth - as London printers succeeded in re-asserting their monopoly of Bible printing with support from Oliver Cromwell – and the "New Translation" was the only edition on the market.[45] F.F. Bruce reports that the last recorded instance of a Scots parish continuing to use the "Old Translation" (i.e. Geneva) as being in 1674.[46]

The Authorized Version's acceptance by the general public took longer. The Geneva Bible continued to be popular, and large numbers were imported from Amsterdam, where printing continued up to 1644 in editions carrying a false London imprint.[47] However, few if any genuine Geneva editions appear to have been printed in London after 1616, and in 1637 Archbishop Laud prohibited their printing or importation. In the period of the English Civil War, soldiers of the New Model Army were issued a book of Geneva selections called "The Soldiers' Bible" (1643, Herbert #577). In the first half of the 17th Century the Authorized Version is most commonly referred to as "The Bible without notes", thereby distinguishing it from the Geneva "Bible with notes". There were several printings of the Authorized Version in Amsterdam - one as late as 1715 (Herbert #936) - which combined the Authorized Version translation text with the Geneva marginal notes;[48] one such edition was printed in London in 1649. During the Commonwealth a commission was established by Parliament to recommend a revision of the Authorized Version with acceptably Protestant explanatory notes,[47] but the project was abandoned when it became clear that these would be nearly double the bulk of the Bible text. After the English Restoration, the Geneva Bible was held to be politically suspect and a reminder of the repudiated Puritan era. Furthermore, disputes over the lucrative rights to print the Authorized Version dragged on through the 17th Century, so none of the printers involved saw any commercial advantage in marketing a rival translation. The Authorized Version became the only current version circulating among English speaking people.

Slowest of all was acceptance of the text by Biblical Scholars. Hugh Broughton, the most highly regarded English Hebraist of his time (but who had been excluded from the panel of translators because of his utterly uncongenial temperament), issued in 1611 a total condemnation of the new version,[49] criticising especially the translators' rejection of word-for-word equivalence.[50] Walton's London Polyglot of 1657 disregards the Authorized Version (and indeed the English Language) entirely.[51] Walton's reference text throughout is the Vulgate. The Vulgate Latin is also found as the standard text of scripture in Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan of 1651,[52] indeed Hobbes gives Vulgate chapter and verse numbers (i.e. Job 41:24; not Job 41:33) for his head text. In Chapter 35: 'The Signification in Scripture of Kingdom of God' , Hobbes discusses Exodus 19:5, first in his own translation of the 'Vulgar Latin' , and then subsequently as found in the versions he terms "...the English translation made in the beginning of the reign of King James", and "The Geneva French" (i.e. Olivétan). Hobbes advances detailed critical arguments why the Vulgate rendering is to be preferred. For most of the 17th Century the assumption remained that, while it had been of vital importance to provide the scriptures in the vernacular for ordinary people, nevertheless for those with sufficient education to do so, Biblical study was best undertaken within the international common medium of Latin. It was only in 1700 that modern bilingual Bibles appeared in which the Authorized Version was compared with counterpart Dutch and French Protestant vernacular Bibles.[53]

In consequence of the continual disputes over printing privileges, successive printings of the Authorized Version were notably less careful than the 1611 edition had been – compositors freely varying spelling, capitalisation and punctuation[54] – and also, over the years, introducing about 1,500 misprints (some of which, like the omission of "not" from the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" in the "Wicked Bible" (1631, Herbert #444), became notorious). The two Cambridge editions of 1629 and 1638 attempted to restore the proper text – while introducing over 200 revisions of the original translators' work, chiefly by incorporating into the main text a more literal reading originally presented as a marginal note.[55] A more thoroughly corrected edition was proposed following the Restoration, in conjunction with the revised 1662 Book of Common Prayer, but Parliament then decided against it.

By the first half of the 18th Century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the sole English translation in current use in Protestant churches,[8] and was so dominant that the Roman Catholic church in England issued in 1750 a revision of the 1610 Douay-Rheims Bible by Richard Challoner that was very much closer to the Authorized Version than to the original.[56] However, general standards of spelling, punctuation, typesetting, capitalisation and grammar had changed radically in the 100 years since the first edition of the Authorized Version, and all printers in the market were introducing continual piecemeal changes to their Bible texts to bring them into line with current practice - and with public expectations of standardised spelling and grammatical construction.[57]

Over the course of the 18th Century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars and divines, and indeed came to be regarded by some as an inspired text in itself – so much so that any challenge to its readings or textual base came to be regarded by many as an assault on Holy Scripture.[58] A key milestone in this process was the publication in 1737 of Alexander Cruden's Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures,[59] in which the English words of the Authorized Version were analysed with no regard to the original tongues.

Copyright status

In most of the world the Authorized Version has passed out of copyright and is freely reproduced. This is not the case in the United Kingdom where the rights to the Authorized Version are held by the British Crown under perpetual Crown copyright. Publishers are licensed to reproduce the Authorized Version under letters patent. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the letters patent are held by the Queen's Printer, and in Scotland by the Scottish Bible Board. The office of Queen's Printer has been associated with the right to reproduce the Bible for centuries, the earliest known reference coming in 1577. In the 18th century all surviving interests in the monopoly were bought out by John Baskett. The Baskett rights descended through a number of printers and, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Queen's Printer is now Cambridge University Press, who inherited the right when they took over the firm of Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1990.[60]

Other royal charters of similar antiquity grant Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press the right to produce the Authorized Version independently of the Queen's Printer. In Scotland the Authorized Version is published by Collins under licence from the Scottish Bible Board. The terms of the letters patent prohibit any other than the holders, or those authorized by the holders, from printing, publishing or importing the Authorized Version into the United Kingdom. The protection that the Authorized Version, and also the Book of Common Prayer, enjoy is the last remnant of the time when the Crown held a monopoly over all printing and publishing in the United Kingdom.[60]


The original printing of the Authorized Version was published by Robert Barker, the King's Printer, in 1611 as a complete folio Bible.[61] It was sold looseleaf for ten shillings, or bound for twelve.[62] Robert Barker's father, Christopher, had, in 1589, been granted by Elizabeth I the title of royal Printer,[63] with the perpetual Royal Privilege to print Bibles in England.[64] Robert Barker invested very large sums in printing the new edition, and consequently ran into serious debt,[65] such that he was compelled to sub-lease the privilege to two rival London printers, Bonham Norton and John Bill.[66] It appears that it was initially intended that each printer would print a proportion of the text, share printed sheets with the others, and split the proceeds. Bitter financial disputes broke out, as Barker accused Norton and Bill of concealing their profits, while Norton and Bill accused Barker of selling sheets properly due to them as partial Bibles for ready money.[67] There followed decades of continual litigation, and consequent imprisonment for debt for members of the Barker and Norton printing dynasties,[67] while each issued rival editions of the whole Bible. In 1629 the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge managed successfully to assert separate and prior royal licences for Bible printing, for their own university presses – and Cambridge University took the opportunity to print revised editions of the Authorized Version in 1629,[68] and 1638.[69] The editors of these editions included John Bois and John Ward from the original translators. This did not, however, impede the commercial rivalries of the London printers, especially as the Barker family refused to allow any other printers access to the authoritative manuscript of the Authorized Version.[48]

The opening of the Epistle to the Hebrews of the 1611 edition of the Authorized Version shows the original typeface. Marginal notes reference variant translations and cross references to other Bible passages. Each chapter is headed by a précis of contents. There are decorative initial letters for each Chapter, and a decorated headpiece to each Biblical Book, but no illustrations in the text.

Two editions of the whole Bible are recognized as having been produced in 1611, which may be distinguished by their rendering of Ruth 3:15; the first edition reading "he went into the city", where the second reads "she went into the city."[70] However, Bibles in all the early editions were made up using sheets originating from several printers, and consequently there is very considerable variation within any one edition. It is only in 1613 that an edition is found,[71] all of whose surviving representatives have substantially the same text.[72]

The original printing was made before English spelling was standardised, and when printers, as a matter of course, expanded and contracted the spelling of the same words in different places, so as to achieve an even column of text.[73] They set "v" for initial "u" and "v", and "u" for "u" and "v" everywhere else. They used long "ſ" for non-final "s".[74] The letter "j" occurs only after "i," as in the final letter in a Roman numeral. Punctuation was relatively heavy, and differed from current practice. When space needed to be saved, the printers sometimes used ye for the, (replacing the Middle English thorn with the continental y), set ã for an or am (in the style of scribe's shorthand), and set "&" for "and". On the contrary, on a few occasions, they appear to have inserted these words when they thought a line needed to be padded. Current printings remove most, but not all, of the variant spellings; the punctuation has also been changed, but still varies from current usage norms.

The first printing used a black letter typeface instead of a roman typeface, which itself made a political and a religious statement. Like the Great Bible and the Bishops' Bible, the Authorized Version was "appointed to be read in churches". It was a large folio volume meant for public use, not private devotion; the weight of the type mirrored the weight of establishment authority behind it[citation needed]. However, smaller editions and roman-type editions followed rapidly, e.g. quarto roman-type editions of the Bible in 1612 (Herbert #313/314). This contrasted with the Geneva Bible, which was the first English Bible printed in a roman typeface (although black-letter editions, particularly in folio format, were issued later).

In contrast to the Geneva Bible and the Bishops' Bible, which had both been extensively illustrated, there were no illustrations at all in the 1611 edition of the Authorized Version, the main form of decoration being the historiated initial letters provided for books and chapters - together with the decorative title pages to the Bible itself, and to the New Testament.

The original printing of Authorized Version used roman type instead of black letter to indicate text that had been supplied by the translators, or thought needful for English grammar, but which was not present in the Greek or Hebrew. In the first printing, the device of having different type faces to show supplied words was used sparsely and inconsistently. This is perhaps the most significant difference between the original text and the current text. When, from the later 17th century onwards, the Authorized Version began to be printed in Roman Type, the typeface for supplied words was changed to italics.

The original printing contained two prefatory texts; the first was a rather fulsome Epistle Dedicatory to "the most high and mighty Prince" King James. Many British printings reproduce this, while a few cheaper or smaller American printings fail to include it.

The second, and more interesting[citation needed] preface was called The Translators to the Reader, a long and learned essay that defends the undertaking of the new version. It observes that the translators' goal was not to make a bad translation good, but a good translation better, and says that "we do not deny, nay we affirm and avow, that the very meanest translation of the Bible in English, set forth by men of our profession... containeth the word of God, nay, is the word of God".[75] Few current editions include this text, but it is to be found in higher quality Cambridge editions and the Oxford World's Classics edition.

The first printing contained a number of other apparatus, including a table for the reading of the Psalms at matins and evensong, and a calendar, an almanac, and a table of holy days and observances. Much of this material has become obsolete with the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar by the UK and its colonies in 1752 and thus modern editions invariably omit it.

So as to make it easier to locate a particular passage, each chapter was headed by a brief precis of its contents with verse numbers. Later editors freely substituted their own chapter summaries, or omit such material entirely.

One curious feature is the presence of pilcrow marks in the printed text, indicating the commencement of groups of verses. These largely coincide with the scheme of daily lectionary readings used in the Orthodox Churches[citation needed], so it must be surmised that when the Authorised Version was translated, Greek texts were used and the pilcrow marks in those texts (which would have been essential for lectors and deacons in the Orthodox rites) were unthinkingly transferred to the Authorised Version even though by and large they do not correspond to the Anglican scheme of liturgical reading.

Literary attributes


Like Tyndale's translation and the Geneva Bible, the Authorized Version was translated primarily from Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts, although with secondary reference both to the Latin Vulgate, and to more recent scholarly Latin versions; two books of the Apocrypha were translated from a Latin source. Following the example of the Geneva Bible, words implied but not actually in the original source were distinguished by being printed in distinct type (albeit inconsistently), but otherwise the translators explicitly rejected word-for-word equivalence.[76] F.F Bruce gives an example from Romans Chapter 5:[77]

2 By whom also wee haue accesse by faith, into this grace wherein wee stand, and reioyce in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not onely so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience:

The English terms "rejoice" and "glory" stand for the same word in the Greek original. In Tyndale, Geneva and the Bishops' Bibles, both instances are translated "rejoice". In the Douay-Rheims New Testament, both are translated "glory". Only in the Authorized Version does the translation vary between the two verses.

In obedience to their instructions, the translators provided no marginal interpretation of the text, but in some 8,500 places a marginal note offers an alternative English wording.[78] The majority of these notes offer a more literal rendering of the original (introduced as "Heb", "Chal", "Gr" or "Lat"), but others indicate a variant reading of the source text (introduced by "or"). Some of the annotated variants derive from alternative editions in the original languages, or from variant forms quoted in the fathers. More commonly, though, they indicate a difference between the original language reading and that in the translators' preferred recent Latin versions: Tremellius for the Old Testament, Junius for the Apocrypha, and Beza for the New Testament.[79] A few more extensive notes clarify Biblical names, units of measurement or currency, and in a very few places (e.g. Luke 17:36) record that a verse is absent from most Greek manuscripts. Modern reprintings rarely reproduce these annotated variants - although they are to be found in the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible. In addition, there were originally some 9,000 scriptural cross-references, in which one text was related to another. Such cross-references had long been common in Latin Bibles, and most of those in the Authorized Version were copied unaltered from this Latin tradition. Consequently the early editions of the KJV retain many Vulgate verse references - e.g. in the numbering of the Psalms.[80] At the head of each chapter, the translators provided a short précis of its contents, with verse numbers; these are rarely included in complete form in modern editions.

The translators render the Tetragrammaton YHWH or the name Yahweh by the use of small capitals as LORD or occasionally JEHOVAH, or Lord GOD (for Adonai YHWH, "Lord YHWH"), denoting the divine name. Jesus is referred to as Lord with a capital "L" and lower case "-ord" as the example of the scripture in Psalm 110:1 "The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool".

For their Old Testament, the translators worked from editions of the Hebrew Rabbinic Bible by Daniel Bomberg (1524/5),[81] but adjusted the text to conform to the Greek LXX or Latin Vulgate in passages to which Christian tradition had attached a Christological interpretation.[82] For example, the reading "They pierced my hands and my feet" was used in Psalm 22:16 (vs. the Masoretes' reading of the Hebrew "like lions [they maul] my hands and feet"[83]). Otherwise, however, the Authorized Version is closer to the Hebrew tradition than any previous English translation – especially in making use of the rabbinic commentaries, such as Kimhi, in elucidating obscure passages in the Masoretic Text;[84] earlier versions had been more likely to adopt LXX or Vulgate readings in such places.

For their New Testament, the translators chiefly used the 1598 and 1588/89 Greek editions of Theodore Beza,[85] which also present Beza's Latin version of the Greek and Stephanus's edition of the Latin Vulgate. Both of these versions were extensively referred to, as the translators conducted all discussions amongst themselves in Latin. F.H.A. Scrivener identifies 190 readings where the Authorized Version translators depart from Beza's Greek text, generally in maintaining the wording of the Bishop's Bible and other earlier English translations.[86] In about half of these instances, the Authorized Version translators appear to follow the earlier 1550 Greek Textus Receptus of Stephanus. For the other half, Scrivener was usually able to find corresponding Greek readings in the editions of Erasmus, or in the Complutensian Polyglot. However, in several dozen readings he notes that no printed Greek text corresponds to the English of the Authorized Version, which in these places derives directly from the Vulgate.[87] For example, at John 10:16, the Authorized Version reads "one fold" (as did the Bishops' Bible, and the 16th century vernacular versions produced in Geneva), following the Latin Vulgate "unum ovile", whereas Tyndale had agreed more closely with the Greek, "one flocke" (μία ποίμνη). The Authorized Version New Testament owes much more to the Vulgate than does the Old Testament; still, at least 80% of the text is unaltered from Tyndale's translation.[88]

Unlike the rest of the Bible, the translators of the Apocrypha identified their source texts in their marginal notes.[89] From these it can determined that the books of the Apocrypha were translated from the Septuagint – primarily, from the Greek Old Testament column in the Antwerp Polyglot – but with extensive reference to the counterpart Latin Vulgate text, and to Junius's Latin translation. The translators record references to the Sixtine Septuagint of 1587, which is substantially a printing of the Old Testament text from the Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, and also to the 1518 Greek Septuagint edition of Aldus Manutius. They had, however, no Greek texts for 2 Esdras, or for the Prayer of Manasses, and Scrivener found that they here used an unidentified Latin manuscript.

The translators appear to have otherwise made no first-hand study of ancient manuscript sources, even those which – like the Codex Bezae – would have been readily available to them.[90] In addition to all previous English versions, including the Douay-Rheims Bible, they also consulted contemporary vernacular translations in Spanish, French, Italian and German. They also made wide and eclectic use of all printed editions in the original languages then available, including the ancient Syriac New Testament printed with an interlinear Latin gloss in the Antwerp Polyglot of 1573.[91]

The translators took the Bishop's Bible as their source text, and where they departed from that in favour of another translation, this was most commonly the Geneva Bible. However, the degree to which readings from the Bishop's Bible survived into final text of the King James Bible varies greatly from company to company, as did the propensity of the King James translators to coin phrases of their own. John Bois's notes of the General Committee of Review show that they discussed readings derived from a wide variety of sources and versions, including explicitly both Henry Savile's 1610 edition of the works of John Chrysostom, and also the Rheims New Testament, which was the primary source for many of the literal alternative readings provided for the marginal notes.

Style and criticism

A primary concern of the translators was to produce a Bible that would be appropriate, dignified and resonant in public reading. Hence, in a period of rapid linguistic change, they avoided contemporary idioms, tending instead towards forms that were already slightly archaic, like verily and it came to pass.[92] They also tended to enliven their text with stylistic variation, finding multiple English words or verbal forms, in places where the original language employed repetition.

The Authorized Version is notably more Latinate than previous English versions,[93] especially the Geneva Bible. This results in part from the academic stylistic preferences of a number of the translators – several of whom admitted to being more comfortable writing in Latin than in English – but was also, in part, a consequence of the royal proscription against explanatory notes.[94] Hence, where the Geneva Bible might use a common English word - and gloss its particular application in a marginal note - the Authorized Version tends rather to prefer a technical term, frequently in Anglicised Latin. Consequently, although the King had instructed the translators to use the Bishops' Bible as a base text, the New Testament in particular owes much stylistically to the Catholic Rheims New Testament, whose translators had also been concerned to find English equivalents for Latin terminology.[95] In addition, the translators of the New Testament books habitually quote Old Testament names in the renderings familiar from the Vulgate Latin, rather than in their Hebrew forms (e.g. "Elias", "Jeremias" for "Elijah", "Jeremiah").

While the Authorized Version remains among the most widely sold, modern critical New Testament translations differ substantially from it in a number of passages, primarily because they rely on source manuscripts not then accessible to (or not then highly regarded by) early 17th Century Biblical Scholarship.[96] In the Old Testament, there are also many differences from modern translations that are based not on manuscript differences, but on a different understanding of Ancient Hebrew vocabulary or grammar by the translators. For example, in modern translations it is clear that Job 28: 1-11 is referring throughout to mining operations, which is not at all apparent from the text of the Authorized Version.[97]

Standard text of 1769

By the mid-18th Century the wide variation in the various modernized printed texts of the Authorized Version, combined with the notorious accumulation of misprints, had reached the proportion of a scandal, and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge both sought to produce an updated standard text. First of the two was the Cambridge edition of 1762 (Herbert #1142), edited by F.S. Parris.[98] This was effectively superseded by the 1769 Oxford edition, edited by Benjamin Blayney (Herbert #1196), which became the Oxford standard text, and is reproduced almost unchanged in most current printings.[99] Parris and Blayney sought consistently to remove those elements of the 1611 and subsequent editions that they believed were due to the vagaries of printers, while incorporating most of the revised readings of the Cambridge editions of 1629 and 1638, and each also introducing a few improved readings of their own. They undertook the mammoth task of standardizing the wide variation in punctuation and spelling of the original, making many thousands of minor changes to the text; although some of these updates do alter the ostensible sense - as when the original text of Genesis 2:21 "in stead" ("in that place") was updated to read "instead" ("as an alternative"). In addition, Blayney and Parris thoroughly revised and greatly extended the italicization of "supplied" words not found in the original languages by cross-checking against the presumed source texts. Unfortunately, Blayney assumed that the translators of the 1611 New Testament had worked from the 1550 Stephanus edition of the Textus Receptus, rather than from the later editions of Beza; accordingly the current standard text mistakenly "corrects" around a dozen readings where Beza and Stephanus differ.[100] Like the 1611 edition, the 1769 Oxford edition included the Apocrypha, although Blayney consistently removed marginal cross-references to the Books of the Apocrypha wherever these had been provided by the original translators. Altogether, Blayney's 1769 text differed from the 1611 text in around 24,000 places.[101] Since that date, only six further changes have been introduced to the standard text - although 30 of Blayney's proposed changes have subsequently been reverted.[102] The Oxford University Press paperback edition of the "Authorized King James Version" provides the current standard text, and also includes the prefatory section "The Translators to the Reader".[103]

The 1611 and 1769 texts of the first three verses from I Corinthians 13 are given below.

1. Though I speake with the tongues of men & of Angels, and haue not charity, I am become as sounding brasse or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I haue the gift of prophesie, and vnderstand all mysteries and all knowledge: and though I haue all faith, so that I could remooue mountaines, and haue no charitie, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestowe all my goods to feede the poore, and though I giue my body to bee burned, and haue not charitie, it profiteth me nothing.

1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

In these three verses, there are eleven changes of spelling, nine changes of typesetting, three changes of punctuation, and one variant text - where "not charity" is substituted for "no charity" in verse two, in the erroneous belief that the original reading was a misprint.

For a period, Cambridge continued to issue Bibles using the Parris text, but the market demand for absolute standardisation was now such that they eventually fell into line. Since the beginning of the 19th Century, almost all printings of the Authorized Version have derived from the 1769 Oxford text - generally without Blayney's variant notes and cross references, and commonly excluding the Apocrypha.[104] One exception to this was a scrupulous original-spelling, page-for-page, and line-for-line reprint of the 1611 edition (including all chapter headings, marginalia, and original italicization, but with Roman type substituted for the black letter of the original), published by Oxford in 1833.[105] Another important exception was the 1873 Cambridge Paragraph Bible, thoroughly revised, modernised and re-edited by F. H. A. Scrivener, who for the first time consistently identified the source texts underlying the 1611 translation and its marginal notes.[106] Scrivener, however - as Blayney had done - did adopt revised readings where he considered the judgement of the 1611 translators had been faulty.[107] In 2005, Cambridge University Press released its New Cambridge Paragraph Bible with Apocrypha, edited by David Norton, which modernized Scrivener's spelling again to present-day standards and introduced quotation marks, while restoring the 1611 text, so far as possible, to the wording intended by its translators, especially in the light of the rediscovery of some of their working documents.[108] This text has been issued in paperback by Penguin books.[109]

From 1769, the text of the Authorized Version remained unchanged - and since, due to advances in printing technology, it could now be produced in very large editions for mass sale, it established complete dominance in public and ecclesiastical use in the English-speaking Protestant world. Academic debate over the next hundred years, however, increasingly reflected concerns about the Authorized Version shared by some scholars: (a) that subsequent study in oriental languages suggested a need to revise the translation of the Hebrew Bible - both in terms of specific vocabulary, and also in distinguishing descriptive terms from proper names; (b) that the Authorized Version was unsatisfactory in translating the same Greek words and phrases into different English, especially where parallel passages are found in the synoptic gospels; and (c) in the light of subsequent ancient manuscript discoveries, the New Testament translation base of the Greek Textus Receptus could no longer be considered to be the best representation of the original text.[110]

The Authorized Version maintained its effective dominance throughout the first half of the 20th Century. New translations in the second half of the 20th Century displaced its 250 years of dominance (roughly 1700 to 1950),[111] but groups do exist - sometimes termed the King-James-Only Movement - that distrust anything not in agreement with ("change") the Authorized Version.[112]

See also

The Bible in English
Old English (pre-1066)
Middle English (1066-1500)
Early Modern English (1500-1800)
Modern Christian (1800-)
Modern Jewish (1853-)


  1. ^ (Anonymous (a) 2008)
  2. ^ (Cloud 2006)
  3. ^ (fascimile Dedicatorie): "And now at last, being brought unto such a conclusion, as that we have great hope that the Church of England (sic) shall reape good fruit thereby..."
  4. ^ (fascimile Frontis)
  5. ^ (fascimile)
  6. ^ a b (Daniell 2003, p. 204)
  7. ^ (Hill 1997, p. 4-5)
  8. ^ a b (Daniell 2003, p. 488)
  9. ^ (OED 1989)
  10. ^ (Merriam-Webster 2008)
  11. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 75)
  12. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 143)
  13. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 152)
  14. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 156)
  15. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 277)
  16. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 291)
  17. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 292)
  18. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 304)
  19. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 339)
  20. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 344)
  21. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 186)
  22. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 364)
  23. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 221)
  24. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 433)
  25. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 434)
  26. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 328)
  27. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 436)
  28. ^ a b (Bobrick 2001, p. 223)
  29. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 442)
  30. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 444)
  31. ^ (Walleshinsky 1975, p. 235)
  32. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 11)
  33. ^ (Allen 1969)
  34. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 20)
  35. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 16)
  36. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 257)
  37. ^ Matthew DeCoursey, "William Thorne," British Rhetoricians and Logicians, 1500-1660, Second Series, DLB 281, Detroit: Gale, 2003, pp. 326-333 at 331-332
  38. ^ (Bobrick 2001, pp. 223-244)
  39. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 187)
  40. ^ (Hill 1993, p. 338)
  41. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 600)
  42. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 622)
  43. ^ Canton, W (1904). A History of the British and Foreign Bible Society. p. 337. 
  44. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 458)
  45. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 459)
  46. ^ (Bruce 2002, p. 92)
  47. ^ a b (Hill 1993, p. 65)
  48. ^ a b (Daniell 2003, p. 457)
  49. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 266)
  50. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 265)
  51. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 510)
  52. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 478)
  53. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 489)
  54. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 94)
  55. ^ (Scrivener 1884, pp. 147-194)
  56. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 515)
  57. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 99)
  58. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 619)
  59. ^ (Keay 2005, p. 29)
  60. ^ a b (Metzger & Coogan 1993, p. 618)
  61. ^ (Herbert, p. 309)
  62. ^ (Herbert, p. 310)
  63. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 453)
  64. ^ The Royal Privilege was a virtual monopoly.
  65. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 451)
  66. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 454)
  67. ^ a b (Daniell 2003, p. 455)
  68. ^ (Herbert, p. 424)
  69. ^ (Herbert, p. 520)
  70. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 62)
  71. ^ (Herbert, p. 322)
  72. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 76)
  73. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 46)
  74. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 261)
  75. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 775)
  76. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 792)
  77. ^ (Bruce 2002, p. 105)
  78. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 56)
  79. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 43)
  80. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 118)
  81. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 41)
  82. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 271)
  83. ^ The Jewish Publication Society Tanakh, copyright 1985
  84. ^ (Daiches 1968, pp. 208)
  85. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 60)
  86. ^ (Scrivener 1884, pp. 243-263)
  87. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 262)
  88. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 448)
  89. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 47)
  90. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 59)
  91. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 246)
  92. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 264)
  93. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 440)
  94. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 229)
  95. ^ (Bobrick 2001, p. 252)
  96. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 5)
  97. ^ (Bruce 2002, p. 145)
  98. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 106)
  99. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 113)
  100. ^ (Scrivener 1884, p. 242)
  101. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 120)
  102. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 115)
  103. ^ (Prickett & Carroll 2008)
  104. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 125)
  105. ^ The Holy Bible, an Exact Reprint Page for Page of the Authorized Version Published in the Year MDCXI. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1833 (reprints, ISBN 0840700415, 1565631625). According to J.R. Dore, Old Bibles: An Account of the Early Versions of the English Bible (2nd edition, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1888), p. 363, the edition "so far as it goes, represents the edition of 1611 so completely that it may be consulted with as much confidence as an original. The spelling, punctuation, italics, capitals, and distribution into lines and pages are all followed with the most scrupulous care. It is, however, printed in Roman instead of black letter type."
  106. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 691)
  107. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 122)
  108. ^ (Norton 2005, p. 131)
  109. ^ (Norton 2006)
  110. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 685)
  111. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 764)
  112. ^ (Daniell 2003, p. 765)


  • fascimile, The Holy Bible King James Version: 1611 Edition, Hendrickson Publishers, ISBN 1-56563-160-9 
  • Allen, Ward (1969), Translating for King James; being a true copy of the only notes made by a translator of King James’s Bible, the Authorized Version, as the Final Committee of Review revised the translation of Romans through Revelation at Stationers’ Hall in London in 1610-1611. Taken by John Bois ... these notes were for three centuries lost, and only now are come to light, through a copy made by the hand of William Fulman. Here translated and edited by Ward Allen., Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, ISBN 0826511368 
  • Bobrick, Benson (2001), Wide as the waters: the story of the English Bible and the revolution it inspired, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0684847477 
  • Bruce, Frederick Fyvie (2002), History of the Bible in English, Cambridge: Lutterworth Press, ISBN 0718890329 
  • Cloud, David (2006), Isn't the King James Bible too Antiquated and Difficult to Understand?, Way of Life Literature,, retrieved 2009-08-01 
  • Daiches, David (1968), The King James Version of the English Bible: An Account of the Development and Sources of the English Bible of 1611 With Special Reference to the Hebrew Tradition, Hamden, Conn: Archon Books, ISBN 0208004939 
  • Daniell, David (2003), The Bible in English: its history and influence, New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, ISBN 0300099304 
  • Ehrman, Bart D. (2005), Misquoting Jesus: the story behind who changed the Bible and why, San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, ISBN 0060738170 
  • Hill, Christopher (1993), The English Bible and the seventeenth-century revolution, London: Allen Lane, ISBN 0713990783 
  • Hill, Christopher (1997), Society and Puritanism in pre-revolutionary England, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-17432-2 
  • Keay, Julia (2005), Alexander the Corrector: the tormented genius who unwrote the Bible, London: Harper Perennial, ISBN 0007131968 
  • Merriam-Webster (2008), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 
  • Metzger, Bruce M.; Coogan, Michael D., eds. (1993), The Oxford Companion to the Bible, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-504645-5 
  • Norton, David (2005), A Textual History of the King James Bible, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521771005 
  • Norton, David, ed. (2006), The Bible (Penguin Classics), Penguin Classics, ISBN 0-14-144151-8 
  • OED (1989), Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.), Oxford University Press, 
  • Prickett, Stephen; Carroll, Robert P., eds. (2008), The Bible: Authorized King James Version (Oxford World's Classics), Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0-19-953594-9 
  • Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1884), The Authorized Edition of the English Bible, 1611, its subsequent reprints and modern representatives, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 
  • Story, G.M. (1967), Lancelot Andrewes Sermons, Oxford: Oxford University Press 
  • Walleshinsky, David (1975), The People's Almanac, Doubleday & Company Inc. 

Further reading

Chronological order of publication (oldest first)

  • McGrath, Alister E. (2002). In the beginning: the story of the King James Bible and how it changed a nation, a language and a culture. New York: Anchor Books, a Division of Random House, Inc. ISBN 0385722168. 
  • UK edition:Nicolson, Adam (2003). Power and Glory: Jacobean England and the Making of the King James Bible. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0007108931. 
  • US edition:Nicolson, Adam (2003). God's secretaries: the making of the King James Bible. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 0-06-018516-3. 
  • The Diary Of Samuel Ward: A Translator Of The 1611 King James Bible, edited by John Wilson Cowart and M.M. Knappen, contains surviving pages of Samuel Ward’s diary from May 11, 1595 to July 1, 1632.

External links

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
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From Wikisource

The King James Bible - Oxford Standard Text (1769)
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Authorized King James Version.

Translated out of the original tongues: and with the former translations diligently compared and revised by the King of England's special command, appointed to be read in churches.




The Old Testament

The Pentateuch

Early Jewish History

The Times of the Kings

Post-Exile Historical Books


Poetical Books

Wisdom Books

"Major" Prophets

"Minor" Prophets

The Inter-Testament

Post-Exile Historical Books


Poetical Books

Wisdom Books

Prophets Related Texts

Late Jewish History

The New Testament



"Pauline" Epistles

"Catholic" Epistles



The King James Bible was first published in 1611, as a standard English Bible to be used in the services of the Church of England according to the Book of Common Prayer. It gradually supplanted all other English bible versions, to become by the 19th century, the standard Bible text for English-speaking Protestants whether inside or outside the Anglican tradition. Almost all printings since the late 18th century have used this Oxford Standard text of 1769, which radically updates and standardises the spelling and printing of the original edition.

The Inter-Testament books are not now recognized as canonical by many Protestant and Para-Protestant Christian religious groups, which consider and call them "the Apocrypha". Nevertheless, they are recognized as a constituent part of the Biblical canon by the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Churches, and the Oriental Christian Churches, which consider and call most of them "the deuterocanonical books"; meaning "the books from the second canon". (The Catholic defintion of deuterocanonical books excludes the two books of Esdras and the Prayer of Manasses.) The Church of England and other churches in the Anglican tradition continue to specify readings from the Inter-Testament books in their lectionaries; and hence bibles printed for use during worship in these churches must necessarily include these books.

These books came from the Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint, the sacred text collection used by Greek-speaking Jewish communities, and by most of early and historical Christianity. They are included in the King James Bible, and all other vernacular versions of the Reformation era, but their canonical status was increasingly questioned by various Protestant traditions from the late 17th Century onwards. Since the early-19th century, the Inter-Testament books have tended to be rejected by Protestant churches, and most editions of the King James bible printed for personal use since then have omitted them. Israelite communities used the Greek Septuagint until about the 2nd century AD, but Orthodox Judaism does not recognize either the Inter-Testament books or the entire New Testament as part of its own sacred text collection, which is known as the Tanakh.


The King James Version is also known as the Authorized Version. In most of the world, it has passed out of copyright and can be freely reproduced. In the United Kingdom, however, it is still copyrighted and is subject to an eternal Crown copyright. Permission to publish in England and Wales can be obtained by following the guidance in A Brief Guide to Liturgical Copyright, third edition (RTF file); permission to publish in Scotland requires contacting the Scottish Bible Board.

Blue copyright.svg This work is in the public domain outside the United Kingdom because the author has been deceased at least 100 years.

However, this work is under a perpetual copyright in the United Kingdom.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





Named for James I of England (James VI of Scotland), who authorized the production of a new English translation of the Bible.


  • (RP) IPA: /ˌkɪŋ ˈdʒeɪmz ˌvɜː.ʃən/, /ˌkɪŋ ˈdʒeɪmz ˌvɜː.ʒən/
  • (US) IPA: /ˌkɪŋ ˈdʒeɪmz ˌvɝː.ʒən/, /ˌkɪŋ ˈdʒeɪmz ˌvɝː.ʃən/

Proper noun

King James Version


King James Version

  1. (Biblical, Christianity) A translation, published in 1611, of the Bible from the original Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) commissioned for the Church of England, which is the version most quoted and influential in English literature and English Protestant religious culture.


  • a. 1964, Henry Miller, The Books in My Life, in Henry Miller on Writing, page 125
    [...], and of course the Bible, the men who wrote it and especially the men who made the King James version, for it was the language of the Bible rather than its "message" which I got first and which I will never shake off.
  • a. 1998, Jeffrey M. Perl, Common Knowledge, quoted in front material, Homer, Robert Fagles (translator), The Ilaid, page i
    "Fagles' Homer, Sophocles, and especially Aeschylus may one day stand relation to their originals as the King James Version to Greek and Hebrew Scripture."
  • 1999, James D. Doss, The Shaman's Game, page 119
    The Catholic priest would have been surprised that the old shaman had memorized the King James version of this song.
  • 2004, R. Garcia y Robertson, Lady Robyn, page 320
    She thought for a moment, trying to remember; then she told him, "twenty-third Psalm, King James version," as best she recalled.
  • 2005, Michael Kun, You Poor Monster, page 19
    It pained him to tell the story, yet tell it he did, over and over, in the unabridged, King James version.
  • 2005, Catherine Landis, Harvest, page 54
    A Bible, King James Version. (This he stuck in his bag, because anybody who knows anything about English literature knows you can't ger away from the Bible.)


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The Targums.

Jewish translations of the Old Testament were made from time to time by Jews, in order to satisfy the needs, both in public service and in private life, of those that had gradually lost the knowledge of the ancient national tongue. In Palestine itself, Hebrew was driven out first by Aramaic, then by Greek, and finally by Arabic. Portions of the Bible itself (in Daniel and Ezra) are written in Aramaic; and there is no consensus of opinion among scholars as to whether these parts were originally written in that tongue or were translated from the Hebrew. Though Hebrew remained the sacred and the literary language, the knowledge of it must have faded to such a degree in the second century preceding the common era that it became necessary for a "meturgeman" to translate the weekly Pentateuch and prophetic lessons as read in the synagogue (Berliner, "Onkelos," p. 7; Friedmann, "Akylos und Onkelos," p. 58). The assertion made by the two scholars just cited, that the Targums date from the time of Ezra, is unwarranted; since they are written in a West-Aramaic dialect. The authorities of the synagogue did not willingly allow such translations to be written down. They felt that this would be putting a premium upon ignorance of the text, and that the Biblical word would be in danger of being badly interpreted or even misunderstood. They sought to minimize the danger by permitting only one verse to be read and translated at a time in the case of the Law, and three in the case of the Prophets (Meg. iv. 4). Certain passages were never to be translated publicly; e.g., Gen. xxxv. 22; Ex. xxxii. 21-25; Num. vi. 23-26; Lev. xviii. 21 (Meg. iv. 10; see. Berliner, l.c. p. 217; Ginsburger, "Monatsschrift," xliv. 1). These passages are to be found in Pseudo-Jonathan and in the Midrashim for private use. It is distinctly stated that no written copy of the Targum was to be used in the public service (Yer. Meg. iv. 1); though for private purposes copies were allowed to be made. The Talmud, it is true, mentions a written Targum to the Book of Job which was in the possession of Rabban Gamaliel I. during the Second Temple, about 20-40 C. E. (Tosef., Shab. xiv. 2; Bab. Shab. 115a; Soferim xv. 2; compare Berliner, l.c. p. 90), and which was then buried by order of Gamaliel. In Yer. Shab. xvi. 1 a variant tradition tells of such a Targum having been in the hands of both the elder and the younger Gamaliel. Though this tradition is accepted even by Bacher (see Aramaic Language), there are no means of verifying this statement, the existing Targum to that book being of a much later date. The tradition certainly can not refer to a Greek translation, as Grätz ("Monatsschrift," xxvi. 87)holds. According to Blau ("Einleitung," p. 79) the reference is to a copy written in the Old Hebrew script. The Targum is largely a paraphrase, reproducing the rabbinical tradition as regards the meaning of the text. For a history of this Targum see Targum.

In passing a word should be said about the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch in the West-Aramaic dialect, which the Samaritans at one time spoke. It is as yet not possible to say in which century this version was made. Even though the citations under the caption τὸ Σαμαρειτικόυ, which are found in the scholia to Origen's Hexapla, refer to it, Kohn believes that they are drawn from a Greek translation of the Samaritan made in Egypt. The text has been edited in Samaritan characters by H. Petermann and K. Vollers (Berlin, 1872-91), and in Hebrew characters by A. Brüll (1873-75), from the London Polyglot. M. Heidenheim's edition in Hebrew characters, of which Genesis only has appeared ("Bibliotheca Samaritana," i., Leipsic, 1884), has been very severely criticized (see Nestle, "Uebersetzungen der Bibel," p. 205).

Influence of Hellenism.

The settlement of large numbers of Jews in various parts of the Greek world, the Hellenization of Palestine, and the presence in Jerusalem of Jews from all countries, especially from those under Greek influence, in course of time forced the Rabbis to treat the question more liberally. According to Meg. ii. 1, it was forbidden to read the Megillah in Aramaic or in any other non-Hebrew language, except for the foreign Jews ( (image) ) in Jerusalem (compare the Baraita in Bab. Meg. 18a; Shab. 115b); and that such foreign Jews were in the city in large numbers is seen from Acts ii. 5-11. So, also, it is found, according to another tradition (Meg. i. 8), that it was permitted to write the Biblical books in any language ( (image) ); though R. Simon ben Gamaliel would restrict this permission to Greek (Yer. Meg. i. 1): "After careful examination it was found that the Pentateuch could be adequately translated only into Greek"). Evidence exists of the fact that in the synagogue of the (image) Greek was freely used (Tosef., Meg. iv. 13). There is even a tradition that Greek letters were engraven upon the chest in the Temple in which the shekels were kept (Sheḳ. iii. 2); and there is also Christian testimony to this effect (Justin, "Cohortatio ad Græcos," xiii.; Tertullian, "Apologia," xviii.; Frankel, "Vorstudien," p. 56). It is reported that in Asia Minor R. Meïr was unable to find a Megillah written in Hebrew (Tosef., Meg. ii. 4); and the weekly lessons both from the Law and the Prophets were at an early date read in Greek in Alexandria ("Jew. Quart. Rev." ix. 730). This makes comprehensible the statement that "the Law can be read in any language" (Soṭah 33a; Meg. 17b). The well-known passage in the Mishnah (Yad. iv. 5) which mentions the Levitical impurity occasioned by touching Biblical books, and which especially excepts the Targum from these provisions, has been very properly explained by Blau as referring to different degrees of sanctity only: no translation could, of course, be put upon the same level with the original Hebrew.

At a later time—perhaps in the second century ofthe present era—a different view seems to have prevailed; and it was said that the day on which the Law was translated into Greek was as unfortunate for the Jews as that on which the Golden Calf was made (Soferim i. 8, 9). Even to teach children Greek was forbidden (Soṭah ix. 14); though it was still permitted to teach a girl Greek, as a knowledge of that language was considered to be an accomplishment. Evidently this change of view was occasioned by the rise of the Christian Church, which used the Bible only in the Septuagint Version. It will be seen that in the Middle Ages the desire to please the women during the service and to instruct them led to the introduction of the vernacular, especially for the prophetical lessons. The treatise Soferim even makes it a duty "to translate, for the women, the weekly readings from the Pentateuch and the Prophets before the close of the service. The translation was not read verse by verse after the Hebrew, but as one continuous passage" (Abrahams, "Jewish Life in the Middle Ages," p. 345).

The Septuagint.

The oldest and most important of all the versions made by Jews is that called "The Septuagint" ("Interpretatio septuaginta virorum" or "seniorum"). It is a monument of the Greek spoken by the large and important Jewish community of Alexandria; not of classic Greek, nor even of the Hellenistic style affected by Alexandrian writers. If the account given by Aristeas be true, some traces of Palestinian influence should be found; but a study of the Egyptian papyri, which are abundant for this particular period, is said by both Mahaffy and Deissmann to show a very close similarity between the language they represent and that of the Septuagint, not to mention the Egyptian words already recognized by both Hody and Eichhorn. These papyri have in a measure reinstated Aristeas (about 200 B.C.) in the opinion of scholars. Upon his "Letter to Philocrates" the tradition as to the origin of the Septuagint rests. It is now believed that even though he may have been mistaken in some points, his facts in general are worthy of credence (Abrahams, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." xiv. 321). According to Aristeas, the Pentateuch was translated at the time of Philadelphus, the second Ptolemy (285-247 B.C.), which translation was encouraged by the king and welcomed by the Jews of Alexandria. Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden," 3d ed., iii. 615) stands alone in assigning it to the reign of Philometor (181-146 B.C.). Whatever share the king may have had in the work, it evidently satisfied a pressing need felt by the Jewish community, among whom a knowledge of Hebrew was rapidly waning before the demands of every-day life.

It is not known when the other books of the Bible were rendered into Greek. The grandson of Ben Sira (132 B.C.), in the prologue to his translation of his grandfather's work, speaks of the "Law, Prophets, and the rest of the books" as being already current in his day. A Greek Chronicles is mentioned by Eupolemus (middle of second century B.C.); Aristeas, the historian, quotes Job; a foot-note to the Greek Esther seems to show that that book was in circulation before the end of the second century B.C.; and the Septuagint Psalter is quoted in I Macc. vii. 17. It is therefore more than probable that the whole of the Bible was translated into Greek before the beginning of the Christian era (Swete, "An Introduction to the O. T. in Greek," ch. i.). The large number of Greek-speaking Jewish communities in Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, and northern Africa must have facilitated its spread in all these regions. The quotations from the Old Testament found in the New are in the main taken from the Septuagint; and even where the citation is indirect the influence of this version is clearly seen. This will also explain in a measure the undoubted influence of the Septuagint upon the Syriac translation called the "Peshiṭta."

Being a composite work, the translation varies in the different books. In the Pentateuch, naturally, it adheres most closely to the original; in Job it varies therefrom most widely. In some books (e.g., Daniel) the influence of the Jewish Midrash is more apparent than in others. Where it is literal it is "intolerable as a literary work" (Swete, ib. p. 22). The translation, which shows at times a peculiar ignorance of Hebrew usage, was evidently made from a codex which differed widely in places from the text crystallized by the Masorah. Its influence upon the Greek-speaking Jews must have been great. In course of time it came to be the canonical Greek Bible, as Luther's translation became the German, and the Authorized Version the English. It is the version used by the Jewish Hellenistic writers, Demetrius, Eupolemus, Artabanus, Aristeas, Ezekiel, and Aristobulus, as well as in the Book of Wisdom, the translation of Ben Sira, and the Jewish Sibyllines. Hornemann, Siegfried, and Ryle have shown that Philo bases his citations from the Bible on the Septuagint Version, though he has no scruple about modifying them or citing them with much freedom. Josephus follows this translation closely (Freudenthal, "Hellenistische Studien," ii. 171; Siegfried, in Stade's "Zeitschrift," iii. 32). It became part of the Bible of the Christian Church.


Two things, however, rendered the Septuagint unwelcome in the long run to the Jews. Its divergence from the accepted text (afterward called the Masoretic) was too evident; and it therefore could not serve as a basis for theological discussion or for homiletic interpretation. This distrust was accentuated by the fact that it had been adopted as Sacred Scripture by the new faith. A revision in the sense of the canonical Jewish text was necessary. This revision was made by a proselyte, Aquila, who lived during the reign of Hadrian (117-138). He is reported to have been a pupil of R. Akiba and to have embodied in his revision the principles of the strictest literal interpretation of the text; certainly his translation is pedantic, and its Greek is uncouth. It strove only to reproduce the text word for word, and for this reason it grew rapidly in favor in strictly Jewish circles where Hebrew was yet understood. Not only in the days of Origen was it thus popular, but, according to the testimony of Jerome and Augustine, down to the fourth and fifth centuries. Of this translation a few fragments have come down to us, together with many citations made by Christian writers from Origen's Hexapla. In the middle ofthe sixth century a certain section of the Jews in Byzantium wished to read the Sabbath lections in Greek as well as in Hebrew; but the Rabbis and authorities desired that only Hebrew should be read. The discussion came before the emperor, Justinian, who in the year 553 issued a novella in which it was expressly stated that "the Hebrews are allowed to read the Holy Writ in their synagogues in the Greek language"; and the emperor advised them to use either the Septuagint or the version of Aquila (Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," v. 435).

Theodotion and Symmachus.

A second revision of the Septuagint was made by one Theodotion, perhaps a native of Ephesus, who may have lived toward the end of the second century. He is sometimes said to have been a convert to Judaism. His revision, also, is in the nature of a recurrence to the Hebrew text, but he avoids entirely the pedantry of Aquila, and his Greek gives a readable text; the only evidences of pedantry are his transliterations of a number of Hebrew words. Strange to say, his version of Daniel entirely displaced that of the Septuagint; and in other portions his translations are occasionally found in ordinary Septuagint manuscripts. For this fact no sufficient reason has yet been given. Fragments of his work are also found in the remains of Origen's Hexapla. A third translator, Symmachus, whose date is not known, tried to smooth down Aquila's un-Grecian Greek by the use of both the Septuagint and Theodotion. He seems to be the best stylist of all. According to Epiphanius, he was a Samaritan convert to Judaism; but Eusebius and Jerome make him out an Ebionite. Of the three other fragmentary translations into Greek used by Origen in compiling his Hexapla, very little is known. It is not even certain that they are the work of Jews.

Toward the end of the fourteenth century or at the beginning of the fifteenth another translation ofthe Bible into Greek was made, of which the portion covering the Pentateuch, Ruth, Proverbs, Canticles, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations, and Daniel is still preserved in manuscript (MS. Gr., No. vii.) in the library of St. Mark's, Venice. It has been edited in a final form by Oscar von Gebhardt ("Græcus Venetus," Leipsic, 1875), with a preface by Franz Delitzsch. According to Von Gebhardt, Delitzsch, and Freudenthal ("Hellenistische Studien," p. 129), the author was a Jew, who for some reason or other preferred the commentary of David Ḳimḥi to that of Rashi. The author has also used the former Greek versions. The body of the work is done into Attic Greek; the Aramaic portions of Daniel are rendered into Doric. Delitzsch has tried to identify the author with a certain Eliseus, a learned Jew at the court of Murad I. (see "Theol. Lit. Zeit." i. 107; Swete, l.c. p. 56; Nestle, l.c.p. 84). On the other hand, P. Frankl has tried to show that the translator was a Christian and not a Jew ("Monatsschrift," xxiv. 372). According to Grätz ("Gesch. der Juden," vii. 318), Shemariah of Negroponte (1328-46) rendered the Book of Genesis into Greek, in an attempt to bridge over the cleft separating Karaites from Rabbinites. But Shemariah's work was a commentary and not a translation (Steinschneider, "Hebr. Bibl." xv. 39). On translations of the Hafṭarot into Greek see "Magazin," ii. 5.

Modern Greek.

The first attempt to translate the Bible into modern Greek was made by a monk of the island of Crete, Agapiou by name. In 1543 he published a rendering of the Psalms which followed closely the Septuagint translation. This preceded the first Jewish translation by only a few years. One column of the Polyglot Pentateuch (Constantinople, 1547) contained a Neo-Greek version in Hebrew characters. The dialect used is that of Epirus; and no single word of Turkish is to be found in it. Though full of Hebraisims, it is said to be of importance for the study of Greek linguistics. The few copies of this edition which are now known to exist do not agree; and it has been suggested that corrections were made in the text during printing. In the "Revue des Etudes Grecques" (iii. 288 et seq.) Belleli has reprinted the first four chapters of Genesis; and a facsimile of the whole has been published by D. C. Hesseling, "Les Cinq Livres de la Loi" (Leyden, 1897; compare the discussion in "Rev. Etudes Juives," xxxv. 132, 314). A translation of Jonah into modern Greek is found in a manuscript volume of prayers in the library of the University of Bologna; and it is known, from R. Meïr Katzenellenbogen, that in his day (1470-1565) it was customary in Padua to read the Hafṭarah of the Atonement Day in the vernacular; this was also the case in Candia (Kapsali, ed. Lattes, p. 22). L. Modena has shown ("Cataloghi dei Codici Orientali," p. 335, Florence, 1876) that this thirteenth-century manuscript, which came originally from Canea, is similar to MS. No. 1144 in the Bodleian collection (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." col. 333; "Rev. Etudes Juives," xxiii. 135). In 1576 Moses ben Elijah Phobian, or Popian, published at Constantinople a Neo-Greek translation of Job for the express purpose of facilitating the teaching of Hebrew (Belleli, in "Rev. Etudes Juives," xxii. 250; compare ib. xxiii. 136, xxiv. 160, and Güdemann, "Quellen'" pp. 239-289).

The Peshiṭta.

The Syriac translation of the Old Testament was undoubtedly made directly from the Hebrew; though at Antioch, during the third century of the present era and at later periods, it was revised so as to make it conform to the Septuagint. The history of its origin is obscure; but it was probably made in Mesopotamia during the first century. As with most of the older translations, various hands have been at work here. Perles ("Meletemata Peschittoniana," Breslau, 1859), Prager ("De Veteris, Testamenti Versione Peschitto," Göttingen, 1875), and Bacher (see Aramaic Language) believe it is the work of Jews: but this has not yet been proved; and the view of Dathe, Eichhorn, Hitzig, Nöldeke, and Renan, that it owes its origin to Judæo-Christians, seems more probable. Perles, however, has shown that there are unmistakable evidences in the Peshiṭta of the influence of the Targum, especially in Genesis. This has been confirmed for Ezekiel by Cornill ("Das Buch Ezekiel," p. 154), for Chronicles by S. Fränkel (in "Jahrb. für Protestantische Theologie," 1879), and for Job by Stenig ("De Syriaca Libri Jobi Interp." Helsingfors, 1887), Mandl ("Peschitto zu Hiob," Leipsic, 1892), and Hauman (in Stade's "Zeitschrift," xix.29). The closest agreement between the two versions is found in the Book of Proverbs; but it is now generally held that in this case the Targum reflects the Peshiṭta and not vice versa, as Maybaum contends (Merx, "Archiv," vol. ii.). This view is upheld by a consideration of the general character of the translation (Pinkuss, in Stade's "Zeitschrift," xiv. 101; see also Duval, "Littérature Syriaque," 1899, pp. 31 et seq.).

Arabic Versions.

It is impossible to tell at how early a time the Jews commenced to translate the Bible into Arabic. After the early victories of the Mohammedans, Arabic civilization and Arabic surroundings brought the Jews into very close connection with the Arabic language. Even where Hebrew was still kept up, the Hebrew alphabet must at times have gone out of fashion; for there exist some Karaite manuscripts of the tenth century, giving the Hebrew text in Arabic characters and with the letters used as vowel-signs (R. Hörning, "British Museum Karaite MSS." London, 1889; Margoliouth, "Cat. Hebr. and Samaritan MSS. Brit. Mus." i., Nos. 103, 104). That the Jews had little scruple in reading the Bible in Arabic may be seen from Judah ibn Tibbon's advice to his son to read the Sabbath lections in that tongue ("Jew. Quart. Rev." xii. 484). There are no facts, however, which prove that the early Jews of Arabia possessed any Arabic translation of the Bible. There is a tradition, going back to Abu Huraya, a contemporary of Mohammed, that "The People of the Book used to read the Taurah [Torah] in Hebrew and interpret it in Arabic to the followers of Islam"; which tradition is the basis of the polemics of Abu Mohammed ibn Ḥazm (d. 1064). Another tradition says that "Ka'ab the rabbi brought a book ["sifr"] to Omar the calif and said, 'Here is the Torah, read it'" (Goldziher, in "Z. D. M. G." xxxii. 344). The evidence is insufficient; and thereis even less warrant for Sprenger's idea that apocryphal writings were current in Arabia during Mohammed's days (see Kuenen, "Volksreligion," p. 297). At a later time, however, such translations must have existed, even though little credence can be placed upon the assurances of the polemical writers that they had "read this in the Torah" or "in the Zabur [Psalms]" (ib. p. 351; compare Stade's "Zeitschrift," xiii. 315). The Fihrist (ed. Flügel, i. 22) of Al-Nadim mentions an Aḥmad ibn Abd Allah ibn Salam who translated the Bible into Arabic, at the time of Harun al-Rashid. Faḥr al-Din al-Razi mentions a translation of Habbakuk by the son of Rabban al-Ṭabari ("Z. D. M. G." xlii. 645). Many of the Arabic historians, as Al-Ṭabari, Mas'udi, Ḥamza, and Biruni, cite passages and recount the early history of the Jews in a most circumstantial manner. Ibn Ḳutaibah, the historian (d. 889), says that he read the Bible; and he even made a collection of Biblical passages in a work which has been preserved by Ibn Jauzi of the twelfth century (see Haupt and Delitzsch, "Beiträge zur Assyriologie," iii. 46; Stade's "Zeitschrift," xv. 138).

Saadia Gaon.

The first important Arabic translation is that of Saadia Gaon (892-942). The influence of this translation was in its way as great as that of the gaon's philosophical work. It has remained to this day the version for the Jews in Arabic-speaking countries: it is dignified by the name "Targum"; and in many of the South Arabian Bible manuscripts it follows the Aramaic verse by verse, as the Aramaic follows the Hebrew. Saadia in the main takes the Targum as his guide, especially in doing away with all anthropomorphisms. His chief thought, however, is to produce a readable and intelligible translation. In this sense his translation may be called free; he was evidently working for a general reading public, both Jewish and Mohammedan, and not for scholars. Ibn Ezra blames him for the apparent case with which he passes over difficulties. But, in calling this translation a "tafsir" (explanation), he meant to indicate that he aimed to present the simple sense ("basiṭ"="peshaṭ") of the Biblical text; and Abu al-Walid looks upon him as the chief representative of this method. His fervent belief in the verbal inspiration of the Biblical text kept him free, on the one hand, from the influence of his rationalistic philosophy and, on the other, from the allegorical method of the Talmud (Editio Derenbourg, v. x.; Bacher in Winter and Wünsche, "Jüdische Litteratur," iii. 244). When no word in Arabic will exactly express his meaning, he uses the Hebrew word or adopts the Hebrew construction. In addition, he attempts to reproduce Hebrew words by Arabic words with a similar sound (Munk, in Cahen's "Bible," ix. 127). Saadia, in the introduction to the commentary on the Pentateuch, states that he translated it twice: once with a diffuse commentary; the second time without the commentary. Of the first translation only a few fragments and citations by Abraham ibn Ezra, Baḥya ben Asher, Abraham Maimonides, etc., have been preserved (Derenbourg's ed. of the Pentateuch, Hebrew part, p. vii.; "Monatsschrift," xli. 205; "Jew. Quart. Rev." xii. 536). Of this work, at one time complete, only the Pentateuch, Isaiah, Minor Prophets, portions of Judges, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, and Daniel are now extant.

Saadia's translation was first printed in the Polyglot Pentateuch, Constantinople, 1546. It was reproduced in Arabic characters in the Paris and London Polyglots (1645-57). From time to time more or less critical editions of various portions have been published; a complete list of these editions as well as of the extant manuscripts is given by Steinschneider in the "Kaufmann Gedenkbuch," pp. 153 et seq. (see also "Monatsschrift," xli. 124, and Engelkemper, "De Saadiæ Gaonis Vita, Bibliorum Versione, etc.," Münster, 1897). A definite edition of the translation and commentaries was commenced by the late Joseph Derenbourg, "Œuvres Complètes de R. Saadia," Paris, 1893 et seq., and is being carried on by Hartwig Derenbourg and Mayer Lambert; the Pentateuch, Isaiah, Proverbs, and Job have appeared (1902).

Other Arabic Versions.

A number of other translations into Arabic must have existed. Abu al-Walid mentions some of them, though it can hardly be determined to-day to which translations he refers (Bacher, "Leben und Werke des Abulwalid," p. 99). Some of them, though bearing no direct relation to that of Saadia, show evident traces of his influence. This is true at least of a translation of the Minor Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, found in Codex Huntington (No. 206 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford). From this manuscript Hosea was published by R. Schröter in Merx, "Archiv," i. 28 et seq. M. Peritz has edited "Zwei Alte Uebersetzungen des Buches Ruth," Berlin, 1900 ("Monatsschrift," 1899, pp. 49 et seq.). The second of these, from a manuscript in the British Museum, though it shows most of the peculiarities of Saadia's translation, is not by him (see also Poznanski, in "Zeit. für Hebr. Bibl." iv. 167). Nothing is known of the fragments of the Arabic version of the Pentateuch found in the twelfth-century manuscript, St. Petersburg, Nos. 137 and 138 (Harkavy-Strack, "Catalog," p. 164). Another translation of the Five Scrolls is found in British Museum MSS., Nos. 146, 147 (Poznanski, in "Rev. Etudes Juives," xli. 302). A rimed version of the Psalms was made by one Ḥafẓ al-Ḳuṭi (tenth century), which is contained in a manuscript of the Ambrosian Library in Milan (Hammer-Purgstall in "Bibl. Ital. di Letteratura," civ. 36), copied in 1625 from a manuscript in the Escurial, which has since been lost. It is cited by Moses ibn Ezra in his "Poetics"; but it is evident that this translation was made by one who was not even, as has been supposed, a baptized Jew ("Hebr. Bibl." x. 26). Neubauer has pointed out ("Rev. Etudes Juives," xxx. 65) that it contains Christian quotations; and the term "the Goth" (ib. p. 318) would sufficiently indicate that the author was a Christian. A version of Ecclesiastes by Judah ibn Ghayyat has been published by J. Löwy, Leyden, 1884 (see Rahmer's "Jüdisches Litteratur-Blatt," May 29, 1884, p. 88). In the thirteenth century a translation of the Pentateuch was made by an African Jew, who also based his work on that of Saadia. It is known as the "Arabs Erpenii" ("Pent. Mosis Arabice," Lug.-Bat. MS., No. 1622). (On a supposed translation ofthe Psalms by Saadia ben Levi Azankot see Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." col. 2227.) In modern times several Arabic translations of the Bible have been published in India; e.g., by Ezekiel Shem-Ṭob David, Bombay, 1889, and the Apocrypha by Joseph David, Bombay, 1895.

Karaite Versions.

It was natural that the Karaites should refuse to make use of the version in Arabic made by their arch-enemy, Saadia. Only two or three of their attempts to replace it have come down; and even these have been preserved in a most fragmentary form only. One of the earliest of these attempts was that made by Joshua b. Ari, or, to give him the name by which he is better known, Abu al-Faraj Furḳan ibn Asad, a learned Jerusalem Karaite of the middle of the eleventh century. A portion of his Arabic translation of the Pentateuch is to be found in MS. Or. 2491 of the British Museum. It shows occasionally a decided rationalistic tendency, explanatory glosses being introduced here and there into the text (G. Margoliouth, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." xi. 190). Whether Japheth ha-Levi (Ibn Ali al-Baṣri) really translated any parts of the Bible (Margoliouth, "Descriptive List," pp. 25 et seq.), is undetermined; but it is known that he had the ambitious desire to write an extensive commentary upon the whole Bible (Steinschneider, "Hebr. Uebers." p. 941). According to Margoliouth ("Cat. Hebr. and Samaritan MSS. Brit. Mus." p. 71), MS. Brit. Mus. 101 (Or. 2481) contains an Arabic translation of the Pentateuch based upon that of Japheth.

Samaritan Revision of Saadia.

The translation of Saadia, as is said above, had become a standard work in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. But to the Samaritans it was as distasteful (Harkavy, "Ḥadashim," No. 7, p. 22) as it no doubt had been to the Karaites, because of the rabbinical interpretations which it represented. At some time, perhaps during the thirteenth century, it was revised by a Samaritan with the express purpose of adapting it to the use of his coreligionists. This revision is usually held to have been made by Abu Sa'id ibn abu al-Ḥusain ibn abu Sa'id, and has claimed the attention of European scholars such as De Sacy ("Mémoires de l'Académie," 1808, xlix. 1 et seq.), Gesenius ("De Pentateuchi Samaritani Origine, Indole et Auctoritate," p. 120, Halle, 1815), and Juynboll ("Commentatio de Versione Arabico-Samaritana," Amsterdam, 1846). Of it Genesis, Ezodus, and Leviticus have been edited by A. Kuenen (Leyden, 1851-54; see Kohn, "Zur Sprache der Samaritaner," p. 134; Nestle, l.c. p. 153). Abu Sa'id was supposed to have lived about the year 1070; but Wreschner ("Samaritanische Tradition," 1888, p. xix.) has shown that he flourished in the thirteenth century. According to Joseph Bloch, "Die Samaritanisch-Arabische Pentateuch Uebersetzung," p. 16, Berlin, 1901, the real translator is perhaps the Tyrian, Abu al-Ḥasan, and Abu Sa'id is only a scholiast. If this be true, it was not the first translation; for one was made in the twelfth century by Ṣadaḳa ibn Munajja of Damascus, a physician in the service of Sultan Malik al-Ashraf (Haji Khalifah, ii. 402; Neubauer, "Chronique Samaritaine," p. 112).

Persian Versions.

It is not known at what time the first translations of the Bible were made into Persian. From quotations in the "Dinkard" and the "Shikand Gumanik Vijar" (theological works of the Sassanian period), James Darmesteter has supposed that one existed in Pahlavi ("Rev. Etudes Juives," xviii. 5); but the supposition is unsupported by any real evidence. Blau also ("Einleitung," p. 95) seems to incline to this opinion, because Bab. Meg. 18a speaks of a scroll of Esther in the Elamite and Median languages. According to Maimonides, the Pentạteuch was translated into Persian many hundred years previous to Mohammed (Zunz, "G. V." 2d ed., p. 9). This statement also can not be further substantiated. The earliest version of which we have any knowledge is that made by Jacob ben Joseph Tawus, and printed in Hebrew characters in the Polyglot Pentateuch, Constantinople, 1546. This was transcribed into Persian characters and translated into Latin by Thomas Hyde, in which form it was published in the London Polyglot. Kohut ("Beleuchtung der Persischen Pentateuch-Uebersetzung," 1871) places Tawus in the first half of the sixteenth century (compare also Zunz, "G. S." iii. 136). According to Steinschneider ("Jewish Literature," p. 321), Tawus made use of an earlier translation made in the thirteenth century (see Munk, in Cahen's "Bible," vol. ix.), which followed the Targum and the commentary of David Ḳimḥi. A number of translations into Persian are to be found in the various collections of manuscript, of which the following is a partial list:


Vatican MS. 61 (Guidi, in "Rendiconti . . . dei Lincei," 1885, p. 347).

Codex Adler B. 63, written in 1776 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 596).

Codex St. Petersburg 141 (not by Tawus; Harkavy-Strack, "Cat." p. 166).


Vatican MS. 37; Bodleian MS. 1830.

Vatican MS. 42; Bodleian MS. 1827 (Jewish? Horn, in "Z. D. M. G." li. 7).

Codex Adler B. 27 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 592).

Brit. Mus. MSS. 159, 160 (transl. about 1740 by Baba b. Nuriel of Ispahan; Margoliouth, "Cat. of Hebr. and Samaritan MSS. Brit. Mus." p. 120).

Brit. Mus. MS. Or. 4729 (dated 1822; "Jew. Quart. Rev." vii. 119).

Proverbs, Canticles, Ruth, Ecclesiastes: Paris MS. 116 ("Cat. des MSS. Héb. de la Bibl. Nat.").

Proverbs, Canticles, Ecclesiastes:

Codex Adler B. 46 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 595).

Paris MS. 117 ("Cat. des MSS. Héb. de la Bibl. Nat.").

Proverbs: On a translation now lost, see Lagarde, "Symmicta," ii. 14.

Job and Lamentations:

Codex de Rossi 1093 (Zunz, "G. S." iii. 135).

Paris MS. 118 ("Cat. des MSS. Hébreux de la Bibl. Nat.").


Codex St. Petersburg 142 (Harkavy-Strack, p. 167.).

Paris MSS. 120, 121 ("Catalogue," etc.).

Song of Songs: Codex Adler B. 12 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 589).

Daniel: Paris MSS. 128, 129 ("Catalogue," etc.).


Codex Adler T. 16 and 27 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." x. 598, 599).

Paris MS. 127 ("Catalogue," etc.).

Tobit, Judith, Bel and Dragon, Antiochus: Codex Bodleian 130.

Minor Prophets: Codex St. Petersburg 139 and Codex B. 18 (Harkavy-Strack, pp. 165, 262).

Hafṭarot: Codex St. Petersburg 140 (Harkavy-Strack, p. 166).

There are also some quite modern translations into Persian, as (image) , Vienna, 1883 (transl. by Benjamin Cohen of Bokhara; see "Lit.-Blatt für Or. Phil." i. 186); (image) (image) , Jerusalem, 1885; Job, ib.; the latter two also translated by Benjamin Cohen.

Tatar Versions.

For the use of the Karaites in the Crimea and Turkey, a translation has been made into the Tshagatai-Tatar dialect. The Pentateuch was printed (text and Tshagatai in Hebrew characters) by 'Irab Ozlu & Sons, Constantinople, 1836, with the title (image) ; on the margin are the (image) ; and acrostic poems are added by Abraham ben Samuel, Simḥah ben Joseph (image) (Chages?), Isaac Cohen, and Isaac ben Samuel Cohen of Jerusalem. The whole Bible was printed in Tshagatai by Mordecai Trishkin (4 vols., Goslov, 1841-42; see "Jew. Quart. Rev." xii. 686). Extracts are also to be found in the (image) of Musafia, printed at Ortaköi (Constantinople), 1825, and published by the same firm that edited the Pentateuch of 1836 ("Jew. Quart. Rev." xiii. 549). Manuscripts of such translations exist also in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg (Nos. 143-146; Harkavy-Strack, "Cat." pp. 167-170).

Coptic and Hungarian.

Talmud tradition expressly speaks of a Coptic translation of the Bible (Meg. 18a; Shabbat 115a). Cornill, in his examination of the Coptic text of Ezekiel, finds the one published by Tattam to be of composite character and not simply a translation of the Septuagint. Blau believes that it was made directly from the Hebrew text ("Einleitung," p. 91; "Jew. Quart. Rev." ix. 728).

No Jewish translation into Hungarian was made until quite recently, the Jews of Hungary making use of the Catholic and Protestant versions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. About the middle of the nineteenth century M. Bloch (Ballaghi) attempted such a rendering; but he was not successful. His plan has recently (1902) been carried out; and the Pentateuch (by M. Bernstein and M. Blau), Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings (by Julius Fischer, Bánóczi, Bacher, and Krauss) have appeared (see "Rev. Etudes Juives," xliii. 158).


The translation of the Bible into the German dialect spoken by the Jews of middle Europe was commenced at an early date. A manuscript in the collection of De Rossi, dated Mantua, 1421, contains a Judæo-German translation of Joshua, Judges, Jonah, and four of the Megillot. De Rossi supposed them to be written in Polish because they were brought to Italy by Polish Jews (Neubauer, in "Jew. Quart. Rev." iv. 703). Such translations were technically known as "Teutsch-Ḥummash." A printer had innocently placed the words (image) (Cant. iii. 11) on the title-page of such a translation made by Jacob ben Isaac of Janow (Lublin, 17th century?), from which they became familiarly called "Ze'enah U-re'ennah"; and down to the time of Mendelssohn's translation they were popular reading-books, especially for women on Saturdays. They were embellished with all manner of explanations, legends, and moral sayings, which were inserted into the text (Steinschneider, "Volkslitteratur der Juden," p. 17). The first rendering of this kind was made by a convert, Michael Adam, the translator of Yosippon into Judæo-German. It was published by Paulus Fagius, Constance, 1543-44 (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." Nos. 1187, 4333; Perles, in "Monatsschrift," xxv. 361; id. "Aramäische Studien," p. 167; "Rev. Etudes Juives," v. 143, 315), and was reprinted at Basel in 1583 and 1607. It has nothing in common with Luther's translation, as Wolf ("Bibl. Hebr." iv. 198) supposes. This Pentateuch was reprinted at Cremona, 1560 (ed. Judah ben Moses Naphtali); Basel, 1583; ib. 1603; Prague, 1608, 1610; Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1687. A rimed version of it appeared at Fürth, 1692, and Wilmersdorf, 1718; and a second rimed version of Genesis was made by a certain Aaron of Prague during the seventeenth century. In 1543-44 Paulus Æmilius published a similar translation of the Pentateuch (Augsburg, 1544). It is uncertain whether Æmilius simply copied the edition of Adam or not (Steinschneider, in "Zeit. für Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland," i. 286). Æmilius also edited at Ingolstadt (1562) the Judæo-German rimed translation of Samuel in German characters. This was a mere copy of the edition in Hebrew characters by Ḥayyim ben David Schwartz, Augsburg, 1544 (ib. i. 285). It was called the (image) ("Samuel Book"). This was reprinted at Mantua about 1562; Cracow, 1593; Prague, 1609; Basel, 1612. Schwartz also published a rimed translation of Kings, (image) (image) , Augsburg, 1543; Prague, 1607. A translation of Judges (rimed) appeared at Mantua in 1561; one of Joshua, "derneut in teutscher Sprach, wol gereimt . . . hübsch mit Midraschim," at Cracow in 1588 or 1594; one of Canticles, by Isaac Sulkes, at Cracow in 1579; another by Moses Särtels, Prague, 1604; one of Jeremiah, ib. 1602; one of Ezekiel (rimed), ib. 1602; and one of Jonah, " (image) mit viel (image) und alle Midraschim" (rimed), Prague, before 1686.

The first Judæo-German translation of the Psalms was that of Elijah Levita (Venice, 1545; Zurich, 1558, etc.); it was arranged in the order of the psalms said on each day of the week. A rimed (image) by Moses Stendal appeared at Cracow in 1586. Proverbs was translated by Mordecai ben (Isaac) Jacob Töplitz, Cracow, 1582 (a version also appeared at Amsterdam, 1735); and Job by the same (?), Prague, 1597. A translation of Kings appeared at Cracow in 1583 (Neubauer, in "Rev. Etudes Juives," v. 144); one of Esther, ib. 1596; and one of Daniel, " (image) in teutscher Sprach hübsch und bescheidlich, gar kurzweilig darin zu leien Weiber und Meidlich," Cracow, 1588. These editions of Cracow came from the press of Isaac ben Aaron Prossnitz, whose intention it was to publish the whole Bible in Judæo-German in order that "women and children might be able to read without the help of a teacher" (Perles, in "Monatsschrift," xxv. 353).

Isaac Blitz's Bible.

The first complete Bible in Judæo-German was that of Isaac Blitz, Amsterdam, 1676-78. It was for the use of the Polish Jews who had fled thither a few years previously because of the Chmielnicki persecutions. It must have been the intention of the translator to push its sale in Poland also; for letters patent were granted for it by John Sobieski III. This translation exercised very little influence, as the Judæo-German in which itwas written contained many Dutch words and expressions (Wiener, "Yiddish Literature," p. 19). A second translation, in opposition to that of Blitz, was published in Amsterdam in 1679 by Joseph Witzenhausen, formerly a compositor in the employ of Uri Phoebus, the printer of the former edition. Witzenhausen was able to secure the approbation of the Council of the Four Lands, and his attempt to make the Athias edition supersede that of Phoebus occasioned much bad blood (see Joseph Athias). A second edition of this last translation was published at Amsterdam in 1687, and a third, in German characters, at Wandsbeck in 1711. A third translation, by Süssman Rödelheim and Menahem Man Levi, under the title (image) , appeared at Amsterdam in 1725-29. At the same place in 1735 there was published an edition of Proverbs ("Cat. Rosenthal. Bibl." i. 207). It was more than one hundred years before another complete German translation was published, namely, at Prague, 1833-37; but this was of a composite character, as its editor, W. Meyer, made use of various translations (in general, compare Grünbaum, "Jüdisch-Deutsche Chrestomathie," Leipsic, 1882).

German Translation—Mendelssohn.

The growing acquaintance of the Jews with German literature soon produced a marked discontent with these Judæo-German translations. This discontent was voiced by the rabbis of Berlin, Mecklenburg, and Courland (Zunz, "G. V." 2d ed., p. 467). To meet this want Mendelssohn stepped into the breach; and his translation of the Pentateuch is worthy of more than a passing notice. It had a special importance in that it not only aroused an esthetic interest in literature on the part of those who read it, but also paved the way for a more general use of High German among the Jews of Germany, among whom it may be said to have introduced a new literary era (Kayserling, "Moses Mendelssohn," p. 286; "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, p. 320; Auerbach, in "Zeitschrift für Gesch. der Juden in Deutschland," i. 25; Wogue, "Hist. de la Bible et de l'Exégèse," p. 329). Mendelssohn undertook the work for the instruction of his own children; but upon the advice of Solomon Dubno, consented to its publication on condition that Dubno should write a commentary explaining the reasons why Mendelssohn chose his various renderings. A specimen, "'Alim li-Trufah," was edited by Dubno (Amsterdam, 1778), and aroused the liveliest interest on the part of Christians as well as of Jews. It was natural that it should also evoke strenuous opposition, especially on the part of those Jews who feared that the reading of High German would cause the Jewish youth to neglect their Hebrew studies. Foremost in this opposition were the rabbis Ezekiel Landau (d. 1793) of Prague, Raphael ha-Kohen (1722-1803), of Hamburg, Altona, and Wandsbeck, Hirsch Janow (1750-85) of Fürth, and Phineas Levi Horwitz (1740-1803) of Frankfort-on-the-Main.

In June, 1799, the proposed translation was put under the ban at Fürth. It was also forbidden in some cities of Poland, and is said even to have been publicly burned. An additional ban was laid upon it by Raphael ha-Kohen (July 17, 1781; see Grätz, "Gesch. der Juden," xi. 585, note 1). Work on it was, however, continued with the assistance of Solomon Dubno, Hertz Homberg, and Aaron Jaroslav. Dubno became frightened at the continued opposition, and retired, forcing Mendelssohn himself to do an additional share of the work. Though the translation was in High German, it was printed in Hebrew characters under the title (image) , with a Hebrew commentary or "biur," the commentaries of Rashi, etc., and an introduction by Naphtali Hertz Wessely. It appeared in parts—Genesis, Berlin, 1780; Exodus, ib. 1781; Leviticus, ib. 1782; Numbers and Deuteronomy, ib. 1783—and has often been republished both in German and in Hebrew characters.

An attempt was made in Mendelssohn's time to issue an edition in German characters; but the German Jews at that time looked upon the work as so exceptionally strange that its publication had to be suspended (Bernfeld, "Juden im 19 Jahrhundert," p. 9). Mendelssohn also published (Berlin, 1783) a translation of the Psalms (which, however, follows closely that of Luther; "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, p. 320) and one of the Song of Solomon (ib. 1788). These translations attempted a conscientious reproduction of the text, and sought to make the pathos of the original felt in the German; and they were followed by a large school of translators (see Biurists). C. E. J. Bunsen ("Vollständiges Bibelwerk," I. xvii.) calls these and similar translations "Synagogenbibeln." He says "they do not speak in the historical German language, but in the Hebræo-rabbinical Judæo-German"; a verdict which is wholly one-sided, if one excepts the proper names, where an attempt was made to reproduce the Hebrew originals ("Monatsschrift," ix. 156).

Only a few of Mendelssohn's followers can be mentioned here. His translation of the Song of Solomon was published after his death by Joel Löwe and Aaron Wolfson. The first of these also published a translation of Jonah (Berlin, 1788); while the second translated Lamentations, Esther, and Ruth (Berlin, 1788), Job (ib. 1788; Prague, 1791; Vienna, 1806), and Kings (Breslau, 1809). Isaac Euchel translated Proverbs (Berlin, 1790; Dessau, 1804), introducing, however, philosophical expressions into the text, thereby often clouding the meaning. David Friedländer, who translated Ecclesiastes (in German characters, Berlin, 1788), wrote in a belletristic style. Meïr Obernik translated Joshua, Judges, and Samuel, and, together with Samuel Detmold, the Second Book of Samuel ( (image) ), Vienna, 1792). M. Philippson, Joseph Wolf, Gotthold Salomon, Israel Neumann, and J. Löwe were the translators of the Minor Prophets published in Dessau, 1805, under the title (image) (stereotyped as early as 1837). Wolf also published a translation of Daniel (Dessau, 1808); David Ottensosser one of Job (Offenbach, 1807), Isaiah (Fürth, 1807), and Lamentations (ib. 1811), and together with S. J. Kohn, of Jeremiah (ib. 1810). A translation of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles by Ottensosser, Kohn, and Schwabacher appeared at Fürth, 1807-23. Isaiah was also translated by Isaiah Hochstetter (Winter and Wünsche, "Die Jüdische Litteratur," iii. 744), Jeremiahby Heinemann (Berlin, 1842), Job by Beer Blumenfeld (Vienna, 1826), and Psalms by Shalom Kohn (Hamburg, 1827). The period of the Mendelssohnian biurists may be fittingly said to end with the Bible published by Moses Landau (20 parts, Prague, 1833-37, mentioned above. Of this work the translations of the Pentateuch, Psalms, and Five Scrolls were those of Mendelssohn; the translations of the other books were contributed by Moses Landau, J. Weisse, S. Sachs, A. Benisch, and W. Mayer; and the Minor Prophets were reprinted from the edition of Dessau, 1805 (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." No. 972). It may also be added here that an edition of Proverbs, Job, and the Five Scrolls, with translations by Obernik, Euchel, Wolfson, Mendelssohn, and Friedländer, had already appeared at Vienna in 1817-18; and in Hebrew characters at Basel in 1822-27.

Other German Versions.

The translation of Mendelssohn threatened to become canonical: but the German Jews had tasted of modern learning; and toward the latter end of the first half of the nineteenth century various individual attempts were made to provide better translations for the general public, which should reflect the progress then already made in Biblical science. The first in the field was Joseph Johlson (Asher ben Joseph of Fulda), whose attempt, though worthy of notice here, was not successful, notwithstanding the fact that the text was accompanied by learned philological notes (Minor Prophets, Carlsruhe, 1827; Pentateuch, ib. 1831; the historical books, ib. 1836). Bunsen (l.c. p. xvii.) even declares his work to be "geistreich und scharfsinnig" (compare Geiger's "Zeitschrift," 1836, p. 442; 1837, p. 121). Mention may also be made of A. A. Wolff's double translation (word for word and metrical) of Habakkuk; Phœbus Philippsohn's "Hosea, Joel, Jonah, Obadiah und Nahum in Metrisch-Deutscher Uebersetzung," Halle, 1827; A. Rebenstein's (Bernstein's) sentimental translation of the Song of Solomon (Berlin, 1834; compare "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, p. 324); S. H. Auerbach's Ecclesiastes (Breslau, 1837), into which he reads his own philosophy; and Michael Sachs's Psalms (Berlin, 1835). The last was a clear protest against previous attempts, which reflected too much the individuality of the translators. Sachs tried to give "a purely scientific and philological" rendering of the original, taking Rückert as his guide, whose translation of Ps. lxviii. he inserted bodily (see Zunz, in Geiger's "Wiss. Zeit. Jüd. Theol." ii. 499, and in "G. S." iii. 116, who characterizes the work as "somewhat stiff and awkward"). It was reprinted in the edition of the Prophets and the Hagiographa (image) , Fürth, 1842-47 (Zedner, "Cat. Hebr. Books Brit. Mus." p. 119), and was revised for Zunz's Bible ("Monatsschrift," xxxviii. 507). This protest was carried to excess by Gotthold Salomon, who, in addition to his work on the Dessau edition of the Minor Prophets (see above), translated the Pentateuch (Krotoschin, 1848-49; see the criticism of Hess in "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1839, p. 80, and of L. Skreinka in "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, pp. 468 et seq.). The translations of Job (Glogau, 1836) and of the Pentateuch (ib. 1840) by Heimann Arnheim, though in Hebrew characters and intended chiefly for use as part of the ritual, show good judgment and philological schooling ("Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, p. 641). Only a mere mention can be made of L. Herzberg's Ecclesiastes (Brunswick, 1838; see Zunz, in Jost's "Annalen," 1839, p. 102) and of L. H. Löwenstein's metrical translation of Proverbs and Lamentations (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1837-38). Gotthold Salomon's "Deutsche Volks- und Schul-Bibel" (Altona, 1837) was the first translation of the entire Old Testament in German characters made by a Jew. It was stereotyped and was intended to be sold so cheaply that every one could afford to buy it (see the correspondence in Jost's "Annalen," 1839, Nos. 12 et seq.).

Zunz's Bible.

More important was the attempt made by L. Zunz to provide a Bible for school and home. As editor, he translated only the books of Chronicles, the rest of the work being done by H. Arnheim, Julius Fürst, and M. Sachs (Berlin, 1838). Zunz succeeded in a large measure in producing a translation which, while it kept strictly to the Masoretic text, was abreast of the scholarship of his day and free from the circumlocutions and idiotisms of previous translators, though it still preserved the transliteration of the Hebrew names (Nestle, "Bibel-Uebersetzungen," p. 142). Mendelssohn had translated neither Prophets nor Hagiographa; and it is therefore no wonder that the Zunz Bible passed through at least six editions up to 1855 and twelve up to 1889 (see Rosin, in "Monatsschrift," xxxviii. 512). Only a few years later another popular translation was produced by Solomon Herxheimer (Berlin, 1841-48; 3d ed. of the Pentateuch, 1865), to which an explanatory and homiletic commentary was added. Though evidently meant to take the place of Mendelssohn's biur, Herxheimer expressly states that his work was done "for Jews and Christians" (Jost's "Annalen," 1839, pp. 312 et seq.; "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, p. 513).

A still more ambitious attempt was that of Ludwig Philippson. He translated the text anew, aiming to include the latest assured results of criticism and to produce what in every sense might be called a family Bible. For this reason for the first time illustrations were added, together with introductions and an extensive commentary intended for the intelligent layman. This work occupied Philippson for eighteen years, and was published at Leipsic, 1839-56; 2d ed., 1858-59; 3d ed., 1862. His translation was then published, together with the Doré illustrations, by the Israelitische Bibel-Anstalt, revised by W. Landau and S. I. Kämpf (Stuttgart, 1875). Of this translation separate editions of the Pentateuch, the Psalms, and of the Pentateuch together with Isaiah, were published (see M. Philippson, in "Rev. Etudes Juives," xlii. 30). But even the slight concessions made in these translations to the modern exegetical spirit gave offense in some quarters; a rival Bible-house, the Orthodoxe Israelitische Bibel-Anstalt, was established, which, on the basis of J. Z. Mecklenburg's "Ha-Ketab we-haḲabbalah" (Leipsic, 1839), produced a translation of the Bible strictly on the lines of Jewish traditional exegesis (ib. 1865). The Pentateuch translation byJ. Kosmann (Königsberg, 1847-52) had a similar end in view. Still further in this direction, and in evident protest against modern Christian radical exegesis, which he entirely ignores, went Samuel Raphael Hirsch. In his translation of the Pentateuch (Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1867; 3d ed., 1899) and of the Psalms (1882), as well as in the translation of the Minor Prophets by his son, M. Hirsch (ib. 1900), a return is seen to the "derash," from which the whole school of Mendelssohn and his followers had tried to free themselves (see "Zeit. für Heb. Bibl." v. 78). Of L. J. Mandelstamm's "Die Bibel Neu Uebersetzt," partly with the assistance of M. Kirchstein, only Genesis and the Song of Solomon seem to have appeared (Berlin, 1862-64). In 1901 a new translation by S. Bernfeld was commenced. It keeps strictly to the Masorah and preserves the Hebrew form of the proper names.

During all this time many translations of individual books appeared, of which the following is a partial list, cited under the names of their respective authors:

Israel ben Abraham, Job, in Hebrew characters, Prague, 1791.

Shalom Kohn, Psalms, Hamburg, 1827.

Mendel Stern, Proverbs, in Hebrew characters, Presburg, 1833.

J. Wolfson, "Das Buch Hiob. . . . Neu Uebersetzt . . .," Breslau-Leipsic, 1843.

E. J. Blücher, "Ruth, mit Deutscher Uebersetzung," Lemberg, 1843.

M. Löwenthal, " (image) . . . Nebst Uebersetzung . . . ," Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1846.

"Das Hohe Lied . . . Neue Deutsche Uebersetzung," Vienna, 1847.

Samuel Aschkenazi, (image) (Song of Solomon, in Hebrew characters), Presburg, 1847.

(image) (A new translation of the Pentateuch, in Hebrew characters), Königsberg, 1856.

"Odiosus," "Das Buch Ijob im Engeren Anschluss an den Mass. Urtext" (see "Hebr. Bibl." vi. 101).

S. Horwitz, "Das Hohe-Lied, das Aelteste Dramatische Gedicht," Vienna, 1863 (see ib. vi. 62).

Adolph Brecher, "Die Psalmen Nebst Uebersetzung," Vienna, 1864.

Israel Schwarz, "Tikwat Enosh" (Job, in German characters), Berlin, 1868.

Sänger, Maleachi, 1868.

Benjamin Holländer, Das Hohelied, Budapest, 1871.

Hermann Tietz, Das Hohelied, 1871.

M. Levin, (image) (with Judæo-German translation), Odessa, 1873.

H. Grätz, "Krit. Commentar zu den Psalmen, Nebst . . . Uebersetzung," Breslau, 1882 (compare his Kohelet, 1871, and Song of Songs, 1871).

S. I. Kämpf, Das Hohelied, Prague, 1877; 3d ed., 1884.

K. Kohler, Das Hohelied, Chicago, 1878.

Hermann Tietz, "Das Buch der Elegien Metrisch Uebersetzt," Schrimm, 1881.

J. Landsberger, Das Buch Hiob, Darmstadt, 1882.

D. Leimdörfer, "Kohelet . . . Nebst Uebersetzung," Hamburg, 1892.

Herman Rosenthal, "Worte des Sammlers (Kohelet) . . . in Deutsche Reime Gebracht," New York, 1885; 2d ed., 1893. Idem, "Das Lied der Lieder, in Neue Deutsche Reime Gebracht," New York, 1893.

M. Jastrow, "Der Neunzigste Psalm; Uebersetzt," Leipsic, 1893.

Salomon Plessner (transl. of Nahum, in his "Biblisches und Rabbinisches," pp. 29 et seq.), Frankfort-on-the-Main, 1897.

English Translation.

It was not before the forties of the nineteenth century that the desire made itself really felt among the English Jews for a Bible translation of their own in the vernacular, though David Levi had in 1787 (London) produced an English version of the Pentateuch (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." No. 926). Wherever an English Bible was needed by them, they had freely used the King James Version; as is seen in the Pentateuch (including Hafṭarot and Scrolls) which was published in London, 1824, under the title (image) . But the impropriety of the use of this version, with its Christian headings and its Messianic interpretations, did in the end impress itself upon the English Jews (see, for example, S. Bennett, "Critical Remarks on the Authorized Version," London, 1834; Seelig Newman, "Emendations of the Authorized Version of the O. T." London, 1839; Benjamin Marcus, " (image) (Fountain of Life): Mistranslations and Difficult Passages of the O. T. Corrected and Explained," Dublin, 1854).

The veneration for this masterpiece of English literature had impressed itself upon the Jews also. When the Revised Version was published (May 17, 1881) it was eagerly seized upon as being much more suitable for Jewish readers, since in it the headings had been removed and the Christology of many passages toned down. The Revised Version is used as a basis for such books as C. G. Montefiore's "Bible for Home Reading," London, 1896, 1901. That the revision is not complete from the Jewish point of view can be seen from the leaflet issued by the Jewish Religious Education Board, "Appendix to the Revised Version" (London, 1896), which sets forth the "alterations deemed necessary with a view to placing the Revised Version in the hands of members of the Jewish faith." These alterations were limited to the following sets of cases: viz., "where the R. V. departs from the Masoretic text," and "where the R. V. is opposed to Jewish traditional interpretation or dogmatic teaching." Isa. lii. 13-liii. 12 is there reprinted in full.

The first to attempt to produce an independent Jewish translation was D. A. de Sola of London, who in 1840 issued a "Prospectus of a New Edition of the Sacred Scriptures, with Notes Critical and Explanatory." Morris J. Raphall and J. L. Lindenthal were associated with him in the work. Only one volume, Genesis, appeared (London, 1841; 2d ed., 1843). Of a similar attempt by S. Bennett, "The Hebrew and English Holy Bible," only Gen. i.-xli. appeared (1841); though in the same year Francis Barham published "The Hebrew and English Holy Bible," which contained Bennett's revision of the English and a revision of the Hebrew by H. A. Henry. Another translation was published by A. Benisch, "Jewish School and Family Bible" (1851-56); and still another by M. Friedländer, " (image) , The Jewish Family Bible" (1884). This last has had the sanction of the chief rabbi of the British Jews. A. Elzas has published translations of Proverbs (Leeds and London, 1871), Job (1872), Hosea and Joel (1873), in an attempt "to put the English reader, at least in some degree, in the position of one able to read the Hebrew text." None of these versions, however, can be said to have replaced either the Authorized or the Revised Version in the esteem of the Jewish Bible-reading public.

The United States.

In the United States the same feeling as in England had been engendered against the headings of the Authorized Version. Isaac Leeser attempted to rectify this and at the same time so to translatethe Bible as to make it represent the best results of modern study. The Prophets, Psalms, and Job are practically new versions. In the other parts, the Authorized Version is very closely followed; and though in most cases the changes Leeser made bring the translation nearer to the Masoretic text, the beauty of the English was often sacrificed. A quarto edition was published in 1854, and a duodecimo edition in 1856. Despite its insufficiencies, the smaller edition has had a wide circulation, due especially to the development of Jewish religious school instruction in the United States. The inadequacy of Leeser's translation has, however, been felt; and the Jewish Publication Society of America in 1898 took in hand the preparation of a complete revision. This is now (1902) being made by a number of scholars, with M. Jastrow, Sr., as editor-in-chief, and K. Kohler and F. de Sola Mendes as associate editors (see Reports of the Jewish Publication Society of America, 1898 et seq.).

Spanish Versions.

Nowhere in Europe is the history of the translation of the Bible into the vernacular so interesting as it is in Spain. Translations were here made as early as the thirteenth century, despite the fact that in 1234 Jaime I., by means of secular legislation, prohibited their use (Lea, "History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages," i. 324). As Berger has shown, the earliest Castilian renderings, even when made by Christians, stand much closer to the Hebrew original than do those of any other country. This seems to have been due to the early and intense influence of the Jews in the peninsula and to the Oriental coloring of its whole culture. This similarity is seen even in the outward form. The Spanish translations follow the Hebrew division of the Bible into three great parts; and it is significant that the first polyglot (Complutensian) saw the light of day in Spain. In the production of these translations both Jews and converts took a laudable part. One of the earliest of such Castilian translations is found in the Aragonese MS. i. j, 8 in the Escurial Library, Madrid. The Psalms in this manuscript are distinctly said to be the translation "que fizo Herman el Aleman, segund cuemo esta en el ebraygo." Herman must undoubtedly have known Hebrew, though Berger thinks that he made use of Jerome's "Psalterium Hebraicum" and not of the "Psalterium Gallicum." This Herman the German is the well-known Latin translator of Aristotle, and lived between 1240 and 1256.

In the fifteenth century several revisions of these older translations were made, but always according to the Hebrew text. Such a revision is represented by MSS. i. j, 5 and i. j, 3 in the Escurial and MS. cxxiv. 1, 2 (dated 1429) in the Library of Evora. In a number of places these translations ostentatiously follow the Hebrew original and run counter to the usual Church tradition. MS. i. j, 3 of the Escurial is richly illuminated with miniatures, which may perhaps have been the work of Hebrew miniaturists. In this manuscript not only is the order of the books in the Canon the same as in the Hebrew, but the Pentateuch is divided into sections which agree with the parashiyot and sedarim. The proper names also follow the Hebrew and not the ordinary Latin version. Berger thinks that this manuscript may be the work of the baptized Jew, Juan Alfonso de Buena, who was in the service of Jaime II. (1416-54). An additional interest attaches to these revisions, as they formed the basis for the Spanish of the Constantinople Pentateuch of 1547 and for the Ferrara Bible; the Ferrara Bible, in its turn, was the basis for the Protestant Bible translation by Cassidoro de Reina (1569); for the revision by Cyprian de Valera (1602), the "Psalterio de David Conforme a la Verdad Hebraica" (Lyons, 1550), and the Psaltér of Juan Perez (Venice, 1557; see Samuel Berger, in "Romania," xxviii.).

A still further revision, again upon the basis of the Hebrew, was made by Rabbi Moses Arragel (1430) for Don Luis de Guzman, master of the Order of Calatrava. According to Berger, this revision was made on MS. Escurial i. j, 3. It is provided with a commentary, and profusely illustrated, perhaps by Jewish artists. A manuscript of the Prophets, in two languages, in the library of the Academy of History in Lisbon follows Arragel's translation so closely that it may possibly represent the first attempt of Arragel.

This Castilian translation (or revision) was carried by the Spanish exiles into Italy and Turkey. It also became the Bible of the Spanish Jews in the Netherlands. It appears first in Hebrew characters in the Polyglot Pentateuch (Hebrew, Onkelos, Rashi, Neo-Greek, and Spanish), published at Constantinople by Eliezer Bekor Gerson Soncino (see Belleli, in "Rev. Etudes Juives," xxii. 250; Grünbaum, "Jüd.-Span. Chrestomathie," p. 6). The Neo-Greek represents a different translation from that of the Spanish. From this polyglot it found its way into the celebrated Ferrara Bible of 1553, which bears the title "Biblia en Lengua Española, Traduzida Palabra por Palabra de la Verdad Hebrayca por Muy Excellentes Letrados, Vista y Examinada por el Oficio de la Inquisicion. Con Privilegio del Ylustrissimo Señor Duque de Ferrara." Two editions seem to have been published: one, for Jews, signed by Abraham Usque; the other, for Christians, signed by Jerome of Vargas (De los Rios, "Juifs d'Espagne," p. 432).

De los Rios (l.c. p. 436) thinks that the author of "Retratos o Tablas de las Historias del Testamento Viejo," Lyons, 1543, a popular exposition of the Bible, was a Marano; but this does not seem to have been proved.

The Ferrara Bible of 1553 became the basis for the Spanish and Ladino translations which were published at Salonica and Amsterdam. This is seen also in the title, which usually runs "Biblia en Lengua Española, Traduzida Palabra por Palabra de la Verdad Hebrayca." This is also true of the " (image) (image) con Ladino y Agora Nos a Parecedo Comenzar de los (image) ," etc., published by Joseph b. Isaac b. Joseph Jabez in 1568, as Kayserling (l.c. p. 28) has clearly shown. In Amsterdam the translation remained substantially the same, though it was often revised ("reformada"): 1611; 1630 and 1646, Gillis Joost; corrected by Samuel de Caceres and printed by Joseph Athias (1661);corrected by Isaac de Abraham Dias and printed by David Fernandes (1726); "con las annotaciones de Or Torah," Proops, 1762. This translation also appeared in Venice, 1730; Constantinople, 1739-43; idem, 1745; Vienna (ed. by Israel Bahor Haim and Aaron Pollak), 1813-16; and Smyrna, 1838. A Ladino translation, in Rashi script, was published at Vienna, 1841 (2d ed., 1853), by W. S. Schauffler for the American Bible Society (see Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the society, 1842, p. 120). According to Grünbaum, it bears many points of resemblance to the Pentateuch of 1547 and to the Ferrara Bible.

Various portions of this translation appeared separately, an edition of the Pentateuch appearing in the same year (1553) and at Ferrara. To this may be added the following:

"Humas de Parasioth y Aftharoth," ed. Manasseh ben Israel, Amsterdam, 1627; ed. Ymanuel Benveniste, ib. 1643; another edition was published by Manasseh himself, ib. 1655 (though he says of it, "Obra nueva y de mucha utilidad"); "Parafrasis Comentada sobre el Pentateucho," ed. Isaac da Fonseca Aboab, ib. 1681; "Cinco Libros de la Ley Divina . . . de Nuevo Corrigidos," by David Tartas, ib. 1691; "Los Cinco Libros . . . Interpretados en Lengua Española," ed. Joseph Franco Serrano, ib. 1695; 1705 and 1724 (Isaac de Cordova); "Cinco Libros," corrected by David de Elisha Pereyra, ib. 1733; "El Libro de la Ley," published in Constantinople in 1873, is, according to Grünbaum (l.c. 12), a different translation.

The Psalms were reprinted: Ferrara, 1553; Salonica, 1582; Amsterdam, 1628, 1730; Vienna, 1822; Constantinople, 1836. Several other translations of the Psalms were produced during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. David Abenatar Melo, a Marano who escaped the Inquisition at Madrid and became a Jew again in 1611, published in 1626 ("En Franquaforte") "Los CL Psalmos de David, en Lengua Española, en Varias Rimas." In these Psalms he has inserted, when appropriate, an account of his own and his people's sufferings (De los Rios, l.c. pp. 468 et seq.; Kayserling, "Bibl. Esp.-Port.-Jud." pp. 67, 68). A prose translation was made by Ephraim Bueno and Jonah Abravanel (Amsterdam, 1650; 2d edition, 1723; see De los Rios, l.c. p. 498). A third translation was made by Jacob Judah Leon Templo ( (image) , "Las Alabancas de Santidad," Amsterdam, 1671)—a verbatim prose translation of the original (De los Rios, l.c. p. 570; Kayserling, l.c. p. 58).

Of all the Biblical books, Canticles was most frequently reprinted. A translation was published in Hamburg, 1631, by David Cohen Carlos "de lengua Caldayca"; but the favorite rendering was that of Abraham de Isaac Lañado, published in Hebrew characters at Venice, 1619, 1654, 1655, 1672, 1716, 1721, 1739, 1805; Leghorn, 1769, 1787; Vienna, 1820. The Venice edition was published in Roman characters by Moses Belmonte, Amsterdam, 1644, and was reprinted at Amsterdam, 1664, 1683, 1701, 1712, 1724, and 1766. An edition of the Megillot appeared at Constantinople in 1813 (see Kayserling, l.c. p. 30); a Megillah in Spanish, dating from the early part of the eighteenth century, exists in the British Museum ("Jewish Chron." March 21, 1902, p. 24); but the provenience of the translation is unknown (on such Megillot see Abrahams, "Jewish Life in the Middle Ages," p. 345). A Portuguese translation of the Psalms, under the title "Espejo Fiel de Vidas," by Daniel Israel Lopez Laguna, appeared in London, 1720 (Kayserling, l.c. p. 55).

Italian Versions.

Both Zunz ("G. V." 2d ed., p. 457) and Güdemann ("Erziehungswesen in Italien," p. 206) refer to early translations of the Bible into Italian; the latter even speaks of their existence in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Steinschneider has shown ("Monatsschrift," xlii. 117) that this is an error. It is true that some of the authorities (such as Zedekiah ben Abraham and Isaiah de Trani, the younger) laid stress upon the necessity of translating the Bible into the speech of the country; but Judah 'Azahel del Bene (Ferrara, c. 1650) advised against the practise of teaching girls Italian, as he feared they would conceive a love for amorous poetry (Vogelstein and Rieger, "Juden in Rom," ii. 300). It was not before the sixteenth century that attempts were made to produce versions of portions of the Bible in Italian. Steinschneider (l.c. p. 318) has given a list of the existing manuscript translations. It was toward the end of that century that the first translations were published. David de Pomis (died after 1593) brought out an edition of Ecclesiastes with Italian translation at Venice in 1571. It was dedicated to Cardinal Grimani of Aquileja (Steinschneider, "Cat. Bodl." No. 218). He also translated Job and Psalms, but never published them ("Monatsschrift," xliii. 32). Hezekiah Rieti published (Venice, 1617) the text of Proverbs with Italian translation ("Cat. Bodl." No. 418); but no reliable account can be found of a translation of Job (Rome, 1773) mentioned by Zunz.

The translations made in the nineteenth century were all more or less under the influence of Mendelssohn's biur. In 1818 I. S. Reggio published at Vienna, as a specimen, ten verses of Genesis. He then brought out the whole Pentateuch ( (image) (image) "colla Traduzione Italiana"), Vienna, 1821; and ten years later "Il Libro d'Isaia, Versione Poetica" (Udine, 1831). Severe criticism was passed upon this version, because it seemed to weaken the force of many of the Messianic prophecies (see Fürst, "Bibl. Jud." iii. 140). In 1844 there appeared at Leghorn ( (image) ) an Italian translation of Job (Fürst, "Bibl. Jud." ii. 282, says it is by Luzzatto); and in 1872 a "Pentateuch, rev. von Letteris, mit Ital. Uebersetzung von Diodati" (Vienna; perhaps also London, 1836, 1864). Lelio della Torre of Padua translated the Psalms (Vienna, 1845). But these were completely overshadowed by the exact and careful versions of S. D. Luzzatto, whose poetical and literary judgment made him an excellent stylist (see "Hebr. Bibl." vi. 99; Elbogen, in "Monatsschrift," xliv. 460). He translated the greater part of the Old Testament: Isaiah ("Il Profeta Isaia Volgarizzato"), Padua, 1855-63; Pentateuch, Rovigo, 1860, Padua, 1876; Prophets, Rovigo, 1868; Isaiah, Padua, 1867; Job, Triest, 1853; generally with a valuable Hebrew commentary. Other Italian translations were produced: by Giuseppe Barzilai, "El Cantico dei Cantici" (Triest, 1865) in dramatic form, following Mandelstamm's and Horowitz's German translations; Lamentations (Trieste, 1867); by David Castelli, Ecclesiastes (Pisa, 1866); by Benjamin Consolo, Lamentations, Job, and Psalms (Florence?);by Gino Morpurgo, Ecclesiastes (Padua, 1898), and Esther (1899).

French Translations.

Translations of the Old Testament into French were not made by Jews prior to the first half of the nineteenth century. In 1831 Samuel Cahen began a monumental work, "La Bible, Traduction Nouvelle" (Paris, 1833-46, in 18 volumes), to which were added many essays by Munk, Zunz, Dukes, and others, and also a somewhat rationalistic commentary. This work was somewhat severely criticized (Abbé B. M. B., "Quelques Mots sur la Traduction Nouvelle," etc., Paris, 1835; "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1839, p. 30; "Literaturblatt des Orients," 1840, pp. 368 et seq.; Wogue, "Hist. de la Bible," p. 342); but it held the field for many years. A more faithful version of the Pentateuch was published in 1860 by Lazare Wogue. Among other translators may be mentioned A. ben Baruch Créhange (Psalms), and B. Mossé of Avignon (Psalms). But a popular and cheap Bible in French was sorely needed by the French Jews. Such a work has been taken in hand by the present chief rabbi of France, Zadok Kahn, and the other members of the French rabbinate. Wogue's translation was employed as the basis for the Pentateuch. The author himself made the necessary corrections; and before his death he was able to finish the translation of the prophetical books down to the First Book of Kings (vol. i., Paris, 1899). At the same time and under the same auspices, a children's Bible ("Bible de la Jeunesse") is being brought out.

Dutch Translations.

Few translations have been attempted by the Dutch Jews into their vernacular: the Spanish and Portuguese Jews in Holland made use of Spanish; the Ashkenazic Jews, of the Judæo-German version. The version of the Psalms in Dutch printed by Joseph Athias was made by Johann Leusden. During the nineteenth century translations were made by Samuel J. Mulder (see his "Tets over de Vertalingen der Heilige Schrift," Amsterdam, 1859): Pentateuch, 1826-42; Major Prophets, 1827; Five Scrolls, 1835, 3d ed. 1859; Proverbs, 1836; Psalms, 1838; all published in Amsterdam. He also published a "Bijbel voor de Israel. Jeugd," Leyden, 1843-54. In 1844 Gabriel J. and M. S. Polak published a Dutch translation of Job, which was to have been followed by a translation of the Prophets and the Hagiographa. This seems never to have been completed. A translation of Isaiah by G. A. Parsen also exists; while a new translation of the Pentateuch, together with Targum and Rashi, was brought out by A. S. Ondervijser in 1901.

Jewish translations into Russian are of very recent date. The writer knows only of L. I. Mandelstamm's Psalms (Berlin, 1864; 3d ed. 1872), Pentateuch ( (image) , 3d ed., Berlin, 1872); Aaron Pumpiansky's Psalms (Warsaw, 1871); J. Cylkow's Psalms (1883); and a version of Esther in German (Hebrew characters) and Russian (Warsaw, 1889). A Polish translation has been published by D. Neufeld.

Bibliography: See especially Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 1-198; idem, Jewish Literature, pp. 232 et seq.; Jost, Neuere Gesch. der Israeliten, iii. 37, 139, 161; Kayserling, in Winter and Wünsche, Die Jüdische Literatur, iii. 751 et seq.; Jacobs and Wolf, Bibl. Anglo-Jud. pp. 199 et seq.; Urtext und Uebersetzungen der Bibel, in Real-Encykl. für Protest. Theologie und Kirche, vol. iii., Leipsic, 1897.

This entry includes text from the Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906.
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