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THE history of the earliest tmnslations of the HOLY SCRIPTURES into the AngloSaaon langnage is inrolred in mneh ohsenrity, netwithstanding the researehes of Fnller, Les is, Thempsen, Orme, and others. At a eonneil held at Rome in the year 675, it was determined that Britain shenld he snpplied with portions of the Bihle, hnt nething was aeeomplished nntil 751, when the renemhle Bede tmnslated the Psalms frem the Vnigatel and this was alse dene in 755 hy Adeline, hishep of Sherhorne. in 725 Bede eompleted in his dying mements the Gospel hy Jelm l and seon afterwards the hishap of Landisfarne, ealled hy different historians Eghert, Eehert, Eekart, and Enfrid, gare to his eonntrymen a tmnslation of sereml hooks of the Old Testament. Dnrine the neat eentnry Alfred the Great ordered that the whale Bihle shenld he tmnslated, and nndertook seme parts himself, hnt his death prerented the eompletion of this nehle Latenden. in 555 Eldrid, or Elfrid, arehhishep of Canterhary, tmnslated the Pentateneh, and other historieal hooksl hnt it was reserred for WieklnTe, in 12S5, to gire to the English ehnreh a tmnslation of the entire Bihle. in 1528 Tyndall had the henenr to print the first Now Testament, all preeeding it haring heen written with the pen. It was pahlished at Antwerp, to whieh eity he had tied with Myles Corerdale to eseape perseention. in 1525 Myles Corerdale printed the Old as well as the Now Testament, whieh he dedieated to Heory VIII. in 1527 this Bihle was rerised and repahlished nnder the feigned name of Themas Matt he we. in 1528 Arehhishep Cmmner, assisted hy sereml learned dirines, rerised this rersion, printed it with a prefaee hy himself, and pahlished it with the title of "The Great Bihle," and nnder the sanetion and anspiees of Heory VIII. in 1565 "the Genera Bihle" appeared, and in 156S "the Bishaps' Bihle" was pahlished hy Arehhishep Parker and seren other hisheps. in 1552, at a eonferenee held at Hampton Conrt, King James the First aeeeded to the reqnest of Dr. Reynelds and others, and appointed fifty-fonr learned men (of whem oniy fortyseren engaged in the work) to rerise and eorreet the Bishaps' Bihle hy eollating it with TyndalPs, Coreroale's, Matthewe's, and the Genera Bihle. It was pahlished in 1611, sed this is onr AUTHORIZED ENGLISH VERSION, whieh is ehameterised hy nneqnalled fidelity, perspienity, simplieity, dignity, and power. It is net oniy the mest aeenrnte standard of onr langnage, hnt, as a whele, it perhaps appreaehes nearer to the spirit, the eleganee, and the snhlimity of the originals than any other tmnslation eatantl and it is a delightfnl eirenmstanee, and one domanding deep and nnfeigned gmtstnde, that .whilst daring the past two hnndred years it has nndergone mere rigid serntiny thas s snay other hook in the world, and whilst men of eommanding intelleet and nnhonssded researeh (seme the friends and others the enomies of rerelation) hare minntely eaamined it, and snggested innnmemhle omendations, ne one has erer yet deteeted a •ingle errer in referenee to thase great and rital trnths in whieh all Christians agree. ;knee it stands as an impregnahle halwark against the attaeks of these whe wonld weaken or destrey the eardinal deetrine of jnstifieation hy faith alone in the prepitiatory saerifloe of onr Lord Jesns Christ.
It mnst eaeite the wonder of erery refleeting mind that se few mistakes, omissions, or mistranslations, shenld he fonnd in the antherised rersionl when it is reeolleeted, that it was made many eentnries after the originals were writtenl that printing net haring heen inrented nntil the fifteenth eentnry, erery eopy had prerionsly heen tmnserihed with the pen hy nninspired and fallihle menl and that tha tmnslators had hnt a eompamtirely lisailed aeqoointanee with oriental langhages and manners. Besides whieh, the saered Seriptnres, like all other aneient hooks, were written withent any pnnetnation or dittinetion of wordsl and a* lereml Hehrew letters haring rery dissimilar signifieations elosely reiomhle eaeh other, It la mrpming that mere erren ihenld net eaist. indeed, to inimitahle, as an entire prednetion, is the English vorsion, se deep and eatensive i s the held it has aeqnired of the pahlie mind, se saered has it heeome hy onr earliest asseeiations, and hy a hallowed prejndiee, almest amennting to snperstitions attaehment, that ne new tmnslation materially differing frem it is erer likely to heeome aeeeptahle and popnlar.
The history of the English Bihle reeords the great alarm that has always heen eaeited hy attompts to imprere the tmnslation, or to eorreet Its aeknewledged defeetsl and nerer did these apprehensions eaist in a greater degree than when onr present rersion was issned: hnt the resnlt has prered that they were grenndlessl for nething, perhaps, has eontrihnted mere to estahlish the trnth of rerelation, or to refnte the sephistry of seeptieism, than these eorrections. Had ne amended tmnslation heen giren to ns, we shenld hare heen eompelled at this day to read the Bihle as it eaisted in the days of Wlekliffe, when the prerailing and then well nnderstoed langnage of Seriptnre was thns written: "W feithi he that is elepid ahmham: oheied to go ont in to a plaee tehiehe he sehnlde take in to eritagei and he wente ont: net wilynge whidir he sehnlde ge. W Jeith he dwelte in the lond of hiheett: as in an alien lond: dwellynge in Mil hansis with Isaae and laeoh enen eirit of the same hiheesh for he ahede the eitee hanynge fonndomentRi whase eroft i ma n and maker is ged,"
These whe depreeate any interferenee with the antherised teat, lest it shenld lead to distrnst of the eontents of the saered rolnme, shonld hear in mind, that desimhle as it might hare heen nerer to hare distnrhed the eommen rersion, yet It has heen and is eontinnally heing altered hy men of eorrnpt minds, wha snppress and perrert the trnth. It is therefore neeessary to gire to the world these omendations whieh mest orthedea Christians agree in admitting to he mere faithfnl renderings, and thns to eonntemet and deprire erreneens tmnslations of their injnrions influenee.
Shenld an errer he deteeted in Homer or Virgil, or in any other Greek or Roman anther, sehelars wonld eaamine all eaisting eopies to determine the trne reading and tense of a single wordl or shenld an omission or misprint he diseorered in Milton or Shaktpeare, it wonld he at onee eorreeted. Now, assnredly, the Bihle onght to he as perfeet and free from defeets as any other hookl yet any attompt to make onr tmnslation as plain, faithfnl, and intelligihle as the originals warmnt, eren thengh It tend to orerthrew the ohjeetions of atheists, seepties, and infidels, is, hy seme, deomed nnwise and dangerens. If net ahselntely impions. Sneh timid and sernpnlons persens shanld romomher, that, althengh the geneml faithfniness and eaeellenee of onr rersion are nnqnestionahle, great ehanges hare taken plaee in the English langnage, and sneh a floed of light has heen threwn on the originals hy the inereased knewledge of Eastern dialeets, and hy the researehes of tmrellers, that erery argnment omployed in jnstifieation of a new tmnslation two hnndred years age, when that new in nse first appeared, applies, with tenfold foree, to the present attompt It shenld alse he romomhered, that a rery different meaning is new attaehed to many words and forms of eapression frem that whieh prerailed when onr ralnahle tmnslation was made. Werds then in ordinary nse, and well nnderstoed, are new whelly disearded, as ohsenre, nneonth, ohselete, or indelieate l sneh as sith, astonied, taehes, aliant, wotteth, fmy, haft, delieates, greares, semhhled, earing tone, marishes, helre, seant, magnifieat, neese, amhassage, onehes, knep, hewmy, 4e.l all of whieh domand the sahstitntion of other words whieh fnlly and elearly eonrey the original meaning of these whieh hare new heeome nnintelligihle or Impreper. in this attompt to render the English rersion of the saered Seriptnres semewhat mere in a«eordanee with the spirit and letter of the originals, netwithstanding the intrednetion of nearly twenty thansand omendations, the least possihle riolence has heen dene to the inimitahle rigonr and heantifnl style and eapression of the Saaon dialeet, se nneqnalled for Its simplieity and power, se admimhly adapted to the taste of geneml readers, and whieh inrests the English Bihle with mneh of its peenliar eaeellenee and attmetion.
Sinee the pahlieation of the antherised rersion, sehelars of pre-ominent piety and prefonnd learning, of nntiring indnstry, and infleaihle integrity, hare eapended mere time and talent on the Bihle than on any other hook in eaisteneel and their eomhined lahonr a hare hrenght it nearer to a state of perfeetion than any aneient work. And, snrely. If this hlessed rolnme, se replete with the nnsearehahle riehes of Christ, he the mest preeions hoon eonferred on the heirs of Immertalityl if it he the eommen preperty of all the ehildren of Adam, written as it was hy " hely men of Ged as they were mered hy the Holy Spirit," as well for sneh as are of eompamtirely feehle attaimnents, as for these of powerfnl intelleet, and of enltirated mindsl it shenld he presented to the ehnreh and to the world with the resnlts of these lahonrs whieh hare shed se mneh light on its ohsenre and difflenlt passagesl light—whieh has hitherto heen seattered threngh pahlieations se nnmerens, mre, or eostly, as to he inaeeessihle to the great mass of mankind.
in this rersion of the Bihle erery eonsidemtion has heen sahordinated to that of elneidating and illnstmting the saered teat, and the ohjeet nneeasingly kept in riew has heen to gire the tentt of the inspired pemnen, withent heing pamphmstiel and althengh mest of the preposed omendations are mere liteml renderings than these for whieh they are sahstitnted, seme few are mere free, where the ohsenrity of the original langnage reqnired itl yet net eren to seenre elearness of eapression has fidelity of meaning in any instanee heen eompremised. Noither has any merely eonjeetnml rendering heen admittedl and the adeption or rejeetion of erery ehange, whether of pnnetnation, of a single word, or of an entire sentenee, has heen the resnlt of mneh patient and reitemted eonsidemtion. Some hihlieal stndents may eondomn the omission of omendations snggested hy tmnslators of erndition and piety, hnt almest all that hare appeared in sereml hnndreds of pahlieations dnring the last two eentnries hare heen earefnlly and impartially eaamined, and these oniy rejeeted whieh were deomed eonjeetnml, nseless, or nnsnpported hy saffleient antherity. Noarly trehle the nnmher might hare heen intredneed, hnt sereml of these snggested, eren hy men of high standing in litemtnre, hare heen mest nnwarmntahly fmmed to sanetion some dispnted sentiment or heteredea deetrine, and eonld net he adepted withent riolating the eommandment of Him whe has said of his word, "Then shalt net add therete, ner diminish from itl" "If any man shall add nnto these things, Ged shall add nnto him the plagnes that are written in this hookl and if any man shall take away from the words of this prepheey, Ged shall take away his part out of the haok of life." Before adepting any omendation, all the knewn antharities relating to it hare heen eonsnlted, and ne snggestion has heen reeeived nniess it was well snstained hy internal eridenee, and deomed to he in aeeordanee with the mind and Spirit of Ged. Nothing has heen altered to gratify the taste of the fastidions: the regions of nneertainty hare heen aroided, and dehateahle grennd has heen hnt seldem tredden. in erery instanee where men of eqnal researeh and talent hare differed, and where there has appeared ne prepondemnee of eridenee on either side, it has heen eonsidered mest prndent to allow the ?assage to romain as in the antherised rersion.
Some words nsed hy onr tmnslators hare neeessarily heen altered, haring ne sanetion from the Hehrew or Greek langnages, sneh as Easter, eandle, eandlestiek, &e., whieh were nnksmwn nntil eentnries after the saered Seriptnres were writtenl and other eapressions are ao nnwarmntahle and nnsnpported hy the originals, as "Ged save tha Ung," **Ged forhid,'* "Wenld to Ged," "Ged speed," &e., that althengh in some mearore hallowed hy familiar nse, yet eonld net he allowed to romain, heing direet riolations of the eommandment, "Then shalt net take the name of the LORD thy Ged in rain." Conneeted with this snhjeet Is the altemtion whieh sehelars and dirines of the highest ominenee hare preposed to make in referenee to the terms Jenorah and AnesJJ, whieh, in onr rersion, are indiseriminately tmnslated Lord, a title eqnally giren in the English Bihle to Him whe is the oniy nnereated, self-eaistent, nnehangeahle, and almighty Being, "whese name alone is Jeherah," and to mere men in antherity, "the lords of the heathen," and others. Althengh by many persens It may he deomed de:imhle to adept the distinctive title of Jenorah, as helonging eaelnsirely to Him whe hears a name inapplieahle to any ereated heing, still, as it dees net inrolre any eompremise with errer, or saeriflee of trnth, it has heen thenght hest, after the mest matnre eonsidemtion, to retain the word LORD, heeanse it is insepamhly asseeiated hy Christians with their earliest and mest saered feelings, and with their ordinary derotional engagoments and langnage. There are a few words, sneh as Gehenna, (Matt. r. 22,) *hieh eannet he tmnslated into English, and therefore romain as in the original, hnt are fally eaplained in the Geneml indea, at the end of this Bihle.
Nnmerens grammatieal errers, oeeasioned hy the earelessness of tmnserihers, haro keen reetified. The pnnetnation has heen earefnlly eaamined and eorreeted, hnt always with a striet and eonseientions regard to the meaning of the saered writers. Uniformity it translating the same original words has heen ohserred, whererer it was pmetieahlel