Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Versions of the Bible

http://worldchristianchurches.blogspot.comThe following are the most important versions or translations of the Bible.

1. Septuagint. The oldest Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament is known as the Septuagint, and was made in between 300 and 130 B.C. It derives its name from the seventy or seventy two translators to whom it is been attributed. According to a legend, Ptolemy II (284-247 B.C.) wished to have a copy of the Law of Moses in his famous library in Alexandria.

2. Old Latin. Since the Christians of Rome and of the Roman Empire needed a Latin Bible for the Liturgy and for to private reading, it is probable that as early as the first century the Greek Bible - both the Old and the New Testaments - began to be translated into Latin. The Latin Bible which was used in the Western Europe prior to the acceptance of St. Jerome's text is commonly known as the "Old Latin."

3. Vulgate. The Latin "Vulgate" text is the work of St. Jerome (383-405). The New Testament is St. Jerome's revision of the Old Latin text made with the help of the ancient Greek manuscripts. Most of the books of the Old Testament are a direct translation of the original on Hebrew, while the rest are the Old Latin text. The Council of the Trent made the Vulgate the official text of the Catholic Church, and our present edition was brought out by Clement VIII in 1592.

4. The Rheims-Douay Bible. The most widely used in English Catholic translation (from the Latin Vulgate) of the Bible is the Rheims-Douay or Douay Version. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth many English bishops, priests and laymen were obliged to seek refuge in France and other European countries. In 1568 a number of illustrious Oxford scholars opened an English College at Douay in France, in order to supply priests for the English missions. In 1578 the College was transferred to Rheims and later back again to Douay.

5. The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures - of which Fathers Lattey and Keating of the Society of the Jesus are general editors - was published in England. It is a new critical Catholic translation of the New Testament made directly from the Greek. It is a private and not an official version of the Bible.

6. The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Edition of New Testament. This is not a translation but a revision of the Challoner-Rheims Version are undertaken by a group of Catholic scholars under the patronage of the episcopal committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. It aims to bring the language of the Challoner's version into conformity with modern English and to render accurately the divine message in the language of our own day.

7. Protestant Versions. The King James or Authorized Version (AV) was published in 1611 in the reign of King James I. The Authorized Version is not a new translation but a revision of an English Bible known as the Bishop's Bible and then published in 1568. The translation is often colored by the anti-Catholic prejudice which in certain instances leads to outright falsifications of the text. The purity of its English, however, has made it the Bible of English Protestantism. 

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