Watchman Willie Martin Archive

                  The History of the English


A Brief History of Christianity, 1st Century until


The last books of the Newer Scriptures were written in the 1st century. The Disciples did there Preaching, Teaching, and Writing of YAHSHUA'S  Word everywhere they could.

The Apostles then continued to Preach and Teach, but the written Word stopped. Christianity spread throughout Europe, and the other lands where the Israelites were, like wildfire! Many translations, commentaries, concordances, and dictionaries have been written since then, but NO Scripture for about 1,900 years.

What has happen to the Israelite people since then? There is NO Scripture, but we have History. We know now the Israelites are the Pure White Race, the tribes of Benjamin are found in Iceland, Manasseh in England, Dan in Denmark and Greece, Asher in Sweden, Issachar in Finland, Naphtali in Norway, Reuben in Holland, Simeon in Spain, Gad in Italy, Ephraim in America, Zebulun in France and Hungary, Levi scattered throughout the Kingdom as the Priesthood, and finally the Zarah branch of Judah in Ireland and Scotland, and the Pharez branch in Germany!

Obviously, there are groups of these tribes found elsewhere. YAHSHUA was the most controversial person whoever walked the earth, because he told the

TRUTH, and was the ONLY person without sin! His

Disciples were also controversial because they also

told the TRUTH.

If they, as supposed by the jew controlled churches preached "all love," why would YAHSHUA and the Disciples have all been killed so violently??? The answer is; the churches LIE, or don't know what they are talking about! They all Identified the simple facts that the TRUE Israelites of the Scripture, then called the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" are the White Race! Also, they identified the jews of the day as being the children of the devil! (John 8:44)

They also told the people that ALL the prophecies of the older Scriptures had been fulfilled in YAHSHUA! Also, they preached the Gospel of the Kingdom! Not sweet syrupy "all love" as the phony churches say. The satanic seedline jews hated the new Christ‑Sons then, and now, and always will, until one or the other is destroyed! (YHVH says we win, and they will all be destroyed by fire!)

At that time they wanted to destroy Christians, and stop Christianity from spreading, so they bribed the politicians of the Roman Empire (like Washington D.C. today) to kill them by crucifixion, throwing them to the lions, etc. It didn't work well as Christianity continued to spread. Next, Christianity was accepted on an equal footing as all the other pagan religions in Rome! Next, Constantine made it the "Official Religion of the Roman Empire"!

The jews needed a "plan B," so they decided to "organize Christianity, and rule it"! Christianity, was started by YAHSHUA, obviously, first in Glastonbury England, during the time he was 12 to 30 years old, the so called "missing years" when YAHSHUA was with his uncle, Joseph of Arimathea there.

The Druid Priesthood was the continuation of the Levitical Priesthood. They readily accepted the Teachings and taught it in the University's. The Greek Church was also well under way. The catholic (means universal, not Christian) church was formed by the jews and Roman convert Christians. The main theme was to insert themselves between YHVH/YAHSHUA, and the Israelites, now called Christ‑Sons, and if the people wanted to talk to YHVH you must first pay the catholic/jew priests. (Always the jews want money).

Well, at first it didn't go to well as people were wise to the subtle satanic seedline jew. But, with accepting other pagans and there rituals, holidays, and bribery along the way etc., the phony catholic church began to grow. It was necessary to their future to suppress the truth in the Scripture, so they went on a "book search, and destroy mission" of all the correct Scripture's out there, and had Jerome the scribe translate the Scripture into the almost dead language of Latin, in Approx. 380 A.D.

Now with the Scripture out of the way, you had to pay the catholic/jew priest not only for him to speak to YHVH on your behalf, but also to ask him what the Scripture said! Naturally they made up a lot of things that were not in the Scripture, but suited their purpose. Purgatory being one example. If you wanted to get the priest to pray for your mother, father, or someone else, and to shave off a thousand years from their "sentence" there, you had to pay the priest, possibly leave all your worldly possessions to the church, and not to your heirs!

A person cannot be paid out of purgatory: “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psalm 49:7)

It didn't take long with these tactics for the church to become extremely wealthy! For the next 1,000 years the catholic church ruled the world, also known as the dark ages! Many believe this is the 1,000 years of Satan's rule! During that time certainly the Israelite/Christ‑Sons had NO Scripture's to read, and were lost to their Identity, as to their Israelite Heritage, they did believe they were Christians, but couldn't connect the two.

Also, the Church went around making and accepting "converts" without regard to Race! In Spain a jew was either exiled, Killed, or converted to being a Christian! Can you imagine, converting a child of Satan to be a Christian!?! YAHSHUA NEVER tried to convert them, and spoke in parables when they came around. For that matter he told everyone,"He came ONLY for the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew15:24), and told his Disciples to go and preach ONLY to the lost sheep of the house of Israel"!(Matthew 10:5-6)

Approx. 1,380 A.D., John Wycliffe translated the Latin Bible that Jerome wrote, into English! This was the end of the 1,000 year rein of Satan, and the beginning of the Reformation! This made the catholic church crazy! Others began to translate the Scripture into there languages, Martin Luther  translated the Scripture into German when he saw that the catholic church was so corrupt, selling "indulgences" (commit any sin, and the priest's will pray it away, for a price!) YHVH/YAHSHUA provided Gutenberg with the knowledge of the "printing press" so more Scripture's could be printed, and mass produced in the 1,450's! The Tyndale‑Coverdale  Scripture's were printed in England.

Henry the VIII wanted a divorce, but the pope refused to grant one, so Henry told the catholic church, He was now head of the church in England, and the bishops had a choice, to die, go back to Rome, or pledge obedience to him! Some stayed, and some went to Rome. "Bloody Mary" came to the throne in England, and wanted to go back under catholic rule, but that wouldn't happen. She persecuted and murdered her people and some of the scholars fled to Geneva Switzerland and wrote the famous "Geneva Bible" with the marginal notes!

The notes spoke out against government and the head of the church, and was very popular with the people. It was the Bible of the Pilgrims, Puritans, Shakespeare, and others. King James came to the throne of England and made a law that anyone caught with the Geneva Bible was to be put to death! He ordered his scribes to print a new Bible, and remove the marginal notes, and anything that spoke bad about the King or the Head of the church, since he was both. At that point you have the first "government controlled Bible"!

The catholic church was losing their power, and had to do damage control. Having the Scriptures printed in English was a must, to get there version out there, called the Douay‑Rheims Version. Loyola, the so called converted jew, formed the Jesuits for the church, for the purpose of re‑gaining control of the people and getting them back into the catholic church! The Renaissance had also began. So you had the Christian- Reformation, and Arts and Science/Renaissance going on, plus the "discovery and re‑gathering of the Israelite/Christ‑Sons in the America's! But the catholic church, with the help of some of the Kings, persecuted the Protestant's for leaving the "mother" church, instigated by the Jesuits! It didn't work well, so "plan B" was to infiltrate the Protestant churches, and take them over from within! That worked well, so eventually, things settled down in the area of Religion.

In the 1,800's John Wilson, and Edward Hine were instrumental in "Discovering and Preaching" the Identity of the Israelite people(again), as the White Christian Anglo‑Saxon people! They proved it beyond any shadow of doubt with Scripture, and Archeological findings of the day! Also with more freedom of Religion, new denominations were formed, which made the Jesuits have to infiltrate, and control them also.

The jews  again went crazy and had to come up with a new LIE to cover the old LIES! They agreed with the British Empire that indeed they were the Israelites of the Scripture, but the jews were the southern kingdom of Judah! They showed the Brits that in Scripture, the 2 houses of Israel were to be joined again in the end times, and rule the world together, and bring in the kingdom here on earth! The Brits fell for it. They figured with the jew money power, and the British Military power (the most powerful in the world at the time) it sounded good. Obviously, the jews are NOT the House of Judah, the Germans, Irish, and Scots are! Also, in about 750 A.D., the Khazar/ashkenazi became jews by converting to that so called satanic religion, and are 85% to 95% of the jews today! Impossible for them to be the tribe Judah also.

In the 20th century we have great scholars of the Scripture, like Bertrand Comparet, Wesley Swift, William Gale, and many others, that have further expounded on Wilson and Hine's  "discovered again," the other seedline from Genesis 3:15, Matthew 13:24-30, John 8:44, and many other Scriptures that as YAHSHUA said, the jews are the literal children of Satan the devil! So we have the Original TRUTH that YAHSHUA and the Disciples preached, called today "The 2 seedline Christian/Israel Identity message"!

YAHSHUA said in Matthew 23:30-36, that the jews were responsible for all the righteous blood spilled from Abel (Cain the murderer, Satan and Eve's offspring) to Zacharias! Since NO Scripture has been written for almost 1,900 years, I would say that the jews are responsible for all the righteous White Christian blood spilled from YAHSHUA'S time until now!

It makes perfect logical sense, and when we look at the jews persecution of Christ‑Sons in YAHSHUA'S time, we see 10's of 1,000's of our White Christian brother's and sister's slaughtered! We see in the Reformation again, 10's of 1,000's killed for practicing Christianity, and breaking away from the satanic catholic church to form there own in the Protestant movement, or printing the Scripture's, or just reading them!

In the 20th Century, we have seen the slaughter of 70 MILLION White Christian Russ, in Russia, between 1913 and 1945 by the satanic seedline jews! This is Historical FACT! They jews declared WAR on Germany in 1933 and have killed over 20 MILLION German's in WW1 and WW2, but most of them AFTER WW2 ended!

This is Historical FACT! They control all the International and national banks. Those banks run all those governments as "he who borrows is slave to the lender". The media is jew controlled and feeds you the propaganda to keep you unaware! The jews control your schools, and indoctrinate your children to turn them from YHVH and the Scripture, and be materialistic and a satanic one worlder!

The lawyers and judges are jew, or jew controlled, and make up anti‑Christ laws to control you. The military is controlled, by the jew controlled governments, and would murder you in a second if told to do so, as they would be "just following orders." The police departments also, "just following orders". The doctors are mostly jews, and murder over 300,000 people a year, mostly White Christians from wrong diagnosis, wrong medication, or botched operation's.

The abortion butcher shops have murdered over 40 MILLION so far, plus 5 times that many at least, on birth control poisons! Our water supply is filled with chemicals, especially fluoride which is pure poison. Our air in the cities are thick with pollution, and these days the chemtrails add more poison I am sure!

The jews own, and run all the drug companies, including the "illegal" drug market! You can hardly find any food in the supermarkets that aren't packed with many chemicals! We are in the middle of a chemical warfare operation, and don't even realize it! The jews push the anti‑Christ race mixing, and homosexuality lies on our people, especially the children. 2 more evil forms of destroying the White Race Christ‑Sons. You will find behind every evil thing on this earth throughout history, the satanic seedline jew is operating to destroy the White Christians, the TRUE Israelites, YHVH'S children as Luke Chapter 3:1-38 identifies!

You can trace your genealogy if you are Pure White Race, back to Royalty in the European Country of your decedents, when you find one, you can contact the Library, Church or place of records, and ask for the "fast track" genealogy records of that person, and you will find them going back to one of the Tribes of Israel, and then back to Adam (Aw‑daum)!

So forward or backward you can trace your Heritage to being a Son, or Daughter of YHVH! You should be proud as can be of that Heritage! You need to start acting like a child of YHVH! So even though there hasn't been any Scripture's written in 1,900 years, YHVH'S Word is very much ALIVE! YAHSHUA identified his children, and identified his enemy, the children of Satan, the jews!

This is the TRUTH the jews want to keep from you! When you fully understand that you are a child of YHVH, and the jew is the child of Satan the devil, not because I say so, but because the Scripture says so, and you look at the world today, and History to see it verify the Scripture as a second witness then you understand the true message of YAHSHUA!

There is NO bigger or more important TRUTH than to know the true Word of YAHSHUA! This is it! To understand the Identity of who the Scripture is written to and for, and who is the anti‑Christ, and against our Father in the Heavens! The jews crucified  Him, and have been murdering Christians before, during, and after the crucifixion, especially now! The 20th Century  was the bloodiest of all, way over 200 MILLION of your Christ‑Sons, Brother's and Sister's were murdered by the jews!

This is not a secret, you just have to read the Scripture, and History. How do you feel about the jews murdering your family? Those were your Brothers and Sisters and can be traced so, in genealogy records and the Scripture! Why aren't the jews arrested, and put on trial for all these mass murders and genocide of the White Race?

Will you stand up and speak the TRUTH that YAHSHUA and the Disciples spoke? Are you more afraid of Satan and his kids the jews, than being for YHVH? You will have to stand in judgment before YHVH some day, not Satan or his kids! Even if you didn't believe in YHVH or the Scripture, the evidence about the jews being the mass murderers of all the times in History is overwhelming!

The times of today, who can deny that the jews are at the top of all the major political, religious, and economic industries? The evidence is there, just take a look! I could have written many other things here, but I wanted to keep it as brief as possible, but make the point as clear as possible. I hope you have learned something and take this message to heart, and spread it to your fellow Brothers and Sisters of your TRUE family, the White Race! May YHVH bless you in your studies.

The first hand‑written English language manuscripts of the Bible were produced in 1380's A.D., by Oxford theologian John Wycliff (Wycliffe). Curiously, he was also the inventor of bifocal eyeglasses. Wycliff spent many of his years arguing against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. Though he died a nonviolent death, the Pope was so infuriated by his teachings that 44 years after Wycliff had died, he ordered the bones to be dug‑up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

Gutenberg invented the printing press in the 1450's, and the first book to ever be printed was the Bible. It was, however, in Latin rather than English. With the onset of the Reformation in the early 1500's, the first printings of the Bible in the English language were produced...illegally and at great personal risk of those involved.

William Tyndale was the Captain of the Army of reformers, and was their spiritual leader. He worked most of his translating years alone, but had help from time to time as God discerned he needed it. Indirectly, he had the help of Erasmus in the publication of his Greek/Latin New Testament printed in 1516. Erasmus and the great printer, scholar, and reformer John Froben published the first non‑Latin Vulgate text of the Bible in a millennium.

Latin was the language for  centuries of scholarship and it was understood by virtually every European who could read or write. Erasmus' Latin was not the Vulgate translation of Jerome, but his own fresh rendering of the Greek New Testament text that he had collated from six or seven partial New Testament manuscripts into a complete Greek New Testament.

The Latin that Erasmus translated from the Greek revealed enormous corruptions in the Vulgate's integrity amongst the rank and file scholars, many of whom were already convinced that the established church was doomed by virtue of its evil hierarchy. Pope Leo X's declaration that "the fable of Christ was very profitable to him" infuriated the people of God.

With Erasmus' work in 1516, the die was cast. Martin Luther declared his intolerance with the Roman Church's corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German from Erasmus' Greek/Latin New Testament and publish it in September of 1522. Simultaneously, William Tyndale would become burdened to translate that same Erasmus text into English. It could not, however, be done in England.

Tyndale showed up on Luther's doorstep in 1525, and by year's end had translated the New Testament into English. Tyndale was fluent in eight languages and is considered by many to be the primary architect of today's English language.

Already hunted because of the rumor spread abroad that such a project was underway, inquisitors and bounty hunters were on Tyndale's trail to abort the effort. God foiled their plans, and in 1525/6 Tyndale printed the first English New Testament. They were burned as soon as the Bishop could confiscate them, but copies trickled through and actually ended up in the bedroom of King Henry VIII.

The more the King and Bishop resisted its distribution, the more fascinated the public at large became. The church declared it contained thousands of errors as they torched hundreds of New Testaments confiscated by the clergy, while in fact, they burned them because they could find no errors at all. One risked death by burning if caught in mere possession of Tyndale's forbidden books.

Having God's Word available to the public in the language of the common man, English, would have meant disaster to the church. No longer would they control access to the scriptures. If people were able to read the Bible in their own tongue, the church's income and power would crumble. They could not possibly continue to get away with selling indulgences (the forgiveness of sins) or selling the release of loved ones from a church‑manufactured "Purgatory."

People would begin to challenge the church's authority if the church were exposed as frauds and thieves. The contradictions between what God's Word said, and what the priests taught, would open the public's eyes and the truth would set them free from the grip of fear that the institutional church held. Salvation through faith, not works or donations, would be understood. The need for priests would vanish through the priesthood of all believers. The veneration of church‑canonized Saints and Mary would be called into question. The availability of the scriptures in English was the biggest threat imaginable to the wicked church. Neither side would give up without a fight.

The Tyndale New Testament was the first ever printed in the English language. Its first printing occurred in 1525/6, but only one complete copy of the first printing exists. Any Edition printed before 1570 is very rare and valuable, particularly pre‑1540 editions and fragments. Tyndale's flight was an inspiration to freedom‑loving Englishmen who drew courage from the 11 years that he was hunted. Books and Bibles flowed into England in bales of cotton and sacks of flour. In the end, Tyndale was caught: betrayed by an Englishman that he had befriended. Tyndale was incarcerated for 500 days before he was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. His last words were, "Lord, open the eyes of the King of England."

Myles Coverdale and John Rogers were loyal disciples the last six years of Tyndale's life, and they carried the project forward and even accelerated it. Coverdale finished translating the Old Testament, and in 1535 he printed the first complete Bible in the English language, making use of Luther's German text and the Latin as sources. Thus, the first complete English Bible was printed on October 4, 1535, and is known as the Coverdale Bible.

John Rogers went on to print the second complete English Bible in 1537. He printed it under the pseudonym "Thomas Matthew," as a considerable part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities. It is a composite made up of Tyndale's Pentateuch and New Testament (1534‑1535 edition) and Coverdale's Bible and a small amount of Roger's own translation of the text. It remains known most commonly as the Matthews Bible.

In 1539, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, hired Myles Coverdale at the bequest of King Henry VIII to publish the "Great Bible." It became the first English Bible authorized for public use, as it was distributed to every church, chained to the pulpit, and a reader was even provided so that the illiterate could hear the Word of God in plain English. It would seem that William Tyndale's last wish had been granted...just three years after his martyrdom.

Cranmer's Bible, published by Coverdale, was known as the Great Bible due to its great size: a large pulpit folio measuring over 14 inches tall. Seven editions of this version were printed between April of 1539 and December of 1541.

The ebb and flow of freedom continued through the 1540's...and into the 1550's. The reign of Queen Mary (a.k.a. "Bloody Mary") was the next obstacle to the printing of the Bible in English. She was possessed in her quest to return England to the Roman Church. In 1555, John Rogers ("Thomas Matthew") and Thomas Cranmer were both burned at the stake. Mary went on to burn reformers at the stake by the hundreds for the "crime" of being a Protestant. This era was known as the Marian Exile, and the refugees fled from England with little hope of ever seeing their home or friends again.

In the 1550's, the Church at Geneva, Switzerland,

was very sympathetic to the reformer refugees and was one of only a few safe havens for a desperate people.

Many of them met in Geneva, led by Myles Coverdale and John Foxe (publisher of the famous Foxe's Book of Martyrs, which is to this day the only exhaustive reference work on the persecution and martyrdom of Early Christians and Protestants from the first century up to the mid‑16th century), as well as Thomas Sampson and William Whittingham.

There, with the protection of John Calvin and John Knox, the Church of Geneva determined to produce a Bible that would educate their families while they continued in exile.

The New Testament was completed in 1557, and the complete Bible was first published in 1560. It became known as the Geneva Bible. Due to a passage in Genesis describing the clothing that God fashioned for Adam and Eve upon expulsion from the Garden of Eden as "Breeches" (an antiquated form of "Britches"), some people referred to the Geneva Bible as the Breeches Bible.

The Geneva Bible was the first Bible to add verses to the chapters, so that referencing specific passages would be easier. Every chapter was also accompanied by extensive marginal notes and references so thorough and complete that the Geneva Bible is also considered the first English "Study Bible." William Shakespeare quotes thousands of times in his plays from the Geneva translation of the Bible. The Geneva Bible became the Bible of choice for over 100 years of English speaking Christians.

Between 1560 and 1644 at least 144 editions of this Bible were published. Examination of the 1611 King James Bible shows clearly that its translators were influenced much more by the Geneva Bible, than by any other source. The Geneva Bible itself retains over 90% of William Tyndale's original English translation. The Geneva in fact, remained more popular than the King James Version until decades after its original release in 1611! The Geneva holds the honor of being the first Bible taken to America, and the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims.

With the end of Queen Mary's bloody rein, the reformers could safely return to England. The Anglican Church, under Queen Elizabeth I, reluctantly tolerated the printing and distribution of Geneva version Bibles in England. The marginal notes, which were vehemently against the institutional Church of the day, did not rest well with the rulers of the day, however.

Another version, one with a less inflammatory tone was desired. In 1568, the Bishop's Bible was introduced. Despite 19 editions being printed between 1568 and 1606, the version never gained much of a foothold of popularity among the people. The Geneva may have simply been too much to compete with.

By the 1580's, the Roman Catholic Church saw that it had lost the battle to suppress the will of God: that His Holy Word be available in the English language. In 1582, the Church of Rome surrendered their fight for "Latin only" and decided that if the Bible was to be available in English, they would at least have an official Roman Catholic English translation. And so, using the Latin Vulgate as a source text, they went on to publish an English Bible with all the distortions and corruptions that Erasmus had revealed and warned of 75 years earlier.

Because it was translated at the Roman Catholic College in the city of Rheims, it was known as the Rheims (or Rhemes) New Testament. The Old Testament was translated by the Church of Rome in 1609 at the College in the city of Doway (also spelled Douay and Douai). The combined product is commonly referred to as the "Doway/Rheims" Version.

In 1589, Dr. Fulke of Cambridge published the "Fulke's Refutation," in which he printed in parallel columns the Bishops Version along side the Rheims Version, attempting to show the error and distortion of the Roman Church's corrupt compromise of an English version of the Bible.

With the death of Queen Elizabeth I, Prince James VI of Scotland became King James I of England. The Protestant clergy approached the new King in 1604 and announced their desire for a new translation to replace the Bishop's Bible first printed in 1568. They knew that the Geneva Version had won the hearts of the people because of its excellent scholarship, accuracy, and exhaustive commentary.

However, they did not want the controversial marginal notes (proclaiming the Pope an Anti‑Christ, etc.) Essentially, the leaders of the church desired a Bible for the people, with scriptural references only for word clarification when multiple meanings were possible.

This "translation to end all translations" (for a while at least) was the result of the combined effort of about fifty scholars. They took into consideration: The Tyndale New Testament, The Coverdale Bible, The Matthews Bible, The Great Bible, The Geneva Bible, and even the Rheims New Testament.

The great revision of the Bishop's Bible had begun. From 1605 to 1606 the scholars engaged in private research. From 1607 to 1609 the work was assembled. In 1610 the work went to press, and in 1611 the first of the huge (16 inch tall) pulpit folios known as "The King James Bible" came off the printing press.

A typographical error in Ruth 3:15 rendered the pronoun "He" instead of the correct "She" in that verse. This caused some of the 1611 First Editions to be known by collectors as "He" Bibles, and others as "She" Bibles.

It took many years for it to overtake the Geneva Bible in popularity with the people, but eventually the King James Version became the Bible of the English people. It became the most printed book in the history of the world. In fact, for around 250 years...until the appearance of the Revised Version of 1881...the King James Version reigned without a rival.

Although the first Bible printed in America was done in the native Algonquin Indian Language (by John Eliot in 1663), the first English language Bible to be printed in America (by Robert Aitken in 1782) was a King James Version. In 1791, Isaac Collins vastly improved upon the quality and size of the typesetting of American Bibles and produced the first "Family Bible" printed in America...also a King James Version. Also in 1791, Isaiah Thomas published the first Illustrated Bible printed in the King James Version.

In 1841, the English Hexapla New Testament was printed. This wonderful textual comparison tool shows in parallel columns: The 1380 Wycliff, 1534 Tyndale, 1539 Great, 1557 Geneva, 1582 Rheims, and 1611 King James versions of the entire New Testament...with the original Greek at the top of the page. (Hexaplas are available on our Book Vault Page).

Consider the following textual comparison of John 3:16 as they appear in many of these famous printings of the English Bible:

1st Ed. King James (1611): "For God so loued the world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life."

Rheims (1582): "For so God loued the vvorld, that he gaue his only‑begotten sonne: that euery one that beleeueth in him, perish not, but may haue life euerlasting"

Geneva (1557): "For God so loueth the world, that he hath geuen his only begotten Sonne: that none that beleue in him, should peryshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe."

Great Bible (1539): "For God so loued the worlde, that he gaue his only begotten sonne, that whosoeuer beleueth in him, shulde not perisshe, but haue euerlasting lyfe."

Tyndale (1534): "For God so loveth the worlde, that he hath geven his only sonne, that none that beleve in him, shuld perisshe: but shuld have everlastinge lyfe."

Wycliff (1380): "for god loued so the world; that he gaf his oon bigetun sone, that eche man that bileueth in him perisch not: but haue euerlastynge liif,"

It is possible to go back to manuscripts earlier than Wycliff, but the language found can only be described as the "Anglo‑Saxon" roots of English, and would not be easily recognizable as similar to the English spoken today.

For example, the Anglo‑Saxon pre‑English root language of the year 995 AD yields a manuscript that quotes John 3:16 as: "God lufode middan‑eard swa, dat he seade his an‑cennedan sunu, dat nan ne forweorde de on hine gely ac habbe dat ece lif."

Of course, the most affordable way to begin a Bible collection is to obtain a single leaf from one or more of these famous Bibles. Visit our unique online Giftshop for more information, pictures, and prices. You may also wish to read about the chronology of the famous printings of the Bible on our 2,500 Year Bible Timeline Page. May the Lord richly bless you as you study and appreciate His Word.

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                               The Transmission of the Bible

                                                 to English

500 BC: Completion of All Original Hebrew Manuscripts which make Up The 39 Books of the Old Testament.

200 BC: Completion of the Septuagint Greek Manuscripts which contain The 39 Old Testament Books AND 14 Apocrypha Books.

1st Century AD: Completion of All Original Greek Manuscripts which make Up The 27 Books of the New Testament.

390 AD: Jerome's Latin Vulgate Manuscripts Produced which contain All 80 Books (39 Old Test. + 14 Apocrypha + 27 New Test).

500 AD: Scriptures have been Translated into Over 500 Languages.

600 AD: LATIN was the Only Language Allowed for Scripture.

995 AD: Anglo‑Saxon (Early Roots of English Language) Translations of The New Testament Produced.

1384 AD: Wycliffe is the First Person to Produce a (Hand‑Written) manuscript Copy of the Complete Bible; All 80 Books.

1455 AD: Gutenberg Invents the Printing Press; Books May Now be mass‑Produced Instead of Individually Hand‑Written. The First Book Ever Printed is Gutenberg's Bible in Latin.

1516 AD: Erasmus Produces a Greek/Latin Parallel New Testament.

1522 AD: Martin Luther's German New Testament.

1525 AD: William Tyndale's New Testament; The First New Testament to be Printed in the English Language.

1535 AD: Myles Coverdale's Bible; The First Complete Bible to be printed in the English Language (80 Books: O.T. and N.T. and Apocrypha).

1537 AD: Matthews Bible; The Second Complete Bible to be Printed in English. Done by John "Thomas Matthew" Rogers (80 Books).

Although the title page of the 1537 Bible identifies the translator as Thomas Matthew, there is reason to think that this was a pseudonym intended to veil the identity of the real translator. The work is generally attributed to a man named John Rogers, a Cambridge graduate and friend of Tyndale. He had come into possession of some of Tyndale’s unpublished translations of several Old Testament books.

Published perhaps at Antwerp, the translation follows closely the Tyndale version. A new preface was provided for the Apocrypha, and, as in Coverdale’s Bible, the books of the Apocrypha were placed by themselves in an appendix to the Old Testament. The Matthew Bible had, for the first time in English, a translation of the approcryphal Prayer of Manasseh, rendered from the French of Oliv_tan’s Bible.

During Edward VI’s short reign (1547-53, Rogers was in favor and given London preferments, and immediately after the king’s death, he preached at St. Paul’s Cross, warning the people against popery.  By January 1554, after Mary had established her claim to the throne, Rogers was in prison, and in February 1555 he was burned alive at Smithfield, the first of the Protestant martyrs. The French ambassador wrote that Rogers died with such composure that it might have been a wedding.

1539 AD: “Taverner’s Bible (1539): Richard Taverner, born about 1505, a student at Cambridge and Oxford universities, became a lawyer while continuing his interest in the English Bible by producing a minor revision of Matthew’s Bible. Possessing a good knowledge of Greek, he was in a position to translate the Apocrypha for himself; his version, especially of 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, and Judith, differs greatly from the versions by Coverdale and by Matthew. The Psalms are numbered as in the vulgate, and Taverner has four books of Kings, not two of Samuel and two of kings. The order of books in his version of the New Testament is the same as in Matthew’s Bible.

Taverner was a client and pensioner of Thomas Cromwell, who in 1536 appointed him clerk of the Privy Seal. The fall of his patron in 1540 put a stop to his literary work and made his position unsafe. For a time he was imprisoned in the Tower of London because of his activity in the translation and revision of the English Bible. He succeeded, however, in regaining the royal favor, and under Edward VI in 1552, was granted a general license to preach, though a layman. He died in 1575.

Although his version was almost immediately eclipsed by another revision, it does have the honor of being the first to be printed completely in England.

1539 A.D.: The "Great Bible" Printed; The First English Language Bible to be Authorized for Public Use (80 Books).

The term “great” comes form the size of the volume, which was the largest of the English Bibles yet published (pages measured fifteen by ten inches). It was the first “authorized” English Bible, and in the 1540 and subsequent editions, it carried on the title page the explicit words “This is the Byble apoynted to the use of the churches.” It was undertaken by Coverdale at Thomas Cromwell’s suggestion and was produced maiy by the revision of the text of Matthew’s Bible.

Coverdale did not remain content with the first edition of the Great Bible; he continued his work of revision, and when a second edition appeared in April 1540, it represented a considerable advance over the first edition, especially in the poetical sections of the Old Testament. Six further editions were issued between July 1540 and December 1541.

In the New Testament, Luther’s sequence of the books (followed by Tyndale, Matthew, and Coverdale in his 1535 Bible), which places Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation at the end in a category by themselves, was discontinued. The order adopted in the Great Bible is that given by Erasmus in his Greek New Testament, and this order was followed by the principal English versions after 1539.

Because of political changes in England, the several editions of the Great Bible had a varied reception. At one time it was ordered place din churches, at another time ordered removed, and then later again ordered placed. In 1543 restrictions were put upon the reading of the Bible, and in 1546 a general burning of Bibles commenced. The authorized Great Bible alone was allowed, and its reading was limited to the upper classes. With the death of Henry on January 28, 1547, Protestants were again at liberty, during the six years of the youthful Edward’s reign, to resume their interrupted production of Biblical translations.

1549; 1551 AD: Edmond’s Becke’s Bibles.

In the short reign of Edward VI, the open Bible came once again into favor, and some fourteen Bibles and thirty-five New Testaments were printed. These were reprints of Tyndale, Matthew, and Taverner, some of them of interest only for the light they throw on the liberties that publishers felt free to take with books and parts of books in producing a “hybrid” edition. One such printer/publisher was Edmund Becke, who also tried his hand at some desultory revising. Occasionally called “Bishop Becke’s Bibles,” these comprise essentially Taverner’s Old Testament and Tyndale’s New Testament, compiled by John Daye and revised and edited by Becke.

The edition of 1549 is printed in a rather peculiar black-letter type in double columns. The majority of the notes are gathered together after the chapter to which they pertain. Present also are Tyndale’s prologues, including the long prologues to Jonah and Romans (eleven pages) and that to the New Testament.

The edition of 1551 includes 3 Maccabees in the Apocrypha. A cut of the Evantelist appears before each Gospel, and at the beginning of the dedication stands a woodcut initial, representing Becke offering his book to the young king, Edward VI, and instructing him in the duties of his high station.

Becke’s alterations in this edition of the New Testament are deplorable. By reverting in nearly every instance to Tyndale’s version, he has done injustice to Taverner by perpetuating mistakes that the latter had corrected.

Both editions contain the notorious “wife-beater” note on 1 Peter 3:7, where men are exhorted to live with their wives “according to knowledge.” Becke explains this to mean:

“That taketh her as a necessary helper, and not as a bond servunt or bonde slave. And if she be not obedient and healpeful unto hym: endeavoureth to beate the feare of God into her heade, that therby she maye be compelled to learne her dutye and do it. But chiefely he must beware that he halte not in anye part of hys dutye to her ward (toward her). For hys evylll example shall destroye more than all entruccions he can give shall edifye.”

1560 AD: The Geneva Bible Printed; The First English Language Bible to Add Numbered Verses to Each Chapter (80 Books).

Roman Catholic ascendancy and persecution under Mary (1553-1558) made further Bible translation and publication in England virtually impossible. English Protestant scholars fled to Switzerland for safety and gathered at Geneva, the headquarters of the Reformed type of Protestantism. Although no names of the translators appear in the Geneva New Testament, which was published by Conrad Badius at Geneva in 1557, the work is mainly credited to William Whittingham, a brother-in-law of John Calvin (He married Calvin’s wife’s sister, according to a note by W.A. Wright in B.F. Westcott’s General View of the History of the English Bible, 3d ed. (New York: Macmillan, 1916), p. 90), who was an able scholar and the successor of John Knox as minister to the English congregation at Geneva.

The Old Testament, which was translated by a group including Anthony Gilby, Thomas Sampson, and others of uncertain identity, was published in 1560, together with a careful revision of the New Testament. From the Translation in Genesis 3:7 (“They sewed figge-tree leaves together and made themselves breeches”), the Geneva Bible is sometimes called the “Breeches” Bible. (The translation “brechis” also occurs in the same verse in Wycliffite Bibles, which circulated only in manuscript copies until 1850, when both forms of this version were first printed)

The Geneva version was equipped with copious notes in the margins, most of which were explanations of difficult points in the text, such as historical and geographical references. Some of the notes were doctrinal and some hortatory. As might be expected, the notes were Calvinistic in tone. When the Geneva Bible was first published, Calvin was the ruling spirit in Geneva, and the features of his theological, ecclesiastical, political, and social system are accordingly reflected in the marginal annotations of the English Bible issued in the city of his residence.

"Judaism, which was destroyed politically (as a result of the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.), went forth into the great world. It adapted its possessions to its wanderings. I once compared it to an army going to war, a "movable State."

Jews were compelled to smuggle their goods across from frontier to frontier; so they chose abstract wares, easy to stubble; and this gave them ability, despite ghettos and restrictions, to enter everywhere; and so it is that the Hebrew people have penetrated everywhere.


BY THESE DEVICES OF THEIR JEWISH BLOOD; and owing to an instance for 'requital,' THEY (Jews, who, posing as Christian teachers - such as Mike Evans, Billy Graham, Jack Van Impe, and the Jews lackeys - such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert, Oral Roberts and almost all, if not all television evangelists) HAVE GRADUALLY INDUCED CHRISTIANITY TO ACCEPT WHAT WAS LEFT IN IT OF PAGAN ELEMENTS AS THEIR OWN; AND IT IS THEY (Those Jews, posing as Christians) WHO, IN PRINCIPLE (even though they are called by great Gentile names), OF DEMOCRACY, OF SOCIALISM, AND OF COMMUNISM.


FROM THE TIME OF THE MIDDLE AGES. It was disciples of Jewish teachers who headed the Protestant movements. These dogs, these haters of the Jews have a keen nose. In truth, JEWISH INFLUENCE IN GERMANY IS POWERFUL. It is impossible to ignore it. Marx was a Jew. His manner of thought was Jewish. His keenness of intellect was Jewish; and one of his forebears was a most distinguished rabbi endowed with a powerful mind.


And there is no doubt that this being waged specifically against Democracy, against Socialism. This is another world wide warfare again against the forces of Judaism. I venture to think that Socialism in its highest form is the fruit of the Jewish spirit, and the fruit of the world outlook of the prophets. It is they who were the first Socialists.

WAR IS NOW BEING WAGED AGAINST US {but unknown to most of Christianity. Because God's People refuse to accept knowledge and recognize the enemy}, AGAINST JUDAISM, not in our own land, but in the great outer world where we are scattered. They would 'smoke us out' of all the cracks and crannies where we have hidden. They would exterminate us like bacilli, and be rid of us." (N.H. Bialik, in an address delivered at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, May 11, 1933, which appeared in Lines of Communication, Palestine, July, 1933) (WE JEWS CAN BOAST OF BEING THE CREATORS OF THE REFORMATION! JOHN CALVIN WAS ONE OF OUR CHILDREN; HE WAS OF JEWISH DESCENT, AND WAS ENTRUSTED BY JEWISH AUTHORITY AND ENCOURAGED WITH JEWISH FINANCE TO DRAFT HIS SCHEME IN THE REFORMATION. From a series of speeches at the B'nai B'rith Convention in Paris, published shortly afterwards in the London Catholic Gazette, February, 1936; Paris Le Reveil du Peuple published similar account a little later and Phillip II, by William Thomas Walsh)

Royalty and clergy, however, and especially Roman Catholic circles, were disturbed by certain of the interpretations. A note on Exodus 1:19 approving of the midwives’ lying to Pharaoh, was considered a reflection on royal prerogatives. (The annotation is in two parts: “Their disobedience herein was lawful, but their dissembling euill.”)

Roman Catholics naturally objected to identifying the pope with “the angel of the bottomless pit.” (Revelation 9:11) (The annotation reads, “Which is Antichrist the Pope, king of jypocrites, and Satans ambassadour.”) One of the reasons that led King James, in 1604, to agree readily to a new translation of the Scriptures was his dislike of the politics preached in the margins of the Geneva Bible.

A number of novel features contributed to the usefulness and popularity of this Bible. Instead of heavy, black-letter type, roman type was used for the first time. It was the first English Bible with numbered verses, which became the basis of all versification in later English Bibles. The practice of italicizing English words not represented in the original text was introduced from Paginus’s Latin bible and Beza, a practice that was to continue down through the Revised Version. The convenient quarto size and consequently cheaper price also contributed to its popularity. Besides the marginal annotations, it included a variety of other helps, such as maps, tables, woodcuts, chapter summaries, and running titles. An argument is prefixed to each book. The Hebrew names are carefully spelled and accented (for example Iaakób, Izhák, Rebekáh).

As a result of these various features and the superior and attractive character of the version itself, the Geneva Bible enjoyed an immediate and widespread reception and usage. From 1560 to 1616, not a year passed with a new edition. In 1599 no fewer than ten editions were issued. It was the Bible of Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Cromwell’s army, the Puritan pilgrims to the New World, and even of King James himself. About 180 editions of various kinds, 96 complete, were published, 8 of them appearing after the publication of the King James Version in 1611. (For a fuller account of the geneva Bible, celebrating the tercentennial of its publication, see “The Geneva Bible of 1560.” Theology Today 17 (1960): 339-52)

1568 AD: The Bishops Bible Printed; The Bible of which the King James was a Revision (80 Books).

The popularity and superiority of the Geneva Bible were irksome to the church and state alike, and the Great Bible of 1539 was unable to maintain a position commensurate with its official prerogatives. Consequently, in 1564 Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, initiated the effort to produce a revision of the Bible that might supplant the Genevan and other versions. Since all the revisers were bishops or eventually became bishops, the new version was naturally called “The Bishops’ Bible.” The Great Bible was used as the basis of their work, and there was to be only such necessary variation from it as was required by the Hebrew or Greek.

After about four years of work, the first edition was issued in 1568 in a very large and impressive folio. The customary black-letter type was employed, and roman type served the function of the italics that had been used in the Geneva Bible. The New Testament was on thicker paper, to withstand wear. A novel feature of this version was the placing of the translator’s initials at the end of the section(s) he had revised; but this was not done consistently. The idea was that such publicity would make the contributors “more diligent, as answerable for their doings.”

Passages containing genealogies “or other such places not edifying” were marked so that the lector would omit them in public reading. Extensive supplementary equipment included tables of contents, a chronology, lists of genealogies, maps, pictures, an almanac, numerous decorative woodcuts, two engravings, and marginal annotations. Among the later were many taken over from the Geneva Bible. (Exceptional to the Bishops’ Bible is the comment on the gold of Ophir in Psalm 45:9: “Ophir is thought to be the land in the west coast, of late fonde by Christopher Columbo: from whence at this day is brought most fine gold.”)

The product is of uneven quality, due to the exercise of individual freedom by the translators without adequate editorial supervision of the whole work. While some sections are therefore close to the Great Bible, especially in the Old Testament and Apocrypha, others depart freely from it. In spite of its defects, the Bishops’ Bible became the second “authorized” English version, and eventually it displaced the Great Bible as the one “appoynted to be read in the churches.” (From 1568 to 1602, the bishops’ Bible went through twenty editions. The New Testament was again printed in 1617 and 1633. The instructions to the King James revisers were that they were to follow the Bishops’ Bible where it was true to the original. Actually, however, it owes only an estimated four percent of its wording to the Bishops’ text)

1582-1610 AD: The Rheims-Douay Bible Old Testament is added to the Rhemes New Testament (of 1582) Making the First Complete English Catholic Bible; Translated from the Latin Vulgate (80 Books).

Religious persecution, which, under Mary Tudor, had sent English Protestants into exile at Geneva, subsequently, under Elizabeth I, caused English Catholics to find refuge in Flanders. Prominent among Catholics fleeing the wrath of the Virgin Queen was William Allen (afterwards Cardinal Allen), principal of St. Mary’s Hall (Oriel Colege), Oxford, through whose efforts there was established in 1568 at Douay a Catholic seminary for the training of English priests.

The Douay scholars undertook, for the first time in the history of the Roman Church, to replace the available Anglican and Genevan Bibles; unacceptable from their point of view, with an English version of their own. This project, under the leadership of the Jesuit scholar Gregory Martin, another Oxonian exile, was completed in 1582 at Rheims in France to which city the college had transferred itself in 1578 in order to escape the consequence of Allen’s political activities.

Political difficulties, it seems, could be avoided more readily than financial; for owing to “lacke of good meanes to publishe the whole,” only the New Testament portion was put through the press at Rheims, although the entire Bible had been translated. By 1609-1610, funds for the publication of the Old Testament in two volumes had become available. By this time, the college had moved back to Douay, and the version is therefore known as the Douay or Heims-Douay Bible. (In 1667 Louis XIV of France seized Douay, which henceforth was known as Douai. Consequently, the version is now often called the Douai Bible)

The translation, which was made not from the original languages but from the Latin Vulgate, was painstaking and reached a high standard of consistency, but was often too literal to be suitable for use in public worship. There was also a strong tendency to retain technical words (for example, pasch, parasceve, scenopegia, azymes) without alteration. Many passages of so-called English need translating into English by the help of the Latin; “supersubstantial bread” (Matthew 6:11); “odible to God” (Romans 1:30); “if thou be a prevaricator of the law, the circumcision is become prepuce” (Romans 2:25); “colquination and spottes, flowing in the delicacles.” (2 Peter 2:13)

In order to enable the ordinary reader to comprehend technical and theological terms, Gregory Martin provided a glossary at the end of the New Testament containing “the explication of certain words in this translation, not familiar to the vulgar reader, which might not conveniently be uttered otherwise.” (The Rheims New Testament exerted a very considerable influence on the version of 1611, transmitting to it not only an extensive vocabulary, but also numerous distinctive phrases and terms of expression; see J.G. Carleton’s exhaustive analysis, The Part of Rheims in the Making of the English Bible (Oxford: Clarendon, 1902)

1611 AD: The King James Bible Printed; Originally with All 80 Books. The Apocrypha was Officially Removed in  1885 Leaving Only 66 Books.

Because the material is so exhaustive for the King James Version we will dispense with an in depth study of the various Bible versions with notable exceptions, and just list them for your information.

1782 AD: Robert Aitken's Bible; The First English Language Bible (a King James Version without Apocrypha) to be Printed in America.

1791 AD: Isaac Collins and Isaiah Thomas Respectively Produce the First Family Bible and First Illustrated Bible Printed in America. Both were King James Versions, with All 80 Books.

1808 AD: Jane Aitken's Bible (Daughter of Robert Aitken); The First Bible to be Printed by a Woman. The Bible was actually Charles Thomson’s Bible.

The printer, Jane Aitken, was one of the very few woman printers in America and certainly the first woman to print any part of the Scriptures. She produced one thousand copies of a beautifully crafted four-volume set, the Old Testament in three volumes and the New in the fourth (each measuring five by eight inches).

Though Thomson’s Translation is favorably regarded by Biblical scholars today, at the time of its publication, the average reader little comprehended its worth, and it never enjoyed wide popular appeal. Consequently, it had only a limited sale and was not financially successful. Many of the unsold copies were eventually disposed of as waste paper.

1833 AD: Noah Webster's Bible; After Producing his Famous Dictionary, Webster Printed his Own Revision of the King James Bible.

The American lexicographer and philologist, Noah Webster (1758-1843), was born at West Hartford, Connecticut, and attended Yale College, but was graduated in the middle of his course after serving as a volunteer in the Revolutionary War. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1781, but decided to teach school instead. In 1782, while teaching at Goshen, New York, he began to write his ‘Grammatical Institute of the English Language.’ It was made up a of a speller, a grammar, and a reader written for the use of school children. The first part, often revised, became his ‘Elementary Spelling Book;’ this was very popular and had a wide sale for more than one hundred years. By 1850, when the total population was around 23 million, the annual sales of the spelling book were about one million, and the figures increased yearly, finally attaining a sale of more than 60 million copies.

Following the initial publication of his ‘American Dictionary’ in 1828, Webster began to give serious attention to revising the King James Version of the Bible. Unlike Edward Harwood, Webster held that version in high regard. “Its language,” he said, “is in general correct, and perspicuous; the genuine popular English of Saxon origin; peculiarly adapted to the subjects, and in many passages, uniting sublimity to beautiful simplicity.” But he called attention to the fact that:

“In the lapse of two or three centuries changes have taken place, which, in particular passages, impair the beauty, in others, obscure the sense of the original languages. Some words have fallen into disuse; and the signification of others, in current popular use, is not the same now as it was when they were introduced into the version....Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that of the original languages, they do not present the reader the ‘Word of God’...A version of the scriptures for popular use should consist of words expressing the sense which is most common in popular usage, so that the ‘first ideas’ suggested to the reader should be the true meaning of such words according to the original languages...That many words in the present version fail to do this, is certain. My principal aim is to remedy this evil.”

As would be expected from a dictionary maker, Webster began with an introduction in which he carefully listed and explained the alterations he had made in the English text of the King James Version. He found some 150 words and phrases to be erroneous or misleading, and these he corrected in the various passages where they appeared. He substituted “who” for “which,” when it refers to persons; and “its” for “his,” when it refers to things. He used “Be not anxious” for “Take no thought;” “food” for “meat;” “falsehood” for “leasing;” “button” for “tache;” “boiled” for “sodden;” “hinder” for the obsolete sense of “let” (as in 2 Thessalonians 2:7); and various words appropriate to the context for “prevent” in its obsolete sense of “go before.” (As in Psalm 119:147; Matthew 17:25) He used the term “Holy Spirit’ instead of “Holy Ghost.” Where Paul wrote “would that,” the King James Version makes him say “would to God,” and in fourteen cases where he wrote “be it not so,” the King James Version reads “God forbid,” Webster removed the insertion of reference to God from both these expressions. The occasional use of the singular number of the verb with a plural subject (Luke 5:19; 9:17) was corrected. He also standardized the use of “shall” and “will,” “should” and “would.” In this part of the work, the “New England grammarian” did yeoman service, and the later Revised Version took over nearly every one of his changes, although no credit for his previous labors was given.

In addition to the kinds of changes mentioned above, Webster introduced another type of amendment in the language, which he considered of very grave importance. In his own words at the close of his introduction,

“To these may be added many words and phrases, very offensive to delicacy and even to decency... Language which cannot be uttered in promiscuous (mixed) company without a violation of the corum, or the rules of good breeding, exposes the scriptures to the scoffs of unbelievers, impairs their authority, and multiplies or confirms the enemies of our holy religion.” (In the follow passages, Webster introduced various euphemisms in place of the expressions used in the King James Version: Genesis 20:18; 29:31; 30:22; 34:30; 38:9, 24; Exodus 7:18; 16:24; Leviticus 19:29; 21:7; Deuteronomy 22:21; 23:1; 28:57; Judges 2:17; 1 Samuel 1:5; 1 Kings 14:10; 16:11; 21:21; 2 Kings 9:8; 18:27; Job 3:10-13; 40:17; Psalm 22:9, 10; 38:5; 106:39; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Isaiah 36:12; Ezekiel 16 and 23; John 11:39; Ephesians 5:5).

For a time Webster’s amended edition was used in many Congregational churches; a second edition was published in 1841, and three editions of his revision of the New Testament were printed in 1838, 1840, and 1841.

1841 AD: English Hexapla New Testament; an Early Textual Comparison showing the Greek and 6 Famous English Translations in Parallel Columns.

1846 AD: The Illuminated Bible; The Most Lavishly Illustrated Bible printed in America. A King James Version, with All 80 Books.

1876 AD: Julia E. Smith’s Bible; Julia Evelina Smith (1792-1878) was the fist woman to translate the entire bible into English.

1885 AD: The "Revised Version" Bible; The First Major English Revision of the King James Bible.

1901 AD: The "American Standard Version"; The First  Major American Revision of the King James Bible.

The American Standard Version substituted the name Jehovah for Lord and God wherever Yhwh (the Tetragrammaton) occurs in the Hebrew text and used Holy Spirit for Holy Ghost. It also substituted “Sheol” for “the grave,” “the pit,” and “hell” in places where these terms had been retained from the 1611 Bible. In the New Testament, where earlier Greek manuscripts have been followed, the titles of the Gospels do not include “Sain,” and the title of the Epistle to the Hebrews no longer attributes it to Paul the Apostle.

The American Standard Version also increased the number of changes made for the sake of euphemism. It was not possible in every case to find an appropriate substitute for terms that in modern times have become offensive, but when it seemed possible, the American revisers made a change. For example, the word “bowels” was tolerable when used in the literal sense. Thus, no other word would be appropriate in 2 Samuel 20:10, but to retain that term in Jeremiah 4:19 or Lamentations 1:20 (as the English revisers had done) seemed both unpleasant and incorrect.

In English style the American revision introduced some distinct improvements over the British Revised Version. Archaic sixteenth-century words, like “bewray,” “holpen,” and “sith,” were dropped, and “who” or “that” was used instead of “which” when relating to persons. The orthography of proper names was also vastly improved. The American committee omitted “for” before infinitives and chang “an” to “a” before “h” aspirated. (The latter change had been made in the British revision of the New Testament but not that of the Old) In Genesis 22:23, for the sake of clarity, the Americans preferred to retain the wording of the 1611 Bible (“these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor”) rather than adopt the preference of the British “these eight did Milkah bear to Nahor” (which the British declared no hearer would mistake as meaning “milk a bear!”)

The fate of the Revised Version in Great Britain was disappointing. Complaints about its English style began to be made as soon as it appeared. Charles Hadden Spurgeon, the great English preacher at the close of the nineteenth century, tersely remarked that the Revised New Testament was “strong in Greek, weak in English.” The revisers were often woodenly literal, inverting the natural order of words in English in order to represent the Greek order, and they carried the translation of the article and of the tenses beyond their legitimate limits. An example of the rather tortuous order is Luke 9:17, “And they did eat, and were all filled; and there was taken up that which remained over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.”

Although these criticisms apply as well to the American Standard Version, in the United States the work of the revisers was somewhat more widely adopted than in Great Britain. But in both countries the revision failed to supplant the King James Version in popular favor. Furthermore, proponents of other versions in a more modern idiom deprecated the revisers’ continued use of archaic speech.

1901-1904 AD: The Twentieth Century New Testament.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a modern English version of the New Testament was published on both sides of the Atlantic with the title “The Twentieth Century New Testament: A Translation into Modern English Made from the Original Greek (Wescott and Hort’s Text). The introduction stated that it was the work of a “company of about twenty persons, members of various sections of the Christian Church.” The translation, which was published anonymously, began to appear in 1898, coming out in three parts. In 1901 the parts were issued in a single volume by Horace Marshall of London, and in America by the Fleming H. Revell Company. This was identified as a “Tentative Edition,” and criticisms and suggestion were welcome.

1903 AD: Weymouth’s New Testament in Modern Speech.

Richard Francis Weymouth (1822-1902), a distinguished classical scholar, was a Baptist layman profoundly interested in the New Testament. In 1886 he published an edition of the Greek New Testament, presenting the text on which the majority of nineteenth-century editors were in agreement. He called this edition “The Resultant Greek Testament” (London: James Clarke & Co.)

1913; 1924-1925 AD: Moffatt’s Translation of the Bible.

One of the most popular of the new versions has been that of James Moffatt (1870-1944), who translated the whole Bible into modern speech of free style. He prepared two different translations of the New Testament. The first preserved much of the language of the King James Version and was published at Edinburgh in 1901 in a volume entitled “The Historical New Testament.” This was a new translation of the documents of the New Testament arranged in their chronological order according to the critical literary theories of his time.

1923-1927 AD: Smith and Goodspeed’s American Translation.

Rivaling the Moffatt New Testament in value and popularity is the translation made by Edgar J. Goodspeed (1871-1962), professor of Biblical and patristic Greek at the University of Chicago. His is a fairly free rendering and represents, as its subtitle indicates, “An American Translation.” As one of the most eloquent advocates of modern-speech versions, Goodspeed declares in the preface to his rendering:

“The aim of the present translation has been to present the meaning of the different books as possible, without bias or prejudice, in English of the same kind as the Greek of the original, so that they may be continuously and understandingly read. There is no book in the New Testament that cannot easily be read at a sitting. For American readers, especially, who have had to depend so long upon versions made in Great Britain, there is room for a New Testament free from expressions which, however familiar in England or Scotland, are strange to American ears.”

1952 AD: The Revised Standard Version.

The rapid multiplication of English translations of the Scriptures throughout the second half of the twentieth century might well prompt more than one bewildered reader to rephrase the Preacher’s melancholy observation so as to read, “Of the making of many translations of the Bible there is no end!” Ecclesiastes 12:12) During the nearly forty years between the publication in 1953 of the Revised Standard Version and the publication in 1990 of the New Revised Standard Version, twenty-seven English renderings of the entire Bible were issued, as well as twenty-eight renderings of the New Testament alone.

1966 AD: The Jerusalem Bible.

The name, “The Jerusalem Bible,” indicates something of the origin of this version. Beginning in 1948, a group of French Dominicans and others at the École biblique de Jérusalem produced a series of biblical commentaries issued in forty-three fascicles, each containing one or more books of the Bible translated into the vernacular, with introductions of moderate length and copious notes. In 1956, two years after the complection of the series, a one-volume edition was issued, in which the notes were greatly compressed and the introduction sharply abbreviated. This compendious edition, entitled La Sainte Bible traduite en français sous la direction de l’École bibliaue de Jérusalem, contains therefore, the quintessence of a great amount of solid and responsible scholarship contributed by about forty collaborators.

This historic work breaks from Jerome’s Vulgate and is the first complete Roman Catholic Bible in English translated from the original languages. It is also the first to take major advantage of the Dead Sea Scrolls thus far discovered.

The editor acknowledges that the decision, reached after some hesitation, to represent the divine name by “Yahweh” may seem to many readers to be unacceptable, but “those who may care to use this translation of the Psalms can substitute the traditional ‘the Lord.’”

The passage in Isaiah 7:14 rendered, “The maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son,” to which the following comment is attached: “The Greek version reads ‘the virgin,’ being more explicit than the Hebrew which uses almah, meaning either a young girl or a young recently married, woman.” In the annunciation (Luke 1:28), the words of the angel Gabriel to Mary are rendered, “Rejoice, so highly favoured! The Lord is with you,” with the added comment, “the translation ‘Rejoice’ may be preferred to ‘Hail’ and regarded as containing a messianic reference, cf. Zc 9:9; ‘so highly favoured,’ i.e., as to become the mother of the Messiah.” The New Testament references to the adelphoi of Jesus are rendered in a straightforward manner, “the brothers of Jesus,” with the added comment at Matthew 12:46, “Not Mary’s children but near retaliations, cousins perhaps, which both Hebrew and Aramaic style ‘brothers,’ cf. Gn 13:8; 14:16; 29:15; Lv 10:4; 1 Ch 23:22 f.”

Occasionally, the translators have ventured to paraphrase, sometimes not altogether happily. Thus, 1 Corinthians 7:1-2 is rendered, “Now for the questions about which you wrote. Yes, it is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman; but since sex is always a danger, let each man have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Here the opening of the verse 2 is given an unfortunate twist (“but since sex is always a danger”); literally, the Greek reads “but because of fornications,” which probably means “but because there is so much sexual immorality.’ This was certainly true in Corinth.

1970 AD: The New American Bible.

In 1944 the Bishops’ Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine invited a group of Catholic biblical scholars to undertake the first Roman Catholic translation of the Scriptures in America to be made from the original languages. The committee inherited the work that had been started in the preceding decade, when many of the same group of scholars began translating the Bible from the Latin Vulgate (the New Testament of their version had been published in 1941).

1970 AD: The New English Bible.

In May 1946 the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland received an overture from the Presbytery of Stirling and Dunblane recommending that a translation of the Bible be made in the language of the present day. After several months of negotiating with representatives of other major Protestant denominations of Great Britain, as well as the university presses of Oxford and Cambridge, a join committee was formed that entrusted the actual work of translation to four panels of scholars, dealing respectively with the Old Testament, the Apocrypha, the New Testament, and the literary revision of the whole. The convener of the panel of Old Testament scholars was G.R. Driver of Oxford University; the convener of the Apocrypha panel was G.D. Kilpatrick, also of Oxford; and C.H. Dodd, professor emeritus of Cambridge University, served as convener of the New Testament panel and as general director of the entire project. (For further details, see Geoffrey Hunt, ed., About the New English Bible (London: Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press, 1970)

1971 AD: The "New American Standard Bible" (NASB) is Published as a "Modern and Accurate Word for Word English Translation" of the Bible.

1973 AD: The "New International Version" (NIV) is Published as a "Modern and Accurate Phrase for Phrase English Translation" of the Bible.

1978 AD: The New International Version.

When the Revised Standard Version appeared in 1952,it received severe criticism form some who regarded themselves as conservative in theology and politics. Subsequently, several Bibles were published under conservative auspices (e.g., the Amplified Bible in 1965, the Modern Language Bible in 1969, and the New American Standard Bible in 1971), but none of them succeeded in becoming the standard Bible for conservative Protestants.

1982 AD: The "New King James Version" (NKJV) is Published as a "Modern English Version Maintaining the Original Style of the King James."

1917; 1985 AD: Jewish Translations. Translations Sponsored by the Jewish Publication Society (1917; 1985)

In 1917 the Jewish Publication Society of America in Philadelphia issued The Holy Scriptures according to the Masoretic Text, a rendering of the Hebrew Bible bearing a close affinity to the idiom of the King James Version and the Revised Version of the nineteenth century. According to the preface:

“The present translation is the first for which a group of men representative of Jewish learning among English-speaking Jews assume join responsibility, all previous efforts in the English language having been the work of individual translators. It has a character of its own. It aims to combine the spirit of Jewish tradition with the results of biblical scholarship, ancient, mediaeval, and modern. It give the Jewish world a translation of the Scriptures done by men imbued with the Jewish consciousness, while the non-Jewish world, it is hoped, will welcome a translation that presents many passages from the Jewish traditional point of view.”

This is pure propaganda for there is no Jew who is a Christian; and when they speak of the “Torah” they are speaking of the “Talmud.” (Sanhedrin 59a) But this is unknown to the Christian world because the preachers have been conditioned in the seminaries that the Jews have taken over to teach more Judaism than Christianity, and the government with their 501(c)(3) designation to the churches removes the rest of the True Christian teachings.

1989 AD: Heinz W. Cassirer’s New Testament.

Cassirer’s translation of the New Testament, edited by Ronald Weitzman, who also supplied the introduction, is the work of a German-born Jew. In 1934, at the age of thirty-one, he came to Great Britain, where for many years he taught philosophy at the University of Glasgow and at Corpus Christi, Oxford. He was a scholar of wide-ranging interests and produced a study of Aristotle’s De anima, commentaries on two of Kant’s Critiues, and a book entitled Grace and Law: St. Paul, Kant, and the Hebrew Prophets. In 1955 he was baptized into the Anglican church and soon afterwards brought his Jewish background and knowledge of Greek to bear on texts of the New Testament, beginning with the letters of the apostle Paul.

There are literally hundreds more version that we could speak of here, but will stop now because this should be enough to show that there are almost as many version of the Bible as there are scholars.

Of the several ancient translations of both Old and New Testaments, the Syriac versions and the Latin versions are generally considered the most important, both for their own sakes and for their having become the bases of many daughter translations. It has been disputed whether the Scriptures were first translated into Syriac or into Latin.

The Syriac Versions: At Antioch Syria, the third largest city of the Roman Empire, the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. (Acts 11:26) Though most of the mixed population of Antioch were acquainted with Greek, when the new faith spread elsewhere in Syria during the second half of the second century, the need was left for a rendering of the Scriptures into the mother tongue of the populace. This was Sriac, a branch of Aramaic that was akin to Hebrew, though using a different script (called Eestrangela; later, other forms were used).

From a very early date, the center of Syriac-speaking Christianity was Edessa (now Urla in southeast Turkey). The church there destroyed in 201 during a flood, may be the oldest known Christian edifice (Here the author does not refer to the church in Rome where the first Christian Church was built, and then of course the Church at Glastonbury, England which was also much older than the one in Turkey) The town soon became the most important bishopric in Syria. Large and well-built villages developed up to the desert edge. The gospel had a great number of devoted followers throughout all that region.

At the close of the second or beginning of the third century, parts of the New Testament began to circulate in Syria in what is called the Old Syriac version. Only tow manuscripts of this version, both containing text from the Gospels, have survived. These are known as the Curetonian and the Sinaitic Syriac manuscripts, written in the fifth and fourth centuries respectively.

There was current also at the close of the second century an edition of the four Gospels in one continuous narrative. This had been compiled by Tatian a native of Assyria who had become a Christian in Rome between 150 and 165, where he was a pupil of Justin Martyr. Whether Tatian’s work was first published in Greek at Rome about 170 A.D., or in Syriac in his native land has not been determined with finality. In any case, for the next several centuries Christian congregations throughout the Middle East made use of his harmony, known as the Diatessaron (Greek for “through the Four”). Unfortunately, all of the witnesses to the Diatessaron that are extant today, with the exception of one imperfect leaf of Greek text, are secondary and tertiary witness.

The form of the Syriac Bible that came to prevail in Eastern churches has, since the ninth century, been called the Peshitta meaning “simple” or “common.” It is not known whether the term refers to its simple, nonarchaic language or to its unifying of different existing translations.

The origins of the Peshitta Old Testament are shrouded in uncertainty, but in part it would seem to be the word of Jews, and in the Pentateuch, at least, there appear to be tenuous links with the Targums. Those who suppose Christian, or Jewish Christian, origin usually locate the translation in Edessa. On the assumption of Jewish origin, however, one may think either of Edessa or of Adiabene, the Jewish kingdom est of the Tigris.

The question whether the translators of the Old Treatment were Jewish or Christian has been hotly debated, both in antiquity as well as today. Recently, however, it has been suggested that this should not be posed as a question of either/or, since it is quite possible that some books were translated into Syriac by Jews and others by Christians.

It must not be assumed, however, that the Christian translators were of gentile background, but rather than they were converts to Christianity from Judaism. It is generally recognized that a sufficient knowledge of Hebrew among Christians of gentile background would be extremely unlikely. Furthermore, had the incentive to translate a book, or books, or the Old Testament come from gentile Christians, then the translation would have been made from the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew, since the former had rapidly established itself as the authoritative text of the Old Testament for Christians.

The diversity of translators who produce the Peshitta version is reflected in the strikingly diverse style and quality of the rendering. The Pentateuch is very literal, which is true also for the Son of Songs; Psalms and the Minor Prophets are free translations; Ezekiel and Proverbs are close to the Targums; Job is servile and sometimes unintelligible; Ruth is a mere paraphrase. Furthermore, the influence of the Greed Septuagint is obvious from the inclusion of Syriac translations of non-Hebraic books of the Apocrypha in Peshitta manuscripts. The late M.P. Weitzman argued that the Old Testament Peshitta “was put together about 200 c.e., by a small Jewish community estranged from the Rabbinic majority, and the community eventually embraced Christianity, bringing the Old Testament Peshitta with them.” (M.P. Weitzman, The Syriac Version of the Old Testament: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 1)

The manuscripts extant today present considerable variety in the number of books and the order in which they are placed. Some manuscripts have, after the Pentateuch, a section comprising the books of Joshua, Judges, Job, Samuel and Kings, Proverbs, Eccleiasticus, Ecclesiastes, Ruth, and Song of Songs. In other manuscripts, Ruth, Esther, Judith, and Susanna are grouped as the Book of Women. The Psalter is commonly found divided into twenty sections. Several manuscripts also contain a variety of pseudepigraphic works.

The Latin Versions: It would be difficult to overestimate the importance of the influence exerted by the Lain versions of the bible and particularly by JEROME’S LATIN VULGATE. Whether one considers the Vulgate from a purely secular point of view, with its pervasive influence on the development of Latin into Romance languages. (An example of the influence of the Vulgate on the development of vernacular languages among the Romance peoples is the SUPPRESSION OF EVERYDAY DERIVATIVES FROM THE COMMON LATIN WORD VERBUM, MEANING “WORD.” The forms do indeed occur in the religious, technical sense, meaning “the Word,” but in the popular speech of the people, they are replaced by derivatives from the late Latin word ‘arabola; for example, French, parole; Italian parola; Spanish, palabra; Portuguese, palavra) or whether one has in view only the specifically religious influence, the extent of its penetration into all areas of Western culture is almost beyond calculation. The theology and the devotional language typical of the Roman Catholic Church were either created or transmitted by the Vulgate. BOTH PROTESTANTS AND ROMAN CATHOLICS ARE HEIRS OF TERMINOLOGY THAT JEROME EITHER COINED OR BAPTIZED WITH FRESH SIGNIFICANCE; words such as salvation, regeneration, justification, sanctification, propitiation, reconciliation, inspiration, Scripture, sacrament, and many others.

The historian of the Latin versions of the Bible is confronted with difficult and disputed problems, not least of which are the questions when, where, and by whom the earliest Latin rendering was made. Because the language used by the church at Rome was Greek until the mid-third century, the Old Latin versions would not have originated there, but within those early Christian communities that used Latin. Probably by the end of the second century A.D., Old Latin versions of the Scriptures were in circulation in North Africa. In Carthage, Tertullian (ca. 150-cs. 220) and Cyprian (ca. 200-258) quoted long sections of both Testaments in Latin. Since one finds numerous and far-reaching differences between quotations of the same passages, it is obvious that there was no one uniform rendering; some books were apparently translated a number of times, and no single translator worded on all of the books. The Old Testament was not translated from the Hebrew but was based, it appear, on a pre-Hexaplaric form of the Greek Septuagint. In this way, Western churches became familiar with the deuteroncanonical books of the Old Testament.

Noteworthy Old Latin readings frequently agree with the Greek text of Codex Bezae and the Old Syriac. On the whole, the African form of the Old Latin presents the larger divergences from the generally received text, and the eduropean the smaller. The diversity among the Old Latin witnesses is probably to be accounted fro by the assumption that scribes, instead of copying the manuscripts mechanically, allowed themselves considerable freedom in incorporating their own and others’ traditions. In other words, the Old Latin was a living creation, constantly growing.

The roots of the Old Latin versions are doubtless to be found in the practice of the double reading of Holy Scripture during divine services, first in the Greek text and then in the vernacular tongue. In the written form, the translation would at time have been interlinear; later on, manuscripts were prepared with two columns of text, sometimes arranged in shorter or longer lines (called cola and commata) for ease of phrasing during the public reading of the lessons.

The pre Jerome translations in general lack polish and are often painfully literal. The Gospels stand in the sequence of Matthew, John, Luke and Mark in the Old Latin manuscripts a,b,d,e,ff,q,r. Here and there one finds noteworthy additions to the text. For example, in Matthew 3:16 the Old Latin manuscript a states that when Jesus was baptized, “a tremendous light flashed forth from the water, (Perhaps this is meant to suggest that when ‘the havens were opened.’ God’s resplendent light was reflected from the water of the Jordan) so that all who were present feared.” Old Latin manuscripts give various names to the two robbers who were crucified with Jesus, and Mark’s account of Jesus’ resurrection is expanded in Old Latin manuscript k at 16:4 with the following: “But suddenly at the third hour of the day there was darkness over the whole circle of the earth, and angels descended from the heavens, and as he (the Lord) was rising in the glory of the living God, at the same time they ascended with him; and immediately it was light.”

By the close of the fourth century, there was such a confusing diversity among Latin manuscripts of the New Testament that Augustine lamented, “Those who translated the Scriptures from Hebrew into Greek can be counted, but the Latin translators are out of all number. For in the early days of the faith, everyone who happened to gain possession of a Greek manuscript (of the New Testament) and thought he had any facility in both languages, however slight that might have been, attempted to make a translation.” (Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, 2.16)

As a consequence, there grew up a welter of diverse Latin translations. Among them three types or families of texts gradually developed; Cyprian represents the African text, Irenaeus of southern Gaul represents the European, and Augustine the Italian. Characteristic of each family are certain renderings; for example, as a translation of the Greek word phôs (“light”), the African family prefers lumen, the European lux; for the Greek dokimazô, the African prefers clarificare, the European glorificare.

In these circumstances, the stage was set for the most decisive series of events in the whole history of the Latin Bible. In the year 383 A.D., Pope Damascus urged Jerome, the most learned Christian scholar of his day, to produce a uniform and dependable text of the Latin Scriptures; HE WAS NOT TO MAKE A TOTALLY NEW TRANSLATION BUT TO REVISE A TEXT OF THE BIBLE IN USE AT ROME. Jerome’s first inclination was to say “No, thank you” to the pope’s invitation. He wrote:

“You urge me to revise the Old Latin version, and, as it were, to sit in judgment on the copies of the Scriptures that are now scattered throughout the world; and inasmuch as they differ from one another, you would have me decide which of them agree with the original. The labor is one of love, but at the same time it is both perilous and presumptuous; for in judging others I must be content to be judged by all...Is there anyone learned or unlearned, when he takes the volume in his hands and perceives that what he reads does not suit his settled tastes, will not break out immediately into violent language and call me a forger and profane person for having the audacity to add anything to the ancient books, or to make any changes or corrections in them? (Jerome, Letter to Damascus, which, in many manuscripts of the Vulgate, stands as the preface to his revision of the four Gospels. For a translation of the entire letter, see Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, 2d series (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, n.d., 6:487-488)

Two factors, however, prompted Jerome to risk incurring such opprobrium. The fist factor, as he related in a dedicatory epistle to Damascus setting forth the occasion and scope of the undertaking, was the command laid upon him by the supreme pontiff. The second was the shocking diversity among the Old Latin manuscripts, there being, as he wrote, “almost as many  forms of text as there are manuscripts.”

His scholarly tools also came to include the Hebrew language. This he learned with a great labor in his mature years, first from a converted but anonymous Jew during Jerome’s five years of ascetic seclusion in the Syrian desert of Chalcis and afterwards in Bethlehem from the Palestinian Rabbi bar-Anina, who, thorough fear of the Jews, visited him by night. Although Jerome’s knowledge of Hebrew was defective, it was much greater than that of Origen, Epharem Syrus, and Epiphanius, the only other church fathers who knew Hebrew at all. Such was the philological training of the man who was destined to fix the literary form of the Bible of the entire Western Church.

Jerome was a rapid worker. Within a year, he finished his version of the Gospels. There is still some doubt as to whether he worked alone or with helpers. In a letter to the pope, he explained his procedure. HE ALTERED THE OLD LATIN TEXT, he said, only when it seemed absolutely necessary, retaining in other cases what had become familiar phraseology. This principle, though by no means rigorously observed throughout, EXPLAINS INCONSISTENCIES IN PRACTICE (e.e., “high priest” is usually translated in Matthew and Luke by princeps sacerdotum, in Mark by summus sacerdos, and in John by pontifex). JEROME’S WORK ON THE REST OF THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS NOT QUITE SO THOROUGH; SEVERAL SCHOLARS, IN FACT, HAVE SUPPOSED THAT IT WAS DONE BY SOMEONE ELSE, perhaps, BY JEROME’S FOLLOWER RUFINUS THE SYRIAN.

Among the Old Testament books, Jerome turned his attention to the Psalter. He made two versions of the Old Latin version of the Psalms by comparing it with the Greek Septuagint. These are known as the Roman and Gallican Psalters, because they were introduced into Rome and Gaul respectively. (Jerome’s Roman Psalter is still in use in services at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; the Gallican Psalter is the version of the Psalms included in modern printed editions of the Latin Vulgate Bible; this in spite of the superior accuracy of Jerome’s subsequent revision of the Psalter on the basis of the Hebrew text) Jerome’s final revision of the Psalter was made from the Hebrew, but it never attained general use or popularity.

About the time Jerome produced his Gallican Psalter, he also revised the Latin text of some of the other books of the Old Testament with reference to the Septuagint text as provided in Origen’s Hexapla. This work, however, did not satisfy Jerome’s scholarly standards, and he resolved to undertake a more thorough revision on the basis of the Hebrew original. This great work occupied him from about the year 390 A.D., to 404 A.D., and separate books or groups of books were published as they were completed. Whether he managed to complete the entire Old Testament is not clear; at any rate what is known as the Vulgate translation is far from being a uniform piece of work throughout.

Of course the Old Latin rendering, made form the Septuagint, contained the additional books that over the years had been incorporated into manuscripts of the Greek version of the Old Testament. Jerome’s high regard, however, for the Hebraica veritas led him to set the books that found a place in the Hebrew canon on a higher level than those that did not. In this way, he anticipated the Reformers’ distinction between “canonical” and “apocryphal.” Jerome’s work on the latter books was by no means as thorough as on the others. Tobit he translated in one day, Judith in one night, both of which he dictated to a scribe in Latin. Other deuterocanonical books remain “untranslated,” that is, without revision of the Old Latin text.

The apprehension Jerome expressed to Pope Damascus that he would be castigated for tampering with Holy Writ was not unfounded. His revision of the Latin Bible provoked both criticism and anger, sometimes extraordinarily vehement. Augustine, who was himself not too happy with Jerome’s preference for the Hebrew original of the Old Testament over the Geek Septuagint (which Augustine regarded as an inspired version), reports (Letter 71) an account of tumult that erupted in a North African church at Oca (modern Tripoli) during the reading of a Scripture lesson from the Book of Jonah in Jerome’s unfamiliar rendering. When the congregation heard that Jonah took shelter from the sun under some Ivy (hedera), with one accord they shouted, “Gourd, gourd” (cucurbita), until the reader reinstated the old word lest there be a general exodus of the congregation!

For his part, Jerome defended his work with forthright vigor, referring on occasion to his detractors as “two-legged asses” or “yelping dogs;” persons who “think that ignorance is identical with holiness.” In the course of time however, opposition to the revision subsided, and the superior accuracy and scholarship of Jerome’s version gave it the victory. It was a clear case of the survival of the fittest.

For nearly a thousand years, the Vulgate was used as the recognized text of Scripture throughout Western Europe. It also became the basis of pre-Reformation vernacular Scriptures, such as Wycliffe’s English translation in the fourteenth century, as well as the first printed Bibles in German (1466), Italian (1471), Catalan (1478), Czech (1488) and French (1530). (Taken, in part, from this url web site

Reference Materials