International Standard Bible EncyclopediaAMERICAN REVISED VERSION
a-mer'-i-kan re-vizd' vur'-shun.
On July 7, 1870, it was moved in the Lower House of the Convocation of Canterbury that in the work of revision the cooperation of American divines be invited. This resolution was assented to, and on December 7, 1871, the arrangements were completed. Under the general presidency of Dr. Philip Schaff, an Old Testament Company of fifteen scholars was formed, with Dr. W. H. Green as chairman, and a New Testament Company of sixteen members (including Dr. Schaff), with Dr. T. D. Woolsey as chairman. Work was begun on October 4, 1872, and took the form of offering criticisms on the successive portions of the English revision as they were received. These criticisms of the American Companies were duly considered by the English Companies during the second revision and the decisions were again sent to America for criticism. The replies received were once more given consideration and, finally, the unadopted readings for which the American Companies professed deliberate preference were printed as appendices to the two Testaments as published in 1881 and 1885. These lists, however, were not regarded by the American Companies as satisfactory. In the first place, it became evident that the English Companies, on account of their instructions and for other reasons, were not willing to make changes of a certain class. Consequently the American Companies insisted on only such readings as seemed to have a real chance of being accepted. And, in the second place, the English presses hurried the last part of the work and were unwilling to allow enough time for adequate thoroughness in the preparation of the lists. But it was hoped that the first published edition of the English Revised Version would not be considered definitive and that in the future such American proposals as had stood the test of public discussion might be incorporated into the text. This hope was disappointed-the English Companies disbanded as soon as their revision was finished and their work stood as final. As a result the American Companies resolved to continue their organization. They were pledged not to issue or endorse any new revision within fourteen years after the publication of the English Revised Version, and so it was not until 1900 that the American Standard Revised Version New Testament was published. The whole Bible was issued in the following year.
2. Differences from English Revised Version:
As the complete editions of the American Standard Revised Version give a full list of the changes made, only the more prominent need be mentioned here. A few of the readings printed in the appendices to the English Revised Version were abandoned, but many new ones were introduced, including some that had been adopted while the English work was in progress but which had not been pressed. (See above.) Still, in general appearance, the American Standard Revised Version differs but slightly from the English. The most important addition is found in the page-headings. Some changes have been made in shortening the titles of the New Testament books. The printing of poetical passages in poetical form has been carried through more consistently. The paragraphs have been altered in some cases and (especially in the Old Testament) shortened. The punctuation has been simplified, especially by the more frequent use of the semi-colon. The removal of obsolete words ("magnifical," "neesings," etc.) has been effected fairly thoroughly, obsolete constructions ("jealous over," etc.) have been modernized, particularly by the use of "who" or "that" (instead of "which") for persons and "its" (instead of "his") for things. In the Old Testament "Yahweh" has been introduced systematically for the proper Hebrew word, as has "Sheol" ("Hades" in the New Testament). Certain passages too literally rendered in the English Revised Version ("reins," "by the hand of," etc.) are given in modern terms. In the New Testament, the substitution of "Holy Spirit" for "Holy Ghost" was completed throughout (in the English Revised Version it is made in some twenty places), "demons" substituted for "devils," "Teacher" for "Master," and "try" for "tempt" when there is no direct reference to wrongdoing. And so on.
It may be questioned whether the differences between the two Revisions are great enough to counterbalance the annoyance and confusion resulting from the existence of two standard versions in the same language. But, accepting the American Standard Revised Version as an accomplished fact, and acknowledging a few demerits that it has or may be thought to have in comparison with the English Revised Version (a bit of pedantry in Psalm 148:12 or renderings of disputed passages such as Psalm 24:6), these demerits are altogether outweighed by the superiorities-with one exception. In the Psalter, when used liturgically, the repetition of the word "Yahweh" becomes wearisome and the English Revised Version which retains "The Lord" is much preferable. Most to be regretted in the American Standard Revised Version is its extreme conservatism in the readings of the original texts. In the Old Testament the number of marginal variants was actually reduced. In the New Testament, only trivial changes are made from the so-called Revisers' Greek Text, although this text did not represent the best scholarly opinion even in 1881, while in 1900 it was almost universally abandoned (Today-in 1914-it is obsolete.) It is very unfortunate that the American Revisers did not improve on the example of their English brethren and continue their sessions after the publication of their version, for it is only by the successive revisions of published work that a really satisfactory result can be attained.
No American Standard Revised Version Apocrypha was attempted, a particularly unfortunate fact, as the necessity for the study of the Apocrypha has become imperative and the English Revised Version Apocrypha is not a particularly good piece of work. However, copies of the American Standard Revised Version can now be obtained with the English Revised Version Apocrypha included. See ENGLISH VERSIONS.
Burton Scott Easton
See LATIN VERSION, THE OLD; VULGATE.
LATIN VERSION, THE OLD
" 1. The Motive of Translation
2. Multiplicity of Latin Translations in the 4th Century
3. The Latin Bible before Jerome
4. First Used in North Africa
5. Cyprian's Bible
6. Tertullian's Bible
7. Possible Eastern Origin of Old Latin
8. Classification of Old Latin Manuscripts
9. Individual Characteristics
10. Value of Old Latin for Textual Criticism
1. The Motive of Translation:
The claim of Christianity to be the one true religion has carried with it from the beginning the obligation to make its Holy Scriptures, containing the Divine message of salvation and life eternal, known to all mankind. Accordingly, wherever the first Christian evangelists carried the gospel beyond the limits of the Greek-speaking world, one of the first requirements of their work was to give the newly evangelized peoples the record of God's revelation of Himself in their mother tongue. It was through the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament that the great truths of revelation first became known to the Greek and Roman world. It is generally agreed that, as Christianity spread, the Syriac and the Latin versions were the first to be produced; and translations of the Gospels, and of other books of the Old and New Testament in Greek, were in all probability to be found in these languages before the close of the 2nd century.
2. Multiplicity of Latin Translations in the 4th Century:
Of the earliest translators of the Bible into Latin no record has survived. Notwithstanding the careful investigations of scholars in recent years, there are still many questions relating to the origin of the Latin Bible to which only tentative and provisional answers can be given. It is therefore more convenient to begin a study of its history with Jerome toward the close of the 4th century and the commission entrusted to him by Pope Damasus to produce a standard Latin version, the execution of which gave to Christendom the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) (see VULGATE). The need for such a version was clamant. There existed by this time a multiplicity of translations differing from one another, and there was none possessed of commanding authority to which appeal might be made in case of necessity. It was the consideration of the chaotic condition of the existing translations, with their divergences and variations, which moved Damasus to commission Jerome to his task and Jerome to undertake it. We learn particulars from the letter of Jerome in 383 transmitting to his patron the first installment of his revision, the Gospels. "Thou compellest me," he writes, "to make a new work out of an old so that after so many copies of the Scriptures have been dispersed throughout the whole world I am as it were to occupy the post of arbiter, and seeing they differ from one another am to determine which of them are in agreement with the original Greek." Anticipating attacks from critics, he says, further: "If they maintain that confidence is to be reposed in the Latin exemplars, let them answer which, for there are almost as many copies of translations as manuscripts. But if the truth is to be sought from the majority, why not rather go back to the Greek original, and correct the blunders which have been made by incompetent translators, made worse rather than better by the presumption of unskillful correctors, and added to or altered by careless scribes?" Accordingly, he hands to the Pontiff the four Gospels to begin with after a careful comparison of old Greek manuscripts.
From Jerome's contemporary, Augustine, we obtain a similar picture. "Translators from Hebrew into Greek," he says (De Doctrina Christiana, ii.11), "can be numbered, but Latin translators by no means. For whenever, in the first ages of the faith, a Greek manuscript came into the hands of anyone who had also a little skill in both languages, he made bold to translate it forthwith." In the same context he mentions "an innumerable variety of Latin translators," "a crowd of translators." His advice to readers is to give a preference to the Itala, "which is more faithful in its renderings and more intelligible in its sense." What the Itala is, has been greatly discussed. Formerly it was taken to be a summary designation of all the versions before Jerome's time. But Professor Burkitt (Texts and Studies, IV) strongly urges the view that by this term Augustine designates Jerome's Vulgate, which he might quite well have known and preferred to any of the earlier translations. However this may be, whereas before Jerome there were those numerous translations, of which he and Augustine complain, after Jerome there is the one preeminent and commanding work, produced by him, which in course of time drove all others out of the field, the great Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) edition, as it came to be called, of the complete Latin Bible.
3. The Latin Bible before Jerome:
We are here concerned with the subject of the Latin Bible before the time of Jerome. The manuscripts which have survived from the earlier period are known by the general designation of Old Latin. When we ask where these first translations came into existence, we discover a somewhat surprising fact. It was not at Rome, as we might have expected, that they were first required. The language of Christian Rome was mainly Greek, down to the 3rd century. Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in Greek. When Clement of Rome in the last decade of the 1st century wrote an epistle in the name of the Roman church to the Corinthians, he wrote in Greek Justin Martyr, and the heretic Marcion, alike wrote from Rome in Greek. Out of 15 bishops who presided over the Roman. See down to the close of the 2nd century, only four have Latin names. Even the pagan emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote his Meditations in Greek If there were Christians in Rome at that period whose only language was Latin, they were not sufficiently numerous to be provided with Christian literature; at least none has survived.
4. First Used in North Africa:
It is from North Africa that the earliest Latin literature of the church has come down to us. The church of North Africa early received a baptism of blood, and could point to an illustrious roll of martyrs. It had also a distinguished list of Latin authors, whose Latin might sometimes be rude and mixed with foreign idioms, but had a power and a fire derived from the truths which it set forth. One of the most eminent of these Africans was Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, who won the martyr's crown in 257. His genuine works consist of a number of short treatises, or tracts, and numerous letters, all teeming with Scripture quotations. It is certain that he employed a version then and there in use, and it is agreed that "his quotations are carefully made and thus afford trustworthy standards of African Old Latin in a very early though still not the earliest stage" (Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in Greek, 78).
5. Cyprian's Bible:
Critical investigation has made it clear that the version used by Cyprian survives in a fragmentary copy of Mark and Matthew, now at Turin in North Italy, called Codex Bobbiensis (k), and in the fragments of the Apocalypse and Acts contained in a palimpsest at Paris called Codex Floriacensis (h). It has been found that another MS, Codex Palatinus (e) at Vienna, has a text closely akin to that exhibited in Cyprian, although there are traces of mixture in it. The text of these manuscripts, together with the quotations of the so-called Speculum Augustini (m), is known among scholars as African Old Latin. Another manuscript with an interesting history, Codex Colbertinus (c) contains also a valuable African element, but in many parts of the Gospels it sides also with what is called the European Old Latin more than with k or e. Codex Bobbiensis (k) has been edited with a learned introduction in the late Bishop John Wordsworth's Old Latin Biblical Texts, the relation of k to Cyprian as well as to other Old Latin texts being the subject of an elaborate investigation by Professor Sanday. That Cyprian, who was not acquainted with Greek, had a written version before him which is here identified is certain, and thus the illustrious bishop and martyr gives us a fixed point in the history of the Latin Bible a century and a half earlier than Jerome.
6. Tertullian's Bible:
We proceed half a century nearer to the fountainhead of the African Bible when we take up the testimony of Tertullian who flourished toward the close of the 2nd century. He differed from Cyprian in being a competent Greek scholar. He was thus able to translate for himself as he made his quotations from the Septuagint or the Greek New Testament, and is thus for us by no means so safe a witness to the character or existence of a standard version. Professor Zahn (GK, I, 60) maintains with considerable plausibility that before 210-240 A.D. there was no Latin Bible, and that Tertullian with his knowledge of Greek just translated as he went along. In this contention, Zahn is not supported by many scholars, and the view generally is that while Tertullian's knowledge of Greek is a disturbing element, his writings, with the copious quotations from both Old Testament and New Testament, do testify to the existence of a version which had already been for some time in circulation and use. Who the African Wycliffe or Tyndale was who produced that version has not been recorded, and it may in fact have been the work of several hands, the result, as Bishop Westcott puts it, of the spontaneous efforts of African Christians (Canon of the NT7, 263).
7. Possible Eastern Origin of Old Latin:
Although the evidence has, up to the present time, been regarded as favoring the African origin of the first Latin translation of the Bible, recent investigation into what is called the Western text of the New Testament has yielded results pointing elsewhere. It is clear from a comparison that the Western type of text has close affinity with the Syriac witnesses originating in the eastern provinces of the empire. The close textual relation disclosed between the Latin and the Syriac versions has led some authorities to believe that, after all, the earliest Latin version may have been made in the East, and possibly at Antioch. But this is one of the problems awaiting the discovery of fresh material and fuller investigation for its solution.
8. Classification of Old Latin Manuscripts:
We have already noticed the African group, so designated from its connection with the great African Fathers, Tertullian and especially Cyprian, and comprising k, e, and to some extent h and m. The antiquity of the text here represented is attested by these African Fathers.
When we come down to the 4th century we find in Western Europe, and especially in North Italy, a second type of text, which is designated European, the precise relation of which to the African has not been clearly ascertained. Is this an independent text which has arisen on the soil of Italy, or is it a text derived by alteration and revision of the African as it traveled northward and westward? This group consists of the Codex Vercellensis (a) and Codex Vcronensis (b) of the 4th or 5th century at Vercelli and Verona respectively, and there may be included also the Codex Vindobonensis (i) of the 7th century at Vienna. These give the Gospels, and a gives for John the text as it was read by the 4th-century Father, Lucifer of Cagliari in Sardinia. The Latin of the Greek-Latin manuscript D (Codex Bezae) is known as d, and much of Irenaeus are classed with this group.
Still later, Professor Hort says from the middle of the 4th century, a third type, called Italic from its more restricted range, is found. It is represented by Codex Brixianus (f) of the 6th century, now at Brescia, and Codex Monacensis (q) of the 7th century, at Munich. This text is probably a modified form of the European, produced by revision which has brought it more into accord with the Greek, and has given it a smoother Lot aspect. The group has received this name because the text found in many of Augustine's writings is the same, and as he expressed a preference for the Itala, the group was designated accordingly. Recent investigation tends to show that we must be careful how we use Augustine as an Old Latin authority, and that the Itala may be, not a pre-Vulgate text, but rather Jerome's Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) This, however, is still uncertain; the fact remains that as far as the Gospels are concerned, f and q represent the type of text most used by Jerome.
9. Individual Characteristics:
That all these groups, comprising in all 38 codices, go back to one original is not impossible. Still there may have been at first local VSS, and then an official version formed out of them. When Jerome's revision took hold of the church, the Old Latin representatives for the most part dropped out of notice. Some of them, however, held their ground and continued to be copied down to the 12th and even the 13th century Codex C (Ephraemi) is an example of this; it is a manuscript of the 12th century, but as Professor Burkitt has pointed out (Texts and Studies, IV, "Old Latin," 11) "it came from Languedoc, the country of the Albigenses. Only among heretics isolated from the rest of Western Christianity could an Old Latin text have been written at so late a period." An instance of an Old Latin text copied in the 13th century is the Gigas Holmiensis, quoted as Gig, now at Stockholm, and so called from its great size. It contains the Acts and the Apocalypse of the Old Latin and the rest of the New Testament according to the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) It has to be borne in mind that in the early centuries complete Bibles were unknown. Each group of books, Gospels, Acts and Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, and Revelation for the New Testament, and Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms and Prophets for the Old Testament, has to be regarded separately. It is interesting, also, to note that when Jerome revised, or even retranslated from the Septuagint, Tobit and Judith of the Apocrypha, the greater number of these books, the Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, 1 and 2 Maccabees, and Baruch were left unrevised, and were simply added to the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) from the Old Latin version.
10. Value of Old Latin for Textual Criticism:
These Old Latin translations going back in their earliest forms to nearly the middle of the 2nd century are very early witnesses to the Greek text from which they were made. They are the more valuable inasmuch as they are manifestly very literal translations. Our great uncial manuscripts reach no farther back than the 4th century, whereas in the Old Latin we have evidence-indirect indeed and requiring to be cautiously used-reaching back to the 2nd century. The text of these manuscripts is neither dated nor localized, whereas the evidence of these VSS, coming from a particular province of the church, and being used by Fathers whose period is definitely known, enables us to judge of the type of Greek text then and there in use. In this connection, too, it is noteworthy that while the variations of which Jerome and Augustine complained were largely due to the blunders, or natural mistakes, of copyists, they did sometimes represent various readings in the Greek originals.
Wordsworth and White, Old Latin Biblical Texts, 4 volumes; F.C. Burkitt, "The Old Latin and the Itala," Texts and Studies, IV; "Old Latin VSS" by H.A.A. Kennedy in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes); "Bibelubersetzungen, Lateinische" by Fritzsche-Nestle in PRE3; Intros to Textual Criticism of the New Testament by Scrivener, Gregory, Nestle, and Lake.
o'-thor-iz'd. See ENGLISH VERSIONS.
Easton's Bible Dictionary
A translation of the holy Scriptures. This word is not found in the Bible, nevertheless, as frequent references are made in this work to various ancient as well as modern versions, it is fitting that some brief account should be given of the most important of these. These versions are important helps to the right interpretation of the Word. (see SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH
1. The Targums. After the return from the Captivity, the Jews, no longer familiar with the old Hebrew, required that their Scriptures should be translated for them into the Chaldaic or Aramaic language and interpreted. These translations and paraphrases were at first oral, but they were afterwards reduced to writing, and thus targums, i.e., "versions" or "translations", have come down to us. The chief of these are,
(1.) The Onkelos Targum, i.e., the targum of Akelas=Aquila, a targum so called to give it greater popularity by comparing it with the Greek translation of Aquila mentioned below. This targum originated about the second century after Christ.
(2.) The targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel comes next to that of Onkelos in respect of age and value. It is more a paraphrase on the Prophets, however, than a translation. Both of these targums issued from the Jewish school which then flourished at Babylon.
2. The Greek Versions.
(1.) The oldest of these is the Septuagint, usually quoted as the LXX. The origin of this the most important of all the versions is involved in much obscurity. It derives its name from the popular notion that seventy-two translators were employed on it by the direction of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and that it was accomplished in seventy-two days, for the use of the Jews residing in that country. There is no historical warrant for this notion. It is, however, an established fact that this version was made at Alexandria; that it was begun about 280 B.C., and finished about 200 or 150 B.C.; that it was the work of a number of translators who differed greatly both in their knowledge of Hebrew and of Greek; and that from the earliest times it has borne the name of "The Septuagint", i.e., The Seventy.
"This version, with all its defects, must be of the greatest interest, (a) as preserving evidence for the text far more ancient than the oldest Hebrew manuscripts; (b) as the means by which the Greek Language was wedded to Hebrew thought; (c) as the source of the great majority of quotations from the Old Testament by writers of the New Testament.
(2.) The New Testament manuscripts fall into two divisions, Uncials, written in Greek capitals, with no distinction at all between the different words, and very little even between the different lines; and Cursives, in small Greek letters, and with divisions of words and lines. The change between the two kinds of Greek writing took place about the tenth century. Only five manuscripts of the New Testament approaching to completeness are more ancient than this dividing date. The first, numbered A, is the Alexandrian manuscript. Though brought to this country by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, as a present to Charles I., it is believed that it was written, not in that capital, but in Alexandria; whence its title. It is now dated in the fifth century A.D. The second, known as B, is the Vatican manuscript. (see VATICANUS.) The Third, C, or the Ephraem manuscript, was so called because it was written over the writings of Ephraem, a Syrian theological author, a practice very common in the days when writing materials were scarce and dear. It is believed that it belongs to the fifth century, and perhaps a slightly earlier period of it than the manuscript A. The fourth, D, or the manuscript of Beza, was so called because it belonged to the reformer Beza, who found it in the monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons in 1562 A.D. It is imperfect, and is dated in the sixth century. The fifth (called Aleph) is the Sinaitic manuscript. (see SINAITICUS.)
3. The Syriac Versions. (see SYRIAC.)
4. The Latin Versions. A Latin version of the Scriptures, called the "Old Latin," which originated in North Africa, was in common use in the time of Tertullian (A.D. 150). Of this there appear to have been various copies or recensions made. That made in Italy, and called the Itala, was reckoned the most accurate. This translation of the Old Testament seems to have been made not from the original Hebrew but from the LXX.
This version became greatly corrupted by repeated transcription, and to remedy the evil Jerome (A.D. 329-420) was requested by Damasus, the bishop of Rome, to undertake a complete revision of it. It met with opposition at first, but was at length, in the seventh century, recognized as the "Vulgate" version. It appeared in a printed from about A.D. 1455, the first book that ever issued from the press. The Council of Trent (1546) declared it "authentic." It subsequently underwent various revisions, but that which was executed (1592) under the sanction of Pope Clement VIII. was adopted as the basis of all subsequent editions. It is regarded as the sacred original in the Roman Catholic Church. All modern European versions have been more or less influenced by the Vulgate. This version reads ipsa_ instead of _ipse in Genesis 3:15, "She shall bruise thy head."
5. There are several other ancient versions which are of importance for Biblical critics, but which we need not mention particularly, such as the Ethiopic, in the fourth century, from the LXX.; two Egyptian versions, about the fourth century, the Memphitic, circulated in Lower Egypt, and the Thebaic, designed for Upper Egypt, both from the Greek; the Gothic, written in the German language, but with the Greek alphabet, by Ulphilas (died A.D. 388), of which only fragments of the Old Testament remain; the Armenian, about A.D. 400; and the Slavonic, in the ninth century, for ancient Moravia. Other ancient versions, as the Arabic, the Persian, and the Anglo-Saxon, may be mentioned.
6. The history of the English versions begins properly with Wyckliffe. Portions, however, of the Scriptures were rendered into Saxon (as the Gospel according to John, by Bede, A.D. 735), and also into English (by Orme, called the "Ormulum, " a portion of the Gospels and of the Acts in the form of a metrical paraphrase, toward the close of the seventh century), long before Wyckliffe; but it is to him that the honour belongs of having first rendered the whole Bible into English (A.D. 1380). This version was made from the Vulgate, and renders Genesis 3:15 after that Version, "She shall trede thy head."
This was followed by Tyndale's translation (1525-1531); Miles Coverdale's (1535-1553); Thomas Matthew's (1537), really, however, the work of John Rogers, the first martyr under the reign of Queen Mary. This was properly the first Authorized Version, Henry VIII. having ordered a copy of it to be got for every church. This took place in less than a year after Tyndale was martyred for the crime of translating the Scriptures. In 1539 Richard Taverner published a revised edition of Matthew's Bible. The Great Bible, so called from its great size, called also Cranmer's Bible, was published in 1539 and 1568. In the strict sense, the "Great Bible" is "the only authorized version; for the Bishops' Bible and the present Bible [the A.V.] never had the formal sanction of royal authority." Next in order was the Geneva version (1557-1560); the Bishops' Bible (1568); the Rheims and Douai versions, under Roman Catholic auspices (1582, 1609); the Authorized Version (1611); and the Revised Version of the New Testament in 1880 and of the Old Testament in 1884.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
) A change of form, direction, or the like; transformation; conversion; turning.
2. (n.) A condition of the uterus in which its axis is deflected from its normal position without being bent upon itself. See Anteversion, and Retroversion.
3. (n.) The act of translating, or rendering, from one language into another language.
4. (n.) A translation; that which is rendered from another language; as, the Common, or Authorized, Version of the Scriptures (see under Authorized); the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament.
5. (n.) An account or description from a particular point of view, especially as contrasted with another account; as, he gave another version of the affair.