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classes, viz. the law, the prophets, and the hagiographia; a division which they are supposed to have borrowed from Ezra himself. Each book is, subdivided into sections, or parasches; which some maintain to have been as old as Moses, though others, with more probability, ascribe it to the same Ezra. These were subdivided into verses, pesuchim, marked in the Hebrew Bible by two great points, called sophpasuch, at the end of each. But the division of the Bible into chapters, as we now have it, is of much later date. Divers of the ancient Bible-books appear to be irrecoverably lost, whether it be that the copies of them perished, or that they were thrown out of Ezra's canon. Hence it is, that in the books still extant, we find divers citations of, and references to others, which are now no more; as the Book of Jasher, the Book of the Wars of the Lord, Annals of the Kings of Judea and Israel, part of Solomon's three thousand and five Proverbs, and his thousand and five Songs, besides his books on plants, animals, fishes, insects, &c. To which may be added a Book of Jeremiah, wherein he enjoined the captives, who went to Babylon, to take the sacred fire and conceal it; also, the precepts which that Prophet gave the Jews, to preserve them from idolatry, and his Lamentations on the death of king Josiah. The Jewish canon of Scripture was then sealed by Ezra; yet not so but that several variations have been since made in it: Malachi for instance could not be put into the Bible by him, since that prophet is supposed to have lived after Ezra; nor could Nehemiah be there, since mention is made in that Book, of Juddua as high priest, and of Darius Codomanus as king of Persia, who were at least a hundred years later than Ezra. It may be added, that, in the first book of Chronicles, the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel is carried down for so many generations, as must necessarily bring it to the time of Alexander; and consequently this book could not be in the canon in Ezra’s days. It is probable the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Malachi were adopted into the Bible in the time of Simon the Just, the last of the men of the Great Synagogue.
Bibles, Englis-Saxon.If we inquire into the versions of the Bible of our own language and country, we shall find that Adelm, bishop of Shireburn, who lived in 709, made an English-Saxon version of the Psalms; and that Eadfrid or Ecbert, bishop of Lindisferne, who lived about the year 730, translated several of the books of the Scriptures into the same language. It is said likewise, that the venerable Bede, who died in 785, translated the whole Bible into Saxon. But Cuthbert, Bede's disciple, in the enumeration of his master's works, speaks only of the transJation of the Gospels, and says nothing of the rest of the Bible,
Some pretend that king Alfred, who lived in 890, translated a great part of the Scriptures. We find an old version in the Anglo-Saxon of several books of the Bible, made by Elfric, abbot of Malmesbury: it was published at Oxford in 1699. There is an old Anglo-Saxon version of the four Gospels, published by Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 1571, the translator of which is unknown. Dr. Mill observes, that this version was made from a Latin copy of the old vulgate.
Bibles, Saxon. The whole Scripture is said by some to have been translated into the Anglo-Saxon by Bede, about tie year 1701, though others contend he only translated the Gospels. We have certain books or parts of the Bible, by several other translators; as, 1st. The Psalms, by Adelm, bishop of Shireburn, contemporary with Bede: though by others this version is attributed to King Alfred, who lived 200 years after. Another version of the Psalms in Anglo-Saxon was published by Spelman, in 1640. 2nd. The Evangelists, still extant, done from the ancient vulgate, before it was revised by St. Jerome, by an author unknown, and published by Matthew Parker, in 1571. 3d. An old Saxon verson of several books of the Bible, made by Elfric, abbot of Malmesbury, several fragments of which were published by Wm. Lilly, in 1638; the genuine copy by Edmond Thwaites, in 1639, at Oxford.
Bibles, Indian.-A translation of the Bible into the N. American Indian language, by Elliot, was published in 4to, at Cambridge, in 1685.
Bibles, English.--The first English Bible we read of was that translated by J. Wickliffe, about the year 1360, but never printed, though there are manuscript copies of it in several pubsic libraries. J. de Trevisa, who died about 1398, is also said to have translated the whole Bible; but whether any copies of it are remaining does not appear. The first printed Bible in our language was that translated by W. Tindal, assisted by Miles Coverdale, printed abroad in 1526; but most of the copies were bought up and burnt by Bishop Tunstal and Sir Thomas More. It only contained the New Testament, and was revised and republished by the same person in 1530. The pre logues and prefaces added to it, reflect on the bishops and clergy: but this edition was also suppressed, and the copies hurt. In 1532, Tindal and his associates finished the whole Bible, except the Apochrypba, ad printed it abroad: but while he was afterwards preparing a second editiori, he was taken up and burnt for heresy in Flanders. 0 Tinda's death, his work was carries van hy Coverdale, and John Rogers, soneriotendait of an English church in Germany, and the first Martyr, in the reign
of Queen Mary, who translated the Apocrypha, and revised Tindal's translation, comparing it with the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German, and adding prefaces and notes from Luther's Bible. He dedicated the whole to Henry VIII. in 1537, under the borrowed name of Thomas Matthews; whence this has been usually called Matthews' Bible. It was printed at Hamburgh, and license obtained for publishing it in England, by the favour of archbishop Cranmer, and the bishops Latimer and Shaxton.
· Cranmer's Bible. The first Bible printed by authority in England, and publicly set up in churches, was the same Tindal's version, revised and compared with the Hebrew, and in many places amended by Miles Coverdale, afterwards bishop of Exeter; and examined after him by archbishop Cranmer, who added a preface to it; whence this was called Cranmer's Bible. It was printed by Grafton, of the largest volume, and published in 1540; and by a royal proclaniation, every parish was obliged to set one of the copies in their church, under the penalty of forty shillings a month; yet, two years after, the popish bishops obtained its suppression by the king. It was restored under Edward the VI., suppressed again under queen Mary's reign, and restored again in the first year of queen Elizabeth, and a new edition of it given in 1562.
Geneva Bible.- Some English exiles at Geneva, in queen Ma. ry's reign, viz. Coverdale, Goodman, Gilbie, Sampson, Cole, Wittingham, and Knox, made a new translation, printed there in 1557; hence called the Geneva Bible, containing the variations of readings, marginal annotations, &c., on account of which it was much valued by the puritan party in that and the following reigns.
Bishop's Bible.-Archbishop Parker resolved on a new translation for the public use of the church; and engaged the bishops, and other learned men to take each a share or portion: these, being afterwards joined together and printed, with short annotations, in 1568, in large folio, made what was afterwards called the Great English Bible, and commonly the Bishop's Bible. In 1589, it was also published in octavo in a small but fine black letter; and here the chapters were divided into verses, but without any breaks for them, in which the method of the Geneva Bible was followed, which was the first English Bible where any distinction of verses was made. It was afterwards printed in large folio, with corrections, and several prolegomena in 1572: this is called Matthew Parker's Bible. The initial letters of each translator's name were put at the end of his part.
Rhemish Bible. After the translation of the Bible by the bishops, two other private versions had been made of the New Tes. tament; the first by Laurence Thompson, from Beza's Latin edition, with the notes of Beza, published 1582, in quarto, and afterwards in 1589, varying very little from the Geneva Bible; the second by the Papists at Rheims, in 1584, called the Rhemish Bible, or Rhemish translation. These, 'finding it impossible to keep the people from having the Scriptures in their vulgar tongue, resolved to give a version of their own, as favourable to their cause as might be. It was printed on a large paper, with a fair letter and margin: one complaint against it was, its retaining a multitude of Hebrew and Greek words untranslated, for want, as the editors express it, of proper and adequate terms in the English to render them by; however, many of the copies were seized by the Queen's searchers, and confiscated; and Thomas Cartwright was solicited by secretary Walsingham to refute it; but, after a good progress, made therein, archbishop Wbitgift prohibiting his further proceeding, as judging it improper that the doctrine of the church of England should be committed to the defence of a puritan; and appointed Dr. Fulke in his place, who refuted the Rhemists with great spirit and learning. Cartwright's refutation was also afterwards published in 1618, under archbishop Abbot. About thirty years after their New Testament, the Roman Catholics published a translation of the Old at Douay, 1609, and 1610, from the vulgate with annotations, so that the English Roman Catholics have now the whole Bible in their mother tongue; though, it is to be observed, they are forbidden to read it without a license from their superiors.
King James's Bible.--The last English Bible was that which proceeded from the Hampton Court conference, in 1603; where, many exceptions being made to the Bishops' Bible, king James gave order for a new one; not, as the preface expresses it, for a translation altogether new, nor yet to make a good one better; or, of many good ones, one best. Fifty-four learned men were appointed to this office by the King, as appears by his letter to the archbishop, dated 1604; which being three years before the translation was entered upon, it is probable that seven of them were either dead, or had declined the task; since Fuller's list of the translators makes but forty-seven, who, being ranged under six divisions, entered on their province in 1607. It was published in 1613, with a dedication to James, and a learned preface; and is commonly called king James's Bible. After this, all the other versions dropped, and fell into disuse, except the epistles and Gospels in the Common Prayer Book, which were still continued according to the Bishops' translation till the alteration of the liturgy, in 1661, and the psalms and hymns, which are to this day continued as in the old version. The judicious Selden, in his Table-talk, speaking of the Bible, says, “The English translation of the Bible is the best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best; taking in for the English translation the Bishops' Bible, as well as king James's. The translators in king James's time took an excellent way. That part of the Bible was given to him who was most excellent in such a tongue (as the Apocrypha to Andrew Downs:) and then they met together, and one read the translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or French, or Spanish, or Italian, &c. If they found any fault, they spoke; if not, he read on.” [King James's Bible is that now read by authority in all the churches in Britain.]
Bibles, Welsh.--There was a Welsh translation of the Bible made from the original in the time of queen Elizabeth, in consequence of a bill brought into the House of Commons for this purpose in 1563; it was printed iii folio in 1588. Another version, which is the standard translation for that language was printed in 1620: it is called Parry's Bible. An impression of this was printed in 1690, called Bishop Loyd's Bible: These were in folio. The first octavo impression of the Welsh Bible was made in 1630.
Bible, Irish.--About the middle of the sixteenth century, Bedell, bishop of Kilmore, set on foot a translation of the Old Testament into the Irish language, the New Testament and the Liturgy having been before translated into that language: the bishop appointed one King to execute this work, who, not understanding the oriental languages, was obliged to translate it from the English. This work was received by Bedell, who, after haying compared the Irish with the English translation, compared the latter with the Hebrew, the LXX. and the Italian version of Diodati. When it was finished, the bishop would have been himself at the charge of the impression; but his design was stopped, upon advice given to the lord lieutenant and archbishop of Canterbury, that it would seem a shameful thing for a nation to publish a Bible translated by such a despicable hand as King: however the manuscript was not lost, for it went to press in 1685.
Bible, Erse. There is a version of the Bible in the Gaelic ola Erse language, published at Edinburgh