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D. 360. The Old Testament of all these translations, except the Syrian, is taken from the Septuagint, and not immediately from the Hebrew text.

We will now give some account of the translations of the Bible into the English language. There have been some who have affirmed that Adelme, Bishop of Sherburn, who lived in the beginning of the eighth century, translated the Psalms into the Saxon tongue. That however is uncertain, as some of the best historians make no mention of it; yet it is possible, as he was a man of great parts, and of great learning for those times, and said to be the first Englishman who wrote in the Latin language. About the same time, or a little after, Bede, commonly called the venerable Bede, translated some parts of the New Testament, some say the whole Bible, but that is not probable. Near 200 years later king Alfred translated the Psalms into the same language. In 1382 Wickliff finished his translation of the Bible, which is yet extant; that is to say, there are copies of it in some publick and private libraries. All these translations were made from the Vulgate. In the reign of Henry the eighth several editions of the Old and New Testaments were published in English; one of the most remarkable is that of William Tyndal in 1530. The translation of the New Testament was made from the original Greek, but probably the Old Testament either from the Latin of the Vulgate, or the Greek of the Septuagint. This was soon followed by the improvements of Coverdale and Mathews. By order of the king, Tonstal, Bishop of Durham, and Heath, Bishop of Rochester, made a new translation, which was published in 1541: but, not pleasing Henry, was suppressed by authority. In the reign of king Edward the sixth another translation was made, two editions of which were published, one in 1549, and the other in 1551. In the reign of queen Elizabeth another translation was made, which, being revised by some of the most learned of the Bishops, went by the name of the Bishops' Bible. This professed to be translated from the Hebrew of the Old Testament, and the Greek of the New, though in some instances, when there was a difference, it preferred the Septuagint to the Hebrew.

This last circumstance, with some others, induced king James the first to select fifty-four persons, eminent in learning, and particularly well acquainted with the original languages in which the Old and New Testaments were written, to make a new translation of the whole Bible. In the year 1607, forty-seven of those persons, the other seven probably having died, assembled together, and arranged themselves into committees, to each of which a portion was given to translate. They were favoured not only with the best translations, but with the most accurate copies, and the various readings of the original text. After about three years assiduous labour, they severally completed the parts assigned them. They then met together, and while one read the translation newly formed, the rest had each a copy of the original text in his hand, or some one of the ancient versions, and when any difficulty occurred they stopped, till by common. consultation it was determined what was most agreeable to the inspired Original. This translation was first published A. D. 1610, and is the one which has been ever since that time printed by publick authority, and generally used in the British dominions. It may be added with safety, that it has been generally approved by men of learning and piety of all denominations, of which its having never been superseded by any other, for one hundred and eighty years, is a sufficient proof.

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