French Version of the Scriptures

French Version Of The Scriptures The British and Foreign Bible Society, since its inception of Bible-work in France and the French-speaking countries, circulated the translations of Martin, Osterwald, and De Sacy; the latter for the use of Roman Catholics. In 1869 the same society published a revised edition of Osterwald's New Test. The object of this edition was to bring it as far as possible into conformity with the original editions, and to do away with the needless alterations which have been introduced by various printers or editors. On the same basis the Old Test. was published in 1871. In 1875 the Reverend Arnold Bovet addressed a communication to the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society in Germany, the subject of which was the present condition and character of the French Protestant versions. In how far Mr. Bovet's suggestions were carried out we do not know, but in the report for the year 1877 we read: "The committee have been busy throughout the year in remedying certain minor defects in several of the French editions, in order to make them more perfect and more uniform. Several new versions of the Scriptures in French have been urged on the committee, but they did not see their way to the adoption of any of them; they hope, however, that the present activity in Bible translating and revision may lead to the production of a version more accurate and more acceptable: to the French people than any which they now possess." From the annual report published in 1884 it appears that the Societe Biblique de France had undertaken a revision of Osterwald, and that. this revised recension has also been adopted by the British and Foreign Bible Society. The report reads thus: "The committee have resolved to adopt the recently revised version of Osterwald. The revision of the New Test. was completed bv Mons. Frossard in 1869. A conference of pastors at Paris appointed a commission to examine the version, and they expressed the wish in the following year that the Society Biblique de France should publish it. In 1868 a committee, consisting of MM. Bruston, H. Kruger, W. Monod, and M. Byse began the revision of the Old Test. In 1877 the number of revisers was raised from four to thirteen, namely, professors Bois, Bruston, Chapuis, and Coussivat, and pastors Le Savoureux, Kruger, Monod, Laufer, Bornand, Byse, Favez, Frossard, and Monnier. All the books of the Old Test, were revised at least twice, the greater part three times, and some (Psalms, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, etc.) four times. 'The direction of the work was intrusted to pastor Frank Vermeil, with whom were associated MM. Matter and Frossard. In 1879 the publication commenced. Since then 17,000 of the 8vo and 16mo Bibles have been sold, and 150,000 copies of the revised New Test. since its publication. The basis of the revision of the New Test. was the Textus Receptus. The committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in taking up this latest revision of Osterwald's version, have the hearty approval of the Society Biblique de France." The British and Foreign Bible Society has also undertaken since 1879 the printing of De Sacy's Bible, collated with the folio of 1759, and with' alternative readings from the originals for all passages liable to misconstruction.

Outside of the Bible societies, there were published La Sainte Bible, Texte de la Vulgate, Traduction Francaise en Regard, avec Commentaires Theol., Moraux, Philol., Histor., etc. Rediges d'Apres les Meilleurs Travaux Anciens et Contemp. (Paris, 1869-82, 16 volumes). In this Bible work, the commentaries of German, French, English, and American scholars have been made use of. Thus, Alexander's Commentary on Isaiah, Lyman Abbott's New Test., The Speaker's Commentary, the works of Alford, Wordsworth, Ellicott, and even Smith's Dict. of the Bible have been perused. Besides this work of Roman Catholics, we must mention the Protestant Bible work by Reuss, La Bible. Traduction Nouvelle avec Introductions et Commentaires (Paris, 1874-81, 16 parts). The different parts have the following titles, besides the Preface et Introduction Generale and Table Generale des Matieres: I. Histoire des Israelites Depuis la Conquite de la Palestine jusqu'a l'Exil (Livres des Juges, de Samuel et des Rois); II. Les Prophetes, 2 volumes; III. l'Histoire Sainte et: la Loi (Pentateuque et Josue), 2 volumes; IV. Chronique Ecclesiastique de Jerusalem (Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah); V. Poesie Lyrique (Le Psautier, les Lamentations, le Cantique des Cantiques); VI. Philosophie Religieuse

et Morale des Hebreux (Job, les Proverbes, Ecclesiaste, l'Ecclesiastique, la Sapience, Contes Moraux [Jonas, Tobit, Susanne, Pages du Roi Darius], Baruch, Manasse); VII. Litterature, Politique, et Polemique (Ruth, Maccabees, Daniel, Esther, Judith, le 3me Livre des Maccabees, l'Histoire du Bel et du Serpent, l'Epitre de Jeremie); VIII. Histoire Evangelique (Synopse des 'Trois Premiers Evangiles); IX. La Theologie Johannique (Evangile et Epitres); X. L'Histoire Apostolique (Actes des Apotres); XI. Les Epitres Pauliniennes, 2 volumes; XII. Les Epitres Catholiques; XIII. L'Apocalypse.

Last, but not least, we mention the new translation of the Old Test. from the Hebrew text by the Reverend Dr. Louis Segond, published at Geneva in 1874 (2d ed. Nancy, 1877; 8d ed. Geneva, 1879), and the new translation of the New Test. from the Greek, published in 1879. His work has been accepted by the University Press, Oxford, England. This version is regarded as a decided improvement upon all others, and as worthy of national official use. In 1878 appeared La Bible Annoteepar une Socigte de Theologiens et de Pasteurs, fasc. 1 (Ancien Testament, les Pirophetes I), Neulfchatel. (For a review of this part comp. Diestel, in Schurer's Theol. Literaturzeitung, 1879, col. 217). (B.P.)

 
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