Bible, Manuscripts of
Bible, Manuscripts Of.
Bible Societies, associations for the printing, translation, and circulation of the Word of God. They are given in this article in the following order, viz.:
(I.) Bible Societies of Great Britain; (II.) Bible Societies on the Continent of Europe; (III.) American Bible Society; (IV.) American and Foreign Bible Society (Baptist); (V.) American Bible Union (Baptist); (VI.) Bible Revision Association (Baptist).
1. BIBLE SOCIETIES OF GREAT BRITAIN.
— By far the most important among the Bible Societies of Great Britain is the BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY, founded March 7th, 1804.
I. Preparation.-A number of societies with cognate design had preceded it, e.g.
(1) the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge (1698), which included among its objects the spread of Bibles, Prayer-books, tracts, and missions, especially in India: it printed Bibles in English, Welsh, Manks, and Arabic;
(2) the Society for propagating the Gospel in foreign Parts (1701), with similar objects in special reference to the American colonies;
(3) the Scottish Society for propagating Christian Knowledge (1709), whose field included the Highlands, the Scottish Islands, and part of North America;
(4) the Society for promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor (1750);
(5) Naval and Military Bible Society (1780); and, in the same year,
(6) The French Bible Society, for publishing French Scriptures, which soon died out. Timpson (Bible Triumphs, p. 102 sq.) mentions twenty societies (including some of the above), all anticipatory of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
II. Origin. — The idea of a general and comprehensive Bible Society was first suggested in December, 1802, when an attempt was made to found a Bible Society for Wales, where the demand for Bibles was then extremely urgent. This was in London, Dec. 1802. The question was under discussion in a committee of the Tract Society, when suddenly the Rev. Joseph Hughes (Baptist), one of the secretaries of the Tract Society, remarked, " Certainly such a society might be formed; and for Wales, why not for the world?" This broad idea took deep hold of the minds of the men who were, with its author, laboring for the salvation of the world. It was at once made public in a call by Mr. Hughes for a meeting to consider the subject, which was attended on March 7th, 1804, at the London Tavern, by about 300 persons of all denominations, save that the Church of England clergy refused at first to co-operate with dissenters. But, persuaded by the pathos of the Rev. C. F. A. Steinkopff, the Rev. John Owen first gave in his adhesion, which step was soon after approved by Bishop Porteus. Organization was at once effected; Lord Teignmouth was chosen president, the Rev. Josiah Pratt (Church of England) and Rev. Joseph Hughes (Baptist) were appointed secretaries. Bishop Porteus and other prelates became members; and Wilberforce, Granville Sharpe, and other distinguished public men gave their names and influence to the undertaking. Dr. Steinkopff was afterward added to the number of secretaries. The object of the society was declared to be "to promote the circulation of the Holy Scriptures, without note or comment, both at home and in foreign lands." An executive committee was formed consisting of 36 laymen, viz., 15 members of the Established Church, 15 dissenters, and 6 resident foreigners. To this committee is intrusted the management of the business of the society. The annual membership fee is one guinea, and clerical members, whether of the Established Church or Dissenting churches, have a seat and vote in sessions. This organization was first framed in "the counting-room, Old Swan Stairs, Upper Thames Street, belonging to Joseph Hardcastle, Esq., Treasurer of the London Missionary Society, whose plans of benevolence, as well as those of the Religious Tract Society, and the Hibernian Society, were formed in the same room" (Timpson, Bib. Triumphs, p. 128).
III. Operations. — The attention of the society was first turned to Wales, and 25,000 Bibles and Testaments were printed in Welsh and distributed there.
From England it turned its energy to Continental Europe, where multitudes of Bibles were distributed. Bible Societies were soon formed on the Continent; an account of them will be found under the next head of this article. Turkey and the Levant were canvassed, and the seven apostolic churches, in which the Bible was almost forgotten, were visited once more by the Word of God. In India the Bible Society found permanent foothold, and extended its operations to a very wide field. Much had been undertaken here by various denominations and societies, and several translations were in languid progress; but the vigor of the London Society soon changed the state of affairs, and a comprehensive and effective work began. Even Romanists co-operated, and eight auxiliary societies soon sprung up, some of them in Oceanica and Africa. The great Bible Societies of America were also its legitimate though indirect result, and active auxiliaries were organized in the Canadas. In South America it was less successful, but "no society ever spread so rapidly or so far." The work of translation was begun at an early period: its extent will be seen from the table below marked b.
The career of the B. and F. B. Society has not been without vigorous opposition. The first attack came from the High-Church clergy of the Establishment, especially Dr. Wordsworth, Bishop Randolph, and afterward Bishop Marsh. These assaults had no other effect than to diminish the interest of the Established Church in the society; in spite of which, it has always had the support of the most zealous evangelical clergy and laity in that body. In India, after the return of Lord Wellesley (1806), the governors general for a series of years opposed the society; but all they could do was to impede, not to prevent its work of translating and circulating the Scriptures. About 1811 a dispute arose at home concerning the publication of the Apocrypha, which was circulated on the Continent with the Bibles issued by the society. This dispute agitated the society until 1826, when, by a final decision, the printing and circulation of the Apocrypha was stopped. This decision caused above 50 of the societies on the Continent to separate from the B. and F. B. Society; but agencies were substituted for auxiliaries, and the work went on. At the semi-centennial jubilee in 1853, the devoted Dr. Steinkopff alone remained of all the men who were so active in its foundation. Others, however, had succeeded to their places, and the enterprise was still most ably sustained.
RECEIPTS — EXPENDITURE. First year $10,648 00— $3,301 38 Tenth year 421,725 44 — 499,615 68 Twentieth year 472,955 12 — 433,146 12 Thirtieth year 406,061 48 — 340,750 36 Fortieth year 477,067 56 — 409,918 96 Fiftieth year 528,334 40 — 577,203 88 Sixty-second year 760,907 34 —809,865 88 Eighty-fourth year 1,063,274 — 1,130,824
This exhibit does not, however, show the real ratio of growth, as the receipts of the society for some of the years were much greater than for other subsequent years here mentioned, but it shows the relative periodic status. It also shows that its receipts always exceeded its expenditures.
(b.) Versions. — The B. and F. B. S., from its organization until 1888, caused the translation, publication, or circulation of the Holy Scriptures, entire or in parts, in languages and dialects as follows, viz.:
LANG. AND DIAL.
In Western Europe 16 In Northern " 8 In Central " 16 In Southern " 18 In Russia 23 In Caucasian and Border Countries 10 In Syria and Persia 5 In India 51 In Indo-Chinese countries 11 In China and Japan 23 In Malaysia 13 In the Islands of the Pacific 27 In East Africa 19 In West " 20 In South 7 In America 23
Of these 290 languages and dialects, the B. and F. B. S. has aided the translation, printing, or distribution of the Scriptures directly in 225 languages, indirectly 65. The number of versions and revisions promoted by the society in 1889 was 364, not including 24 versions prepared by other societies.
V. Present Condition.-The number of Bible Societies connected with the B. and F. B. S. was in 1888
Auxiliaries, 1113; branches, 446; associat's., 3858 total, 5417 IN GREAT BRITAIN.
EUROPE AND THE COLONIES, ETC.
Auxiliaries, 128; branches, 1466 total, 1594
Grand total, 7011
The society had also, in Europe, Asia, and America, 22 foreign agencies, which have the superintendence of depots of the Scriptures. During the year ending March 31, 1889, the society issued Bibles and parts of Bibles as follows, viz.:
From London, 1,787,081 Issued abroad, 1,890,123 total 3,677,204
Grand total from the beginning From London, 72,522,375 On the Continent, 47,614,408 total 120,136,783
The grants of the society of Bibles, Testaments, versions, materials, and money to various institutions, associations, and individuals, in nearly all countries on the globe for the year ending March 31, 1889, alone amounted to upward of £23,117 (see Report for 1889). This noble institution has recently closed the most prosperous and effective year of its splendid history. Its object is the purest Christian charity to all mankind, and Heaven is crowning its efforts with a success commensurate with its design. — Timpson, Bible Triumphs (Lond. 12mo, 1853); Reports of Brit. and For. Bible Society; Owen, Hist. of Brit. and For. Bible Society (3 vols. 8vo).
Other Bible Societies of Great Britain are,
(1.) the Trinitarian Bible Society, which separated from the B. and F. B. S. in 1831, when the resolution to make the belief in the triune God a term of membership was rejected. It is now mostly supported by the Irvingites. Its income for the year 1888 amounted to £2210,
(2.) The Bible Translation Society, a Baptist Society, which has for its object "to aid in printing and circulating those translations of the Holy Scriptures from which the British and Foreign Bible Society has withdrawn its assistance on the ground that the words relating to the ordinance of baptism have been translated by terms signifying immersion; and farther, to aid in producing and circulating other versions of the Word of God similarly faithful and complete." Its income in 1860 amounted to £1815.
(3.) The Hibernian Bible Society: the income for the year closing April, 1860, was £5063 an increase of £938 over the preceding year. The issues of the last year were 107,694 copies; the total issue 2,843,145 copies. (4.) In Scotland, where the Bible Society has hitherto obtained less support than in other parts of Great Britain, a "National Bible Society for Scotland" was organized in May, 1860. The General Board of Direction is to be divided into two parts, one of which is to be located in Edinburgh, and the other in Glasgow. The receipts in 1888 were £34,389. (J. H.)
2. BIBLE SOCIETIES ON THE CONTINENT OF EUROPE.
1. The Canstein Bible Institute was founded in 1710 by the Marquis of Canstein, to print and circulate the Word of God at a cheap rate. Up to 1843 it had circulated nearly five millions of Bibles, and nearly three millions of Testaments. SEE CANSTEIN.
2. The Nuremberg Bible Society was formed May 10, 1804, the B. and F. B. S. contributing £100 toward its foundation. The friends of the Bible cause in Basle united at first with this society. In 1806 it was removed to Basle, and became the Basle Bible Society.
3. The Ratisbon (Roman Catholic) Bible Society was formed in 1805-6 under Dr. Wittmann. It was afterward suppressed.
4. The Berlin Bible Society obtained the sanction of the King of Prussia Feb. 11, 1806. It was merged into the greater Prussian Bible Society in 1814, which had circulated, up to the year 1889, 5,239,258 copies of the Bible. A number of other German Bible Societies have since been established, as the Bible Society of Saxony, in 1813, which had in 1859- thirty-two branch associations; the Bible Society of Sleswick Holstein, since 1826; the Hessian Bible Society, and many others. Most of the German societies retain the Apocrypha in their editions of the Bible.
5. The Zurich and Wirtemberg Bible Society followed in 1812, 1813, and in a few years many organizations sprang up in Switzerland.
6. The formation of the Danish Bible Society took place at Copenhagen, May 22, 1814. The King of Sweden, in a full council of state, July 6, 1814, consented to become the patron of the Swedish Bible Society.
7. The Russian Bible Society was authorized by an imperial ukase, Jan. 14, 1813. The Greek, the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran, the Reformed, and the Armenian churches were represented in this society, in order to spread the Bible in the entire Russian empire. In 1826 the number of branch associations amounted to 289, the annual income to 400,000 rubles, and the number of copies of the Scriptures, which had been circulated in thirty- two different languages, to 411,000. The translation of the Bible into the modern Russian, and the large circulation of this translation among the country people, aroused an opposition on the part of the Russian clergy, which soon led to the suppression of the society by the Emperor Nicholas (1826). In its place a Protestant Russian Bible Society was organized at Petersburg, which had to restrict its operations to the Protestant population. It has existed ever since, and circulated more than 865,000 Bibles. The emperor Alexander II showed himself more favorable to the circulation of the Scriptures than his father, and the hope is generally entertained that the Bible colporteurs will soon have again free access to the members of the Greek Church.
8. In Finland a society was formed at Abo, 1812, and Norway followed in 1815.
9. The United Netherlands Bible Society, formed in 1813, soon had auxiliaries in most parts of Holland.
10. In 1818 the Paris Protestant Bible Society was authorized by the French government, and it went on in spite of great opposition from the Abbe de la Mennais and others. Other French Bible Societies are at Colmar (founded in 1820) and at Strasburg (founded in 1816).
11. In Southern Europe, the Malta Bible Society was founded May 26, 1817, and became highly important as the station for supplying the Scriptures to various people, from the isles of the Archipelago to the banks of the Euphrates. These objects were promoted by the travels of the Rev. Messrs. Jowett, Connor, and Burckhardt. Farther detail can be found in the Reports of the B. and F. B. S.; Owen's Hist. of the B. and IF. B. S. (3 vols. 8vo); Timpson, Bible Triumphs (Lond. 1853, 8vo). (J. H.)
3. AMERICAN BIBLE SOCIETY,
"a voluntary association, which has for its object the circulation of the Holy Scriptures in the commonly received version, without note or comment." Its centre is in the city of New York. but it is ramified by means of auxiliaries over the entire United States and Territories.
I. Organization.-This society was suggested by the success of the British and Foreign Bible Society. That society had been found to supply a great want in the mother country, and a similar association was perhaps still more needed in America. During the Revolutionary War, such was the scarcity of Bibles that Congress in 1777 voted to print 30,000 copies; and when it was found impracticable, for want of type and paper, it directed the Committee on Commerce to import 20,000 from Europe, giving as a reason that " its use was so universal and its importance so great." When this, too, in consequence of the embargo, was found impracticable, Congress passed a resolution (1782) in favor of an edition of the Bible published by the private enterprise of Mr. Robert Aitkin, of Philadelphia, which it pronounced "a pious and laudable undertaking, subservient to the interests of religion." Such was the language of the Congress of the United States in reference to the Bible in the year 1782. But the work of printing the Holy Scriptures went on very slowly. It did not meet the demand. Besides, the books were sold at prices beyond the reach of the poor. Other means were required to supply this deficiency. The older society in Great Britain had led the way in 1804, and kindred associations were soon organized in different parts of this country. The societies first formed were local, independent bodies, having, no connection nor intercommunication; they could therefore take no measures to supply the destitute beyond their immediate localities. The inconvenience was still greater when missionary societies were formed, and the living teacher was sent to preach the Gospel in pagan lands. The remedy was first suggested by the Rev. Samuel J. Mills, who proposed uniting all Bible Societies into one central institution. In 1815, the Bible Society of New Jersey, prompted by the venerable Elias Boudinot, issued a circular to the several Bible Societies in the country, inviting them to send delegates to meet in the city of New York the ensuing year. The New York Bible Society entered cordially into the measure. A convention was held in New York on Wednesday, May 8, 1816, composed of sixty delegates, representing thirty-five Bible Societies in ten states and the District of Columbia. Joshua Wallace, of Burlington, N. J., was chosen president; Joseph C. Hornblower, LL.D., of Newark, vice-president; Rev. Lyman Beecher. D.D, and Rev. John B. Romeyn, secretaries. Gentlemen of nearly all Christian denominations were present as members.
II. Constitution and Officers. — A constitution was adopted and officers of the society were elected. The Hon. Elias Boudinot, LL.D., though not at the convention, was chosen president, and twenty-three vice presidents were chosen from various states in the Union; the Rev. Dr. J. M. Mason was elected secretary for foreign correspondence, Rev. Dr. J. B. Romeyn domestic secretary, and Richard Varick, Esq., treasurer. The labors of these gentlemen were all given gratuitously.
III. Managers. — The board of managers was composed of thirty-six laymen, it being provided that every minister of the Gospel becoming a life- member should be an honorary manager, as well as every life-director, lay or clerical. They were entitled to meet with the board, and vote, and have the same power as a manager. The thirty-six managers were divided into four classes, each of which was to go out of office each year, but were re- eligible. It resulted, as was no doubt intended, in securing a permanent body, members going out actually only by death, resignation, or removal for cause, as is the case generally with kindred institutions. From these managers, honorary or elect, standing committees were appointed, on whom devolve, in great measure, the actual doings of the board, the latter confirming or annulling their transactions.
IV. Committees.—The standing committees, as now existing, are on publication, finance, versions, distribution, agencies, legacies, nominations, anniversary, and auditing. The titles sufficiently designate their functions. The committee on nominations, composed of one member from each of the principal denominations represented in the board, was designed to secure impartiality in nominations to office or otherwise, the denominations being unequally represented in the board, but standing on a par as to number in the committee which has the power to nominate and recommend to election. This is, therefore, a provision for the safety of the smaller bodies, or those having the feebler representation in the board. These committees, as well as the board, usually meet once a month, though some of them, as those on legacies and finance, oftener, and the sessions are from one to two hours, or sometimes longer. These services are rendered without compensation, only the officers who give their entire time and labor to the society receiving any salary.
V. Text circulated. — The constitution declares that "the sole object of this society shall be to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures without note or comment;" and "the only copies in the English language to be circulated by the society shall be of the version now in common use," meaning by that what is commonly called King James's Version. And as this was then, as it is now, the version universally received by the Christian churches using the English tongue, so it was to be the common bond of the churches combined in this association. When the society extended its labors into foreign countries, and was called on to appropriate funds to print the Scriptures as translated into other languages, the same general rule was adopted. The principles of the English Bible were to be followed, at least so far as this, that the version should be catholic, so that all denominations might use it as they do our English Bible. It is the duty of the committee on versions to see that this rule is followed in every new version for the printing of which funds are solicited from this society. It also devolves on this committee to correct any verbal inaccuracies that may creep into the society's editions, or to determine on the correct reading when the several editions differ. This is, of course, a very delicate and difficult function, requiring great judgment and wisdom as well as competent scholarship.
VI. Auxiliaries. — It was soon found that the central society could do but little by its own unaided efforts toward supplying the wants of the country. Accordingly, arrangements were made for receiving auxiliaries into connection with the parent society. Circulars were issued calling on the friends of the Bible in different parts of the country to organize auxiliary societies, but circulars and letters did not accomplish the object. Auxiliaries were not organized in sufficient numbers; whether for want of interest on the part of pastors, the want of knowledge and experience, or want of appreciation of the work, it is of no use to attempt to decide: such was the fact.
VII. Agents. — To accomplish this work, it became necessary to appoint agents. In 1815 the Rev. R. D. Hall was appointed agent for this purpose, and from that time others have been added, as the work of the society has extended over a: wider region of country. In 1865 there were thirty-seven agents, extending over the entire United States and Territories, including California, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, and Minnesota. An agent has been sent also to Utah. Besides these, several agents are employed in foreign countries. Under the labors of these agents auxiliary Bible Societies have been organized in every part of the land, the number of which, with their branch societies, now exceeds 5000. These societies are the chief means of distributing the books, each being expected to supply the wants of its own territory. The effort of the agents is continually directed to keeping them engaged in this work.
VIII. Paid Secretaries. — The original executive officers received no remuneration for their service. The first paid officer was Mr. John Nitchie, agent and accountant from 1810, clergymen of New York rendering voluntary service as secretaries until 1826, when Mr. John C. Brigham, now the Rev. Dr. Brigham, was employed first as assistant secretary, and subsequently as corresponding secretary. Such he remained, laboring in conjunction with unpaid secretaries with great diligence and success until 1840, at which time the society had made great advancement. This year its receipts amounted to a 97,355 09, and its issues to 117,261 volumes. The Methodist Episcopal Church, at their General Conference of 1836, agreed to disband their denominational Bible Society and unite with the national institution. In view of this, another secretary was employed, selected in 1840 from that body, and. no man could better have served the purpose than the Rev. E. S. Janes, afterward bishop of the Church which he has served with such faithfulness and distinguished ability. In 1844 the Rev. N. Levings was chosen his successor, and after five years' successful toil died in 1849, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Joseph Holdich, D.D. In 1837, Joseph Hyde, Esq., was made general agent, and Mr. Nitchie was made treasurer. The latter died in 1838, and was succeeded by Abraham Keyser, Esq. The treasurer in 1866 was Wm. Whitlock, Jr., Esq. In 1866 the society had three secretaries, Rev. Dr. Holdich, Rev. Dr. Taylor, and Rev. T. Ralston Smith; an assistant treasurer, Henry Fisher. Esq.; and Mr. Caleb Rowe, general agent. The other officers and members of the board, not devoting all their time to the society, receive no pay.
IX. Buildings, etc. — The business of the society was transacted for some years in rooms in the N. Y. Hospital, lent to them for the purpose by the governors, and afterward in the rooms of the N. Y. Historical Society. In 1822 the Bible House in Nassau Street was erected. This was enlarged from time to time until it could be extended no farther. In 1852 the managers erected the present spacious and commodious edifice in Astor Place. It was erected partly by special subscriptions, chiefly in the city of New York, and partly by the proceeds of the sale of the old premises. The remainder was raised by a loan, the rent of the rooms not immediately wanted for the society's purposes paying the interest and gradually liquidating the debt. The whole debt will probably be paid off before the society will require the use of the entire building. Not a dollar was drawn from the regular income of the society for erecting the Bible House. There are at present 17 power-presses employed, with about 400 persons. With the present force the society makes from 3000 to 4000 vols. a day, and issues from 700,000 to 800,000 vols. per annum of the Holy Scriptures.
X. Finances and Issues. — The receipts of the society vary somewhat with the state of the times and according to the legacies received. In 1865 the receipts from all sources, including sales, donations, and legacies, were upward of $642,000. These funds are expended in supplying the destitute at home, and in printing and circulating the Holy Scriptures in foreign parts. The number of volumes issued by this society in the year 1865, as shown in the annual report, was over 951,000, while over $40,000 were expended on printing and circulating the Scriptures in foreign countries, besides what was expended in preparing Bibles at home for foreign use.
XI. The Baptist Difficulty. — In 1835 a serious difficulty arose in the society. The Baptist missionaries in Burmah published, with funds drawn from the society, a translation of the Bible into Burmese, in which the Greek words βαπτισμός and βαπτίζω were rendered by words signifying immersion and to immerse. When this came to' the knowledge of the managers they refused to make appropriations for publishing such versions. on the ground that to take the funds contributed by persons who did not believe the doctrine taught, to circulate what they held to be error, would have been a violation of truth. Besides, the constitution forbids the publication of any other than a catholic Bible, or such a Bible as all Christians can use in common. The new rendering had the force of a comment. This decision gave great offence to many of the Baptist churches, and a warm and protracted controversy arose. Into the merits of this controversy we do not enter. It ended in the alienation of a large portion of this influential and numerous body of Christians from the interests of the society. It is understood, however, that many leading men in that Church remained, and still continue fast friends of the A. B. S. It is to be hoped that some mode of reconciliation may be discovered and adopted, as the division of the Bible Society cannot but be regretted by all who value Christian love and harmony. The Bible is the common bond of the Protestant churches, and there ought to be but one general Bible Society.
XII. The Revision Difficulty — In 1857 a new difficulty arose in regard to the English version. About 1848, the managers, learning that numerous discrepancies and typographical errors existed in the various editions of the Bible issued by them, referred the subject to the Committee on Versions for investigation. It was finally resolved that the committee should make corrections according to a set of rules submitted by them to the board. This was accomplished by a very learned and able body of men in about three years, and was approved by the board, who directed that as fast as the old stereotype plates were worn out, they should be replaced by new ones containing the corrections. The work seemed to give general satisfaction, and many of the plates were recast according to the new " standard." Six years after the " standard" was finished, it was objected that unwarranted changes had been made in the text, and in the headings of the chapters, and in the running heads of the columns. Those in the text were confessed to be very few and of small account. The changes in the headings were more numerous and important. It may seem strange that what was in itself so small a matter should have created difficulty, but such was the fact. Many auxiliaries, some covering entire states, refused to receive or circulate the new standard. The managers were puzzled. The subject was debated long and earnestly, until at length the board resolved to refer the matter to a special committee of able and distinguished men, of different professions and various ecclesiastical relations, for their mature and ample consideration. The result was the adoption by the board of the following resolutions, passed January 28th, 1858:
"Resolved, That this society's present standard English Bible be referred to the standing committee on versions for examination; and in all cases where the same differs in the text or its accessories from the Bibles previously published by the society, the committee are directed to correct the same by conforming it to previous editions printed by this society, or by the authorized British presses, reference being also had to the original edition of the translators printed in 1611; and to report such corrections to this board, to the end that a new edition, thus perfected, may be adopted as the standard edition of the society.
"Resolved, That until the completion and adoption of such new standard edition, the English Bibles to be issued by this society shall be such as conform to the editions of the society anterior to the late revision, so far as may be practicable, and excepting cases where the persons or auxiliaries applying for Bibles shall prefer to be supplied from copies of the present standard edition now on hand or in process of manufacture." SEE AUTHORIZED ENGLISH VERSION.
Accordingly, the committee on versions is now engaged in their work of revision on the plan adopted by the board. It is hoped that, as all the valuable corrections made in the late standard edition that were the result of simple collations of the editions published by the society will be retained, the final result of the new revision will be a Bible more generally acceptable to the community than any former edition. (J.H.)
4. AMERICAN AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY (BAPTIST).
This society grew out of the difficulty mentioned above (American Bible Society, § 11). The resolution of the A. B. S. passed in May, 1836, was as follows:
"Resolved, That in appropriating money for the translating, printing, or distributing of the sacred Scriptures in foreign languages, the managers feel at liberty to encourage only such versions as conform in the principle of their translation to the common English version, at least so far as that all the religious denominations represented in this society can consistently use and circulate said versions in their several schools and communities." The Rev. S. H. Cone, D.D. (q.v.), an eminent Baptist, had once been a secretary of the board, and was at this time a manager. He resisted this resolution ably and strenuously (see Sprague, Annals, 6:649). In April, 1837, a large convention, held in Philadelphia, formed a Baptist B. S. under the title of "The American and Foreign Bible Society." The new society took the ground that aid for the translating, printing and distributing of the Scriptures in foreign languages should be afforded to "such versions only as are conformed as nearly as possible to the original text in the Hebrew and Greek." The special aim here was the rendering of βαπτίζω by "immerse" instead of " baptize." On the other hand, in the distribution of the Scriptures in the English language, it was agreed that the commonly received version should be used until otherwise directed by the society. The latter point led to a new split in 1850, one party demanding that the principle of circulating only translations which should be "conformed to the original" should be applied to the English versions also, and that, consequently, the common English version should be revised. Resolutions rejecting this principle were adopted in the meeting of the society in 1850, and led to the resignation of Dr. Cone, who, until then, had been the president. A new society was formed, which undertook the revision of the English version on the above principle, SEE AMERICAN BIBLE UNION. According to the constitution of the A. and F. B. S., a contribution of $3 constitutes one a member, a contribution of $30 a life member, and a contribution of $150 a life director. Up to 1859 the number of life members and life directors had been 8515, of whom 104 were made such in the financial year 1865-6. The society publishes a monthly, entitled The Bible Advocate. For the year 1865-6 the total receipts were $40,896 40. The Scriptures were printed and circulated in fifty different languages and dialects, embracing various parts of India, China, France, Africa, and America. Twenty-four colporteurs were employed in Germany and America, who had made 54,395 visits.
5. AMERICAN BIBLE UNION
a Bible Society organized by seceders from the American and Foreign Bible Society (q.v.). The object of the society, according to its constitution, is " to procure and circulate the most faithful versions of the sacred Scriptures in all languages throughout the world." A special aim of the society was consequently to revise the common English version. The most striking point in their revision thus far is the rendering of βαπτισμός by " immersion," and of βαπτίζειν by "immerse;" and this the great majority of American churches believe to have been the real object of the organization. The society has met with strong opposition even among the Baptists. Its plan provided for a revision of the New Testament by scholars acting, in the first instance, independently of each other, each working on separate parts assigned to them under contract by the board. In this way, one set of scholars were employed in Europe and another in America. All books needed for the work were provided at the expense of the Union. The revisers were chosen from their supposed fitness, upon recommendation of those to whom they were known. These scholars in this capacity, were responsible to no ecclesiastical body. The revisions were to be subjected to general criticism, and for this purpose the Gospels, Acts, Galatians, Ephesians, Hebrews, Thessalonians, Philemon, Timothy, Titus, Epistles of John, Jude, and Revelation, have been' printed with the common English version and the Greek text in parallel columns, with the authorities for the proposed changes, and the remaining portions of the New Testament are rapidly appearing. All these incipient revisions are placed in the hands of a final college of revisers for the perfecting of the work designed for popular use. The plan provides for five or more members in the final college. Rev. T. J. Conant, D.D., Rev. H. B. Hackett, D.D., in America, and Prof. Rodiger, of the University of Halle, Germany, have been announced as members of the final college. The revision of the Old Testament is mainly committed to Rev. T. J. Conant, D.D., Rev. G. R. Bliss, D.D., and Rev. H. B. Hackett, D.D. Proverbs, Job, and part of Genesis have been published, and much of the remaining portion is maturing for the press. The Union has done much for foreign Scripture distribution, aiding largely the German, Karen, Spanish, Italian, Burman, and Siamese departments. It has prepared and published new revisions of the Italian and the Spanish New Testament. The membership of the Union embraces about thirty thousand persons, including those who co-operate with it through the "Bible Revision Association" of Louisville, Kentucky, having the same objects and acting in concert with it. Thirty dollars constitute a person a member, and one hundred dollars a director for life. The Union meets annually in October, in New York. Its business is conducted by a board of thirty-three .managers and five executive officers. The board .meets monthly, and occupies the Bible Rooms, No. 350 Broome Street, N. Y. The receipts of the year 1866 exceeded $40,000. Four octavo volumes, 500 pages each, containing a republication of the official documents of the Union, bring down its history to the present date (1866). The organ of the society is " The Bible Union Quarterly." On a controversy about the management of the society, see Judd, Review of the American Bible Union (N. Y. 1857, 8vo), and the replies by the organs of the Union.
6. BIBLE REVISION ASSOCIATION.
SEE AMERICAN BIBLE UNION (above).