Flemish Version of the Scriptures

Flemish Version Of The Scriptures This is merely a dialectic variety of the Dutch. It is spoken in East and West Flanders, in Antwerp, and in part of Limburg. It is also spoken in the arrondissements of Brussels and Louvain, in Brabanit, and even in parts of the neighboring departments of France. The first printed edition of the Belgic or Flemish Bible appears to have been that published at Delft in 1477, and again at Gouda in 1479. Other editions were printed at Antwerp in 1518 and 1525. In 1526 another translation of the Scriptures into Belgic was made by several learned men, and published at Antwerp. The next edition was that of the Old Test. by William Vosterman, published at Antwerp in 1528; the New Test. was published in 1531 and again in 1533. This edition was followed by others, almost too numerous to be here specified. Many of these editions were afterwards prohibited by the Inquisition, and their continued publication was suspended by the edict of Charles V, in 1546. In spite of this edict, certain divines of the University of Louvain, among others Nicholas von Wingh, a regular canon of Louvain, undertook the revision and correction of the Belgic version according to the last revision of the Vulgate, and this revised edition was published under the sanction of the emperor, at Louvain and Cologne, in 1548. After numerous editions of this version had been issued at Antwerp, it was revised and corrected by the doctors of Louvain, according to the text of the Vulgate as revised by order of pope Clement VIII. This revised translation was printed by Plantin, at Antwerp, in 1599; again at Cologne in 1604, and at Anntwerp in 1626; and it may, perhaps, be regarded as the standard Flemish version. Several other revised editions of this version followed. In 1717, Algildius Wit, a Ghent divine, published another version of the Belgic Scriptures, and about the same time another translation was commenced by Andrew Scurrius, at Gorcum. Two volumes were printed at Utrecht in 1715-17, but the death of the translator, in 1719, put an end to the work, when he had carried it only as far as the Second Book of Kings. It is said to be in the purest dialect of the Flemish. Another Flemish translation, according to the Vulgate, was printed. at Antwerp in 1717, and again at Utrecht in 1718. In 1820, in accordance with the wishes of the people, permission was given by the archbishop of Malines to print an edition of the Flemish New Test., translated by Maurenhof. This appeared at Brussels about 1821; an edition of the whole Bible was printed at the same time from the Louvain edition of 1599. In 1837 the British and Foreign Bible Society published an edition of the Flemish Testament under the superintendence of her agent, Mr. W.P. Tiddy, then residing at Brussels. Soon other editions of the Test., and an edition of the entire Bible followed. Of late the British and Foreign Bible Society has undertaken a revision of the Flemish New Test., and in the report for 1877 we read that pastor De Jonghe has, "at the request of the committee, undertaken a new translation of St. Matthew's gospel from the Greek into Flemish, with the assistance of M. Matthyssen of Antwerp. This new version has been ordered, not so much in deference to the wishes of the Belgian Protestant clergy, who make use of the Dutch states-general version, but from a desire not to be restricted in the Flemish to the Louvain translation, which was made from the Vulgate at the end of the 16th century, but to have a version made directly from the original. M. Matthyssen is also superintending a new edition of the Louvain Test., in which the orthography. will be conformed to that now in general use, and adopted by the Belgian government." Of the revised edition the four gospels and Acts are now circulated. Up to March 31, 1884, the British and Foreign Bible Society, had disposed of 248,075 parts of the Flemish Bible version. (B.P.)

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