Hawaiian Version of the Scriptures

Hawaiian Version Of The Scriptures The Hawaiian is a dialect of the Polynesian language. spoken in the Sandwich Islands. When missionaries landed on the island of Hawaii, in 1820, they found a rude, illiterate people, whose language had never been reduced to writing. It was theirs to catch the fleeting sounds and give them permanent form on the printed page, and so energetically did they pursue their work that before two years had elapsed they had begun printing in Hawaiian. To express the proper sounds of the language five vowels and seven consonants sufficed, but nine additional consonants were employed to give expression to the foreign and Bible names with which the Hawaiians would need to become acquainted. In 1826 the gospel of Matthew was prepared for press, and in 1828 a small edition of the four gospels was printed at Rochester, N.Y., at the expense of the American Board and the American Bible Society. The entire New Test. was published at Honolulu in 1832, and a second revised edition of ten thousand copies appeared in 1837. Portions of the Old Test. were also put to press from time to time, and the complete Hawaiian Bible, appeared in 1839, only nineteen years after the arrival of the pioneer missionaries. Six years later it was estimated by Reverend Hiram Bingham, one of the translators, that twenty thousand Bibles and thirty thousand New Tests. had been issued, besides many thousand detached portions, and that the American Bible Society had contributed $42,420 towards this result. A bilingual Hawaiian and English New Test. was also prepared in 1857 by the American Bible Society, and of this more than ten thousand copies have been issued. See Bible of Every Land, page 375. For linguistic helps, comp. Andrews, A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language (Honolulu, 1865); Alexander, A Short Synopsis of the Most Essential Points in Hawaiian Grammar (ibid. 1864); Chamisso, Ueber die hawaiische Sprache (Leipsic, 1837); Bishop, Manual of Conversation in Hawaiian and English (Honolulu, 1854); Remy, Ka Moslelo Hawaii Histoire de l'Archipel Hawaiien (iles Sandwich). Texte et Traduction (Paris, 1862). (B.P.)

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