Kraliz, Bible of

Kraliz, Bible Of, the most celebrated Bohemian version of the Holy Scriptures, issued, in the 16th century, by the Bohemian and Moravian Brethren. It was translated, in fifteen years, by a committee of their bishops and ministers, among whom the most prominent were John AEneas, John Nemczansky, Zacharias Ariston, and Isaiah Cepolla, aided by two Hebrew scholars of Jewish extraction. The work of translating and printing was carried on in the castle of Kraliz-hence the name of this Bible-near Willimowitz, in the west of Moravia, at the expense of Baron von Zierotin, the proprietor of the domain, and a member of the Brethren's Church. He set up for this purpose a special and costly printing-press, which was superintended by Zacharias Solin, an ordained minister of the Brethren. The first edition appeared in six folio volumes, as follows: Part i, the Five Books of Moses, in 1579; Part ii, Joshua to Esther, in 1580; Part 3, the Poetical Books, in 1582; Part 4, the Prophetical Books, in 1587; Part 5, the Apocrypha, and Part 6, the New Testament, in 1593. The sixth part was a reprint of the Bohemian N.T. translated from the Greek by John Blahoslaw, a very learned bishop of the Church, who was no longer living. In 1601 a second edition appeared, and in 1613 a third. The last was in one volume quarto. The Kraliz Bible was the first Bohemian version made from the original, six other translations having preceded it, all based on the Vulgate. It was, moreover, the first divided into chapters and verses, and the first which separated the apocryphal from the canonical books. To each single verse, throughout the entire work, was appended a very brief commentary. The correctness of the translation is generally conceded, and the purity of the style universally admired. This Bible is still the classic standard for the Bohemian tongue. At the present day, however, it exists as an antiquarian work only, a copy costing about 300 florins. This is owing to the destruction to which it was doomed in the Bohemian anti-Reformation, when it was everywhere confiscated and committed to the flames by the Jesuits and soldiers who passed through the country in search of Protestant books. A compendium of it was republished at Prague, by J. L. Koher, in 1861 to 1865. It constitutes, moreover, the text, word for word, of the Bohemian Bible issued by the British and Foreign Bible Society. Gindely, Geschichte d. Bohmischen Briider, ii, 309, 310; Czerwenka, Geschichte d. Evang. Kirche in Bohmen, ii, 500, etc.; Croger, Gesch. d. alten Briiderkirche, ii, 157, etc. (E. DE S.)

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