Polyglot Bibles

Polyglot Bibles Although the earliest specimen of a polyglot was that of a projected work of the celebrated printer Aldus Manutius, of which one page only was published, the first of this kind was the Complutensiam Polyglot, entitled Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, complectentia Vetus Testamentum, Hebraico, Chaldaico, Graeco, et Latino idiomate; Novtum Testamentum Graecum et Latinum; et vocabularium Hebraicum et Chaldaicum, grammatica Hebraica; necnon dictionario Greco. De mandato et sumptibus Cardinalis Francisci Ximenis de Cisneros (6 vols. fol., in Complutensi Universitate, 1514-17). As the title already indicates, we are indebted for this work to the celebrated cardinal, statesman, and general, Francis Ximenes de Cisneros, SEE XIMENES, who published it at his own expense, at the cost of 50,000 ducats. It was commenced in 1502, completed in 1517, and published in 1522. The editors were Ailius Antonius, Ducas, Pincianus, Stunica, Zamora, Coronellus, and Johannes de Vergara. The last three were originally Jews. The first four volumes contain the O.T., with the Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, in three columns, the Targum, and a Latin version of the same. The position of' the Latin between the Hebrew and the Greek was to indicate that just as Christ was crucified between two thieves, so the Roman Church, represented by St. Jerome's version, is crucified between the synagogue, represented by the Hebrew text, and the Eastern Church, denoted by the Greek version. The fifth volume contains the Greek Testament, with the Latin Vulgate. The last volume consists of vocabularies, indexes, etc. The Greek Testament was finished in 1517; but the MSS. were modern, and not of much critical value (see Dr. Bowring's letter, Monthly Repository for 1827, p. 572). There is little doubt that the celebrated text of the Three Witnesses in this edition was translated from the Latin. There were only 600 copies printed of this splendid work, of which three were on vellum. One of these was sold in England in 1829 for 600 guineas.

The Antwerp Polyglot was published in 1569-72, in 8 vols. fol., at the expense of Philip II, king of Spain, whence it is also called Biblia Regia. It contains, in addition to the Complutensian texts, a Chaldee paraphrase, the Syriac version, and the Latin translation of Arias Montanus, which was a correction of that of Pagnints. It also contains lexicons and grammars of the various languages of the originals and versions. SEE ARIAS MONTANUS.

The Paris Polyglot, in addition to the contents of the former works, has a Syriac and Arabic version of both the O.T. and N.T., with the Samaritan Pentateuch, now published for the first time, and edited by J. Morinus. This polyglot also contains the Samaritan version of the same. It was published in 1645, in 10 vols. large folio. The editor of this valuable but unwieldy work was Michael le Jay, who was ruined by the publication. SEE LE JAY.

The London Polyglot, edited by Brian Walton, afterwards bishop of Chester, is much more comprehensive than any of the former. It was published in 1657, in 6 vols. fol. The first volume, besides prolegomena (published separately by A. Dathe, Lips. 1777), contains the Pentateuch, exhibiting on one page the Hebrew text, with the interlinear Latin version of Arias Montanus, the Latin Vulgate of the Clementine edition, the Septuagint of the Roman edition, and the various readings of the Cod. Alex., the Latin version of Flaminius Nobilius, the Syriac with a Latin version, the Targum of Olnkelos with a Latin version, the Samaritan Pentateuch with the Samaritan version of the same, and a Latin translation serving for both, and the Arabic with a Latin version. The second volume comprises the historical books, with the Targums of Jonathan. The third volume contains the books from Job to Malachi, and, besides the versions in all the former languages, the Psalms in Ethiopic, and a Latin translation. The fourth volume has all the Deutero-canonical books in Greek, Latin, Arabic, and Syriac; the two Hebrew texts of Tobit, and two Chaldee and a Persian Targum on the Pentateuch, with Latin versions. The fifth volume has the N.T., with Arias Montanus's translation; the Syriac, Persic, Latin, Vulgate, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions. These, with separate Latin versions of the Oriental translations, are all given on one page. The sixth volume contains various readings and critical remarks. The whole of this stupendous labor was completed in four years. It was published by subscription, under the patronage of Oliver Cromwell, who died before its completion. This gave occasion to the canceling of two leaves of the preface, in order to transfer to king Charles II the compliments addressed to Cromwell. There are in consequence both republican and royal copies, the former of which are the most scarce and valuable. For the variations between these, see Butler's Force Biblicae and Adam Clarke's Succession of Sacred Literature. This polyglot was accompanied by Castell's Heptaglot Lexicon, in 2 vols. fol. SEE CASTELL; SEE WALTON.

The Leipsic or Reineccius's Polyglot, published under the title Biblia Sacra Quadrilinguica V. Test. Hebr. etc. (1747-51, 3 vols. fol.). The N.T. was published first in 1713, and with a new title page in 1747, while the O.T. was published in 1750-51. The first volume contains the historical books, the second the remaining books of the O.T., together with the apocryphal books. Besides the Hebrew, the Alexandrian version and Seb.

Schmidt's Latin and Luther's German translation are given. The Greek text of the apocryphal books is that of Grabe. The N.T. comprising the third volume, has, besides the Greek, the Syriac, the vulgar Greek version, and S. Schmidt's Latin and Luther's German version.

Besides Reineccius's version, we may mention the Heidelberg or Bertram's Polyglot (3 vols. fol., ex officina Sanct-Andreana, 1586; 2d ed. 1599; 3d ed. 1616), the Hamburg or Wolder's Polyglot (Hamburg, 1596, fol.) and Hutter's, of which only the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth were published (Norimbergae, 1599, fol.), and the N.T. But by far the best of all these small polyglots is Reineccius's.

Of the polyglots published in our century, we mention Mr. Bagster's Polyglot (Lond. 1831, fol.), containing in one volume the Hebrew text, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Septuagint, Vulgate, and Syriac versions, the Greek text of Mill in the N.T., together with Luther's German, Diodati's Italian, Ostervald's French, Scio's Spanish, and the English A.V. of the Bible. The prolegomena of S. Lee are a very useful help to the student. The cheapest and most generally useful polyglot is one entitled Polyglotten - Bibelzum praktischen Handgebrauch, edited by Drs. Stier and Theile. It contains the Hebrew, Septuagint, Vulgate, and German, in the O.T., and the Greek, Vulgate, and German, in the N.T. The latest polyglot edition is the Hexaglot Bible, comprising the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments in the original Tongues, together with the Septuagint, the Syriac (of the New Testament), the Vulgate, the Authorized English and German, and the most approved French Versions, edited by R. De Levante (Lond. 1876, 6 vols. royal 4to).

There are also polyglots of several portions of the Bible, of which one of the most valuable is that published at Constantinople, in Hebrew, Chaldee, Persian. and Arabic, in 1546. The Rabbinical Bibles (q.v.) are in many cases also to some extent polyglot. Besides the article BIBLE SEE BIBLE , see Ernesti, De Bibliis Polyglottis (Wittenb. 1688); Darling, Cyclopaedia Bibliographica (Holy Scriptures), col. 39 sq.; Rosenmüller, Handbuch der biblischen Literatur, 3, 281 sq.; Le Long-Masch, Bibliotheca Sacra, 1, 331 sq.; Eichhorn, Einleituag ina das A. Test. (Index in vol. 5, s.v. Polyglotte); Simon, Hist. Critique du Vieux Testament (Rotterdam, 1685), p. 514 sq.; Carpzov, Critica Sacra (Lipsia, 1748), p. 387 sq.; Kortholt. Tract. de variis Scripturae edition. cap. 32:p. 374 sq.; Tenzel, Diatribe Philol. de Bibiis Polyglottis (Wittenb. 1686); Celsius, De Bibliis

Polyglottis dissertatio (Upsala, 1707); Wolf, Biblioth. Hebr. vol. 2, § 10, p. 332 sq.; Walton, Prolegom. § 14; Hottinger, Bibliothecar. Quadripartitum, p. 133 sq.; Alter, Bibliograph. Nachrichten (Wien, 1779), p. 30 sq.; Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti, etc. (Brunsvigue, 1872), § 5; and his art. Polyglotten-Bibebl in Herzog, Real-Encyklop.; the art. Polyglott in Kitto; Diestel, Gesch. des Alten Test. (Jena, 1869), p. 207, 254, 255; and, as far as the Complutensian Polyglot is concerned, the excellent monograph of Delitzsch, Studien zur Entstehungs. gesch. der Polyglotten - Bibel des Cardinals Ximenes (Leips. 1871). (B. P.)

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