Portuguese Version of the Scriptures

Portuguese Version Of The Scriptures By way of supplement, we add the following: The first New Test. of Almeida was printed at Amsterdam in 1681; a second or revised edition was published at Batavia in 1693, and another again at Amsterdam in 1712. In 1744 were published at Tranquebar the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles, and in 1751 followed the four greater prophets; the first three of which were translated by Almeida, and the fourth (Daniel), by C.F. Walther, missionary at Tranquebar. A second edition of the entire Old Test. was published at Batavia in 1748. In this edition a version was given of the books left untranslated by Almeida, by Jacob op den Akker, one of the Dutch missionaries at Batavia. Between 1721 and 1757 two revised editions of the Pentateuch and of the Psalms, two revised editions of the New Test., and one of the four gospels, were printed at Tranquebar and Batavia. Another edition of the Old Test. was printed at the latter place between 1783 and 1804, and no further editions appear to have been given of this version until it was republished by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

A Catholic Portuguese version of the entire Scriptures, from the Vulgate, was published in twenty-three volumes, with annotations, at Lisbon, from 1781 to 1783, by Don Antonio Pereira de Figueiredo, a Portuguese ecclesiastic. An edition containing his latest corrections was commenced at Lisbon in 1794, but was not completed till 1815. On account of the numerous corrections, this edition may be regarded as a new version.

A third translation of the Scriptures was accomplished by the Reverend Thomas Boys, at the expense of the Trinitarian Bible Society. This version, based on Almeida's translation, but faithfully made in accordance with the original, was published in London; the New Test. in 1843 and the Old in 1847.

When the British and Foreign Bible Society undertook the publication of the Portuguese Scriptures, the version of Almeida, the only Protestant one, was selected. But this publication was not received as was anticipated, perhaps, because Almeida was a converted Protestant, but mostly because it was an antiquated version, many of the words being obsolete, and the style not idiomatic. The complaints against this version were laid before the society, and in 1818 an edition of Pereira's version of the New Test. was printed, which was followed by another edition of both the entire Bible and the New Test. in 1821, Mr. Cavalho correcting the press. Another edition of Pereira's New Test. was printed in 1823, and a revised edition of the whole Bible was given in 1824, under the care of Messrs. Da Costa and Green. In 1857 the American Bible Society published a Portuguese New Test., the version used being a translation made in London from the Greek. Of late the British and Foreign Bible Society has undertaken a revision of Almeida's Bible translation, the version and idiom being modernized. This edition was printed in Lisbon in 1874, the text being accompanied with occasional alternative renderings, and with the most important references from the Old to the New Test. The orthography and style have been modernized, and the translation has been compared with the original throughout by the society's editorial superintendent, who has been assisted by competent natives in completing the edition. The same society published, in 1879, an edition of the Portuguese Bible of Figueiredo, with alternative readings from the Hebrew and Greek, under the care of the Reverend Robert Stewart and the editorial superintendent. From the report of the British and Foreign Bible Society for 1885, we learn that steps have been taken, in connection with the American Bible Society, for the formation of translation committees in Spain and Brazil for the production of a new version of the Scriptures, which will be acceptable on both sides of the Atlantic. (B.P.)

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