Purver, Anthony

Purver, Anthony a Quaker preacher of great note for his remarkable literary attainments, especially his exegetical knowlledge, was born at Up Hurstbourne, in Hampshire, about 1702. He was originally apprenticed to a shoemaker, but later he was employed in keeping sheep. Though his early education was very limited, his capacity and inclination for the acquisition of learning were very great. He found leisure for study, and his curiosity being excited by the perusal of a tract in which some inaccuracies of the A. V. were pointed out, he determined to study the original languages of the Scriptures. He secured the assistance of a Jew in the acquisition of Hebrew, Chaldee, etc., and other aid for learning Greek and Latin. He joined the Society of Friends, and preached among them. While laboring as a schoolmaster at Andover, he occupied himself in preparing a new version of the Scriptures; and this, after spending more than thirty years over it, he published by the aid of Dr. Fothergill, who gave him £1000, and carried it through the press at his own expense. It appeared in 1764, entitled ANew Translation of the Old and New Testaments, with rotes, Critical cand Explanatory in two volumes folio, beautifully got up. Notwithstanding the enormous labor bestowed upon it by its author, and though there is now and then a better rendering to be found in it than in the A. V., Purver's translation, as a whole, is not of much critical value. The style is crude and bombastic, the very reverse of what migsht have been expected from a member of the society whose language is so simple; while the notes, though contailning much valuable matter, abound in contemptuous expressions about the labors of others in the same department. Purver's Bible is therefore deservedly scarce. He died in 1777. See Orme, Biblioth. Bibl. s.v.; Kitto, Bible Dict. s.v.; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amr. Authors, s.v. (J. H. W.)

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