Romaic (or Modern Greek) Version
Romaic (Or Modern Greek) Version.
Romaic, or Moderm Greek, is the vernacular language of about 2,000,000 descendants of the ancient Greeks dispersed throughout the Turkish empire, as well as of the inhabitants of the modern kingdom of Greece. In this vernacular several versions of the New Test. exist. The earliest was printed at Geneva in 1638, in parallel columns with the inspired text, and was executed by Maximus Calliergi (or Calliopoli, as he is sometimes called), at the solicitation of Haga, the ambassador of the then United Provinces of Constantinople. This translation, which is remarkable for its close and literal adherence to the Greek original text, is preceded by two prefaces, one by the translator, and the other by Cyrillus Lucaris, patriarch of Constantinople. This edition, which had the title ῾Η Καινὴ Διαθήκη τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ι᾿ησοῦ Χριστοῦ, δίγλωττος, ἐν ῃ ἀντιπροσώπως τότε θεῖον πρωτότυπον καὶ ἡ ἀπαραλλάκτως ἐξ ἐκείνου εἰς ἁπλὴν διάλεκτον διὰ τοῦ μακαρίτου Κυρίου Μαξίμου Καλλιουπολίτου γενομένη μετάφρασις ἃμα ἐτυπώθησαν. ῎Ετει , was reprinted with corrections in 1708 in London by the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and another edition was issued by the same society in 1705. A reprint of this version, in 12mo, was published at Halle, in 1710, at the expense of Sophia Louisa, queen of Prussia, under the title, ῾Η Καινὴ Διαθήκη τοῦ Κυρίου καί Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ι᾿ησοῦ Χριστοῦ, τοῦτ᾿ ἔσω τὸ θεῖον ἀρχέτυπον καὶ ἡ αὐτοῦ μετάφρασις εἰς κοινὴν διάλεκτον. Μετὰ πάσης ἐπιμυελείας διορθωθέντα, καὶ νεωστὶ μετατυποθέντα ἐν ῞Αλα τῆς Σαξοᾷίας, ἐν τῷ Τυπογραφέιῳ 'Ορφανοτροφείου. ῎Ετει ἀπὸ τῆς ἐνσάρκου Οἰκονομίας τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ι᾿ησοῦ Χριστοῦ, α. ψ῎. ί. From this edition the British and Foreign Bible Society published an impression, under the superintendence of the Rev. J.F. Usko, in 1808, with the ancient and modern Greek in parallel columns. As this edition was very favorably received, another was published in 1812. A strict and thorough revision of the text being deemed necessary, the archimandrite Hilarion (subsequently archbishop of Ternovo), with two assistants, was accordingly appointed, in 1819, to execute a new version of the entire Scriptures. In 1827 Hilarion's version of the New Test. was completed, and was printed at the national printing office in the patriarchate, under the eye of the Greek Church. This version, although faithful and accurate as a translation, is considered rather stiff. About the same time, Hilarion completed his translation of the Old Test. from the Sept., which, in 1829, was submitted to the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society. After mature deliberation, it was concluded to circulate a version prepared from the Hebrew text itself, rather than a mere translation of a translation. The Rev. H. D. Leeves was therefore appointed to reside in Corfu, where, with the assistance of natives, he commenced a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Modern Greek. In conjunction with the Rev. J. Lowndes (an agent of the London Missionary Society), he engaged the services of Profs. Bambas and Tipaldo, to which, for a short period, were added those of Prof. Joannides. In the fifty-first report (1855) Mr. Lowndes wrote thus: "The first edition of the Old Test. was printed in England in 1840. Select parts had been published previously, as the work advanced. The New Test. followed, and was printed at Athens in 1844. It was not long before it was considered desirable that the whole should be submitted to a general revision, with the view of having the Old and New Tests. printed in one uniform volume; and Mr. Leeves, Prof. Bambas, and Mr. Nicolaides, a native of Philadelphia, undertook to do it. In 1845 Mr. Leeves was removed from the land of the living, and in that year I was appointed agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society. In 1846 I went to Athens to carry on the work of revision that had been just commenced, and between that year and 1850, at different times, Prof. Bambas, Mr. Nicolaides, and myself went over the whole of the Old and New Tests. Editions of the Old Test. were printed again in England in 1849 and 1850. succeeded by a new edition of the New Test. in 1851, when the whole Bible was prepared for dissemination in one uniform volume for the first time." From that time on several issues of the Bible in Modern Greek were made, making a total up to March 30, 1878, of 446, 435. That there is a great demand for the Word of God may be seen from the fact that, according to the seventy-fourth report (1878), the British and Foreign Bible Society has decided to print a portable edition of 6000 copies of the reference Bible in Modern Greek, for which edition Dr. Sauerwein is arranging the poetical parts in accordance with the Bible Society's paragraph English Bible. Having before us the latest edition of the New Test. with the title ῾Η Καινὴ Διαθήκη τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ Σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ι᾿ησοῦ Χριστοῦ, παραφρασθεῖσα ἐκ τοῦ ῾Ελληνικοῦ. Κατὰ τὴν ἐν Α᾿θήναις ἔκδοσιν τοῦ 1855-1874, we will give a specimen from the Gospel of St. John (Joh 1:1-2) of the three versions, that the reader may judge for himself as to the value of each:
1. Εἰς τὴν ἀρχὴν ητον ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ητον μετὰ θεου, καὶ θεὸς ητον ὁ λόγος. 2. Ε᾿τοῦτος ητον εἰς τὴν ἀρχὴν μετὰ θεοῦ. HILARION.
1. Α᾿π ἀρχῆς ητον ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ητον ὁμοῦ με τὸν θεόν, καὶ ὁ λόγος ητον θεός. 2. Αὐτὸς ητον ἀπ ἀρχῆς ὁμοῦ μὲ τὸν θεόν. BIBLE SOCIETY'S VERSION.
1. ῾Εν ἀρχῇ ητον ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ητον παρὰ τῷ θεῷ, καὶ θεὸς ητον ὁ λόγος. 2. Ουτος ητον ἐν ἀρχῇ μαρὰ τῷ θεῷ. See The Bible of Every Land, and the Annual Reports of the British and Foreign Bible. Society. (B.P.)