Slovenian Version

Slovenian Version.

Slovenian is a South-Slavic dialect, spoken in parts of Styria, and in Carinthia, Carniola, Croatia, etc. In all the southern provinces of the present empire of Austria, the doctrines of the Reformation made rapid progress in the beginning of the 16th century. In 1599, according to a letter written by a Romish bishop to pope Paul V, only one fifth of the population of the capital city of Laybach was left to the Romish Church, and that small portion consisted mainly of the poor and ignorant. In 1572 primus Truber, once a Romish priest, afterwards a minister of the Gospel, completed the first translation of the New Test. into the Slovenian, which was published in 1577. In 1584 Truber's successor, George Dalmatin, published at Wittenberg the first entire Slovenian Bible, based on Luther's translation. In 1628 the empress of Austria peremptorily ordered "all non- Catholic gentlemen and farmers, and all nobles (male and female)," to leave the realm within the space of one year. This was the end of the Reformation in those parts, and Rome succeeded in putting out the light of the glorious Gospel. The Slovenian language, never fully developed, but since then greatly neglected, has of late years revived in a remarkable degree. One sign of this revival appears in the translation into this dialect of the gospels of Matthew and Mark, which were printed in 1869. The Roman Catholic priests, who for the last two hundred years have had things all their own way, did certainly not look with a kindly eye on this small book; but the success which attended the circulation of these two gospels encouraged the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society to go on, and subsequently, in 1871, the remaining gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, forming together the first volume of the New Test., were added. As to the translation itself, and its effect, the sixty-seventh Annual Report (1871) of the British and Foreign Bible, Society states: It would be idle to set up a plea for perfection in a first translation; but the fruits. of honest and competent criticism will be available for improvement in subsequent editions, which, it is hoped, may be speedily in demand. The appearance of the version has produced some consternation, and it is regarded as an uncomfortable sign that, after the Bible had been successfully suppressed for ages, it should again emerge in the 19th century clothed in the vernacular of the Slovenian race." But the consternation thus produced seems to be without any effect upon. the arduous and important task of rekindling this lamp of life; for not only is the New Test. almost complete, but the Psalms also are in preparation. That there is a great demand for this translation may be seen from the fact that from the publication of the parts of the New Test. up to March 30, 1878, 23, 500 copies had been disposed of. For this version comp. the Annual Reports of the British and Foreign Bible Society since 1869. (B.P.) SEE SLAVONIC VERSIONS.

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