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SEP 23 1909


Next in importance to the conservation of a pure text of the Original Scriptures is confessedly their faithful translation into the living speech of man. An account therefore of the common English Version, from its first rude beginnings in Anglo-Saxon times, through all the changes it has undergone, to the form in which more than seventy millions of people diffused over the globe, now claim it as their common inheritance and joint possession, needs no apology for its existence.

From the moment of the first inception, and throughout the long course of the preparation of this work, I have striven to write a history useful not only to scholars but to all readers of the English Bible, and therefore deemed it expedient to present the longer illustrative examples, drawn from the sacred originals and from versions in extinct or foreign tongues, with companion translations in English.

In submitting the results of independent study and research in the interesting field of inquiry touching the ancestry of the Authorized Version, and its relationship to various English and Foreign Versions, the noble labors of others have been duly acknowledged to the full extent of their use.

A glance at two Comparative Tables following
the Contents may suffice to convey some idea of the
magnitude of those labors.

The parallel production of related versions in nu-
merous collations and analyses, on the principle of
making the several translations disclose their origin
and history will, I trust, prove as advantageous to
the reader, as their preparation has been beneficial
to the writer. The utmost care and laborious study
have been bestowed upon this difficult but very in-
structive part of the present undertaking.

In order to enhance the general utility, and in

the hope of establishing the permanent value of

this volume, a full account of English Versions

based on the Vulgate has been introduced, and

the chapters on the Authorized Version and the

Revision of the Bible have been prepared with

special reference to that important work. The

material provided is designed to enable the reader

to form an independent judgment of the merits

of the Authorized Version, and of the extent to

which its demerits may be removed by the forth-

coming revised edition of the Old Testament, or

have already been removed in the published revised

edition of the New.

In most instances the examples adduced have

been copied from original editions, free access to
which was kindly accorded to me by the custodians
of public and private libraries, whose courtesy I here
beg gratefully to acknowledge. The original spell-
ing has been preserved whenever practicable.

I also desire to discharge a debt of gratitude

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