Version

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Easton's Bible Dictionary [1]

  • The New Testament manuscripts fall into two divisions, Uncials, written in Greek capitals, with no distinction at all between the different words, and very little even between the different lines; and Cursives, in small Greek letters, and with divisions of words and lines. The change between the two kinds of Greek writing took place about the tenth century. Only five manuscripts of the New Testament approaching to completeness are more ancient than this dividing date. The first, numbered A, is the Alexandrian manuscript. Though brought to this country by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, as a present to Charles I., it is believed that it was written, not in that capital, but in Alexandria; whence its title. It is now dated in the fifth century A.D. The second, known as B, is the Vatican manuscript. (See Vaticanus .) The Third, C, or the Ephraem manuscript, was so called because it was written over the writings of Ephraem, a Syrian theological author, a practice very common in the days when writing materials were scarce and dear. It is believed that it belongs to the fifth century, and perhaps a slightly earlier period of it than the manuscript A. The fourth, D, or the manuscript of Beza, was so called because it belonged to the reformer Beza, who found it in the monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons in 1562 A.D. It is imperfect, and is dated in the sixth century. The fifth (called Aleph) is the Sinaitic manuscript. (See Sinaiticus .)

    3. The Syriac Versions. (See Syriac .)

    4. The Latin Versions. A Latin version of the Scriptures, called the "Old Latin," which originated in North Africa, was in common use in the time of Tertullian (A.D. 150). Of this there appear to have been various copies or recensions made. That made in Italy, and called the Itala, was reckoned the most accurate. This translation of the Old Testament seems to have been made not from the original Hebrew but from the LXX.

    This version became greatly corrupted by repeated transcription, and to remedy the evil Jerome (A.D. 329-420) was requested by Damasus, the bishop of Rome, to undertake a complete revision of it. It met with opposition at first, but was at length, in the seventh century, recognized as the "Vulgate" version. It appeared in a printed from about A.D. 1455, the first book that ever issued from the press. The Council of Trent (1546) declared it "authentic." It subsequently underwent various revisions, but that which was executed (1592) under the sanction of Pope Clement VIII. was adopted as the basis of all subsequent editions. It is regarded as the sacred original in the Roman Catholic Church. All modern European versions have been more or less influenced by the Vulgate. This version reads Ipsa_ instead of _ipse In   Genesis 3:15 , "She shall bruise thy head."

    5. There are several other ancient versions which are of importance for Biblical critics, but which we need not mention particularly, such as the Ethiopic, in the fourth century, from the LXX.; two Egyptian versions, about the fourth century, the Memphitic, circulated in Lower Egypt, and the Thebaic, designed for Upper Egypt, both from the Greek; the Gothic, written in the German language, but with the Greek alphabet, by Ulphilas (died A.D. 388), of which only fragments of the Old Testament remain; the Armenian, about A.D. 400; and the Slavonic, in the ninth century, for ancient Moravia. Other ancient versions, as the Arabic, the Persian, and the Anglo-Saxon, may be mentioned.

    6. The history of the English versions begins properly with Wyckliffe. Portions, however, of the Scriptures were rendered into Saxon (as the Gospel according to John, by Bede, A.D. 735), and also into English (by Orme, called the "Ormulum," a portion of the Gospels and of the Acts in the form of a metrical paraphrase, toward the close of the seventh century), long before Wyckliffe; but it is to him that the honour belongs of having first rendered the whole Bible into English (A.D. 1380). This version was made from the Vulgate, and renders  Genesis 3:15 after that Version, "She shall trede thy head."

    This was followed by Tyndale's translation (1525-1531); Miles Coverdale's (1535-1553); Thomas Matthew's (1537), really, however, the work of John Rogers, the first martyr under the reign of Queen Mary. This was properly the first Authorized Version, Henry VIII. having ordered a copy of it to be got for every church. This took place in less than a year after Tyndale was martyred for the crime of translating the Scriptures. In 1539 Richard Taverner published a revised edition of Matthew's Bible. The Great Bible, so called from its great size, called also Cranmer's Bible, was published in 1539,1568. In the strict sense, the "Great Bible" is "the only authorized version; for the Bishops' Bible and the present Bible [the A.V.] never had the formal sanction of royal authority." Next in order was the Geneva version (1557-1560); the Bishops' Bible (1568); the Rheims and Douai versions, under Roman Catholic auspices (1582,1609); the Authorized Version (1611); and the Revised Version of the New Testament in 1880 and of the Old Testament in 1884.

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Version'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/v/version.html. 1897.

  • Webster's Dictionary [2]

    (1): ( n.) The act of translating, or rendering, from one language into another language.

    (2): ( n.) An account or description from a particular point of view, especially as contrasted with another account; as, he gave another version of the affair.

    (3): ( n.) A translation; that which is rendered from another language; as, the Common, or Authorized, Version of the Scriptures (see under Authorized); the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament.

    (4): ( n.) A condition of the uterus in which its axis is deflected from its normal position without being bent upon itself. See Anteversion, and Retroversion.

    (5): ( n.) A change of form, direction, or the like; transformation; conversion; turning.

    References