Bible (Gr. βιβλία, books), the name applied by Chrysostom in the 4th century to the books of the Old and New Testaments, which had been called the "Scripture." The ancient plural has been transformed into a singular noun, in view of the recognized unity of the books of the Bible, which is thus called The Book by way of eminence. The Bible has two general divisions, the Old Testament and the New; the Greek διαθήkn meaning disposition by will, is used both in the Septuagint and in the Greek New Testament for the "covenant" or compact between God and man. The Old Testament was divided by the Jews into three parts, viz., the law, the prophets, and the sacred writings. The law comprised the five books of Moses. The prophets comprised the earlier prophets, so called - the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings; and the later prophets - three major, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and 12 minor, Hosea to Malachi. Under the sacred writings were included the poetical books, Psalms, Proverbs, Job; the "Five Rolls," Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesi-astes, Esther; also the books of Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 and 2 Chronicles. The number of the books and their grouping have varied in different versions.

Our English Bible gives 39. Jerome counted the same books so as to equal the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet; Judges and Ruth, the two books of Samuel, two of Kings, two of Chronicles and the 12 minor prophets making five books. The later Jews of Palestine counted these 24. As to their order, the Masoretic arrangement, which is that of our present Hebrew Bibles, is very ancient. The Greek-speaking Jews, however, varied from those of Palestine, and their arrangement is preserved in the Septuagint, which is followed in the Vulgate and in our English Bibles; an order not according to chronological succession, but made with a view to grouping similar classes of composition together, the historical being placed first, the poetical next, and the prophetical last. The historical division opens in the book of Genesis with an account of the creation of all things, then takes up the history of the Hebrews as a matter of central interest, showing the separation of the family of Abraham from other nations and their prosperous settlement in Egypt. Exodus describes the escape of the Israelites from Egypt and their organization as a nation under the Mosaic law. Leviticus contains the more special laws of Israel, chiefly those relating to the public worship, festivals, and similar topics.

Numbers, with a supplement to the laws, narrates the weary march through the desert, and the opening of the contest for the land of Canaan. In Deuteronomy Moses, drawing near death, reminds the people of the experience they have gone through and the laws they have received, and exhorts them to obedience to God; then appoints a successor, and, taking a first and last look at the land not yet entered, dies. The book of Joshua describes the conquest and partition of Canaan, and the leader's farewell exhortation and death. In the next book, Judges, we read of anarchy and apostasy, and the consequent subjugation of the Israelites by their heathen neighbors, and the exploits of heroes raised up to deliver them. The books of Samuel give his history as prophet and judge, and the story of Saul and David. The books of Kings tell of David's death, the brilliant reign of Solomon, and the subsequent decline, the revolt of the ten tribes, the overthrow of the seceded kingdom of Israel and the fall of the kingdom of Judah into captivity, and the fate of the remnant left in Judea while their brethren were carried away captive. These books tell also of those prophets who testified for God in the face of wicked kings and a degenerate people.

The Chronicles are a supplementary work, and are accompanied by the book of Ruth, an episode in the time of the judges, narrating with exquisite grace the marriage of Ruth the Moabitess and Boaz the great-grandfather of David. The Old Testament history closes in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, which describe the return of the Jewish nation from exile and the restoration of Jerusalem and the temple worship. The book of Esther records events of the Persian captivity. - While the historical books show the development of those religious ideas which underlie the Hebrew national life, the prophetic books show these ideas inspiring the people in their conflicts with unbelief and apostasy, and animating the nation with bright hopes of the future. In all literature there are no books like these, in severe morality, high religious tone, sublime conception, grand diction, and rich imagery. Covering a great extent of time, these prophetic writings vary in style, but they show the struggles of the nation's heart and its foreign relations in a way that lights up the historical books. - The poetical books express the same ideas with the prophetic, but in a more quiet didactic and lyric form.

The didactic portion of them consists of the Proverbs, a collection of sententious maxims and wise discourses; Ecclesiastes, an eloquent wail over the transientness of earthly things; and the book of Job, a philosophical poem upon Providence, wonderfully rich in thought and diction, and full of the doctrine of resignation to the mysterious will of God. The Psalms are a collection of devotional lyrics. Lamentations are elegiac patriotic verses. The Song of Solomon is an amatory idyl, which has been explained by many scholars as an allegory. - The New Testament gives the only original account of the origin and early spread of Christianity. It is composed of 27 books. Four contain the memoirs of Jesus; one (Acts) gives the actions of the apostles, especially of Peter and Paul; 21 are apostolical letters; and the collection closes with the Apocalypse. The Gospels of Matthew and John are held to be the work of the apostles whose names they bear. Mark was a disciple of Peter, and Luke a companion of Paul. The book of Acts is also ascribed to Luke. The Epistles are letters called forth by various exigencies, and contain incidental information, throwing much light upon the early constitution and spread of the Christian church, and the development of its doctrines.

The Apocalypse is the only book in the New Testament of a strictly prophetic character. It was written shortly after the death of Nero, and strengthened the hearts of Christians against a threatening persecution by giving hope of the approaching kingdom of Christ. - For 1,000 years learned men have been studying the authenticity and arrangement of the constituent parts of the Bible. The history of this work will be found under the title Canon. Far greater study, however, has been given to the original text of Scripture. The Hebrew text of the Old Testament as we have it has already passed through many revisions. Of the primitive text we have little positive information. The books were first written on skins or linen cloth or papyrus, and preserved in rolls. The letter used was the old Hebrew character, which is found on the coins of the Maccabees, and was probably of Phoenician origin. There were no accents nor vowel points, the consonants only being written, and the vowel sounds supplied by the usage of the living speech; and the words were generally run together in a continuous line. Not until the Hebrew became a dead language was its vowel system perfected, to take the place of the familiar usage which was passing away.

After the return from the Babylonish exile, the sacred books were subjected to a careful and critical examination. About the same time the written character of the ancient Hebrew was modified by the Aramaic chirograph v, until it took the square form, more nearly resembling the Palmyrene letters, which was adopted perhaps on account of its beauty. Simultaneously came another arrangement of the text, with a view to its public reading. Tradition had prescribed the manner in which the reader's voice should emphasize words and balance sentences, but it was long before that mode was declared by any written signs. The first step toward this was the separation of words from each other, and it was followed by the division into verses. This had been marked in poetry very early by lines or blank spaces measuring the rhythm. In prose it was introduced later for the convenience of the synagogue, and was established by the close of the period we are considering. Before this distribution into sentences, the necessity was felt of breaking up the text into sections of less or greater length.

In this division the book of the law consisted of (569 paragraphs or "pa-rashes," and these, in the absence of headings and running indices, were known and referred to by the subject that was most prominent in each; for example, parash "Balaam," parash "Bush," or "Deluge." The text, thus written and distributed, was most jealously guarded. In copying it nothing must be added, nothing taken away, nothing changed; letters, words, verses, sections were counted. Rules were made in regard to the way in which the MSS. were to be written; every letter that was larger or smaller, suspended or inverted, or otherwise unusual in its form, even if accidentally so written, was to be needfully copied. Another division into larger parashes or sections, adapted to the public readings on the Sabbath, was introduced at a later time. The next period in the history of the Old Testament text is the Masoretic, commonly reckoned from the 6th to the 11th century. The word masora means a "collection of traditions/' and the main object of the laborers in this field was to gather up and arrange the critical material of an older time before the existing traditions should fade out.

But the Masorites did more than this; they aimed at completing what had been commenced before; they would fix the reading of the text in all its parts, and their scrupulous care did much to finish and perfect it. They collated MSS., noticed critical and orthographical difficulties, and ventured upon conjectures of their own. Their notes were at' first written in separate books; afterward for convenience they were copied upon the margin of MSS. or even at the end of a book, a practice that led gradually to vast confusion. Attempts were even made to crowd the whole Masora upon the margin of MSS., and when the space was too small, as often it was, the annotations were appended to the text or omitted entirely Since the completion of the Masoretic period the labors of scholars have been spent in elucidating and perpetuating the Masoretic text. The MSS. of the Pentateuch were very carefully revised, and some of them are very ancient. Of the other books no MSS. date back as far as the Masoretic period: four or five belong to the 12th century; some 50 belong to the 13th; and for the following centuries the number increases.

Eminent Jewish scholars of the middle ages devoted themselves to the task of purifying the sacred text by the largest possible collation of MSS., and in their writings speak of famous copies now lost whose use they enjoyed. When the invention of printing had made easy the exact reproduction and extensive multiplication of copies, an attempt was made to compare carefully the best MSS. extant, to collate with them the Masora, and thus to bring out a true and pure Masoretic text; an undertaking too large to be accomplished at once, and therefore but imperfectly executed at that time. The books were produced singly. The earliest printed portion of the Hebrew Bible, the Psalter, was done in 1477, in small folio form, very carelessly, with many abbreviations, and not a few grave omissions. Later, about 1480, it was reprinted in 12mo, without date or place, and again in the same form with an index. The whole Pentateuch, with the points, the Chaldee paraphrase, and Rashi's commentary, was printed in 1482, in folio, at Bologna. In 1486 appeared in two folios, at Soncino, the prophets, early and later, with Kimchi's commentary.

The whole Hagiographa was printed in Naples in 1487. The entire Hebrew Bible was first printed at Soncino in 1488. It was made partly from MSS. neither very old, probably, nor very good, and partly from editions of separate books already published. It contained many errors. Only nine copies of this edition are extant. This was strictly followed by the Gerson edition printed at Brescia in 1494, from which Luther made his translation. It was the parent of the first rabbinical Bible of Bomberg, 1517 and 1518, and of Bomberg's manual editions from 1518 to 1521; of the editions of Robert Stephens (4to, 1539-'44), and of Sebastian Minister's (Basel, 2 vols. 4to, 1536). The next independent edition prepared from a fresh comparison of MSS. was the famous Complutensian Polyglot (Complutum, i. e., Alcala de Henares), the work of Cardinal Ximenes, assisted by the most eminent biblical scholars in Spain. No expense was spared to procure Hebrew MSS. from different countries. The Vatican and other libraries lent their treasures; and 14 years of preparatory labors were spent before the first volume was issued (1522). The text of the Complutensian Bible agrees closely with that of Bomberg's first edition of 1518. The third great original edition is the second of Bomberg's rabbinical Bible, printed in folio at Venice, 1525-'6. This embodies the labors of Rabbi Jacob ben Cha-jim, who revised the Masora word by word, arranged it, made an index, and availed himself systematically of its whole apparatus.

It was reprinted several times in the 1 6th and 17th centuries. After these three independent editions, all that follow contain a mixed text. The Antwerp Polyglot, published 1569-'72, at the expense of King Philip II. of Spain, and therefore called the royal Polyglot, was composed from the Complutensian and Bomberg's. Besides the texts in five volumes, four containing the Old and one the New Testament, three other volumes gave a valuable apparatus, critical, philological, antiquarian. The various editions of Plantin followed the Antwerp Polyglot, as did those of Christian Reineccius. It was the basis also of the Paris Polyglot (10 vols, folio, 1645), which gave the text in Hebrew, Samaritan, Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, Greek, and Latin, containing for the first time in print the Samaritan Pentateuch. It was repeated again in the London Polyglot (6 vols, folio, 1657). Elias IIutter, in his first edition published at Hamburg in 1587, and three times reprinted, used the copies of Venice, Antwerp, and Paris. In 1611 the manual edition of Buxtorf was printed. Buxtorf undertook to improve upon Bomberg's Bible, and as far as he could conformed to the Masora, for whose text he had the highest respect, regarding it as the only perfect one.

The next important edition for which the oldest and best MSS. were collated was that of Joseph Athias, printed at Amsterdam, 1661 and 1667. Among the later editions that have followed this, the most noted from their new collation of MSS., careful selection of readings, and thorough correction of points, are those of Jablonski, Berlin, 1699; Van der Hooght, Amsterdam, 1705; J. H. Michaelis, Halle, 1720; Houbigant, Paris, 1753; Simon, Halle, 1752, 1767; Kennicott, Oxford, 1776,1780; August Halm, 1831; and G. Theile, 1849. Besides these editions, which aim at bringing the Masoretic text near its perfection, critical helps are found. in the Masora contained in the rabbinical Bibles of Bomberg and Buxtorf, and the various readings which are found in all the best editions. The toil and treasure expended upon this long series of editions, each of which was a triumph in its time, have not been wasted. The result on the whole is a text of these ancient and venerable books, not indeed perfect in every point and particle, but more excellent than might have been expected, a text that nearly corresponds with that of the books which constituted the oldest Hebrew canon. - The task of purifying the Greek of the New Testament and bringing it to the perfection of our latest and best editions was much less difficult, yet a work of no small magnitude.

Not a fragment from the hand of an evangelist or an apostle survived the early generations that used, the original MSS. and wore them out. The early Christians did not feel the importance of laying them sacredly aside. The greater their value, the more extensive was their circulation, and the briefer consequently their existence. The books of the New. Testament were written after the custom of the time upon papyrus, or upon parchment, finer and more durable, which was beginning to take its place, and were in the roll form. The writing itself, done with a reed and ink, was in uncial or large letters, and ran in continuous lines, with no spaces between the words, no capitals or stops. The heading of the books, "According to Matthew," "According to Luke," etc, was added later. Some epistles had their address marked upon them, but in others it was inferred from the contents. The title "catholic" ("general" in our English Bibles) was given to certain epistles in the 4th century. As copies of these ancient books multiplied, they naturally varied more or less from the originals and from each other; the copyists confounding similar letters or words, substituting a synonyme for a given term, introducing something from a parallel passage or marginal gloss, or making other alterations unintentional or even intentional, as the copyist tried to harmonize seeming discrepancies or to explain what seemed obscure.

These variations, small and great, number not less than 120,000; yet they are mostly variations of spelling or inflection, often impossible to express in a translation. There are not more than 1,600 or 2,000 places where the true reading is at all in doubt, while the doubtful readings which affect the sense are much fewer still, and those of any dogmatic importance can be easily numbered. The MSS. of the New Testament have been classified according to certain literary or geographical affinities. They were divided into the eastern and the western, or according to another description, into an Alexandrine and a Latin, an Asiatic and a Byzantine text. The Alexandrine type of the Greek text was in use among the oriental Jewish Christians who used the Greek version of the Old Testament. The Latin type is found not only in the Latin copies, but in the Greek copies which the Latins used. These groups were not wholly distinct from one another, and it is difficult to fix upon the peculiar reading that belongs to each. The MSS. of the Byzantine class are most uniform.

Toward the close of the 4th century no single MS. was known that comprised the whole New Testament. At a considerably later period they were rare, and most of these contained also the Old Testament in Greek. The four gospels were commonly written in one collection, and the Pauline epistles in one. The catholic epistles were classed with the Acts, though sometimes these last two collections and the Pauline were united. MSS. of the Apocalypse were the rarest. The gospels were generally found in the order in which we have them, though in some copies they were transposed. After the Acts usually came the catholic epistles. The order in which the letters of Paul stood varied much. The place of the Apocalypse was fixed by Athanasius at the end of the collection, as it stands at present. By the 4th century papyrus had given place to parchment, and the form of the roll to that of the book. Breaks in the line and simple points were used. To meet the convenience of the public lecture, the books were measured off into pauses and sentences by lines, after the same manner with the poetical books of the Old Tes-tament. It was not long, however, before other divisions of the text were adopted.

In the 8d century Ammonias in making his harmony of the gospels had broken up the text into 1,165 sections, and after the 5th century his arrangement was indicated upon the margin of nearly all the MSS. The gospels were divided into chapters from a very early period, but the present arrangement originated in the 18th century with Cardinal Hugo, who devised it while making a Latin concordance. Erasmus DOted it in the margin of his Latin translation, and it was repeated in the Complutensian Polyglot. The subdivision of the chapters into verses was introduced by Robert Stephens in 1551. Cursive or small letters were not generally substituted for the uncial till the 10th century. Uncial MSS. of the New Testament arc numerous when compared with the ancient MSS. of other works; and year by year new ones are being discovered. The ages of these to within half a century have been ascertained. To the ith century belong two or three: the Sinaitic codex (n), now at St. Petersburg, obtained by Tischendorf from the convent of St. Catharine, Mt. Sinai, in 1859, and since published in facsimile at the expense of the emperor of Russia (1862); the Vatican codex (B), containing all the New Testament except the Apocalypse, the epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, and the last four and a half chapters of Hebrews. This MS. was published by Teschendorf at Leipsic in 1807 and by papal authority at Kome in 1868. To this century perhaps belongs a palimpsest in the British museum containing fragments of John xiii. and xvi., published by Tischendorf. To the 5th century belong seven MSS.: the Alexandrian codes (A), presented by the patriarch of Constantinople-to Charles I. in 1628, and preserved in the British museum, and published in 1780 and i860; the Ephrem palimpsest (C), in the imperial library at, Paris, containing in 64leaves fragments of the Septuagint, and in 145 two thirds of the New Testament, over which had been written the works of St. Ephrem the Syrian, deciphered and published by Tischendorf in 1843.; and five other fragmentary MSS. To the 6th century belong 18 MSS.; among them Beza's codex (D), a Greek-Latin Ms. of part of the New Testament presented by Bezain 1581 to the university of Cambridge; the Codex purpureus (X) written with silver letters on purple vellum; and other MSS. of great interest, From the 7th century we have only several fragments of MSS. To the 8th century are assigned 9 one of the most valuable being the MS. (I.) 62 in the imperial library at Paris used by Robert Stephens. The 9th century has left us 20 MSS., besides four which are assigned to the 9th or 10th. From the 10th century we have five.

These uncial MSS. (about 75) have been deciphered, some of them with great difficulty; most of them have been accurately collated, and the text of many has been published. Of them all, only one, the recently discovered Sinaitic MS., now has the New Testament complete, though three others originally had the whole, but now lack some parts. Four others have the gospels complete, and four nearly; and about 40 others have portions of the gospels, larger or smaller. The other New Testament books are found more or less complete in some, while in others they are wanting. Besides the 75 uncial MSS. above noticed, there are some 05 lectionaries, or select portions of the gospels or epistles for church services, written in uncial letters, and 1,215 MSS. of some portions of the New Testament and 248 lectionaries in cursive letters. - Most eminent scholars have aided in establishing the text of the New Testament: among the Greeks, Irenaeus, Clement, Origen, Athanasius, Eusebius, Epiphanius, the Cyrils, Chrysostom, and Theodoret; among the Latins, Cyprian, Tertullian, Ambrose, Augustine, and Rufinus. The name of Bede brings us nearer home. Alcuin endeavored to purify the Latin text, and Photius labored in the 9th century, Suidas in the 10th, and Theophylact, OEcumenius, and others in subsequent ages.

Yet 50 years after the invention of printing no attempt had been made to print the original text of the New Testament. The fifth volume of the Complutensian Polyglot contained the original Greek based on MSS. of no special value, so far as may be judged. This volume was printed first of the whole set in 1514, but was not issued until the rest were finished in 1522. Before this, in 1516, Erasmus had issued the first Greek and Latin edition of the New Testament at Basel, constructing his text from five MSS. there. A second edition, changed in some hundred passages, appeared in 1519, a third in 1522, and a fourth in 1527, further altered to conform to the Complutensian, and repeated in 1535 with little change. For 100 years the Complutensian and Erasmian texts were often reprinted with slight alterations. Famous editors of the text were Robert Stephens, a learned printer of Paris (1539-'51), and Theodore Beza (1565-'98). The Elzevirs at Ley-den (1624-'41) and at Amsterdam (1656) gave what is known as the "received text," relying upon Stephens and Beza. Bishop Walton's London Polyglot of 1657, Bishop Fell's Greek Testament (Oxford, 1658) and Dr. John Mill's Greek New Testament (Oxford, 1707) gave various readings and versions from many ancient MSS. under the received text.

These were the precursors of modern critical editions. Bengel (Tubingen, 1734), Wetstein (Amsterdam, 1751), and Griesbach (Halle, 1744 and 1806) made great advances in critical perfection. The edi-tions of Knapp, Tittmann, Hahn, and Theile are chiefly based on Griesbach's. Greenfield followed Mill, but gave Griesbach's principal variations. Scholz (Leipsic, 1830-'36) made a wide collation of MSS., and Lachmann a very critical study of a few MSS. The late Dean Alford and Dr. Tregelles in England, and Tischendorf in Germany, are among the most eminent laborers in our own day. Tischendorf's first edition (Leipsic, 1841) followed Griesbach and Lachmann, but subsequently he carried out a most elaborate plan of travel and investigation, and published its results in his second edition (Leipsic, 1849). Other editions have followed in 1850, 1854, and 1855-'9, the last giving valuable accounts of his- critical labors, and presenting the best text hitherto published. A new edition begun in 1864 is nearly completed (1873). Tregelles has published (1855-'70) an edition from collation and comparison of MSS. of all the Greek fathers down to the Nicene council. His edition is incomplete, being interrupted by the state of his health.

The various critical editions of the New Testament bear conclusive witness to the genuineness of the text in every matter of importance. There has been no material corruption in the sacred record. - The ancient translations of the Old and New Testaments are in some respects of great value. The oldest of these and the most celebrated is the Greek version of the Old Testament called the Septuagint (LXX.) from its 72 translators, or perhaps from the 72 members of the Sanhedrim who sanctioned it. It was commenced by Jews of Alexandria about 280 B. C, and was finished in the course of years evidently by different hands. The Pentateuch is pronounced by scholars the best portion of the work; other portions are unequal; here and there it is considered to betray an imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew language. It contains most of the books called the Apocrypha. (See Apocrypha). The Greek Jews, in the declining state of the Hebrew tongue, made great use of the Septuagint, and even the Jews of Palestine held it in high esteem until the Christians in the second century quoted it against them. They then denied its agreement with the Hebrew, and it became odious to them.

In Jerome's day there were three differing yet authorized editions of the Septuagint in use: one in Palestine, one at Alexandria, and one in Constantinople. Hence the corruptions that mar the MSS. in our possession. The Septuagint was the parent of many translations in Latin, Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, and Arabic. Many oriental versions were made from the Hebrew, of uncertain date; among them the Targums in Chaldee (see Targums), the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Syriac translation called the Peshito or "simple," one of the oldest translations of the Bible, several in Arabic, and one in Persian. There were also other Greek versions, of which the most celebrated was that of Aquila, made about A. D. 135, and valuable on account of its anxious literalness.

Fragments of it are preserved in Origen's Hex-apla. But after the Septuagint the most famous version from the Hebrew was the Latin version of Jerome, the basis of the present Vulgate. Jerome, who had previously undertaken a revision of the old Latin translation of the New Testament, called the Itala, revised the Psalter also from the Septuagint about 383. About 389 he began a new version from the Hebrew, and completed the work about 405. The work, though in parts hastily, was on the whole well done. The translator made use of the Greek versions that were before him, as well as of the Arabic and the Syriac, always, however, comparing them with the Hebrew. The translation, having to contend with a superstitious reverence for the Septuagint, met with a doubtful reception, and made its way slowly into favor, but in the course of 200 or 300 years it was highly regarded at Rome and in other places, but not so highly as to escape corruption from careless copyists, indiscreet revisers, ambitious critics, and reckless theologians. The old Vulgate (the Itala) and the new injured each other. Alcuin, early in the 9th century, bidden, and as some think aided by Charlemagne, revised and corrected Jerome's version by the Hebrew and Greek originals.

Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury in the 11th century, revised it again. The council of Trent (1546), having received a report from a commission that the text was very corrupt, so that only the pope could restore it, declared that "the old and Vulgate edition . . . shall be held as authentic, . . . and that no one, on any pretext whatever, may dare or presume to reject it." The council also decreed that the edition " should be printed as accurately as possible." As it had become necessary to prepare an authentic edition of the authorized version, two popes, Pius IV. and V., addressed themselves to this task; learned men were assembled, a printing press was erected in the Vatican, a pontiff looked over the printed sheets, and the work was published in 1590; but it proved to be so imperfect that Gregory XIV. called another assembly of scholars to make another revision. This time the duty was more thoroughly discharged, and the Biblia Sacra Vulg. Ed. Test. V. Pont. Max. jussu recog., etc, the basis of every subsequent edition, was issued in 1592. The famous Bel-larmin, one of the translators, wrote the preface. - Translations of the New Testament were made very early into all the tongues then spoken by Christians. A few words upon some of the more modern versions will be in place here.

In Germany, Martin Luther spent ten laborious years, from 1522 to 1532, in executing that wonderful translation which has done so much for the Bible and for the language into which it was rendered. Several portions of the Scriptures he had translated into German before, for the use of the people, viz., the penitential and other Psalms, the Lord's prayer, the Ten Commandments, and other pottages, which were often printed. It was I not till toward the close of 1521 that he con-oelved the plan of translating the whole; but having commenced, the work proceeded rap-Idly. The New Testament was finished first; in a year came the Pentateuch; another year oompleted the historical hooks and the Hagio-grapha; two years more brought Jonah and Habakkuk; and the prophets were finished in 1582. It was all Luther's work. As the foundation he used the Brescia edition of 1494 (his oopy is still preserved at Berlin), and with this the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and other Latin versions, while for the New Testament he took the text of Erasmus, 151!). Many versions have been made since Luther's in Germany, but for vigor and simplicity his has not been surpassed, not even by that of Augusti and De wette.

Portions of the Bible were translated into Saxon by Aldhehn, Egbert, Bede, and others, between the 8th and 10th centuries. An English version of the Psalms is supposed to haw- been made in 1290. Wyclilfe finished his translation of the New Testament about 1380. That of the Old Testament, begun by his coadjutor Nicholas de Hereford about 1382, was completed probably by Wycliffe before 1384. The revision made by John Purvey and others about 1888 nearly displaced Wycliffe's, and was widely circulated in MS. among all classes, until superseded by the printed versions of the 16th century. The first volume printed by Gutenberg (1450-'55) was the Latin Bible, and hardly was it completed when versions began to multiply. In 1524, William Tyndale, "finding no place to do it in all England," went to the continent, and there, at Worms, in 1526, printed his version of the New Testament from the original Greek. Coverdale, his fellow laborer, finished his translation of the Old Testament in 1585, and this was followed by several editions of "Matthew's Bible," called also the "Great" Bible, or "Cranmer's," according to its editors.

This was the authorized version under Edward VI. The "Genevan Bible,'" the first English Bible with Roman type, rerses, and no Apocrypha, was a new and careful revision from the original tongues by the English refugees at Geneva (1500, and London, 1576). Bishop Parker undertook another version by the help Of eminent scholars, which was called the "Bishop's Bible," published in 1568, with preface, and notes. Its basis was the "Great Bible," and the "Genevan." A little later appeared the Roman Catholic version known as the Douay Bible, the New Testament in 1682, at Rheims, the Old Testament m 1609 'Hi, at Douay, upon the basis of the authorized Vulgate. Our present English version was made by direction of James I., who, on motion of Dr. Reynolds of Oxford, in the conference at Hampton Court, commissioned 54 divines to undertake the labor. Seven of the 54 died before the task was commenced, but in 1606 the hooks were distributed among the remainder in six portions, and the translalation was diligently pressed. The "Bishop's Bible" was the basis, faithfully compared with Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's, Cranmer's, and the Geneva version, and with the original, and corrected where defective.

The whole was completed and sent from the press of Robert Barker in 1611. This version has now been in use 260 years, and its faithfulness, pure and strong English, simple yet dignified style, and its common acceptance by persons of all classes and all shades of religious belief, have given it a combination of advantages over any rival. Many have felt, however, that it could be improved in clearness and accuracy. The late Dean Alford especially urged a new revision; and the convocation of Canterbury, in February, 1870, appointed a committee for this work. This committee comprises some of the most eminent Biblical scholars of the church of England, and has invited the cooperation of other eminent scholars both in England and America. The principles of revision have been adopted, and the work is now in progress (1873). A new version has also been long in progress under the care of the American Bible union. (See Bible Societies).