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Textus Receptus Bibles

Julia E. Smith Translation 1876

 

   

55:1Ho, every one thirsting, Come ye to the waters, and whom there is not to him silver, come ye, buy and eat; and come ye, and buy without silver and without price, wine and milk.
55:2Wherefore will ye weigh silver without bread? and your labour not for fulness? hearing, hear ye to me, and eat good, and your soul shall delight in fatness.
55:3Incline your ear, and come to me, and hear, and your soul shall live; and I will cut out with you an eternal covenant, the sure mercies of David.
55:4Behold, I gave him a witness of the nations, a leader and commanding the nations
55:5Behold, nations thou shalt not know; thou shalt call, and nations that knew thee not shall run to thee, for sake of Jehovah thy God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he honored thee.
55:6Seek ye Jehovah in his being found, and call him in his being near.
55:7The unjust one shall forsake his way, and the man of vanity his purposes, and turn back to Jehovah, and he will pity him, and to our God, for he will multiply to forgive.
55:8For not my purposes your purposes and not your ways my ways, says Jehovah
55:9As the heavens were high above the earth, so my ways were high above your ways, and my purposes above your purposes.
55:10For as the rain coming down and the snow from the heavens, and shall not turn back there, but watering the earth and causing it to bring forth and sprout, and giving seed to be sown, and bread to be eaten;
55:11So shall be my word which went forth out of my mouth: it shall not turn back to me empty, but doing what I delighted in, and it shall prosper for what I send it
55:12For with joy shall ye go forth, and in peace shall ye be led forth; the mountains and hills shall break forth before you into shouting, and all the trees of the field shall clap the hand.
55:13Instead of the thorn-hedge shall come up the cypress; of the briar shall come up the myrtle: and it was to Jehovah for a name for an eternal sigh; it shall not be cut off.
Julia Smith and her sister

Julia E. Smith Translation 1876

The Julia Evelina Smith Parker Translation is considered the first complete translation of the Bible into English by a woman. The Bible was titled The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments; Translated Literally from the Original Tongues, and was published in 1876.

Julia Smith, of Glastonbury, Connecticut had a working knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Her father had been a Congregationalist minister before he became a lawyer. Having read the Bible in its original languages, she set about creating her own translation, which she completed in 1855, after a number of drafts. The work is a strictly literal rendering, always translating a Greek or Hebrew word with the same word wherever possible. Smith accomplished this work on her own in the span of eight years (1847 to 1855). She had sought out no help in the venture, even writing, "I do not see that anybody can know more about it than I do." Smith's insistence on complete literalness, plus an effort to translate each original word with the same English word, combined with an odd notion of Hebrew tenses (often translating the Hebrew imperfect tense with the English future) results in a translation that is mechanical and often nonsensical. However, such a translation if overly literal might be valuable to consult in checking the meaning of some individual verse. One notable feature of this translation was the prominent use of the Divine Name, Jehovah, throughout the Old Testament of this Bible version.

In 1876, at 84 years of age some 21 years after completing her work, she finally sought publication. The publication costs ($4,000) were personally funded by Julia and her sister Abby Smith. The 1,000 copies printed were offered for $2.50 each, but her household auction in 1884 sold about 50 remaining copies.

The translation fell into obscurity as it was for the most part too literal and lacked any flow. For example, Jer. 22:23 was given as follows: "Thou dwelling in Lebanon, building as nest in the cedars, how being compassionated in pangs coming to thee the pain as in her bringing forth." However, the translation was the only Contemporary English translation out of the original languages available to English readers until the publication of The British Revised Version in 1881-1894.(The New testament was published in 1881, the Old in 1884, and the Apocrypha in 1894.) This makes it an invaluable Bible for its period.