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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



12:1And Jehovah will speak to Moses, saying,
12:2Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, When a woman shall bear seed and bring forth a male, and she was unclean seven days: according to the days of removal of being sick she shall be unclean.
12:3And in the eighth day the flesh of his uncircumcision shall be circumcised.
12:4And thirty days and three days, she shall sit down in the blood of purification: she shall not touch upon any holy thing, and into the holy place she shall not come till the completing of the days of her purification.
12:5And if she shall bear a female, and she was unclean two sevens, as her removal: and sixty days and six days she shall sit down upon the blood of her purification.
12:6And in completing the days of her purification, for a son, or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb, the son of his year, for a burnt-offering, and the son of a dove, or a turtle-dove, for the sin, to the door of the tent of appointment, to the priest
12:7And he offered it before Jehovah, and expiated for her, and cleansed her from the flowing of her blood. This the law of the bringing forth for a male, or for a female.
12:8And if her hand shall not find the sufficiency of a sheep, and she took two turtle-doves or two sons of the dove; one for a burnt-offering, and one for sin: and the priest expiated for her, and she was clean.
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.