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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



3:1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, observe the sent and Chief Priest of our assent, Christ Jesus;
3:2Faithful to him having made him, as also Moses in his whole house.
3:3For this was deemed worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he has greater honour of the house having built it.
3:4For every house is built by somebody; and he having built all things, God.
3:5And truly Moses faithful in his whole house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things to be spoken;
3:6And Christ as a son over his house: whose house are we, if we should hold freedom of speech and the boast of hope firm to the end.
3:7Wherefore (as the Holy Spirit says, If to day ye hear his voice,
3:8Harden not your hearts, as in the exasperation, in the day of trial in the desert:
3:9Where your fathers tried me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
3:10Wherefore I was offended with that generation and I said, They always wander in heart; and they knew not my ways.
3:11As I aware in my wrath, If they shall come into my rest.)
3:12See, brethren, lest there shall be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in removing away from the living God.
3:13But beseech one another according to each day, as far as the day is called; lest any of you be hardened by deceit of sin.
3:14For we have been partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our foundation firm to the end;
3:15In that it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, ye should not harden your hearts, as in the exasperation.
3:16For some, having heard, did exasperate: but not all they having come out of Egypt by Moses.
3:17And with whom was he offended forty years? was it not with them having sinned, whose members fell in the desert?
3:18And to whom sware he that they could not come into his rest, if not to them having been disobedient?
3:19And we see they could not come in through unbelief.
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.