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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



5:1For every chief priest taken from men is appointed for men for things to God, that he bring both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
5:2Being able to moderate the passions to the ignorant, and deceived; since he also is surrounded with weakness.
5:3And for this he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to bring in for sins.
5:4And not any takes this honour to himself; but the called of God, as also Aaron.
5:5So also Christ honoured not himself, to become chief priest; but he having spoken to him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
5:6And also in another he says, Thou a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec.
5:7Who in the days of his flesh, both prayers and supplications to him able to save him from death, with strong crying and tears, having offered, and listened to by means of circumspection;
5:8Although being a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered;
5:9And being perfected, he became to all them lending a willing ear to him the origin of eternal salvation
5:10Addressed by God the chief priest according to the order of Melchisedec.
5:11Of whom great is the word to us, and difficult of interpretation to speak, since ye have been sluggish in the hearing.
5:12For also ye ought to be teachers for the time, again ye have need for some one to teach you the elements of the beginning of the sayings of God; and have become those having need of milk, and not of firm food.
5:13For every one partaking of milk is inexperienced in the word of justice: for he is a child.
5:14And firm food is of the perfected, of them by habit having the senses exercised for the separation of good and evil.
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.