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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



7:1For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, having met Abraham returning from the cutting off of the kings, and praised him;
7:2To whom also Abraham divided a tenth from all; (first truly interpreted King of justice, and then also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
7:3Without father, without mother, of unknown origin, neither having beginning of days, nor end of life; and likened to the Son of God;) remains a priest perpetually.
7:4And behold how great this one, to whom also Abraham the patriarch gave the tenth of the first fruits.
7:5And they truly of the sons of Levi, receiving the office of priest, have a command to take a tenth part from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, although having come out of the loins of Abraham:
7:6And he not having his descent traced from them received a tenth from Abraham, and praised him having the promises.
7:7And without all controversy the less is praised of the better.
7:8And here truly dying men receive tenths; but there he, bearing witness that he lives.
7:9And as the word says, through Abraham, also Levi, receiving tenths, has paid a tenth.
7:10For yet was he in his father's loins, when Melchisedec met him.
7:11If truly therefore completion were by the Levitical priesthood, (for the people received legislation by it,) what further need according to the order of Melchisedec for another priest to be raised, and not according to the order of Aaron?
7:12For the priesthood being transferred, of necessity also is a transposition of law.
7:13For he of whom these things are said partook of another tribe, of which none held to the altar.
7:14For it is manifest that our Lord has sprung out of Judah; to which tribe Moses spake nothing of the priesthood.
7:15And it is yet more abundantly manifest: that according to the resemblance of Melchisedec has another priest risen,
7:16Who according to the law of a fleshly command was not born, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
7:17For he testifies, Thou a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec.
7:18For there is truly an annulling of the command going before by its weakness and unprofitableness.
7:19(For the law completed nothing,) but the bringing in of a better hope; by which we draw near to God.
7:20And as much as not without sacrifice sanctioned by solemn oath:
7:21(For they truly without sacrifice sanctioned by solemn oath became priests; but he with the sacrifice sanctioned by solemn oath by him, saying to him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedec:)
7:22According to this, Jesus has become security of a better covenant.
7:23And they truly are become many priests, by reason of death being hindered from remaining:
7:24And he, because he remains forever, has an inviolable priesthood.
7:25Wherefore he is able to save entirely those coming to God by him, always living to supplicate for them.
7:26For such a chief priest became us, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and being higher than the heavens;
7:27Who has no necessity according to the day, as the chief priests, before to bring up sacrifices for their own sins, then for those of the people; for this he did once, having brought up himself.
7:28For the law establishes men chief priests having weakness; but the word of the sacrifice sanctioned by solemn oath, after the law, the Son, having been perfected forever.
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.