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Textus Receptus Bibles

Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



20:1And Jehovah will speak to Joshua, saying,
20:2Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, Ye shall give to yourselves cities of refuge which I spake to you by the hand of Moses:
20:3For the slayer smiting a soul in mistake and without knowledge, to flee there: and they shall be to you for refuge from the nearest kinsman of blood.
20:4And he fled to one of these cities and stood at the door of the gate of the city, and spake in the ears of the old men of that city, his words, and they received him into the city to them, and they gave to him a place, and he dwelt with them.
20:5And if the nearest relation of blood shall pursue after him, and they shall not deliver over the slayer into his hand; for without knowing he smote his friend, and he hated him not from yesterday the third day.
20:6And he shall dwell in that city till his standing before the assembly for judgment, till the death of the great priest which shall be in those days: then the slayer shall turn back and come to his city and to his house, to the city which he fled from there.
20:7And they will consecrate Kadesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and the city of Arba (this in Hebron) in mount Judah.
20:8And from beyond Jordan of Jericho from the sunrising, they gave Bezer in the desert in the plain from the tribe of Reuben and Ramoth, in Gilead, from the tribe of Gad; and Golan in Bashan, from the tribe of Manasseh.
20:9These were cities of appointment for all the sons of Israel, and for the stranger sojourning in the midst of them, to flee there, every one smiting a soul in mistake: and he shall not die by the hand of the nearest relation of blood till his standing before the assembly.
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.