»Sie haben es doch gut gemeint«: Depression und Familie (German Edition)

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Advertisement Hide. Authors view affiliations Irmengard K. Front Matter Pages i-xx. Front Matter Pages Pages Discourses in Place. Pilot Study. G1—Lifestyle Migrants. Synthesis Across the Generations. Discussion of Findings. We are concerned here only with Luther's use of the first of these. The principle of making information that is implicit in the original explicit in the translation was applied by Luther on several different levels of communication.

In its simplest, hence least debatable, form this would involve the use of a "classifier" to specify some point of reference in the original text. Bluhm comments in this regard Luther was bold and adventurous enough to insert a word when the spirit of a passage called for it…as long as it did not transgress against essential meaning. Far from transgressing.

Luther at times by his very boldness brought out meaning, released implicit meaning. It was as if he … read the mind and intention of the original writer. Many times it is necessary to make the intended meaning explicit in order to avoid uttering nonsense or the completely wrong sense. Luther, in commenting on this passage, further reveals his ultimate concern for contextually-based meaningfulness in translation No one should be surprised if here and in similar passages we occasionally differ from the rabbis and grammarians. For we followed the rule that wherever the words could have gained or tolerated an improved meaning, there … we ran the risk, relinquishing the words and rendering the sense.

Of Psalm b v. Sometimes the form of the original needs to be retained in a translation even though this results in a rendering that is not the most natural or idiomatic. Correspondingly, a concern for vernacular naturalness must never be allowed to diminish or distort the intended meaning of a given Greek or Hebrew term.

As Luther explains it I have not gone ahead anyway and disregarded altogether the exact wording of the original.

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Rather with my helpers I have been careful to see that where everything turns on a single passage, I have kept to the original quite literally and have not lightly departed from it. Hayes, ed. At other times Luther wished to preserve something of the vibrancy of the original thought as a way of enriching, as it were, the German language and manner of conceptualizing things We at times also translated quite literally—even though we could have rendered the meaning more clearly another way—because everything that is, the precise sense of the original turns on these very words.

Paul propagates such rich, glorious, and comforting doctrine cf. Therefore out of respect for such doctrine, and for the comforting of our conscience, we should keep such words, accustom ourselves to them, and so give place to the Hebrew language where it does a better job than our German. Then there are those relatively few times where the original text is so difficult or its sense so obscure that to attempt one meaningful rendering would result in the elimination of another equally likely interpretation.

The use of footnotes to convey such alternatives was not an option in those days. Luther cites the example of Psalm , which he rendered literally, hence ambiguously Therefore we tried to leave room for each person to understand the words according to the gifts and measure of his spirit. Otherwise we would have rendered them in such a way as to give fuller expression to our own understanding of the meaning. According to Burger While he was translating the Bible, Luther spoke his sentences out loud to himself, and his sure sense of rhythm and melody never allowed any sentence to pass whose accents, pauses and cadences, whose sequence of vowels and consonants, did not satisfy him entirely.

In addition, he created new sentence structures with a tendency to put the verb at the end of the sentence. Luther always had a conversation with the Bible to let it speak to him with verve and rhythm. He did this because German was really a language Sprache. It was meant to be spoken aloud by the tongue lingua , not written; heard, not read; for a word has sound and tone.

He therefore avoided all harsh constructions, all unbalanced sentences and disturbing subordinate clauses. The result was a rhythmic flow of language. For instance, Ps. He wanted a text that was crisp and pleasant to hear. He adapts his language to any mood, to the tenderness of the Christmas story as well as to the terrors of the Apocalypse. All is so naturally conceived that it does not seem artificially contrived. Luther also took sound seriously in connection with biblical genre. The Psalms, for example, are ideally sung musically, as in their original worship setting The stringed instruments of [ and] the following psalms are to help in the singing of this new song.

Lehmann, ed. Luther's high regard for the form of the original message of Scripture had a number of important implications as far as his translation procedure was concerned. In his eyes, a thorough knowledge of the biblical languages was essential so that a translation could be based firmly upon the original text rather than on some other translation, such as the Latin Vulgate, which had been the practice before Luther. Luther was an active, extensive researcher. When dealing with some of the more technical terms of biblical vocabulary, he would go out in search of the most precise German words that he could find.


He investigated the court jewels of the Elector of Saxony to find names for the gems and precious stones listed in Revelation In a letter to his friend Spalatin, Luther describes his research into the birds and beasts of the OT I am all right on the birds of the night-owl, raven, horned owl, tawny owl, screech owl- and on the birds of prey-vulture, kite, hawk, and sparrow hawk. I can handle the stag, roebuck, and chamois, but what in the devil am I to do with the taragelaphus, pygargus, oryx, and camelopard [names for animals in the Vulgate]? Those of us who work on translations in various African languages can certainly sympathize with Luther on this point.

In a sense-oriented version, however, one must be prepared to err more on the side of greater contextualization so that the message really means something, rather than to use all sorts of obscure transliterations, loan words, made-up terms, and semantic reconstructions. Luther's basic policy is described in this apt comment by Roland Bainton If the French call a centurion a gendarme, and the Germans make a procurator into a burgomeister, Palestine has moved west.

And this is what did happen to a degree in Luther's rendering. Judea was transplanted to Saxony, and the road from Jericho to Jerusalem ran through the Thuringian forest. By nuances and turns of expression Luther enhanced the graphic in terms of the local that is, where no point of doctrine was concerned. In order for an accurate exegetical study to be carried out and a correspondingly natural translation effected, even a careful verse-by-verse approach is inadequate.

What is needed is a broader, holistic approach. A complete discourse and genre-oriented perspective must be adopted and applied with respect to both the SL text and the RL text. Any verbal composition, especially a literary one which the Bible arguably is ,94 whether oral or written, is composed of smaller segments that are combined to form larger ones and so on up the hierarchical ladder of linguistic organization until the complete composition is constituted.

Such a discourse must therefore be viewed both analyzed and evaluated as a whole—a harmonious unity that communicates more than, and is essentially different from, the sum of its individual parts—with respect to form, content, function, and effect. Discourse analysis is the fruit of some relatively recent insights of literary and linguistic science; therefore it is not surprising that Luther had little to write on the subject.

But that he intuitively recognized these principles is evident from the fact that his translation is not chopped up into distinct verses. Rather, it consists of meaningful paragraphs of varying length-according to his arrangement of the subject matter at hand. Luther often wrestled with this task, and when he himself did not have the answer, he readily consulted others.

Thus Luther adopted a text-holistic as well as a contextually 94 Ernst R. See also Edward A. Englebrecht, ed. Even the foundational, narrative-legal books of Moses did not escape Luther's attention; for the goal, as far as he was concerned, was quite comprehensive I will get rid of Hebraisms, so that no one can say that Moses was a Hebrew.

Good translating means adapting the statement to the spirit of the receptor language. But how does one duplicate or learn from Luther when working in the thousands of other languages in the world? Just listen to his advice. It is something that all present and future translators of God's Word need to keep in mind. Any given term must be understood and translated so as to fit the context, near and far. There is no doubt that Luther translated with the linguistic context in mind. Jacobs, eds. Another example is Luther's various translations of the Hebrew word chen, as the editor of Luther's Works points out This Hebrew root may mean favor or grace, with respect either to form and appearance or to speech; it may also mean the favor or acceptance one has in the sight either of God or of men.

Luther found that his favorite equivalent, Gnade, was not always adequate for every form, context, and usage; he also utilized such terms as Gunst, lieblich, holdselig, and others to render the word. Luther never forgot the local sociocultural setting of his Bible translation work. At the same time he does not choose a different word merely for the sake of variety.

The Professor carefully notes the shade of difference in synonyms and makes his selections accordingly … [Thus] the Pferde horses are held in with bit and bridle, but fiery Rosse chargers carry Elijah to heaven in a fiery chariot, and it is the strong Gaeule work horses whose neighing is heard James 3. Especially in sacred and divine matters is it rich in words. It has at least ten names with which to name God, whereas we have only one word. It may therefore be rightly called a holy tongue. But Luther was intuitively able to do precisely this, as has already been suggested. Tell me whether that is also good German!

But no effective transmission of the Gospel takes place across cultural boundaries apart from careful attention to the linguistic component. The same can be said for indigenization and contextualization. And these missiological insights were not born in the twentieth century. Perhaps out of evangelical concern for his former Catholic brethren. But the prophet here intends to say that the righteous are such trees, which bloom and are fruitful and flourishing even when they grow old.

All mother-tongue speakers know such information instinctively and produce their utterances accordingly when they talk in the varied interpersonal situations of life. The hard part is to transform such knowledge into idiomatic verbal action when translating. That takes scholars with the boldness to accompany their sociocultural acumen.

Explanatory footnotes, selective cross-references, a glossary of important terms and technical terms, suitable illustrations, prefaces to the individual books, section headings, tables, summary charts-all of these facilitate understanding and further study. His Bible contained an index, and later editions also provided an indication of the regular gospel and epistle readings for each Sunday. Luther used these introductions to raise the abysmally low level of biblical knowledge among his constituency, lay and clergy alike.



One might raise some objections nowadays concerning their theological narrowness—they tend to be rather catechetical and too polemically Lutheran for a wider Christian readership. But this depends on one's own ecclesiastical persuasion, and of course the religious times have dramatically changed since Luther's day. Furthermore, scholars ought to respectfully temper their criticism of the works written in an age far removed from their own. For before Job comes into fear of death, he praises God at the theft of his goods and the death of his children.

But when death is in prospect and God withdraws himself, Job's words show what kind of thoughts a man-however holy he may be-holds towards God: he thinks that God is not god, but only a judge and wrathful tyrant, who storms ahead and cares nothing about the goodness of a person's life. This is the finest part of the book. It is understood only by those who also experience and feel what it is to suffer the wrath … of God and to have his grace hidden. These extra-canonical texts can provide a useful background to the 66 acknowledged books of Scripture.

In those days of deprivation with respect to scholarly helps and didactic aids, every additional study tool counted, and it is to Luther's credit that he recognized this serious need and did something about it, using the best materials at hand. Another area in which the Luther Bible supplied special help to its readers and nonreaders as well was through its magnificent illustrations see the example below.

Luther at times appeared to value certain biblical books more highly than others; conversely, at times he seemed to describe some books in less than glowing terms, e. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, , Such beautiful, graphically detailed illustrations, created by recognized masters of the day, contributed to the impact and appeal of certain editions. Panning, Fredrich, S. Becker, and D. But then again, why should the imagination not be allowed to run a bit more freely in this book? After all, how can a text be properly read aloud if it has not been set out legibly in written form?

His fashioning of the text into meaningful paragraph units rather than a disruptive sequence of individual verses has already been mentioned.

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In fact, in many cases things have actually regressed in the interests of economy and due to a highly conservative tradition of Scripture publication. There are some exceptions, the best overall format for English Bibles today in my opinion is that of the New International Version, which pays close attention to the larger strophic structure of poetic discourse, especially in the Psalms. These are just a few of the more important formatting variables available as visual cues, which indirectly assist hearers as well—when a pericope of Scripture is proclaimed aloud by sensitive readers following a plainly legible text.

Collaborative A diversified and well-organized translation team generally produces results that are more accurate, effective, and acceptable to the RL audience than a translator working in isolation can achieve. Although Luther completed his September Testament alone and in a hurry, that was due to special circumstances and was certainly not his preference. Panning provides a description of how Luther would often proceed when beginning to translate a new Old Testament text Luther apparently always began from the original Hebrew.

In a first pass, Luther would translate literally and woodenly, even word for word. Often the first rough draft would be in Latin. At times when Luther didn't know a Hebrew word, he simply transliterated it or left a blank for the time being. The second stage was to fit the parts together lexically, syntactically, grammatically. When he had determined … what the Hebrew said, then he went at what it meant, trying to put the content into basic German, which was then reworked and polished and refined in the painstaking search to find just the right German words.

After crossing out three, four, and even more attempts, a final decision would be reached and the crabbed and cluttered manuscript would be sent to the longsuffering typesetter. It is indeed striking to observe how similar these procedures are to the basic three-step method of text analysis, transfer, and restructuring that is recommended in some of the more popular Bible translation manuals. The Hebrew language, sad to say, has gone down so far that even the Jews know little enough about it, and their glosses and interpretations which I have tested are not to be relied upon.

As Luther himself explained this important practical point Translators must never work by themselves. When one is alone, the best and most suitable words do not always occur to him. For I too have not worked at this alone, but have used the services of anyone whom I could get.

Even with such a highly qualified and close-knit committee, the work was not easy, mainly due to the nature of the translation that Luther was trying to produce, namely, one that emphasized the meaning of Scripture, rather than its linguistic form I have constantly striven to produce a pure and clear German in translating; and it often happened that for two or three or four weeks we sought and asked for a single word and at times did not find it even then. Such was our labor while translating Job that Master Philip, Aurogallus, and I could at times scarcely finish three lines in four days.

An important member of the review team was its recording secretary, Georg Roerer, who diligently made notes of the major decisions. In an extensive, sustained, and detailed project such as this, it is essential to be able to refer back to past proceedings so that the same ground is not plowed twice and also to encourage the development of a stable set of translation terms and procedures. That is exactly what happened as we see from the following descriptions by Johann Matthesius of the committee in session Then, when D.

Luther had reviewed the previously published Bible and had also gained information from Jews and friends with linguistic talents, and had inquired of old Germans about appropriate words … he came into the assembly Konsistorium with his old Latin and a new German Bible, and always brought the Hebrew text with him. Philip brought the Greek text with him.

Creuziger a Chaldean Bible in addition to the Hebrew. The professors had their rabbinical commentaries. Pommer also had the Latin text, with Luther, LW 35, Each one had studied the text which was to be discussed and had examined Greek and Latin as well as Hebrew commentators. Thereupon the president [Luther] submitted a text and permitted each to speak in turn and listened to what each had to say about the characteristics of the language or about the expositions of the ancient doctors.

Wonderful and instructive discussions are said to have taken place in connection with this work, some of which M. Georg Roerer recorded, which were afterwards printed as little glosses and annotations on the margin. Continuative No translation is ever perfect or complete. That means critical and qualitative revision is essential. It is, in fact, a never-ending process from one generation to the next. During the course of a translation project, a team learns many things—about the original text, exegesis, consistency, how to handle key terms or difficult passages in the RL, and even organizational efficiency.

Thus at the end, they realize that, in view of what they have picked up along the way, they need to begin all over again. They must undertake a careful revision in order to correct the inevitable errors and to improve the wording wherever possible, based on their past experience and also the feedback from the publication of selected portions. In many cases, unfortunately, such an opportunity does not materialize.

For one reason or another the production team is disbanded and its members return to other pursuits. In Luther's case, however, it was different. As has been mentioned, the translation and revision of the Bible occupied Luther for most of his life. This same cycle was repeated for the OT books: analyze, translate, publish, and revise.

A supplement to secretary Roerer's notes gives us an insight into the cooperative endeavor On January 24, , certain invited men started to revise the Bible anew and in many places it was rendered into more distinct and clear German than before. They particularly had trouble with the section of the Prophets from Jeremiah on as it was difficult to render into good German. Isaiah and Daniel had been printed in German several years earlier. The words of Jesus gave the commission great concern to render them into clear German.

As the group worked closely with one another meeting after meeting, they became aware of each other's particular strengths and were progressively knit into an ever more competent and cohesive team. Schweibert summarizes the change that took place The word-for-word searching in an attempt at a literal translation of the Greek and Hebrew texts had been replaced by a spirit of freedom, an attempt to render the exact meaning of the original in the idiom of the 16th-century German. This one is closer to the German and further removed from the Hebrew. The Professor himself remained the guiding light and principal motivating factor in the revision process.

He provided that essential continuity and set the desired standards so that a consistency of style and method might be maintained during the long period over which the translation and revision took place. He called the commission together, he largely outlined the assignment for each session, he led the discussion and usually spoke the deciding word [in cases of disagreement] … In other cases Luther made changes in his entries, either during the meeting or afterward, as is apparent from a comparison of these with Roerer's protocol and sometimes is evident in Luther's own copy.

Of great assistance in the revision process was a set of notes that Luther personally recorded in his Handexemplar, a special copy of the Bible reserved specifically for the purpose. Whenever he worked with the German text, he tested it out either on his audience or personally on himself. Then he would carefully write down any corrections and potential improvements in the margins. These jottings would often serve as the basis for discussion during the meetings with his review team.

Luther's detailed notes performed the same service even after his death. They were incorporated into the revised Bible that he happened to be working on right up to the end, a version that was published later in He ate, drank and slept Bible translation. Consequential Reu, Luther's German Bible, That is why it became the cornerstone for an enduring Lutheran culture in Germany.

Noss, ed. This opinion is supported by Dr. The poetic soul finds in this translation evidences of genius and expressions as natural, as beautiful, and melodious as in the original languages. Some committed it to memory, and carried it about in their bosom. In a few months such people deemed themselves so learned that they were not ashamed to dispute about faith and the gospel not only with Catholic laymen, but even with priests and monks and doctors of divinity. The standard modern language takes its beginning there. Luther's unifying influence affected not only the German language, but to a greater extent its literature as well, with respect to verbal style and persuasive rhetoric.

The sheer volume of his own literary production is indeed staggering. Hirst estimates that Roughly one-third of all German writing appearing between and [even before he really got going! Thus Luther's Bible became not just a legacy, but an important stage in the still gradually awakening consciousness of man. But what is of prime importance is the spiritual significance of all this literary, linguistic, and cultural influence.

It is impossible to evaluate its role in the furthering of the Reformation, for its assistance in spreading the Gospel to the common man was immeasurable. Whitford, ed. Luther's Bible served as a primary source for the translations produced later in Holland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and England.

Conclusion So what more can we say about a Bible translation that was is confessional, communicative, creative, comprehensive, contextual, collaborative, continuative, and consequential—indeed, consummate? Perhaps nothing needs to be added except a sample from the master translator himself and those whom he has influenced and motivated centuries later in another language and a very different cultural and communicative setting. Brian H.

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I have modified the script of this text and poetically rearranged its lines. Blessed David, however, lauds and magnifies this noble treasure most beautifully in delightful figurative and picturesque language and also in metaphorical expressions taken from the Old Testament worship of God. He calls it a fine, pleasant, green pasture; fresh water; the path of righteousness; a rod; a staff; a table; balm, or the oil of gladness Ps. Pelikan, H. Oswald, and H. Lehmann, eds. Chauta ndi dzina lake lochukadi.

Chauta is that most famous name of his. Mwa iye, ine kusowa kanthu ayi. In him, as for me—I lack nothing, not at all. My life he always revives it right there. Though it is and remains a translation of course, it was artistically reborn in the gradual process of its complete vernacularization. It is still similar to, but no longer identical with, the original Hebrew poem… One could hold that it has become a German poem of almost independent artistic significance.

For a discussion of this rendering and its distinctive poetic features in Chewa, a Bantu language, see Wendland, Translating the Literature of Scripture, I composed the initial draft of this text, which was subsequently revised and polished up by the students of my Psalms exegetical class Lusaka Lutheran Seminary. According to his well-known name—Chauta! I happen to walk, Mantha onse balala!

All [my] fear GONE! Kunena chakudya, ha! Talk about food, ha! Chiko changa cha madalitso chiri nde-nde-nde! Kwanu inu mwandilandiradi ndi manja awiri. They really follow me during [my] whole life down here. So what did this little translation exercise teach us—my students and me? Such involvement may include actual translation and review work; the careful comparative study of various translations plus how and why they differ; the consistent support of Bible translation, publication, and distribution work, both at home and abroad—on the mission field.

But that is not true in most parts of the world today, though the Internet is helping to break that barrier. There are also the extreme danger zones, like North Korea, where even the possession of a Bible is a capital offense. For thirty years the Lusaka Translation Centre, located on the campus of Lusaka Lutheran Seminary, was instrumental in the production of 8 full Bibles and another 4 New Testaments in the Bantu languages of south-central Africa.

A literalistic version is not really helpful, no matter how familiar its wording may be, or how much it may be used, if the average person, young or old, cannot understand it clearly or correctly without pastoral assistance. Nevertheless, there are many today who by faithfully following Luther's principles aided by computer- based tools and internet technology are together, in corporate cooperation, able to accomplish results that he never dreamed possible. Commissioned and supported by worldwide mission agencies and umbrella organizations, trained personnel are currently seeking to translate the Word of God accurately and idiomatically in hundreds of non- Indo-European languages.

It was a republication of the gospel. He made the Bible the people's book in church, school, and house. If he had done nothing else, he would be one of the greatest benefactors of the German-speaking race. The Bible ceased to be a foreign book in a foreign tongue, and became naturalized, and hence far more clear and dear to the common people.

Hereafter the Reformation depended no longer on the works of the Reformers, but on the book of God, which everybody could read for himself as his daily guide in spiritual life. This inestimable blessing of an open Bible for all, without the permission or intervention of pope and priest, marks an immense advance in church history, and can never be lost. Earlier Versions Luther was not the first, but by far the greatest translator of the German Bible, and is as inseparably connected with it as Jerome is with the Latin Vulgate. He threw the older translation into the shade and out of use, and has not been surpassed or even equaled by a successor.

The civilization of the barbarians in the dark ages began with the introduction of Christianity, and the translation of such portions of the Scriptures as were needed in public worship. It is the earliest monument of Teutonic literature, and the basis of comparative Teutonic philology. It slavishly follows the Latin Vulgate. It may be compared to Wiclif's English Version , which was likewise made from the Vulgate, the original languages being then almost unknown in Europe.

Paul to the Laodiceans, which is a worthless compilation of a few sentences from the genuine writings of the apostle. Most of them are in large folio, in two volumes, and illustrated by wood- cuts. The editions present one and the same version or rather two versions,--one High German, the other Low German with dialectical alterations and accommodations to the textual variations of the MSS.

The revisers are as unknown as the translators. The spread of this version, imperfect as it was, proves the hunger and thirst of the German people for the pure word of God, and prepared the way for the Reformation. It alarmed the hierarchy. Archbishop Berthold of Mainz, otherwise a learned and enlightened prelate, issued, Jan. Even Geiler of Kaisersberg, who sharply criticised the follies of the world and abuses of the Church, thought it "an evil thing to print the Bible in German. He made judicious use of it, as he did also of old German and Latin hymns.

Without such aid he could hardly have finished his New Testament in the short space of three months. It is to all intents a new work. Luther's Qualifications Luther had a rare combination of gifts for a Bible translator: familiarity with the original languages, perfect mastery over the vernacular, faith in the revealed word of God, enthusiasm for the gospel, unction of the Holy Spirit. A good translation must be both true and free, faithful and idiomatic, so as to read like an original work. This is the case with Luther's version. Besides, he had already acquired such fame and authority that his version at once commanded universal attention.

His knowledge of Greek and Hebrew was only moderate, but sufficient to enable him to form an independent judgment. In the German tongue he had no rival. He created, as it were, or gave shape and form to the modern High German. He combined the official language of the government with that of the common people. He listened, as he says, to the speech of the mother at home, the children in the street, the men and women in the market, the butcher and various tradesmen in their shops, and, "looked them on the mouth," in pursuit of the most intelligible terms.

His genius for poetry and music enabled him to reproduce the rhythm and melody, the parallelism and symmetry, of Hebrew poetry and prose. His crowning qualification was his intuitive insight and spiritual sympathy with the contents of the Bible. A good translation, he says, requires "a truly devout, faithful, diligent, Christian, learned, experienced, and practiced heart.

He found for the first time a complete copy of the Latin Bible in the University Library at Erfurt, to his great delight, and made it his chief study. He derived from it his theology and spiritual nourishment; he lectured and preached on it as professor at Wittenberg day after day. He acquired the knowledge of the original languages for the purpose of its better understanding. He liked to call himself a "Doctor of the Sacred Scriptures. He was urged by his friends, especially by Melanchthon, as well as by his own sense of duty, to translate the whole Bible. He began with the New Testament in November or December, , and completed it in the following March, before he left the Wartburg.

He thoroughly revised it on his return to Wittenberg, with the effectual help of Melanchthon, who was a much better Greek scholar. Sturz at Erfurt was consulted about coins and measures; Spalatin furnished from the Electoral treasury names for the precious stones of the New Jerusalem Rev. The translation was then hurried through three presses, and appeared already Sept. The Pentateuch appeared in ; the Psalter, They met once a week in his house, several hours before supper.

Each member of the company contributed to the work from his special knowledge and preparation. Melanchthon brought with him the Greek Bible, Cruciger the Hebrew and Chaldee, Bugenhagen the Vulgate, others the old commentators; Luther had always with him the Latin and the German versions besides the Hebrew. Sometimes they scarcely mastered three lines of the Book of Job in four days, and hunted two, three, and four weeks for a single word.

No record exists of the discussions of this remarkable company, but Mathesius says that "wonderfully beautiful and instructive speeches were made. He never ceased to amend his translation. Besides correcting errors, he improved the uncouth and confused orthography, fixed the inflections, purged the vocabulary of obscure and ignoble words, and made the whole more symmetrical and melodious.

He prepared five original editions, or recensions, of his whole Bible, the last in , a year before his death. Some of them are real improvements, e. The charge that he made the changes in the interest of Philippism Melanchthonianism , seems to be unfounded. It passed through innumerable improvements and mis-improvements. The orthography and inflections were modernized, obsolete words removed, the versicular division introduced first in a Heidelberg reprint, , the spurious clause of the three witnesses inserted in 1 John first by a Frankfurt publisher, , the third and fourth books of Ezra and the third book of the Maccabees added to the Apocrypha, and various other changes effected, necessary and unnecessary, good and bad.

Elector August of Saxony tried to control the text in the interest of strict Lutheran orthodoxy, and ordered the preparation of a standard edition But it was disregarded outside of Saxony. Gradually no less than eleven or twelve recensions came into use, some based on the edition of , others on that of The most careful recension was that of the Canstein Bible Institute, founded by a pious nobleman, Carl Hildebrand von Canstein in connection with Francke's Orphan House at Halle.

It acquired the largest circulation and became the textus receptus of the German Bible. Revised versions with many improvements were prepared by Joh. Rudolf Stier , but did not obtain public authority. At last a conservative official revision of the Luther Bible was inaugurated by the combined German church governments in , with a view and fair prospect of superseding all former editions in public use.

Duke George of Saxony, Duke William of Bavaria, and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria strictly prohibited the sale in their dominions, but could not stay the current. Hans Lufft at Wittenberg printed and sold in forty years between and about a hundred thousand copies,--an enormous number for that age,--and these were read by millions. The number of copies from reprints is beyond estimate. Cochlaeus, the champion of Romanism, paid the translation the greatest compliment when he complained that "Luther's New Testament was so much multiplied and spread by printers that even tailors and shoemakers, yea, even women and ignorant persons who had accepted this new Lutheran gospel, and could read a little German, studied it with the greatest avidity as the fountain of all truth.

Such were made by Emser , Dietenberger , and Eck , and accompanied with annotations. Panzer already knew fourteen; see his Gesch. The first four, in large folio, appeared without date and place of publication, but were probably printed: 1, at Strassburg, by Heinrich Eggestein, about or before the falsely so-called Mainzer Bibel of ; 2, at Strassburg, by Johann Mentelin, ? The others are located, and from the seventh on also dated, viz. Sorg, , folio.

The Low Dutch Bibles were printed: 1, at Cologne, in large folio, double columns, probably The unknown editor speaks of previous editions and his own improvements. Stevens Nos. Kehrein I. Stevens gives the full titles with descriptions, pp. Seminary, New York. I examined them. They are ornamented by woodcuts, beginning with a picture of God creating the world, and forming Eve from the rib of Adam in Paradise.

Several of them have Jerome's preface De omnibus divinae historiae libris, Ep. Das erst capitel. Krafft illustrates the dependence of Luther on the earlier version by several examples pp. The following is from the Sermon on the Mount, Matt. Ich des gerichts. Der aber spricht sagt, Racha, der ist des zu seinem bruder.

Darum ob du auff den altar opfferst, un opfferst dein gab zu dem wirst alda eyngedenken, attar. Bis deyn gabe. Sey willfertig gehellig deim deynem widersacher, bald, widerwertigen schyer. Un Gott auff den wassern. Es werde liecht. Es werde dz liecht. Und es ward liecht. Un das liecht ist worden. The precise origin of the mediaeval German Bible is still unknown.

On the other hand, Dr. The same author promises a complete history of German Catholic Bible versions. The question has been discussed in periodicals and reviews, e. Literaturblatt," Leipzig, and Nos. The arguments for the Waldensian origin are derived from certain additions to the Codex Teplensis, and alleged departures from the text of the Vulgate. But the additions are not anti-Catholic, and are not found in the cognate Freiberger MS. The text of the Vulgate was in greater confusion in the middle ages than the text of the Itala at the time of Jerome, nor was there any authorized text of it before the Clementine recension of The only plausible argument which Dr.

Keller brings out in his second publication pp. Dutch, French, and Italian versions also appeared among the earliest prints. See Stevens, Nos. Venetia: per Joan. Rosso Vercellese, , fol. A Spanish Bible by Bonif. Ferrer was printed at Valencia, see Reuss, Gesch. The Bible is the common property and most sacred treasure of all Christian churches. The art of printing was invented in Catholic times, and its history goes hand in hand with the history of the Bible. The Bible was the first book printed, and the Bible is the last book printed.

Between and , an interval of four centuries and a quarter, the Bible shows the progress and comparative development of the art of printing in a manner that no other single book can; and Biblical bibliography proves that during the first forty years, at least, the Bible exceeded in amount of printing all other books put together; nor were its quality, style, and variety a whit behind its quantity. It was, from beginning to end, a labor of love and enthusiasm.

While publishers and printers made fortunes, Luther never received or asked a copper for this greatest work of his life. A German translation from the original languages was a work of colossal magnitude if we consider the absence of good grammars, dictionaries, and concordances, the crude state of Greek and Hebrew scholarship, and of the German language, in the sixteenth century. Luther wrote to Amsdorf, Jan.

The science of textual criticism was not yet born, and the materials for it were not yet collected from the manuscripts, ancient versions, and patristic quotations. Luther had to use the first printed editions. He had no access to manuscripts, the most important of which were not even discovered or made available before the middle of the nineteenth century.

Biblical geography and archaeology were in their infancy, and many names and phrases could not be understood at the time. In view of these difficulties we need not be surprised at the large number of mistakes, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies in Luther's version. They are most numerous in Job and the Prophets, who present, even to the advanced Hebrew scholars of our day, many unsolved problems of text and rendering. The English Version of had the great advantage of the labors of three generations of translators and revisers, and is therefore more accurate, and yet equally idiomatic. He derived the text from a few mediaeval MSS.

Stephen, in his "royal edition" of the basis of the English Textus Receptus , and by the Elzevirs in their editions of and the basis of the Continental Textus Receptus , and which maintained the supremacy till Lachmann inaugurated the adoption of an older textual basis Luther did not slavishly follow the Greek of Erasmus, and in many places conformed to the Latin Vulgate, which is based on an older text. He also omitted, even in his last edition, the famous interpolation of the heavenly witnesses in 1 John , which Erasmus inserted in his third edition against his better judgment.

Saxons and Bavarians, Hanoverians and Swabians, could scarcely understand each other. Nobody seems to care sufficiently for it; and every preacher thinks he has a right to change it at pleasure, and to invent new terms. Luther brought harmony out of this confusion, and made the modern High German the common book language. He chose as the basis the Saxon dialect, which was used at the Saxon court and in diplomatic intercourse between the emperor and the estates, but was bureaucratic, stiff, heavy, involved, dragging, and unwieldy.

He enriched it with the vocabulary of the German mystics, chroniclers, and poets. He gave it wings, and made it intelligible to the common people of all parts of Germany. He adapted the words to the capacity of the Germans, often at the expense of accuracy. He cared more for the substance than the form.

He substituted even undeutsch! Still greater liberties he allowed himself in the Apocrypha, to make them more easy and pleasant reading. He avoided foreign terms which rushed in like a flood with the revival of learning, especially in proper names as Melanchthon for Schwarzerd, Aurifaber for Goldschmid, Oecolampadius for Hausschein, Camerarius for Kammermeister. He enriched the vocabulary with such beautiful words as holdselig, Gottseligkeit.

Erasmus Alber, a contemporary of Luther, called him the German Cicero, who not only reformed religion, but also the German language. Luther's version is an idiomatic reproduction of the Bible in the very spirit of the Bible. It brings out the whole wealth, force, and beauty of the German language. It is the first German classic, as King James's version is the first English classic. The best authority in Teutonic philology pronounces his language to be the foundation of the new High German dialect on account of its purity and influence, and the Protestant dialect on account of its freedom which conquered even Roman Catholic authors.

Emser, one of the most learned opponents of the Reformation, singled out in Luther's New Testament several hundred linguistic blunders and heretical falsifications. He published, by order of Duke George of Saxony, a new translation for the purpose of correcting the errors of "Luther and other heretics. The most important example of dogmatic influence in Luther's version is the famous interpolation of the word alone in Rom. It is well known that Luther deemed it impossible to harmonize the two apostles in this article, and characterized the Epistle of James as an "epistle of straw," because it had no evangelical character "keine evangelische Art".

He therefore insisted on this insertion in spite of all outcry against it. His defense is very characteristic. For we do not want to be pupils and followers of the Papists, but their masters and judges. Paul in dealing with his Judaizing opponents 2 Cor. Are they learned? Are they preachers? Are they theologians? Are they disputators? Are they philosophers? Are they the writers of books? And I shall further boast: I can expound Psalms and Prophets; which they can not. I can translate; which they can not Therefore the word allein shall remain in my New Testament, and though all pope- donkeys Papstesel should get furious and foolish, they shall not turn it out.

On the other hand, the Roman Catholic translators used the same liberty of marginal annotations and pictorial illustrations in favor of the doctrines and usages of their own church. Emser's New Testament is full of anti-Lutheran glosses. In Rom. And yet even in the same chapter and throughout the whole Epistle to the Romans, Emser copies verbatim Luther's version for whole verses and sections; and where he departs from his language, it is generally for the worse. The same may be said of the other two German Catholic Bibles of the age of the Reformation.

Dietenberger adds his comments in smaller type after the chapters, and agrees with Emser's interpretation of Rom. Eck's German Bible has few notes, but a strongly anti-Protestant preface. A translation is an interpretation. Absolute reproduction is impossible in any work. And even where they agree in words, there is a difference in the pervading spirit. They move, as it were, in a different atmosphere. A Roman Catholic version must be closely conformed to the Latin Vulgate, which the Council of Trent puts on an equal footing with the original text.

The Romanist must become evangelical before he can fully apprehend the free spirit of the gospel as revealed in the New Testament. There is, however, a gradual progress in translation, which goes hand in hand with the progress of the understanding of the Bible. Jerome's Vulgate is an advance upon the Itala, both in accuracy and Latinity; the Protestant Versions of the sixteenth century are an advance upon the Vulgate, in spirit and in idiomatic reproduction; the revisions of the nineteenth century are an advance upon the versions of the sixteenth, in philological and historical accuracy and consistency.

A future generation will make a still nearer approach to the original text in its purity and integrity. If the Holy Spirit of God shall raise the Church to a higher plane of faith and love, and melt the antagonisms of human creeds into the one creed of Christ, then, and not before then, may we expect perfect versions of the oracles of God. He says in his Philosophie der Geschichte, p. Hoeppe , W. Skeat The Codex contains also homilies of St. Augustin and St. Chrysostom, and seven articles of faith. The last especially have induced Keller and Haupt to assign the translation to Waldensian origin.

But these Addenda are not uncatholic, and at most would only prove Waldensian or Bohemian proprietorship of this particular copy, but not authorship of the translation. See Notes below, p. It can therefore not be used as an argument for or against the Waldensian hypothesis of Keller. See Fritzsche in Herzog ii, vol.

The Gospels for the year were printed about 25 times before ; the Psalter about 13 times before He adds, however, very justly l. Denn soll einer von einem Dinge reden, so muss er die Sache [Sprache? With wood-cuts by Lucas Cranach, one at the beginning of each book and twenty-one in the Apocalypse. The chapter division of the Latin Bible, dating from Hugo a St. Caro, was retained with some paragraph divisions; the versicular division was as yet unknown Robert Stephanus first introduced it in his Latin edition, , and in his Greek Testament of The order of the Epistles is changed, and the change remained in all subsequent editions.

Some parallel passages and glosses are added on the margin. It contained many typographical errors, a very curious one in Gal.

German proverbs - Wikiquote

It has the famous preface with the fling at the "rechte stroern Epistel" of St. James, which was afterwards omitted or modified.

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The triple papal crown of the Babylonian woman in Rev. Fritzsche l. Auffs neu zugericht. Durch Hans Lufft, M. A copy in the Canstein Bibelanstalt at Halle. The Union Theol. The margin is ornamented. See Lit. Lutheri ad Ann. Gieseler IV. Eck's Bible appeared in , at Ingolstadt, Bavaria. Video nunc, quid sit interpretari, et cur hactenus a nullo sit attentatum, qui proficeretur nomen suum. A copy in possession of Dr. Ginsburg in England. See Stevens, l.

Portions had been printed before. Grimm, Gesch. His influence on Luther is expressed in the well-known lines "Si Lyra non lyrasset, Lutherus non saltasset. At the end is a Latin letter of Frobenius, the publisher, dated "Nonis Fehr. Anno M. But Dr. Reuss of Strassburg, who has the largest collection and best knowledge of Greek Testaments, denies this. Schriften des N. Tyndale's English version was likewise made from Erasmus.

Graece et Germanice, Preface, p. Scrivener, Introd. The revised Luther- Bible of strangely retains the passage, but in small type and in brackets, with the note that it was wanting in Luther's editions. The Probebibel departs only in a few places from the Erasmian text as followed by Luther: viz.

In this respect the German revision is far behind the Anglo- American revision of , which corrects the Textus Receptus In about five thousand places. Louis the Bavarian introduced the German in See Wilibald Grimm, Gesch. The German Probebibel retains it in this and other passages, as Gen. He judges that Luther's version of Ecclesiasticus Jesus Sirach is by no means a faithful translation, but a model of a free and happy reproduction from a combination of the Greek and Latin texts. Opitz, Ueber die Sprache Luthers, Halle, Lehmann, Luthers Sprache in seiner Uebersetzung des N.

I have before me an edition of Freiburg-i. Emser charges Luther with a thousand grammatical and fourteen hundred heretical errors. He suspects p. He finds p. In our days, one of the chief objections against the English Revision is the omission of the doxology. Leipzig, The first edition appeared before Emser's death, which occurred Nov. I find in the Union Seminary four octavo copies of his N. On the concluding page, it is stated that errors of Luther's are noted and corrected.

The Cologne ed. Most editions contain a Preface of Duke George of Saxony, in which he charges Luther with rebellion against all ecclesiastical and secular authority, and identifies him with the beast of the Apocalypse, Rev. In his Luther, eine Skizze Freiburg-i. Trench considers the main objections in his book on the Authorized Version and Revision, pp. The chief passages objected to by Romanists are Heb. The E. See Meyer on Rom. It was published in September, , with special reference to Emser, whom he does not name, but calls "the scribbler from Dresden" "der dresdener Sudler".