Sunday, January 22, 2023

Languages in Prefaces

In the 4th edition of the Vulgate, the Latin version of the Bible traditionally used by the Catholic Church, published by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft in 1994, there are prefaces to the first and 4th editions, in Latin, then in German, French and English. Just to be clear: this is the 4th edition of the Vulgate to be published by the Deutsche Biblegesellschaft. Many, many editions were published by others long before 1994, okay? This post is just about the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft. Okay!

In the Bibelgesellschaft's 2nd edition of the Septuaginta, the Greek translations of the Old Testament made by Jews in and/or around Alexandria in the 3rd and/or 2nd century BC, published in 2006, there are forwards to the 2nd edition in German, English and Greek, in that order, and then the forwards and introductory material to the first edition, first in German, then in English, Latin and Greek.

In their 27th edition of the Greek New Testament, published in 2007 with corrections but otherwise identical to the 1993 27th edition, there is a brief foreword to the 27th edition in German and then in English, and then a lengthy introduction, likewise first in German and then in English.

In the 1997 5th edition of the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (so called because the Gesellschaft is headquartered in Stuttgart), the Hebrew Bible, of the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, there are forwards to the fifth and then to the first edition, first in German, then in English, French, Spanish and Latin. Then come many pages of Latin abbreviations. Then a few pages in which some of those abbreviations are translated into English. If I pretended that I was presently capable of explaining just exactly what all of these abbreviations are, I would be a fraud.

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