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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



2:1And Jesus born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold the magi from the sunrisings arrived in Jerusalem, saying:
2:2Where is he born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the sunrising, and have come to worship him.
2:3And Herod the king having heard, was stirred up, and all Jerusalem with him.
2:4And assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where Christ should be born.
2:5And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus has it been written by the prophet:
2:6And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means art thou least among the leaders of Judah for out of thee shall come forth the leader, who shall feed my people.
2:7Then Herod having secretly called for the magi, searched thoroughly from them the time of the star appearing.
2:8And having sent them to Bethlehem, he said, Having gone, examine thoroughly concerning the child; and when ye should find, announce ye to me, so that I also, having gone, will worship him.
2:9And they having heard the king went forth; and, behold the star they saw in the sunrising, it led before them, till having come, it stood above where the young child was.
2:10And seeing the star, they rejoiced with great joy exceedingly.
2:11And having come into the house, they found the young child with Mary his mother, and having fallen, they worshipped him; and having opened their treasures they brought forward to him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
2:12And having received intimation of the divine will in a dream not to turn back to Herod, by another way they went back to their own country.
2:13And they, having gone back, lo, the messenger of the Lord appears in a dream to Joseph, saying, Having risen, take to thyself the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt, and be there till I speak to thee; for Herod is about to seek the young child to destroy him.
2:14And having risen, be took to himself the young child and his mother by night, and turned back in Egypt:
2:15And was there till the death of Herod: that it might be completed having been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
2:16Then Herod, seeing he was deluded by the magi, was very angry, and having sent, destroyed all the children which in Bethlehem, and in all its bounds, from two years and under, according to the time he examined thoroughly of the magi.
2:17Then was completed that spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
2:18A voice was heard in Rama, wailing, and weeping, and much lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, for they are not.
2:19And Herod having died, behold a messenger of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying,
2:20Having risen, take to thyself the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel; for they seeking the soul of the young child have died.
2:21And having risen, he took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.
2:22And having heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea, instead of Herod his father, he was afraid to go there; and having received intimation of the divine will in a dream, he turned back into the parts of Galilee.
2:23And having come, he dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be completed spoken by the prophets, That he shall be called a Nazarite.
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.