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Julia E. Smith Translation 1876



6:1And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as the voice of thunder, Come and see.
6:2And I saw and behold a white horse: and he sitting upon him having a bow; and a crown was given to him: and he went forth conquering, and that he might conquer.
6:3And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come and see.
6:4And another horse came forth fiery red: and it was given to him sitting upon him to take peace from the earth, and that they should slaughter one another: and a great sword was given to him.
6:5And when he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a black horse, and he sitting upon him having a balance in his hand.
6:6And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a drachma, and three measures of barley for a drachma; and thou shouldest not injure the oil and the wine.
6:7And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard a voice of the fourth living creature saying, Come and see.
6:8And I saw, and behold a pale horse: and he sitting above him the name to him Death, and Hades follows with him. And power was given to them to kill upon the fourth of the earth, with sword, and by famine, and by death, and by wild beasts of the earth.
6:9And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of the slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they had:
6:10And they cried with a great voice, saying, Till when, Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood of them dwelling upon earth
6:11And to each were given white robes; and it was said to them, that they should rest for a little time, till also their fellowservants be filled up, about to be killed, as also they.
6:12And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and, behold, there was a great shaking; and the sun was black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon was as blood;
6:13And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts her untimely figs, shaken by a great wind.
6:14And the heaven was separated as a book turned round; and every mount and isle were moved from their places.
6:15And the kings of the earth, and the great, and the rich, and the captains of thousands, and the powerful, and every servant, and every one free, hid themselves in caves and in rocks of the mountains;
6:16And they say to the mountains and rocks, Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him sitting upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
6:17For the great day of his wrath has come; and who can stand?
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.