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OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS :
TRANSLATED OUT OF THE
ORIGINAL TONGUES : and with the former translations
DILIGENTLY COMPARED AND REVISED.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY ISAAC COLLINS.
In deference to the Baptists some copies were printed without the Apocrypha and - Ostervald's Notes." An address to the readers by Rev. Dr. Witherspoon was substituted for the dedication to King James. The Bible was printed with great care, as the proofsheets were read over eleven times before the final impression was made. In 1793 Mr. Collins printed a Bible in octavo. He removed his business in 1796 to New York City.
THE FIRST TRANSLATION FROM THE
In the year 1808, the press of Jane Aitken of Philadelphia gave to the world a version of the Bible that indicated a high order of scholarship. It came from the pen of Charles Thomson, and was the first translation in America of the Septuagint into English. It was issued in four octavo volumes. Watson, in his “ Annals of Philadelphia,” says of Thomson :1 “ He told me that he was first induced to study Greek from having bought a part of the Septuagint at an auction in this city. He had bought it for a mere trifle, and without knowing what it was, save that the crier said it was outlandish letters. When he had mastered it enough to understand it, his anxiety became great to see the whole ; but he could find no copy. Strange to tell, in the interval of two years, passing the same store, 1 Watson's “ Annals of Philadelphia,” 1850, vol. i., p. 568.
and chancing to look in, he then saw the remainder actually crying off for a few pence, and he bought it. I used to tell him that the translation which he afterwards made should have had these facts set at the front of the work as a preface; for that great work, the first of the kind in the English language, strangely enough, was ushered into the world without any preface.”
The title-page reads :
THE OLD AND NEW COVENANT,
THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT:
FROM THE GREEK
BY CHARLES THOMSON,
NO. 71 NORTH THIRD STREET.
This version received the enthusiastic approval of scholars at the time it was published, and has continued to be valued for its vigor and perspicuity. Orme speaks of it in commendable terms in his “ Bibliotheca Biblica" of 1824, and Horne follows in like terms in his “Manual of Biblical Bibliography,” published in 1839. As the years have gone by Thomson's translation has not lost its place in the minds of critical Biblical students. As one evidence of this, it need only be stated that it was consulted by the Revision Committee in their version of 1881.
Charles Thomson was born at Maghera, Ireland, on Nov. 29, 1729. He and his father sailed for America in 1741, but the father died at sea, and the son landed at New Castle, Dela
In the war with Great Britain, Thomson gave his sympathy and influence to the side of the colonies. At the organization of the Continental Congress at Philadelphia, in 1774, Thomson was elected Secretary by a unaminous vote. He declined to receive pay for his first
year of service to Congress, and that body, in recognition of his patriotism, presented a silver urn to his wife, who was a sister of Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Thomson filled other positions of honor and responsibility, and was appointed to announce to Washington his election as President of the United States. Each year Thomson was re-elected as Secretary, up to 1789, when he retired for the purpose of devoting himself to Biblical study. Such cases are rare, of men giving up honorable public positions for the sake of mental pursuits. His retirement was regretted by Washington and his associates. Thomson was greatly esteemed for his nobility of character, and especially for his veracity. The Delaware Indians, with whom he was commissioned to treat, called him “The Man of Truth.” He died in 1824, at Lower Merion, Montgomery County, Penn. His residence for many years was at Bryn Mawr, in the same State. His house is still standing, and the room is shown which was used as his library