London Polyglot

One of the many delights in my role as the Executive Director for the CCCRH Foundation is to see with my eyes and touch with my hands (cf 1 John 1:1) an amazing variety of artefacts from the past. Some, like this leaf from the seventeenth-century London Polyglot Bible edited by Brian Walton, remind us of the intellectual labour by those who mastered several languages for the sake of checking the accuracy or otherwise of the biblical text: line by line, and word by word.

The following description comes the digital exhibit for another leaf from the same volume, in the care of Loyola MaryMount University:

Leaf from the London Polyglot Bible Old Testament, 1655 A.D., Londini: Imprime Thomas Roycroft; The fourth and most accurate of the great polyglots edited by Dr. Brian Walton. One of the first English books to be sold by subscription (£10.). Nine hundred orders were received during the first two months. This leaf from the Old Testament contains the text in Hebrew; the Latin Vulgate; the Greek Septuagint; the Chaldee Paraphrase; the Syriac and Arabic versions, each with a Latin translation. The type characters for the nine languages used in this Bible were all of English make. It was the typographical achievement of the century, and for it Charles II made Roycroft the ‘King’s Printer of Oriental languages’ (Darlow and Moule 1446).

By gregoryjenks

Anglican priest and religion scholar. Senior Lecturer in the School of Theology at Charles Sturt University. Dean, Cathedral Church of Christ the King, Grafton and Rector of the Anglican Parish of Grafton. Formerly Dean at St George's College, Jerusalem. The opinions expressed in my publications, including my blog posts, are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Diocese of Grafton nor Christ Church​ Cathedral in Grafton.

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