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TO THE SECOND EDITION.
Ir is remarkable that, among all the branches of history, religious, political, social, literary, and scientific, which have from time to time obtained such numerous and such able exponents, the history of the Oracles of God, until the publication of the first edition of this Work, remained unwritten, at least in the form of an unbroken and complete narrative. The materials for such a work had, it is true, been accumulating from century to century; and fragmentary portions of this history enter into the composition of many profound and learned treatises; while facts and incidents connected with the subject or illustrative of it have been supplied even to profusion by writers of almost every age, creed, and nation. But that mass of information remained as yet unavailable to the generality of readers. The "BIBLE OF EVERY LAND," then, for the first time brought together from all sources, ancient and modern, the many details bearing on that history which above all others involves the temporal and eternal interests of mankind, and thus produced a clear and condensed account of the means by which the Scriptures were transmitted from generation to generation. It investigated the circumstances under which they have been translated into the principal languages of every land;—and the agencies by which copies of the inspired writings in these languages have been multiplied and dispersed among the nations, tribes, and kindreds of the earth.
In the preparation of this new and enlarged edition these investigations have been pursued, and the greatest care has been taken to furnish the latest accessible information on every point.
The Arrangement of the whole work is in strict conformity with the latest discoveries in ethnology. For, although the Editors have not departed from the one great object of displaying in these pages, the history of the Holy Scriptures, they have carefully reviewed the origin and condition of the nations to which special versions have been given, as well as the distinguishing characteristics of the languages into which the Divine Oracles have been transferred.
The elements of these languages, the stock or stocks from which they sprang, and their affiliation with other languages, have been examined more or less in detail; and the singular precision with which all languages range themselves, according to the
order of their mutual affinities, into classes, families, and subdivisions, is exhibited by means of Tables of Classification, perhaps the first of the kind compiled in our language.
The "BIBLE OF EVERY LAND" has thus in some degree assumed the character of an ethnological manual, and as such it may possibly prove a stepping-stone to those who desire to pass from the study of two or three isolated languages to the enlarged consideration of Language in general, and of the laws upon which all languages are constructed. Such investigations, if laboriously, patiently, and honestly conducted, can lead to but one result. For the affinities by which families and even classes of languages are linked together are so close and intimate, that the more deeply they are examined, the more profound becomes our conviction of the truth of the theory respecting the original unity of language.
This volume is illustrated by Specimen Portions of all the extant and attainable versions of the Scriptures, printed in their own proper characters.
The Maps to the several sections of the work exhibit the geographical location and extent of each language, and likewise show how far the divine light of the Holy Scriptures in the vernacular languages of the natives, shines over the world.
A very interesting feature of the present Work will be found in the conclusions which have been drawn from the mass of missionary and epistolary evidence respecting the effects which may have followed the perusal of existing versions of the Scriptures. All reasonings on this subject, however, even with the most ample opportunities of forming a correct judgment, can at best be but approximations towards the truth. Known only to God is the number of His spiritual worshippers. The Word of God is still quick and powerful, in every tongue and among every nation, and it cannot return unto Him void therefore let us "in the morning sow our seed, and in the evening withhold not our hand." The question which shall prosper, this or that,'-or 'whether they shall both be alike good,' is one of the secret things which belong unto the Lord most High.
The Publishers would fain express their deep obligation to the numerous friends who have taken part in the preparation of this laborious work, were such an enumeration suitable; but they cannot refrain from recording the particular value of the aid afforded by His Highness Prince Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, by the British and Foreign Bible Society, the American Bible Society, and the Missionary Societies of this country and of America; also by the Rev. S. C. Malan, M. A., and by William Hughes, Esq., F. R. G.S.
London, 15, Paternoster Row, 1860.
THE SCRIPTURES, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED.
NOTE. THE NAMES OF LANGUAGES IN WHICH VERSIONS OF SCRIPTURE HAVE BEEN CONTEMPLATED OR PROJEcted, but never COMPLETED OR CIRCULATED, ARE PRINTED IN ITALICS.
Marwar, 107. Juyapoora, 108. Shekawutty, 108.
Armeno, 82. Hakari, 84.
Sanscrit, 86. Pali, 91.
Hindustani or Urdu, 94.
Tirhitiya or Mithili, 114.
Moultan, Wuch, or
Ooch, 118. Punjabee or Sikh, 118. Dogura or Jumboo, 120. Cashmerian, 120.
Nepalese or Khaspoora, 121. Palpa, 122.
Gurwhal or Schreen
agur, 123. Gujerattee, 123. Mahratta, 126. Kunkuna, 129. Rommany or Gipsy, 130. Tamul or Tamil, 133. Telinga or Teloogoo, 138. Karnata or Canarese, 141. Tulu, 144. Malayalim, 145.
Oojein or Oujjuyunee, 107. Oodeypoora, 107.