From Venice to Aleppo: Early Printing of Scripture in the Orthodox World


Hilary Kilpatrick


The Bible, as the etymology of the word indicates, refers not to one book but to many. The Christian Bible is made up of the Old Testament, that is, the Jewish Scriptures, and the New Testament; moreover, for some Churches, among them the Orthodox, certain books commonly called the Apocrypha , which were added to the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, also fonn part of the Bible. The Bible is thus a small library, and as is common in libraries, some books are more popular than others. Long before the introduction of printing, the varying degrees of importance accorded to different books of the Bible led to some of them being translated before others. For instance, in Anglo-Saxon England, interlinear glosses (i.e. crude word-by-word translations) were made of the Gospels and Psalms, and separate portions of the Bible, including the Gospels, were rendered into Old English (Anonymous 1997: 200). Likewise, the earliest known written translations of parts of the Bible into Arabic are of the Gospels and Psalms; they can be dated to the 8th century. Oral translations are older, going back to pre-Islamic times (Graf 1944: 114-115, 138; Griffith 2012: 123-126). By contrast, the first attempt to produce a complete Bible in Arabic occurred only in the l 61h century (Graf 1944: 89-90).


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Venice - Italy, Aleppo - Syria, Scripture, Orthodox world

How to Cite
Kilpatrick, H. (2019). From Venice to Aleppo: Early Printing of Scripture in the Orthodox World. Chronos, 30, 33–61.
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