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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Kaffir Version of the Scriptures

The Kaffir is spoken by the Kaffres (q.v.), and was reduced to writing by the Reverend W.B. Boyce, a Wesleyan missionary, who, in connection with the Reverends Wm. Shaw and W.J. Shrewsbury, commenced in 1830 a translation of the Scriptures, which was completed in the course of four years. This translation, however, formed but the basis of that eventually published, and it was not till 1841 that, after a very careful revision, the New Test. was published. A vigorous revision was again undertaken, and in 1845 the revised New Test. was published, which was used by all the missionaries laboring among the Kaffre tribes. A new and again carefully revised edition of the New Test. was completed in 1854 at the Mount Coke Wesleyan mission press, and in 1859 the entire Old Test., after a careful revision, was completed at press. In 1865 the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society announced that the revised Kaffir Bible, which had been slowly progressing for some time under the editorial supervision of the Reverend J.W. Appleyard, was completed and ready for circulation.

The features of this revised edition were, that "very laborious efforts have been made to render the work an accurate and faithful translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts; and the proficiency of Mr. Appleyard in the knowledge of the Kaffir language, combined with great critical care, afford every reasonable guarantee that this version of the Holy Scriptures will prove correct, intelligible, and idiomatic, and in all respects admirably adapted to the people among whom it will now circulate. Its appearance, after long and earnest expectation, will be hailed with peculiar satisfaction by all missionaries laboring where the Kaffir language is spoken." In 1869 the report of the British and Foreign Bible Society again announced that the translation of this Bible was about to undergo revision: "A board of revisers, which consists of representatives of the various churches in South Africa, has been formed, and its labors already commenced. The difficulty here, as in so many other cases, is to make the translation idiomatic without sacrificing the exact sense of the sacred original." In 1871 the four gospels were announced as completed, and one of them was printed as a specimen, in order to elicit further criticisms, if needful, before the text is finally settled. In 1874 the board of revisers lost one of its most valuable helpers, the Reverend J.W. Appleyard, shortly after the revision of the New Test. was completed, which was issued together with the unrevised Old Test. in 1878. The revision of the Old Test. is still in progress; from July 8, 1874, to January 22, 1882, the Old Test. was revised up to Jeremiah 26. See Bible of Every Land, page 426 sq. (B.P.).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Kaffir Version of the Scriptures'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/k/kaffir-version-of-the-scriptures.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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