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Title: Protestant Maltese bible translation : 1870-1872
Authors: Sant, C.
Keywords: Bible -- Translating -- Malta
Maltese language -- Orthography and spelling
Issue Date: 1977
Publisher: University of Malta
Citation: Sant, C. (1977). Protestant Maltese bible translation : 1870-1872. Journal of Maltese Studies, 11, 118-144.
Abstract: One may synthesize the result of this brief survey thus. In 1870 a group of people bent on Protestant evangelization through Bible distribution without any philological or literary interest, as was the case in the first half of the century, decided to publish a new translation (or rather a far reaching revision of the previous one) in Maltese of the Scriptures, starting with one of the Gospels. The project had the full support of the BFBS and a number of private subscribers. Paul Bonavia undertook the revision of the text of the New Testament edited by M.A. Camillen in 1847. He 'simplified' the orthography and style making it more accessible - or so he thought - to the general public. Only St. Matthew, Si. John and Acts were published. Because of the limited literacy of the people and Catholic opposition to Scriptures without notes success was limited. It was the merit of Bonavia, however, to have worked with the sole purpose of bringing the Bible to the people for its own sake without ulterior motives of a literary or philological nature as such. No such activity, except for the reprints of 1895 and 1912 was ever undertaken in this field before 1914, when fresh translations were made on the initiative of Dr. G. Wisely, then the minister of the Church of Scotland in Valletta for many years. The last attempt from the Protestant side was the publication of the New Testament by the Trinitarian Bible Society in 1971, being a revised text of Saydon's translation. At the end of the century however, Maltese Catholics started to take Bible Translation in earnestness; in fact by 1936 the whole Bible was translated into Maltese. Such activity has been going on until the present day. In 1959, Prof. P.P. Saydon finished his translation of the whole Bible from the Original Hebrew and Greek and in 1975 the New Testament was published by the Catholic Malta Bible Society in the common, but not less polished language of the people, cultured and uncultured alike.
Appears in Collections:JMS, Volume 11
JMS, Volume 11

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