The Nuremberg Polyglot

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The Nuremberg Polyglot
The Nuremberg Polyglot

The Nuremberg Polyglot, the work of Elias Hutter was published in Nuremberg, in 1599. It comprises of the complete text of the Gospels, in 12 languages, parallel Syriac, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, German, Bohemian, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Danish and Polish.

The Greek text is very accurate to the KJV, and has μη προσποιουμενος in John 8:6, whereas Beza omits this in his 1598 edition.


Philip Schaff

Philip Schaff said of the polyglot:

The Nuremberg Polyglot, the work of Elias Hutter, comprises (a) an Old Testament in six languages (1599), carried only to the Book of Ruth; (b) a Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German Psalter (1602); (c) a New Testament in twelve languages (2 parts, 1599) Syriac, Italian, Hebrew, Spanish, Greek, French, Vulgate, English, German, Danish, Bohemian, and Polish; (d) a New Testament in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German, taken from the preceding (1602).

Gail Riplinger

The blurb included in Gail Riplinger's In Awe of Thy Word CD says:

Where was the Bible before the English King James Bible of 1611? How do we know which type of Bible God gave to “all nations under heaven” (Acts 2)? .... These questions can be answered by looking at the Bibles that the KJV translators had access to, those that were used around the world before the King James Bible.
God has graciously given this author one of the scarce remaining original editions of the twelve language polyglot Bible printed at Nuremberg, Germany in A.D. 1599. It contains the Gospels in Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, English, German, Danish, Bohemian, and Polish. Its previous owner was A. Gifford D.D., co-founder of the British Museum. Its price tag was well worth the secrets it revealed. It demonstrates the perfect agreement of the English King James Bible with all pure Bibles from other languages. It is perhaps the most important polyglot Bible in print because it was printed twelve years before the KJV and five years before the KJV’s translation work began.
Its editor, Elias Hutter, was an unsurpassed linguist who “founded a school of languages at Nuremberg...a thing at that time without precedent in any school or University” (The New Schaff-Herzog, vol. V, p. 422). As a Reformer he followed the vernacular editions which were not from the Catholic lineage. Therefore, Anglo-Catholic historians have a distaste for his text. Europe’s monarchs recognized his text as the authoritative and beloved Bible of the Christian people. In 1579 he was asked to teach Hebrew to the elector Augustus of Saxony. In 1600 Charles IX of Sweden asked him to produce a Swedish Bible.
In 1599 the following fonts were used in some languages in place of those used today: f = s, v = u, u = v, and i = j; those letters were pronounced just as they are today; for instance, the English Jefus was pronounced Jesus; actually the old f font is not ‘f’ but a giant ‘s’ with a tiny line in it. Letter capitalization did not carry the same meaning it does today, nor does it carry the same meaning in all languages.
The verso (left hand pages) show the Gospels (from left to right) in Syriac, Hebrew, and Greek. Below them (from left to right) is Italian, Spanish, and French. The recto (right hand pages) show the Gospels (from left to right) in Latin, German, and Bohemian. Below them (from left to right) is English, Danish, and Polish.
The Nuremberg Polyglot provides documentation for chapter 28 of In Awe of Thy Word by G.A. Riplinger (Ararat, VA: A.V. Publications, 2003). It also allows the readers to document for themselves the agreement of the pure “scriptures... made known to all nations” (Rom. 16:26). It makes glaringly clear that new versions, such as the TNIV, NIV, ESV, NKJV, HCSB and NASB divert dangerously from "the word" given "in all the world" (Col. 1:5, 6). (A tool such as Harrap's Five-Language Basic Dictionary, ISBN 0-13-387986-0, can speed the comparison, should the reader not be blessed, as I was, with collation help from internationally known multi-lingual translator, Carlos Donate, who is conversant in almost all of the languages of the Polyglot.)

Riplinger claimed that this 1599 Polyglot "demonstrates the perfect agreement of the English King James Bible with all pure Bibles from other languages" (In Awe of Thy Word p. 1046).

Darlow & Moule

In the reference work HISTORICAL CATALOGUE OF THE PRINTED EDITIONS OF HOLY SCRIPTURES, T. H. Darlow and H. F. Moule listed this Polyglot and stated the following concerning it:

"The value of this polyglot in twelve languages is seriously discounted by the fact that the editor did not hesitate to translate and insert in some versions missing passages which he found in others. In the Syriac version he even supplied the missing books 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, Jude and Revelation, and the Pericope de adultera. It is fair, however, to state that he calls attention in the prefatory matter to his insertions. But this admission does not cover all Hutter's changes: e.g. in Acts 20:28 some words in brackets are added, even in the Greek column" (pp. 15-16).

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