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I. Modern Greek. — At an early period of its activity the S.P.C.K., on March 17, 1700, declared its readiness to forward the work among the distressed Greeks, then all under Mohammedan rule, by

“Requesting John Williams, Lord Bishop of Chichester (died 1709) to draw up a Paper by way of Question and Answer, for the use of the Greek Christians, which Paper Dr. Woodroff [Principal of Gloucester Hall, Oxford] has promised shall be translated into the vulgar Greek by some Greeks at Oxford, and may be then printed and sent accordingly.”

Very little, however, could be done for many years, and more than a century passed by before a translation of the Liturgy into modern Greek was made by Calbo, as stated in Chapter XVI. Another version was made a few years later-by the Rev. Henry Daniel Leeves (1790-1845), entitled Ευχολογιον της ηνωμενης ’Eκκλησιας ’Aγγλιας τε και ’Ιρλανδιας κτλ . . . ’Εκ του ’Αγγλικου εις κοινην ’Εγγηνικην διαλεκτου μεταφρασθεωτα . . . Δαπανη της προς επαυξησιν της Χριστιανικης Γνωτεως εν Λονδινω αωλθ. xlii, 602 pages, 12mo.

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Griffiths 461 & 46:2 (Bagster editions from the Polyglot)

Griffiths 46:3




Leeves was for many years a missionary in the service of tile British and Foreign Bible Society, residing at Constantinople, Syria and Athens. He translated the Old and New Testaments into modern Greek. In 1838 he returned to England for some time, and while there translated the Liturgy of the Church into modern Greek for the S.P.C.K. A very appreciative summary of Leeves’ work is given by Canton in Vol. II, pp. 5-22 and 272-275, of A History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, London, 1904.

2. A Bohemian translation of a small portion of the American Book of Common Prayer was made in 1855 by’ the Rev. Stephen C. Massoch, Sr., D.D., at that time missionary to the foreign population of St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A. It is a small duodecimo volume (paper, 4½ x 7¼ inches) of (2), 35 pages, with paper cover, containing a Bohemian version of the Morning and Evening Prayer, the Litany and the Communion Service of the American Prayer Book. It was printed probably in St. Louis. Massoch died May 30, 1870. — Dean Samuel Hart, in The Churchman, New York, February 18, 1908, p. 218, col. 2. There is a copy in the Maryland Diocesan (the Stinnecke) Library, and another in the collection of the custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer of the American Church. Dean Hart, the custodian, to whom I am indebted for his unceasing kindness and helpful advice and assistance, sent me a copy of the book for examination. The pamphlet is printed in the Gothic character, with a long title, beginning: Wybor Kozlicnich Modliteh Rannjah y Wecernich, . . . and ending: Tak zada a prege srdecne wssem Ceskym Bratrum Spisowatel y Prekladatel Dr. S. C. Massoch, Kazatel. Witissteny we Swatem Ludowiku, Pulnocne Americe, Roku Spasytele Sweta, 1855.

not listed by Griffiths



3. A Polish Service Book was printed in London in 1836, entitled: Liturgia: czyli ksiega Modlitew Powszechnych, z obrzẹdami Sprawowania Sakramentow świẹtych i innemi Ceremoniani ktore w koschiele Biskupim angielskim używane bywajạ dla pozýtku prawowiernych, z angielskiego języka na Polski Przelozóna. Przez A. Gerlach, Filozofii i Teologii Doktora i Kaznadzeje, D.Z. London: 1836. Unpaged (504 pages), 24mo.

Gerlach was for many years a missionary among the Jews, employed by the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. He had been born and brought up a Catholic, and then became a convert to Protestantism. He offered his services to the society in 1827, and after a short stay at the society’s seminary he was stationed, in 1828, at Thorn, where he remained until 1833. He travelled through the provinces of West and East Prussia, and along the Polish frontier, making known the Gospel to the Jews. It is recorded that at one place he went regularly to the synagogue every Sabbath, and after the manner of the apostles of old, reasoned with the Jews out of their own Scriptures that “Jesus is the Christ.” In 1833 Cracow was occupied as a missionary station, by permission of its governing senate, and Gerlach became here his society’s first agent as missionary to the more than 20,000 Jews. He was assisted, and in 1838 succeeded, by the Rev. T. E. Hiscock. That Gerlach did not confine his work exclusively to the Jews, but approached also the Polish-speaking communities, is proven by his Polish translation of a portion of the Book of Common Prayer.


Griffiths 135:1

4 Into Russian only selections of the Liturgy were translated, entitled: Molitvy, vybrannyya iz liturgii soediinennoy tserkvi Anglii i Irlandii; obrazovannyya dlya semeystvennoy sluzhby. Obshchestvo dlya rasprostraneniya, Molitvennīkov i Khristianskikh besyed. London, 1855, 34 pages, 8vo.

A literal translation would be: Prayers, selected from the Liturgy of the United Church of England and Ireland, for family service. London, S.P.C.K.

The selections were probably printed for the use of chaplains stationed in Russia and for the use of Russian prisoners during the Crimean war.

Ten years later, in 1865, the same society put out diglot editions, in English and in Russian, of several offices and parts of the Prayer Book, as follows: (1) The Order for Morning Prayer, daily throughout the year, according to the use of the United Church of England and Ireland. Follows title in Russian, beneath the English title. London ... 1864 [on cover, 1865]. English and Russian on opposite pages. 17, 17 pages; paper, 3¼ x 6 inches. The same arrangement is followed in the other publications, viz., (2). The Litany, 9, 9 pages; (3) The Order of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, 33, 33 pages; (4) The Catechism.

On the second page of the cover in each of these pamphlets is printed, in Russian translation, a list of the twenty-nine parts making up the Prayer Book of the United Church of England and Ireland.

Griffiths lists no translations into Russian

5. Hungarian.-No Hungarian translation of the Prayer Book or of portions thereof has ever been printed to our knowledge; but it deserves to be noted here that:

“at a meeting of the Board of the New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society, held on 12 Febr., 1861, the secretary stated that ‘an eminent and educated lady, the sister of [Lajos] Kossuth [1802-94], now a member of the Church, had offered to prepare and present to this Board a translation of the Book of Common Prayer in the Hungarian language as a freewill offering to the Church, if the Board would under proper sanction print the same for distribution among her countrymen in Hungary.’ Whereupon the following resolution was offered: ‘Resolved, That this Board is favourably impressed with the importance of the above undertaking, and also of the piety that prompted the offer, and that they accept same provided the General Convention will approve.’” —LOWNDES, Vol. II, p. 672.

It is rather disappointing that Lowndes nowhere states what action the Board ultimately took; whether or not the matter was submitted to the General Convention next ensuing; whether any portion of the translation was submitted to the Board in manuscript form, and if so, what had become of it. It is one of the numerous cases in which A Century of Achievement, otherwise most valuable, leaves one utterly dissatisfied by its silence, though its author, as the present editorial secretary of the society, could and should have given definite information, or at least have stated when definite information was impossible to ascertain.


Griffiths lists one Hungarian translation of the US BCP: 54:1 (1915)



HITHERTO only such translations have been discussed which were not made prima facie for missionary purposes, but rather for the use of settled congregations. The translations treated from now on were made at the very start, and principally for missionary purposes.

Among the translations into the Near-East languages and dialects those into Arabic were the earliest and the most important.

Edward Pococke was born at Oxford in 1604. He received priest’s orders in 1629 from Bishop Richard Corbet, in accordance with the terms of his fellowship in Corpus Christi College. He was given to Oriental studies when still at college. In 1630 he was appointed chaplain to the English “Turkey Merchants” at Aleppo, where he resided for over five years. During this time he made himself master of Arabic, which he not only read, but spoke fluently, studied Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac and Ethiopic, and associated on friendly terms with learned Moslems and Jews. In 1636 he was appointed the first incumbent of the Laudian professorship of Arabic, founded by Archbishop Laud at Oxford. A severe illness in 1663 left him permanently lame, but did not long arrest his energy. He translated in 1671 .the Catechism and the principal parts of the Liturgy into Arabic, which in 1672 appeared, entitled: Liturgiæ Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ partes prrecipuæ: viz. Preces Matutinæ & Vespertinæ; Ordo administrandi cœnam Domini; Ordo Baptismi Publici; una cum ejusdem Ecclesiæ Doctrina, triginta novem Articulis comprehensa, nec non Homiliarum Argumentis: in linguam Arabicam traductæ. Operâ E. Pocock.
arabic text
Oxoniæ: Typis and impensis Academiæ. 3 parts, 93 if., 8vo. Pococke died September 10, 1691, of “great old age”[1]. A reprint of the first part of his translation was issued in 1826 by the Prayer-book and Homily Society, London; 70 pages, 8vo.

Griffiths 8:1

[1] See the appreciative notice in Anderson, The History of the Church of England in the Colonies, Vol. II, pp. 117-130 (London, 1856).

Pococke’s translation was made originally for the Rev. Robert Huntington, his friend and, at that time, successor in the chaplaincy at Aleppo[2]. He sent him first the Church Catechism which he had translated for the use of young Christians in the East. Soon afterwards, at Huntington’s request, Pococke published and sent out to him an Arabic translation which he had made of the Daily Morning and Evening Prayers in the Prayer Book, the Order of the Administration of Baptism, and of the Lord’s Supper. He also translated. the doctrine of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles and the arguments of Qur Homilies.

The translation did not meet with universal acceptance on the part of Arabic-speaking Christians, for Henry William Ludolf (1655-1710), Prince George’s secretary, stated at a meeting of the S.P.C.K., December 30, 1700, that “The Comon Prayer-book, printed in Arabik at Oxford, and distributed in the Levant, did not meet wth so kind a reception there as could be wished”[3].

[2] Upon his return from Aleppo, in 1683, Huntington was appointed provost of Trinity College, Dublin, a position held until 1692, when he was consecrated bishop of Raphoe. He was born in 1837 and died in 1701.



After more than a century the first complete translation of the Liturgy was edited by Dr. Mill.

William Hodge Mill (1792-1853) was a noted Orientalist. He took deacon’s orders in 1817, and priest’s in the following year. Continuing in residence at Cambridge as fellow of Trinity College, he appears to have devoted himself especially to Oriental studies. In 1820 he was appointed the first principal of Bishop’s College, Calcutta, then just founded, under the supervision of Bishop Thomas Fanshaw Middleton (1769-1822). The new principal proved a happy combination of executive ability and scholarly attainments. He not only assisted in the publication of works in Arabic, but likewise addressed himself to the study of the vernaculars and of Sanskrit. He resigned in 1838, owing to poor health, and returned to Europe. Ten years later he was appointed regius professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, with a canonry at Ely. He died on December 25, 1853.

In conjunction with John Tytler, another Arabic scholar, Mill brought out, in 1837, an Arabic translation of the whole Prayer Book. Its Latin title reads:

[3] See Allen and McClure, p. 201 ; McClure, A Chapter in English Church History: Being the minutes of the S.P.C.K. for the years 1698-1704; London, 1888; pp. 102, 103.

* Liturgia Anglicana: seu Liber Precum Communium et Administrationis Sacramentorum aliorumque Ecclesiæ Rituum et Ceremoniarum, adjecto Davidis Psalterio. . . . Arabice nunc primum totus editus. Preces Matutinas et Vespertinas, cum Officiis S. Eucharistiæ et Pædobaptismi Publici dudum interpretatus est . . . E. Pococke. Collectas vero et Catechismum 10. Tytler . . . Reliqua omnia (præter S. S. Scripturæ pericopas ex antiquâ versione Arabicâ repetitas) supplevit, et Psalterii versioni e Grrecâ Alexandrinâ olim factre collationem textus Hebraici et versionum antiquarum, cum locorum in Novo Testamento citatorum annotatione, ubique adjecit Gul. H. Mill. [Calcutta.} Typis Collegii Episcopalis Calcuttensis, 1837.

xxxvi, 277, 216 pages; paper, 8 x 10½ inches. The reverse of title-page contains the approbation of Daniel Calcuttensis, ep. Follows title in Arabic[4], reverse blank.

Griffiths 8:3
A few years later, in 1840, appeared a new translation (xl, 662 pages, 8vo) at Valetta, on the island of Malta. It was the work of Faris ibn Yūsuf, al-Shidyák (Fāris ash-Shidyāk), a native of Mount Lebanon, Syria, who in later years called himself Ahmad Fāris. He was professor of Arabic in the University of Malta, and translator of the whole Bible into Arabic. He worked under the supervision of a committee of Arabic scholars, which included Samuel Lee and Thomas Jarrett (1805-82), professor of Arabic, and afterwards regius professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge.

[4] For the Arabic titles of this and the following editions I refer to Vol. I, cols. 951, 952, of Catalogue of Arabic Books in the British Museum, by A. G. Ellis. London, 1894.

Griffiths 8:4

The edition of 1840 was reprinted in London in 1850, iv, 634, 2 pages, 12mo. It contained numerous alterations and corrections.
Griffiths 8:6
Selections from this translation were published in 1844 by the Prayer Book and Homily Society, London, 206 pages, 12mo, entitled: Portions. of the Book of Common Prayer, . . . namely: The Order of the Morning and Evening Prayer, the Collects appointed for the Sundays and Festivals throughout the year; also, the Order of the Administration of the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, and of the public Baptism of Infants, the Visitation of the Sick, and the Burial of the Dead . . . From the Arabic version lately printed at Malta.


Griffiths 8:5

A new edition was put out in 1884 by the S.P.C.K. It was a text revised by the Rev. F(riedrich) A (ugust) Klein, a missionary for the C.M.S., and originally a graduate of the Easle Mission House. He entered the services of the C.M.S. as a young man and laboured mostly in Palestine, beginning his work together with Dr. Nikolaus Carl Albrecht Sandreczki, and in Syria together with two other German missionaries, Johannes Zeller and J. J. Huber. From time to time they undertook missionary tours. It was on one of these journeys that Klein discovered in 1868 the famous Moabite Stone, containing the genuine record of the deeds of Mesha, king of Moab, nearly 3,000 years old. In 1877 the C.M.S. was obliged to withdraw two missionaries from Palestine, one of them being Klein. He retired to Germany, and there employed his time upon linguistic work. In 1882 he had the honour of beginning the mission of the C.M.S. at Cairo, in Egypt, and remained there for some years, continuing at the same time his Arabic translations. He returned to Europe in 1893 and died in England, December 1, 1903.

not listed by Griffiths

Another version was made for the S.P.C.K. in 1886 by Antonio Tien, a S.P.G. missionary, xxi, 577 pages, 8vo. The prefaces are omitted in this edition. Tien was born, a Syrian Christian, June 13, 1834- He was educated at the Propaganda, Rome, and at St. Augustine’s College, Canterbury. He obtained the degree of Ph.D. at Rome in 1852. The Ancient Syrian Church created him D.Th. in 1909. He was ordered deacon in 1860 and ordained priest in 1862. He was honorary secretary and chaplain to the English Egyptian Mission from 1869 to 1893, and became in later years professor at King’s College. He is the author of grammatical publications on the languages spoken in the Levant.



Griffiths 8:8

Modern Maltese is a patois of Modern Arabic. The island of Malta has been under British rule since the year 1800. For many years it was the most important missionary station in the Mediterranean, and was occupied by all the missionary societies seeking to work in the Levant. The prevailing denomination is the Roman Catholic, whose worship is well described by the Rev. Henry Seddall, in Malta, past and present, London, 1870; pp. 309-315.

At Valetta, the chief town of the island, a printing press was established, which at one time was under the charge of John Kitto (1804-54), the deaf but learned mason who in later years did so much toward popularizing the best results of Biblical study and Oriental research. This press sent forth the Scriptures and tracts by the thousands in Maltese, Italian, Modern Greek and Arabic. Maltese was especially studied as an introduction to Arabic, and a large part of the Bible was produced in it.

The leading mind in the very important literary work carried on in Malta was for many years C. F. Schlienz, an accomplished scholar, who in sixteen years sent out from the Malta press hundreds of thousands of portions of Scripture, books and tracts, in Italian, Maltese, Modern Greek, Turkish, Arabic and Amharic. Perhaps his most important work was the Maltese-Arabic Bible and Prayer Book, toward the production of which the S.P.c.K. gave pecuniary aid. This was granted, undoubtedly, after the receipt of a letter from Schlienz, October r8, r838. According to this letter:

“Mr. Schlienz, of Malta, was impressed in 1838 with the manifestation of friendly feeling expressed by the Coptic clergy and by their Patriarch, after seeing and reading the Prayer Book in Arabic. The priests, . almost invariably, turned first to the Creeds, which, as three golden links, presented a pleasing attraction to their eye, and the catholicity of feeling thus evinced by the English Church gave them general satisfaction. They were also much pleased with the Communion Service, declaring that it removed from their minds those prejudices which had existed under the idea that Anglicans did not commemorate the Lord’s Supper, or only once a year, and then in a manner unbecoming Christians”[5].

[5] Digest of the S.P.G. records, 5th edition, 1895, p. 805.

The Maltese-Arabic translation of the Liturgy, entitled Kĕtieb it Talb ta’ Âalenia, &c., was published in 1845, by M. Weiss, at Valetta, xxiv, 300, 119 pages, 8vo. The Psalter, together with the Liturgical Epistles, Gospels and other passages of Scripture, appeared in this Maltese version translated by Michael Angelo Camillari, at the suggestion of George Tomlinson, first bishop of Gibraltar (1842-63).

Christoph Friedrich Schlienz was born in Kirchheim unter Teck, in Wuertemberg, October 26, 1803. He soon showed great aptitude in the acquirement of foreign languages. From 1821 to 1826 he studied at the Basle Mission House, preparing for the mission field. After completing his studies there he entered the service of the C.M.S., and spent a year and six months at Islington College studying Oriental languages. He was sent to Malta as assistant to the Rev. William Jowett[6], who was in charge of the mission press. An accident which befell him in Egypt, whither he had been sent to study Modern Arabic for the purpose of translating the Bible into Arabic, incapacitated him for a long time, at various intervals, from continuing his chosen work. In 1847 he. began work at Basle as professor in the mission school, St. Chrischona, an institution founded by Christian Friedrich Spittler (1782-1867) in 1840 to advance the cause of home missions. Here he died, after a most successful, though arduous work, on April 26, 1868.



Griffiths 102:1

[6] On Jowett’s work as secretary of the Malta Auxiliary see Canton, Vol. II, pp. I, 2, 22-25.





NEXT in chronological order to the Arabic version of Pococke was the early endeavour of a converted Jew to. reach his former co-religionists by a translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Hebrew. Johannes F. A. de le Roi, in Die evangelische Christenheit und die Juden in der Zeit des Zwiespalts in der Christlichen Lebensanschauung unter den Völkern. B. Grossbritannien und die aussereuropäischen Länder wahrend des 19. Jahrhunderts[1], p. 16, mentions the translations of the New Testament into Hebrew through the agency of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, and then continues:

[1] Schriften des Institutum Judaicum in Berlin, NO.9, Vol. III.

"Ausserdem wurde die Liturgie der englischen Kirche ins Hebräische übersetzt, von 1834-36, und dadurch den Juden Form und Inhalt des ihnen wenig bekannten christlichen Gottesdienstes. naher gebracht. Man benutzte die Übersetzung des Proselyten Abraham Bar Jacob aus dem Jahre 1717, von der sich ein Exemplar in Dublin in Trinity College vorfand. Ebenso wurde von der Ubersetzung des Common Prayer Book, welche der Proselyt [Christian] Czerskier in Warschau veranstaltet hatte, Gebrauch gemacht und dieselbe von M’Caul and Reichhardt revidirt. Diese Liturgie ward in den Gottesdiensten der Gesellschaftskapelle auf Palestine Place seit 1837 und in Jerusalem seit 1838 gebraucht. Da der jüdische Gottesdienst ein durchaus liturgischer ist, war die Einführung der hebräischen Liturgie im Missionsgottesdienst von Werth.”


The translation of 1717 was not printed; but it is preserved in manuscript in the library of Trinity College,. Dublin, and mentioned in the Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. By T. K. Abbott, 1900, p. 402, no. 1499: “Hebrew.-Book of Common Prayer in Hebrew. Dublin, 1717.” Who Abraham Bar Jacob was, or when the manuscript was presented to Trinity College library, we are unable to say. The librarian of the college, Dr. T. K. Abbott, who kindly endeavoured to furnish the information communicated to the author his inability to. find any clue regarding either point[2]. It seems to us that the manuscript was not presented by the translator himself” but rather by such a man as John Ste(a)rne (1660-1745)~ bishop of Clogher (1717-45), a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, vice-chancellor of the university and a great benefactor, who, among other gifts, bequeathed to the college his manuscripts, of which he had a most valuable collection; or by William .King (1650-1729), archbishop of Dublin.

The first printed edition of portions of the Liturgy in Hebrew appeared in 1833, entitled: “Liturgiæ Ecclesiæ partes præcipuæ; scilicet preces matutinæ et vespertinæ nunc primum in Hebraicam linguam traductæ. Londini: Impensis Friderici Bialloblotzky, 1833, 8vo, 2 parts. The Hebrew title reads as follows:

Griffiths 51:1

[2] Dr. Abbott’s communications were of January 1 and 31, 1912. —There is not the slightest allusion to the gift of the manuscript to be found in Taylor’s History of the University of Dublin (London, 1845), in Stubbs, The History of the University of Dublin . . . (Dublin, 1889), nor in The Book of Trinity College, Dublin, 1591-1891 (Belfast, 1892). — As a mere curiosity we mention here: “A short Catechisme, by law authorised in the Church of England, for young Children to learne. Translated into Hebrew, by Thomas Ingmethorpe.” (London: R. Milbourne, 1633; 38 pp.; 8vo). Ingmethorpe (1562-1638) was a schoolmaster and M.A. from Brasenose College, Oxford, 1586. Wood, Athenæ (ed. Bliss), Vol. IV, p. 592, speaks of him as a famous schoolmaster and eminent in the Hebrew tongue.

hebrew title

A transliteration reads: Seder tĕfillôth Yisrael ham-ma’minim bishuă‘ ham-mashi. Ne‘ĕtaq mil-Iashôn English et lashôn haq-qodesh, London. A literal translation follows;: Order of the prayers of Israel, of those who believe in Jesus the Messiah. Translated from the English language into the sacred language. London. [5],593 (= 1833).

The translator, Christian Hermann Friedrich Bialloblotzky, was born of Jewish parents on April 9, 1799, at Pattensen, near Hanover, Germany. He died March 28, 1868, at Ahlden-an-der-Aller, Germany. When a young man he joined the Christian church. He wrote several works on Christian theology, and published also some on Jewish subjects.

Czerskier’s translation of the Liturgy, referred to above, was first published in 1836. Scarce anything is known concerning him beyond the bare statement in Gidney’s History of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews (London, 1908), p. 100:.

“A Jewish convert, Czerskier by name, who was in the Society’s service as a translator and corrector for the press, devoted himself particularly to the translation of the Scriptures into Judæo-Polish, and the Liturgy of the Church of England into Hebrew.”


Editions of this translation appeared in 1836 (1837); 1842 ( (8), 323, 123 pages); 1849 (1, 8, 323, 124 pages; paper, 5⅜ x 8⅜ inches); and in 1853 ( (19), 324, 124 pages; page, 3¼ x 6; paper, 4¼ x 7⅛ inches). The 1849 edition has an English title, reverse blank, preceding the Hebrew title.

The latter reads:

hebrew title

Title as well as text are unpointed. A transliteration of the title, given here pointed for the sake of convenience, would be as follows: Seder hat-tĕfillâh kĕfî minhag qĕhillath ham-mashîăh shel mĕdînăth England wĕ Irĕland. Nidfas sĕlîshîth be‘îr hab-bīrâh London. Bishĕnâth ham-mashîăh, “we-áttâh tishmă‘ hash-shâmâiim wĕ-sâláhtâ lĕ-hata’th ‘amĕkâ Yisrâ’êl.” The following is a literal translation: “ Order of Prayers, according to the rite of the congregation (i.e., the Church) of England and Ireland. Printed in the capital city of London. In the year of the Messiah: And Thou in heaven hearest and forgivest the sin of the people of Israel”[3].

Griffiths 51:3 (1836); 51:4 (1841, reprinted 1842, 1849, 1853, 1859)

The date of publication is indicated by the letters in this quotation, which have a black-letter dot placed above them. These letters are called literæ punctatæ. In the edition of 1849, described above, these letters are א = 1,000; ת = 400; ם = 40; and ט = 9 = 1849·

Of this translation Gidney, pp. 152-3, says:

“Another most important event was the publication, in 1837, by the Society, of the Liturgy of the Church of England in Hebrew . . . many important testimonies to the accuracy of the translation were received by learned divines and scholars. Missionaries of the Society, too, have testified again and again to the extreme usefulness of this Hebrew version of our Prayer Book, which has enabled services to be held in that language in the Society’s churches in London and Jerusalem, and has been a standing witness to the Jew of the simplicity, the purity and the Scriptural character of Divine worship according to the rites of that Church of which the Society’s missionaries are ministers. This is no small matter with a people who are greatly aversed to anything which savours, however slightly, of idolatry. . . . Apart from its public use, moreover, it has been a guide to private devotion. Accustomed to a form of prayer all their lives, Jews need a substitute when they become Christians, and this the Prayer Book offers them”[4].

[3] A quotation from 1 Kings, chap. viii, verse 34.
The two men who revised Czerskier’s translation were McCaul and Reichhardt. Alexander McCaul was born in 1799, the son of Protestant parents. He early became interested in the spiritual welfare of the Jews, and devoted all his life to them. He began his missionary career at Warsaw, Poland, under the auspices of the London Society. In 1832 he settled in London, and took up his residence in Palestine Place, Cambridge Road, actively supported the London Society, and assisted in founding the Jews’ Operatives Converts’ Institution, at which most of the early publications of the Society were set up and printed. He was offered in 1841 the new bishopric of Jerusalem, but he declined, recommending his friend Michael Salomon Alexander. He was successively rector of several parishes in England. When the sittings of Convocation were revived in 1852, he was elected proctor for the London clergy, and he represented them until his death in 1863. — Johann Christian Reichhardt was born in 1803 at Ruhrort, Rhine Province, Germany. He studied at the Berlin Mission Seminary of Father Johann Jaenicke (1748-1827). Through the agency of Sir George Rose, British Ambassador at Berlin, he entered in 1824 the service of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews. As a missionary of that society he worked in Poland, Bavaria and Holland. In 1830 he was called to London, to work among the British Jews conjointly with the future Bishop Alexander[5]. He died in 1872.
[4] See also Gidney, pp. 179 and 263. Of the Hebrew translation St. Clair Tisdall justly remarks that, “as it is mainly intended for the use of Hebrew Christians, it would have been much more useful and would have had much greater charm for them had the translators adopted as much as possible the phraseology employed in the very ancient Synagogue Service-Book familiar to them all since infancy.”

In 1829, the year in which the London Jew Society began its work in Smyrna, there appeared at Dublin, Ireland, *Βιβλιον των δημοσιων προσευχων   ׃הטרוכצה רדסו הלפחה רצש The Book of Common Prayer, civ, 106, 10, (1) pages; 12mo. The book was written throughout in lithographic ink by Marianne Nevill within a month, for the use of Christian Israelites at Smyrna. The title and the rubrics are in Hebrew, Modern Greek and English. The edition contains the Calendar, Morning Prayer, the Litany and the first part of the Communion Office. Then follow, with a special title-page, the Collects, Epistles and Gospels, and the Catechism, likewise with a special title-page[6].

[5] On Alexander (1799-1845), the first Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem (1841-45), see” Biographies of Eminent Hebrew Christians, IV: Bishop Alexander.” By the Rev. W. T. Gidney. (London: London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, 1903; 28 pp.; portrait; 24mo). De le Roi, M. S. Alexander, ev. Bischof von Jerusalem. Leipzig, 1897. 8vo.

Griffiths 51:2

Concerning Miss Nevill, the Rev. Francis L. Denman, secretary of the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, procured from the Rev. Dr. Arthur Lukyn Williams the following note:

“Marianne Nevill is presumably referred to in De Ie Roi. volume II (189 I). page 144. speaking of a service for Jews in Berlin: ‘Die erste Anregung zu der Errichtung dieses Gottesdienstes hatte eine reiche Irländerin. Miss Neville, gegeben, welche, durch Krankheit ans Bett gefesselt, ihr Vermögen und die ihr noch gebliebenen Kräfte für die Mission verwendete; besonders unterstützte sie auch die von der Posener Hilfsgesellschaft enichteten Schulen.’ — Possibly the General Neville who was one of the ‘prominent new lay members of Committee’ in 1820-1829 (GIDNEY. History of the L.J.S., page 68) was a relation”[7].

[6] A copy of this now rare publication is in the library of the General Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y. Griffiths also lists a copy at Univ. of Wales, Lampeter.

A Church of England service was commenced in 1823 at Warsaw, Poland, and the following year a German service was established on Saturday and Sunday. The mission continued to prosper, and in 1841 there was published at Warsaw: “Ein Auszug aus dem Allgemeinen Gebetbuch der Kirche von England und Irland.” Missions Buchdruckerei. 1841. 40, 187 pages, 8vo. The Hebrew title reads

hebrew title

The book contains German and Hebrew text of the Morning and Evening Prayers, the Litany, and the Commandments. The Psalter occupies the greater portion of the text.

The Second Polish Revolution in 1846 and the severe outbreak of the cholera in 1848 hampered the work considerably. Three weeks before the death of Emperor Nicholas I the Poland Mission to the Jews was forced to close. Russian Poland remained closed to the Society for twenty years[8] — from 1855 until 1876.

[7] In this connection I beg leave to acknowledge my indebtedness to the Rev. F. L. Denman for much information and material furnished toward the construction of this chapter. Likewise, I beg to thank my friends Professor Leo Wiener, of Harvard University, and Dr. I. M. Casanowicz, one of the curators of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., for advice and assistance.

[8] See Gidney, p. 286.


A Hebrew translation of the American Liturgy was proposed to the General Convention of 1844 by Bishop Christopher Edwards Gadsden (1785-1852), of South Carolina (1840-1852). The matter was referred to the Committee on the Prayer Book. And there it has rested since.



Polish Jews speak a jargon variously styled Judæo-Polish, Judæo-German, Jüdisch-Deutsch, Jüdisch or Yiddish, the basis of which is German, with many Hebrew and a few Polish words. Various other vernaculars enter into the composition of Yiddish, according to the country in which the Jews happen to be residing. The result is a strange medley, the colloquial language and medium of communication — often the only one — of millions of Jews, with a large literature of their own[9]. In missionary circles much attention is being given to the problem of reaching these Jews by means of versions of the Holy Scriptures, tracts and liturgical collections. It is rather surprising that the London Society has not yet provided a Yiddish translation of the Liturgy, or of portions thereof, for this, the larger half of the present Jewish race, instead of issuing, as they did in 1899, a German edition of the Morning and Evening Prayer in Hebrew characters.

The pamphlet is entitled: ברצהו רחשה תלפת רדס Die Ordnung der Morgen und Abendgebete fir das ganze Jahr, welche gebraucht werden in der Christlichen Kirche von England und Irland. London. Gedruckt in dem Jahr von dem Messiah, 1899.

Title, reverse blank; text, 35 pages, 16mo. The translation was made by the Rev. R. S. Spiegel, a missionary who worked in Whitechapel, Leeds, Hull and Spitalfields. He is a convert of the London Society. After years of work under the Society’s auspices he left them to join another mission.


(9] See Leo Wiener, The History at Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century, New York, 1899; and Pines, Histoire de la literature judéo-allemande . . . Paris, 1911.

not listed by Griffiths

When Ferdinand of Castile drove the Jews from Spain in. 1492, and when the Jews were exiled from Portugal in 1497, the greater portion of them fled to Constantinople, and settled there and in the neighbourhood. They still retain in common use the Spanish language of the fifteenth century strongly intermixed with Hebrew idioms. They go by the name of Sephardim, in distinction from their Polish brethren, the Askenazim. Their number is now about 70,000. They represent a form of Spanish which differs dialectically from that current in Spain.
The Book of Common Prayer was translated into Judæo-Spanish by John Baptist Cohen,called “John the Evangelist.” It was printed at Smyrna in Rabbinical Hebrew characters in the year 1844. Cohen and a friend had been baptised in Constantinople by the Rev. John Hartley about 1826, whereupon both were seized, thrown into prison and bastinadoed. When they were at last set free in 1828, Cohen went to Symrna and there preached the Gospel to the Jews. Eventually he was seized again and condemned to death in 1838. The death sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life. After a time he succeeded in escaping to England, where he was heartily welcomed. Some indiscretion while at the University of Oxford almost ruined him. He sincerely repented, and. returned to Smyrna as an assistant in the mission, of which he took entire charge after the retirement of the Rev. W. B. Lewis. Here also he translated into Judæo-Spanish the· Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. In 1844 Cohen resigned his missionary work, but he continued his services as a translator. The greater portion of the edition of the Liturgy in Judæo-Spanish was destroyed by a disastrous. fire on July 3, 1845. This explains the fact that at present. only a very few copies of the book are known to exist During the latter years of his life Cohen was in charge of a depot at Smyrna for the sale of the Holy Scriptures. He died of fever during the early fifties of the last century.


Griffiths 68:1

Selections of the edition of 1844 were printed in 1872 at Constantinople. A transliteration of the title runs thus:

EI livro de Ōrasiones asegun el uzo de la Qĕhillah del Meshiakh de Inglaterra i Irlanda. Constantinopla. Estampado de A Buyanian en año del Meshiakh, 1872. 190 pages, small 8vo. Title, reverse blank; text, pp. 3-190. The book is printed in the Rabbinical Hebrew character.

The revisers and editors were the Rev. J. M. Eppstein and the Rev. Christian Samuel Newman. John Moses Epppstein was born of Jewish parents at Memel, in Prussia, in 1827. From 1851 to 1867 he was a missionary at Bagdad. He was then transferred to Smyrna, where for eighteen years he did devoted work. He was a faithful man, who by his medical skill found entrance among the people. From Smyrna he returned to England and laboured for nine years (1885-94) in London, and the last nine years of his life in Bristol, where he died in the spring, of 1903. — Newman studied at the Hebrew College of the London Jews’ Society, and was ordained deacon and priest in 1864 by the bishop of Gibraltar. He served the society as a missionary from 1857 until his death in 1881.

Griffiths 68:2


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