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FIRST COMPLETE ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY A JEW (BIBLE IN ENGLISH--OLD TESTAMENT.) Leeser, Isaac; translator. The Twenty-Four Books of the Holy Scriptures. iv, 1011 pages plus 2 blank family record leaves. 4to, contemporary calf, needs binding; moderate foxing, short closed tear to leaf F3. Philadelphia, 5614 [1853-54]
first edition. This is the first complete translation of the Old Testament by a Jewish translator into English, building upon Leeser's 1845 translation of the five books of the Torah. Previous editions published by Jews in England had simply utilized the King James translation. Leeser's preface explains that this massive undertaking sprung from "a desire entertained for more than a quarter of a century, since the day he quitted school in his native land to come to this country, to present to his fellow-Israelites an English version, made by one of themselves, of the Holy Word of God." Readers would now "have an opportunity to study a version of the Bible which has not been made by the authority of churches in which they have no confidence." Goldman 12 ("first English translation of the complete Bible by a Jew"); Hills 1540; Singerman 1271; Wright, page 124.
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