The Bible is published in Estonian

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The course of the Bible's translation into Estonian has been full of obstacles. First more serious attempt to publish a full scale translation was made in the end of the XVI century, but the Great Norther War intercepted. In 1715, Johann Gutsleff's Northern Estonian translation of the New Testament was published, its thoroughly edited version was ready by 1729. This publication was the base for the full translation of the Bible. Old Testament was translated by Northern Estonian ministers in the 1720s. All bits and pieces were brought together in the 1730s, and now the editorial work had the key roel. This was mainly done by Anton Thor Helle. He himself translated probably only the IV and V Book of Moses, but we can notice his editorial work everywhere in the Estonian Bible.

Translation was completed by 1736, but its publishing was halted by lack of funds. This problem was solved in 1739, after duke Nikolay Ludwig von Zinzendorf, supporter of the Herrnhut movement, sponsored the project, and 6015 copies of the Estonian Bible was published. This work was the ideal of Estonian high language style, and several reprints were made. The German-ness of the translation was criticized in the XIX century, but few changes were made. New translation was published in the end of the 1930s, but it was never printed as a whole due to the WWII. Estonian clergymen abroad finished the new translation by 1968, in Estonia the newest translation was printed in 1997.


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