B bábi, Tibor

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Bible in Hungarian – As early as the times of King St István (St Stephen, 997-1038) the law punished those who did not pay attention to the readings during the Mass. This indicates that at least a partial translation of the Bible must have existed. The Passion was recited in Hungarian to St. Margit (Margaret, daughter of King Béla IV) in the 13th century. The Italian Dominican friar, Jacopo Passevanti noted in 1354 that some Biblical texts existed in Hungarian translation. The oldest surviving Bible texts in the Hungarian language are in the Apor, Viennese and Münich Codices. Taking note of the date of the calendar in the Munich Codex, the original translation is likely to have been prepared around 1416. Following this but prior to 1480, the Blessed László (Ladislas) Báthori, a Pauline monk, also worked on the translation of the Hungarian Bible. His work was placed in the famous library, the Bibliotheca Corviniana of King Mátyás I (Matthias Corvinus) (1458-1490). It was postulated that the Jordánszky Codex is a copy of the Hungarian Bible. The Epistles of St. Paul were translated by Benedek Komjáthy and published under the title of “The Epistles of St Paul in the Hungarian Language” (Az Zenth Paal leveley magyar nyelven) in Krakow. This work was based on that of Erasmus and the preface to each Epistle is also his. In 1536 Gábor Pesty Mizsér translated The Four Gospels; the influence of Erasmus of Rotterdam is also felt in his work. The translators did not mention if they had relied on contemporary sources. In 1541 János (John) Sylvester published the complete New Testament in Újsziget. He was the first to use the original Greek text for translation; but he also took notice of the translations of the Vulgate and that of Erasmus. The first complete translation of the whole Bible is credited to Gáspár (Gasper) Heltai. Péter Mélius Juhász published a selection between 1565 and 1567. In 1586 Tamás (Thomas) Félegyházi’s translation of the New Testament was published in Debrecen. Due to his unexpected death, a fellow priest, György (George) Gönczi completed his work. It is without doubt that the Minister of the Reformed Church in Vizsoly, Gáspár Károli translated the Bible entirely independently in 1590. Since then it has been the Bible of Vizsoly (Vizsolyi Biblia) after the place of its preparation. Károli’s translation became the most widely read Bible of subsequent generations. The translation of the Bible for the Catholic Church was the work of István (Stephen) Szántó, a Jesuit priest; but it remained in manuscript form due to the sudden death of its translator. György (George) Káldi’s first Catholic Bible translation was published in 1626; it is also an independent work. These Bible translations, even those published in the 16th and 17th centuries, all preceded translations of the Bible into the native languages of most European countries. The equally independent Bible translation of György (George) Komáromi Csipkés was published in Leiden in 1718. The British and Foreign Bible Society was established in 1814. It was involved in the publication of a Hungarian Bible, its translation, printing and distribution. The Society had to leave the country in 1948 due to the political changes. The Sámuel Komáromy version was published in Pest in 1870, and later in Pozsony (now Bratislava, Slovakia). In 1924 Sándor (Alexander) Czeglédy’s and in 1925 Endre (Andrew) Masznyik’s New Testament was published. István (Stephen) Kecskeméthy’s New Testament, a revision based on the Gáspár Károli version, came out in 1931. In 1938 a small number of copies were printed of Sándor Czeglédy’s complete Bible translation. László (Ladislas) Ravasz’ revision of the New Testament was published in 1971. In 1972 an entirely new Roman Catholic Bible, based on the Jerusalem Bible, was prepared. Soon after the departure of the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Protestant Churches and the Orthodox Church established the Hungarian Bible Council. At first they intended to revise the Károli version; but instead, began a new translation from the original Hebrew and Greek. This was completed in December 1975, followed by a revision on October 31, 1990, on the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Vizsoly Bible. The Hungarian Bible Council set up the Hungarian Bible Foundation, the Hungarian Bible Society with its 11 member churches. Today more than 12 types of Károli and new Bible translations are available, including an annotated Bible. 650,000 Bibles were published between 1990 and 1996. Of this number 450,000 Bibles are the traditional Károli translation; 200,000 new translations, 100,000 Bibles for children have been published and 2,000,000 Bibles have been sent to Hungarians living in the successor states in the Carpathian Basin since 1920. – B: 1201, 1202, T: 7659, 7682, 7103.→Corvina; Czeglédy, Sándor; Félegyházi, Tamás; Heltai, Gáspár; Jordánszky Codex; Károli Bible; Károly, Gáspár; Komjáthy, Benedek; Komáromi Csipkés, György; Masznyik, Endre; Ravasz, László; Sylvester, János.

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