The Book of True Civilization: The Origins of the Bible Society Movement in the Age of Enlightenment

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Abstract

The Bible Society movement has its roots in the ideologies and social practices of the Enlightenment that led to a radical reconceptualization of the Christian religion and to the construction of a non-confessional and non-denominational Christian domain, with non-denominational Bibles and strong emphasis on a common non-confessional core of fundamental “simple” Christian truths and on the virtues of tolerance, civilization, knowledge, and learning. It is in these Enlightenment contexts that a new type of evangelistic Bible translation emerges with a missionary goal of spreading Christian civilization, in dozens of non-Western languages. At the same time we see another new type of Bible translation in Western languages: enlightened Bibles, not meant for the pulpit but for the home, to educate, instruct, civilize, and enlighten their readers. These enlightened Bibles incorporated results of modern, enlightened biblical scholarship, and strongly deviated from the authorized versions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-350
Number of pages20
JournalThe Bible Translator
Volume67
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

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