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Cromwell authorized translation with footnotes in 1645

'Statenvertaling' published in English, Dutch group studies reprint

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LEERDAM, the Netherlands - The 339-year old English translation of the 'Statenvertaling'(ESV), the government authorized Dutch Bible of the 1630's, may well be re-issued if a report by the Reformed Bible Foundation (GBS) recommends such a step. According to the GBS, the reprint could specifically benefit Dutch emigrants in Canada and the USA.

The Dutch foundation acknowledges that there is little by way of principal differences between the English version of the ESV and the King James Version (KJV). The ESV never made it to a second printing, possibly because it was a translation of a translation, although its commentaries in the footnotes made it more user friendly and helpful to study-minded readers.

Haak Bible

The ESV was published two decades after the 'Statenvertaling'(SV) was released by the States General. In 1645, 35 signatories requested Oliver Cromwell to allow the SV with its commentaries to be translated into English. The request included the recommendation to appoint Theodore Haak as translator. Haak, who hailed from the Rhineland, fled to London after the 1618 outbreak of the Thirty Year War in Germany, and studied in Cambridge and Oxford before going home in 1626. He lived in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Leiden in the 1630s, as well. Haak worked twelve years on his assignment, completing it in 1657. The ESV also is known as the Haak Bible. At the GBS, the centuries-old ESV is still being used to help interpret words in the SV. By comparing such words with various translations, a better definition of the Dutch words in question is obtained. The SV was also translated into other languages, including the production sponsored by Tsar Peter after his stay in Holland. This bible featured the Dutch text next to the Slavic one.