Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Find: Tetrapla 1964

I am a bit of a Bibliophile, and am fascinated by some books as objects, and not just the thoughts they contain.

The other day I came across a fascinating Bible on one of those “Take a Book, Leave a Book” shelves that I had to grab. (I’ll leave another one on there soon.) It was a parallel New Testament called “Tetrapla 1964.” As the name may suggest, it is a collection of four translations of the entire New Testament. Common enough, one might think.

What makes this one fascinating is that it was published in 1964 in Leipzig, then part of the German Democratic Republic. I have heard countless stories about and know people who actually smuggled Bibles into that communist land back then, and here they were publishing and selling them!

What is even more interesting to me is the selection of translations. Unsurprising are the first three: Martin Luther 1956 update; the Zurich Bible; and one by Fritz Tillmann (a Catholic priest) done in 1962. All those are in German. But the fourth is The New English Bible. Not a Russian text, the language that all East Germans were forced to learn and know, but an English translation.

I would love to hear more about this book, but haven’t found all that much.

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