Jan Amos KOMENSKÝ - life, work, legacy

De Turcica versione


De Turcica Novi Testamenti versione Anglica annotatio

Notes on the translation of the New Testament into Turkish, prepared in England



Origin of the work:
  1667 Amsterdam

  The material remained in manuscript

1897 Prague, in: J. Kvačala, Korrespondence J. A. Komenského I, p328 (extract)



A Czech concept document of notes on the work of translating the Bible into Turkish. At the time of the peace negotiations between England and the Dutch at Breda, Comenius was exerting himself over the translation of the Bible into Turkish; a knowledge of its contents was intended to ease the Turks’ unification of Islam with the Christian and Jewish faiths, in order that they might fulfil the role ascribed to them in Drabík’s prophecy – the freeing of the world from the domination of the Habsburgs and the Papacy (Mikuláš Drabík). Translation of the Bible into Turkish was entrusted to the Dutch Orientalist Lewin Warner, and was to be financed by Lawrence de Geer. Warner’s work on the New Testament, meanwhile, found itself in competition with unknown English translators. Comenius arranged an assessment of the translation in order that Warner would not have to do the same thing uselessly. In his notes, Comenius writes that the translation is adjudged by the reviewer to have been a poor one: it is rustic and barbaric, and no educated Turk would read it. The translation of the Old Testament was passed to the board of censors, and work did not continue thereafter. Warner’s translation, however, was never completed, for reasons that have never been ascertained (see the entry on the Bibliorum Turc. dedicatio).


For further study, see also:

J. V. Novák & J. Hendrich, Jan Amos Komenský, jeho život a spisy. Prague 1932, pp632-633

Jan Kumpera, Jan Amos Komenský, poutník na rozhraní věků. Prague & Ostrava 1992, pp206-207




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