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The Bible in Arabic - the Van Dyck Version

The Van Dyck Version is a widely used Arabic translation of the Bible.

It is the work of Eli Smith, an American Protestant missionary who moved to Beirut in 1834.

After Smith's death in 1857, the work was completed in 1865 under the direction of Cornelius Van Alen Van Dyck, also a American Protestant missionary in Beirut. The translation bears his name.

Smith had introducted the printing press in Beirut and developed an Arabic font which became widely used in Beirut and Cairo and so contributed to the literary and cultural revival of Arabic in the 19th century.

While the Van Dyck was traditionally typeset in a manner consistent with calligraphic Arabic conventions, this digital edition uses a simplified Arabic typography like most Arabic publications of today.

This Van Dyck Version is mostly based on the Textus Receptus, the Bible edition by Erasmus. This edition was very influential, and served, for example, as the basis for Luther's Bible translation, as well as the King James Version. The Van Dyck Version has been accepted by the Coptic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Protestant churches. The text of this Van Dyck Version is in the public domain. Brill has created CTS compliant TEI XML for it. The resulting publication is in Open Access.

Brill Polyglot Bible is not a scholarly publication. It is a showcase of possibilities.

The aim is to collect the books of the Bible in the major languages of the ancient world and to publish them in CTS compliant TEI XML on Brill Scholarly Editions.

In this way, each Biblical passage has a persistent and unique identifier and can be retrieved. This means, for example, that a reference to a Biblical passage in a monograph or journal article can be turned into a hyperlink, so readers can review the passage and its context.

A further possibility is to connect the passages to Biblical iconography using the Iconclass classification system, so readers can go from, for example, an image of the annunciation in the Lexikon der christlichen Ikonographie Online to Luke 1:26-38 in the Brill Polyglot Bible and vice versa.

Brill Polyglot Bible is in Open Access.