Gothic Bible

Gothic Bible

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Gothic Bible'
Start a new discussion about 'Gothic Bible'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The Gothic Bible or Wulfila Bible is the Christian Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 as translated by Wulfila
Ulfilas
Ulfilas, or Gothic Wulfila , bishop, missionary, and Bible translator, was a Goth or half-Goth and half-Greek from Cappadocia who had spent time inside the Roman Empire at the peak of the Arian controversy. Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work...

 into the Gothic language
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 spoken by the Eastern Germanic, or Gothic Tribes
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

.

Codices


The Wulfila Bible consists of a number of manuscripts from the 6th to 8th century containing a large part of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 and some parts of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, largely written in Italy. The remaining codices
Codex
A codex is a book in the format used for modern books, with multiple quires or gatherings typically bound together and given a cover.Developed by the Romans from wooden writing tablets, its gradual replacement...

 are Codex Argenteus
Codex Argenteus
The Codex Argenteus, "Silver Book", is a 6th century manuscript, originally containing bishop Ulfilas's 4th century translation of the Bible into the Gothic language. Of the original 336 folios, 188—including the Speyer fragment discovered in 1970—have been preserved, containing the...

, which is kept in Uppsala
Uppsala
- Economy :Today Uppsala is well established in medical research and recognized for its leading position in biotechnology.*Abbott Medical Optics *GE Healthcare*Pfizer *Phadia, an offshoot of Pharmacia*Fresenius*Q-Med...

, the Codex Ambrosianus A through Codex Ambrosianus E containing the epistles Skeireins
Skeireins
The Skeireins is the longest and most important monument of the Gothic language after Ulfilas' version of the Bible. It is notable for being the only preserved Gothic text of substantial length that has not been translated from another language, but was written directly in Gothic by a native speaker...

, Nehemiah
Book of Nehemiah
The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible. Told largely in the form of a first-person memoir, it concerns the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah, a Jew who is a high official at the Persian court, and the dedication of the city and its people to God's laws...

 5-7), the Codex Carolinus
Codex Carolinus
Codex Carolinus is a Gothic-Latin diglot uncial manuscript of the New Testament on parchment, dated to the 6th or 7th century. The Gothic text is designated by siglum Car, the Latin text is designated by siglum gue or by 79 , it represents the Old Latin translation of the New Testament...

(Romans 11-14
Epistle to the Romans
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

), the Codex Vaticanus Latinus 5750 (Skeireins
Skeireins
The Skeireins is the longest and most important monument of the Gothic language after Ulfilas' version of the Bible. It is notable for being the only preserved Gothic text of substantial length that has not been translated from another language, but was written directly in Gothic by a native speaker...

), the Codex Gissensis (fragments of the Gospel of Luke) and the Fragmenta Pannonica, fragments of a 1 mm thick metal plate with verses of the Gospel of John.

Historic context


During the third century, the Goths lived on the northeast border of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, in what is now Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

. During the fourth century, the Goths were converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, largely through the efforts of Bishop Ulfilas
Ulfilas
Ulfilas, or Gothic Wulfila , bishop, missionary, and Bible translator, was a Goth or half-Goth and half-Greek from Cappadocia who had spent time inside the Roman Empire at the peak of the Arian controversy. Ulfilas was ordained a bishop by Eusebius of Nicomedia and returned to his people to work...

, who invented the Gothic alphabet
Gothic alphabet
The Gothic alphabet is an alphabet for writing the Gothic language, created in the 4th century by Ulfilas for the purpose of translating the Christian Bible....

 and translated the Bible into the Gothic language in Nicopolis ad Istrum
Nicopolis ad Istrum
Nicopolis ad Istrum was a Roman and Early Byzantine town founded by Emperor Trajan around 101–106, at the junction of the Iatrus and the Rositsa rivers, in memory of his victory over the Dacians. Its ruins are located at the village of Nikyup, 20 km north of Veliko Tarnovo in northern Bulgaria...

 in today's northern Bulgaria. Portions of this translation survive, affording the main surviving text written in the Gothic language.

Gothic Christianity
Gothic Christianity
Gothic Christianity refers to the Christian religion of the Goths and sometimes the Gepids, Vandals, and Burgundians, who may have used Wulfila's translation of the Bible into Gothic and shared common doctrines and practices...

 differed from Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 doctrine as to the divinity of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

, with the Gothic Christians maintaining that Jesus was of a lesser creation than God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

. The Goths rejected the Holy Trinity. (see Arianism
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

).

During the fifth century, the Goths overran the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

, including Spain, southern France, and North Africa. Gothic Christianity reigned in these areas for several centuries, before the re-establishment of the Catholic Church, and the advent of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

.

Modern importance


The Wulfila Bible, although fragmentary, is the only extensive document in an ancient Eastern Germanic language. Since the other texts are of very limited extent, except maybe Skeireins
Skeireins
The Skeireins is the longest and most important monument of the Gothic language after Ulfilas' version of the Bible. It is notable for being the only preserved Gothic text of substantial length that has not been translated from another language, but was written directly in Gothic by a native speaker...

, its significance for the study of these languages can hardly be overstated.

Text of The Lord's Prayer in the Wulfila Bible

atta unsar þu in himinam,
weihnai namo þein.
qimai þiudinassus þeins.
wairþai wilja þeins,
swe in himina jah ana airþai.
hlaif unsarana þana sinteinan gif uns himma daga.
jah aflet uns þatei skulans sijaima,
swaswe jah weis afletam þaim skulam unsaraim.
jah ni briggais uns in fraistubnjai,
ak lausei uns af þamma ubilin;
unte þeina ist þiudangardi jah mahts jah wulþus in aiwins.
amen.

External links