recording over 60 forms of characters—ideograms of China, ancient alphabets of Syria and India, Gothic and Slavonic letters of mid-Europe, syllabic scripts, and many others—is given at the end of the book.
To this edition there has been added a new Index recording the word for ‘God’ as given in most of these 630 languages. In the preparation of this information we have had the help of many friends, and especially of two members of the Editorial Sub-Committee, the Rev. Dr. A. S. Geden and Mr. S. H. Ray. To all of them we are deeply grateful.
These details are but the prose of a great vision—the vision of learned scholars poring over the Hebrew and Greek originals: of patient, painstaking pioneers in all parts of Christ’s Church, listening to strange words, reducing them to order, and then to writing, so that all men may receive God’s Message, each in his mother-tongue. In these specimens philologists will find materials for the comparison of cognate or diverse forms of speech. But tot the Bible Society they stand for over 400 millions of books distributed all over the earth during the last 126 years. They picture multitudes of mankind receiving their first and their increasing knowledge of God from such printed pages. They bear witness to the marvellous fact that no tongue, the most crude or the most refined, has yet been discovered into which it has been found impossible to translate that Gospel which is the common property of the human race. And they speak of a work which is always progressing. Once every five or six weeks some fresh language is added to the list. When we included those versions of Scripture published by other agencies, there are now over 880 forms of human speech in which some printed portion of the Bible is represented on the shelves of the Bible House Library.
31 March, 1930.