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De Statenvertaling
Statenvertaling title page.jpg
Title page of the original 1637 Statenvertaling.
Full nameBIBLIA, Dat is: De gantsche H. Schrifture, vervattende alle de Canonijcke Boecken des Ouden en des Nieuwen TESTAMENTS.
Other namesStatenbijbel
Complete Bible
ApocryphaEzra 3, Ezra 4, Book of Tobit, Book of Judith, Book of Wisdom, Sirach, Book of Baruch with Letter of Jeremiah, Additions to Esther, Additions to Daniel, 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees, 3 Maccabees
AuthorshipOT: Johannes Bogerman, Willem Baudartius, Gerson Bucerus
NT and apocrypha: Jacobus Rolandus, Hermannus Faukelius, Petrus Cornelisz, Festus Hommius, Antonius Walaeus
RevisionRavesteyneditie, Jongbloededitie,[1] GBS-Bijbel,[2] Statenvertaling-1977,[3] Herziene Statenvertaling[4]
PublisherMachteld Aelbrechtsdochter
CopyrightPublic domain due to age
Religious affiliationDutch Reformed Church
In het begin schiep God de hemel en de aarde.
De aarde nu was woest en leeg, en duisternis lag over de watervloed; en de Geest van God zweefde boven het water.,
En God zei: Laat er licht zijn! En er was licht.
Want zo lief heeft God de wereld gehad, dat Hij Zijn eniggeboren Zoon gegeven heeft, opdat ieder die in Hem gelooft, niet verloren gaat, maar eeuwig leven heeft.

The Statenvertaling (Dutch: [ˈstaːtə(ɱ)vərˌtaːlɪŋ], States Translation) or Statenbijbel (States Bible) was the first translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages into Dutch, ordered by the Synod of Dordrecht 1618 and financed by government of the Protestant Dutch Republic and first published in 1637.[5]

The first complete Dutch Bible had been printed in Antwerp in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.[6] Like other existing Dutch Bibles, however, it was merely a translation of other translations. Furthermore, the translation from Martin Luther was widely used, but it had a Lutheran interpretation. At the Synod of Dort in 1618/19, it was therefore deemed necessary to have a new translation accurately based on the original languages. The synod requested the States General of the Netherlands to commission it.[7]


The Statenvertaling was written with specific guidelines for translation established by the synod during its 8th session on November 20, 1618. The four main instructions to the translators were:[8]

  1. That they always carefully adhere to the original text, and that the manner of writing of the original languages be preserved, as much as the clarity and properties of Dutch speech permit. But in case where the Hebrew or Greek manner of speech was harder than could remain in the text, that they note this in the margin.
  2. That they add as few words as possible to complete the meaning of a sentence if it is not expressed fully, and that these words be distinguished from the text with a different font and placed between brackets.
  3. That they formulate a short and clear summary for each book and chapter and write this in the margin at the respective locations in the Holy Scriptures.
  4. That they add a brief explanation providing insight to the translation of unclear passages; but the addition of lessons learned is neither necessary nor advisable.

Apocryphal books[edit]

Regarding the Biblical apocrypha, the synod decided to translate these books but not to make them part of the canon. They were placed after the books of the New Testament and preceded with a "warning for the reader".[9]

Translation of God's name[edit]

In the Hebrew Bible, God's name is written with the four consonants JHWH (as seen on the very top of the title page in Hebrew characters), and would not be pronounced by the Jews. During the 12th session, the synod decided to translate God's name with "HEERE" ("LORD"). In the margin where God's name first appears, the following note is given:[10]

Na de voleyndinge van het werck der scheppinge/ wort hier aldereerst Gode de naem van IEHOVAH gegeven/ beteeckenende de selfstandigen/ selfwesenden/ van hem selven zijnde van eeuwicheyt tot eeuwicheyt/ ende den oorspronck ofte oorsake van het wesen aller dinge; daerom oock dese naem de ware Godt alleen toecomt. Onthoudt dit eens voor al; waer ghy voortae het woort HEERE met groote letteren geschreven vindt/ dat aldaer in 't Hebr. het woort IEHOVAH, oft korter/ IAH staet.
(After the completion of the works of creation/ here for the first time God is given the name IEHOVAH/ meaning the independent/ self being/ being the same from eternity to eternity/ and the origin or cause of existence of all things; that is why this name only belongs to God. Remember for all time; wherever you from now on see the word LORD written in capital letters/ that there in Hebr. the word IEHOVAH, or shorter/ IAH is stated.)


The 1657 English Version owed itself to the close contact between the Puritans in Holland and England. In 1646 the House of Lords in England commissioned Theodore Haak (1605-1690) a respected German polyglot and academic to begin work on an English translation of the Statenvertaling met Aantekeningen – the Dutch State Bible.[11] There is a suggestion that the Westminster Assembly initiated the project in 1645, but there is no evidence that the Westminster Assembly discussed the matter in that year.[12] Charles Spurgeon, a Calvinist Baptist, wrote: "Haak's Annotations come to us as the offspring of the famous Synod of Dort, and the Westminster Annotations as the production of a still more venerable assembly; but if, with my hat off, bowing profoundly to those august conclaves of master minds, I may venture to say so, I would observe that they furnish another instance that committees seldom equal the labors of individuals. The notes are too short and fragmentary to be of any great value. The volumes are a heavy investment."[13]


  1. ^ GENESIS 1 | SV-RJ Biblia | YouVersion (in Polish).
  2. ^ "Statenvertaling (1637)" (in Dutch). Nederlands Bijbel Genootschap Retrieved 2010-06-04.
  3. ^ G, v d (1979-02-08). ", Statenvertaling, editie 1977". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2021-07-04.
  4. ^ Genesis 1 | HSV Biblia | YouVersion (in Polish).
  5. ^ "Statenvertaling". Retrieved 2021-07-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Paul Arblaster, Gergely Juhász, Guido Latré (eds) Tyndale's Testament, Brepols 2002, ISBN 2-503-51411-1, p. 120.
  7. ^ "Statenvertaling". Retrieved 2021-07-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Acta, Dordtse Synode, Eighth Session, 20 November 1618.
  9. ^ "Waarschuwing aan de lezers van de apocriefe boeken, uit de 1637-editie" (in Dutch). Statenvertaling online - bijbel en kunst. Retrieved 2007-11-02.
  10. ^ Statenvertaling, Gen. 2:4 at the Digital Library for Dutch Literature
  11. ^ Journal of the House of Lords: volume 8: 1645-1647 (1802), pp. 502-504.
  12. ^ There is a reference in September 1645 to the English Annotations (not a copy of the Dutch Annotations) which had already been published, but no discussion in either 1645 or 1646 about the Dutch Annotations is evidenced, see: Minutes of the Sessions of the Westminster Assembly of Divines... (November 1644 To March 1649), Alex. F. Mitchell and John Struthers (eds), Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1874, page 132.
  13. ^ "Commenting & Commentaries—Lecture 1". Retrieved 2022-09-03.

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