Icelandic & Finnish New Testaments

January 1, 1540

Icelandic New Testament

Oddur Gottskálkssonusing (1514/1515—1556) labors in the privacy and warmth of a barn, with Luther’s German translation his primary reference and the Vulgate as a control text, to deliver the New Testament into Icelandic, the language’s first published book.

“Jesus, our Redeemer, was laid in an ass’ stable, and so now His Word shall be brought forth to my mother tongue in a cow stable.”

January 1, 1548

Finnish New Testament

The leader of the Reformation in Finland is Archbishop Mikael Agricola who is considered the father of the written Finnish language. He studied with Martin Luther in Wittenberg. Agricola translates the New Testament into Finnish in three years, publishing it in 1548. Other literature follows, such as the prayer book and hymns. His work sets the rules of orthography that become the basis of modern Finnish spelling.


Further Reading


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