The Lower Sorbian Testament of Miklawuš Jakubica, 1548


This 669-page manuscript contains the complete translation of the New Testament into Lower Sorbian by Pastor Miklawus Jakubica. It is one of the most important cultural documents relating to the Sorbian people of eastern Germany and an important source for the study of the West Slavic languages. Completed in 1548, Jakubica’s translation, which includes many colorful illustrations of flowers, trees, and animals, has never been printed. As the groundwork for his translation, Jakubica used Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible into German, as well as the Latin Vulgate and Czech templates. The work is in fact the very first translation of Luther’s Bible into another language. Jakubica used the dialect of Sorau, a town south of Brandenburg, and drew upon words in Czech and Upper Sorbian in his attempt to create a common church written language for all Sorbs. Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian are West Slavic languages, related to Polish and Czech, which are spoken by the Sorbs, a recognized minority people of Germany.

Last updated: January 8, 2018