Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Finland celebrates 400th Anniversary of publication New Testament 2.10.1948

Translation of the New Testament into Finnish and development of a Finnish grammar was made by Mikael Agricola (1510-1557), Bishop of Turku, leader of the Reformation in Finland. To commemorate this important event. A First Day cover was issued in conjunction with these two stamps on 2.10.1948. My dear friend Pia gave me this FDC.
Mikael Agricola was a great advocate of Lutheranism, is considered the father of Finnish literature. His ABC-book published 1538 is the first known book in Finnish, but the translation of New Testament (1548) is his greatest achievement. The New Testament, also referred to as the "Christian Greek Scriptures", is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament.
Unlike the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, of which Christians hold different views, the contents of the New Testament deal explicitly with 1st century Christianity, although both the Old and New Testament are regarded, together, as Sacred Scripture. The New Testament has therefore (in whole or in part) frequently accompanied the spread of Christianity around the world, and both reflects and serves as a source for Christian theology. Phrases as well as extended readings directly from the New Testament are also incorporated (along with readings from the Old Testament) into the various Christian liturgies. The New Testament has influenced not only religious, philosophical, and political movements in the Christian world, but also left an indelible mark on its literature, art, and music. The New Testament is an anthology, a collection of works written at different times by various authors. In almost all Christian traditions today, the New Testament consists of 27 books. The original texts were written beginning around AD 50 in Koine Greek, the lingua franca of the eastern part of the Roman Empire where they were composed. All of the works which would eventually be incorporated into the New Testament would seem to have been written no later than the mid-2nd century.

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