Writing Systems of the World

The translations in the Ramseyer Northern Bible Society Museum Collection include over thirty different alphabets and scripts which have been or are being used for the writing of the many languages of the world. In the adjacent cases are examples from teh collection many of these writing systems.

Greek and Cyrillic Alphabets

Below, the Greek alphabet developed from the Phoenician and from it came the Cyrillic. The similarily of order of letters can be seen throughout the Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Latin alphabets. Greek was for some time written in "boustrophedon" fashion, that is, with alternate lines written in opposite directions. Modern Greek and Cyrillic adopted the left-to-right pattern while Semitic writing became right-to-left. Cyrillic, which we now associate mainly with Russian, has a number of variants to accomodate related languages. There was also a change at the time of the Russian Revolution to remove some redundant letters from the alphabet.  

[click thumbnail for large view]

Bulgarian Bible
Bible; Tsarigrad,
A.K. Boyadzhiyan, 1908 [760]
Church Slavonic New Testament
Church Slavonic
New Testament; St. Petersburg,
Russian Bible Society, 1816 [141]
Greek [Ancient and Modern
Greek [Ancient and Modern]
New Testament; Iesou Xrisou Ensazkeoes
Serbo-Croatian Bible
Bible; Belgrade, British and Foreign
Bible Society, 1915 [759]
Russian Bible
Bible; Philadelphia, The Judson Press, 1954


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