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Neophytus Vamvas

Neophytus Vamvas, Greek: Νεόφυτος Βάμβας, was a priest and scholar of the Church of Greece in the nineteenth century. He is noted for his translation of the Bible into modern Greek.


Nicholas Vamvas was born in 1770 on the island of Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea. He entered the Holy Orders in 1790, at the age of twenty, when he was ordained a deacon and was given the name Neophytus. In 1804, Dcn. Neophytus traveled to France to continue his education. There he met Adamantios Korais, a Greek humanist scholar whose influence contributed to modern Greek literature and language.

Returning to Greece, Neophytus began a career of teaching, initially in Chios, then at the Ionian Academy of Corfu, one of the Ionian Islands, before continuing teaching at the first Gymnasium of Syros and, then, at the newly established University of Athens.

Influenced by Adamantios Korais, Neophytus produced his principal contribution to Greek literature in his translation of the Bible into modern Greek, a translation that was authorized in 1924. This endeavor, however, was opposed at that time by conservative circles within the Orthodox Church in Greece, including the priest Constantine Oikonomos.

Neophytus Vamvas died on January 9, 1856 in Athens, Greece.