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The Goths, a Germanic people of the Balkans who later moved westward, already had Christians among them in the third century, and in the fourth their countryman Bishop Ulfila is said to have been instrumental in gaining their adherence to the Arian heresy and in translating the Scriptures into Gothic, for which he had formed an alphabet. The main witness is the gospel Codex Argenteus, Stockholm; and there are about nine other fragmentary MSS, eight of them palimpsest. The gospels and Pauline epistles are fairly well represented, but of the OT only words of Genesis 5:11; 2 Esdras 15-17 (viz., Neh. 5-7); and two verses of Psalm 52 survive. The basic textual complexion in the NT is early Byzantine; the westward wanderings of the Goths, however, brought Old Latin influence to act upon the text, while Gothic influence upon the Old Latin is also known.
GOTHIC VERSION. See VERSIONS, ANCIENT.