Изображения страниц

position, or permutation of letters, &c. For | or near the time when the Septuagint Version was example, tau prefix is added to the text, in the made), the Jews and Samaritans disputed violently Samaritan, about two hundred times where it is before the Egyptian king; and that the Samaritans, not found in the Hebrew copy, and removed about who were worsted in the dispute, were condemned one hundred times where it is found in the to death.* But Hassencamp and others labour to Hebrew; in nearly all of which cases, it is closely show, that many of the departures in the Septuafollowed by the Septuagint. On the other hand, gint from the Hebrew text can more easily be

(3) The Septuagint agrees with the Hebrew, accounted for by the supposition that they used a in cases like No. 2, in almost a thousand instances, MS. written in the Samaritan character ; inasmuch where the Samaritan differs from both. For as the similar letters in this character might easily example, Gen. xvii. 17, xxi. 2, 4, xxiv. 55, xli. lead them into the mistakes which they have made 32, &c.

in their Versions, while the Hebrew square cha(4) Both the Samaritan and the Septuagint racter, which has different similar letters, would sometimes depart from the Hebrew, in labouring not mislead them. It is unnecessary now to relate to remove difficulties; but they pursue different what former critics have replied, in answer to these courses in order to accomplish this. For example, and all such arguments, depending on the forms Gen. xxvii. 40; Exod. xxiv. 10, 11; and the of Hebrew letters. Since Hassencamp and Eichgenealogies in Genesis, chaps. V. and xi.

horn defended the above position, and since Gese(5) The Septuagint accords with the Hebrew, nius replied to them, Kopp has published his and differs from the Samaritan, in all those daring Bilder und Shriften der Vorseit," which coninterpolations mentioned under the eighth class tains an essay on Themitish palæography, that of various readings, in the former part of this bids fair, it is thought, to end all disputes about section.

the ancient forms of Hebrew letters. Instead of (6) The Septuagint differs from the Hebrew tracing back the square letter to Ezra, and to and Samaritan both, in a few cases of minor im- Chaldea, as nearly all the writers before him, not portance, depending on permutation of letters, &c., excepting Gesenius himself, had done, he has or the introduction of parallel passages.

shown, by matter of fact-by appeal to actually 2. Castell has displayed all these discrepancies existing monuments, that the square character in the sixth volume of Walton's Polyglott, p. 19, had no existence until many years, probably two seq. In regard to most of the cases, in which or three centuries, after the Christian era comthe Septuagint and Samaritan agree, when they menced; and that it was, like the altered forms differ from the Hebrew, it is perfectly plain that in most other alphabets, a gradual work of time, this could not have been the result of any concerted of calligraphy, or tachygraphy. He has exhibited regular plan of alteration, such as we see in the the gradual formation of it, from the earliest Eamaritan and Septuagint in respect to the chro- monuments found on the bricks of Babylon, down nologies in Genesis, chaps. V. and xi. Most of the through the Phænician, the old Hebrew and Samadiscrepancies in question are entirely of an im-ritan inscriptions stamped on the Maccabæan material nature, not at all affecting the sentiment coins, and the older and more recent Palmyrene of the sacred text.

or Syriac characters, to the modern Hebrew. The 3. Such are the facts. But a more difficult reasoning employed by him, and the facts exhiquestion remains.

How are these facts to be bited, are so convincing, that Gesenius himself, accounted for ? A question that leads to some in the last edition of his Hebrew Grammar, has considerations demanding a good degree of ac- yielded the point, and concedes that the square quaintance with the business of criticism. Three character of the Hebrew is descended from the ways have been proposed, to account for such a Palmyrene, that is, such characters as are found surprising accordance of the Septuagint and in the inscriptions upon some of the ruins at Samaritan, in so great a number of cases, against Palmyra. All argument, from this source, then, the Hebrew.

is fairly put out of the question, by the masterly (1) The Seventy translated from a Samaritan performance of Kopp. As the Septuagint is well estes. So Lud. de Dieu, Selden, Hottinger, Has- known, and universally acknowledged, to be a sencamp, Eichhorn, and others. But this is Version made by the Jews for their own use at altogether improbable. The mortal hatred which Alexandria, there cannot be even a remote proexisted between the Jews and Samaritans in Pales-bability that this Version was made from a copy in tae, at the time when the Version of the Seventy the hands of the Samaritans, whom they abhorred was made, extended in the same manner to the as the perverters of the Jewish religion. Jews and Samaritans in Egypt. Josephus tells us that in the time of the Ptolemies (therefore at

* Antiquities, b. 13, chap. vi.

(2) The Septuagint has been interpolated from the Samaritan and the Septuagint texts, compared the Samaritan codex, or the Samaritan from the with each other and with the Hebrew, can be Septuagint. Not the first; for the Jews certainly critically accounted for. never loved the Samaritans sufficiently well, to IX. But here we are treading on sacred ground. alter their Greek Scriptures from the Samaritan If these suggestions are well founded, then must codex, so as to make them, at the same time, dis- it follow that, in the time of Ezra, and previously crepant from their Hebrew codex. Not the to his time, there existed recensions of the Jewish second; for the Samaritans would have been as Scriptures which differed, in some respects, very averse to amending their own codex from a Jewish- considerably from each other. From this conGreek translation, as the Jews would have been clusion many will spontaneously revolt. All who to translate from the Samaritan codex. Besides, have not made sacred criticism a study, or who, the greatest part of the discrepancies between at least, have not been fully apprised of the chathe Samaritan and the Hebrew are of such a racter of various readings, and the sources in nature as never could have proceeded from any which they have originated, will be agitated with design ; inasmuch as they make no change at all some unnecessary and ill-grounded fears.* But in the sense of the passages where they are found. be this as it may, the position can be rendered Although, then, critics of no less name than Gro- highly probable, and is no more dangerous than tius, Usher, and Ravius, have patronised this many other positions which all enlightened critics opinion, it is too improbable to meet with appro- of the present day admit. bation.

1. It is probable; because, as it has been (3) Another supposition, in order to account already shown, the actual state of the Samaritan for the agreement of the Septuagint and Sama- and Septuagint codices renders it necessary to ritan, and their departures from the Hebrew text, admit the position. Moreover, the Jews have has been made by Gesenius. This is, that both from the most ancient times uniformly held a the Samaritan and Septuagint flored from a com- tradition, that Ezra with his associates, whom mon recension of the Hebrew Scriptures ; one they style the great Synagogue, restored the law oller, of course, than either, and differing in many and the prophets, that is, renewed and corrected pluces from the recension of the Masoriles, now in the copies of them, which had become erroneous

This is certainly a very ingenious during the captivity. Certainly, there is nothing supposition; and one which we cannot well avoid at all improbable in this tradition. The corrected admitting as quite probable. It will account for copies were the originals, probably, of our present the differences and for the agreements of the Masoretic recension, which has in every age been Septuagint and Samaritan. On the supposition in the keeping and under the inspection of the that two different recensions had long been in most learned Jews. The Samaritan copy, and circulation among the Jews, the one of which was that from which the Septuagint was translated, substantially what the Samaritan now is, with the most probably belonged to the recension in comexception of a few more recent and designed mon use among the Jews, and which, having been alterations of the text, and the other substantially often copied, and by unskilful hands, had come to what our Masoretic codex now is; then the differ in very many places from the corrected Seventy, using the former, would of course accord, recensions of Ezra. in a multitude of cases, with the peculiar readings

2. How far back some of the errors in this of it, as they have now done. If we suppose

common recension may be dated, it is difficult to now, that the ancient copy from which the present say ; but in all probability more or less of them Samaritan is descended, and that from which the must be traced even to the very first copies taken Septuagint was translated, were of the same genus,

from the original autographs. Such we know to so to speak, or of the same class, and yet were of have been the case, as is now universally admitted, different species under that genus, and had early in respect to the early copies of the New Testabeen divided off, and subjected to alterations in ment.

Is the Old Testament under a more transcribing, then we may have a plausible reason, watchful and efficient Providence than the New? why the Septuagint, agreeing with the Samaritan Or has it ever been so ? Nothing but the belief in so many places, should differ from it in so of a miraculous aid, imparted to every copyist of many others. Add to this, that the Samaritan the Hebrew Scriptures, can, it is presumed, stand and Septuagint, each, in the course of being trans- in the way of admitting the fact as it is now cribed for several centuries, would receive more stated ; and with such a belief, after several hunor less changes, that might increase the discre- dred thousand different readings have been actually pancies between them. This seems to be the only probable way in which the actual state of

• See the section on this subject.

common Use.

selected from the MSS. of the Old Testament, it when only one small nation admitted its claims. frould not be worth while to expostulate. It is surely no more objection, then, against the

X. In justice, however, to this subject, and to watchful care of Providence over the church and allay the fears of well-meaning persons, who are the records of its holy religion, to admit that not experienced in matters of criticism, and there- divers recensions of the Scriptures existed at an fore often exposed to be agitated by groundless early age, than to admit that they now exist. fears, a few words must be added, with respect to

4. The fact, that various readings are found, the dangers of the position that has been now not only in different classes of MSS., which have discussed.

come down to us through different channels, but 1. A great part of it is evidently imaginary; in cases where the same original documents are for out of some eight hundred thousand various inserted in different places of the same class of readings about seven hundred and ninety-nine MSS., is proved beyond contradiction: the first, thousand are of just as much importance to the by the actual comparison of MSS.; the second, sense of the Hebrew Scriptures, as the question by a comparison of different parts of Scripture. in English orthography is, whether the word Such a comparison may be extended very much kmour shall be spelt with u, or without it. Of further ; indeed, to a great portion of the books of the remainder, some change the sense of particular Chronicles, by reading them in connexion with passages or expressions, or omit particular words the parallel places in the books of Kings, and or phrases, or insert them; but not one doctrine other parts of the Old Testament. Jahn's Hebrew of religion is changed, not one precept is taken Bible is not only the best, but the only, work away, not one important fact is altered, by the which will enable any one to do this without whole of the various readings collectively taken. trouble, as he has disposed of the whole books of This is clearly the case in respect to the various the Chronicles in the way of harmony with other readings which are found in the Samaritan and parts of Scripture. One thorough perusal and Septuagint, if we except the very few cases of study of this will effectually set the matter at rest alteration in them which plainly are the result of with any

sober man. design, and which belong to more modern times. 5. Truth needs no concealment; and, at the There is no ground, then, to fear for the safety of present day, admits none. The Bible has nothing the Scriptures, on account of any legitimate criti- to fear from examination : it has ever been illuscism to which the text may be subjected. trated and confirmed by it; and so it will, doubt

2. Jerome long ago had shrewdness enough to less, be still more so. But all “ pious frauds," all say, that “the Scripture was not the shell, but “expurgatory indices," all suppression of facts the nut;" by which he meant, that the sentiment and truths of any kind, only prove injurious at of the Bible is the word of God, while the cos- last to the cause which they are designed to aid. tume, that is, the words in which this sentiment This is a sufficient reason for abjuring them for is conveyed, were of minor importance. So the ever; not to insist on the disingenuousness which apostles and so the Saviour thought, for they is implied in every artifice of this nature.* kare, in a multitude of cases (indeed, in almost all the appeals recorded in the New Testament),

SECTION IV. araled to the authority of the Old Testament, by quoting the Septuagint Version of it; a Version incomparably more incorrect, and differing from Causes of Error in the Text of the Greek Testament -- Early the original Hebrew in incomparably more places, Editions of the Text-Critical labours of Erasmus, Mill, than the very worst Version made in

modern Bengel, Wetstein, Griesbach, and others-Modern Critical

Editions of the Greek Testament.
times. But de minimis non curat lex ; a truly
noble maxim, yet one which superstition or igno-

I. We have now to sketch the literary history rance knows not well how either to use or to of the Text of the Greek Testament, as we have estimate.

done that of the Hebrew Bible. 3. There is, then, no more danger in supposing that very early there were different recensions of the Hebrew Scriptures, than in supposing that

This section has been compiled from Hodg., Diss. Cont.

Aristeæ, 1684, et de Bibl. Text, 1705; Prideaux's Connexion, there are different ones of the Scriptures of the sub anno 409 and 277; Owen's Inquiry, sect. 2, 11, 13; Du New Testament, which all now admit; for it is Pin, Biblioth. Pat, Prel. Dissert., sect. 3; Geddes's ProDet a matter of opinion and judgment, but of fact. spectus, pp. 23—40; Enfield's Hist. Philosoph., vol. i., p. 298, The Bible, spreading through the whole earth, ii., p. 152 ; Butler's Horæ Biblicæ, pp. 14–19; North Ame

rican Review, vol. xxii., pp. 274–317, N. S.; Bishop Marsh's and becoming the rule of life and salvation to all Lectures, Lect. ii.; and Townley's Illustrations of Bib. mations, is at least as important now, as it was Literature, vol. i., pp. 59–64.


In 1550,

1. The same causes that gave rise to various contributed little or nothing toward restoring the readings in the Hebrew text of the Old Testa- purity of the Greek text. ment operated to produce them in the Greek 3. In the year 1546, Robert Stephens, the text of the New. From the periods of the ori- celebrated printer at Paris, published the first ginal publication of these books down to the edition of his New Testament, which is proved invention of printing--a period of fourteen hun- to be little more than a compilation from the dred years—the only method by which they could Erasmean and Complutensian texts. be multiplied, and thus rendered available for the he published a third edition, which was once purposes of general instruction, was that of tran- supposed to have had its text formed on the scription or writing; and as this process is so authority of Greek MSS., as professed by the much more precarious than our present method editor in his preface ; but a careful examination of producing copies of literary works, it is evi- has shown it to be hardly anything more than a dent that without a continued miracle, which we reprint of the fifth edition of Erasmus. have no reason to expect, many deviations from the 4. Beza's edition followed next in order (1565); autographs of the sacred authors must have but although he possessed some valuable materials occurred. Letters would occasionally be exchanged, for correcting the errors which had crept into the omitted, or improperly inserted; syllables and common text, he only amended that of Stephens words be mis-spelt or transposed; and sentences in about fifty places, and this not always for the be occasionally left out or repeated. Happily for better. us, however, the great multiplication and extensive 5. The first of the Elzevir editions, in which was circulation of copies furnish the materials for cor- established the text now in common use, and rection, and thus the causes of the errors become known as the Textus Receptus, was published in the means of their removal.

1624. It was taken from Beza's edition, except II. A summary account of the principal criti- in about fifty places, where the readings were cal editions of the Greek Testament will show borrowed partly from the margin of Stephens' the progressive improvement of the text, and edition, and partly from other editions. * The prepare


way for a discussion of the causes, the Textus Receptus, therefore," it seems, was copied character, and the value of various readings. with a few exceptions from the text of Beza.

1. The first edition of the New Testament Beza. himself closely followed Stephens, and appeared in the year 1516, under the editorship Stephens (in his third edition) copied solely from of the celebrated Erasmus. The MSS. upon Erasmus, except in the Revelation, where he folwhich he formed his text, were only four in num- lowed sometimes Erasmus, and sometimes the ber; and the three of which he is found to have Complutensian editors. The text, therefore, in made the greatest use, contained only parts of the common use, resolves itself at last into the ComNew Testament, and in other respects were not plutensian and the Erasmean editions. But of very high value. In addition to his MSS., neither Erasmus nor the Complutensian editors Erasmus consulted the writings of some of the printed from ancient Greek MSS. ; and the reGreek Fathers, and also the Latin Vulgate ; and mainder of their critical apparatus included little where, in cases of difficulty, these afforded him more than the latest of the Greek Fathers, and no assistance, he corrected from conjecture. It the Latin Vulgate.” It is obvious, therefore, that is plain, therefore, from the character of the but little had yet been effected towards giving materials of which Erasmus was possessed, that consistency and permanency to the Greek text. however learned and acute he may have been, For the attainment of so desirable an object, his edition of the Greek text cannot possess the however, there were not wanting able and lavery highest degree of excellence. True it is, borious critics. Walton, Usher, Curcellæus, and that in his subsequent editions he made numerous Fell, respectively contributed towards it by the alterations; but, notwithstanding that many of collation of MSS. and the comparison of ancient them are real improvements, they do not materially Versions. alter the character of his text.

6. Between the years 1653-7, the London 2. The next edition given to the public, was Polyglott made its appearance: and in 1707, that printed in the Complutensian Polyglott; Dr. Mill published his critical edition of the which, indeed, professes to have been printed Greek Testament, upon which he had expended two years prior to the appearance of Erasmus' the labour of thirteen years. The text adopted first edition, though the publication was delayed by Mill was that of Stephens' third edition, but till 1522. An examination of the Complutensian it was accompanied by no fewer than thirty thoutext has shown it to have been formed exclusively sand various readings, collected not only from on comparatively modern MSS., and it therefore Greek MSS., and previously printed editions, as well as the oriental and other ancient Versions, | in his opinion, be omitted without the substitution but also from the quotations made by the early of another, he prefixed to it a mark of minus in the Fathers in their respective works. The prolego- text. But these proposed alterations and omissions mena give a full and distinct account of the sources are, in general, supported by powerful authority, from which they were drawn.*

and are such as will commonly recommend them7. It is to be remarked, however, that from the selves to an impartial critic. Though, among the time at which Beza published his edition of the various readings, he has occasionally noted the New Testament, no alterations had been made in conjectures of others, he has never ventured a the test. The several critics, to whose labours we conjecture of his own; nor has he made conjechave adverted, contributed largely to augment the ture, in any one instance, the basis of a proposed materials for its improvement; but they left the alteration.” + Wetstein's edition may therefore application of these, in the emendation of the be regarded as not only the most elaborate, but tert, to those who should succeed them in this also as the most valuable, critical edition of the department of criticism.

Greek Testament extant. It is in two folio 8. The earliest edition of the Greek Testament, volumes, and was published in the years 1751 in which the critical apparatus of Mill was applied and 1752. to the revision of the text, was the one under- 10. Eleven years after this, Mr. Bowyer pubtaken by Dr. Edward Wells, and published be- lished an edition of the Greek text, in which he tween the years 1713 and 1718. In 1734, adopted such of the various readings collected Bengel, a learned professor in Germany, furnished by Wetstein as that eminent critic has suggested a still more valuable edition for critical purposes, to be preferable to the textual readings: it is in which he added to the materials collected by therefore valuable as a critical edition, but requires Mill

, extracts from upwards of twenty Greek to be used with caution and judgment. JINS., from several of the ancient Latin Versions, 11. The last edition of the Greek Testament, and also from the Armenian translation. These, which the plan of this work requires us to notice, however, he did not venture to apply to the re- is that of Griesbach, the first impression of which vision of the text, except in the Apocalypse ; in appeared in the years 1775 and 1777; but was the other books, they were printed under the afterwards materially improved, and republished text, and classed according to their respective in 1796-1806. In this laborious work, Griesbach values.

employed all the materials that had been collected 9. We have now arrived at the period when by his predecessors, as well as many more prothe elaborate and splendid edition of Wetstein cured from Greek manuscripts by his own industry. made its appearance, superseding all that had The various readings of Bengel, Mill, and Wetgone before. The text adopted by Wetstein was stein were subjected to a scrupulous examination, that of Elzevir, or the one in common use, but it as were those collected by Matthæi, Alter, and was accompanied by nearly a million of quotations, Birch ; the Latin Versions published by Blanchini in the margin, collected from various sources.

and Sabatier, and the Sahidic, the Armenian, and But “though Wetstein very considerably aug- the Slavonian Versions, as well as the fragments mented the stock of critical materials ; though he of the two very ancient Greek MSS. preserved drew from various sources, which had hitherto at Walfenbüttel, were carefully collated (though remained unopened ; though he collected, not some of them not expressly for this work) and by other hands, but by his own; and though few then the whole of the materials, thus accumumen have possessed a greater share either of lated, were applied to the revision of the text. I leaming or of sagacity, yet no alteration was made The design of Griesbach was to collect in a small in the Greek text. He proposed, indeed, altera-compass the critical apparatus which lay dispersed tions, which he inserted in the space between the text and the body of various readings, with refer

+ Bishop Marsh's Lectures, p. 152. ence to the words which he thought should be

Of the MSS. used by Griesbach, he bas given a complete exchanged for them; and where a reading should, catalogue in his Prolegomena, with an account of the age and

character of each, its state of preservation, and the portions

of the New Testament it contains. In the second volume is . Dr. S. T. Bloomfield has recently published a vers contained a complete and accurate collection of the quotations cheable edition of the Greek Testament, with English notes, from the New Testament that are found in the writings of Pritacal, philological, and exegetical, in 2 vols. 8vo. It is Origen and Clement of Alexandria. The qnotations, in the bedolly printed; the text (which is formed on the basis of works of these Fathers, it has been truly observed, aro so the last edition by R. Stephens, adopted by Mill, without numerous, that, had all the other documents; been lost, uearly deration, “ except on the most preponderating evidence") the whole of the New Testament might have been restored scapping the upper part of the page ; and the notes, in two from the writings of Origen alone. To Griesbach's system blumes, the lower.

of revisions we shall have to advert in the next section,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »