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in various works, and to prepare an edition of Griesbach's adopted readings have been inserted; the Greek Testament, which should contain a in some of them there are additional corrections. text freed from considerable errors, accompanied The following are deserving of special notice. by such helps as might facilitate interpretation; to exhibit the more important various readings, and the authorities on which they are supported, together with the judgment of the editor respecting them.
"That Griesbach has fulfilled the duties which he owed to the public," says Bishop Marsh, "that his diligence was unremitted, that his caution was extreme, that his erudition was profound, and that his judgment was directed by a sole regard to the evidence before him, will, in general, be allowed by those who have studied his edition, and are able That his decisions are to appreciate its merits. always correct; that, in all cases, the evidence is so nicely weighed, as to produce unerring results; that weariness of mind, under painful investigation, has, in no instance, occasioned an important oversight; that prejudice or partiality has no where influenced his general regard for critical justice; would be affirmations which can hardly apply to any editor, however good or great. But, if at any time he has erred, he has, at the same time, enabled those who are competent judges to decide for themselves, by stating the contending evidence with clearness and precision. Emendations, founded on conjecture, however ingenious, he has introduced not in a single instance: They are all founded on quoted authority. Our attention is even solicited and directed to that authority, the adopted readings being always printed in smaller characters than the rest of the text, and with reference to the rejected readings, which are printed in the inner 'margin in the same letters with the text, while both of them refer to the respective evidence which is produced below. If readings are added, where none existed before, or are withdrawn without substitution, the changes are marked with equal clearness, and are equally supported by critical authority. When the evidence is not sufficiently decisive to warrant an alteration in the text, the readings worthy of notice are placed in the inner margin, with different marks expressive of their different claims." Such is the character of this important work, which, with the prolegogomena belonging to it, forms a treasure of biblical learning, of incalculable value.*
12. There have been several editions of the Greek Testament, in which the most important of
In purchasing Griesbach's work, care should be taken to
procure the second edition, that is, the one printed at Halle, in
1796 and 1806; or else the London edition of 1818. It is in 2 8vo. vols. A new edition of Griesbach's text is now in course of publication, in Germany, with many important additions, by Dr. Schulz. The first volume was published in 1827.
(1) Dr. Knapp's edition, which has been reprinted in London, in 1 vol. 8vo.
(2) Professor Schott's edition, also in 1 vol. 8vo. (Lipsiæ, 3rd edit., 1825), in which the Greek text is accompanied by a Latin version. This, as far as we have examined it, is strongly tinctured by the prevalent and heterodox theology of Germany.
(3) Professor White's edition (2 vols. 8vo., Oxford, 1808) consists of the Textus Receptus, or common text, but exhibits very distinctly those readings which Griesbach would remove from the text; those which he considers of equal or superior value to the received text; and those insertions into the text which he conceives the authority of MSS. to justify.
(4) Aitton's edition of Griesbach's text was issued from the Glasgow University press, in 1821, in 1 vol. 32mo.; and the publisher of this work has subsequently sent forth an equally correct and beautiful reprint of it in the same form.
(5) The Greek Testament published by Mr. Bagster, and forming part of his beautiful, accurate, and cheap Polyglott Bible, in a single folio volume, is printed from the text of Mill, but exhibits in twentytwo pages, at the beginning, the various readings of Griesbach which are referred to in the text by appropriate marks. The low price and portable form of this edition, give it strong claims to preference. But the enterprising publisher has also issued the following:
(6) The Greek Testament (in fep. 16mo., about the length of one's finger), in which the received text is adopted, but having in a centre column of the page, the whole of the various readings of Griesbach, as contained in his edition 1805, in which, besides his amended text, he has given the more important of those readings that differ equally from his own and the received text. In addition to these, are inserted the themes of difficult words, after the plan of Hoole, but differing from his Testament in this material respect, that whereas his work was exclusively adapted to the Lexicon of Pasor, in which the Greek words are all arranged under their primitives or roots, the present edition is adapted to the generality of Lexicons, in which the words are arranged alphabetically. The more important elliptical words from Bos, Schottgen, Leisner, and others, are added: and to render the work still more useful, a great variety of texts are inserted, to illustrate Greek words and phrases. There are also two very beautifully executed maps; one of Judea, the other illustrative of the travels of the apostles. This is a critical edition of the Greek Testament of an unique de
scription, and lays the student under deep obligations to its projector. It has been followed by the two following works, in the same form and size, which we cannot pass by, though they do not properly belong to the topic treated of in this section. Their utility to the student will plead our apology.
A Concordance to the Greek Testament, containing
A Lexicon to the Greek Testament, in Greek and English, comprehending every word in the New Testament, as well as those in the various readings of Griesbach; the various diffuse definitions of larger works being abridged with care, and rendered clear, simple, and precise.
We need only add, that the entire cost of these three works does not exceed seventeen shillings; that their size will permit a person to carry them in his pocket, although the type is not small; and that the philological attainments and well known industry of the lamented editor have rendered them more correct, perhaps, than any similar works extant.
Accidents to which Literary Works are liable: the Scriptures not secured against these - Various Readings: their
sources, number, and value - Prescribed Rules for correcting the Text where faulty: the Process adopted by Griesbach-Recensions of the Greek Text-Concluding Remarks on Various Readings.
I. Having taken a review of the principal critical editions of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and of the progress that has been made towards the attainment of a pure or genuine text, it only remains to give some account of the sources of those various readings about which so much has been said, and to suggest some considerations for determining their real value.
an interposition, on the mere ground of an uniformity of reading in the various MSS. extant. Such an uniformity might have been the result of other and objectionable causes, and therefore could have furnished no proof of a divine superintendence. But, in fact, we need no such supervision; the materials we possess are adequate to procure a sufficiently authentic text, while we are relieved from the necessity of repelling the charge of a concerted agreement among its several depositaries, for the purpose of giving a perfect unity of reading. True it is, that the great multiplication of these writings has induced a proportionate variety of readings, or variations in existing copies; but this, instead of being the cause of permanent inaccuracy, affords, above all things, the means of correcting errors where they have really crept in.
1. The first step in the inquiry, then, and that upon which the propriety of every attempt to correct the text of an ancient work must depend, is to ascertain the probable causes of those various readings which the existing copies present. This lies at the foundation of every thing; because it is obvious, that if two MSS. present a various reading of the same passage, the true one can only be ascertained and fixed with certainty, by a previous acquaintance with the sources whence errors in the copies of literary works may spring. This knowledge is one of the main ingredients in the science of critical conjecture, which is of so great importance in the matter of which we are treating.
2. The following may be considered as the chief sources of error in works of this description. 1. Imperfections in the original MSS. 2. The accidental mistakes of transcribers. 3. The assumption of marginal glosses into the text.
4. Designed alterations of a literary kind. 5. Wilful corruptions made for party purposes. Upon each of these sources of error a word or two may be offered.
II. In order to form an adequate conception of the nature of various readings, it will be necessary to take a glance at the accidents to which literary works are liable in the progress of transcription, and in their passage down the stream of time. In this respect the sacred writings stand in precisely the same circumstances as other ancient works. An original document was committed to the keeping of the church, by an inspired prophet 1. It is evident that an original MS. might conor apostle, who designed it, in conformity with the tain such imperfections as would induce a diversity divine purpose, for general and constant use. In of reading in two or more copies taken from it, order to carry this purpose into effect, copies of the which imperfections might have been caused either document had to be multiplied by transcription, in by the ordinary ravages of time, or by the particular precisely the same manner as the literati of Greece accidents to which it had been exposed. Thus, if and Rome multiplied copies of their classic authors. a word or letter had been rendered illegible, and Now, it must be obvious that in such a process, there were no other MS. at hand which made up the sacred text would be liable to be affected by the deficiency, a transcriber would probably supply the usual inconveniences of copying, unless a con- the deficiency by conjecture: and, since it is protinued miracle were wrought to ensure its integrity. bable that more than one letter or word would suit It would be a mere waste of time to argue that no the connexion of the passage, two transcribers real advantage could have been derived from such might vary in their insertions. This would, of an interposition of the divine power; because, as course, give birth to a variety of reading, in all must be obvious to all persons, it would lie beyond the copies subsequently made from these. the ability of man to demonstrate the fact of such
2. The accidental departures of transcribers
from their exemplars, independent of the imperfections just noticed, would occasion a large number of various readings.
The mistakes originating these variations might be of several kinds.
b) Or, the writer might mistake a contraction, of which there are many in ancient Greek MSS. The following selections will exhibit the nature of some of these contractions, and show the great chances there were of mistakes in copying the
(1) If the copier wrote after a person who read MSS. in which they are found, and which are the original to him, also written without any divisions between the
a) He might mistake one word for another similar in sound; or the reader might mispronounce a word, and mislead him.
It is thought that we have an instance of this kind of mistake in Rom. xii. 11, where, for Tw zugiw, the Lord, three MSS. which have been collated, read r xaigw, the time, the transcribers probably mistaking the usual contraction of zugiw (K), for a contraction of xaigw, which would have been the same.
Thus, la is put for lu fifteen times, and lu for la twice, according to the Masora ; perhaps oftener. In 1 Cor. xiii. 3, for zavlnowμai, kauthesomai, the Alex. reads καυχήσωμαι, kauchesomai; and in 1 John iv. 2, instead of YIWOXETE, ginoskete, "ye know," several MSS. and some Versions read yvwoxerαι, ginosketai, “is known." b) He might transpose two or more words; c) He might omit one or more words; d) He might unite two words together, making them one; or separate one word into two. In either of these cases, there would be a departure from the original, and a consequent disagree-written without any divisions between the letters.† ment with other copies, which had been correctly
(2) If the transcriber had the work before him, a) He might mistake similar letters.
Thus, in the Greck MSS. which are written in uncial letters, a person might easily interchange such letters as eсe; πHN; 1 1 1.* In the Hebrew MSS. the greater similarity between some of the characters would proportionately augment the chances of error. This may be seen in the case of such letters as the following: nnn; 117; 777; Ji; ad; nu.
As a specimen of such mistakes, we may notice 2 Kings xx. 12, where (b) has been written for (m) in the name of the king of Babylon, as will be seen by comparing it with Isai. xxxix. 1. In the former place it is Berodach; in the latter, Merodach. In Numb. ii. 14, (r) has been written for (d) Reuel for Deuel, as may be seen by collating the passage with ch. i. 14; vii. 42; x. 20. Similar permutations of letters are found in many MSS. of the New Testament. And it will here occur to the reader, that the chances of mistake would be multiplied, in proportion to the damage which a MS. had sustained.
*The following passage in Galen, an ancient author, is much to our purpose: It frequently happens," he remarks, "not only to those who are not disposed to commit an error in writing, but also to some who do it by design, that they make omicron (0) into theta (→), by a line drawn across the middle of the circular letter. The iota (1), too, may be turned into other letters approaching it in shape; so, if from gamma (г) one line be taken away, or if from rho (P) a member be removed, the form of iota (I) remains. In like manner with regard
c) The transcriber might also make a wrong division of words or letters; or he might improperly unite them.
As we have already said, the text was originally
The following specimen will be interesting to those unacquainted with the form of ancient Greek MSS., and also illustrate the subject on which we are speaking. It is taken from the fac-simile of a Codex Rescriptus, sometime since discovered in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, published under the superintendence of Dr. Barrett, who brought this precious fragment to light. The passage is Matt. xxii. 43, 44:
ΕΝΤΙΝΙΚΑλΕΙΚΝ ΔΥ ΤΟΝ ΛΕΓ ЄITTENKC TWк wor OTEKAE ZIWN LIOT DANOWтorcexeрOYC OYYTOKITWTWNTTO
The chances of mistake are here multiplied, as already suggested, by the numerous contractions employed. Thus, for O IH2OTE,‡ we have only OIE, as in the first line, where the is placed above the letters; and in the second and third lines, where similar marks are seen, we have KN, KE, and K, for KYPION, KYPIOZ, and KYPIN. But putting the contractions out of sight,
to many letters it has happened, that the characters denoting them have suffered variations, some by apposition, some by composition, some by parts taken away."-De Comp. Med. per. Gen. lib. vii. c. 9.
Hug has some extended remarks upon this topic; Introd. vol. I. § xlv., &c.
We have here employed the modern Greek character, but this will answer the purpose.
it is evident that a number of letters thus united, of. The most remarkable instance of it occurs together would sometimes be susceptible of more than one division and upon that which was made would depend the reading and sense of the copy. Of various readings arising from this source there are several examples, one or two of which may be here noticed. In Hos. vi. 5, a letter belonging to the beginning of one word has been added to the end of the preceding one
ומשפטי כאור except the Vulgate, read
in Matt. xxvii. 35, where all the words which in the received text stand between zλngov near the beginning of the verse, and the same word at the end of the verse, are omitted in ninety-eight known MSS., the principal Versions, and some of the Fathers; upon the authority of which they are rejected as spurious by Wetstein and Griesbach. Michaëlis, however, defends their integrity upon the principle of an homoioteleuton, judiciously arguing that the interpolation of the omitted words so as exactly to suit the context is very difficult to be conceived, whereas their omission, on the principle just mentioned, would be a very natural accident. It cannot, he remarks, be an interpolation from John xix. 24, where the quotation is differently introduced; and, moreover, the author of the quoted Psalm is in the disputed passage styled ỏ
and thy judgments the light goeth forth;" this gives no sense; but all the ancient Versions, "and my judgment shall go forth as the light."* Ps. lxxiii. 4 presents a very singular reading: "No bands (distresses) into their death"-n; this has resulted from uniting two words in one, happen to them; perfect and firm is their strength." In James v. 12, the common text reads, with most MSS., “Lest ye fall (85 ¿mong101) into hypocrisy ;"gopnrns, the prophet, the application of which title but the Alex. and a few others, with some ancient Versions, read o xgrow, "under judgment."+ d) Again, a variation from the original or copy used as an exemplar, might be occasioned by the exchange of synonymous words.
It is known that in copying a work, it is usual with a transcriber to fix a short passage in his memory, and then to commit it to writing; he does not usually take up a single word at a time. Now, in the process of writing, it is by no means unlikely that a synonymous word would be substituted for one in the text. Those who have been in the habit of copying will immediately perceive the liability to errors of this description. Michaelis has pointed out an instance of such an interchange of words, in Rev. xvii. 17, where, for reλsonra juara, seven MSS., quoted by Wetstein, have TEÄEGUNGOVTAI 01 20701; and seven others, which he has likewise quoted, τελεσθωσιν οι λόγοι.
e) Other accidental variations would be ocasioned by what is called the homoioteleuton, or the recurrence of a word after a short interval; a source of various readings which merits particular attention. Let it be supposed that the same word stands in different places in a passage, and that the writer, after having transcribed down to the former of the two words, should, in carrying his eye back to his exemplar, alight upon the latter of them, and conceiving it to be the one down to which he had already written, proceed onward in his work. In such case, it is evident, that so much of the passage as was between the two words in question, would be omitted in the derived copy.
That such omissions have frequently occurred, we have all the evidence that the subject admits
* Kennicott, Diss. Gen. 1. p. 517. +Gerard's Institutes, p. 296.
to the Psalmist is peculiar to Matthew.
In the Hebrew Scriptures there is an instance of such an omission, in Judg. xvi. 13, in the latter part of the verse. A reference to the passage will show that its sense is not complete: "And he [Samson] said unto her [Delilah], If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web." This ends the address of Samson; and the following verse begins" And she fastened it with the pin," &c. Now, it seems very strange, that Samson should direct Delilah to weave the locks of his head, and nothing more; and that she should omit to do this, and adopt an expedient which he had not suggested; namely, fasten his hair with a pin. But such is the representation of the passage. It might be thought highly probable, therefore, that there is an omission in our present text; but we are not left to conjecture, for the Septuagint, no doubt following the old Hebrew text, has the following addition to the words of Samson, as they stand in our copies, and are cited above:-"and shall fasten them with a pin in the wall, I shall become weak like other men: and so it was, that when he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head, and wove them with the web." Then follows the fourteenth verse, as in our version. This hiatus was no doubt occasioned by a circumstance similar to the one just noticed in Matthew. The part omitted closes with the same words (nt by, with the web) as those now closing the thirteenth verse; and the copyist, having written onward to the first member of the sentence where they stand, in again looking at his original, alighted on them at the end of the sentence, and, mistaking them for the words he had just written, naturally passed on to the verse following. The consequence was, that all the words lying between, were left out in his copy.
But it will be evident, on a moment's reflection, that this same thing, that is, the recurrence of a word after a short space, might give rise to another description of error; namely, a repetition of the words lying between. Thus, if a copyist had written down to the place where the word occurred a second time, and in returning to his exemplar should take up the place where it occurred the first time, and, conceiving himself to be right, proceed in transcribing, such an error as the one supposed would be the consequence; that is, the words lying between would be repeated.
In 2 Kings vii. 13, this appears to have been the case, for we have there a repetition of seven words, which seem entirely useless, though our venerable translators, with most others, have not thought themselves at liberty to reject them. The English Bible, which indicates strongly that the translator has been sadly puzzled to make any thing intelligible of his text, reads thus: "And one of his servants answered, and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel that are left in it; behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that are consumed), and let us send and see." If any one can understand this, it is to be wished that the public may have the benefit of his discovery. It is to be remarked, however, that the latter part of the sentence here, inclosed in a parenthesis, is, in the Hebrew, a repetition of the preceding part, and if fairly translated, the whole would read thus: " 'Behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel which remain in it; behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel which are consumed." An inspection of the original will show how easily this repetition might originate, in the manner we have supposed; but to make it as plain as possible, to such persons as know nothing of the language, we have here given it, with the repetition in hollow letters:
הנשארים אשר נשארו בה הנם ככל ההמון ישראל אשר נשארו בה הנם ככל המון ישראל אשר - תמו
The second word (w) recurs, it will be seen, after six other words, and to this succeeds the duplicate part of the passage. It is therefore reasonable to infer, that the transcriber, having completed the first seven words, that is, the sentence down to the recurring word, in again turning to the copy before him, alighted upon the former part of the sentence, and catching the same word with his eye, continued to write, supposing it to be the one at which he had previously stopped. This would produce the repetition of all the words
above printed in hollow letters, and destroy, as we have seen, the sense of the passage. If the conjecture here ventured be well founded, the words below inclosed in brackets are spurious: "And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, behold, they are all as the multitude of Israel that [are left in it; behold, I say, they are even as all the multitude of the Israelites that] are consumed."
It may be well to add, that the disputed words are wanting in the oldest of Kennicott's MSS., and in forty others collated by him and De Rossi ; neither are they contained in the Greek or Syriac Versions.
f) Another source of error that requires notice under this head, is nearly allied to the one just dismissed; namely, the immediate repetition of letters, the latter of which, being mistaken for the former, are left out.
To perceive clearly the probability of errors arising from this cause, the manner in which the ancient MSS. were written must be recalled to mind. This, as we have seen, was in a continuous text, without any space being left between the words,* in which case the chances of mistake were much greater and more numerous than they would be according to the present system of writing. To illustrate this, we may refer to Luke vii. 21, where, for exagioato to Bheter, several MSS. have exagitaro BλETE, omitting the article (r). Now this omission, as the MSS. were originally written, would easily occur; for the
words would read thus:
if the article were inserted; and as follows, if it were omitted:
In some cases of this kind, there is no internal evidence to be had for settling a disputed reading; since it is impossible to decide whether the letters in question have been omitted or repeated, where either way of writing the passage makes out a good sense. In such circumstances critics are governed by the number and character of the testimonies on either side. Again,
g) A person, having written one or more words from a wrong place, and not choosing to erase it, might return to the right one, and thus produce the improper insertion of a word or a clause. This has probably been the case in Matt. xxvi. 60, among other passages, where the first "but found none," is superfluous za our jugov, and improper, and is wanting in one MS. Cor. xii. 7, the second iva un vτegaιgwuas, “lest I
See the Specimen, p. 30, ante.