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was agreed to be the best of any translation in the English Bible with all the MSS. and collections teorld.” Such is the narrative of the lord com- from MSS. to which he could obtain access. he missioner Whitlock, who had the care of the thus speaks of this Version :business, and who took great pains in the design, “ Those who have compared most of the European which became fruitless by the dissolution of the translations with the original, have not scrupled to parliament. Johnson, in his account of the English say, that the English translation of the Bible, made translations, relates, that the committee and their under the direction of King James I., is the most learned associates “pretended to discover some
accurate and faithful of the whole. Nor is this its mistakes in the last English translation, which yet only praise; the translators have seized the very they allowed was the best extant.” This judgment, spirit and soul of the original, and expressed this which was confirmed by Walton, personally, in ori inal, from which it was taken, is alone superior
almost every where with pathos and energy..... The the prolegomena to his Polyglott, was delivered at
to the Bible which was translated by the authority a time when the nation, as this profound scholar of King James. This is an opinion in which my himself has told us, “had more men of eminent heart, my judgment, and my conscience coincide.”+ skill in languages than ever heretofore.”
(4) Dr. Doddridge says :4. These testimonies, however, only refer to
“On a diligent comparison of our translation with the comparative excellence of the English Vulgate; the original, we find that of the New Testament, something more positive and unqualified will add and I miglit also add that of the Old, in the main to their value. We select the following out of faithful and judicious. You know, indeed, that we many entitled to equal weight :
do not scruple, on some occasions, to animadvert (1) Bishop Walton, in the Defence of his upon it; but you also know, that these remarks Polyglott Bible (p. 5), says that this translation affect not the fundamentals of religion, and seldorn
reach * may justly contend with any now extant in
farther than the beauty of a figure, or, at any
any other language in Europe.”
most, the connexion of an argument.” (2) Dr. Geddes, whose profound and various (5) The late Rev. William Orme, whose judglearning, and extensive acquaintance with biblical ment was as sound as his learning was solid, literature, entitle his judgment to great respect, speaks of the English Version in the following while his peculiar theological opinions render his terms :testimony the more independent, and therefore “Like every thing human, it is no doubt impervaluable, thus speaks of the authorised Version : fect; but, as a translation of the Bible, it has few “The means and the method employed to produce faithful, simple, and perspicuous. It has seized the
rivals, and, as a whole, no superior. It is in general this translation promised something extremely satisfactory; and great expectations were formed from it seldom descends to meanness or vulgarity; but
spirit and copied the manner of the divine originals. the united abilities of so many learned men, selected for the purpose, and excited to emulation by the often rises to elegance and sublimity. It is level to encouragement of a munificent prince, who had de- the eye of the critic, the poet, and the philosopher.' ||
the understanding of the cottager, and fit to meet clared himself the patron of the work. Accordingly, the highest eulogiums have been made on it, both by 5. Such, according to the most competent and our own writers and by foreigners; and, indeed, if independent judges, is the general excellence accuracy, fidelity, and the strictest attention to the the fidelity and high literary qualities, of the letter of the text, be supposed to constitute the English Vulgate. The testimony to this imqualities of an excellent Version, this, of all Versions, portant fact cannot but be gratifying to those must in general be accounted the most excellent. whose daily companion it is, and who constantly Every sentence, every word, every syllable, every study its pages for religious instruction and letter and point, seem to have been weighed with the
comfort. nicest exactitude, and expressed, either in the text of margin, with the greatest precision. Pagninus
IV. We should not be dealing fairly with our himself is hardly more literal; and it was well re- subject, however, did we confine ourselves to an exmarked by Robertson, above a hundred years ago, hibition of the higher and more excellent qualities that it may serve for a Lexicon of the Hebrew lan- of the English Bible, and put out of sight, or pass guage, as well as for a translation."
over in silence, the defects or other imperfections (3) Dr. Adam Clarke's testimony is highly by which it is characterized. Our object is to valuable. After having himself translated every give a faithful impression of its critical character word from the originals, which he made his con- and value, and this can only be done by an unrestant study for more than half a century, and served examination and statement of the faults diligently collated the common printed text of the
+ Preface to Commentary on the Old Testament, p. 19. * Prospectus of a New Translation, p. 92.
Works, vol. ii.,
| Billiotheca Biblica, n. 57.
as well as of the excellencies of which it partakes. But in a phrase exactly similar (Judg. xvii. 6), The authorised Version of the Bible having been they translate, “ Every one did that which was made at a time when the critical apparatus for right in his own eyes.” Again, in Gen. xli. 37, ascertaining and restoring the purity of the text they say, “ And the thing was good in the eyes of of both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures Pharaoh ;" but in Numb. xi. 10, they have not was very defective, it must partake, of course, translated, “It was also evil in the
of Moses," in a very large degree, of those imperfections of but “Moses was also displeased.” But there are which mention has already been made in Section V. no phrases, in the rendering of which our transBut independently of these imperfections, which | lators have shown more variety than in those in belong to all the early Versions in common, the which the words ben and aish make a part. The following intrinsic and peculiar blemishes are former of these, which primarily signifies a son, observable in the English translation.
and secondarily a descendant of any kind, has in 1. There is a want of uniformity in the mode the Oriental dialects a much wider acceptation, of translating—the absence of “an identity of and is applied, not only to the offspring of the phrasing," as the translators themselves call it, animal creation, but also to productions of every which greatly impairs its value. We may give a sort; and what is still more catachrestical, even to few specimens of this diversity of rendering, both consequential or concomitant relations; so that an in words and in phrases.
arrow is called “the son of the bow," the morning (1) Of words. Passing over many others that star, “the son of the morning;" threshed-out corn, may, perhaps, be deemed nearly synonymous, as “the son of the floor,” and anointed persons, “the fountain or spring ; dwelling-place or habitation ; sons of oil.” In rendering such phrases as these, shield or buckler; mitre, diadem, or hood; to rail, our translators have generally softened the Heto mourn, or to lament; we find the same word braism, but after no uniform manner. Sons of translated locust and grasshopper ; vormreood and Belial” is surely not more intelligible to an English hemlock; lintel and door-post ; orl and ostrich ; reader, than “sons of oil,” and much less so than nettles and thorns ; hull and the grace ; cormorant sons of valour,” sons of righteousness,” “sons and pelican; lare, statute, decree, and ordinance ; of iniquity :” yet, while they retain the first coat of mail, habergeon, and brestplate ; a fort, Hebraism, with all its original harshness, and hold, strong holl, castle, munition, and bulmark; partly in its original form, they mollify the last ressels, furniture, instruments ; stuff, armour, and three into“ valiant men,” “ righteous men, ' neapons ; nations, Gentiles, and heathens; a pattern,“ wicked men.” Nay, even in the retention of likeness, form, similitude, and figure ; hearen, the Ilebraism in the first case, they are not conheavens, the heavens, and air. This incongruity of sistent. If once they admitted the word Belial, rendering is certainly objectionable, since it not they should have retained it, as Geddes remarks, only necessarily implies a want of fidelity in throughout ; and said, “ a thing of Belial,” giving the exact sense of the original phrases, but heart of Belial,” “a witness of Belial,” also, and perhaps chiefly, because it is calculated floods of Belial;" which, however, they render, to embarrass and perplex the reader.
“ an evil disease,” a wicked heart," "an ungodly (2) Of sentences. There is a diversity in the witness," “ the floods of ungodliness.” rendering of these, especially in the translation of (3) Not only in similar phrases have our transidiomatic phrases in the Hebrew language, in which lators broken the rules of uniformity, but they have the translators appear to have been guided by no often violated them in rendering the same phrase, uniform principle, nor even by any rules of gram- and that sometimes in the same chapter.
“How matical analogy. “To lift up one's feet,” for “ to old art thou ?” says Pharaoh to Jacob (Gen. remove,” is certainly not a more harsh idiotism xlvii. 8), instead of, “ How many are the days than “to lift up one's eyes,” for “to look up” | of thy years ?” But in Jacob's answer (ver. 9) yet they every where retain the latter IIebraism; we have, “ The days of the years of my pilnever the former.
In like manner, “to deliver grimage are,” &c. In ver. 28, they again drop one's self from the eyes of another,” for “to escape the Hebraism, and translate, “So the whole age from one,” is not more abhorrent from our idiom of Jacob,” for, “all the days of the years of than “ to hide one's eyes from another,” for “
Jacob.” connive at him;" yet, in the former case, our (4) Many additional instances of this variety of translators rejected the Hebraism in 2 Sam. xx. 6, phrasing might be given; but we have cited but in the latter retained it, in Lev. xx. 4. “To do enough to show that the English translators were what is good in one's eyes,” is a Hebraism which not guided by any uniform rule or fixed principle, they have generally rendered by “doing what especially in dealing with the Hebraisms; and, pleaseth or liketh one,” Gen. xvi. 6; Esth. viii. 8. moreover, that this want of uniforinity must often
produce some inconvenience to the reader of the / of no divine authority, but some of them are English Bible.
highly valuable as historical documents; particu2. The anxiety of the translators to render the larly the two books of the Maccabees, which help original literally into English, has sometimes in- to fill up the history of the interval of time that duced them to adopt modes of expression incom- elapsed between the sealing up of prophecy and patible with the idiom of the language. It is the advent of the Messiah. It is to be regretted true, the language which they have employed has that some of the other apocryphal books contain become so familiar to our ears, by being the lan- gross perversions of truth, and details of an inguage of the national church, that it is in no way delicate nature. offensive to our feelings; but it has been justly 2. The Jewish church divided the canonical remarked, that a proof of many of the Bible ex- | books into three classes, under which form they were pressions being neither natural nor analogous, is generally referred to and quoted : THE LAW, THE seen in the fact, that they have never yet been PROPHETS, and the HAGIOGRAPHA, or holy writings.
freable to force themselves into common usage, even The Law contained the five books of Moses ; in conversation. Any person who should employ quently called the Pentateuch, i. e., the five Books. them in his discourse, would be supposed to jeer THE PROPHETS comprised the whole of the writings at Sripture, or to affect the language of fanati- now termed prophetical—from Isaiah to Malachi, cism. In short, what Selden said of the author-inclusive; and also the books of Job, Joshua, ised Version is strictly just; namely, that it is Judges, Ruth, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, translated into English words, rather than into Nehemiah, and Esther; these books having been English phrase.*
either written or revised by prophets-probably 3. We have now enumerated the principal de- the former. THE HAGIOGRAPHA included the fects by which the otherwise pre-eminently faithful Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of and felicitous text of the “Authorised Version" of Solomon. It is thought that our Saviour recogthe Bible is marred. It is gratifying to the devout nised this division of the sacred books when he mind to perceive that their united amount does said, “All things must be fulfilled which are writnot in any degree interfere with Christian doctrine ten in the Law of Moses, and in the PROPILETS, or duty. They resolve themselves almost wholly and in the PSALMS, concerning me” (Luke into matters of literary propriety; and in the worst xxiv. 44). cases, do no more than leave the reader in a state
3. The books of THE NEW TESTAMENT are of doubt as to the precise meaning of some local divisible into three classes—HISTORICAL, Docor historical reference.
TRLNAL, and PROPHETICAL. The first embraces
the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles ; SECTION VII.
the second includes the Apostolic Epistles; and DIVISIONS AND ARRANGEMENTS OF THE SCRIPTURES. the third, the Book of Revelation. We do not
mean, however, that either of these classes exAncient and Modern Distribution of the Biblical Books-Ori- cludes the subject of the other; like all the rest of ginal form of the Text; Chapters and Verses ; Punctuation – Advantages and Disadvantages of our Present Divisions of the sacred books, those of the New Testament are the Sacred Text.
of a mixed nature ; each one containing something
of history, prophecy, and doctrine. I. The BIBLE—a word denoting The Book,
(1) In the second and third centuries the New and applied to the Scriptures by way of eminence Testament was divided into two parts—the Gospels or distinction, is divided into two principal parts; and the Epistles, or Gospels and Apostles. Other THE OLD TESTAMENT, and the New TESTAMENT: divisions have been made in subsequent ages, but the former comprising those books that were it is unnecessary to trouble the reader with a dewritten antecedently to the birth of our Saviour; the latter embracing those writings that narrate
scription of them.
(2) The New TESTAMENT is called in the bis history and expound his doctrines.
Greek, H KAINH AIAOHKH, the New Testa1. The OLD TESTAMENT resolves itself into two ment or Corenant, a title that was early borrowed great divisions; the Canonical Books and the by the church from the Scriptures (Matt. xxvi. Apocryphal Books: the former were written by 28; Gal. iii. 17; Heb. viii. 8, ix. 15, 20), and persons under the influence of divine inspiration, authorised by the apostle Paul, 2 Cor. iii. 14. The are a part of the rule of faith and conduct of all
word ocoryn, in these passages, denotes a covebelievers, and have ever been undisputed in the nant ; and in this view, The New CovENANT eburch, as regards their authority; the latter are signifies, “ A book containing the terms of the new * Carpenter's Guide to the Reading of the Bible, Part I.,
covenant between God and man." But, accordrhop. 4.
ing to the meaning of the primitive church, which adopted this title, it is not altogether improperly the New Testament Scriptures, and also that rendered New TestamENT ; as being that in system of grace and mercy which they unfold. which the Christian's inheritance is sealed to him This word, which exactly answers to the Greek as a son and heir of God, and in which the death term Evayyesov, is derived from the Saxon words, of Christ as a testator (Heb. ix. 16, 17) is related God (good) and spel (speech or tidings), and is at large, and applied to our benefit. As this title evidently intended to denote the good message, or implies, that in the gospel unspeakable gifts are the “glad tidings of great joy,” which God has given or bequeathed to us, antecedent to all consent to all mankind, “preaching peace by Jesus ditions required of us, the title of TESTAMENT may Christ, who is Lord of all,” Acts x. 36. + be retained, though that of COVENANT is more (4) Concerning the chronological order of the exact and proper.*
New Testament books, biblical writers are not (3) The term GOSPEL, which is more generally agreed. The following table is compiled from applied to the writings of the four Evangelists, Mr. Townsend's Chronological Arrangement, where comprising a history of the transactions of our the conflicting opinions of chronologists have been Lord Jesus Christ, is not unfrequently used in a considered and decided upon with great care and more extended sense, as including the whole of judgment:
Place at which the Book
For whose use it was primarily
Gospel of Matthew
Jews in Judea
44 Acts of the Apostles
51 First to the Thessalonians
Corinth Second to the Thessalonians
52 Epistle to Titus Nicopolis
53 First to the Corinthians Ephesus
56 First Epistle to Timothy Macedonia
56 or 57 Second Epistle to the Corinthians Philippi
58 Epistle to the Romans
Corinth Epistle to the Ephesians Rome
61 Epistle to the Philippians
Jewish Christians Epistle to the Hebrews
65 or 66 First Epistle of Peter
Jews and Gentile converts Second Epistle of Peter
Italy or Rome Jewish and Gentile Chris
tians of the Dispersion Epistle of Jude Jude Probably Syria General
66 Book of Revelation John Asia Minor
96 Three Epistles of John
96 to 106 Gospel according to John
4. That all the books which convey to us the also such numerous professed quotations from history of events under the New Testament were them, that it is demonstrably certain, that these written and immediately published by persons books existed in their present state a few years contemporary with the events, is most fully proved after the conclusion of our Saviour's ministry. But by the testimony of an unbroken series of authors, this is not the place to enlarge upon this topic ; reaching from the days of the Evangelists to the it will be fully treated of in a subsequent Part. present times; by the concurrent belief of Chris- II. From what has now been said, it will be tians of all denominations; and by the unreserved perceived, that the existing arrangement of the confession of avowed enemies to the gospel. In sacred books has been made with a view to their this point of view the writings of the ancient subject matter, rather than with reference to their Fathers of the Christian church are invaluable. historical connexion ; the order of the parts of They contain, not only frequent references and each division being determined either by the allusions to the books of the New Testament, but relative importance of the matters to which they
• Michaëlis' Introduction, chap. j. ; and Bishop Percy's Key, p. 32.
+ See Dr. Adam Clarke's Intrnduction to the New Testa. ment.
relate, the comparative consideration of the per- Hence arose the Masoretic punctuation of the sons to whom they are addressed, or some other Hebrew text, and the Euthalian divisions in the incidental circumstance of a similar kind. This Greek text. The date of the former is a matter arrangement, which is adopted in most of the of uncertainty ; some refer it as far back as the nodern Versions of the Bible, was originally bor- days of Ezra, while others maintain that it was mwert, with some trifling exceptions, from the unknown before the second century of the ChrisLatin Vulgate, as settled at the council of Trent. tian era. The divisions made by Euthalius, in It possesses some advantages for reference and the fifth century, were very different from those musultation ; but it should not govern the student now made by the usual points, or grammatical in his Scripture studies, in which the natural stops, and consisted in setting just so many words order of history and chronology should be gene- in one line as were to be read uninterruptedly, so rally adhered to. He who has thus studied the as clearly to disclose the sense of the author. Bible
, will readily subscribe to the remark of Hug has given a specimen of these stichometrical the erudite Lightfoot, who says, “Such a method divisions, as they are called, out of a celebrated is the most satisfactory, delightsome, and confirm- fragment of Paul's epistles, which Wetstein has ative of the understanding, mind, and memory, marked H. The passage is Titus ii. 3. We give that
may be. This settles histories in your mind; it in English, however, instead of Greek, for the this brings the things as if done before your eyes; sake of the unlearned : this makes you mark what else you would not; THAT THE AGED MEN BE SOBER and this suffers you not to slip over the least tittle
GRAVE of a word; and sometimes, in things of doubt
TEMPERATE and setuple, this strikes all out of question.” *
SOUND IN FAITH III.—1. The sacred writings had originally, and
THE AGED WOMEN LIKEWISE for a long period of time, no punctuation, nor
IN BEHAVIOUR AS BECOMETH HOLINESS any such divisions as that of chapter and verse.
NOT FALSE ACCUSERS The words were not so much as separated by
NOT GIVEN TO MUCH WINE. intervals from one another. Letter was strung
TEACHERS OF GOOD THINGS on to letter, and so continued, that every like a single word. Hence, the reader was obliged It is clear that this mode of writing occupied first to separate and re-combine the letters, in a very large space, to no good purpose, and order to form words and discover the sense.
copyists soon began to improve upon the system, late even as the fifth century, the New Testament | by running on the stichoi or lines, and separating
each one by the introduction of a point. The had none of the ordinary marks of distinction, although Christendom had no lack of gramma- grammarians
, however, at length took offence at rians, who might have here found an undertaking
a mode of punctuation so entirely ungrammatical, worthy of their art. The following passage will give and began to introduce distinctions according to the uninformed reader some idea, though a very did not arrive at any thing like perfection, until
fixed rules. This was gradually improved, but inadequate one, of the continuous form of the original text, and of the misconceptions to which very long after the invention of printing. it was liable:
3. Previous to the introduction of these verbal
divisions into the sacred text, there existed other NOWWHENHEHADENDEDALLHISSAYING and larger divisions, adopted for the purposes of SINTHEAUDIENCEOFTHEPEOPLEHEENTE reference and worship. REDINTOCAPERNAUMANDACERTAINCE NTURION’SSERVANTWHOWASDEARUNTO
4. It appears from the references in the New
Testament to the Book of Psalms, that they HIMWASSICKANDREADYTODIE +
were at that time, and most likely had always 2. It was no easy task for a person not long been, divided into distinct odes or songs, as we instructed, or very much used to it, to read the now possess them. But with the rest of the Bible well and intelligibly, in the public assem- Hebrew Scriptures it was different. These were blies, without adopting for his guide some marks divided, for the convenience of reading, into of distinction; for private reading, also, assistance sections, called Parashim and Haptaroth: the of a similar description was a desideratum. former comprising the law; the latter, the prophets
As these divisions were made for the service of
the synagogue, each division included fifty-three * Townsend's Chronological Arrangement of the Bible; Parashim or Haptaroth, so that by reading one of sisald be the oniversal study-Bible.
| The reader may see a specimen in the Greek character, cach on the several sabbaths, the entire Scriptures p. 30, ante.
were publicly read through in the course of the