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UNDER the auspices of a kind Providence we have at length brought our labours to a conclusion, which indeed have been much greater than we at first anticipated. It will be seen by the title-page, that, at first, we proposed nothing more than to make some further improvements in the “Improved Version,” aided by the different translations there mentioned; but in many places we have found it necessary to attempt something like a new translation, finding no one but what varies in many respects from the sense of the original text; and seemingly with an evident design to favour some of the leading systems of men. How far we have succeeded in this, remains to be tested by time and the discerning eye of the critic. After carefully reviewing our labours, and revising the translation for a Mew Edition, we have found fewer emendations necessary than we had previously anticipated, and of these, none very important; it is still, however, our intention, carefully and critically to revise every portion of the work before it is again committed to the press. For, although we do not anticipate any other alterations than such as are merely verbal, yet, it is desirable both the sense and praseology should be rendered as clear and explicit as possible. That, however, we may render the present Edition as perfect as this period of the work will permit, we will here state the general result of our subsequent labours—and, as it will be perceived that all the alterations are of minor importance, it is to be concluded that the translation now presented is nearly as perfect as it will be in our power to render it. The proposed alterations are of the following character, and will take place principally in the four Gospels. 1. The most frequent will be the change of the relative that, which invariably occurs in the common and the improved version, into who, which is much more emphatic and better adapted to the solemnity of style proper for the Scriptures. In interrogative sentences, however, to prevent a disagreeable tautology, the relative that will be retained in the latter clause of the sentence; as ‘Who is this that speaketh blasphemies : Luke v. 21. But even in these instances the learned Thomson inserts both the interrogative and relative who, as ‘Who is this who speaketh blasphemy ' The above rule has been, with but a very few exceptions, observed even in the present Edition, from the commencement of the Epistles. 2. The expressions “any man,” “no man,” “every man,” &c. where no word is found in the Greek text answering to nan, will more uniformly be rendered by “any one,” “no one,” “every one,” &c. 3. More attention will be paid, to mark by Italics all the words which the difference of idiom between the two languages renders necessary to be supplied in the English—particularly in those instances where ouro; he or this, is rendered by “this man,” as in Mat. xii. 24, Luke vii. 39, and some others; where the word man, though evidently understood in the Greek, is necessary to be supplied in the translation. 4. In the division of the quoted paragraphs, the marks of quotation have occasionally been omitted, as Mat. xviii. 10, which will all be carefully supplied. 5. The division of the verses in the present edition do not always correspond with the common version; and, occasionally, in the Gospels and a few of the first chapters of the Acts of the apostles the numbers are misplaced, either in the Greek, or in the English, but from the commencement of the Epistles great care has been paid to correctness in this particular. 6. Besides many trifling emendations, too unimportant to be mentioned here, it is proposed to alter the following passages so as to read as stated below, which, by comparing them with their respective texts, as they stand in this edition, the improvement will be readily perceived.
Mat. ii. 4. And having gathered together all the chief-
38. Now they who had eaten were, &c. xvi. 13. Now Jesus, as he came into the parts. . . . . of Philip, asked his disciples, &c. xvii. 9. until the son of man be risen from the dead. xviii. 30. Now he would not : but went, &c. xx. 19. and the third day he will rise from the dead.” xxiii. 14. ye shall receive a greater condemnation.—Note. The verses 13 and 14 are transposed, in the reading, and should have been in the numbers, as they are in the Greek. xxiv. 19. But alas for the women who, &c. and so likewise in the parallel texts in Mark and Luke. xxvii. 33. which is [called] a place, &c. 42. himself he cannot save. 63. “Within three days I shall be raised up.” Mark i. 19. Passing on [thence] a little further, and seeing, &c. ix. 31. he will arise from the dead on the third day.” x. 32. Now they were on the way, going up to Jerusalem ; and Jesus was going before them; &c. xiii. 20. but on account of the chosen, whom &c. 22. to deceive, if it were possible, even the chosen. xv. 31. cannot he save himself? [The words in the Greek here are exactly the same as in Mat. xxvii. 42; the difference is only in the pointing, in which respect copies, both of Mat. and Mark, vary. See Griesbach’s notes.] Luke iv. 30. But passing through the midst of them, he departed. ix. 8 and 19. one of the ancient prophets is risen up. xi. 41. Only give in alms according to your ability ; &c. [So Wakefield.] xiii. 12. And Jesus observing her, called her to him, &c. xxiii. 8. And Herod, on seeing Jesus, was glad : &c. xviv. 46. and to arise from the dead, &c. [The verb avia rout, from ava again, or us, and ivraozi to filace, stand, signifies, “In the 2d aor. act. and 1st fut. mid. intransitive, To rise, or arise Jrom the dead.” Parkhurst. The words from the dead, therefore, are not altogether supplied, though marked as such...] John i. 16. and favour upon favour. [The sentence is eliptical, which may be expressed in full thus: “ and of his fulness we all have received, even favour upon [account of his] favour.” i. e. we are more highly favoured on account of the favour which he received. See Parkhurst.] xi. 23 and 24. rise from the dead, &c. xii. 38. to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ” * xviii. 20. in secret I have spoken nothing. . Acts xi. 19. preaching the word to none of the gentiles, but to the Jews only. xiii. 16. and beckoning with the hand, said, &c. 26. and those among you of the gentiles who fear God; &c. xxviii. 12. we remained there three days: 13 from which place we coasted, &c. Eph. i. 4. that we might be holy and spotless in his sight: 5 having in love predestinated us, &c. [It will be perceived that Griesbach separates the words wayary in love, from what goes before, and connects them with the following clause, whereas the received text connects those words with the foregoing clause.] . In addition to the notes, it is proposed to insert the following: V12 : Mat. xii. 4. and ate of the show-bread,” which &c. 24. by Beelzebub prince of the demons.t xxiv. 34. thou wilt disowni me thrice.” xxvii.33. which is calledS a place of sculls, &c. Mark iii. 26. the loaves of the presence, &c. John xx. 8. and he saw and believed [not]." For &c. Acts xxviii. 4. yet vengeance” hath not permitted to live.” Rom. i. 20. even his eternalft power &c.
t [add to the note] Christ reasons with the Pharisees upon their own principles, without saying any thing about the truth or falsity of them.” Simpson.
* “So the Cambridge MS. in the Greek: but not in the Latin translation of it. The following verse assigns a reason for the unbelief of John and Peter.” Newcome. The received Text, which Griesbach retains, reads, “he saw and believed.”
** Gr. Auxn vindictive justice: “of which the heathen made a goddess.” Parkhurst.
What we have advanced above is humbly submitted to a candid and enlightened public, who will impartially judge our labours; and it is from such only that patronage and encouragement in undertakings like the present are to be expected; if those of a different character can be prevailed on merely to glance over the result of our efforts it is as much as we can expect from them : but such as are wilfully, or willingly ignorant, we shall not be surprised to find at the very front of those who are
ready to condemn us without even the slightest examination. From bigotry and superstition we expect but little opposition to our work, openly; it is too late in the day to cover with the veil of affected sanctity the errors and interpolations of our public version, and the great mass of mankind are too much enlightened to stamp with the name of heresy, the opening of the sacred page, and the displaying it to the children of men in its original purity.
In whatever manner, however, the world at large may be inclined to receive the work which is now presented to them, we ourselves are fully repaid for every toil with the pleasing satisfaction of having a good conscience towards God, in regard to the motives which have impelled us to the undertaking, and with the hope that we have been instrumental, through his divine permission, in removing the veil from the understanding of his creatures, and dispelling the clouds which have too long enveloped and obscured the word of divine truth.
In taking leave of the work for the present, we desire to express our unfeigned gratitude to the great Parent of the universe, under whose protecting hand our labours are thus brought to a close. Much gratitude is also due to a literary friend of this city, who kindly offered his assistance in reading the proof-sheets of the Greek, and through whose suggestions the translation has in many instances been much improved. We are apprehensive, however, that the work is susceptible of still greater improvement, and any hints from the learned, to this effect, will be not only cordially received, but will also meet with all due attention. But, one fact must not be passed over unnoticed, namely, not a single objection to the translation has to our knowledge, been offered from any source: and to show that no pains have been spared to obtain every possible light on this important subject, we here advert to the first or specimen number, of which two hundred and fifty extra copies were struck off for the purpose of distribution, and one sent to every University and College in the United States, addressed to the Presidents of those Institutions, accompanied by an address, stating that the whole number remained in type, subject to any alteration or revision, for which satisfactory reasons might be given. Not the least notice, however, was taken of all this by those learned institutions : yet we still persevered in the work; and as the Greek and English came out in thirteen numbers, (which have spread from Maine to South-Carolina,) each number, after the first, has been also accompanied with the following address, inserted on the printed cover.