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blished to admit even of controversy ; and his great work may be considered as forming a new era in the annals of Biblical criticism. It has given almost a new character, as well as a new impulse to the study of the Greek Testament; vindicating the sacred writers from the dishonouring charge of either not understanding the principles of the language in which they wrote, or arbitrarily and capriciously departing from them. “Every un'prejudiced and pious Christian scholar,' remarks Mr. Valpy, in the preface to his present edition, will surely confess, that this • doctrine of the Greek Article, as it proves the unaffected accu‘racy and genuine simplicity of the style of the sacred writers, 'must tend to corroborate in the most satisfactory manner the ' vital doctrine of the divinity of Christ.'
. We have undisputed proofs of the general adherence of the sacred penmen of the New Testament to grammatical usage, and of their observance of the simple forms of language and rules of philology, in the diction which involves no peculiar doctrine; and what reason can be assigned, why the same application of plain established rules should not be allowed to operate with their usual acceptation and force, where they tend to substantiate doctrines, the common belief and conviction of which, on the mind of the writer, could alone dictate the adoption of that peculiar and genuine diction?'
Mr. Valpy has greatly enhanced the value of his present edition, by prefixing to the first volume, a brief analysis or epitome of the Bishop's invaluable work, as an introduction to the study of the sacred text; and he suggests to those who preside over ' our great public schools,' the propriety of introducing the study of this important doctrine into their higher classes, as being be
neficial to the advancement of classical learning itself,' by demonstrating the accuracy and even philosophical precision of the Greek language. The following remarks on the style of the sacred writers, our readers will peruse with satisfaction.
· Though the diction of the New Testament is not free from Hebraisms, nor in all respects conformed to the style of the Greek Attic writers; though it cannot be proved, as some have laboured to do, that, in the entire phraseology, there is a perfect consonance to the usage of the Greek historians, philosophers, and poets; yet still it has all the essential qualities of a good style, and in this respect comes not short of classic purity. The charge which some have thought proper to bring against the sacred penmen, of lingual inaccuracies and violations of grammar, is so far from being well grounded, that the converse appears to be undeniable, and their adherence to the rules of grammar to be so rigid as to repel every such assault. They may adopt and incorporate particular foreign words, as Persian words, Latinisms, and Cilicisms, and Arameisms, unusual inflections of nouns and verbs, and even peculiar combinations of words ; but still, the grammatical structure is Greek ; and in general, peculiarities in the language de
velop themselves in modes of declining, rather than in syntactical construction, and more in the lexicon, than in the grammar. ... It should also be observed, that Hebraisms are attributed to the New Testament, in a number of cases, merely because they are found in passages quoted from the Septuagint, which are never employed by the writers of the New Testament. Valpy, Pref. pp. xiii, xiv.
Dr. Bloomfield has some remarks, in his Preface, to the same effect, which deserve transcription.
As to the much controverted subject of the style of the New Tes-, tament, the present Editor is opposed to the opinions alike of those who regard the Greek as pure and even elegant, and of those who pronounce it barbarous and ungrammatical. To maintain the former, after the labours of so many eminent writers from Vorstius downwards, were a vain attempt: and as to the latter, it surely does not follow that, because some words are found nowhere else, they were coined by the Sacred Writers, or were barbarous ; since there is great reason to suppose that the classical authors preserved to us do not contain a tenth part of the Greek language, as it subsisted at the beginning of the Christian era. The words then may have been used by the best writers; or they may have formed part of the provincial or popular, colloquial and domestic phraseology, not preserved in any of the remains of antiquity. As to the non-observance of the rules laid down by the Greek Grammarians, sometimes imputed as a fault to the writers of the New Testament, it is an excellent distinction of Tittman: “ Scriptores sacri grammaticas quidem leges servarunt, non autem grammaticorum.”' Bloomfield, Pref. pp. xv, xvi.
We shall now proceed to discharge our more immediate duty as Reviewers, by putting our readers in possession of the means of deciding for themselves upon the specific and comparative merits of the publications before us. And the first point to which their inquiries will naturally be directed, is the Text that has been adopted in these editions. Mr. Valpy has taken, as the basis of his edition, the Received Text, giving the various lections at the foot of the page, and distinguishing by different stenographic marks, the degree of authority attaching to them. Dr. Burton has adopted the text of the edition printed at Oxford in 1707, after Mill, for which he assigns the following reasons.
• Though the received text, as it is called, of the Greek Testament is generally considered to have been settled by the Elzevirs, yet the editions which appeared in the last century, have differed from one another in a greater degree than is supposed by persons who have not examined this subject for themselves. The text adopted by Mill, though in some instances undoubtedly faulty, has perhaps had the greatest number of followers: and since this text has been adopted in the small and popular editions printed at Oxford in 1828 and 1830, I have thought it better to do the same. The reader will however find frequent mention of various readings in the notes. I have examined
with no small labour and attention the copious materials which have been collected by Griesbach ; and after weighing the evidence which he has adduced in favour of any particular reading, I noted down all those variations from the received text which seem to have a majority of documents in their favour. This abstract of Griesbach's critical apparatus may be seen in White's Criseos Griesbachianæ in N. T. Synopsis : and Vater, in his edition of the Greek Testament, published in 1824, has not only mentioned the reasons for preferring certain variations, but has admitted them into the text. Though the accuracy of these two persons might spare us the necessity of consulting Griesbach's notes, I preferred going through the same analysis myself; and it has been satisfactory to me to find, that my own conclusions were generally supported by these two independent authorities. Whoever may be induced to pursue a similar plan, will find that the common rules of criticism would require him to alter the received text in several places. The most remarkable variations are simply stated in the notes to this edition : but in hundreds of instances, where the dif. ference consists in the collocation of words, in the addition or omission of the article, the substitution of 8è for xai, &c. &c., I have not thought fit to mention the variation. The reader will infer, in all the cases which have been noticed, that the various reading is probably that which ought to be admitted into the text. Pref. pp. v. vi.
Considering the immediate object the learned Editor has had in view, this was, perhaps, the best course he could adopt ; although he has furnished the strongest possible argument for not adhering to the received text, and has thus paved the way for Dr. Bloomfield, who has laid the public under the highest obligations by the improved text which he has taken such elaborate pains to furnish. We must transcribe his own account of the plan upon which it is constructed.
· The Text has been formed (after long and repeated examination of the whole of the New Testament for that purpose solely) on the basis of the last edition of R. Stephens, adopted by Mill, which differs very slightly from, but is admitted to be preferable to, the common Text, found in the Elzevir edition of 1624. From this there has been no deviation, except on the most preponderating evidence; critical conjecture being wholly excluded ; and such alterations only introduced, as rest on the united authority of MSS., ancient Versions and Fathers, and the early printed Editions, but especially upon the invaluable Editio PRINCEPS ; and which have been already adopted in one or more of the Critical Editions of Bengel, Wetstein, Griesbach, Matthæi, and Scholz. And here the Editor must avow his total dissent, though not from the Canons of Criticism professedly acted upon by Griesbach in his Edition of the New Testament, yet altogether from the system of Recensions first promulgated by him, and founded upon a misapplication of those Canons. The perpetual, and, for the most part, needless cancellings and alterations of all kinds introduced by him, evince a temerity which would have been highly censurable even in editing a profane writer ; but, when made in the Sacred Volume, they involve also a charge of irreverence for the Book which was intended to make men wise unto salvation. In most respects, the Editor coincides with the views of Matthæi, (whose edition of the New Testament is pronounced by Bishop Middleton to be by far the best he had seen,) and in a great measure with those of the learned and indefatigable Scholz.
Further, the present Editor has so constructed his Text, that the reader will possess the advantage of having before him both the Stephanic text and also the corrected text formed on the best MSS., ancient versions, and early editions, and thus constituting, as the Editor apprehended, the true Greek Vulgate, on which the learned Dr. Nolan has so ably treated. To advert to the various kinds of alterations of the common text, as they arise from the omission, or the insertion of words, or from a change of one word into another ;-nothing whatever has been omitted, which has a place in the Stephanic text; such words only as are, by the almost universal consent of Editors and Critics, regarded as interpolations, being here placed within brackets, more or less inclusive, according to the degree of suspicion attached to them. Nothing has been inserted, but on the same weighty authority; and even these words are pointed out as insertions by being expressed in a smaller character. All altered readings have asterisks prefixed, the old ones being invariably indicated in the Notes. And such readings as, though left untouched, are by eminent Critics thought to need alteration, have a prefixed. As to Various Readings, the most important are noticed ; chiefly those which, though not admitted into the Text of the present Edition, have been adopted by one or more of the four Editors above mentioned, or are found in the Editio Princeps, or those wherein the Common Text differs from that of Stephens. In such cases, the reasons for non-adoption are usually given. And this has always been done in the case of alterations of the Text, however minute. The Critical Notes are almost entirely original, and chiefly serve to give reasons for the methods pursued in forming the text ..... The Punctuation has been throughout most carefully corrected and adjusted, from a comparison of all the best Editions, from the Editio Princeps to that of Scholz, Preface, pp. x-xii.
Further, Dr. Bloomfield has followed the example of Mr. Valpy and Dr. Burton, in dividing the text into paragraphs, not into verses, although the latter are expressed in the margin ; justly remarking, that "scarcely any thing could have had a more ' unfavourable effect on the interpretation of the New Testament,
than H. Stephens's breaking up the whole into verses,' and thereby, occasionally dissevering clauses which are closely connected in sense. The division into chapters, is not less unhappy; and it is scarcely possible to conceive of its being done with less intelligence and judgement.
Our readers will at once perceive that Dr. Bloomfield's edition of the Greek Testament is the most valuable that has yet been issued from the press in this country. We say this without disparaging the merit and usefulness of the labours of his predecessors. Dr. Burton's edition not only strongly recommends itself by the singular beauty of the typography, but the weight of his critical authority in respect to the varied lections which he has noted, imparts to it a substantial and independent value; although, in other respects, we must confess, the notes have greatly disappointed us. Mr. Valpy's edition, in point of general utility, may compete with Dr. Bloomfield's. Nor ought it to be forgotten, that his was the first work of the kind;- a circumstance which it might not have been unbecoming the learned Editors who have in part copied his plan, to notice. We admit, that Dr. Bloomfield has greatly improved upon that plan ;--that the immense labour he has bestowed upon the sacred text, and the learning imbodied in his notes, render his work exceedingly more valuable as a critical edition, and in fact invaluable to the Biblical student. But it may possibly be regarded as questionable, whether, if Mr. Valpy's edition, respecting which both Dr. Burton and Dr. Bloomfield maintain so contemptuous silence, had not appeared, their own editions would have been produced, or have assumed the same popular shape. There is such a thing as being provoked to good works.' Happily, the public is in these cases the gainer by the rivalry.
The high' sanction under which these two latter editions appear, is not a trivial circumstance; the one edited by the Oxford Regius Professor, and issued from the press of the University Printer; the other, from that of the Printer to the sister University, and dedicated, by permission, to the Primate. An Imprimatur is thus stamped upon them, virtually, if not officially, which must be regarded as an important step towards theological reform. Hitherto, the Anglican Church has been wont to view with jealousy and alarm any innovation upon what is Received and Authorized, any disturbance of what is Established; and the labours of the Continental critics and philologists have been regarded with feelings bordering upon angry hostility. Griesbach has obtained little honour, he has not always met with justice, at the hands of Oxford and Cambridge Professors. The long and patient attention which he devoted to the study of the Greek Testament, his unimpeachable candour and love of truth, and the important services which he has rendered to sacred literature, have not protected him from petulant censure and unfair depreciation. Of his doctrine of Recensions, our opinion has long ago been given * ; that he began to build before the foundation was laid ;-that his data are wholly unsatisfactory, and the practical rule founded upon them necessarily erroneous. But while we bore witness to the ability and success with which Dr. Laurence