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GENERAL PREFACE. him, together with extensive reading and a remarkably sound judgment. For the best translation into any language we are indebted under God to King James, who was called a 'hypocrite by those who had no religion, and a pedant by persons who had not half his learning. Both piety and justice require that, while we are thankful to God for the gift of his word, we should revere the memory of the man who was the instrument of conveying the water of life through a channel by which its purity has been so wonderfully preserved. As to politics, he was, like the rest of the Stuart family, a tyrant.
Those who have compared most of the European translations with the original, have not scrupled to say that the English translation of the Bible, made under the direction of King James I., is the most accurate and faithful of the whole. Nor is this its only praise; the translators have seized the very spirit and soul of the original, and expressed this almost everywhere with pathos and energy. Besides, our translators have not only made a standard translation, but they have made their translation the standard of our language; the English tongue in their day was not equal to such a work, “ but God enabled them to stand as upon Mount Sinai,” to use the expression of a learned friend, " and crane up their country's language to the dignity of the originals, so that after the lapse of 200 years the English Bible is, with very few exceptions, the standard of the purity and excellence of the English tongue. The original from which it was taken is, alone, superior to the Bible translated by the authority of King James.” This is an opinion in which my heart, my judgment, and my conscience, coincide.t
* These are the words of the late Miss Freeman Shepherd, a very learned and extraordinary woman, and a rigid papist.
† It is not unknown that, at the Hampton Court conference, several alterations were proposed by Dr. Reynolds and his associates to be made in the Liturgy then in common use, as well as in the Bible. These however were in general objected to by the king, and only a few changes made, which shall be mentioned below. While on this part of the subject it may not be unacceptable to the reader to hear how the present Liturgy was compiled, and who the persons were to whom this work was assigned ; a work almost universally esteemed by the devout and pious of every denomination, and the greatest effort of the Reformation, next to the translation of the Scriptures into the English language. The word LITURGY is derived, according to some, from acon, prayer, and epyov, work, and signifies literally the work or labour of prayer or supplication ; and he who labours not in his prayers prays not at all: or more properly heltovpyla, from heltos, public or common, and epyov, work, denoting the common or public work of prayer, thanksgiving, &c., in which it is the duty of every person to engage; and from altaveuw, to supplicale, comes acral, prayers, and hence Altavela, LITANY, supplication, a collection of prayers in the Liturgy or public service of the Church. Previously to the reign of Henry VIII. the Liturgy was all said or sung in Latin, but the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, in 1536 were translated into English, for the use of the common people, by the king's command. In 1545 the Liturgy was also permitted in English, as Fuller expresses it, "and this was he farthest pace the Reformation stept in the reign of Henry VIII."
In the first year of Edward VI., 1547, it was recommended to certain grave and learned bishops, and others then assembled, by order of the king, at Windsor Castle, to draw up a communion service, and to revise and reform all other offices in the Divine service; this service was accordingly printed and published, and strongly recommended by special letters from Seymour, Lord Protector, and the other lords of the council. The persons who compiled this work were the following: 1. THOMAS CRANMER, Archbishop of Canterbury.
9. John Taylor, then Dean, afterwards Bishop, of 2. George Day, Bishop of Chichester.
Lincoln. 3. Thomas Goodrick, Bishop of Ely.
10. Doctor Haines, Dean of Exeter. 4. John Skip, Bishop of Hereford.
11. Doctor Robinson, afterwards Dean of Durham. 5. Henry Holbeach, Bishop of Lincoln.
12. Doctor John Redman, Master of Trinity College, 6. Nicholas RIDLEY, Bishop of Rochester.
Cambridge. 7. Thomas Thirlby, Bishop of Westminster.
13. Doctor Richard Cox, then Almoner to the King, 8. Doctor May, Dean of St. Paul's.
and afterwards Bishop of Ely. It is worthy of remark that as the first translators of the Scriptures into the English language were several of them persecuted unto death by the papists, so some of the chief of those who translated the Book of Common Prayer, (Archbishop Cranmer and Bishop Ridley) were burnt alive by the same cruel faction.
This was what Mr. Fuller calls the first edition of the Common Prayer, published in 1548. Some objections having been made to this work by Mr. John Calvin abroad, and some learned men at home, particularly in reference to the Commemoration of the Dead, the use of Chrism, and E.ctreme Unction, it was ordered by a statute in parliament (5 and 6 of Edward VI.) that it should be faithfully and godly perused, explained, and made fully perfect. The chief alterations made in consequence of this order were these: the General Confession and Absolution were added, and the Communion Service was made to begin with the Ten Commandments, the use of oil in Confirmation and Extreme Unction was left out, also Prayers for the Dead, and certain expressions that had a tendency to countenance the doctrine of transubstantiation.
The same persons to whom the compiling of the Communion Service was intrusted were employed in this revision, which was completed and published in 1553. On the accession of Queen Mary this Liturgy was abolished, and the Prayer Book, as it stood in the last year of Henry VIII., commanded to be used in its place. In the first year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, 1559, ihe former Liturgy was restored, but it was subjected to a farther revision, by which some few passages were altered, and the petition in the Litany for being delivered from the tyranny and all the detestable enormities of the bishop of Rome left out, in order that conscientious Catholics might not be prevented from joining in the common service. This being done, it was presented to parliament, and by them received and established; and the Act for Uniformity, which is usually printed with the Liturgy, published by the queen's authority, and sent throughout the nation. The persons employed in this revision were the following: 1. Master Whitehead, once Chaplain to Queen Anna 4. Richard Cox, afterwards Bishop of Ely. Bullein.
5. James Pilkington, afterwards Bishop of Durham. 2. Matthew Parker, afterwards Archbishop of Can- 6. Doctor May, Dean of St. Paul's and Master of
Trinity College, Cambridge. 3. Edmund" Grindall, afterwards Bishop of London. 7. Sir Thomas Smith, Principal Secretary of State.
This Bible was begun in 1607, but was not completed and published till 1611 ; and there are copies of it which in their titlepages have the dates 1612 and 1613. This translation was corrected, and many parallel texts added, by Dr. Scattergood, in 1683 ; by Dr. Lloyd, bishop of London, in 1701 ; and afterwards by Dr. Paris, at Cambridge ; but the most complete revision was made by Dr. Blayney in the year 1769, under the direction of the vice-chancellor and delegates of the University of Oxford, in which, 1. The punctuation was thoroughly revised; Ž. The words printed in italics examined and corrected by the Hebrew and Greek originals ; 3. The proper names, to the etymology of which allusions are made in the text, translated, and entered in the margin ; 4. The heads and running titles corrected ; 5. Some material errors in the chronology rectified; and 6. The marginal references re-examined, corrected, and their number greatly increased. Copies of this revision are those which are termed above the most correct copies of the present authorized version ; and it is this revision re-collated, re-examined, and corrected from typographical inaccuracies in a great variety of places, that has been followed for the text prefixed to these notes. But, besides these corrections, I have found it necessary to re-examine all the italics; by those I mean the words interspersed through the text, avowedly not in the original, but thought necessary by our translators to complete the sense, and accommodate the idioms of the Hebrew and Greek to that of the English language. See the sixth rule, p. 16. In these I found gross corruptions, particularly where they have been changed for Roman characters, whereby words have been attributed to God which he never spoke.
The Punctuation, which is a matter of no small importance to a proper understanding of the sacred text, I have examined with the greatest care to me possible : by the insertion of commas where there were none before; putting semicolons for commas, the better to distinguish the members of the sentences ; changing colons for semicolons, and vice versa; and full points for colons, I have been in many instances enabled the better to preserve and distinguish the sense, and carry on a narration to its close, without interrupting the reader's attention by the intervention of improper stops.
The References I have in many places considerably augmented, though I have taken care to reprint all that Dr. Blayney has inserted in his edition, of which I scruple not to say, that as far as they go, they are the best collection ever edited, and I hope their worth will suffer nothing by the additions I have made.
After long and diligently weighing the different systems of Chronology, and hesitating which to adopt, I ultimately fixed on the system commonly received; as it appeared to me on the whole, though encumbered with many difficulties, to be the least objectionable. In fixing the dates of particular transactions I have found much difficulty ; that this was never done in any edition of the Bible hitherto offered to the public, with any tolerable correctness, every person acquainted with the subject must acknowledge. I have endeavoured carefully to fix the date of each transaction where it occurs, and where it could be ascertained, showing throughout the whole of the Old Testament the year of the world, and the year before Christ, in which it happened. From the beginning of Joshua I have introduced the years before the building of Rome
Of these Drs. Cox and May were employed on the first edition of this work, as appears by the preceding list.
In the first year of King James, 1604, another revision took place, and a few alterations were made, which consisted principally in the addition of some prayers and thanksgivings, some alteration in the Rubrics relative to the Absolution, to the Confirmation, and to the office of Prirate Baptism, with the addition of that purt of the Catechism which contains the Doctrine of the Sacraments. The other additions were, A Thanksgiving for divers Benefits, A Thanksgiving for Fair Weather, A Thanksgiving for Plenty, A Thanksgiving for Peace and Victory, and A Thanksgiving for Deliverance from the Plague. See the Instrument in Rymer, vol. xvi. p. 565, &c. When the work was thus completed, a royal proclamation was issued, bearing date March 1, 1604, in which the king gave an account of the Hampton Court conference, the alterations that had been made by himself and his clergy in the Book of Common Prayer, commanding it, and none other, to be used throughout the kingdom. See the Instrument, Rymer, vol. xvi., p. 575. In this state the Book of Common Prayer continued till the reign of Charles
II., who, the 25th of October, 1660, "granted his commission, under the great seal of England, to several bishops and divines to review the Book of Common Prayer, and to prepare such alterations and additions as they thought fit to offer." In the following year the king assembled the convocations of both the provinces of Canterbiry and York, and "authorized the presidents of those convocations, and other the bishops and clergy of the same, to review the said Book of Common Prayer," &c., requiring them, “after mature consideration, to make such alterations and additions as to them should seem meet and convenient." This was accordingly done, several prayers and some whole services added, and the whole published, with the Act of Uniformity, in the 14th of Charles II., 1661; since which time it has undergone no farther revision. These several additions have made the public service too long, and this is the principal cause why this part of Divine worship is not better attended. This excellent service is now burdensome through its extreme lengih; and the clergy shorten their sermons, making them superficial, to prevent too much weariness in their congregations. After being an hour and a half at prayers, they dismiss their audience with fifteen or twenty minutes' preaching ; thus the people are not sufficiently instructed. This is a short history of a work which all who are acquainted with it deem superior to every thing of the kind produced either by ancient or modern times.
It would be disingenuous not to acknowledge that the chief of those prayers were in use in the Roman Catholic Church from which the Church of England is reformed; and it would betray a want of acquaintance with ecclesiastical antiquity to suppose that those prayers and services originated in that Church, as several of them were in use from the first ages of Christianity, and many of the best of them before the name of pope or popety was known in the earth.
till the seren hundred and fifty-third year before Christ, when the foundation of that city was laid, and also introduced the Olympiads from the time of their commencement, as both these eras are of the utmost use to all who read the sacred writings, connected with the histories of the times and nations to which they frequently refer. And who that reads his Bible will not be glad to find at what time of the sacred history those great events fell out, of which he has been accustomed to read in the Greek and Roman historians ? This is a gratification which the present work will afford from a simple inspection of the margin, at least as far as those facts and dates have been ascertained by the best chronologists.
In the Pentateuch I have not introduced either the years of Rome or the Olympiads, because the transactions related in the Mosaic writings are in general too remote from these eras to be at all affected by them; and I judged it early enough to commence with them at the time when Israel was governed by the Judges. But as the exodus from Egypt forms a very rema, kable era in the Jewish history, and is frequently referred to in the historical books, I have entered this also, beginning at the 12th of Exodus, A. M. 2513, and have carried it down to the building of Solomon's temple. This, I conceive, will be of considerable use to the reader.
As to Marginal Readings, I could with very little trouble have added many hundreds, if not thousands ; but as I made it a point of conscience strictly to adhere to the present authorized version in the text, I felt obliged by the same principle scrupulously to follow the Marginal Readings, without adding or omitting any. Had I inserted some of my own, as some others have done, then my text would be no longer the text of the authorized version, but an altered translation; for the Marginal Readings constitute an integral part, properly speaking, of the authorized version; and to add any thing would be to alter this version, and to omit any thing would be to render it imperfect. When Dr. Blayney revised the present version in 1769, and proposed the insertion of the translations of some proper names, to the etymology of which reference is made in the text, so scrupulous was he of making any change in this respect that he submitted all his proposed alterations to a select Committee of the University of Oxford, the Vice-chancellor, and the Principal of Hertford College, and Mr. Professor Wheeler ; nor was even the slightest change made but by their authority. All this part, as well as the entire text, I must, therefore, to be consistent with my proposals, leave conscientiously as I found them, typographical errors and false italics excepted. Whatever emendations I have proposed, either from myself or others, I have included among the Notes.
That the Marginal Readings, in our authorized translation, are essential to the integrity of the version itself, I scruple not to assert; and they are of so much importance as to be in several instances preferable to the Tertual Readings themselves. Our conscientious translators, not being able in several cases to determine which of two meanings borne by a word, or which of two words found in different copies, should be admitted into the text, adopted the measure of receiving both, placing one in the margin and the other in the text, thus leaving the reader at liberty to adopt either, both of which in their apprehension stood nearly on the same authority. On this very account the marginal readings are essential to our version, and I have found, on collating many of them with the originals, that those in the margin are to be preferred to those in the text in the proportion of at least eight to ten.
To the Geography of the sacred writings I have also paid the utmost attention in my power. I wished in every case to be able to ascertain the ancient and modern names of places, their situation, distances, &c., &c. ; but in several instances I have not been able to satisfy myself. I have given those opinions which appeared to me to be best founded, taking frequently the liberty to express my own doubts or dissatisfaction. I must therefore bespeak the reader's indulgence, not only in reference to the work in general, but in respect to several points both in the Scripture geography and chronology in particular, which may appear to him not satisfactorily ascertained; and have only to say that I have spared no pains to make every thing as correct and accurate as possible, and hope I may, without vanity, apply to myself on these subjects, with a slight change of expression, what was said by a great man of a great work : “For negligence or deficience, I have perhaps not need of more apology than the nature of the work will furnish ; I have left that inaccurate which can never be made exact, and that imperfect which can never be completed.”—Johnson. For particulars under these heads I must refer to Dr. Hales' elaborate and useful work, entitled, A new Analysis of Chronology, 2 vols. 4to., 1809–10.
The Summaries to each chapter are entirely written for the purpose, and formed from a careful examination of the chapter, verse by verse, so as to make them a faithful Table of Contents, constantly referring to the verses themselves. By this means all the subjects of each chapter may be immediately seen, so as in many cases to preclude the necessity of consulting a Concordance.
In the Heads or head lines to each page I have endeavoured to introduce as far as the room would admit, the chief subject of the columns underneath, so as immediately to catch the eye of the reader. Quotations from the original texts I have made as sparingly as possible; those which are introVol. I. ( 3 )
GENERAL PREFACE. duced I have endeavoured to make plain by a literal translation, and by putting them in European characters. The reader will observe that though the Hebrew is here produced without the points, yet the reading given in European characters is according to the points, with very few exceptions. I have chosen this middle way to please, as far as possible, the opposers and friends of the Masoretic system.
The controversies among religious people I have scarcely ever mentioned, having very seldom referred to the creed of any sect
or party of Christians; nor have I produced any opinion merely to confute or establish it. "I simply propose what I believe to be the meaning of a passage, and maintain what I believe to be the truth, but scarcely ever in a controversial way. I think it quite possible to give my own views of the doctrines of the Bible, without introducing a single sentence at which any Christian might reasonably take offence; and I hope that no provocation which I may receive shall induce me to depart from this line of conduct.
It may be expected by some that I should enter at large into the proofs of the authenticity of Divine Revelation. This has been done amply by others; and their works have been published in every form, and, with a very laudable zeal, spread widely through the public; on this account I think it unnecessary to enter professedly into the subject, any farther than I have done in the “ Introduction to the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles," to which I must beg to refer the reader. The different portions of the sacred writings against which the shafts of infidelity have been levelled, I have carefully considered, and I hope sufficiently defended, in the places where they respectively occur.
For a considerable time I hesitated whether I should attach to each chapter what are commonly called reflections, as these do not properly belong to the province of the commentator. It is the business of the preacher, who has the literal and obvious sense before him, to make reflections on select passages, providential occurrences, and particular histories ; and to apply the doctrines contained in them to the hearts and practices of his hearers. The chief business of the commentator is critically to examine his text, to give the true meaning of every passage in reference to the context, to explain words that are difficult or of dubious import, illustrate local and provincial customs, manners, idioms, laws, &c., and from the whole to collect the great design of the inspired writer.
Many are of opinion that it is an easy thing to write reflections on the Scriptures; my opinion is the reverse ; common-place observations, which may arise on the surface of the latter, may be easily made by any person possessing a little common sense and a measure of piety; but reflections, such as become the oracles of God, are properly inductive reasonings on the facts stated or the doctrines delivered, and require, not only a clear head and a sound heart, but such a compass and habit of philosophic thought, such a power to discern the end from the beginning, the cause from its effect, (and where several causes are at work to ascertain their respective results, so that every effect may be attributed to its true cause,) as falls to the lot of but few men. Through the flimsy, futile, and false dealing of the immense herd of spiritualizers, metaphormen, and allegorists, pure religion has been often disgraced. Let a man put his reason in ward, turn conscience out of its province, and throw the reins on the neck of his fancy, and he may write-reflections without end. The former description of reflections I rarely attempt for want of adequate powers ; the latter, my reason and conscience prohibit ; let this be my excuse with the intelligent and pious reader. I have, however, in this way, done what I could. I have generally, at the close of each chapter, summed up in a few particulars the facts or doctrines contained in it; and have endeavoured to point out to the reader the spiritual and practical use he should make of them. To these inferences, improvements, or whatever else they may be called, I have given no specific name; and of them can only say, that he who reads them, though he may be sometimes disappointed, will not always lose his labour. At the same time I beg leave to inform him that I have not deferred spiritual uses of important texts to the end of the chapter ; where they should be noticed in the occurring verse I have rarely passed them by.
Before I conclude, it may be necessary to give some account of the original VERSIONS of the sacred writings, which have been often consulted, and to which occasional references are made in the ensuing work. These are the Samaritan, Chaldaic, Æthiopic, Septuagint, with those of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion ; the Syriac, Vulgate, Arabic, Coptic, Persian, and Anglo-Saxon.
The SAMARITAN text must not be reckoned among the versions. It is precisely the same with the Hebrew, only fuller; having preserved many letters, words, and even whole sentences, sometimes several verses, which are not extant in any Hebrew copy with which we are acquainted. In all other respects it is the same as the Hebrew, only written in what is called the Samaritan character, which was probably the ancient Hebrew, as that now called the Hebrew character was probably borrowed from the Chaldeans.
1. The SAMARITAN version differs widely from the Samaritan text; the latter is pure Hebrew, the former is a literal version of the Hebreo-Samaritan text, into the Chaldaico-Samaritan dialect. When this was done it is impossible to say, but it is allowed to be very ancient, considerGENERAL PREFACE. ably prior to the Christian era. The language of this version is composed of pure Hebrew, Syro-Chaldaic, and Cuthite terms. It is almost needless to observe that the Samaritan text and Samaritan version extend no farther than the five books of Moses ; as the Samaritans received no other parts of the sacred writings. 2. The Chaldaic version or Targums have already been described among
the commentators. Under this head are included the Targum of Onkelos upon the whole law ; the Jerusalem Targum on select parts of the five books of Moses; the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel also upon the Pentateuch ; the Targum of Jonathan upon the prophets; and the Targum of Rabbi Joseph on the books of Chronicles ; but of all these the Targums of Onkelos on the law, and Jonathan on the prophets, are the most ancient, the most literal, and the most valuable. See page 1 and 2 of this preface.
3. The SEPTUAGINT translation of all the versions of the sacred writings has ever been deemed of the greatest importance by competent judges. I do not, however, design to enter into the controversy conce
cerning this venerable version ; the history of it by Aristæus I consider in the main to be a mere fable, worthy to be classed with the tale of Bel and the Dragon, and the stupid story of Tobit and his Dog. Nor do I believe, with many of the fathers, that “ seventy or seventy-two elders, six out of each of the twelve tribes, were employed in the work ; that each of these translated the whole of the sacred books from Hebrew into Greek while confined in separate cells in the island of Pharos ;" or that they were so particularly inspired by God that every species of error was prevented, and that the seventy-two copies, when compared together, were found to be precisely the same, verbatim et literatim. My own opinion, on the controversial part of the subject, may be given in a few words: I believe that the five books of Moses, the most correct and accurate part of the whole work, were translated from the Hebrew into Greek in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, about 285 years before the Christian era ; that this was done, not by seventy-two, but probably by five learned and judicious men, and that when completed it was examined, approved, and allowed as a faithful version, by the seventy or seventy-two elders who constituted the Alexandrian Sanhedrim ; and that the other books of the Old Testament were done at different times by different hands, as the necessity of the case demanded, or the providence of God appointed. It is pretty certain, from the quotations of the evangelists, the apostles, and the primitive fathers, that a complete version into Greek of the whole Old Testament, probably called by the name of the Septuagint, was made and in use before the Christian era ; but it is likely that some of the books of that ancient version are now lost, and that some others, which now go under the name of the Septuagint, were the production of times posterior to the incarnation.
4. The Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, are frequently referred to. Aquila was first a heathen, then a Christian, and lastly a Jew. He made a translation of the Old Testament into Greek so very literal, that St. Jerome said it was a good dictionary to give the genuine meaning of the Hebrew words. He finished and published ihis work in the twelfth year of the reign of the Emperor Adrian, A. D. 128.
5. Theodotion was a Christian of the Ebionite sect, and is reported to have begun his translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek merely to serve his own party; but from what remains of his version it appears to have been very literal, at least as far as the idioms of the two languages would bear. His translation was made about the year of our Lord 180. All this work is lost, except his version of the book of the Prophet Danicl, and some fragments.
6. Symmachus was originally a Samaritan, but became a convert to Christianity as professed by the Ebionites. In forming his translation he appears to have aimed at giving the sense rather than a literal version of the sacred text. . His work was probably completed about A. D. 200.
These three versions were published by Origen in his famous work entitled, Herapla, of which they formed the third, fourth, and sixth columns. All the remaining fragments have been carefully collected by Father Montfaucon, and published in a work entitled, Hexapla Origenis quæ supersunt, &c. Paris, 1713. 2 vols. folio. Republished by C. F. Bahrdt, Leips. 1769, 2 vols. 8vo.
7. The Æthiopic version comprehends only the New Testament, the Psalms, some of the minor Prophets, and a few fragments of other books. It was probably made in the fourth century.
8. The Coptic version includes only the five books of Moses, and the New Testament. It is supposed to have been made in the fifth century.
9. The Syriac version is very valuable and of great authority. It was probably made as early as the second century; and some think that a Syriac version of the Old Testament was in existence long before the Christian era.
10. A Latin version, known by the name of the Itala, Italic or Antehieronymian, is well known among learned men; it exists in the Latin part of the Coder Bezæ at Cambridge, and in several other MSS. The text of the four gospels in this version, taken from four MSS. more than a thousand years old, was published by Blanchini, at Rome 1749, 4 vols. folio; and a larger