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Article II. The New English Version.

Such is the time-honoured Version which we have been called upon to revise! We have had to study this great Version carefully and minutely, line by line; and the longer we have been engaged upon it the more we have learned to admire its simplicity, its dignity, its power, its happy turns of expression, its general accuracy, and we must not fail to add, the music of its cadences, and the felicities of its rhythm. To render a work that had reached this high standard of excellence, still more excellent; to increase its fidelity, without destroying its charm; was the task committed to us.Preface To the Revised Version.

To pass from the one to the other, is, as it were, to alight from a well-built and well-hung carriage which glides easily over a macadamized road,—and to get into one which has bad springs or none at all, and in which you are jolted in ruts with aching bones over the stones of a newly-mended and rarely traversed road, like some of the roads in our North Lincolnshire villages.Bishop Wordsworth.382382Address at Lincoln Diocesan Conference,—p. 16.

No Revision at the present day could hope to meet with an hour's acceptance if it failed to preserve the tone, rhythm, and diction of the present Authorized Version.Bishop Ellicott.383383On Revision,—p. 99.

I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this Book,—If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book.

And if any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this prophecy, GOD shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book.Revelation xxii. 18, 19.

Whatever may be urged in favour of Biblical Revision, it is at least undeniable that the undertaking involves a tremendous risk. Our Authorized Version is the one religious link which at present binds together ninety millions of English-speaking men scattered over the earth's surface. Is it reasonable that so unutterably precious, so sacred a bond should be endangered, for the sake of representing certain words more accurately,—here and there translating a tense with greater precision,—getting rid of a few archaisms? It may be confidently assumed that no Revision of our Authorized Version, however judiciously executed, will ever occupy the place in public esteem which is actually enjoyed by the work of the Translators of 1611,—the noblest literary work in the Anglo-Saxon language. We shall in fact never have another Authorized Version. And this single consideration may be thought absolutely fatal to the project, except in a greatly modified form. To be brief,—As a companion in the study and for private edification: as a book of reference for critical purposes, especially in respect 114 of difficult and controverted passages:—we hold that a revised edition of the Authorized Version of our English Bible, (if executed with consummate ability and learning,) would at any time be a work of inestimable value. The method of such a performance, whether by marginal Notes or in some other way, we forbear to determine. But certainly only as a handmaid is it to be desired. As something intended to supersede our present English Bible, we are thoroughly convinced that the project of a rival Translation is not to be entertained for a moment. For ourselves, we deprecate it entirely.

On the other hand, who could have possibly foreseen what has actually come to pass since the Convocation of the Southern Province (in Feb. 1870) declared itself favourable to a Revision of the Authorized Version, and appointed a Committee of Divines to undertake the work? Who was to suppose that the Instructions given to the Revisionists would be by them systematically disregarded? Who was to imagine that an utterly untrustworthy new Greek Text, constructed on mistaken principles,—(say rather, on no principles at all,)—would be the fatal result? To speak more truly,—Who could have anticipated that the opportunity would have been adroitly seized to inflict upon the Church the text of Drs. Westcott and Hort, in all its essential features,—a text which, as will be found elsewhere largely explained, we hold to be the most vicious Recension of the original Greek in existence? Above all,—Who was to foresee that instead of removing plain and clear errors from our Version, the Revisionists,—(besides systematically removing out of sight so many of the genuine utterances of the Spirit,)—would themselves introduce a countless number of blemishes, unknown to it before? Lastly, how was it to have been believed that the Revisionists would show themselves 115 industrious in sowing broadcast over four continents doubts as to the Truth of Scripture, which it will never be in their power either to remove or to recal? Nescit vox missa reverti.

For, the ill-advised practice of recording, in the margin of an English Bible, certain of the blunders—(such things cannot by any stretch of courtesy be styled Various Readings)—which disfigure some or many ancient authorities, can only result in hopelessly unsettling the faith of millions. It cannot be defended on the plea of candour,—the candour which is determined that men shall know the worst. The worst has not been told: and it were dishonesty to insinuate that it has. If all the cases were faithfully exhibited where a few, some, or many ancient authorities read differently from what is exhibited in the actual Text, not only would the margin prove insufficient to contain the record, but the very page itself would not nearly suffice. Take a single instance (the first which comes to mind), of the thing referred to. Such illustrations might be multiplied to any extent:—

In S. Luke iii. 22, (in place of Thou art my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased,) the following authorities of the IInd, IIIrd and IVth centuries, read,—this day have I begotten Thee: viz.—codex d and the most ancient copies of the old Latin (a, b, c, ff-2, 1),—Justin Martyr in three places384384Dial. capp. 88 and 103 (pp. 306, 310, 352). (a.d. 140),—Clemens Alex.385385P. 113. (a.d. 190),—and Methodius386386Ap. Galland. iii. 719, c d. (a.d. 290) among the Greeks. Lactantius387387iv. 15 (ap. Gall. iv. 296 b). (a.d. 300),—Hilary38838842 b, 961 e, 1094 a. (a.d. 350),—Juvencus389389Ap. Galland. iv. 605 (ver. 365-6). (a.d. 330),—Faustus390390Ap. Aug. viii. 423 e. (a.d. 400), 116 and—Augustine391391   Vox illa Patris, quæ super baptizatum facta est Ego hodie genui te, (Enchirid. c. 49 [Opp. vi. 215 a]):—
    Illud vero quod nonnulli codices habent secundum Lucam, hoc illa voce sonuisse quod in Psalmo scriptum est, Filius meus es tu: ego hodie genui te, quanquam in antiquioribus codicibus Græcis non inveniri perhibeatur, tamen si aliquibus fide dignis exemplaribus confirmari possit, quid aliud quam utrumque intelligendum est quolibet verborum ordine de cælo sonuisse? (De Cons. Ev. ii. c. 14 [Opp. iii. P. ii. 46 d e]). Augustine seems to allude to what is found to have existed in the Ebionite Gospel.
amongst the Latins. The reading in question was doubtless derived from the Ebionite Gospel392392Epiphanius (i. 138 b) quotes the passage which contains the statement. (IInd cent.). Now, we desire to have it explained to us why an exhibition of the Text supported by such an amount of first-rate primitive testimony as the preceding, obtains no notice whatever in our Revisionists' margin,—if indeed it was the object of their perpetually recurring marginal annotations, to put the unlearned reader on a level with the critical Scholar; to keep nothing back from him; and so forth?... It is the gross one-sidedness, the patent unfairness, in a critical point of view, of this work, (which professes to be nothing else but a Revision of the English Version of 1611,)—which chiefly shocks and offends us.

For, on the other hand, of what possible use can it be to encumber the margin of S. Luke x. 41, 42 (for example), with the announcement that A few ancient authorities read Martha, Martha, thou art troubled: Mary hath chosen &c. (the fact being, that d alone of MSS. omits careful and ... about many things. But one thing is needful, and ...)? With the record of this circumstance, is it reasonable (we ask) to choke up our English margin,—to create perplexity and to insinuate doubt? The author of the foregoing 117 marginal Annotation was of course aware that the same singular codex (as Bp. Ellicott styles cod. d) omits, in S. Luke's Gospel alone, no less than 1552 words: and he will of course have ascertained (by counting) that the words in S. Luke's Gospel amount to 19,941. Why then did he not tell the whole truth; and instead of &c., proceed as follows?—But inasmuch as cod. d is so scandalously corrupt that about one word in thirteen is missing throughout, the absence of nine words in this place is of no manner of importance or significancy. The precious saying omitted is above suspicion, and the first half of the present Annotation might have been spared.... We submit that a Note like that, although rather singular in style, really would have been to some extent helpful,—if not to the learned, at least to the unlearned reader.

In the meantime, unlearned and learned readers alike are competent to see that the foregoing perturbation of S. Luke x. 41, 42 rests on the same manuscript authority as the perturbation of ch. iii. 22, which immediately preceded it. The Patristic attestation, on the other hand, of the reading which has been promoted to the margin, is almost nil: whereas that of the neglected place has been shown to be considerable, very ancient, and of high respectability.

But in fact,—(let the Truth be plainly stated; for, when God's Word is at stake, circumlocution is contemptible, while concealment would be a crime;)—Faithfulness towards the public, a stern resolve that the English reader shall know the worst, and all that kind of thing,—such considerations have had nothing whatever to do with the matter. A vastly different principle has prevailed with the Revisionists. Themselves the dupes of an utterly mistaken Theory of Textual Criticism, their supreme solicitude has 118 been to impose that same Theory,—(which is Westcott and Hort's,)—with all its bitter consequences, on the unlearned and unsuspicious public.

We shall of course be indignantly called upon to explain what we mean by so injurious—so damning—an imputation? For all reply, we are content to refer to the sample of our meaning which will be found below, in pp. 137-8. The exposure of what has there been shown to be the method of the Revisionists in respect of S. Mark vi. 11, might be repeated hundreds of times. It would in fact fill a volume. We shall therefore pass on, when we have asked the Revisionists in turn—How they have dared so effectually to blot out those many precious words from the Book of Life, that no mere English reader, depending on the Revised Version for his knowledge of the Gospels, can by possibility suspect their existence?... Supposing even that it was the calamitous result of their mistaken principles that they found themselves constrained on countless occasions, to omit from their Text precious sayings of our Lord and His Apostles,—what possible excuse will they offer for not having preserved a record of words so amply attested, at least in their margin?

Even so, however, the whole amount of the mischief which has been effected by our Revisionists has not been stated. For the Greek Text which they have invented proves to be so hopelessly depraved throughout, that if it were to be thrust upon the Church's acceptance, we should be a thousand times worse off than we were with the Text which Erasmus and the Complutensian,—Stephens, and Beza, and the Elzevirs,—bequeathed to us upwards of three centuries ago. On this part of the subject we have remarked at length already [pp. 1-110]: yet shall we be constrained to recur once and again to the underlying Greek Text of the Revisionists, 119 inasmuch as it is impossible to stir in any direction with the task before us, without being painfully reminded of its existence. Not only do the familiar Parables, Miracles, Discourses of our Lord, trip us up at every step, but we cannot open the first page of the Gospel—no, nor indeed read the first line—without being brought to a standstill. Thus,

1. S. Matthew begins,—The book of the generation of Jesus Christ (ver. 1).—Good. But here the margin volunteers two pieces of information: first,—Or, birth: as in ver. 18. We refer to ver. 18, and read—Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. Good again; but the margin says,—Or, generation: as in ver. 1. Are we then to understand that the same Greek word, diversely rendered in English, occurs in both places? We refer to the new Greek Text: and there it stands,—γένεσις in either verse. But if the word be the same, why (on the Revisers' theory) is it diversely rendered?

In the meantime, who knows not that there is all the difference in the world between S. Matthew's γέΝΕσις, in ver. 1,—and the same S. Matthew's γέΝΝΗσις, in ver. 18? The latter, the Evangelist's announcement of the circumstances of the human Nativity of Christ: the former, the Evangelist's unobtrusive way of recalling the Septuagintal rendering of Gen. ii. 4 and v. 1:393393Αὕτη ἡ βίβλος γενέσεως—οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς: also—ἀνθρώπων. the same Evangelist's calm method of guiding the devout and thoughtful student to discern in the Gospel the History of the new Creation,—by thus providing that when first the Gospel opens its lips, it shall syllable the name of the first book of the elder Covenant? We are pointing out that it more than startles—it supremely offends—one who is even slenderly acquainted 120 with the treasures of wisdom hid in the very diction of the N. T. Scriptures, to discover that a deliberate effort has been made to get rid of the very foremost of those notes of Divine intelligence, by confounding two words which all down the ages have been carefully kept distinct; and that this effort is the result of an exaggerated estimate of a few codices which happen to be written in the uncial character, viz. two of the IVth century (b א); one of the Vth (c); two of the VIth (p z); one of the IXth (Δ); one of the Xth (s).

The Versions394394For my information on this subject, I am entirely indebted to one who is always liberal in communicating the lore of which he is perhaps the sole living depositary in England,—the Rev. Dr. S. C. Malan. See his Seven Chapters of the Revision of 1881, revised,—p. 3. But especially should the reader be referred to Dr. Malan's learned dissertation on this very subject in his Select Readings in Westcott and Hort's Gr. Text of S. Matth.,—pp. 1 to 22.—(which are our oldest witnesses)—are perforce only partially helpful here. Note however, that the only one which favours γένεσις is the heretical Harkleian Syriac, executed in the VIIth century. The Peschito and Cureton's Syriac distinguish between γένεσις in ver. 1 and γέννησις in ver. 18: as do the Slavonic and the Arabian Versions. The Egyptian, Armenian, Æthiopic and Georgian, have only one word for both. Let no one suppose however that therefore their testimony is ambiguous. It is γέννησις (not γένεσις) which they exhibit, both in ver. 1 and in ver. 18.395395So Dr. Malan in his Select Readings (see above note 1),—pp. 15, 17, 19. The Latin (generatio) is an equivocal rendering certainly: but the earliest Latin writer who quotes the two places, (viz. Tertullian) employs the word genitura in S. Matth. i. 1,—but nativitas in ver. 18,—which no one seems to have noticed.396396Liber genituræ Jesu Christi filii David, filii Abraham ... Gradatim ordo deducitur ad Christi nativitatem.—De Carne Christi, c. 22. Now, Tertullian, (as one who sometimes 121 wrote in Greek,) is known to have been conversant with the Greek copies of his day; and his day, be it remembered, is a.d. 190. He evidently recognized the parallelism between S. Matt. i. 1 and Gen. ii. 4,—where the old Latin exhibits liber creaturæ or facturæ, as the rendering of βίβλος γενέσεως. And so much for the testimony of the Versions.

But on reference to Manuscript and to Patristic authority397397A friendly critic complains that we do not specify which editions of the Fathers we quote. Our reply is—This [was] a Review, not a Treatise. We are constrained to omit such details. Briefly, we always quote the best Edition. Critical readers can experience no difficulty in verifying our references. A few details shall however be added: Justin (Otto): Irenæus (Stieren): Clemens Al. (Potter): Tertullian (Oehler): Cyprian (Baluze): Eusebius (Gaisford): Athanas. (1698): Greg. Nyss. (1638): Epiphan. (1622): Didymus (1769): Ephraem Syr. (1732): Jerome (Vallarsi): Nilus (1668-73): Chrysostom (Montfaucon): Cyril (Aubert): Isidorus (1638): Theodoret (Schulze): Maximus (1675): John Damascene (Lequien): Photius (1653). Most of the others (as Origen, Greg. Nazianz., Basil, Cyril of Jer., Ambrose, Hilary, Augustine), are quoted from the Benedictine editions. When we say Mai, we always mean his Nova Biblioth. PP. 1852-71. By Montfaucon, we mean the Nov. Coll. PP. 1707. It is necessity that makes us so brief. we are encountered by an overwhelming amount of testimony for γέννησις in ver. 18: and this, considering the nature of the case, is an extraordinary circumstance. Quite plain is it that the Ancients were wide awake to the difference between spelling the word with one N or with two,—as the little dissertation of the heretic Nestorius398398Concilia, iii. 521 a to d. in itself would be enough to prove. Γέννησις, in the meantime, is the word employed by Justin M.,399399i.2 340.—by Clemens Alex.,400400P. 889 line 37 (γένησιν).—by Athanasius,401401i. 943 c.—by Gregory of Nazianzus,402402i. 735.—by Cyril Alex.,403403v.1 363, 676.—by Nestorius,404404Concil. iii. 325 ( = Cyril v.2 28 a).—by Chrysostom,405405vii. 48; viii. 314.—by Theodorus 122 Mopsuest.,406406In Matth. ii. 16.—and by three other ancients.407407Ps.-Athanas. ii. 306 and 700: ps.-Chrysost. xii. 694. Even more deserving of attention is it that Irenæus408408P. 470. (a.d. 170)—(whom Germanus409409Gall. ix. 215. copies at the end of 550 years)—calls attention to the difference between the spelling of ver. 1 and ver. 18. So does Didymus:410410Trin. 188.—so does Basil:411411i. 250 b.—so does Epiphanius.412412i. 426 a (γένησις).—Origen413413Διαφέρει γένεσις καὶ γέννησις; γένεσις μὲν γάρ ἐστι παρὰ Θεοῦ πρώτη πλάσις, γέννησις δὲ ἡ ἐκ καταδίκης τοῦ θανάτου διὰ τὴν παράβασιν ἐξ ἀλλήλων διαδοχή.—Galland. xiv. Append. pp. 73, 74. (a.d. 210) is even eloquent on the subject.—Tertullian (a.d. 190) we have heard already.—It is a significant circumstance, that the only Patristic authorities discoverable on the other side are Eusebius, Theodoret, and the authors of an heretical Creed414414[dated 22 May a.d. 359] ap. Athan. i. 721 d.—whom Athanasius holds up to scorn.415415i. 722 c. ... Will the Revisionists still pretend to tell us that γέννησις in verse 18 is a plain and clear error?

2. This, however, is not all. Against the words of Jesus Christ, a further critical annotation is volunteered; to the effect that Some ancient authorities read of the Christ. In reply to which, we assert that not one single known MS. omits the word Jesus: whilst its presence is vouched for by ps.-Tatian,416416P. 20 of the newly-recovered Diatessaron, translated from the Armenian. The Exposition is claimed for Ephraem Syrus.—Irenæus,—Origen,—Eusebius,—Didymus,— Epiphanius,—Chrysostom,—Cyril,—in addition to every known Greek copy of the Gospels, and not a few of the Versions, including the Peschito and both the Egyptian. What else but nugatory therefore is such a piece of information as this?

3. And so much for the first, second, and third Critical annotations, with which the margin of the revised N. T. is 123 disfigured. Hoping that the worst is now over, we read on till we reach ver. 25, where we encounter a statement which fairly trips us up: viz.,—And knew her not till she had brought forth a son. No intimation is afforded of what has been here effected; but in the meantime every one's memory supplies the epithet (her first-born) which has been ejected. Whether something very like indignation is not excited by the discovery that these important words have been surreptitiously withdrawn from their place, let others say. For ourselves, when we find that only א b z and two cursive copies can be produced for the omission, we are at a loss to understand of what the Revisionists can have been dreaming. Did they know417417Dr. Malan, Seven Chapters of the Revision, revised, p. 7. that,—besides the Vulgate, the Peschito and Philoxenian Syriac, the Æthiopic, Armenian, Georgian, and Slavonian Versions,418418See below, note 13.—a whole torrent of Fathers are at hand to vouch for the genuineness of the epithet they were so unceremoniously excising? They are invited to refer to ps.-Tatian,419419See p. 122, note 11.—to Athanasius,420420i. 938, 952. Also ps.-Athan. ii. 409, excellently.—to Didymus,421421Trin. 349.—to Cyril of Jer.,422422P. 116.—to Basil,423423i. 392; ii. 599, 600.—to Greg. Nyss.,424424ii. 229.—to Ephraem Syr.,425425See p. 122, note 11.—to Epiphanius,426426i. 426, 1049 (5 times), 1052-3.—to Chrysostom,427427vii. 76.—to Proclus,428428Galland. ix. 636.—to Isidorus Pelus.,429429P. 6 (τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς: which is also the reading of Syrev and of the Sahidic. The Memphitic version represents τὸν υἱόν.)—to John Damasc.,430430i. 276.—to Photius,431431Gal. xiii. 662.—to Nicetas:432432In Cat.—besides, of the Latins, Ambrose,433433ii. 462.—the Opus imp.,—Augustine,—and not least to Jerome434434Ex hoc loco quidam perversissime suspicantur et alios filios habuisse Mariam, dicentes primogenitum non dici nisi qui habeat et fratres (vii. 14). He refers to his treatise against Helvidius, ii. 210.—eighteen Fathers in all. And how is it possible, (we ask,) 124 that two copies of the IVth century (b א) and one of the VIth (z)—all three without a character—backed by a few copies of the old Latin, should be supposed to be any counterpoise at all for such an array of first-rate contemporary evidence as the foregoing?

Enough has been offered by this time to prove that an authoritative Revision of the Greek Text will have to precede any future Revision of the English of the New Testament. Equally certain is it that for such an undertaking the time has not yet come. It is my honest conviction,—(remarks Bp. Ellicott, the Chairman of the Revisionists,)—that for any authoritative Revision, we are not yet mature: either in Biblical learning or Hellenistic scholarship.435435Preface to Pastoral Epistles,—more fully quoted facing p. 1. The same opinion precisely is found to have been cherished by Dr. Westcott till within about a year-and-a-half436436The Preface (quoted above facing p. 1,) is dated 3rd Nov. 1868. of the first assembling of the New Testament Company in the Jerusalem Chamber, 22nd June, 1870. True, that we enjoy access to—suppose from 1000 to 2000—more manuscripts than were available when the Textus Recept. was formed. But nineteen-twentieths of those documents, for any use which has been made of them, might just as well be still lying in the monastic libraries from which they were obtained.—True, that four out of our five oldest uncials have come to light since the year 1628; but, who knows how to use them?—True, that we have made acquaintance with certain ancient Versions, about which little or nothing was known 200 years ago: but,—(with the solitary exception of the Rev. Solomon Cæsar Malan, the learned Vicar of Broadwindsor,—who, by the way, is always ready to lend a torch to his benighted brethren,)—what living Englishman is able to tell 125 us what they all contain? A smattering acquaintance with the languages of ancient Egypt,—the Gothic, Æthiopic, Armenian, Georgian and Slavonian Versions,—is of no manner of avail. In no department, probably, is a little learning more sure to prove a dangerous thing.—True, lastly, that the Fathers have been better edited within the last 250 years: during which period some fresh Patristic writings have also come to light. But, with the exception of Theodoret among the Greeks and Tertullian among the Latins, which of the Fathers has been satisfactorily indexed?

Even what precedes is not nearly all. The fundamental Principles of the Science of Textual Criticism are not yet apprehended. In proof of this assertion, we appeal to the new Greek Text of Drs. Westcott and Hort,—which, beyond all controversy, is more hopelessly remote from the inspired Original than any which has yet appeared. Let a generation of Students give themselves entirely up to this neglected branch of sacred Science. Let 500 more Copies of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, be diligently collated. Let at least 100 of the ancient Lectionaries be very exactly collated also. Let the most important of the ancient Versions be edited afresh, and let the languages in which these are written be for the first time really mastered by Englishmen. Above all, let the Fathers he called upon to give up their precious secrets. Let their writings be ransacked and indexed, and (where needful) let the MSS. of their works be diligently inspected, in order that we may know what actually is the evidence which they afford. Only so will it ever be possible to obtain a Greek Text on which absolute reliance may be placed, and which may serve as the basis for a satisfactory Revision of our Authorized Version. Nay, let whatever unpublished works of the ancient Greek Fathers are anywhere known to exist,—(and not a few precious remains 126 of theirs are lying hid in great national libraries, both at home and abroad,)—let these be printed. The men could easily be found: the money, far more easily.—When all this has been done,—not before—then in God's Name, let the Church address herself to the great undertaking. Do but revive the arrangements which were adopted in King James's days: and we venture to predict that less than a third part of ten years will be found abundantly to suffice for the work. How the coming men will smile at the picture Dr. Newth437437Lectures on Biblical Revision, (1881) pp. 116 seqq. See above, pp. 37-9. has drawn of what was the method of procedure in the reign of Queen Victoria! Will they not peruse with downright merriment Bp. Ellicott's jaunty proposal simply to proceed onward with the work—[to wit, of constructing a new Greek Text,]—in fact, solvere ambulando, [necnon in laqueum cadendo]?438438On Revision, pp. 30 and 49.

I. We cannot, it is presumed, act more fairly by the Revisers' work,439439   The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST, translated out of the Greek: being the Version set forth a.d. 1611, compared with the most ancient Authorities, and Revised a.d. 1881. Printed for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1881.
    The New Testament in the Original Greek, according to the Text followed in the Authorized Version, together with the Variations adopted in the Revised Version. Edited for the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press, by F. H. A. Scrivener, M.A., D.C.L., LL.D., Prebendary of Exeter and Vicar of Hendon. Cambridge, 1881.

    Ἡ ΚΑΙΝΗ ΔΙΑΘΗΚΗ. The Greek Testament, with the Readings adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version. [Edited by the Ven. Archdeacon Palmer, D.D.] Oxford, 1881.

    The New Testament in the Original Greek. The Text revised by Brooke Foss Westcott, D.D., and Fenton John Anthony Hort, D.D. Cambridge and London, 1881.
than by following them over some of the ground which they claim to have made their own, and which, at the conclusion of their labours, their Right 127 Reverend Chairman evidently surveys with self-complacency. First, he invites attention to the Principle and Rule for their guidance agreed to by the Committee of Convocation (25th May, 1870), viz. To introduce as few alterations as possible into the Text of the Authorized Version, consistently with faithfulness. Words could not be more emphatic. Plain and clear errors were to be corrected. Necessary emendations were to be made. But (in the words of the Southern Convocation) We do not contemplate any new Translation, or any alteration of the language, except where, in the judgment of the most competent Scholars, such change is necessary. The watchword, therefore, given to the company of Revisionists was,—Necessity. Necessity was to determine whether they were to depart from the language of the Authorized Version, or not; for the alterations were to be as few as possible.

(a) Now it is idle to deny that this fundamental Principle has been utterly set at defiance. To such an extent is this the case, that even an unlettered Reader is competent to judge them. When we find to substituted for unto (passim):—hereby for by this (1 Jo. v. 2):—all that are, for all that be (Rom. i. 7):—alway for always (2 Thess. i. 3):—we that, them that, for we which, them which (1 Thess. iv. 15); and yet every spirit which, for every spirit that (1 Jo. iv. 3), and he who is not of God, for he that is not of God (ver. 6,—although he that knoweth God had preceded, in the same verse):—my host for mine host (Rom. xvi. 23); and underneath for under (Rev. vi. 9):—it becomes clear that the Revisers' notion of necessity is not that of the rest of mankind. But let the plain Truth be stated. Certain of them, when remonstrated with by their fellows for the manifest disregard they were showing to the Instructions subject to which they had undertaken the work 128 of Revision, are reported to have even gloried in their shame. The majority, it is clear, have even ostentatiously set those Instructions at defiance.

Was the course they pursued,—(we ask the question respectfully,)—strictly honest? To decline the work entirely under the prescribed Conditions, was always in their power. But, first to accept the Conditions, and straightway to act in defiance of them,—this strikes us as a method of proceeding which it is difficult to reconcile with the high character of the occupants of the Jerusalem Chamber. To proceed however.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding have had a sad time of it. One or other of them has been turned out in favour of howbeit (S. Lu. x. 11, 20),—of only (Phil. iii. 16),—of only that (i. 18),—of yet (S. Matth. xi. 11),—of but (xvii. 27),—of and yet (James ii. 16).... We find take heed substituted for beware (Col. ii. 8):—custom for manner (S. Jo. xix. 40):—he was amazed, for he was astonished: (S. Lu. v. 9):—Is it I, Lord? for Lord, is it I? (S. Matth. xxvi. 22):—straightway the cock crew, for immediately the cock crew (S. Jo. xviii. 27):—Then therefore he delivered Him, for Then delivered he Him therefore (xix. 16):—brought it to His mouth, for put it to His mouth (ver. 29):—He manifested Himself on this wise, for on this wise shewed He Himself (xxi. 1):—So when they got out upon the land, for As soon then as they were come to land (ver. 9):—the things concerning, for the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts i. 3):—as God's steward, for as the steward of God (Tit. i. 7): but the belly of the whale for the whale's belly (S. Matth. xii. 40), and device of man for man's device in Acts xvii. 29.—These, and hundreds of similar alterations have been evidently made out of the 129 merest wantonness. After substituting therefore for then (as the rendering of οὖν) a score of times,—the Revisionists quite needlessly substitute then for therefore in S. Jo. xix. 42.—And why has the singularly beautiful greeting of the elder unto the well-beloved Gaius, been exchanged for unto Gaius the beloved? (3 John, ver. 1).

(b) We turn a few pages, and find he that doeth sin, substituted for he that committeth sin; and To this end put in the place of For this purpose (1 Jo. iii. 8):—have beheld and bear witness, for have seen and do testify (iv. 14):—hereby for by this (v. 2):—Judas for Jude (Jude ver. 1), although Mark was substituted for Marcus (in 1 Pet. v. 13), and Timothy for Timotheus (in Phil. i. 1):—how that they said to you, for how that they told you (Jude ver. 18).—But why go on? The substitution of exceedingly for greatly in Acts vi. 7:—the birds for the fowls, in Rev. xix. 21:—Almighty for Omnipotent in ver. 6:—throw down for cast down, in S. Luke iv. 29:—inner chamber for closet, in vi. 6:—these are not necessary changes.... We will give but three instances more:—In 1 S. Pet. v. 9, whom resist, stedfast in the faith, has been altered into whom withstand. But how is withstand a better rendering for ἀντίστητε, than resist? Resist, at all events, was the Revisionists' word in S. Matth. v. 39 and S. James iv. 7.—Why also substitute the race (for the kindred) of Joseph in Acts vii. 13, although γένος was rendered kindred in iv. 6?—Do the Revisionists think that fastening their eyes on him is a better rendering of ἀτενίσαντες εἰς αὐτόν (Acts vi. 15) than looking stedfastly on him? They certainly did not think so when they got to xxiii. 1. There, because they found earnestly beholding the council, they must needs alter the phrase into looking stedfastly. It is clear therefore that Caprice, not Necessity,—an 130 itching impatience to introduce changes into the A. V., not the discovery of plain and clear errors—has determined the great bulk of the alterations which molest us in every part of the present unlearned and tasteless performance.

II. The next point to which the Revisionists direct our attention is their new Greek text,—the necessary foundation of their work. And here we must renew our protest against the wrong which has been done to English readers by the Revisionists' disregard of the IVth Rule laid down for their guidance, viz. that, whenever they adopted a new Textual reading, such alteration was to be indicated in the margin. This proved inconvenient, say the Revisionists. Yes, we reply: but only because you saw fit, in preference, to choke up your margin with a record of the preposterous readings you did not admit. Even so, however, the thing might to some extent have been done, if only by a system of signs in the margin wherever a change in the Text had been by yourselves effected. And, at whatever inconvenience, you were bound to do this,—partly because the Rule before you was express: but chiefly in fairness to the English Reader. How comes it to pass that you have never furnished him with the information you stood pledged to furnish; but have instead, volunteered in every page information, worthless in itself, which can only serve to unsettle the faith of unlettered millions, and to suggest unreasonable as well as miserable doubts to the minds of all?

For no one may for an instant imagine that the marginal statements of which we speak are a kind of equivalent for the Apparatus Criticus which is found in every principal edition of the Greek Testament—excepting always that of Drs. Westcott and Hort. So far are we from deprecating (with Daniel Whitby) the multiplication of Various Readings, 131 that we rejoice in them exceedingly; knowing that they are the very foundation of our confidence and the secret of our strength. For this reason we consider Dr. Tischendorf's last (8th) edition to be furnished with not nearly enough of them, though he left all his predecessors (and himself in his 7th edition) far behind. Our quarrel with the Revisionists is not by any means that they have commemorated actual alternative Readings in their margin: but that, while they have given prominence throughout to patent Errors, they have unfairly excluded all mention of,—have not made the slightest allusion to,—hundreds of Readings which ought in fact rather to have stood in the Text.

The marginal readings, which our Revisers have been so ill-advised as to put prominently forward, and to introduce to the Reader's notice with the vague statement that they are sanctioned by Some (or by Many) ancient authorities,—are specimens arbitrarily selected out of an immense mass; are magisterially recommended to public attention and favour; seem to be invested with the sanction and authority of Convocation itself. And this becomes a very serious matter indeed. No hint is given which be the ancient Authorities so referred to:—nor what proportion they bear to the ancient Authorities producible on the opposite side:—nor whether they are the most ancient Authorities obtainable:—nor what amount of attention their testimony may reasonably claim. But in the meantime a fatal assertion is hazarded in the Preface (iii. 1.), to the effect that in cases where it would not be safe to accept one Reading to the absolute exclusion of others, alternative Readings have been given in the margin. So that the Agony and bloody sweat of the World's Redeemer (Lu. xxii. 43, 44),—and His Prayer for His murderers (xxiii. 34),—and much beside of transcendent importance and inestimable value, may, according to our Revisionists, prove to rest upon no foundation whatever. 132 At all events, it would not be safe, (i.e. it is not safe) to place absolute reliance on them. Alas, how many a deadly blow at Revealed Truth hath been in this way aimed with fatal adroitness, which no amount of orthodox learning will ever be able hereafter to heal, much less to undo! Thus,—

(a) From the first verse of S. Mark's Gospel we are informed that Some ancient authorities omit the Son of God. Why are we not informed that every known uncial Copy except one of bad character,—every cursive but two,—every Version,—and the following Fathers,—all contain the precious clause: viz. Irenæus,—Porphyry,—Severianus of Gabala,—Cyril Alex.,—Victor Ant.,—and others,—besides Ambrose and Augustine among the Latins:—while the supposed adverse testimony of Serapion and Titus, Basil and Victorinus, Cyril of Jer. and Epiphanius, proves to be all a mistake? To speak plainly, since the clause is above suspicion, Why are we not rather told so?

(b) In the 3rd verse of the first chapter of S. John's Gospel, we are left to take our choice between,—without Him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life, &c.,—and the following absurd alternative,—Without him was not anything made. That which hath been made was life in him; and the life, &c. But we are not informed that this latter monstrous figment is known to have been the importation of the Gnostic heretics in the IInd century, and to be as destitute of authority as it is of sense. Why is prominence given only to the lie?

(c) At S. John iii. 13, we are informed that the last clause of that famous verse (No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man—which is in heaven), is not found in many ancient authorities. 133 But why, in the name of common fairness, are we not also reminded that this, (as will be found more fully explained in the note overleaf,) is a circumstance of no Textual significancy whatever?

Why, above all, are we not assured that the precious clause in question (ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ) is found in every MS. in the world, except five of bad character?—is recognized by all the Latin and all the Syriac versions; as well as by the Coptic,—Æthiopic,—Georgian,—and Armenian?440440Malan's Gospel of S. John translated from the Eleven oldest Versions.—is either quoted or insisted upon by Origen,441441Int. ii. 72; iv. 622 dis.—Hippolytus,442442C. Noet. § 4.—Athanasius,443443i. 1275.—Didymus,444444Trin. 363.—Aphraates the Persian,445445Ap. Gall. v. 67.—Basil the Great,446446i. 282.—Epiphanius,447447i. 486.—Nonnus,—ps.-Dionysius Alex.,448448Ep. ad Paul. Sam. Concil. i. 872 e; 889 e.—Eustathius;449449Ap. Galland. iv. 563.—by Chrysostom,450450vii. 546; viii. 153, 154, 277.—Theodoret,451451iii. 570; iv. 226, 1049, 1153.—and Cyril,452452iv. 150 (text); vi. 30, 169. Mai, ii. 69. each 4 times;—by Paulus, Bishop of Emesa453453Concilia, iii. 1102 d. (in a sermon on Christmas Day, a.d. 431);—by Theodoras Mops.,454454Quoted by Leontius (Gall. xii. 693).—Amphilochius,455455In Cat. Cord. 96.—Severus,456456Ibid. p. 94.—Theodorus Heracl.,457457Cat. in Ps. ii. 323 and 343.—Basilius Cil.,458458Ap. Photium, p. 281.—Cosmas,459459Montf. ii. 286.—John Damascene, in 3 places,460460i. 288, 559, 567.—and 4 other ancient Greek writers;461461Ps.-Athan. ii. 464. Another, 625. Another, 630. Ps.-Epiphan. ii. 287.—besides Ambrose,462462i. 863, 903, 1428.—Novatian,463463Gall. iii. 296.—Hilary,46446432 dis.; 514; 1045 dis.—Lucifer,465465Gall. vi. 192.—Victorinus,—Jerome,466466iv. 679.—Cassian,—Vigilius,467467Ap. Athan. ii. 646.—Zeno,468468Gall. v. 124.—Marius,469469Ibid. iii. 628, 675.—Maximus Taur.,470470Ibid. ix. 367.—Capreolus,471471Ibid. ix. 493.—Augustine, &c.:—is acknowledged by Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf: in short, is quite above suspicion: why are we not told that? Those 10 Versions, 134 those 38 Fathers, that host of Copies in the proportion of 995 to 5,—why, concerning all these is there not so much as a hint let fall that such a mass of counter-evidence exists?472472   Let the Reader, with a map spread before him, survey the whereabouts of the several Versions above enumerated, and mentally assign each Father to his own approximate locality: then let him bear in mind that 995 out of 1000 of the extant Manuscripts agree with those Fathers and Versions; and let him further recognize that those MSS. (executed at different dates in different countries) must severally represent independent remote originals, inasmuch as no two of them are found to be quite alike.—Next, let him consider that, in all the Churches of the East, these words from the earliest period were read as part of the Gospel for the Thursday in Easter week.—This done, let him decide whether it is reasonable that two worshippers of codex ba.d. 1881—should attempt to thrust all this mass of ancient evidence clean out of sight by their peremptory sentence of exclusion,—Western and Syrian.
    Drs. Westcott and Hort inform us that the character of the attestation marks the clause (ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ), as a Western gloss. But the attestation for retaining that clause—(a) Comes demonstrably from every quarter of ancient Christendom:—(b) Is more ancient (by 200 years) than the evidence for omitting it:—(c) Is more numerous, in the proportion of 99 to 1:—(d) In point of respectability, stands absolutely alone. For since we have proved that Origen and Didymus, Epiphanius and Cyril, Ambrose and Jerome, recognize the words in dispute, of what possible Textual significancy can it be if presently (because it is sufficient for their purpose) the same Fathers are observed to quote S. John iii. 13 no further than down to the words Son of Man? No person, (least of all a professed Critic,) who adds to his learning a few grains of common sense and a little candour, can be misled by such a circumstance. Origen, Eusebius, Proclus, Ephraim Syrus, Jerome, Marius, when they are only insisting on the doctrinal significancy of the earlier words, naturally end their quotation at this place. The two Gregories (Naz. [ii. 87, 168]: Nyss. [Galland. vi. 522]), writing against the Apolinarian heresy, of course quoted the verse no further than Apolinaris himself was accustomed (for his heresy) to adduce it.... About the internal evidence for the clause, nothing has been said; but this is simply overwhelming. We make our appeal to Catholic Antiquity; and are content to rest our cause on External Evidence;—on Copies, on Versions, on Fathers.
... Shame,—yes, shame on the learning which comes abroad only to perplex the weak, and to unsettle the 135 doubting, and to mislead the blind! Shame,—yes, shame on that two-thirds majority of well-intentioned but most incompetent men, who,—finding themselves (in an evil hour) appointed to correct plain and clear errors in the English Authorized Version,—occupied themselves instead with falsifying the inspired Greek Text in countless places, and branding with suspicion some of the most precious utterances of the Spirit! Shame,—yes, shame upon them!

Why then, (it will of course be asked,) is the margin—(a) of S. Mark i. 1 and—(b) of S. John i. 3, and—(c) of S. John iii. 13, encumbered after this discreditable fashion? It is (we answer) only because the Text of Drs. Westcott and Hort is thus depraved in all three places. Those Scholars enjoy the unenviable distinction of having dared to expel from S. John iii. 13 the words ὁ ὢν ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, which Lachmann, Tregelles and Tischendorf were afraid to touch. Well may Dean Stanley have bestowed upon Dr. Hort the epithet of fearless!... If report speaks truly, it is by the merest accident that the clause in question still retains its place in the Revised Text.

(d) Only once more. And this time we will turn to the very end of the blessed volume. Against Rev. xiii. 18

Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the Beast; for it is the number of a Man: and his number is six hundred and sixty and six.

Against this, we find noted,—Some ancient authorities read six hundred and sixteen.

But why is not the whole Truth told? viz. why are we not informed that only one corrupt uncial (c):—only one cursive copy (11):—only one Father (Tichonius): and not one ancient Version—advocates this reading?—which, on the contrary, 136 Irenæus (a.d. 170) knew, but rejected; remarking that 666, which is found in all the best and oldest copies and is attested by men who saw John face to face, is unquestionably the true reading.473473Pp. 798, 799. Why is not the ordinary Reader further informed that the same number (666) is expressly vouched for by Origen,474474iii. 414.—by Hippolytus,475475Ant. c. 50; Consum. c. 28.—by Eusebius:476476Hist. Eccl. v. 8.—as well as by Victorinus—and Primasius,—not to mention Andreas and Arethas? To come to the moderns, as a matter of fact the established reading is accepted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles,—even by Westcott and Hort. Why therefore—for what possible reason—at the end of 1700 years and upwards, is this, which is so clearly nothing else but an ancient slip of the pen, to be forced upon the attention of 90 millions of English-speaking people?

Will Bishop Ellicott and his friends venture to tell us that it has been done because it would not be safe to accept 666, to the absolute exclusion of 616?... We have given alternative Readings in the margin, (say they,) wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice. Will they venture to claim either interest or importance for this? or pretend that it is an alternative Reading at all? Has it been rescued from oblivion and paraded before universal Christendom in order to perplex, mystify, and discourage those that have understanding, and would fain count the number of the Beast, if they were able? Or was the intention only to insinuate one more wretched doubt—one more miserable suspicion—into minds which have been taught (and rightly) to place absolute reliance in the textual accuracy of all the gravest utterances of the Spirit: minds which are utterly incapable 137 of dealing with the subtleties of Textual Criticism; and, from a one-sided statement like the present, will carry away none but entirely mistaken inferences, and the most unreasonable distrust?... Or, lastly, was it only because, in their opinion, the margin of every Englishman's N. T. is the fittest place for reviving the memory of obsolete blunders, and ventilating forgotten perversions of the Truth?... We really pause for an answer.

(e) But serious as this is, more serious (if possible) is the unfair Suppression systematically practised throughout the work before us. We have given alternative Readings in the margin,—(says Bishop Ellicott on behalf of his brother-Revisionists,)—wherever they seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice. [iii. 1.] From which statement, readers have a right to infer that whenever alternative Readings are not given in the margin, it is because such Readings do not seem to be of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice. Will the Revisionists venture to tell us that,—(to take the first instance of unfair Suppression which presents itself,)—our Lord's saying in S. Mark vi. 11 is not of sufficient importance or interest to deserve notice? We allude to the famous words,—Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city:—words which are not only omitted from the New English Version, but are not suffered to leave so much as a trace of themselves in the margin. And yet, the saying in question is attested by the Peschito and the Philoxenian Syriac Versions: by the Old Latin: by the Coptic, Æthiopic and Gothic Versions:—by 11 uncials and by the whole bulk of the cursives:—by Irenæus and by Victor of Antioch. So that whether Antiquity, or Variety of Attestation is considered,—whether we look for Numbers or for Respectability,—the genuineness 138 of the passage may be regarded as certain. Our complaint however is not that the Revisionists entertain a different opinion on this head from ourselves: but that they give the reader to understand that the state of the Evidence is such, that it is quite safe to accept the shorter reading,—to the absolute exclusion of the other.—So vast is the field before us, that this single specimen of what we venture to call unfair Suppression, must suffice. (Some will not hesitate to bestow upon it a harsher epithet.) It is in truth by far the most damaging feature of the work before us, that its Authors should have so largely and so seriously falsified the Deposit; and yet, (in clear violation of the IVth Principle or Rule laid down for their guidance at the outset,) have suffered no trace to survive in the margin of the deadly mischief which they have effected.

III. From the Text, the Revisionists pass on to the Translation; and surprise us by the avowal, that the character of the Revision was determined for us from the outset by the first Rule,—to introduce as few alterations as possible, consistently with faithfulness. Our task was Revision, not Retranslation. (This is naïve certainly.) They proceed,—

If the meaning was fairly expressed by the word or phrase that was before us in the Authorized Version, we made no change, even where rigid adherence to the rule of Translating, as far as possible, the same Greek word by the same English word might have prescribed some modification.—[iii. 2 init.] (The italics are our own.)

To the rule thus introduced to our notice, we shall recur by and by [pp. 152-4: also pp. 187-202]. We proceed to remark on each of the five principal Classes of alterations indicated by the Revisionists: and first,—Alterations 139 positively required by change of reading in the Greek Text (Ibid.).

(1) Thus, in S. John xii. 7, we find Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying; and in the margin (as an alternative), Let her alone: it was that she might keep it.—Instead of as soon as Jesus heard the word,—we are invited to choose between not heeding, and overhearing the word (S. Mk. v. 36): these being intended for renderings of παρακούσας,—an expression which S. Mark certainly never employed.—On earth, peace among men in whom he is well pleased (S. Lu. ii. 14): where the margin informs us that many ancient authorities read, good pleasure among men. (And why not good will,—the rendering adopted in Phil. i. 15?) ... Take some more of the alterations which have resulted from the adoption of a corrupt Text:—Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? (Matth. xix. 17,—an absurd fabrication).—He would fain have been filled with the husks, &c.... and I perish here with hunger! (χορτασθῆναι, borrowed from Lu. xvi. 21: and εγΩΔΕωδε, a transparent error: S. Luke xv. 16, 17).—When it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles (xvi. 9).——Elizabeth lifted up her voice with a loud cry (κραυγή—the private property of three bad MSS. and Origen: Lu. i. 42).—And they stood still looking sad (xxiv. 17,—a foolish transcriptional blunder).—The multitude went up and began to ask him, &c. (ἀναβάς for ἀναβοήσας, Mk. xv. 8).—But is guilty of an eternal sin (iii. 29).—And the officers received Him with blows of their hands,—marg. or strokes of rods: ΕΛΑΒΟΝ for ΕΒΑΛΟΝ (xiv. 65).—Else, that which should fill it up taketh from it, the new from the old (ii. 21): and No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment; else he will rend the new, &c. (Lu. v. 36).—What is this? a new teaching! (Mk. i. 27).—Jesus saith unto him, If thou canst! (Mk. ix. 23).—Because of your little 140 faith(Matth. xvii. 20).—We must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day (Jo. ix. 4).—The man that is called Jesus made clay (ver. 11).—If ye shall ask Me anything in My name (xiv. 14).—The Father abiding in Me doeth His works (xiv. 10).—If ye shall ask anything of the Father, He will give it you in My name (xvi. 23).—I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do (xvii. 4).—Holy Father, keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me ... I kept them in Thy Name which Thou hast given me (ver. 11, 12).—She ... saith unto Him in Hebrew, Rabboni (xx. 16).—These things said Isaiah, because he saw his glory (xii. 41,—ΟΤΙ for ΟΤΕ, a common itacism).—In tables that are hearts of flesh (ἐν πλαξὶ καρδίαις σαρκίναις, a perfectly absurd reading, as Scrivener remarks, p. 442: 2 Cor. iii. 3).—Now if we put the horses' bridles [and pray, why not the horses' bits?] into their mouths (ΕΙΔΕ, an ordinary itacism for ΙΔΕ, James iii. 3).—Unto the sick were carried away from his body handkerchiefs, &c. (Acts xix. 12).—Ye know all things once for all (Jude ver. 5).—We love because he first loved us (1 Jo. iv. 19).—I have found no work of thine fulfilled before my God (Rev. iii. 2).—Seven Angels arrayed with [precious] stone (xv. 6), instead of clothed in linen, λίθον for λίνον. (Fancy the Angels clothed in stone! Precious is an interpolation of the Revisers).—Dwelling in the things which he hath seen: for which the margin offers as an alternative, taking his stand upon (Colossians ii. 18). But ἐμβατεύων (the word here employed) clearly means neither the one nor the other. S. Paul is delivering a warning against unduly prying into the things not seen.477477Ἐμβατεῦσαι;—Ἐπιβῆναι τὰ ἔνδον ἐξερευνῆσαι ἣ σκοπῆσαι. Phavorinus, quoted by Brüder. A few MSS. of bad character omit the not. That is all!... These then are a handful of the less 141 conspicuous instances of a change in the English positively required by a change of reading in the Greek Text: every one of them being either a pitiful blunder or else a gross fabrication.—Take only two more: I neither know, nor understand: thou, what sayest thou? (Mk. xiv. 68 margin):—And whither I go, ye know the way (Jo. xiv. 4).... The A. V. is better in every instance.

(2) and (3) Next, alterations made because the A. V. appeared to be incorrect or else obscure. They must needs be such as the following:—He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet (S. John xiii. 10).—Lord, if he is fallen asleep he will recover (σωθήσεται, xi. 12).—Go ye therefore into the partings of the highways (Matth. xxii. 9).—Being grieved at the hardening of their heart (Mk. iii. 5).—Light a lamp and put it on the stand (Matt. v. 15).—Sitting at the place of toll (ix. 9).—The supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working (James v. 16).—Awake up righteously (1 Cor. xv. 34).—Guarded through faith unto a salvation (1 Pet. i. 5).—Wandering in ... the holes of the earth (Heb. xi. 38—very queer places certainly to be wandering in).—She that is in Babylon, elect together with you, saluteth you (1 Pet. v. 13).—Therefore do these powers work in Him (Matth. xiv. 2).—In danger of the hell of fire (v. 22).—Put out into the deep (Luke v. 4).—The tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver (Acts vii. 16).

With reference to every one of these places, (and they are but samples of what is to be met with in every page,) we venture to assert that they are either less intelligible, or else more inaccurate, than the expressions which they are severally intended to supersede; while, in some instances, they are both. Will any one seriously contend that the hire of wrong-doing 142 is better than the wages of unrighteousness (2 Pet. ii. 15)? or, will he venture to deny that, Come and dineso when they had dined,—is a hundred times better than Come and break your fastso when they had broken their fast (Jo. xxi. 12, 15)?—expressions which are only introduced because the Revisionists were ashamed (as well they might be) to write breakfast and breakfasted. The seven had not been fasting. Then, why introduce so incongruous a notion here,—any more than into S. Luke xi. 37, 38, and xiv. 12?

Has the reader any appetite for more specimens of incorrectness remedied and obscurity removed? Rather, as it seems, have both been largely imported into a Translation which was singularly intelligible before. Why darken Rom. vii. 1 and xi. 2 by introducing the interrogative particle, and then, by mistranslating it Or?—Also, why translate γένος race? (a man of Cyprus by race, a man of Pontus by race, an Alexandrian by race, Acts iv. 36: xviii. 2, 24).—If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body, say the Revisionists: O death, where is thy victory? O death where is thy sting? (Could they not let even 1 Cor. xv. 44 and 55 alone?)—Why alter For the bread of God is He, into For the bread of God is that which cometh down from Heaven? (Jo. vi. 33).—As long as I am in the world, was surely better than When I am in the world, I am the light of the world (ix. 5).—Is He went forth out of their hand supposed to be an improvement upon He escaped out of their hand? (x. 39): and is They loved the glory of men more than the glory of GOD an improvement upon the praise? (xii. 43).—Judas saith unto Him, Lord, what is come to pass that Thou wilt manifest Thyself to us? Is that supposed to be an improvement upon xiv. 22?—How is If then an improvement on Forasmuch then in Acts xi. 17?—or how is this endurable in Rom. vii. 15,—For that which I do, I 143 know not: for not what I would, that do I practise:—or this, in xvi. 25, The mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, but now is manifested, &c.—Thou therefore, my child,—addressing the Bishop of Ephesus (2 Tim. ii. 1): and Titus, my true child,—addressing the Bishop of Crete (Tit. i. 4).

Are the following deemed improvements? Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness: and sin is lawlessness (1 Jo. iii. 4): I will move thy candlestick out of its place (Rev. ii. 5):—a glassy sea (iv. 6):—a great voice (v. 12):—Verily, not of Angels doth He take hold, but He taketh hold of the seed of Abraham:He took hold of the blind man by the hand:They took hold of him and brought him unto the Areopagus (Heb. ii. 16: S. Mk. viii. 23: Acts xvii. 19):—wherefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God (Acts xi. 16):—Counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God (Phil. ii. 6).—Why are we to substitute court for palace in Matth. xxvi. 3 and Lu. xi. 21? (Consider Matth. xii. 29 and Mk. iii. 27).—Women received their dead by a resurrection (Heb. xi. 35):—If ye forgive not every one his brother from their hearts (Matth. xviii. 35):—If because of meat thy brother is grieved, thou walkest no longer in love (Rom. xiv. 15):—which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal; but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message (Tit. i. 2, 3):—Your pleasures [and why not lusts?] that war in your members (James iv. 1):—Behold how much wood is kindled by how small a fire! (iii. 5).—Are these really supposed to be less obscure than the passages they are intended to supersede?

(a) Not a few of the mistaken renderings of the Revisionists can only be established by an amount of illustration which is at once inconvenient to the Reviewer and unwelcome probably 144 to the general Reader. Thus, we take leave to point out that,—And coming up at that very hour (in Lu. ii. 38),—as well as she came up to Him (in Lu. x. 40), are inexact renderings of the original. The verb ἐφιστάναι, which etymologically signifies to stand upon, or over, or by,—(but which retains its literal signification on only four out of the eighteen occasions478478Viz. S. Luke iv. 39: Acts x. 17: xi. 11: xxii. 20. when the word occurs in the Gospels and Acts,)—is found almost invariably to denote the coming suddenly upon a person. Hence, it is observed to be used five times to denote the sudden appearance of friendly visitants from the unseen world:479479S. Luke ii. 9 (where came upon is better than stood by them, and should have been left): xxiv. 4: Acts xii. 7: xxii. 13: xxiii. 11. and seven times, the sudden hostile approach of what is formidable.480480S. Luke xx. 1: xxi. 34 (last Day): Acts iv. 1: vi. 12: xvii. 5 (assault): xxiii. 27: xxviii. 2 (a rain-storm,—which, by the way, suggests for τὸν ἐφεστῶτα a different rendering from the present). On the two remaining occasions, which are those before us,—(namely, the sudden coming of Anna into the Temple481481S. Luke ii. 38. and of Martha into the presence of our Lord,482482S. Luke x. 40.)—coming suddenly in would probably represent S. Luke's ἐπιστᾶσα exactly. And yet, one would hesitate to import the word suddenly into the narrative. So that coming in would after all have to stand in the text, although the attentive student of Scripture would enjoy the knowledge that something more is implied. In other words,—the Revisionists would have done better if they had left both places alone.... These are many words; yet is it impossible to explain such matters at once satisfactorily and briefly.

(b) But more painful by far it is to discover that a morbid striving after etymological accuracy,—added to a 145 calamitous preference for a depraved Text,—has proved the ruin of one of the most affecting scenes in S. John's Gospel. Simon Peter beckoneth to him, and saith unto him, Tell us who it is of whom He speaketh [a fabulous statement evidently; for Peter beckoned, because he might not speak]. He leaning back, as he was,—[a very bad rendering of οὕτως, by the way; and sure to recal inopportunely the rendering of ὡς ἦν in S. Mark iv. 36, instead of suggesting (as it obviously ought) the original of S. John iv. 6:]—on Jesus' breast, saith unto Him, Lord who is it? (S. John xiii. 24-5). Now, S. John's word concerning himself in this place is certainly ἐπιπεσών. He just sank—let his head fall—on his Master's breast, and whispered his question. For this, a few corrupt copies substitute ἀναπεσών. But ἀναπεσών never means leaning back. It is descriptive of the posture of one reclining at a meal (S. Jo. xiii. 12). Accordingly, it is 10 times rendered by the Revisionists to sit down. Why, in this place, and in chapter xxi. 20, a new meaning is thrust upon the word, it is for the Revisionists to explain. But they must explain the matter a vast deal better than Bp. Lightfoot has done in his interesting little work on Revision (pp. 72-3), or they will fail to persuade any,—except one another.

(c) Thus it happens that we never spend half-an-hour over the unfortunate production before us without exclaiming (with one in the Gospel), The old is better. Changes of any sort are unwelcome in such a book as the Bible; but the discovery that changes have been made for the worse, offends greatly. To take instances at random:—'Ὁ πλεῖστος ὄχλος (in Matth. xxi. 8) is rightly rendered in our A. V. a very great multitude.483483Cf. ch. xi. 20. So in Latin, Illa plurima sacrificia. (Cic. De Fin. 2. 20. 63.) Why then has it been altered by the R. V. into 146 the most part of the multitude?—Ὁ πολὺς ὄχλος (Mk. xii. 37), in like manner, is rightly rendered the common people, and ought not to have been glossed in the margin the great multitude.—In the R. V. of Acts x. 15, we find Make thou not common, introduced as an improvement on, That call not thou common. But the old is better: for, besides its idiomatic and helpful That,—the old alone states the case truly. Peter did not make, he only called, something common.All the male children, as a translation of πάντας τοὺς παῖδας (in Matth. ii. 16) is an unauthorized statement. There is no reason for supposing that the female infants of Bethlehem were spared in the general massacre: and the Greek certainly conveys no such information.—When he came into the house, Jesus spake first to him—is really an incorrect rendering of Matth. xvii. 25: at least, it imports into the narrative a notion which is not found in the Greek, and does not exhibit faithfully what the Evangelist actually says. Anticipated, in modern English,—prevented, in ancient phraseology,—was beforehand with him in language neither new nor old,—conveys the sense of the original exactly.—In S. Lu. vi. 35, Love your enemies, ... and lend, never despairing, is simply a mistaken translation of ἀπελπίζοντες, as the context sufficiently proves. The old rendering is the true one.484484The context (says learned Dr. Field) is too strong for philological quibbles. The words can by no possibility bear any other meaning.—Otium Norvicense, p. 40. And so, learnedly, the Vulgate,—nihil inde sperantes. (Consider the use of ἀποβλέπειν [Heb. xi. 26]: ἀφορᾶν [Phil. ii. 23: Heb. xii. 2]: abutor, as used by Jerome for utor, &c.)—Go with them making no distinction is not the meaning of Acts xi. 12: which, however, was correctly translated before, viz. nothing doubting.—The mischievous change (save in place of but) in Gal. ii. 16 has been ably and faithfully exposed by Bp. Ollivant. In the words of the 147 learned and pious Bp. of Lincoln, it is illogical and erroneous, and contradicts the whole drift of S. Paul's Argument in that Epistle, and in the Epistle to the Romans.

(d) We should be dealing insincerely with our Readers were we to conceal our grave dissatisfaction at not a few of the novel expressions which the Revisionists have sought to introduce into the English New Testament. That the malefactors between whom the Lord of glory was crucified were not ordinary thieves is obvious; yet would it have been wiser, we think, to leave the old designation undisturbed. We shall never learn to call them robbers.The king sent forth a soldier of his guard is a gloss—not a translation of S. Mark vi. 27. An executioner surely is far preferable as the equivalent for σπεκουλάτωρ!485485Στρατιώτης ὂς πρὸς τὸ φονεύειν τέτακται,—Theophylact, i. 201 e. Boys quotes Seneca De Irá:—Tunc centurio supplicio præpositus condere gladium speculatorem jussit.Assassins (as the rendering of σικάριοι) is an objectionable substitute for murderers. A word which belongs probably to a romantic chapter in the history of the Crusades486486Trench, Study of Words, p. 106. has no business in the N. T.—And what did these learned men suppose they should gain by substituting the twin brothers for Castor and Pollux in Acts xxviii. 11? The Greek (Διόσκουροι) is neither the one nor the other.—In the same spirit, instead of, they that received tribute-money (in S. Matth. xvii. 24), we are now presented with they that received the half-shekel: and in verse 27,—instead of when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money, we are favoured with thou shalt find a shekel. But why the change has been made, we fail to see. The margin is still obliged to explain that not one of these four words is found in the original: the Greek in the former place being τὰ δίδραχμα,—in the latter, στατήρ.—Flute-players 148 (for minstrels) in S. Matthew ix. 23, is a mistake. An αὐλητής played the pipe (αὐλός, 1 Cor. xiv. 7),—hence pipers in Rev. xviii. 22; (where by the way μουσικοί [musicians] is perversely and less accurately rendered minstrels).—Once more. Undressed cloth (Mk. ii. 21), because it is an expression popularly understood only in certain districts of England, and a vox artis, ought not to have been introduced into the Gospels. New is preferable.—Wine-skins (Mtt. ix. 17: Mk. ii. 22: Lu. v. 37) is a term unintelligible to the generality; as the Revisionists confess, for they explain it by a note,—That is, skins used as bottles. What else is this but substituting a new difficulty for an old one?—Silver, now for the first time thrust into Acts viii. 20, is unreasonable. Like argent in French, ἀργύριον as much means money, here as in S. Matthew xxv. 18, 27, &c.—In S. James ii. 19, we should like to know what is gained by the introduction of the shuddering devils.—To take an example from a different class of words,—Who will say that Thou mindest not the things of God is a better rendering of οὐ φρονεῖς, than the old Thou savourest not,—which at least had no ambiguity about it?... A friend points out that Dr. Field (a master in Israel) has examined 104 of the changes made in the Revised Version; and finds 8 questionable: 13 unnecessary: 19 faulty (i.e. cases in which the A. V. required amendment, but which the R. V. has not succeeded in amending): 64 changes for the worse.487487Otium Norvicense, pars tertia, 1881, pp. 155.... This is surely a terrible indictment for such an one as Dr. Field to bring against the Revisers,—who were directed only to correct plain and clear errors.

(e) We really fail to understand how it has come to pass that, notwithstanding the amount of scholarship which 149 sometimes sat in the Jerusalem Chamber, so many novelties are found in the present Revision which betoken a want of familiarity with the refinements of the Greek language on the one hand; and (what is even more inexcusable) only a slender acquaintance with the resources and proprieties of English speech, on the other. A fair average instance of this occurs in Acts xxi. 37, where (instead of Canst thou speak Greek?) Ἑλληνιστὶ γινώσκεις? is rendered Dost thou know Greek? That γινώσκειν means to know (and not to speak) is undeniable: and yet, in the account of all, except the driest and stupidest of pedagogues, Ἑλληνιστὶ γινώσκεις; must be translated Canst thou speak Greek? For (as every schoolboy is aware) Ἑλληνιστί is an adverb, and signifies in Greek fashion: so that something has to be supplied: and the full expression, if it must needs be given, would be, Dost thou know [how to talk] in Greek? But then, this condensation of phrase proves to be the established idiom of the language:488488Compare Xenophon (Cyrop. vii. 6. 8), τοὺς Συριστὶ ἐπισταμένους. The plena locutio is found in Nehem. xiii. 24,—οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτῶν ἥμισυ λαλοῦντες Ἁζωτιστί, καὶ οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐπιγινώσκοντες λαλεῖν Ἰουδαιστί (quoted by Wetstein). so that the rejection of the learned rendering of Tyndale, Cranmer, the Geneva, the Rheims, and the Translators of 1611 (Canst thou speak Greek?)—the rejection of this, at the end of 270 years, in favour of Dost thou know Greek? really betrays ignorance. It is worse than bad Taste. It is a stupid and deliberate blunder.

(f) The substitution of they weighed unto him (in place of they covenanted with him for) thirty pieces of silver (S. Matth. xxvi. 15) is another of those plausible mistakes, into which a little learning (proverbially a dangerous thing) is for ever conducting its unfortunate possessor; but from which it was to have been expected that the undoubted 150 attainments of some who frequented the Jerusalem Chamber would have effectually preserved the Revisionists. That ἔστησαν is intended to recal Zech. xi. 12, is obvious; as well as that there it refers to the ancient practice of weighing uncoined money. It does not, however, by any means follow, that it was customary to weigh shekels in the days of the Gospel. Coined money, in fact, was never weighed, but always counted; and these were shekels, i.e. didrachms (Matth. xvii. 24). The truth (it lies on the surface) is, that there exists a happy ambiguity about the word ἔστησαν, of which the Evangelist has not been slow to avail himself. In the particular case before us, it is expressly recorded that in the first instance money did not pass,—only a bargain was made, and a certain sum promised. S. Mark's record is that the chief priests were glad at the proposal of Judas, and promised to give him money (xiv. 11): S. Luke's, that they covenanted to do so (xxii. 5, 6). And with this, the statement of the first Evangelist is found to be in strictest agreement. The chief Priests set or appointed489489Cf. Acts i. 23; xvii. 31. The Latin is statuerunt or constituerunt. The Revisionists give appointed in the second of these places, and put forward in the first. In both,—What becomes of their uniformity? him a certain sum. The perfectly accurate rendering of S. Matth. xxvi. 15, therefore, exhibited by our Authorized Version, has been set aside to make way for a misrepresentation of the Evangelist's meaning. In the judgment of the most competent scholars, was such change necessary?

(g) We respectfully think that it would have been more becoming in such a company as that which assembled in the Jerusalem Chamber, as well as more consistent with their Instructions, if in doubtful cases they had abstained from touching the Authorized Version, but had recorded their own conjectural emendations in the margin. How rash and infelicitous, 151 for example, is the following rendering of the famous words in Acts xxvi. 28, 29, which we find thrust upon us without apology or explanation; without, in fact, any marginal note at all:—And Agrippa said unto Paul, With but little persuasion thou wouldest fain make me a Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that whether with little or with much, &c. Now this is indefensible. For, in the first place, to get any such meaning out of the words, our Revisionists have been obliged to substitute the fabricated ποιῆσαι (the peculiar property of א a b and a few cursives) for γενέσθαι in ver. 28. Moreover, even so, the words do not yield the required sense. We venture to point out, that this is precisely one of the occasions where the opinion of a first-rate Greek Father is of paramount importance. The moderns confess themselves unable to discover a single instance of the phrase ἐν ὀλίγῳ in the sense of within a little. Cyril of Jerusalem (a.d. 350) and Chrysostom (a.d. 400), on the contrary, evidently considered that here the expression can mean nothing else; and they were competent judges, seeing that Greek was their native language: far better judges (be it remarked in passing) on a point of this kind than the whole body of Revisionists put together. Such an amount of victorious grace and wisdom did Paul derive from the Holy Spirit (says Cyril), that even King Agrippa at last exclaimed,490490P. 279. &c. From which it is evident that Cyril regarded Agrippa's words as an avowal that he was well-nigh overcome by the Apostle's argument. And so Chrysostom,491491καὶ τὸν δικαστὴν εἷλεν ὁ τέως κατάδικος εἶναι νομιζόμενος καὶ τὴν νίκην αὐτὸς ὁ χειρωθεὶς ὁμολογεῖ λαμπρᾷ τῇ φωνῇ παρόντων ἁπάντων λέγων, ἐν ὀλίγῳ κ.τ.λ. x. 307 b. (= xii. 433 a). who says plainly that ἐν ὀλίγῳ means within a little,492492ἐν ὀλίγῳ; τουτέστι παρὰ μικρόν. ix. 391 a. and assumes that within a little S. Paul had 152 persuaded his judge.493493καὶ τὸν δικάζοντα μικροῦ μεταπεῖσαι, ὡς καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκεῖνον λέγειν, ἐν ὀλίγῳ κ.τ.λ. ii. 516 d. He even puts παρ᾽ ὀλίγον into Agrippa's mouth.494494iii. 399 d. So also, in effect, Theodoret.495495v. 930 (παρ᾽ ὀλίγον). From all which it is reasonable, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, to infer that our A. V. reflects faithfully what was the Church's traditionary interpretation of Acts xxvi. 28 in the first half of the fourth century. Let it only be added that a better judge of such matters than any who frequented the Jerusalem Chamber—the late President of Magdalen, Dr. Routh,—writes: Vertendum esse sequentia suadent, Me fere Christianum fieri suades. Interp. Vulgata habet, In modico suades me Christianum fieri.496496MS. Note in his copy of the N. T. Yes, the Apostle's rejoinder fixes the meaning of what Agrippa had said before.—And this shall suffice. We pass on, only repeating our devout wish that what the Revisionists failed to understand, or were unable materially and certainly to improve, they would have been so obliging as to let alone. In the present instance the A. V. is probably right; the R. V., probably wrong. No one, at all events, can pretend that the rendering with which we are all familiar is a plain and clear error. And confessedly, unless it was, it should have been left unmolested. But to proceed.

(4) and (5) There can be no question as to the absolute duty of rendering identical expressions in strictly parallel places of the Gospels by strictly identical language. So far we are wholly at one with the Revisionists. But alterations [supposed to be] rendered necessary by consequence (Preface, iii. 2.), are quite a different matter: and we venture to think that it is precisely in their pursuit of a mechanical uniformity of rendering, that our Revisionists have most often as well as most grievously lost their way. We differ from them in fact in limine. When a particular word (say they) is found to 153 recur with characteristic frequency in any one of the Sacred Writers, it is obviously desirable to adopt for it some uniform rendering (iii. 2). Desirable! Yes, but in what sense? It is much to be desired, no doubt, that the English language always contained the exact counterparts of Greek words: and of course, if it did, it would be in the highest degree desirable that a Translator should always employ those words and no other. But then it happens unfortunately that precisely equivalent words do not exist. Τέκνον, nine times out of ten signifies nothing else but child. On the tenth occasion, however, (e.g. where Abraham is addressing the rich man in Hades,) it would be absurd so to render it. We translate Son. We are in fact without choice.—Take another ordinary Greek term, σπλάγχνα, which occurs 11 times in the N. T., and which the A. V. uniformly renders bowels. Well, and bowels confessedly σπλάγχνα are. Yet have our Revisionists felt themselves under the necessity of rendering the word heart, in Col. iii. 12,—very heart, in Philemon, ver. 12,—affections in 2 Cor. vi. 12,—inward affection, in vii. 15,—tender mercies in Phil. i. 8,—compassion in 1 Jo. iii. 17,—bowels only in Acts i. 18.—These learned men, however, put forward in illustration of their own principle of translation, the word εὐθέως,—which occurs about 80 times in the N. T.: nearly half the instances being found in S. Mark's Gospel. We accept their challenge; and assert that it is tasteless barbarism to seek to impose upon εὐθέως,—no matter what the context in which it stands,—the sense of straightway,—only because εὐθύς, the adjective, generally (not always) means straight. Where a miracle of healing is described (as in S. Matth. viii. 3: xx. 34. S. Lu. v. 13), since the benefit was no doubt instantaneous, it is surely the mere instinct of faithfulness to translate εὐθέως immediately. So, in respect of the sudden act which saved Peter from sinking (S. Matth. xiv. 31); and that punctual cock-crow 154 (xxvi. 74), which (S. Luke says) did not so much follow, as accompany his denial (xxii. 60). But surely not so, when the growth of a seed is the thing spoken of (Matth. xiii. 5)! Acts again, which must needs have occupied some little time in the doing, reasonably suggest some such rendering as forthwith or straightway,—(e.g. S. Matth. xiv. 22: xxi. 2: and S. John vi. 21): while, in 3 John ver. 14, the meaning (as the Revisionists confess) can only be shortly.... So plain a matter really ought not to require so many words. We repeat, that the Revisionists set out with a mistaken Principle. They clearly do not understand their Trade.

They invite our attention to their rendering of certain of the Greek Tenses, and of the definite Article. We regret to discover that, in both respects, their work is disfigured throughout by changes which convict a majority of their body alike of an imperfect acquaintance with the genius of the Greek language, and of scarcely a moderate appreciation of the idiomatic proprieties of their own. Such a charge must of necessity, when it has been substantiated, press heavily upon such a work as the present; for it is not as when a solitary error has been detected, which may be rectified. A vicious system of rendering Tenses, and representing the Greek Article, is sure to crop up in every part of the undertaking, and must occasionally be attended by consequences of a serious nature.

1. Now, that we may not be misunderstood, we admit at once that, in teaching boys how to turn Greek into English, we insist that every tense shall be marked by its own appropriate sign. There is no telling how helpful it will prove in the end, that every word shall at first have been rendered with painful accuracy. Let the Article be [mis-]represented—the Prepositions caricatured—the Particles magnified,—let 155 the very order of the words at first, (however impossible,) be religiously retained. Merciless accuracy having been in this way acquired, a youth has to be untaught these servile habits. He has to be reminded of the requirements of the English idiom, and speedily becomes aware that the idiomatic rendering of a Greek author into English, is a higher achievement by far, than his former slavish endeavour always to render the same word and tense in the same slavish way.

2. But what supremely annoys us in the work just now under review is, that the schoolboy method of translation already noticed is therein exhibited in constant operation throughout. It becomes oppressive. We are never permitted to believe that we are in the company of Scholars who are altogether masters of their own language. Their solicitude ever seems to be twofold:—(1) To exhibit a singular indifference to the proprieties of English speech, while they maintain a servile adherence (etymological or idiomatic, as the case may be) to the Greek:—(2) Right or wrong, to part company from William Tyndale and the giants who gave us our Authorized Version.

Take a few illustrations of what precedes from the second chapter of S. Matthew's Gospel:—

(1.) Thus, in ver. 2, the correct English rendering we have seen is made to give place to the incorrect we saw his star in the east.—In ver. 9, the idiomatic when they had heard the king, they departed, is rejected for the unidiomatic And they, having heard the king, went their way.—In ver. 15, we are treated to that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt did I call my son. And yet who sees not, that in both instances the old rendering is better? Important 156 as it may be, in the lecture-room, to insist on what is implied by τὸ ῥηθὲν ὙΠῸ τοῦ κυρίου ΔΙᾺ τοῦ προφήτου, it is simply preposterous to come abroad with such refinements. It is to stultify oneself and to render one's author unintelligible. Moreover, the attempt to be so wondrous literal is safe to break down at the end of a few verses. Thus, if διά is through in verse 15,—why not in verse 17 and in verse 23?

(2.) Note how infelicitously, in S. Matth. ii. 1, there came wise men from the east is changed into wise men from the east came.—In ver. 4, the accurate, And when [Herod] had gathered together (συναγαγών) &c., is displaced for the inaccurate, And gathering together &c.—In ver. 6, we are presented with the unintelligible, And thou Bethlehem, land of Judah: while in ver. 7, Then Herod privily called the wise men, and learned of them carefully, is improperly put in the place of Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently (ἠκρίβωσε παρ᾽ αὐτῶν).—In ver. 11, the familiar And when they were come into the house, they saw &c., is needlessly changed into They came into the house, and saw: while and when they had opened (ἀνοίξαντες) their treasures, is also needlessly altered into and opening their treasures.—In ver. 12, the R. V. is careful to print of God in italics, where italics are not necessary: seeing that χρηματισθέντες implies being warned of God (as the translators of 1611 were well aware497497And the Revisionists: for see Rom. xi. 4.): whereas in countless other places the same Revisionists reject the use of italics where italics are absolutely required.—Their until I tell thee (in ver. 13) is a most unworthy substitute for until I bring thee word.—And will they pretend that they have improved the rendering of the 157 concluding words of the chapter? If Ναζωραῖος κληθήσεται does not mean He shall be called a Nazarene, what in the world does it mean? The ὅτι of quotation they elsewhere omit. Then why, here,—That it might be fulfilled ... that?—Surely, every one of these is an alteration made for alteration's sake, and in every instance for the worse.

We began by surveying the Greek of the first chapter of S. Matthew's Gospel. We have now surveyed the English of the second chapter. What does the Reader think of the result?

IV. Next, the Revisionists invite attention to certain points of detail: and first, to their rendering of the Tenses of the Verb. They begin with the Greek Aorist,—(in their account) perhaps the most important detail of all:—

We have not attempted to violate the idiom of our language by forms of expression which it would not bear. But we have often ventured to represent the Greek aorist by the English preterite, even when the reader may find some passing difficulty in such a rendering, because we have felt convinced that the true meaning of the original was obscured by the presence of the familiar auxiliary. A remarkable illustration may be found in the seventeenth chapter of S. John's Gospel.Preface, iii. 2,—(latter part).

(a) We turn to the place indicated, and are constrained to assure these well-intentioned men, that the phenomenon we there witness is absolutely fatal to their pretensions as Revisers of our Authorized Version. Were it only some passing difficulty which their method occasions us, we might have hoped that time would enable us to overcome it. But since it is the genius of the English language to which we find they have offered violence; the fixed and universally-understood idiom of our native tongue which they have systematically set at defiance; the matter is absolutely without remedy. The difference between the A. V. and the R. V. seems to ourselves to be simply this,—that 158 the renderings in the former are the idiomatic English representations of certain well-understood Greek tenses: while the proposed substitutes are nothing else but the pedantic efforts of mere grammarians to reproduce in another language idioms which it abhors. But the Reader shall judge for himself: for this at least is a point on which every educated Englishman is fully competent to pass sentence.

When our Divine Lord, at the close of His Ministry,—(He had in fact reached the very last night of His earthly life, and it wanted but a few hours of His Passion,)—when He, at such a moment, addressing the Eternal Father, says, ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς; τὸ ἔργον ἐτελείωσα ... ἐφανέρωσά σου τὸ ὄνομα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, &c. [Jo. xvii. 4, 6], there can be no doubt whatever that, had He pronounced those words in English, He would have said (with our A. V.) I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work: I have manifested Thy Name. The pedantry which (on the plea that the Evangelist employs the aorist, not the perfect tense,) would twist all this into the indefinite past,—I glorified ... I finished ... I manifested,—we pronounce altogether insufferable. We absolutely refuse it a hearing. Presently (in ver. 14) He says,—I have given them Thy word; and the world hath hated them. And in ver. 25,—O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee; but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. Who would consent to substitute for these expressions,—the world hated them: and the world knew Thee not, but I knew Thee; and these knew that Thou didst send Me?—Or turn to another Gospel. Which is better,—Some one hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me, (S. Lu. viii. 46):—or,—Some one did touch Me: for I perceived that power had gone forth from Me?

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When the reference is to an act so extremely recent, who is not aware that the second of these renderings is abhorrent to the genius of the English language? As for ἔγνων, it is (like novi in Latin) present in sense though past in form,—here as in S. Lu. xvi. 3.—But turn to yet another Gospel. Which is better in S. Matth. xvi. 7:—we took no bread, or It is because we have taken no bread?—Again. When Simon Peter (in reply to the command that he should thrust out into deep water and let down his net for a draught,) is heard to exclaim,—Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at Thy word I will let down the net (Lu. v. 5),—who would tolerate the proposal to put in the place of it,—Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at Thy word, &c. It is not too much to declare that the idiom of the English language refuses peremptorily to submit to such handling. Quite in vain is it to encounter us with reminder that κοπιάσαντες and ἐλάβομεν are aorists. The answer is,—We know it: but we deny that it follows that the words are to be rendered we toiled all night, and took nothing. There are laws of English Idiom as well as laws of Greek Grammar: and when these clash in what is meant to be a translation into English out of Greek, the latter must perforce give way to the former,—or we make ourselves ridiculous, and misrepresent what we propose to translate.

All this is so undeniable that it ought not to require to be insisted upon. But in fact our Revisionists by their occasional practice show that they fully admit the Principle we are contending for. Thus, ἧραν (in S. Jo. xx. 2 and 13) is by them translated they have taken:—ἱνατί με ἐγκατέλιπες; (S. Matt. xxvii. 46) Why hast Thou forsaken Me?498498Yet even here they cannot abstain from putting in the margin the peculiarly infelicitous alternative,—Why didst thou forsake Me?:—ἔδειξα 160 (S. Jo. x. 32) have I showed:—ἀπέστειλε (vi. 29) He hath sent:—ἠτιμάσατε (James ii. 6) ye have dishonoured:—ἐκαθάρισε (Acts x. 15) hath cleansed:—ἔστησεν (xvii. 31) He hath appointed. But indeed instances abound everywhere. In fact, the requirements of the case are often observed to force them to be idiomatic. Τί ἐποίησας; (in Jo. xviii. 35), they rightly render What hast thou done?:—and ἔγραψα (in 1 Jo. ii. 14, 21), I have written;—and ἤκουσα (in Acts ix. 13), I have heard.—On the other hand, by translating οὐκ εἴασεν (in Acts xxviii. 4), hath not suffered, they may be thought to have overshot the mark. They seem to have overlooked the fact that, when once S. Paul had been bitten by the viper, the barbarians looked upon him as a dead man; and therefore discoursed about what Justice did not suffer, as about an entirely past transaction.

But now, Who sees not that the admission, once and again deliberately made, that sometimes it is not only lawful, but even necessary, to accommodate the Greek aorist (when translated into English) with the sign of the perfect,—reduces the whole matter (of the signs of the tenses) to a mere question of Taste? In view of such instances as the foregoing, where severe logical necessity has compelled the Revisionists to abandon their position and fly, it is plain that their contention is at an end,—so far as right and wrong are concerned. They virtually admit that they have been all along unjustly forcing on an independent language an alien yoke.499499As in Rom. vi. 2: ix. 13. 1 Cor. i. 27: vi. 20: ix. 11. Ephes. iv. 20, &c. &c. Henceforth, it simply becomes a question to be repeated, as every fresh emergency arises,—Which then is the more idiomatic of these two English renderings?... Conversely, twice at least (Heb. xi. 17 and 28), the Revisionists 161 have represented the Greek perfect by the English indefinite preterite.

(b) Besides this offensive pedantry in respect of the Aorist, we are often annoyed by an unidiomatic rendering of the Imperfect. True enough it is that the servants and the officers were standing ... and were warming themselves: Peter also was standing with them and was warming himself (S. Jo. xviii. 18). But we do not so express ourselves in English, unless we are about to add something which shall account for our particularity and precision. Any one, for example, desirous of stating what had been for years his daily practice, would say—I left my house. Only when he wanted to explain that, on leaving it for the 1000th time, he met a friend coming up the steps to pay him a visit, would an Englishman think of saying, I was leaving the house. A Greek writer, on the other hand, would not trust this to the imperfect. He would use the present participle in the dative case, (To me, leaving my house,500500Comp. S. Matth. viii. 1, 5, 23, 28; ix. 27, 28; xxi. 23. &c.). One is astonished to have to explain such things.... If therefore thou art offering thy gift at the altar (Matt. v. 23), may seem to some a clever translation. To ourselves, it reads like a senseless exaggeration of the original.501501Ἐὰν οὖν προσφέρῃς. It sounds (and is) as unnatural as to say (in S. Lu. ii. 33) And His father [a depravation of the text] and His mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning Him:—or (in Heb. xi. 17) yea, he that had received the promises was offering up his only-begotten son:—or, of the cripple at Lystra (Acts xiv. 9), the same heard Paul speaking.

(c) On the other hand, there are occasions confessedly when the Greek Aorist absolutely demands to be rendered 162 into English by the sign of the Pluperfect. An instance meets us while we write: ὡς δὲ ἐπαύσατο λαλῶν (S. Lu. v. 4),—where our Revisionists are found to retain the idiomatic rendering of our Authorized Version,—When He had left speaking. Of what possible avail could it be, on such an occasion, to insist that, because ἐπαύσατο is not in the pluperfect tense, it may not be accommodated with the sign of the pluperfect when it is being translated into English?—The R. V. has shown less consideration in S. Jo. xviii. 24,—where Now Annas had sent Him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest, is right, and wanted no revision.—Such places as Matth. xxvii. 60, Jo. xxi. 15, Acts xii. 17, and Heb. iv. 8, on the other hand, simply defy the Revisionists. For perforce Joseph had hewn out (ἐλατόμησε) the new tomb which became our Lord's: and the seven Apostles, confessedly, had dined (ἠρίστησαν): and S. Peter, of course, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison (ἐξήγαγεν): and it is impossible to substitute anything for If Jesus [Joshua] had given them rest (κατέπαυσεν).—Then of course there are occasions, (not a few,) where the Aorist (often an indefinite present in Greek) claims to be Englished by the sign of the present tense: as where S. John says (Rev. xix. 6), The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth (ἐβασίλευσε). There is no striving against such instances. They insist on being rendered according to the genius of the language into which it is proposed to render them:—as when ἔκειτο (in S. Jo. xx. 12) exacts for its rendering had lain.

(d) It shall only be pointed out here in addition, for the student's benefit, that there is one highly interesting place (viz. S. Matth. xxviii. 2), which in every age has misled Critics and Divines (as Origen and Eusebius); Poets (as Rogers); Painters (as West);—yes, and will continue to mislead readers for many a year to come:—and all because men 163 have failed to perceive that the aorist is used there for the pluperfect. Translate,—There had been a great earthquake: [and so (1611-1881) our margin,—until in short the Revisionists interfered:] for the Angel of the Lord had descended from heaven, and come and rolled away (ἀπεκύλισε) the stone from the door, and sat upon it. Strange, that for 1800 years Commentators should have failed to perceive that the Evangelist is describing what terrified the keepers. The women saw no Angel sitting upon the stone!—though Origen,502502ii. 155.—Dionysius of Alexandria,503503Routh, Rell. iii. 226 ad calc.—Eusebius,504504Ap. Mai, iv. 266.—ps.-Gregory Naz.,505505ii. 1324.—Cyril Alex.,506506ii. 380.—Hesychius,507507Ap. Greg. Nyss. iii. 403.—and so many others—have taken it for granted that they did.

(e) Then further, (to dismiss the subject and pass on,)—There are occasions where the Greek perfect exacts the sign of the present at the hands of the English translator: as when Martha says,—Yea Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ (S. Jo. xi. 27).508508So also Heb. xi. 17, 28. And see the Revision of S. James i. 11. What else but the veriest pedantry is it to thrust in there I have believed, as the English equivalent for πεπίστευκα?—Just as intolerable is the officiousness which would thrust into the Lord's prayer (Matt. vi. 12), as we also have forgiven (ἀφήκαμεν) our debtors.509509Comp. ἀφίεμεν in S. Lu. xi. 4. In the case of certain Greek verbs, the preterite in form is invariably present in signification. See Dr. Field's delightful Otium Norvicense, p. 65.—On the other hand, there are Greek presents (whatever the Revisionists may think) which are just as peremptory in requiring the sign of the future, at the hands of the idiomatic translator into English. Three such cases are found in S. Jo. xvi. 16, 17, 19. Surely, the future is inherent in the present ἔρχομαι! In Jo. xiv. 18 (and many similar places), who can endure, I will not leave you desolate: I come unto you?

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(f) But instances abound. How does it happen that the inaccurate rendering of ἐκκόπτεται—ἐκβάλλεται—has been retained in S. Matth. iii. 10, S. Lu. iii. 9?

V. Next, concerning the definite Article; in the case of which, (say the Revisionists,)

many changes have been made. We have been careful to observe the use of the Article wherever it seemed to be idiomatically possible: where it did not seem to be possible, we have yielded to necessity.—(Preface, iii. 2,—ad fin.)

In reply, instead of offering counter-statements of our own we content ourselves with submitting a few specimens to the Reader's judgment; and invite him to decide between the Reviewer and the Reviewed ... The sower went forth to sow (Matth. xiii. 3).—It is greater than the herbs (ver. 32).—Let him be to thee as the Gentile and the publican (xviii. 17).—The unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man (xii. 43).—Did I not choose you the twelve? (Jo. vi. 70).—If I then, the Lord and the master (xiii. 14).—For the joy that a man is born into the world (xvi. 21).—But as touching Apollos the brother (1 Cor. xvi. 12).—The Bishop must be blameless ... able to exhort in the sound doctrine (Titus i. 7, 9).—The lust when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is full grown &c. (James i. 15).—Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? (iii. 11).—Speak thou the things which befit the sound doctrine (Titus ii. 1).—The time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine (2 Tim. iv. 3).—We had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us (Heb. xii. 9).—Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification (ver. 14).—Who is the liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? (1 Jo. ii. 22).—Not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood (v. 6).—He that hath the Son, hath the life: he that hath not the Son of God hath not the life (ver. 12).

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To rejoin, as if it were a sufficient answer, that the definite Article is found in all these places in the original Greek,—is preposterous. In French also we say Telle est la vie: but, in translating from the French, we do not therefore say Such is the life. May we, without offence, suggest the study of Middleton On the Doctrine of the Greek Article to those members of the Revisionists' body who have favoured us with the foregoing crop of mistaken renderings?

So, in respect of the indefinite article, we are presented with,—An eternal (for the everlasting) gospel to proclaim (Rev. xiv. 6):—and one like unto a son of man, for one like unto the Son of Man in ver. 14.—Why a Saviour in Phil. iii. 20? There is but one! (Acts iv. 12).—On the other hand, Κρανίον is rendered The skull in S. Lu. xxiii. 33. It is hard to see why.—These instances taken at random must suffice. They might be multiplied to any extent. If the Reader considers that the idiomatic use of the English Article is understood by the authors of these specimen cases, we shall be surprised, and sorry—for him.

VI. The Revisionists announce that they have been particularly careful as to the Pronouns [iii. 2 ad fin.] We recal with regret that this is also a particular wherein we have been specially annoyed and offended. Annoyed—at their practice of repeating the nominative (e.g. in Mk. i. 13: Jo. xx. 12) to an extent unknown, abhorrent even, to our language, except indeed when a fresh substantive statement is made: offended—at their license of translation, when it suits them to be licentious.—Thus, (as the Bp. of S. Andrews has well pointed out,) it is He that is an incorrect translation of αὐτός in S. Matth. i. 21,—a famous passage. Even worse, because it is unfair, is He who as the rendering of ὅς in 1 Tim. iii. 16,—another famous passage, which we have discussed elsewhere.510510See above, pp. 98-106. Also infra, towards the end.

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VII. 'In the case of the Particles' (say the Revisionists),

we have been able to maintain a reasonable amount of consistency. The Particles in the Greek Testament are, as is well known, comparatively few, and they are commonly used with precision. It has therefore been the more necessary here to preserve a general uniformity of rendering.—(iii. 2 ad fin.)

Such an announcement, we submit, is calculated to occasion nothing so much as uneasiness and astonishment. Of all the parts of speech, the Greek Particles,—(especially throughout the period when the Language was in its decadence,)—are the least capable of being drilled into a general uniformity of rendering; and he who tries the experiment ought to be the first to be aware of the fact. The refinement and delicacy which they impart to a narrative or a sentiment, are not to be told. But then, from the very nature of the case, uniformity of rendering is precisely the thing they will not submit to. They take their colour from their context: often mean two quite different things in the course of two successive verses: sometimes are best rendered by a long and formidable word;511511As in S. Matth. xi. 11 and 2 Tim. iv. 17, where δέ is rendered notwithstanding:—Phil. i. 24 and Heb. xii. 11, where it is nevertheless. sometimes cannot (without a certain amount of impropriety or inconvenience) be rendered at all.512512Eight times in succession in 1 Cor. xii. 8-10, δέ is not represented in the A. V. The ancients felt so keenly what Tyndale, Cranmer, the Geneva, the Rheims, and the A. V. ventured to exhibit, that as often as not they leave out the δέ,—in which our Revisionists twice follow them. The reader of taste is invited to note the precious result of inserting and, as the Revisionists have done six times, where according to the genius of the English language it is not wanted at all. Let us illustrate what we have been saying by actual appeals to Scripture.

(1) And first, we will derive our proofs from the use which the sacred Writers make of the particle of most 167 frequent recurrence—δέ. It is said to be employed in the N. T. 3115 times. As for its meaning, we have the unimpeachable authority of the Revisionists themselves for saying that it may be represented by any of the following words:—but,and,51351338 times in the Genealogy, S. Matth. i.yea,514514Rom. xiv. 4: xv. 20.what,515515Rom. ix. 22.now,5165161 Cor. xii. 27.and that,517517Gal. ii. 4.howbeit,518518Act xxvii. 26.even,519519Rom. iii. 22.therefore,520520Ephes. iv. 1.I say,5215212 Cor. v. 8.also,522522S. Mark xv. 31.yet,523523S. Mark vi. 29.for.5245241 Cor. x. 1. To which 12 renderings, King James's translators (mostly following Tyndale) are observed to add at least these other 12:—wherefore,525525S. Matth. vi. 30.so,526526S. John xx. 4.moreover,5275272 Cor. i. 23.yea and,5285282 Cor. vii. 13.furthermore,5295292 Cor. ii. 12.nevertheless,5305302 Pet. iii. 13.notwithstanding,531531S. Matth. ii. 22.yet but,5325321 Cor. xii. 20.truly,5335331 S. John i. 3.or,534534S. Matth. xxv. 39.as for,535535Acts viii. 3.then,536536Rom. xii. 6.and yet.537537S. Matth. vi. 29. It shall suffice to add that, by the pitiful substitution of but or and on most of the foregoing occasions, the freshness and freedom of almost every passage has been made to disappear: the plain fact being that the men of 1611—above all, that William Tyndale 77 years before them—produced a work of real genius; seizing with generous warmth the meaning and intention of the sacred Writers, and perpetually varying the phrase, as they felt, or fancied that Evangelists and Apostles would have varied it, had they had to express themselves in English: whereas the men of 1881 have fulfilled their task in what can only be described as a spirit of servile pedantry. The Grammarian (pure and simple) crops up everywhere. We seem never to rise above the atmosphere of the lecture-room,—the startling fact that μέν means indeed, and δέ but.

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We subjoin a single specimen of the countless changes introduced in the rendering of Particles, and then hasten on. In 1 Cor. xii. 20, for three centuries and a half, Englishmen have been contented to read (with William Tyndale), But now are they many members, yet but one body. Our Revisionists, (overcome by the knowledge that δέ means but, and yielding to the supposed necessity for preserving a general uniformity of rendering,) substitute,—But now they are many members, but one body. Comment ought to be superfluous. We neither overlook the fact that δέ occurs here twice, nor deny that it is fairly represented by but in the first instance. We assert nevertheless that, on the second occasion, yet but ought to have been let alone. And this is a fair sample of the changes which have been effected many times in every page. To proceed however.

(2) The interrogative particle ἤ occurs at the beginning of a sentence at least 8 or 10 times in the N. T.; first, in S. Matth. vii. 9. It is often scarcely translateable,—being apparently invested with with no more emphasis than belongs to our colloquial interrogative Eh? But sometimes it would evidently bear to be represented by Pray,538538As in S. Matth. vii. 9: xii. 29: xx. 15. Rom. iii. 29.—being at least equivalent to φέρε in Greek or age in Latin. Once only (viz. in 1 Cor. xiv. 36) does this interrogative particle so eloquently plead for recognition in the text, that both our A. V. and the R. V. have rendered it What?—by which word, by the way, it might very fairly have been represented in S. Matth. xxvi. 53 and Rom. vi. 3: vii. 1. In five of the places where the particle occurs. King James's Translators are observed to have give it up in despair.539539S. Matth. xx. 15: xxvi. 53. Rom. iii. 29: vi. 3: vii. 1. But what is to be thought of the adventurous dulness which (with the single exception already indicated) has invariably rendered ἤ by 169 the conjunction or? The blunder is the more inexcusable, because the intrusion of such an irrelevant conjunction into places where it is without either use or meaning cannot have failed to attract the notice of every member of the Revising body.

(3) At the risk of being wearisome, we must add a few words.—Καί, though no particle but a conjunction, may for our present purpose be reasonably spoken of under the same head; being diversely rendered and,and yet,540540S. John xvi. 32.then,541541S. Luke xix. 23.or,5425422 Cor. xiii. 1.neither,543543S. Luke xii. 2.though,544544S. Luke xviii. 7.so,545545S Luke xiv. 21.but,5465461 S. John ii. 27.for,5475471 S. John i. 2.that,548548S. Mark ix. 39.—in conformity with what may be called the genius of the English language. The last six of these renderings, however, our Revisionists disallow; everywhere thrusting out the word which the argument seems rather to require, and with mechanical precision thrusting into its place every time the (perfectly safe, but often palpably inappropriate) word, and. With what amount of benefit this has been effected, one or two samples will sufficiently illustrate:—

(a) The Revisionists inform us that when the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth,—S. Paul exclaimed, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: and sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?549549Acts xxiii. 3.... Do these learned men really imagine that they have improved upon the A. V. by their officiousness in altering for into and?

(b) The same Apostle, having ended his argument to the Hebrews, remarks,—So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief (Heb. iii. 19): for which, our Revisionists 170 again substitute And. Begin the sentence with and, (instead of So,) and, in compensation for what you have clearly lost, what have you gained?... Once more:—

(c) Consider what S. Paul writes concerning Apollos (in 1 Cor. xvi. 12), and then say what possible advantage is obtained by writing and (instead of but) his will was not at all to come at this time.... Yet once more; and on this occasion, scholarship is to some extent involved:—

(d) When S. James (i. 11) says ἀνέτειλε γὰρ ὁ ἥλιος ... καὶ ἐξήρανε τὸν χόρτον,—who knows not that what his language strictly means in idiomatic English, is,—No sooner does the sun arise, than it withereth the grass? And so in effect our Translators of 1611. What possible improvement on this can it be to substitute, For the sun ariseth ... and withereth the grass?—Only once more:—

(e) Though καί undeniably means and, and πῶς, how,who knows not that καὶ πῶς means How then? And yet, (as if a stupid little boy had been at work,) in two places,—(namely, in S. Mark iv. 13 and S. Luke xx. 44,)—and how is found mercilessly thrust in, to the great detriment of the discourse; while in other two,—(namely, in S. John xiv. 5 and 9,)—the text itself has been mercilessly deprived of its characteristic καί by the Revisionists.—Let this suffice. One might fill many quires of paper with such instances of tasteless, senseless, vexatious, and most unscholarlike innovation.

VIII. Many changes (we are informed) have been introduced in the rendering of the Prepositions. [Preface, iii. 2, ad fin.]:—and we are speedily reminded of the truth of the statement, for (as was shown above [pp. 155-6]) the second chapter of S. Matthew's Gospel exhibits the Revisionists all a-field in respect of διά. We have rarely made any change (they add) where the true meaning of the original would be apparent to a Reader of ordinary intelligence. It 171 would of course ill become such an one as the present Reviewer to lay claim to the foregoing flattering designation: but really, when he now for the first time reads (in Acts ix. 25) that the disciples of Damascus let S. Paul down through the wall, he must be pardoned for regretting the absence of a marginal reference to the history of Pyramus and Thisbe in order to suggest how the operation was effected: for, as it stands, the R. V. is to him simply unintelligible. Inasmuch as the basket (σπυρίς) in which the Apostle effected his escape was of considerable size, do but think what an extravagantly large hole it must have been to enable them both to get through!... But let us look further.

Was it then in order to bring Scripture within the captus of a Reader of ordinary intelligence that the Revisers have introduced no less than thirty changes into eight-and-thirty words of S. Peter's 2nd Epistle? Particular attention is invited to the following interesting specimen of Revision. It is the only one we shall offer of the many contrasts we had marked for insertion. We venture also to enquire, whether the Revisers will consent to abide by it as a specimen of their skill in dealing with the Preposition ἐν?

A. V. R. V.
And beside all this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.—[2 Pet. i. 5-7.] Yea (1), and for (2) this very (3) cause (4) adding (5) on (6) your part (7) all diligence, in (8) your faith supply (9) virtue; and in (10) your (11) virtue knowledge; and in (12) your (13) knowledge temperance; and in (14) your (15) temperance patience; and in (16) your (17) patience godliness; and in (18) your (19) godliness love (20) of (21) the (22) brethren (23); and in (24) your (25) love (26) of (27) the (28) brethren (29) love (30).
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The foregoing strikes us as a singular illustration of the Revisionists' statement (Preface, iii. 2),—We made no change if the meaning was fairly expressed by the word or phrase that was before us in the Authorized Version. To ourselves it appears that every one of those 30 changes is a change for the worse; and that one of the most exquisite passages in the N. T. has been hopelessly spoiled,—rendered in fact well-nigh unintelligible,—by the pedantic officiousness of the Revisers. Were they—(if the question be allowable)—bent on removing none but plain and clear errors, when they substituted those 30 words? Was it in token of their stern resolve to introduce into the Text as few alterations as possible, that they spared the eight words which remain out of the eight-and-thirty?

As for their wooden rendering of ἐν, it ought to suffice to refer them to S. Mk. i. 23, S. Lu. xiv. 31, to prove that sometimes ἐν can only be rendered with:—and to S. Luke vii. 17, to show them that ἐν sometimes means throughout:—and to Col. i. 16, and Heb. i. 1, 2, in proof that sometimes it means by.—On the other hand, their suggestion that ἐν may be rendered by in S. Luke i. 51, convicts them of not being aware that the proud-in-the-imagination-of-their-hearts is a phrase—in which perforce by has no business whatever. One is surprised to have to teach professed Critics and Scholars an elementary fact like this.

In brief, these learned men are respectfully assured that there is not one of the Parts of Speech which will consent to be handled after the inhumane fashion which seems to be to themselves congenial. Whatever they may think of the matter, it is nothing else but absurd to speak of an Angel casting his sickle into the earth (Rev. xiv. 19).—As for his pouring out his bowl upon the air (xvi. 17),—we really fail to understand the nature of the operation.—And pray, 173 What is supposed to be the meaning of the things upon the heavens—in Ephesians i. 10?

Returning to the preposition διά followed by the genitive,—(in respect of which the Revisionists challenge Criticism by complaining in their Preface [iii. 3 ad fin.] that in the A. V. ideas of instrumentality or of mediate agency, distinctly marked in the original, have been confused or obscured in the Translation,)—we have to point out:—

(1st) That these distinguished individuals seem not to be aware that the proprieties of English speech forbid the use of through (as a substitute for by) in certain expressions where instrumentality is concerned. Thus, the Son of man was not betrayed through Judas, but by him (Matt. xxvi. 24: Luke xxii. 22).—Still less is it allowable to say that a prophecy was spoken, nay written, through the Prophet (Matth. i. 22 and margin of ii. 5). Who spake by the Prophets, is even an article of the Faith.

And (2ndly),—That these scholars have in consequence adopted a see-saw method of rendering διά,—sometimes in one way, sometimes in the other. First, they give us wonders and signs done by the Apostles (Acts ii. 43; but in the margin, Or, through): presently, a notable miracle hath been wrought through them (iv. 16: and this time, the margin withholds the alternative, Or, by). Is then the true meaning of by, in the former place, apparent to a Reader of ordinary intelligence? but so obscure in the latter as to render necessary the alteration to through? Or (sit venia verbo),—Was it a mere toss-up with the Revisionists what is the proper rendering of διά?

(3rdly), In an earlier place (ii. 22), we read of miracles, wonders, and signs which God did by Jesus of Nazareth. Was it reverence, which, on that occasion, forbad the use of 174 through—even in the margin? We hope so: but the preposition is still the same—διά not ὑπό.

Lastly (4thly),—The doctrine that Creation is the work of the Divine Word, all Scripture attests. All things were made by Him (S. Jo. i. 3):—the world was made by Him (ver. 10).—Why then, in Col. i. 16, where the same statement is repeated,—(all things were created by Him and for Him,)—do we find through substituted for by? And why is the same offence repeated in 1 Cor. vii. 6,—(where we ought to read,—one God, the Father, of whom are all things ... and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things)?—Why, especially, in Heb. i. 2, in place of by whom also [viz. by the Son] He made the worlds, do we find substituted through whom?... And why add to this glaring inconsistency the wretched vacillation of giving us the choice of through (in place of by) in the margin of S. John i. 3 and 10, and not even offering us the alternative of by (in place of through) in any of the other places,—although the preposition is διά on every occasion?

And thus much for the Revisers' handling of the Prepositions. We shall have said all that we can find room for, when we have further directed attention to the uncritical and unscholarlike Note with which they have disfigured the margin of S. Mark i. 9. We are there informed that, according to the Greek, our Saviour was baptized into the Jordan,—an unintelligible statement to English readers, as well as a misleading one. Especially on their guard should the Revisers have been hereabouts,—seeing that, in a place of vital importance on the opposite side of the open page (viz. in S. Matth. xxviii. 19), they had already substituted into for in. This latter alteration, one of the Revisers (Dr. Vance Smith) rejoices over, because it obliterates (in his account) the evidence for Trinitarian doctrine. That the 175 Revisionists, as a body, intended nothing less,—who can doubt? But then, if they really deemed it necessary to append a note to S. Mark i. 9 in order to explain to the public that the preposition εἰς signifies into rather than in,—why did they not at least go on to record the elementary fact that εἰς has here (what grammarians call) a pregnant signification? that it implies—(every schoolboy knows it!)—and that it is used in order to imply—that the Holy One went down into, and so, was baptized in the Jordan?550550Consider S. Matth. iii. 16,—ἀνέβη ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕδατος: and ver. 6,—ἐβαπτίζοντο ἐν τῷ Ἰορδάνῃ.... But why, in the name of common sense, did not the Revisionists let the Preposition alone?

IX. The Margin of the Revision is the last point to which our attention is invited, and in the following terms:—

The subject of the Marginal Notes deserves special attention. They represent the results of a large amount of careful and elaborate discussion, and will, perhaps, by their very presence, indicate to some extent the intricacy of many of the questions that have almost daily come before us for decision. These Notes fall into four main groups:—First, Notes specifying such differences of reading as were judged to be of sufficient importance to require a particular notice;—Secondly, Notes indicating the exact rendering of words to which, for the sake of English idiom, we were obliged to give a less exact rendering in the text;—Thirdly, Notes, very few in number, affording some explanation which the original appeared to require;—Fourthly, Alternative Renderings in difficult or debateable passages. The Notes of this last group are numerous, and largely in excess of those which were admitted by our predecessors. In the 270 years that have passed away since their labours were concluded, the Sacred Text has been minutely examined, discussed in every detail, and analysed with a grammatical precision unknown in the days of the last Revision. There has thus been accumulated 176 a large amount of materials that have prepared the way for different renderings, which necessarily came under discussion.—(Preface, iii. 4.)

When a body of distinguished Scholars bespeak attention to a certain part of their work in such terms as these, it is painful for a Critic to be obliged to declare that he has surveyed this department of their undertaking with even less satisfaction than any other. So long, however, as he assigns the grounds of his dissatisfaction, the Reviewed cannot complain. The Reviewer puts himself into their power. If he is mistaken in his censure, his credit is gone. Let us take the groups in order:—

(1) Having already stated our objections against the many Notes which specify Textual errors which the Revisionists declined to adopt,—we shall here furnish only two instances of the mischief we deplore:—

(a) Against the words, And while they abode in Galilee (S. Matthew xvii. 22), we find it stated,—Some ancient authorities read were gathering themselves together. The plain English of which queer piece of information is that א and b exhibit in this place an impossible and untranslatable Reading,—the substitution of which for ἀναστρεφομένων δὲ ἀυτῶν can only have proceeded from some Western critic, who was sufficiently unacquainted with the Greek language to suppose that ΣΥΝ-στρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν, might possibly be the exact equivalent for Con-versantibus autem illis. This is not the place for discussing a kind of hallucination which prevailed largely in the earliest age, especially in regions where Greek was habitually read through Latin spectacles. (Thus it was, obviously, that the preposterous substitution of Euraquilo for Euroclydon, in Acts xxvii. 14, took its rise.) Such blunders would be laughable if encountered anywhere except on holy ground. Apart, however, from the lamentable lack 177 of critical judgment which a marginal note like the present displays, what is to be thought of the scholarship which elicits While they were gathering themselves together out of συστρεφομένων δὲ αὐτῶν? Are we to suppose that the clue to the Revisers' rendering is to be found in (συστρέψαντος) Acts xxviii. 3? We should be sorry to think it. They are assured that the source of the Textual blunder which they mistranslate is to be found, instead, in Baruch iii. 38.551551ἐν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις συνανεστράφη.

(b) For what conceivable reason is the world now informed that, instead of Melita,—some ancient authorities read Melitene, in Acts xxviii. 1? Is every pitiful blunder of cod. b to live on in the margin of every Englishman's copy of the New Testament, for ever? Why, all other MSS.—the Syriac and the Latin versions,—Pamphilus of Cæsarea552552Galland. iv. 6 b bis. (a.d. 294), the friend of Eusebius,—Cyril of Jerusalem,553553P. 279.—Chrysostom,554554ix. 400.—John Damascene,555555ii. 707.—all the Fathers in short who quote the place;—the coins, the ancient geographers;—all read Μελίτη; which has also been acquiesced in by every critical Editor of the N. T.—(excepting always Drs. Westcott and Hort), from the invention of Printing till now. But because these two misguided men, without apology, explanation, note or comment of any kind, have adopted Melitene into their text, is the Church of England to be dragged through the mire also, and made ridiculous in the eyes of Christendom? This blunder moreover is gross as a mountain, open, palpable. One glance at the place, written in uncials, explains how it arose:—ΜελιτηΗΝΗσοσκαλειται. Some stupid scribe (as the reader sees) has connected the first syllable of νῆσος with the last syllable of Μελίτη.556556The circumstance is noticed and explained in the same way by Dr. Field in his delightful Otium Norvicense. That 178 is all! The blunder—(for a blunder it most certainly is)—belongs to the age and country in which Melitene was by far the more familiar word, being the name of the metropolitan see of Armenia;557557Concilia, iv. 79 e. mention of which crops up in the Concilia repeatedly.558558Thus Cyril addresses one of his Epistles to Acacius Bp. of Melitene,—Concilia, iii. 1111.

(2) and (4) The second and the fourth group may be considered together. The former comprises those words of which the less exact rendering finds place in the Text:—the latter, Alternative renderings in difficult and debateable passages.

We presume that here our attention is specially invited to such notes as the following. Against 1 Cor. xv. 34,—Awake out of drunkenness righteously:—against S. John i. 14,—an only begotten from a father:—against 1 Pet. iii. 20,—into which few, that is, eight souls, were brought safely through water:—against 2 Pet. iii. 7,—stored with fire:—against S. John xviii. 37,—Thou sayest it, because I am a king:—against Ephes. iii. 21,—All the generations of the age of the ages:—against Jude ver. 14,—His holy myriads:—against Heb. xii. 18,—a palpable and kindled fire:—against Lu. xv. 31,—Child, thou art ever with me:—against Matth. xxi. 28,—Child, go work to-day in my vineyard:—against xxiv. 3,—What shall be the sign of Thy presence, and of the consummation of the age?—against Tit. i. 2,—before times eternal: against Mk. iv. 29,—When the fruit alloweth [and why not yieldeth itself?], straightway he sendeth forth the sickle:—against Ephes. iv. 17,—through every joint of the supply:—against ver. 29,—the building up of the need:—against Lu. ii. 29,—Master, now lettest thou Thy bondservant depart in peace:—against Acts iv. 24,—O Master, thou that didst make the heaven and the earth:—against 179 Lu. i. 78,—Because of the heart of mercy of our God. Concerning all such renderings we will but say, that although they are unquestionably better in the Margin than in the Text; it also admits no manner of doubt that they would have been best of all in neither. Were the Revisionists serious when they suggested as the more exact rendering of 2 Pet. i. 20,—No prophecy of Scripture is of special interpretation? And what did they mean (1 Pet. ii. 2) by the spiritual milk which is without guile?

Not a few marginal glosses might have been dispensed with. Thus, against διδάσκαλος, upwards of 50 times stands the Annotation, Or, teacher.—Ἄρτος, (another word of perpetual recurrence,) is every time explained to mean a loaf. But is this reasonable? seeing that φαγεῖν ἄρτον (Luke xiv. 1) can mean nothing else but to eat bread: not to mention the petition for daily bread in the Lord's prayer. These learned men, however, do not spare us even when mention is made of taking the children's bread and casting it to the dogs (Mk. vii. 27): while in the enquiry,—If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father (Lu. xi. 11), loaf is actually thrust into the text.—We cannot understand why such marked favour has been shown to similar easy words. Δοῦλος, occurring upwards of 100 times in the New Testament, is invariably honoured (sometimes [as in Jo. xv. 15] twice in the course of the same verse) with 2 lines to itself, to explain that in Greek it is bondservant.—About 60 times, δαιμόνιον is explained in the margin to be demon in the Greek.—It has been deemed necessary 15 times to devote three lines to explain the value of a penny.—Whenever τέκνον is rendered Son, we are molested with a marginal annotation, to the effect that the Greek word means child. Had the Revisionists been consistent, the margins would not nearly have sufficed for the many interesting details of this 180 nature with which their knowledge of Greek would have furnished them.

May we be allowed to suggest, that it would have been better worth while to explain to the unlearned that ἀρχαι in S. Peter's vision (Acts x. 11; xi. 5) in strictness means not corners, but beginnings [cf. Gen. ii. 10]:—that τὴν πρώτην (in Lu. xv. 22) is literally the first [cf. Gen. iii. 7] (not the best) robe:—that ἀληθινός (e.g. in Lu. xvi. 11: Jo. i. 9: vi. 32; and especially in xv. 1 and Heb. viii. 2 and ix. 24) means very or real, rather than true?—And when two different words are employed in Greek (as in S. Jo. xxi. 15, 16, 17:—S. Mk. vii. 33, 35, &c. &c.), would it not have been as well to try to represent them in English? For want of such assistance, no unlearned reader of S. Matth. iv. 18, 20, 21: S. Mk. i. 16, 18, 19: S. Lu. v. 2,—will ever be able to understand the precise circumstances under which the first four Apostles left their nets.

(3) The third group consists of Explanatory Notes required by the obscurity of the original. Such must be the annotation against S. Luke i. 15 (explanatory of strong drink),—Gr. sikera. And yet, the word (σίκερα) happens to be not Greek, but Hebrew.—On the other hand, such must be the annotation against μωρέ, in S. Matth. v. 22:—Or, Moreh, a Hebrew expression of condemnation; which statement is incorrect. The word proves to be not Hebrew, but Greek.—And this, against Maran atha in 1 Cor. xvi. 22,—That is, Our Lord cometh: which also proves to be a mistake. The phrase means Our Lord is come,—which represents a widely different notion.559559See Dr. Field's delightful Otium Norvicense (Pars tertia), 1881, pp. 1-4 and 110, 111. This masterly contribution to Sacred Criticism ought to be in the hands of every student of Scripture.—Surely a room-full of learned men, volunteering to put the N. T. to-rights, ought to have made more 181 sure of their elementary facts before they ventured to compromise the Church of England after this fashion!—Against the husks which the swine did eat (Lu. xv. 16), we find, Gr. the pods of the carob tree,—which is really not true. The Greek word is κεράτια,—which only signifies the pods of the carob tree, as French beans signifies the pods of the Phaseolus vulgaris.—By the way, it is quite certain that μύλος ὀνικός [in Matth. xviii. 6 and Lu. xvii. 2 (not Mk. xi. 42)] signifies a mill-stone turned by an ass? Hilary certainly thought so: but is that thing at all likely? What if it should appear that μύλος ὀνικός merely denotes the upper mill-stone (λίθος μυλικός, as S. Mark calls it,—the stone that grinds), and which we know was called ὄνος by the ancients?560560See Hesychius, and the notes on the place.—Why is the brook Cedron (Jo. xviii. 1) first spelt Kidron, and then explained to mean ravine of the cedars? which Kidron no more means that Kishon means of the ivies,—(though the Septuagintal usage [Judges iv. 13: Ps. lxxxiii. 9] shows that τῶν κισσῶν was in its common Hellenistic designation). As for calling the Kidron a ravine, you might as well call Mercury in Tom quad a lake. Infelictious is the mildest epithet we can bestow upon marginal annotations crude, questionable,—even inaccurate as these.

Then further, Simon, the son of Jona (in S. John i. 42 and xxi. 15), is for the first time introduced to our notice by the Revisionists as the son of John: with an officious marginal annotation that in Greek the name is written Ioanes. But is it fair in the Revisers (we modestly ask) to thrust in this way the bêtises of their favourite codex b upon us? In no codex in the world except the Vatican codex b, is Ioannes spelt Ioanes in this place. Besides, the name of Simon Peter's father was not John at all, but Jona,—as appears from S. Matth. xvi. 17, and the present 182 two places in S. John's Gospel; where the evidence against Ioannes is overwhelming. This is in fact the handy-work of Dr. Hort. But surely the office of marginal notes ought to be to assist, not to mislead plain readers: honestly, to state facts,—not, by a side-wind, to commit the Church of England to a new (and absurd) Textual theory! The actual Truth, we insist, should be stated in the margin, whenever unnecessary information is gratuitously thrust upon unlearned and unsuspicious readers.... Thus, we avow that we are offended at reading (against S. John i. 18)—Many very ancient authorities read God only begotten: whereas the authorities alluded to read μονογενὴς Θεός,—(whether with or without the article [ὁ] prefixed,)—which (as the Revisionists are perfectly well aware) means the only-begotten God, and no other thing. Why then did they not say so? Because (we answer)—they were ashamed of the expression. But to proceed.—The information is volunteered (against Matth. xxvi. 36 and Mk. xiv. 32) that χωρίον means an enclosed piece of ground,—which is not true. The statement seems to have proceeded from the individual who translated ἄμφοδον (in Mk. xi. 4) the open street: whereas the word merely denotes the highway,—literally the thoroughfare.

A very little real familiarity with the Septuagint would have secured these Revisers against the perpetual exposure which they make of themselves in their marginal Notes.—(a) Πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας, for instance, is quite an ordinary expression for always, and therefore should not be exhibited (in the margin of S. Matth. xxviii. 20) as a curiosity,—Gr. all the days.—So (b) with respect to the word αἰών, which seems to have greatly exercised the Revisionists. What need, every time it occurs, to explain that εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων means literally unto the ages of the ages? Surely (as in Ps. xlv. 6, quoted Heb. i. 8,) the established rendering 183 (for ever and ever) is plain enough and needs no gloss!—Again, (c) the numeral εἰς, representing the Hebrew substitute for the indefinite article, prevails throughout the Septuagint. Examples of its use occur in the N. T. in S. Matth. viii. 19 and ix. 18;-xxvi. 69 (μία παιδίσκη), Mk. xii. 42: and in Rev. viii. 13: ix. 13: xviii. 21 and xix. 17;—where one scribe, one ruler, one widow, one eagle, one voice, one angel, are really nothing else but mistranslations. True, that εἶς is found in the original Greek: but what then? Because une means one, will it be pretended that Tu es une bête would be properly rendered Thou art one beast?

(d) Far more serious is the substitution of having a great priest over the house of God (Heb. x. 21), for having an high priest: inasmuch as this obscures the pointed reference to our Lord as the antitype of the Jewish high priest,—who (except in Lev. iv. 3) is designated, not ἀρχιερεύς, but either ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ μέγας, or else ὁ ἱερεύς only,—as in Acts v. 24561561Notes designed to illustrate some expressions in the Gk. Test. by a reference to the lxx., &c. By C. F. B. Wood, Præcentor of Llandaff,—Rivingtons, 1882, (pp. 21,)—p. 17:—an admirable performance, only far too brief..... And (e) why are we presented with For no word from God shall be void of power (in S. Luke i. 37)? Seeing that the Greek of that place has been fashioned on the Septuagintal rendering of Gen. xviii. 14 (Is anything too hard for the Lord?562562Μὴ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τῷ θεῷ ῥῆμα?), we venture to think that the A. V. (for with God nothing shall be impossible563563Οὐκ ἀδυνατήσει παρὰ τῷ θεῷ πᾶν ῥῆμα.) ought to have been let alone. It cannot be mended. One is surprised to discover that among so many respectable Divines there seems not to have been one sufficiently familiar with the Septuagint to preserve his brethren from perpetually falling into such mistakes as the foregoing. We really had no idea that the Hellenistic 184 scholarship of those who represented the Church and the Sects in the Jerusalem Chamber, was so inconsiderable.

Two or three of the foregoing examples refer to matters of a recondite nature. Not so the majority of the Annotations which belong to this third group; which we have examined with real astonishment—and in fact have remarked upon already. Shall we be thought hard to please if we avow that we rather desiderate Explanatory Notes on matters which really do call for explanation? as, to be reminded of what kind was the net (ἀμφίβληστρον) mentioned in Matth. iv. 18 (not 20), and Mk. i. 16 (not 18):—to see it explained (against Matth. ii. 23) that netser (the root of Nazareth) denotes Branch:—and against Matth. iii. 5; Lu. iii. 3, that ἡ περίχωρος τοῦ Ἰορδάνου, signifies the depressed valley of the Jordan, as the usage of the LXX. proves.564564[Pointed out to me by Professor Gandell,—whose exquisite familiarity with Scripture is only equalled by his readiness to communicate his knowledge to others.] We should have been glad to see, against S. Lu. ix. 31,—Gr. Exodus.—At least in the margin, we might have been told that Olivet is the true rendering of Lu. xix. 29 and xxi. 37: (or were the Revisionists not aware of the fact? They are respectfully referred to the Bp. of Lincoln's note on the place last quoted.)—Nay, why not tell us (against Matth. i. 21) that Jesus means [not Saviour, but] Jehovah is Salvation?

But above all, surely so many learned men ought to have spared us the absurd Annotation set against ointment of spikenard (νάρδου πιστικῆς,) in S. Mark xiv. 3 and in S. John xii. 3. Their marginal Note is as follows:—

Gr. pistic nard, pistic being perhaps a local name. Others take it to mean genuine; others liquid.

Can Scholars require to be told that liquid is an impossible 185 sense of πιστική in this place? The epithet so interpreted must be derived (like πιστός [Prom. V. v. 489]) from πίνω, and would mean drinkable: but since ointment cannot be drunk, it is certain that we must seek the etymology of the word elsewhere. And why should the weak ancient conjecture be retained that it is perhaps a local name? Do Divines require to have it explained to them that the one locality which effectually fixes the word's meaning, is its place in the everlasting Gospel?... Be silent on such lofty matters if you will, by all means; but who are these that darken counsel by words without knowledge? S. Mark and S. John (whose narratives by the way never touch exclusively except in this place565565μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς and ἐνταφιασμός,—S. Mark xiv. 3 and 8: S. John xii. 3 and 7. Hear Origen (apud Hieron. iii. 517):—Non de nardo propositum est nunc Spiritui Sancto dicere, neque de hoc quod oculis intuemur, Evangelista scribit, unguento; sed de nardo spirituali. And so Jerome himself, vii. 212.) are observed here to employ an ordinary word with lofty spiritual purpose. The pure faith (πίστις) in which that offering of the ointment was made, determines the choice of an unusual epithet (πιστικός) which shall signify faithful rather than genuine,—shall suggest a moral rather than a commercial quality: just as, presently, Mary's breaking the box (συντρίψασα) is designated by a word which has reference to a broken heart.566566Ps. xxxiii. 18 (ἐγγὺς Κύριος τοῖς συντετριμμένοις τὴν καρδίαν): Is. lvii. 15. She contrited it, S. Mark says; and S. John adds a statement which implies that the Church has been rendered fragrant by her act for ever.567567Consider Ignatius, ad Ephes. c. xvii. Also, the exquisite remark of Theod. Heracl. in Cramer's Cat. (We trust to be forgiven for having said a little more than the occasion absolutely requires.)

(5) Under which of the four previous groups certain Annotations which disfigure the margin of the first chapter of 186 S. Matthew's Gospel, should fall,—we know not. Let them be briefly considered by themselves.

So dull of comprehension are we, that we fail to see on what principle it is stated that—Ram, Asa, Amon, Shealtiel, are in Greek (Gr.) Aram, Asaph, Amos, Salathiel. For (1),—Surely it was just as needful (or just as needless) to explain that Perez, Zarah, Hezron, Nahson, are in Greek Phares, Zara, Esrom, Naasson.—But (2), Through what necessity are the names, which we have been hitherto contented to read as the Evangelist wrote them, now exhibited on the first page of the Gospel in any other way?568568We prefer that readers should be reminded, by the varied form, of the Greek original. In the extreme case (Acts vii. 45: Hebr. iv. 8), is it not far more edifying that attention should be in this way directed to the identity of the names Joshua and Jesus, than that the latter word should be entirely obliterated by the former;—and this, only for the sake of unmistakeably proclaiming, (what yet must needs be perfectly manifest, viz.) that Joshua is the personage spoken of?—(3) Assuming, however, the O. T. spelling is to be adopted, then let us have it explained to us why Jeconiah in ver. 11 is not written Jehoiakim? (As for Jeconiah in ver. 12,—it was for the Revisionists to settle whether they would call him Jehoiachin, Jeconiah, or Coniah. [By the way,—Is it lawful to suppose that they did not know that Jechonias here represents two different persons?])—On the other hand, (4) Amos probably,—Asaph certainly,—are corrupt exhibitions of Amon and Asa: and, if noticed at all, should have been introduced to the reader's notice with the customary formula, some ancient authorities, &c.—To proceed—(5), Why substitute Immanuel (for Emmanuel) in ver. 23,—only to have to state in the margin that S. Matthew writes it Emmanuel? By strict parity of reasoning, against Naphtali (in ch. iv. 13, 15), the Revisionists ought to have written Gr. Nephthaleim.—And (6), If this is to be the rule, then why are we not told that 187 Mary is in Gr. Mariam? and why is not Zacharias written Zachariah?... But (to conclude),—What is the object of all this officiousness? and (its unavoidable adjunct) all this inconsistency? Has the spelling of the 42 names been revolutionized, in order to sever with the Past and to make a fresh departure? Or were the four marginal notes added only for the sake of obtaining, by a side-wind, the (apparent) sanction of the Church to the preposterous notion that Asa was written Asaph by the Evangelist—in conformity with six MSS. of bad character, but in defiance of History, documentary Evidence, and internal Probability? Canon Cook [pp. 23-24] has some important remarks on this.

X. We must needs advert again to the ominous admission made in the Revisionists' Preface (iii. 2 init.), that to some extent they recognized the duty of a rigid adherence to the rule of translating, as far as possible, the same Greek word by the same English word. This mistaken principle of theirs lies at the root of so much of the mischief which has befallen the Authorized Version, that it calls for fuller consideration at our hands than it has hitherto (viz. at pp. 138 and 152) received.

The Translators of 1611, towards the close of their long and quaint Address to the Reader, offer the following statement concerning what had been their own practice:—We have not tied ourselves (say they) to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done. On this, they presently enlarge. We have been especially careful, have even made a conscience, not to vary from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places. But then, (as they shrewdly point out in passing,) there be some words that be not of the 188 same sense everywhere. And had this been the sum of their avowal, no one with a spark of Taste, or with the least appreciation of what constitutes real Scholarship, would have been found to differ from them. Nay, even when they go on to explain that they have not thought it desirable to insist on invariably expressing the same notion by employing the same particular word;—(which they illustrate by instancing terms which, in their account, may with advantage be diversely rendered in different places;)—we are still disposed to avow ourselves of their mind. If (say they,) we translate the Hebrew or Greek word once purpose, never to call it intent; if one where journeying, never travelling; if one where think, never suppose; if one where pain, never ache; if one where joy, never gladness;—thus to mince the matter, we thought to savour more of curiosity than of wisdom. And yet it is plain that a different principle is here indicated from that which went before. The remark that niceness in words was always counted the next step to trifling, suggests that, in the Translators' opinion, it matters little which word, in the several pairs of words they instance, is employed; and that, for their own parts, they rather rejoice in the ease and freedom which an ample vocabulary supplies to a Translator of Holy Scripture. Here also however, as already hinted, we are disposed to go along with them. Rhythm, subtle associations of thought, proprieties of diction which are rather to be felt than analysed,—any of such causes may reasonably determine a Translator to reject purpose, journey, think, pain, joy,—in favour of intent, travel, suppose, ache, gladness.

But then it speedily becomes evident that, at the bottom of all this, there existed in the minds of the Revisionists of 1611 a profound (shall we not rather say a prophetic?) consciousness, that the fate of the English 189 Language itself was bound up with the fate of their Translation. Hence their reluctance to incur the responsibility of tying themselves to an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words. We should be liable to censure (such is their plain avowal), if we should say, as it were, unto certain words, Stand up higher, have a place in the Bible always; and to others of like quality, Get you hence, be banished for ever. But this, to say the least, is to introduce a distinct and a somewhat novel consideration. We would not be thought to deny that there is some—perhaps a great deal—of truth in it: but by this time we seem to have entirely shifted our ground. And we more than suspect that, if a jury of English scholars of the highest mark could be impanelled to declare their mind on the subject thus submitted to their judgment, there would be practical unanimity among them in declaring, that these learned men,—with whom all would avow hearty sympathy, and whose taste and skill all would eagerly acknowledge,—have occasionally pushed the license they enunciate so vigorously, a little—perhaps a great deal—too far. For ourselves, we are glad to be able to subscribe cordially to the sentiment on this head expressed by the author of the Preface of 1881:

They seem—(he says, speaking of the Revisionists of 1611)—to have been guided by the feeling that their Version would secure for the words they used a lasting place in the language; and they express a fear lest they should be charged (by scoffers) with some unequal dealing towards a great number of good English words, which, without this liberty on their part, would not have a place in the pages of the English Bible. Still it cannot be doubted that their studied avoidance of uniformity in the rendering of the same words, even when occurring in the same context, is one of the blemishes in their work.Preface, (i. 2).

Yes, it cannot be doubted. When S. Paul, in a long and familiar passage (2 Cor. i. 3-7), is observed studiously to 190 linger over the same word (παράκλησις namely, which is generally rendered comfort);—to harp upon it;—to reproduce it ten times in the course of those five verses;—it seems unreasonable that a Translator, as if in defiance of the Apostle, should on four occasions (viz. when the word comes back for the 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th times), for comfort substitute consolation. And this one example may serve as well as a hundred. It would really seem as if the Revisionists of 1611 had considered it a graceful achievement to vary the English phrase even on occasions where a marked identity of expression characterizes the original Greek. When we find them turning goodly apparel, (in S. James ii. 2,) into gay clothing, (in ver. 3,)—we can but conjecture that they conceived themselves at liberty to act exactly as S. James himself would (possibly) have acted had he been writing English.

But if the learned men who gave us our A. V. may be thought to have erred on the side of excess, there can be no doubt whatever, (at least among competent judges,) that our Revisionists have sinned far more grievously and with greater injury to the Deposit, by their slavish proclivity to the opposite form of error. We must needs speak out plainly: for the question before us is not, What defects are discoverable in our Authorized Version?—but, What amount of gain would be likely to accrue to the Church if the present Revision were accepted as a substitute? And we assert without hesitation, that the amount of certain loss would so largely outweigh the amount of possible gain, that the proposal may not be seriously entertained for a moment. As well on grounds of Scholarship and Taste, as of Textual Criticism (as explained at large in our former Article), the work before us is immensely inferior. To speak plainly, it is an utter failure.

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XI. For the respected Authors of it practically deny the truth of the principle enunciated by their predecessors of 1611, viz. that there be some words that be not of the same sense everywhere. On such a fundamental truism we are ashamed to enlarge: but it becomes necessary that we should do so. We proceed to illustrate, by two familiar instances,—the first which come to hand,—the mischievous result which is inevitable to an enforced uniformity of rendering.

(a) The verb αἰτεῖν confessedly means to ask. And perhaps no better general English equivalent could be suggested for it. But then, in a certain context, ask would be an inadequate rendering: in another, it would be improper: in a third, it would be simply intolerable. Of all this, the great Scholars of 1611 showed themselves profoundly conscious. Accordingly, when this same verb (in the middle voice) is employed to describe how the clamorous rabble, besieging Pilate, claimed their accustomed privilege, (viz. to have the prisoner of their choice released unto them,) those ancient men, with a fine instinct, retain Tyndale's rendering desired569569So, in S. Luke xxiii. 25, and Acts iii. 14: xiii. 28,—still following Tyndale. in S. Mark (xv. 8),—and his required in S. Luke (xxiii. 23).—When, however, the humble entreaty, which Joseph of Arimathea addressed to the same Pilate (viz. that he might be allowed to take away the Body of Jesus), is in question, then the same Scholars (following Tyndale and Cranmer), with the same propriety exhibit begged.—King David, inasmuch as he only desired to find a habitation for the God of Jacob, of course may not be said to have asked to do so; and yet S. Stephen (Acts vii. 46) does not hesitate to employ the verb ᾐτήσατο.—So again, when they of Tyre and Sidon approached Herod whom they had offended: they 192 did but desire peace.570570Acts xii. 20.—S. Paul, in like manner, addressing the Ephesians: I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you.571571Eph. iii. 13.

But our Revisionists,—possessed with the single idea that αἰτεῖν means to ask and αἰτεῖσθαι to ask for,—have proceeded mechanically to inflict that rendering on every one of the foregoing passages. In defiance of propriety,—of reason,—even (in David's case) of historical truth,572572For, as the story plainly shows (2 Sam. vii. 2, 3; 1 Chron. xvii. 1, 2), it was only in his heart to build God an house (1 Kings viii. 17, 18). Hence Cranmer's he would fain have done so.—they have thrust in asked everywhere. At last, however, they are encountered by two places which absolutely refuse to submit to such iron bondage. The terror-stricken jailer of Philippi, when he asked for lights, must needs have done so after a truly imperious fashion. Accordingly, the called for573573Acts xvi. 29. of Tyndale and all subsequent translators, is pro hâc vice allowed by our Revisionists to stand. And to conclude,—When S. Paul, speaking of his supplications on behalf of the Christians at Colosse, uses this same verb (αἰτούμενοι) in a context where to ask would be intolerable, our Revisionists render the word to make request;574574Col. i. 9.—though they might just as well have let alone the rendering of all their predecessors,—viz. to desire.

These are many words, but we know not how to make them fewer. Let this one example, (only because it is the first which presented itself,) stand for a thousand others. Apart from the grievous lack of Taste (not to say of Scholarship) which such a method betrays,—who sees not that the only excuse which could have been invented for it has 193 disappeared by the time we reach the end of our investigation? If αἰτέω, αἰτοῦμαι had been invariably translated ask, ask for, it might at least have been pretended that the English Reader is in this way put entirely on a level with the Greek Scholar;—though it would have been a vain pretence, as all must admit who understand the power of language. Once make it apparent that just in a single place, perhaps in two, the Translator found himself forced to break through his rigid uniformity of rendering,—and what remains but an uneasy suspicion that then there must have been a strain put on the Evangelists' meaning in a vast proportion of the other seventy places where αἰτεῖν occurs? An unlearned reader's confidence in his guide vanishes; and he finds that he has had not a few deflections from the Authorized Version thrust upon him, of which he reasonably questions alike the taste and the necessity,—e.g. at S. Matth. xx. 20.

(b) But take a more interesting example. In S. Mark i. 18, the A. V. has, and straightway they forsook (which the Revisionists alter into left) their nets. Why? Because in verse 20, the same word ἀφέντες will recur; and because the Revisionists propose to let the statement (they left their father Zebedee) stand. They level up accordingly; and plume themselves on their consistency.

We venture to point out, however, that the verb ἀφιέναι is one of a large family of verbs which,—always retaining their own essential signification,—yet depend for their English rendering entirely on the context in which they occur. Thus, ἀφιέναι is rightly rendered to suffer, in S. Matth. iii. 15;—to leave, in iv. 11;—to let have, in v. 40;—to forgive, in vi. 12, 14, 15;—to let, in vii. 4;—to yield up, in xxvii. 50;—to let go, in S. Mark xi. 6;—to let alone, in xiv. 6. Here then, by the admission of the Revisionists, 194 are eight diversities of meaning in the same word. But they make the admission grudgingly; and, in order to render ἀφιέναι as often as possible leave, they do violence to many a place of Scripture where some other word would have been more appropriate. Thus laying aside might have stood in S. Mark vii. 8. Suffered (or let) was preferable in S. Luke xii. 39. And, (to return to the place from which we started,) in S. Mark i. 18, forsook was better than left. And why? Because men leave their father, (as the Collect for S. James's Day bears witness); but forsake all covetous desires (as the Collect for S. Matthew's Day aptly attests). For which reason,—And they all forsook Him was infinitely preferable to and they all left Him, and fled, in S. Mark xiv. 50. We insist that a vast deal more is lost by this perpetual disregard of the idiomatic proprieties of the English language, than is gained by a pedantic striving after uniformity of rendering, only because the Greek word happens to be the same.

For it is sure sometimes to happen that what seems mere licentiousness proves on closer inspection to be unobtrusive Scholarship of the best kind. An illustration presents itself in connection with the word just now before us. It is found to have been our Saviour's practice to send away the multitude whom He had been feeding or teaching, in some formal manner,—whether with an act of solemn benediction, or words of commendatory prayer, or both. Accordingly, on the memorable occasion when, at the close of a long day of superhuman exertion, His bodily powers succumbed, and the Disciples were fain to take Him as He was in the ship, and at once He fell asleep;—on that solitary occasion, the Disciples are related to have sent away the multitudes,i.e. to have formally dismissed them on His behalf, as they had often seen their Master do. The 195 word employed to designate this practice on two memorable occasions is ἀπολύειν:575575S. Matth. xiv. 15, 22, 23 (= S. Mark vi. 36, 45, [and note the substitution of ἀποταξάμενος in ver. 46]: S. Luke ix. 12): and xv. 32, 39 (= S. Mark viii. 9). on the other two, ἀφιέναι.576576S. Matt. xiii. 36: and S. Mark iv. 36. This proves to have been perfectly well understood as well by the learned authors of the Latin Version of the N. T., as by the scholars who translated the Gospels into the vernacular of Palestine. It has been reserved for the boasted learning of the XIXth century to misunderstand this little circumstance entirely. The R. V. renders S. Matth. xiii. 36,—not Then Jesus sent the multitude away (dimissis turbis in every Latin copy,) but—Then He left the multitudes. Also S. Mark iv. 36,—not And when they had sent away the multitude, (which the Latin always renders et dimittentes turbam,) but—And leaving the multitude. Would it be altogether creditable, we respectfully ask, if at the end of 1800 years the Church of England were to put forth with authority such specimens of Revision as these?

(c) We will trouble our Readers with yet another illustration of the principle for which we are contending.—We are soon made conscious that there has been a fidgetty anxiety on the part of the Revisionists, everywhere to substitute maid for damsel as the rendering of παιδίσκη. It offends us. A damsel named Rhoda,577577Acts xii. 13.—and the damsel possessed with a spirit of divination,578578Acts xvi. 16.—might (we think) have been let alone. But out of curiosity we look further, to see what these gentlemen will do when they come to S. Luke xii. 45. Here, because παῖδας has been (properly) rendered menservants, παιδίσκας, they (not unreasonably) render maid-servants,—whereby they break their rule. The crucial 196 place is behind. What will they do with the Divine Allegory in Galatians, (iv. 21 to 31,)—where all turns on the contrast579579Verses 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31. between the παιδίσκη and the ἐλευθέρα,—the fact that Hagar was a bondmaid whereas Sarah was a free woman? Maid clearly could not stand here. Maid-servant would be intolerable. What is to be done? The Revisionists adopt a third variety of reading,—thus surrendering their principle entirely. And what reader with a spark of taste, (we confidently ask the question,) does not resent their substitution of handmaid for bondmaid throughout these verses? Who will deny that the mention of bondage in verses 24 and 25 claims, at the hands of an intelligent English translator, that he shall avail himself of the admirable and helpful equivalent for παιδίσκη which, as it happens, the English language possesses? More than that. Who—(except one who is himself in bondage—with his children)—who does not respond gratefully to the exquisite taste and tact with which bondmaid itself has been exchanged for bondwoman by our translators of 1611, in verses 23, 30 and 31?... Verily, those men understood their craft! There were giants in those days. As little would they submit to be bound by the new cords of the Philistines as by their green withes. Upon occasion, they could shake themselves free from either. And why? For the selfsame reason: viz. because the Spirit of their God was mightily upon them.

Our contention, so far, has been but this,—that it does not by any means follow that identical Greek words and expressions, wherever occurring, are to be rendered by identical words and expressions in English. We desire to pass on to something of more importance.

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Let it not be supposed that we make light of the difficulties which our Revisionists have had to encounter; or are wanting in generous appreciation of the conscientious toil of many men for many years; or that we overlook the perils of the enterprise in which they have seen fit to adventure their reputation. If ever a severe expression escapes us, it is because our Revisionists themselves seem to have so very imperfectly realized the responsibility of their undertaking, and the peculiar difficulties by which it is unavoidably beset. The truth is,—as all who have given real thought to the subject must be aware,—the phenomena of Language are among the most subtle and delicate imaginable: the problem of Translation, one of the most manysided and difficult that can be named. And if this holds universally, in how much greater a degree when the book to be translated is the Bible! Here, anything like a mechanical levelling up of terms, every attempt to impose a pre-arranged system of uniform rendering on words,—every one of which has a history and (so to speak) a will of its own,—is inevitably destined to result in discomfiture and disappointment. But what makes this so very serious a matter is that, because Holy Scripture is the Book experimented upon, the loftiest interests that can be named become imperilled; and it will constantly happen that what is not perhaps in itself a very serious mistake may yet inflict irreparable injury. We subjoin an humble illustration of our meaning—the rather, because it will afford us an opportunity for penetrating a little deeper into the proprieties of Scriptural Translation:—

(d) The place of our Lord's Burial, which is mentioned upwards of 30 times in the Gospels, is styled in the original, μνημεῖον. This appellation is applied to it three times by S. Matthew;—six times by S. Mark;—eight times by 198 S. Luke;580580Twice he calls it μνῆμα.—eleven times by S. John. Only on four occasions, in close succession, does the first Evangelist call it by another name, viz. τάφος.581581Ch. xxvii. 61, 64, 66; xxviii. 1. King James's translators (following Tyndale and Cranmer) decline to notice this diversity, and uniformly style it the sepulchre. So long as it belonged to Joseph of Arimathea, they call it a tomb (Matth. xxvii. 60): when once it has been appropriated by the Lord of Glory, in the same verse they give it a different English appellation. But our Revisionists of 1881, as if bent on making a fresh departure, everywhere substitute tomb for sepulchre as the rendering of μνημεῖον.

Does any one ask,—And why should they not? We answer, Because, in connection with the Sepulchre of our Lord, there has grown up such an ample literature and such a famous history, that we are no longer able to sever ourselves from those environments of the problem, even if we desired to do so. In all such cases as the present, we have to balance the Loss against the Gain. Quite idle is it for the pedant of 1881 to insist that τάφος and μνημεῖον are two different words. We do not dispute the fact. (Then, if he must, let him represent τάφος in some other way.) It remains true, notwithstanding, that the receptacle of our Saviour's Body after His dissolution will have to be spoken of as the Holy Sepulchre till the end of time; and it is altogether to be desired that its familiar designation should be suffered to survive unmolested on the eternal page, in consequence. There are, after all, mightier laws in the Universe than those of grammar. In the quaint language of our Translators of 1611: For is the Kingdom of God become words or syllables? Why should we be in bondage to them 199 if we may be free?... As for considerations of etymological propriety, the nearest English equivalent for μνημεῖον (be it remembered) is not tomb, but monument.

(e) Our Revisionists seem not to be aware that 270 years of undisturbed possession have given to certain words rights to which they could not else have pretended, but of which it is impossible any more to dispossess them. It savours of folly as well as of pedantry even to make the attempt. Διδαχή occurs 30,—διδασκαλία 21 times,—in the N. T. Etymologically, both words alike mean teaching; and are therefore indifferently rendered doctrina in the Vulgate,582582Except in 2 Tim. iii. 16,—where πρὸς διδασκαλίαν is rendered ad docendum.—for which reason, doctrine represents both words indifferently in our A. V.583583Except in Rom. xii. 7,—where ἐν τῇ διδασκαλίᾳ is rendered on teaching. But the Revisers have well-nigh extirpated doctrine from the N. T.: (1st), By making teaching, the rendering of διδαχή,584584Except in Rom. xvi. 17, where they render it doctrine.—(reserving doctrine for διδασκαλία585585And yet, since upwards of 50 times we are molested with a marginal note to inform us that διδάσκαλος means Teacher—διδασκαλία (rather than διδαχή) might have claimed to be rendered teaching.): and (2ndly), By 6 times substituting teaching (once, learning) for doctrine, in places where διδασκαλία occurs.586586Viz. Rom. xii. 7: 1 Tim. iv. 13, 16: v. 17: 2 Tim. iii. 10, 16.—Rom. xv. 4. This is to be lamented every way. The word cannot be spared so often. The teachings of our Lord and of His Apostles were the doctrines of Christianity. When S. Paul speaks of the doctrine of baptisms (Heb. vi. 2), it is simply incomprehensible to us why the teaching of baptisms should be deemed a preferable expression. And if the warning against being carried about with every wind of doctrine, may stand in Ephes. iv. 14, why may it not be left standing in Heb. xiii. 9?

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(f) In the same spirit, we can but wonder at the extravagant bad taste which, at the end of 500 years, has ventured to substitute bowls for vials in the Book of Revelation.587587Eight times in Rev. xvi. As a matter of fact, we venture to point out that φιάλη no more means a bowl than saucer means a cup. But, waiving this, we are confident that our Revisers would have shown more wisdom if they had let alone a word which, having no English equivalent, has passed into the sacred vocabulary of the language, and has acquired a conventional signification which will cleave to it for ever. Vials of wrath are understood to signify the outpouring of God's wrathful visitations on mankind: whereas bowls really conveys no meaning at all, except a mean and unworthy, not to say an inconveniently ambiguous one. What must be the impression made on persons of very humble station,—labouring-men,—when they hear of the seven Angels that had the seven bowls? (Rev. xvii. 1.) The φιάλη,—if we must needs talk like Antiquaries—is a circular, almost flat and very shallow vessel,—of which the contents can be discharged in an instant. It was used in pouring out libations. There is, at that back of it, in the centre, a hollow for the first joint of the forefinger to rest in. Patera the Latins called it. Specimens are to be seen in abundance.

The same Revisionists have also fallen foul of the alabaster box of ointment.—for which they have substituted an alabaster cruse of ointment.588588S. Matth. xxvi. 7. S. Mark xiv. 3. S. Luke vii. 37. But what is a cruse? Their marginal note says, Or, a flask: but once more, what is a flask? Certainly, the receptacles to which that name is now commonly applied, (e.g. a powder-flask, a Florence flask, a flask of wine, &c.) bear no resemblance whatever to the vase called ἀλάβαστρον. The probability is 201 that the receptacle for the precious ointment with which the sister of Lazarus provided herself, was likest of all to a small medicine-bottle (lecythus the ancients called it), made however of alabaster. Specimens of it abound. But why not let such words alone? The same Critics have had the good sense to leave standing the bag, for what was confessedly a box589589γλωσσόκομον. Consider the LXX. of 2 Chron. xxiv. 8, 10, 11. (S. John xii. 6: xiii. 29); and your purses for what in the Greek is unmistakably your girdles590590ζώνας. (S. Matth. x. 9). We can but repeat that possession for five centuries conveys rights which it is always useless, and sometimes dangerous, to dispute. Vials will certainly have to be put back into the Apocalypse.

(g) Having said so much about the proposed rendering of such unpromising vocables as μνημεῖον—διδαχή—φιάλη, it is time to invite the Reader's attention to the calamitous fate which has befallen certain other words of infinitely greater importance.

And first for Ἀγάπη—a substantive noun unknown to the heathen, even as the sentiment which the word expresses proves to be a grace of purely Christian growth. What else but a real calamity would be the sentence of perpetual banishment passed by our Revisionists on that most excellent gift, the gift of Charity, and the general substitution of Love in its place? Do not these learned men perceive that Love is not an equivalent term? Can they require to be told that, because of S. Paul's exquisite and life-like portrait of Charity, and the use which has been made of the word in sacred literature in consequence, it has come to pass that the word Charity connotes many ideas to which the word Love is an entire stranger? that Love, on the contrary, has come to connote many unworthy notions which in Charity find no place at all? And if this be 202 so, how can our Revisionists expect that we shall endure the loss of the name of the very choicest of the Christian graces,—and which, if it is nowhere to be found in Scripture, will presently come to be only traditionally known among mankind, and will in the end cease to be a term clearly understood? Have the Revisionists of 1881 considered how firmly this word Charity has established itself in the phraseology of the Church,—ancient, mediæval, modern,—as well as in our Book of Common Prayer? how thoroughly it has vindicated for itself the right of citizenship in the English language? how it has entered into our common vocabulary, and become one of the best understood of household words? Of what can they have been thinking when they deliberately obliterated from the thirteenth chapter of S. Paul's 1st Epistle to the Corinthians the ninefold recurrence of the name of that most excellent gift, the gift of Charity?

(h) With equal displeasure, but with even sadder feelings, we recognize in the present Revision a resolute elimination of Miracles from the N. T.—Not so, (we shall be eagerly reminded,) but only of their Name. True, but the two perforce go together, as every thoughtful man knows. At all events, the getting rid of the Name,—(except in the few instances which are enumerated below,)—will in the account of millions be regarded as the getting rid of the thing. And in the esteem of all, learned and unlearned alike, the systematic obliteration of the signifying word from the pages of that Book to which we refer exclusively for our knowledge of the remarkable thing signified,—cannot but be looked upon as a memorable and momentous circumstance. Some, it may be, will be chiefly struck by the foolishness of the proceeding: for at the end of centuries of familiarity with such a word, we are no longer able to part company with it, even if we were inclined. The term 203 has struck root firmly in our Literature: has established itself in the terminology of Divines: has grown into our common speech. But further, even were it possible to get rid of the words Miracle and Miraculous, what else but abiding inconvenience would be the result? for we must still desire to speak about the things; and it is a truism to remark that there are no other words in the language which connote the same ideas. What therefore has been gained by substituting sign for miracle on some 19 or 20 occasions—(this beginning of his signs did Jesus,this is again the second sign that Jesus did)—we really fail to see.

That the word in the original is σημεῖον, and that σημεῖον means a sign, we are aware. But what then? Because ἄγγελος, in strictness, means a messenger,—γραφή, a writing,—ὑποκριτής, an actor,—ἐκκλησία, an assembly,—εὐαγγέλιον, good tidings,—ἐπίσκοπος, an overseer,—βαπτιστής, one that dips,—παράδεισος, a garden,—μαθητής, a learner,—χἁρις, favour:—are we to forego the established English equivalents for these words, and never more to hear of grace, disciple, Paradise, Baptist, Bishop, Gospel, Church, hypocrite, Scripture, Angel? Is it then desired to revolutionize our sacred terminology? or at all events to sever with the Past, and to translate the Scriptures into English on etymological principles? We are amazed that the first proposal to resort to such a preposterous method was not instantly scouted by a large majority of those who frequented the Jerusalem Chamber.

The words under consideration are not only not equivalent, but they are quite dissimilar. All signs are not Miracles,591591E.g. S. Matth. xxvi. 48. S. Luke ii. 12. though all Miracles are undeniably signs. 204 Would not a marginal annotation concerning the original word, as at S. Luke xxiii. 8, have sufficed? And why was the term Miracle as the rendering of σημεῖον592592Δύναμις is rendered miracle in the R. V. about half-a-dozen times. spared only on that occasion in the Gospels; and only in connection with S. Peter's miracle of healing the impotent man, in the Acts?593593Acts iv. 16, 22.—On the other hand, sign was allowed to represent σημεῖον repeatedly in the A. V., as in S. Matth. xii. 38, &c., and the parallel places: S. Mark xvi. 17, 20: S. John xx. 30. We ask the question not caring for an answer. We are merely bent on submitting to our Readers, whether,—especially in an age like the present of wide-spread unbelief in the Miraculous,—it was a judicious proceeding in our Revisionists almost everywhere to substitute Sign for Miracle as the rendering of σημεῖον.

(i) Every bit as offensive, in its way, is a marginal note respecting the Third Person in the Trinity, which does duty at S. Matth. i. 18: S. Mark i. 8: S. Luke i. 15: Acts i. 2: Rom. v. 5: Heb. ii. 4. As a rule, in short, against every fresh first mention of the Holy Ghost, five lines are punctually devoted to the remark,—Or, Holy Spirit: and so throughout this book. Now, as Canon Cook very fairly puts the case,—

Does this imply that the marginists object to the word Ghost? If so, it must be asked, On what grounds? Certainly not as an archaism. The word is in every Churchman's mouth continually. For the sake of consistency? But Dr. Vance Smith complains bitterly of the inconsistency of his colleagues in reference to this very question,—see his Texts and Margins, pp. 7, 8, 45. I would not suggest a doctrinal bias: but to prove that it had no influence, a strong, if not unanimous, declaration on the part of the Revisers is called for. Dr. Vance Smith alleges this notice as one of the clearest proofs 205 that the Revisers ought in consistency to discard the word as a poor and almost obsolete equivalent for Spirit.594594Canon Cook's Revised Version of the first three Gospels considered, &c.—p. 26: an admirable performance,—unanswered, because unanswerable.

But in fact when one of the Revisionists openly claims, on behalf of the Revision, that in the most substantial sense, (whatever that may happen to mean,) it is contrary to fact that the doctrines of popular Theology remain unaffected, untouched by the results of the Revision,595595Dr. Vance Smith's Revised Texts and Margins,—p. 45.—Charity itself is constrained to use language which by a certain school will be deemed uncharitable. If doctrinal prepossession had no share in the production under review,—why is no protest publicly put forth against such language as the foregoing, when employed by a conspicuous Member of the Revisionist body?

(j) In a similar spirit to that which dictated our remarks on the attempted elimination of Miracles from the N. T. of the future,—we altogether disapprove of the attempt to introduce is Epileptic, as the rendering of σεληνιάζεται, in S. Matth. xvii. 15. The miracle performed on the lunatic child may never more come abroad under a different name. In a matter like this, 500 years of occupation, (or rather 1700, for lunaticus is the reading of all the Latin copies,) constitute a title which may not be disputed. Epileptic is a sorry gloss—not a translation. Even were it demonstrable that Epilepsy exclusively exhibits every feature related in connection with the present case;596596S. Matth. xvii. 15: S. Mk. ix. 18, 20, 22, 26: S. Lu. ix. 39, 42. and that sufferers from Epilepsy are specially affected by the moon's changes, (neither of which things are certainly true): even so, the Revisionists would be wholly unwarranted in doing violence to the Evangelist's language, in order to bring into prominence 206 their own private opinion that what is called Lunacy here (and in ch. iv. 24) is to be identified with the ordinary malady called Epilepsy. This was confessedly an extraordinary case of demoniacal possession597597Consider our Lord's solemn words in Mtt. xvii. 21,—But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting,—12 words left out by the R. V., though witnessed to by all the Copies but 3: by the Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian Versions: and by the following Fathers:—(1) Origen, (2) Tertullian, (3) the Syriac Clement, (4) the Syriac Canons of Eusebius, (5) Athanasius, (6) Basil, (7) Ambrose, (8) Juvencus, (9) Chrysostom, (10) Opus imp., (11) Hilary, (12) Augustine, (13) J. Damascene, and others. Then (it will be asked), why have the Revisionists left them out? Because (we answer) they have been misled by b and א, Cureton's Syriac and the Sahidic,—as untrustworthy a quaternion of witnesses to the text of Scripture as could be named. besides. The Revisionists have in fact gone out of their way in order to introduce us to a set of difficulties with which before we had no acquaintance. And after all, the English reader desires to know—not, by any means, what two-thirds of the Revisionists conjecture was the matter with the child, but—what the child's Father actually said was the matter with him. Now, the Father undeniably did not say that the child was Epileptic, but that he was Lunatic. The man employed a term which (singular to relate) has its own precise English equivalent;—a term which embodies to this hour (as it did anciently) the popular belief that the moon influences certain forms of disease. With the advance of Science, civilized nations surrender such Beliefs; but they do not therefore revolutionize their Terminology. The advance of Science, however, has nothing whatever to do with the Translation of the word before us. The Author of this particular rendering (begging his pardon) is open to a process de lunatico inquirendo for having imagined the contrary.

(k) The foregoing instances suggest the remark, that the Ecclesiastical Historian of future years will point with concern 207 to the sad evidences that the Church had fallen on evil days when the present Revision was undertaken. With fatal fidelity does it, every here and there, reflect the sickly hues of modern Thought, which is too often but another name for the latest phase of Unfaithfulness. Thus, in view of the present controversy about the Eternity of Future Punishment, which has brought into prominence a supposed distinction between the import of the epithets eternal and everlasting,—how painful is it to discover that the latter epithet, (which is the one objected to by the unbelieving school,) has been by our Revisionists diligently excluded598598The word is only not banished entirely from the N. T. It occurs twice (viz. in Rom. i. 20, and Jude ver. 6), but only as the rendering of ἀῖδιος. every time it occurs as the translation of αἰώνιος, in favour of the more palatable epithel eternal! King James's Translators showed themselves impartial to a fault. As if to mark that, in their account, the words are of identical import, they even introduced both words into the same verse599599S. Matth. xxv. 46. of Scripture. Is it fair that such a body of men as the Revisionists of 1881, claiming the sanction of the Convocation of the Southern Province, should, in a matter like the present, throw all their weight into the scale of Misbelief? They were authorized only to remove plain and clear errors. They were instructed to introduce as few changes as possible. Why have they needlessly gone out of their way, on the contrary, indirectly to show their sympathy with those who deny what has been the Church's teaching for 1800 years? Our Creeds, Te Deum, Litany, Offices, Articles,—our whole Prayer Book, breathes a different spirit and speaks a different language.... Have our Revisionists persuaded the Old Testament company to follow their example? It will be calamitous if they have. There will be serious 208 discrepancy of teaching between the Old and the New Testament if they have not.

(l) What means also the fidgetty anxiety manifested throughout these pages to explain away, or at least to evacuate, expressions which have to do with Eternity? Why, for example, is the world (αἰών) to come, invariably glossed the age to come? and εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας so persistently explained in the margin to mean, unto the ages? (See the margin of Rom. ix. 5. Are we to read God blessed unto the ages?) Also εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, unto the ages of the ages? Surely we, whose language furnishes expressions of precisely similar character (viz. for ever, and for ever and ever), might dispense with information hazy and unprofitable as this!

(m) Again. At a period of prevailing unbelief in the Inspiration of Scripture, nothing but real necessity could warrant any meddling with such a testimony on the subject as is found in 2 Tim. iii. 16. We have hitherto been taught to believe that All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable, &c. The ancients600600Clemens Al. (p. 71) says:—τὰσ γραφὰς ὁ Ἀπόστολος Θεοπνεύστους καλεῖ, ὠφελίμους οὔσας. Tertullian,—Legimus omnem Scripturam ædificationi habilem, divinitus inspirari. Origen (ii. 443),—πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος οὖσα ὠφελιμός ἐστι. Gregory Nyss. (ii. 605),—πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος λέγεται. Dial. (ap. Orig. i. 808),—πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος λέγεται παρὰ τοῦ Ἀποστόλου. So Basil, Chrysostom, Cyril, Theodoret, &c. clearly so understood S. Paul's words: and so do the most learned and thoughtful of the moderns. Πᾶσα γραφή, even if it be interpreted every Scripture, can only mean every portion of those ἱερὰ γράμματα of which the Apostle had been speaking in the previous verse; and therefore must needs signify the whole of Scripture.601601See Archdeacon Lee on Inspiration, pp. 261-3, reading his notes. So that the expression all Scripture 209 expresses S. Paul's meaning exactly, and should not have been disturbed.

But—It is very difficult (so at least thinks the Right Rev. Chairman of the Revisers) to decide whether θεόπνευστος is a part of the predicate, καί being the simple copula; or whether it is a part of the subject. Lexicography and grammar contribute but little to a decision. Not so thought Bishop Middleton. I do not recollect (he says) any passage in the N. T. in which two Adjectives, apparently connected by the copulative, were intended by the writer to be so unnaturally disjoined. He who can produce such an instance, will do much towards establishing the plausibility of a translation, which otherwise must appear, to say the least of it, to be forced and improbable.—And yet it is proposed to thrust this forced and improbable translation on the acceptance of all English-speaking people, wherever found, on the plea of necessity! Our Revisionists translate, Every Scripture inspired of God is also profitable, &c.,—which of course may be plausibly declared to imply that a distinction is drawn by the Apostle himself between inspired and uninspired Scripture. And pray, (we should be presently asked,) is not many a Scripture (or writing) profitable for teaching, &c. which is not commonly held to be inspired of God?... But in fact the proposed rendering is inadmissible, being without logical coherence and consistency. The utmost that could be pretended would be that S. Paul's assertion is that every portion of Scripture being inspired (i.e. inasmuch as it is—because it is—inspired); is also profitable, &c. Else there would be no meaning in the καί. But, in the name of common sense, if this be so, why have the blessed words been meddled with?

(n) All are unhappily familiar with the avidity with which the disciples of a certain School fasten upon a mysterious 210 expression in S. Mark's Gospel (xiii. 32), which seems to predicate concerning the Eternal Son, limitation in respect of Knowledge. This is not the place for vindicating the Catholic Doctrine of the Son's equality with the Father as touching His Godhead; or for explaining that, in consequence, all things that the Father hath, (the knowledge of that Day and Hour included,) the Son hath likewise.602602S. John xvi. 15. But this is the place for calling attention to the deplorable circumstance that the clause neither the Son, which has an indisputable right to its place in S. Mark's Gospel, has on insufficient authority by our Revisionists been thrust into S. Matth. xxvi. 36, where it has no business whatever, and from which the word only effectually excludes it.603603Study by all means Basil's letter to Amphilochius, (vol. iii. p. 360 to 362.)—Ἔστιν οὖν ὁ νοῦς ὁ παρὰ τῷ Μάρκῳ τοιοῦτος; Περὶ δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ἢ ὥρας, οὐδεὶς οἶδεν, οὔτε οἱ ἄγγελοι τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἄν ὁ Υἱὸς ἔγνω, εἰ μὴ ὁ Πατέρ; ἐκ γὰρ τοῦ Πατρὸς αὐτῷ ὑπῆρχε δεδομένη ἡ γνῶσις ... τουτέστιν, ἡ αἰτία τοῦ εἰδέναι τὸν Υἱὸν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός; καὶ ἀβίαστός ἐστι τῷ εὐγνωμόνως ἀκούοντι ἡ ἐξήγησις αὕτη. ἐπειδὴ οὐ πρόσκειται τὸ μόνος; ὡς καὶ παρὰ τῷ Ματθαίῳ.—(p. 362 c.) Basil says of this interpretation—ἂ τοίνυν ἐκ παιδὸς παρὰ τῶν πατέρων ἠκούσαμεν. We call attention to this circumstance with sincere sorrow: but it is sorrow largely mixed with indignation. What else but the betrayal of a sacred trust is it when Divines appointed to correct manifest errors in the English of the N. T. go out of their way to introduce an error like this into the Greek Text which Catholic Antiquity would have repudiated with indignation, and for which certainly the plea of necessity cannot be pretended?

(o) A marginal annotation set over against Romans ix. 5 is the last thing of this kind to which we shall invite attention. S. Paul declares it to be Israel's highest boast and glory that of them, as concerning the flesh [came] Christ, 211 who is over all [things], God blessed for ever! Amen. A grander or more unequivocal testimony to our Lord's eternal Godhead is nowhere to be found in Scripture. Accordingly, these words have been as confidently appealed to by faithful Doctors of the Church in every age, as they have been unsparingly assailed by unbelievers. The dishonest shifts by which the latter seek to evacuate the record which they are powerless to refute or deny, are paraded by our ill-starred Revisionists in the following terms:—

Some modern Interpreters place a full stop after flesh, and translate, He who is God over all be (is) blessed for ever: or, He who is over all is God, blessed for ever. Others punctuate, flesh, who is over all. God be (is) blessed for ever.

Now this is a matter,—let it be clearly observed,—which, (as Dr. Hort is aware,) belongs to Interpretation,—and not to Textual Criticism.604604Notes, p. 109. What business then has it in these pages at all? Is it then the function of Divines appointed to revise the Authorized Version, to give information to the 90 millions of English-speaking Christians scattered throughout the world as to the unfaithfulness of some modern Interpreters?605605Celebre effugium, (as Dr. Routh calls it,) quod ex falsâ verborum constructione Critici quidam hæreticis pararunt. Reliqq. iii. 322-3. We have hitherto supposed that it was Ancient authorities exclusively,—(whether a few, or some, or many,)—to which we are invited to submit our judgment. How does it come to pass that the Socinian gloss on this grand text (Rom. ix. 5) has been brought into such extraordinary prominence? Did our Revisionists consider that their marginal note would travel to earth's remotest verge,—give universal currency to the view of some modern Interpreters,—and in the end tell it out among the heathen also? We refer to Manuscripts,—Versions,—Fathers: and what do we find? (1) It is demonstrable that the oldest 212 Codices, besides the whole body of the cursives, know nothing about the method of some modern Interpreters.606606c alone has a point between ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων and Θεὸς εὐλογητὸς εἰς τους αἰῶνας. But this is an entirely different thing from what is noted in the margin.—(2) There is absolutely not a shadow, not a tittle of evidence, in any of the ancient Versions, to warrant what they do.607607MS. communication from the Rev. S. C. Malan.—(3) How then, about the old Fathers? for the sentiments of our best modern Divines, as Pearson and Bull, we know by heart. We find that the expression who is over all [things], God blessed for ever is expressly acknowledged to refer to our Saviour by the following 60 illustrious names:—

Irenæus,608608i. 506.—Hippolytus in 3 places,609609Opusc. i. 52, 58; Phil. 339.—Origen,610610iv. 612.—Malchion, in the name of six of the Bishops at the Council of Antioch, a.d. 269,611611Routh, Reliqq. Sac. iii. 292, and 287. (Concil. i. 845 b. c.)—ps.-Dionysius Alex., twice,612612Concilia, i. 873 d: 876 a.—the Constt. App.,613613vi. c. 26.—Athanasius in 6 places,614614i. 414, 415, 429, 617, 684, 908.—Basil in 2 places,615615i. 282. And in Cat. 317.—Didymus in 5 places,616616Trin. 21, 29, 327, 392. Mai, vii. 303.—Greg. Nyssen. in 5 places,617617ii. 596 a, (quoted by the Emp. Justinian [Concil. v. 697] and the Chronicon Paschale, 355), 693, 697; iii. 287. Galland. vi. 575.—Epiphanius in 5 places,618618i. 481, 487, 894, 978; ii. 74.—Theodoras Mops.,619619Ap. Cyril (ed. Pusey), v. 534.—Methodius,620620Ap. Gall. iii. 805.—Eustathius,621621Ap. Gall. iv. 576.—Eulogius, twice,622622Ap. Phot. col. 761, 853.—Cæsarius, 3 times,623623Ap. Gall. vi. 8, 9, 80.—Theophilus Alex., twice,624624Ap. Gall. vii. 618, and ap. Hieron. i. 560.—Nestorius,625625Concilia, iii. 522 e ( = iv. 297 d = ap. Gall. viii. 667). Also, Concilia (Harduin), i. 1413 a.—Theodotus of Ancyra,626626Ap. Gall. ix. 474.—Proclus, twice,627627Ap. Gall. ix. 690, 691 ( = Concil. iii. 1230, 1231).—Severianus Bp. of Gabala,628628Homilia (Arm.), p. 165 and 249.—Chrysostom, 8 times,629629i. 464, 483; vi. 534; vii. 51; viii. 191; ix. 604, 653; x. 172.—Cyril 213 Alex., 15 times,630630v.1 20, 503, 765, 792; v.2 58, 105, 118, 148; vi. 328. Ap. Mai, ii. 70, 86, 96, 104; iii. 84 in Luc. 26.—Paulus Bp. of Emesa,631631Concilia, iii. 1099 b.—Theodoret, 12 times,632632i. 103; ii. 1355; iii. 215, 470; iv. 17, 433, 1148, 1264, 1295, 1309; v. 67, 1093.—Gennadius, Abp. of C. P.,633633Cramer's Cat. 160.—Severus, Abp. of Antioch,634634Ibid. in Act. 40.—Amphilochius,635635P. 166.—Gelasius Cyz.,636636Concilia, ii. 195.—Anastasius Ant.,637637Ap. Gall. xii. 251.—Leontius Byz., 3 times,638638Ap. Gall. xii. 682.—Maximus,639639ii. 64.—J. Damascene, 3 times.640640i. 557; ii. 35, 88. Besides of the Latins, Tertullian, twice,641641Prax. 13, 15—Christum autem et ipse Deum cognominavit, Quorum patres, et ex quibus Christus secundum carnem, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in ævum.—Cyprian,642642P. 287.—Novatian, twice,643643Ap. Gall. iii. 296, 313.—Ambrose, 5 times,644644i. 1470; ii. 457, 546, 609, 790.—Palladius the Arian at the Council of Aquileia,645645Concilia, ii. 982 c.—Hilary, 7 times,64664678, 155, 393, 850, 970, 1125, 1232.—Jerome, twice,647647i. 870, 872.—Augustine, about 30 times,—Victorinus,648648Ap. Gall. viii. 157.—the Breviarium, twice,649649Ap. Gall. vii. 589, 590.—Marius Mercator,650650Ap. Gall. viii. 627.—Cassian, twice,651651709, 711.—Alcimus Avit.,652652Ap. Gall. x. 722.—Fulgentius, twice,653653Ap. Gall. xi. 233, 237.—Leo, Bp. of Rome, twice,654654Concilia, iii. 1364, 1382.—Ferrandus, twice,655655Ap. Gall. 352, 357.—Facundus:656656Ibid. 674.—to whom must be added 6 ancient writers, of whom 3657657ii. 16, 215, 413. have been mistaken for Athanasius,—and 3658658i. 839; v. 769; xii. 421. for Chrysostom. All these see in Rom. ix. 5, a glorious assertion of the eternal Godhead of Christ.

Against such an overwhelming torrent of Patristic testimony,—for we have enumerated upwards of sixty ancient Fathers—it will not surely be pretended that the Socinian interpretation, to which our Revisionists give such prominence, 214 can stand. But why has it been introduced at all? We shall have every Christian reader with us in our contention, that such perverse imaginations of modern Interpreters are not entitled to a place in the margin of the N. T. For our Revisionists to have even given them currency, and thereby a species of sanction, constitutes in our view a very grave offence.659659Those of our readers who wish to pursue this subject further may consult with advantage Dr. Gifford's learned note on the passage in the Speaker's Commentary. Dr. Gifford justly remarks that it is the natural and simple construction, which every Greek scholar would adopt without hesitation, if no question of doctrine were involved. A public retraction and a very humble Apology we claim at their hands. Indifferent Scholarship, and mistaken views of Textual Criticism, are at least venial matters. But a Socinian gloss gratuitously thrust into the margin of every Englishman's N. T. admits of no excuse—is not to be tolerated on any terms. It would by itself, in our account, have been sufficient to determine the fate of the present Revision.

XII. Are we to regard it as a kind of set-off against all that goes before, that in an age when the personality of Satan is freely called in question, the evil one has been actually thrust into the Lord's Prayer? A more injudicious and unwarrantable innovation it would be impossible to indicate in any part of the present unhappy volume. The case has been argued out with much learning and ability by two eminent Divines, Bp. Lightfoot and Canon Cook. The Canon remains master of the field. That the change ought never to have been made is demonstrable. The grounds of this assertion are soon stated. To begin, (1) It is admitted on all hands that it must for ever remain a matter of opinion only whether in the expression ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ, the nominative case is τὸ πονηρόν (as in S. Matth. v. 37, 39: Rom. xii. 9), or ὁ πονηρός (as in S. Matth. xiii. 19, 38: Eph. vi. 215 16),—either of which yields a good sense. But then—(2) The Church of England in her formularies having emphatically declared that, for her part, she adheres to the former alternative, it was in a very high degree unbecoming for the Revisionists to pretend to the enjoyment of certain knowledge that the Church of England in so doing was mistaken: and unless from evil be a clear and plain error, the Revisionists were bound to let it alone. Next—(3), It can never be right to impose the narrower interpretation on words which have always been understood to bear the larger sense: especially when (as in the present instance) the larger meaning distinctly includes and covers the lesser: witness the paraphrase in our Church Catechism,—and that He will keep us (a) from all sin and wickedness, and (b) from our ghostly enemy, and (c) from everlasting death.—(4) But indeed Catholic Tradition claims to be heard in this behalf. Every Christian at his Baptism renounces not only the Devil, but also all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the carnal desires of the flesh.660660Note, that this has been the language of the Church from the beginning. Thus Tertullian,—Aquam adituri ... contestamur nos renuntiare diabolo, et pompæ et angelis ejus (i. 421): and Ambrose,—Quando te interrogavit, Abrenuntias diabolo et operibus ejus, quid respondisti? Abrenuntio. Abrenuntias sæculo et voluptatibus ejus, quid respondisti? Abrenuntio (ii. 350 c): and Ephraem Syrus,—Ἀποτάσσομαι τῷ Σατανᾷ καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔργοις αὐτοῦ (ii. 195 and iii. 399). And Cæsarius of Arles,—Abrenuntias diabolo, pompis et operibus ejus ... Abrenuntio (Galland. xi. 18 e). And at this point—(5), The voice of an inspired Apostle interposes in attestation that this is indeed the true acceptation of the last petition in the Lord's Prayer: for when S. Paul says—the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen,6616612 Tim. iv. 18.—what else is he referring to but to the words just 216 now under consideration? He explains that in the Lord's Prayer it is from every evil work that we pray to be delivered. (Note also, that he retains the Doxology.) Compare the places:—

S. Matth. vi. 13.—ἀλλὰ ῬΎΣΑΙ ἩΜΆΣ ἈΠῸ ΤΟΎ ΠΟΝΗΡΟΎ. ὍΤΙ ΣΟΎ ἘΣΤΙΝ Ἡ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑ ... καὶ Ἡ ΔΌΞΑ ἘΙΣ ΤΟΎΣ ἈΙΏΝΑΣ. ἈΜΉΝ.

2 Tim. iv. 18.—καὶ ῬΎΣΕΤΑΊ ΜΕ ὁ Κύριος ἈΠῸ ΠΑΝΤῸΣ ἜΡΓΟΥ ΠΟΝΗΡΟΥ καὶ σώσει εἰς ΤῊΝ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑΝ ἈΥΤΟΥ ... ᾧ Ἡ ΔΌΞΑ ΕΊΣ ΤΟΥΣ ἈΙΏΝΑΣ.... ἈΜΉΝ.

Then further—(6), What more unlikely than that our Lord would end with giving such prominence to that rebel Angel whom by dying He is declared to have destroyed? (Heb. ii. 14: 1 John iii. 8.) For, take away the Doxology (as our Revisionists propose), and we shall begin the Lord's Prayer with Our Father, and literally end it with—the Devil!—But above all,—(7) Let it never be forgotten that this is the pattern Prayer, a portion of every Christian child's daily utterance,—the most sacred of all our formularies, and by far the most often repeated,—into which it is attempted in this way to introduce a startling novelty. Lastly—(8), When it is called to mind that nothing short of necessity has warranted the Revisionists in introducing a single change into the A. V.,—clear and plain errors—and that no such plea can be feigned on the present occasion, the liberty which they have taken in this place must be admitted to be absolutely without excuse.... Such at least are the grounds on which, for our own part, we refuse to entertain the proposed introduction of the Devil into the Lord's Prayer. From the position we have taken up, it will be found utterly impossible to dislodge us.

XIII. It is often urged on behalf of the Revisionists that over not a few dark places of S. Paul's Epistles their labours have thrown important light. Let it not be supposed 217 that we deny this. Many a Scriptural difficulty vanishes the instant a place is accurately translated: a far greater number, when the rendering is idiomatic. It would be strange indeed if, at the end of ten years, the combined labours of upwards of twenty Scholars, whose raison d'être as Revisionists was to do this very thing, had not resulted in the removal of many an obscurity in the A. V. of Gospels and Epistles alike. What offends us is the discovery that, for every obscurity which has been removed, at least half a dozen others have been introduced: in other words, that the result of this Revision has been the planting in of a fresh crop of difficulties, before undreamed of; so that a perpetual wrestling with these is what hereafter awaits the diligent student of the New Testament.

We speak not now of passages which have been merely altered for the worse: as when, (in S. James i. 17, 18,) we are invited to read,—Every good gift and every perfect boon is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning. Of his own will he brought us forth. Grievous as such blemishes are, it is seen at a glance that they must be set down to nothing worse than tasteless assiduity. What we complain of is that, misled by a depraved Text, our Revisers have often made nonsense of what before was perfectly clear: and have not only thrust many of our Lord's precious utterances out of sight, (e.g. Matt. xvii. 21: Mark x. 21 and xi. 26: Luke ix. 55, 56); but have attributed to Him absurd sayings which He certainly never uttered, (e.g. Matt. xix. 17); or else, given such a twist to what He actually said, that His blessed words are no longer recognizable, (as in S. Matt. xi. 23: S. Mark ix. 23: xi. 3). Take a sample:—

(1.) The Church has always understood her Lord to say,—Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, 218 be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory.662662S. John xvii. 24. We reject with downright indignation the proposal henceforth to read instead,—Father, that which Thou hast given Me I will that, where I am, they also may be with Me, &c. We suspect a misprint. The passage reads like nonsense. Yes, and nonsense it is,—in Greek as well as in English: (ὅ has been written for οὕς—one of the countless bêtises for which א b d are exclusively responsible; and which the weak superstition of these last days is for erecting into a new Revelation). We appeal to the old Latin and to the Vulgate,—to the better Egyptian and to all the Syriac versions: to every known Lectionary: to Clemens Alex.,663663P. 140.—to Eusebius,664664Marcell. p. 192.—to Nonnus,665665In loc. diserte.—to Basil,666666Eth. ii. 297.—to Chrysostom,667667viii. 485.—to Cyril,668668Text, iv. 1003; Comm. 1007, which are two distinct authorities, as learned readers of Cyril are aware.—to Cælestinus,669669Concilia, iii. 356 d.—to Theodoret:670670iv. 450. not to mention Cyprian,671671Pp. 235, 321.—Ambrose,672672i. 412; ii. 566, 649.—Hilary,673673Pp. 1017, 1033. &c.:674674Victricius ap. Gall. viii. 230. Also ps.-Chrys. v. 680. and above all, 16 uncials, beginning with a and c,—and the whole body of the cursives. So many words ought not to be required. If men prefer their mumpsimus to our sumpsimus, let them by all means have it: but pray let them keep their rubbish to themselves,—and at least leave our Saviour's words alone.

(2.) We shall be told that the foregoing is an outrageous instance. It is. Then take a few milder cases. They abound, turn whichever way we will. Thus, we are invited to believe that S. Luke relates concerning our Saviour that He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness during forty days (iv. 1). We stare at this new revelation, and refer to the familiar Greek. It proves to be the Greek of all the copies in the 219 world but four; the Greek which supplied the Latin, the Syrian, the Coptic Churches, with the text of their respective Versions; the Greek which was familiar to Origen,675675iii. 966 dis.—to Eusebius,676676Dem. 92.—to Basil,677677i. 319.—to Didymus,678678Trin. 190.—to Theodoret,679679v. 1039, 1069.—to Maximus,680680ii. 460.—and to two other ancient writers, one of whom has been mistaken for Chrysostom,681681v. 615. the other for Basil.682682ii. 584. Cyril read the place both ways:—v.2 156, and in Luc. p. 52. It is therefore quite above suspicion. And it informs us that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness; and there was forty days tempted of the Devil. What then has happened to obscure so plain a statement? Nothing more serious than that—(1) Four copies of bad character (א b d l) exhibit in instead of into: and that—(2) Our Revisionists have been persuaded to believe that therefore S. Luke must needs have done the same. Accordingly they invite us to share their conviction that it was the leading about of our Lord, (and not His Temptation,) which lasted for 40 days. And this sorry misconception is to be thrust upon the 90 millions of English-speaking Christians throughout the world,—under the plea of necessity!... But let us turn to a more interesting specimen of the mischievous consequences which would ensue from the acceptance of the present so-called Revision.

(3.) What is to be thought of this, as a substitute for the familiar language of 2 Cor. xii. 7?—And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations—wherefore, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh. The word wherefore (διό), which occasions all the difficulty—(breaking the back of the sentence and necessitating the hypothesis of a change of construction)—is due solely to the influence of א a bb. The ordinary Text is recognized 220 by almost every other copy; by the Latin,—Syriac,—Gothic,—Armenian Versions;—as well as by Irenæus,683683i. 720.—Origen,684684ii. 381; iii. 962; iv. 601.—Macarius,685685Ap. Galland. vii. 183.—Athanasius,686686Ap. Montf. ii. 67.—Chrysostom,687687iii. 333; v. 444; x. 498, 620; xii. 329.—Theodoret,688688ii. 77; iii. 349.—John Damascene.689689ii. 252. Even Tischendorf here makes a stand and refuses to follow his accustomed guides.690690Deseruimus fere quos sequi solemus codices. In plain terms, the text of 2 Cor. xii. 7 is beyond the reach of suspicion. Scarcely intelligible is the infatuation of which our Revisers have been the dupes.—Quousque tandem?

(4.) Now this is the method of the Revising body throughout: viz. so seriously to maim the Text of many a familiar passage of Holy Writ as effectually to mar it. Even where they remedy an inaccuracy in the rendering of the A. V., they often inflict a more grievous injury than mistranslation on the inspired Text. An instance occurs at S. John x. 14, where the good Shepherd says,—I know Mine own and am known of Mine, even as the Father knoweth Me and I know the Father. By thrusting in here the Manichæan depravation (and Mine own know Me), our Revisionists have obliterated the exquisite diversity of expression in the original,—which implies that whereas the knowledge which subsists between the Father and the Son is identical on either side, not such is the knowledge which subsists between the creature and the Creator. The refinement in question has been faithfully retained all down the ages by every copy in existence except four of bad character,—א b d l. It is witnessed to by the Syriac,—by Macarius,691691P. 38 ( = Gall. vii. 26).—Gregory Naz.,692692i. 298, 613.—Chrysostom,693693viii. 351, 352.—Cyril Alex.,694694iv. 652 c, 653 a, 654 d.—Theodoret,695695i. 748; iv. 274, 550.—Maximus.696696In Dionys. Ar. ii. 192.

221

But why go on? Does any one in his sober senses suppose that if S. John had written Mine own know Me, 996 manuscripts out of 1000, at the end of 1800 years, would be found to exhibit I am known of Mine?

(5.) The foregoing instances must suffice. A brief enumeration of many more has been given already, at pp. 144(b)-152.

Now, in view of the phenomenon just discovered to us,—(viz. for one crop of deformities weeded out, an infinitely larger crop of far grosser deformities as industriously planted in,)—we confess to a feeling of distress and annoyance which altogether indisposes us to accord to the Revisionists that language of congratulation with which it would have been so agreeable to receive their well-meant endeavours. The serious question at once arises,—Is it to be thought that upon the whole we are gainers, or losers, by the Revised Version? And there seems to be no certain way of resolving this doubt, but by opening a Profit and Loss account with the Revisers,—crediting them with every item of gain, and debiting them with every item of loss. But then,—(and we ask the question with sanguine simplicity,)—Why should it not be all gain and no loss, when, at the end of 270 years, a confessedly noble work, a truly unique specimen of genius, taste and learning, is submitted to a body of Scholars, equipped with every external advantage, only in order that they may improve upon it—if they are able? These learned individuals have had upwards of ten years wherein to do their work. They have enjoyed the benefit of the tentative labours of a host of predecessors,—some for their warning, some for their help and guidance. They have all along had before their eyes the solemn injunction that, whatever they were not able certainly to improve, they were to be supremely careful to let alone. 222 They were warned at the outset against any but necessary changes. Their sole business was to remove plain and clear errors. They had pledged themselves to introduce as few alterations as possible. Why then, we again ask,—Why should not every single innovation which they introduced into the grand old exemplar before them, prove to be a manifest, an undeniable change for the better?697697As these sheets are passing through the press, we have received a book by Sir Edmund Beckett, entitled, Should the Revised New Testament be Authorized? In four Chapters, the author discusses with characteristic vigour, first, the principles and method of the Revisers, and then the Gospel of S. Matthew, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Apocalypse, as fair samples of their work, with a union of sound sense, forensic skill, and scholarship more skilful than to deserve his cautious disclaimer. Amidst details open, of course, to discussion, abundant proofs are set forth, in a most telling style, that the plea of necessity and faithfulness utterly fails, in justification of a mass of alterations, which, in point of English composition, carry their condemnation on their face, and, to sum up the great distinction between the two Versions, illustrate the difference between working by discretion and by rules—by which no great thing was ever done or ever will be. Sir Edmund Beckett is very happy in his exposure of the abuse of the famous canon of preferring the stranger reading to the more obvious, as if copyists never made stupid blunders or perpetrated wilful absurdities. The work deserves the notice of all English readers.

XIV. The more we ponder over this unfortunate production, the more cordially do we regret that it was ever undertaken. Verily, the Northern Convocation displayed a far-sighted wisdom when it pronounced against the project from the first. We are constrained to declare that could we have conceived it possible that the persons originally appointed by the Southern Province would have co-opted into their body persons capable of executing their work with such extravagant licentiousness as well as such conspicuous bad taste, we should never have entertained one hopeful thought on the subject. For indeed every characteristic feature of the work of the Revisionists offends us,—as well 223 in respect of what they have left undone, as of what they have been the first to venture to do:—

(a) Charged to introduce as few alterations as possible into the Text of the Authorized Version, they have on the contrary evidently acted throughout on the principle of making as many changes in it as they conveniently could.

(b) Directed to limit, as far as possible, the expression of such alterations to the language of the Authorized and earlier English Versions,—they have introduced such terms as assassin, apparition, boon, disparagement, divinity, effulgence, epileptic, fickleness, gratulation, irksome, interpose, pitiable, sluggish, stupor, surpass, tranquil: such compounds as self-control, world-ruler: such phrases as draw up a narrative: the impulse of the steersman: in lack of daily food: exercising oversight. These are but a very few samples of the offence committed by our Revisionists, of which we complain.

(c) Whereas they were required to revise the Headings of the Chapters, they have not even retained them. We demand at least to have our excellent Headings back.

(d) And what has become of our time-honoured Marginal References,the very best Commentary on the Bible, as we believe,—certainly the very best help for the right understanding of Scripture,—which the wit of man hath ever yet devised? The Marginal References would be lost to the Church for ever, if the work of the Revisionists were allowed to stand: the space required for their insertion having been completely swallowed up by the senseless, and worse than senseless, Textual Annotations which at present infest the margin of every sacred page. We are beyond measure amazed that the Revisionists have even deprived the reader of the essential aid of references to the places of the Old Testament which are quoted in the New.

(e) Let the remark be added in passing, that we greatly 224 dislike the affectation of printing certain quotations from the Old Testament after the strange method adopted by our Revisers from Drs. Westcott and Hort.

(f) The further external assimilation of the Sacred Volume to an ordinary book by getting rid of the division into Verses, we also hold to be a great mistake. In the Greek, by all means let the verses be merely noted in the margin: but, for more than one weighty reason, in the English Bible let the established and peculiar method of printing the Word of God, tide what tide, be scrupulously retained.

(g) But incomparably the gravest offence is behind. By far the most serious of all is that Error to the consideration of which we devoted our former Article. The New Greek Text which, in defiance of their Instructions,698698   It has been objected by certain of the Revisionists that it is not fair to say that they were appointed to do one thing, and have done another. We are glad of this opportunity to explain.
    That some corrections of the Text were necessary, we are well aware: and had those necessary changes been made, we should only have had words of commendation and thanks to offer. But it is found that by Dr. Hort's eager advocacy two-thirds of the Revisionists have made a vast number of perfectly needless changes:—(1) Changes which are incapable of being represented in a Translation: as ἐμοῦ for μου,—πάντες for ἅπαντες,—ὅτε for ὁπότε. Again, since γέννησις, at least as much as γένεσις, means birth, why γένεσις in S. Matth. i. 18? Why, also, inform us that instead of ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ πεφυτευμένην, they prefer πεφυτευμένην ἐν τῷ ἀμπελῶνι αὐτοῦ? and instead of καρπὸν ζητῶν,—ζητῶν καρπόν? Now this they have done throughout,—at least 341 times in S. Luke alone. But (what is far worse), (2) They suggest in the margin changes which yet they do not adopt. These numerous changes are, by their own confession, not necessary: and yet they are of a most serious character. In fact, it is of these we chiefly complain.—But, indeed (3), How many of their other alterations of the Text will the Revisionists undertake to defend publicly on the plea of Necessity?

    [A vast deal more will be found on this subject towards the close of the present volume. In the meantime, see above, pages 87-88.]
our Revisionists have constructed, has been proved to be utterly undeserving of confidence. Built up on a fallacy which since 225 1831 has been dominant in Germany, and which has lately found but too much favour among ourselves, it is in the main a reproduction of the recent labours of Doctors Westcott and Hort. But we have already recorded our conviction, that the results at which those eminent Scholars have arrived are wholly inadmissible. It follows that, in our account, the New English Version, has been all along a foredoomed thing. If the New Greek Text be indeed a tissue of fabricated Readings, the translation of these into English must needs prove lost labour. It is superfluous to enquire into the merits of the English rendering of words which Evangelists and Apostles demonstrably never wrote.

(h) Even this, however, is not nearly all. As Translators, full two-thirds of the Revisionists have shown themselves singularly deficient,—alike in their critical acquaintance with the language out of which they had to translate, and in their familiarity with the idiomatic requirements of their own tongue. They had a noble Version before them, which they have contrived to spoil in every part. Its dignified simplicity and essential faithfulness, its manly grace and its delightful rhythm, they have shown themselves alike unable to imitate and unwilling to retain. Their queer uncouth phraseology and their jerky sentences:—their pedantic obscurity and their stiff, constrained manner:—their fidgetty affectation of accuracy,—and their habitual achievement of English which fails to exhibit the spirit of the original Greek;—are sorry substitutes for the living freshness, and elastic freedom, and habitual fidelity of the grand old Version which we inherited from our Fathers, and which has sustained the spiritual life of the Church of England, and of all English-speaking Christians, for 350 years. Linked with all our holiest, happiest memories, and bound up with all our purest aspirations: part and parcel of 226 whatever there is of good about us: fraught with men's hopes of a blessed Eternity and many a bright vision of the never-ending Life;—the Authorized Version, wherever it was possible, should have been jealously retained. But on the contrary. Every familiar cadence has been dislocated: the congenial flow of almost every verse of Scripture has been hopelessly marred: so many of those little connecting words, which give life and continuity to a narrative, have been vexatiously displaced, that a perpetual sense of annoyance is created. The countless minute alterations which have been needlessly introduced into every familiar page prove at last as tormenting as a swarm of flies to the weary traveller on a summer's day.699699We meet in every page (says Dr. Wordsworth, the learned Bishop of Lincoln,) with small changes which are vexatious, teasing, and irritating; even the more so because they are small (as small insects sting most sharply), which seem almost to be made merely for the sake of change.—p. 25. To speak plainly, the book has been made unreadable.

But in fact the distinguished Chairman of the New Testament Company (Bishop Ellicott,) has delivered himself on this subject in language which leaves nothing to be desired, and which we willingly make our own. No Revision (he says) in the present day could hope to meet with an hour's acceptance if it failed to preserve the tone, rhythm, and diction of the present Authorized Version.700700On the Revision of the English Version, &c. (1870), p. 99.—What else is this but a vaticination,—of which the uninspired Author, by his own act and deed, has ensured the punctual fulfilment?

We lay the Revisers' volume down convinced that the case of their work is simply hopeless. Non ego paucis offendar maculis. Had the blemishes been capable of being reckoned up, it might have been worth while to try to remedy some of them. But when, instead of being disfigured 227 by a few weeds scattered here and there, the whole field proves to be sown over in every direction with thorns and briars; above all when, deep beneath the surface, roots of bitterness to be counted by thousands, are found to have been silently planted in, which are sure to produce poisonous fruit after many days:—under such circumstances only one course can be prescribed. Let the entire area be ploughed up,—ploughed deep; and let the ground be left for a decent space of time without cultivation. It is idle—worse than idle—to dream of revising, with a view to retaining, this Revision. Another generation of students must be suffered to arise. Time must be given for Passion and Prejudice to cool effectually down. Partizanship, (which at present prevails to an extraordinary extent, but which is wondrously out of place in this department of Sacred Learning,)—Partizanship must be completely outlived,—before the Church can venture, with the remotest prospect of a successful issue, to organize another attempt at revising the Authorized Version of the New Testament Scriptures.

Yes, and in the meantime—(let it in all faithfulness be added)—the Science of Textual Criticism will have to be prosecuted, for the first time, in a scholarlike manner. Fundamental Principles,—sufficiently axiomatic to ensure general acceptance,—will have to be laid down for men's guidance. The time has quite gone by for vaunting the now established Principles of Textual Criticism,701701Bp. Ellicott, Diocesan Progress, Jan. 1882,—p. 19.—as if they had an actual existence. Let us be shown, instead, which those Principles be. As for the weak superstition of these last days, which—without proof of any kind—would erect two IVth-century Copies of the New Testament, (demonstrably derived from one and the same utterly depraved archetype,) 228 into an authority from which there shall be no appeal,—it cannot be too soon or too unconditionally abandoned. And, perhaps beyond all things, men must be invited to disabuse their minds of the singular imagination that it is in their power, when addressing themselves to that most difficult and delicate of problems,—the improvement of the Traditional Text,—solvere ambulando.702702Bp. Ellicott, On Revision,—p. 49. They are assured that they may not take to Textual Criticism as ducks take to the water. They will be drowned inevitably if they are so ill-advised as to make the attempt.

Then further, those who would interpret the New Testament Scriptures, are reminded that a thorough acquaintance with the Septuagintal Version of the Old Testament is one indispensable condition of success.703703Qui lxx interpretes non legit, aut minus legit accurate, is sciat se non adeo idoneum, qui Scripta Evangelica Apostolica de Græco in Latinum, aut alium aliquem sermonem transferat, ut ut in aliis Græcis scriptoribus multum diuque fuerit versatus. (John Bois, 1619.)—Græcum N. T. contextum rite intellecturo nihil est utilius quam diligenter versasse Alexandrinam antiqui Fœderis interpretationem, e quâ unâ plus peti poterit auxilii, quam ex veteribus Scriptoribus Græcis simul sumtis. Centena reperientur in N. T. nusquam obvia in scriptis Græcorum veterum, sed frequentata in Alexandrinâ versione. (Valcknaer, 1715-85.) And finally, the Revisionists of the future (if they desire that their labours should be crowned), will find it their wisdom to practise a severe self-denial; to confine themselves to the correction of plain and clear errors; and in fact to introduce into the Text as few alterations as possible.

On a review of all that has happened, from first to last, we can but feel greatly concerned: greatly surprised: most of all, disappointed. We had expected a vastly different result. It is partly (not quite) accounted for, by the rare attendance in the Jerusalem Chamber of some of the names on which we had chiefly relied. Bishop Moberly (of Salisbury) was 229 present on only 121 occasions: Bishop Wordsworth (of S. Andrews) on only 109: Archbishop Trench (of Dublin) on only 63: Bishop Wilberforce on only one. The Archbishop, in his Charge, adverts to the not unfrequent sacrifice of grace and ease to the rigorous requirements of a literal accuracy; and regards them as pushed to a faulty excess (p. 22). Eleven years before the scheme for the present Revision had been matured, the same distinguished and judicious Prelate, (then Dean of Westminster,) persuaded as he was that a Revision ought to come, and convinced that in time it would come, deprecated its being attempted yet. His words were,—Not however, I would trust, as yet: for we are not as yet in any respect prepared for it. The Greek, and the English which should enable us to bring this to a successful end might, it is to be feared, be wanting alike.704704On the Authorized Version,—p. 3. Archbishop Trench, with wise after-thought, in a second edition, explained himself to mean that special Hellenistic Greek, here required.

The Bp. of S. Andrews has long since, in the fullest manner, cleared himself from the suspicion of complicity in the errors of the work before us,—as well in respect of the New Greek Text as of the New English Version. In the Charge which he delivered at his Diocesan Synod, (22nd Sept. 1880,) he openly stated that two years before the work was finally completed, he had felt obliged to address a printed circular to each member of the Company, in which he strongly remonstrated against the excess to which changes had been carried; and that the remonstrance had been, for the most part, unheeded. Had this been otherwise, there is good reason to believe that the reception which the Revision has met with would have been far less unfavourable, and that many a controversy which it has stirred up, would have been avoided. We have been assured that the 230 Bp. of S. Andrews would have actually resigned his place in the Company at that time, if he had not been led to expect that some opportunity would have been taken by the Minority, when the work was finished, to express their formal dissent from the course which had been followed, and many of the conclusions which had been adopted.

Were certain other excellent personages, (Scholars and Divines of the best type) who were often present, disposed at this late hour to come forward, they too would doubtless tell us that they heartily regretted what was done, but were powerless to prevent it. It is no secret that Dr. Lee,—the learned Archdeacon of Dublin,—(one of the few really competent members of the Revising body,)—found himself perpetually in the minority.

The same is to be recorded concerning Dr. Roberts, whose work on the Gospels (published in 1864) shows that he is not by any means so entirely a novice in the mysteries of Textual Criticism as certain of his colleagues.—One famous Scholar and excellent Divine,—a Dean whom we forbear to name,—with the modesty of real learning, often withheld what (had he given it) would have been an adverse vote.—Another learned and accomplished Dean (Dr. Merivale), after attending 19 meetings of the Revising body, withdrew in disgust from them entirely. He disapproved the method of his colleagues, and was determined to incur no share of responsibility for the probable result of their deliberations.—By the way,—What about a certain solemn Protest, by means of which the Minority had resolved liberare animas suas concerning the open disregard shown by the Majority for the conditions under which they had been entrusted with the work of Revision, but which was withheld at the last moment? Inasmuch as their reasons for the course they eventually adopted seemed sufficient to those high-minded and 231 honourable men, we forbear to challenge it. Nothing however shall deter us from plainly avowing our own opinion that human regards scarcely deserve a hearing when God's Truth is imperilled. And that the Truth of God's Word in countless instances has been ignorantly sacrificed by a majority of the Revisionists—(out of deference to a worthless Theory, newly invented and passionately advocated by two of their body),—has been already demonstrated; as far, that is, as demonstration is possible in this subject matter.

As for Prebendary Scrivener,—the only really competent Textual Critic of the whole party,—it is well known that he found himself perpetually outvoted by two-thirds of those present. We look forward to the forthcoming new edition of his Plain Introduction, in the confident belief that he will there make it abundantly plain that he is in no degree responsible for the monstrous Text which it became his painful duty to conduct through the Press on behalf of the entire body, of which he continued to the last to be a member. It is no secret that, throughout, Dr. Scrivener pleaded in vain for the general view we have ourselves advocated in this and the preceding Article.

All alike may at least enjoy the real satisfaction of knowing that, besides having stimulated, to an extraordinary extent, public attention to the contents of the Book of Life, they have been instrumental in awakening a living interest in one important but neglected department of Sacred Science, which will not easily be again put to sleep. It may reasonably prove a solace to them to reflect that they have besides, although perhaps in ways they did not anticipate, rendered excellent service to mankind. A monument they have certainly erected to themselves,—though neither of their Taste nor yet of their Learning. Their well-meant endeavours have provided an admirable text-book for 232 Teachers of Divinity,—who will henceforth instruct their pupils to beware of the Textual errors of the Revisionists of 1881, as well as of their tasteless, injudicious, and unsatisfactory essays in Translation. This work of theirs will discharge the office of a warning beacon to as many as shall hereafter embark on the same perilous enterprise with themselves. It will convince men of the danger of pursuing the same ill-omened course: trusting to the same unskilful guidance: venturing too near the same wreck-strewn shore.

Its effect will be to open men's eyes, as nothing else could possibly have done, to the dangers which beset the Revision of Scripture. It will teach faithful hearts to cling the closer to the priceless treasure which was bequeathed to them by the piety and wisdom of their fathers. It will dispel for ever the dream of those who have secretly imagined that a more exact Version, undertaken with the boasted helps of this nineteenth century of ours, would bring to light something which has been hitherto unfairly kept concealed or else misrepresented. Not the least service which the Revisionists have rendered has been the proof their work affords, how very seldom our Authorized Version is materially wrong: how faithful and trustworthy, on the contrary, it is throughout. Let it be also candidly admitted that, even where (in our judgment) the Revisionists have erred, they have never had the misfortune seriously to obscure a single feature of Divine Truth; nor have they in any quarter (as we hope) inflicted wounds which will be attended with worse results than to leave a hideous scar behind them. It is but fair to add that their work bears marks of an amount of conscientious (though misdirected) labour, which those only can fully appreciate who have made the same province of study to some extent their own.


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