« ForrigeFortsett »
are not pleased with the suppression of the names of the writer* •whose remarks are introduced, either transcript or compendium. The mention of those names in a few instances is no apology for the genera) system of reticence: it rather aggravates the fault, by its tending to draw the reader into a belief that the general body of the Notes, as they contain no such acknowledgement, are original.
The Notes are connected with their respective portions of the Text, by the numeral of the verse and the recital of a •word or clause. This is a well-chosen method, as it preserves the text free from disfigurement: but it does not appear to us judicious, to make the introducing recitals in Latin instead of in Greek: a mode which can be of service to few or none; which gives the book an unscholar like aspect; and which must sometimes occasion ambiguity: as in 1 Tim. i. 9. where it is impossible to determine whether Nefariis, in the Note, is is intended for 'avoa/oif or for ptpr!\»!.
To each book is prefixed an account of its author, occasion, and object, drawn up in a style of Latinity much superior to that of the usual writers of Biblical Prolegomena. We wish that the Editor had extended his cares, in this respect, to the composition of an Analysis of the matter in each of the Epistles, in order to shew the connexion of the parts, and the course of the argument and applications. It would also have been a very useful addition to the subsidia of this work, had the Time and Place of events, in the Gospels and Acts, been put at the top of each page, as in Dr. White's Diatessaron.
The Text is, generally, that of Griesbach; but there is little criticism on the readings, so that the possessor of this edition cannot dispense with Griesbach's. Mr. Valpy, however, follows the Received Text in those passages which have a relation to important controversy: but he does this in a manner which excites our concern. After the ample induction of evidence in Wetstein, Griesbach, &c. it might surely be expected that a new editor, or critic, would not have retained the common readings without assigning his grounds for so doing.
We have a proper example in Dr. Lawrence and Mr. Nolan. But in this edition we find Acts xx. 28. 0to5, Vol. ii. 2. Koi H»T(if *»l Too XpiTTou, 1 Tim. iii. 16. «^-, without the smallest intimation that a diversity of reading exists in those instances. In 1 John v. 7, 8. the common reading is preserved; but a note merely states the fact of the controversy, and concludes •with this, and only this, reason for the preference given :— 'latis verbis e tvxtu sublatis, nescio quid curti atque inexpleti 'semper mihi apparuit.'* We do not object to the learned Editor, that he has preferred the common readings; but we contend that he owed to his critical character, to the interests of truth, and to the satisfaction of his readers, a perspicuous statement, though it might have been concise, of the reasons for his opinion. As the case stands, we fear that this course will by some be imputed to a mere deference to Church Authority :—' Si quid — doctrinse Ecclesise Anglicanse, quae ab 'Apostolica puritate, simplicitate, et dignitate, proximas facile 'tenet, minus consentaneum in his videatur, quod uon factura 'spero et nolim, id penitus pro non dicto et retractato esse volo.'f Tom. i. praef. p. 7.
Those persons will not be greatly satisfied with this avowal, who are solicitous that their " faith should stand, not in the wisdom "of men, but in the power of God:" and inferences, though without justice, will be drawn by the enemies of orthodox doctrines, that the advocates of those doctrines shrink from fair and even-handed criticism.
While we thus state, as our duty obliges, our disappoint* meats and objections in relation to this edition, we have much more pleasure in repeating our approbation of its accuracy, its convenient form, and its useful intention; an intention which, notwithstanding the defects that we regret, it will still answer in a considerable degree.
(The Netu Covenant.: translated into the Hebrew Language from the Original Greek; by the Direction and at the Expence of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews.) 1813.
rT1HE Gospel of Matthew is the only portion of the New Tes•*- tament contained in the present publication. Of this, a smaller edition than the demand may require, has been printed for circulation, that the Editors may have an opportunity of profiting by public criticism in the revision of the work for a larger impression. They solicit the attention, and bespeak the candour of the learned, in a manner which is creditable to themselves, and which cannot fail of obtaining the notice of those persons who are capable of revising, for correction and improvement, a version of the Christian Scriptures, as important in its design as it is difficult in its execution.
* On the omission of these words from the text, there has always appeared to me something indescribably abrupt and incomplete.
t If, contrary to my hopes and wishes, any thing should appear in these sheets at all inconsistent with the doctrine of the Church of England, which, in purity, simplicity, and dignity, certainly holds the next rank to the Apostolic Church, I desire to renounce any such sentiment.
In an address to the reader, in theXiatin language, prefixed to the volume, the Editors remark, that though the Gospel of Matthew has been frequently translated into the Hebrew language, the whole of the New Testament has been rendered into that tongue twice only: 'Bis tantura llebraice redditum fuisse 'constat:'—namely, by Elias Hutter, (whose version was first published in 1599,) and by a Jew of Travancore, whose manuscript version was brought from the East by the late Dr. Claudius Buchanan ; and was presented by him to the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews. To this information we may add, that a Hebrew version of the whole New Testament was prepared by John Baptist Jona, of which the four Gospels were published at Rome, in, 1669. The death of the translator, in the same year, appears to have prevented the publication of the remaining books, (of Jona's translation,) which we should suppose were deposited in the college de propaganda fide.
In deference to the Eastern Jews, only pure Hebrew words of Biblical authority are admitted in this New Translation; those cases alone being excepted, which require the use of other terms. For the convenience of the Western Jews, rabbinical modes of expression are occasionally introduced into the margin. Words not contained in the Greek text, are denoted by hollow letters; but no such distinction in the type has been observed in cases where the sense of the original is expressed by periphrasis. A few terms of the original have not been translated, but appear in the corresponding forms of Hebrew
Orthography; as ftarrl^f,, 1B£D. /SairntrriSf, D»»D13B3. Caw has
been taken to give the force of the Greek article: and the Translators have endeavoured to present their version in as pure a Hebrew style as possible; having submitted this portion of their work to the inspection of more than fifty Hebrew scholars, previously to its final preparation for the press.
We applaud the honesty of the Translators in rendering the quotations from the Old Testament in the New, directly from the Greek, instead of inserting the passages from the Hebrew Text, as some of their friends injudiciously advised. The most scrupulous fidelity was essential to the proper execution of the duty imposed on the Translators; and we are glad that in the article of quotations, they have not committed themselves.
No information is communicated by the Editors, relative to the Greek text from which the present version has been translated. The precision and details which are now very properly required in all Biblical undertakings, can in general be so easily supplied, that, as a point of duty, we notice the omission, and suggest to the Editors the insertion of an additional line in their preface, for the satisfaction of the public. It is however very evident, that the received or Elzevir text, is assumed as the standard to which this • Hebrew version is made conformable. A few instances, it is true, occur, in which the latter varies from the former; but from a careful inspection of the whole first Gospel, and the particular consideration of the very few deviations which presented themselves to our notice in the course of our progress, we cannot be mistaken in remarking that the Editors have not availed themselves of the labours of those eminent scholars, by whose erudition and critical acumen the Greek text of the New Testament has been purified and restored. Is the Elzevir text of 1624 to supersede every other, and to continue the basis of every translation?
The translation now submitted to our inspection, is literal; and so well executed, as to reflect no small credit on the parties by whom it has been conducted. It is printed throughout with points, but without accents. The typographical execution of the book, is extremely neat. Feeling warmly interested in every means of aiding the diffusion of Christian truth in its native purity, we congratulate the Translators of this Hebrew version, on this specimen of their labours; and earnestly hope they will be enabled to complete their im • portant undertaking.
We shall select a few passages from the translation before us, not for the purpose of censuring them, but to suggest something towards their correction and improvement. •
Ch. i. 11. 'etti T«j p.t7oixe<rluf flaGvxZmf. ?33 Fml Pl>7. Here, there is no word in the Greek original corresponding to r$h in the version, which is not necessary to convey the proper sense. In 1 Kings xviii, 35, we have nruon niSjO about the /time of) evening sacrifice. "?33 niViD is preferable to the phrase employed in the version, and is the idiom adopted by the Syriac translator.
Ch. ii. 11. un is inserted in the text, and lNXE appears as a various reading in the margin. In this example, the Translators, in common with the English public version, depart from the reading of the received Greek text, which has iwpov; an almost solitary instance of departure from it.
Ch. iv. 5 Ti x-rtfvyH* Ts i=p«. ^3»nn Dsn. We should object to af?N as the proper word to be the representative of ti «Tifi>V»«», and would suggest 333 as the more appropriate term; since the latter preserves the etymology of the original expression, and further resembles it in peculiarity of application.
Ch. x. 2. 'AwwroXw. a»3sSo Notwithstanding the authority which may be alleged in support of thsi word, we would recommend its being changed for ayiVu? as often as the G-eek
Vot.V. N.5. Ec
*vovtoxoi in its special appropriation to the Apostles, occurs in the New Testament.
Ch. xi. 30. To (popn'ov fiou. ixuro. As the Translators have rendered viQoprurnim in the 28th vs. by ^Saoon they should have inserted 'Sao instead of >iWT3 in the 30th.
Ch. xii. 11. Tin is inserted without occasion: so also is '3 in the 20th verse of this chapter.
18. Kai xpiViy 7oTt sSvss-iv aT3.yyiWii;—CD'IT? BfilTD JfXTT.
We submit whether another verb should not have been selected as the rendering of aarojyyixxj. This part of the quotation is copied verbally from the passage in Isaiah xlii. 1; differing from it, however, in the arrangement of the words; the Translators following the order of the English common version.
The same Greek words are not infrequently translated by different Hebrew terms, where the sense is unvaried. Thus, in the case of the adverb iu'9tf«, which is rendered by ino ch. iii. 16; but in ch xiii. 20, 31. the only other passages in which it is found, by o.xr.fl. A«»W9i» p« is translated by nnK K3 ch. viii. 22; but in ch. ix. 9, by »Tn» "f>. ZU a^drnnxo is in one place (ch. xxv. 1.) rendered by pufib: and in another (vs. 6.) by rtnnS. To these and similar instances we refer, not as censurable blemishes, but merely for the purpose of expressing our opinion, that uniformity in the manner of translating the same words and phrases, where no deviation is demanded by the different idioms of the two languages, is highly desirable, and should be observed.
In ch. xxiii. 8, we find another instance of deviation from the received text, in the adoption of McJreaXo?, teacher, instead of xa9riynTnV, leader; the word orraSo being inserted instead of OHnJ which the common reading would require. Though AJaVxoaos appears only in Griesbach's margin, we confess that in our judgement the internal probability is so strong, as to justify this alteration.
We shall only further hint to the Conductors of this work, that as they have, though rarely, deserted both the received Greek text, and the English common version, which has had some influence on their own, they ought, in order to be consistent, to admit nothing into their translation, that wants the support of a critically correct Greek text as its basis.
Art. V. Paul's Letters to his Kinsfolk. 8vo. pp. 468. Price 12s. Edinburgh, Constable and Co. 1816.
npHE Newspaper wits have reported Mr. Walter Scott to B have fallen in the field of Waterloo. It should seem either that he only lost his laurels there, or this volume must be received as evidence of his resurrection. We congratulate Mr.