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probably into the Syrian, because the Jewish religion, previous to, and for some time subsequent to the Christian æra, was very powerful, and the prevailing religion upon the throne in many parts of Syria, in Petræa, and in Arabia Felix. Both the Syriac versions adopt this signification of the word, for wherever “ prepa-: ration" is to be translated in the New Testament, the Syriac uniformly renders it "Friday. The Jews, who spoke Greek and Latin, used the word, which in both those languages is translated by “preparation,” always as signifying “ Friday.” The oldest and the most important passage is to be met with in an edict of Augustus, and shows us that the word was already in his time used in this sense, both in Greek and Latin, whenever it related to Jewish affairs. Josephus has inserted the whole edict in his Antiquities, b. 16, sec. 6, 3, from which the following passage is an extract. the Jews were not to be summoned before the tribunals, upon the sabbath, nor upon the preparation, preceding it from the ninth hour, i.e. from three o'clock in the afternoon,) when the Jews withdrew themselves from worldly affairs."
Another passage from Irenæus, who lived in the second century, is, of course, not so valu.
able in respect of antiquity, but equally so in respect of precision of language; it is in his first book against Heresy, (ch. 14, sec. 6.) “Moses therefore says, that man was created on the . sixth day, which, deeply considered, is—that the second man appeared on the sixth day, which is the preparation,” (or Friday,) “ for the regeneration of the first man.” A passage of Dioscorides is still more important-it is quoted by Wetstein, but I cannot lay my hands upon it, as he does not mention the edition. “The Syrians say,” (speaking of a certain decoction, with which I am unacquainted, as the chief word is wanting) given on the second, and the fourth, and the preparation,” (namely, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday,) “it cures fever," and he adds, “ I hold this to be a great secret, for experience convinces me of its correctness.” Walch ascertained a similar meaning in some of the fathers of the Church, and gives an additional light to a passage in Origen in his eighth book, against Celsus. Origen, who had previously maintained the doctrine, that “to observe his duty was to him a festal solemnity, and that consequently every day was a festival,” obviates an objection, which had been made against the feasts and ceremonies of the Christians.
“ But if any one would reproach us with our Lord's days, (Sundays,) our preparation days, (Fridays, or our Easter or Pentecost, &c.” the old Christians celebrated every Friday in the week by a fast. Here Origen speaks first of the Sundays, and then of the Fridays. he who steadily prepares himself for the true life, keeps constant preparation days," i. e. every day is as holy with him as the weekly Friday, consecrated to the remembrance of Christ. Walch quotes here an important passage from Clement of Alexandria. Strom. B. 12. c. 7. “ The true Gnostick understands the mystery of these days of fasting of the fourth, and of the preparation day, of which the first is named from Mercury, and the second from Venus." Who does not see that the preparation day is here the day of Venus, namely, Friday? He further quotes the remarkable words of Peter of Alexandria. “Let no man blame us for keeping the fourth and the preparation days,” (Wednesdays and Fridays,)
on which days, according to tradition, we ought to fast.” After having explained the reason of the Wednesday's fast, he adds “on the preparation day we fast because on that day,” (Friday,) "he suffered for us.” Dufresne has observed in his Glossary, that the great or
holy preparation day, is, in the language of the church, “Good Friday.” Theophylact, quoted by Fabricius, says, “ This day is called the day of preparation, for, as the Jews prepare on the sixth day of the week, what they intend to eat on the seventh, so they call it the preparation day." He quotes likewise from a manuscript chronology, extending from Adam to Leo Philosophus, and which must have been, therefore, written in the ninth or tenth century, the following passage, “ Constantine decreed many laws affecting Christians, and ordained the consecration of the preparation day (Friday,) and of the Sunday, the one on account of the crucifixion, the other on account of the resurrection of the Lord.” From these passages it is evident, that the Greek word “ Parasceue” signified Friday, and not merely a preparation for a high festival. It is used in this first sense in the Latin, and generally in the Vulgate, the Greek word being retained in the Latin translation, and especially, according to the testimony of Blanchini in the
greater part of the translations previous to Jerome. It occurs frequently in the fathers, as Friday, and is explained in this sense in Gesner's dictionary, and by Wetstein in ap
propriate quotations from Victorinus Petavionensis and Augustin. It may, therefore, be assumed as indubitable that the “ Preparation Day” or rather the Greek word, which renders it, is “ Friday.” If Luther had so translated it, it would have obviated many frivolous doubts and objections; but Luther, in his translation of the New, was not the same powerful man he was when he translated the Old Testament. The translations, which preceded him, have some of them the “Holy,” or as
we should say,
“ Good Friday.” “ That their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”] The above is the usual translation, but the Vulgate has a different expression, which coincides better with the ambiguity of the Greek text. According to the received translation, every reflecting reader will come to the following conclusion : that when the bones of any one are broken with a club, he will not die before sunset, so as to enable the body to be taken away; it is, in fact, not a mortal blow. He may, and probably would, survive twenty-four hours. This has been remarked of those, who have been broken alive upon the wheel, from the feet upwards; the bones are broken, but if there is no blow, imme