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A Dillertation on the Ancient Verfions of the Bible; shewa
ing why our English Transation differs so much from
the Bible, and the Opposition they met with from the Church
An Introduktion to the Reading of the
Holy Scriptures, intended chiefly for young Students in Divinity. By Messrs.
BEAUSOBRE and L'ENFANT. Camb. 1779. p. 101. This is a Work of extraordinary Merit; the Authors have left scarcely any Topic untouched, on which the young Student in Divinity may be supposed to want Information. Macknight's Preliminary Observations, &c. prefixed to his Harmony; Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus ; Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem N. Teftamenti; Harwood's Introduction to the Study of the New Testament; Percy's Key to the New Testament; and Collyer's Sacred Interpreter, may be properly read along with this Introduction. A Key to the Apostolic Writings, or an Esay to explain the
Gospel Scheme, and the principal Words and Phrases the Apoftles have used in describing it. By J. Taylor.
P: 315 This Work, which is prefixed to the Author's Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistle to the Romans, is greatly admired by the Learned, as containing the best Introduction to the Epiftles, and the clearest Account of the whole Gospel Scheme, which was ever written. The Doctrine of a double Justification was disliked by Bp. Bull; and it has lately been animadverted on, as not founded in Scripture : however that may be, it has had, in modern Times, other Supporters besides Dr, Taylor; and it seems to have been well understood by Grellius, above 150 Years ago. Justificatio noftra vel accipitur pro ejusmodi a reatu ac pæna, quam peccatis promeruimus, absolutione ac liberatione, qua fit, ut nolit nos Deus punire, fed potius nobiscum perinde velit agere, ac fi justi et innocentes effemus : vel accipitur pro ipsa salute noftra quam aliquando consecuturi fumus. Illa Juftificatio fimul ac fidem in Christum complectimur nobis contingit, et tam diu durat, quamdiu in nobis du. rat fides, eaque viva et per charitatem efficax, feu quæ Obedientiam, qualem Christus a nobis requirit, habeat conjunctam. Hæc vero posterior Justificatio quæ ex illa prima Auit in adventu Domini Jesu nobis continget. Crel. in Rom. c. v. and in his commentary on 1 Cor. c. i. he says, Justificamur fimul atque Doctrinæ Chrifti fidem adjungimus, id eft jus adipiscimur ad immunitatem ab omnibus pænis et ad vitæ æternæ adeptionem. Verum hoc jus nondum eft plenum, sed adhuc a conditione, quæ fequi debet, pendet, nempe ut conftantes in fide fimus, ac sanctitati vitæ in pofterum ftudeamus, itaque justificatio partim antecedit fanctificationem, partim sequitur. Hinc patet, quid fentiendum de illo tristissimo dicto (of St. Augustine) : Bona opera non antecedunt jupificandum, fed fequuntur juftificatum; antecedunt enim justificandum plenè, sequuntur justificatum inchoatè, &c. Plain Reasons for being a Christian. Lond. 1730.
The Merit of this Tract will not be seen by an hafty Reader; every Article of it contains Matter for much Consideration, and thews the Author to have been well acquainted with his Subject. It was written by Dr. Chandler, but not published till it had been revised by some other DifTenting Minilters.
A DI S.
REVEREND SIR, TOU desire to know, “ Since the Greek Septuagint and 'the English Bible are Translations from the
, how " it comes to pass that these two Translations have such Variations “ from each other? I do not mean in some few Words only, but in “ whole Sentences ; many being in our English Translation which are
not to be found in the Septuagint, and some again in the LXX which are not to be found in our English Bible.”
I do not at all wonder at your asking such a Question; for a Clergyman who has but a small Benefice, which will not afford him Means to buy Books of a large Price, and lives in an obfcure Place in the Country, near no Library from which he may borrow such Books, or have Opportunity to consult them, is not to be blained, if he Thould not know how to answer this, or other Questions relating to ecclesiastical Matters. For although he came from the University well versed in the learned Languages, (as you fhew yourfelf to be, or you could not have compared our English Bible with the LXX, and so would never have thought of the Matter) yet for want of Bocks to inform him how the Scriptures have from Time to Time been copied, translated and published, he may not be able to answer such a Question, and satisfy himself in such a Point as this.
And I must confess for myself, that if I had not the Polyglot Bible, before which Bishop Walton (the learned Editor of that noble and use ful Work, consisting of fix large Folios) has put several excellent Prolegomena, and Du Pin's Compleat Canon of Scripture, with some other Books relating to the Editions and Translations of the Holy Scriptures, I could not have answered your Question. But by the Affittance of VOL. III, А
these Books, I hope I may do it to your Satisfaction. And I can give you a plain, Mort, and caly Answer, which is, that there were different Copies of the Hebrew Original, and the LXX translated from one Copy, and our English Translators from another; so as the Copies differed, the Translations differed also.
But another Question may arise. How came there to be so much Difference between several Copies of the same Book ? I answer, the fame will always happen in all Books frequently transcribed by several Hands. Now, I believe no Book ever had so many Transcripts as the Bible. As the Jews had several Synagogues in Judea, so had they in all Countries where they were dispersed after the Captivity. For they did not all return to Fudea at the Restoration of Jerusalem and the Rebuilding of the Temple, but very many continued in those Parts of the Chaldean, Persian, Greciun and Roman Empires where they had obtained Settlements, where also they increased and multiplied. This we may be convinced of from what we find in the New Testament, where we read that in every Place unto which the Apostles went to preach the Gospel they found Numbers of Jews and a Jewish Synagogue. And every Synagogue had at least one Copy of the Bible, belide the many Copies written for the Uie of private Persons. Every one of theie Copies was written fingly by itself, (the Invention of Printing, by which ten Thousand Copies coming out of the fame Press shall not differ fo much as a Letter or a Comma, being yet scarce three Hundred Years old) and therefore could hardly fail to differ in some Particulars even from the Copy froin which it was taken, unless more than once carefully revised, compared and corrected, which we may reasonably suppose was not always done. These Copiers therefore could hardly keep free from making many Mistakes, such as often to omit a Word, or to write one Word for another: which last Miftake might easily be made in Hebrew Books, where the Letters ) and 3, 7 and 7, 7 and 77, and some others are so near alike, that very often in Writing one can hardly be distinguished from the other; and the mistaking luch a Letter changes the Word, and gives it another Signification.
Copiers alio, in the transcribing so large a Book as the Hebrew Bible, might ealily mistake so far as to be guilty of considerable Oversights, even to overlook and omit a whole sentence, especially when they wrote in Halte, as, no Doubt, many of them did, who made it their Bufiness to copy Books for their Livelihood. Where therefore the LXX want a period or Sentence which is in our English Bibles, we may suppole it was wanting in the Copy from whence they tranflated : And where they have a Sentence which is wanting in our English Bibles, we may suppose it was in the Copy from which their Translation was made, but left out in the Copy from whence our prefent Hebrew Copies were taken, and from which ive have our English Translation : And so vice versa. This I think is a natural and rational Account how thefe Diversities arose; that is, from different Copies of the Original. Which Differences could hardly be avoided, and might easily happen through the Carelesness and Oversights or Mistakes of Transcribers, who could scarce avoid them in so long a Work. Soipe indeed will tell you that the LXX in their Tranflation took