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(op ST. John's college, Cambridge,) 











Chapter I. On the Original Languages of Scripture. 

Section I. Chi the Hebrew Language. 

I, Antiquity of the Hebrew language ; — II. And of its characters. — III. Of 

the vowel pdnts. - - - - I 

Section II. On the Samaritan Pentateuch. 

I. Origin of the Samaritans. — II. Their enmity against the Jews, in the 
time of Jesus Christ. — III. Critical notice of the Samaritan Penta- 
teuch, and of its variations from the Hebrew. — IV. Versions of the 
Samaritan Pentateuch. - - - - 12 

Section III. On the Greek Language. 

I. Similarity of the Greek language of the New Testament with that of the 
Alexandrian or Septuagint Greek Version. — II. The New Testament, 
why written in Greek. — III. Examination of its style. — IV. Its Dia- 
lects — Hebraisms — Rabbinisms — Syriasms and Chaldaisms — Latin- 
isms-^Persisms and Cilicisms. - - - - 1 / 

Section IV. — On the Cognate or Kindred Languages. 

I. The Chaldee.— II. The Syriac— III. The Arabic— IV. The Ethiopic. 
— V. The Rabbinical Hebrew. — VI. Use and importance of the 
Cognate Languages to sacred criticism. - - - - 33 

Chapter II. On the Manuscripts of the Bible. 

Section I. On the Hebrew Manuscripts of the Old Testament. 

I. Different classes of Hebrew Manuscripts. — II. The rolled Manuscripts 
of the synagogues. — III. The square Manuscripts used by the Jews 
in private life. — IV^ Antient recensions or editions of Hebrew ma- 
nuscripts. — 5. Age of Hebrew manuscripts. — VI. Of the order in 
VOL. II. — PART I. a 


which the sacred books are arranged in manuscripts. — Number of 
books contained in different manuscripts. — VII. Modern families or 
recensions of Hebrew manuscripts. — VIII. Notice of the most 
antient manuscripts. — IX. Brief notice of the manuscripts of the Indian 
Jews. - - - - - 36 

Section II. On the Manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures. 

§ 1. General Observations on Greek Manuscripts. 

I. On what materials written. — II. Form of lettcrs.^III. Abbreviations.— 
IV. Codices Palimpsesti or Rescripti. — V. Account of the different 
families, recensions, or editions of manuscripts of the New Testa- 
ment. — i.The system of Dr. Griesbach and Michaelis. — Q. Of 
Dr. Scholz.— 3. Of M. Matthaei.— 4. Of Mr. Nolan.— VI. On 
the Fcedus cum Graecis, or coincidence between many Greek manu- 
scripts and the Vulgate Latin version. - - 50 

§ 2. Account of Greek Manuscripts containing the Old and Neiu Testa- 

I. The Alexandrian manuscript. — II. The Vatican Manuscript. - 71 

§ 3. Account of Manuscripts {entire or in part) containing the Septuagint 
or Greek Version of the Old Testament. 

I. The Codex Cottonianus, — II. The Codex Sarravianus. — III. The 
Codex Colbertinus. — IV. The Codex Caesareus, Argenteus, or 
Argenteo-Purpureus. — V. The Codex Ambrosianus. — VI. The 
Codex Coislinianus. — VII. The Codex Basilio-Vaticanus. - 81 

§ 4. Account of the principal Manuscripts containing the New Testament 
entire or in part. 

I. The Codex Cottonianus (Titus C. XV.) — II. The Codex Bezae, or 
Cantabrigiensis. — III. The Codex Ephremi. — IV. The Codex Claro- 
gnontanus. — V. The Codex Argenteus. — VI. The Codex Rescriptus 
of St. Matthew's Gospel in Trinity College, Dublin. — VII. The 
Codex Laudianus 3. — VIII. The Codex Boernerianus. — IX. The 
Codex Cyprius. — X. The Codex Basileensis E. — XI. The Codex 
San-Germanensis. — XII. The Codex Augiensis. — XIII. The Codex 
Harleianus, 5598. — XIV. The Codex Regius or Stephani n. — 
XV. The Codex Uffenbachianus — XVI. The Codices Manners- 
Suttoniani. — XVII. The Codices Mosquenses. — XVIII. The 
Codex Brixiensis.— XIX. Other MSS. written in small characters 
and deserving of especial notice, viz. 1. The Codex Basileensis, 1. — 
2. The Codex Corsendoncensis. — 3. The Codex Montfortianus. 
— 4. The Codex Regius, 50. — 5. The Codex Leicestrensis. — 
6. The Codex Vindobonensis. — 7. The Codex Ebnerianus. — 
XX. Notice of the Collations of the Barberini and Velesian ma- 
nuscripts. - - - -87 

Chapter III. On the Editions of the Old and Netso 

Section I. A Critical Notice of the principal Editions of the 

Hebrew Bible. - - - - 118 

Section II. A Critical Notice of the principal Editions of the 

Greek Testament. - - - * 130 



Chapter IV. Oti the Divisions and Marks of Distinction 
occurring in the Scriptures. 

Section I. On the Divisions and Marks of Distinction occur- 
ring in the Old Testament. 

1. Different Appellations given to the Scriptures,— II. General Divisions of 
the Canonical Books. — III. Particularly of the Old Testament. — 

1. The Law, — 2. The Prophets, — 3, The Cetubim or Hagiographa. 
—IV. Account of the Masofa. — V. Modern Divisions of the Books 

of the Old Testament. — Chapters and Verses, - - 144 

Section II. On the Divisions and Marks of Distinction occur- 
ring in the New Testament. 

I. Antient divisions of TirXoi and KsipaXa/a. — Ammonian, Eusebian, and 
Euthalian sections. — Modern division of chapters. — II. Antient 
"Sri^oi and modern verses. — III. Account of the antient and modern 
punctuation of the New Testament. — IV. Of the titles to each 
book. — V. Subscriptions to the different books. - - 156 

Chapter V. On the antient Versions of the Scriptures. - 162 

Section I. Antient Versions of the Old Testament. 

I. Of the Targums or Chaloee paraphrases: — i. Targum of On- 
kelos ; — 2. Of the Pseudo-Jonathan ; — 3. The Jerusalem Targum ; 
— 4. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel;— 5. The Targum on the 
Hagiographa; — 6. The Targum on the Megilloth; — 7, 8, 9- Three 
Targums on the book of Esther — real value of the different Targums, 
— II. Of the Greek versions of the Scriptures — history of the Sep- 
TUAGiNT — critical account of its execution— what MSS. were used 
by its authors — account of the biblical labours of Origen — editions of 
the Septuagint text by the fathers — peculiar importance of the Septua- 
gint version in the criticism and interpretation of the New Testament. 
— III. Account of OTHER Greek VERSIONS of the Old Testament : 
— 1. Version of Aquila; — 2. Of Theodotion ; — 3. OfSymmachus; 
— 4, 5, 6. Anonymous versions — references in antient MSS. to other 
versions. — IV. Syriac versions; — Syriac MSS. brought from 
India by Dr. Buchanan ; — editions of the Syriac version. — V . Arabic 
versions, and editions. — VI. Notice of the Persian, Egyptian, 
Ethiopic, Armenian, and other versions of the Old Testament. — > 
VII. Latin Versions of the Scriptures — the old Italic or Ante- 
Hieronymian version — Latin version of Jerome — Vulgate version and 
its editions. ... - 163 

Section II. On the Antient Versions of the New Testament. 

1. Oriental versions. — 1. Peschito or antient Syriac version. — 

2. The Philoxenian Syriac version. — 3. The Syriac translation of 
^ Jerusalem. — 4. Egyptian versions. — 5. Arabic versions. — 6, Etliio- 

pic version. — 7. Armenian version. — 8. Persian version. — I!. West- 
ern translations. — 1. The Gothic version. — 2. The Sclavonic 
version. — 3. The Anglo-Saxon version. - - - 2«7 

Section III. On the Use and Application of Antient Versions. 

Observations on the respective merits of the several antient verrions ; — 

rules for consulting them to the best advantage. - - - 217 

a 2 


Chapter VI. On the Modern Versions of the Scriptures^ 


Section I. General Observations on the Circulation of the 

I. Scarcity and high prices of the Scriptures. — II. Rude attempts to convey 
an idea of their contents to the poor and illiterate. — Account of the 
BiBLiA Paupeuum. — III. Number and classification of the transla- 
tions of the Bible into modern languages. - - - 223 

Section II. On the modern Latin Versions of the Old and New 

I. Modern Latin versions of the entire Bible executed by persons in com- 
munion with the church of Rome. — i. Of Pagninus. — 2. Of Mon- 
tanus. — 3. Of Malvenda and Cardinal Cajetan. — 4- Of Houbigant. 
— II. Modern Latin versions of the whole Bible executed by Pro- 
testants. — 1. Of Munster. — 2- Of Leojuda. — 3. Of Castalio. — 4. Of 
Junius »nd Tremellius. — 5. Of Schmidt. — 6. Of Dathe. — 7. Of 
Schott and Winzer. — III. Modern revisions and corrections of the 
Vulgate Latin version, by Catholics and Protestants. — IV. Modern 
Latin versions of the New Testament. — 1. Of Erasmus. — 2. Of Beza. 
— 3. Of Sebastiani. — Other modern Latin versions of less note. - 22S 

Section III. Versions in the modern Languages of Eiirope. 

1. German version of Luther. — Notice of ten versions derived from 
it. — Notice of other German versions by Protestants, and by Roman 
Catholics. — Jewish-German versions. — II. Versions in the lan- 
guages SPOKEN IN the British Isles. — 1. English versions, par- 
ticularly Wickliffe's Bible. — Tindal's Bible. — Coverdale's Bible. — - 
Matthewe's. — Cranmer's or theGreat Bible. — Geneva Bible. — English 
versions by Roman Catholics at Rheims and Douay. — King James's 
Bible, or the authorised version now in use. — History of it. — Notice 
of its best editions. — Its excellency vindicated against recent objec- 
tors. — Testimonies of eminent critics to its fidelity and excellency. 

— 2. Welsh version. — 3. Irish version. — 4. Gaelic version.— 
5. Manks version. — III. French versions. — IV. Dutch ver- 
sion. — V. Italian version. — VI. Spanish versions. — 
VII. Russian version. — VIII. Croat version. — IX. Basque 
version. — X. Hung.\rian version. — XI. Polish versions. — 
XII. Bohemian version. — XIII. Romaic or modern Greek 
versions. — XIV. XV. Bulgarian and Wallachian versions. 


XVIII. Portuguese version. — XIX. Albanian version.— 

XX. Maltese version. - - - 234 

Section IV. Modern Versions in the Languages of Asia. 

I. Hebrew.— II. Chaldee. — III- Versions in the oriental languages, either 
translated by the Baptist Missionaries at Serampore, or printed at the 
Mission Press. — 1. Arabic, and the languages derived from or 
bearing affinity to it. — 2. Sanscrit, and the languages derived from 
or bearing affinity to it. — 3. Chinese, and the languages derived from 
or bearing affinity to it. — IV. Other Asiatic versions. — 1. Formosan. 
—2. Tartar. — 3. Georgian. — 4, laheitan. ... 279 

Section V. Modern Versions in the Languages of Africa and 

\. African versions. — 1. Amharic and Tigre. — 2. Bullom. — 3. Susoo. 

— II. American versions.— 1. Virginian. — 2. Delaware. — 

3. Mohawk. — 4. Esquimeaux. — 5. Greenlandish, — 6. Creolese. - 300 



Chapter VII. Oti the Critical Use of the Jewish and 
Babbinical Writings, and the Works of profane 

I. The Apocryphal books of the bid Testament. — II. The Talmud ;— 
1, The Misna. — 2. The Gemara. — ^Jerusalem and Babylonish Tal- 
muds.— lit. The Writings of Philo-Judseus and Josephus. — Account 
of them. — ^The genuineness of Josephus's testimony to the character 
of Jesus Christ proved. — IV. On the use of the writings of profane 
authors for the elucidation of the Scriptures. - - 304 

Chapter VIII. On the Various Readings occurring in 
the Old and New Testaments. 

I. The Christian faith not affected by various readings. — II. Nature 
of various readings. — Difference between them and mere errata. — 
III. Causes of Various readings: — i. The negligence or mistakes 
of transcribers;— 2. Errors or imperfections in the manuscript 
copied; — 3. Critical conjecture; — 4. "Wilful corruptions of a manu- 
script from party motives. — IV. Sources whence a true reading is 
to be determined: — 1. Manuscripts ; — 2. Antient editions; — 3. An- 
tient versions; — 4. Parallel passages; — 5. Quotations in the Writ- 
ings of the Fathers ; — 6. Critical Conjecture. — V. General rules 
for judging of various readings. — VI. Notice of writers who have 
treated on various readinfrs. . » - 322 

Chapter IX. Of the Qjiotations from the Old Testament 
in the New — Quotations in the New Testament from 
the Apocryphal Writers and from profane Authors - 356 

Section I. On the external Form of the Quotations from the 
Old Testament in the New. 

Quotations from the Hebrew Scriptures in the New Tes- 
tament. — i. Quotations exactly agreeing with the Hebrew. — 
II. Quotations nearly agreeing with the Hebrew. — III. Quotations 
agreeing with the Hebrew in sense, but not in words. — IV. Quota- 
tations that give the general sense, but abridge or add to it. — V. Quo- 
rations taken from several passages of Scripture. — VI. Quotations 
differing from the Hebrew, but agreeing with the Septuagint. — 
VII. Quotations in which there is reason to suspect a different read- 
ing in the Hebrew. — VIII. Passages in which the Hebrew seems 
to be corrupted. — IX. Passages which are mere references or 
allusions. - - - - 358 

Section II. On the Quotations from the Septuagint Version in 
the Greek Testament. 

I. Quotations agreeing verbatim with the Septuagint, or only changing 
the person, number, &c. — II. Quotations taken from the Septuagint, 
but with some variation. — HI. Quotations agreeing with the Septuagint 
in sense, but not in words. — IV. Quotations differing from the Sep- 
tuagint, but agreeing exactly or nearly with the Hebrew. — V. Quo- 
tations that differ from both the Septuagint and the Hebrew.— 
VI. Considerations on the probable causes of the seeming discrepan- 
cies in the quotations from the Old Testament in the New. - 403 



Section III. On the internal form of Quotations, or the Mode 
in which Citations from the Old Testament are applied in 
the New. 

General observations on the Rabbinical and other modes of quoting the 
Old Testament.— Classification of the quotations in the New Testa- 
ment ; — I. Quotations from the Old Testament in the New, in 
which the predictions are literally accomplished ;— -II. Quotations, in 
which that is said to have been done, of which the Scriptures have not 
spoken in a literal, but in a spiritual sense ; — III. Quotations that are 
accommodated by the sacred writers to particular events or facts ; — 
IV. Quotations and other Passages from the Old Testament which are 
alluded to in the New. - - - 449 

Section IV. Of Apocryphal Passages, supposed to be quoted 

in the New Testament — Quotations from profane Authors. 461 

Chapter X. On the Poetry of the Hebrews. 

J. A large portion of the Old Testament proved to be poetical ; — Cultivation 
of poetry by the Hebrews. — II. The sententious parallelism, the 
grand characteristic of Hebrew poetry. — Its origin and varieties. — 

1. Parallel lines gradational;— 2. Parallel lines antithetic; — 3. Parallel 
lines constructive; — 4. Parallel lines introverted. — III. The poetical 
dialect not confined to the Old Testament. — Reasons for expecting to 
find it in the New Testament. — Proofs of the existence of the poetical 
dialect there ;— 1 . From simple and direct quotations of single passages 
from the poetical parts of the Old Testament ; — 2. From quotations of 
different passages, combined into one connected whole ;— 3. And from 
quotations mingled with original matter. — IV. Original parallelisms 
occurring in the New Testament : — 1. Parallel couplets; — 2. Parallel 
Triplets; — 3. Quatrains ;— 4, 5, Stanzas of five aiid six lines; — 

6. Stanzas of more than six parallel hues. — V. Other examples of the 
poetical parallelism in the New Testament; — 1. Parallel lines 

! gradational; — 2. The Epanodos. — VI. Different kinds of Hebrew 

poetry. — 1. Prophetic poetry; — 2. Elegiac poetry; — 3. Didactic 
poetry ;-— 4. Lyric poetry ; — 5. The Idyl ; — 6. Dramatic poetry ; — 

7. Acrostic or alphabetical poetry. — VII. General observations for 
better understanding the compositions of the sacred poets. - - 464 

Chapter XI. On Harmonies of Scripture. 

I. Occasion and design of Harmonies of the Scriptures. — II. Works recon- 
ciling alleged or seeming contradictions in the Sacred Writings. — 
III. Harmonies of the Old Testament. — IV. Harmonies of the Four 
Gospels. — V. 1. Harmonies of particular parts of the Gospels. — 

2. Harmonies of the Acts of the Apostles and of the Apostolical 
Epistles. — VI. Observations on the different schemes of harmonisers, 

and on the duration of the public ministry of Jesus Christ. - 499 


Page 7, line 1 of note 1, in some copies, reafi Cabbalists were. 
58, line 11 from bottom, after Gospels, adfZ together. 

58, line 10 from bottom, after others, and dele with. 

59, line 8 from top, read Boreeli. 

61, line 9 from top,/or Codicis, read Codices. 
80 a. line 10 from top, dele N. 
83, line 16 from top,/orTHEMA read thema. 
83, line 11 from bottom, /or KAI read KAI. 

109, line 2 from top, in some copies, for xair auj ffuvtcurei;, read xai rovs 
ffvv aurati : (these words having been disunited in working off the 
sheet, an accident of no uncommon occurrence in the best regulated 
123, line 16 from bottom,/or No. II. read Ho. III. 
126, line last, for Athiase read Athiae. 
129, line 16 from bottom, in some copies, read Etrangere. 
143, line 20 from bottom, read Griesbachii. 

241, line 21 from bottom, for Cornwall, read Gloucester. 

242, line 6 from bottom, for concordances, read references. 
286, line 6 from top, after Hindoostan, dele and. 

293, last line but 2, after Gospel add of Luke. 

293, 2 last lines, after and in, dele the remainder, and add the following sen- 
tences, (from information received after this part of the Volume 
had been worked off) 1819, having received further supplies, they 
completed two thousand copies of the Gospel of Matthew, which 
were sought with avidity, and received with gratitude by all. The 
Gospels of Mark and John have also been translated ; and a Taheitan 
version of the Book of Psalms is in progress. 

348, line 1 8 from bottom, for xoiS-nitur^s 1 j ^ n 

349, line 6 from top, for x^Me | ''^'^'^ *e*»««^9e. 
368, line I, in some copies, read Heb. xi. 












I. Antiquity of the Hebrew language ; — II. And of its characters. — 
III. Of the Vowel Points. 

A KNOWLEDGE of the original languages of Scripture is 
of the utmost importance, and indeed absolutely necessary, to 
him who is desirous of ascertaining the genuine meaning of fhe 
Sacred Volume. Happily, the means for acquiring these ian- 
o-uages are now so numerous, and easy of access, that the 
student, who wishes to derive his knowledge of the Oracles of 
God from pure sources, can be at no loss for guides to direct 
him in this delightful pursuit. 

I. The Hebrew Language, in which the Old Testament 
is written, with the exception of a few words and passages that 


2 0« the Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Ch. 

are in the Chaldean dialect », is generally allowed to have de- 
rived its name from Heber, one of the descendants of Shem, 
(Gen. X. 21. 25. xi. l^. 16, 17.) 5 though some learned men 
are of opinion that it is derived from the root "I^V? (ab^r) to 
pass over, whence Abraham was denominated the Hebrew, 
(Gen. xiv. 13.) hawmg passed over the river Euphrates to come 
into the land of Canaan. This language has been conjectured 
by some philologists to have been that, in which Jehovah spoke 
to Adam in Paradise, and that the latter transmitted it to his 
posterity. Without adopting this hypothesis, which rests only 
on bare probabilities, we may observe that the Hebrew is the 
most antient of all the languages in the world : at least we 
know of none that is older. Although we have no certain 
proof that it was the unvaried language of our first parents, yet 
it is not improbable that it was the general language of men 
at the dispersion : and, however it might have subsequently 
been altered and improved, it appears to be the original of all 
the languages, or rather dialects, which have since arisen in the 
world. - 

Various circumstances combine to prove that Hebrew is the 
original language, neither improved nor debased by foreign 
idioms. The words of which it is composed are very short, 
and admit of very little flexion, as may be seen on reference to 
any Hebrew grammar or lexicon. The names of places are de- 
scriptive of their nature, situation, accidental circumstances, 
&c. The names of brutes express their nature and properties 
more significantly and more accurately than any other known 
language in the world. The names also of various antient na- 
tions are of Hebrew origin, being derived from the sons or 
grandsons of Shem, Ham, and Japhet; as, the Assyrians 
from Ashur ; the Elamites from Elam ; the Arameans from 
Aram ; the Lydians from Lud ; the Cimbrians or Cimmerians 
from Gomer ; the Medians from Madai the son of Japhet ; the 
lonians, from Javan, &c. 3 Further, the names given to the 
heathen deities suggest an additional proof of the antiquity and 
originality of the Hebrew language : thus, Japetus is derived 
from Japhet; Saturn from the Hebrew word TDD? (saTaN) to 
be concealed, as the Latins derive Latium from latere, to lie 
hidden ; because Saturn was reported to have been concealed 

1 Besides some Chaldee words occasionally inserted in the historical and prophetical 
books, after the Israelites became acquainted with the Scythians and Babylonians, the 
following passages of the Old Testament are written in the Chaldee dialect, viz. Jer. 
X. 11. Dan. ii. 4. to the end of ch.vii. and Ezra iv. 8. to vi. 19. and vii. 12 to 17. 

y Dr. Gr. Sharpe's Dissertations on the Origin of Languages, &c. pp. 22. et seq. 
5 Grotius de Veritate, lib. i. sect. 16. Walton's Prolegomena to the London Polyglott, 
prol. iii. § 6. (p. 76. ed. Dathii.) 

I. Sect. I.] Oil the Hebrew Language. 3 

in that country from the arms of Jupiter ', or Jove, as he is 
also called, which nanie is by many deduced from Jehovah ; 
Vulcan from Tubal-Cain, who first discovered the use of iron 
and brass, &c. Lastly, the traces of Hebrew which are to 
be found in very many other languages, and which have been 
noticed by several learned men, afford another argument in 
favour of its antiquity and priority. These vestiges are par- 
ticularly conspicuous in the Chaldee, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, 
Phoenician, and other languages spoken by the people who 
dwelt nearest to Babylon, where the first division of languages 
took place. ^ 

The knowledge of the Hebrew language was diffused very 
widely by the Phoenician merchants, who had factories and 
colonies on almost every coast of Europe and Asia : that it was 
identically the same as was spoken in Canaan, or Phoenicia, is 
evident from its being used by the inhabitants of that country 
from the time of Abraham to that of Joshua, who gave to 
places, mentioned in the Old Testament, appellations which are 
pure Hebrew ; such are, Kiriath-sepher or the city of hooks, 
and Kiriath-sannah or the city of learning, (Josh. xv. 15. 49.) 
Another proof of the identity of the two languages arises from 
the circumstance of the Hebrews conversing with the Ca- 
naanites without an interpreter ; as the spies sent by Joshua 
with Rahab (Josh, ii.) ; the ambassadors sent by the Gibeo- 
nites to Joshua (Josh. ix. 3. — 25.), &c. But a still stronger 
proof of the identity of the two languages is to be found in the 
fragments of the Punic tongue which occur in the writings of 
antient authors. That the Carthaginians (Pceni) derived their 
name, origin, and language from the Phoenicians, is a well 
known and authenticated fact j and that the latter sprang from 
the Canaanites might easily be shewn from the situation of their 
country, as well as from their manners, customs, and ordi- 
nances. Not to cite the testimonies of profane authors on this 
point, which have been accumulated by Bishop Walton, we 
have sufficient evidence to prove that they were considered as 
the same people, in the fact of the Phoenicians and Canaanites 
being used promiscuously to denote the inhabitants of the same 
country. Compare Exod. vi. 15. with Gen. xlvi. 10. and 
Exod. xvi. 35. with Josh. v. 12. in which passages, for the 
Hebrew words translated Canaanitish and land of Canaan, the 
Septuagint reads PhcEnician and the country of Phoenicia. 

The period, from the age of Moses to that of David, has 
been considered the golden age of the Hebrew language, which 
declined in purity from that time to the reign of Hezekiah or 

1 Virg. ^n. lib. viii. v. 522. « Walton, prol. iii. § 7, 8. (pp. 76, 77.) 

B 2 

4> On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Cli. 

Manasseb, having received several foreign words, particularly 
Aramaean, from the commercial and political intercourse of the 
Jews and Israelites with the Assyrians and Babylonians. This 
period has been termed the silver age of the Hebrew language. 
In the interval between the reign of Hezekiah and the Baby- 
lonish captivity, the purity of the language was neglected, and 
so many foreign words were introduced into it, that this period 
has not inaptly been designated its iron age. During the 
seventy years captivity, though it does not appear that the 
Hebrews entirely lost their native tongue, yet it underwent so 
considerable a change from their adoption of the vernacular* 
languages of the countries where they had resided, that after- 
wards, on their return from exile, they spoke a dialect of 
Chaldee mixed with Hebrew words. On this account it was, 
that, when the Scriptures were read, it was found necessary to 
interpret them to the people in the Chaldean language ; as, 
when Ezra the scribe brought the book of the law of Moses 
before the congregation, the Levites are said to have caused the 
people to understand the law, because " they read in the book, 
in the law of God, distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused 
them to understand the reading^^ (Neh. viii. 8. ') Sometime 
after the return from the great captivity, Hebrew ceased to be 
spoken altogether : though it continued to be cultivated and 
studied, by the priests and levites, as a learned language, that 
they might be enabled to expound the law and the prophets 
to the people, who, it appears from the New Testament, were 
well acquainted with their general contents and tenor; this 
last-mentioned period has been called the leaden age of the 
language. " 

II. The present Hebrew chracters, or letters, are twenty- 
two in number, and of a square form : but the antiquity of 
these letters is a point that has been most severely contested 
by many learned men. From a passage in Eusebius's Chro- 
nicle ^, and another in St. Jerome 4, it was inferred by Joseph 

1 It is worthy of remark that the above practice exists at the present time, among 
the Karaite Jews, at Sympheropol, in Crim Tartary ; where the Tartar translation is 
read together with the Hebrew Text, (See Mr. Pinkerion's Letter, in the Appendix 
to the Thirteenth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, p. 76.) A similar 
practice obtains among the Syrian Christians at Travancore, in the East Indies, where 
the Syriac is the learned language and the language of the church ; while the Malay- 
alivi or Malabar is the vernacular language of the country. The Christian priests read 
the Scriptures from manuscript copies in the. former, and expound them in the latter to 
the people. Owen's History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, vol, ii. p. 364. 
2 Walton, prol. iii. § 15 — 24. (pp. 84—97.) Schleusner's Lexicon, voce 'Eji^atS. 
Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Foedus. pp. 94— 96. Parkhurst (Gr. Lex. voce 'Efi^ct'is) has 
endeavoured to show, but unsuccessfully, that no change from Hebrew to Chaldee ever 
took place. 
■ 3 Sub anno 4740. 4 Pia;f. in 1. Reg. 

I. Sect. I.] On the Hebrew Language. 5 

Scaliger, that Ezra, when he reformed the Jewish church, 
transcribed the antient characters of the Hebrews into the 
square letters of the Chaldeans : and that this was done for 
the use of those Jews, who being born during the captivity, 
knew no other alphabet than that of the people among whom 
they had been educated. Consequently, the old character, 
which we call the Samaritan, fell into total disuse. This opinion 
Scaliger supported by passages from both the Talmuds, as well 
as from rabbinical writers, in which it is expressly affirmed that 
such characters were adopted by Ezra. But the most decisive 
confirmation of this point is to be found in the antient Hebrew 
coins, which were struck before the captivity, and even pre- 
viously to the revolt of the ten tribes. The characters engraven 
on all of them are manifestly the same with the modern Sa- 
maritan, though with some trifling variations in their forms, 
occasioned by the depredations of time. These coins, 
whether shekels or half-shekels, have all of them, on one 
side, the golden manna-pot (mentioned in Exod. xvi. 32, 33.) 
and on its mouth, or over the top of it, most- of them 
have a Samaritan Aleph, some an Aleph and Schin, or 
otheR letters, with this inscription. The shekel of Israelj in 
Samaritan characters. On the opposite side is to be seen 
Aaron's rod with almonds, and in the same letters this in- 
scription, Jerusalem the holy. Other coins are extant with 
somewhat different inscriptions, but the same characters are 
engraven on them all. ' 

The .opinion originally produced by Scaliger, and thus 
decisively corroborated by coins, has been adopted by Casau- 
bon, Vossius, Grotius, Bishop Walton, Louis Cappel, Dr. Pri- 
deaux, and other eminent biblical critics and philologers, and 
is now generally received : it was, however, very strenuously 
though unsuccessfully opposed by the younger Buxtorf, who 
endeavoured to prove, by a variety of passages from rabbinical 
writers, that both the square and the Samaritan characters 
were antiently used ; the present square character being that 
in which the tables of the law, and the copy deposited in the 

1 Walton, prol. iii. § 29—37. (pp. 103—125.) Carpzov. Critica Sacra, pp. 225—241. 
Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp. Ill — 127. But the latest and most useful work on Hebrew 
characters, according to Bishop Marsh, is " Josephi Dobrowsky de Antiquis Hebrseorum 
Characteribus Dissertatio." PragK, 1783. 8 vo. « This tract," he says, " contains in 
a short compass a perspicuous statement of all the arguments, both for and against 
the antiquity of the Hebrew letters : and the conclusion which the author deduces is, 
that not the Hebrew, but that the Sawnrilan, was the antient alphabet of the Jews." 
(Divinity Lectures, part ii. p. 135.) A tract was also published on this subject by 
A.B. Spitzner, at Leipsic, in 1791, 8vo. entitled Vindiciae originis et auctoritatis di- 
vinas punctorum vocalium et accentuum in libris sacris Veteris Testamenti. In this 
piece the author strenuously advocate.^ the divine origin and authority of the Vowel 

B 3 

6 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch, 

ark, were written ; and the other characters being used in the 
copies of the law which were written for private and common 
use, and in civil affairs in general ; and that after the captivity, 
Ezra enjoined the former to be used by the Jews on all occa- 
sions, leaving the latter to the Samaritans and apostates. 
Independently, however, of the strong evidence against Bux- 
torf's hypothesis, which is afforded by the antient Hebrew 
coins, when we consider the implacable enmity that subsisted 
between the Jews and Samaritans, is it likely that the one 
copied from the other, or that the former preferred to the 
beautiful letters used by their ancestors the rude and inelegant 
characters of their most detested rivals ? And when the vast 
difference between the Chaldee (or square) and the Samaritan 
letters, with respect to convenience and beauty, is calmly con- 
sidered, it must be acknowledged that they never could have 
been used at the same time. After all, it is of no great moment 
which of these, or whether either of them, were the original 
characters, since it does not appear that any change of the 
words has arisen from the manner of writing them, because 
the Samaritan and Hebrew Pentateuchs almost always agree, 
notwithstanding the lapse of so many ages. It is most pro- 
bable that the form of these characters has varied at different 
periods : this appears from the direct testimony of Montfau- 
con ', and is implied in Dr. Kennicott's making the characters, 
in which manuscripts are written, one test of their age. ^ 

III. But however interesting these inquiries may be in a 
philological point of view, it is of far greater importance to be 
satisfied concerning the much litigated and yet undecided 
question respecting the antiquity of the Hebrew points; be- 
cause unless the student has determined for himself, after a 
mature investigation, he cannot with confidence apply to the 
study of this sacred language. Three opinions have been 
offered by learned men on this subject. By some, the origin 
of the Hebrew vowel points is maintained to be co-eval with 
the Hebrew language itself: while others assert them to have 
been first introduced by Ezra after the Babylonish captivity, 
when he compiled the canon, transcribed the books into the 
present Chaldee characters, and restored the purity of the 
Hebrew text. A third hypothesis is, that they were invented, 
about five hundred years after Christ, by the doctors of the 
school of Tiberias, for the purpose of marking and establish- 
ing the genuine pronunciation, for the convenience of those 
who were learning the Hebrew tongue. This opinion, first 

1 Hexapla Origen's, torn. i. pp.22, et sey. 

* Dissertation on the Hebrew Text, vol. i. pp.310 — 514. 

I. Sect. I.] On the Hebrciso Language. 7 

announced by Rabbi Elias Levita in the beginning of the six- 
teenth century, has been adopted by Cappel, Calvin, Luther, 
Casaubon, Scaliger, Masclef, Erpenius, Houbigant, L'Advocat, 
Bishops Walton, Hare, and Lowth, Dr. Kennicott, Dr. Ged- 
des, and other eminent critics, British and foreign, and is now 
generally received, although some few writers of respectability 
continue strenuously to advocate their antiquity. The Arcanum 
Punctationis Revelatum of Cappel was opposed by Buxtorf 
in a treatise De Punctorum Vocalium Antiquitate^ by whom the 
controversy was almost exhausted. We shall briefly state the 
evidence on both sides. 

That the vowel points are of modern date, and of human 
invention, the anti-punctualists argue from the following con- 
siderations : 

1. The Samaritan letters, which (we have already seen) 
were the same with the Hebrew characters before the captivity, 
have no points ; nor are there any vestiges whatever of vowel 
points to be traced either in the shekels struck by the kings 
of Israel, or in the Samaritan Pentateuch. The words have 
always been read by the aid of the four letters Aleph, He, Vau, 
and Jod, which are called matres lectionis, or mothers of 

2. The copies of the Scriptures used in the Jewish syna- 

fjogues to the present time, and which are accounted particu- 
arly sacred, are constantly written without points, or any 
distinctions of verses whatever ; a practice that could never 
have been introduced, nor would have been so religiously fol- 
lowed, if vowel- points had been co-eval with the language, or of 
divine authority. To this fact we may add, that in many of the 
oldest and best manuscripts, collated and examined by Dr. 
Kennicott, either there are no points at all, or they are evi- 
dently a /fl/e addition; and that all the antient various readings, 
marked by the Jews, regard only the letters ; not one of them 
relates to the vowel points, which could not have happened if 
these had been in use. 

3. Rabbi Elias Levita ascribes the invention of vowel points 
to the doctors of Tiberias, and has confirmed the fact by the 
authority of the most learned rabbins. 

4. The antient Cabbalists * draw all their mysteries from the 
letters, but none from the vowel points ; which they could not 

J The Cabbalist'jwere a set of rabbinical doctors among the Jews, who derived their 
name from their studying the Cahbala, a mysterious kiiid of science, comprising mystical 
interpretations of Scripture, and metaphysical speculations concerning the Deity and other 
beings, which are found in Jewish writings, and are said to have been handed down by a 
secret tradition.from the earliest ages. By considering the numeral powers of the letters 
ef the sacred text, and changing and transposing them in various ways, according to the 

B 4 

8 On the Origifial Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch. 

have neglected if they had been acquainted with them. And 
hence it is concluded that the points were not in existence 
when the Cabbalistic interpretations were made. 

5. Although the Talmud contains the determinations of the 
Jewish doctors concerning many passages of the law, it is 
evident that the points were not affixed to the text when the 
Talmud was composed ; because there are several disputes 
concerning the sense of passages of the law, which could not 
have been controverted if the points had then been in existence. 
Besides, the vowel points are never mentioned, though the 
fairest opportunity for noticing them offered itself, if they had 
really then been in use. The compilation of the Talmud was 
not finished until the sixth centtiry. ' 

6. The antient various readings, called Keri and Ketib or 
Khetibh, (which were collected a short time before the com- 
pletion of the Talmud), relate entirely to consonants and not 
to vowel points ; yet, if these had existed in manuscript at the 
time the Keri and Khetib were collected, it is obvious that 
some reference would directly or indirectly have been made to 
them. The silence, therefore, of the collectors of these various 
readings is a clear proof of the non-existence of vowel points in 
their time. 

7. The antient versions, — for instance, the Chaldee para- 
phrases of Jonathan and Onkelos, and the Greek versions of 
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, but especially the Sep- 
tuagint version, — all read the text, in many passages, in senses 
different from that which the points determine them to mean. 
Whence it is evident, that if the points had then been known, 
pointed manuscripts would have been followed as the most 
correct: but as the authors of those versions did not use them, 
it is a plain proof that the points were not then in being. 

8. The antient Jewish writers themselves are totally silent 
concerning the vowel points, which surely would not have been 
the case if they had been acquainted with them. Much stress 
indeed has been laid upon the books Zohar and Bahir, but 
these have been proved not to have been known for a thousand 
years after the birth of Christ. Even Buxtorf himself admits 
that the book Zohar could not have been written till after the 
tenth century ; and the rabbis Gedaliah and Zachet con- 

rules of their art, the Cabbalists extracted senses from the sacred oracles, very different 
from those which the expressions seemed naturally to import, or which were even in- 
tended by their inspired authors. Some learned men have imagined that the Cabbalists 
arose soon after the time of Ezra ; but the truth is, that no Cabbalistic writings are extant 
but what are posterior to the destruction of the second temple. For an entertaining 
account of the Cabbala, and of the Cabbahstical philosophy, see Mr. Allen's Modern 
Judaism, pp. 65 — 94, or Dr. Enfield's History of Philosophy, vol.ii. pp. l99 — 221. 
1 For an account of the Talmud, see Chapter VII., injra. 

I. Sect. I.] On the Hebre'w Language. g 

fess that it was not mentioned before the yeai* 1290, and that 
it presents internal evidence that it is of a much later date 
than is pretended. It is no uncommon practice of the Jews to 
publish books of recent date under the names of old writers, 
in order to render their authority respectable, and even to 
alter and interpolate antient writers in order to subserve their 
own views. 

Equally silent are the antient fathers of the Christian church, 
Origen and Jerome. In some fragments, still extant, of Origen's 
vast biblical work, entitled the Hexapla (of which some account 
is given in a subsequent page), we have a specimen of the 
manner in which Hebrew was pronounced in the third century j 
and which, it appears, was widely different from that which 
results from adopting the Masoretic reading. Jerome also, in 
various parts of his works, where he notices the different pro- 
nunciations of Hebrew words, treats onli/ of the letterSf and no 
where mentions the points, which he surely would have done, 
had they been found in the copies consulted by him. 

10. The letters {^, H) 1> S (Aleph, He, Vau, and Yod) upon 
the plan of the Masorites, are termed quiescent, because, ac- 
cording to them, they have no sound. At other times, these 
same letters indicate a variety of sounds, as the fancy of these 
critics has been pleased to distinguish them by points. This 
single circumstance exhibits the whole doctrine of points as the 
baseless Jabric of a vision. To suppress altogether, or to render 
insignificant, a radical letter of any word, in order to supply 
its place by an arbitrary dot or a^fictitious mark, is an invention 
fraught with the^grossest absurdity. ' 

1 1 . Lastly, as the Jirst vestiges of the points that can be 
traced are to be found in the writings of Rabbi Ben Asher, 
president of the western school, and of Rabbi Ben Naphthali, 
chief of the eastern school, who flourished about the middle of 
the tenth century, v/e are justified in assigning that as the epoch 
when the system of vowel points was established. 

Such are the evidences on which the majority of the learned 
rest their convictions of the modern date of the Hebrew points : 
it now remains that we concisely notice the arguments adduced 
by the Buxtorfs, and their followers, for the antiquity of these 

1 . From the nature of all languages it is urged that they 
require vowels, which are in a manner the soul of words. 
This is readily conceded as an indisputable truth, but it is no 
proof of the antiquity of the vowel points : for the Hebrew lan- 

^ Wilson's Elements of Hebrew Grammar, p. 48. 

10 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch, 

guage always had and still has vowels, independent of the points, 
without which it may be read. Origen, who transcribed the 
Hebrew Scriptures in Greek characters in his Hexapla, did 
not invent new vowels to express the vowels absent in Hebrew 
words, neither did Jerome, who also expressed many Hebrew 
words and passages in Latin characters. The Samaritans, who 
used the same alphabet as the Hebrews, read without the vowel 
points, employing the matres lectionis, Aleph, He or Hheth, 
Jod, Oin, and Vau, (a, e, i, o, u,) for vowels; and the He- 
brew may be read in the same manner, with the assistance of 
these letters, by supplying them where they are not expressed, 
agreeably to the modern practice of the Jews, whose Talmud 
and rabbinical commentators, as well as the copies of the law 
preserved in the synagogues, are to this day read without vowel 

2. It is objected that the reading of Hebrew would be ren- 
dered very uncertain and difficult without the points, after the 
language ceased to be spoken. To this it is replied, that even 
after Hebrew ceased to be a vernacular language, its true read- 
ing might have been continued among learned men to whom it 
was familiar, and also in their schools, which flourished before 
the invention of the points. And thus daily practice in read- 
ing, as well as a consideration of the context, would enable 
them not only to fix the meaning of doubtful words, but also 
to supply the vowels which were deficient, and likewise to fix 
words to one determinate reading. Cappel ', and after him 
Masclef % have given some general rules for the application 
of the matres lectionis, to enable us to read Hebrew without 

3. " Many Protestant writers have been led to support the 
authority of the points, by the supposed uncertainty of the un- 
pointed text ; which would oblige us to follow the dii-ection of 
the church of Rome. This argument, however, makes against 
those who would suppose Ezra to have introduced the points : 
for in that case, from Moses to his day, the text being un- 
pointed must have been obscure and uncertain ; and if this were 
not so, why should not the unpointed text have remained 
intelligible and unambiguous after his time, as it had done be- 
fore it ? This argument, moreover, grants what they who use 
it are not aware of: for if it be allowed that the unpointed text 
is ambiguous and uncertain, and would oblige us in conse- 
quence to recur to the church of Rome, the Roman Catholics 
may prove — at least with every appearance of truth — that it has 

• Arcniium Punctationis revelatum, lib. i. c. 18. 
2 Grammatica Hebiaica, vol. i. cap. i. § iv. 

I. Sect. I.] Om the Hebrew Language. 1 1 

always been unpointed, and that therefore we must have re- 
course to the church to explain it. Many writers of that com- 
munion have had the candour to acknowledge, that the un- 
pointed Hebrew text can be read and understood like the Sama- 
ritan text : for although several words in Hebrew may, when 
separate, admit of different interpretations, the context usually 
fixes their meaning with precision > ; or, if it ever fail to do so, 
and leave their meaning still ambiguous, recourse may be had 
to the interpretations of antient translators or commentators. 
We must likewise remember, that the Masorites, in affixing 
points to the text, did not do so according to their own no- 
tions how it ought to be read ; they followed the received read- 
ing of their day, and thus fixed unalterably that mode of read- 
ing which was authorised among them : and therefore, though 
we reject these points as their invention, and consider that they 
never were used by any inspired writer, yet it by no means fol- 
lows, that for the interpretation of Scripture we must go to a 
supposed infallible church ; for we acknowledge the divine ori- 
ginal of what the points express, namely, the sentiments con- 
veyed by the letters and words of the sacred text." ^ 

4. In further proof of the supposed antiquity of vowel points, 
some passages have been adduced from the Talmud, in which 
accents and verses are mentioned. The fact is admitted, but it is 
no proof of the existence of points ; neither is mention of certain 
words in the Masoretic notes, as being irregularly punctuated, 
any evidence of their existence or antiquity : for the Masora 
was not finished by one author, nor in one century, but that 
system of annotation was commenced and prosecuted by various 
Hebrew critics through several ages. Hence it happened that 
the latter Masorites, having detected mistakes in their prede- 
cessors, (who had adopted the mode of pronouncing and read- 
ing used in their day), were unwilling to alter such mistakes, 
but contented themeslves with noting particular words as having 
been irregularly and improperly pointed. These notes there- 
fore furnish no evidence of the existence of points before the 
time of the first compilers of the Masora. ^ 

The preceding are the chief arguments usually urged for and 
against the vowel points : and from an impartial consideration 

* " Thus the English verb to skin has two opposite meanings : but the context will 
always determine which it bears in any passage where it occurs." 

2 Hamilton's Introd. to the Study of the Hebrew Scriptures, pp. 44, 45. 

3 Walton Prol. iii. §§38—56, (pp.125 — 170.) Carpzov. Cri:. Sacr. Vet. Test. 
part. i. c. V. sect. vii. pp. 242 — 274. Pfeiffer, Critica Sacra, cap. iv. sect. ii. (Op. 
pp.704 — 711.) Gerard's Institutes, pp. 52 — 38. Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Foedus, pp. 
129 — 131. Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp.128 — 141. Bishop Marsh, (Lectures, part ii. 
pp. 156 — 140.) has enumerated the principal writers for and against the vowel points. 

12 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Ch. 

of them, the reader will be enabled to judge for himself. The 
weight of evidence, we apprehend, will be found to determine 
against them : nevertheless, *' the points seem to have their 
uses, and these not inconsiderable ; and to have this use among 
others — that, as many of the Hebrew letters have been cor- 
rupted since the invention of the points, and as the points sub- 
joined originally to the true letters have been in many of these 
places regularly preserved, these points will frequently concur 
in proving the truth of such corruptions, and will point out the 
method of correcting them." ' 

Such being the relative utility of the vowel points, it has been 
recommended to learn the Hebrew language, in the first in- 
stance, without them; as the knowledge of the points can, at 
any time, be superadded without very great labour. - 



I. Origin of the Samaritans. — II. Their enmity against the Jews in 
the time of Jesus Christ. — III. Critical notice of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, and of its variations from the Hebrew. — IV. Versions 
of the Samaritan Pentateuch. 

1 HE Samaritans, mentioned in the New Testament, were 
in part descended from the ten tribes, most of whom had 
been made captive by the Assyrians, blended with other distant 
nations, and settled in the same district v/ith their conquerors. 
The different people for some time retained their respective 
modes of worship; but the country being depopulated by war 
and infested with wild beasts, the mixed multitude imagined, 
according to the ideas then generally prevalent in the heathen 
world, that this was a judgment upon them for not worshipping 
the God of the country in which they resided. On this account 
one of the priests, whom they had carried away from Samaria, 
came and " dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should 
fear the Lord" (2 Kings xvii. 24 — 33). The temple of Jeru- 
salem being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, the Samaritans pro- 
posed to join with the Jews, after their return from the capti- 

' Dr. Kennicott, Dissertation i. on Hebrew Text, p. 345. 

2 For an account of the principal Hebrew Grammars and Lexicons, see the Ap- 
pendix to this volume, No. I. 

I. Sect. II.] On the Samaritan Pentatewh. 13 

vity, in rebuilding it, but their proposal was rejected (Ezra, iv. 
1 — 3) ; and, other causes of dissension arising, the Samaritans 
at length, by permission of Alexander the Great, erected a 
temple on Mount Gerizim, in opposition to that at Jerusalem. 
Here the Samaritans performed the same worship with the 
Jews ; and also continued as free from idolatry as the Jews 
themselves : Sanballat, who was then governor of the Samari- 
tans, constituted Manasses, the son of Jaddus the Jewish high 
priest, high priest of the temple at Gerizim ; which^ from that 
time, they maintained to be " the place where men ought to 

II. Hence arose that inveterate enmity and schism between 
the two nations, of which we meet with numerous examples in 
the New Testament. How flagrant and bitter their rage was, 
is evident from the instance of the woman of Samaria ; who 
appeared amazed that our Lord, who was a Jetso, should so far 
deviate from the national antipathy as to ask her, who was a 
Samaritan, even for a cup of cold water : — for the Jews, adds 
the sacred historian, have no friendly intercourse and dealings 
with the Samaritans. (John iv. 9.) With a Jew, the very 
name of Samaritan comprised madness and malice, drunken- 
ness and apostacy, rebellion and universal detestation. When 
instigated by rage against our blessed Saviour, the first word 
their fury dictated was Samaritan — Thou art a Samaritan, and 
hast a devil ! (John viii. 48.) It is remarkable that the pious 
and amiable author of the book of Ecclesiasticus was not exempt 
from the national prejudices, but ranks them that sit upon the 
hill of Samaria, and the foolish people that dwell in Sichem, 
among those whom his soul abhorred ; and reckons them among 
the nations that were most detestable to the Jews. (Ecclus. 
1. 25, 26.) Nor did the Samaritans yield to the Jews in viru- 
lence and invective, reproaching them for erecting their temple 
on a spot that was not authorised by the divine command ; and 
asserting that Gerizim was the sole, genuine, and individual 
seat, which God had originally chosen to fix his name and 
worship there. (John iv. 20.) How sanguine the attachment 
of the Samaritans was to their temple and worship is manifest 
from their refusing to Jesus Christ the rites of hospitality,which 
in those early ages were hardly ever refused, " because his 
face was as though he would go to Jerusalem " (Luke ix. 52, 
53) ; and it appeared that he intended only to pass transiently 
through their territories without visiting their temple . ' Though 

1 As the way from Galilee to Judea lay through the country of the Samaritans, the 
latter often exercised acts of hostility against the Galileans; and offered them several 
affronts and injuries, when they were going up to their solemn feasts at Jerusalem. Of 
this inveterate enmity Josephus has recorded a very remarkable instance, which occurred 

li On the Original Languages of Scripture. Part I. Ch. 

greatly reduced in number, there are still some descendants of 
the Samaritans at Naplosa (the antient Shechem), at Gaza, 
Damascus, and Grand Cairo. Among other peculiarities by 
which the Samaritans are distinguished from the Jews, besides 
those already mentioned^ we may notice their admission of the 
divine authority of the Pentateuch, while they reject all the 
other books of the Jewish canon, or rather hold them to be 
apocryphal or of inferior authority ; with the exception perhaps 
of the books of Joshua and Judges, which are also acknowledged, 
biit not allowed to possess the same authority as the five books 
of Moses. That the old Samaritans did not entirely reject all 
the other books of the Jewish Scriptures, is evident from their 
expectation that the Messiah would not only be a prophet or 
instructor like Moses, but also be the Saviour of the world 
(John iv. 25. 4'2) ; titles these (Messiah and Saviour) which 
were borrowed from the Psalms and prophetical writings. 

What is of unspeakable value, they preserve among them- 
selves, in the antient Hebrew character, copies of the Pen- 
tateuch ; which, as there has been no friendly intercourse be- 
tween them and the Jews since the Babylonish captivity, there 
can be no doubt were the same that were in use before that 
event, though subject to such variations as will always be oc- 
casioned by frequent transcribing. And so inconsiderable 
are the variations from our present copies (which were those 
of the Jews), that by this means we have a proof that those 
important books have been preserved uncorrupted for the 
space of nearly three thousand years, so as to leave no room 
to doubt that they are the same which were actually written by 

The celebrated critic, Le Clerc ', has instituted a minute 
comparison of the Samaritan Pentateuch with the Hebrew text ; 
and has, with much accuracy and labour, collected those pas- 
sages in which he is of opinion that the former is more or less 
correct than the latter. For instance — 

1 . The Samaritan text appears to be more correct than the Hebrew, 
in Gen. ii. 4. vii. 2. xix. 19. xx. 2. xxiii. 16. xxiv. 14. xlix. 10, 11. 
1. 26. Exod. i. 2. iv. 2. 

2. It is expressed more conformably to analogy in Gen. xxxi. 39. 
XXXV. 26. xxxvii. 17. xli. 34. 43. xlvii. 3. Deut. xxxii. 5. 

3. It has glosses and additions in Gen. xxix. 15. xxx. 36. xli. 16. 
Exod. vii. 18. viii. 23. ix. 5. xxi. 20. xxii. 5. xxiii. 10. xxxii. 9. 
Lev. i. 10. xvii. 4. Deut. v. 21. 

during the reign of Claudius, (a. d. 52.) ; when the Samaritans made a great slaughter 
of the Galileans, who were travelling to Jerusalem through one of the villages of Sa- 
maria. (Josephus, Antiq. 1. xx. c. 6. § 1.) 

1 Comment, in Pentateuch, Index ii. See also some additional observations on the 
differences between the Samaritan and Hebrew Pentateuchs, in Dr. Kennicott's Re- 
marks on Select Passages in the Old Testament, pp. 45 — 47. 

I. Sect. II.] Oj the Samaritan Pentateuch. 15 

4. It appears to have been altered by a critical hand, in Gen. ii. 2, 
iv. )0. ix. 5. X. 19. xi. 21. xviii. 3. xix. 12. xx. 16. xxiv. 38. 55. 
XXXV. 7. xxxvi. 6. xli. 50. Exod. i. 5. xiii. 6. xv. 5. Num. xxii. 32. 

5. It is more full than the Hebrew text, in Gen. iv. 8. xi. 31. xix. 9. 
xxvii. 34. xxxix. 4. xliii. 25. Exod. xii. 40. xl. 17- Num. iv. 14. 
Deut. XX. 16. 

6. It is defective in Gen. xx. 16. and xxv, 14. 

It agrees with the Septuagint version in Gen. iv. 8. xix. 12. xx. 16. 
xxiii. 2. xxiv. 55. 62. xxvi. 18. xxix. 27. xxxv. 29. xxxix. 8. xli, 16, 43. 
xliii. 26. xlix. 26. Exod. viii. 3. and in many other passages. Though 

7. It sometimes varies from the Septuagint, as in Gen. i. 7. v. 29. 
viii. 3. 7. xlix. 22. Num. xxii. 4. 

III. The differences between the Samaritan and Hebrew 
Pentateuchs may be accounted for, by the usual sources of va- 
rious readings, viz. the negligence of copyists, introduction of 
glosses from the margin into the text, the confounding of si- 
milar letters, the transposition of letters, the addition of expla- 
natory words, &c. The Samaritan Pentateuch, however, is of 
great use and authority in establishing correct readings : in many 
instances it agrees remarkably with the Greek Septuagint, and 
it contains numerous and excellent various lections, which are 
in every respect preferable to the received Masoretic readings, 
and are further confirmed by the agreement of other antient 

The most material variations between the Samaritan Pen- 
tateuch and the Hebrew, which affect the authority of the 
former, occur first, in the prolongation of the patriarchal gene- 
rations ; and secondly, in the alteration of Ebal into Gerizim 
(Deut. xxvii. 4.), in order to support their separation from the 
Jews. The chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch has been 
satisfactorily vindicated by the Rev. Dr. Hales, whose argu- 
ments however will not admit of abridgement ' ; and with 
regard to the charge of altering the Pentateuch, it has been 
shewn by Dr. Kennicott, from a consideration of the character 
of the Samaritans, their known reverence for the law, our 
Lord's silence on the subject in his memorable conversation 
with the woman of Samaria, and various other topics ; that 
what almost all biblical critics have hitherto considered as a 
wilful corruption by the Samaritans, is in all probability the 
true reading, and that the corruption is to be charged on the 
Jews themselves. In judging therefore of the genuineness of a 
reading, we are not to declare absolutely for one of these Pen- 
tateuchs against the other, but to prefer the true readings in 
both. " One antient copy," Dr. Kennicott remarks with equal 
truth and justice, *' has been received from the Jews, and we 

1 Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 80. et se<j. 

16 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Ch. 

are truly thankful for it : another antient copy is offered by the 
Samaritans ; let us thankfully accept that likewise. Both have 
been often transcribed; both therefore may contain errors. They 
differ in many instances, therefore the errors must be many. 
Let the two parties be heard without prejudice ; let their evi- 
dences be weighed with impartiality ; and let the genuine words 
of Moses be ascertained by their joint assistance. Let the va- 
riations of all the manuscripts on each side be carefully col- 
lected ; and then critically examined by the context and the 
antient versions. If the Samaritan copy should be found in 
some places to correct the Hebrew, yet will the Hebrew copy in 
other places correct the Samaritan. Each copy therefore is 
invaluable ; each copy therefore demands our pious veneration 
and attentive study. The Pentateuch will never be understood 
perfectly till we admit the authority of both." ' 

Although the Samaritan Pentateuch was known to and 
cited by Eusebius, Cyril of Alexandria, Procopius of Gaza, 
Diodorus of Tarsus, Jerome, Syncellus, and other antient 
fathers, yet it afterwards fell into oblivion for upwards of a 
thousand years, so that its very existence began to be questioned. 
Joseph Scaliger was the first who excited the attention of 
learned men to this valuable relic of antiquity ; and M. Peiresc 
procured a copy from Egypt, which, together with the ship 
that brought it, was unfortunately captured by pirates. More 
successful was the venerable archbishop Usher, who procured 
six copies from the East ; and from another copy, purchased 
by Pietro della Valle for M. de Sancy^, Father Morinus 
printed the Samaritan Pentateuch, for the first time, in the 
Paris Polyglott. This was afterwards reprinted in the London 
Polyglott by Bishop Walton, who corrected it from three manu- 
scripts which had formerly belonged to Archbishop Usher. A 
neat edition of this Pentateuch, in Hebrew characters, was 
edited by the late Rev. Dr. Blayney, in 8vo, Oxford, 1790. 

IV. Of the Samaritan Pentateuch two versions are extant ; 
one in the Aramaean dialect, which is usually termed the Sama- 
ritan version, and another in Arabic. 

The Samaritan version was made in Samaritan characters, 
from the Hebraeo-Samaritan text into the Chaldaeo- Samaritan 
or Aramaean dialect, which is intermediate between the Chaldee 
and Syriac languages, before the schism took place between the 
Jews and Samaritans. Such is the opinion of Le Jay who first 
printed this version in the Paris Polyglott, whence Bishop 
Walton introduced it into the London Polyglott.- The author 

1 Kennicott, Diss. ii. pp. 20 — 165. 

n^hen ambassador from France to Constantinople, and afterwards Archbishop of 
St, Maloes. 

I. Sect. III.] Oil the Greek Language. 17 

of this version is unknown ; but he has in general adhered very 
closely and faithfully to the original text. 

The Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch is also 
extant in Samaritan characters, and was executed by Abu Said, 
A. D. 1070, in order to supplant the Arabic translation of the 
Jewish Rabbi Saadia Gaon, which had till that time been in 
use among the Samaritans. Abu Said has very closely followed 
the Samaritan Pentateuch, whose readings he expresses, even 
where the latter differs from the Hebrew text: in some in- 
stances however, both Bishop Walton and Bauer have re- 
marked, that he has borrowed from the Arabic version of Saadia. 
On account of the paucity of manuscripts of the original Sama- 
ritan Pentateuch, Bauer thinks this version will be found of 
great use in correcting its text. Some specimens of it have been 
published by Dr. Durell in " the Hebrew text of the parallel 
prophecies of Jacob relating to the twelve tribes," &c. (Oxford 
1 763, 4to.), and before him by Castell in the fourth volume of 
the London Polyglott; also by Hwiid, at Rome, in 1780, in 
8vo., and by Paulus, at Jena, in 1789, in 8vo. ' 



L Similarity of the Greek Language of the New Testament with that 
of the Alexandrian or Septuagint Greek Version. — II. The New 
Testament why written in Greek. — III. Examination of its style. — 
IV. Its Dialects — Hebraisms — Rabbinisms — Si/riasms and Chal- 
daisms — Latinisms — Persisms and Cilicisms. 

I. IF a knowledge of Hebrew be necessary and desirable in 
order to understand the Old Testament aright, an acquaint- 
ance with the Greek language is of equal importance for under- 
standing the New Testament correctly. It is in this language 
that the Septuagint version of the Old Testament was exe- 
cuted: and as the inspired writers of the New Testament thought 
and spoke in the Chaldee or Syriac tongues, whose turns of 

> Bishop Walton, Prol. c. xi. §§ 10—21. pp. 527—555. Carpzov, Critica Sacra, 
pp.585 — 620. Leusden, Philologus Hebrseus, pp.59— 67. Bauer, Critica Sacra, 
pp. 525— SSS. Dr. Priestley's Notes on the Bible, vol. ii. pp. 82, 83. Calmet's Dic- 
tionary of the Bible, article Samaiutans. Dr. Harvvood's Introduction to the New 
Testament, vol. ii. pp. 259. 240. Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem Novi Testament!, 
pp.466 — 471. See also G. Gesenii De Pentateuchi Samaritani Origine, Indole et 
Auctoritate, Commentatio philologico-critica, 4to. Hala:. 1815. 

18 0?i the Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Ch, 

expression closely corresponded with those of the antient 
Hebrew, the language of the apostles and evangelists, when 
they wrote in Greek, necessarily resembled that of the trans- 
lators of the Septuagint. And as every Jew, who read Greek 
at all, would read the Greek Bible, the style of the Septuagint 
again operated in forming the style of the Greek Testament '. 
The Septuagint version therefore being a source of interpre- 
tation equally important to the Old and New Testament, a 
knowledge of the Greek language becomes indispensably neces- 
sary to the biblical student. 

II. A variety of solutions has been given to the question, why 
the New Testament was written in Greek. The true reason is 
simply this, — that it was the language best understood both by 
writers and readers, being spoken and written, read and under- 
stood, throughout the Roman empire, and particularly in the 
eastern provinces. In fact, Greek was at that time as well 
known in the higher and middle circles as the French is in 
our day. To the universality of the Greek language, Cicero **, 
Seneca ^, and Juvenal * bear ample testimony : and the cir- 
cumstances of the Jews having had both political, civil, and 
commercial relations with the Greeks, and being dispersed 
through various parts of the Roman empire^ as well as their 
having cultivated the philosophy of the Greeks, of which we 
have evidence in the New Testament, all sufficiently account 
for their being acquainted with the Greek language. And if 
the eminent Jewish writers Philo and Josephus had motives for 
preferring to write in Greek, there is no reason — at least there 
is no general presumption — why the first publishers of the 
Gospel might not use the Greek language ^ It is indeed not 
improbable, that the common people were acquainted with it ; 
though it may perhaps be objected, that, the Christian churches 
being in many countries composed chiefly of that class of per- 
sons, they did not understand Greek. " True : but in every 
church there were numbers of persons endowed with the gifts 

1 Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part iii. pp. .30, 31. The question relative to the sup- 
posed Hebrew originals of Saint Matthew's Gospel, and of the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
is purposely omitted in this place, as it is considered in the subsequent par;: of this Work. 

2 Orat. pro Archia Poeta, c. 10. Grasca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus ; Latina 
suis finibus, exiguis sane, continentur. 

3 In Consolat. ad Helviam, c. 6. Quid sibi volunt in mediis barbarorum regionibus 
GrcBC<B urbes ? Quid inter Indos Persasque JMacedonicus sermo ? Scythia et totus 
illeferarum indomitarumqce gentium tractus civitates Achaise,Ponticisimpositaslitoribus, 

4 Nunc totus Graias nostrasque habet orbis Athenas. Sat. xv. v. 110. Even the 
female sex, it appears from the same satyrist, made use of Greek as the language of 
familiarity and passion. See Sat. vi. v. 185 — 191. 

5 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. Proem. § 2. says, that he composed his history of the 
Jewish war in the language of his country, and afterwards wrote it in Greek for the in- 
formation of the Greeks and Romans. 

1- Sect. III.] On the Greek Language. 19 

of tongues, and of the interpretation of tongues; who could 
readily turn the apostles' Greek epistles into the lano-uage of 
the church to which they were sent. In particulai-, the presi- 
dent or the spiritual man, who read the apostle's Greek letter 
to the Hebrews in their public assemblies, could without any 
hesitation read it in the Hebrew language, for the edification 
of those who did not understand Greek. And with respect to 
the Jews in the provinces, Greek being the native language of 
most of them, this epistle was much better calculated for their 
use, written in the Greek language, than if it had been written 
in the Hebrew, which few of them understood." Further, " it 
was proper that all the apostolical epistles should be written in 
the Greek language ; because the different doctrines of the 
Gospel being delivered and explained in them, the explanation 
of these doctrines could with more advantage be compared so 
as to be better understood, being expressed in one language, 
than if, in the different epistles, they had been expressed in 
the language of the churches and persons to whom they were 
sent. Now what should that one language be, in which it was 
proper to write the Christian Revelation, but the Greek, which 
was then generally understood ; and in which there were many 
books extant, that treated of all kinds of literature, and on that 
account were likely to be preserved, and by the reading of 
which Christians, in after ages, would be enabled to under- 
stand the Greek of the New Testament ? This advantage none 
of the provincial dialects used in the apostles' days could pretend 
to. Being limited to particular countries, they were soon to 
be disused : and few (if any) books being written in them which 
merited to be preserved, the meaning of such of the apostles' 
letters as were composed in the provincial languages could not 
easily have been ascertained." ' 

III. The style of the New Testament has a considerable affinity 
with that of the Septuagint version which was executed at 
Alexandria % although it approaches somewhat nearer to the 
idiom of the Greek language ; but the peculiarities of the He- 
brew phraseology are discernible throughout : the language of 
the New Testament being formed by a mixture of oriental 
idioms and expressions with those which are properly Greek. 
Hence it has by some philologers been termed Hebraic-Greek, 
and (from the Jews having acquired the Greek language, rather 
by practise than by grammar, among the Greeks, in whose 
countries they resided in large communities) Hellenistic-Greek, 

» Dr. Macknight on the Epistles, Pref. to Hebrews, sect. ii. § 5. vol. iv. p. 336. 
4to edit. 

« Michaelis has devoted an entire section to show that the language of the New 
Testament has a tincture of the Alexandrian idiom. Vol. i. p. 145, etseq. 

c 2 

2d On i/ie Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Cb. 

The propriety of this appellation was severely contested towards 
the close of the seventeenth and in the early part of the 
eighteenth century : and numerous publications were written 
on both sides of the question, with considerable asperity, which, 
together with the controversy, are now almost forgotten. The 
dispute, however interesting to the philological antiquarian, is 
after all a mere ^ strife of words ' ;' and as the appellation of 
Hellenistic or Hebraic Greek is sufficiently correct for the pur- 
pose of characterising the language of the New Testament, it 
is now generally adopted. ^ 

Of this Hebraic style, the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. 
Mark exhibit strong vestiges: the former presents harsher 
Hebraisms than the latter : and the Gospel of St. Mark abounds 
with still more striking Hebraisms. '' The epistles of St. James 
and Jude are somewhat better, but even these are full of Hebra- 
isms, and betray in other respects a certain Hebrew tone. St. 
Luke has, in several passages, written pure and classic Greek, 
of which the four first verses of his Gospel may be given as an 
instance : in the sequel, where he describes the actions of Christ, 
he has very harsh Hebraisms, yet the style is more agreeable 
than that of St. Matthew or St. Mark. In the Acts of the Apo- 
stles he is not free from Hebraisms, which he seems to have never 
studiously avoided ; but his periods are more classically turned, 
and sometimes possess beauty devoid of art. St. John has 
numerous, though not uncouth, Hebraisms both in his gospel 
and epistles : but he has written in a smooth and flowing lan- 
guage, and surpasses all the Jewish writers in the excellence 
of narrative. St. Paul again is entirely different from them all : 
his style is indeed neglected and full of Hebraisms, but he has 
avoided the concise and verse-like construction of the Hebrew 
language, and has, upon the whole, a considerable share of the 

1 Michaelis ascribes the disputes above noticed either to " a want of sufficient know- 
ledge cf the Greek, the prejudices of pedantry and school orthodoxy, or the injudicious 
custom of choosing the Greek Testament as the Jirsl book to be re.fd by learners of 
that language ; by which means they are so accustomed to its singular style, that in a 
more advanced age they are incapable of perceiving its deviation from the language of 
the classics." (Bp. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. i. p. 211.) 

2 Schaeferi Institutiones Scripturisticx, pars i. pp 137 — 141. Prof. Morus has 
given a long review (too long to admit of abridgment) of the arguments advanced for and 
against the purity of the language of the New Testament, in his Acroases (vol. i. 
pp. 202 — 253.) ; in which he has enumerated the principal writers on each side of the 
question. A similar list has been given by Beck (Monogrammata Hermeneutices 
Novi Testament!, part i. pp. 28 — 32.), by Rumpseus (Isagoge ad Lectionem N. T. 
pp. 33. et seq.), and by Rambach (Instit. Herm. Sacr. pp. 23. 599.) Dr. Campbell has 
treated the subject very ably in the first of his Preliminary Dissertations, prefixed to 
his version of the four gospels ; and Wetstein (Libelli ad Cnsin atque Interpretationem 
N. T. pp. 48 — 60.) has given some interesting extracts from Origen, Chrysostom, 
and other fathers, who were of opinion that the language of the New Testament was 
not pure Greek. Other writers might be mentioned, who have treated bibliographically 
on this topic : but the preceding foreign critics only are specified, as their works can 
now be easily procured from the continent. 

I. Sect. III.] On the Greek Language. 21 

roundness of Grecian composition. It is as evident that he was 
as perfectly acquainted with the Greek manner of expression as 
with the Hebrew ; and he has introduced them alternately^ as 
either the one or the other suggested itself the first, or was the 
best approved. ' 

This diversity of style and idiom in the sacred writers of the 
New Testament^ affords an intrinsic and irresistible evidence 
for the authenticit}' of the books which pass under their names. 
If their style had been uniformly the same, there would be 
good reason for suspecting that they had all combined together 
when they wrote; or, else, that having previously concerted 
what they should teach, one of them had committed to writing 
their system of doctrine. In ordinary cases, when there is a 
difference of style in a work professing to be the production 
of one author, we have reason to believe that it was written by 
several persons. In like manner, and for the very same reason, 
when books, which pass under the names o^ several authors, 
are written in different styles, we are authorised to conclude 
that they were not composed by one person. 

Further, If the New Testament had been written with classic 
purity ; if it had presented to us the language of Isocrates, 
Demosthenes, Xenophon, or Plutarch, there would have been 
just grounds for suspicion of forgery; and it might with pro- 
priety have been objected, that it was impossible for Hebrews, 
who professed to be men of no learning, to have written in so 
pure and excellent a style, and consequently that the books 
which were ascribed to them must have been the invention of 
some impostor. The diversity of style tlierefore which is ob- 
servable in them, so far from being any objection to the authen- 
ticity of the New Testament, is in reality a strong argument fol 
the truth and sincerity of the sacred writers, and of the authen- 
ticity of their writings. *' Very many of the Greek words, 
found in the New Testament, are not such as were adopted by 
men of education, and the higher and more polished ranks 
of life, but such as were in use with the common people. 
Now this shews that the writers became acquainted with the 
language, in consequence of an actual intercourse with ^those 
who spoke it, rather than from any study of books : and 
that intercourse must have been very much confined to 
the middling or even lower classes; since the words and 
phrases, most frequently used by them, passed current only 
among the vulgar. There are undoubtedly many plain in- 
timations 2 given throughout these books, that their writers 

1 Michaelis, vol. i. p. 112. 

2 It is obvious to cite such passages, as Mark i. 16. ii. 14. Jehn xxi. 3, 7. where the 
occupations of the Apostles are plainly and professedly mentioned. It may be more 

c 3 

^2 On the Original Languages of Scrijiture. [Parti. Cli. 

were of this lower class, and that their associates were fre- 
quently of the same description ; but the character of the style 
is the strongest confirmation possible that their conditions were 
not higher than what they have ascribed to themselves '." In 
fact, the vulgarisms, foreign idioms, and other disadvantages 
and defects, which some critics imagine that they have disco- 
vered in the Hebraic Greek of the New Testament, *^ are as- 
signed by the inspired writers as the reasons of God's preference 
of it, whose thoughts are not our thoughts, nor his ways our 
ways. Paul argues, that the success of the preachers of the 
Gospel, in spite of the absence of those accomplishments in lan- 
guage, then so highly valued, was an evidence of the divine 
power and energy with which their ministry was accompanied. 
He did not address them, he tells us (1 Cor. i. 17.) tvtth ihe 
imsdom of 'words, — with artificial periods and a studied elocu- 
tion, — lest the ci'oss of Christ shoidd be made of none effect ; — 
lest to human eloquence that success should be ascribed, which 
ought to be attributed to the divinity of the doctrine and the 
agency of the Spirit, in the miracles wrought in support of it. 
There is hardly any sentiment which he is at greater pains to 
enforce. He 2ised none of the enticing or persuasive 'words of 
maiUs "wisdom. Wherefore ? — ' That their faith might not stand 
i?i the wisdom of man, hid in the power of God.^ (1 Cor. ii. 4, 5.) 
Should I ask, what was the reason why our Lord Jesus Christ 
chose for the instruments of that most amazing revolution in 
the religious systems of mankind, men perfectly illiterate and 
taken out of the lowest class of the people ? Your answer to 
this will serve equally for an answer to that other question, — 
Why did the Holy Spirit chuse to deliver such important 
truths in the barbarous idiom of a few obscure Galileans, and 
not in the politer and more harmonious strains of Grecian elo- 
quence ? — I repeat it, the answer to both questions is the 
same — That it might appear, beyond contradiction, that the 
excellency of the power was of God, and not of man." - 

A large proportion, however, of the phrases and constructions 
of the New Testament is pure Greek ; that is to say, of the same 

satisfactory to refer to Acts iii. 6. xviii. 3. xx. 34. 2 Cor. viii. & ix. xi. 6. 8, 9. 27. 
.\ii. 14, &c. Phil. ii. 25. iv. 10, &c. 1 Thess. ii. 6. 9. 2 Thess. iii. 8. 10. Philem. 11, 
18. In these, the attainment.", occupations, and associates of the preachers of the 
Gospel are indirectly mentioned and alluded to ; and afford a species of undesigned 
proof, which seems to repel the imputation of fraud, especially if the circumstance of 
style be taken into the account. 

1 Dr. Maltby's " Illustrations of the Truth of the Christian Religion," pp. 10 — 12. 

2 Dr. Campbell's Preliminary Dissertations, diss. i. (vol. i. 3d edit.) p. 50. Bithop 
Warburton has treated this topic with his usual ability, in his " Doctrine of Grace," 
book i. chapters VIII — X. (Works, vol. viii. pp. 279 — 302 ) See also Michaelis's 
Introiluction, vol. i. pp. 116 —123. 

I. Sect. III.] Hebraisms of the Ne'jo Testament. 23 

degree of purity as the Greek which was spoken in Macedonia, 
and that in which Polybius wrote his Roman History. Hence 
the language of the New Testament will derive considerable 
illustration from consulting the works of classic writers, and 
especially from diligently collating the Septuagint version of 
the Old Testament : the collections also of Raphelius, Palairet, 
Bos, Abresch, Ernesti, and other writers whose works are no- 
ticed in a subsequent page ', will afford the biblical student 
very essential assistance in explaining the pure Greek expres- 
sions of the New Testament according to the usage of classic 
authors. It should further be noticed, that there occur in the 
New Testament, words that express both doctrines and prac- 
tices which were utterly unknown to the Greeks; and also 
words bearing widely different interpretation from those which 
are ordinarily found in Greek writers. 

IV. The New Testament contains examples of all the dia- 
lects occuring in the Greek language, as the ^olic, Boeotic, 
Doric, Ionic, and especially of the Attic; which being most 
generally in use on account of its elegance, pervades every 
book of the New Testament^. To these, some have added 
the poetic dialect, chiefly, it should seem, because there are a 
few passages cited by Saint Paul from the antient Greek poets, 
in Acts xvii. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 33. and Tit. i. 12 3. But the 
sacred writers of the New Testament being Jews, were conse- 
quently acquainted with the Hebrew idioms, and also with the 
common as well as with the appropriated or acquired senses of 
the words of that language. Hence, when they used a Greek 
word, as correspondent to a Hebrew one of like signification, 
they employed it as the Hebrew word was used, either in a 
common or appropriated sense, as occasion required. The 
whole arrangement of their periods ^' is regulated according to 
the Hebrew verses (not those in Hebrew poetry, but such as are 
found in the historical books) ; which are constructed in a man- 
ner directly opposite to the roundness of Grecian language, 
and for want of variety have an endless repetition of the same 
particles ^." These peculiar idioms are termed Hebraisms, and 

1 See' the Appendix to this Volume, No. VII. Sect. VII. 

2 Wyssius, ill his Dialectologia Sacra, has treated largely on the dialects of the New- 
Testament; but the most useful treatise, perhaps, is that of Leusden, (De Dialectis 
N. T.) which originally formed Dissertations xi — xv. of his Phildogus Gracus, and 
has twice been separately published by M. Fischer. The best edition is that of Leipsic, 
1792, 8vo. Some brief but judicious observations on the dialects of the New Testa- 
ment, particularly on the Attic, are inserted in the Greek Grammar, (p. 71.) prefixed 
by Mr. Parkhurst to his Greek and English Lexicon of the New Testament. 

3 J.B. Carpzov. Primae Lines Hermeneutics, p. 16. Pfeiifer Herm. Sacra, c. vii. 
§ 6. (Op. torn. ii. p. 652.) 

* Leusden de Dialectis, p. 20. Michaelis, vol. i. p. 125. 

C * 

24" On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Parti. Ch. 

their nature and classes have been treated at considerable length 
by various writers. Georgi, Pfochenius, Blackwall, and others, 
have altogether denied the existence of these Hebraisms ; 
while their antagonists have, perhaps unnecessarily, multiplied 
them. Wyssius, in his Dialectologia Sacra, has divided the 
Hebraisms of the New Testament into thirteen classes ; Vor- 
stius ' into thirty-one classes ; and Viser into eight classes ^ ; 
and Masclef has given an ample collection of the Hebraisms 
occurring in the sacred writings in the first volume of his ex- 
cellent Hebrew Grammar 3. The New Testament, however, 
contains fewer Hebrew grammatical constructions than the 
Septuagint, except in the book of Revelation ; where we often 
find a nominative, when another case should have been sub- 
stituted, in imitation of the Hebrew, which is without cases*. 
As the limits necessarily assigned to this article, do not permit 
us to abridge the valuable treatises just noticed, we shall here 
adduce some instances of the Hebraisms found principally irr 
the New Testament, and shall offer a few canons by which to 
determine them with precision. 

1 . Thus, to be calledi to arise, and to be found, are the same 
as to be, with the Hebrews, and this latter is in the Old Tes- 
ment frequently expressed by the former. Compare Isa.lx.l4. 18. 
Ixi. 3. Ixii. 12. Zech. viii. 3. 

Accordingly, in the New Testament, these terms are often employed 
one for the other, as in Matt. v. 9. " They shall be called the chiMren 
of God" and ver. 19. " He shall be called the least in the kingdom of 
Heavenl" 1 Joh. iii. 1. " That we should be called the sons of God." 
To be called here and in other places is really to be, and it is so 
expressed according . to the Hebrew way of speaking. There is the 
like signincatiou of the word arise, as in 2 Sam. xi. 20, " if the 
king's wrath arise " Esth. iv. 14. "Enlargement and deliverance shall 
arise to the Jews." Prov. xxiv. 22. " their calamity shall arise suddenly.'' 
In all which places the word arise signifies no other than actual 
being or existing, according to the Hebrew idiom. And thence it is 
used in a similar manner in the New Testament, as in Luke xxiv. 38, 
" Why do thoughts arise in your hearts?" i. e. why are they there? 
Matt. xxiv. 24. " There shall arise false Christs," i. e. there shall ac- 
tually be at that time such persons according to my prediction. So, 
to be found is among the Hebrews of the same import with the 
above-mentioned expressions, and accordingly in the Old Testament 
one is put for the other, as in 1 Sam. xxv. 28. " Evil hath not been 

1 In his Philologia Sacra ; this work was originally published in 410. but the best 
edition is that of M. Fischer, in 8vo. Leipsic, 1778. Vorstius's treatise was abridged 
by JLeusden in his Philologus Gra?cus; and Leusden's Abridgment was republished by 
Fischer, with valuable notes and other additions, in Svo. Leipsic, 17S3. 

2 In his Hermeneutica Sacra Novi Testamenti, pars ii. vol. ii. pp. 1 — 62. 

3 See particularly pp. 273 — 290. 504— o07. and 535— 352, See also Schaefcr's 
Institutiones Scripturistica, pars ii. pp. 194 — 205. 

4 Michaelis, vol. i. p. 12.5. Glassius has given several instances in hib Philo'ogia 
Sacr.i, canons xxviii. and xxix. vol.i. pp.67 — 72. edit. Dathe. 

I. Sect. III.] Hebraisms of the Nezv TcsiamcjiL 25 

found in thee." 2 Chron. xix. 3. " Good things are found in thee." 
Isa. li. 3. "Joy and gladness shall be/owwd therein." Dan. v. 12. "An 
excellent spirit was found in Daniel." In these and other texts the 
Hebrew word rendered found is equivalent to was. In imitation of 
this Hebraism, to be found is used for sum or existo, to be, in the New 
Testament, as in Luke xvii. 18. " There are not found that returned 
to give glory to God, save this stranger." Acts v. 39. " Lest haply ye 
hefou7id to fight against God." 1 Cor. iv. 2. " That a man hefomid 
faithful." Phil. ii. 8. " Being found in fashion as a man." Heb. xi.5. 
" Enoch was not found ." which is the same with Enoch was not, as 
is evident from comparing this place with Gen. v. 24. to which it re- 
fers. The expression of Saint Peter, 1 Ep. ii. 22. " Neither was guile 
found in his mouth," is taken from Isa. liii. 9. " Neither was there 
any deceit (or guile) in his mouth." Whence it appears, that in this, as 
well as the other texts above cited, to be found is equivalent to was. 

2. Verbs expressive of a person's doing an action, are often 
used to signify his supposing the thing, or discovering and ac- 
knowledging the fact, or his declaring and foretelling the event, 
especially in the prophetic writings. 

Thus, " He that findeth his life, shall lose it" (Matt. x. 39.), means. 
He that expects to save his life by apostacy, shall lose it. So, " Let 
him become a fool " (1 Cor. iii. 1 8.), is equivalent to, Let him become 
sensible of his folly. " Make the heart of this pe.ople fat " (Isa. vi. 
9, 10.), i. e. Prophecy that they shall be so. *' What God hath 
cleansed" (Acts x. 13.), i. e. What God hath declared clean. "But 
of that day and hour no man knoweth" (that is, maketh known), " not 
even the angels who are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father" 
(Matt. xxiv. 36.), that is, neither man, nor an angel, nor the Son, has 
jiermission to make known this secret. 

3. Negative verbs are often put for a strong positive af- 

Thus, "No good thing will he withhold" (Psal. Ixxxiv. 11.), means. 
He will give them all good things. " Being not weak in the faith" 
(Rom. iv. 19), i. e. Being strong in the faith. " I will not leave you 
comfortless" (John xiv. 18.), means, I will both protect and give you 
the most solid comfort. 

4. The privileges of the first-born among the Jews being 
very great, that which is chief or most eminent in any kind, is 
called the first-born. Gen. xlix. 3. 

So, in Job xviii. 1 3., the first-born of death is the most fatal and 
cruel death. In Isa. xiv. 30. the first-born of the poor denotes those 
who are most poor and miserable. (See also Psal. Ixxxix. 27. Jer. xxxi. 9. 
Rom. viii. 29. Col. i. 15. 18. Heb. xii. 23.) 

5. The word^ow has various peculiar significations. 

Thus, the sons or children of Belial, so often spoken of in the Old 
Testament, are wicked men, such as are good for nothing, or such as 
will not be governed. Children of light are such as are divinely en- 
lightened. (Luke xvi. 8. John xii. 36. Ephes. v. 8. 1 Thes. v. 5.) 
Children of disobedience are disobedient persons. (Ephes. ii. 2.) 
Children of Hell (Matt, xxiii. 1.5.) ; of ivrath (Ephes. 2. 3.) ; Son of 

2Q Oil the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch. 

perdition (John xvii. 12. 2 Thes. ii. 3.) ; are respectively such as are 
worthy thereof, or obnoxious thereto. A son of peace (Luke x. 6.) is 
one that is worthy of it. (See Matt. x. rS.) The children of a place 
are the inhabitants of it. (Ezra ii. 1 . Psal. cxlix. 2. Jer. ii. 1 6.) So 
the word daughter is likewise used (2 Kings xix. 21. Psal. xlv. 12. 
cxxxvii. 8. Lam. ii. 13. Zech. ii. 10.) ; the. city being as a mother, 
and the inhabitants of it taken collectively, as her daughter. The 
children of the promise, are such as embrace and believe the promise 
of the Gospel. (Gal. iv. 28.) Sons of men (Psal. iv. 2.) are no more 
than men. And Christ is as often called the son of man, as he is man. 
The sons of God (Gen. vi. 2.) are those Vi^ho are of the church ; and 
so sons of God by profession. (Matt. v. 45.) They are such as imitate 
him, or are governed by him. (1 John iii. 10.) On the same ac- 
count are men called the children of the devil. So likewise (John viii. 
44.) father is understood in a like sense ; also those who are the in- 
ventors of any thing, or instruct others therein, are called their fathers. 
(Gen. iv. 20.) 

6. Name is frequently used as synonymous w'lthpersons. 

Thus, to believe on the name of Christ (John i. 12.) means to be- 
lieve on him. See similar examples in John iii 18. xx. 31. Acts i. 15. 
Rev. iii. 4. In like manner soul is put for person, in Matt. xii. 1 8. 
In whom my soul is well pleased, that is, in whom I am well pleased. 
See other examples in Gen. xii. 13. xix. 20. Psal. cvi. 15. Job xvi. 4. 
Prov. XXV. 25. Rom. xiii. 1. Heb. x. 38. 

7. As the Jews had but few adjectives in their language, they 
had recourse to substantives, in order to supply their place. 

Hence we find kingdom and glory vised to denote a glorious kingdom. 
(1 Thess. ii. 12.) Mouth and wisdom for wise discourse (Luke xxi. 15.) ; 
the patience of hope for patient expectation ( 1 Thess. i. 3.) ; glory of his 
power for glorious poioer (2 Thess. i. 9.) So circumcision and imcir- 
cumcision, mean circumcised and uncircumcised persons. Anathema 
(1 Cor. xvi. 22.) means an excommunicated member. " The spirits 
of the prophets," (1 Cor. xiv. 32.) means thespiritual gifts of the prophets. 
When one substantive governs another, in the genitive, one of them is 
sometimes used as an adjective. " In the body of his flesh," means, in 
his fleshly body; (Col. i. 22.) " Bond of perfectness," (Col. iii. 14.) 
means, a perfect bond. In Eph. vi. 12. " spiritual wickedness," means 
wicked spirits. " Newness of life," (Rom. vii. 6.) is a new life. " The 
tree of the knowledge of good and evil," (Gen. ii. 9. compared with iii. 
22.) means, the tree of the knowledge of good, or of a pleasure, which 
to taste is an evil. When two substantives are joined together, by the 
copulative, and the one frequently governs the other, as in Dan, iii. 7. 
" All the people, the nations, and the languages," mean, people of all 
nations and languages. In Acts xxiii. 6. " the hope and resurrection 
of the dead," means, the hope of the resurrection of the dead. In 
Col. ii. 8. " Philosophy and vain deceit," denotes a false and deceitful 
■ philosophy. " Hath brought life and imrnortality to light," (2 Tim. i. 
10.) means to bring immortal life to light. But the expression "I 
am the way, the truth, and the life," (John xiv. 6.) means I am the true 
and living way. It is of importance to observe, that, in the original, 
nouns in the genitive case, sometimes express the object, and some- 

I. Sect. III.] Hebraisms of the New Testament. 27 

times the agent. In Matt. ix. 35. " the gospel of the kingdom," means, 
good news concerning the kingdom. " Doctrines of devils, ' ( I Tim. iv. I .) 
evidently mean, doctrines concerning demons. " The faith of Christ" 
often denotes the faith which the Lord Jesus Christ enjoins. The 
righteousness of God sometimes means, his personal perfection, and 
sometimes that righteousness which he requires of his people. In 
Col. ii. 11. " the circumcision of Christ," means, the circumcision en- 
joined by Christ. The Hebrews used the word living, to express the 
excellence of the thing to which it is applied. Thus, " living water, or 
living fountain," signifies, running, or excellent water. " Living stones, 
living way, living oracles," mean, excellent stones, an excellent way, 
and excellent oracles. 

8. The Jews, having no superlatives in their language, em- 
ployed the words of God or of the Lord, in order to denote the 
greatness or excellency of a thing. 

Thus, in Gen. xiii. 1 0. a beautiful garden is called the garden of the 
Lord. In 1 Sam. xxvi. 12. a very deep sleep is called the sleep of the Lord. 
In 2 Chron. xiv. 14. and xvii. 10. the/ear of the Lord denotes a very 
great fear ; and in Psal. Ixxx. 10. (Heb.) the tallest cedars are termed 
cedars of God. So in Acts vii. 20. Moses is said to be a^sios ru> ©s^, 
literally Jair to God, or, as it is correctly rendered in our version, exceed- 
ing fair. And in 2 Cor. x. 4. the weapons of our warfare are termed 
^vvccTcc ru Qicd, literally mighty to God, that is, exceeding powerful, — not 
mighty through God, as in our authorised translation. 

9. According to the Hebrew idiom, a sword has a mouth, or 
the edge of the sword is called a mouth : (Luke xxi. 24.) 

They shall fall by the mouth (or, as our translators have correctly 
rendered it, the edge) of the sword {Heb. xi. 34.) — escaped the edge 
of the sword, is in the Greek s-o//.ix, the mouth of the sword. So, we read of 
a two moutJied sword (Heb. iv. 1 2.) for it is hjofios in the Greek. That 
this is the Hebrew phraseology may be seen by comparing Judg. iii. 16. 
Psal. cxlix. 6. Prov. v. 4. 

10. The verb yivwo-xw, to know, in the New Testament fre- 
quently denotes to approve. 

Thus, in Matt. vii. 23. I never knew you, means I never approved you. 
A similar construction occurs in 1 Cor. viii. 3. and in Rom. vii. 1.5. 
(Gr.) which in our version is rendered allow). Compare also Psal. i. 6. 

1 1 . Lastly, to hear denotes to understand, to attend to, and to 
regard what is said. 

In illustration of this remark, compare Deut. xviii. 15. with Acts 
iii. 23. and see also Matt. xvii. 5. and xi. 15. xiii. 9. and Luke viii. 8. 

It were no difficult task to adduce numerous similar examples 
of the Hebraisms occurring in the Scriptures, and particularly in 
the New Testament ; but the preceding may suffice to show the 
benefit that may be derived from duly considering the import 
of a word in the several passages of holy writ in which it occurs. 

In order to understand the full force and meaning of the He- 
braisms of the New Testament, the following canons have been 
laid down by the celebrated critic John Augustus Ernesti, and 
his annotator Professor Morus. 

28 On the Ch'iginal Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch. 

1 . Compare Hebrew words and forms of expressions with those 
which occur in good Greek formulce, particularly in doctrinal 

As all languages have some modes of speech which are common to 
each other, it sometimes happens that the same word or expression is 
both Hebrew, and good Greek, and affords a proper meaning, whether 
we take it in a Hebrew or a Greek sense. But, in such cases, it is pre- 
ferable to adopt that meaning which a Jew would give, because it is 
most probable that the sacred writer had this in view rather than the 
Greek meaning, especially if the latter were not of very frequent occur- 
rence. Thus, the expression, ye shall die in your sins (John viii. 24.) 
if explained according to the Greek idiom, is equivalent to ye shall per- 
severe in a course of sinful practice to the end of your lives ; but, accord- 
ing to the Hebrew idiom, it not only denotes a physical or temporal 
death, but also eternal death, and is equivalent to ye shall be damned on 
account of your sins, in rejecting the Messiah. The latter interpretation 
therefore is preferably to be adopted, as agreeing best with the Hebrew 
mode of thinking, and also with the context. 

This rule applies particularly to the doctrinal passages of the New 
Testament, which must in all cases be interpreted according to the ge- 
nius of the Hebrew language. Thus to fear God, in the language of a 
Jew, means to reverence or worship God generally. The knowledge of 
God, which is so frequently mentioned in the New Testament, if taken 
according to the Hebrew idiom, implies not only the mental knowledge 
of God, but also the worship and reverence of Him which flows from 
it, and consequently it is both a theoretical and a practical knowledge 
of God. 

The reason of this rule is obvious. In the first place, our Saviour 
and his apostles, the first teachers of Christianity, were Jews, who had 
been educated in the Jewish religion and language ; and who (with 
the exception of Saint Paul) being unacquainted with the Greek lan- 
guage at the time they were called to the apostolic office, could only 
express themselves in the style and manner peculiar to their country. 
Secondly, the religion taught in the New Testament agrees with that 
delivered in the Old Testament, of which it is a continuation ; so that 
the ritual worship enjoined by the law of Moses is succeeded by a spi- 
ritual or internal worship ; the legal dispensation is succeeded by the 
Gospel dispensation, in which what was imperfect and obscure is be- 
come perfect and clear. Now things that are continued are substan- 
tially the same, or of a similar nature. Thus the expression to come 
unto God occurs both in the Old and in the New Testament. In the 
former it simply means to go up to the temple ; in the latter it is conti- 
nued, so that what was imperfect becomes perfect, and it implies the 
mental or spiritual approach unto the Most High, i. e. the spiritual wor- 
shipping of God. In like manner, since the numerous particulars 
related in the Old Testament concerning the victims, priests, and 
temple of God are transferred, in the New Testament, to the atoning 
death of Christ, to his offering of himself to death, and to the Christian 
church, the veil of figure being withdrawn, the force and beauty of 
these expressions cannot be perceived, nor their meaning fully ascer- 
tained, unless we interpret the doctrinal parts of the New Testament by 
the aid of the Old Testament. 

I. Sect. III.] Hebraisms of the Neiso Testament. 29 

2. The Hebraisms of the Neiso Testament are to be compared 
laith the good Greek occurring ifi the Septuagint or Alexandrian 

As the Hebraisms occurring in the Old Testament are uniformly 
rendered, in the Septuagint version, in good Greek, this translation may 
be considered as a commentary and exposition of those passages, and 
as conveying the sense of the Hebrew nation concerning their meaning. 
The Alexandrian translation therefore ought to be consulted in those 
passages of the Nevsr Testament in w^hich the sacred writers have ren- 
dered the Hebraisms literally. Thus, in 1 Cor. xv. 54, death is said to 
be swallowed up in victory, which sentence is a quotation, from 
Isaiah xxv. 8. As the Hebrew word n^^ NexsacH, with the 7 pre- 
fixed, acquires the force of an adverb, and means /or ever, without end, 
or incessantly, and as the Septuagint sometimes renders the word lg- 
NCTsacH by m riKos in victory, but most commonly by e/f tsAs^, fo?- ever, 
Morus is of opinion that this last meaning properly belongs to 
I Cor. XV. 54, which should therefore be rendered, death is swallowed 
up for ever. And so it is translated by Bishop Pearce. 

3. In passages that are good Greek, which are common both 
to the Old and New Testament, the corresponding words iji the 
Hebrew Old Testament are to be compared. 

Several passages occur in the New Testament, that are good Greek, 
and which are also to be found in the Alexandrian version. In these 
cases it is not sufficient to consult the Greek language only : recourse 
should also be had to the Hebrew, because such words of the Septua- 
gint and New Testament have acquired a different meaning from what 
IS given to them by Greek writers, and are sometimes to be taken in 
a more lax, sometimes in a more strict sense. Thus, in Gen. v. 24. 
andHeb. xi. 5. it is said that Enoch pleased God ivn^is„Kii/a, rZ qico ; 
which expression in itself is sufficiently clear, and is also good Greek ; 
but if we compare the corresponding expression in the Hebrew, its 
true meaning is, that he walked with God. In rendering this clause 
by ivn^iiwiwi Tu Qiu, the Greek translator did not render the Hebrew 
verbatim, for in that case he would have said Trt^n-ramin aw %ica ; but he 
translated it correctly as to the sense. Enoch pleased God, because he 
lived habitually as in the sight of God, setting him always before his 
eyes in every thing he said, thought and did. In Psal. ii. 1. the Sep- 
tuagint version runs thus, uan Kp^unlav i^vn why did the nations rage ? 
Now, though this expression is good Greek, it does not fully render 
the original Hebrew, which means why do the nations furiously and 
tumuUuously assemble together, or rebel ? The Septuagint therefore is 
not sufficiently close. Once more, the expression ovk ovns they are not, 
is good Greek, but admits of various meanings, indicating those who 
are not yet in existence, those who are already deceased, or, figura- 
tively, persons of no authority. This expression occurs both in the 
Septuagint version of Jer. xxxi. 15. and also in Matt. ii. 18. If we 
compare the original Hebrew, we shall find that it is to be limited 
to those who are dead. Hence it will be evident that the collation 
of the original Hebrew will not only prevent us from taking words 
either in too lax or too strict a sense, but will also guard us against 

80 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part. I. Ch. 

uncertainty as to their meaning, and lead us to that very sense which 
the sacred writer intended. 

Besides the Hebraisms, which we have just considered, there 
are found in the New Testament various Rabbinical, Syriac, 
Persic, Latin, and other idioms and words, which are respec- 
tively denominated Rabbinisms, Syriasms, Persisms, Latinisms, 
&c. &c. on which it may not be improper to offer a few 

1. Rabbinisms. — We have already seen that during, and 
subsequent to, the Babylonian captivity, the Jewish language 
sustained very considerable changes '. New words, new sen- 
tences, and new expressions were introduced, especially terms 
of science, which Moses or Isaiah would have as little under- 
stood as Cicero or Caesar would a system of philosophy or 
theology composed in the language of the schools. This new 
Hebrew language is called Talmudical or Rabbinical, from the 
writings in which it is used ; and, although these writings arc 
of a much later date than the New Testament, yet, from the 
coincidence of expressions, it is not improbable that, even 
in the time of Christ, this was the learned language of the 
Rabbins ^ Lightfoot, Schoetgenius, Meuschen ^, and others, 
have excellently illustrated the Rabbinisms occurring in the New 

2. Syriasms. — 3. Chaldaisms. — The vernacular language of 
the Jews, in the time of Jesus Christ, was the Aramaean ; which 
branched into two dialects, differing in pronunciation rather 
than in words, and respectively denominated the Chaldee or 
East Aramaean, and the Syriac or West Aramaean . The East 
Aramaean was spoken at Jerusalem and in Judea ; and was 
used by Christ in his familiar discourses and conversations : 
the West Aramaean was spoken in ' Galilee of the Gentiles.' 
It was therefore natural that numerous Chaldee and Syriac 
words, phrases, and terms of expression, should be inter- 
mixed with the Greek of the New Testament, and even such 
as are not to be found in the Septuagint : and the existence of 
these Chaldaisms and Syriasms, affords a strong intrinsic proof 
of the genuineness and authenticity of the New Testament. 
Were this, indeed, " free from these idioms, we might natu- 
rally conclude that it was not written either by men of Galilee 
or Judea, and therefore was spurious ; for, as certainly as the 

1 See p. 4. supra. 

9 Michaelis, vol. i. p. 129, who has given some illustrative examples. Mori Acroases 
super Hermeneuticas NoviTestamenti, vol.i. p. 258. See also Olearius lie Stylo Novi 
Testamjnti, membr. iii. aphorism vii. pp. 25, 24. 

3 Yide infra Chap. VII. § 11, of this Volume, for ah account of their valuable labours. 

I. Sect. III.] Hebraisms of the New Testament. 31 

speech of Peter betrayed him to be a Galilean, when Christ 
stood before the Jewish tribunal, so certainly must the written 
language of a man, born, educated, and grown old in Galilee, 
discover marks of his native idiom, unless we assume the absurd 
hypothesis, that God hath interposed a miracle, which would 
have deprived the New Testament of one of its strongest proofs 
of authenticity K" The following are the principal Aramsean or 
Chaldee and Syriac words occurring in the New Testament: — 
A/3/3a (Abba), Father, Rom. viii. 15. — AxeXdufxa (Aceldama), the 
field of blood, (Acts i. 19.) — AgjctayeSSwv (Armageddon), the 
mountain of Megiddo, or of the Gospel, (Rev. xvi. 16.) — 
B»)^e(rSa (Bethesda), the house of mercy, (John v. 2.) K>j<paf 
(Cephas), a rock or stone, (John i. 43.) — Kog/3av (Corban), a gift 
or offering dedicated to God, (Mark vii. 11.) — EAw*, Eawj, Kafs.a. 
(y<x^oL-)(Pavt (Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani,) my God, my God ! why 
hast thou forsaken me? (Matt, xxvii. 46. Mark x v. 34.) — 
E(|5(pa6a (Ephphatha), be thou opened, (Mark vii. 34.) — M«jw,- 
ju,ttjva (Mammon) riches, (Matt. vi. 24.) — Magav A9« (Maran 
Atha), the Lord cometh, (1 Cor. xvi. 22.) — V a^a. (Raca), thou 
worthless fellow ! (Matt. v. 22.) — TaA»9a xoujoti (Talitha cumi), 
maid arise ! (Mark v. 41.) 2 

4. Latinisms. — " The sceptre having departed from Judah," 
(Gen. xlix. 10.) by the reduction of Judea into a Roman pro- 
vince, the extension of the Roman laws and government would 
naturally follow the success of the Roman arms: and if to these 
we add the imposition of tribute by the conquerors, together 
with the commercial intercourse necessarily consequent on the 
political relations of the Jews with Rome, we shall be enabled 
readily to account for the Latinisms, or Latin wOrds and phrases, 
that occur in the New Testament. The following is a list of 
the principal Latinisms : — kcrauqiov (assarion, from the Latin 
word assarius), equivalent to about three quarters of a farthing 
of our money, (Matt. x. 29. Luke xii. 6.) — l^r^va-oi; (census), as- 
sessment or rate, (Matt. xvii. 25.) — KsvToogiwv (centurio), a cen- 
turion, (Mark XV. 39, 44, 45.) — KoX«JV<a (colonia), a colony, 
(Acts xvi. 12.) — Kou(r7«jS<a (custodia), a guard of soldiers, 

1 Michaelis, vol. i. p. 155. Morus, vol. i. p. 237, Bishop Marsh, in his notes to 
Michaelis, states, that a new branch of the Aramaean language has been discovered by 
Professor Adler,which differs in some respects from the East and West Aramaan dialects. 
For an account of it, he refers to the third part of M. Adler's Novi Teslamenti Versiones 
Syriacm, Simplex, Philoxeniana, et Hierosolymitana, denuo examinatee, ijc. 4to., 
Hafnise, 1789, of which work we have not been able to obtain a sight. PfeifFer has an 
amusing disquisition on the Galilean dialect of Peter, which in substance corresponds 
with the above cited remark of Michaelis, though PfeifFer does not seem to have known 
the exact names of the dialects then in use among the Jews. Op. tom. i. pp. 616 — 622. 

2 Additional examples of Chaldaisms and Syriasms may be seen in Olearius de Stylo 
Novi Testament!, membr. iii. aphorism, vi. (Thesaurus I'heologico-Philologicus, tom, ii. 
pp. 22, 23. 

52 On the Original Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch. 

(Matt, xxvii. 65, 66. xxviii. 1 1.) — A>)v«§»oc {denarius), a Roman 
penny, equivalent to about seven-pence halfpenny of our mo- 
ney, (Luke vii. 41.) — ^quysXKiov (flagellum), a scourge, John ii. 
15.); from this word is derived <I>^ayeXAoa), to scourge with 
whips. (Matt, xxvii. 26. Mark xv. 15.) As this was a Roman 
punishment, it is no wonder that we find it expressed by a term 
nearly Roman — lovalog {Justus), (Acts i. 23.) — Aeyewv {legio) 
a legion, (Matt.xxvi. 53.) — Ko8gavT)jj {quadrans), a Roman coin 
equivalent to about three-fourths of an English halfpenny 
(Matt. V. 26.) — Aj/3egT»vof {libertinus), a freed man, (Acts vi. 9.) 
AiTga {libra), a pound, (Johnxii.3.) — Aevreov {lititeum), a towel, 
(John xiii. 4.) — MaxeXXov {macellum), shambles, (1 Cor.x.25.) — 
M£j«,/3gava {7neml)rana),^\im&ni, (2Tim.iv.l3.) — M.iXtoy{miUe)y 
a mile ; the Roman mile consisting of a thousand paces. (Matt. v. 
41.) — H£(7T>)5 {sextarius), a kind of pot, (Mark vii. 4. 8.) — 
HguiTo^iov {pratorium], a judgment-hall, or place where the prae- 
tor or other chief magistrate heard and determined causes, 
(Matt, xxvii. 27.) — ^>)j!x.»xjvd»ov or S«ja<x»vd»ov {semicinctium) an 
apron, (Actsxix. 12.) — 2«xagioj(s/carzw5), an assassin, (Acts xxi. 
38.) — SooSagjov {sudarium), a napkin or handkerchief, ( Luke xix. 
20.) — ^Trsx-ovXaToiq {specidator), a soldier employed as an execu- 
tioner, (Mark vi. 27.) — Toi.§spva{taberna), a tavern, (Acts xxviii. 
15.)— TiTAoj {titulus), a title, (John xix. 19, 20.) • 

5. From the unavoidable intercourse of the Jews with the 
neighbouring nations, the Arabs, Persians, (to whose sovereigns 
they were formerly subject), and the inhabitants of Asia Minor, 
numerous words, and occasional expressions may be traced in 
the New Testament, which have been thus necessarily intro- 
duced among the Jews. These words, however, are not suffi- 
ciently numerous to constitute so many entire dialects : for in- 
stance, there are not more than four or five Persian words in 
the whole of the New Testament. These cannot, therefore, be 
in strictness termed Persisms : and though the profoundly 
learned Michaelis is of opinion that the Zend-avesta, or antient 
book of the Zoroastrian religion, translated by M. Anquetil du 
Perron, throws considerable light on the phraseology of Saint 
John's writings ; yet, as the authenticity of that work has been 
disproved by eminent orientalists, it cannot (we apprehend) be 
with propriety applied to the elucidation of the New Testament. 

• Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem Novi Testamenti, pp. 320 — 522. Olearius, sect. ii. 
memb. iii. aph. ix. pp. 24,25. Michaelis, vol. i. pp. 162 — 173. Morus, vol. i. 
pp. 235, 236. Olearius and Michaelis have collected numerous instances of latinising 
phrases occurring in the New Testament, which want of room compels us to omit. Full 
elucidations of the various idioms above cited, are given by Schleusner and Parkhurst 
in their Lexicons to the New Testament. The Graeco-Barbara Novi Testamenti (ICmo. 
Amsterdam, 1649.) of Cheitomseus, may also be consulted when it can be met with. 

I. Sect. IV.] On the Cognate or Kindred Languages. 33 

From the number of words used by Saint Paul in peculiar senses, 
as well as words not ordinarily occurring in Greek writers, 
Michaelis is of opinion (after Jerome) that they were provincial 
idioms used in Cilicia in the age in which he lived ; and hence 
he denominates them Cilicisms. ' 

The preceding considerations and examples may suffice to 
convey some idea of the genius of the Greek language of the 
New Testament. For an account of the most useful Lexicons 
that can be consulted, see the Appendix to this volume, No. II. 



I. The Chaldee. — II. The Syriac. — III. The Arabic. — IV, The 
Ethiopic. — V. The Rabbinical Hebrew. — VI. Use and importance 
of the Cognate Languages to sacred criticism. 

1 HE cognate or kindred languages are those, which, together 
with the Hebrew, are dialects immediately derived from the pri- 
mitive language, if indeed, (as many learned men have thought), 
they are not derived from the Hebrew itself, confessedly the 
most antient language in the world, and with which they pre- 
serve nearly the same structure and analogy. The modern 
Italian language, as well as the antient Greek and Latin, will 
furnish us with numerous examples of this affinity. The 
two last indeed are not dialects, but entirely different lan- 
guages ; the Latin having acquired very many words from the 
Greek, in consequence of the numerous colonies of Greeks that 
settled in Italy, from whom the Aboi-igines imperceptibly bor- 
rowed many words -. In like manner the antient Greek and 
modern Russ are allied, as also are the old German and 
modern Danish, together with the British and German of 
Lower Saxony, &c. Although these languages have in progress 
of time become distinct, yet, in many respects, they may all be 
considered as similar, from the connexion which may be traced 
between them. ^ 

The principal cognate dialects or languages are the Chaldee, 
Syriac, and Arabic. 

* Michaelis, vol. i. pp. 149 — 162. 

9 Scaliger in his treatise De ciusis Lingux Latins, and Vossius, in his Etymologicon 
Linguae Latins, have illustrated this subject at considerable length. 
3 Morus, vol. i, p. 174. 

34- On the Origmal Languages of Scripture. [Part I. Ch. 

I. The Chaldee, we have already seen, was a dialect of the 
Aramaean language : it was acquired by the Jews during the 
Babylonian captivity, and was currently spoken at the time our 
Saviour appeared in Judea. Besides the parts already stated 
as being written in this tongue, numerous Chaldaic words 
occur in the book of Job, the Proverbs, and other parts of the 
sacred writings, for the correct understanding of which the 
knowledge of Chaldee is necessary. It is further of great use 
for enabling us to read the Chaldee paraphrases which shew 
the sense put by the Jews themselves on the words of 
Scripture. ' 

II. The Striae, though written in a different character, is 
also a dialect of the Aramaean language : it was vernacular in 
Galilee. Hence, though several of the sacred writers of the New 
Testament expressed themselves in Greek, their ideas were 
Syriac ; and they consequently used many Syriac idioms, and 
a few Syriac words -. The chief difference between the Syriac 
and Chaldee consists in the vowel-points or mode of pronun- 
ciation ; and, notwithstanding the forms of their respective 
letters are very dissimilar, yet the correspondence between the 
two dialects is so close, that if the Chaldee be written in Syriac 
characters without points it becomes Syriac, with the exception 
of a single inflexion in the formation of the verbs s. The great 
assistance, which a knowledge of this dialect affords to the 
critical understanding of the Hebrew Scriptures, is illustrated 
at considerable length by the elder Michaelis, in a philological 
dissertation, originally published in 1756, and reprinted in the 
first volume of M. M. Pott's and Ruperti's Sylloge Commenta- 
tionum Theologicarum. * 

III. Though more remotely allied to the Hebrew than either 
of the preceding dialects, the Arabic language possesses suffi- 
cient analogy to explain and illustrate the former, and is not 
perhaps inferior in importance to the Chaldee or the Syriac ; 
particularly as it is a living language, in which almost every 
subject has been discussed, and has received the minutest in- 
vestigation from native writers and lexicographers. The learned 
Jews who flourished in Spain from the tenth to the twelfth 
century under the dominion of the Moors, were the first who 
applied Arabic to the illustration of the Hebrew language : and 

» Walton's Prolegomena, c. xii. §2,3. (pp.559 — 562. edit. Dathii.) 

« Masclef. Gramm. Hebr. vol. ii. p. 114. Wotton's Misna, vol. i. praef. p. xviii. 

3 Walton, Prol. c. xiii. § 2, 3, 4, 5. (pp. 594 — 603.) 

* D. Christian! Benedict! Michaelis Dissertatio Philologica, qua Lumina Syriaca pro 
illustrando Ebraismo Sacro exhibentur (Halas, 1756.), in Pott's & Ruperti's Sylloge, 
torn. i. pp. 170—244. The editors have inserted in the notes some additional obser- 
vations from Michaelis's own copy. 

I. Sect. IV.] Oji the Cognate or Kindred Languages, 35 

subsequent Christian writers, as Bochart, the elder Schultens, 
Olaus Celsius, and others, have diligently and successfully ap- 
plied the Arabian historians, geographers, and authors on 
natural history, to the explanation of the Bible. ' 

IV. The Ethiopia language, which is immediately derived 
from the Arabic, has been applied with great advantage to the 
illustration of the Scriptures by Bochart, De Dieu, Hottinger, 
and Ludolph (to whom we are indebted for an Ethiopic grammar 
and Lexicon) ^ : and Pfeiffer has explained a few passages in 
the books of Ezra and Daniel, by the aid of the Persian lan- 
guage. 3 

V. The Rabbinical Hebretjo is a mixture of several languages, 
which cannot be of great use for illustrating the Holy Scrip- 
tures ; though it ought not perhaps to be wholly despised. Dr. 
Gill has applied the Rabbinical Hebrew to the elucidation of the 
Bible more than any other modern commentator. — The Latin 
is nearly allied to the Greek, which however requires but little 
illustration from it. 

VI. The cognate or kindred languages are of considerable 
use in sacred criticism. They may lead us to discover the occa- 
sions of such false readings as transcribers unskilled in the 
Hebrew, but accustomed to some of the other dialects, have 
made by writing words in the form of that dialect, instead of 
the Hebrew form. Further, the knowledge of these lan- 
guages will frequently serve to prevent ill-grounded conjectures 
that a passage is corrupted, by shewing that the common reading 
is susceptible of the very sense which such passage requires : 
and when different readings are found in copies of the Bible, 
these languages may sometimes assist us in determining which 
of them ought to be preferred. * 

» Bauer, Herm. Sacr. pp. 82, 83. 106, 107. Walton, Prol. c. xiy. § 2—7, 14. 
(pp. 655 — 641, 649.) Bishop Marsh's Divinity Lectures, part iii. p. 28. 

a Bauer, Herm. Sacr. p. 107. Walton, Prol. c. xvi. § 6—8. (pp. 674—678.) 

3 Dubia Vexata, cent. iv. no. 66. (Op. torn. i. pp. 420 — 422.) and Herm. Sacra. 
c. vi. § 9. (Ibid. torn. ii. p. 648.) Walton, Prol. c. xvi. § 5. (pp. 691, 692.) 

* Gerard's Institutes of Biblical Criticism, p. 65. 

D 2 

36 On the Hebte'iv Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. 





I. Different classes of Hebrew Manuscripts. — II. The rolled Manuscripts 
of the synagogues. — III. The square Manuscripts used by the Jews 
in private life. — IV. Antient recensions or editions of Hebrew Manu- 
scripts. — V. j4ge of Hebrew Manuscripts. — VI, Of the order in 
which the Sacred Books are arranged in Manuscripts. — Number of 
Books contained in different Manuscripts. — VII. Modern Families or 
Recensions of Hebrew Manuscripts. — VIII. Notice of the most antient 
Manuscripts. — IX. Brief notice of the Manuscripts of the Indian 

Although, as we have already seen, the Hebrew text of 
the Old Testament has descended to our times uncorrupted, 
yet, with all the care which the antient copyists could bestow, it 
was impossible to preserve it fiee from mistakes, arising from 
the interchanging of the similar letters of the Hebrew alphabet, 
and other circumstances incident to the transcription of antient 
manuscripts. The Rabbins boldly asserted, and, through a 
credulity rarely to be paralleled, it was implicitly believed, that 
the Hebrew text was absolutely free from error, and that in all 
the manuscripts of the Old Testament not a single various read- 
ing of importance could be produced. Father Morin was the 
first person who ventured to impugn this notion in his Exerci- 
tationes in utrumque Samaritanurum Pentateuchwn, published at 
Paris in 1631 ; and he grounded his opinion of the incorrect- 
ness of the Hebrew manuscripts on the differences between the 
Hebrew and the Samaritan texts in the Pentateuch, and on 
the differences between the Hebrew and the Septuagint in 
other parts of the Bible. Morinus was soon after followed by 
Louis Cappel, (whose Critica Sacra was published in 1650,) who 
pointed out a great number of errors in the printed Hebrew, 
and showed how they might be corrected by the antient versions 
and the common rules of criticism. He did not however advert 
to the most obvious and effectual means of emendation, namely, 
a collation of Hebrew manuscripts ; and, valuable as his labours 
unquestionably are, it is certain that he neither used them him- 
self, nor invited others to have recourse to them, in order to 

II. Sect. I.] Of the Old Testament. 37 

correct the sacred text. Cappel was assailed by various oppo- 
nents, but chiefly by the younger Buxtorf in his Anticritica, pub- 
lished at Basil in 1653, who attempted, but in vain, to refute 
the principles he had established. In 1657 Bishop "Walton, 
in his Prolegomena to the London Polyglott Bible, declared in 
favour of the principles asserted by Cappel, acknowledged the 
necessity of forming a critical apparatus for the purpose of ob- 
taining a more correct text of the Hebrew Bible, and materially 
contributed to the formation of one by his own exertions. Sub- 
sequent biblical critics acceded to the propriety of their argu- 
ments, and since the middle of the seventeenth century, the im- 
portance and necessity of collating Hebrew manuscripts have 
been generally acknowledged. ' 

Hebrew manuscripts are divided into two classes, viz. auto- 
graphs, or those written by the inspired penmen themselves, 
which have long since perished ; and apographs, or copies made 
from the originals, and multiplied by repeated transcription. 
These apographs are also divided into the more aiitient, which 
formerly enjoyed the highest authority among the Jews, but 
have in like manner perished long ago ; and into the more 
modern, which are found dispersed in various public and private 
libraries. The manuscripts which are still extant, are sub- 
divided into the rolled manuscripts used in the synagogues, and 
into the square manuscripts which are used by private indivi- 
duals among the Jews. 

II. The Pentateuch was read in the Jewish synagogues from 
the earliest times ; and, though the public reading of it was 
intermitted during the Babylonish captivity, it was resumed 
shortly after the return of the Jews. Hence numerous copies 
were made from time to time ; and as they held the books of 
Moses in the most superstitious veneration, various regulations 
were made for the guidance of the transcribers, who were 
obliged to conform to them in copying the rolls destined for 
the use of the synagogue. The date of these regulations is not 
known, but they are long posterior to the Talmud ; and though 
many of them are the most ridiculous and useless that can be 
well conceived, yet the religious observance of them, which has 
continued for many centuries, has certainly contributed in a . 
great degree to preserve the purity of the Pentateuch. The 
following are a few of the principal of these regulations. 

The copies of the law must be transcribed from antient ma- 
nuscripts of approved character only, with pure ink, on pai'ch- 
ment prepared from the hide of a clean animal, for this express 
purpose, by a Jew, and fastened together by the strings of 

1 Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part ii. p. ^^. 
D 3 

38 On the Hebrew Manuscripts [Part I. Cli. 

clean animals ; every skin must contain a certain number of 
columns of prescribed length and breadth, each column com- 
prising a given number of lines and words ; no word must be 
written by heart or with points, or without being first orally 
pronounced by the copyist ; the name of God is not to be written 
but with the utmost devotion and attention, and, previously to 
writing it, he must wash his pen. The want of a single letter, 
or the redundance of a single letter, the writing of prose as 
verse, or verse as prose, respectively, vitiates a manuscript : 
and when a copy has been completed, it must be examined and 
corrected within thirty days after the writing has been finished, 
in order to determine whether it is to be approved or rejected. 
These rules, it is said, are observed to the present day by the 
persons who transcribe the sacred writings tor the use of the 
synagogue, i 

III. The square manuscripts, which are in private use, are 
written with black ink, either on vellum or on parchment, or 
on paper, and of various sizes, folio, quarto, octavo, and duo- 
decimo. Those which are copied on paper, are considered as 
being the most modern ; and they frequently have some one of 
the Targums or Chaldee Paraphrases, either subjoined to the 
text in alternate verses, or placed in parallel columns with the 
text, or written in the margin of the manuscript. The charac- 
ters are, for the most part, those which are called the square 
Chaldee ; though a few manuscripts are written with rabbinical 
characters, but these are invariably of recent date. Biblical 
critics, who are conversant with the Hebrew manuscripts, have 
distinguished three sorts of characters, each differing in the 
beauty of their form. The Spanish character is perfectly square, 
simple, and elegant : the types of the quarto Hebrew Bibles, 
printed by Robert Stephen and by Plantin, approach the 
nearest to this character. The German, on the contrary, is 
crooked, intricate, and inelegant, in every respect; and the 
Italian character holds a middle place between these two. 
The pages are usually divided into three columns of various 
lengths ; and the initial letters of the manuscripts are frequently 
illuminated and ornamented with gold. In many manuscripts 
the Masora ^ is added ; what is called the larger Masora, being 
placed above and below the columns of the text, and the smaller 
Masora being inserted in the blank spaces between the co- 

IV. In the period between the sixth and the tenth centuries, 
the Jews had two celebrated academies, one at Babylon in the 

1 Carpzov, Crkica Sacra Vet. Test. pp. 371, 372. 

2 See an account of the Masora in Chap, IV. Sect, I. § IV, infra. 

II. Sect. I.] Of the Old Testament. 39 

east, and another at Tiberias in the west; where their literature 
was cultivated, and the Scriptures were very fiequently tran- 
scribed. Hence arose two recensions or editions of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, which were collated in the eighth or ninth century. 
The differences or various readings observed in them were 
noted, and have been transmitted to our time under the appel- 
lation of the oriental and occidental or eastern and western 
readings. They are variously computed at 210, 216, and 220, 
and are printed by Bishop Walton in the Appendix to his 
splendid edition of the Polyglott Bible. In the early part of 
the eleventh century, Aaron ben Asher, president of the aca- 
demy at Tiberias, and Jacob ben Naphtali, president of the 
academy at Babylon, collated the manuscripts of the oriental 
and occidental Jews. The discrepancies observed by these 
eminent Jewish scholars amount to upwards of 864 ; with one 
single exception, they relate to the vowel points, and conse- 
quently are of little value; they are also printed by Bishop 
Walton. The western Jews, and our printed editions of the 
Hebrew Scriptures, almost wholly follow the recension of Aaron 
ben Asher. 

Among the Jews five exemplars have been particularly cele- 
brated for their singular correctness, and from them all their 
subsequent copies have been made. These standard copies 
bear the names of the Codex of Hill el, of Ben Asher, which is 
also called the Palestine or Jerusalem Codex, of Ben Naphtali, 
or the Babylonian Codex, the Pentateuch of Jericho, and the 
Codex Sinai. 

1. The Codex of Hillel was a celebrated manuscript which 
Rabbi Kimchi (who lived in the twelfth century) says that he saw 
at Toledo, though Rabbi Zacuti, who flourished towards the 
close of the fifteenth century, states that part of it had been 
sold and sent into Africa. Who this Hillel was, the learned 
are by no means agreed ; some have supposed that he was the 
very eminent Rabbi Hillel who lived about sixty years before 
the birth of Christ ; others imagine that he was the grandson 
of the illustrious Rabbi Jehudah Hakkadosh, who wrote the 
Misna, and that he flourished about the middle of the fourth 
century. Others, again, suppose that he was a Spanish Jew, 
named Hillel ; but Bauer, with greater probability, supposes the 
manuscript to have been of more recent date, and written in 
Spain, because it contains the vowel points and all the other 
grammatical minutiae ; and that the feigned name of Hillel was 
inscribed on its title in order to enhance its value. 

2, 3. The codices of Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali have 
already been noticed. We may however state, on the autho- 
rity of Maimonides, that the first of these was held in most 

D 4 

40 On the Hebreiv Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. 

tepute in Egypt, as having been revised and corrected in very 
many places by Ben Asher himself, and that it was the exemplar 
which he (Maimonides) followed in copying the law, in con- 
formity with the custom of the Jews. 

4. The codex of Jericho is highly commended by Rabbi 
Elias Levita, as being the most correct copy of the Law of 
Moses, and exhibiting the defective and full words. 

5. The codex Sinai was also a very correct manuscript of the 
Pentateuch, that presented some variation in the accents, in 
which respect it differed from the former. A sixth codex, called 
Sanboukif is mentioned by Pere Simon, as having been seen 
by him ; but nothing certain is known respecting its date, or 
by whom it was written. 

V. As the authority of manuscripts depends greatly on 
their antiquity, it becomes a point of considerable importance 
to ascertain their age as exactly as possible. Now this may be 
effected either by external testimony or by internal marks. 

1. External testimony is sometimes afforded by the sub- 
scriptions annexed by the transcribers, specifying the time when 
they copied the manuscripts. But this criterion cannot always 
be depended upon : for instances have occurred, in which 
modern copyists have added antient and false dates in order to 
enhance the value of their labours. As however by far the 
greater number of manuscripts have no subscriptions or other 
criteria by which to ascertain their date, it becomes necessary 
to resort to the evidence of 

2. Internal Maries. Of these, the following are stated by 
t)r. Kennicott and M. De Rossi to be the principal: 1. The 
inelegance or rudeness of the character (Jablonski lays down 
the simplicity and elegance of the character as a criterion of an- 
tiquity); — 2. The yellow colour of the vellum; — 3. The total 
absence, or at least the very rare occurrence, of the Masora, 
and of the Keri and Ketib ' ; — 4. The writing of the Penta- 
teuch throughout in one book, without any greater mark of 
distinction appearing at the beginning of books than at the be- 
ginning of sections ; — 5. The absence of critical emendations 
and corrections; — 6. The absence of the vowel points; — 

7. Obliterated letters, being written and rewritten with ink ; — 

8. The frequent occurrence of the name Jehovah in lieu of 
Adonai; — 9. The infrequency of capital and little letters ; — 
10. The insertion of points to fill up blank spaces ; — 1 1. The 
non-division of some books and psalms; — 12, The poetical 
books not being distinguished from those in prose by dividing 
them into hemistichs ; — 13. Readings frequently differing from 

- 1 For an account of these, see Chap. IV. Sect. I. § IV. infra. 

II. Sect. L] Of the Old Testament. 41 

the Masoretic copies, but agreeing with the Samaritan text, 
with antient versions, and with the quotations of the fathers. 
The conjunction of all, or of several, of these internal marks, 
is said to afford certain criteria of the antiquity of Hebrew ma- 
nuscripts. But the opinions of the eminent critics above named 
have been questioned by professors Bauer and Tychsen, who 
have advanced strong reasons to prove that they are uncertain 
guides in determining the age of manuscripts. 

VI. A two-fold order of arrangement of the sacred books is 
observable in Hebrew manuscripts, viz. the Talmudical, and 
the Masoretic. Originally, the different books of the Old Tes- 
tament were not joined together : according to Rabbi Elias 
Levita (the most learned Jewish writer on this subject), they 
were first joined together by the members of the great syna- 
gogue, who divided them into three parts,— the law, the pro- 
phets, and the hagiographa, and who placed the prophets and 
hagiographa in a different order from that assigned by the 
Talmudists in the book intitled Baha Bathra. 

The following is the Talmudical arrangement of the Old 
Testament : — Of the Prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings 
(I and 2), Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor 
Prophets (in one book). Of the Hagiographa, Ruth, Psalms, 
Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Esther, 
Chronicles. By the Masorites, the Prophets are placed in the 
same order, with the exception of Isaiah, who precedes Jere- 
miah and Ezekiel, because he flourished before them. This 
arrangement is adopted in the manuscripts of the Spanish Jews, 
while the Talmudical order is preserved in those of the German 
and French Jews. In the Hagiographa, the Masorites have 
departed from the arrangement of the Talmudists, and place 
the books comprised in that division thus : — Psalms, Job, Pro- 
verbs, Ruth, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations 
of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, and Ezra. This mode of arrange- 
ment obtains in the Spanish manuscripts. But in the German 
MSS. they are thus disposed: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the 
Five Megilloth (or books), Daniel, Ezra, and Chronicles; and 
the Five Megilloth (or books) are placed in the order in which 
they are usually read in their synagogues, viz. the Song of 
Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, and 

There are, however, several manuscripts extant, which de- 
part both from the Talmudical and from the Masoretical order, 
and have an arrangement peculiar to themselves. Thus, in the 
CodexNorimbergensis 1. (No. 198 of Dr. Kennicott's catalogue), 
which was written a. d. 1291, the books are thus placed : the 
Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, 

42 On the Hebrew Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. 

Ezekiel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, Ruth, Esther, Psalms, Job, 
Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Proverbs, Daniel, 
Ezra, and Nehemiah (in one book), and Chronicles. In the 
Codex No. 94, written a. d. 1285 (in the university library at 
Cambridge), and also in No. 102, a manuscript in the British 
Museum, written early in the fourteenth century, the books of 
Chronicles precede the Psalms ; Job is placed before the Pro- 
verbs; Ruth, before the Song of Solomon; and Ecclesiastes, 
before the Lamentations. In the Codex No. 130, a manuscript 
of the same date (in the library of the Royal Society of London), 
Chronicles and Ruth precede the Psalms ; and in the Codex 
No. 96, (in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge), 
written towards the close of the fourteenth century, and also in 
many other MSS., Jeremiah takes precedence of Isaiah. 

In the Codex Regiomontanus 2. (No. 224), written early in 
the twelfth century, Jeremiah is placed before Ezekiel, whose 
book is followed by that of Isaiah : then succeed the Twelve 
Minor Prophets. The Hagiographa are thus disposed: — 
Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, 
Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah (in one 
book), and the books of Chronicles (also in one book). 

The order pursued in the Codex Ebnerianus 2. is altogether 
different from the preceding. Samuel follows Jeremiah, who 
is succeeded by the two books of Kings and by part of the 
prophecy of Ezekiel : then comes part of Isaiah. The Twelve 
Minor Prophets are written in one continued discourse ; and 
are followed by Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs with Ecclesiastes 
and the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, 
Nehemiah, and Chronicles. 

Of the various Hebrew manuscripts which have been pre- 
served, few contain the Old Testament entire : the greater part 
comprise only particular portions of it, as the Pentateuch ; the 
Pentateuch, five Megilloth, and Haphtaroth, or sections of 
the prophets which are read on the sabbath-days; the Pro- 
phets, or the Hagiographa. Some, indeed, are confined to 
single books, as the Psalms, the book of Esther, the Song of 
Solomon, and the Haphtaroth. This diversity in the con- 
tents of manuscripts is occasioned, partly by the design of the 
copyist, who transcribed the whole or part of the sacred writings 
for particular purposes ; and partly by the mutilations caused 
by the consuming hand of time. Several instances of such 
mutilations are given in the account of the principal Hebrew 
MSS. now extant, in pp. 44 — 48, infra. 

VII. As the Hebrew manuscripts which have been in use 
since the eleventh century have all been corrected according 
to some particular recension or edition, they have from this 

II. Sect. L] Of the Old Testament. 4iJ 

circumstance been classed into families, according to the coun- 
try where such recension has obtained. These Jhmilies or re- 
censions are three or four in number, viz. 

1. The Spanish manuscripts, which were corrected after the 
Codex of Hillel. They follow the Masoretic system with great 
accuracy, and are on this account highly valued by the Jews, 
though some Hebrew critics hold them in little estimation. 
The characters are written with great elegance, and are per- 
fectly square : the ink is pale ; the pages are seldom divided 
into three columns; the Psalms are divided into hemistichs; 
and the Chaldee paraphrases are not interlined, but written in 
separate columns, or are inserted in the margin in smaller 
letters. Professor Tyschen speaks in high terms of the calli- 
graphy of the Spanish manuscripts. As the Spanish monks 
excelled in that art, he thinks the Jews, who abounded in Spain 
in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, acquired it from them, 
and he appeals to manuscripts which he had seen, where the 
letters are throughout so equal, that the whole has the appear- 
ance of print. ' 

2. The Oriental manuscripts are nearly the same as the 
Spanish manuscripts, and may be referred to the same class. 

3. The German manuscripts are written with less elegance 
than the Spanish codices : their characters are more rudely 
formed ; the initial letters are generally larger than the rest, 
and ornamented ; the ink is very black. They do not follow 
the Masoretic notation, and frequently vary from the Masoretic 
manuscripts, exhibiting important readings that are not to be 
found in the Spanish manuscripts, but which agree with the 
Samaritan text of the Pentateuch, and with the antient versions. 
The Chaldee paraphrases are inserted in alternate verses. This 
class of manuscripts is little esteemed by the Jews, but most 
highly valued by biblical critics. 

4. The Italian manuscripts hold a middle place between the 
Spanish and German codices, and sometimes have a nearer 
affinity to one class than to the other, both in the shape of the 
Hebrew characters, and also as it respects their adherence to 
or neglect of the Masoretic system. M. Bruns, the able as- 
sistant of Dr. Kennicott in collating Hebrew manuscripts, has 
given engraved specimens of the Spanish, German, and Italian 
manuscripts in his edition of Dr. K.'s Dissertatio Generalis 
(8vo. Brunswick, 1783); and Professor Tychsen has given 

fourteen Hebrew alphabets, of various ages and countries, at 
the end of his Tentamen de variis Codicum Hebraeorum Vet 
Test. MSS. Generibus. Antient and unpointed Hebrew ma- 

1 Tychsen, Tentamen de variis Cod. Heb. MSS. pp. 1502—508. 

44 On the Hebrew Maiiuscripts [Part I. Ch. 

nuscripts, written for the use of the synagogues, and those 
Masoretic Spanish exemplars, which have been transcribed by 
a learned person, and for a learned person, from some famous 
and correct copy, are preferred by M. De Rossi to the copies 
written for private use, or even for the synagogue, from Ma- 
soretic exemplars, of which last the number is very great. But 
M. Bauer pronounces those manuscripts to be the best, whose 
various lections are most frequently confirmed by the antient 
versions, especially by the Alexandrian and Syriac, and also by 
the Samaritan Pentateuch and version. ' 

VIII. M. De Rossi has divided Hebrew manuscripts into 
three classes, viz. 1. More antient^ or those written before the 
twelfth century; — 2. Antient^ or those written in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries ; — 3. Mai-e recent, or those written at 
the end of the fourteenth, or at the beginning of the fifteenth 
century. The most recent, or those written since the fif- 
teenth century, which are very numerous, and are those found 
in the synagogues, he pronounces to be of little or no use, 
unless it can be pi'oved that they have been transcribed from 
antient apographs. The total number of Hebrew manuscripts 
collated by Dr. Kennicott for his critical edition of the He- 
brew Bible (of which an account is given in a subsequent page), 
is about six hundred and thirty. The total number collated 
by M. De Rossi for his Collection of Various Readings (also 
noticed in a subsequent page), is nine hundred and fifty-eight, 
eight hundred and forty-eight of which were in his own private 
library, and the remaining hundred and ten in different foreign 
libraries. The following are the most antient manuscripts col- 
lated by Dr. Kennicott. 

1. The Codex Laudianus, a. 172 and 162, and numbered 1. 
in Dr. Kennicott's list of Hebrew manuscripts. Though now in 
two folio parts, it is evident that they originally formed only one 
volume: each part consists of quinquernions, or gatherings of five 
sheets or ten leaves, and at the bottom of every tenth leaf is a 
catch-word beginning the next leaf, which is the first of the suc- 
ceeding gathering of ten leaves. But at the end of the first part 
or volume, there is pasted on, one leaf of the next quinquernion, 
completing the book of Deuteronomy; so that this volume 
concludes with five sheets and one leaf. over. And the first 
gathering in the second volume consists of only four sheets and 
one leaf, which last is likewise pasted on, for want of its fellow 

* Walton, Prolegom, c. iv. § 1 — 12. pp. 171 — 184. cc. vii. viii. pp. 225 — 331. 
edit. Dathii. Carpzov. Critica Sacra, pp. 283 — 387. Dr. Kennicott, diss. i. pp. 313 
— 3l7. ; also his Dissertatio Generalis, ^jassi'm. Jabn, Introd. ad Vet. Foedus, pp. 153 
— 170. Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp. 215—226. 343— 407. De Rossi, Var. Lect. torn. i. 
Prolegom. § xi. — xix- pp. xi, — xxu 

II. Sect. I.] Of the Old Testament. 45 

leaf. This manuscript is written on vellum, according to Dr. 
Kennicott, in the Spanish character, but in the opinion of Dr. 
Bruns it is in the Italic character, to which M. De Rossi assents. 
The letters, which are moderately large, are plain, simple, and 
elegant, but universally unadorned ; and they were originally 
written without points, as is evident from the different colour 
of the ink in the letters and in the points. Some of the let- 
ters, having become obliterated by the lapse of ages, have 
been written over a second time; and though such places 
were re-written in the same strong character, yet many of the 
words were becoming a second time invisible, when collated by 
Dr. K. This eminent critic assigns it to the tenth century, but 
De Rossi refers it to the eleventh. The Laudian manuscript 
begins with Gen. xxvii. 31.: it contam^ fourteen thousand 
variations from Vander Hooght's edition of the Hebrew Bible. 
More than two thousand are found in the Pentateuch, which 
confirm the Septuagint Greek Version in one hundred and nine 
various readings ; the Syriac, in ninety-eight ; the Arabic, in 
eighty-two ; the Vulgate or Latin Version, in eighty-eight ; and 
the Chaldee Paraphrase, in forty-two : it also agrees with the 
Samaritan Pentateuch, against the printed Hebrew, in seven 
hundred instances. What renders this manuscript the more 
valuable is, that it preserves a word of great importance for 
understanding 2 Sam. xxiii. 3 — 7., which word is confirmed 
by the Greek Version, and thus recovers to us a prophecy of 
the Messiah. ' 

2. The Codex CarlsruhensisI, (No. 154 of Dr. Kenicott's 
list of manuscripts,) formerly belonged to the celebrated and 
learned Reuchlin, whose efforts contributed so much towards 
the revival of literature in the fifteenth century. This manu- 
script is now preserved in the public library at Carlsruhe, and 
is the oldest that has a certain date. It is in square folio, 
and was written in the year of the world 4866, corresponding 
with 1106 of our zera. It contains the Prophets with the 

3. The Codex Viennje (No. 590 of Kennicott) con- 
tains the Prophets and Hagiographa. It is written on vel- 
lum, in folio, and if the date in its subscription be correct, 
(a. d. 1018 or 1019) it is more antient than the preceding. 
Bruns collected two hundred important various readings from 
this manuscript. The points have been added by a later hand. 
According to Adler's enumeration, it consists of four hundred 

» Kennicott, Dissert. I. pp. 3l5 — ^319. Dissert. II. pp.533, 534. Biblia He- 
braica, torn. ii. Dissert. Generalis, pp. 70, 71. De Rossi, Varias Lectiones, torn. i. 
Proleg. p. Lix. 

46 On the Hebre>w Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. 

and seventy-one leaves, and two columns, each column con- 
taining twenty-one lines. 

4. The Codex CiESEN^, in the Malatesta Library at Bo- 
logna, (No. 536 ofKennicott,) is a folio manuscript written on 
vellum, in the German character, towards the end of the 
eleventh century. It contains the Pentateuch, the Haphtaroth 
or sections of the Prophetical Books, and the Megilloth or 
five Books of Canticles, or the Song of Solomon, Ruth, the 
Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, and Esther. De Rossi 
pronounces it to be a most antient and valuable manuscript, and 
states that in its margin are inserted some various readings of 
still more antient manuscripts. ^ 

5. The Codex Florentinus 2, (No. 162 of Kennicott,) is 
written on vellum, in quarto, in a square Spanish character, with 
points, towards the end of the eleventh, or at latest in the be- 
ginning of the twelfth century. It contains the books of Joshua, 
Judges, and Samuel. Very many of the letters, which were 
obliterated by time, have been renewed by a later hand. 

6. The Codex Mediolanensis 9, (193 of Kennicott,) is 
written on vellum, in octavo, in the German character, towards 
the close of the twelfth century. It has neither the points nor 
the Masora. This manuscript comprises the Pentateuch ; the 
beginning of the book of Genesis, and the end of Leviticus and 
Deuteronomy, have been written by a later hand. Both era- 
sures and alterations occur in this manuscript ; and sometimes 
a worse reading is substituted in place of one that is preferable. 
Nevertheless it contains many good various readings. 

7. The Codex Norimbergensis 4, (201 of Kennicott,) is a 
folio manuscript, written on thin vellum, in the German cha- 
racter, and containing the Prophets and Hagiographa. It is 
mutilated in various parts. It is of great antiquity, and from 
the similarity of its character to that of the Codex Carlsruhensis, 
both Dr. Kennicott and M. De Rossi assign it to the beginning 
of the twelfth century. 

8. The Codex Parisiensis 27, (Regius 29, 210 ofKenni- 
cott,) is a quarto manuscript of the entire Bible, written on 
vellum, in an elegant Italic character. The initial words are, 
with few exceptions, of the same size as the rest. The Masora 
and Keri are both wanting ; and the Megilloth precede the 
books of Chronicles. It is highly valued by Kennicott and De 
Rossi, who refer it also to the beginning of the twelfth century. 

9. Coeval with the preceding is the Codex Regiomonta- 
Nus 2, (224 of Kennicott), written in the Italic character, in 

De Rossi, torn i. Proleg. p. Lxxxvii, 

II. Sect. I.] Of the Old Testament. 47 

small folio. This manuscript contains the Prophets and the 
Hagiographa, but it is mutilated in various places. The initial 
letters are larger than the others, and three of the poetical 
books are written in hemistichs. 

10. To the beginning of the twelfth century likewise is to 
be referred the Codex Parisiensis 84 (San-Germanensis 2, 
No. 366 of Kennicott) : it is written on vellum, in large quarto. 
It is imperfect from Jer. xxix. 19. to xxxviii. 2. ; and from 
Hosea iv. 4. to Amos vi. 12. Isaiah follows Ezekiel according to 
the Talmudical Canon. • 

The following are among the most antient of the manuscripts 
in the possession of the late M. De Rossi, and collated by 
him, viz. 

1. The codex, by him numbered 634, which is in quarto. It 
contains a fragment of the books of Leviticus and Numbers, — 
from Levit. xxi. 1 9. to Numb. i. 50. ; and exhibits every mark 
of the remotest antiquity. The vellum, on which it is written, 
is decayed by age ; the character is intermediate, or Italic, — 
approaching to that of the German manuscripts. The letters 
are all of an uniform size ; there is no trace of the Masora, or 
of any Masoretic notes, nor is any space left before the larger 
sections ; though sometimes, as in other very antient manu- 
scripts a few points are inserted between the words. M. De 
Rossi assigns this manuscript to the eighth century. 

2. A manuscript of the Pentateuch (No. 503), in quarto and 
on vellum, containing from Gen. xlii. 41. to Deut. xv. 12. It 
is composed ofleaves of various ages, the most antient of which 
are of the ninth or tenth century. The character is semi-rab- 
binical, rude and confessedly very antient. Points occur, in 
some of the more antient leaves, in the writing of the original 
copyist, but sometimes they are wanting. There are no traces 
of the Masora or of the Masoretic notes, and sometimes no 
space at all before the larger sections. It frequently agrees with 
the Samaritan text and antient versions. 

3. A manuscript of the Pentateuch (No. 10), with the Tar- 
gum and Megilloth. It is written in the German character, on 
vellum, and in quarto, towards the end of the eleventh or 
in the beginning of the twelfth century. The Masora is absent. 
The character, which is defaced by time, is rudely formed, and 
the initial letters are larger than the rest. Coeval with this 
manuscript is, 

4. A manuscript of the book of Job, in quarto, also on vellum, 
and in the German character. It is one of the most valuable 

» Kennicott, Dissertatio Generalis, pp. 85. 87, 88, 89, 98. 104. 

48 On the Hebrew Manuscripts [Parti. Ch, 

manuscripts of that book. The pages are divided hito two 
columns, the lines being of unequal length. 

5. A manuscript of the Hagiographa, (No. 379), the size, 
character, and date of which correspond with the preceding. 
It begins with Psal. xlix. 15. and ends with Neh. xl. 4. The 
Masora and Keri are absent ; and the poetical books are divided 
into hemistichs. 

6. A manuscript of the Pentateuch, (No. 611), on vellum, in 
octavo, and written in the German character, approaching some- 
what to the Spanish, towards the close of the eleventh or in the 
commencement of the twelfth century. The ink is frequently 
faded by age ; there are no traces of the Masora ; the Keri are 
very rarely to be seen, and the initial letters are larger than the 
others. There are frequent omissions in the text, which are 
supplied in the margin. ' 

Dr. Kennicott states that almost all the Hebrew manuscripts 
of the Old Testament, at present known to be extant, were 
written between the years 1000 and 1457, whence he infers that 
all the manuscripts written before the years 700 or 800 were 
destroyed by some decree of the Jewish senate, on account of 
their many differences from the copies then declared genuine. 
This circumstance is also alleged by Bishop Walton as the rea- 
son why we have so few exemplars of the age of 600 years, and 
why even the copies of 700 or 800 years are very rare. 

IX. It was long a desideratum with biblical scholars to obtain 
the Hebrew Scriptures from the Jews who are settled in India 
and other parts of the east. It was reasonably supposed, that, 
as these Jews had been for so many ages separated from their 
brethren in the west, their manuscripts might contain a text de- 
rived from the autographs of the sacred writers, by a channel 
independent of that through which the text of our printed Bibles 
has been ti'ansmitted to us. Dr. Kennicott was very anxious to 
obtain a copy, or at least a collation of a manuscript from India 
or China, for bis edition of the Hebrew Bible, in the expecta- 
tion that it would exhibit important variations from the Maso- 
retic editions ; but he was unsuccessful in his endeavours to 
procure it % and the honour of first bringing an Indian manu- 
script of the Hebrew Scriptures into Europe was reserved for 
the late Rev. Dr. Buchanan. 

* De Rossi, Var. Lect. torn. i. Proleg. pp. cxn. cxii. xcvin. cm, cvni. cxvi. 

2 According to the information collected from various sources, by Professor Bauer, 
it does not appear that the manuscripts of the Chinese Jews are of any reniote antiquity, 
or are calculated to afford any assistance to biblical critics. Although Jews have 
resided in China for many centuries, yet they have no antient manuscripts, those now 
in use being subsequent to the fifteenth century. Critica Sacra, pp. 405 — 407. See 
an account of the Hebrso-Chinese manuscripts in Koegler's Notitis S. S. Bibliorum 
Judaeorumin Imperio Sinensi. Edit. 2. 8vo. Halse ad Salam, 1805. 

II. Sect. I.] Of f he Old Testament. 49 

Among the biblical manuscripts brought from India by this 
learned and pious divine, and which are now deposited in the 
pubHc librai-y at Cambridge, there is a roll of the Pentateuch, 
which he procured fi'om the black Jews in Malabar •, who (there 
is strong reason to believe) are a part of the remains of the first 
dispersion of that nation by Nebuchadnezzar. The date of this 
manuscript cannot now be ascertained ; but its text is supposed 
to be derived from those copies which their ancestors brought 
with them into India. An interesting account of this manu- 
script was published by Mr. Yeates in the Christian Observer 
for the year 1810, whence we have abridged the following par- 
ticulars : 

The Indian copy of the Pentateuch is written on a roll of 
goat-skins dyed red, and was discovered by Dr. Buchanan in the 
record chest of a synagogue of the black Jews, in the interior 
of Malayala, in the year 1806. It measures forty-eight feet in 
length, and in breadth about twenty-two inches, or a Jewish 
cubit. The book of Leviticus and the greater part of the book 
of Deuteronomy are wanting. It appears, from calculation, that 
the original length of the roll was not lesti than ninety English 
feet. In its present condition it consists of thirty-seven skins ; 
contains one hundred and seventeen columns of writing per- 
fectly clear and legible ; and exhibits a noble specimen of the 
manner and foz'm of the most antient Hebrew manuscripts 
among the Jews. The columns are a palm in breadth, and 
contain from forty to fifty lines each, which are written without 
vowel points, and in all other respects according to the rules 
prescribed to the Jewish scribes or copyists. As some of the 
skins appear more decayed than others, and the text is evidently 
not all written by the same hand, Mr. Yeates is of opinion, that 
the roll itself comprises the fragments of at least three different 
rolls, of one common material, viz. dyed goat-skin, and exhibits 
three different specimens of writing. He has diligently ex- 
amined and collated this manuscript with the printed text of 
Vander Hooght's edition of the Hebrew Bible : and the result 
of his investigation is, that the amount of variations in the whole 
does not exceed^or/j/, and that none of them are found to differ 
from the common reading as to the sense and interpretation of 
the text, but are merely additions or omissions ofa jod or vau 
letter, expressing such yvordsjiill or deficient, according to the 
known usage of the Hebrew tongue. But even this small num- 
ber of readings was considerably reduced, when compared with 
the text of Athias's edition, printed at Amsterdam in 1661 ; so 

» See an account of these Jews in. Dr. Buchanan's " Christian Researches," pji, 224, 
el set/. 4th edit. 


50 General Observations [Part I. Ch. II. 

that the integrity of the Hebrew text is confirmed by this valuable 
manuscript so far as it goes, and its testimony is unquestionably 
important. Four readings are peculiar to this copy, which 
are not to be found in Dr. Kennicott's edition of the Hebrew 
Bible ; and many minute Masoretical distinctions, chiefly re- 
lative to the formation of the letters in certain words, show 
that the Masora of the eastern Jews has its peculiarities not 
common with that of the western Jews : whence it is certainly 
determined that the present roll is not a copy from any exemplar 
of the Jews in Europe; for no other synagogue rolls known in 
Europe are observed to have the same characteristics, at least 
as far as appears from any description of Hebrew manuscripts 
that is extant. ' 

In the seventh and following volumes of the Classical Journal 
there is a catalogue of the biblical, biblico-oriental, and classical 
manuscripts at present existing in the various public libraries in 
Great Britain. 



I. On what materials written. — II. Form of letters. — III. Abbrevia- 
tions. — IV. Codices Palimpsesti or Rescripti. — V. Account of the 
different Families, Recensions, or Editions of Mamiscipts of the New 
Testament. — I. The sy stein of Dr. Griesbach andMichaelis, — 2. Of 
Dr. Scholz. — 3. OfM. Matthm.—A. Of Mr. Nolan. — VI. On the 
Foedus cum Grcecis, or coincidence between many Greek Manuscripts 
and the Vulgate Latin Version. 

I. 1 HE Greek manuscripts which have descended to our 
time, are written either on vellum or on paper ; and their ex- 
ternal form and condition vary, like the manuscripts of other 
antient authors. The vellum is either purple-coloured or of its 
natural hue, and is either thick or thin. Manuscripts on very 
thin vellum were always held in the highest esteem. The paper 

» Christian Observer, vol. ix. pp. 144—146. 609, 610. In 1812 Mr. Yeates pub- 
lished the result of his labours at length, in a volume, entitled " Collation of an Indian 
copy of the Pentateuch, with preliminary remarks, containing an exact description of 
the manuscript, and a notice of some others, Hebrew and Syriac, collected by the 
Rev. C. Buchanan, D. D. in the year 1806, and now deposited in the Public Library, 
Cambridge. Also a collation and description of a manuscript roll of the Book of 
Esther, and the Megillah of Ahasuerus, from the Hebrew copy, originally extant in 
brazen tablets at Goa j vvitli an English translation," 4to. See an analysis of its con- 
tents in the Christian Observer, vol. xii. pp. 172 — 174. 

Sect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. .51 

also is either made of cotton, or the common sort manufactured 
from linen, and is either glazed or /azW (as it is technically 
termed), that is, of the ordinary roughness. Only three manu- 
script fragments on purple vellum are known to be extant ; one 
in the Cottonian Library in the British Museum, the other in the 
Imperial Library at Vienna, and the third in the University 
Library at Dublin. The first of these, consisting only of four 
leaves, contains fragments of St. Matthew's and St. John's gos- 
pels ; the letters are silver on a faded purple ground, and the 
Greek words for God^ Jesus, Lord, Son, and Saviour, are writ- 
ten in letters of gold. The Vienna manuscript comprises frag- 
ments of the book of Genesis in Greek, and a small portion of 
St. Luke's Gospel. The Dublin manuscript is a Codex Re- 
scriptus of St, Matthew's Gospel, described in a subsequent page. 
The Codex Claromontanus, of which a brief notice is also given 
in a subsequent page, is written on very thin vellum. All manu- 
scripts on paper are of much later date; those on cotton paper 
being posterior to the ninth century, and those on linen subse- 
quent to the twelfth century; and if the paper be of a very 
ordinary quality, Wetstein pronounces them to have been writ- 
ten in Italy, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

II. The letters are either capital (which in the time of St. 
Jerome were called uncial^ i. e. initial) or cursive, i. e. small : 
the capital letters, again, are of two kinds, either unadorned 
and simple, and made with straight thin strokes, or thicker, 
uneven, and angular. Some of them are supported on a sort 
of base, while others are decorated, or rather burthened with 
various tops. As letters of the first kind are generally seen on 
antient Greek monuments, while those of the last resemble the 
paintings of semibarbarous times, manuscripts written with the 
former are generally supposed to be as old as the fifth century, 
and those written with the latter are supposed to be posterior to 
the ninth century. Greek manuscripts were usually written in 
capital letters till the seventh century, and mostly without any 
divisions of words ; and capitals were in general use until the 
eighth centuiy, and some even so late as the ninth ; but there 
is a striking difference in the forms of the letters after the seventh 
century. Great alterations took place in the eighth, ninth, and 
tenth centuries: the Greek letters in the manuscripts copied by 
the Latins in the ninth century, are by no means regular ; the 
«, s, and y, being inflected like the a, e, and j/, of the Latin al- 
phabet. Towards the close of the tenth century, small or cursive 
letters were generally adopted ; and Greek manuscripts written in 
and since the eleventh century are in small letters, and greatly 
resemble each other, though some few exceptions occur to the 
contrary. Flourished letters rarely occur in Greek manuscripts 

E 2 

52 General Observations [Part I. Ch. 11. 

of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries '. The fac- 
similes of the Alexandrian and other manuscripts, given in the 
subsequent pages of this work, will furnish the reader with a 
tolerably correct idea of the various styles of Greek writing 
which obtained at different periods between the sixth and the 
fourteenth centuries. 

The most antient manuscripts are written without accents, 
spirits, or any separation of the words ; nor was it until after the 
ninth century that the copyists began to leave spaces between 
the words. Michaelis, after Wetstein, ascribes the insertion of 
accents to Euthalius bishop of Sulca in Egypt, a. d. 458.^ 

III. Nearly the same mode of spelling obtains in antient ma- 
nuscripts which prevails in Greek printed books ; but, even in 
the earliest manuscripts, we meet with some words that are ab- 
breviated by putting the first and last letters, and sometimes 
also the middle letter, for an entire word, and drawing a line 
over the top, thus"®c, kc, Ic, ~xc,Jrs, shp, iha, or isha, hna, 
riHP, MHP, OTNOS, ANOD, lAHM, AAA, respectively denote 0Bog 
Godf Kvgio; Lord, Ivjcrouj Jesus, Xgifoc Christ, T<oj a son, ScoTijg 
Saviour, T(rgaT]X Israel, Trvsvfjia. spirit, Trarrigjather, jw.>jT»)g mother, 
ovQCivog heaven, uv^gcoTrog man, legowo-aAijjW, Jerusalem, Aau»8 
David ^, At the beginning of a new book, which always com- 
mences at the top of a page, the first three, four, or five lines 
are frequently written in vermilion ; and, with the exception of 
the Alexandrian and Vatican manuscripts, all the most antient 
codices now extant have the Eusebian xeftxXaia. and nrXoi, of 
which we have given an account in a subsequent chapter. * 

Very few manuscripts contain the whole either of the Old or 
of the New Testament. By far the greater part have only the four 
Gospels, because they were most frequently read in the churches; 
others comprise only the acts of the apostles and the catholic 
epistles ; others, again, have the acts and St. Paul's epistles ; 
and a very few contain the apocalypse. Almost all of them, es- 
pecially the more antient manuscripts, are imperfect, either from 
the injuries of time, or from neglect. * 

1 Wetstein's Prolegomena to his edition of the Greek Testament, vol. i. pp. 1 — 3. 
Astle on the Origin of Writing, pp. 60 — 76. 2d edit. Wetstein has given an alphabet 
from various Greek manuscripts, and Astle has illustrated his observations with several 
very fine engravings. 

* Wetstein, Proleg. p. 73. Michaelis, vol. ii. pp.519 — 524. 

3 Concerning Greek Abbreviations, see Montfaucon's Palaeographia Grseca, pp. 345 
— 370. Mr. Astlehas also given a specimen of Greek abbreviations from two Psalters. — 
On Writing, p. 76. plate vi. 

4 See Part I. Chap. IV. infra. 

5 The Codex Cottonianus, for instance, when perfect, contained only the Book of 
Genesis ; the Codex Csesareus contains only part of the same book, together with a 
fragment of the Gospel of Luke : the Alexandrian manuscript wants the first twenty- 
four chapters of Saint Matthew's Gospel ; and the Codex Bezas contains only the four 
Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. 

Sect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. 53 

All manuscripts, the most antient not excepted, have era- 
sures and corrections ; which however were not always effected 
so dexterously, but that the original writing may sometimes be 
seen. Where these alterations have been made by the copyist 
of the manuscript ( a prima manu, as it is termed), they are pre- 
ferable to those made by later hands, or a secundd manu. These 
erasures were sometimes made by drawing a line through the 
word, or, what is tenfold worse, by the penknife. But, besides 
these modes of obliteration, the copyists frequently blotted out 
the old writing with a sponge, and wrote other v»^ords in lieu of 
it : nor was this practice confined to a single letter or word, as 
may be seen in tlie Codex Bezse '. Authentic instances are on 
record, in which whole books have been thus obliterated, and 
other writing has been substituted in the place of the manuscript 
so blotted out. 

IV. These manuscripts are termed Codices Palimpsesti or 
JRescripti. Before the invention of paper, the great scarcity of 
parchmentin different places induced many persons to obliterate 
the works of antient writers, in order to transcribe their own or 
those of some other favourite author in their place : hence, 
doubtless, the works of many eminent writers have perished, and 
particularly those of the greatest antiquity; for such, as were 
comparatively recent, were transcribed, to satisfy the immediate 
demand ; while those, which were already dim with age, were 

It was for a long time thought, that this destructive practice 
was confined to the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth 
centuries, and that it chiefly prevailed among the Greeks ; it 
must in fact be considered as the consequence of the barbarism 
which overspread those dark ages of ignorance ; but this de- 
structive operation was likewise practised by the Latins, and is 
also of a more remote date than has usually been supposed. 

In general, a Codex Rescriptus is easily known, as it rarely 
happens that the former writing is so completely erased, as not 
to exhibit some traces : in a few instances, both writings are 
legible. Montfaucon found a manuscript in the Colbert Library, 
which had been written about the eighth century, and orio-inally 
contained the works of Saint Dionysius : new matter had been 
written over it, three or four centuries afterwards, and both con- 
tinued legible 3. Muratori saw in the Ambrosian library a 

1 Wetstein's Prolegomena, pp.3 — 8. Griesbach has discovered the hands of five 
different correctors in the Codex Claromontanus. See his Symbols Critics, torn. ii. 
pp. 32—52. 

2 Peignot, Essai sur i'Histoire de Parchemin, p. 83, et seq. 

3 Palasogr, pp. 231, 233. The greater part of the manuscripts on parchment, which 
Montfaucon had seen, he affirms, were written on parchment, from which some former 
treatise had been erased, except in those of a very antient d;ite. Mem. de I'Acad. 
de Inscript. torn, ix. p. 325. 

E 3 

54f . General Observations [Parti. Ch. II, 

manuscript Comprising the works of the venerable Bede, the 
writing of which was from eight to nine hundred years old, and 
which had been substituted for another upwards of a thousand 
years old . Notwithstanding the efforts which had been made 
to erase the latter, some phrases could be deciphered, which in- 
dicated it to be an antient pontifical ^ The indefatigable 
researches of the Abate Maio (who has recently been appointed 
the principal keeper oi the Vatican Library at Rome) have dis- 
covered several valuable remains of biblical and classical litera- 
ture in the Ambrosian Library at Milan ^ ; and a short account 
of some of the principal Codices Rescripti of the New Testa- 
ment, or of parts thereof, will be found in the sequel of this 

V. The total number of manuscripts of the New Testament 
(whether they have been transmitted to us entire or in fragments), 
which are known to have been wholly or partially collated, 
amounts nearly to five hundred ; but this number forms only a 
small part of the manuscripts found in public and private libra- 
ries. The result of these collations has shown that certain 
manuscripts have an affinity to each other, and that their text is 
distinguished from that of others by characteristic marks ; and 
eminent critics, (particularly Griesbach, who devoted the whole 
of his life to sacred criticism), after diligently comparing the 
quotations from the New Testament in the writings of Clement 
of Alexandria and of Origen with those made by Tertullian and 
Cyprian, have ascertained that, so early as the third century, 
there were in existence two Jamilies, recensions^ or editions ^ of 
manuscripts, or, in other words, two entirely different texts of 
the New Testament K Michaelis has observed that, as different 
countries had different versions according to their respective 
languages, their manuscripts naturally resembled their respective 
versions, as these versions, generally speaking, were made from 
such manuscripts as were in common use. Four different sys- 
tems of recensions or editions have been proposed, viz. by Gries- 
bach and Michaelisj by Scholz, by Matthaei, and by Mr. Nolan. 

1 . The basis of Griesbach's system is, the division of the 
Greek manuscripts of the New Testament into three classes, 

1 Muratori. Antiq. Ital. torn. iii. diss. 43. col. 833, 8!?4. 

s See a brief notice of Signer Maio's discovery of a CoJex Rescriptus of Saint Paul's 
Epistles, in pp. 96, 97 infra, of the present volume. 

3 Bengel expressed this relationship or affinity between manuscripts by the term 
family (Introd. ad Crisin N.T. § 27 — 30.) Semler (Apparatus ad Libcralem Novi 

Testamenti Interpretationem, p. 45) and Griesbach (Symboljc Criticas, torn. i. p. cxviii. 
use the term recensio, recension, that is, edition, which last term is adopted by Mi- 
chaelis, vol. ii. p. 173. 

4 In the second volume of Griesb-ich's SymbolsE Critic£e (pp.229 — 620.), there is 
a laborious collation of the quotations from the New Testament, made by Origen and 
Clement of Alexandria, with the Vu'gate or common Greek Text. 

yect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. 55 

each of which is considered as an independent witness for 
the various readings which it contains. The value of a 
reading, so far as manuscript authority is regarded, is de- 
cided by Griesbach, not according to the individual manu- 
script in which it is found, but according to the number of 
classes by which it is supported. The classes, under which he 
arranges all the Greek manuscripts are the following, viz. 
1. The Alexandrine; 2. The Occidental or Western; and 

3. The Byzantine or Oriental, to which Michaelis has added 

4. The Edessene. To each of these are given the appellation of 
recension or edition, as we commonly say of printed books. 

1. The first class or Alexandrine Recension, which is also 
called the Egyptian Recension, comprises those manuscripts, 
which, in remarkable and characteristic readings, agree with 
the quotations of the early Alexandrine writers, particularly 
Origen and Clement of Alexandria. After them, this recension 
was adopted by the Egyptian Greeks. To this class Gries- 
bach refers the Codex Alexandrinus ', noted by the letter A., 
but in the epistles of Saint Paul only ; and also B. the Vati- 
can manuscript ^. To this class also Dr. Scholz refers C, the 
Codex Ephremi^ ; L. the Codex Regius 62, an imperfect ma- 
nuscript of the four Gospels of the eighth century, collated by 
Wetstein and Griesbach ; P. the Guelpherbytanus A., a Codex 
Rescriptus of the sixth century, comprising fragments of the four 
Gospels ; Q. the Guelpherbytanus B., also a Codex Rescriptus of 
the same date, and containing some fragments of Luke and 
John; T. the Codex Borgise I.j containing a Greek Sahidic 
version of John vi. 28 — 67- vii. 6. — viii. 31., executed in the 
fourth century ; Griesb. 22. : the Codex Regius 72., a frag- 
ment of Matt. i. 1 — ii. 2., written in the eleventh century; 
Griesb. 33. : the Codpx Regius 14., a mutilated MS. of the 
Oldand New Testament, of the eleventh century; Griesb. 102.: 
the Codex Medicaeus, which comprises from Matt. xxiv. to 
Mark viii. 1.; and the Codex Regius 305, a MS. of the thir- 
teenth century. "* 

The Alexandrine Recension is followed by the Coptico- Mem- 
phitic, Coptico- Basmuric, Coptico-Sahidic, Ethiopic, Arme- 
nian, and the Syro-Philoxenian versions: and it is the text 

' See an account of this MS. in pp. 71—79. infra. 

2 Described pp. 79—81. infra. 

3 See p. 94. infra. The letters and figures, above used, are those employed 
by Griesbach, to denote the several manuscripts collated or consulted by hini 
for his edition of the New Testament. They are explained in the Prolegomena to 
his first volume. 

* The manuscripts in the Royal Library at Paris are generally known by the ap- 
pelLition of Codices Regii. 

E 4 

56 General Observations [Part 1. Ch. II. 

cited by the fathers, Eusebius, Anastasius, Ammonius, Didy- 
mus, Cyril of Alexandria, Marcus, Macarius, Cosmas Indico- 
pleustes, Noiinus, Isidore of Pelusium, Theodore of Pelusium, 
and frequently also by Chrysostom. 

2. The Occidental or Western Edition is that which was 
adopted by the Christians of Africa (especially by TertuUian 
and Cyprian), Italy, Gaul, and the west of Europe generally. 
According to Griesbach it is followed in A. the Codex Alexan- 
drinus, in the Acts of the Apostles, and the Catholic Epistles; 
and according to Dr. Scholz, in D. the Codex Bezae or Can- 
tabrigiensis ' ; in the Codex Regius 314, a MS. of the eighth 
century, containing Luke ix. 36 — 47. and x. 12 — 22.; Griesb. 1. 
(Basil. B. VI. 21.) 2; Griesb. 13. the Codex Regius 50, a 
mutilated MS. of the twelfth century, collated for Birch's 
edition of the four Gospels; Griesb. 28. the Codex Regius 
379, a MS. of the eleventh century; Griesb. 69. the Codex 
Leicestrensis, and 124, the Codex Vindobonensis (Lambecii 
31.) 3; Griesb. 131. the Codex Vaticanus 360, a MS. of the 
eleventh century, collated by Birch; Griesb. 157. the Codex 
Vaticanus 2, a MS. of the twelfth century, also collated by 
Birch; the Codex Regius 177, containing the four Gospels, 
with very copious scholia, written (Dr. Scholz thinks) in the 
eleyenth century; and in the Codex Regius, 375, containing 
lessons from the New Testament, excepting the Revelation, 
and written early in the eleventh century : in the Gospels, it 
very seldom differs from the Codex Bezse, but in the Acts of 
the Apostles and in the Epistles, it chiefly agrees with the 
Alexandrine Recension. 

With these manuscripts sometimes harmonise the Sahidic 
Version, made in the fourth century, the Syriac Version 
of Jerusalem, and the readings in the margin of the Syro- 
Philoxenian Version ; as also the Ante-Hieronymian or Old 
Latin Versions, which were in use before the Vulgate Version. 

The Western Edition was cited by the African fathers, Ter- 
tuUian, Cyprian, Lactantius, Victorinus, Augustine, and by 
the unknown author of the book against Fulgentius the Do- 
natist; by the Italic fathers, Zeno of Verona, Gaudentius of 
Brescia, Chromatins of Aquileia, Anbrose, the author of cei'- 
tain pieces which are attributed to that writer, Rufinus, the 
author of the Opus Imperfectum on St. Matthew, Gregory 
surnamed the Great, and Lucifer Bishop of Cagliari ; and by 
the Gallic fathers, Irenseus, Hilary, Julius, Firmicus Mater- 

1 See pp. 89—94. infra " See ]>. 104. injra. 

3 See a notice of tliese two M.SS in pp. 115, 1 14. iiifni. 

Sect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. J57 

nus, Phoebadius (a Spaniard) Bishop of Agen, Juvencus, and 
by the Mozarabic Ritual. With this edition also coincides the 
Vulgate Latin Version, which is followed by Isidore bishop 
of Seville, Remigius, Bede, Rabanus Maurus, Haymo, An- 
selm, Pietro Damiani, Bernard, and all subsequent writers in 
communion with the Latin church for the last thousand years, 
as well as by the Lectionaries, Breviaries, Antient Missals, Acts 
of the Martyrs, and other ecclesiastical books of that church. * 

3. Towards the end of the fourth century, and during the 
fifth and sixth centuries, critics have observed a^ext differing 
from the two first, and which they call the Byzantine 
or Oriental Recension or Edition, because it was in 
general use at Constantinople, after that city became the ca- 
pital and metropolitan see of the eastern empire. With this 
edition are closely allied those of the neighbouring provinces, 
whose inhabitants were subject to the spiritual jurisdiction of 
the patriarch of Constantinople -. The readings of the Byzan- 
tine Recension are those which are most commonly found in 
the Kojv>] Ex8oo-<f, or printed Vulgate Greek Text, and are also 
most numerous in the existing manuscripts which correspond 
to it. Griesbach reckons upwards of one hundred manuscripts 
of this class, which minutely harmonise with each other. On 
account of the many alterations, that were unavoidably made in 
the long interval between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries, 
Michaelis proposes to divide the Byzantine edition into antient 
and modern ; but he does not specify any criteria by which we 
can determine the boundaries between these two classes. The 
Byzantine text is found in the four Gospels of the Alexandrian 
manuscript; it was the original of the Sclavonic or old Russian 
version, and was cited by Chrysostom and Theophylact bishop 
of Bulgaria. 

As the Peschito, or Old Syriac version of the New Testa- 
ment, differs from the three preceding recensions, Michaelis 
has instituted another, which he terms, 

4. The Edessene Edition, comprehending those manu- 
scripts from which that version was made. Of this edition 
no manuscripts are extant; which circumstance Michaelis ac- 
counts for, by the early prejudice of the Syriac literati in favour 
of wliatever was Grecian, and also by the wars that devastated 

' Scholz, Cura Criticas in Historiam Textus Evangeliorum, pp. 27 — SO. 

2 Michaelis remarks that the greatest number of manuscripts written on Mount 
Athoi are evidently of the Byzantine edition : and he thinks it probable that almost all 
the Moscow manuscripts, of which M. Matthjei has given extracts, belong to this 
edition. As the valuable manuscripts collected by the late learned Professor Carlyle 
'.vera obtained in Syria, Constantinople, and the islands of the Levant, it is probable, 
whenever they shall be collated, that they will be found to coincide with the Uyr.antine 
recension. These manuscripts are preserved in the Aichiepiscopal Libi\-.iy at Lambeth, 
an'i are described </t//o, pp.107 — 109. 

5^ General Observations [Part I. Ch. II. 

the East tor many ages subsequent to the fifth century. But 
by some accident which is difficult to be explained, manuscripts 
are found in the west of Europe, accompanied even with a 
Latin translation, such as the Codex Bezae, which so eminently 
coincide with the Old Syriac Version, that their affinity is in- 

Although the readings of the Western, Alexandrine, and 
Edessene editions sometimes differ, yet they very frequently 
harmonise with each other. This coincidence Michaelis as- 
cribes to their high antiquity, as the oldest manuscripts extant 
belong to one of these editions, and the translations themselves 
are antient. A reading confirmed by three of them is supposed 
to be of the very highest authority ; yet the true reading may 
sometimes be found only in the fourth. 

2. The second system of recensions is that proposed by 
Dr. Scholz in his Curce Criticce in Historiam Textus Evange- 
liorum, founded on a long and minute examination of the 
treasure of biblical manuscripts contained in the Royal Li- 
brary at Paris : this system is in effect a modification of that 
proposed by Griesbach. According to this critic, there SLveJive 
recensions, viz. 1. The Alexandrine; 2. The Occidental or Wes- 
tern; 3. The Asiatic; 4. The Byzantine ; and 5. The Cyprian. 

1, 2. The Alexandrine and Occidental are the same as the 
two first classes of Griesbach : the Byzantine of the latter critic. 
Dr. S. divides into two distinct families, viz. the Asiatic and 
the Byzantine. 

3. The Asiatic Recension, as its name implies, is that 
text which has prevailed in Asia from the apostolic times, and 
which has undergone fewer changes than the Alexandrine or 
Egyptian and Occidental or Western Editions have experienced. 
To this recension belongs the Codex Regius 53, a manuscript 
of the tenth century, written on Mount Athos, and transcribed 
with great correctness from the Jerusalem manuscripts. To 
this class also are referred the Codices Regii 186, 188, 277, 
293, 298, and 300. No. 186. is a manuscript of the 
eleventh century, containing the four Gospels wiih'tlie com- 
mentaries of Chrysostom and others, and wii^ disquisitions 
on select passages. No. 188. (Griesb. 20.) is a manuscript 
of the four Gospels, of the eleventh centuj-y, with the 
commentaries of various authors. No. 177 is an evangelista- 
rium, or collection of lessons from the Gospels of the ninth, 
and Nos. 293, 298, and 300 are evangelistaria of the eleventh 
century ; but all, in the judgment of Dr. Scholzj are copied 
from very antient Palestine manuscripts. 

With the Asiatic recension coincide the Peschito or Old 
Syriac Version, and the fathers who have used it, the Syro- 

Sect. IL § 1 .] On Greek Manuscripts. 5Si 

Philoxenian version, Cyril of Jerusalem, Theodoret, and 
Hesychius of Jerusalem. 

4. The Byzantine or Constantinopolitan Recension 
contains that text, which is found in the manuscripts in use at 
Constantinople, and in the Greek Churches. This text is 
found in A. the Codex Alexandrinus (but in the four Gospels 
only) ; in E. the Codex Basileensis B. VI. 21 ; in F. the Codex 
Bore&i ; in G. the Codex Harleianus 5684 ; in H. the Codex 
Wolfii B. ; in M. the Codex Regius 48. (a manuscript of the 
tenth century, containing the four Gospels) ; S. the Codex 
Vaticanus 354 (a manuscript of the tenth century collated by 
Birch) ; and the manuscripts noted by Griesbach, 42, 106. 
(both of the tenth century), 116 (of the twelfth century), 114 
of the thirteenth century, and one of the Moscow manuscripts, 
(No. 10 of Matthsei's notation) written in the thirteenth century. 
To this class also are referred fifty-three other manuscripts con- 
tained in the royal library, either collated for the first time by 
Dr. Scholz, or (if previously collated by Mill, Wetstein, 
Griesbach, Alter, Birch, Matthaai, and others) subjected by 
him to a second examination and collation. 

With the Byzantine Recension agree the Gothic and Scla- 
vonic versions, and most of the Greek fathers (fifty -five are 
enumerated by Dr. Scholz), particularly by Amphilochius 
bishop of Iconium, Apollinaris, bishop of Laodicea, Caesarius, 
Epiphanius, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzum, Theo- 
doret, and Theophylact. 

From the preceding manuscripts there is a slight variation, 
and kind of transition to the received or Vulgate Greek text, in 
the Codices Regii, as well as in many others preserved in dif- 
ferent libraries. Dr. S. has enumerated eighty-seven manu- 
scripts of this description, that are in the royal library at Paris, 
Jifteen only of which have been collated for Griesbach's edition 
of the New Testament, 

5. The Cyprian Recension contains that text, which is 
exhibited in the Codex Cyprius, a manuscript of the eighth 
century, brought from the Isle of Cyprus, of which a descrip- 
tion is given in a subsequent page '. By a comparison of the 
readings of the Codex Cyprius, with the received text, and 
with the Alexandrine and Constantinopolitan Recensions, in 
nearly one hundred instances. Dr. Scholz has shewn, that 
it very frequently coincides with the two last, sometimes 
agreeing with both, sometimes following one or the other of 
them, and sometimes holding a mean between them. In many 

I See pp. 102—104, mfrn. 

(Jo General Observations [Part 1. Ch. II. 

instances it harmonises with but few manuscripts, and in some 
cases its readings are peculiar to itself. On these accounts he 
is of opinion, that the Codex Cyprius exhibits a family which 
has sprung from a collation of various manuscripts, some of 
Avhich owe their origin to Egypt, others to Asia, and others 
to Cyprus. 

Most of the manuscripts now extant exhibit one of the texts 
above described ; some are composed of two or three recen- 
sions. No individual manuscript preserves any recension in a 
pure state ; but manuscripts are said to be of the Alexandrine 
or Western recension, as the appropriate readings of each pre- 
ponderate. The margins of these manuscripts, as well as those 
of the Ethiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, and Syro-Philoxenian 
versions, and the Syriac version of Jerusalem, contain the 
Alexandrian variations for the Western readings, or vice 
versa ; and some Byzantine manuscripts have the Alexandrian 
or Western various lections in their margins. ' 

Each of these recensions has characteristics peculiar to itself. 
The Occidental or Western preserves harsh readings, He- 
braisms, and solecisms, which the Alexandrine has exchanged 
for readings more conformable to classic usage. 7^he Western 
is characterised by readings calculated to relieve the text from 
difficulties, and to clear the sense: it frequently adds supple- 
ments to the passages adduced from the Old Testament ; and 
omits words that appear to be either repugnant to the context 
or to other passages, or to render the meaning obscure. The 
Alexandrine is free-^rom the interpretations and transppsi- 
tions of the Western recension. An explanatory reading is 
therefore suspicious in the Western recension, and a classical 
one in the Alexandrine. The Byzantine or Constantinopo- 
htan recension (according to Griesbach's system) preserves the 
Greek idiom still purer than the Alexandrine, and resembles 
the Western in its use of cojdIous and explanatory readings. 
It is likewise mixed, throughout, with the readings of the other 

The Asiatic recension of Schoiz coincides with the Western 
in its supplementary and explanatory readings; and his By- 
zantine or Constantinopolitan family with the Alexandrine in 
the affinity of certain manuscripts, which in some instances is 
so great as to prove that they had one common origin. ^ 

' Michaelis, vol. ii. pp. 16S — 177. Griesbach's Symbolae Criticje, torn. i. pp. cxvii. — 
cxxii.cxyxvii clvii. — clxiv.tom. ii. pp. 152 — 148. Griesbach's edit, of the New. Test, 
vol. i. Proleg. pp. Ixxiii. — hxxi. edit. Hala?, 1796. 

2 Dr. Schoiz has gii-en numerous examples of the characteristics of the several 
recensions above noticed. Cur. Crit. in Hist. Text. Evaiig. pp 51 — 42. 46 — .51. 

Seel. II. § 1.] 0)1 Greek ManuscnjJts, 61 

The system of recensions, above proposed by Bengel and 
Semler, and completed by the late celebrated critic Dr. Gries- 
bach, has been subjected to a very severe critical ordeal ; and 
has been formidably attacked, on the continent by the late 
M. Matthaei, and in this country by the Rev. Dr. Laurence ', 
and the Rev. Frederic Nolan. 

3' Totally disregarding Griesbach's system of recensions, 
M. Matthaei recognises only one class or family of manuscripts, 
which he terms codicts textus perpetui, and pronounces every 
thing that is derived from commentaries and scholia to be 
corrupt. As the manuscripts of the New Testament, which he 
found in the library of the Synod, came originally from Mount 
Athos, and other parts of the Greek empire, and as the 
Russian church is a daughter of the Greek church, those ma- 
nuscripts consequently contain what Griesbach has called the 
Byzantine text ; which Matthaei admits to be the only authentic 
text, excluding the Alexandrine and Western recensions, 
and also rejecting all quotations from the fathers of the Greek 
church. To the class of manuscripts to which the Codex 
Bezae, the Codex Claromontanus, and others of high antiquity 
belong, he gave, in the preface to his edition of Saint John's 
Gospel, the appellation of editio scurtilis, nor did he apply 
softer epithets to those critics who ventured to defend such 
manuscripts. - 

4« The last system of recensions which remains to be no- 
ticed is that of the Rev. F. Nolan. It is developed in his ^' In- 
quiry into the integrity of the Greek Vulgate or received text 
of the Neiv Testament, in 'which the Greek manuscripts are 
neialy classed, the integrity of the authorised text vindicated^ 
and the various readings traced to their origin. (8vo. London, 
1815.)^ That integrity he has confessedly established by a series 
of proofs and connected arguments, the most decisive that can 
be reasonably desired or expected : but as these occupy nearly 
six hundred closely printed pages, the limits of this section 
necessarily restrict us to the following concise notice of his ela- 
borate system. 

It has been an opinion as early as the times of Bishop Wal- 
ton, that the purest text of the scripture canon had been pre- 

• In his " Remarks on the classification of manuscripts adopted by Griesbach in 
his edition of the New Testament,'^ (8vo. Oxford, 1814.) For learned and elaborate 
analyses of Dr.Laurence's work, seethe Eclectic Review for 1815, \ol. iv. N. S. pp. 1 — 
22. 175—189., and particularly the British Critic for 1814, vol. i. N. S. pp. 173 — 
192. 296—315. 401—428. 

2 Schoell, Hist, de la Litterature Grecque, torn. ii. p. 136. Bishop Marsh's Lectures, 
part. ii. p. 30. 

3 There is a copious analysis of this work in the British Critic, (N. S.) vol. v. 
pp. 1 — 24., from which, and from the work itself, the present notice of Mr. Nolan's 
system of recensions is derived. 

g2 General Observations [Part I. Ch. II- 

served at Alexandria i the libraries of that city having been 
celebrated from an early period for their correct and splendid 
copies. From the identity of any MS. in its peculiar readings, 
with the scripture quotations of Origen, who presided in the ca- 
techetical school of Alexandria, a strong presumption arises 
that it contains the Alexandrine edition : the supposition being 
natural, that Origen drew his quotations from the copies gene- 
rally prevalent in his native country. This, as we have seen, 
was the basis of Dr. Griesbach's system of recensions : accord- 
ingly he ascribes the highest rank to the manuscripts of the 
Alexandrine class, the authority of a few of which in his esti- 
mation outweighs that of a multitude of the Byzantine. The 
peculiar readings, which he selects from the manuscripts of this 
class, he confirms by a variety of collateral testimony, princi- 
pally drawn from the quotations of the antient fathers and the 
versions made in the primitive ages. To the authority of 
Origen, however, he ascribes a paramount weight, taking it as 
the standard by which his collateral testimony is to be esti- 
mated ; and using their evidence merely to support his testi- 
mony, or to supply it when it is deficient. The readings, 
which he supports by this weight of testimony, he considers 
genuine; and, introducing a number of them into the sacred 
page, he has thus formed his corrected text of the New Tes- 
tament. The necessary result of this process, as obviously 
proving the existence of a great number of spurious readings, 
has been that of shaking the authority of the authorised 
English Version, with the foundation on which it rests. 

In combating the conclusions of Griesbach, Mr. Nolan ar- 
gues from the inconstancy of Origen's quotations, that no cer- 
tain conclusion can be deduced from his testimony; he infers 
from the history of Origen, who principally wrote and pub- 
lished in Palestine, that the text, quoted by that antient father, 
was rather the Palestine than the Alexandrine : and he proves, 
from the express testimony of Saint Jerome, that the text of 
Origen was really adopted in Palestine, while that of Hesy- 
chius was adopted at Alexandria. 

Having thus opened the question, and set it upon the 
broader ground assumed by those critics, who confirm the 
readings of the Alexandrine text, by the coincidence of the 
antient versions of the Oriental and Western churches ; 
Mr. N. combats this method, proposed for investigating the 
genuine text, in two modes. He first shews that a coincidence 
between the Western and Oriental churches, does not necessa- 
rily prove the antiquity of the text which they mutually sup- 
port ; as the versions of the former church were corrected, 
after the texts of the latter, by Jerome and Cassiodorus, who 

Sect. 11. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. 63 

may have thus created the coincidence, which is taken as a 
proof of the genuine reading. In the next place^ he infers, 
from the prevalence of a text pubUshed by Eusebius of Caesarea, 
and from the comparatively late period at which the Oriental 
Versions were formed, that their general coincidence may be 
traced to the influence of Eusebius's edition. This position he 
establishes, by a proof deduced from the general prevalence of 
Eusebius's sections and canons in the Greek MSS. and antient 
versions, and by a presumption derived from the agreements 
of those texts and versions with each other in omitting several 
passages contained in the Vulgar Greek, which were at va- 
riance with Eusebius's peculiar opinions '. And having thus 
established the general influence of Eusebius's text, he gene- 
rally concludes against the stability of the critical principles on 
which the German critics have undertaken the correction of 
the Greek Vulgate. 

The material obstacles being thus removed to the establish- 
ment of his plan, Mr. Nolan next proceeds to investigate the 
different classes of text which exist in the Greek manuscripts. 
Having briefly considered the scripture quotations of the 
fathers, and shewn that they afford no adequate criterion for 
reducing the text into classes, he proceeds to the consideration 
of the antient translations, and after an examination of the 
Oriental Versions, more particularly of the Sahidic, he comes 
to the conclusion, that no verson but the Latin can be taken as 
a safe guide in ascertaining the genuine text of Scripture. This 
point being premised, the author lays the foundation of his 
scheme of classification, in the following observations. 

" In proceeding to estimate the testimony which the Latin 
translation bears to the state of the Greek text, it is necessary 
to premise, that this translation exhibits three varieties : — as 
corrected by Saint Jerome at the desire of Pope Damasus, and 
preserved in the Vulgate; as corrected by Eusebius of Verceli, 
at the desire of Pope Julius, and preserved in the Codex Ver- 
cellensis ; and as existing previously to the corrections of both, 
and preserved as I conceive, in the Codex Brixianus. The 
first of these three editions of the Italic translation is too well 
known to need any description ; both the last are contained in 
beautiful manuscripts, preserved at Verceli, and at Brescia, in 
Italy. The curious and expensive manner in which at least 
the latter of these manuscripts is executed, as written on 
purple vellum in silver characters, would of itself contain no 
inconclusive proof of its great antiquity ; such having been the 

* In the course of this discussion, Mr. Nt)lan assigns adequate reasons for the omis- 
sion of the following remarkable passages, Mark xvi. 9 — 20. John viii. 1 — 11., and for 
the peculiar readings of the following celebrated texts, Acts xx. 28. 1 Tinv. iii. 16. 
1 John V. 7. See his Inquiry, pp. 55 — 41. 

64? General Observations [Parti. Ch. II. 

form in which the most esteemed works were executed in the 
times of Eusebius, Chrysostome, and Jerome. The former is 
ascribed, by immemorial tradition, to Eusebius Vercellensis, 
the friend of Pope Julius and Saint Athanasius, and, as sup- 
posed to have been written with his own hand, is deposited 
among the relicks, which are preserved with a degree of su- 
perstitious reverence, in the author's church at Verceli in Pied- 
mont. By these three editions of the translation, we might 
naturally expect to acquire some insight into the varieties of 
the original ; and this expectation is fully justified on experi- 
ment. The latter, not less than the former, is capable of 
being distributed into three kinds ; each of which possesses an 
extraordinary coincidence with one of a correspondent kind, in 
the translation. In a word, the Greek manuscripts are ca- 
pable of being divided into three principal classes, one of 
which agrees with the Italic translation contained in the 
Brescia manuscript; another with that contained in the 
Verceli manuscript; and a third with that contained in the 
Vulgate." 1 

Specimens of the nature and closeness of the coincidence 
of these three classes are annexed by Mr. Nolan, in se- 
parate columns, from which the four following examples 
are selected. He has prefixed the readings of the received 
text and authorised English version, (from Matt. v. 38. 41. and 
^'l-.), in order to evince their coincidence with that text, to 
which the preference appears to be due, on account of its 
conformity to the Italic translation contained in the Codex 

38. xat odovra avri odovToj. Rec, 

— and a tooth for a tooth. Auth. 
oJovra avT» oJovTof. Cant. dentcni pro dentem. Verc. 

xa* o5ovT« «vTt oJovTOf. Vat. et dentem pro dente. Fulg. 

Kod o^ovTOi uvrl oiovro;. Mosc. et dentem pro dente. Brix. 

41. vvxys jWET* oovTH ^vo. Rec. 
— go with him twain. Auth. 

vTocys fjitr' aura m oixXa, §vo. vade dim illo aclhuc alia du(». 

Cant. Verc. 

'jirayj just' ocCtH Ivo. Vat. vade cum iilo et alia duo. Vulg. 

vTrocye ju,ei* ai/Vi ^vo. Mosc. vade cum illo duo. Brix. 

44. BvXoyetri tsj xa.T«jw/*£va? vjjluc, Rec. 
— bless them that curse you. Auth. 

EuXoyE~TE T«j KoCla.^u^ivH'; v^oic desunt. Verc. 


desunt. Vat. desunt. Vulg. 

suXoyE7T£ TfaV talafcj^'vyr u/x~c. Mosc. benedicitc maledicentibus vos. 


' Nolan's Inquiry, pp. 58 — 61. 

5tect. n. § 1.] 

On Greek Manuscripts. 


44. 'ETfO£r£u;^E£7^c W£p TWV ETTllJEa^OVTWV v^oic^ 

— pray for them who despitefuUy use you 
and persecute you. Auth. 
"» ETrwfsa^ovTwv orate pro calumniantibus et per- 

Cant. sequentibus vos. Fere. 

^tuKovTiiiv Jju,»s. orate pro persequentibus et ca- 
lumniantibus vos. Fulg. 
orate pro calumniantibus vobis et 
persequentibus vos. Brix. 

K.(x.\ dUiiKovruiv vy.a,i;. Mosc* 

The preceding short specimen will sufficiently evince the affi- 
nity subsisting between the Latin and Greek manuscripts, 
throughout the different classes into which they may be divided : 
at the same time it will illustrate the dissimilarity which those 
classes exhibit among themselves, in either language, regarded 
separately. Still further to evince the affinity which in other 
respects they possess among themselves, Mr. Nolan exhibits a 
connected portion, comprising the first twelve verses of the 
fifth chapter of Saint Matthew's Gospel, in the original and 
the translation ; from which we select the six following ex- 
amples : 

iJodex Ccmtabrigiensis. 
1. l^iav d£ Ti}; oxXag, ocve^yi e«; to 

2. Kul a.yot|a,- to fO]'** awrS, 
fd;5«|EV auTaV XsywV 

3. Maicapioi ol irlwxpX rtii irvfv jj-ccli' 
0T< avTuiv f r*" '5 BxcTiXdot, Twy i^avuni. 

5. M.o(,Ka,pioi ot irfxiii' oil airol 
KKnpom^in!m<n rnv ynv, 

4. MckKapoi ol TrEvSouvlEj* oVt 

6. Maxapjo* ol TrEtvwviE? jcai di- 
■v^wvIe," rriv d*x«J0(7vvw* OTt a\)]o\ %op- 


Codex Vercellensis. 

1. Videns autem Jesus turbam' 
ascendit in niontem, et cum se- 
disset, accesserunt ad eum disci- 
puli ejus ; 

2. Et aperuit os suuna, et doce- 
bat eos dicens : 

3. Beati pauperes spiritu: quo- 
niam ipsorum est regnum coelorum. 

5. Beati mites : quoniam ipsi he- 
reditate possidebunt terram. 

4. Beati qui lugent : quoniam 
ipsi consolabuntur. 

6. Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt 
justitiam : quoniam ipsi salura- 

Codex Vaticanus. 

1. Idw\ d£ Tj^s o^P^ug, avE^*j d; to 
opo;' kk) x«9«travl^ a^Tov, 'OTfoaiixQov 

[auTw] ol ^aSulosi w^toD* 

2. Keel avoi^ccg to rojwa (XvtS, 
Ed«da«rKEv auT«f Xeyuv 



Versio Vubjata 

1. Videns autem turbas ascendit 
in montem, et cum sedisset acces- 
serunt ad eum discipuli ejus : 

2. Et aperiens os suum, docebat 
eos dicens : 


4. Maxap«o* ol WEnSouvJt;' o7t aulot 

5. Maxapjot oi wpasi;' o t* wutoI 
xXupovojunVso-t T»)y ynv. 

6. Mixxexptoi o( 'mamli^ kxI dt- 
4'W»1ej t»V ^ixaiocuvflv* oti ocvrol 

General Obsetvations [Part I. Ch. II. 

3. Beati pauperes spiritu : quo- 
niam ipsorum est regnum coelo- 

5. Beati mites : quoniam ipsi 
possidebunt terrain, 

4. Beati qui lugent : quoniam 
ipsi consolabuntur. 

6. Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt 
justitiam : quoniam ipsi satura- 


Codex Moscuensis. 

Codex Brixiensis. 

1. Videns autem turbas ascen- 
dit in montem, et cum sedisset 
accesserunt ad eum discipuli ejus ; 

2. Et aperiens os suum, docebat 
eos dicens : 

3. Beati pauperes spiritu : quo- 
niam ipsorum est regnum cceIo- 

4. Beati qui lugent : quoniam 
ipsi consolabuntur. 

5. Beati mansueti : quoniam 
ipsi hereditabunt terram. 

6. Beati qui esuriunt et sitiunt 
justitiam : quoniam ipsi satura- 

1 . l3aiy ^E Ti?? o X^^^> ctnSn tU To 
c'^oc* xal xaOtVavIo? xvtS, vrfotrnMov 

2. Kal ocvoi^a,!; to ro/^a auTS, 

3. Max»f)w» oi ■nilwx*'' ''?' wy£up,a1i* 
oT» auTwy lr»v *! ^ctaiXdct tu* spav&iy. 

4. Maxapw* ol taiyQailii' on avrol 

5. Maxaptot ol •bt^uu';' oVi aUTO« 
xX>ipoyo/it»)V«a-» T»?y y»iy. 

6. Ma>ap«o» 04 vxHuSUci xal 5»- 
4'wyl£? T»)y 5(x«»0(n/y»)y* ort, auTpJ 

On these different classes cf manuscripts in the Greek and 
Latin, Mr. Nolan remarks, that it must be evident, on the most 
casual inspection, that the manuscripts in both languages 
possess the same text, though manifestly of different classes. 
" They respectively possess that identity in the choice of terms 
and arrangement of the language, which is irreconcilable with 
the notion of their having descended from different archetypes. 
And though these classes, in either language, vary among 
themselves, yet, as the translation follows the varieties of the 
original, the Greek and Latin consequently afford each other 
mutual confirmation. The different classes of text in the Greek 
and Latin translation, as thus coinciding, may be regarded 
as the conspiring testimony of those churches, which were 
appointed the witnesses and keepers of Holy Writ, to the 
existence of three species of text in the original and in the 
translation." ' 

Having thus produced the testimony of the eastern and west- 
ern churches to the existence of these classes, the learned in- 

' Nolan's Inquiry, p. 70. 

Sect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. 67 

quirer proceeds to ascertain the antiquity of the classes ; which 
he effects by the Latin translation. 

*' As the existence of a translation necessarily implies thq 
priority of the original from which it was formed ; this testimony 
may be directly referred to the close of the fourth century. 
The Vulgate must be clearly referred to that period, as it was 
then formed by St. Jerome ; in its bare existence of course the 
correspondent antiquity of the Greek text, with which it agrees, 
is directly established. This version is, however, obviously less 
antient than that of the Verceli or Brescia manuscript ; as they 
are of the old Italic translation, while it properly constitutes 
the new. In the existence of the antient version, the antiquity 
of the original text with which it corresponds is consequently 
established. The three classes of text, which correspond with 
the Vulgate and Old Italic Version, naust be consequently r&p 
ferred to a period not less remote than the close of the fourth 
century." ' 

The system of classification being thus carried up as high as 
the fourth century, Mr. Nolan justifies it by the testimony of 
Jerome ; for this learned father, who lived at that period, 
asserts the existence of three classes of text in the same age, 
which respectively prevailed in Egypt, Palestine, and Constan- 
tinople. The identity of these classes with the different classes 
of text which still exist in the Greek original and Latin trans- 
lation \ our author then proceeds to establish. And this he 
effects by means of the manuscripts which have been written, 
the versions which have been published, and the collations 
which have been made, in the different countries to which St. 
Jerome refers his classes ; founding every part of his proofs on 
the testimony of Adler, Birch, Woide, Mlinter, and other critics 
who have analysed the text and versions of the New Testament. 
The result of this investigation is, that the three classes of text, 
which are discoverable in the Greek manuscripts, are nearly 
identical with the three editions, which existed in the age of 
Jerome ; with which they are identified by their coincidence 
with the Latin translation which existed in the age of that 
Christian father. Of ihejirst class, the Codex Bezce or Cam- 
bridge manuscript, is an exemplar : it contains the text, which 
Jerome refers to Egypt, and ascribes to Hesychius. Of the 
second class, the Codex Vaticanus, or Vatican manuscript, forms 
the exemplar, and contains the text, which Jerome refers to 
Palestine, and ascribes to Eusebius ; and of the third class, the 

* Nolan's Inquiry, pp. 70, 71. 

2 To which is now to be added the Peschito or Old Syriac version. The identity 
above noticed will be fully illustrated in the new edition of his ' Inquiry,' which Mr. 
Nolan is preparing for publication. 

F 2 

68 General Observalions [Part I. CI). II. 

Moscow manuscript, collated by Matthaei, and by him noted 
with the letter V. and the Harleian manuscript in the British 
Museum, No. 5684, noted G. by Griesbach, are the exem- 
plars, and contain the text which Jerome attributes to Lucian, 
and refers to Constantinople. The result of Mr. Nolan's long 
and elaborate discussion is, that, as the Occidental or Western, 
Alexandrine, and Byzantine texts, (according to Griesbach's 
system of recensions) I'espectively coincide with the Egyptian, 
Palestine, and Byzantine texts of Mr. N., we have only to sub- 
stitute the term Egyptian for Western, and Palestine for Alex- 
andrine, in order to ascertain the particular text of any manu- 
script which is to be referred to a peculiar class or edition. 
" The artifice of this substitution admits of this simple solution : 
the Egyptian text was imported by Eusebius of Verceli into the 
West, and the Palestine text republished by Euthalius at Alex- 
andria, the Byzantine text having retained the place in which 
it was originally published by Lucianus. In a word, a manu- 
script which harmonises with the Codex Cantabrigiensis, must 
be referred to the first class, and will contain the text of 
Egypt. One, which harmonises with the Vatican manuscript, 
must be referred to the second class, and will contain the text 
of Palestine. And one, which harmonises with the Moscow 
manuscript, must be referred to the third class^ and will con- 
tain the text of Constantinople." ' 

The advantages resulting from the system of recensions just 
developed are twofold : — In the first place, it leads not only to 
a more adequate method of classification, but also to the disco- 
very of a more antient text, by means of the priority of the Old 
Italic Version to the New or Vulgate Latin of Jerome. And, 
secondly, it coincides with the respective schemes of Dr. Gries- 
bach and of M. Matthaei, and derives support from their dif- 
ferent systems. It adopts the three classes of the former, with 
a slight variation merely in the name of the classes ; and, in 
ascertaining the genuine text, it attaches the same authority to 
the old Italic translation, which the same distinguished critic 
has ascribed to that version. It likewise agrees with the scheme 
of Matthaei, in giving the preference to the Koivrj ExSocrjf, the 
Greek Vulgate or Byzantine text, over the Palestine and Egyp- 
tian, but it supports the authority of this text on firmer grounds 
than the concurrence of the Greek manuscripts. '^ Hence, 
while it differs from the scheme of M. Matthaei, in building on 
the Old Italic Version, it differs from that of Dr. Griesbach, 
in distinguishing the copies of this translation, which are free 
from the influence of the Vulgate, from those which have been 
corrected since the times of Eusebius of Verceli, of Jerome, and 

1 Nolan's Inquiry, pp. 105, 106. 

Sect. II. § 1.] On Greek Manuscripts. 69 

Cassiodorus. And it affords a more satisfactory mode of dis- 
posing of the multitude of various readings, than that suggested 
by the latter, who refers them to the intentional or accidental 
corruptions of" transcribers ; or by that of the former, who 
ascribes them to the correction of the original Greek by the 
Latin translation : as it traces them to the influence of the text 
which was published by Eusebius, at the command of Constan- 
tine." We may therefore safely adopt the system of recen- 
sions proposed by Mr. Nolan in preference to any other : not 
only on account of its comprehensiveness, but also because (inde- 
pendently of its internal consistency, and the historical grounds 
on which it is exclusively built,) it embraces the different sys- 
tems to which it is opposed, and reconciles their respective in- 
consistencies. But, notwithstanding the strong — we may add, 
indisputable — claims to precedence which his system of recen- 
sions possesses, it is greatly to be feared that the classification of 
recensions proposed by Griesbach has obtained such a general 
reception as will prevent the adoption of Mr. Nolan's system 
much beyond the limits of this country. In giving a decided pre- 
ference to the latter, the author of this work trusts that he shall 
be acquitted of any intention to undervalue the critical labours 
of Dr. Griesbach, which, from the comprehensive brevity of 
his plan of classifying manuscripts, and the scrupulous accuracy 
of his execution of it, have unquestionably rendered the highest 
service to sacred literature. As a general and correct index to 
the great body of Greek manuscripts, they are an invaluable 
treasure to the scholar, and a necessary acquisition to the 
divine : at the same time, his collection of various readings is 
admirably calculated to satisfy our minds on a point of the highest 
moment, — the integrity of the Christian Records. Through the 
long interval of seventeen hundred years, — amidst the collision 
of parties, — the opposition of enemies — and the desolations of 
time, they remain the same as holy men read them in the prir 
raitive ages of Christianity. A very minute examination of 
manuscripts, versions, and fathers, proves the inviolability of the 
Christian Scriptures. " They all coincide in exhibiting the same 
Gospels, Acts, and Epistles ; and among all the copies of them 
which have been preserved, there is not one which dissents from 
the rest either in the doctrines or precepts, which constitute 
Christianity. They all contain the same doctrines and precepts. 
For the knowledge of this fact we are indebted to such men as 
Griesbach, whose zealous and persevering labours to put us in 
possession of it entitle them to our grateful remembrance. To 
the superficial, and to the novice, in theology, the long periods 
of life, and the patient investigation, which have been applied 
to critical investigation, may appear as mere waste, or, at the 

F 3 

to General Observations [Part I. Ch. II. 

best, as only amusing employment : but to the serious inquirer, 
who, from his own conviction, can declare that he is not fol- 
lowing cunningly devised fables, the time, the talents, and the 
learning, which have been devoted to critical collation, will be 
accounted as well expended, for the result which they have ac- 
complished. The real theologian is satisfied from his own exa- 
mination, that the accumulation of many thousands of various 
readings, obtained at the expense of immense critical labour, 
does not affect a single sentiment in the whole New Testament. 
And thus is criticism, — which some despise, and others neglect, 
— found to be one of those undecaying columns, by which the 
imperishable structure of Christian Truth is supported." \ 

VI. From the coincidence observed between many Greek 
manuscripts and the Vulgate, or some other Latin version, a 
suspicion arose in the minds of several eminent critics, that the 
Greek text had been altered throughout to the Latin ; and it 
has been asserted that at the council of Florence, (held in 143& 
with the view of establishing an union between the Greek and 
Latin churches), a resolution was formed, that the Greeks 
should alter their manuscripts from the Latin. This has been 
termed by the learned, Fcedus cum Greeds. The suspicion, 
concerning the altering of the Greek text, seems to have been 
first suggested by Erasmus, but it does not appear that he 
supposed the alterations were made before the fifteenth century : 
8o that the charge of Latinising the manuscripts did not (at least 
in his notion of it) extend to the original writers of the manu- 
script, or, as they are called, the writers a primd manu ; since 
it aifected only the writers a secundd manu, or subsequent in- 
terpolators. The accusation was adopted and extended by 
Father Simon and Dr. Mill, and especially by Wetstein. 
Bengel expressed some doubts concerning it ; and it was for- 
mally questioned by Semler, Griesbach, and Woide. The 
reasonings of the two last- mentioned critics convinced Michaelis 
(who had formerly agreed with Erasmus) that the charge of 
Latinising was unfounded ; and in the fourth edition of his 
Introduction to the New Testament (the edition translated by 
Bishop Marsh), with a candour of which there are too few ex- 
amples, Michaelis totally abandoned his first opinion, and 
expressed his opinion that the pretended agreement in the 
Fadus cum Gtcecis is a mere conjecture of Erasmus, to which 
he had recourse as a refuge in a matter of controversy. Carry- 
ing the proof to its utmost length, it only shows that the Latin 
translations and the Greek copies were made from the same 
exemplars ; which rather proves the antiquity of the Latin 

' Eclectic Review, vol. v. part i. p. 189. 

Sect. ir. § 2.] On Greek Manuscripts. 71 

translations, than the corruption of the Greek copies. It is 
further worthy of remark, that Jerome corrected the Latin 
from the Greek, a circumstance which is known in every part of 
the Western Church. Now, as Michaelis justly observes, when 
it was known that the learned father had made the Gi'eek text 
the basis of his alterations in the Latin translation, it is scarcely 
to be imagined that the transcribers of the Western Church 
would alter the Greek by the Latin ; and it is still less probable, 
that those of the Eastern Church would act in this manner. ' 


I. The Alexandrian Manuscript. — IL The Vatican Manuscript. 

Of the few manuscripts known to be extant, which contain the 
Greek Scriptures (that is the Old Testament, according to the 
Septuagint version, and the New Testament), there are two 
which pre-eminently demand the attention of the biblical stu- 
dent for their antiquity and intrinsic value, viz. The Alex- 
andrian manuscript, which is preserved in the British Museum, 
and the Vatican manuscript, deposited in the library of the 
Vatican Palace at Rome. 

I. The Codex Alexandrinus, or Alexandrian Manuscripts 
which is noted by the letter A. in Wetstein's and Griesbach's 
critical editions of the new Testament, consists of four folio 
volumes ; the three first contain the whole of the Old Testa- 
ment, together with the Apocryphal books, and the fourth 
coptiprises the New Testament, the first epistle of Clement to 
the Corinthians, and the Apocryphal Psalms ascribed to Solo- 
mon. In the New Testament tliere is wanting the beginning as 
far as Matt. xxv. 6. o wfupo^ egx^rai; likewise from John vi. 50. 
to viii. 52. and from 2 Cor. iv. 13. to xii. 7. The Psalms are 
preceded by the epistle of Athanasius to Marcellinus, and fol- 
lowed by a catalogue, containing those which are to be used in 
prayer for each hour, both of the day and of the night; also by 
fourteen hymns, partly apocryphal, partly biblical, the eleventh of 
which is a hymn in praise of the Virgin Mary, entitled vpoaeuxn 
Magia^ tt)5 ^eotoxh : the arguments of Eusebius are annexed to 
the Psalms, and his canons to the Gospels. This manuscript 
is now preserved in the British Museum, where it was deposited 

' Michaelis*3 Introduction, vol. ii. part i. pp. 163 — 175. Butler's Hora Biblics, 
vol. i, p. 125. 

F 4 

7^' Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. It, 

in 1753. It was sent as a present to King Charles I. from 
Cyrillus Lucaris, a native of Cretef, and patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, by Sir Thomas Rowe, ambassador from England to 
the Grand Seignior, in the year 1628. Cyrillus brought it 
with him from Alexandria, where, probably, it was written. 
In a schedule annexed to it, he gives this account ; that it was 
written, as tradition informed them, by Thecla, a noble Egyp- 
tian lady, about thirteen hundred years ago, a little after the 
council of Nice. He adds, that the name of Thecla, at the end 
of the book, was erased ; but that this was the case with 
other books of the Christians, after Christianity was extin- 
guished in Egypt by the Mohammedans : and that recent tra- 
dition records the fact of the laceration and erasure of Thecla's 
name. The proprietor of this manuscript, before it came into 
the hands of Cyrillus Lucaris, had written an Arabic subscrip- 
tion, expressing that this book was said to have been written 
with the pen of Thecla the martyr. 

Various disputes have arisen with regard to the place whence 
it Was brought, and where it was written, to its antiquity, and of 
course to its real value. Some critics have bestowed upon it the 
highest commendation, whilst it has been equally depreciated by 
others. Of its most strenuousadversaries, Wetstein seems to have 
been the principal. The place from which it was sent to England 
was, without doubt, Alexandria, and hence it has been called 
Codex Alexand7'imis. As to the place where it was written, 
there is a considerable difference of opinion. Matthaeus Muttis, 
who was a contemporary, friend, and deacon of Cyrillus, and 
who afterwards instructed in the Greek language John Rudolph 
Wetstein, uncle of the celebrated editor of the Greek Testa-^ 
ment, bears testimony, in a letter, written to Martin Bogdan, 
a physician in Bern, dated January 14, 1664, that it had been 
brought from one of the twenty-two monasteries in Mount Athos^ 
which the Turks never destroyed, but allowed to continue upon 
the payment of tribute. Dr. Woide endeavours to weaken the 
evidence of Muttis, and to render the testimony of the elder 
Wetstein suspicious : but Spohn ' shows that the objections of 
Woide are ungrounded. Allowing their reality, we cannot 
infer that Cyrillus found this manuscript in Alexandria. Be- 
fore he went to Alexandria he spent some time on Mount Athos, 
the repository and manufactory of manuscripts of the New 
Testament, whence a great number have been brought into the 
West of Europe, and a still greater number has been sent to 

' Caioli Godofredi Woidii Notitia Codicis Alexandrini, cum variis ejus lectionibus 
omnibus. Recudendum curavit notasque adiecit Gottlieb Leberecht Spohn. pp. 10—13. 
^^8vo. Lipnaj 1790.) i j r rr 

»§ect. il. § 2.] Containing the Old and New Testaments. 73 

Moscow. It is therefore probable, independently of the evi- 
dence of Muttis, that Cyrillus procured it there either by pur- 
chase or by present, took it with him to Alexandria, and brought 
it thence on his return to Constantinople. But the question 
recurs, where was this copy written ? The Arabic subscription 
above cited, clearly proves, that it had been in Egypt, at some 
period or other, before it fell into the hands of Cyrillus. This 
subscription shows that it once belonged to an Egyptian, or 
that during some time it was preserved in Egypt, where Arabic 
has been spoken since the seventh century. Besides, it is well 
known that a great number of manuscripts of the Greek Bible 
have been written in Egypt. Woide has also pointed out a 
remarkable coincidence between the Codex Alexandrinus, and 
the writings of the Copts. Michaelis alleges another circum- 
stance as a probable argument of its having been written in 
Egypt. In Ezekiel xxvii. 18. both in the Hebrew and Greek 
text, the Tyrians are said to have fetched their wine from 
Chelbon, or, according to Bochart, Chalybon. But as Chaly- 
bon, though celebrated for its wine, was unknown to the writer 
of this manuscript, he has altered it by a fanciful conjecture to 
ojvDv ex ^s^paivt wine from Hebron. This alteration was pro- 
bably made by an Egyptian copyist, because Egypt was for- 
merly supplied with wine from Hebron. The subscription, 
before mentioned, ascribes the writing of it to Thecla, an 
Egyptian lady of high rank, who could not have been, as 
Michaelis supposes, the martyress Thecla, placed in the time 
of Saint Paul : but Woide replies, that a distinction must be 
made between Thecla martyr, and Thecla proto-martyr. 
With regard to these subscriptions we may observe, with Bishop 
Marsh, that the true state of the case appears to be as follows: 
" Some centuries after the Codex Alexandrinus had been 
written, and the Greek subscriptions, and perhaps those other 
parts where it is more defective, already lost, it fell ijito the 
hands of a Christian inhabitant of Egypt, who, not finding the 
usual Greek subscription of the copyist, added in Arabic, his 
native language, the tradition, either true or false, which had 
been preserved in the family or families to which the manu- 
script had belonged, "^ Memorant hunc codicem scriptum esse 
calamo Theclae martyris." In the 17th century, when oral 
tradition respecting this manuscript had probably ceased, it 
became the property of Cyrillus Lucaris ; but whether in Alex- 
andria, or Mount Athos, isof no importance to the present in- 
quiry. On examining the manuscript, he finds that the Greek 
subscription is lost, but that thei'e is a tradition recorded in 
Arabic by a former proprietor, which simply related that it 
was written by one Thecla a martyress, which is what he means 

74* Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

by '* memoria et traditio recens." Taking therefore upon 
trust, that one Thecla the martyress was really the copyist, he 
consults the annals of the church to discover in what age and 
country a person of this name and character existed ; finds that 
an Egyptian lady of rank, called Thecla, suffered martyrdom 
between the time of holding the council of Nicaea and the close 
of the fourth century; and concludes, without further ceremony, 
that she was the very identical copyist. Not satisfied with this 
discovery, he attempts to account for the loss of the Qreek sub- 
scription, and ascribes it to the malice of the Saracens ; being 
weak enough to believe that the enemies of Christianity would 
exert their vengeance on the name of a poor transcriber, and 
leave the four folio volumes themselves unhurt." Dr. Woide, 
who transcribed and published this manuscript, and must be 
better acquainted with it than any other person, asserts, that 
it was written by two different copyists ; for he observed a dif- 
ference in the ink, and, which is of greater moment, even in the 
strokes of the letters. The conjecture of Oudin, adopted by 
Wetstein, that the manuscript was written by an Acoemet is, in 
the judgment of Michaelis, worthy of attention ', and he adds, 
that this conjecture does not contradict the account that Thecla 
was the copyist^ since there were not only monks but nuns of 
this order. 

The antiquity of this manuscript has been also the subject of 
controversy. Grabe and Schulze think that it might have been 
written before the end of the fourth century, which, says 
Michaelis, is the very utmost period that can be allowed, be- 
cause it contains the epistles of Athanasius. Oudin places it in 
the tenth century^ Wetstein refers it to the fifth, and supposes 
that it was one of the manuscripts collected at Alexandria in 
615, for the Syriac version. Dr. Semler refers it to the se- 
venth century. Montfaucon ^ is of opinion, that neither the 
Codex Alexandrinus, nor any Greek manuscript, can be said 
with great probability to be much prior to the sixth century. 
Michaelis apprehends, that this manuscript was written after 
Arabic was become the native language of the Egyptians, that 
is, one, or rather two centuries after Alexandria was taken by 
the Saracens, which happened in the year 64?0, because the 

1 The Acoemets were a class of monks in the antient church, who flourished, par- 
ticularly in the east, during the fifth century. They were so called, because tiiey 
had divine service performed, without interruption, in their churches. They divided 
themselves into three bodies, each of which officiated in turn and reUeved the others, so 
that their churches were never silent, either night or day. Wetstein adopts the opinion 
of Casimir Oudin, that the^Codex Alexandrinus was written by an Acoemet, because 
it contains a catalogue of the psalms that were to be smig at every hour both of the 
day and night. Proleg. in Nov. Test, vol, i. p. IC. 

'2 Palsog. Grsc. jx J 85. 

Sect. II. § 2.] Containing the Old and New Testaments. 75 

transcriber frequently confounds M and B, which is often done 
in the Arabic : and he concludes, that it is not more antient 
than the eighth century. Woide, after a great display of learn- 
ing, with which he examines the evidence for the antiquity of 
the Codex Alexandrinus, concludes, that it was written between 
the middle and the end of the fourth century. It cannot be 
allowed a greater antiquity, because it has not only the rtrXot 
or xe<|)aAa/amajora, but the x.s(pa,\aia. minora, or Ammonian 
sections, accompanied with the references to the canons of 
Eusebius. Woide's arguments have been objected to by 
Spohn K Some of the principal arguments advanced by those 
who refer this manuscript to the fourth or fifth centuries are the 
following : the epistles of Saint Paul are not divided into chap- 
ters like the gospels, though this division took place so early as 
396, when to each chapter was prefixed a superscription. The 
Codex Alexandrinus has the epistles of Clement of Rome ; but 
these were forbidden to be read in the churches, by the council 
of Laodicea, in 364-, and that of Carthage, in 419. Hence 
Schuize has inferred, that it was written before the year 364« ; 
and he produces a new argument for its antiquity, deduced from 
the last of the fourteen hymns found in it after the psalms, 
which is superscribed wju-voj efljvos, and is called the grand doxo- 
logy ; for this hymn has not the clause ayioi o 5soj, ayioj 
*<^%w?o?> ayo? uQavuTog, £\sy}<Tov riix,ois, which was used between 
the years 434- and 446 ; and therefore the manuscript must have 
been written before this time. Wetstein thinks that it must have 
been written before the time of Jerome, because the Greek text 
of this manuscript was altered from the old Italic. He adds, 
that the transcriber was ignorant that the Arabs were called 
Hagarenes, because he has written, (1 Chron. v. 20.) uyogaioi 
for Ayagortoi. Others allege that ayoquioi is a mere erratum ; 
because kyaqaiMv occurs in the preceding verse, Ayagnr^g in 
] Chron. xxvii. 31. and Ayaqr^voi in Psal. Ixxxii. 7* These 
arguments, says Michaelis, afford no certainty, because the 
Codex Alexandrinus must have been copied from a still more 
antient manuscript ; and if this were faithfully copied, the 
arguments apply rather to this than to the Alexandrian manu- 
script itself. It is the hand-writing alone, or the formation of 
the letters, with the want of accents, which can lead to any pro- 
bable deci^on. The arguments alleged to prove that it is not 
so antient as the fourth century, are the following. Dr. Semler 
sthinks, that the epistle of Athanasius, on the value and excel- 
lency of the Psalms, would hardly have been prefixed to them 
during his life. But it ought to be recollected, that Athanasius 

' pp. 42 — 109. of his edition of Woide's Notitia Codicis Alexandrini. 

76 Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II' 

had many warm and strenuous advocates. From this epistle 
Oudin has attempted to deduce an argument, that the manu- 
script was written in the tenth century. This epistle, he says, 
is spurious, and could not have been forged during the life of 
Athanasius, and the tenth century was fertile in spurious pro- 
ductions. Ao-ain, the Virgin Mary, in the superscription of the 
Sono- of the Blessed Virgin, is styled dsoloxog, a name which 
Wetstein says betrays the fifth century. Further, from the pro- 
bable conjecture, that this manuscript was written by one of the 
order of the Acoemetae, Oudin concludes against its antiquity ; 
but Wetstein contents himself with asserting, that it could not 
have been written before the fifth century, because Alexander, 
who founded this order, lived about the year 420. From this 
statement, pursued more at large, Michaelis deduces a reason 
for payino- less regard to the Codex Alexandrinus than many 
eminent critics have done, and for the preference that is due, in 
many respects, to antient versions, before any single manuscript, 
because the antiquity of the former, which is in general greater 
than that of the latter, can be determined with more precision. 
The value of this manuscript has been differently appreciated 
by different writers. Wetstein, though he denotes it by A. the 
first letter of the alphabet, is no great admirer of it, nor does 
Michaelis estimate it highly, either on account of its internal 
excellence or the value of its readings. The principal charge 
which has been produced against the Alexandrian manuscript, 
and which has been strongly urged by Wetstein, is its having 
been altered from the Latin version. It is incredible, says 
Michaelis, who once agreed in opinion with Wetstein, but found 
occasion to alter his sentiments, that a transcriber who lived in 
Egypt, should have altered the Greek text from a Latin version, 
because Egypt belonged to the Greek diocese, and Latin was 
not understood there. On this subject Woide has eminently 
displayed his critical abilities, and ably defended the Greek 
manuscripts in general, and the Codex Alexandrinus in parti- 
cular, from the charge of having been corrupted from the La- 
tin. Griesbach concurs with Woide ', and both have contributed 
to confirm Michaelis in his new opinion. If this manuscript 
has been corrupted from a version, it is more reasonable to sus- 
pect the Coptic, the version of the country in which it was 
written. Between this manuscript and both the Coptic and Sy- 
riac versions, there is a remarkable coincidence. Griesbach has 
observed, that this manuscript follows three different editions: 
the Byzantine in the Gospels, the Western edition in the Acts 

» In his " Symbolse Critics," vol. i. pp. 110 — 117. 

Sect. II. § 2.] Containing the Old and New Testaments. 7;7 

of the Apostles, and the Catholic epistles, which form the middle 
division of this manuscript, and the Alexandrine in the epistles 
of Saint Paul. The transcriber, if this assertion be true, must 
have copied the three parts of the Greek Testament from three 
different manuscripts, of three different editions. Itis observable, 
that the readings of the Codex Alexandrinus coincide very fre- 
quently not only with the Coptic and the old Syriac, but with the 
new Syriac and the Ethiopic ; and this circumstance favours 
the hypothesis, that this manuscript was written in Egypt, be- 
cause the new Syriac version having been collated with Egyp- 
tian manuscripts of the Greek Testament, and the Ethiopic 
version being taken immediately from them, have necessarily the 
readings of the Alexandrine edition. 

The Alexandrian manuscript is written in uncial or capital 
letters, without any accents or marks of aspiration, but with 
a few abbreviations nearly similar to those already noticed ', 
and also with some others which are described by Dr. Woide % 
who has likewise explained the various points and spaces occur- 
ring in this manuscript. 

A fac-simile of the Codex Alexandrinus was published in 
folio by the late Dr. Woide, principal librarian of the British 
Museum, with types cast for the purpose, line for line, without 
intervals between the words, precisely as in the original ^. The 
following specimen will convey to the reader an idea of this 
most precious manuscript. 

1 See p. 52. supra. 

2 In the Preface to his fac-simile of the Alexandrian manuscript of the New Tes- 
tament, §§ 27 — 34. 

3 The following is the title of Dr. Woide's splendid work. — Novum Testamentum 
GrcEcumy e Codice MS. Alexandrino, qui Londini in Bibliotheca Musei Britannici 
asservatur, descriptum, a Carolo Godofredo Woide, Londini ex prelo Joannis Nichols j 
Typis Jacksonianis, mdcclxxxvi. Twelve copies were printed on Jvellum. The 
fac-simile itself fills two hundred and sixy pages ; and the preface, comprising twenty- 
two pages, contains an accurate description of the manuscript, illustrated by an en- 
graving representing the style of writing in various manuscripts. To this is subjoined 
an exact list of all its various readings, in eighty-nine pages; each reading is accom- 
panied with a remark, giving an account of what his predecessors, Junius (i. e. Patrick 
Young), Bishop Walton, Drs. Mill and Grabe, and Wetstein, had performed or neg- 
lected. To complete this work, there should be added the following : Appendix ad 
editionem Novi Testamenti Greed, e Codice Alexandrino descripti a C, G. Woide, 
in qua continentur Fragmenta Novi Testamenti juxta interj)retationem dialecti su- 
perioris ^gypti quce Thebaica vel Sahidica appellatur, e Codd. Oxoniens. maxima ex 
parte desumpta cum dissertatione de Versions Bibliorum JEgyptiaca, quibus subjim. 
citur Codicis Vaticani collatio. Oxonii : E Typographeo Clarendoniano, 1799, folio. 
This work was edited by the Rev. Dr. Ford. 

78 Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

John i. 1 — 7» 




peicx YTOvereMerooY^^eeM - 


^^^xxBeM ereMeroxMOCxTTe 



For this specimen we are indebted to the Rev. H. H. Baber, 
one of the librarians of the British museum, who has kindly 
favoured us with the use of the Alexandrian types, with which 
he is now printing the remainder of the Codex Alexandrinus '. 

> In 1812 Mr. Baber published, by subscription, a fac-s;mile of the book of Psahns, 
from the manuscript now under consideration, of which twelve copies are on vellum, to 
match with the same number of copies of the New Testament. To complete the 
Old Testament in a similar manner, was an undertaking too vast and extensive for an 
unbeneficed clergyman. In consequence, therefore, of a memorial by Mr. B., seconded 
by the recommendation of several dignitaries of the church, as well as professors 
and heads of colleges in the two universities, the British Parliament engaged to 
defray the expenses of completing this noble undertaking ; (See the Memorial and 
other Proceedings in the Literary Panorama, vol. i. N. S. pp. 465 — 478.) ; and 
Mr. Baber is now rapidly proceeding in his laborious task. The Pentateuch 
and the Historical Books, together with the Prophetic Books and the Psalms, are 
completed in a splendid folio size, so as to represent every iota of the original manu- 
script in the most faithful manner. The better to preserve the identity of the ori- 
ginal, instead of spinning out the contracted various readings, in the margin, by letters 
in full, (as Dr. Woide had done in his fac-simile of the Alexandrian manuscript of 
the New Testament) fac-similes of such various readings, cut in wood, are inserted 
precisely in the places where they occur, filling up only the same space with the ori- 
ginal. The tail pieces, or rude arabesque ornaments at the end of each book, are also 
represented by means of fac-similes in wood. The work will consist of four volumes 
in folio ; three comprising the text of the Old Testament, and a fourth containing pro- 
legomena and notes. The edition is limited to two hundred and fifty copies, and 
twelve are on vellum. They are such as reflect the highest credit on the printers, 
Messrs R. and A. Taylor. 

Sect. II. § 2.] Containing the Old and Ne*w Testaments. 79 

For the gratification of the English reader, the following extract 
is subjoined, comprising the first seven verses of Saint John's 
Gospel, rendered rather more literally than the idiom of our 
language will admit, in order' to convey an exact idea of 
the original Greek (above given) of the Alexandrian manu- 

outhimwasmadenotone thing 


hend- therewasamnse 



llmightbelievethroughhim- 1 

II. The Codex Vaticanus, No. 1209, which Wetstem and 
Griesbach have both noted with the letter B., contests the 
palm of antiquity with the Alexandrian manuscript. No fac- 
simile of it has ever been published. The Roman edition of 
the Septuagint, printed in 1590, professes to exhibit the text of 
this manuscript ; and in the preface to that edition it is stated 
to have been written before the year 387, i. e. towards the close 
of the fourth century : Montfaucon and Blanchini refer it to 
the fifth or sixth century, and Dupin to the seventh century. 
Professor Hug has endeavoured to show that it was written in 
the early part of the fourth century ; but, from the omission of 
the Eusebian KsfuXatu and TixXoj, Bishop Marsh concludes with 

1 The reader who may be desirous of further information concerning the Alexandrian 
manuscript is referred to Dr. Grabe's prolegomena to his edition of the Greek Septuagint, 
and also to the prolegomena of Dr. Woide already cited, and to those of Dr. Mill and 
Wetstein, prefixed to their editions of the New Testament. See also Michaelis's In- 
troduction to the New Testament, vol. ii. part i. pp. l86 — 209, and Bishop Marsh's 
notes in part ii. pp. 64 8 — 660. Dr. Lnrdner has given the table of contents of this 
manuseript in his Credibility of the Gospel History, part ii. chap. 147. (Works, 8vo. 
I'ol. V. pp. 253 — 256 ; 4to. vol. iv. pp. 44 — 46.) 
VOL. ir, F 

79 a Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

great probability that it was written before the close of the fifth 
century. The Vatican manuscript is written on parchment or 
vellum, in uncial or capital letters, in three columns on each 
page, all of which are of the same size, except at the beginning 
of a book, and without any divisions of chapters, verses, or 
words, but with accents and spirits. The shape of the letters, 
and colour of the ink, prove that it was written throughout by 
one and the same careful copyist. The abbreviations are few, 
being confined chiefly to those words which are in general ab- 
breviated, such as 0S, KC, IC, XC, for Qsog, Kogtoc, Irjcrous, 
Xpig-og, God, Lord, Jesus, Christ. Originally this manuscript 
contained the entire Greek Bible, including both the Old and 
New Testaments ; in which respect it resembles none so much 
as the Codex Alexandrinus, though no two manuscripts vary 
more in their readings. The Old Testament wants the first 
forty-six chapters of Genesis, and thirty-two psalms, viz. from 
Psal. cv. to cxxxvii. inclusive; and the New Testament wants 
the latter part of the epistle to the Hebrews, viz. all after chap- 
ter ix. verse l^, and also Saint Paul's other epistles to Timothy, 
Titus, and Philemon, and the whole Book of Revelation. It 
appears, however, that this last book, as well as the latter part 
of the epistle to the Hebrews, has been supplied by a modern 
hand in the fifteenth century, and, it is said, from some manu- 
script that had formerly belonged to Cardinal Bessarion. In 
many places the faded letters have also been retouched by a 
modern but careful hand : and when the person who made 
these amendments (whom Michaelis pronounces to have been 
a inan of learning) found various readings in other manuscripts, 
he has introduced them into the Codex Vaticanus, but has still 
preserved the original text ; and in some few instances he has 
ventured to erase with a penknife. 

It has been supposed that this manuscript was collated 
by the editors of the Complutensian Polyglott, and even that 
this edition was almost entirely taken from it : but Bishop 
Marsh has shewn by actual comparison that this was not the 

The Vatican manuscript has been repeatedly collated by 
various eminent critics, from whose extracts Wetstein collected 
numerous various readings : but the latest and best collation 
is that by Professor Birch, of Copenhagen, in J 781 ; the results 
of which are noticed in another part of this work. Although 
the antiquity of the Vatican Manuscript is indisputable, it is 
by no means easy to determine between its comparative value 
and that of the Alexandrian Manuscript; nor is there any ab- 

T 7 

l* -Ml I. — « ., — W.J 

K o c T-coe "re I re T^ff-njo 

k: Ai€ rcuHMMMeNMCCou 
thc A /xm A,A^a> ct ^c en (t-k 



/o XM A \(x> c yA.c T"or^ AC ( 
N e TOAo ro CKyn fo c 16 



n f T oy '^O TAM O Y TOy7^«> 
_JNP KM€r€N€-ro€fT€MC 

A H € N4 l>y T(A> 

Facsimile rtfj^Y'f'''^ ''■ ^ ' ■ ^' ^^' '^' / ^' ^^■^^- 


ac/7^/i/y /t^i -^i C/^^rr', ^///^//^ 

Sect. 11. § 2.] Containing the Old and 'New Testaments. 80 a 

solute and universal standard by which their several excellen- 
cies may be estimated. With regard to the Old Testament, if 
any Greek manuscript were now extant, containing an exact 
copy of the several books as they were originally translated, 
such manuscript would be perfect and consequently the most 
valuable. The nearer any copy comes to this perfection, the 
more valuable it must be, and vice versa. In its present state 
the Hebrew Text cannot determine fully the value of these 
MSS. in their relation to one another ; and yet as that text 
receives great assistance from both, it proves that both deserve 
our highest regard. It is worthy of remark, that neither of 
them has the asterisks of Origen, though both of them were 
transcribed in the fifth century; which Dr. Kennicott ob- 
serves ', is one proof that they were not taken either mediately 
or immediately from the Hexapla. 

The Vatican and Alexandrian manuscripts differ from each 
other in the Old Testament chiefly in this ; — that, as they con- 
tain books, which have been corrected by different persons, 
upon different principles ; and as they differ greatly in some 
places in their interpolations, — so they contain many words 
which were either derived from different Greek versions, or 
else were translated by one or both of the transcribers them- 
selves from the Hebrew text, which was consulted by them at 
the time of transcribing. 

On the ground of its internal excellence, Michaelis preferred 
the Vatican manuscript (for the New Testament) to the Codex 
Alexandrinus. If however that manuscript be most respect- 
able which comes the nearest to Origen's Hexaplar copy of the 
Septuagint, the Alexandrian manuscript seems to claim that 
merit in preference to its rival : but if it be thought a matter 
of superior honour to approach nearer the old Greek version, 
uncorrected by Origen, that merit seems to be due to the 
Vatican. ^ 

The accompanying plate exhibits a specimen of the Vatican 
manuscript from a fac-simile traced in the year 1704 for 
Dr. Grabe, editor of the celebrated edition of the Septuagint, 
which is noticed in a subsequent part of this work. The 
author has reason to believe that it is the most faithful 
fac-simile, ever executed, of this MS. It was made by 
Signor Zacagni, at that time principal keeper of the Va- 

1 Diss. ii. pp. 413 — 415. 

2 Signor Zacagni's Letter to Dr. Grabe, dated Rome, Nov. 29, 1704, in Dr. Ken- 
nicott's Diss. ii. pp.408 — 411. Michaelis, vol. ii. parti, pp.341 — 35o. Partii. 
pp. 810— 820. J. L. Hug, De Amiquitate Codicis Vaticaiii Commentatio. Friburg 
in Brisgau, ]8io, 4to. 

SOa Account of Greek Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

tican library, and is now preserved among Dr. Grabe's ma- 
nuscripts in the Bodleian library at Oxford. This fac-simile 
has been most carefully and accurately copied, under the 
direction of the Rev. Bulkeley Bandinel, the keeper of that 
noble repository of literature, to whom the author now offers 
his acknowledgments for his kind assistance on this occasion. 

The passage, represented in the engraving, contains the first 
three verses of the first chapter of the prophet Ezekiel, of which 
the following is a literal English version : 






















No fac-simile edition (like that of the Alexandrian New Tes- 
tament by Dr.Woide and of the Old Testament now printing 
by the Rev. H. H. Baber) has ever been executed of the pre- 
cious Vatican manuscript. During the pontificate of Pius VI. 
the Abate Spoletti contemplated the publication of it, for which 
purpose he delivered a memorial to the Pope. No public permis- 
sion was ever given: and though the Pontiff's private judgment was 
not unfavourable to the undertaking, yet, as his indulgence would 
have been no security against the vengeance of the inquisition, 

Sect. II. § 3.] Containing the Old andNeiio Testaments. 81 

Spoletti was obliged to abandon his design'. It is, however, 
but just to add, that no obstacles were thrown in the way of 
the collation of manuscripts in the Vatican, for Dr. Holmes's 
critical edition of the Septuagint version, of which some account 
will be found in a subsequent page. 


I. The Codex Cottoniamis. — II. The Codex Sarravianus. — III. The 
Codex Colbertinus. — IV. The Codex Ccesareus, Argenteus, orArgenteo- 
Purpureus. — V. The Codex Amhrosianus. — VI. The Codex Coidi- 
nianus. — VII. The Codex Basilio-Vaticanus. 

IT is not precisely known what number of manuscripts of the 
Greek version of the Old Testament are extant. The highest 
number of those collated by the late Rev. Dr. Holmes, for his 
splendid edition of this version is one hundred and thirty-five. 
Nijie of them are described, as being written in uncial cha- 
racters, and as having furnished him with the most important 
of the various readings, with which his first volume is enriched: 
besides these he has noticed sixty-three others, written in cur- 
sive or small characters, and which have likewise furnished him 
with various lections. Of these manuscripts the following are 
more particularly worthy of notice, on account of their rarity 
and value. - 

I. The Codex Cottonianus is not only the most antient 
but the most correct manuscript that is extant. It was origi- 
nally brought from Philippi by two Greek bishops, who pre- 
sented it to King Henry VIII. whom they informed that tra- 
dition reported it to have been the identical copy, which had 
belonged to the celebrated Origen, who lived in the former 
half of the third century. Que«n Elizabeth gave it to Sir John 
Fortescue, her preceptor in Greek, who, desirous of preserv- 
ing it for posterity, placed it in the Cottonian Library. This 
precious manuscript was almost destroyed by the calamitous 
fire which consumed Cotton House at Westminster, in the 
year 1731. Eighteen fragments are all that now remain, and 
of these, both the leaves, and consequently the writing in a 

1 Michaelis, vol. ii. parti, p. 181. partii. pp. 644,645. 

2 Our descriptions are chiefly abridged from Dr. Holmes's Pnefatio ad Pentateuchum , 
cap. ii. prefixed to the first voKime of his critical edition of the Septuagint version, 
published at Oxford, in 1798, folio, 

VOL. II. a 

82 Account of Mamiscrijpts [Parti. Ch. 11. 

just proportion, are contracted into a less compass ; so that 
what were large are now small capitals. These fragments are 
at present deposited in the British Museum. ' 

In its original state, the Codex Cottonianus contained one 
hundred and sixty-five leaves, in the quarto size ; it is written 
on vellum, in uncial characters, the lines running along the 
whole width of the page, and each line consisting, in general, 
of twenty-seven, rarely of thirty letters. These letters are 
almost every where of the same length, excepting that at the 
end of a line they are occasionally somewhat less, and in some 
instances are interlined or written over the line. Like all 
other very antient manuscripts, it has no accents or spirits, nor 
any distinction of words, verses, or chapters. The words are, 
for the most part, written at full length, with the exception of 
the well known and frequent abbreviations of KC, KN, 0C, 0N, 
for Kugiof and Kugiov, Lord, and 0eoj, (dsoy, God. Certain 
consonants, vowels, and dipthongs are also interchanged. ^ 

The coherence of the Greek text is very close, except 
where it is divided by the interposition of the very curious 
paintings or illuminations with which this manuscript is deco- 
rated. These pictures were two hundred and fifty in number, 
and consist of compositions within square frames, of one or of 
several figures, in general not exceeding two inches in height ; 
and these frames, which are four inches square, are occasion- 
ally divided into two compartments. The heads are perhaps 
too large, but the attitudes and draperies have considerable 
merit: and they are by competent judges preferred to the 
miniatures that adorn the Vienna manuscript, which is noticed 
in page 85, infra. Twenty-one fragments of these illumina- 
tions were engraved, in 1744, on two large folio plates, at the 
expense of the Society of Antiquaries of London. It is 9b- 
served by Mr. Planta, the present principal librarian of the 
British Museum, that more fragments must have been pre- 
served than the eighteen which now remain; because none of 
those engraved are now to be met with. On an examination of 
the Codex Cottonianus, with a view to take a fac-simile of some 
one of its fragments for this work, they were found in a nearly 
pulverised and carbonised state, so that no accurate copy could 
be taken. The annexed engraving therefore is copied from 
that of the Antiquarian Society 3. The subject on the right- 

1 Catalogus Bibliothecs Cottoiiianas, p. ZQ5. (folio, 1802.) Casley's Catalogue of 
MSS. in the King's Library, pp, viii. ix. 

2 These permutations were a fruitful source of errors in manuscripts. Some in- 
stances of them are given infra^ Chap. VIII. 

3 Catalogus Bibliothecae Cottoniansc, p. 565. 

4 Vetusta Monumenta, qua; ad Rerum Britannicarum roemoriam conservandam 
Societas Antiquariorum sumptu sue edenda ciiravit. Londini, 1747, folio, torn. i. 
^X.LXriL Nos.VI. etVlI. 


to his 
and buy 

U., of 
sek cha- 

I Joseph's 
:ir return 
ind is as 



rpe 4>e"r o rApxAeNrepA 


/eice xeajNi Aeeic TOT^^^ e i 



K Al TO N A AeAtOrsiYMu>-^ 
TT O fM .O .\e 'C M O V A CO H \ 

AAEAt O N Y 1^ (-J^ 1^ TOrV \ 

A M e I 'vi • e rco M e CM r AP !<. ivs 

M A I M T e K N UJ M ^1 ' 

eN/ve B^ciAeYccoAOMo3M 


Sect. II. § S.] Containing the Septuagint Fersioiu S3 

hand of plate 1 . is Jacob delivering his son Benjamin to his 
brethren, that they may go a second time into Egypt and buy 
corn for himself and his family, The passage of Genesis, 
which it is intended to illustrate, is ch. xliii. 13, I*., of 
which the following is a representation in ordinary Greek cha- 
racters : the words preserved being in capital letters. 

KAITONAAEA^KDNYMfii' Xa^m KXi ccvon 

nON.OAE©2MOYAaH vjxtv x'^Q^' e**" 
^^ TIONTOTANQPnnOY'KAI airojEiXai rov 

"^ AAEA4)ON YMnNTON eva xat rov Bfy* 

AMEIN'EmMEN rAPKA0«7r£f)jT£xvw 


In English, thus : 
N. ANDMYGDGIVE you favour be 
FORETHEMAN-THAT he may send back 
AMIN-ASFORMEAS I have been be 

The subject on the left-hand of the same plate is Joseph's 
interview v/ith his brethren in his own house, on their return 
into Egypt. It illustrates Genesis xliii. 30, 31., and is as 
follows : 





natjaSsTE «|Tou-. 

In English, thus : 
And Joseph was discomposed* 


set on bread. 

G 2 


84< Accou7it of Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II, 

The larger Greek characters at the foot of plate ]. are co- 
pied from the third plate of Mr. Astle's work on the Origin of 
Writing : they exhibit the four first words of Gen. xiv. 17, of 
the same size as in the Codex Cottonianus Genesecus, before 
the calamitous fire above noticed. 

The loss of the consumed parts of this precious manuscript 
would have been irreparable, had not extracts of its various 
readings been made by different learned men, which have 
been preserved to the present time. Thus, the collations of 
it by Archbishop Usher and Patrick Young, in the middle of 
the seventeenth century, are printed in the sixth volume of 
Bishop Walton's Polyglott Edition of the Bible. Archbishop 
Usher's autograph collation is deposited, in the Bodleian Li- 
brary, among the other MSS. of that distinguished prelate. 
The principal various readings, noted by Dr. Gale, towards 
the close of the same century, are entered in the margin of an 
Aldine edition of tlie Greek Version, which subsequently be- 
longed to the late Dr. Kennicott. But the most valuable 
collation is that made in the year 1703, by Dr. Grabe, who 
was deeply skilled in palajography, and bequeathed by him to 
the Bodleian Libiary, whence the late Rev. Dr. Owen pub- 
lished it at London, in 1778, in an 8vo. volume, entitled 
CoUatio Codicis Cottoniani Geiieseos cum Editione Romand, 
a viro clarissimo Joanne Ernesti Grabe jam olim facta ; .nunc 
demum summd curd edita ah Henrico Owen, M.D. S.R.S. 

Dr. Holmes has chiefly followed Grabe's extract of various 
readings, in his critical edition of the Septuagint, but he 
has occasionally availed himself of Archbishop Usher's colla- 
tion. ' 

The Codex Cottonianus is the most antient manuscript of 
any part of the Old Testament that is extant. It is acknow- 
ledged to have been written towards the end of the fourth, or in 
\he beginning oftheffth century; and it seldom agrees with any 
manuscript or printed edition, except the Codex Alexandrinus, 
which has been described in pp. 71 — 79 of the present volume. 
There are, according to Dr. Holmes, at least twenty instances 
in which this manuscript expresses the meaning of the original 
Hebrew more accurately than any other exemplars. 

II. III. The Codices Sarravianus (now in the Public 
Library of the Academy at Leyden), and Colbertinus (for- 
merly numbered SOS^ among the Colbert MSS., but at present 

1 Another collation was made by tiie eminent critic, Crusius, who highly commended 
the Codex Cottonianus, in two dissertations published by him at Gbttingen, in 1744 
and 1745. Crusius's collation subsequently fell into the hands of Breitinger, the 
editor of the beautiful edition of the Septuagint published at Zurich in 1750 — 1753. 
It is not at prtsent known what has become of this collation. 

Sect. II. §3.] Containhig the Septuagmt Versio7i. 85" 

deposited in the Royal Library at Paris), are distinct parts of 
the same manuscript. The Codex Sarravianus is defective in. 
those very leaves, viz. seven in Exodus, thirteen in Leviticus, 
and two in Numbers, which are found in the Colbertine manu- 
script; the writing of which, as well as the texture, of the 
vellum, and other peculiarities, agree so closely with those of 
the Codex Sarravianus, as to demonstrate their perfect identity. 
These manuscripts are neatly written on thin vellum, in uncial 
letters, with which some round characters are intermixed, the 
ink of which is beginning to turn yellow. The contractions 
or abbreviations, permutations of letters, &c. are the same 
which are found in the Codex Cottonianus. These two Co-- 
dices, as they are termed, may be referred to the fifth, or sixth, 
century. To some paragraphs of the book of Leviticus, titles. 
or heads have been prefixed, evidently by a later hand. 

IV. The Codex C^sareus (which is also frequently called 
the Codex Argenteus, and Codex Argenteo-Purpureus,, 
because it is written in silver letters on purple vellum), is pre- 
served in the Imperial Library at Vienna. The letters are 
beautiful but thick, partly round and partly square. In size, 
it approximates to the quarto form : it consists of twenty-six 
loaves only, the first twenty-four of which contain a fragment 
of the book of Genesis, viz. from chapter iii. 4?. to chapter 
viii.*24. : the two last contain a fragment of Saint Luke's 
Gospel, viz. chapter xxiv. verses 21 — 49. In Wetstein's 
critical edition of the Greek New Testament, these two leaves 
are denoted by the letter N. The first twenty-four leaves are 
ornamented with forty-eight curious miniature paintings, which 
Lambecius refers to the age of Constantine ; but, from the 
shape of the letters, it is rather to be assigned to the end of the 
fifth or the beginning of the sixth century. In these pictures, 
the divine prescience and providence are represented by a hand 
proceeding out of a cloud : and they exhibit interesting speci- 
mens of the habits, customs, and amusements of those early 
times. ' 

> The whole forty-eight embellishments are engraven in the third volume of Lam - 
becius's Commentariorum de augustissima biiiliotheca Caesarea-Vindobonensi, libri viii. 
(VindobonjE 1665 — 1679, folio, 8 vols.) They are also republished in Nesselius's Bre- 
viarium et Supplementum Commentariorum bibliotliecffi Cssareit-Vindobonensis (Vindo- 
bonas, 6 parts in 2 vols, folio), vol. i. pp.55 — 102; and again in the third book or 

volume of KoUarius's second edition of Lambecius's Commentarii (VindoboiiEe, 1766 

1782, 8 vols, folio.) Montfaucon's fac-simile of the type (Palasographia Grseca, p. 194,) 
has been made familiar to English readers by a portion of it which has been copied by 
Mr. Astle (on the Origin of Writing, plate iii. p. 70.) ; but bis engraver is said by 
Mr. Dibdin (Bibliographical Decameron, vol. i. p. xliv.) to have deviated from the 
original, and to have executed the fac-simile in too heavy a manner. Mr. D. has 
himself given a most beautiful fac-simile of this MS. in the third volume of his Bia- 
liographical and Auticjuarian Tour in France and Germany. 

G 3 

S6 Account of Mammnpis [Fart I. Ch. II-> 

From the occurrence of the words xtroovas (kitonas) instead of 
^iTcovag {chitonas), and A/3»jtx.6Xex {Abimelek) instead of A/3«/AeXe% 
(Abimelech), Dr. Holmes is of opinion that this manuscript was 
written by dictation. Vowels, consonants, &c. are interchanged 
in the same manner as in the Codex Cottonianus, and similar 
abbreviations are likewise found in it. In some of its readings 
the Codex Argenteus resembles the Alexandrian manuscript. 

V. The Codex Ambrosianus derives its name from the Am- 
brosian Library at Milan, where it is preserved ; it is proba- 
bly as old as the seventh century. This manuscript is a large 
square quarto (by Montfaucon erroneously termed a folio), 
written in three columns in a round uncial character. The 
accents and spirits however have evidently been added by a 
later hand. 

VI. The Codex CoisLiNiANUS originally belonged toM.Se- 
guier, Chancellor of France in the middle of the seventeenth 
century, a munificent collector of biblical manuscripts, from 
whom it passed, by hereditary succession, to the Due de Coislin. 
From his library it was transferred into that of the monastery 
of Saint Germain-Des-Prez, and thence into the Royal Library 
at, Paris, where it now is. According to Montfaucon, by whom 
it is particularly described ', it is in quarto, and was written in 
a beautiful round uncial character, in the sixth, or at the latest 
in the seventh century. But the accents and spirits have been 
added by a comparatively recent hand. It consists of two 
hundred and twenty-six leaves of vellum, and formerly contained 
the octateuch (that is the five books of Moses, and those of 
Joshua, Judges, and Ruth), the two books of Samuel and the 
two books of kings : but it is now considerably mutilated by 
the injuries of time. The copyist was totally ignorant of He- 
brew, as is evident from the following inscription, which he has 
placed at the beginning of the book of Genesis : — Ba^Tjo-s^ 
'jTctqct E/3gia<o»f, OTTsq efiv e^ju^veyo/xsvov, Xoyoi rj/if^wv, — that is> 
'Bugria-t^ in Hebrew, which being interpreted is (or means) the 
Words of Days, or the history of the days, i. e. the history of the 
six days' work of creation. This word Bag>)(re^ (Bareseth) is 
no other than the Hebrew word n^JJ^J^^H (b^reshith) in the 
beginning, which is the first word in the book of Genesis. Mont- 
faucon further observed that this manuscript contained readings 
very similar to those of the Codex Alexandrinus j and his re- 
mark is confirmed by Dr. Holmes, so far as respects the Pen- 

VII. The Codex Basilio-Vaticanus is the last of the MSS. 
in uncial characters collated by Dr* H. It formerly belonged 

* Bibliotlieca Cosliniana, olim Seguieriana, folio, Paris, 1732. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the Septnagint Version. 87 

to a monastery in Calabria, whence it was transferred by Pietro 
Memniti, superior of the monks of the Order of Saint Basil at 
Rome, into the Library of his monastery ; and thence it passed- 
into the papal library of the Vatican, where it is now numbered^ 
2,106. It is written on vellum, in oblong leaning uncial cha^ 
racters; and according to Montfaucon was executed in the 
ninth century. Dr. Holmes considers it to be a manuscript of 
considerable value and importance, which, though in many 
respects it corresponds with other MSS. collated by him, yet 
contains some valuable lections which are no where else to be 
found. On this account it is to be regretted that the Codex 
Basilio-Vaticanus is imperfect, both at the beginning and end.. 


I. T/te Codex Cottonianus (Titus C. XV.) — II. The Codex Bezcs, or 
Cantahrigiensis. — III. The Codex Ephremi. — IV. The Codex Claro- 
montanus. — V. The Codex Argenteus. — VL The Codex Rescriptus 
of St. Matthew's Gospel in Trinitij College, Dublin. — ^VII. The Codex 
Laudianus 3. — VIII. The Codex Boernerianus. — IX. Tlie Codex 
Cijprius. — X. The Codex Basileensis E. — XI. The Codex San- Ger- 
vianensis. — XII. The Codex Augiensis. — XIII. The Codex Harleianus, 
5598. — XIV. The, Codex Regius or Stephani v. — XV. The Codex 
Uffenbachianus. — XVI. The Codices Manners-Suttoniani.^—'KNW. 
The Codices Mosquenses. — XVIII. The Codex. Brixiensis. — XIX. 
Other MSS. written in small characters and desennng of especial 
notice, viz. I. The Codex Basileensis, I. — 2. The Codex Cor sendon- 
censis. — 3. The Codex Montfortianus. — 4. The Codex Regius, 50.. 
—5. The Codex Leicestrcnsis. — 6. The Codex Vindobonensis. — 
7. Tlie Codex Ebnerianus. — ^XX. Notice of the Collations of tlie 
Barberini and Velesian Manu^scripts. 

1 HE autographs, or manuscripts of the New Testament, 
which were written either by the apostles themselves, or by 
amanuenses under their immediate inspection ', have long since 
perished ; and we have no information whatever concerning 
their history. The pretended autograph of St. Mark's Gospel 
at Venice is now known to be nothing more than a copy of the 
Latin version **, and no existing manuscripts of the New Tes- 
tament can be traced higher than the fourth century ; and 
most of them are of still later date. Some contain the whole 
of the New Testament ; others comprise particular books or 

1 Saint Paul dictated most of his epistles to amanuenses ; but, to prevent the cir- 
culation of spurious letters, he wrote the concluding benediction with his own hand. 
Compare Rom. xvi. 22. Gal. vi. II. and 2 Thess. iii. 17, 18. with 1 Cor. xvi. 2l. 

9 See Vol. IV, p. 290 infra. 

G 4 

88 Account of the principal Manuscrijits [Part I. Ch. 11* 

fragments of books ; and there are several which contain, not 
•whole books arranged according to their usual order, but de- 
tached portions or lessons (avayvio<Tsii)i appointed to be read on 
certain days in the public service of the Christian church ; from 
which again whole books have been put together. These are 
called Lectionaria, and are of two sorts : 1. Evangelisteria, 
containing lessons from the four Gospels ; and, 2. Apostolos, 
comprising lessons from the Acts and Epistles. When a manu- 
script contains both parts, Michaelis says that it is called 
ApostolO'Evangelion. Forty-six Evangelisteria were collated 
by Griesbach for the four Gospels of his edition of the New 
Testament ; and seven Lectionaria or Apostoli, for the Acts 
and Epistles'. Some manuscripts, again, have not only the 
Greek text, but are accompanied with a version, which is either 
interlined^ or in a parallel column : these are called Codices 
Bilingues. The greatest number is in Greek and Latin ; and 
the Latin Version is, in general, one of those which existed 
before the time of Jerome. As there are extant Syriac- Arabic 
and Gothic-Latin manuscripts, Michaelis thinks it probable 
that there formerly existed Greek-Syriac, Greek-Gothic, and 
other manuscripts of that kind, in which the original and some 
version were written together." 

Besides the Alexandrian and Vatican manuscripts which 
have been already described s, the following are the principal 
manuscripts of the New Testament, of every description, which 
are more peculiarly worthy of notice. 

L The Codex Cottonianus (Titus C. XV.), preserved in 
the Cottonian Library in the British Museum, is a most pre- 
cious fragment of the four Gospels, written in silver letters on 
a faded purple ground. It is one of the oldest (if not the most 
antient) manuscript of any part of the New Testament that is 
extant ; and contains, 

( 1 .) Part of Saint Matthew's Gospel, be^nning at Chapter XXVI. 
V. 57. and ending with v. 65. of the same Chapter. 

(2.) Part of the same Gospel, beginning at Chapter XXVIL v. 2G. 
and ending with v. 34. of the same Chapter. 

(3.) Part of Saint John's Gospel, beginning at Chapter XIV. v. 2. 
and ending with v. 1 0. of the same Chapter. 

1 Griesbach, Proleg. ad Nov. Test. tom. i. pp. cxix. — cxxii. In the second volume 
of his Symbolas Criticas (pp. 5 — 50) Dr. G. has described eleven important Evange- 
gelistaria, which had either been not collated before, or were newly examined and col- 
lated by himself. Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 161 — 16.5. part ii. 639, 640. The 
Rev. T. F. Dibdin has described a superb Evangelisterium, and has given fac-similcs 
of its ornaments, in the first volume of his Bibliographical Decameron, pp. xcii.— xciv. 
This precious m.nnuscript belongs to Mr. Dant : it is supposed to have been written 
at the close of the eleventh, or early in the thirteenth, century. The illuminations 
are executed with singular beauty and delicacy. 

2 Introduction to the New Test., vol. ii. parti, p. 164. 

3 See pp. 71 — 79 of this volume for an account of the Alexandrian Manuscript, 
and pp. 79 — 81 for that of the Vatican. 

/y^/A ? 

I ^^■"■->^9^ .robnI.J.9. 





^ -/- 




'J^C 53SHiri:E:3, 

Of'dj/ <"f/f/i./- ('a//o//r'f/////,s- F/Vf/.s- r.xv. 

./.'//// xn'.o-. 





\: .',.jn,\ 














I rs! 121 

Sect. II. § 4<.] Containing the New Testament. 89 

(4.) Part of the same Gospel, beginning at Chapter XV. v. 15. and 
ending with v. 22. of the same Chapter. 

In the accompanying Plate 2. No. 1. we have given a fac- 
simile of John xiv. 6. from this manuscript, of which the fol- 
lowing is a representation in ordinary Greek characters, with 
the corresponding literal English version. 

AErEIATTOOIs Saithuntohimjs 





nposTONnrPA untothefthr 

EIMHAIEMOt but by Me 

The words IHS0T:S {Jesus\ 0EO:S (Goc?),KTPI02 {Lord) 
TlO:S {Son), and SiiTHP, {Saviour), are written in letters of 
gold ; the three first with contractions similar to those in the 
Codex Alexandrinus, and Codex Bezae. This precious frag- 
ment is acknowledged to have been executed at the end of the 
fourth, or at the latest in the beginning of the fifth century. 

II. The Codex Bez^, also called the Codex Cantabrigi- 
ENSis, is a Greek and Latin manuscript, containing the four 
gospels and the acts of the apostles. It is deposited in the public 
library of the university of Cambridge, to which it was pre- 
sented by the celebrated Theodore Beza, in the year 1581. 
Of this manuscript, which is written on vellum, in quarto, with- 
out accents or marks of aspiration, or spaces between the words, 
the accompanying fac-simile will convey an idea. It represents 
the first three verses of the fifth chapter of Saint Matthew's 
Gospel, which are copied from Dr. Kipling's fac-simile edition 
of the CodexBezae, published at Cambridge in 1793, of which 
an account is given in p. 93, infra. We have placed the Latin 
under the Greek, in order to bring the whole within the com- 
pass of an octavo page. The following is a literal English ver- 
sion of this fac-simile. 

Matt. V. 1—3. 








t Contracted for Spirit. TJie Greek is uNI, for nNETMATi ; and the Latin Spr, 


90 Accou7it of the princijoal Ma7iuscripts [Part I. CIr. II. 

Sixty-six leaves of this manuscript are much torn and muti- 
lated, and ten of them have been supplied by a later transcriber. 

The Codex Bezae is noted with- the letter D. by Wetstein 
and Griesbach. In the Greek it is defective, from the begin- 
ning to Matt. i. 20., and in the Latin to Matt. i. 12. In the 
Latin it has likewise the following chasms^ viz. Matt. vi. 20. — 
ix. 2.; Matt.xxvii. 1 — 12. ; John i. 16. — ii. 26.; Acts viii. 29. 
— ^x. 14<. ; xxii. 10 — 20. ; and from xxii. 29. to the end. The 
Gospels are arranged in the usual order of the Latin manu- 
scripts, Matthew, John, Luke, Mark. It has a considerable 
number of corrections, some of which have been noticed by Dr. 
Griesbach; and some of the pages, containing Matt. iii. 8 — 16. 
Johnxviii. 13. — xx. 13. and Mark xv. to the end, are written 
by a later hand, which Wetstein refers to the tenth century, but 
Griesbach to the twelfth. The Latin version is that which was 
in use before the time of Jerome, and is usually called the Old 
Italic or Ante-Hieronymian version. In the margin of the 
Greek part of the manuscript there are inserted the Ammonian 
sections, evidently by a later hand ; and the words a^x^j, reXoj, 
xaj X=ys, coSe (rlr^xs, are occasionally interspersed, indicating the 
beginning and end of the Avayvwcr/jtaTo, or lessons read in the 
church. The subjects discussed in the Gospels are sometimes 
written in the margin, sometimes at the top of the page. But 
all these notations are manifestly the work of several persons 
and of different ages. 

The date of this manuscript has been much cbntested. Those 
critics who give it the least antiquity, assign it to the sixth or 
seventh century. Wetstein supposed it to be of the fifth cen- 
tury. Michaelis was of opinion, that, of all the manuscripts 
now extant, this is the most antient. Dr. Kipling, the editor 
of the Cambridge fac simile, thought it much older than the 
Alexandrian manuscript, and that it must have been written in 
the second century. On comparing it with Greek inscriptions 
of different ages. Bishop Marsh is of opinion that it cannot have 
been written later than the sixth century, and that it may have 
been written even two or three centuries earlier : and he finally 
considers it prior to all manuscripts extant, except the Codex 
Vaticanus, and refers it to the fifth century, which perhaps is 
the true date, if an opinion may be hazarded where so much 
uncertainty prevails. 

Wetstein was of opinion, from eleven coincidences which he 
thought he had discovered, that this was the identical manuscript 
collated at Alexandria in 616, for the Philoxenian or later Sy- 
riac version of the New Testament ; but this is a groundless 
supposition. It is however worthy of remark, that many of 
the readings by which the Codex Bezae is distinguished are 


Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the New Testament. 91 

found in the Syrlac, Coptic, Sahidic, and in the margin of the 
Philoxenian-Syriac version. As the readings of this manuscript 
frequently agree with the Latin versions before the time of St. 
Jerome, and with the Vulgate or present Latin translation, 
Wetstein was of opinion that the Greek text was altered from 
the Latin version, or, in other words, that the writer of the 
Codex Bezse departed from the lections of the Greek manu- 
script or manuscripts whence he copied, and introduced in their 
stead, from some Latin version, readings which were warranted 
by no Greek manuscript. This charge Semler, Michaelis, 
Griesbach, and Bishop Marsh have endeavoured to refute ; and 
their verdict has been generally received. Matthsei, however, 
revived the charge of Wetstein, and considered the text as 
extremely corrupt, and suspected that some Latin monk, who 
was but indifferently skilled in Greek, wrote in the margin of 
his New Testament various passages from the Greek and Latin 
fathers, which seemed to refer to particular passages. He fur- 
ther thought that this monk had noted the differences occurring 
in some Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament, 
and added parallel passages of Scripture : and that from this 
farrago^ either the monk himself, or some other person, manu- 
factured his text, (whether foolishly or fraudulently is uncertain)^ 
of v/hich the Codex Bezas is a copy. But this suspicion of Mat- 
thaei has been little regarded in Germany, where he incurred 
the antipathy of the most eminent biblical critics, by vilifying the 
sources of various readings from which ho had it not in his 
power to draw, when he began to publish his edition of the New 
Testament ; giving to the Codex Bezse, the Codex Claromon- 
tanus (noticed in pp. 94, 95, infra), and other manuscripts of 
unquestionable antiquity, the appellation o^ Editio Scurrilis. ' 

Bishop Middleton, however, considers the judgment of Mi- 
chaelis as approximating very near to the truth, and has given a 
collation of numerous passages of the received text with the 
Codex Bezae; and the result of his examination, which does 
not admit of abridgment, is, that the Codex Bezae, though a 
most venerable remain of antiquity, is not to be considered, in 
a critical view, as of much authority. He accounts for the 
goodness of its readings, considered with regard to the sense, by 
the natural supposition of the great antiquity of the manuscript 
which was the basis of the Codex Bezae ; but while its latinising 
is admitted, he contends that we have no reason to infer that 
its readings, considered in the same light, are therefore faulty; 
The learned prelate concludes with subscribing to the opinioiv 
of Matthaei somewhat modified. He believes that no fra/ud 

1 Bp. Marsh's Lectures, part ii. pp. 30, SI, 

9'2 Account of the principal Ma7itiscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

was intended ; but only that the critical possessor of the basis 
filled its margin with glosses and readings chiefly from the Latin, 
being a Christian of the Western church ; and that the whole 
collection of Latin passages was translated into Greek, and 
substituted in the text by some one who had a high opinion of 
their value, and who was better skilled in calligraphy than in 
the Greek and Latin languages. ' 

The arguments and evidences adduced by Bishop Middle- 
ton, we believe, are by many, at least in England, considered 
so conclusive, that, though the antiquity of the manuscript is 
fully admitted, yet it must be deemed a latinising manuscript, 
and consequently is of comparatively little critical value. 

At the time Beza presented this manuscript to the University 
of Cambridge, it had been in his possession about nineteen 
years ; and in his letter to that learned body he says, that it was 
found in the monastery of Saint Irenasus at Lyons, where it had 
lain concealed for a long time. But how it came there, and in 
what place it was written, are questions concerning which no- 
thing certain is known. The most generally received opinion 
is, that it was written in the west of Europe. 

The Cambridge manuscript has been repeatedly collated by 
critical editox's of the New Testament. Robert Stephens made 
extracts from it, though with no great accuracy, under the title 
of Codex /3, for his edition of the Greek Testament, of 1550; 
as Beza also did for his own edition published in 1582. Since 
it was sent to the university of Cambridge, it has been more 
accurately collated by Junius, whose extracts were used by 
Curcellaeus and father Morin. A fourth and more accurate 
collation of it was made, at the instigation of Archbisop Usher, 
and the extracts were inserted in the sixth volume of the Lon- 
don Polyglott, edited by Bishop Walton. Dr. Mill collated it 
a fifth and sixth time ; but that his extracts are frequently de- 
fective, and sometimes erroneous, appears from comparing them 
with Wetstein's New Testament, and from a new collation which 
was made, about the year 1733, by Mr. Dickenson of Saint 
John's College ; which is now preserved in the library of Jesus' 
College, where it is marked O, 0, 2. Wetstein's extracts are 
also very incorrect, as appears from comparing them with the 
manuscript itself. ^ 

In concluding our account of this antient manuscript, it only 
remains to notice the splendid fac-simile of the Codex Bezae, 
published by the Rev. Dr. Kipling at Cambridge, vmder the 

1 BishopMiddleton on ths Greek Article, pp. 677 — 698. 

- Millii Prolegomena, §§ 1268 — 1273. Griesbach, Symbols Crhicas, torn. i. pp. \vi 
— Ixiv. Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. pp. 228 — 242, and partii. pp. 679 — 721. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the New Testament. qq 

patronage and at the expense of the university, in 2 vols, atlas 
folio. Its title is as follows : 


This fac-simile is executed with the utmost typographical 
splendour. In a preface of twenty-eight pages, the* learned 
editor discusses the high antiquity of the manuscript ; its nature 
and excellence ; its migrations ; the various collations of it which 
have been made at different times ; and concludes with a very 
brief description of the manuscript itself, and an I?idex Capitum. 
To this succeeds the text of the manuscript, which is divided 
into two parts or volumes ; the first ending with pao-e 412 and 
the second containing pages 413 to 828. Opposite to the 
modern supplement, which concludes the Gospels, on page 
657, is the end of the Latin version of Saint John's third 
Epistle. Pages 829 to 854 contain Dr. Kipling's notes. The 
impression of this fac-simile was limited to two hundred and 
fifty; and it usually sells for six or eight guineas, according 
to the condition and binding of the copies. Dr. Harwood re^ 
gulated the text of the Gospels and Acts, in his edition of the 
Greek Testament, chiefly according to the readings of the 
Codex Bezae; which was so highly valued by the learned but 
eccentric divine, Whiston, that, in his " Primitive New Tes- 
tament in English," (8vo. Stamiord and London, 1745,) he 
has translated the four Gospels and Acts literally from this ma- 
nuscript. Dr. A. Clarke, in his Commentary on the New 
Testament, has paid very particular attention to the readings 
of the Codex Bezae. 

Although the execution of this noble undertaking did not answer 
the expectations of some learned men ', in consequence of which 
it was held in comparatively little estimation for many years vet 
its value is now more justly appreciated. " A critic of the^first 
celebrity, who would have gladly seized an opportunity of ex- 
posing Dr. Kipling, was unable to detect the smallest error in 
the text. Porson himself collated the printed copy with the 
original manuscript : and the only fault he could detect, was 
in a single letter of the margin. This fact must surely place the 

J Dr. Kipling's fac-simile was criticised, with great severity, in the Monthly Review 
(N. S.) vol. xii. pp.241— 246. And his preface was attacked, in no very courteous 
mJiiner, in a pamphlet entitled ' Remarks on Dr. Kipling's Preface to Beza. Part the 
Ftrfct. By Thomas Edwards, LLD.' 8vo. 1793. No second part ever appe.ired. 

94 Account of tJie principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

value of Dr. Kipling's publication far beyond the reach of 
controversy." • 

III. The Codex Ephremi, or Codex Regius, 1905, (at 
present 9,) by Wetstein and Griesbach noted with the letter C., 
is an invaluable Codex Rescriptus, written on vellum, without 
accents, and is of very high antiquity. It has many marginal 
notes, written in uncial characters, without accents. Griesbach 
states that it has the t»tAo» and xsfaXcuct of Eusebius a prima 
Tjianu. The first part of this manuscript contains several Greek 
words of Ephrem the Syrian, written over some more antient 
writings which had been erased, though the traces are still 
visible, and in most places legible. These more antient writ- 
ings were the entire Greek Bible. The New Testament has 
very numerous chasms, which are specified by Wetstein, from 
whom they have been copied by Michaelis and Griesbach. Be- 
sides these chasms, it is in many places illegible. In this ma- 
nuscript the disputed (or rather, says Bishop Marsh, spurious) 
verse, John v. 4., is written, not in the text, but as a marginal 
scholion. Wetstein conjectured that this was one of the manu- 
scripts that were collated at Alexandria in 616 with the new 
Syriac version; but of this there is no evidence. From a mar- 
ginal note to Heb. viii. 7. the same critic also argued, that it 
was written before the institution of the feast of the Virgin 
Mary ; that is, before the year 542. But his arguments are 
not considered as wholly decisive by Michaelis, who only asserts 
its great antiquity in general terms. Bishop Marsh pronounces it 
to be at least as antient as the seventh century. The readings 
of the Codex Ephremi, like those of all other very antient manu- 
scripts, are in favour of the Latin ; but there is no satisfactory 
evidence that it has been corrupted from the Latin version. It 
has been altered by a critical collator, who, according to Gries- 
bach, must have lived many years after the time when the ma- 
nuscript was written, and who probably erased many of the 
antient readings. Kuster was the first who procured extracts 
from this manuscript for his edition of Dr. Mill's Greek Testa- 
ment. Wetstein has repeatedly collated it with very great ac- 
curacy ; and the numerous readings he has quoted from it 
greatly enhance the value of his edition. - 

IV. The Codex ClaromontanuSf or Regius 2245, is a Greek- 
Latin manuscript of Saint Paul's Epistles, found in the monastery 
of Clermont, in the diocese of Beauvais, and used by Beza, toge- 
ther with the Codex Cantabrigiensis, in preparing his edition of 

1 British Critic (N.S.) vol. xi. p. 619. 

2 Wetstenii Nov. Test. torn. i. proleg. pp. 27 — 28. Griesbach's Symb. Crit. tom.i. 
j)p. i. — liv. and Nov. Test. torn. i. pp. ci. cii. Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 258 — 260. 
part ii. pp. 737, 738. See also the Palaographia Graeca of Montfaucon (pp. 215 — 214) 
who has given a fac-simile of this manuscript. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the Nexv Testament. *J5 

the New Testament. It is noted D. by Wetstein and Griesbacli 
in the second volumes of their respective editions of the Greek 
Testament. Sabatier supposed it to be written in the sixth 
century ; Montfaucon places it in the seventh century ; and 
Griesbach thinks it was written in the sixth or seventh century. 
This manuscript is written on vellum in uncial characters, and 
with accents and marks of aspiration added by another hand, 
but of great antiquity. As it contains the Epistle to the He- 
brews, which has been added by a later hand, it is supposed to 
have been written in the west of Europe. Dr. Mill contended 
that the Codex Claromontanus was the second part of the Codex 
Bezse ; but this opinion has been confuted by Wetstein, who 
has shown that the former is by no means connected with the 
latter, as appears from the difference of their form, their ortho- 
graphy, and the nature of the vellum on which they are written. 
Bishop Marsh adds, on the authority of a gentleman who had 
examined both manuscripts, that the Codex Claromontanus 
contains only t'wenty-one lines in each page, while the Cam- 
bridge manuscript contains thirty-three lines in a page ; the 
abbreviations in the two manuscripts are also different. 

The Codex Claromontanus, like other Greek-Latin manu- 
scripts, has been accused of having a Greek Text, that has 
been altered from the Latin ; but this charge has been satisfac- 
torily refuted by Dr. Semler. The migrations of this manu- 
script are somewhat remarkable. From the hands of Beza it 
went into the Putean library, which derived its name from the 
family of De Puy. Jacques Du Puy, who was librarian to the 
king of France, and died in 1656, bequeathed it, together with 
his other manuscripts, to the royal library at Paris, where it 
is now preserved, and at present is marked 107. According 
to the accounts of Wetstein and Sabatier, thirty-six leaves were 
cut out of it at the beginning of the last century (it is supposed 
by John Aymon, a notorious literary thief of that time), and 
were sold in England ; but they were sent back by the Earl of 
Oxford in 1729. The manuscript therefore is once more com- 
plete, as the covering only is wanting in which the stolen sheets 
had been enclosed, which is kept in the British Museum, and 
filled with the letters that passed on the occasion, as a monu- 
ment of this infamous theft, i 

V. The Codex Argenteus is a manuscript containing the 
four Gospels, in the Gothic version of Ulphilas -^ which is 
preserved in the university of Upsal. It is written on vellum, 

1 Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp.244 — 248. part ii. pp.724 — 728. Griesbach, 
SymbolK Criticas, tom.i. — Ixiv. 

2 See an account of this version /u/m, Chap. V. Sect. II. § II. No. 1. 

96 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

and has received the name o^ Arge7iteus from its silver letters : it 
is of a quarto size, and the vellum leaves are stained with a 
violet colour ; and on this ground the letters, which are all 
tincial or capitals, were afterwards painted in silver, except the 
initial characters and a few other passages, which are in gold. 
From the deep impression of the strokes, Michaelis has con- 
jectured that the letters were either imprinted with a warm iron, 
or cut with a graver, and afterwards coloured ; but Mr. Coxe, 
after a very minute examination, was convinced that each letter 
was painted, and not formed in the manner supposed by 
Michaelis. Most of the silver letters have become green by 
time, but the golden letters are still in good preservation. The 
fac-simile of it, which is given in the accompanying plate, re- 
presents the Gothic translation of Matt. vi. 9. It was executed 
in the sixth century. Our specimen is copied from the en- 
graving in Dr. Hickes's Thesaurus Antiquitatum Septentriona- 
lium. The fac-simile was first traced from the original manu- 
script by the celebrated Swedish antiquarian Olaus Rudbeck : 
from whom it passed, through the hands of Eric Benzel, to 
Mr. Humphrey Wanley, librarian to the munificent Earl of 
Oxford, and it was communicated by Wanley to Dr. Hickes. 
Its accuracy may therefore be depended upon. 

Some fragments of the Gothic version of Saint Paul's Epistle 
to the Romans weie discovered by M. Knittel, in the year 
1756, in a Codex Rescriptus belonging to the library of the 
Duke of Brunswick at Wolfenblittel : they were published by 
him in 1762, and reprinted in 1763, in 4to. at Upsal, with 
notes by Ihre. The Brunswick manuscript contains the version 
of Ulphilas in one column, and a Latin translation in the other: 
it is on vellum, and is supposed to be of the sixth century. In 
the eighth or ninth century, the Origenes Isidori Hispa- 
lensis were written over the translation of Ulphilas; but the 
ink had become so exceedingly pale as not to admit of deci- 
phering the original manuscript, without great difficulty. ' 

In the year 1817, a most important discovery was made 
among the Codices Rescripti, in the Ambrosian Library, by 
the Abate Angelo Maio, the present keeper of the Vatican 
Library, of two voluminous manuscripts containing the 
Maeso-Gothic translation of the thirteen Epistles of Saint 
Paul made by Ulphilas, the loss of which has hitherto been a 
subject of regret. These manuscripts are covered by Latin 
writing of a later date, and appear to have been written 

> Michaelis, vol. ii. pp. 130—155, 631 — 655. Semler, pp. 70 — 72. Viser, Her- 
meneut. Nov. Test., vol. ii. part iii. pp.56 — 58. Schoell, Histoire Abreg€ de la Lit- 
terature Grecque, torn. ii. p. 131. Coxe's Travels in Russia, &c. vol. iv, pp. 173 — • 
180. edit. 1802. 


f^ ^ C' 















Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the New Testament. 97 

between the fifth and sixth century. What is wanting in one 
manuscript is contained in the other : and eight of the Epistles 
are entire in both, so as to afford the advantage of collation. 
The characters are stated to be large and handsome ; the titles 
of the Epistles are at the head of the manuscripts ; and there 
are also marginal references in the same language. Of this 
very important discovery Signor Maio has announced his de- 
sign of publishing an extensive specimen in a preliminary dis- 
sertation : and a complete fount of Maeso-Gothic types has 
been cast, at the expense of a public-spirited individual, of 
different sizes, both for the text and notes. Besides the two 
manuscripts just noticed, the Abate Maio has collected twenty 
more pages in the Maeso-Gothic language, extracted from se- 
veral other Codices Rescripti in the same library; in these 
pages are found those parts of Ulphilas's version of the Gospels, 
which are wanting in the mutilated editions of the Codex Ar- 
genteus, together with great part of the homilies or commen- 
taries on them ; and, what is still more interesting, some 
fragments of the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah; a discovery 
this, of the greatest importance, as not the smallest portion of 
the Gothic version of the Old Testament was hitherto known 
to exist. ' 

VI. A very valuable Codex Rescriptus was discovered 
about twenty-five years since by the Rev. Dr. Barrett, senior 
fellow of Trinity College Dublin. While he was examining 
different books in the library of that College, he accidentally 
met with a very antient Greek manuscript, on certain leaves 
of which he observed a two-fold writing, one antient and the 
other comparatively recent transcribed over the former. The 
original writing on these leaves had been greatly defaced, either 
by the injuries of time, or by art; on close examination he 
found, that this antient writing consisted of the three following 
fragments: — the Prophet Isaiah, the Evangelist Saint Mattliew, 
and certain orations of Gregory Nazianzen. The fragment, 
containing Saint Matthew's Gospel, Dr. Barrett carefully tran- 
scribed ; and the whole has been accurately engraved in fac- 
simile by the order and at the expense of the University, thus 
presenting tq the reader a perfect resemblance of the original ^ 

1 New Monthly Magazine for December 1817, vol. viii. p. 429. In order to accom- 
pany this considerable part of the labours of the Gothic prelate, it is added that Signor 
Maio is preparing a new Maeso-Gothic Lexicon ; which, independently of its value to 
the biblical critic, will prove a most valuable acquisition to the philologists of all those 
nations whose languages are of German origin. 

2 The title of this interesting (and comparatively little kriown) publication is as 
follows : Evangelium Secundum Maithceum ex Codice Jiescripto in BMiotheca Coir 


98 Account of the 'principal Manuscripts [Parti. Ch. II. 

The accompanying engraving is copied from Dr. B.'s first 
plate. It represents the 18th and 19th verses of the first chap- 
ter of Saint Matthew's Gospel. We have subjoined the same 
verses in ordinary Greek types, with a literal English version 
in parallel columns. 



. MAPiA2Tnin2H4>nPiN marytojosePHbefore 




V. 1 9. In2H4>AEOANHPATTH2 V. 1 9. JosePHthenherhusband 





Of the original writing of this manuscript, which Dr. Barrett 
calls the Codex Vetus, only sixty-four leaves remain, in a very 
mutilated state : each page contains one column ; and the co- 
lumns in general consist of twenty-one lines, and sometimes 
(though rarely) of twenty-two or twenty-three ; the lines are 
nearly of equal lengths, and consist, ordinarily, of eighteen or 
twenty square letters, written on vellum originally of ^purple 
colour. From these two circumstances, as well as from the 
division of the text, the orthography, mode of pointing, abbre- 
viations, and from some other considerations. Dr. Barrett, with 
gi-eat probability, fixes its age to the sixth century. The Codex 
Recens, or later writing (which contains several tracts of some 
Greek Fathers), he attributes to a scribe of the thirteenth cen- 
tury : about which time it became a general practice to erase 
antient writings, and insert others in their place. ' 

legii SSce.Trinitatis juxta Dublin : Descriptur.i Opera et Studio Johannis Barrett, 
S.T. P. Soc. Sen. Trin. Coll. Dublin. Cui adjungitur Appendix CoUationem Codids 
Montfortiani complectens. Dublini ^dibus Academicis excudebat R. E. Mercier, 
AcademicB Ti/pographns, 1801, 4to. The Prolegomena fill fifty-two pages, and com- 
prise, 1 . A description of the manuscript itself, with an account of its age, and the 
mwle of collating it adopted by the learned editor ; and, 2. An elaborate dissertation 
reconciling the apparent discrepancies between the genealogies of Jesus Christ as re- 
corded by the Evangelists Matthew and Luke. The fragments of the Codex Re- 
scriptus are then exhibited \n sixti/ four kc-simWe plates, and are also represented in 
as many pages in the common Greek small type. This truly elegant volume concludes 
with a collation of the Codex Montfonianus with Wetstein's edition of the New 
Testament, whicii occupies thirty-five pages. 
• Dr. Barret s Prolegomena, pp. 2 — 9. 

^ CO -; 

r OH 







^ J 


C 0) 


7 ^ 

t^ ^ 

- T 
I ^ 






O 7 










^70 ^ 





















cw2 ^ 


Sect. II. § 4'.] Containing the New Testament. 99 

VII. The Codex ' JLaudianus 3, as it is noted by Dr. Mill, 
but noted by the letter E by Wetstein, and *E by Griesbach, 
is a Greek-Latin manuscript of the Acts of the Apostles, in 
which the Latin text is one of those versions which differ from 
Jerome's edition, having been altered from the particular Greek 
text of this manuscript. It is defective from chap. xxvi. 29- 
to xxviii. 26. 

This manuscript is erroneously supposed to have been the 
identical book used by the venerable Bede in the seventh cen- 
tury, because it has all those irregular readings which, in his 
Commentaries on the Acts, he says were in his book ; and no 
other manuscript is now found to have them. There is an 
extraordinary coincidence between it and the old Syriac version 
of the Acts of the Apostles. Wetstein conjectures, from an 
edict of a Sardinian prince, Flavius Pancratius, written at the 
end of this manuscript, and from several other circumstances, 
that it was written in Sardinia in the seventh century. To 
this conjecture Michaelis is disposed to accede, though Dr. 
Woide supposed it to have been written in the East, because 
its orthography has several properties observable in the Codex 
Alexandrinus. But as these peculiarities are also found in other 
very antient manuscripts. Bishop Mai'sh considers them as 
insufficient to warrant the inference, especially when we reflect 
on the great improbability that a Greek manuscript written in 
the East should be accompanied with a Latin translation. It 
will be seen from the annexed fac-simile^, which represents 
the chief part of Acts vii. 2., that this Latin translation, con- 
trary to the usual arrangement of the Greek-Latin manuscripts, 
occupies the first column of the page. Only one word (or at 
the utmost, two or three words, and that but seldom,) is written 
in a line, and in uncial or capital letters; and they are so written 
that each Latin word is always opposite to the correspondent 
Greek word. Hence it is evident, that the manuscript was 
written for the use of a person who was not well skilled in both 
languages; and as the Latin occupies the first column, this 
circumstance is an additional evidence that it was written in 
the West of Europe, where Latin only was spoken. For the 
satisfaction of the English reader, the verse in question is sub- 
joined in common Roman and Greek capitals, with the cor- 
responding literal English in a third column. 

» So called from Archbishop Laud, who gave this, among many other precious 
manuscripts, to the University of Oxford. It is now preserved in the Bodleian Library, 
F. 82, No. 1119. 

3 It is copied from Mr. Astle's work on the Ori?in of Writing, Plate iv. 

H 2 

100 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Parti. Ch. II. 
Ad iLLE AIT 0AEE<I)H And he said 



























With regard to the date of this manuscript; — Mr. Astle 
refers it to the beginning of the fifth century ; Griesbach to 
the seventh or eighth ; and Mr. Hearne to the eighth cen- 
tury. But from the shape of the letters and other circum- 
stances, Bishop Marsh pronounces it to be less antient than the 
Codex Bezae, which was written in the fifth century. Pro- 
bably the seventh century may be assigned as the date of the 
Codex Laudianus 3. 

This manuscript is of great value : Michaelis pronounces it 
to be indispensable to every man who would examine the im- 
portant question, whether the Codices Graeco-Latini have been 
corrupted from the Latin, and adds, that it was this manuscript 
which convinced him that this chai'ge is without foundation '. 
The Greek and Latin text of the Codex Laudianus was printed 
at Oxford by the celebrated antiquary, Thomas Hearne, with 
a specimen of the original characters, with the following title. 
Acta Apostolorum Grceco-Latine, Literis Majusculis ,- e codice 
Laudiano, characteribtis nncialibus exarato, et in Bibliotheca 
Bodleiana adservato. Oxmiii. E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1715. 
8vo. This is the scarcest of all Hearne's publications; the 
impression was limited to one hundred and twenty copies, at 
ten shillings each. A copy was sold at the sale of the Rev. 
Dr. Heath's library, in 1810, for the sum of thirteen pounds 
two shillings : it now adorns the very valuable library of the 
"Writers to his Majesty's Signet at Edinburgh. 

VIII. The Codex Boernerianus derives its name from 
Dr. C. F. Boerner, to whom it formerly belonged, and is now 
deposited in the royal library at Dresden. It is noted by the 
letter G. 2. by Wetstein and Griesbach. It contains Saint 

1 Griesbach, Symb. Crit. torn. ii. pp. 181 — 183. Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 269 
—274. part ii. pp. 747 — 748. Dr. Woide, Pracfat. ad Cod. Alexandr. pp. xxvi. — 
xxviii. § 7G-— 81. Astle on the Origin of Writing, p.7P. 2d edit. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Contaming the New Testament. 101 

Paul's Epistles, with the exception of that to the Hebrews, 
which was formerly rejected by the church of Rome ; and is 
written in Greek and Latin, the Latin or old Ante-Hierony- 
mian version being interlined between the Greek, and written 
over the text, of which it is a translation. Semler supposed 
that the Latin was written since the Greek ; but Professor 
Matthaei, who publishBd a copy of this manuscript, suggests 
that the uniformity of the handwriting, and similarity in the 
colour of the ink, evince that both the Greek and Latin texts 
proceeded from the same transcriber. It frequently agrees 
with the Codex Claromontanus (described in pp. 94*, 95, supra), 
and with the Codex Augiensis, of which a notice is given in 
p. 105 infra. The time when this manuscript was written 
has not been determined with precision. That it is antient, 
appears (says Michaelis) from the form of the characters, 
and the absence of accents and marks of aspiration. It seems 
to have been written in an age when the transition was making 
from uncial to small characters ; and from the .correspondence 
of the letters r. s. and t. in the Latin version to that form which 
is found in the Anglo-Saxon alphabet. Bishop Marsh infers, 
that this manuscript was written in the west of Europe, and 
probably between the eighth and the tenth centuries. Kuster, 
who first collated this manuscript, supposed it to be British ; 
Doederlein, Irish. The learned reviewer of Matthaei's edition 
of this manuscript, in the Jena Literary Gazette, decides that 
it could only be written in Germany or France ; because in the 
margin many passages are noted coyitra yolh<T>iakKov, apparently 
because they are contradictory to the opinion of Gottschalk, a 
celebrated monk, who disputed concerning predestination in 
the ninth century, but whose tenets excited little attention ex- 
cept in those two countries. The writer in question thinks it 
probable that this manuscript was written by Johannes Scotus, 
who lived at the court of Charles the Bald, king of France, 
and was the most celebrated opponent of Gottschalk, The 
manuscript, however, could not have been written later than the 
ninth century, for, in the beginning of the tenth, Gottschalk's 
dispute had lost all its importance. Griesbach accordingly 
refers the Codex Boernerianus to the ninth or tenth century. 
There is a transcript of this MS. in the library of Trinity 
* College, Cambridge, among the books and manuscripts that 
were left by Dr. Bentley^ who probably procured it for his in- 
tended edition of the Greek Testament. Professor Matthae 
published a copy of this manuscript at Meissen in Saxony, in 
1791, in quarto (which was reprinted at the same place in 1818, 
also in quarto), with the following title : — XIII. Epistolarum 
Paidi Codex Grcecus, cum Versionc Latind Vetere xmlgo Ante' 

H 3 

102 Account of the 'principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. IL 

Hie7'onymiana, olirn Boertierianus, ?iunc Bibliothecce Electoralis 
DresdensiSy summa jide et diligentia transcriptus et editus a 
C. F,. Matthcei. The transcript is said to be executed with 
great accuracy, and is illustrated with two plates. ' 

IX. The Codex Cyprius, or Colbertinus 51 4-9, noted K 
in the first volume of Wetstein's and Griesbach's editions of 
the Greek Testament, is a copy of the four Gospels, originally 
brought from the Island of Cyprus ; and now deposited in the 
Royal Library at Paris, where it is at present numbered 33. 
This manuscript was first collated by father Simon % whose 
extracts of various readings were inserted by Dr. Mill in his 
critical edition of the New Testament^. Wetstein charged 
this manuscript with latinising, but without sufficient evidence. 
Michaelis deemed it to be of great value, and expressed a wish 
for a more accurate collation of it. That wish was not realized 
until the year 1819, when Dr. J. M. A. Scholz, of Heidelberg, 
being at Paris, subjected this manuscript to a very rigorous 
critical examination, the results of which he communicated to 
the public in his CurcE Criticcs in Historiam Textus Evangeli- 
orum (4to. Heidelbergae, 1820): from this work the following 
particulars are abridged. 

This manuscript is written on vellum, in an oblong quarto 
size, and in excellent preservation. The uncial characters are 
not round, as in the most antient manuscripts, but leaning ; 
they exhibit evident marks of haste, and sometimes of care- 
lessness in the transcriber, and they present the same abbrevi- 
ations as occur in the Alexandrian, Vatican, and other manu- 
scripts. In a few instances, accents are absent, but frequently 
they are incorrectly placed ; the spirits (asper and lenis) are 
often interchanged -, and the permutations of vowels and conso- 
nants are very numerous. Thus, we meet with x.MKgv[/,[jisvcu for 
xsxguj^ixsvca (Matthew xiii. 44.); eX^si for eA^ij (Mark iv. 22.); 
g«/3/3ej for ga/3/3j (Matt, xxiii. 7- xxvi. 25- 49. Sic.) ; ■ oxohfjitiTo 
for wxoSojw,rjTo (Luke iv. 29.); tovtm for rovro (Luke viii. 9.) ; 
AoSScaov for ©oSSojov; sxaSeuSov for exa^suSov (Matt. xxv. 5.); 
Na^aged for Na^agsr (Marki. 9.) &c. From the confused and 
irregular manner in which the accents and spirits are placed. 
Dr. Scholz conjectures that the Codex Cyprius was transcribed 
from a more antient copy that was nearly destitute of those 
distinctions. Some of the permutations are unquestionably 
errors of the transcriber, but the greater part of them, he is of 

I Kuster's preface to his edition of Mill's Greek Testament, subjinem. Michaelis, 
vol. ii. parti, pp.225 — 227. partii. pp. 672 — 677. Jena Algemeiiie Litteratur Zei- 
tung as abridged in the Analytical Review for 1795. vol. 17. p. 231. 

- Histoire Critique diiTextedu Nouveau Testament, ch, x. p. 104. 

3 Nov.Tcst.MiUietKusteriProlegom. p. 162. . 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the Neiso Te&tament. 103 

opinion, must be referred to the orthography and pronuncia- 
tion which (it is well known) were peculiar to the Alexandrians. 
To this manuscript are prefixed a synaccarium or epitome of 
the lives of the Saints, who are venerated by the Greek church, 
and a menologium or martyrology, together with the canons 
of Eusebius : to each of the three last Gospels is also prefixed 
an index of the KEfuXata or larger chapters. The numbers of the 
Ammonian sections and larger chapters ', are marked in the 
inner margin ; and the numbers of the other chapters, together 
with their titles, are placed either at the top or at the bottom of 
the page. The Gospel of St. Matthew comprises 359 Ammo- 
nian sections, and 68 chapters; that of St. Mark, 241 sections 
and 48 chapters ; that of St. Luke, 342 sections and 83 chap- 
ters ; and the Gospel of St. John, 232 sections and 19 chapters. 
The celebrated passage in John viii. 1 — 11, concerning the 
woman who had been taken in adultery, constitutes a distinct 
chapter. From the occasional notation of certain days, on 
which particular portions were to be read, as well as from the 
prefixing of the synaxarium and menologium, Dr. Scholz con- 
siders this manuscript as having originally been written, and 
constantly used, for ecclesiastical purposes. 

A considerable difference of opinion prevails, respecting the 
age of the Codex Cyprius. Simon referred it to the tenth cen- 
tury : Dr. Mill thought it still later ; Montfaucon assigned it 
to the eighth century, and with his opinion Dr. Scholz coin- 
cides, from the general resemblance of the writing to that of 
other manuscripts of the same date. Specimens of its characters 
have been given by Montfaucon -, Blanchini % and Dr. 
Scholz *. Our fac-simile in plate 2. No. 3. ^ is copied from the 
last-mentioned writer : it contains part of the first verse of the 
twenty-eighth chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, in English 
thus : 


This manuscript is of considerable importance in a critical 
point of view, particularly as it affords great weight to the read- 
ings of the best and most antient MSS., antient versions, and the 
fathers s. From the peculiarity of lections in this manuscript, 

1 See an account of these divisions, in Chap. IV. Sect. II. infra. 

* Palasographia Graeca, p. 232. 

9 Evangellarium Quadruplex, Parti, p. 492. plate 5 from that page. 

4 At the end of his Curs Critics in Historiam Textus Evangeliorum. In pp. 80— 
90, Dr. Scholz h.ns given the Jtrst entire collation ever published, of the Various 
Readings contained in the Codex Cyprius. 

s This plate faces page 88, supra. 

6 Dr. Scholz (Cur, Crit. pp. 65—65) has given several instances of such readings, 
one only of which we have room to notice. In John vii. 8. the Codex Cyprius reads 
ova «»«/3«<w, which in later manuscripts is altered to ov^u avafiaim, because the celebrated 

H 4 

lO* Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II, 

which (Dr. Scholz shows) was never removed from Cyprus 
where it was written, until the eighteenth century, he is of opi- 
nion that it constitutes a distinct recension or text of the New 
Testament. * 

X. The Codex Basileensis B. VI. 21, noted by Dr. Mill 
B. 1.5 by Bengel, Bas. a, and by Wetstein and Griesbaeh, E., 
is a manuscript of the four Gospels, written in uncial letters, in 
the eighth or (more probably) ninth century. It is mutilated in 
Luke i. 69. — ii. 4., iii.4 — 15.j,xii. 58. — xiii. 12., xv.8 — 20; and 
xxiv. 47. to the end of the Gospels : but the chasms in Luke i. 
69. — ii. 4., xii. 58. — xiii. 12., andxv. 8 — 20. have been filled up 
by a later hand. This manuscript was not used by Erasmus ; 
but was collated by Samuel Battier for Dr. Mill, who highly 
valued it; by Iselin, for Bengel's edition of the New Testa- 
ment j and by Wetstein, who has given its readings in his edi- 
tion. 2 

XI. The Codex San-Germanensis (noted E 2. in the second 
volume of Wetstein's edition of the New Testament,) is a Greek- 
Latin manuscript of St. Paul's Epistles, written in the seventh 
century, in uncial letters, and with accents and marks of aspira- 
tion, a ■primd manu. It has been generally supposed to be a mere 
copy of the Codex Claromontanus (described in pages 94, 95, 
supra) ; but this opinion is questioned by Dr. Semler, in his 
critical examination of this manuscript, who has produced many 
examples, from which it appears that if the transcriber of it 
actually had the Clermont MS. before him, he must at least 
have selected various readings fi'om other manuscripts. Bishop 
Marsh, therefore, considers the San-Germanensis as a kind 
of Codex Eclecticus, in writing which the Clermont MS. was 
principally but not at all times consulted. The manuscript 
now under consideration takes its name from the monastery of 
St. Germain-des-Prez, in Paris, in whose library it is preserved. 
Dr. Mill first procured extracts from it, for his edition of the 
New Testament, where it is noted by the abbreviation Ger. for 
Germanensis. By Wetstein, it is noted E 2., and by Griesbaeh E. 

According to Montfaucon, there is also extant another more 
antient Codex San-Germanensis of St. Paul's Epistles, which 
has never been collated. It is a fragment, containing only 

antagonist of Christianity, Porphyry, had used it as a ground of objection. With the 
Codex Cyprius agree the Cambridge Manuscript, the Codices Regii, 14, {33 of 
Griesbach's notation), and 55 (17 of Griesbaeh), several of the Moscow manuscripts 
cited by Matthasi, the Memphitic and Ethiopia versions, together with several of the 
Ante-hieronymian versions, and, among the fathers, Jerome, Augustine, Cyril, Chry- 
sostom, and Epiphanius. This reading alone proves that the Codex Cyprius has not 
been altered from the Latin, as Wetstein asserted without any authority. 

' See an account of the Cyprian Recension in pp. 59, 60. 

* Marsh's Michaelis, Vol. ii. Parti, pp. 217, 218. 

Sect. II. § 4).] Containing the New Testament. 105 

thirteen leaves; and is supposed to be as antient as the fifth 
century. ' 

XII. The Codex Augiensis is a Greek-Latin manuscript of 
St. Paul's Epistles ; it derives its name from the monastery of 
Augia major, at Rheinau, to which it belonged in the fifteenth 
century. After passing through various hands, it was purchased 
by the celebrated critic, Dr. Richard Bentley, in 1718 ; and in 
1787, on the death of the younger Bentley, it was deposited in 
the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge. This manuscript 
is defective from the beginning to Rom, iii. 8., and the epistle 
to the Hebrews is found only in the Latin version. Michaelis 
assigns it to the ninth century, which (Bishop Marsh remarks) 
is the utmost that can be allowed to its antiquity. The Greek 
text is written in uncial letters without accents, and the Latin in 
Anglo-Saxon characters : it has been collated by Wetstein, 
who has noted the Codex Augiensis with the letter F in the 
second part of his edition of the New Testament. In many 
respects it coincides with the Codex Boernerianus, and belongs 
to the Western Recension. The words Xpig-og {Christ), and 
Iijo-owj (Jesus), are not abbreviated by XC and IC, as in the com- 
mon manuscripts, but by XPC and IHC, as in the Codex 
Bezae. ^ 

XIII. The Codex Harleianus No. 5598. is a most splendid 
Evangelisterium, or collection of lessons from the four Gospels, 
unknown to Dr. Griesbach ; it is written on vellum, in uncial 
Greek letters, which are gilt on the first leaf, and coloured and 
ornamented throughout the rest of the book. It consists of 
seven hundred and forty-eight pages ; and according to an 
inscription on the last page^ was written by one Constantine, a 
presbyter, a. d. 995. To several of the longer sections, titles are 
prefixed in larger characters. The passages of the Gospels are 
noted in the margin, as they occur, by a later hand, and between 
pages 726 and 729, there are inserted ten leaves of paper, con- 
taining the series of Lessons or Extracts from the Gospels ; 
which are supposed to have been written by Dr. Covell, who 
was chaplain to the British Embassy at Constantinople a.d. 
1670 — 1677, and was a diligent collector of MSS. In plate 2. 
No. 2. is given a fac-simile ^ of the third page of this precious 
manuscript. It represents the eighteenth verse of the first 

1 Michaelis, Vol. ii. Part i. p. 514. Part ii. pp. 784, 785. ; Montfaucon's Biblio- 
theca Bibliothecarum, torn. ii. pp. 1041. In his Palxographia Giaeca, he has given a 
fac-simile of the Greek and Latin characters of the Codex San-Germanensis. Another 
fac-simile of them is given by Blanchini, in his Evangeharium Qiiadruplex, Vol. i. in 
the last of the Plates annexed to p. 533. 

2 Michaelis, Vol. ii. Part i. pp. 2J0, 211. Part ii. pp. 664,665. 

3 This plate faces page 88, siqna. 

106 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

chapter of Saint John's Gospel. We have annexed the same 
passage in ordinary Greek types, together with a Hteral Eng- 
lish Version, in parallel columns. 







The lines of this venerable MS. are not all of equal length, 
some containing ten, others ten or more letters in each line. 
The same contractions of 02 for 0=oj (God), nP for nari)^ 
{Father), T2 for Tiog {a son), &c. which occur in all the most 
antient Greek manuscripts, are also to be seen in this evangelis- 
tarium. As it has never yet been collated, it is highly worthy of 
the attention of future editors of the New Testament. 

XIV. The Codex Regius, 2861, (at present 62 >j, or the 
eighth of the manuscripts collated by Robert Stephens,) is a 
quarto manuscript, on vellum, of the ninth century, and written 
in uncial letters of an oblong form. The accents are frequently 
wanting, and are often wrongly placed, even when they are in- 
serted, from which circumstance Griesbach thinks that this ma- 
nuscript was transcribed from another very antient one, which 
had no accents. Each page is divided into two columns, and the 
words follow, for the most part, without any intervals between 
them. The iota subscriptum and postscriptum are uniformly 
wanting : the usual abbreviations occur, and the lette:rs AT and 
OT are sometimes written with contractions as in the Codex 
Coislinianus 1 (a manuscript of the eighth century) ; and not 
seldom a letter is dropped in the middle of a word : — Thus, 
we read in it ■jraga^Xri for Trugu^oXvi, 5tA>]crsTaj for xKYj^y^crsTui, 
xargw/xevoj for xaTagwjtAsvoj, &c. &c. Errors in orthography 
appear in every page, and also permutations of vowels and con- 
sonants. This manuscript contains the four Gospels, with the 
following chasms, viz. Matt. iv. 21. — v. 14. and xxviii. 17. to 
the end of the Gospel; Mark x. 17—30. and xv. 10—20.; and 
John xxi. 15. to the end. The mXot and the Ammonian sec- 
tions with reference to the canons of Eusebius are written in the 
Codex Regius a prima manu. It is noted L. by Wetstein, and 
also by Griesbach ', who has given a very complete and accurate 
collection of its various readings in his Symbolse Criticae. This 

1 Griesbach 's Symbolae Criticse, torn. i. pp. Ixvi. — cxli. Michaelis, Vol. ii. Part i. 
pp. 304 — 50G. Part ii. pp. 778, 779. 

Sect. II. § 4".] Containing the New Testament, 107 

manuscript harmonises with the Alexandrine or Western Re- 

XV. The Codex Uffenbachianus 2, (1 of Bengel's notation, 
and No.. 53 of Wetstein's and Griesbach's catalogues of manu- 
scripts,) is a fragment of the epistle to the Hebrews, consisting 
of two leaves : it is at present preserved in the public library 
at Hamburgh. Having been very imperfectly described by 
Mains, Wetstein, and Bengel, Dr. H. P. C. Henke rendered 
an important service to biblical literature by subjecting it to a 
minute critical examination, the result of which he published at 
Helmstadt, in 1800, in a quarto tract, with a fac-simile of the 
writing, intitled Codicis Uffenbachiani, qui Epistolce ad He- 
brceos fragmenta contmet, Recensits Criticus '. According to 
this writer, the Codex Uffenbachianus originally consisted of 
one ternion, or six leaves, of which the four middle ones are 
lost. It is wholly written in red uncial characters, slightly dif- 
fering from the square form observable in the most antient ma- 
nuscripts. The accents and notes of aspiration are carefully 
marked, but the iota subscriptum nowhere occurs : nor are any 
stops or minor marks of distinction to be seen, except the full 
stop, which is promiscuously placed at the bottom, in the 
middle, or at the top of a page, to serve as a comma, colon, 
or full point. The note of interrogation occurs only once, viz. 
in Heb. iii. 1 7. after the word £g»]/x«; ; but there are scarcely 
any abbreviations, beside those which we have already noticed 
as existing in the Alexandrian and other antient manuscripts. 
It is remarkable, that the first verse of the second chapter is 
wanting in this manuscript, which is characterised by some 
peculiar readings. M. von Uffenbach, who was its first knoxson 
possessor, referred it to the seventh or eighth century. Wetstein 
asserted it to have been written in the eleventh century ; but, 
on comparing it with the specimens of manuscripts engraved by 
Montfaucon and Blanchini, we are of opinion with Dr. Henke, 
that it was executed in the ninth century. In its readings, the 
Codex Uffenbachianus sometimes approximates to the Alexan- 
drian, and sometimes to the Western Recension. 

XVI. The Codices Manners-Suttoniani are a choice col- 
lection of manuscripts, in the archiepiscopal library at Lambeth, 
which have been purchased, and presented to that library by his 
Grace the present Archbishop. They are principally the col- 
lection, made by the late Rev. J. D. Carlyle, Professor of 
Arabic in the university of Cambridge, during his travels in 

» Dr. Henke's publication and fac-simile are reprinted by Pott and Ruperti, in their 
Sylloge Commentationum Theolo^icarum, vol. ii. pp. 1 — 32. Helmstadt, 1801; from 
wliich our account of the Codex Uffenbachianus is abridged. 

108 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. IL 

the east, with a view to a critical edition of the New Testament, 
with various readings ; which however was never undertaken, 
in consequence of his lamented decease. Of these manuscripts 
(wliich are chiefly of the New .Testament, and are numbered 
from 1175 to 1209), the following are particularly worthy of 
notice, on account of the harvest of various lections which they 
may be expected to afford. 

1. No. 1175 is a manuscript of the four Gospels, written 
on vellum, in quarto, towards the end of the eleventh or at the 
beginning of the twelfth century. The two first verses of the 
first chapter of Saint Matthew's Gospel are wanting. At the 
end of this manuscript, on a single leaf, there are part of the 
last verse of the seventh chapter of Saint John's Gospel, and 
the first eleven verses of the eighth chapter. 

2. No. 1176 is another manuscript of the four Gospels, on 
vellum, in quarto, written in the twelfth century. On the 
first leaf there are some figures painted and gilt, which have 
nearly disappeared from age. This is followed by the chapters 
of the four Gospels. 

3. No. 1 177 is a manuscript of the four Gospels on vellum, 
of the twelfth century, which is very much mutilated in the 

4. No. 1178 contains the four Gospels, most beautifully 
written on vellum, in quarto, in the tenth century. The first 
seven verses and part of the eighth verse of the first chapter of 
Saint Matthew's Gospel is wanting. 

5. No. 1179 contains the four Gospels, mutilated at the 
beginning and end. It is on vellum, in quarto, of the twelfth 

6. No. 1180 is a quarto manuscript of the four Gospels, 
written in the fourteenth century. 

7 — 11. Nos. 1181 to 1185. are manuscripts, containing the 
Acts of the Apostles, the Catholic Epistles, and the whole of 
Saint Paul's Epistles. They are all written in quarto and on 
paper. Nos. 1181 and J 183 are of the fourteenth century : 
No. 1182 is of the twelfth century. The conclusion of Saint 
John's First Epistle, and the subsequent part of this manu- 
script, to the end, have been added by a later hand. Nos. 
1184- and 1185 are of the fifteenth century. The former is 
mutilated in the commencement, and begins with Acts vi. 10. 
T>j (Toi^ic, xa» TOO 7rveu]M,aTi co ehuXsi, — the toisdom and the spirit 
by 'which he spake. The two last leaves of this manuscript are 
"written by a later hand. No. 1185 is mutilated at the end. 

12. No. 1186 is a quarto manuscript on vellum, written in 
the eleventh century, and contains the Epistles of Saint Paul 
and the Apocalypse. It is unfortunately mutilated at the be- 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the Nexv Testament. 109 

ginning and end. It commences with Rom. xvi, 15. . . ". . -^ruv 
(that is, OA'jjtxTrav) nan ovg cruvavroij -Travrag ayiou;^ — .... pas 
(that is, Olympas) and all the saints which are ivith them : and 
it ends with the words, ettj tco ^qovao, X^yovTsg Ajavjv, — on the 
throne, saijing, Amen. Rev. xix. 4. The Rev. H. J. Todd 
has given a fac-simile of this precious manuscript in his cata- 
logue of the manuscripts in the archiepiscopal library at 

13 — 15. Nos. 1187 — 1189 are lectionaries, from the four 
Gospels, written on vellum, in the thirteenth century. 

16. No. 1190 is a manuscript on vellum, written with sin- 
gular neatness, in the thirteenth century. Formerly it con- 
tained the Acts of the Apostles and the Catholic Epistles, 
together with the whole of Saint Paul's Epistles. It is sadly 
mutilated and torn, both in the middle and at the end. 

17. No. 1191 is a lectionary, from the Acts of the Apostles 
and the Epistles. It is on vellum, in quarto, of the thirteenth 
century. It is mutilated both at the beginning and end. All 
the preceding manuscripts were brought by Professor Carlyle 
from the Greek Islands. 

18—21. Nos. 1191, 1194, 1195, and 1196, are lectionaries 
from the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles. They are on vel- 
lum, in quarto, and were written in the thirteenth century. No. 
1191 is mutilated at the beginning and end; and No. 1194 at 
the end. The writing of this last manuscript is singularly neat, 
and many of the letters are gilt. No. 1195 is also mutilated 
at the beginning, and No. 1 1 96 at the end. 

22. No. 1192 is a very beautiful manuscript of the four 
Gospels, in quarto, written on vellum, in the thirteenth century. 

23. No. 1193 is a lectionary from the four Gospels, also 
written on vellum, in the thirteenth century. It is mutilated 
at the end. The six last manuscripts, Nos. 1191 — 1196, were 
brought from Syria. \ 

XVII. The Codices Mosquenses, or Moscow manuscripts, 
are fifty- five in number. They were discovered by M. Mat- 
thaei, while he was a professor in that city, principally in the 
library belonging to the Holy Synod; and were collated by him 
with great accuracy. The principal various I'eadings, derived 
from them, are printed in his edition of the Greek Testament, 
of which some account will be found in a subsequent chapter. 

1 Catalogue of the MSS. in the Archiepiscopal Library, at Lambeth, by the Rev. 
H.J.Todd, pp. 261, 262, folio, London, 1812. From the circumstance of the 
Codices Manners-Suttoniani being brought partly from Greece, and partly from Syria, 
it is probable that, whenever they may be collated, it will be found that those from 
the former country will be found to harmonise with the Byzantine Recension ; and 
those from the latter, with the Palestine Recension. 

110 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part I. Ch. II. 

Though these MSS. are not of the highest antiquity, yet they 
are far from being modern, since some of them were written 
in the eighth, several in the tenth or eleventh, and many in the 
twelfth, century. As the Russian is a daughter of the Greek 
church, Michaelis remarks that the Moscow Manuscripts very 
frequently contain the readings of the Byzantine recension, 
though he has observed many readings that were usual not only 
in the west of Europe, but also in Egypt. Of the Codices Mos- 
quenses, there are three, which Matthaei designates by the 
letters V, H, and B, and to which he gives a high character for 
antiquity, correctness, and agreement : they are all written in 
uncial characters. The Manuscript V. contains the four Gos- 
pels ; from John vii. 39. to the end is the writing of the twelfth 
or thirteenth century : the preceding part is of the eighth cen- 
tury. B. is an Evangeliarium or collection of the four Gospels, 
of the same date : H. is also an Evangeliarium, and in the judg- 
ment of Matthaei, the most antient manuscript known to be 
extant in Europe. V. and H. were principally followed by him, 
in forming the text of his edition of the New Testament. ' 

XVIII. The Codex Brixiensis or Brixianus is a precious 
manuscript of the Old Italic (Latin Version) executed in the 
eighth century, preserved at Brescia, in Lombardy. It is an 
oblong quarto, written in uncial characters, on purple vellum, 
which in the lapse of time has faded to a blueish tinge. The let- 
ters were written with ink, and subsequently silvered over. The 
initial words of each Gospel have been traced with gold, vestiges 
of which are still visible. The letters O. and V., T. and D., are 
frequently interchanged, and especially the letters B. and V, 
To the Gospels are prefixed the Eusebian Canons '^. The Co- 
dex Brixiensis is very frequently referred to by Mr. Nolan in 
his inquiry into the integrity of the Greek Vulgate or received 
text of the New Testament, on account of its antiquity and im- 
portance, in vindicating the integrity of that text. It is printed 
by Blanchini in his Evangeliarium Quadruplex. 

XIX. Besides the preceding manuscripts, which (with few 
exceptions) are written in square or uncial characters, there are 
many others written in small letters, which are quoted by Gries- 
bach and other critics, by arabic numerals, 1, 2, 3, &c. ; and 
which, though not equal in point of antiquity with several of 
those in uncial letters, are nevertheless of great value and im- 
portance, and frequently exhibit readings not inferior to those 

1 Michaelis, Vol. ii. Part i. pp. 288, 289. Part ii. pp. 765 — 767. In Beck's Mo- 
nogrammata Hermeneutices Librorum Novi Testamenti (pp. 67 — 71, 98.) and Gries- 
bach's second edition of tlie Greek Testament (pp. c.xxiii. — cxxvi.), there are lists of 
the Moscow Manuscripts. Prof. Matthasi has also given notices of them, with 
occasional fac-similes, in the different volumes of his edition of the Greek Testament. 

2 Blanchini Evangeliarium Quadruplex, tom.i. Prolegomena, pp.1 — 40. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Containing the New Testament. Ill 

contained in the foregoing manuscripts. Of this description are 
the following, viz. 

1. The Codex Basileensis (noted hy Bengel Bas, y, and by 
Wetstein and Griesbach 1, throughout their editions) contains 
the whole of the New Testament, except the Revelation, and is 
written on vellum, with accents. On account of the subscriptions 
and pictures which are found in it (one of which appears to be 
a portrait of the emperor Leo, surnamed the Wise, and his son 
Constantine Porphyrogennetus,) Wetstein conjectures that it 
was written in their time, that is, in the tenth century. Michaelis 
and Griesbach have acceded to this opinion. Erasmus, who 
made use of it for his edition of the Greek Testament, supposed 
it to be a latinising manuscript, and his supposition was subse- 
quently adopted by Wetstein ; but Michaelis has vindicated it 
from this charge, and asserts that it is entitled to very great 
esteem. ' 

2. The Codex Corsendoncensis, which is in the imperial 
library at Vienna, is noted 3 by Wetstein and Griesbach. It 
was used by Erasmus for his second edition, and contains the 
whole of the New Testament, except the book of Revelation. 
It appears to have been written in the twelfth century, and by 
an ignorant transcriber, who has inserted marginal notes into 
the text. Wetstein charges it with being altered from the 
Latin. - 

3. The Codex Montfortianus or Montfortii, also called 
DuBLiNENsis (61 of Gricsbach), is a manuscript containing the 
whole of the New Testament, preserved in the Library of Tri- 
nity College, Dublin, to which it was presented by Archbishop 
Usher. It derives its name of Montfortianus from having be- 
longed to Dr. Montfort, pi-eviously to coming into Usher's pos- 
session. It has acquired much celebrity, as being the only 
genuine manuscript which has the much-contested clause in 
1 John, V. 7, 8, and is the same which was cited by Erasmus 
under the title of Codex Britaiinicus, who inseited the disputed 
passage in the third edition of his Greek Testament on its 
authority. It is written in small Greek characters on thick 
glazed paper, in duodecimo, and without folios. M. Martin, in 
the early part of the last century, claimed for it so early a date 
as the eleventh century ; but Bishop Marsh contends that it is at 
least as modern as the fifteenth ; and Griesbach refers it to the 
fifteenth or sixteenth century. And the prevalent opinion on 
the Continent is, that it was written between the years 1519 and 
1522, for the purpose of furnishing Erasmus with an autho- 
rity for inserting the text of the three heavenly witnesses in 

• Michaelis, vol. ii. pnrt i'. pp. 218—220. 2 ibjd. p. 255. 

112 Account of the principal Manuscripts [Part. I. Ch. II. 

his third edition of the Greek Testament. But this notion, 
which is rendered highly improbable by the appearance of 
the manuscript, is completely refuted by the literal affinities 
which Michaelis has observed to exist between it and the Sy- 
riac ^ The knowledge of that oriental version in Europe was 
not earlier than 1552, when it was brought by Moses Mardin 
to Julius III., and even then there was but one person who 
could pretend to any knowledge of the language, and who 
was obliged to receive instruction in it from the foreigner who 
brought it, before he could assist him in committing it to 
print ^. Yet admitting, that the knowledge of this version and 
language existed thirty years previously, which is contrary to 
fact, still an attempt to give an appearance of antiquity to this 
manuscript, by interpolating it from the Syriac, is a supposi- 
tion rendered grossly improbable by the state of literature 
at the time. For no fabricator could have ever calculate4 
upon these evidences of its antiquity being called into view. 
Notwithstanding the curiosity and attention which have been 
latterly bestowed on these subjects, and which no person, in 
the days of Erasmus, could have foreseen, they have been but 
recently observed. These affinities, which cannot be ascribed 
to accident, consequently claim for this manuscript, or the ori- 
ginal from which it was taken, an antiquity which is very 
remote. But its affinities with the Syriac are not the only 
peculiarities by which it is distinguished. It possesses various 
readings, in which it differs from every known Greek manu- 
script, amounting to a number, which excited the astonish- 
ment of Prof. Michaelis and Dr. Mill. ^ Some of them are 
coincident with the Syriac and old Italian version ; but as 
it has other readings which they do not acknowledge, we 
cannot so easily account for these peculiarities, as by admitting 
its relation to some other source, which, as not immediately con- 
nected with them, is probably very remote. And if this source 
be traced by the analogy which it preserves to the old Italic, 
it must be clearly of the very highest kind*. Dr. Clarke, 
(to whom we are indebted for the fac-simile of this MS. 
which is given in page 501 of our fourth volume), has shown 
that it was most probably written in the thirteenth century, from 
the similarity of its writing to that of other manuscripts of the same 
time. Hehas no doubt but it existed before the invention of print- 
ing, and is inclined to think it the work of an unknown bold 

1 Introd. to the New Testament, vol. ii. part i. p. 286. 

2 Simon Hist, des Vers. ch. xv. Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. p. 8. 
s Michaelis vol. ii. p. 286. 

4 Brit. Grit. (N. S.) vol. i. p. 185. 

Sect. II. § 4.] Oontaining the New Testajnenf. 113 

critic, who formed a text from one or more manuscripts in con- 
junction with the Latin Vulgate, and was by no means sparing 
of his own conjectural emendations, for it contains many various 
readings, which exist in no manuscript yet discovered. But 
how far the writer has in any place faithfully copied the text of 
any particular antient manuscript is more than can be deter- 
mined '. The Codex Montfortianus has been collated by the 
Rev. Dr. Barrett of Trinity College, Dublin ; who has printed 
its various readings at the end of his fac-simile of the Codex 
Rescriptus of St. Matthew's Gospel noticed in pp. 97, 98. 

4. The Codex Regius, formerly 2244'a, at present 50, 
(noted Paris. 6 by Kuster, 13 by Wetstein, and *13 by Gries- 
bach), is a manuscript of the four Gospels in the royal library at 
Paris. Though not more antient, probably, than the thirteent i 
century, it is pronounced by Michaeiis to be of very great im- 
portance : it has the following chasms, which were first dis- 
covered by Griesbach, viz. Matt.i. 1. — ii. 21. ; xxvi. 33 — 53 , 
xxvii. 26. — xxviii. 10. ; Mark i. 2. to the end of the chapter ; 
and John xxi. 2. to the end of the Gospel. The various read- 
ings irom this manuscript given by Kuster and Wetstein are 
very inaccurate. Matt, xiii., xiv. and xv., were the only three 
chapters actually collated by Griesbach, who expresses a wish 
that the whole manuscript might be completely and exactly col- 
lated, especially the latter chapters of the Gospels of Luke and 
John. In consequence of this manuscript harmonising in a very 
eminent manner with the quotations of Origen, he refers it to 
the Alexandrine edition, though he says it has a certain mixture 
of the Western. - 

5. The Codex Leicestrensis is a manuscript of the whole 
New Testament, written by a modern hand, partly on paper 
and partly on vellum, and referred by Wetstein and Griesbach 
to the fourteenth century. It is noted by Dr. Mill by the 
letter L., in the first part of Wetstein's New Testament Codex 
69, in the second, 37, in the third, 31, and in the fourth, 14, 
and by Griesbach, 69. It is defective from the beginning as 
far as Matt, xviii. 5., and has also the following chasms, viz. 
Acts x. 45. — xiv. 7. Jude 7. to the end of that Epistle, and 
Rev. xxi. to' the end. It has many peculiar readings; and in 
those which are not confined to it, this manuscript chiefly 
agrees with D. or the Codex Cantabrigiensis : it also har- 

" Michaeiis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 284—287. part ii. pp. 755 — 759. Dr. A. Clarke's 
Succession of Sacred Literature, pp. 86 — 92. 

^ Michaeiis, vol. i. parti, pp. 302, 303. — Griesbach's Symbola" Criticac, vol. i. 
pp. cliv. — dxiv. Nov. Test. vol. i. p. cv. 


114! Account of the 'principal ManuscripH [Parti. Ch.IL 

monises in a very eminent manner with the Old Syriac version, 
and, what further proves its value, several readings, which 
Dr. Mill found in it alone, have been confirmed by other 
manuscripts that belong to totally different countries. The 
Codex Leicestrensis was first collated by him, and afterwards 
more accurately by Mr. Jackson, the learned editor of Nova- 
tian's works, whose extracts were used by Wetstein. There 
is another and still more accurate transcript of Mr. J.'s col- 
lation in his copy of Mill's edition of the Greek Testament, 
which is now preserved in the library of Jesus College, Cam- 
bridge, where it is marked O, 0, 1 . ' 

6. The Codex Vindobonensis, Lambecii 31 (IS^ of 
Griesbach), is a manuscript of the four Gospels, written in 
the eleventh or twelfth century: it has been collated by 
Treschow, Birch, and Alter. It is of very great importance, 
and agrees with the Codex Cantabrigiensis in not less than 
eighty unusual readings ; with the Codex Ephremi in upwards 
of thirty-five; with the Codex Regius 2861, or Stephani *), in 
fifty ; with the Codex Basileensis in more than fifty, and has 
several which are found in that manuscript alone ; with the 
Codex Regius 224'4<% in sixty unusual readings ; and with the 
Codex Colbertinus 2844, in twenty-two. 2 

7. The Codex Ebnerianus is a very neat manuscript of the 
New Testament, in quarto, now deposited in the public library 
at Nuremberg: it was formerly in the possession of Hierony- 
mus Ebner Von Eschenbach of that city, from whom its appel- 
lation is derived. It contains 425 leaves on vellum, and was 
written in the year 1391 

The whole of the New Testament is comprised in this vo- 
lume, excepting the Book of Revelation : each page contains 
27 lines, at equal distances, excepting those in which the dif- 
ferent books commence, or which are decorated with illu- 
minations. Besides the New Testament, the Eusebian Canons 
are introduced, together with the lessons for particular festivals, 
and a menologium used in the Greek church, &c. 

The book is bound in massy silver covers, in the centre of 
which the Redeemer of the World is represented sitting on 
g, throne, and in the act of pronouncing a blessing. Above 
his head is the following inscription, in square letters, exhi- 

1 Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 355 — 557. part ii. pp. 749, 750. Bp. Marsh adds, 
" This copy of Mill's Greek Testament, with Jackson's marginal readings, is a trea- 
sure of sacred criticism, which deserves to be communicated to the public. It contains 
the result of all his labours in that branch of literature ; it supplies many of the defects 
of Mill, and corrects many of his errors : and, beside quotations from manuscripts and 
antient versions, it contains a copious collection of readings from many of the fathers, 
which have hitherto been very imperfectly collated, or wholly neglected. Ibid. p. 750. 

2 Ibid. vol. ii. part ii. p. 870. 

ate 7. 

K^ e o-^iJii 0£-^\y^ m o'vTocr, mV 6 

:;§ S C|> CO c «p t5 jrit-o'"'^"^ cJ> 

-trrc q-g/ i«V oc To-tt^a. © O ' 
^p nor » ooTocTkO^FC ic-u^ 

txyrLJ^Ta cLpop ^T^OC^P^OH '4^ 

Fac-iiwi/e of the Codex Ebnerianus, a manu. 

[Tv face Vol. II. Pari 1. pcge 1 14.] 

/<ai 6 5-' lip i f-oy^ Q ouTocr. mV 6v O-^p^ T^yia- 

cLuToG <(/iTJ^6u SNe CH . pncoMeH O^T^OJ-Jr 
^cOBfTfj KoIii^QDHMH 50CD': "J»'«^M "-^M^ 
:;§ 5 Cf> CO c f p -ri; <rU_o-"'a c(i cu'/i 4 ■ Kai h aiio 

-uut q-n / f'ir' oc • ui a -p a. O > oc" " < " cuxnS i tjj 

^^pKo-o, ooToc.H>v0«Htlc-'^-^'^'-' ?»'"+>• i'l'^v- 

.. /T-pT.. p/crw -aj-€€A. ttSu cJjcdToc' • iiJa.ira-f-» 

T<ir • txn cf-i-O-to en dl' itf Tou O ^ji^-^nK «'<«'H o"" 

'Jr' d<t><Ji5c. >^{j/ouii«prupH«rHTT^?-roucfa> 

To CO •*?■ 25^ct5coc S'tv-BeiKOH . 6 <^ooTi'3 4 . 

Fac-jinii/i? q/" Me Codex Ebnerianus, a i 

tscripl executed a.d. 1391, 

•Sect. II. § i.] Containing the New Testament. 115 

biting the style in which the capitals are written: — AsrToxa 
€tj\oyYi<rov Tov dmkov crov eKot^i(rrov Iegovu|xov IsAisAjU-ov xa» tijv 
'Otxiav avTu. " Lord, bless the least of thy servants, Hiero- 
nymus Gulielmus and his family." Of the style of writing 
adopted in the body of the manuscript, the annexed engraving 
will afford a correct idea, and at the same time exemplify the 
abbreviations frequent in Greek manuscripts of the 12th and 
13th centuries. Our specimen comprises the ten first verses 
of the first chapter of Saint John's Gospel ; the abbreviations, 
though very numerous, being uniformly the same, do not inter- 
pose any material difficulty to the easy perusal of the manu- 
script. Wetstein, though he has admitted it into his catalogue, 
has made iise of it only in the eighteenth chapter of Saint 
John's Gospel ; Michaelis has classed it among the uncollated 
manuscripts of the New Testament. ' 

XX. The limits assigned to this work forbid any further 
detail respecting the other manuscripts of the New Testament. 
Referring the reader therefore to the elaborate work of Mi • 
chaelis, who has given a catalogue raisonne of two hundred 
and ninety-two manuscripts, to which his annotator Bishop 
Marsh has added one hundred and seventh/seven ^, we proceed 
briefly to notice two manuscripts, or rather collations of manu- 
scripts, which in the seventeenth century produced a warm con- 
test between biblical critics of different denominations. 

1. In 1673, Pierre Poussines (Petrus Possinus), a learned 
Jesuit, published^ extracts from twenty-two manuscripts, which, 

1 See Wetstein's N.T. Froleg. p. 58. Bishop Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. parti, 
p. 258. De Murr's Memorabilia Bibliothecac Norimb. part ii. pp. 100 — 131. where 
the Codex Ebnerianus is minutely described and illustrated with thirteen plates of illu- 
minations, &c. which are very curious in an antiquarian point of view. Our engraving 
is copied from one of De Murr's fac-similes. 

2 Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 185—361. part ii. pp. 649—8-35. Professor Beck, in 
his Monogrammata Hermeneutices Librorum Novi Foederis (parti, pp. 42 — 100) has 
given a catalogue of all the manuscripts (394 in number) which are certainly known to 
have been collated, exclusive of Lectionaria, Euchologia, or prayer books of the Greek 
church, and Menologia or Martyrologies. In pp. 91—93. he has specified, by numbers 
referring to his own catalogue, what manuscripts are written in uncial letters ; what con- 
tain the entire New Testament, and how many contain the greater part, or particular 
books of the New Testament. It seems to be precisely that sort of catalogue which 
Michaelis recommends biblical students to make, in order that they may be enabled 
(when consulting Mill or Wetstein) to judge of the proportion of manuscripts which 
are in favour of a reading to those which decide against it. The total number of manu- 
scripts collated by Griesbach fur his edition of the New Testament, was three hundred 
^ndjlftij-fiue. He has given a list of them in his Prolegomena, torn. i. pp. ci — cxxvi. 
and also critical accounts of the most important manuscripts in the two volumes of his 
Symbolas Critics. t, • r , 

9 At the end of his Catena Patrum Grscorum m Marcum. Poussmes prefixed to 
these extracts, the title of Collationes Grceci Contexlus omnium Librorum Novi Testa- 
menti juxta editionem Antverpiensem regiam, cum xxii. Antiquis QuUcibus Manu- 
scriptis. Ex Bibliotheca Barberini. 

I 2 

116 Account of the principal Mcnmsciipts [Part I. Ch. 11, 

he said, were in the library of Cardinal Barberini at Rome, 
and had been collated, by order of Pope Urban VIII., by John 
Matthseus Caryophilus. Dr. Mill inserted these extracts 
among his various readings ; but as it was not known for a long 
time what had become of the Barberini manuscripts, and as the 
readings of the Barberini collation are for the most part in 
favour of the Latin Vulgate version, Wetstein, Semler, and 
other Protestant divines, accused Poussines of a literary fraud. 
Of this, however, he was acquitted by Isaac Vossius, who 
found the manuscript of Caryophilus in the Barberini Library ; 
and the imputation against the veracity of that eminent Greek 
scholar has been completely destroyed by M. Birch, a learned 
Danish divine, who recognised in the Vatican Library six of 
the manuscripts from which Caryophilus had made ex- 
tracts. ' 

^2. Another Jesuit, John Louis De la Cerda, inserted in his 
Adversaria Sacra, which appeared at Lyons in 1696, a collation 
of sixteen manuscripts (eight of which were borrowed from 
the library of the king of Spain) which had been made by Pedro 
Faxardo, Marquis of Velez. From these manuscripts, the 
marquis inserted various readings in his copy of the Greek 
Testament, but without specifying what manuscripts in parti- 
cular, or even how many in general, were in favour of each 
quoted reading. The remarkable agreement between the Ve- 
lesian readings and those of the Vulgate excited the suspicions 
of Mariana (who communicated them to De la Cerda) thai 
Velez had made use only of interpolated manuscripts, that had 
been corrected agreeably to the Latin Vulgate, subsequently to 
the council of Florence. However this may be, the collation 
of Velez will never be of any utility in the criticism of the New 
Testament, unless the identical manuscripts, which he made 
use of, should hereafter be discovered in any Spanish library. 
But this discovery must be considered as hopeless after the 
laborious and careful researches, made by Bishop Marsh, rela- 
tive to the collation of Velez, who, he has proved to demon- 
stration, did not collate one single Greek or Latin manuscript^ 
but took his various lections from Robert Stephens's edition of 
the Latin Vulgate, published at Paris in 1 540 : that the object 
which the marquis had in view, in framing this collection of 
readings, was to support, not the Vulgate in general, but the 
text of this edition in particular, wherever it varied from the 

1 Mkhaelis, vol. ii. part i. )p. 211'— 216. jart ii. \y.ce6., 6C7. Einh, Quatucr 
Evangefc, Prolegom. p. Z6. Ejisdcm, Vyria- 1 etuiius. iid T cxt.iv. Evsngtl. Prcleg. 
p.ylii. Hafi:-JE, ISOl, Svc. 

Sect, IL § 4.] Containing the Nevi Teslnment. 117 

text of Stephens's Greek Testament printed in 1550 ; and that 
with this view he translated into Greek the readings of the 
former, which varied from the latter, except where Stephens's 
Greek margin supplied him with the readings which he wanted, 
where he had only to transcribe, and not to translate. ' 

• Michaelis, vol. ii. part i. pp. 351—354. part ii. pp. 824, 825. Mr. (now Bishop) 
Marsh's Letters to Archdeacon Travis, p. 67, and tlie Apendix to that work, in which 
» minute detail of the Velesian readings is given, as also in Christian Benedict Michaelis's 
T^actatio Crittca de Variis Lectionibus Nov! Testamenti, §§ 87—89. (pp. 96 — 101.) 
■4to. Hals Magdeburjjicje, 1749. 


lis Notice of tJie principal Editions [Part I. Ch. 




Bishop WALTON', CarpzovS and particularly Le 
Long, have treated at great length on the various editions of 
the Hebrew Scriptures. These have been divided by De Rossi 
and others intoMasoretic and Non-Masoretic editions, — a dis- 
tinction, the utility of which is not perceived. In the present 
section. Dr. Masch's improved edition of Le Long's Biblio- 
theca Sacra ^ has been chiefly followed. According to that 
eminent bibliographer, the various impressions of the Hebrew 
Bible may be divided into the four following classes, viz. 

i. Editiones Principes, or those first printed. 

ii. Editions, whose text has been literally adopted in subse- 
quent impressions. 

iii. Editions, whose text is accompanied with rabbinical com- 

iv. Polyglotts, or editions of the Bible with versions in se- 
veral languages. 

V. Editions, which are furnished with critical apparatus. 

i. Editiones Principes. 

1. Psalterium Hebraicum, cum commentario Kimchii. Anno 237. 
(1477) 4to. 

lihejiTst printed Hebrew book. It is cf extreme rarity, and is printed with a square 
Hebrew type, approaching that of the German Jews. The text is without points, ex- 
cept in the four first psalms, which are clumsily pointed. The commentary of Rabbi 
Kimchiis subjoined to each verse of the text in the rabbinical character, and is much 
more complete than in the subsequent editions, as it contains all those passages which 
were afterwards omitted, as being hostile to Christianity. 

2. Biblia Hebraica, cum punctis. Soncino, 1488, folio. 

The first edition of the entire Hebrew Bible ever printed. It is at present of such 
extreme rarity, that only nine copies of it are known to be in existence. One of these 

1 Prolegom. cap. iv. De Bibliorum Editionibus praecipuis. 

2 Critica Sacra, pars i. cap. 9. pp. 387 — 428. 

3 Bibliotheca Sacra, post. cl. cl. V. V. Jacobi Le Long et C. F. Boerneri iteratas 
curas ordine disposita, emendata, suppleta, continuata ab Andrea Gottlieb Masch. Hals, 
•4to. 1778 — 85 — 90. 4 vols, with Supplement. The account of Hebrew editions is in 
the first volume, pp. 1 — 186. 33l — 424. De Bute's Bibliographie Instructive, torn. i. 
(Paris 1763,) and Brunet's Manuel du Libraire, et de I'Amateur de Livres, (4vols.8vo. 
Paris 1820, 3d edit.) have also been consulted occasionally. 

III. Sect. I.] Of the Hebre-do Bible. 119 

is in the Library of Exeter College, Oxford. At the end of the Pentateuch there is a 
long Hebrew subscription, indicating the name of the editor (Abraham Ben Chajim,) 
the place where it was printed, and the date of the edition. This very scarce volume 
consists, according to Masch, of 375 (but Brunet says 380") folios, printed with points , 
and accents, and also with signatures and catchwords. The initial letters of each book 
are larger than the others, and are ornamented. Dr. Kennicott states, that there are not 
fewer than twelve thousand verbal differences between this edition and that of Vander 
Hooght ; his assertion is questioned by Masch. The researches of biblical critics have 
not succeeded in ascertaining what manuscripts were used for this Hebrew Bible, It 
is, however, acknowledged that these two very antient editions are equal, in value, to 

ii. Editiones .Primaria;, or those isohich have been adopted as 
the bases of' subsequent impressions. 

L Biblia Hebraica, 8vo, Brixiae, 1494. 

This edition was conducted by Gerson, the son of Rabbi Moses, It is also of ex- 
treme rarity, and is printed in long lines, except part of the Psalms which is in two 
columns. The identical copy of this edition, from which Luther made his German 
translation, is said to be preserved in the Royal Library at Berlin. This edition was 
the basis of, 1, The Complutensian Polyglott ; 2. Bomberg's ^rsf Rabbinical Bible, 
Venice, 1518, in 4 vols, folio; 3. Daniel Bomberg's 4to. Hebrew Bible, Venice, 1518 ; 
4. His second Hebrew Bible, 4to, Venice, 1521 ; and, 5. Sebastian Munster's Hebrew 
Bible, Basil, 1556, in 2 vols. 4to. 

2. Another primary edition is the Biblia Hebraica Bombergiana II. 
folio, Venice, 1525, 1526, folio. 

This was edited by Rabbi Jacob Ben Chajim, who had the reputation of being pro- 
foundly learned in the Masora, and other branches of Jewish erudition. He pointed 
the text according to the Masoretic system. This edition is the basis of all the modern 
pointed copies. 

Hi. Editions of the Bible 'with Rabbinical Commentaries. 

Besides the Biblia Rabbinica I. et II. just mentioned, we may notice 
in this class the two following editions, viz. 

1 . Biblia Hebraica cum utraque Masora, Targum, necnon commen- 
tariis Rabbinorum, studio et cum praefatione R. Jacob F. Chajim, Ve-- 
netiis, 1547 — 1549, 4 tomes in 2 vols, folio. 

This is the second of Rabbi Jacob Ben Chajim's editions; and, according to M. Bru- 
nei, is preferable to the preceding, as well as to another edition executed in 1568, also 
from the press of Daniel Bomberg. 

2. Biblia Hebraea, cum utraque Masora et Targum, item cum com- 
mentariis Rabbinorum, studio Joannis Buxtorffii, patris ; adjecta est 
ejusdem Tiberias, sive commentarius masoreticus. Basilese, 1618, 
1619, 1620, 4 tomes in 2 vols, folio. 

This great work was executed at the expense of Lewis Koenig, an opulent book- 
seller at Basle ; on account of the additional matter which it contains, it is held in great 
esteem by Hebrew scholars, many of whom prefer it to the Hebrew Bibles printed by 
Bomberg. Buxtorf's Biblia Rabbinica contains tiie commentaries of the celebrated 
Jewish Rabbins, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Levi Ben Gerson, and Saadias Haggaon. 
An Appendix is subjoined, containing, besides the Jerusalem Targum, the great Ma- 
sora corrected and amended by Buxtorf, the various lections of the Rabbis Ben Ascher 
and Ben Naphtali. Buxtorf also annexed the points to the Chaldee paraphrase. The 
Tiberias, published byBuxtoifin 1620, was intended to illustrate the Masora and othef 
additions to his great Bible. 

I 4 

120 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. C^i. 

iv. Polyglott Bibles. 

._.. The honour of having projected the first plan of a Polyglott Bible is 
due to the illustrious printer, Aldus Manutius the elder ; but of this 
projected work only one sheet was ever printed, in collateral columns 
of Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, in the year 1501. A copy of it (per- 
haps the only one that is extant) is preserved among the manuscripts 
in the RoyalLibrary at Paris, No. 30G4. The text of the typography 
is exceedingly beautiful. ' 

In 1516 there was printed at Genoa, by Peter Paul Porrus (in 
-Edibus Nicolai Justiniani Pauli) the Peniaglolt Psalter of Augustin 
.Tustiniani Bishop of Nebo. It was in Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldee, and 
Greek, with the Latin Versions, Glosses, and Scholia. In 1518 John 
Potken published the Psalter in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Ethiopic, 
at Cologne. But the first Polyglott edition of the entire Hebrew Bible 
was that printed at Alcala in Spain, with the following title : 

Bibha Sacra Polyglotta, complectentia Vetus Testamentum, He- 
braico, Grseco, et Latino Idiomate ; Novum Testamentum Grsecum 
et Latinum ; et Vocabularium Hebraicum et Chaldaicum Veteris Tes- 
tamenti, cum Grammatica Hebraica, nee non Dictionario Graeco ; 
Studio, Opera, et Impensis Cardinalis Francisci Ximenes de Cisneros. 
Industria Arnaldi Gulielmi de Brocario artis impressorie magistri. 
Compluti, folio. 1514, 1515. 1517. 6 vols. 

The printing of this splendid snd celebrated work, usually called the Complutensiah 
Polyglott, was commenced in 1502: though completed in 1517, it was not published 
until 1522, and it cost the munificent Cardinal Ximenes 50,000 ducats. The editors 
weie ^lius Antonius Nebrissensis, Demetrius Ducas, Ferdinandus Pincianus, I.opez 
de Stunica, Alfonsus de Zamora, Paiilus Coronellus, and Johannes de Vergera, a 
physician of Alcala or Complutum. The last three were converted Jews. This Poly- 
glott is usually divided into six volumes. The first four comprise the Old Testament, 
with the H-rbrew, Latin, .md Greek in three distinct columns, the Chaldee paraphrase 
being at the bottom of the page with a Latin interpretation; and the margin is filled 
with Hebrew and Chaldee radicals. Tlie lifih volume contains the Greek Testament, 
wi'h the Vulgate Latin vert.ion in a parallel column: in the margin, there is a kind of 
concordance, referring to similar passages in the Old and New Testaments. And at 
the end of this volume, there are, 1. A single leaf containing some Greek and Latin 
verses; 2. Jntcrprelalioncs HcbreBorum, Chaldceorum, Greecorumijue Nominum Novi 
Testamenti, on ten leaves : and, 5. Jntroduciio quam brevis ad Grtxcas litteras, &c. 
on thirty-nine leaves. The sixth volume contains, 1. A separate title ; 2. Focabu- 
larium Hebraicum totius Veteris Testamenti, cum omnibus dictinnibus Cha'deeis, in 
eodem Veteri Testamento contentis, on one Inindred and seventy- two leaves ; 3. An 
alphabetical Index, on eight leaves, of the Latin words occurring in different parts of 
the work; 4. Interpretatioiies Hebraicorum, Cka'daicoruvi, Gracorumque nominum, 
Ceteris ac iVbw Testamenti, secundum Ordinem Alphabeti ; 5. Two leaves intitled 
J'J'omina quee seqmintur, su7it ilia, quce in utroque Testamento vicio Scriptorum sunt 
aliter Scripta quam in Ucbrceo et GrcBco, et in aliquibus Bibiiis nvstris antiquis, &c. 
6. Fifteen leaves intitled Iniroductiones crtis Grammaticce Hebraicce et prima de modu 
legendi et pronuntiandi. These several pieces are sometimes placed in a different order 
from that above indicated. It is not known what is become of the manuscripts that 
were consulted for this edition. The impression was limited to 600 copies; three vyere 
struck off on vellum. One of these was deposited in the Royal Library at Madrid; 
and another in the Royal Library at Turin. The third (which is supposed to have been 

1 Renouard, Anna!e«: de I'lmprimcrie dcs Aides, torn. ii. pp. 27, 28. 

III. Sect. 1.] 0/ the Hebrew Bible. 121 

reserved for Cardinal Ximenes), after passing through yarious hands, was purchased at 
the Pinelli sale, in 1789, for the late Count McCarthy of Thoulouse, for four hundred 
and eighty-three pounds. On the sale of this gentleman's library at Paris, in 1817, it 
was bought by George Hibbert, Esq. for 16,100 francs, or six hundred and seventy-six 
pounds three and Jour-pence. Copies of the Complutensian Polyglott, on 
paper, are in the Libraries of the British Museum and Sion College, and also in seve- 
ral of the College Libraries in the two Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. 

2. Biblia Sacra, Hebraice, Chaldaice, Grsece, et Latine, Philippi IT. 
Regis Cathol. Pietate et Studio ad Sacrosanctse Ecclesiae Usum, 
Christophorus Plantinus excudebat. Antwerpise, 1569 — 1572, 8 vols. 

Five hundred copies only were printed of this magnificent work ; the greater part of 
which being lost in a voyage to Spain, the Antwerp Polyglott has become of extreme 
rarity. It was printed in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Chaldee; and contains, besides 
the whole of the Complutensian Polyglott, a Chaldee paraphrase of part of the Old 
Testament, which Cardinal Ximenes had deposited in the Public Library at Alcala, 
having particular reasons for not publishing it. This edition also has a Syriac version of 
the New Testament, and the Latin translation of Santes E^agninus, as reformed by 
Arias Montanus, the learned editor of this noble undertaking. The sixth, seventh, 
and eighth volumes are filled with lexicons and grammars of the various languages in 
which the Scriptures are printed, together with indexes, and a treatise on sacred anti- 
quities. The Hebrew text is said to be compiled from the Complutensian and Bomberg 

3. Biblia. 1. Hebraica. 2. Samaritana. 3. Chaldaica. 4. Graeca. 
5. Syriaca. 6. Latina. 7. Arabica. Lutetiae Parisiorum, excudebat 
Antonius Vitre. 1628 — 1645. 10 vols, large folio. 

This edition, which is extremely magnificent, contains all that is inserted in the Com- 
plutensian and Antwerp Polyglotcs, with the addition of the Syriac and Arabic versions. 
The Samaritan Pentateuch, with a Samaritan version, was printed for the first time in 
this Pol} glott, the expenses of which ruined the editor, M. Le Jay. His learned asso- 
ciates were Philippus Aquinas, Jacobus Morinus, Abraham Echellensis, Gabriel Sionita, 
&c. The Hebrew text is that of the Antwerp Polyglott. There are extant copies of 
Le Jay's edition of the Polyglott Bible, under the following title, v\z.' Biblia Alesan- 
diina Heptaglotla, auspiciis S. D , Alexandri VI J. anno sessionis ejus xii. feliciter 
inchoali. Lutttice Parisiorum prostant apud Joannem Jansonium a Waesberge, 
Johannem Jncohi Chipper, Elisaum Weirsiraet. 1666. 

4. Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, complectentia Textus Originales, He- 
braicum cum Pentateucho Samaritano, Chaldaicum, Graecum, Ver- 
sionunique antiquarum Samaritanse, Graecae LXXII Interpretum, 
Chaldaicse, Syriacae, Arabicae, ^thiopicae, Vulgatae Latinae, quic- 
quid comparari poterat .... Edidit Brianus Walton, S. T. D. Impri- 
mebat Thomas Roycroft. Londini, 1657, 6 vols, large folio. 

Though less magnificent than the Paris Polygott, this of Bishop Walton is, in all 
other respects, preferable ; being more ample and more commodious. Nine languages 
are used in it, though no one book of the Bible is printed in so many. In the New 
Testament, the four Gospels are in six languages; the other books, only in Jive; those 
of Judith and the Maccabees, only in three. The Septuagint version is printed from 
the edition printed at Rome in 1587, which exhibits the text of the Vatican manuscript. 
The Latin is the Vulgate of Clement VIII. The Chaldee paraphrase is more complete 
than in any former publication. The London Polyglott also has an interlineary Latin 
version of tne Hebrew text; and some parts of tiie Bible are printed in Ethiopia and 
Persian, none of which are found in any preceding Polyglott. 

The first volume, besides very learned and useful Prolegomena, contains the Penla- 
teucii. Every sheet exhibits, at one view, 1st, The Hebrew text, with Montanus's 
Latin version, very correctly printed : 2. The same verses in the Vulgate Latin : 3. The 
Greek version of the Septuagint, according to the Vatican MS. with a literal Latin 
Translation by Flaminius Nobilis, and the various readings oi the Alexandrian MS. 

122 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. Ch^ 

added at the bottom of the column : 4. The Sy riac version, with a collateral Latin trans- 
lation : 5. The Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, of Onkelos, with a Latin translation: 
6. The Hebrjeo-Samaritan text, which is nearly the same with the unpointed Hebrew, 
only the character is different ; and the Samaritan version, which diifers vastly from the 
other as to the language, though the sense is pretty nearly the same ; and therefore one 
Latin translation (with a few notes added at the bottom of the column,) serve? for 
both : 7. The Arabic version, with a collateral Latin translation, which in general 
agrees with the Septuagint. 

This first volume contains, or should contain, a portrait of Bishop Walton, engraved 
by Bombart ; and a frontispiece, together with three plates relating to Solomon's 
temple, all engraved by Hollar. There are also two plates containing sections of Jerusa- 
lem, &c. and a chart of the Holy Land. These are inserted in Capellus's Treatise on 
the Temple. That part of the Prolegomena, in this volume, which was written by 
Bishop Walton, was commodiously printed in octavo, at Leipsic in 1777, by Professor 
Dathe. It is a treasure of sacred criticism. 

The second volume comprises the historical books in the same languages as are above 
enumerated, with the exception of the Samaritan (which is confined to the Pentateuch) 
and of the Targum of Rabbi Joseph (surnamed the blind) on the Books of Chronicles^, 
which was not discovered till after the Polyglott was in the press. It has since been 
published in a separate form, as is noticed in the next page. 

The third volume comprehends all the poetic and prophetic books from Job to Ma- 
lachi, in the same languages as before, only that there is an Ethiopic version of the book 
of Psalms, which is so near akin to the Septuagint, that the same Latin translation 
serves for both, with a few exceptions, which are noted in the margin. 

The fourth contains all the Apocryphal Books, in Greek, Latin, Syriac, and Ara- 
bic, with a two-fold Hebrew text of the book of Tobit ; the first from Paul Fagius, the 
second from Sebastian Muuster. After the Apocrypha there is a three-fold Targum of 
the Pentateuch : the first is in Chaldee, and is ascribed to Jonathan ben Uzziel : the second 
is in Chaldee also: it takes in only select parts of the Law, and is commonly called the 
Jerusalem Targum : the third is in Persic, the work of one Jacob Tavvus, or Toosee, 
and seems to be a pretty literal version of the Hebrew text. Each of these has a col- 
lateral Latin translation. The two first, though they contain many fables, are exceed- 
ingly useful, because they explain many words and customs, the meaning of which is- 
to be found no where else ; and the latter will be found very useful to a student in the 
Persian language, though it contains many obsolete phrases, and the language is by no 
means in the pure Shirazian dialect. 

The fifth volume includes all the books of the New Testament. The various lan- 
guages are here exhibited at one view, as in the others. The Greek text stands at the 
head, with Montanus's interlineary Latin translation ; the Syriac next ; the Persic 
third ; the Vulgate fourth ; the Arabic fifth, and the Ethiopic sixth. Each of the 
oriental versions has a collateral Latin translation. The Persic version only takes in the 
four Gospels ; and for this, the Pars Altera, or Persian Dictionary, in Castel's Lexicoii), 
was peculiarly calculated. 

The sixth volume is composed of various readings and critical remarks on all the pre- 
ceding versions, and concludes with an explanation of all the proper names, both Hebrew 
and Greek, in the Old and New Testaments. The characters used for the several ori- 
ental versions are clear and good : the Hebrew is rather the worst. The simple read- 
ing of a text in the several versions often throws more light on the meaning of the sacred 
•writer, than the best commentators which can be met with. This work sells at from 
thirty-five pounds to seventy guineas, according to the difference of condition. Many 
copies are ruled with red lines, which is a great help in reading, because it distinguishes 
the different texts better, and such copies ordinarily sell for three or four guineas more 
than the others. 

In executing this great and splendid work. Bishop Walton was assisted by Dr. Edmund 
Castell, Dr. Tho. Hyde, Dr. Pocock, Dr. Lightfoot, Mr. Alexander Huish, Mr. 
(afterwards Dr.) Samuel Clarke, Louis de Dieu, and other eminently learned men 1. 

1 Concerning these, as well as the literary history of the London Polyglott, the 
reader vjill find much and very interesting information in the Rev. H. J. Todd's Me- 
moirs of the Life and Writings of the Right Rev. Brian Walton, D. D. Lord Bishop of 
Chester, editor of the London Polyglott Bible. With notices of his coadjutors in that 

III. Sect. I.] Of the Hebrew Bible. ]23 

It was begun iii October 1655, and completed in 1657 ; the first volume was finished in 
September 1654 ; the second in July 1655; the tliird in July 1656; and the fourth, 
fifth, and sixth, in 1657, three years before the restoration. (The Parisian Polyglott 
was seventeen years in the press !) 

This work was published by subscription, under the patronage of Oliver Cromwell, 
who permitted the paper to be imported duty-free ; but the Protector dying 
before it was finished, Bishop Walton cancelled several leaves of the preface, iu 
which he had made honourable mention of his patron, and others were printed con- 
taining compliments to Charles II. and some pretty severe invectives against repub- 
licans. Hence has arisen the distinction oi republican ariAloyal copies. The former are 
the most valued. Dr. A. Clarke and Mr. Butler have both porated out (especially 
the former) the variations between these two editions. For a long time, it was disputed 
among bibliographers, whether any dedication was ever prefixed to the London Poly- 
glott. I'here is, however, a dedication in one of the copies which are in the Royal 
Library at Paris, and another was discovered a few years since, which was reprinted by 
the late Mr. Lunn, in large folio, to bind up with other copies of the Polyglott; it is also 
reprinted in the Classical Journal, vol. iv. pp. 355 — 561. In the first volume of Pott's 
and Ruperti's Sylloge Commentationum Theologicarum, (pp. 100 — 157.) there is a 
collation of the Greek and other versions, as printed in the London Polyglott, with the 
Hebrew text of the Prophet Micah, accompanied with some explanations by Profesor 
Paulas I. To complete the London Polyglott, the following publications should be 
added, viz. 

1. Paraphrasis Chaldaica in librum jmorem et poster iorem chronicoruvi. Auctore 
Rabbi Josepho, rectori AcademicB in Syria. Nunc deinum a manuscripto Cantabri- 
giensi descripla, ac cum versione Latina in lucem missam^ a Davide Wilkins. Am- 
stelaedami, 4to. 17 15. The manuscript from which this work was taken, was written 
A. D. 1477 : it was discovered by Dr. Samuel Clarke in the university of Cambridge; 
and, beside the Chaldee Paraphrase on the Books of Chronicles, contained the Books of 
Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, with a targum or paraphrase on 
each. It is elegantly printed, the Chaldee text being on the right hand page, and the 
Latin translation on the left. The Chaldee has the vowel points; and both the text 
and version are divided into verses. This work is now of extreme rarity. 

2. Dr. Castell's Lexicon Heplaglotton ; of which an account is given infra, in the 
Appendix, No. Hi . 

The purchaser of the London Polyglott should also procure Dr. John Owen's Con- 
siderations ontliePolyglott,Svo. 1658: Bishop Walton's reply, intitled, TAe Con^ecfemfor 
considered. Sec. 8vo. 1659: and (a work of much more importance than either) Walton's 
Jntroductio ad lectionem Linguaruni Orienlalium, HebraiccB, Chaldaicce, Samaritance^ 
Syriacce, Arahicce, Persicce, JEtkiopiceB, ArmeniccB, Coptic(B, ^c. 1 Smo. London, 1 655. 
' This little tract,' says Dr. Adam Clarke, ' is really well written, and must have been 
very useful at the time it was published. It does not contain grammars of the different 
languages mentioned in the title, but only the different alphabets,-and directions how 
to read them. At the end of his exposition of the alphabet of each language, is a 
specimen in the proper character, each line of which is included between ^loo others; 
the first of which is a literal Latin version of the original, and the second, the letters 
of the original expressed by Italics. Short as these examples are, they are of great 
utility to a learner. This little work is of considerable importance, as the harbinger 
of tliis inestimable Polyglott.' 2 

illustrious work ; of the cultivation of oriental learning, in this country, preceding and 
during their time; and of the authorised English version of the Bible, to a projected re- 
vision of which. Dr. Walton and some of his assistants in the Polyglott were appointed. 
To which is added. Dr. Walton's own vindication of the London Polyglott, 8vo. 
2 vols. London, 1821. 

» For a more particular account of the London Polyglott, we refer the reader 
to Dr. Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary, vol. i. pp.248 — 270; vol. ii, pp. 1 — 12; 
Mr. Butler's Horx BiblicaE, vol. i. pp. 158 — 149. ; and Mr. Dibdin's Introduction to 
the Knowledge of the Editions of the Greek and Latin Classics, vol. i. pp. 15—27, 
from v/hich publications the above account is abridged. 

2 Bibliographical Dictionary, vol. ii. p. Ill 

124 Notice of the principal Editio7is [Parti. Ch. 

Bishop Walton's Polyglott having long been extremely scarce and dear, it has been the 
wish of biblical students for many years, that it should be reprinted. In 1797, the 
Rev. Josiah Pratt issued from the press-, A Prospectus, with Specimens, of a New 
Polyglott Bible in Quarto, for the use of English Students, and in 1799, another 
Prospectus, with Specimens, of an Octavo Polyglott Bible : but, for want of encou- 
ragement, the design of the estimable editor has not been carried into execution. A 
similar fate has attended The Plan and Specimen of BIBLIA POLYGLOTT A 
BRIT^NNICA, or an enlarged and improved edition of the London Polyglott 
Bible, with Castell^s Heptaglott Lexicon, which were published and circulated by the 
Rev. Adam Clarke, 1..1..D. F.S.A. in 1811. The reader may see them reprinted 
in the Classical Journal (where, however, no notice is taken of the author of the plan), 
vol. iv. pp. 493—497. 

5. Biblia Sacra Quadrilinguia Veteris Testamenti Hebraici, cum 
Versione e regione positis, utpote versione Grseca LXX Interpretum ex 
codice manuscripto Alexandrine, a J. Em. Grabio primum evulgata — 
Item versione Latina Sebast. Schimidii noviter revisa et textui Hebr«o 
accuratius accommodata et Germanica beati Ltitheri, ex ultima beati 
viri revisione et editione 1544 — 45 expressa, adjectis textui Hebraeo 
Notis Masorethicis et Graecae Versioni Lectionibus Codicis Vatican! ; 
notis philologicis et exegeticis aliis, ut et summariis capitum ac locis 
parallelis locupletissimis ornata. Accurante M. Christ. Reineccio. 
Lipsise, 1750, 3 vols, folio. 

The comparative cheapness of this neatly and accurately printed work renders it a 
valuable substitute for the preceding larger Polyglotts. Dr. A. Clarke, who has read over 
the whole of the Hebrew and Chaldee text, with the exception of j)art of the Pentateuch, 
pronounces it to be one of the most correct extant. Unhappily it is not often seen in 

6. Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, Textus Archetypes Versionesque praeci- 
puas ab Ecclesia antiquitus receptas complectentia. 4to. et 8vo. 
Londini, 1821. 

The great rarity and consequent high price of all former Polyglotts, which render 
them for the most part inaccessible to biblical students, induced Mr. Bagster, the pub- 
lisher, to undertake this beautiful and (what to biblical students is cf the utmost im- 
portance) cheap eaition, which forms one volume in quarto, or four volumes in small 
octavo. It comprijes tKe original Hebrew text of the Old Testament, the Samaritan 
Pentateuch, the Sepiuagint Greek version of the Old Testament, the Vulgate Latin, 
and the authorised English versions of the entire Bible, the original Greek text of the 
New Testament, and the venerable Pochito or Old Syriac version of it. The types, 
from which this Polyglott is printed, are entirely new, and, together with the paper, of 
singular beauty. The Hebrew text is printed from the celebrated edition of Vandcr 
Hooght (noticed in p. 1 27) ; the Samaritan Pentateuch is given from Dr. Kennicolt's edi- 
tion of the Hebrew Bible, and is added by way of Appendix. The Septuagint is printed 
from Bos's edition of the Vatican text ; and at the end of the Old Testament there are 
given the various readings of the Hebrew and Saniaritan Pentatenchs, together with the 
Masoretic notes, termed Keri and Ketib, the various lections of the Akxandiian ma- 
nuscript as edited by Dr. Grabe, and the Apocryphal ch;ipters of the book of Esther. 
(See a notice of them in/ra,V ol IV. p. 242.1 The New Testament is printed from Mill's 
edition of the Textus Receptus, with the whole of the important readings given by Grie!^- 
bach in his edition of 1805 (noticed in the following section.) The Peschitoor Old Syriac 
version is printed from Widmanstadi's edition, published at Vienna in 1555, collated 
with the very accurate edition lately executed under the auspices of the British and 
Foreign Bible Society. The Apocalypse, and such of the Epistles as are not found in 
the Peschito, are given from the Philoxenian or New Syriac version. The Apocalypse 
is printed from Louis De Dieu's edition from the Elzevir press (Lug. Bat. 1627,) and 
the Epistles from the edition of the celebrateil orientalist. Dr. Pocock. (Lug. Bat. 1680) 
The text of the Latin Vulgate version is taken from the edition of Pope Clement VII. 
The authorised English version is accompanied with marginal renderings and a new and 
v&ry valuable selection of parallel texts. Peculiar attention has been paid to ensure the 

III. Sect. 1.] Of the Hebrew Bible. 125 

general accuracy of every branch of this Polyglott edition of the Bible, which is con- 
fided to gentlemen of acknowledged learning and industry ; and prolegomena are preparing 
by the Rev. Samuel Lee, M. A. Professor of Arabic in the university of Cambridge. 

This work is neatly and correctly printed in the following forms: — First, in 
one Dolume quarto, presenting the original with the above-mentioned versions at one 
view, except the Samaritan text of the Pentateuch, which forms an Appendix. 
Secondly, in octavo volumes ; each being a complete work, which may be separately 
purchased in succession, as occasion may require ; and which, together, forms a com- 
plete Polyglott Bible infour small volumes. Thirdly, a number of copies is printed, 
combining the original texts with one or other of the respective versions : and others 
containing similar combinations of the versions only. This arrangement is adopted for 
the convenience of biblical students, to whom it thus offers the Holy Scriptures in a 
portable form, and containing such versions only as the nature of their studies may require. 
AScrlpture Hatmony,oT concordance of 500,000 parallel passages, is printed in various 
sizes, agreeing page for page with the Polyglott. We have been thus particular in 
giving the above description of this publication, on account of its intrinsic value and utility. 
The Hebrew of the quarto copies is pointed. The octavo copies may be procured, with 
the Hebrew, pointed or not, at thp option of the purchasers. ' 

Several editions of the Bible are extant, in two or three languages* 
called Diglotts, and Triglotts, as well as Polyglott editions of par- 
ticular parts of the Scriptures. For an account of these, we are com- 
pelled to refer the reader to the Bibliotheca Sacra of Le Long and 
Masch, and the Bibliographical Dictionary of Dr. Clarke, already cited. 
A complete account of all these Polyglott editions is a desideratum 
in English literature. . 

Of the Diglotts or editions in two languages, the following are 
chiefly worthy of notice, viz. 

1 . Biblia Sacra Hebraica, cum interlineari interpretatione Latina 
Xantis Pagnini : accessit Bibliorum pars, quse Hebraic^ non reperitur, 

' The publisher of the valuable Polyglott Bible above noticed, has just issued from 
the press an octoglott edition of the I.iturgy of the Anglican church, in one qujirto 
volume, which may justly be pronounced one of the finest specimens of typography 
that ever issued from the British press The eight language.";, printed in this edition, 
are the English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Antient Greek, Modern Greek, and 
Latin. The English text is given from a copy of the Oxford Edition of the Common 
Prayer Book. The French version is modern, and is well known to most readers of that 
language, having frequently been printed, and received with general approbation. The 
Psalms are printed from tlie Basle Edition of Ostervald's Bible. The Italian is taken 
from the edition of A. Montucci and L. Valletti, published in 1796, but revised 
throughout, and its orthography corrected. The Psalms are copied from the Bible of 
Diodati. The German translation, by the Rev. Dr. Kiiper (Chaplain of his Majesty's 
German Chapel. St. James's), is entirely new, except the Psalms, which are taken from 
Luther's German Version of the Scriptures. The Spanish, by the Rev. Blanco White, 
is for the most part new. The Psalms are printed from Padre Scio's great Spanish 
Bible, published at Madrid, in 1807, in sixteen volumes. The translation into the An- 
tient Greek language is that executed by Dr. Duport (a.d. 1665), who W3s Regius Pro- 
fessor of Greek in the University of Cambridge. The Psalms are from the Septuagint. 
The .Modern Greek is an entirely new translation by Mr. A. Calbc, a learned native 
Greek, of the island of Zante. And the Latin version is nearly a reprint of the edition 
which \Vas first printed by W. B^wyer in 1720, with some alierations and additions by 
the present editor (John Carey, L. L. D.), sometimes taken from the translation of Mr. 
Thomas Parsel, the fourth edition of which was published in 1727. The Psalms are 
from the Vulgate. 

The utility of this work is considerably increased by its being capable of being procured 
(like the Polyglott Bible above described) either in single or in combined portions, con- 
taining any one or more langu.iges, at the option of the purchasers. 

126 Notice of the j^rincipal Editio7is [Part I. Gh. 

item Novum Testamentum, Graec^, cum Vulgata Interpretatione La- 
tina Studio Benedict! Arias Montani. Antwerpiae, 1572, 1584. Genevae, 
1609, 1619, (with a new title only.) Lipsiae, 1657, folio. 

The edition of 1572 forms the sixth volume of the Antwerp Polyglott (p. 121 supra,) 
as it is the first, so it is the best edition. The octavo editions, ex officina Plantiniana 
Haphelengii (Lugduni Batavorum), 1599 or 1610 — 1613, in nine volumes, are of 
very little value. In the folio editions above noticed, the Latin word is placed above the 
Hebrew and Greek words to which they belong. The Latin version of Xantes or SantCj 
Pagninuc is corrected by Montanus, and his learned coadjutors, Raphelenge, and others. 

2. Biblia Hebraica, i. e. Vetus Testamentum, seu Hagiographi 
Canonici Veteris nempe Testament! Libri, qui originario nobis eti- 
amnum ore leguntur, ex Hebraico in Latinum ad litteram versi, ad- 
iect^ editione Vulgata Hebraic^ et Latin^, cura et studio Ludovici de 
IJiel, e Societate Jesu. Viennae, 1 743. 4 vols. 8vo. 

This is an elegant edition, little known in this country, but in many respects highly 
valuable. It contains the Hebrew, and two Latin versions, — that of the Vulgate edition 
in 1592, and that of Arias Montanus. It is ornamented with vignettes, and the ini- 
tial letters, which are well engraved on copper, represent some fact of sacred history, to 
which the immediate subject is applicable. 

3. The Old Testament, English and Hebrew, with remarks, critical 
and grammatical, on the Hebrew, and corrections of the English. By 
Anselm Bayley, LLD, London, 1774. 4 vols. 8vo. 

The Hebrew text is printed in long lines on the left hand paaie ; and the authorised 
English version, on the right hand page, divided into two columns. The critical notes, 
which are very few, are placed under the English text. The Hebrew text is accompa- 
nied, throughout, with the Keri and Ketib ; but all the accents, &c. are omitted, ex- 
cept the athnach, which answers to our colon, and the soph pashuk, which is placed at 
the end of each verse in the Bible. At the end of each book is given an epilogue, con- 
taining a summary view of the history, transactions, &c. recorded therein. The work 
is ornamented with a frontispiece, representing Moses receiving the tables of the law on 
Mount Sinai, and two useful maps ; — one of the journeying of the Israelites, in which 
each station is numbered ; and another of their settlement in the promised land. The 
letter press of the Hebrevir is very unequally distributed over the pages ; some are long and 
others short ; some are wide, and others narrow. On some pages not fewer than thirty- 
seven lines are crowded together, while others contain only twenty-three. In other 
respects, Dr. A. Clarke pronounces it to be a pretty correct work ; but, besides the 
errata noticed by the editor, he adds, that the reader will find the sentence — thou 
shall visit thy habitationy left out of the English text, in Job v. 24. — Bibliogr. Die. 
vol. i. p. 274. 

V. Editions mth critical notes and apparatus. 

1 . The first edition of the Hebrew Bible, printed by Bomberg, and 
edited by Felix Pratensis (Venice, 1518), contains the various lections 
of the Eastern and Western recensions ; which are also to be found in 
Buxtorf 's Biblia Rabbinica. 

2. Biblia Hebraica, cum Latina Versione Sebastiani Munsteri. 
Basilese, folio, 1534, 1535. 

The Hebrew type of this edition resembles the characters of the German Jews ; the 
Latin version of Munster is placed by the side of the Hebrew text. Though the editor 
has not indicated what manuscripts he used, he is supposed to have formed his text upon 
the edition printed at Brescia in 1494, or the still more early one of 1488. His prole- 
gomena contain much useful critical matter ; and his notes are subjoined to each chapter. 

3. Biblia Sacra Hebrsea correcta, et coUata cum antiquissimis ex- 
emplaribus manuscriptis et hactenus impressis. Amstelodami. Typis 
et sumptibus Josephi Athi^ee. 1661. 8 vo. 

III. Sect. L] Of the Hebrew Bible. 127 

An extremely rare edition of a most beautifully executed Hebrew Bible. The im- 
pression of 1667, edited by Leusden, is said to be the most correct. So highly were the 
labours of the printer, Athias, appreciated, that the States General of Holland conferred 
on him a gold chain with a gold medal appendant, as a mark of their approbation. 

4. Biblia Hebraica, cum notis Hebraicis et Lemmatibus Latinis, ex 
recensione Dati. Ern. Jablonski, cum ejus Pr8efatione Latina. Berolini, 
1 699. large 8vo. 

Dr. Rossi considers this to be one of the most correct and important editions of the 
Hebrew Bible ever printed. It is extremely scarce. Jablonski published another edi- 
tion of the Hebrew Bible in 1712 at Berlin, without points, in large ]2mo; and sub- 
joined to it Leusden's Catalogue of 2294 select verses, containing all the words occur- 
ring in the Old Testament. There is also a Berlin edition of the Hebrew Bible with- 
out poipts, in 1711, 24mo, from the press of Jablonski, who has prefixed a short pre- 
face. It was begun under the editorial care of S. G. Starcke, and finished, on his 
death, by Jablonski. Masch pronounces it to be both useless and worthless. 

5. Biblia Hebraica, edente Everardo Vander Hooght. Amstel. et 
Ultraject. 8vo, 2 vols. 1705. 

A work of singular beauty and rarity. The Hebrew text is printed, after Athias's 
second edition, with marginal notes pointing out the contents of each section. The cha- 
racters, especially the vowel points, are uncommonly clear and distinct. At the end, 
Vander Hooght has given the various lections between the editions of Bomberg, Plantin, 
Aihias, and others. Vander Hooght's edition was reprinted at London in 2 vols. 8vo, 
1811, 1812, under the editorship of Mr. Frey, and is executed with great beauty. 

6. Biblia Hebraica ex aliquot Manuscriptis et compluribus impressis 
codicibus ; item Masora tarn edita quam manuscripta, aliisque He- 
braeorum criticis diligenter recensita. Cura ac studio D. Jo. Henr. 
Michaelis. 1 720, 2 vols, large 8vo. There are also copies in 4to. 

This edition has always been held in the highest estimation. The text is printed from 
Jablonski's Hebrew Bible (4to, Berlin, 1699) ; and there were collated for this edition 
five manuscripts in the library of Erfurt, and nineteen of the best printed editions.. A 
selection of various readings, and parallel passages both real and verbal, is subjoined, 
together with brief notes on the most diflScult texts of the Old Testament. Michaelis 
has prefixed learned prolegomena to this edition. 

7. Biblia Hebraica cum notis criticis, et Versione Latina ad notas 
criticas facta. Accedunt Libri Grseci, qui Deutero-canonici vocantur, 
in tres Classes distributi. Autore Carolo Francisco Houbigant. Lu- 
tetias Parisiorum, 1753, 4 vols, folio. 

The text of this edition is that of Vander Hooght, without points ; and in the margin 
of the Pentateuch Houbigant has added various lections from the Samaritan Pentateuch. 
He collated twelve manuscripts, of which however he is said not to have made all the 
use he might have done. Houbigant has also printed a new Latin version of his own, 
expressive of such a text as his critical emendations appeared to justify and recommend. 
The book is most beautifully printed, but has not answered the high expectations that 
were entertained of it. See Bishop Marsh's criticism on it, in his Divinity Lectures, 
part ii. pp. 101 — 104. 

8. Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis Lectionibus. Edidit 
Benjaminus Kennicott, S. T. P. Oxonii, 1776, 1780. 2 vols, folio. 

This splendid work was preceded by two dissertations on the state of the Hebrew 
text, published in 1753 and 1759 ; the object of which was to show the necessity of the 
same extensive collation of Hebrew manuscripts as had already been undertaken for the 
Greek manuscripts. The utility of the proposed collation being generally admitted, 
a very liberal subscription was made to defray the expense of the collation, 
amounting on the whole to nearly ten thousand pounds, and the name of his late 
majesty headed the list of subscribers. Various persons were employed, both at 
home and abroad : but of the foreign literati the principal was Professor Bruns of the 
University of Helmstadt, who not only collated Hebrew manuscripts in Germany, but 
went for that purpose into Italy and Switzerland. The business of collation continued 
from 1760 to 1769 inclusive, during which period Dr. Kennicott published annually 

128 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. Ch* 

an account of the progress which was made. More than six hundred Hebrew manu- 
scripts, and sixteen manuscripts of the Samaritan Pentateuch, were discovered in diffe- 
rent libraries in England and on the Continent : many of which were wholly collated, 
and others consulted in important passages. Several years of course elapsed, after the 
collations were finished, before the materials could be arranged and digested for publi- 
cation. The variations contained in nearly seven hundred bundles of papers, being at 
length digested (including the collations made by professor Bruns) ; and the whole when 
put together, being corrected by the original collations, and then fairly transcribed into 
thirty folio volumes, the work was put to press in 1773. In 1776, the first volume of 
Dr. Kennicott's Hebrew Bible was delivered to the public, and in 1780 the second 
volume. It was printed at the Clarendon Press: and the University of Oxford has 
the honour of having produced the first critical edition upon a large scale, both of the 
Greek Testament and of the Hebrew Bible — an honour which it is still maintaining by 
a similar edition, hitherto indeed unfinished, of the Greek version, commenced by the late 
Rev. Dr. Holmes, and now continuing under the editorial care of the Rev. Dr. Parsons. 

" The text of Kennicott's edition was printed from that of Van der Hooght, with 
which the Hebrew manuscripts, by Kennicott's direction, were all collated. But, as 
variations in the points were disregarded in the collation, the points were not added in 
the text. The various readings, as in the critical editions of the Greek Testament, were 
printed at the bottom of the page, with references to the correspondent readings of the 
text. In the Pentateuch the deviations of the Samaritan text were printed in a column 
parallel to the Hebrew ; and the variations observable in the Samaritan manuscripts, 
which differ from each other as well as the Hebrew, are hkewise noted with references 
to the Samaritan printed text. To this collation of manuscripts was added a collation of 
the most distinguished editions of the Hebrew Bible, in the same manner as Wetstein 
has noted the variations observable in the principal editions of the Greek Testament. 
Nor did Kennicott confine his collation to manuscripts and editions. He further con- 
sidered, that, as the quotations from the Greek Testament in the works of ecclesiastical 
writers afford another source of various readings, so the quotations from the Hebrew 
Bible in the works of Jewish writers are likewise subjects of critical inquiry. For this 
purpose he had recourse to the most distinguished among the rabbinical writings, but 
particularly to the Talmud, the text of which is as antient as the third century. In the 
quotation of his authorities he designates them by numbers from 1 to 692, including ma- 
nuscripts, editions, and rabbinical writings, which numbers are explained in the Disser- 
tatio generalis annexed to the second volume. 

" This Dissertatio generalis, wliich corresponds to what are called Prolegomena in 
other critical editions, contains, not only an account of the manuscripts and other autho- 
rities collated for this edition, but also a review of the Hebrew text divided into periods, 
and beginning with the formation of the Hebrew canon after the return of the Jews from 
the Babylonish captivity." Though inquiries of this description unavoidably contain mat- 
ters of doubtful disputation, though the opinions of Kennicott have been frequently 
questioned, and sometimes jwsi/y questioned, his Dissertatio generalis is a work of great 
interest to every biblical scholar. Kennicott was a disciple of Cappellus, both in respect 
to the integrity of the Hebrew text, and in respect to the preference of the Samaritan 
Pentateuch : but he avoided the extreme, into which Morinus and Houbii^ant had fallen. 
And though he possessed not the rabbinical learning of the two Buxtorfs, his merits were 
greater, than some of his contemporaries, as well in England as on the continent, were 
willing to allow." Bishop Marsh's Divinity Lectures, part ii. pp. l05 — 108. For a 
very copious account of Dr. Kennicott's edition of the Hebrew Bible, see the Monthly 
Review (O.S.), pp.92 — 100. vol. Ixiv. pp. 173— 182. 321—328. vol. Ixv. 
pp. 121—131. 

To Dr. Kennicott's Hebrew Bible, M. De Rossi published an important supplement 
at Parma (1784 — 1787,) in four volumes 4to. entitled Fariee Lectiones l^eteris Testa- 
menti, ex immensa MSS. editorumque codicum conger ie exhausla, et ad Samaritanum 
Teitum,ad vetustissimas f^ersiones, ad acciiratiores Sacree Criticee fontes ac leges 
examinatcB. This work and Dr. Kennicott's edition form one complete set of collations. 
Four hundred and seventy nine manuscripts were collated for M. De Rossi's elaborate 
work, besides two hundred and eighty-eight printed editions, some of which were totally 
unknown before, and others very imperfectly known. He also consulted several Clialdee, 
Syriac, Arabic, and Latin manuscripts, together with a considerable number of rabbinical 
commentaries. Vol. i. contains the Prolegomena of De Rossi, and the various readings 
of the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus. Vol. ii. contains those of the books of 
Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, .nnd Kings. Vol. iii. comprehends 

Illi Sect. I.] Of the Hebrew Bible, 129 

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the twelve minor Prophets, with the Song of Solomon, 
Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther : and in vol. iv. are the various readings 
of the books of Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles. A 
supplemental volume was published at Parma, in 1799, intitled Scholia Critica in 
Fetus Testavientum, seu supplementum ad Farias Sacri Textus Lectiones, 4to, This 
volume contains the results of M. De Rossi's further collations. His Prolegomena 
are a treasure of biblical criticism. The critical labours of this eminent philologer 
ascertain (as Dr. Kennicott's valuable and judicious labours had before done), instead of 
invalidating, the integrity of the sacred text, in matters of the greatest importance; as 
all the manuscripts, notwithstanding the diversity of their dates, and of the places where 
they were transcribed, agree with respect to that which constitutes the proper essence 
and substance of divine revelation, viz. its doctrines, moral precepts, and historical rela- 
tions. M. De Rossi charges the variations not merely on the copyists, but on the igno- 
rance and temerity of the critics, who have in all ages been too ambitious of dictating to 
their authors j and who, instead of correcting the pretended errors of others, frequently 
substitute in their place real errors of their own. 

Of the immense mass of various readings which the collations of Dr. Kennicott and 
M. De Rossi exhibit, multitudes are insignijicant : consisting frequently of the omission 
or addition of a single letter in a word, as a vau, &c. " But they are not therefore use- 
less. All of this class contribute powerfully to establish the rtW/iewizczfy of the sacred 
text in general by their concurrence ; while they occasionally afford valuable emendations 
of the sacred text in several important passages, supporting by their evidence the various 
readings suggested by the antient versions derived from manuscripts of an earlier date." 
(Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book i. p. xiv.) In the first volume of Dr. 
Masch's edition ofLe Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, there is a valuable collection of various 
readings, made from the Masoretic and Non-Masoretic printed copies of the Hebrew 
Bible. See pp. xl. — cxviii. 

9. Blblia Hebraica, olim a Christiano Reineccio edita, nunc denuo 
cum variis lectionibus, ex ingenti codicum copia a. B. Kennicotto et 
J. B. De Rossi coUatorum, ediderunt J. C. Doederlein et J.H.Meissner. 
Lipsies, 1793, 8vo. 

This edition was undertaken by the celebrated Dr. Doederlein and Professor Meiss- 
ner, in order to supply those lovers of Hebrew literature who may not be able to consult 
the expensive volumes of Kennicott and De Rossi. They have selected the principal 
various readings of those eminent collators, and have given a very correctly printed text. 
The fine paper copies are beautiful and convenient books ; but those on common paper are 
scarcely legible. They are usually bound in two volumes. In 1819 a second edition of 
this valuable Hebrew Bible was pubUshed at Halle, with anew preface by Dr. Knappe, in- 
titled : Biblica Hebraica olim a Christ. Reineccio evulgata, post adfidem recensionis 
MasoreticcE, cum variis lectionibus ex ingenti codd. mss. copia a Benj. Kennicotto et J.B. 
De Rossi collatorum edita, cur. J. C. Doederleinio et I. H. Mdsnero. Quorum editiont\ 
ante has XXV. annos e bibliopolio Lipsiensi emissie, nunc emtionisjure in libr. Orpha- 
notrophei Halensis translatce ; accessit G. Chr. Knappii proefalio de editionibus Bibli- 
orum Halensibus,8vo. HalcB, Libraria Or]ihanotropkei. According to the Journal Gene- 
ral de la Litterature Etrang re (Jan. 1819), the above noticed edition of 1793 consisted of 
ten thousand copies ; the unsold stock of which were disposed of to the trustees or gover- 
nors of the Orphan House at Halle, by whom the title page was altered to the date of 
1818, and a new preface was added by Professor Knappe relative to the editions of the 
Bible published at Halle. 

10. Biblia Hebraica. Digessit et graviores Lectionum varietates 
adjecit Johannes Jahn. Viennae, 1806, 4 vols. 8vo. 

Professor Jahn has long been distinguished for his successful cultivation of Oriental 
literature. In this edition the text is pointed, and very distinctly printed ; and he has 
given a copious selection of the most important various readings. There are copies on 
flne paper which are very beautiful ; and also a few copies in 4to. 

11. Biblia Hebraica, or the Hebrew Scriptures of the- Old Testa- 
ment, without points, after the text of Kennicott, with the chief 
various readings, selected from his collation of Hebrew manuscripts, 
from that of De Rossi, and from the antient versions ; accompanied 
with English notes, critical, philological, and explanatory, selected 


130 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. Ch. 

from the most approved antient and modern English and foreign biblical 
critics. By B. Boothroyd. Pontefract and London, 1816, 2 vols. 4to. 

This is perhaps the cheapest Hebrew Bible, with critical apparatus, that is extant; 
it was published originally in parts, the first of which appeared in 1810. It is pecu- 
liarly interesting to the Hebrew scholar and critic, as it contains, in a condensed form, 
the substance of the most valuable and expensive works. An eminent critic has ob- 
served, " Mr. Boothroyd has evidently spared neither expense nor labour to furnish 
the student with interesting extracts, which are calculated to assist him as well in inter- 
preting as in obtaining a critical acquaintance with the original text. A good philolo- 
gical note is frequently of more importance towards the elucidation of a difficult passage 
than a long theological comment, which is often little i better than a detail of contrary 
opinions. There is evidently some hazard of adopting fanciful and conjectural cor- 
rections in so extensive an undertaking as this, which is principally compiled from pre- 
ceding authors of almost every description. Against this danger the sobriety of the 
editor's judgment has been a powerful protection ; and as his avowed object was the 
solid instruction of the purchasers of his book, he has, in a commendable manner, ac- 
complished his purpose." (Eclectic Review, vol. vii. p. 54. New Series). The type 
is very clear ; and the poetical parts of the Hebrew Scriptures are printed in hemistichs, 
according to the arrangement proposed by Bishop Lowth, and adopted by Archbishop 
Newcome. There are copies in royal 4tc. 

Of the minor editions, containing the Hebrew text only, without 
any critical apparatus, the following have been recommended to bib- 
lical students, viz. 

1 . The most useful Hebrew Bible, for any person who is mode- 
rately acquainted with Latin, is that of Benedictus Arius Montanus, 
with an interlineary Latin translation, printed by Christopher Plantin 
at Antwerp. 1572, 1584, folio. See it noticed p. \2\, supra. 

2. Biblia Hebraica, accurante M. Christiano Reineccio. Lipsiae 
1725, 1729, 1756. 

These are neat and accurate editions. Masch mentions another edition dated 1729, 
in quarto, in which the books are arranged according to the order adopted in the editions 
of the German translation of the Bible. 

3. Biblia Hebraica manualia ad optimas quasque editiones recen- 
sita, atque cum brevi lectionum Masoretbicarum Kettriban et Krijan 
resolutione ac explicatione. Edita a Johanne Simonis. Halse, 1752, 
1767, 8vo. 

The second edition of 1767 is the best. The text of both is that of Vander Hooght. 
There is a short yet full Hebrew and Latin Lexicon at the end of both editions, which 
have the additional merit of being portable, cheap, and useful. 

4. Biblia Hebraica sine punctis. Amstelodami, 1701, small 8 vo. 

This is usually though incorrectly called Leusden's Hebrew Bible. The real editor 
was Maresius: Leusden wrote a preface to the Hebrew Bible printed at Amsterdam, 
1694, 8vo. which abounds with errors. With the edition of 1701 is frequently bound 
up a neat and accurate edition of the Greek Testament, printed by Wetstein at Am- 
sterdam, 1740, in small 8vo. 




XjESIDES the works of Le Long and Masch, the history of 
the various editions of the Greek Testament is treated at consider- 

III. Sect. II.] Of the GreeTc Testament. 131 

able length by Pritius', by Dr. Mill and Wetstein in the prolego- 
mena to their critical editions of it, by Michaelis and his learned 
annotator Bishop Marsh 2^ Dr. Griesbach^, Professors Beck *, 
and Harles % by Mr. Butler", and by Dr. Clarke ^ To their 
labours, which have been consulted for this section, the reader 
is once for all referred, who is desirous of studying this import- 
ant branch of the literary history of the sacred writings. 

The following table exhibits the four principal Standard- 
Text-Editions of the Greek Testament, together with the 
principal editions which are founded upon them. ^ 

1. Erasmus. 1516-19-22-27-35. 

r S 

Aldus. Fol. Gr. 1518. — Gerbelii. Qto. Gr. 152l.—Cej>halceus. Get. Gr. 1524.— Bebe- 

lius. Oct. 1524. Gr. \53l-35. — ColincEus. Oct. Gr. 1534.—Platteri. Oct. Gr.l538- 



/ —^ 

Plantin. Oct. Gr. 1564-73-74-90-91-1601-12. Fol. Gr. et Lat. 1572. Oct. 1574 83. 
Fol. 1584. — Geneva. Gr. 1609. 24mo., 1619, 1620. Oto. — Goldhasen. (Mentz.), 
1753. Oct. 

3. Rob. Stephens. 1546-49-50. 

f— _ — ^ 

Oporinus, Duod. Gr. 1552. — Wechel, Fol. Gr. 1597. Duod. 1600. Fol. 1601. 

Duod. 1629. — Imp. Nicolai Dalcis. Fol. Gr. 1687.— Edit. Regia. Fol. Gr. 1642. 

Cmfm. Duod. Gr. 1553 63-1604. Duod. Gr. et Lat. 1612-22. — Frnschoveri. Oct. 
Gr. 1559-66.— Bri/linger. Oct. Gr. 1565. — Voegelii. Oct. Gr. 1564. — Vignonii 
Duod. Gr. 1584-87-1613 15.— ^ects. Fol. Gr. etLat. 1565-82-89-98-1642. — Mil- 
Hi. Fol. Gr. 1707.— JCusteri. Fol. Gr. 1710-25.- Bircliii. Gr. 1788. Fol. et Qto. 
■^Hardy. Oct. Gr. 1768, 1776. 1819.— .Fiz/?)?/. Oct. Gr. 1816. 

4. Elzevir. 1624-33, &c. 

r~ N 

Boecleri. Oct. Gr. 1645. — Curcelleei. Oct. Gr. 1658-75-85-99.— /IVZ^. Oct. Gr. 1675. 

— Konigii. Oct. Gr. 1697-1702. — Gregorii. Fol. Gr. 1703.— G.D.T.M.D. Oct! 

Gr. 1711-55.— ^cfsfeftzY, Fol. Gr. 1751. 

The editions of Bengel, Bowyer, Griesbach, Alter, and Harwood, are not formed on 
the text of either of the above editions. 

1 Introd. ad Lect. Nov. Test. pp. 405 — 423. 

2 Introduction to the New Test. vol. ii. part i. pp. 429 — 494 ; part ii. pp. 844 885. 

Bishop Marsh's Divinity Lectures, part i. pp. 98 — llOj part ii. pp. 1 46. 

' Nov. Test. vol. i. prolegom. pp. iii. — xxxix. 

4 Monogrammata Hermeneutices Novi Te.stamenti, pp. 110 — 115, 

5 Brevior Notitia Litteraturse Grsecas, pp. 656 — 664 ; and also vol. iv. of his im- 
proved edition of Fabricius's Bibliotheca Grsca, pp. 839 — 856. 

6 Horffi Biblicz, vol. i. pp. 150 — 169. 

7 Bibliographical Dictionary, vol. vi. pp. 168 — 203. 

8 The above table is taken from Masch and Boerner's edition of I-e Long's Bibliotheca 
Sacra, and from Mr, Dibdin's Introduction to the Knowledge of the Classics, vol. i p. S^ 


|S2 Notice of the principal Ediiions [Part I. Gh. 

Of the various editions of the Greek Testament, which have 
issued from the press, the following more particularly claim the 
notice of the biblical student. 

] . Novum Instrumentu omne diligenter ab Erasmo Roterodamo 
recognitum et emendatum. Basilese, 1516, folio. Gr. Lat. edit, 

Erasmus had the distinguished honour of giving to the world the first edition of the 
entire New Testament i. It was reprinted in 1519, 1522, 1527, and 1535. 

The first edition is of extreme rarity, and was executed with great haste, in the short 
space of five months. Some of the manuscripts which he consulted are preserved in the 
public library at Basle, but none of them are of very great antiquity. For the first 
edition he had only one mutilated manuscript of the Apocalypse, (since totally lost) ; he 
therefore filled up the chasms with his own Greek translations from the Latin Vulgate. 
The publication of this edition, in which he omitted the controverted clause in 1 John 
V. 7. because it was not in any of his manuscripts, involved him in a literary contest 
with the divines of Louvain, and with Stunica, the most learned of the Complutensian 
editors 3. The editions of 1516, 1519, and 1522, were published before he saw the 
Complutensian Polyglott, from which he corrected the edition of 1527, particularly in the 
Apocalypse. Erasmus's editions were repeatedly printed after his death, particularly at 
Basle, Frankfort, and Leipsic. All bis editions are much esteemed, notwithstanding 
their faults, and in some respects they are considered as equal to manuscripts. In the 
first edition Dr. Mill discovered about 500 vitiated passages, and about one hundred 
genuine onesj a copy, on vellum^ is in the Cathedral Library at York. Mr. Nolan 
has satisfactorily vindicated the charaaer of Erasmus, as a sound critic and editor of 
the New Testament, from the charges of Dr. Griesbach. Inquiry into the Integrity of 
the Greek Vulgate, pp. 410— 4l9. 

2. Novum Testamentum, Greece et Latine. Compluti, 1514. 

This forms the fifth volume of the Complutensian Polyglott already noticed, (pp. 120, 
121 .supra) ; though it bears the date of 1514, yet as it was not allowed to be sold gene- 
rally until 1522, before which time Erasmus had printed three editions of the New Testa- 
ment, it is in fact entitled only to the second place in our list. The Greek text of this 
edition is printed without spirits, but the vowels are frequently accented. The characters 
seem to have been cut in imitation of those found in manuscripts of the twelfth century ; 
and were probably taken from some manuscripts of that age, which were consulted by 
the Complutensian editors. The Complutensian edition contains the celebrated text 
relative to the heavenly witnesses in 1 John v. 7, 8. of which we have given an en- 
graved fac-simile, infra. Vol. IV. p. 501. Wetstein, Semler, and other Protestant 
critics charged the editors with having altered the text, in order to make it conformable 
to the Latin Vulgate; but this charge has been refuted by Goeze and Griesbach. 
Their vindication is pronounced satisfactory by Michaelis (who considers the Apocalypse 
to be the best edited part of the Complutensian Greek Testament) ; and also by his 
annotator. Bishop Marsh, who states that this charge, in general, is not true. For 
though he is of opinion, that in some few single passages, — as in Matt. x. 25. and I John 
V. 7. — they follow the Vulgate in opposition to all the Greek manuscripts, he has 
ascertained, from actual collation, that there are more than two hundred passages in the 
Catholic Epistles, in which the Complutensian Greek text differs from the text of the 
Vulgate, as printed in the Complutensian edition. 

The manuscripts used for this edition are characterised as being very antient and 
very correct, but this assertion is contradicted by internal evidence. The manuscripts 

' "The first portion ever printed was executed by Aldus Manutius at Venice, in 
1504. A copy is in the Royal Library of Wirtemburg at Stutgard. The whole of 
St. John's Gospel was published at Tubingen, in 1514. 

s In his disputes with Stunica, Erasmus professed his readiness to insert this verse 
if it were found in a single manuscript. Though Stunica could not produce one, yet as it 
was afterwards discovered in the Codex Britannicus (i.e. Montfortianus, see pp. Ill — 
1 13 supra), a manuscript of no great antiquity, Erasmus felt himself bound to insert it, 
and accordingly admitted it into his third edition of 1 522. 

III. Sect. II.] Of the Greek Testament. 1S5 

themselves, which were deposited in the library at Alcala, are no longer in existence '; 
and it is a most remarkable fact, that" wherever modern Greek manuscripts, manuscripts 
written in the thirteenth, fourteenth, or fifteenth centuries, differ from the most antient 
Greek manuscripts, and from the quotations of the early Greek fathers, in such charac- 
teristeric readings the Complutensian Greek Testament almost invariably agrees with the 
modem, in opposition tothe antient manuscripts. There cannot be a doubt, therefore, 
that the Complutensian text was formed from modern manuscripts alone." (Bishop 
Marsh's Divinity Lectures, part i. p. 95.) The researches of the Danish professor Birch 
have shewn that the Complutensian editors have made no use whatever of the Codex 
Vaticanus, though they boasted of valuable manuscripts being sent to them from the 
Vatican Library. 

3. Simonis Colinsei. — 'H Katv»i Atx^JDcn. 'Ev Xeuxet** twv Trajrio-iwv, 7r«j« 
Tw Stju.wy» KoXtvatw, JsJCEjUiS^tou jurjvoj qvjti^ov (JiSivovTOij ete* wko t«j CEoyonaj 

a. (p. X. 5. (Paris, 1534, 8vo.) 

An edition of singular rarity, beauty, and correctness. Colinasus was a very careful 
printer. He has been unjustly charged with partiality in following some unknown ma- 
nuscripts; but from this accusation he has been fully exonerated by Dr. Mill and 
Wetstein . 

4. Novum Testamentum, Grsece. Lutetise, ex officina Roberti 
Stephani Typographi, Typis Regiis. 1546, 12mo, 1549, 12mo, 1550, 

The _/ir«< of these editions is usually called the mirificain £dition, from the intro- 
ductory sentence of the preface, niirijicam regis nostri optimi et prtsstantissimi 
principis liberalitatem. It has always been admired for the neatness of its typography, 
as well as for its correctness, only twelve errata (it is said) having been discovered in it. 
Robert Stephens compiled this edition chiefly from the Complutensian, and the fifth edi- 
tion of Erasmus, and from fifteen antient manuscripts in the Royal Library at Paris, 
which were collated for him by his son Henry, then a young man of only 18 years of age. 
Griesbach (torn. i. proleg. pp. xiv. — xxxi.j has given a long and critical examination of this 
edition, and of the manuscripts consulted by Stephens for his three editions. Stephens's 
first edition differs from the Complutensian text in 581 instances, exclusive of the Apo- 
calypse, in which he closely follows Erasmus. 

The second edition closely resembles the first in its exterior appearance, but differs 
from it in 67 places; of which four are doubtful readings, 57 not genuine, and 26 
genuine, so that this latter edition has eleven readings of less authority than the former, to 
which however it is preferred on account of its greater rarity and correctness. It is this 
second edition which has the remarkable erratum pulres for plures in the last line but 
one of the first page of the preface, occasioned by the transposition of a single letter. 

1'hQ third edition of 1550, in folio, is a chef d'oeuvre of splendid typography. It was 
once supposed to have been formed entirely on the authority of Greek manuscripts, 
which Stephens professes, in his preface, to have collated for that purpose, a second and 
even .i third time. So far, however, was this from being the case, that the researches of 

' Great anxiety prevailed in the literary world, in the course of the last century, 
to examine the manuscripts from which the Complutensian Polyglott was composed. 
Professor Moldenhawer, who was in Spain in 1784, went to Alcala for the express pur- 
pose of discovering those manuscripts, and there learnt, to his inexpressible chagrin, 
that about 35 years before, they had been sold by a very illiterate librarian, who 
wanted room for some new books, como membranas inutiles (as useless parchments), 
to one Toryo, a dealer in fire-works, as materials for making rockets ! Martinez, a 
man of learning, and particularly skilled in the Greek language, hearing of the cir- 
cumstance soon after they were sold, hastened to rescue these treasures from destruc- 
tion. He arrived time enough to save a few scattered leaves, which are stated to be 
now preserved in the library at Alcala. It does not, however, appear that Molden- 
hawer saw these fragments. " Oh," says Michaelis, with becoming indignation, 
*' that I had it in my power to immortalise both librarian and rocket-maker ! The^ 
author of this inexcusable act— this prodigy of barbarism — was the greatest barbarian 
of the present (18th) century, and happy only in being unknown." Michaelis, vol. ii. 
pp. 440, 441. 

K 3 

i34? Notice of the principal Editions [Part I. Ch. 

critics have shown that, except in the Apocalypse, it is scarcely any thing more than a 
reprint of Erasmus's fifth edition. Though its value as a critical edition is thus consi- 
derably reduced, the singular beauty of its typography (which has rarely been exceeded 
in modern times), has caused it to be considered as a distinguished ornament to any li- 
brary. Robert Stephens reprinted the Greek New Testament at Geneva in 1551, in 8vo. 
with the Vulgate and Erasmus's Latin versions, and parallel passages in the margin. This 
is the scarcest of all his editions, and is remarkable for being the first ediuonof the New 
Testament divided into verses. 

5. Novum Testamentum, cum versione Latina veteri et nova Theo- 
doriBezse. Genevae, folio, 1565, 1576, 1582, 1589, 1598. 

The New Testament of 1565 is the first of the editions conducted by Theodore 
6eza, who was a native of France and a protestant, and fled to Switzerland on account of 
his religion. " The critical materials which he employed were for the most part the same 
as those which had been used by Robert Stephens. But he had likewise the advantage 
of that veryantient manuscript of the Gospels and the Acts, which he afterwards sent to 
the University of Cambridge, and which is known by the name of the Codex Bezae. He 
had also a very antient manuscript of Saint Paul's Epistles, which he procured from 
Clermont in France, and which is known by the name of the Codex Claromontanus» 
Lastly, he had the advantage of the Syriac version, which had been lately published by 
Tremellius, with a close Latin translation. But the use which he made of his materials 
were not such as might have been expected from a man of Beza's learning. Instead of 
applying his various readings to the emendation of the text, he us^d them chiefly for 
polemical purposes in Ris notes. In short, he amended Stephens's text in not more than 
fifty places; and even these emendations were not always founded on proper authority." 
(Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part i. p. 109.) Beza's third edition of 1582 is considered as 
the most complete of those printed under his own eye ; but all his editions have the Vul- 
gate Latin version, and a new one of his own, together with philological, doctrinal, and 
practical notts. The edition of 1598, being esteemed the most accurate of any that 
had before been published, was adopted as the basis of the English version of the New 
Testament, published by authority in 1611. This testimony of the Anglican church 
is highly honourable to its merit. Thereprint of Beza's Testament, at Cambridge (1642, 
folio), with the addition of Joachim Camerarius's notes, is considered as the editia 

6. Noviun Testamentum Grssce. Lugd. Bat. Ex Officina Elzevi- 
riana, 12mo. 1624. 

This is the first of the celebrated Elzevir editions, and deserves (says Bishop Marsh) 
to be particularly noticed, because the text of the Greek Testament, which had fluctuated 
in the preceding editions, acquired in this a consistency, and seemed, during upwards of a 
century, to be exposed to no future alterations. The text of this edition has been the 
basis of almost every subsequent impression. Wetstein adapted his various readings to it ; 
and it has acquired the appellation of " Textus Receptus." " The person who conducted 
this edition (for Elzevir was only the printer) is at present unknown : but, whoever he 
was, his critical exertions were confined within a narrow compass. The text of this 
edition was copied from Beza's text, except in about fifty places; and in these places 
the readings were borrowed partly from the various readings in Stephens's margin, partly 
from other editions, but certainly not from Greek manuscripts. The textus receptus 
therefore, or the text in common use, was copied, with a few exceptions, from the text 
of Beza. Beza himself closely followed Stephens : and Stephens (namely in his third and 
chief edition) copied solely from the fifth edition of Erasmus, except in the Revelation, 
where he followed sometimes Erasmus, sometimes the Complutensian edition. The 
text therefore in daily use resolves itself at last into the Complutensian and the Erasmian 
editions." (Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part i. p. 110) 

The Elzevir edition of 1624 was reprinted at Leyden in 1633, and a third time in 
1641, and at Amsterdam in 1656, 1662, 1670, and 1678, Gr.— Of these various 
editions, that of 1653 is the best and in most request. The edition of 1678 is the first 
that has the text divided into separate verses. 

7. Novum Testamentum, studio et labore Stephani Cvircellsei. 
Amstel^dami, 1658. 12mo. 1675, 1685. 12mo. 1699. 8vo. Gr. 

All the editions of Curcellxus or Courcelles are in great repute for their beauty and 
accuracy; the text is formed on that of the Elzevirs. He has collected the greatest 

III. Sect. II.] 0/ the Greek Testament. ISS 

number of various readings to be found in any edition of the New Testament prior to 
that in the sixth volume of Bishop Watson's Polyglott. These various lections are given 
from a collation of manuscripts and printed editions, and are partly at the foot of the page, 
and partly at the end of the Acts and St. Paul's Epistles. Curceliaeus has also given 
a valuable collection of parallel passages. The edition of 1675 contains a prologue or 
preface to St. Paul's Epistles, which Boeder had printed a few years before from a ma- 
nuscript brought from the E)ast by Stephen Gerlachius, and differs from the first edition 
only in having all the various readings placed at the foot of the page. The third and 
fourth editions were printed after the death of Curcellasus, and differ from the second 
only in having the text printed in columns. In 1695, John Gottlieb Moller, a divine 
of Rostock, published a Dissertation against the Curcellaean editions, entitled Curcel- 
leBUS in editione originalis iV. T. textus, variantium lectionum et parallelorum Scrip- 
turce Locotum additamentis vestila, socinizans. Rumpfeus (Com. Crit. ad Nov. Test, 
p. 280.) has charged Courcelles with unnecessarily multiplying various readings, and 
making them from conjecture, in order to subserve the Socinian scheme. Michaelis 
admits that these charges are not wholly unfounded. The passages noticed by Rumpaeus 
are 1 John v. 7.; John x. 30. and xvii. 22., concerning the doctrine of the Trinity ; 
Rom.ix. 5. 1 John v. 20., and John xvii. 5. concerning the Son of God; and Rom. iii. 
25. and Matt.xxvi. 39. 42. concerning the satisfaction made by Jesus Christ. All the 
editions of Curceliseus are scarce and dear. 

8. Novum Testamentum. Gr. Lat. in the fifth volume of the Lon- 
don Polyglott, described in pp. 121 — 123 supra. 

This edition is deserving of particular notice, as being the first edition of the New 
Testament that is furnished with a complete critical apparatus. The text is that of 
Robert Stephens's folio edition of 1550, whose various readings Bishop Walton has in- 
corporated in his sixth volume ; and in addition to them he has given a collection of 
extracts from sixteen Greek manuscripts, which were collated under the direction of 
Archbishop Usher. " They are described at the head of the collation in the sixth 
volume by Walton himself: and a further account of them is given in the Prolegomena 
to Mill's Greek Testament (§ 1572 — 1396), and in Michaelis's Introduction to the 
New Testament, (vol. ii. chap, viii.) But the extracts from Greek manuscripts were 
neither the sole nor the chief materials which the Polyglott afforded for the emendation 
of the Greek text. In addition to the Latin Vulgate, it contains the Syriac, the Arabic, 
and the Ethiopic versions of the New Testament, with the Persian in the Gospels. And 
these oriental versions are not only arranged in the most convenient manner, for the 
purpose of comparing them with the Greek, but they are accompanied with literal Latin 
translations, that even they, who are unacquainted with the oriental languages, might still 
have recourse to them for various readings, though indeed with less security, as every 
translator is liable to make mistakes." — (Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part ii. p. 5.) 

9. Tm Kxivng Atx9»wc>ii Avavrci. Novi Testamenti Libri Omnes. 
Accesserunt Parallela Scripturss Loca, nee non variantes Lectiones ex 
plus 100 MSS. Codicibus et antiquis versionibus coUectse. Oxonii, 
e Theatro Sheldoniano. 1 675, 8vo. 

This edition was superintended by the learned Dr. John Fell, Bishop of Oxford, whose 
design in giving it to the pubhc was, to remove the apprehensions which had been raised 
in the minds of many persons ignorant of criticism, relative to the supposed uncertainty 
of the Greek text of the New Testament, by the great number of various lections con- 
tained in Bishop Walton's Polyglott. To show how little the integrity of the text was 
affected by them. Bishop Fell printed them under the text, that the reader might the 
more easily compare them. To the readings copied from the London Polyglott, he 
added those quoted by Curcellasus, and the Barberini readings, also Marshall's extracts 
from the Coptic and Gothic versions, and the readings of twelve Bodleian, four Dublin 
and two Paris manuscripts. As Bishop Fell's edition sells at a low price, it may be 
substituted for the more expensive critical editions of the New Testament, by those 
who cannot purchase them. The text is formed according to that of Robert Stephens 
und the Elzevirs j though Wetstein has accused it of retaining the errors of the former, 
as well as some of Walton's Polyglott. Bishop Fell's edition was reprinted at Leipsic in 
1697 and 1702, and at Oxford in 1703, in folio. This magnificent edition, which takes 
its name from the editor Dr. Gregory, contains no accession of critical materials, and 
sells at a low price. 

K Ii 

136 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. Ch. 

10. H Kaivn AtaSw*). Novum Testamentum Graecum, cum lectio- 
nibus variantibus MSS. exemplarium versionum, editionum, SS. 
Patrum et Scriptorum ecclesiasticorum, et in easdem notis. Studio et 
labore Joannis Millii, S. T. P. Oxonii, e Theatro Sheldoniano. 1 707, 

The labour of thirty years was devoted to this edition by Dr. Mill, who finished 't 
only fourteen days before his death. The text, which is that of Robert Stephens's 
edition of 1550, is beautifully printed; and the various readings and parallel passages 
are placed below. Dr. Mill has inserted all the previously existing collections of various 
readings; he collated several original editions; procured extracts from hitherto uncoUated 
Greek MSS. and revised and augmented the extracts from the Gothic and Coptic verr 
sions which had appeared in Bishop Fell's edition ; and added numerous readings from 
other antient versions, and from the quotations of the New Testament in the writings of 
the fathers. The prolegomena contain a treasure of sacred criticism. Michaelis ob- 
serves that, " notwithstanding those of Wetstein, they still retain their original value, 
for they contain a great deal of matter which is not in Wetstein ; and of the matter 
vyhich is common to both, some things are more clearly explained by Mill." This edition 
was reprinted by Kuster at Rotterdam, in 1710, in folio, with the readings of twelve 
additional MSS., some of which had been previously but imperfectly collated. What- 
ever readings were given in Mill's appendix, as coming too late for insertion under the 
text, were in this second edition transferred to their proper places. In point of accuracy, 
however, Kuster's edition is considered inferior to that of Dr. Mill. There are copies 
of Kuster's edition with the date of Amsterdam 1725 in the title page, but Masch says 
that it probably is nothing more than the edition of 1710 with a new title page. Some 
copies are also dated 1746. 

The various readings of Dr. Mill, amounting to 30,000, were attacked by Dr. Whitby, 
in 1710, in an elaborate work entitled Examen Fariantium Lectionum Johannis Miliiiy 
with more zeal than knowledge of sacred criticism. It was afterwards annexed to 
Whitby's Commentary on the New Testament. See an account of this treatise in 
Michaelis, vol. ii. pp. 460 — 462. Dr. W.'s arguments were applied by Anthony 
Collins against Divine Revelation, in his Discourse on Free-thinking ; which was refuted 
by Dr. Bentley under the assumed title ot f^iileleutherus Lipsiensis, " whose reply," 
says Bishop Marsh, " has been translated into several foreign languages, and should be 
studied by every man who is desirous of forming just notions of biblical criticism." 
(Lectures, partii. p. 13.) 

1 1 . Dr. Edward Wells published an edition of the Greek Testament, 
at Oxford, in 4to, in detached portions, between the years 1709 and 
1719. It is noticed among the commentaries iufra, in the Appendix, 
No. VII. Section VI. : but " as it exhibits a corrected text of the Greek 
Testament, it claims also a place in the present list of editions, though 
subsequent improvements in sacred criticism have in a great measure 
superseded the emendations of Dr. Wells." (Bishop Marsh). Dr. Nares, 
in his Strictures on the Unitarian Version of the New Testament, has' 
made frequent and honourable mention of the critical labours of 

12. H Ka»v« A»a9«;t>i. Novum Testamentum, post priores Steph. Cur- 
cellaei et D. D. Oxoniensium labores. Cum prolegomenis G. D. T. M, 
et notis in fine adjectis. Amstelodami, ex Officina Wetsteniana. 1711, 
1735, small 8vo. 

These are most beautiful editions, but the second is said to be the most accurate. The 
editor of ihc first was Gerard von Maestricht (Gerardus De Trajecto Moscb Doctore) 
a syndic of tlie republic of Bremen ; the second was revised by the celebrated critic J. J. 
Wetstein. Having been publislied by his relative Henry Wetstein, a bookseller of 
Amsterdam, these editions of the New Testament are sometimes improperly called 
Wetstein's ; and from the name of Curcellaeus being printed in the title, they are in 
most catalogues erroneously styled Nov. Test. Grose, CurcellcBi. 

The text is formed on the second Elzevir edition of 1653, and Curcellaeus's editions. 
It has the most judicious selection of parallel texts ever appended to any edition of the 

III. Sect. II.] Of the Greek Testament. I37 

New Testament. These are placed immediately under the Greek text, and below them 
is a selection of various readings, taken from upwards of 100 manuscripts and versions. 
Prefixed are very useful prolegomena, containing an account of manuscripts and collectors 
of various readings, with 43 critical canons to enable the reader to determine concerning 
the various lections exhibited in the work; an abstract of Dr. Whitby's Examen above 
noticed; and the prefaces of Henry Wetstein, Curcellasus, and Bishop Fell. Tliese 
editions are ornamented with an engraved frontispiece, copied from that of the splendid 
foUo Paris edition of 1642, a plan of Jerusalem, an ichnograph of the temple, and two 
maps. At the end there are 58 pages of critical notes, containing an examination of the 
most important various readings which occur in the course of the work. Michaelis does 
not speak very highly of the editions of 1 7 1 1 ; but Mr. Dibdin says that, upon the whole, 
the edition of 1755 " maybe considered as the very best critical duodecimo (rather small 
octavo) editions of the Greek Testament, and the biblical student will do well to procure 
so valuable and commodious a publication." (On the Classics, vol. i. p. 97.) • 

13. The New Testament in Greek and English. London, printed for 
J. Roberts, 1729. 2 vols. 8vo. 

This is a beautifully printed book ; whose editor, Dr. Macey, has altered various pas- 
sages in conformity with the Arian hypothesis. His arbitrary alterations and bold criti- 
cisms were exposed by Dr. Leonard Twells in A Critical Examination of the late Nem 
Text and Fersion of the Greek Testament, London, 1752, 8vo. 

14. HKatvj) Ata^rjKM. Novum Testamentum Graecum. Edente Jo. Al- 
berto Bengelio. 4to. Tubingee, 1734, 4to. 1 763, 4to. 

This is an excellent edition, formed with an extraordinary degree of conscientiousness 
sound judgment, and good taste. John Albert Bengel, or Bengelius, as he is generally 
called in this country, abbot of Alpirspach in the duchy (present kingdom) of Wirtem- 
burg, was led to direct his attention to sacred criticism, in consequence of serious and 
anxious doubts arising from the deviations exhibited in preceding editions ; and the result 
of his laborious researches was, the edition now under consideration. The text is pre- 
ceded by an Introductio in Crisin Novi Testamenti, and is followed by an Ejnlogus 
and Appendix, 

The text is not formed on any particular edition, but is corrected and improved accord- 
ing to the editor's judgment ; and so scrupulous was Bengel, that he studiously avoided 
inserting any reading which did not exist in some printed edition, except in the Apoca- 
lypse ; in which book alone he inserted readings that had never been printed, because it 
had been printed from so few manuscripts, and in one passage had been printed by Erasmus 
from no manuscript whatever. Beneath the text he placed some select readings, reserv- 
ing the evidence in their favour for his Apparatus Criticus. His opinion of these margi- 
nal readings he expressed by the Greek letters a, jS, y, S, and s, and some few other 
marks. Thus a denotes that he held a reading to be genuine ; /3, that its genuineness was 
not absolutely certain, but that the reading was still preferable to that in the text ; y, that 
the reading in the margin was of equal value with that in the text, so that he conld not 
determine which was preferable ; S, that the reading in the margin was of less value ; and 
{, that it was absolutely spurious, though defended by some critics. Bengel's edition was 
printed, after his death, by Burke, at Tubingen in 1765, 4to. with important corrections 
and additions. Several small impressions of Bengel's Greek Testament have been 
printed in Germany, without the Critical Apparatus ; viz. at Stutgard, 1754, 1759 
1755, 8vo. ; at Tubingen, 1762, 1776, 1790, 8vo.; and at Leipsic, 1757, 8vo. 

15. H Kecivn Aia^JiHu. Novum Testamentum Graecum editionis re- 
ceptee, cum lectionibus variantibus Codicum MSS. editionum aliarum, 
versionum et patrum, necnon commentario pleniore ex scrip toribus 
veteribus, Hebrseis, Grsecis, et Latinis, historiam et vim verborum 

I In 1720, the celebrated critic, Dr. Richard Bentley, circulated proposals for a new 
edition of the Greek Testament, with various lections, which was never executed. 
The proposals themselves are printed in the Biographia Britannica, (article Bentley, 
note K) ; and the illustrative specimen, Rev. xxii. is given in Pritius's Introd. ad Lect. 
Nov. Test, pp. 415—419. 

l38 Notice of the principal Editions [Parti. Ch. 

illustrante. Opera et studio Joannis Jacobi Wetstenii. Amstelsedami, 
1751, 1752, 2 vols, folio. 

Of all the editions of the New Testament, this is pronounced by Michaelis to be the 
most important, and. the most necessary to those who are engaged in sacred criticism. 
Wetstein's Prolegomena, which contain a treasure of sacred criticism, were first published 
in 1730. The text is copied from the Elzevir editions, and the verses are numbered in 
the margin ; and the various readings, with their authorities (containing a million of 
quotations), are placed beneath the text. 

Wetstein's edition is divided into four parts, each of which is accompanied with Prole- 
gomena, describing the Greek manuscripts quoted in it. The first part contains the four 
Gospels; the second, the Epistles of Saint Paul; the third, the Acts of the Apostles, 
and the Catholic Epistles ; and the fourth, the Apocalypse. To the last part are an- 
nexed two Epistles in Syriac, with a Latin version ; which, according to Wetstein, were 
written by Clement of Rome. But Dr. Lardner has shown that they are not genuine. 
(Works, 8vo. vol.xi. pp. 197 — 226. 4to. vol. v. pp. 432 — 446.) The critical observa- 
tions on various readings, and on the interpretation of the New Testament, •' must be 
studied," says Bishop Marsh, " by every man who would fully appreciate the work in 
question." Michaelis has criticised the labours of Wetstein with great severity, but the 
latter has been vindicated'by Bishop Marsh, both in his notes on Michaelis (pp. 865 — 
877), and in his Divinity Lectures, (part ii. pp. 21 — 23.) 

16. Novum Testamentum Graecum ad fidem Grsecorum solum MSS. 
nunc primum expressum, adstipulante Jo. Jac. Wetstenio, juxta 
Sectiones Albert! Bengelii divisum ; et nova interpunctione ssepius 
illustratum. Accessere in altero volumine emendationes conjecturales 
virorum doctorum undecunque collectae. Londini, cura, typis et 
simiptibus G. [ulielmi.] B. [owyer.] 1763. 12mo. 2 vols. 

A very valuable edition, and now scarce ; it was reprinted in 1772, but not with the 
same accuracy as the first edition. I'he conjectures were published in a separate form in 
1772, and again in 4to. in 1782, to accompany a handsome quarto edition of the Greek 
Testament, which was published by Mr. Nichols in 1783, with the assistance of the 
Rev. Dr. Owen. It is now extremely rare and dear. The conjectures were reprinted 
in 1812 with numerous corrections and additions. In his editions of the New Testament, 
Mr. Bowyer adopted the emendations proposed by Wetstein. ' 

17. H Kcuivn A»a9w)9. The New^ Testament collated with the most 
approved manuscripts ; vi^ith select notes in English, critical and ex- 
planatory, and references to those authors who have best illustrated 
the sacred writings. By Edward Harvvood, D. D. London, 1776, 
2 vols. 12mo. 1784, 2 vols. 12mo. 

" This edition," says the learned annotator of Michaelis, " is certainly entitled to a 
place among the critical editions of the Greek Testament, though it is not accompanied 
with various readings ; for, though Dr. Harwood has adopted the common text as the 
basis of his own, he has made critical corrections wherever the received reading appeared 
to him to be erroneous. The manuscripts, which he has generally followed when he 
departs from the common text, are the Cantabrigiensis in the Gosjjels and Acts, and the 
Claromontanus in the Epistles of Saint Paul." These Dr. Harvvood considered as ap- 
proaching the nearest of any manuscripts now known in the world to the original text 
of the sacred records. " It is not improbable that this edition contains more of the an - 
tient and genuine text of the Greek Testament than those which are in common use : 
but as no single manuscript, however antient and venerable, is entitled to such a pre- 
ference as to exclude the rest, and no critic of the present age can adopt a new reading, 
unless the general evidence be produced and the preponderancy in its favour distinctly 

1 Dr. Griesbach's first edition of the New Testament should, in strictness, be noticed 
here; but as it is superseded by his second and greatly improved edition, described in 
pp. 140, 141 infra, it is designedly omitted. The edition of Koppe, being accompanied 
with a commentary, is noticed infra, in the Appendix, No. VII. among the commentators 
on the New Testament. 

in. Sect. Il.J Of the Greek Testament. I39 

shown, the learned and ingenious editor has in some measure defeated his own object 
and rendered his labours less applicable to the purposes of sacred criticism." (Bishop 
Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. part ii. pp. 884, 885.) At the end of the second volume 
there is a catalogue of the principal editions of the Greek Testament, and a list of the 
most esteemed commentators and critics. The work is very neatly printed ; and under 
the Greek text are short critical notes in English, chiefly relating to classical iilustra- 
tions of Scripture. In the list of commentators and critics, those are most commended 
by Dr. Harwood who favour the Socinian scheme, to which he was strongly attached 
and he therefore admitted or rejected a variety of readings according as they favour or 
oppose the Socinian doctrine. 

18. Novum Testamentum, Graece et Latine, Textum denuo re- 
censuit, varias Lectiones numquam antea Vulgatas coUegit — Scholia 
Grseca — addidit — 'animadversiones criticas adjecit, et edidit Christ 
Frid. Matthsei. Rigse, 1782—1788, 12 vols. 8vo. 

Of Matthaii's recension of manuscripts some account has already been given in p. 61. 
of this volume. The edition under consideration was published at different times: 
Bishop Middleton considers it as by far the best edition of the Greek Testament now- 
extant ; and though Michaelis has criticised it with considerable severity, he neverthe- 
less pronounces it to be absolutely necessary for every man who is engaged in the criti- 
cism of the Greek Testament. As, however, Matthasi undertook a revision of the 
Greek text on the authority of orte set of manuscripts of the Byzantine family. Bishop 
Marsh regrets that he made so partial an application of his critical materials, " And 
since no impartial judge can admit that the genuine text of the Greek Testament may- 
be established, as well by applying only zjiart of our materials, as by a judicious em- 
ployment of the whole, the edition of Matthzi is only so far of importance as it fur- 
nishes new materials for future uses; materials, indeed, which are accompanied with 
much useful information and many learned remarks. (Bishop Marsh's Lectures 
part ii. p. 51.) Mr. Dibdin mentions a second edition of Matth^ei's Greek Testament 
which we have never seen. 

19. Novum Testamentum Grsecum, ad Codicem Vindobonensem 
Graece expressum : Varietatem Lectionis addidit Franciscus Carolus 
Alter. 1786, 1787, 2 vols. 8vo. 

This edition differs entirely from those of Mill, Wetstein, and Griesbach. " The 
text of this edition is neither the common text nor a revision of it, but a mere copy 
from a single manuscript, and that not a very antient one, (the Codex Lambecii I.) in 
the imperial library at Vienna. The various readings, which are not arranged as in 
other editions, but printed in separate parcels as made by the collator, are likewise de- 
scribed from Greek manuscripts in the imperial Ubrary : and the whole collection was 
augmented by extracts from the Coptic, Sclavonian, and Latin versions, which are also 
printed in the same indigested manner as the Greek readings. Alter's edition therefore 
contains mere materials for future uses." (Bp. Marsh's Lectures, part ii. p. 52. ) 
Where the editor has discovered manifest errata in the Vienna manuscript, he has re- 
course to the text of Stephens's edition of 1546. — See a more copious account of this 
edition in Michaelis, vol. ii. pp. 880 — 882. where it is said that Alter's edition is a work 
with which no one engaged in sacred criticism can dispense. 

20. Quatuor Evangelia, Grasc^, cum Variantibus a textu Lectioni- 
bus Codd. manuscriptorum Bibliothecse Vaticanse, Barberinee, Lauren- 
tianse, Vindobonensis, Escurialensis, Havniensis Regise ;■ quibus ac- 
cedunt Lectiones Versionum Syrarum Veteris, Philoxenianae, et Hiero- 
solymitanise, jussu et sumptibus regiis edidit Andreas Birch. Havnige 
1788, folio et 4to. 

This splendid and valuable work, containing only the four Gospels, is the result of 
the united labours of Professors Birch, Adler, and Moldenhawer, who for several years 
travelled into Germany, Italy, France, and Spain, at the expense of the king of Den- 
mark, in order to examine and collate the precious remains of sacred antiquity. Birch 
collated all the Greek manuscripts quoted, except those in the library of the Escurial 
which were collated by Moldenhawer. Tlie Syriac collations were made by Adler. A 

140 Notice of the priyicipal Editions [Part I. Ch. 

detailed account of these manuscripts is given in the Prolegomena ; from which we 
learn that the manuscripts whicli passed under his inspection were very numerous. In 
the Vatican, forty were collated ; in the Barberini library ten ; in other Roman libra- 
ries, seventeen ; in the libraries at Florence, and in other parts of Italy, thirty-eight ; in 
the imperial library at Vienna, twelve ; and in the royal library at Copenhagen, three. 
The text is from Robert Stephens's edition of 1550 ; but the great value of this splendid 
work, and in which it surpasses all former editions, consists, first, in the very complete 
extracts which are given from the celebrated Codex Vaticanus above described, (see 
pp.79 — 81 supra) ; and secondly, in the extracts from the ^ersio Syra Hierosolymitana, 
which is remarkable for its agreement with the Codex Bezas, where it is wholly unsup- 
ported by any other authority ; a circumstance which shows the value and antiquity, not 
so much of the manuscripts themselves, as of the text which they contain. 

In 1798, Professor Birch published at Copenhagen in 8vo. a collection of various 
readings to the Acts and Epistles, drawn from the same sources ; intitled Varice Lec- 
tiones ad textum yictorum Apostolorum, Epistolarum Catholicarum et Fault, e Codd, 
Greeds AISS. BihliolheccB Vaticanee , BarherincB, Augustiniarorum Eremitarum 
Momee, Borgiance F'elitris, NeapolitancE Regice, Laurentiniance, S. Marci Vene- 
torum, Vindobonensis CcBsarece, et Hafniensis RegieB, collectee et editee ah Andrea 
Birch, Theol: D. et Prof. ; in 1800, he published a similar collection of various readings 
to the Apocalypse ; and in 1801, various readings to the four Gospels. The completion 
of the magnificent edition of the Greek Testament, begun in 1788, was prevented by 
a calamitous fire at Copenhagen, which consumed the royal printing office, together 
with the beautiful types and paper, which had been procured from Italy, for that purpose. 

21. Novum Testamentum Graec^, Textum ad fidem Codicum Ver- 
sionum et Patrum recensuit et Lectionis Varietatem adjecit D. Jo. Jac. 
Griesbach. Londini et Halse Saxonum, 1796, 1806, 2 vols, large 8vo. 
Editio secunda. 

Of all modern critical editions of the Greek Testament, this of Griesbach is univer- 
sally allowed to be the most valuable and complete, notwithstanding the different opinions 
entertained by some learned men relative to the correctness of his system of recensions 
or editions of manuscripts, which has been already considered in pp. 54 — 57 supra, of 
this volume. 

Dr. Griesbach commenced his critical labours, first, by publishing at Halle, in 1774, 
the historical books of the New Testament, under the following title : Libri Historici 
Novi Testamenti Gresce, pars i, sistens Synopsin Evangeliorum Alattheei, J\darci, 
et LuccE. Textum ad fidem Codd. Kersionum et Patrum emendavit et lectionis varic' 
totem adjecit Jo. Jac. Griesbach. (2d edit. Hala, 1797, 3d edit. Halae, 1809.) 8vo. 
jKirs ii. sistens Evangelium Johannes et Acta Aposlolorum, Halje, 1775, 8vo. This 
edition was published as a manual or text book for a course of lectures which Professor 
Griesbach was at that time delivering at Jena, and in which he explained the first three 
evangelists synoptically , that is to say, by uniting together the three narrations of the 
same event. The received text, which is adopted, is divided into one hundred and 
thirty-four sections, and is printed in three columns ; and Griesbach indicated by va- 
rious marks the alterations which he judged necessary to be made. The various read- 
ings, taken from the editions of Mill, Bengel, and Wetstein, were not chosen until they 
had undergone a very severe revision; but this edition also contained other lections, 
which the learned editor found in manuscripts preserved in the British Museum at 
London, and also in the Royal Library at Paris. 

In 1775, Dr. Griesbach published the Apostohcal Epistles and the A pocalypse, in a 
similar manner ; but as many persons had expressed themselves dissatisfied with his 
synoptical arrangement of the historical books, he printed another edition of them in 
1777, in the usual order. This volume forms the first part of h\s first edition, of which 
the Epistles and Revelation, printed in 1775, are considered as the second part. A few 
copies were struck off in 4to, which are both scarce and dear. This edition is of a very 
convenient and portable size, and was that principally used in the Universities of Germany. 
Dr. Hales prefers it to the second edition, because he thinks that Griesbach was at that 
time more scrupulous of innovating upon the text than he afterwards was. 

The first volume of the second edition appeared in 1796, in large octavo, with the 
imprint of Londini et Halce Saxonum in the title page ; and the second with that of 
Hales Saxonum et Londini, on account of the expense of the paper of the fine copies 

III. Sect. II.] Of the Greek Testame7it. 141 

having been munificently defrayed by his Grace the late Duke of Grafton, at that time 
Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. These are most beautiful books and are 
now only procurable at a very high price, though, through his Grace's liberality, they 
were originally sold, we believe, at twelve or fourteen shillings per volume. Fifty copies 
are said to have been struck off on large paper in quarto. But the whole of these two 
volumes was printed at Jena, under Griesbach's own eye. 

In addition to the various readings exhibited in Griesbach's first edition, he has 
collated all the Latin versions published by Sabatier and Elancbini ; and has corrected 
the mistakes made by Mill, Bengel, and Wetsteiii, in their quotations from the oriental 
versions. He has also inserted the principal readings collected by Matthasi, Birch, and 
Alter, together with extracts fromthe two Wolfenbiittel manuscripts collated by Knittel - 
and has given the readings of the Sahidic version, furnished by "Woide, Georgi, and 
Miinter. Of the Armenian version a collation was made for him by M. Bredenkampf 
of Bremen ; and the Sclavonic version was collated for him by M. Dobrowsky at Prague. 
The first volume contains the four Gospels. To these are prefixed copious prolego- 
mena, exhibiting a critical history of the printed text, a catalogue of all the manuscripts 
from which various readings are quoted, and an account of the method pursued by 
Griesbach in executing this second edition, together with the principal rules forjudging 
of various readings. The text is printed in two columns, the numbers of the verses 
being placed in the margin, below which are the various lections. 

The second volume contains the remaining books of the New Testament, which is 
preceded by an introduction or preface, accounting for the delay of its appearance j and an 
account of the manuscripts consulted for that volume. At the end are forty pages, sepa- 
rately numbered, consisting of a Diatribe on the disputed clause relative to the three 
witnesses in 1 John v. 7, 8. and of additional various readings to the Acts of the Apostles, 
and Saint Paul's Epistles, with two pages of corrections. Griesbach's second edition 
was reprinted at London in 1809, in two elegant 8vo. volumes; one by Mr. Colling- 
wood of Oxford, and the other by Mr. R. Taylor ; the text is printed in long lines, and 
the notes in columns, and Griesbach's addenda of various readings are inserted in their 
proper places. A very few inaccuracies have been discovered in these insertions, which 
perhaps could hardly be avoided in a work of such minuteness. This edition, which 
consisted of one thousand copies, having been exhausted, a second London edition issued 
from the press of Messrs. R. & A. Taylor, in two volumes Svo, 1818. It is executed 
in the same handsome form as before, and possesses some advantages even over Gries- 
bach's own second edition. In the first place, the addenda of various lections above 
noticed have been newly collated, and inserted in their various places with great accu- 
racy. Secondly, the reading of Acts XX. 28. in the Vatican manuscript (which Gries- 
bach could not give in consequence of Professor Birch, who collated it, having lost or 
mislaid his memorandum of that particular text) is here printed from a transcript obtained 
by Mr. R. Taylor from the present keeper of the Vatican library. The reading of the 
clause in question, in the Codex Vaticanus, is thus determined to be conformable to the 
lection of the Textus Jieceptus, viz. T>jv 'ExxXno'iav rou ©sen, the Church of God. And 
lastly, as Griesbach in his Leipsic edition of 1805 preferred some readings different 
from those adopted in that of Halle, 1796 — 1806, a Synoptical Table is given indicating 
such differences. Bishop Marsh has given a high character of the labours of Dr. Gries- 
bach in his Divinity Lectures, part ii. pp. 44, 45. See some strictures on them in Dr. 
Hales's Treatise on Faith in the Holy Trinity, vol ii. pp. 61 — 64. 

To complete Griesbach's edition of the New Testament, there 
should be added the following publications : 

1. Cura? in Historiam Textus Gr^eci Epistolarum Paulinarum. Jena;, 1777, 4to. 

2- Symbolae Criticat- , ad supplendas et corrigendas variarum N. T. Lectionum Col- 
lectiones. Accedit multorum N. T. Codicum Grxcorum Descriptio et Examen. Hals, 
1785, 1795, 2 vols, small Svo. 

3. Commentarius Criticus in Textum Graecum Novi Testament]. Particula prima, 
Jenae, 1798. Particula secunda, Jena;, 1811. 

22. Novum Testamentum, Greece. Ex Recensione Jo. Jac. Gries* 
bachii, cum selecta Lectionis Varietate. Lipsiaj, 1803 — 1807, 4 vols, 
imperial 4to or folio. 

This is a most sumptuous edition ; the text is formed chiefly on that of Griesbach's 
second edition, and on that of Knappe, noticed below. The type is large and clear j the 

I4f2 Notice of the principal Editions [Part I. Ch. 

paper beautiful and glossy ; at the foot of the page are some select various readings ; 
and each volume is decorated with an exquisitely engraved frontispiece. 

23. Novum Testamentuni Graec^. Ex Recensione Jo. Jac. Gries- 
bachii, cum selecta Lectionum Varietate. Lipsise, 1805, 2 vols. 8vo. 

This edition contains the text, together with a selection of the principal various 
readings, and an extract from the Prolegomena of the second edition. It is very 
neatly printed, and forms a valuable manual for constant reference. This is the edi- 
tion now chiefly used in the universities of Germany. Griesbach's text has been re- 
printed at Cambridge in New England (North America), at the press of Messrs. Wells 
and Hilliard, in two handsome volumes, 1809, 8vo. The typography of the large paper 
copies is most beautiful. Griesbach's text has also been reprinted at the Glasgow 
University Press in 1817, 18mo. It is a most beautiful little book. 

24. Novum Testamentum Grsec^. Recognovit atque insignioris 
lectionum varietatis et argumentorum notationis subjecit Geo. Chris- 
tian. Knappius. Halae, 1797, 8vo. 2d edit. Halae, 1813, 2 vols. 8vo. " 

In this edition of the New Testament, which received the warm approbation of 
Griesbach in his preface to the splendid edition above noticed, Dr. Knappe has availed 
himself of Griesbach's labours; and has admitted into the text not only those readings 
which the latter considered to be of undoubted authority, but likewise some others which 
Dr. K. himself regarded as such, but without distinguishing either of them. Such 
words also, as it might on the same grounds be thought right to exclude from the text, 
as not originally belonging to it, are here enclosed in brackets, partly of the common 
kind, and partly formed on purpose for this edition. The most probable readings are 
marked with an asterisk: to all of them the word edit is prefixed, in order to distin- 
guish them from the rest of these lections, which in reality are those in which the exe- 
getical student is chiefly interested. Great attention is paid to typographical and gram- 
matical accuracy, to the accents, and to the punctuation, which differ in this edition, from 
those of Leusden or Gerard von Maestricht in more than three hundred places. Very 
useful summaries are likewise added under the text. This valuable editiim is not com- 
mon'in England. The second impression, published in two vols, in 1815, is very neatly 
printed, and is corrected throughout. In editing it Dr. K. has availed himself of Gries- 
bach's second volume, which was not published when his first edition appeared. 

25. Novum Testamentum Grsece, ex recensione Griesbachii, nova 
Latina versione illustratum, indice brevi praecipuse lectionum et in- 
terpretationum diversitatis instructum, edidit Henricus Augustus 
Schott. Lipsise, 1805, 8vo. 

This is a useful edition of the Greek Testament, and, we understand, is in much re- 
quest in Germany. A second and much enlarged edition was published at Leipsic in 
1811, 8vo. The text is that of Griesbach; under it are printed the most important 
various readings ; the critical remarks are brief and clear ; and the young student will 
find in the Latin version no small help to the interpretation of the New Testament. 

26. Novum Testamentum Graecfe, Lectiones variantes, Griesbachii 
iudicio, iis quas textus receptus exhibet, anteponendas vel sequiparan- 
das, adjecit Jospehus White, S. T. P. Linguarum Heb. et Arab, in 
Academia Oxoniensi Professor. Oxonii, e Typographeo Clarendo- 
niano, 1808, 2 vols, crown 8vo. 

This is a very neat and accurate edition. The Textus Receptus is adopted ; and 
Professor White has contrived to exhibit in a very intelligible form; — 1. Those texts 
which in Griesbach's opinion ought, either certainly or probably, to be removed from 
the received text ; 2. Those various readings which the same editor judged either pre- 
ferable or equal to those of the received text; and, 3. Those additions, which, on the 
authority of manuscripts, Griesbach considers as fit to be admitted into the text. 
" An intermediate advantage to be derived from an edition thus marked is pointed out 
by the learned editor at the conclusion of his short preface ; viz. that it may thus be seen 
at once by every one, how very little, after all the labours of learned men, and the 
collation of so many manuscripts and versions, is liable to just objection in the received 
text." (British Critic, vol. xxxiv. (0. S.) p. 386.) 

III. Sect. H.] Of the Greek Testament. 143 

In 1811, Professor White published an elegant little work, vvhicli may be advantage- 
ously substituted for Dr. Griesbach's (now rare and expensive) edition of the Greek 
Testament, entitled Criseos GiiesbachiancB in Novum Testamentum Sj/uopsis. " This 
small volume is exactly conformable in its design to the beautiful edition of the New 
Testament, published by Dr. White in 1808 ; and contains all the variations of any 
consequence, which can be considered as established, or even rendered probable, by the 
investigation of Griesbach. The chief part of these readings was given in the margin of 
that edition, distinguished by the Origenian marks. Here the value of each reading or 
proposed alteration is stated in words at length, and therefore cannot be misapprehended. 
This book may therefore be considered as a kind of supplement to that edition, or illus- 
tration of it." (British Critic, (O. S.) vol. xxxviii. p. 395.) 

27. Novum Testamentum Grsece. Lectiones Variantes Griesbachii 
prsecipuas, necnon quamplurimas voces ellipticas, adjecit Adamus Dick- 
inson. Edinburgi, typis academicis, 12mo. 1811, edit, secunda, 1817. 

This edition is avowedly designed for t/owng students of the Greek Testament. The 
principal elliptical words are printed at the foot of the page ; they are selected from 
Bos, Schoettgenius, and Leisner. The chief various readings of Griesbach are prefixed 
in four pages. The text is that of Dr. Mill, and is very neatly stereotyped. 

28. W, M. L. de Wette et Fr. Lucke, Synopsis Evangeliorum Mat- 
thaei, Marci, et Lucse, cum parallelis Joannis Pericopis Grsec^. Ex 
recensione Griesbachii, cum selecta Lectionum Varietate et brevibus 
Argumenti Notationibus. Berolini. 1818, 4to. 

29. Testamentum Novum Grasc^, ad fidem Recensionis Schoettgeni- 
anae ; addita ex Griesbachi) apparatu Lectionis varietate prsecipuae. 
Upsalae ; 8vo. 1820. 

Schoettgenius published his very useful editions of the Greek Testament at Leipsic in 
1744 and 1749, 8vo, intitled H Ka/vjj A/aSjixx. Novum Teslamentum Grtrcum. In 
sectiones dipisit,inter2>unctiones accurate posuit, et dispositionem logtcam adjecit Chris- 
tianus Schoettgenius. His divisions into sections and his punctuation are very judiciously 
executed ; the common divisions of chapters and verses are retained in the margin. He 
has followed the Textus Receplus. Schoettgen's edition is the basis of the Upsal one 
above noticed. 

30. Novum Testamentum Grsec^. Ad fidem optimorum librorum 
recensuit A. H. Titmannus, Prof. Lips. 18mo. Lipsiae, 1820. 

Of all the critical editions of the New Testament, that have fallen under the au- 
thor's observation, this of Professor Titmann is one of the most useful, as it unquestion-. 
ably is the clieapest. The text is a corrected one ; that is, Prof. T. has inserted in it 
such various readings, as are in his judgment preferable to those commonly received, and 
which have been approved by the most eminent critics ; and he has printed an index of 
the altered passages at the end of the volume. Its portability, in addition to its intrinsic 
excellence, is no mean recommendation of it to students of the New Testament ; the 
Greek characters, though small, being very distinctly and neatly stereotyped. There are 
copies on fine paper. 

14-4; Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Part I. Ch. 





I. Different Appellations given to the Scriptures. — II. General Divi- 
sions of the Canonical Books. — III. Particularly of the Old Tes- 
tament. — 1. The Law. — 2. The Prophets.-^S. The Cetubim or 
Hagiographa. — IV. Account of the Masora. — V. Modern Divi- 
sions of the Books of the Old Testament. — Chapters and Verses. 

I. 1 HE collection of writings, which is regarded by Chris- 
tians as the sole standard of their faith and practice, has been 
distinguished, at various periods, by different appellations. 
Thus, it is frequently termed the Scriptures, the Sacred or 
Holy Scriptures, and sometimes the Canonical Scriptures. 
This collection is called T/ie Scriptures, as being the most im- 
portant of all writings; — the HoIt/ or Sacred Scriptures, because 
they were composed by persons divinely inspired; and the 
Canonical Scriptures, either because they are a rule of faith and 
practice to those who receive them •, or because, when the 
number and authenticity of these books were ascertained, lists 
of them were inserted in the ecclesiastical canons or catalogues, 
in order to distinguish them from such books as were apocry- 
phal or of uncertain authority, and unquestionably not of divine 
origin. But the most usual appellation is that of the Bible — 
a word which in its primary import simply denotes a book, but 
which is given to the writings of the prophets and apostles, by 
way of eminence, as being ithe Book of Books, infinitely supe- 
rior in excellence to every unassisted production of the human 
mind. ' 

II. The most common and general division of the canonical 
book^ is that of the Old and New Testament ; the former con- 
taining those revelations of the divine will which were commu- 
nicated to the Hebrews, Israelites, or Jews, before the birth of 
Christ, and the latter comprising the inspired writings of the 
evangelists and apostles. The appellation of Testament is de- 
rived from 2 Cor. iii. 6. 14. ; in which place the words >) TraXaia 

1 Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vi. pp.1 — 8. 4to, vol. iii. pp.137 — 140. Jahn, 
Introd. ad Vet. Foed. p. 7. 

V. Sect. I.] Occurring in ike Old Testament. l^H 

S<«^>)xr) and r) xajvTj 8»adr}jc>j are by the old Latin translators ren- 
dered antiquum testamentum and novum testamenticm, old and 
new testaments, instead oF antiquum foedus and novum fcedust 
the old and new covenants : for, although the Greek word "^la^YiKri 
signifies both testament and covenant, j'et it uniformly cor- 
responds with the Hebrew word Berith, which constantly signi- 
fies a covenant '. The term " old covenant," used by Saint 
Paul in 2 Cor. iii. 14. does not denote the entire collection of 
writings which we term the Bible, but those antient institutions, 
promises, threatenings, and in short the whole of the Mosaic 
dispensation, related in the Pentateuch, and in the writings of 
the prophets ; and which in process of time were, by a meto- 
nymy, transferred to the books themselves. Thusj we find 
mention made of the book of the covenant in Exodus (xxiv. 7-) 
and in the apocryphal book of Maccabees (Mace. i. 57.) : and, 
after the example of the apostle, the same mode of designating 
the sacred writings obtained among the first Christians, from 
w^hom it has been transmitted to modern times. ^ 

III. The arrangement of the books comprising the Old Tes- 
tament, which is adopted in our Bibles, is not always regulated 
by the exact time when the books were respectively written ; 
although the book of Genesis is universally admitted to be the 
first, and the prophecy of Malachi to be the latest of the in- 
spired writings. Previously to the building of Solomon's temple, 
the Pentateuch was deposited ^' in the side of the ark of the 
covenant" (Dent. xxxi. 24? — 26.), to be consulted by the Israel- 
ites ; and, after the erection of that sacred edifice, it was depo- 
sited in the treasury, together with all the succeeding produc- 
tions of the inspired writers. On the subsequent destruction 
of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, the autographs of the sacred 
books are supposed to have perished : although some learned 
men have conjectured that they were preserved, because it does 
not appear that Nebuchadnezzar evinced any particular enmity 
against the Jewish religion, and in the account of the sacred 
things carried to Babylon, (2 Kings xxv. 2 Chron.xxxvi. Jer. 
liii.) no mention is made of the sacred books. However this 
may be, it is a fact, that copies of these autographs were car- 
ried to Babylon : for we find the prophet Daniel quoting the 
law (Dan. ix. 11. 13.), and also expressly mentioning the pro- 
phecies of Jeremiah (ix. 2.), which he could not have done, if 
he had never seen them. We are further informed that on the 
rebuilding, or rather on the finishing, of the temple in the sixth 

' Jerome, Comment, in Malachi, cap. ii. op. torn. iii. p. 181G. 
'-^ Dr. Lanlner has collected several passages from early Christian writers, who thus 
tnetonymycally use the word Testament. Works, 8vo. vol. vi. p. 9. 4to. vol, iii. p. 140. 

146 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Part I. Ch. 

year of Darius, the Jewish worship was fully re-established ac- 
cording " as it is written in the book of Moses" (Ezra vi. 18.) : 
which would have been impracticable, if the Jews had not had 
copies of the law then among them. But what still more clearly 
proves that they must have had transcripts of their sacred writ- 
ings during, as well as subsequent to, the Babylonish captivity, 
is the fact, that when the people requested Ezra to produce 
the law of Moses (Nehem. viii. 1.), they did not entreat him to 
get it dictated anew to them ; but that he should bring forth 
** the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had com- 
manded to Israel." 

About fifty years after the rebuilding of the temple, and the 
consequent re-establishment of the Jewish religion, it is gene- 
rally admitted that the canon of the Old Testament was settled ; 
but by whom this great work was accomplished, is a question on 
which there is a considerable difference of opinion. On the 
one hand it is contended that it could not have been done by 
Ezra himself; because, though he has related his zealous efforts 
in restoring the law and worship of Jehovah, yet on the settle- 
ment of the canon he is totally silent ; and the silence of Nehe- 
miah, who has recorded the pious labours of Ezra, as well as the 
silence of Josephus, who is diffuse in his encomiums on him, 
has further been urged as a presumptive argument why he could 
not have collected the Jewish writings. But to these hypothetical 
reasonings we may oppose the constant tradition of the Jewish 
church, uncontradicted both by their enemies and by Chris- 
tians, that Ezra, with the assistance of the members of the great 
synagogue (among whom were the prophets Haggai, Zechariah, 
and Malachi,) did collect as many copies of the sacred writings 
as he could, and from them set forth a correct edition of the 
canon of the Old Testament, with the exception of his own writ- 
ings, the book of Nehemiah, and the prophecy of Malachi ; 
which were subsequently annexed to the canon by Simeon the 
Just, who is said to have been the last of the great synagogue. 
In this Esdrine text, the errors of former copyists were cor- 
rected : and Ezra (being himself an inspired writer) added in 
several places, throughout the books of this editicm, what ap- 
peared necessary to illustrate, connect, or complete them '. 
Whether Ezra's own copy of the Jewish Scriptures perished in 
the pillage of the temple by Antiochus Epiphanes, is a question 
that cannot now be ascertained : nor is it material, since we 
know that Judas Maccabaeus repaired the temple, and replaced 

\ Prideaux's Connexion, parti, book v. sub anno 446. vol. i. pp. 329 — 544, and 
the autliorities there cited. Carpzov. Imrod. ad Libros Biblicos Vet. Test. pp. 24. 
508, 509. 

iV. Sect. I.] Occurring in the Old Testament. J 4- 7 

every thing requisite for the performance of divine worship 
(1 Mace. iv. 36 — 59.), which included a correct, if not Ezra's 
own, copy of the Scriptures '. It has been conjectured, and it 
is not improbable, that in this latter temple an ark was con- 
structed, in which the sacred books of the Jews were preserved 
until the destruction of Jerusalem and the subversion of the Jewish 
polity by the Romans under Titus, before whom the volume 
of the law was carried in triumph, among the other spoils which 
had been taken at Jerusalem -. Since that time, although there 
has been no certain standard edition of the Old Testament, yet 
we have seen ^ that both Jews and Christians have constantly 
had the same Hebrew Scriptures to which they have always 
appealed, so that we have every possible evidence to prove that 
the Old Testament has been transmitted to us entire, and free 
from any material or designed corruption. 

The various books contained in the Old Testament, were 
divided by the Jews into three parts or classes — the Law — the 
Prophets — and the Cetubim, or Hagiograjpha, that is, the Holy 
Writings : which division obtained in the time of our Saviour *, 
and is noticed by Josephus 5, though he does not enumerate the 
several books. 

1. The Law (so called, because it contains precepts for the 
regulation of life and manners) comprised the Pentateuch, or 
five books of Moses, which were originally written in one 
volume, as all the manuscripts are to this day, which are read 
in the synagogues. It is not known when the writings of the 
Jewish legislator were divided intOj*?!;^ books : but, as the titles 
of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, 
are evidently of Greek origin, (for the tradition related by Philo, 
and adopted by some writers of the Romish church, that they 
were given by Moses himself, is too idle to deserve refutation,) 
it is not improbable that these titles were prefixed to the several 
books by the authors of the Alexandrian or Septuagint Greek 

2. The Prophets, which were thus designated, because 
these books were written by inspired prophetical men, were 

> Bishop Tomline's Elements of Christian Theology, vol. i. p. 11, 

2 Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c. 5. § 5. 

3 See Vol. I. pp. 43—76, 120—125, supra. 

* " These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all 
things might be fulfilled which are written in the Law, and in the Prophets, and in the 
Psalms, concerning me." (Lukexxiv. 44.) In which passage by the Psalms is intended 
the Hagiographa; which division beginning with the Psalms, the whole of it (agreeably 
to the Jewish manner of quoting) is there called by the name of the book with which it 
commences Saint Peter also, when appealing to prophecies in proof of the Gospel, 
says — " All the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, as many as have 
spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." (Acts iii. 24.) In which passage the 
apostle plainly includes the books of Samuel in the class of prophets. 

* Contr. Apion. lib. i. § 8. 

L 2 

l4fS Divisions and Marks of Disthiction [Part I. CIi. 

divided into the former and latter ', with regard to the time 
when they respectively flourished : the former prophets con- 
tained the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 
1 and 2 Kings, the two last being each reckoned as one book ; 
the latter prophets comprised the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, and of the twelve minor prophets, whose books were 
reckoned as one. The reason why Moses is not included among 
the prophets is, because he so far surpassed all those who came 
after him, in eminence and dignity, that they were not accovmted 
worthy to be placed on a level with him : and the books of 
Joshua and Judges are reckoned among the prophetical books, 
because they are generally supposed to have been written by the 
prophet Samuel. 

3. The Cetubim or Hagiographa, that is, the Holy Writ- 
ings, comprehended the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of So- 
lomon, Ruth, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, Esther, 
Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah (reckoned as one,) and the two 
books of Chronicles, also reckoned as one book ^. This third 
class or division of the Sacred Books has received its appella- 
tion of Cetubim, or Holy Writings^ because they were not orally 
delivered, as the law of Moses was ; but the Jews affirm that 
they were composed by men divinely inspired, who, howevei', 
had no public mission as prophets : and the Jews conceived 
that they were dictated not by dreams, visions, or voice, or in 
other ways, as the oracles of the prophets were, but that they 
were more immediately revealed to the minds of their authors. 
It is remarkable that Daniel is excluded from the number of 
prophets, and that his writings, with the re^t of the Hagio- 
grapha, were rrot publicly read in the synagogues as the Law and 
the Prophets were : this is ascribed to the singular minuteness 
with which he foretold the coming of the Messiah before the 
destruction of the city and sanctuary (Dan.ix.), and the appre- 
hension of the Jews, lest the public reading of his predictions 
should lead any to embrace the doctrines of Jesus Christ. ^ 

The Pentateuch is divided into fifty or fifty-four Parasches, 
or larger sections, according as the Jewish lunar year is simple 
or intercalary ; one of which sections was read in the synagogue 
every Sabbath-day: this division many of the Jews suppose 

1 This distinction, Carpzov thinks, was borrowed from Zech. i. 4. — " Be ye not as 
your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried." — Introd. ad Lib. Bibl. Vet. 
Test. p. 146. 

2 The Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther, are, in the 
mo:lern copies of the Jewish Scriptures, placed immediately after the Pentateuch ; under 
the name of the Kve Megilloth or volumes. The book of Ruth holds sometimes the 
first or second, and sometimes the fifth place. 

3 Hottinger'sThesaurus, p. 510. Leiisden'sPhilologus Hebrseus, Diss. ii. pp. 13 — 22. 
Bishop Cosins's Scholastical Hist, of the Canon, c. ii. pp. 10, et seq. 

IV. Sect. I.] Occurring in the Old Testament. 149 

to have been appointed by Moses, but it is by others attributed, 
and with greater probability, to Ezra. These parasches were 
further subdivided into smaller sections termed Siderim, or 
orders. Until the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, the 
Jews read only the Law ; but the reading of it being then pro- 
hibited, they substituted for it fifty-four Haphtoras, or sections 
from the prophets. Subsequently, however, when the reading 
of the Law was restored by the Maccabees, the section which 
had been read from the Law was used for the first, and that 
from the Prophets, for the second lesson '. These sections were 
also divided into Pesukimj or verses, which have likewise been 
ascribed to Ezra ; but if not contrived by him, it is certain that 
this subdivision was introduced shortly after his death : it was 
probably intended for the use of the Targumists or Chaldee 
interpreters. After the return ofthe Jews from the Babylonish 
captivity, when the Hebrew language had ceased to be spoken, 
and the Chaldee became the vernacular tongue, it was (as we 
have already remarked -) usual to I'ead the law, first in the 
original Hebrew, and afterwards to interpret it to the people in 
the Chaldee dialect. " For the purpose of exposition, therefore, 
these shorter periods were very convenient. 3 

IV. Originally, the text of the Sacred Books was written 
without any breaks or divisions into chapters or verses, or even 
into words ; so that a whole book, as written in the antient 
manner, was in fact but one continued word. Many antient 
Greek and Latin manuscripts thus written are still extant. The 
sacred writings having undergone an infinite number of altera- 

• • • • 1 1 n 

tions by successive transcriptions, during the lapse of ages, 
whence various readings had arisen, the Jews had recourse to a 
canon, which they judged to be infallible, in order to fix and 
ascertain the reading of the Hebrew text, and this rule they 
called masora or tradition, as if this critique were nothing but 
a tradition which they had received from their ancestors. Ac- 
cordingly, they pretend, that, when God gave the law to Moses 
on Mount Sinai, he taught him, first, its true reading, and, 

' Of these divisions we have evident traces in the New Testament ; thus, the 
section {ti^toxvi) of the prophet Isaiah, which the Ethiopian eunuch was reading, was 
in all probabiHty, that which related to the sufferings of the Messiah. (Acts viii. 52.) 
When Saint Paul entered into the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia, he stood up to 
preach o/fer the reading of the Law and the Prophets {Acts, \i\\. 15), that is, after 
reading the first lesson out of the Law, and the second lesson out of the Prophets. And 
in the very discourse which he then delivered, he tells the Jews tHat the Prophets wers 
read at Jerusalem on every Sabbath-da>/, that is, in those lessons which were taken out 
of the Prophets, (Acts \iii. 27.) 

2 See p. 4. supra of this volume. 

3 Buxtorf, Tiberias, c. ]I. Leusden (Philoi. Heb. p. .37.) has given a table of the 
t\ity -{our parasches or sections of the Law, with their Hebrew appellations, showing 
tli'j portions corresponding with our modern division of chapters and verses. A similar 
table is given by Mr. Alkn in his Modern Judaism, pp. 10 — 12. 

L 3 

150 Divisions and MarJcs of Distinction [PartLCh, 

secondly, its true interpretation ; and that both these were 
handed down by oral tradition, from generation to generation, 
until at length they were committed to writing. The former of 
these, viz. the true reading, is the subject of the Masora ; the 
latter or true interpretation is that of the Mishna and Gemara, 
of which an account is given in a subsequent chapter of the 
present volume. 

The Masoretic notes and criticisms relate to the books, verses, 
words, letters, vowel points and accents. The Masorites or 
Massorets, as the inventors of this system were called, were the 
first who distinguished the books and sections of books into 
verses. They numbered all the verses of each book and section, 
and placed the amount at the end of each in numeral letters, or 
in some symbolical word formed out of them ; and they also 
marked the middle verse of each book. Further, they noted 
the verses where something was supposed to be forgotten ; the 
words which they believed to be changed ; the letters which 
they deemed to be superfluous ; the repetitions of the same 
verses ; the different reading of the words which are redundant 
or defective ; the number of times that the same word is found 
at the beginning, middle, or end of a verse ; the different sig- 
nifications of the same word ; the agreement or conjunction of 
one word with another; what letters are pronounced, and what 
are inverted, together with such as hang perpendicular, and 
they took the number of each, for the Jews cherish the sacred 
books with such reverence, that they make a scruple of changing 
the situation of a letter which is evidently misplaced ; suppos- 
ing that some mystery has occasioned the alteration. They have 
likewise reckoned which is the middle letter of the Pentateuch, 
which is the middle clause of each book, and how many times 
each letter of the alphabet occurs in all the Hebrew Scriptures. 
The following table from Bishop Walton will give an idea of 
their laborious minuteness in these researches. 




: t^ Alepb occurs in the 42377 

^ Lamed occurs in the 

^^ 41517 - 

; 2 Beth /|le 

brew . 

^•''le 38218 

23, Mem Hebrew 

2 ^ Nun 
p Samech 


77778 - 

Jl Gimel 


• 29537 


1 Daleth 


' 32530 


, n He •, 


. 47554 

j; Ain 


T Vau ■). 


^ 76922;^ 

£3 Pe 


f Zain X;r 



-^ Tsaddi '^ - 


n Cheth-;V 



p Koph rf - 


Teth 7 I 



S Resh 


•• Yod'?^ 


.% 66420 

l^ Shin ^ 


:3 Caph ' 


< 48253 

n Tau 


* Biahop Walton's I'rolegom. c. viii. § 8. p. 275, edit. Dathii. In the last century, 
an anonymous writer published the following calculation similar to that of the Masorites, 

IV. Sect. I.] Occurring in the Old Testament. 151 

Such is the celebrated Masora of the Jews. At first, it did 
not accompany the text ; afterwards the greatest part of it was 
written in the margin. In order to bring it within the margin, 
it became necessary to abridge the work itself. This abridg- 
ment was called the little Masora, Masora parva ; but, being 
found too short, a more copious abridgment was inserted, which 
was distinguished by the appellation of the great Masora, Ma- 
sora magna. The omitted parts were added at the end of the 
text, and called the^waZ Masora, Masora Jlnalis. ^ 

Lastly, in Jewish manuscripts and printed editions of the 
Old Testament, a word is often found with a small circle an- 
nexed to it, or with an asterisk over it, and a word written in 
the margin of the same line. The former is called the Ketib, 
that is, 'written^ and the latter, Keri^ that is, read or reading, 
as if to intimate, write in this manner, but read in that manner. 

for the English version of the Bible, under the litle of the Old and New Testament 
Dissected. It is said to have occupied three years of the compiler's life, and is a 
singular instance of the trifling employments to which superstition has led mankind. 


Total - - 66 

Books in the Old - 39 
Chapters - - 929 
Verses - 25,214 
Words - 592,459 
Letters - 2,728,800 

In the New ^- 27 
- 7959 

- 181,255 

- 858,380 







- 1189 




The middle Chapter, and the least in the Bible, is Psalm 117. 
The middle Verse is the 8th of the 118th Psalm. 
The middle Time 2d of Chronicles, 4th Chapter, 16th Verse. 
The word And occurs in the Old Testament 55,543 times. 
The same word occurs in the New Testament 10,684 times. 
The word Jehovah occurs 6855 times. 

Old Testament. 

The middle Book is Proverbs. 

The middle Chapter is Job 29th. 

The middle verse is 2d Chronicles, 20th Chapter, between the 1 7th and 

18th Verses. 
The least verse is 1st Chronicles, 1st Chapter and 1st Verse. 

New Testament. 

The middle Book is Thessalonians 2d. J 

The middle Chapter is between the 15th and 14th Romans. 
The middle verse is Chapter 17th of Acts, 17th Verse. 
The least Verse is 11th Chapter of John, Verse 55. 
The 21st Verse of the 7th Chapter of Ezra has all the Letters in the Alphabet, ex- 
cept j. 
The 19th Chapter of the 2d of Kings and the 37th of Isaiah are alike. 
» Butler's Hors Biblicas, vol. i. p. 61. 

L 4 

152 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Parti. Cfe. 

For instance, when they meet with certain words, they sub- 
stitute others: thus, instead of the sacred name Jehovah, 
they substitute Adonai or Elohim ; and in lieu of terms not 
strictly consistent with decency, they pronounce others less 
indelicate or more agreeable to our ideas of propriety '. The 
invention of these marginal corrections has been ascribed to 
the Masorites. 

The age when the Masorites lived has been much contro- 
verted. Some ascribe the Masoretic notes to Moses; others 
attribute them to Ezra and the members of the great syna- 
gogue, and their successors after the restoration of the temple 
worship, on the death of Antiochus Epiphanes. Archbishop 
Usher places the Masorites before the time of Jerome; Cap- 
pel, at the end of the fifth century ; Bishop Walton, Basnage, 
Jahn, and others, refer them to the rabbins of Tiberias in the 
sixth century, and suppose that they commenced the Masora, 
which was augmented and continued at different times by various 
authors ; so that it was not the work of one man, or of one age. 
In proof of this opinion, which we think the most probable, 
we may remark, that the notes which relate to the variations in 
the pointing of particular words, must have been made after the 
introduction of the points, and consequently after the Talmud ; 
other notes must have been made before the Talmud was 
finished, because it is from these notes that it speaks of the 
points over the letters, and of the variations in their size and 
position. Hence it is evident, that the 'is:hole was not the work 
of the Masorites of Tiberias: further, no good reason can be 
assigned to prove the Masora the work of Ezra, or his contem- 
poraries ; much appears to shew it was not : for, in the first 
place^ most of the notes relate to the vowel points, which, we 
have seen *, were not introduced until upwards of fifteen hun- 
dred years after his time, and the remarks made about the 
shape and position of the letters are unworthy of an inspired 
writer, being more adapted to the superstition of the Rabbins, 
than to the gravity of a divine teacher. Secondly^ No one 
can suppose that the prophets collected various readings of 
their own prophecies, though we find this has been done, 
and makes part of what is called the Masora. Thirdly, The 
Rabbins have never scrupled to abridge, alter, or reject any 
part of these notes, and to intermix their own observations, or 
those of others, which is a proof that they did not believe them 
to be the work of the prophets 5 ior in that case they ^^ould 

' The reader will find a learned and elaborate elucidation of the Keri in the Rev. 
John "WhJttaker's Histcricrl and Critic:.! Inquiry into the Tnterpretaticn of the Hthrew 
Scriptures, pp. 114 — 178. 

« See pp. 7 — 9- of the present volume. 

IV. Sect. I.] Occurrhig in the Old Testament. 153 

possess equal authority with the text, and should be treated 
with the same regard. Lastly, Since all that is useful in the 
Masora appears to have been written since Ezra's time, it is 
impossible to ascribe to him what is useless and trifling; and 
from these different reasons it may be concluded, that no part 
of the Masora was written by Ezra. And even though we 
M'ere to admit that he began it, that would not lead us to re- 
ceive the present system in the manner the Jews do, because, 
since we cannot now distinguish what he wrote, and since we 
find many things in it plainly unworthy of an inspired writer, 
we may justly refuse it the credit due to inspiration, unless his 
part were actually separated from what is the work of others. 
Bishop Walton therefore concludes, that it is not improbable, 
that the Masoretic system of notation was commenced about 
the time of the Maccabees; when the Pharisees, who were 
called the masters of tradition, first began to make their obser- 
vations on the letter of the law, though they were regardless of 
its spirit. They might have commenced by numbering first 
the verses, next the words and letters, and then, when the 
vowel points were added, others continued the system by mak- 
ing observations on them. On the whole then it appears, that 
what is called the Masora is entitled to no greater reverence , 
or attention than may be claimed by any other human com- 
pilation. ' 

Concerning the value of the Masoretic system of notation, 
the learned are greatly divided in opinion. Some have highly 
commended the undertaking, and have considered the work 
of the Masorites as a monument of stupendous labour and un- 
wearied assiduity, and as an admirable invention for delivering 
the sacred text from a multitude of equivocations and per- 
plexities to which it was liable, and for putting a stop to the 
unbounded licentiousness and rashness of transcribers and 
critics, who often made alterations in the text on their own pri- 
vate authority. Others however, have altogether censured the 
design, suspecting that the Masorites corrupted the purity of 
the text by substituting, for the antient and true reading of 
their forefathers, another reading more favourable to their 
prejudices, and more opposite to Christianity, whose testi- 
monies and proofs they were desirous of weakening as much as 

Without adopting either of these extremes, Bishop Marsh 
observes, that " the text itself, as regulated by the learned Jews 
of Tiberias, was probably the result of a collation of manu- 
scripts.' But as those Hebrew critics were cautious of intro- 

1 Wac-luuji's /siiviiiuitiites Hcbra-oium, vol. i. pp. 93— IS'? 

154 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Parti. Ch. 

ducing too many corrections into the text, they noted in the 
margins of their manuscripts, or in their critical collections, 
such various readings, derived from other manuscripts, either by 
themselves or by their predecessors, as appeared to be worthy 
of attention. This is the real origin of those marginal or 
Masoretic readings which we find in many editions of the He- 
brew Bible. But the propensity of the later Jews to seek 
mystical meanings in the plainest facts gradually induced the 
the belief, that both textual and marginal readings proceeded 
from the sacred writers themselves; and that the latter were 
transmitted to posterity by oral tradition, as conveying some 
mysterious application of the ^written words. They were re- 
garded therefore as materials, not of criticism, but of inter- 
pretation '." The same eminent critic elsewhere remarks, 
that notwithstanding all the care of the Masorites to pre- 
serve the sacred text without variations, " if their success 
has not been complete, either in establishing or preserving the 
Hebrew text, they have been guilty of the only fault which is 
common to every human effort." ^ 

V. The divisions of the Old Testament, which now generally 
obtain, are four in number : namely, 1 • The Pentateuch, or five 
books of Moses ; — 2. The Historical Books, comprising Joshua 
to Esther inclusive; — 3. The Doctrinal or Poetical Books of 
Job, Psalmsj the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solo- 
mon; — and 4. The Prophetic Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, with 
his Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Twelve Minor Pro- 
phets. These are severally divided into chapters and verses, 
to facilitate reference, and not primarily with a view to any 
natural division of the multifarious subjects which they em- 
brace : but by whom these divisions were originally made, is a 
question, concerning which there exists a considerable differ- 
ence of opinion. 

That it is comparatively a modern invention is evident from 
its being utterly unknown to the antient Christians, whose Greek 
Bibles, indeed, had then TjtXoj and Ksipahuia{titles and heads); 
but the intent of these was, rather to point out the sum or con- 
tents of the text, than to divide the various books. They also 
differed greatly from the present chapters, many of them con- 
taining only a few verses, and some of them not more than one. 
The invention of chapters has by some been ascribed to Lan- 
franc, who was archbishop of Canterbury in the reigns of Wil- 
liam the Conqueror and William II. ; while others attribute it 
to Stephen Langton, who was Archbishop of the same see in 
the reigns of John and Henry III. But the real author of this 

1 Lectures on Divinity, pan ii. p. 84. 2 ibid. p. 08. 

IV. Sect. I.] Occurring m the Old Testament. 155 

very useful division was Cardinal Hugo de Sancto Caro, who 
flourished about the middle of the 13th century, and wrote a 
celebrated commentary on the Scriptures. Having projected 
a concordance to the Latin Vulgate version, by which any pas- 
sage might be found, he divided both the Old and New Tes- 
taments into chapters, which are the same we now have : these 
chapters he subdivided into smaller portions, which he distin- 
guished by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, which are 
placed in the margin at equal distances from each other, accord- 
ing to the length of the chapters '. The facility of reference 
thus afforded by Hugo's divisions, having become known to 
Rabbi Mordecai Nathan (or Isaac Nathan, as he is sometimes 
called), a celebrated Jewish teacher in the fifteenth century, he 
undertook a similar concordance for the Hebrew Scriptures ; 
but, instead of adopting the marginal letters of Hugo, he 
marked every fifth verse with a Hebrew numeral, thus, |j{ 1. 
n 5., &c., retaining, however, the cardinal's divisions into 
chapters. This concordance of Rabbi Nathan was commenced 
A. D. 1438, and finished in 1445. The introduction of verses 
into the Hebrew Bible was made by Athias, a Jew of Amster- 
dam, in his celebrated edition of the Hebrew Bible, printed in 
1661, and reprinted in 1667. He marked every verse with the 
figures in common use, except those which had been previously 
marked by Nathan with Hebrew letters, in the manner in which 
they at present appear in Hebrew Bibles. By rejecting these 
Hebrew numerals, and substituting for them the corresponding 
figures, all the copies of the Bible in other languages have since 
been marked". As, however, these modern divisions and sub- 
divisions are not always made with the strictest regard to the 
connexion of parts, it is greatly to be wished that all future 
editions of the Scriptures might be printed after the judicious 
manner adopted by Mr. Reeves in his equally beautiful and 
correct editions of the entire Bible ; in which the numbers of 
the verses and chapters are thrown into the margin, and the 
metrical parts of Scripture are distinguished from the rest by 
being printed in verses in the usual manner. 

• These divisions of Cardinal Hugo may be seen in any of the older editions of the 
"Vulgate, and in the earlier English translations of the Bible, which were made from 
that version, particularly in that usually called Taverner's Bible, folio, London, 1539. 

2 Buxtorf, Praef. ad Concordant. Bihliorum Hebrxorum. Prideaux's Connexion, 
vol. i. pp. 552 — 542. Carpzov. Introd. ad Libros Biblicos Vet. Test. pp. 27,28. 
Leusden, Philol. Hebr. Diss. iii. pp. 23 — 3l. 

156 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Part I. Ch. 



I. Jntient Divisions ofTnXoi and KE(|)«X«i«. — Ammonian, Eusebian, 
and Euthalian Sections. — Modern Division of Chapters. — II. Au- 
tient Y.7ix''-i and Modern Verses. — III. Account of the Antient and 
Modern Punctuation of the New Testament. — IV. Of the Titles to 
each Book, — V. Subscriptions to the different Books. 

It is evident, on inspecting the most antient manuscripts of 
the New Testament, that the several books were originally 
written in one continued series ; but in progress of time, when 
Christianity was established, and frequent appeals were made to 
the sacred writers, in consequence of the heresies that disturbed 
the peace of the church, it became necessary to contrive some 
mode by which to facilitate references to their productions. 

I. The Jews, we have already seen ', divided their laW' into 
parasches and siderim, or larger and smaller sections, and the 
prophets into haphtoras or sections; and it has been con- 
jectured that this division suggested to the early Christians the 
idea of dividing the Books of the New Testament into similar 
sections ; but by whom such division was first made, is a ques- 
tion that is by no means easy to determine. Some vestiges of 
it are supposed to be found in Justin Martyr's second apology 
for the Christians -, and in the writings of TertuUian 3. But 
Dr. Lardner is of opinion, that these passages scarcely amount 
to a full proof that any sections or chapters were marked in the 
copies of the New Testament so early as the second century. 
It is however certain that the antients divided the New Testa- 
ment into two kinds of chapters, some longer and others shorter, 
the former were called in Greek tjtXoj and in Latin breves ; and 
the table of contents of each brevis, which was prefixed to the 
copies of the New Testament was called breviarium. The 
shorter chapters were called itsi^aKaia.^ capitula, and the list of 
them capitzilatio. 

This method of dividing is of very great antiquity, certainly 
prior to the fourth century : for Jerome, who flourished towards 
the close of that century, expunged a passage from Saint Mat- 
thew's gospel which forms an entire chapter, as being an inter- 

1 See pp. 148, 149, sujira. 

- §87. Ernesti seems to countenance this hypothesis. Inst. Intern. Nov. Test., 
p. 156. ' 

3 Ad Ux. lib. ii. c. 2. p. 187. D. De Pudicltia, cap. 16. sub f mm. De Monc.^nin. 
c. II. p. 68.5, The passages are given at length by Dr, Lardner, Work:,, 8vo, vol. ii- 
p. 283 ; 4to, vol. i. p. 453. 

IV. Sect. II.] Occurrmg iii the New Testament. 157 

polation '. These divisions were formerly very numerous ; but, 
not being established by any ecclesiastical authority, none of them 
were ever received by the whole church. Saint Matthew's 
<TOspel, for instance, according to the old breviaria, contained 
twenty-eight breves ; but, according to Jerome, sixty-eight. 
The same author divides his gospel into 355 capitula; others, 
into 74; others, into 88; others, into 117; the Syriac version, 
into 76 ; and Erpenius's edition of the Arabic, intolOl. The most 
antient, and it appears the most approved of these divisions, was 
thatofTatian (a.d. 172.) in his Harmony of the Four Gospels, 
for the TirKoi or breves : and that of Ammonius, a learned 
Christian of Alexandria in the third century, in his Harmony 
of the Gospels, for the xefaXoiiot. or capitula. From him they 
were termed the Animonia7i Sections. As these divisions were 
subsequently adopted, and the use of them was recommended, 
by Eusebius the celebrated ecclesiastical historian, they are fre- 
quently called by his name. According to this division, Saint 
Matthew contains 68 breves, and 355 capitula; Saint Mark, 
48 breves, and 234 capitula; Saint Luke, 83 breves, and 342 
capitula ; and Saint John, 18 breves, and 231 capitula. All the 
evangelists together form 216 breves, and 1126 capitula. In 
antient Greek manuscripts the titAoi or larger portions are 
written on the upper or lower margin, and the xs(paKona or 
smaller portions are numbered on the side of the margin. They 
are clearly represented in Erasmus's editions of the Greek Tes- 
tament, and in Robert Stephens's edition of 1550. 

The division of the Acts of the Apostles, and of the Catholic 
Epistles, into chapters, was made by Euthalius Bishop of Sulca 
in Egypt, in the fifth century ; who published an edition of 
Saint Paul's Epistles, that had been divided into chapters, in 
one continued series, by some unknown pei'son in the fourth 
century, who had considered them as otie book. This arrange- 
ment of the Pauline Epistles is to be found in the Vatican 
manuscript, and in some others; but it by no means prevails 
uniformly, for there are many manuscripts extant, in which a 
fresh enumeration commences with each epistle. ^ 

Besides the divisions into chapters and sections above men- 
tioned, the Codex Bezae, and other manuscripts, are further 
divided into lessons, called A vay vajo-jaara or Avuyvcu<Tsi;. Eutha- 
lius is said to have divided Saint Paul's Epistles in this manner, 
as Andrew Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia divided the Apo- 

• The paragraph in question is to be found in the Codex Beza-, immediately nfter 
the twenty-eighth verse of the twenty-eighth chapter of Saint Matthew's Gospel. 
Michaelis has printed it, together with two I,atin translations of it, in his Introduction 
to the New Test. vol. i. pp. 293—295. 

2 Millii Prolegomena, §§ 554—360, 662—664, 759, et seq. 

158 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Part I. Ch. 

calypse, at the beginning of the sixth century, into twenty-four 
lessons, which he termed Xoyoi (according to the number of 
elders befoi*e the throne of God, Rev. iv. 4.), and seventy-two 
titles, according to the number of parts, viz. body, soul, and 
spirit, of which the elders were composed ! 

The division of t»tAo» and x£(paXaj« continued to be general 
both in the eastern and western churches, until Cardinal Hugo 
de Sancto Caro in the thirteenth century introduced the chapters 
now in use, throughout the western church, for the New Tes- 
tament as well as the Old: of which an account has already 
been given '. The Greek or Eastern church, however, con- 
tinued to follow the antient divisions ; nor are any Greek manu- 
scripts known to be extant, in which chapters are found, prior 
to the fifteenth century, when the Greek fugitives, after the tak- 
ing of Constantinople, fled into the West of Europe, became 
transcribei's for members of the Latin church, and of course 
adopted the Latin divisions. 

II. The antients had two kinds of verses, one of which they 
called r'%o< and the other ^rj/xara. The stichoi were lines that 
contained a certain number of letters, and therefore often broke 
off in the middle of a word. They served to measure the size 
of books ; thus, Josephus's twenty books of Jewish Antiquities 
contained 60,000 stichoi, though in Ittigius's edition there are 
only 40,000 broken lines. The remata were lines measured by 
the sense ; and, according to an antient written list preserved by 
Simon, and transcribed by Michaelis, the New Testament con- 
tained 18,612 stichoi.^ 

The verses, into which the New Testament is now divided, 
are much more modern, and are an imitation of those invented 
for the Old Testament by Rabbi Nathan in the fifteenth century 3. 
Robert Stephens was their first inventor 4, and introduced them 
in his edition of the New Testament, published in the year 
1551. This invention of the learned printer was soon intro- 
duced into all the editions of the New Testament ; and the very 
great advantage it affords, for facilitating references to particular 
passages, have caused it to be retained in the majority of 
editions and versions of the New Testament, though much to 

' Adversus Marcionem, lib. iv. c. 2. 

8 Introd. to the New Test. vol. ii. pp. 526, 527. Michaelis, after Simon, uses the 
word remata ; but this is evidently a mistake. 

9 See p. 155, supra, of this volume, 

* He made this division when on a journey from Lyons to Paris, and, as his son 
Henry tells us (in his preface to the Concordance of the New Testament), he made 
it inter cgMJ^anrfwrn, literally, while riding on horseback; but Michaelis rather thinks 
that the phrase means only, that when he was weary of riding, he amused himself with 
this work at his inn. Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 527. 

IV. Sect. II.] Occurring in the New Testament. 159 

the injury of its interpretation, as many passages are now severed 
that ought to be united, and vice versa '. From this arrange- 
ment, however, Wetstein, Bengel, Bowyer, Griesbach, and 
other editors of the Greek Testament, have wisely departed, 
and have printed the text in continued paragraphs, throwing 
the number of Stephens's verses into the margin. Mr. Reeves 
also has pursued the same method in his beautiful and correct 
editions of the authorised English version, and of the Greek 
Testament in 12mo., 1803. ^ 

III. Whether any points for marking the sense were used by 
the apostles, is a question that has been greatly agitated ; Pri- 
tius, PfafF, Leusden, and many other eminent critics, maintain- 
ing that they were in use before the time of the apostles, while 
Dr. Grabe, Fabricius, Montfaucon, Hoffmann, John Henry 
Michaelis, Rogall, John David Michaelis, Moldenhawer, 
Ernesti, and a host of other critics, maintain that the use of 
points is posterior to the time of the apostles ^. The majority of 
the points or stops now in use are unquestionably of modern 
date : for, although full points are to be found in the Codex 
Alexandrinus, the Codex Vaticanus, and the Codex Bezse, (as 
they also are in inscriptions four hundred years before the 
Christian aera) yet it cannot be shown that our present system 
of punctuation was generally adopted earlier than the ninth 
century. In fact, it seems to have been a gradual improvement, 
commenced by Jerome, and continued by succeeding biblical 
critics. The punctuation of the manuscripts of the Septuagint, 
Ernesti observes from Cyril of Jerusalem "*, was unknown in the 
early part of the fourth century, and consequently (he infers) the 
punctuation of the New Testament was also unknown. About 
fifty years afterwards, Jerome began to add the comma and 
colon ; and they were then inserted in many more antient 
manuscripts. About the middle of the fifth century, Eutha- 
lius published an edition of the Acts of the Apostles and of all 
the apostolical Epistles, dividing the New Testament into g-'xo* 
[stichoi) or lines. This division, as we have already remarked, 
was regulated by the sense, so that each line terminated where 
some pause was to be made in speaking. When a copyist was 
disposed to contract his space, and therefore crowded the lines 
into each other, he placed a point where Euthalius had termi- 

» Thus Col. iv. 1. ought to have been united to the third chapter. 

2 The title of the last-mentioned work is—" H KAINH AIA0HKH The New Testa- 
ment in Greek, according to the Text of Mill and Stephens, and the Arrangement of 
Mr. Reeves's Bible." The book is printed with singular neatness and accuracy, and the 
fine paper copies are truly beautiful. 

' Rumpaus has given twelve closely printed quarto pages to the enumeration of these 
opinions. Comm. Crit. in Nov. Test. pp. 165 — 176. 

■» Cyrilli Catechesisxiii. p. 301. Ernesti, Inst. Interp. Nov. Test. p. 159. 

160 Divisions and Marks of Distinction [Part I. Ch* 

nated the line. In the eighth century the stroke which we call 
a comma was invented. In the Latin manuscript, Jerome's 
points were introduced by Paul Warnefrid, and Alcuin, at the 
command of the emperor Charlemagne; and in the ninth cen- 
tury the Greek note of interrogation (;) was first used. At the 
invention of printing, the editors placed the points arbitrarily, 
probably (Michaelis thinks) without bestowing the necessary 
attention ; and Stephens in particular, it is well known, varied 
his points in every edition. The fac-similes given in pp. 78, 
83, 89, 98, 100, and 106 of this volume will give the reader 
an accurate idea of the marks of distinction found in the 
more antient manuscripts. 

Besides the text in the different books of the New Testament, 
we meet with titles or inscriptions to each of them, and also with 
subscriptions at the end, specifying the writer of each book, 
the time and place, when and where it was written, and the 
person to whom it was written. 

, IV. It is not known by whom the Inscriptions or titles of 
the various books of the New Testament were prefixed. In 
consequence of the very great diversity of titles occurring in 
manuscripts, it is generally admitted that they were not origi- 
nally written by the Apostles, but were subsequently added, in 
order to distinguish one book from another, when the canon 
of the New Testament was formed. It is however certain, that 
these titles are of very great antiquity ; for we find them men- 
tioned by Tei'tullian in the latter part of the second century ', 
and Justin Martyr, in the early part of the same century, ex- 
pressly states, that the writings of the four evangelists were in 
his day termed Gospels. " 

V. But the Subscriptions annexed to the Epistles are mani- 
festly spurious : for, in theirs/ place, some of them are beyond 
all doubt false, as those of the two Epistles to the Thessalonians, 
which purport to be written at Athens, whereas they were writ- 
ten from Corinth. In like manner, the subscription to the first 
epistle to the Corinthians states, that it was written from Phi- 
lippi, notwithstanding St. Paul informs them (xvi. 8.) that he 
will tarry at ILphesus until Pentecost ; and notwithstanding he 
begins his salutations in that Epistle, by telling the Corinthian 
Christians (xvi. 19.) the Churches of Asia salute you; a pretty 
evident indication that he himself was in Asia at that very time. 
Again, according to the subscription, the Epistle to the Gala- 
tians was written from Rome ; yet, in the Epistle itself, the 
Apostle expresses his surprise (i. 6.) that they were so soon 

1 Adversus Marcionem, lib. iv. c. 2. 

2 Apol. i. p. 98. Lardner's Works, 8vo, vol. ii, p. 121 ; 4to, vol. i, p. 344. 

IV. Sect. I.] Occurring in the i^e^ia Testament. 161 

removed from him that called them ; whereas his journey to 
Rome was ten years posterior to the conversion of the Galatians. 
And what still more conclusively proves the falsehood of this 
subscription, is, the total absence in this epistle of all allusions 
to his bonds or to his being a prisoner ; which Saint Paul has 
not failed to notice in every one of the four epistles, written 
from that city and during his imprisonment '. Secondly, the 
subscriptions are altogether wanting in some antient manuscripts 
of the best note, while in others they are greatly varied. And, 
thirdly, the subscription annexed to the first Epistle to Timothy 
is evidently the production of a writer of the age of Constantine 
the Great, and could not have been written by the apostle Paul : 
for it states that Epistle to have been written to Timothy from 
Laodicea, the chief city of Phrygia Pacatiana ; whereas the 
country of Phrygia was not divided into the two provinces of 
Phrygia Prima, or Pacatiana, and Phrygia Secunda, until the 
fourth century. According to Dr. Mill, the subscriptions were 
added by Euthalius Bishop of Sulca in Egypt, who published 
an edition of the Acts, Epistles of Saint Paul, and of the Catholic 
Epistles, about the middle of the fifth century. But, whoever 
was the author of the subscriptions, it is evident that he was 
either grossly ignorant, or grossly inattentive. 

The various subscriptions and titles to the different books are 
exhibited in Griesbach's Critical Edition of the New Testa- 

' palay's Horae Paulina, pp. 378, 379. 

VOL.11. M 

( 162 ) [Part 1. Ch. 


J\ EXT to the kindred languages, versions afford the greatest 
assistance to the interpretation of the Scriptures, " It is only 
by means of versions, that they, who are ignorant of the ori- 
ginal languages, can at all learn what the Scripture contains : 
and every version, so far as it is just, conveys the sense of 
Scripture to those who understand the language in which it is 

Versions may be divided into two classes, antient and modern, : 
the former were made immediately from the original languages 
by persons to whom they, were familiar ; and who, it may be 
reasonably supposed, had better opportunities for ascertaining 
the force and meaning of words, than more recent translators 
can possibly have. Modern versions are those made in later 
times, and chiefly since the reformation : they are useful for 
explaining the sense of the inspired writers, while antient ver- 
sions are of the utmost importance both for the criticism and 
interpretation of the Scriptures. The present chapter will 
therefore be appropriated to giving an account of those which 
are most esteemed for their antiquity and excellence. 

V. Sect. I.] { 168 ) 



I. Of the Targvms or Chaldee paraphrases .• — 1. Targum of On- 
kelos ; — 2. Of Ihe Pseudo-Jonathan ; — 3. The Jerusalem Targum ; 
— 4. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel ; — 5. The Targum an the 
Hagiographa ; — 6. The Targum on the Megilloth ; — 7, 8, 9. Three 
Targums on the'' Book of Esther — real value of the different Targums. 

— II. Of the Greek versions of the Scriptures — history of the Sep- 
TUAGiNT — Critical account of its execution — what MSS. were used by 
its authors — account of the biblical labours ofOrigen — editions of the 
Septuagint text by the fathers — peculiar importance of the Septuagint 
version in the criticism and interpretation of the New Testament. — 

— III. Account of OTHER Greek versions of the Old Testament ; 
— 1. Version of Aquila ^-^2. Of Theodotion ; — 3. Of Symmachus ; 
— 4, 5, 6. Anonymous versions — references in antient MSS. to other 
versions. — IV. Syriac versions ; — Syriac MSS. brought from 
India by Dr. Buchanan ; — editions of the Syriac version. — V. Arabic 
VERSIONS, and editions ; — VI. Notice of the Persian, Egyptian, 
Ethiopic, Armenian, and other versions of the Old Testament. — 
VII. Latin Versions of the Scriptures — the old Italic or Ante- 
Hieronymian version — Latinversion of Jerome — Vulgate version and 
its editions. 

1 HE principal antient versions, which illustrate the Scrip- 
tures, are the Chaldee paraphrases, generally called Targums, 
the Septuagint, or Alexandrian Greek Version, the translations 
of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, and what are called 
the fifth, sixth, and seventh versions, (of which latter trans- 
lations fragments only are extant, ) together with the Syriac, 
and Latin or Vulgate versions. Although the authors of these 
versions did not flourish at the time when the Hebrew language 
was spoken, yet they enjoyed many advantages for understand- 
ing the Bible, especially the Old Testament, which are not 
possessed by the moderns : for, living near the time when that 
language was vernacular, they could learn by tradition the true 
significations of some Hebrew words, which are now forgotten. 
Many of them also being Jews, and from their childhood ac- 
customed to hear the Rabbins explain the Scriptures, the study 
of which they diligently cultivated, and likewise speaking a 
dialect allied to the Hebrew, — they could not but become well 
acquainted with the latter. Hence it may be safely inferred 
that the antient versions generally give the true sense of Scrip- 
ture, and not unfrequently in passages where it could scarcely 
be discovered by any other means. All the antient versions, 

M 2 

164' On the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch. 

indeed, are of great importance both in the criticism, as well 
as in the interpretation, of the sacred writings, but they are not 
all witnesses of equal value ; for the authority of the different 
versions depends partly on the age and country of their re- 
spective authors, partly on the text whence their translations 
were made, and partly on the ability and fidelity with which 
they were executed. It will therefore be not irrelevant to offer 
a short historical notice of the principal versions above men- 
tioned, as well as of some other antient versions of less celebrity 
perhaps but which have been beneficially consulted by biblical 

I. The Chaldee word Dl^'in T^rgum signifies, in general, 
any version or explanation ; but this appellation is more parti- 
cularly restricted to the versions or paraphrases of the Old 
Testament, executed in the East- Aramaean or Chaldee dialect, 
as it is usually called. These Targums are termed paraphrases 
or expositions, because they are rather comments and explica- 
tions, than literal translations of the text : they are written in 
the Chaldee tongue, which became familiar to the Jews after the 
time of their captivity in Babylon, and was more known to 
them than the Hebrew itself: so that, when the law was " read 
in the synagogue every Sabbath day," in pure biblical Hebrew, 
an explanation was subjoined to it in Chaldee; in order to 
render it intelligible to the people, who had but an imperfect 
knowledge of the Hebrew language. This practice, as already 
observed, originated with Ezra ' : as there are no traces of any 
written Targums prior to those of Onkelos and Jonathan, who 
are supposed to have lived about the time of our Saviour, it is 
highly probable that these paraphrases were at first merely oral ; 
that, subsequently, the ordinary glosses on the more difficult 
passages were committed to writing ; and that, as the Jews were 
bound by an ordinance of their elders to possess a copy of the 
law, these glosses were either afterwards collected together and 
deficiencies in them supplied, or new and connected paraphrases 
were formed. 

1 See p. 4. 5Jt;)ra. Our account of the Chaldee pa;aphrase5 is drawn up fiom a 
careful consideration of what has been written on them, by Carpzov, in his Critica 
Sacra, part ii. cap. i. pp. 430—481.; Bishop Walton, Prol. c. 12. sect. ii. pp. 568 — 
592.; Leusden, in Philolog. Hebrao-Mixt. Diss. v. vi. and vii. pp. 36— 58.; 
Dr. Prideaux, Connection, part ii. book viii. sub anno 57. b. c. vol. iii. pp.531 — 555. 
(edit. 1718.) Kortholt, De variis Scripturas Editionibus, c. iii. pp.54 — 51.; PfeifFer, 
Critica Sacra, cap. viii. sect. ii. (Op. torn. ii. pp. 750 — 771. j, and in his Treatise De 
Theologia Judaica, &c. Exercit.ii. (Ibid, tom.ii. pp. 862 — 889-) ; Bauer, Critica Sacra, 
tract, iii. pp. 288—508.; Rambach. Inst. Herm. Sacras, pp. 606—611. : Pictet,Theo- 
logie Chretienne, torn i. pp. 145- et seq.; Jahn, Introductioad Libros Veteris Fadeiis, 
pp. 69 — 75 ; and Waehner's Antiquitates Ebraorum, tom.i. pp. 156 — 170. 

V. Sect. I.] The Targtms. 165 

There are at present extant ten paraphrases on different parts 
of the Old Testament, three of which comprise the Pentateuch, 
or five books of Moses: — 1. The Targum of Onkelos; 2. That 
falsely ascribed to Jonathan, and usually cited as the Targulm 
of the Pseudo- Jonathan ; and 3. The Jerusalem Targum ; 
4. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, (i. e. the son of Uzziel) 
on the Prophets ; 5. The Targum of Rabbi Joseph the blind, 
or one-eyed, on the Hagiographa ; 6. An anonymous Targum 
on the five Megilloth, or books of Ruth, Esther, Ecclesiastes, 
Song of Solomon, and the Lamentations of Jeremiah ; 7, 8, 9. 
Three Targums on the book of Esther ; and, 10. A Targum or 
paraphrase on the two books of Chronicles. These Targums, 
taken together, form a continued paraphrase on the Old Testa- 
ment, with the exception of the books of Daniel, Ezra, and 
Nehemiah (antiently reputed to be part of Ezra ;) which being 
for the most part written in Chaldee, it has been conjectured 
that no paraphrases were written on them, as being unneces- 
sary; though Dr. Prideaux is of opinion that Targums were 
composed on these books also, which have perished in the lapse 
of ages. 

The language, in which these paraphrases are composed, 
varies in purity according to the time when they were respect- 
ively written. Thus, the Targums of Onkelos and the Pseudo- 
Jonathan are much purer than the others, approximating very 
nearly to the Aramaean dialect in which some parts of Daniel 
and Ezra are written, except indeed that the orthography does 
not always correspond; while the language of the later Targums, 
whence the rabbinical dialect derives its source, is far more im- 
pure, and is intermixed with bai'barous and foreign words. OriT 
ginally, all the Chaldee paraphrases were written without vowel- 
points, like all other oriental manuscripts : but at length some 
persons ventured to add points to them, though very erroneously, 
and this irregular punctuation was retained in the Venice and 
other early editions of the Hebrew Bible. Some further im- 
perfect attempts towards regular pointing were made both in the 
Complutensian and in the Antwerp Polyglotts, until at length 
the elder Buxtorf, in his edition of the Hebrew Bible published 
at Basil, undertook the thankless task ' of improving the punc- 
tuation of the Targums, according to such rules as he had formed 
from the pointing which he had found in the Chaldee parts of 
the books of Daniel and Ezra ; and his method of punctuation 
is followed in Bishop Walton's Polyglott. 

1 Peie Simon, Hist. Crit. du Vieux Test. liv. ii. c. viii. lias censured Buxtorf's wode 
of pointing the Chaldee paraphrases with great severity; observing, that he would have 
done much better if he had more diligently examined manuscripts that were more cor- 
rectly pointed. 

M .3 

166 On the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch. 

1 . The Targum of Onkelos. — It is not known with certainty, 
at what time Onkelos flourished, nor of what nation he was: 
Professor Eichhorn conjectures that he was a native of Babylon, 
first because he is mentioned in the Babylonish Tamud ; se- 
condly, because his dialect is not the Chaldee spoken in Pales- 
tine, but much purer, and more closely resembling the style 
of Daniel and Ezra ; and lastly, because he has not interwoven 
any of those fabulous narratives to which the Jews of Palestine 
were so much attached, and from which they could with diffi- 
culty refrain. The generally received opinion is, that he was 
a proselyte to Judaism, and a disciple of the celebrated Rabbi 
Hillel, who flourished about fifty years before the Christian 
agra ; and consequently that Onkelos was contemporary with 
our Saviour : Bauer and Jahn, however, place him in the se- 
cond century. The Targum of Onkelos comprises the Penta- 
teuch or five books of Moses, and is justly preferred to all the 
others both by Jews and Christians, on account of the purity 
of its style, and its general freedom from idle legends. It is 
rather a version than a paraphrase, and renders the Hebrew 
text word for word, with so much accuracy and exactness, that, 
being set to the same musical notes, with the original Hebrew, 
it could be read in the same tone as the latter in the public 
assemblies of the Jews. And this we find was the practice of 
the Jews up to the time of Rabbi Elias Levita; who flourished 
in the early part of the sixteenth century, and expressly states 
that the Jews read the law in their synagogues, first in Hebrew 
and then in the Targum of Onkelos. This Targum has been 
translated into Latin by Alfonso de Zamora, Paulus Fagius, 
Bernardinus Baldus, and Andrea de Leon, of Zamora. ' 

2. The second Targum, which is a more liberal paraphrase 
of the Pentateuch than the preceding, is usually called the 
Targum of the Pseudo-Jonathan, being ascribed by many to 
Jonathan Ben Uzziel who wrote the much esteemed Paraphrase 
on the Prophets. But the difference in the style and diction of 
this Targum, which is very impure, as well as in the method 
of paraphrasing adopted in it, clearly proves that it could not - 
have been written by Jonathan Ben Uzziel, who indeed 
sometimes indulges in allegories and has introduced a few bar- 
barisms ; but this Targum on the law abounds with the most 
idle Jewish legends that can well be conceived ; which, toge- 
ther with the barbarous and foreign words it contains, render 
it of very little utility. From its mentioning the six parts of the 

> The fullest information, concerning the Targum of Onkelos, is to he found in the 
dibquisition of G. B. Winer, entitled, De Onkeloso ejusque Paraphrasi ChaldaicaDisser- 
titio. 4to. Li^isix, 1820. 

V. Sect. 1.2 TheTargums of Jerusalem and Jonathan. 167 

Talmud, (on Exod. xxvi. 9.) which compilation was not written 
till two centuries after the birth of Christ; — Constantinople 
(on Numb. xxiv. 19.) which city was always called Byzantium 
until it received its name from Constantine the Great, in the 
beginning of the fourth century; the Lombards (on Numb, 
xxiv. 24.) whose first irruption into Italy did v^ot take place 
until the year 570; and the Turks (on Gan. x. 2.) who did 
not become conspicuous till the middie of the sixth century, — 
learned men are unanimously of opinion that this Targum of 
the Pseudo-Jonathan could not have been written before the 
seventh, or even the eighth century. It has been translated 
into Latin by Anthony Ralph de Chevalier, an eminent French 
Protestant divine, in the sixteenth century. 

3. The Jerusalem Targum^ which also paraphrases the five 
books of Moses, derives its name from the dialect in which it 
is composed. It is by no means a connected paraphrase, some- 
times omitting whole verses, or even chapters; at other times 
explaining only a single word of a verse, of which it some- 
times gives a two-fold interpretation ; and at others, Hebrew 
words are inserted without any explanation whatever. In many 
respects it corresponds with the paraphrase of the Pseudo-Jona- 
than, whose legendary tales are here frequently repeated, 
abridged, or expanded. From the impurity of its style, and 
the number of Greek, Latin, and Persian words which it con- 
tains. Bishop Walton, Carpzov, Wolfius, and many other emi- 
nent pilologers, are of opinion that it is a compilation by 
several authors, and consists of extracts and collections. From 
these internal evidences, the commencement of the seventh cen- 
tury has been assigned as its probable date ; but it is more 
likely not to have been written before the eighth or perhaps the 
ninth century. This Targum was also translated into Latin 
by Chevalier, and by Francis Taylor. 

4?. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel. — According to the 
talmudical traditions, the author of this paraphrase was chief 
of the eighty distinguished scholars of Rabbi Hillel the elder, 
and a fellow disciple of Simeon the Just, who bore the infant 
Messiah in his arms : consequently he would be nearly contem- 
porary with Onkelos. Wolfius ', however, is of opinion that 
he flourished a short time before the birth of Christ, and com- 
piled the work which bears his name, from more antient 
Targuras that had been preserved to his time by oral tradition. 
From the silence of Origen and Jerome concerning this Targum, 
of which they could not but have availed themselves if it had 

' Bibliotheca Hebraica, torn. ii. p. 1160. 
iM 4 

168 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch, 

really existed in their time, and also from its being cited in the 
Talmud, both Bauer and Jahn date it much later than is gene- 
rally admitted : the former indeed is of opinion that its true date 
cannot be ascertained ; and the latter, from the inequalities of 
style and method observable in it, considers it as a compilation 
from the interpretations of several learned men, made about the 
close of the third or fourth century. This paraphrase treats on 
the Prophets, that is (according to the Jewish classification of 
the sacred writings), on the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Sam. 
1 & 2 Kings, who are termed the former prophets ; and on 
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets^ who 
are designated as the latter prophets. Though the style of this 
Targum is not so pure and elegant as that of Onkelos, yet it is 
not disfigured by those legendary tales and numerous foreign 
and barbarous words which abound in the later Targums. Both 
the language and method of interpretation, however, are irre- 
gular : in the exposition of the former prophets, the text is 
more closely rendered than in that on the latter, which is less 
accurate, as well as more paraphrastical, and interspersed with 
some traditions and fabulous legends. In order to attach the 
greater authority to the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, the 
Jews, not satisfied with making him contemporary with the pro- 
phets Malachi, Zechariah, and Haggai, and asserting that he 
received it from their lips, have related, that while Jonathan 
was composing his paraphrase, there was an earthquake for 
forty leagues around him ; and that if any bird happened to 
pass over him, or a fly alighted on his paper while writing, 
they were immediately consumed by fire from heaven, without 
any injury being sustained either by his person or his paper ! ! 
The whole of this Targum was translated into Latin by Al- 
fonso de Zamcra, Andrea de Leon, and Conrad Pellican ; 
and the paraphrase on the twelve minor prophets, by Im- 
manuel Tremellius. 

5. The Targum on the Cctuhim, Hagiographa , or Holy 
Writings, is ascribed by some Jewish writers to Rqfjose, or 
Rabbi Joseph, surnamed the one-eyed or blind, who is said to 
have been at the head of the Academy at Sora, in the third 
century; though others affirm that its authoi* is unknown. 
The style is barbarous, impure, and very unequal, interspersed 
with numerous digressions and legendary narratives ; on which 
account the younger Buxtorf, and after him Bauer and Jahn, 
are of opinion that the whole is a compilation of later times : 
and this sentiment appears to be the most correct. Dr. Pri- 
deaux characterises its language as the most corrupt Chaldee of 

V. Sect. I.] The Targumon Esther and Chronicles. 169 

the Jerusalem dialect. The translators of the preceding Tar- 
gum, together with Arias Montanus, have given a Latin version 
of this Targum. 

6. The Targum on the Megilloth, or five books of Ecclesi- 
astes, Song of Songs, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ruth, and 
Esther, is evidently a compilation by several persons : the bar- 
barism of its style, numerous digressions, and idle legends 
w^hich are inserted, all concur to prove it to be of late date, 
and certainly not earlier than the sixth century. The para- 
phrase on the book of Ruth and the Lamentations of Jeremiah 
is the best executed portion : Ecclesiastes is more freely para- 
phrased ; but the text of the Song of Solomon is absolutely lost 
amidst the diffuse ciratmscription of its author, and his dull 
glosses and fabulous additions. 

7, 8, 9. The three Targnms on the book of Esther. — This book 
has always been held in the highest estimation by the Jews ; 
which circumstance induced them to ti'anslate it repeatedly into 
the Chaldee dialect. Three paraphrases on it have been 
printed : one in the Antwerp Polyglott, which is much shorter 
and contains fewer digressions than the others; another, in 
Bishop Walton's Polyglott, which is more diffuse, and com- 
prises more numerous Jewish fables and traditions ; and a third, 
of which a Latin version was published by Francis Taylor ; 
and which, according to Carpzov, is more stupid and diffuse 
than either of the preceding. They are all three of very late 

10. A Targum on the books of Chronicles, which for a long 
time was unknown both to Jews and Christians, was discovered 
in the library at Erfurt, belonging to the ministers of the Augs- 
burgh confession, by Matthias Frederick Beck ; who published 
it in 1680, 3, 4, in two quarto volumes. Another edition was 
published at Amsterdam by the learned David Wilkins (1715, 
4to.)from a manuscript in the university library at Cambridge. 
It is more complete than Beck's edition, and supplies many of 
its deficiencies. This Targum, however, is of very little value : 
like all the other Chaldee paraphrases, it blends legendary tales 
with the narrative, and introduces numerous Greek words, such 
as o^Kogy (TOtpifat, ag^oov, &C. 

Of all the Chaldee paraphrases above noticed, the Targums 
of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel are most highly valued by 
the Jews, who implicitly receive their expositions of doubtful 
passages. Schickhard, Mayer, Helvicus, Leusden, Hottinger, 
and Dr. Prideaux, have conjectured that some Chaldee Targum 
was in use in the synagogue where our Lord read Isa. Ixi. 1, 2, 

170 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

(Luke iv. 17 — 19.) ; and that he quoted Psal. xxii. 1 . when on 
the cross (Matt, xxvii. 46.) not out of the Hebrew text^ but out 
of a Chaldee paraphrase. But there does not appear to be suffi- 
cient ground for this hypothesis : for, as the Chaldee or East 
Aramaean dialect was spoken at Jerusalem, it is at least as pro- 
bable that Jesus Christ interpreted the Hebrew into the verna- 
cular dialect in the first instance, as that he should have read 
from a Targum ; and, when on the cross, it was perfectly natu- 
ral that he should speak in the same language, rather than in 
the biblical Hebrew ; which, we have already seen, was culti- 
vated and studied by the priests and Levites as a learned lan- 
guage. The Targum of Rabbi Joseph the Blind, in which the 
words cited by our Lord are to be found, is so long posterior to 
the time of his crucifixion, that it cannot be received as evidence. 
So nurierous indeed are the variations, and so arbitrary are 
the alterations occurring in the manuscripts of the Chaldee para- 
phrases, that Dr.. Kennicott has clearly proved them to have 
been designedly alte ad in compliment to the previously cor- 
rupted copies of the Hebrew text ; or, in other words, " that 
alterations have been made wilfully in ^he fChaldee paraphrase 
to render that paraphrase, in some pl&jes, . ^ore conformable to 
the words of the Hebrew text, where those Hebrew words are 
supposed to be right, but had themselves been corrupted '." But 
notwithstanding all their deficiencies and interpolations, the 
Targums, especially those of Onkelos and Jonathan, are of con- 
siderable importance in the interpretation of the Scriptures, not 
only as they supply the meanings of words or phrases occurring 
but once in the Old Testament, but also because they reflect 
considerable light on the Jewish rites, ceremonies, laws, cus- 
toms, usages, &c. mentioned or alluded to in both Testaments. 
But it is in establishing the genuine meaning of particular pro- 
phecies relative to the Messiah, in opposition to the false expli- 
cations of the Jews and Anti-trinitarians, that these Targums 
are pre-eminently useful. Bishop Walton, Dr. Prideaux, 
PieifFer, Carpzov, and Rambach, have illustrated this remark 
by numerous examples. Bishop Patrick, and Drs. Gill and 
Clarke, in their respective commentaries on the Bible, have 
inserted many valuable elucidations from the Chaldee para- 
phrasts. Leusden recommends that no one should attempt to 
read their writings, nor indeed to learn the Chaldee dialect, who 
is not previously well grounded in Hebrew : he advises the Chal- 
dee text of Daniel and Ezra to be first read either with his own 

• Dr. Kennicott's Second Dissertation, pp. 167 — 195. 

V. Sect. 1.] The Septuagint Greek Versioti. 171 

Chaldce Manual or with Buxtorf 's Hebrew and Chaldee Lexi- 
con ; after which the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan may be 
perused, with the help of Buxtorf 's Chaldee and Syriac Lexicon, 
and of De Lara's work, De convenicntia vocabulorum Habhini' 
torum cum Grcecis et quibusdam aliis Unguis Europceis. (4to. 
Amsterdam, 1648.) 

II. Among the Greek versions of the Old Testament, the 
Alexandrian or Septuagint, as it is generally termed, is the 
most antient and valuable ; and was held in so much esteem 
both by the Jews as well as by the first Christians, as to be con- 
stantly read in the synagogues and churches. Hence it is uni- 
formly cited by the early fathers, whether Greek or Latin, and 
from this version all the translations into other languages which 
were antiently approved by the Christian Church, were exe- 
cuted, (with the exception of the Syriac), as the Arabic, 
Armenian, Ethiopic, Gothic, and Old Italic or the Latin 
version in use before the time of Jerome : and to this day the 
Septuagint is exclusively read in the Greek and most other 
Oriental churches \ This version has derived its name either 
from the Jewish account of seventy-two persons having been 
employed to make it, or from its having received the approba- 
tion of the Sanhedrin or great council of the Jews, which con- 
sisted of seventy, or more correctly, of seventy-two persons. — 
Much uncertainty, however, has prevailed concerning the real 
history of this antient version : and while some have strenuously 
advocated its miraculous and divine origin, other eminent phi- 
lologists have laboured to prove that it must have been executed 
by several persons and at different times. 

According to one account, Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of 
Egypt, caused this translation to be made for the use of the 
library which he had founded at Alexandria, at the request 
and with the advice of the celebrated Demetrius Phalereus, his 
principal librarian. For this purpose, it is reported, that he 

1 Walton, Prol. c. ix. (pp. 335 — 469.) ; from which, and from the following autho- 
rities, our account of the Septuagint is derived, viz, Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp. 243 — 275. 
who has chiefly followed Hody's book, hereafter noticed, in the history of the Septua- 
gint version : Dr. Prideaux, Connection, part ii. book i. sub anno 277. (vol. ii. pp. 27 — 
49.); Masch's Preface to part ii. of his edition of Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, in 
which the history of the Septuagint version is minutely examined ; Morus, in Ernesti, 
vol. ii. pp. 50 — 81., 101 — 119 ; Carpzov, Critica Sacra, pp. 481 — 551.; IVIasch and 
Boerner's edition of Le Long's Bibliotheca Sacra, part ii. vol. ii. pp. 216 — 220., 256 — 
504.; Harles, BreviorNotitiaLitteraturseGraccas, pp. 638 — 643,: andRenouard, An- 
nales de I'lmprimerie des Aides, torn. i. p. 140. See also Origenis Hexapla, a Mont- 
faucon, tom. i. Praelim . Diss. pp. 17 — 55. A/a^Zaccount of the manuscripts and editions 
of the Greek Scriptures is given in the preface to vol. i. of the edition of the Septuagint 
commenced by the late Rev. Dr. Holmes, of which an account is given in a subsequent 

172 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch* 

sent Aristeas and Andreas, two distinguished officers of his 
court, to Jerusalem, on an embassy to Eleazar then high priest 
of the Jews, to request of the latter a copy of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, and that there might also be sent to him seventy-two 
persons (six chosen out of each of the twelve tribes,) who were 
equally well skilled in the Hebrew and Greek languages. These 
learned men were accordingly shut up in the island of Pharos ; 
where, having agreed in the translation of each period after a 
mutual conference, Demetrius wrote down their version as they 
dictated it to him ; and thus, in the space of seventy-two days, 
the whole was accomplished. This relation is derived from a 
letter ascribed to Aristeas himself, the authenticity of which has 
been greatly disputed. If, as there is every reason to believe 
is the case, this piece is a forgery, it was made at a very early 
period : for it was in existence in the time of Josephus, who 
has made use of it in his Jewish antiquities. The veracity of 
Aristeas's narrative was not questioned until the seventeenth or 
^ichteenth century ; at which time, indeed, biblical criticism 
was, comparatively, in its infancy. Vives ', Scaliger % Van 
Dale ^ Dr. Prideaux, and above all Dr. Hody S were the 
principal writers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries 
who attacked the genuineness of the pretended narrative of Aris- 
teas ; and though it was ably vindicated by Bishop Walton &, 
Isaac Vossius % Whiston 7, Brett ^, and other modern writers, 
the majority of the learned of our own time are firtly agreed in 
considering it as fictitious. 

Philo the Jew, who also notices the Septuagint version, was 
ignorant of most of the circumstances narrated by Aristeas ; but 
he relates others which appear not less extraordinary. Accord- 
ing to him, Ptolemy Philadelphus sent to Palestine for some 
learned Jews, whose number he does not specify : and these 
going over to the island of Pharos, there executed so many dis- 
tinct versions, all of which so exactly and uniformly agreed in 
sense, phrases, and words, as proved them to have been not 
common interpreters; but men prophetically inspired and di- 
vinely directed, who had every word dictated to them by the 

* In a note on Augustine de Civitate Dei, lib, viii. c. 42. 
- In a note on Eusebius's Chronicle, no. mdccxxxiv. 

3 Dissertatio super Aristea, de Lxx interpretibus, &<:. Amst. 1705, 4to. 

4 De Bibliorum Grascorum textibus Versionibus Gracis et Latini Vulgnta, libri iv. 
cui prjemitlitur Aristese Historia, folio, Oxon. 1705. 

^'Prol. c.ix. §3 — 10. pp. 3.38— 359. 

6 De LXX jnterpretibus, Hag. Com. 1661., 4to. 

7 lu the Appendix to his work on " The Literal Accomplishment of Scripture 
Propheci ij-"" London, 1724, 8vo. 

8 Diss „ J'tation on the Septuagint, in Bishop Watson's Collection of Theological 
Tracts, vol. iii, p. 20. et seq. 

V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 17s 

Spirit of God throughout the entire translation. He adds that 
an annual festival was celebrated by the Alexandrian Jews in 
the isle of Pharos, where the version was made, until his time, 
to preserve the memory of it, and to thank God for so great a 
benefit. ' 

Justin Martyr, who flourished in the middle of the second 
century about one hundred years after Philo, relates " a simi- 
lar story, with the addition of the seventy interpreters being 
shut up each in his own separate cell (which had been erected 
for that purpose by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus); and that 
here they composed so many distinct versions, word for word, 
in the very same expressions, to the great admiration of the 
king ; who, not doubting that this version was divinely inspired, 
loaded the interpreters with honours, and dismissed them to 
their own country, with magnificent presents. The good father 
adds, that the ruins of these cells were visible in his time. But 
this narrative of Justin's is directly at variance with several cir- 
cumstances recorded by Aristeas ; such, for instance, as the 
previous conference or deliberation of the translators, and above 
all the very important point of the version being dictated to 
Demetrius Phalereus. Epiphanius, a writer of the fourth 
century, attempts to harmonise all these accounts by shutting 
up the translators two and two, in thirty-six cells, where they 
might consider or deliberate, and by stationing a copyist in each 
cell, to whom the translators dictated their labours : the result 
of all which was, the production of thirty-six inspired versions, 
agreeing most uniformly together. 

It is not a little remarkable that the Samaritans have tradi- 
tions in favour of their version of the Pentateuch, equally ex- 
travagant with those preserved by the Jews. In the Samaritan 
Chronicle of Abul Phatach, which was compiled in the four- 
teenth century from antient and modern authors both Hebrew 
and Arabic, there is a story to the following effect: — That 
Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the tenth year of his reign, directed 
his attention to the difference subsisting between the Samaritans 
and Jews, concerning the law; the former receiving only the 
Pentateuch, and rejecting every other work ascribed to the 
prophets by the Jews. In order to determine this difference, 
he commanded the two nations to send deputies to Alexandria. 
The Jews entrusted this mission to Osar, the Samaritans to 
Aaron, to whom several other associates were added. Sepa- 
rate apartments in a particular quarter of Alexandria, were 
assigned to each of these strangers j who were prohibited from 

' De Vita Mosis, lib. ii. '^ Cohort, ad Gent:". 

1 74 On the Antient Versions. [Part 1. Ch. 

having any personal intercourse, and each of them had a Greek 
scribe to write his version. Thus were the law and other Scrip- 
tures translated by the Samaritans ; whose version being most 
carefully examined, the king was convinced that their text was 
more complete than that of the Jews. Such is the narrative of 
Abul Phatach, divested however of numerous marvellous cir- 
cumstances, with which it has been decorated by the Samari- 
tans ; who are not surpassed even by the Jews in their partiality 
for idle legends. 

A fact, buried under such a mass of fables as the translation 
of the Septuagint has been by the historians, who have pre- 
tended to record it, necessarily loses all its historical character, 
which indeed we are fully justified in disregarding altogether. 
Although there is no doubt but that some truth is concealed 
under this load of fables, yet it is by no means an easy task to 
discern the truth from what is false : the following however is 
the result of our researches concerning this celebrated version. 

It is probable that the seventy interpreters, as they are called, 
executed their version of the Pentateuch during the joint reigns 
of Ptolemy Lagus, and his son Philadelphus. The Pseudo- 
Aristeas, Josephus, Philo, and many other writers, whom it 
were tedious to enumerate, relate that this version was made 
during the reign of Ptolemy II. or Philadelphus : Joseph Ben 
Gorion, however, among the Rabbins, Theodoret, and many 
other Christian writers, refer its date to the time of Ptolemy 
Lagus. Now these two traditions can be reconciled only by 
supposing the version to have been performed during the two 
years when Ptolemy Philadelphus shared the throne with his 
father ; which date coincides with the third and fourth years of 
the hundred and twenty-third olympiad, that is about the years 
286 and 285, before the vulgar Christian aera. Further, this 
version was made neither by the command of Ptolemy, nor 
at the request nor under the superintendence of Demetrius 
Phalereus ; but was voluntarily undertaken by the Jews for the 
use of their countrymen. It is well known, that, at the period 
above noticed, there was a great multitude of Jews settled in 
Egypt, particularly at Alexandria: these, being most strictly 
observant of the religious institutions and usages of their fore- 
fathers, had their Sanhedrin, or grand council composed of 
seventy or seventy-two members, and very numerous syna- 
gogues, in which the law was read to them on every Sabbath ; 
and as the bulk of the common people were no longer acquainted 
with biblical Hebrew, (the Greek language alone being used 
in their ordinary intercourse,) it became necessary to translate 

V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 175 

the Pentateuch into Greek for their use. This is a far more 
probable account of the origin of the Alexandrian version than 
the traditions above stated. If this translation had been made 
by public authority, it would unquestionably have been per- 
formed under the direction of the Sanhedrin ; who would have 
examined and perhaps corrected it, if it had been the work of a 
single individual, previously to giving it the stamp of their ap- 
probation, and introducing it into the synagogues. In either 
case the translation would, probably, be denominated the Sep- 
tuagint, because the Sanhedrin was composed of seventy or 
seventy-two members. It is even possible that the Sanhedrin, 
in order to ascertain the fidelity of the work, might have sent 
to Palestine for some learned men, of whose assistance and ad- 
vice they would have availed themselves in examining the ver- 
sion. This fact, if it could be proved, (for it is offered as a 
mere conjecture,) would account for the story of the king of 
Egypt's sending an embassy to Jerusalem : there is, however, 
one circumstance which proves that, in executing this transla- 
tion, the synagogues were originally in contemplation, viz. that 
all the antient writers unanimously concur in saying that the 
Pentateuch was first translated. The five books of Moses, 
indeed, were the only books read in the synagogues until the 
time of Antiochus Epiphanes king of Syria : who having for- 
bidden that practice in Palestine, the Jews evaded his commands 
by substituting for the Pentateuch the readmg of the prophetic 
books. When, afterwards, the Jews were delivered from the 
tyranny of the kings of Syria, they read the law and the pro- 
phets alternately in the synagogues : and the same custom was 
adopted by the Hellenistic or Grsecising Jews. 

But, whatever was the real number of the authors of the 
version, their introduction of Coptic words (such as oii^i, a^ty 
ge[x.(^ciVf &c.) as well as their rendering of ideas purely Hebrew 
altogether in the Egyptian manner, clearly prove that they 
were natives of Egypt. Thus they express the creation of the 
world, not by the proper Greek word KTI^IS, but by FENESlS, 
a term employed by the philosophers of Alexandria to express 
the origin of the universe. The Hebrew word Thummim, 
(Exod. xxviii. 30.) which signifies perfections, they render 
AAH0EIA, truth*. The difference of style also indicates the 

' The reason of this appears from Diodorus Siculus, who informs us that the pre- 
sident of the Egyptian courts of justice wore round his neck a golden chain, at which 
was suspended an image set round with precious stones, which was called Truth, 
^^ofnyoQiuav A>.fihtccv, lib. i. c. 75. torn. i. p. 225. (edit. Bipont.) Bauer, (Crit. 
Sacr. pp. 244, 245,) and Moms, (Acroases in Ernesti, torn. ii. pp.67 — 81) have 
given several examples, proving from internal evidence that the authors of the Sep- 
tuagint version were Egyptians. 

176 On the Aritient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

version to have been the work not of one but of several trans- 
lators, and to have been executed at different times. The best 
qualified and most able among them was the translator of the 
Pentateuch, who was evidently master of both Greek and 
Hebrew: he has religiously followed the Hebrew text, and 
has in various instances introduced the most suitable and best 
chosen expressions. From the very close resemblance subsist- 
ing between the text of the Greek version and the text of the 
Samaritan Pentateuch, Louis De Dieu, Selden, Whiston, Has- 
sencamp, and Bauer, are of opinion that the author of the 
Alexandrian version made it from the Samaritan Pentateuch. 
And in proportion as these two correspond, the Greek differs 
from the Hebrew. This opinion is further supported by the 
declarations of Origen and Jerome, that the translator found 
the venerable name of Jehovah not in the letters in common 
use, but in very antient characters; and also by the fact that 
those consonants in the Septuagint are frequently confounded 
together, the shapes of which are similar in the Samaritan, but 
not in the Hebrew alphabet. This hypothesis, however inge- 
nious and plausible, is by no means determinate : and what 
militates most against it is, the inveterate enmity subsisting be- 
tween the Jews and Samaritans, added to the constant and un- 
varying testimony of antiquit}' that the Greek version of the 
Pentateuch was executed by Jews. There is no other way by 
which to reconcile these conflicting opinions, than by suppos- 
ing either that the manuscript used by the Egyptian Jews ap- 
proximated towards the letters and text of the Samaritan Pen- 
tateuch, or that the translators of the Septuagint made use of 
manuscripts written in antient characters. 

Next to the Pentateuch, for ability and fidelity of execution, 
ranks the translation of the book of Proverbs, the author of 
which was well skilled in the two languages : Michaelis is of 
opinion that, of all the books of the Septuagint, the style of the 
Proverbs is the best, the translator having clothed the most in- 
genious thoughts in as neat and elegant language as was ever 
used by a Pythagorean sage, to express his philosophic 
maxims '. The translator of the book of Job being acquainted 
with the Greek poets, his style is more elegant and studied : 
but he was not sufficiently master of the Hebrew language and 
literature, and consequently his version is very often erroneous. 
Many of the historical passages are interpolated; and in the 
poetical parts there are several passages wanting : Jerome, in 
his preface to the book of Job, specifies as many as seventy or 
eighty verses. Thesa omissions were supplied by Origen from 

, k . . 

' Michnelis, Introd. to New Tesi. vol, i. p. 113. 

V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 177 

Theodotiori's translation. The book of Joshua could not have 
been translated till upwards of twenty years after the death of 
Ptolemy Lagus : for, in chapter viii. verse 18. the translator 
has introduced the word yon<ro;, a word of Gallic orio-in, de- 
noting a short dart or javelin peculiar to the Gauls, who made 
an irruption into Greece in the third year of the 125th olym- 
piad, or B. c 278 ; and it was not till some time after that event 
that the Egyptian kings took Gallic mercenaries into their pay 
and service. 

During the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, the book of Esther, 
together with the Psalms and Prophets, was translated. The 
subscription annexed to the version of Esther expressly states 
it to have been finished on the fourth year of that sovereign's 
reign, or about the year 177 before the Christian aera : the 
Psalms and Prophets, in all probability, were translated still 
later, because, as we have already seen ^ , the Jews did not 
begin to read them in their synagogues till about the year 170 
before Christ. The Psalms and Prophets were translated by 
men every way unequal to the task : Jeremiah is the best exe- 
cuted among the prophets ; and next to this book Amos and 
Ezekiel are placed : the important prophecies of Isaiah were 
translated, according to bishop Lowth, upwards of one hun- 
dred years after the Pentateuch, and by a person by no means 
adequate to the undertaking; there being hardly any book of 
the Old Testament so ill rendered in the Septuagint as this of 
Isaiah, which (together with other parts of the Greek version) has 
come down to us in a bad condition, incorrect, and with frequent 
omissions and interpolations: and so very erroneous was the ver- 
sion of Daniel, that it was totally rejected by the antient church, 
and Theodotion's translation was substituted for it. Some 
fragments of the Septuagint version of Daniel, which for a long 
time was supposed to have been lost, were discovered and 
published nearly fifty years since, from which it appears that 
its author had but an imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew lan- 
guage. * 

No date has been assigned for the translation of the books of 
Judges, Ruth, Samuel, and Kings, which appear to have been 
executed by one and the same author ; who, though he does not 
make use of so many Hebraisms as the translators of the other 
books, is yet not without his peculiarities. 

1 See pp. 148, 149, supra. 

2 The title of this publication is, Daniel secundum Septuaginta ex Tetraplis Origenis 
nunc primum editus e singulari codice Ckisiano annorum supra iDCCC, folio, Roma, 
1772. For an account of this publication, and its'several reprints, see Le Long's 
Bibliotheca Sacra, by Masch and Boerner, part ii. vol. ii. pp. 320—322. 


178 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

Before we conclude the history of the Septuagint version, it 
may not be irrelevant briefly to notice a question which has 
greatly exercised the ingenuity of biblical philologers, viz. from 
what manuscripts did the seventy interpreters execute their 
translation. Professor Tychsen ' has offered an hypothesis 
that they did not translate the Hebrew Old Testament into 
Greek, but that it had been transcribed in Hebraeo-Greek cha- 
racters, and that from this transcript their version was made : 
this hypothesis has been examined by several German critics, 
and by none with more acumen than by Dathe, in the preface 
to his Latin version of the minor prophets ^ : but as the argu- 
ments are not of a nature to admit of abridgement, this notice 
may perhaps suffice. The late eminently learned Bishop 
Horsley doubts whether the manuscripts from which the Sep- 
tuagint version was made, would (if now extant) be entitled to 
the same degree of credit as our modern Hebrew text, not- 
withstanding their comparatively high antiquity. " There is," 
he observes, " certainly much reason to believe, that after the 
destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar, perhaps from a 
somewhat earlier period, the Hebrew text was in a much worse 
state of corruption in the copies which were in private hands, 
than it has ever been since the revision of the sacred books by 
Ezra. These inaccurate copies would be multiplied during the 
whole period of the captivity, and widely scattered in Assyria, 
Persia, and Egypt ; in short, through all the regions of the dis- 
persion. The text, as revised by Ezra, was certainly of much 
higher credit than any of these copies, notwithstanding their 
greater antiquity. His edition succeeded, as it were, to the pri- 
vileges of an autograph, (the autographs of the inspired writers 
themselves being totally lost), and was henceforth to be consi- 
dered as the only source of authentic text : insomuch that the 
comparative merit of any text now extant will depend upon the 
probable degree of its approximation to, or distance from, the 
Esdrine edition. Nay, if the translation of the lxx. was made 
from some of those old manuscripts which the dispersed Jews 
had carried into Egypt, or from any other of those unauthenti- 
cated copies, (which is the prevailing tradition among the Jews 
and is very probable, at least it cannot be confuted) ; it will be 
likely that the faultiest manuscript now extant differs less from 
the genuine Esdrine text, than those more antient, which the 
version of the lxx. represents. But, much as this consideration 
lowers the credit of the lxx. separately, for any various reading, 

' Tentamen de variis Codicum Hebraicorum Vet. Test. MSS. Generibiis. Rostock, 
1772, 8vo. pp. 48—64, 81-^124. 

« Published at Halle, in 1790, in 8vo. 

V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 179 

it adds great weight to the consent of the lxx. with later versions, 
and greater still to the consent of the old versions with manu- 
scripts of the Hebrew, which still survive. And, as it is cer- 
tainly possible that a true reading may be preserved in one 
solitary manuscript, it will follow, that a true reading may be 
preserved in one version : for the manuscript which contained 
the true reading at the time when the version was made, may 
have perished since; so that no evidence of the reading shall 
now remain, but the version." » 

The Septuagint version, though originally made for the use 
of the Egyptian Jews, gradually acquired the highest authority 
among the Jews of Palestine, who were acquainted with the 
Greek language, and subsequently also among Christians : it 
appears indeed, that the legend above confuted of the trans- 
lators having been divinely inspired, was invented in order that 
the LXX. might be held in the greater estimation. Philo the 
Jew, a native of Egypt, has evidently followed it in his allego- 
rical expositions of the Mosaic Law : and, though Dr. Hody 
was of opinion that Josephus, who was a native of Palestine, 
corroborated his work on Jewish Antiquities from the Hebrew 
text, yet Salmasius, Bochart, Bauer, and others, have shewn 
that he has adhered to the Septuagint throughout that work. 
How extensively this version was in use among the Jews, 
appears from the solemn sanction given to it by the inspired 
writers of the New Testament, who have in very many passages 
quoted the Greek version of the Old Testament ^. Their ex- 
ample was followed by the earlier fathers and doctors of the 
church, who, with the exception of Origen and Jerome, were 
unacquainted with Hebrew : notwithstanding their zeal for the 
word of God, they did not exert themselves to learn the original 
language of the sacred writings, but acquiesced in the Greek 
representation of them; judging it, no doubt, to be fully suffi- 
cient for all the purposes of their pious labours. " The Greek 
scriptures were the only scriptures known to or valued by the 
Greeks. This was the text, commented by Chrysostom and 
Theodoret; it was this which furnished topics to Athanasius, 
Nazianzen, and Basil. From this fountain the stream was 
derived to the Latin church, first by the Italic or Vulgate trans- 
lation of the scriptures, which was made from the Septuagint, 
and not from the Hebrew ; and secondly, by the study of the 
Greek fathers. It was by this borrowed light, that the Latin 
fathers illuminated the western hemisphere : and, when the age 
of Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine, and Gregory, successively 

1 Bishop Horsley's Translation of Hosea, Pref. p. xxxvi. xxxvii. 2d. edit. 
9 On the quotations from the Old Testament in the New, see Chapter IX. infra, 


180 On the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch» 

passed away, this was the light put into the hands of the next 
dynasty oftheologists, the schoolmen, who carried on the work 
of theological disquisition by the aid of this luminary and none 
other. So that, either in Greek or in Latin, it was still the 
Septuagint scriptures that were read, explained, and quoted as 
authority, for a period of fifteen hundred years." ' 

The Septuagint version retained its authority, even with the 
rulers of the Jewish synagogue, until the commencement of the 
first century after Christ : when the Jews, being unable to 
resist the arguments from prophecy which were urged against 
them by the Christians, in order to deprive them of the benefit 
of that authority, began to deny that it agreed with the He- 
brew text. Further to discredit the character of the Septuagint, 
the Jews instituted a solemn fast, on the 8th day of the month 
Thebet — (December), to execrate the memory of its having 
been made. Not satisfied with this measure, we are assured by 
Justin Martyr who lived in the former part of the second cen- 
tury that they proceeded to expunge several passages out of the 
Septuagint ; and abandoning this, adopted the version of Aquila, 
a proseljte Jew of Sinope, a city of Pontus^ ; this is the trans- 
lation mentioned in the Talmud, and not the Septuagint, with 
which it has been confounded. ^ 

The great use, however, which had been made by the Jews 
previously to their rejection of the Septuagint, and the constant 
use of it by the Christians, would naturally cause a multiplica- 
tion of copies ; in which, besides the alterations designedly made 
by the Jews, numerous errors became introduced, in the course 
of time, from the negligence or inaccuracy of transcribers, and 
from glosses or marginal notes, which had been added for the 
explanation of difficult words, being suffered to creep into the 
text. In order to remedy this growing evil, Origen, in the early 
part of the third century, undertook the laborious task of col- 
latins the Greek text then in use with the oriijinal Hebrew and 
with the other translations then in existence, and from the whole 
to produce a new recension or revisal. Twenty-eight years were 
devoted to the preparation of this arduous work, in the course 
of which he collected manuscripts from every possible quarter, 
aided (it is said) by the pecuniary liberality of Ambrose, an 
opulent man, whom he had converted from the Valentinian 
heresy, and with the assistance of seven copyists and as many 
persons skilled in caligraphy or the art of beautiful writing. 
Origen commenced his labour at Caesarea, a. d. 231; and, it 

• Reeves's Collation of the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Psalms, pp. 22, 23. 

2 On this subject the reader is referred to Dr. Owen's Inquiry into the present 
state of the Septuagint Version, pp. 29 — 87. (8vo. London, 1769.) In pp. 126 — 13R 
he hns proved the falsification of the Septuagint, from the versions of Aquila and 

3 PrideauK, Connection, vol ii, p, 50. I.ightfoot's Wotks, vol. ii. p. 806,807. 

V. Sect. 1.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 181 

appears, finished his Polyglott at Tyre, but in what year is not 
precisely known. 

This noble critical work is designated by various names 
among antient writers ; as Tetrapla, Hexapla, Octajjla, and 
E7ineapla. The Tetrapla, contained the four Greek versions 
of Aquila, Symmachus, the Septuagint, and Theodotion, dis- 
posed in four columns ' : to these he added two columns more, 
containing the Hebrew text in its original characters, and also 
in Greek letters ; these six columns, according to Epiphanius, 
formed the Hexapla. Having subsequently discovered two 
other Greek versions of some parts of the Scriptures, usually 
called the fifth and sixth, he added them to the preceding, in- 
serting them in their respective places, and thus composed the 
Octapla : and a separate translation of the Psalms, usually 
called the seventh version, being afterwards added, the entire 
work has by some been termed the Enneapla. This appella- 
tion, however, was never generally adopted. But, as the two 
editions made by Origen generally bore the name of the Te- 
trapla and Hexapla, Dr. Grabe (editor of a splendid edition of 
the Septuagint, noticed in a subsequent page) thinks that they 
were thus called, not from the number of the columns, but of 
the versions, which were six, the seventh containing the Psalms 
only *. Bauer, after Montfaucon, is of opinion, that Origen 
edited only the Tetrapla and Hexapla ; and this appears to be 
the real fact. The following specimens from Montfaucon will 
convey an idea of the construction of these two laborious works. ' 


Gen.i. 1. 





Ev Ki<pa,\aiof ixriiftv 

E» cc^p(^ip ixriffiv a 

E» oc^^Yi iwoiniriv 

Ev a.i^x,'^ iXTiifiv a 

^saf (fvv Tav s^avav 

9-sos rov Hpavov xai 

^tos Tov vpavav kcci 

^los roi u^ecvBV xai 

icai cwv r»v y/iv. 

T'/iv ynv. 

T'/iv yrit. 

Tjjv y/iv. 

In this specimen the version of Aquila holds the first 
place ; the second is occupied by that of Symmachus ; the 
third by the Septuagint, and the fourth by Theodotion's 

1 The late Rev. Dr. Holmes, who commenced the splendid edition oF the Septua- 
gint noticed infra, in the Appendix to this volume, No. IV., was of opinion that the 
first column of the Tetrapla contained the Kmvri, or Septuaghit text commonly in use, 
collated with Hebrew manuscripts by Origen, and that the other three columns were 
occupied by the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. 

2 Dr. Holmes thinks that the text of the Septuagint in the Hexapla was not the 
Koivn as then in »ise, but as corrected in the Tetrapla, and perhaps improved by fur* 
ther collations. 

' Orijenis Hexapla, Prxl. Diss. lorn. i. p. 16. 

N 3 


On the AfUient Versions. 

[Part I. Ch. 






Pk O 
pq i4 

8 8*^ 

: 8.9 I- 

>j t; 50 

fe <! 2 

^^ 8 

si 2 

^*tr « 



F 5) 
8 b -; 

X x S 

p o >f 

S ^ ^ 

* 8 





8 8 

b" b* 

n c n_ 

c '^ G 
^ n -^ 

















• SP 

































































































































































































V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 183 

The original Hebrew being considered as the basis of the 
whole work, the proximity of each translation to the text, in 
point of closeness and fidelity, determined its rank in the order 
of the columns : thus Aquila's version, being the most faithful, 
is placed next to the sacred text ; that of Symmachus occupies 
the fourth column ; the Septuagint, the fifth ; and Theodotion's, 
the sixth. The other three anonymous translations, not con- 
taining the entire books of the Old Testament, were placed 
in the three last columns of the Enneapla, according to the 
order of time in which they were discovered by Origen. Where 
the same words occurred in all the other Greek versions, with- 
out being particularly specified, Origen designated them by A 
or AO, AojTTOj, the rest; — Oj r, or the three, denoted Aquila, 
Symmachus, and Theodotion ; — 0< A, or the four, signified 
Aquila, Symmachus, the Septuagint, and Theodotion ; and IT, 
FTavTef, all the interpreters. 

The object of Origen being to correct the differences found 
in the then existing copies of the Old Testament, he carefully 
noted the alterations made by him ; and for the information of 
those who might consult his work, he made use of the follow- 
ing marks. 

1. Where any passages appeared in the Septuagint, that 
were not found in the Hebrew, he designated them by an 
obelus -7- with two bold points * annexed. This mark was also 
used to denote words not extant in the Hebrew, but added by 
the Septuagint translators, either for the sake of elegance, or 
for the purpose of illustrating the sense. 

2. To passages^ wanting in the copies of the Septuagint, and 
hupplied by himself from the other Greek version, he prefixed 
an asterisk 'X- with two bold points * also annexed, in order 
that his additions might be immediately perceived. These 
supplementary passages, we are informed by Jerome, were for 
the most part taken from Theodotion's translation ; not un- 
frequently from that of Aquila; sometimes, though rarely, 
from the version of Symmachus ; and sometimes from two or 
three together. But, in every case, the initial letter of each 
translator's name was placed immediately after the asterisk, to 
indicate the source whence such supplementary passage was 
taken. And in lieu of the very erroneous Septuagint version of 
Daniel, Theodotion's translation of that book was inserted entire. 

3. Further, not only the passages wanting in the Septuagint 
were supplied by Origen with the asterisks, as above noticed^ 
but also where that version does not appear accurately to ex- 
press the Hebrew original, having noted the former reading 
with an obelus ^, he added the correct rendering from one of 
the other translators, with an asterisk subjoined. Concerning 

N 4 

184 Oti the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch. 

the shape and uses of the lemniscus and hi/poiem?iiscus, two 
other marks used by Origen, there is so great a difference of 
opinion among learned men, that it is difficult to determine 
what they were. ' Dr. Owen, after Montfaucon, supposes them 
to have been marks of better and more accurate renderings. 

In the Pentateuch, Origen compared the Samaritan text 
with the Hebrew as received by the Jews, and noted their 
differences. To each of the translations inserted in his Hexa- 
pla was prefixed an account of the author; each had its 
separate prolegomena ; and the ample margins were filled with 
notes. A few fragments of these prolegomena and marginal 
annotations have been preserved ; but nothing remains of Ins- 
history of the Greek versions. ^ 

Since Origen's time, biblical critics have distinguished two 
editions or exemplars of the Septuagint — the Koivyj or common 
text, with all its errors and imperfections, as it existed previ- 
ously to his collation ; and the Hexaplar text, or that corrected 
by Origen himself. For nearly fifty years was this great 
man's stupendous work buried in a corner of the city of Tyre, 
probably on account of the very great expense of transcribing 
forty or fifty volumes, which far exceeded the means of pri- 
vate individuals: and here, perhaps, it might have perished 
in oblivion, if Eusebius and Pamphilus had not discovered it, 
and deposited it in the library of Pamphilus the martyr at 
Caesarea, where Jerome saw it about the middle of the fourth 
century. As we have no account whatever of Origen's auto- 
graph, after this time, it is most probable that it perished in 
the year 653, on the capture of that city by the Arabs : and a 
few imperfect fragments, collected from manuscripts of the Sep- 
tuagint and the Catenae of the Greek fathers, are all that now 
remain of a work, which, in the present improved state of 
sacred literature, would most eminently have assisted in the 
interpretation and criticism of the Old Testament. 

As the Septuagint version had been read in the church from 
the commencement of Christianity, so it continued to be used 

I Montfducon, Praslim, ad Hexapla, torn. i. pp.56' — 42. Holmes, Vetus Testa- 
mentutn Grjecum, torn. i. Prafat. cap. i. sect, i — vii. 

- The best edition, unhappily very rare, of the remains of Origen's Hexapla, is that 
of Montfaucon, in two volumes folio, Paris, 1715. The first volume contains a veiy 
valuable preliminary disquisition on the Hebrew text and different antient Greek ver- 
sions, of which we have liberally availed ourselves in the preceding and following pages, 
together with a minute account of (Drigen's biblical labours, and some inedited frag- 
ments of Origen, &c. To these succeed the remains of the Hexapla, from Genesis to 
the Book of Psalms inclusive. TI1& second volume comprises the rest of the Hexapla 
to the end of the twelve minor prophets, together with Greek and Hebrew Lexicons to 
the Hexapla. These fragments of Origen's great work were reprinted in two vols. 8vo. 
(Lipsiae 1769), by C. F. Bahrdt ; vvl^yse edition has been most severely criticised by 
Fischer in his Prolusiones de Versionibus Graecis Librorum V.T. Litterarum Hebr. 
Magistris, p. S4, note (Lipsia?, 1772, 8vo} ; it is now but little valued. 

V. Sect. I.] The Septuagint Greek Version. 185 

in most of the Greek churches : and the text, as corrected by 
Origen, was transcribed for their use, together with his critical 
marks. Hence, in the progress of time, from the negHgence 
or inaccuracy of copyists, numerous errors were introduced 
into this version, which rendered a new revisal necessary : and, 
as all the Greek churches did not receive Origen's biblical 
labours with equal deference, three piincipal recensions were 
undertaken nearly at the same time, of which we are now to 
offer a brief notice. 

The first was the edition, undertaken by Eusebius and Pam- 
philus about the year 300, from the Hexaplar text, with the 
whole of Origen's critical marks : it was not only adopted by 
the churches of Palestine, but was also deposited in almost every 
library. By frequent transcriptions, however, Origen's marks 
or notes became, in the course of a few years, so much changed 
as to be of little use, and were finally omitted : this omission only 
augmented the evil, since even in the time of Jerome it was 
no longer possible to know what belonged to the translators, 
or what were Origen's own corrections; and now it may almost 
be considered as a hopeless task to distinguish between them. 
Contemporary with the edition of Eusebius and Pamphilus 
was the recension of the Kojvrj, or vulgate text of the Septuagint, 
conducted by Lucian, a presbyter of the church at Antioch, 
who suffered martyrdom a. d. 311. He took the Hebrew 
text for the basis of his edition, which was received in all the 
eastern churches from Constantinople to Antioch. While 
Lucian was prosecuting his biblical labours, Hesychius, an 
Egyptian bishop, undertook a similar work, which was gene- 
rally received in the churches of Egypt. He is supposed to 
have introduced fewer alterations than Lucian ; and his edition 
is cited by Jerome as the Exemplar Alexandrinum. Syncel- 
lus ' mentions another revisal of the Septuagint text by Basil 
bishop of Caesarea : but this, we have every reason to believe, 
has long since perished. All the manuscripts of the Septuagint 
now extant, as well as the printed editions, are derived from 
the three recensions above mentioned ; although biblical critics 
are by no means agreed what particular recension each manu- 
script has followed. '^ 

The importance of the Septuagint version for the right under- 
standing of the sacred text has been variously estimated by dif- 
ferent learned men : while some have elevated it to an equality 

1 Chronographia ab Adamo usque ad Dioclesianum, p. 203. 

2 Dr. Holmes has given a copious and interesting account of tlie editions of Lucian 
and Hesychius, and of the sources of the Septuagint text in the manuscripts of tlia 
Pentateuch, which are now extant. Tom. i. Pra:f. cap. i. sect. viii. cl scq. 

186 On the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch. 

with the original Hebrew, others have rated it far below its real 
value. The great authority which it formerly enjoyed, cer- 
tainly gives it a claim to a high degree of consideration. It 
was executed long before the Jews were prejudiced against 
Jesus Christ as the Messiah ; and it was the means of preparing 
the world at large for his appearance, by making known the 
types and prophecies concerning him. With all its faults and 
imperfections, therefore, this version is of more use in correct- 
ing the Hebrew text than any other that is extant ; because 
its authors had better opportunities of knowing the propriety 
and extent of the Hebrew language, than we can possibly have 
at this distance of time. The Septuagint, likewise, being 
writterl in the same dialect as the New Testament (the forma- 
tion of whose style was influenced by it), it becomes a very 
important source of interpretation : for not only does it fre- 
quently serve to determine the genuine reading, but also to 
ascertain the meaning of particular idiomatic expressions and 
passages in the New Testament, the true import of which could 
not be known but from their use in the Septuagint '. Grotius, 
Keuchenius, Biel, and Schleusner are the critics who have 
most successfully applied this version to the interpretation of 
the New Testament. For an account of the principal editions 
of the Septuagint Version, see the Appendix to this volume, 
No. IV. 

III. The importance of the Septuagint, in the criticism and 
interpretation of the Scriptures, especially of the New Testa- 
ment ^ will justify the length of the preceding account of that 
celebrated version : it now remains that we briefly notice the 
other antient Greek translations, which have already been 
incidentally mentioned; viz. inose of Aquila, Theodotion, 
Symmachus, and the three anonymous versions, usually cited 
as the fifth, sixth, and seventh versions, from which Origen 
compiled his Tetrapla and Hexapla. 

I In the Eclectic Review for 1806 (vol. ii. parti, pp.537 — 547.) the reader will 
find many examples adduced, confirming the remarks above offered, concerning the 
value and importance of the Septuagint version. 

a " The Book," says the profound critic Michaelis, " most necessary to be read 
and understood by every man who studies the New Testament, is, without doubt, the 
Septuagint ; which alone has been of more service than all the passages from the pro- 
fane authors collected together. It should be read in the public schools by those who 
are destined for the church; should form the subject of a course of lectures at the 
university, and be the constant companion of an expositor of the New Testament." 
Introduction to the New Test. vol. i. p. 177. — " About the year 1785," says Dr. A. 
Clarke (speaking of his biblical labours), " I began to read the Septuagint regularly, in 
order to acquaint myself more fully with the phraseology of the New Testament. 
The study of this version served more to expand and illuminate my mind than all 
the theological works I had ever consulted. I had proceeded but a short way in it, 
before I was convinced that the prejudices against it were utterly unfounded ; and that 
it was of incalculable advatitage ioivards a proper understanding of the literal sense of 
Scriplure." Dr. Clarke's Commentary, vol. i. General Preface, p. xv. 

V. Sect. I.] The Antient Greek Versions. J87 

1. The version of Aquila. — The author of this translation, 
was a native of Sinope in Pontus, who flourished in the second 
century of the Christian aera : he was of Jewish descent ; and 
having renounced Christianity, he undertook his version to 
oblige the Jews, who then began to be disgusted with the 
Septuagint as being too paraphrastic. It is certain that he 
lived during the reign of the Emperor Adrian, and that his 
translation was executed before the year 160 ; as it is cited 
both by Justin Martyr, who wrote about that time, and by 
Irenaeus between the years 170 and 176. The version of 
Aquila is extremely literal, and is made without any regard to 
the genius of the Greek language : it is however of considerable 
importance in the criticism of the Old Testament, as it serves 
to show the readings contained in the Hebrew MSS. of his 
time. Professor Dathe has collated several passages from this 
translation, and has applied them to the illustration of the 
prophet Hosea'. The fragments of Aquila and of the other 
Greek versions were collected and published, first by Flaminio 
Nobili in his notes to the Roman edition of the Septuagint, and 
after him by Drusius, in his Veterum Interpretum Grcscorum 
Fragmenta (Arnheim, 1622, 4to.) ^', and also by Montfauconin 
his edition of Origen's Hexapla above noticed. According to 
Jerome, Aquila published two editions of his version, the 
second of which was the most literal : it was allowed to be read 
publicly in the Jews' synagogues, by the hundred and twenty- 
fifth. Novel of the Emperor Justinian. 

2. Theodotion was a native of Ephesus, and is termed by 
Jerome and Eusebius an Ebionite or semi-Christian. He was 
nearly contemporary with Aquila, and his translation is cited 
by Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Tryphon the Jew, 
which was composed about the year 160. The version of 
Theodotion holds a middle rank between the servile closeness 
of Aquila and the freedom of Symmachus : it is a kind of revi- 
sion of the Septuagint made after the original Hebrew, and 
supplies some deficiencies in the Septuagint; but where he 
translates without help, he evidently shows himself to have been 
but indifferently skilled in Hebrew. Theodotion's translation 
of the Book of Daniel was introduced into the Christian churches, 
as being deemed more accurate than that of the Septuagint, of 
which a few fragments only remain. 

• Dissertatio Philologico-Critica in Aquila Reliqiiias Interpretationis Hoseae, (Lipsiae, 
1757, 4to..) ; which is reprinted in p. 1. et seq. of Rosenmuller's Collection of his 
" Opuscula ad Crisin et Interpretationetn Veteris Testamenti," Lipsias, 1796, 8vo. 

2 This work of Drusius's is also to be found in the sixth volume of Bishop Walton's 

188 On the Antient Versions > [Part I. Ch. 

3. SymmachuSi we are informed by Eusebius and Jerome, 
was a semi- Christian or Ebionite : for the account given of him 
by Epiphanius (that he was first a Samaritan, then a Jew, next 
a Christian, and last of all an Ebionite) is generally disre- 
garded as unworthy of credit. Concerning the precise time 
when he flourished, learned men are of different opinions. 
Epiphanius places him under the reign of Commodus II. an 
imaginary emperor: Jerome, however, expressly states that 
his translation appeared after that of Theodotion ; and as Sy m- 
machus was evidently unknown to Irenaeus, who cites the ver- 
sions of Aquila and Theodotion, it is probable that the date 
assigned by Jerome is the true one. Montfaucon accordingly 
places Symmachus a short time after Theodotion, that is, about 
the year 200. The version of Symmachus, who appears to 
have published a second edition of it revised, is by no means 
so literal as that of Aquila ; he was certainly much better ac- 
quainted with the laws of interpretation than the latter, and 
has endeavoured, not unsuccessfully, to render the Hebrew 
idioms with Greek precision. Bauer ' and Morus^ have given 
specimens of the utility of this version for illustrating both the 
Old and New Testaments. Dr. Owen has printed the whole 
of the first chapter of the book of Genesis, according to the 
Septuagint version, together with the Greek translations of 
Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus, in columns, in order 
to show their respective agreement or discrepancy. This we 
are obliged to omit, on account of its length; but the following 
observations of that eminent critic on their relative merits 
(founded on an accurate comparison of them with each other, 
and with the original Hebrew, whence they were made,) are 
too valuable to be disregarded. He remarks, 

1. With respect to Aquila, (1.) That his translation is close 
and servile — abounding in Hebraisms — and scrupulously con- 
formable to the letter of the text. (2). That the author, not- 
withstanding he meant to disgrace and overturn the version of 
the Seventy, yet did not scruple to make use of it, and fre- 
quently to borrow his expressions from it. 

2. With respect to Theodotion, (1). That he made great 
use of the two former versions — following sometimes the dic- 
tion of the one, and sometimes that of the other — nay, often 
commixing them both together in the compass of one and the 
same verse; and (2). That he did not keep so strictly and closely 
to the Version of the Seventy, as some have unwarily repre- 

' Critica Sacra, pp. 277, 278. 

2 Acroases Hermeneutica, torn. ii. pp.127, l28. 

V. Sect. I .] The Antient Greek Versions. 189 

sented '. He borrowed largely from that of Aquila ; but 
adapted it to his own style. And as his style was similar to that 
of the Lxx, Origen, perhaps for the sake of uniformity, sup- 
plied the additions inserted in the Hexapla chiefly from this 

3. With respect to Symmachus, (1.) That his Version, 
though concise, is free and paraphrastic— regarding the sense, 
rather than the words, of the original; (2.) That he often 
borrowed from the three other versions — but much oftener 
from those of his immediate predecessors than from the Sep- 
tuagint: and, (3.) It is observed by Montfaucon 2, that he kept 
close to the Hebrew original ; and never introduced any thino 
from the Septuagint, that was not to be found in his Hebrew 
copy : But it evidently appears from ver. 20. — where we read, 
xa< eyevvsTo outwj — that either the observation is false, or that 
the copy he used was different from the present Hebrew copies. 
The 30th verse has also a reading — it may perhaps be an in- 
terpolation — to which there is nothing answerable in the He- 
brew, or in any other of the Greek versions. ^ 

4, 5, 6. — The three anonymous translations, usually called 
the^/t/i, sixths and seventh versions, derive their names from 
the order in which Origen disposed them in his columns. The 
author of the sixth version was evidently a Christian : for he 
renders Habakkuk iii. 13. {Thou wentest forth for the deliver- 
ance of thy 'people^ even for the deliverance of thine anointed 
ones *) in the following manner : E^rjA^s? tov (xoixrai rov Xaov (tov 
8»a I>](7ou Tou '^qiiTTOv (TOV. i. 6. Thou wentcsf forth to save thy 
people through Jesus thy Christ. The dates of these three ver- 
sions are evidently subsequent to those of Aquila, Theodotion 
and Symmachus : from the fragments collected by Montfaucon, 
it appears that they all contained the Psalms and minor prophets; 
theffth and sixth further comprised the Pentateuch and Sono- 
of Solomon ; and from some fragments of \he fifth and seventh 
versions found by Bruns in a Syriac Hexaplar manuscript at 
Paris, it appears that they also contained the two books of 
Kings. Bauer is of opinion that the author of the seventh ver- 
sion was a Jew. 

1 Theodotion, qui in ceteris cum Ixx translatoribus facit. Hieron. Ep. ad Marcell, 
I/u-et autem Theodotio Ixx Interpretum vestigio fere semper hcereat, &c. Montf. 
Prffil. in Hexapl. p. 57. 

2 Ea tamen cautela ut Hebraicum exemplar unicum sequendum sibi pioponeret; quidpiam ex editione ruv O. ubi cum Hebraico non quadrabat, in interpretationem 
suam refunderet. Praelim. in Hexapl. p. 54. 

3 Owen on the Septuagint, pp. 124 — 126. 

4 Archbishop Newcome's version. The authorised English translation runs thus ; 

*' Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine 

190 0?i the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch. 

Besides the fragments of the preceding antient versions* 
taken from Origen's Hexapla, there are found in the margins 
of the manuscripts of the Septuagint some additional marks or 
notes, containing various renderings in Greek of some passages 
in the Old Testament : these are cited as the Hebrew, Syrian, 
Samaritan, and Hellenistic versions, and as the version of some 
anonymous author. The probable meaning of these references 
it may not be improper briefly to notice. 

1. The Hebre-i!) (o E/3ga<of) is supposed by some to denote 
the translation of Aquila, who closely and literally followed 
the Hebrew text: but this idea is refuted by Montfaucon and 
Bauer, who remark that, after the reference to the Hebrew, a 
reading follows, most widely differing from Aquila's rendering. 
Bauer more probably conjectures that the reference 6 E/3ga»of 
denotes the Hebrew text from which the Septuagint version 

2. Under the name of the Syrian (9 '%vqo^) are intended the 
fragments of the Greek version made by Sophronius, patriarch 
of Constantinople, from the very popular Latin translation of 
Jerome, who is supposed to have acquired the appellation of 
the Syrian, from his long residence on the confines of Syria. 
He is thus expressly fetyied by Theodore of Mopsuestia in a 
passage cited by Photius in his Bibliotheca. ' 

3. The Samaritan {to %a[},aqsniv.ov) is supposed to refer to 
the fragments of a Greek version of the Hebraeo- Samaritan 
text, which is attributed to the antient Greek scholiast so often 
cited by Flaminio Nobili, and in the Greek Scholia appended 
to the Roman edition of the Septuagint. Considerable doubts, 
however, exist concerning the identity of this supposed Greek 
version of the Samaritan text ; which, if it ever existed. Bishop 
Walton thinks, must be long posterior in date to the Sep- 
tuagint. - 

4. It is not known to which version or author the citation 
6 EaXtjvjxoj, or the Hellenistic, refers : — The mark AXKos, or 
6 AvsTTjypatpoj, denotes some unknown anonymous author. 

Before we conclude the present account of the antient Greek 
versions of the Old Testament, it remains that we briefly notice 
the translation preserved in Saint Mark's Library at Venice, 
containing the Pentateuch, Proverbs, Ruth, Song of Solomon, 
Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, and Prophecy of 
Daniel. The existence of this version, which was for a long 
time buried among other literary treasures deposited in the 
above-mentioned library, was first announced by Zanetti and 
Bongiovanni in their catalogue of its manuscripts. The Pen- 

» Page 205, edit. Hoeschelii. 2 Prol. c. xi. § 22. pp. 553, 554. 

V. Sect. I.] The Antient Greek Versions. 191 

tateuch was published in three parts, by M. Ammon, at 
Erlang, 1790, 1791, 8vo. : and the remaining books by M. 
Villoison at Strasburgh, 1784, Svo. The original manuscript, 
Morelli is of opinion, was executed in the 14th century; and, 
the numerous errors discoverable in it, prove that it cannot be 
the autograph of the translator. By whom this version was 
made, is a question yet undetermined. Morelli thinks its 
author was a Jew ; Ammon supposes him to have been a 
Christian monk, and perhaps a native of Syria; and Bauer, 
after Zeigler, conjectures him to have been a Christian gram- 
marian of Constantinople, who had been taught Hebrew hj a 
Western Jew. Whoever the translator was, his style evidently 
shows him to have been deeply skilled in the different dialects 
of the Greek language, and to have been conversant with the 
Greek poets. Equally uncertain is the date when this version 
was composed: Eichhorn, Bauer, and several other eminent 
biblical writers, place it between the sixth and tenth centuries : 
the late Dr. Holmes supposed the author of it to have been 
some Hellenistic Jew, between the ninth and twelfth centuries. 
" Nothing can be more completely happy, or more judicious, 
than the idea adopted by this author, of rendering the Hebrew 
text in the pure Attic dialect, and the Chaldee in its corre- 
sponding Doric '." Dr. Holmes has inserted extracts from 
this version in his edition of the Septuagint. 

IV. Syria being visited at a very early period by the preach- 
ers of the Christian faith, several translations of the sacred 
volume were made into the language of that country. The 

1 British Critic, O. S. vol. viii. p. 259. 

2 The preceding account of antient Greek versions is drawn from Carpzov, Critica 
Sacra, pp. 552 — 574 ; Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp. 27.'5 — 288 ; Morus, Acroases Her- 
meneutica;, torn. ii. pp. 120 — 147; Bishop Walton, Prolegom. c. ix. § 19. pp. 385 — 
387; Jahn, Introductio in Libros Sacros Veteris Foederis, pp. 66 — 70; and Masch's 
edition of Leiong's Bibliotheca Sacra, part ii. vol. ii. sect. 1. pp.220 — 229. Mont- 
faucon, Prasl. Diss, ad Origenis Hexapla, torn. i. pp. 46 — 75. In the fourth volume 
of the 'Commentationes Theologies, (pp. 195 — 263), edited by MM. Velthusen, 
Kuinoel, and Ruperti, there is a specimen of a Clavis Seliquiarum Versionum 
Grtpcariim V. T. by John Frederick Fischer : it contains only the letter A. A 
specimen of a new Lexicon to the antient Greek interpreters, and also to the apocryphal 
books of the Old Testament so constructed as to serve as aLexicon to the New Testament, 
was .ilso lately published by M. E. G. A Bockel, at Leipsic, intitled N'ovcb Clavis in 
GrcECos Interpretes Ceteris Testamenti, Scriptoresqiie Apocryphos^ ita adornatce ut etiam 
Lexici in Novi Foederis Libros ttsum prabere possit, atque editionis Ixx. interpretum 
hexaplaris, specimina, 4to. 1820. Such a work, when completed, must prove highly 
valuable to biblical students. Cappel, in his Critica Sacra, has given a copious account 
with very numerous examples of the variou.s lections that may be obtained by collating 
the Septuagint with the Hebrew, (lib. 4. pp. 491 — 766.) and by collating the Hebrew 
text with the Chaldee paraphrases and the antient Greek versions, (lib. v. cc. 1 — 6. 
pp. 767 — 844.) tom. ii. ed. Scharfenberg. 

192 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Cli. 

most celebrated of these is the Peschito or Literal {Versio 
Simplex,) as it is usually called, on account of its very close 
adherence to the Hebrew text, from which it was immediately 
made. The most extravagant assertions have been advanced 
concerning its antiquity ; some referring it to the time of Solo- 
mon and Hiram, while others ascribe it to Asa the priest of 
the Samaritans, and a third class to the apostle Thaddeus. 
This last tradition is received by the Syrian churches ; but a 
more recent date is ascribed to it by modern biblical philologers. 
Bishop Walton, Carpzov, Leusden, Bishop Lowth, and Dr. 
Kennicott, fix its date to the first century ; Bauer and some 
other German critics, to the second or third century ; Jahn 
fixes it, at the latest, to the second century ; De Rossi pro- 
nounces it to be very antient, but does not specify any precise 
date. The most probable opinion is that of Michaelis, who 
ascribes it to the close of the first, or to the earlier part of the 
second century, at which time the Syrian churches flourished 
most, and the Christians at Edessa had a temple for divine 
worship erected after the model of that at Jerusalem: and it is 
not to be supposed that they would be without a version of the 
Old Testament, the reading of which had been introduced by 
the apostles. The arguments prefixed to the Psalms were mani- 
festly written by a Christian author. This version was evi- 
dently made from the original Hebrew, to which it most 
closely and literally adheres, with the exception of a few passages 
which appear to bear some affinity to the Septuagint : Jahn 
accounts for this by supposing, either that this version was 
consulted by the Syriac translator or translators, or that the 
Syrians afterwards corrected their translation by the Septua- 
gint. Leusden conjectures, that the translator did not make 
use of tke most correct Hebrew manuscripts, and has given 
some examples which appear to support his opinion. Dathe 
liowever speaks most positively in favour of its antiquity and 
fidelity, and refers to the Syriac version as a certain standard 
by which we may judge of the state of the Hebrew text in the 
second century : and both Kennicott and De Rossi have derived 
many valuable readings from this version. To its general 
fidelity almost every critic of note bears unqualified approba- 
tion, although it is not every where equal : and it is I'einark- 
ably clear and strong in those passages which attribute charac- 
ters of Deity to the Messiah. Jahn observes, that a different 
method of interpretation is adopted in the Pentateuch from that 
which is to be found in the Book of Chronicles ; and that there 
are some Chaldee words in the first chapter of Genesis, and 
also in the Book of Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon : 

V. Sect. I.j Syriac l^'ersio7is. 193 

whence he infers that this version was the work not of one, but 
of several authors. ' 

An important accession to biblical literature was made, a few 
years since, by the late learned and excellent Dr. Buchanan, to 
whose assiduous labours the British church in India is most 
deeply indebted ; and who, in his progress among the Syrian 
churches and Jews of India, discovered and obtained numerous 
antient manuscripts of the Scriptures, which are now deposited 
in the public library at Cambridge. One of these, which was 
discovered in a remote Syrian church near the mountains, is 
particularly valuable : it contains the Old and New Testaments, 
engrossed with beautiful accuracy in the Estrangelo (or old 
Syriac) character, on strong vellum, in large folio, and having 
three columns in a page. The words of every book are num- 
bered : and the volume is illuminated, but not after the Euro- 
pean mannej*, the initial letters having no ornament. Though 
somewhat injured by time or neglect, the ink being in certain 
places obliterated, still the letters can in general he distinctly 
traced from the impress of the pen, or from the partial corrosion 
of the ink. The Syrian church assigns a high date to this 
manuscript, which, in the opinion of Mr. Yeates, who has pub- 
lished a collation of the Pentateuch -, was written about the 
seventh century. In looking over this manuscript, Dr. Buchanan 
found the very first emendation of the Hebrew text proposed by 
Dr. Kennicott 3, which doubtless is the true reading. 

The first edition of this version of the Syriac Scriptures 
appeared in the Paris Polyglott ; but, being taken from an im- 
perfect MS., its deficiencies were supplied by Gabriel Sionita, 
who translated the passages wanting from the Latin Vulgate, 
and has been unjustly charged with having translated fi'om the 
Vulgate. This text was reprinted in Bishop Walton's Poly- 
glott, with the addition of some apocryphal books. There 
have been numerous editions-of particular parts of the Syriac 

' Carpzov, Critica Sacrn, pp. 625 — 626; Leusden, Philologus Hebraso-Mixtus, 
pp.67 — 71; Bishop Lovvth's Isaiah, vol. i. p. xci. ; Dr. Kennicott, Di.^s. ii. p. 555; 
Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp.508 — 520; Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Fosd. pp. 75, 76 ; De 
Rossi, Variae Leciiones ad Vet. Test. torn. i. pro), p. xxxii; Dathe, Opuscuia ad 
Crisiii et Interpretationem Vet. Test. p. 171.; Kortholt, de Versionil)us Scripturas, . 
pp. 40 — 45 ; Walton, Proleg. c. 15. pp. 595, et seq. Dr. Smith's Scripture Testimony 
of the Messiah, vol. i. pp. 596, 597. 

2 In the Christian Observer, vol. xii. pp. 171 — 174, there is an account of Mr. Yeates's 
Collation ; and in vol. ix. of the same Journal, pp. 275 — 275, 348 — 550, there is 
given a very interesting description of the Syriac manuscript above noticed. A short 
account of it also occurs in Dr. Buchanan's " Christian Researches" respecting the 
Syrians, pp. 229 — 251. (edit. 1811.) 

3 Gen. iv. 8. " And Cain said unto Abel his brother, Let us go down into the plain." 
It may be satisfactory to the reader to know that this disputed addition is to be found 
in the Samaritan, Syriac, Septuagint, and Vulgate Versions, printed in Bishop Walton's 


194 On the Antient Versions. [Part I.| Ch. 

Old Testament, which are minutely described by Masch. ' A 
new edition of the Syriac Version of the Old Testament is at 
this time printing under the editorial care of the Rev. Professor 
Lee, of Cambridge, under the patronage of the Church Mis- 
sionary Society, and at tlie expense of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. To his collation of the Travancore Manuscript 
has been added that of another manuscript belonging to the 
Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke, and one of the Pentateuch found by 
Mr. Lee in the Library of New College, Oxford. ^ 

The other Syriac versions being made from the Septuagint, 
it may suflBce to offer a brief notice of those which are the most 
celebrated and valuable : they are two in number. 

1. The Syriac translation of Origen's Hexaplar edition of the 
LXX. was executed in the former part of .the seventh century ; 
the author of this version is unknown. The late Professor, De 
Rossi, who published the first specimen of it^, does not decide 
whether it is to be attributed to Mar-Abba, James of Edessa, 
Paul Bishop of Tela, or to Thomas of Heraclea. Assemanni 
ascribes it to Thomas, though other learned men affirm that he 
did no more than collate the Books of Scripture. This version, 
however, corresponds exactly with the text of the Septuagint, 
especially in those passages in which the latter differs from the 
Hebrew. A MS. of this version is in the Ambrosian Library 
at Milan, comprising the Books of Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ec- 
clesiastes^ Song of Solomon, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Hosea, 
Amos, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, 
Jeremiah, Daniel, and Isaiah : it also contains the obelus and 
other marks of Origen's Hexapla ; and a subscription at the 
end states it to have been literally translated from the Greek 
copy, corrected by Eusebius himself, with the assistance of 
Pamphilus, from the books of Origen, which were deposited in 
the library at Caesarea. The conformity of this MS. with the 
account given by Masius in the preface to his learned Annota- 
tions on the Book of Joshua, afford strong grounds for believing 
that this is the second part of the MS. described by him as then 
being in his possession, and which, there is reason to fear, is 
irrecoverably lost. From this version M. Norberg edited the 
prophecies of Jeremiah and Ezekiel in 1787, (4<to, Londini 

1 Part ii. vol. i. sect. iv. pp. 64 — 71. 

2 Report of the Church Missionary Society for 1817-18, p. 154. 

3 M. De Rossi's publication is entitled, Specimen ineditff et Hexaplaris Bil>liorum 
Versionis Syro-Estranghela?, cum simplici atque utriusque fontibus, Graco et Hebraeo, 
coUatsE cum duplici Latina versione et notis. Edidit, ac diatribam de rarissimo codice 
Ambrosiano, unde illud haustum est, prasmisit Johannes Bern. Rossi. 8vo. Parm^, 
1778. The specimen consists of the first psalm printed in six columns. The first 
contains the Greek text of the Septuagint ; the second, the Syro-Estrangelo text ; the 
third, the Latin text translated from the Septuagint ; the fourth, the Hebrew Text ; 
the Pesckito or old Syriac text above noticed ; and the sixth, the Latin text translated 
from this latter version. 

V. Sect. I.j Arabic Persians. 195 

Gothorum;) and M. Bugati, the Book of Daniel, at Milan, 

1788, ' 

V. Although the Christian religion was preached in Ara- 
bia, as well as in other countries of the East, at an early period, 
yet it never was the established religion of the country, as in 
Syria and Egypt ; for even the temple at Mecca was a heathen 
temple till the time of Mohammed. Historical evidence, there- 
fore, concerning the Arabic Versions, does not extend beyond 
the tenth century, when 

1. Rabbi Saadias Gaon, a celebrated Jewish teacher at Ba- 
bylon, translated, or rather paraphrased, the Old Testament 
into Arabic : of this Version, the Pentateuch was printed at 
Constantinople, in folio, in the year 1546, in Hebrew characters; 
and in the Paris and London Polyglotts, in Arabic letters. — 
The prophecy of Isaiah was published by Paulus in 8vo. at 
Jena, in 1790, 1791 ". The remaining books of this translation 
have not hitherto been discovered. Besides this, there are 
several other Arabic Versions extant, made immediately from 
the Hebrew, either by Jews, Samaritans or Christians, of which 
the following are the principal, viz. 

2. The Arabic version of the Pentateuch, published by Er- 
peniusat Leyden in 1622, -Ito., appears to have been executed 
in the thirteenth century by some Afiican Jew, who has very 
closely adhered to the Hebrew. 

3. The Arabic version of the book of Joshua, printed in the 
Paris and London Polyglotts, is, in the opinion of Bauer, made 
directly from the Hebrew. Its author and date are not known. 

4. The Pentateuch, Psalms, and Prophecy of Daniel, were 
translated by Saadia Ben Levi Asnekot, who lived in the early 
part of the seventeenth century : they are extant only in MS. 
in the British Museum ^, and are of very little value. 

Besides these versions, the Arab Christians have a transla- 
tion of the Book of Job (printed in the Paris and London Poly- 
glotts), and two versions of the Psalms still in MS. which were 
respectively made from the Peschito or Old Syriac version. All 
the Arabic books of the Old Testament, (with the exception of 
the Pentateuch and Job), which are printed in those Polyglotts, 
were executed from Hesychius's recension of the Septuagint. 
The Psalms, inserted in Justiniani's Polyglott Psalter, and in 
Gabriel Sionita's Arabic Psalter, were made from Lucian*s 
recension of that version : and the Arabic Psalter, printed at 

1 Masch, part ii. vol. i. pp. 58 — 60. Jahii, Introd. ad Vet. Feed. pp. 76—78. 
MoinhlY Review, O. S. vol. lix. pp. 452 — 454. Some other Syriac versions of less 
note are described by IVIasch ut S"pra, pp. 60 — 62. 

2 Oa this book, some remarks have been published by Dr. C. D, Breithaupt at 
-Rostock, entitled Commentationis in Saadianam versionem Jesaice Arabicnm fasciculus 
jirimus, Svo. 1819. 

3 Cat. Harl. MSS. vol. iii. num. 5505. 

o 2 

196 On the Antient Versio7is. [Fartl. Ch. 

Aleppo in 1706, 4to, follows the Melchitic' recension of the 


Besides the preceding Oriental versions, there are several 
others ; which, though not of equal importance in the criti- 
cism and interpretation of the Sacred Writings, may still be 
occasionally consulted with advantage. Among these we ma\ 
enumerate the Persic, Egyptian, Ethiopic, Armenian, and 
Sclavonic translations. 

1. T^he Peisic version. — Although we have no authentic ac- 
count of the conversion of the whole Persian nation to Chris- 
tianity, yet we are informed by Chrysostora and Theodoret, that 
the Scriptures were very antiently translated into the Persian 
language. It does not appear, however, that any fragments of 
this antient version are extant. The translation of the Penta- 
teuch, printed in the 4th volume of Bishop Walton's Polyglott, 
was executed by a Jew, and for the benefit of the Jews, in the 
eleventh or twelfth century. The Hebrew text is, for the most 
part, faithfully rendered. Bishop Walton mentions two Per- 
sic versions of the Psalms — one by a Portuguese monk at Ispa- 
han in the year 1618, and another by some Jesuits from the 
vulgate Latin version 3. These are yet in MS. 

2. Egyptian versions. — From the proximity of Egypt to Judea> 
it appears that the knowledge of the Gospel was very early com- 
municated to the inhabitants of thai country, whose language 
was divided into two dialects — the Sahidic or dialect of Upper 
Egypt, and the Coptic or dialect of Lower Egypt. In the 
former of these dialects the ninth chapter of Daniel was pub- 
lished by Miinter at Rome in 1786 ; and Jeremiah, ch. ix. 17. 
to ch. xiii. by Mingarelli, in Reliqiuce jjEgyptioriim Codicum m 
Bibliotheca Naniana asservatce, at Bologna, in 1785. 

The Coptic language is a compound of the old Egyptian and 
Greek ; into which the Old Testament was translated from the 
Septuagint, perhaps in the second or third century, and cer- 
tainly before the seventh century. Of this version, the Penta- 
teuch was published by Wilkins in 1731 ; and a Psalter, by the 
Congregation de Propaganda Fide, at Rome, in 1744 and 
1749*. And in the course of the year 1816 M. Engelbreth 

1 The Melchites were those Christians in Syria, Egypt, and the Levant, who, though 
not Greeks, followed the doctrines and ceremonies of the Greek church. They were 
called Melchites, that is, Royalists, by their adversaries, by v;ay of reproach, on account 
cf their implicit submission to the edict of the emperor Alarcian, in favour of the council 
of Chalcedon. Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 188. note {m). 

2 Carpzov, Grit. Sacr. pp. 640—644. Bauer, Grit. Sacr. pp. 321 — 324. Jahn, 
Introd. ad Vet. Feed. pp. 78—80. Masch, part ii. vol. i. pp. 103 — 110. In pp. 110 
— 12S he has given an account of Arabic editions of the Old Testament, and detached 
parts of it. On Arabic editions, Schnurrer's Bibliotheca Arabica, pp. 339 — 397, may 
also be advantageously consulted. 

3 Walton, Prol. xvi. § 6 — 8. pp. 692 — 695. Kortholt, c. xix. pp. 301 — 303. Jahn, 
p. 80. For an account of editions consult Masch, part ii. vol. i. pp. 158 — 164. 

* Masch, part ii. vol. i. pp. 182 — 190. Jahn, p. 81. 

V. Sect. I.J The Elhiopic or Abyssinian Version. I97 

published at Copenhagen, in quarto, some fragments of a Bas- 
murico- Coptic version of the Old and New Testament (pre- 
served in the Borgian Museum at Velitri), collated with other 
Egyptian versions. The editor has given a Latin version, and 
illustrated the work with critical and philological notes '. No 
part of the Sahidic version of the Old Testament appears to 
have been published. The late Dr. Woide was of opinion that 
both the Coptic and Sahidic Versions were made from the 
Greek. They express the phrases of the Septuagint Version ; 
and most of the additions, omissions, and transpositions, which 
distinguish the latter from the Hebrew, are discoverable in the 
Coptic and Sahidic Versions. 

3. The Ethiopia or Abyssinian version^ which is still extant, 
was made from the Alexandrian version : although its author 
and date are unknown; yet, from the marks of unquestionable 
antiquity which it bears, there is every reason to believe that 
it was executed in the second century. Some peculiar readings 
occur in this translation : but, where it seems to be exact, it 
derives considerable authority from its antiquity. Only a few 
books and fragments of this version have been printed. The 
first portions of the Ethiopic Scriptures that appeared in print, 
were the Psalms, and the Song ot Solomon ; edited at Rome, 
by John Potken, a.i>. 1513. In 1548, the New Testament 
was also printed at Rome, by some Abyssinian priests, and 
was afterward reprinted in the London Polyglott : but, as the 
manuscripts used in the Roman edition were old and mutilated, 
the editors restored such chasms as appeared in the text, by 
translations from the Latin Vulgate. These editions, therefore, 
are not of much value, as they do not present faithful copies of 
the antient Ethiopic text. About the middle of the seventeenth 
century appeared in print, the Book of Ruth ; the Prophecies 
of Joel, Jonah, Zephaniah, and Malachi ; the Song of Moses ; 
that of Hannah (1 Sam. ii.); the Prayers of Hezekiah, Ma- 
nasseh, Jonah, Azariah, and the three Children ; Isaiah ; Ha- 
bakkuk; the Hymns of the Virgin Mary, Zachariah, and 
Simeon; and the first four chapters of Genesis. In 1815, the 
British and Foreign Bible Society published a reprint of Lu- 
dolt's edition of the Ethiopic Psalter. This is the whole of the 
Ethiopic Scriptures hitherto printed. It is not necessary here to 

1 The following is the title of the work above noticed, of which the autlior haa 
not been able to ])rocure a sight ; — Fragmenta Basmurico Coptica Veteris et Novi 
'I'estamenti, quae in Museo Borgiano Veliiris aaservantur, cum reliquis versionibus 
iEgyptiacis contulit, Latine vertit, necuon criticis et philologiiis adnotiuionibus illustravit 
W. F. Engelbreth, 4to. Hafnia, 1816. The only perfect copy ot the Coptic Bible now 
in Europe, is said to be in the possession of Monsieur Marcel. Sue M. Quatrcmcre's 
Keclierches sur la Langue et la Littcrature d'Egypte, p. 1 18. 

o 3 

19S On the Antient Versions, [Part I. Ch. 

enumerate all the reprints of the above portions of the Ethiopic 
Bible. ' 

There is, however, reason to expect that, in no long time, 
the gift of the entire Ethiopic Scriptures will be imparted to 
Abyssinia. A manuscript copy of this version, in fine preser- 
vation, has been purchased by the committee of the Church 
Missionary Society. From a memoir on this manuscript by 
Professor Lee, we learn, that it contains the first eight books 
of the Old Testament, written on vellum, in a bold and mas- 
terly hand, in two columns on each page. The length of the 
page is that of a large quarto : the width is not quite so great. 
The volume contains 285 folios, of which the text covers 282, 
very accurately written, and in high preservation. On the first 
page is written, in Ethiopic, the invocation usually found in the 
books of the eastern Christians : " In the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Then follows an 
account of the contents of the book, written in Latin by some 
former possessor, and a date a. d. 1696, 20th September. On 
the reverse of the first folio is found a table, not .unlike the tables 
of genealogy in some of our old English Bibles, which seems to 
be intended to shew the hours appointed for certain prayers. 
Then follows the Book of Genesis, as translated from the Greek 
of the Septuagint. On the reverse of the third folio is the fol- 
lowing inscription in Arabic : " The poor Ribea, the Son of 
Elias, wrote it : O wine ! to which nothing can be assimilated, 
either in reality or appearance : O excellent drink ! of which 
our Lord said, having the cup in his hand, and giving thanks, 
* This is my blood for the salvation of men.' " Folios 7 and 8 
have been supplied, in paper, by a more modern hand. On the 
reverse of folio 8 is a very humble attempt at drawing, in the 
figure of a person apparently in prayer, accompanied by an in- 
scription in Ethiopic, at the side of the figure : " In the prayers 
of Moses and Aaron, to ^ Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, am I, 
thy servant, O Lord, presented in the power of the Trinity, a 
weak, infirm, and defiled sinner. Let them implore Christ." 
Under the drawing, in Ethiopic : " In the same manner, every 
slayer that slays Cain, will I repay in this; and, as he slew, so 
shall he be slain." On the reverse of folio S8, at the end of the 

1 Jahii, p 81. Masch, part ii. vol. i. pp. 140 — 143. In pp. 145 — 157 is a biblio- 
graphical notice of all the Ethiopic editions of the Scriptures, whether entire or in parts, 
that have been published. M'^alton, Prol. xv. § 10— 12. pp. 679 — 685. Kortholt, 
pp. 298 — 501. In Mr. Bruce's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 416 — 420. (8vo. edit.) there is 
an interesting account of the Ethiopic Biblical books. It is not known in whose posses- 
sion the manuscript copy of the Ethiopic Version now is, which was brought by Mr. B. 
from Abyssinia. 

* As this inscription, which occurs on the supplied leaves, savours of the errors of the 
Romish Church, it was probably written by some Abyssinian Catholic . The inscriptions of 
Isaac, the writer of the MS., though mutilated, and sometimes obscure, seem free from - 
these errors. The figure of St. Peter, mentioned below, was probably traced by the same 

V. Sect. I.] The Ethiopic or Abyssinian Version. 199 

book of Exodus, are two figures, somewhat similar, but rather 
better drawn, and seemingly by the writer of the manuscript ; 
and, in another place or two, there are marginal ornaments. 
At the end of Deuteronomy is this inscription, in Ethiopic : 
*' The repetition of the law, which God spake to Moses. Num- 
bered 5070 ' (words.) Intercede for your slave Isaac." — At the 
end of the volume : " Pray for those who laboured in this book ; 
and for your slave Isaac, who gave this to Jerusalem, the Holy." 
Then follows an inscription, in Arabic: " In the name of the 
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, one God. O 
Lord, save thy people from every evil ! O our God, Jesus 
Christ, the speaker to men ! O holy people, remember your 
slave Isaac, the poor : God shall remember you in the mercies 
of this book. Pray, if God be willing, that I may be permitted 
to see your face. And pray for me, the sinner. Pardon my 
sins, O Lord 1 and let my body be buried in Mount Sion." 
Then follows, in Ethiopic : " That our enemies may not say 
of us, * We have conquered them :' be ye prudent. We have 
given you a lamp. Be ye the culture. — Sow ye the flock : reap 

and rejoice." A few lines have been erased. Then follows 

. . . . " me, Isaac, the poor, in your prayers. It was completed 
in Beth Gabbaza, of Axuma. In thy name, O Lord, have I 
planted, that thou place me not in any other place except Mount 
Sion ; the mount of Christ ; the house of Christians. Let them 
not be forgotten in your prayers, who have read and testified 
to you. Preserve, O Lord, this my offering for me thy ser- 
vant, the poor ; and preserve all these books which I offer, 
that the brethren, dwelling at Jerusalem, may be comforted. 
And pray for rae^, forget me not in the holy offices, and in prayer, 
that we may all stand before God in the terrible day and hours. 
That it might not be written that we were wanting, I have pre- 
viously sent and given you this for the warfare of the testimony. 
Intercede, and bless. And also for the refreshing of the record 
of the Fathers : and also for Cueskam % the queen of the sons 
of Abyssinia; that they may be comforted, and thence convert 
our region — may, moreover, migrate into other regions, and 
restore Jerusalem : — and for the Calvary of Mary. Let them 

1 It is customary among the Jews, Syrians, and Ethiopians, to number the words in the 
Books of Scripture. 

2 In most of the Eastern churclies, it is the practice to enumerate their Saints in a 
certain part of the Liturgy. 

3 The name of a region, a sea, and a mountain, in Ethiopia ; so celebrated, as to be 
esteemed by the Ethiopians as preferable to even Sinai or Mount Olivet ; and, as tradi- 
tion says, whither Joseph and Mary, with the child Jesus, betook themselves, making 
it their residence for some time, after the flight into Egypt, Castell, sub voce. — Ludolfy 
sub voce, says it is the name of a monastery in Upper Egypt, which was always had in 
great veneration by the Copts and Ethiopians ; and where Christ is taid to have resided 
with his mother, when he fled from Herod. 

O 4 

200 On the Antient Versiojts. [Parti. Ch, 

pray for me. Let it be preserved as the widow's mite, for ever 
and ever. Let them not sell or exchange ; nor let them carry 
it away \ nor let them cause it to be placed elsewhere. And 
, . . ." the rest is wanting. Hence it appears, that the book 
was written at Axuma, the antient capital of Ethiopia ; and that 
it was sent by Isaac to the Abyssinians residing in Jerusalem. 
No date appears in the manuscript itself. It is, probably, aboiit 
300 years old. On the reverse of fol. 285, is a drawing, in- 
tended to represent Andrew the Apostle, with the book of the 
Gospels in one hand, and the keys in the other. Some less in- 
genious draftsman, however, has, by means of the transparency 
of the vellum, traced out this figure on the first page of this 
folio, and given the name of Peter to his humble representation. 
He has thus succeeded in assigning to St. Peter the first place, 
and also in bestowing on him the keys. Against this picture of 
Peter is placed his age, 120 years. 

The following fac-simile represents part of the remarkable 
prophecy of Balaam. ' 

. ^ Num. XXIV. 17. 

/ shall see him, hut not now : I shall call him blessed, but he 
is not near : there shall arise a star out of Jacob, andjrom Israel 
shall it arise : and he shall destroy the ambassadors qfMoab, 
and shall take captive all the children of Seth. 

> Eighteenth Report of the Church Missionnry Society, pp. 188, 189. In p. 190 
there is an interestinj notice of the Eihiopic MSS. of the Scriptures, in the Royal Li- 
brary at Paris. 

V. Sect. I.] The Sclavionic or old Russian Version. 201 

This precious manuscript has been carefully transcribed, and 
is now printing with a fount of types, cast at the expense of the 
British and Foreign Bible Society, from the matrices (preserved 
at Frankfort) of the celebrated Ethiopic scholar John Ludolph ; 
whose types, as used in his printed works, have been highly 
approved by the Abyssinians. 

4. The Armenian version was also made from the Alexan- 
drian Septuagint : its author was Miesrob, who invented letters 
fully expressive of the Armenian tongue, towards the close of 
the fourth or early in the fifth century. It is said to have been 
subsequently altered according to the Peschito or old Syriac 
version, and according to the Latin vulgate, by Uscan, an 
Armenian bishop, who was specially sent to Amsterdam to 
superintend the edition there printed in 1666. The edition 
printed at Constantinople in 1705, 4lo, was collated by Bre- 
dencamp, for the late Rev. Dr. Holmes's edition of the Sep- 
tuagint. The Armenian version of the Scriptures has been 
attributed to Chrysostom, but, it does not appear, on satis- 
factory authority. ' 

5. The Sclavonic or old Russian Versio?i is derived from the 
Septuagint: it was executed in the ninth century by Cyril of 
Thessalonica, the inventor of Sclavonic letters, in conjunc- 
tion with Methodius, by both of whom the Gospel was 
preached to the Bulgarians. The Pentateuch was first printed 
at Prague in 1519; and the entire Bible, in 1570: the edi- 
tion of the Sclavonic scriptures, executed at Ostrog in 1581 
is the exemplar whence all the modern Russian editions are 
printed ^. It is said to have undergone several revisions, par- 
ticularly in the time of the patriarch Nicon; and the New 
Testament is rendered with more perspicuity than the Old. 

VII. At the commencement of the Christian asra, the Latin 
was gradually supplanting the Greek as a general languao-e, 
and it soon might be called the language of the Western 
church. From the testimony of Augustine, it appears that 
the Latin church possessed a very great number of versions 
of the Scriptures, made at the first introduction of Chris- 
tianity, and whose authors were unknown ; and that, in the 
primitive times, as soon as any one found a Greek copy, and 
thought himself sufficiently versed in both languages, he at- 
tempted a translation of it 3. In the course of time, this diver 

• Jahn, p. 82. Masch, pp. 169 — 175; in pp. 175 — 181 the Armenian editions 
are described ; Kortholt, pp. 504, 305. On the present state of the Armenian church 
in India, see Dr. Buchanan's " Chrisrian Researches," pp. 541^—546. 

* A copy of this singularly rare book is in the Library of Earl Spencer : it is described 
by Mr. Dibdin, who has given a fac simile of it, in his Bibliotheca Spcnceriana, vol. i. 
pp. 90-95. 

3 Augustine, de Doct. Christ. L ii. c. 11. 

202 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

sity of translation produced much confusion, parts of separate 
versions being put together to form an entire composition, and 
marginal notes being inserted into the text : but one of these 
Latin translations appears to have acquired a more extensive 
circulation than the others, and for several ages was preferably 
used, under the name of the Itala or old Italic, on account of 
its clearness and fidelity '. This version, which in the time 
of Jerome was received as canonical, is by him termed some- 
times the vulgate and sometimes the old, in opposition to the 
new translation undertaken by him. He mentions no other 
version. The old Italic was translated from the Greek in 
the Old Testament as well as in the New, there being compa- 
ratively few members of the Western church who were skilled 
in Hebrew. ^ 

From the above cited expressions of Augustine, it has been 
inferred that the old Italic version was made in ihe^rst cen- 
tury of the Christian aera ; but the New Testament could not 
have been translated into Latin before the canon had been 
formed, which was certainly not made in the first century : and 
the o-reat number of Hebraisms and Syriasms observable in 
it, particularly in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, have 
induced some eminent critics to conjecture that the authors of 
this translation were Jews converted to Christianity 3. There 
is, however, every reason to believe, that it was executed in 
fhe early part of the second century : " at least it was quoted 
by Tertullian before the close of that century. But, be- 
fore the end of the fourth century, the alterations, either 
designed or accidental, which were made by transcribers of the 
Latin Bible, were become as numerous as the alterations in 
the Greek Bible, before it was corrected by Origen*." To 

I Ibid. c. 15. This passage of Augustine is suspected to be incorrect, and Bishop 
Marsh after many other critics, thinks that we ought to read ilia for Itala. Michaelis, 
vol. ii. part ii. p- 625. See also Dr. Lardner's Works, vol. v. pp. 1 1 5, 1 16. 

s A Codex Rescriptus or Palimpsestus of an Antehieronymian Version has been dis- 
covered by Dr. Federal Wurtzburg, who has transcribed nearly all that is legible, comprising 
the prophecies of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. These portions supply the chasms oc- 
curringin Sabatier's Edition, and differ materially from the fragments of antient versions 
printed in his Collection. The latter are not fragments of the Itala, for they want that 
perspicuitassementiae, which characterises it. Dr. Munter, Bp. of Seeland, supposes 
them to be of African origin: and, as M. Feder has allowed him to make use of his la- 
bours Bp. M. has copied them, and announced an edition of them, which will appear in 
a few months. Letter of Bp. Munter to M. Gregoire, dated Copenhagen, Feb. 7, 
1819, in Revue Encyclopedique, for March 1819, p. 545. 

3 " The learned and ingenious Eichhorn, in his Introduction to the Old Testament, 
supposes that the first Latin Version of the Bible was made in Africa ; where Latin 
alone being understood, a translation was more necessary ; where the Latin version was 
held in the highest veneration ; and where, the language being spoken with less purity, 
barbarisms might have been more easily introduced than in a provincial town in Italy." 
Bishop Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii.part ii. p. 623. 

4 Bishop Marsh's Divinity Lectures, part i. p. 66. 

V. Sect. I.] The Vulgate Versiok. 203 

remedy this growing evil, Jerome, at the request and under 
the patronage of Pope Daniasus, towards the close of the fourth 
century, undertook to revise this translation, and make it more 
conformable to the original Greek. He executed the revision 
of the Old Testament according to the Hexaplar text of Origen, 
which he went to Csesarea to consult, and the New Testament 
after the original Greek; and completed his task a. d. 384. 
Of this revision, the Book of Job and the Psalms (which alone 
have been preserved to our times), together with the Chro- 
nicles, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon, are all 
that were ever published; Jerome's manuscripts, comprising the 
remaining books of Scripture, being lost or destroyed through 
the wilful negligence or fraud of some individual whom he has 
not named. ' 

But before Jerome had finished his revisal, he had com- 
menced a translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew 
into Latin, in order that the Western Christians, who used this 
last language only, might know the real meaning of the 
Hebrew text, and thus be the better qualified to engage in 
controversial discussions with the Jews. This version, which 
surpasses all former ones, was executed at different times, 
Jerome having translated particular books in the order re- 
quested by his friends. We learn from Augustine that it was 
introduced into the churches by degrees, for fear of offending 
weak persons : at length it acquired so great an authority from 
the approbation it received from Pope Gregory I., that ever 
since the seventh century it has been exclusively adopted ^ by 
the Roman Catholic church, under the name of the Vulgate 
version : and a decree of the Council of Trent, in the sixteenth 
century, pronounced it to be authentic, and commanded that 
the Vulgate alone should be used whenever the Bible is pub- 
licly read, and in all sermons, expositions, and disputations. 

The universal adoption of Jerome's new version throughout 
the Western church rendenid a multiplication of copies neces- 
sary ; and with them new errors were introduced in the course 
of time, by the intermixture of the two versions (the old Italic, 
and Jerome's or the Vulgate) with each other. Of this con- 
fusion, Cassiodorus was the principal cause, who ordered them 
to be written in parallel columns, that the old version might 
be corrected by the Vulgate: and though Alcuin in the 

' Jerome, Ep. 64. ad Augustin. 

2 With the exception of the Psalms ; which being daily chaunted to music in the 
church service, made it difficult to introduce alterations. The old Italic Psalter, as 
corrected by Jerome, has therefore been used ever since the time of Gregory T. The 
apocryphal books of Baruch, Ecclesiasticus, Wisdom, and the two books of Maccabees, 
are also retained from the old Latin version. 

so* On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

eighth century, by the command of Charlemagne, provided 
more accurate copies, the text again fell into such confusion, 
and was so disfigured by innumerable mistakes of copyists — 
(notwithstanding the efforts made to correct it by Lanfranc 
archbishop of Canterbury in the eleventh centuiy, and by 
Cardinal Nicholas, and some other divines, about the middle 
of the twelfth and in the thirteenth centuries) — that the manu- 
scripts of the middle ages materially differ from the first printed 

Robert Stephens was the first who attempted to remedy this 
confusion, by publishing his critical editions of the Vulgate in 
1528, 1532, 1534, 1540, and particularly in 1545 and 1546. 
These, particularly the last, having incurred the censures of the 
doctors of the Sorbonne, John Hentenius, a divine of Louvain, 
was employed to prepare a new edition of the Vulgate : this 
he accomplished in 1547 in folio, having availed himself of 
Stephens's previous labours with great advantage. A third 
corrected edition was published by Lucas Brugensis, with 
the assistance of several other divines of Louvain, in 1573, in 
three volumes 8vo, which was also reprinted in 1586 in 4to 
and 8vo, with the critical notes of Lucas Brugensis. The 
labours of the Louvain divines not being in every respect 
approved by Sixtus V., he commanded a new revision of 
the text to be made with the utmost care : to this work he de- 
voted much time and attention, and corrected the proofs him- 
self of the edition which was published at Rome in 1590, in 
folio. The text thus revised, Sixtus pronounced to be the 
authentic Vulgate, which had been the object of inquiry in the 
Council of Trent; and ordained that it should be adopted 
throughout the Roniish church. But, notwithstanding the 
labours of the Pope, this edition was discovered to be so ex- 
ceedingly incorrect, that his successor Clement VIIL caused 
it to be suppressed, and published another authentic Vulgate in 
1592, in folio: this however differs more than any other edi- 
tion, from that of Sixtus V., and mostly resembles that of 
Louvain. These fatal variances between editions, alike promul- 
gated by pontiffs claiming infallibility, have not passed unno- 
ticed by Protestant divines, who have taken advantage of them 
in a manner that sensibly affects the church of Rome ; espe- 
cially Kortholt, who has at great length refuted the pretensions 
of Bellarmine in favour of the Vulgate in a masterly manner ', 
and our learned countryman Thomas James, in his Bellum 
Papale, sive Concordia Discors Sixti V. (London, 1600,) who 
has pointed out very numerous additions, omissions, contradic- 

• Kortholt, de variis Scripturas Editionibiis, pp. 110 — 251. 

V. Sect. I.] The Vulgate Version, 205 

tions, and other differences between the Sixtine and Clementine 
editions. From this very curious and now rare volume, the 
following specimens of the differences between these two edi- 
tions are transcribed. 

1 . Clauses omitted in the Sixtine, but inserted in the Clementine 


Num. XXX. 11. Uxor in domo viri, ^c. to the end of the verse. 
Prov. XXV. 24. Melius est sedere in angulo dotnatis, <^c. 
I^ev. XX. 9. Patri matrique maledixit. 
^Jud. xvii. 2, 3. Reddidit ergo eos matri suee, <^c. 
1 Kings, iv. 21. Quia capta est area Dei. 
3 Kings, (same as our first) xii. 10. Sic loqueris adeos. 
2Chron. ii. 10. £t vini vigenti millia metrelas. 

Mat. xxvii. 55. Ut impleretur quod dictum est per prophetam dicentem, diviserent 
sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. 

2. Clauses or Words introduced into the Sixtine, but omitted in the 

Clementine Bible. 

1 Sam. xxiv. 8. Fivit dominus, quia nisi dominus percusserit eum, aut dies ejus 
venerit ut moriatur, aut descendens in prcelium periret ; propi- 
tius mihi sit dominus ut non mittam manum meam in Christum 

1 Sam. XXV. 6. Ex multis annis salvosfaciens tuos et omnia tua. 

2 Sam. vi. 12. Dixitque Dauid, ibo et reducam arcam. 

2 Sam. viii. 8. De quo fecit Salomo omnia vasa area in templo et mare ceneum et 
columnas et altare. 
$ Sam. xix. 10. Et concilium totius Israel venit ad regem . 
Prov. xxiv. ult. Usque quo piger dormis ? usque quo de somno consurges. 

Hab. i. 5. Quare respicis contemptores et laces conculcante impio Justiorem 
se ? Et facies homines quasi pisces maris , et quasi reptilia non 
habenlia ducem. 
Mat. xxiv. 41. Duo in lecto, uiius assumetur, et unus relinquetur. 
Acts, xiv. 6. Et commota est omnis multitude in doctrina eorum, Paulus 

xxiv. 18, 19. Et apprehenderunt me clamantes et dicentes,toUe innimicum nos' 

3. Manifest contradictions, or differences between the editions. 

Ex. xxiii. 18. 

Num. xxxiv. 4. 

D^ut. xvii. 8. 

Jos. ii. 18. 

iv. 23. 

xi. 19. 

xiv. 3. 

1 Sam. iv. 9. 

XX. 9. 

1 Kings vii. 9. 

Hab. i. 15. 

Heb. v. 11. 

2 Pet. i. 16. 

Ex. xxiv. 5. 
Ex. xxxii. 28. 
2 Sam. XV. 7. 
1 Kings iv. 42. 

Sixtine Tuee, Clementine me«e. 

S. Ad meridiem, C. A meridie, 

S. Inter lepram et non lepram. 

C . Inter lepram el lepram . 

S. Signum nonfuerit, C. Signumfuerit, 

S. Deo nostro, C. Vestro^ 

S. QucB se non traderet, C. Qua: sc traderet. 

S. Tuo, C. Meo. 

S. Nobis, C. Fobis. 

S. ^ me,CA te. 

S. Intrinsecus, C. Extrinsecus. 

S. Quare non respicis, C. Respicis. 

S. Interpretabilis, ininterpretabilis. 

S. Indoctas, C. Doctas. 

4. Differences in numbers. 

S. Vitulos duodecem, C. Fitulos. 

S. Trigentatria millia, C. Figenti millia. 

S. Quatuor, C. Quadrigenta. 

S. Quinque mUlia, C. Quinque et mille. 

206 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. 'Cli*. 

2 Kings xiv. 17. S. Vigenti quingue, C. Quindecem, 

XXV. 19. S. Sex, C. Sexugenta. 

2 Chron. xiii. 17. S. Quinquagenla, C. Quingenla. 

5. Other remarkable differences. 

1 Sam. iii. 2, 3. S. N'ec poterat videre lucernam Dei antequam exlingueretur^ 

C. Nee poterat videre ; lucerna Dei antequam extingueretur, 
1 Kings ii- 28. S. Ad Salomonem, C. Ad Jaob. 

2 Kings XV. 19. S. In thersam, C. In terrain. 

Judith i. 2. S. Fecit, ejus murosin alliludineni 70 cubitus : this is one of those 
places where paper had been pasted on the text, the word first 
printed was ^afz^adinem, and altitudinem was prirted on a slip 
of paper and put over it, 5. Latidiidinem. 
Ibidem. S. Latitudinem, 30 cu. C. Altitudinem, 50 cubitus. 
Job. xxxi. 75. S. Si secutus est oculus mens cor meum, C. Si seculum est oculos 
meos cor meum. 
Ps. xli. 3. S. ^d Deumfontem vivum, C. Ad Deum fortem, vivum. 
Pro. XX. 25. S. Devorare sanctos, C. Devotare sanctos. 

xix. 23. S. qui qffligitpatrem etfugit matrem, C. Qui qffiigat, tj-c. etfugat, 

Ezek. xiv. 22. S. Egredientur,C. Ingredientur. 

Sirachxxxviii. 25. S. Sapientiam scribe, C Sapientia scribce . 

xlii. 9. S. Adultera,C. Adulta. 

Isaiah xlvi. 12. S. Justum, C. Avem. 

Jer. xvii. 9. S. Corhominis,C.hominum. 

The Vulgate is regarded by Papists and Protestants in very 
different points of view : by the former it has been extolled 
beyond measure, while by most of the latter it has been depre- 
ciated as much below its intrinsic merit. Our learned country- 
man, John Bois (canon of Ely), was the first who pointed out 
the real value of this version in his Collatio Veteris Inierpretis 
cum Beza aliisque recentioribus (8vo. 1655). In this work, 
which is now of extreme rarity, the author has successfully 
shewn that, in many places, the modern translators had unduly 
depreciated the Vulgate, and unnecessarily departed from it. 
Bois was followed by Father Simon, in his Histoire 'Critique du 
tcxte et des versio?is du Nouveau Testament^ who has proved 
that the more antient the Greek manuscripts and other ver« 
sions are, the more closely do they agree with the Vulgate : and 
in consequence of the arguments adduced by Simon, the 
Vulgate has been more justly appreciated by biblical critics of 
later times. 

Although the Latin Vulgate is neither inspired nor infallible, 
as Morinus, Suarez, and other advocates of the Romish church 
have attempted to maintain, yet it is allowed to be in general a 
faithful translation, and sometimes exhibits the sense of Scripture 
with greater accuracy than the more modern versions : for all 
those which have been made in modern times, by divines in com- 
munion with the church of Rome, are derived from the Latin Vul- 
gate, which, in consequence of the decree of the council of Trent 
above noticed, has been substituted for the original Hebrew 
and Greek texts. The Latin Vulgate therefore is by no 

V. Sect. 11.] The Oriental Versions. 207 

means to be neglected by the biblical critic: and since the 
Ante-Hieronymian Latin translations are unquestionably of 
great antiquity, both lead us to a discovery of the readings in 
very antient Greek manuscripts, which existed prior to the date 
of any now extant. Even in its present state, notwithstanding 
the variations between the Sixtine and Clementine editions, 
and that several passages are mistranslated, in order to support 
the peculiar dogmas of the church of Rome, the Latin Vulgate 
preserves many true readings, where the modernHebrew copies 
are corrupted. ' 

The old Latin version of the Four Gospels was published at 
Rome, by Blanchini, in two volumes folio, under the title of 
Evangeliarium quadruplex Latince Versionis antiques sen veteris 
ItaliccE : and the remains of the different antient versions were 
collected and published by Sabatier at Rheims, in three volumes 
folio, n-l-Q. The printed editions of the Vulgate are so nu- 
merous, that any account of them would occupy too large a 
portion of the present work ^ : the Paris edition of Didot in 
1785, in two volumes quarto, may however be noticed for its 
singular beauty and accuracy. ^ 



I. ORIENTAL VERSIONS. — 1. PescMto OT antient Syriac Version. — 
2. The Philoxenian Syriac Version. — 3. The Syriac Translation of 
Jerusale)n. — 4. Egyptian Versions. — 5. Arabic Versions. — 6. Ethio- 
pic Version. — 7. Armenia?! Version. — 8. Persian Version, — II, west- 
ern TRANSLATIONS. — 1. The Gothic Version. — 2. The Sclavonic 
Version. — 3. The Anglo-Saxon Version. 

1 HE antient versions of the New Testament may be divided 
into three classes — the Oriental, the Latin, and the Western : 
and as the Latin versions have been noticed in the preceding 
paragraphs, we shall at present confine our attention to the 
Oriental and Western translations. 

1. The principal oriental versions are the Syriac, 
Egyptian, Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Persian. 

1 Cappel has given numerous examples in liis Critica Sacra, lib. ii. cc. vii — ix. torn. ii. 
pp. 858—898. (edit. Scharfenberg.) 

2 A particular description of all the editions is given by Masch, part ii. vol. iii. 
pp. 1 — 352 ; and of the principal editions by Brunet, in his Manuel du Libraire, torn. j. 
art. Biblia. 

3 The preceding account of the Latin versions has been compiled from Michaelis, 
vol. ii. pp. 107 — 129. Semler, Apparatus ad Liberalem Vet. Test. Interpretatioiiem, 
pp. 308—514. Carpzov, Critica Sacra, pp. 671 — 706. Leusden, Philologus Hebraeo- 
mixtus, pp. 1 — 10. Bishop Walton, Prol. c. xi. pp.470 — 507 : and Viser, Herme- 
neutica Sacra Novi Testament!, vol. ii. part iii. pp. 75—96. 

208 On the Anlient Versions. [Part I. Ch. 

1. The Old Syriac Version, usually called the Peschito, 
that is, right, or exact. This translation comprises only the 
Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistles of Saint 
Paul (including the Epistle to the Hebrews), the first Epistle 
of Saint John, Saint Peter's first Epistle, and the Epistle of 
Saint James. The celebrated passage in 1 John v. 7-, and the 
history of the woman taken in adultery (John viii. 2 — 1 1 ), are 
both wanting. All the Christian sects in Syria and the East 
make use of this version exclusively, which they hold in the 
highest estimation. Michaelis pronounces it to be the very 
best translation of the Greek Testament which he ever read, 
for the general ease, elegance, and fidelity with which it has 
been executed. It is confessedly of the highest antiquity, and 
there is every reason to believe that it was made, if not in the 
first century, at least in the beginning of the second century ' . 
This version was first made known in Europe by Moses of Mar- 
din, who had been sent by Ignatius, patriarch of the Maronite 
Christians, in 1552, to Pope Julius III., to acknowledge the 
papal supremacy in the name of the Syrian church, and wa,s at 
the same time commissioned to procure the Syriac Ijfew Tes- 
tament. This was accomplished at Vienna in 1555, under the 
editorial care of Moses and Albert Widmanstad, with the as- 
sistance of William Postell, and at the expense of the emperor 
Ferdinand I. This editio princeps is in quarto. The Syriac 
New Testament has since been printed several times ^ : but the 
best edition is that of Leusden and Schaaf (with an excellent 
Syriac Lexicon) in two volumes 4to, Leyden, 1708, 1709, which 
was reprinted in 1717. A beautiful and correct edition of the 
antient Syriac version of the New Testament was executed at 
the press of Mr. Watts (London, 1816, 4to.), for the use of 
the Syrian Christians in India, by whom it has been received 
with the utmost gratitude. This edition was corrected for the 
press, as far as the Acts of the Apostles, by the late Rev. Dr. 
Buchanan ; and was completed by the Rev. Samuel Lee, A. M. 
Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge, one of the 
most accomplished Oriental scholars in this country. The ex- 
pense of the edition was defrayed by the British and Foreign 
Bible Society. 

There is also extant a Syriac version of the second Epistle 
of Saint Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, the 

• Such is the opinion of Michaelis, in unison with those of the most eminent philolo- 
gists, (see p. 286 supra.) Introd. to New Test. vol. ii. part. i. pp. 29 — .38. Bishop 
Marsh, however, in his notes, has controverted the argumenis of Michaelis, (ibid, part ii, 
pp. 551 — 554), which have been rendered highly probable by the Rev. Dr. Laurence, 
(Dissertation upon the Logos, pp. 67 — 75), who has examined and refuted the Bishop of 
Peterborough's objections. 

2 Michaelis, vol. ii. part. i. pp. 4 — 18, has given an account of the principal editions of 
the Syriac New Testament, to which his translator has furnished some valuable additions, 
(part ii. pp.536 — 546.) See also Mascli, part ii. vol. 1. pp. 71 — 102. 

V. Sect. II.] The Syriac P^ersions. 209 

Epistle of Jiide, and the Apocalypse, which are wanting in 
the Peschito : these are by yome writers ascribed to Mar Aba, 
primate of the East, between the years 535 and 552. The 
translation of these books is made from the original Greek ; 
but the author, whoever he was, possessed but an indifferent 
knowledge of the two languages. 

The Philoxenian or ST/ro-P/izloxenian Version, derives its name 
from Philoxenus, or Xenayas, bishop of Hierapolis or Mabug 
in Syria, a d. 488 — 518, who employed his rural bishop 
(Chorepiscopus) Poly carp to translate the Greek New Testa- 
ment into Syriac. This version was finished in the year 508, 
and was afterwards revised by Thomas of Harkel or JHeraclea, 
A. D. 616. Michaelis is of opinion that there was a third 
edition, and a fourth is attributed to Dionysius Barsalibaeus, 
who was bishop of Amida, from 1166 to 1177. It appears, 
however, that there were only two editions — the original one 
by Polycarp, and that revised by Thomas of Harkel; the 
single copy of the Four Gospels, with the alterations of 
Barsalibaeus, in the twelfth century, being hardly entitled to 
the name of a new edition. This version was not known in 
Europe until the middle of the eighteenth century; when the 
Rev. Dr. Gloucester Ridley published a Dissertation on the 
Syriac versions of the New Testament ', three manuscripts of 
which he had received thirty years before from Amida in 
Mesopotamia. Though age and growing infirmities, the great 
expense of printing, and the want of a patron, prevented 
Dr. Ridley from availing himself of these manuscripts; yet 
having, under circumstances of peculiar difficulty, succeeded in 
acquiring a knowledge of the Syriac language, he employed 
himself at intervals in making a transcript of the Four Gos- 
pels. These, being put into the hands of the late Professor 
White, were published by him, with a literal Latin translation, in 
1778, in two volumes 4to, at the expence of the delegates of 
the Clarendon press, at Oxford. In 1799 Professor White 
published from the same press the Acts of the Apostles and 
the Catholic Epistles, and in 1804, the Epistles of Saint Paul, 
also in 4to, and accompanied with a Latin translation. 

> De Syriacarum Novi Foederis Versionum Indole atque Usu Dissertatio ; Philo- 
xenianam cum simplici e duobus pervetustis Codicibus, ab Amida tran^niissis, conferente; 
1761, 4to. This very scarce tract is reprinted at the end of Semler's edition of Wet- 
stein's Libelli ad Crisin atque Interpretationem Novi Testamenti, (8vo. Hala, 1766), 
pp. 247 — 339. from a copy then in the library of the celebrated Michaelis ; to whose 
elaborate account of the Syriac versions, editions, and critical tracts concerning them, 
we are indebted for the present notice of the Syriac translations. See his Introduction to 
the New Testament, vol. ii. part i. pp. 1 — 75 ; and Bishop Marsh's Notes, ibid, part ii. 
pp. 533—585. 

VOL. 11. P 

210 On the Antient Fiirsions. [Fartl. Ch. 

The Philoxenian version, though made immediately from 
the Greek, is greatly inferior to the Peschito, both in the 
accuracy with which it is executed, and also in its style. It 
is, however, not devoid of value, " and is of real importance 
to a critic, whose object is to select a variety of readings, with 
the view of restoring the genuine text of the Greek original: 
for he may be fully assured that every phrase and expression 
is a precise copy of the Greek text as it stood in the manu- 
script from which the version was made. But, as it is not prior 
to the sixth century, and the Peschito was written either at the 
end of the first, or at the beginning of the second century, it i» 
of less importance to know the readings of the Greek manu- 
script that was used in the former, than those of the original 
employed in the latter." ' 

3. The Si/riac translation of Jerusalem was discovered in the 
Vatican Library at Rome by M. Adler, in a manuscript of the 
eleventh century. It is not an entire translation of the New 
Testament, but only a lectionar-iurrii or collection of detached 
portions, appointed to be read in the services of the church. It 
is written in the Syriac or Chaldee dialect of Jerusalem, whence 
Adler denominates it the Jerusalem Syriac version, though 
Father Georgi has proposed to call it the Syriaco- Assyrian 
translation : no part of it has yet been published. 

4. Egyptiafi Versions. — There are two translations of the 
New Testament extant in the Egyptian language — one in the 
Coptic or antient dialect of Lower Egypt, the other in the 
Sahidic or dialect of Upper Egypt. 

The Coptic version was published at Oxford in 1716, in 4to, 
by Daniel Wilkins, a learned Prussian, who has endeavoured 
to prove that it must have been executed prior to the third 
century; but his opinion has been controverted by many 
learned men, and particularly by Louis Picques, who refers it 
to the fifth century. The celebrated passage (1 John v. 7.) is 
wanting in this version, as well as in the Syriac, Peschito, and 
Philoxenian translations. A fragment of a Greek-Coptic 
version of the New Testament, comprising part of Saint John's 
Gospel, was published by Father Georgi, at Rome, in 1789, 
intitled Fragmentiim Evangelii Sancti Jofiannis Grceco-Coptico- 
Thehaiciim, 4to '^ ; and another, comprising parts of the Old and 
New Testaments, was edited at Copenhagen, by M. Engelbreth, 
in 4to ^. From the observations of Dr. Woide, it appears, that 

' Michaelis, vol. ii. parti, p. 68. 

2 Tliere is ail interesting account of i his work in the^tical Review, vol. xvi. 
pp 418—421. 

3 The title of this publication is given supra, p. 197, no/f. 

V. Sect. II.] The Egyptian Versions. 211 

the Coptic inclines more to the Alexandrian than the Sahidic, 
— that no remarkable coincidence is to be found between the 
Coptic or Sahidic and the Vulgate, — and that we have no 
reason to suspect that the former has been altered or made to 
conform to the latter. 

Concerning the age of the Sahidic version, critics are not yet 
agreed. Dr. Woide, however, has shewn that it was most 
probably executed in the second century ; and, consequently, 
it is of the utmost importance to the criticism of the Greek 
Testament. In a dissertation on this version, written in the 
German language, and abridged by Bishop Marsh ', Dr. W. 
observes, that there are now in existence two Sahidic manu- 
scripts, — one formerly in the possession of the late Dr. Askew, 
the other brought from Egypt by the celebrated traveller, Mr. 
Bruce. The former contains a work, intitled Sophia, and 
written by Valentinus, in the second century. This manuscript 
contains various passages both from the Old and New Testa- 
ment, which coincide with the fragments of the Sahidic version 
now extant ; whence it is concluded, that a Sahidic version of 
the whole Bible not only existed so early as the beginning of 
the second century, but that it was the same as that of which 
we have various fragments, and which, if put together, would 
form perhaps a complete Sahidic version of the Bible. The 
other manuscript, to which Dr. Woide appeals, contains two 
books, the one intitled Bi/3Aof tjjs yvwo-eoj, the other, B</3Xoj 
Koya x-ara. fjiVfYigiov. 

Now that this was written by a Gnostic, as well as the other 
manuscript, appears both from the title and the contents, and 
therefore it is concluded that the author lived in the second 
century. And as various passages are quoted in it both from 
the Old and New Testament, Dr. Woide deduces the same 
inference as from the foregoing. 

Besides the versions in the Coptic and Sahidic dialects. Fa- 
ther Georgi discovered, in a manuscript belonging to Cardinal 
Borgia, a fragment of a version written in a still different 
Egyptian dialect, which he calls Dialectus Ammoniaca. It 
contains only 1 Cor. vii. 36. — ix. 16. and xiv. 33. — xv. 33. 
Dr. Frederic Miinter has printed the Sahidic and Ammoniac 
texts of 1 Cor. ix. 10 — 16. in his Commentatio de Indole Ver- 
sio7iisNoviTestamentiSahidic(B (4<to, Hafnise, 1789), in parallel 
columns, in order to present the reader with a distinct view of 
the similarity or difference between the two versions. On ac-: 
count, however, of the chief difference consisting in the ortho- 
graphy of single words, he is not disposed to assign to the 

1 Marsh's Michaeli<;, vol. ii. partii. pp. ,595, 596- 

p 2 

212 On the Antient Versions. [Partl.Gh. 

Ammoniac the name of a separate dialect. In the treatise just 
noticed, Dr. Miinter has given an account of the Sahidic ver- 
sion; of which some fragments of the Gospels of Matthew and 
John have likewise been published by Mingarelli in a work in- 
titled ^gyptiorum Codicum Reliquice, Venetiis in Bibliothecd 
Naniand asservatcB (Bononiae, 1785? 4to). But the completest 
collection of fragments of this version is that prepared for the 
press by the late Dr. Woide, who did not live to publish them. 
The work was completed and edited by the Rev. Dr. Ford, 
from the Clarendon Press, at Oxford, in folio, 1799, as an 
appendix to Dr. W.'s fac simile of the Codex Alexan- 
drinus. * 

From the difference of their readings, and from the cir- 
cumstance that additions in the one are omitted in the other, 
Bishop Marsh infers that the Coptic and Sahidic are indepen- 
dent vei'sions, both made from the original Greek. Both, 
therefore, may be quoted as separate evidence for a reading in 
the Greek Testament. * 

5. Arabic versions. — There are many Arabic translations of 
the New Testament besides those which have appeared in 
print: for, since the Arabic language supplanted the Syriac 
and Egyptian, the inhabitants of the countries where these 
had been spoken, have been obliged to annex Arabic transla- 
tions to the antient versions, which are no longer understood. 
These Arabic translations are supposed to have been made at 
different times between the seventh and the eleventh centuries : 
in general, they were not all executed from the original text, 
but from the versions which they were intended to accompany. 
Thus some which are placed together with the Greek text, 
have been made from the Greek, while others have been made 
from the Syriac, the Coptic, and even from the Latin Vulgate. 
The chief Arabic translations which have been printed, are 
the following. 

i. The Four Gospels, printed at Rome, 1590-91, folio: there are 
some copies with a new title-page, and dated 1619. An interlineary 
Latin translation ( taken from the Vulgate, but slightly altered to piake 
it correspond to the Arabic) was published at the same time. This 
Arabic version appears to have been made from the Greek text : this 
edition of the Four Gospels was reprinted with some corrections in 
the Paris Polyglott, and again with very numerous corrections from 
maimscripts by Bishop Walton in the London Polyglott. 

ii. Erpenius published an Arabic translation at Leyden, in 1 6 1 6, in 
4to, from a manuscript said to be written a. d. 1342, in the monas- 
tery of Saint John, in the desert of Thebais : he has copied his manu- 

' Seethe title of this publication !.t length, «??/;?•«, p. 77, not*. 
« Michaelis,vol. ii. pp.76 — 81,586—597. 

V. Sect. II.] The Arabic Versions. 213 

script with singular accuracy, even where there appeared to ber gram- 
matical errors. This is the most elegant, faithful, and genuine 
edition of the Arabic version, but is untortunately very difficult to be 
procured : it corresponds exactly with the Roman edition. 

iii. The Arabic and Latin Bible, printed at Rome by the Congre- 
gation De Propaganda Fide in 1671, in three volumes folio, under the 
care of Sergius Risius, bishop of Damascus, is altered from the Vulgate, 
and consequently is of no use, either in the criticism or interpretation 
of the Scriptures. 

iv. The same remark is applicable to the Arabic New Testament 
published at London by the Society for promoting Christian 
Knowledge, a. d. 1727, in 4to, for the use of the Christians in 
Asia. Its basis is the text of the Paris and London Polyglotts : but 
the editor, Solomon Negri, has altered it in those passages which vary 
from the reading of our present Greek text. ' 

6. Of the author of the Ethiopic version we have no histo- 
rical account : he is supposed to have been Frumentius, who 
about the year 330 first preached Christianity in Ethiopia. 
This version is in the Gheez, or dialect appropriated to reli- 
gion in Abyssinia, and was first published at Rome, a. d. 
1548-4<9 : it is divided into four separate parts: 1. The 
Gospels, the translation of which is much superior to that of 
the. Epistles, where the translator appears to have been unequal 
to the task. 2. The Acts of the Apostles. 3. The fourteen 
Epistles of Saint Paul. 4. The seven Catholic Episdes. The 
Apocalypse is added as an appendix. The MS. of the Acts 
beino- very imperfect^ its chasms were supplied from the Vul- 
gate. The Roman edition was reprinted in the London Poly- 
glott : and a Latin translation of the Ethiopic version was pub- 
lished by Professor Bode at Brunswick, in 1752—1755, in 2 
vols. 4to. There is also a translation of the New Testament in 
the Amharicy or common dialect of Ethiopia.^ 

7, The Armenian version of the New Testament is unani- 
mously ascribed to Miesrob, the inventor of the Armenian 
alphabet, and to tiie patriarch Isaac, at the end of the fourth . 
or early in the fifth century. It was twice translated from the 
Syriac, and then from the Greek; and that the copies now 
extant were made from the latter language, is evident from their 
containing those books of the New Testament which were never 
admitted into the Peschito or antient literal Syriac version. 
The only two detached editions of the Armenian New Testa- 
ment, that have been printed, are those of Amsterdam, 1668, 
in Svo, and 1698 in 12mo. This version, in the opinion of 
Semler, is of great importance, as faithfully representing the 

» Michaelis, vol. ii. pp. 81 — 95, 597—610. Mill's Prolegomena, § l'2'J5, I29(J. 
2 Michaelis, pp. 05—93, 610—614. 


214 On the Antient Versions. [Part I. Cli. 

Greek MSS. whence it was made : but Miehaelis observes, 
that it would be an inestimable treasure, had it descended to 
us unaltered by time and superstition. It has in several in- 
stances been made conformable to the Vulgate by Haitho or 
Plethom, sovereign of the Lesser Armenia from a. d. 1224 to 
1270, who was attached to the church of Rome, and skilled in 
the Latin language. ^ 

8. There are extant two Persian versions of the four Gos- 
pels, the most antient and valuable of which was first printed 
in the London Polyglott by Bishop Walton, from a manu- 
script in the possession of Dr. Pococke, dated ad. 1314: it 
was made from the Syriac, having sometimes retained Syriac 
words, and subjoined a Persian translation. The other Per- 
sian translation was edited by Wheloc, and after his decease by 
Pierson, at London, in 1652-57, after a collation of three 
manuscripts. It is supposed to have been made from the 
Greek. - 

II. The principal antient western translations of the 
New Testament, which claim our notice, are the Gothic, the 
Sclavonic, and the Anglo-Saxon versions. 

1. The Gothic version of the New Testament was made from 
the original Greek by Ulphilas, a celebrated bishop of the 
Maeso-Goths, who assisted at the council of Constantinople in 
359, and was sent on an embassy to the emperor Valens about 
the year 378. He is said to have embraced Arianism, and to 
have propagated Arian tenets among his countrymen. Besides 
translating the entire Bible into the Gothic language, Ulphilas 
is said to have conferred on the Maeso-Goths the invention of 
the Gothic characters. The chai'acter, however, in which 
this version of the New Testament is written, is in fact the 
Latin character of that age; and the degree of perfection, 
which the Gothic language had obtained during the time of 
Ulphilas, is a proof that it had then been written for some 

The translation of Ulphilas (who had been educated among 
the Greeks) was executed from the Greek : but, from its coin- 
cidence in many instances with the Latin, there is reason to 
suspect that it has been interpolated, though at a remote 
period, from the Vulgate. Its unquestionable antiquity, how- 
ever, and its general fidelity, have concurred to give this 
version a high place in the estimation of biblical critics : but, 
unfortunately, it has not come down to us entire. The only 


' Semler, Apparatus ad Liberalem Novi Testamenti Interpretationem, p. 69. 
Miehaelis, vol. ii. pp. 9»— 105, 614—617. 

4 Miehaelis, vol. ii. pp. 105, 106, 617—619. Semler, p. 69. Walton, Prol. 
e. xvi. § 9. pp. 695, 696. 

V. Sect. II.] The Gothic Version. 215 

parts extant in print are a considerable portion of the Four 
Gospels, and some fragments of Saint Paul's Epistle to the 

The Four Gospels are contained in the celebrated Codex 
Arge7iteuSi which has been described in a former page. ' 

Of this precious relic of antiquity, which is at present deposited in 
the university library at Upsal, four editions have been printed, viz. 
1. At Dordrecht or Dort, 1665, in two vols. 4to, in Gothic characters, 
with the Anglo-Saxon version ; this is very correct, and was published 
by Francis Junius : — 2. At Stockholm, 16/1, 4to, edited by George 
Steirnhelm, in Latin characters, and accompanied with the Icelandic, 
Swedish, and Vulgate translations : — 3. The edition prepared by the 
learned Eric Benzel, archbishop of Upsal (who made a new copy from 
the original manuscript), and published after his decease by Mr. 
Lye, at Oxford, in 1760, in small foho, is executed in Gothic letters: 
the errors of the preceding editions are corrected, and many of the 
various lections, with which the Gothic version furnishes the Greek 
Testament, are remarked in the notes. But the last and best 
edition is, 4. That published at Weissenfels, in 1805, by M. Zahn, in 
one volume, quarto : it unites every thing that can be desired, either 
for the purposes of criticism or interpretation. The text is given 
from a very beavitiful and exact copy, which the celebrated scholar 
Ihre had procured to be made under his own inspection, and with the 
design of printing it. The editor has placed Ihre's Latin translation 
by the side of the text ; and has also added an interlineary Latin 
version, critical notes placed at the foot of each page, and an historical 
introduction, together with a complete glossary. The fragments of 
the Gothic version of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, edited by 
Knittel from a Codex Rescriptus ^ are reprinted with a Latin transla- 
tion in the appendix to the second volume of Mr. Lye's Saxon and 
Gothico-Latin dictionary. And in 1807, the Rev. Samuel Henshall 
published in 8vo. the Gothic Gospel of Saint Matthew, from the Codex 
Argenteus of the fourth century, with the corresponding English or 
Saxon, from the Durham Book of the eighth century, in Roman cha- 
racters ; a literal English lesson of each, and notes, illustrations, and 
etymological disquisitions. 

2. The Sclavonic or old Russian translation was executed 
from the original Greek in the ninth century by the two bro- 
thers, Cyril and Methodius, the translators of the Old Testa- 
ment. It was first printed in the edition of the eiitire Scla- 
vonic Bible at Prague in 1570, and at Ostrog in 1581, and has 
since been several times reprinted at Moscow, Kiow, and else- 
where. In all the editions prior to the year 1653, the me- 
morable verse, 1 John v. 7- is omitted. In the editions of 1653 
and 1663 it is inserted in the margin, but is incorporated in the 
text in all subsequent impressions. This version is pronounced 
by M. Dobrovvsky, who is profoundly skilled in Sclavonic 

' See p. 95, sujna. 2 See a notice rf it in p. 96, mina, 

V 4< 

216 On the Antient Versions. [PartL CIr. 

literature, to be a very literal translation from the Greek, the 
Greek construction being very frequently retained, even where 
it is contrary to the genius of the Sclavonian language ; and in 
general it resembles the most antient manuscripts, with which 
it agrees, even where their united evidence is against the com- 
mon printed reading. The Sclavonian version, he adds, has 
not been altered from the Vulgate, as some have supposed, 
though the fact is in itself almost incredible ; and it possesses 
few or no lectiojies, singulares, or readings peculiar to itself. 
From an edition of this version, printed at Moscow in 1614-, 
M. Alter selected the readings on the Four Gospels, and from a 
manuscript in the imperial library, the readings on the Acts and 
Epistles, which are printed in his edition of the Greek New 
Testament (Vienna, 1787, 2 vols. 8vo). M- Dobrowsky states 
that these various lections are given with great accuracy, but 
that those which Matthai has selected from the Revelation are 
erroneous and useless. Griesbach has given a catalogue of the 
Sclavonic manuscripts collated for his edition of the New I'es- 
tament, communicated to him by Dobrowsky, at the end of 
which is a brief classed account of the editions of the Sclavonic 
New Testament. » 

3. Anglo- Saxon versions. — Although Christianity was planted 
in Britain in the first century, it does not appear that the 
Britons had any translation of the Scriptures in their lan- 
guage earlier than the eighth century. About the year 706 
Adhelm, the first bishop of Sherborn, translated the Psalter 
into Saxon : and at his earnest persuasion, Egbert or Ead- 
frid, bishop of Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, soon after exe- 
cuted a Saxon version of the Four Gospels '^ Not many years 
after this, the learned and venerable Bede (who died a. d. 
735) translated the entire Bible into that language. There 
were other Saxon versions, either of the whole or of detached 
portions of the Scriptures, of a later date. A translation of 
the book of Psalms was undertaken by the illustrious King 
Alfred, who died a. d. 900, when it was about half finished : 
and Elfric, who was archbishop of Canterbury in 995, trans- 
lated the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judith, part of the book of 
Kings, Esther, and Maccabees. The entire Anglo-Saxon 
version of the Bible has never been printed : King Alfred's 
translation of the Psalms, with the interlineary Latin text, was 

1 Michaelis, vol. ii, pp. 155 — 158, 636, 637. Griesbach, Prolegomena, vol. i. 
pp. cx.xvii-^xxxii. Beck, Monogranimatica Hermeneiuices Novi Testament!, pp. 108, 

2 The manuscript of this translation is now deposited in the Cottonian Library in 
the British Museum, (Nero,D. iv.) : Mr. Astle has given a specimen of it in plate 
xiv. of his " Origin and Progress of Writing," and has described it in pp. 100, lOl. 

V. Sect. III.] The Anglo-Saxon Versions. 217 

edited by John Spelman, 4-10, London, 164-0; and there is an- 
other Saxon interlineary translation of the Psalter, deposited in 
the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth. Of the Four Gospels, 
there have been three editions printed : 1. By Matthew Parker, 
4to, London, 1571 ; 2. By William Lisle, 4to, London, 1638; 
3. By Thomas Marshall, 4to, Dordrecht, 1665, with the Mseso- 
Gothic version, and reprinted at Amsterdam in 1684. The 
Anglo-Saxon version being evidently translated from the Old 
Latin, Michaelis is of opinion that it may be of use in de- 
termining the readings of that version; and Semler has re- 
marked that it contains many readings which vary both from 
the Greek and Latin texts, of which he has given some ex- 
amples. Dr. Mill selected various lections from this version ; 
which, from the difference of style and inequalities observable 
in its execution, he ascribes to several authors : it is supposed 
to have been executed in the eighth century. ' 



Observations on the respective merits of the several antient versions: 

Rules for consulting them to the best advantage. 

/iLTHOUGH some hints have been incidentally offered, in 
the preceding sections, relative to the use of particular transla- 
tions of the Bible ; yet, as the antient versions are equally useful 
in sacred criticism in order to ascertain the genuine reading of 
passages, as well as in assisting us to determine the true mean- 
ing of the Scriptures, it may not be improper to subjoin a few 
general observations on the most beneficial mode of applying 
them to these important objects. 

As no version can be absolutely free from error, we ought 
not to rely implicitly on any one translation : but, if it be prac- 
ticable, the aid of the cognate dialects should be united with 
reference to a version, in order that, by a comparison of both 
these helps, we may arrive at the knowledge of the genuine 
readings and meanings. From inattention to this obvious 
caution, many eminent men have at different times ascribed 

1 Johnson's Hist. Account of English Translations of the Bible, in Bishop Watson's 
Collection of Theological Tracts, vol. iii. pp. 61 — 65. Bp. Marsh's Michaelis, vol. ii. 
pp. 158, 657. Kortholt, pp. 551—555. Semler, Apparatus ad Lib. Novi Test. 
Interp. pp. 72. 75. 

218 On the Antient Fersions. [Part I. Ch. 

to particular versions a degree of authority to which they were 
by no means entitled. Thus, by many of the fathers, the 
Alexandrian interpreters were accounted to be divinely in- 
spired, and consequently free from the possibility of mistake : 
a similar opinion was held by various eminent modern critics, 
particularly by Isaac Vossius, who asserted the Septuagint to 
be preferable to the Hebrew text, and to be absolutely free 
from error ! The church of Rome has fallen into a like mis- 
take with respect to the Vulgate or Latin Version, which the 
council of Trent declared to be the 071I7/ authentic translation. 
Further, versio7is of versions, that is, those translations 
which were not made immediately from the Hebrew Old Tes- 
tament, or from the Greek New Testament, are of no authority 
in determining either the genuine text or meaning of the origi- 
nal, but only of that version from which they were taken. This 
remark applies particularly to the Anglo-Saxon, Old English, 
Spanish, French, and German translations, whether ot the 
Old or New Testament ; which, being made before the six- 
teenth century, were executed immediately from the Latin : 
and subsequently, even in those examples where they are una- 
nimous in a reading, their united voices are of no more autho- 
rity than that of the Latin Version alone '. In all cases, there- 
fore, which require the aid of a version, either for the purpose 
of criticism or of interpretation, recourse must be had to those 
translations, which, being more antient, or better executed, are 
preferable to every other. And in this view the following will 
be found most deserving of attention, not only as uniting the 
two qualifications of antiquity and excellence, but also as being 
more generally accessible to students, being for the most part 
comprised in the Polyglott Bibles, which are to be found in 
almost every public library. 

I. The Alexandrian Version is confessedly the most antient, 
and, with all its errors and imperfections, contains very much 
that is highly valuable, and on this account it has been used by 
nearly all the more antient interpreters. With the Septuagint 
should be consulted the fragments of the translations executed 
by Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus, as well as the fifth, 
sixth, and seventh versions ; the diligent use of all these is, per- 
haps, the best possible preparation to the critical interpretation 
of the New Testament. 

II. The Syriac Peschito, whose fidelity as a version, indepen- 
dently of the excellence of its style, has received the highest 
commendations from Michaelis, is particularly serviceable for 
the interpretation of the New Testament. 

' Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 3. 

V. Sect. III.] Their Use and Application. 219 

III. The Latin Vulgate^ with the exception of the Psalms, 
deservedly claims the third place. 

IV. The Targums or Chaldee Paraphrases, though unequally 
executed, contain many things that are exceedingly useful, and 
necessary to be known, especially the paraphrases of Jonathan 
Ben Uzziel : they not only contribute essentially to the under- 
standing of many different passages in the Old Testament, but 
also thi-ow much light on the interpretation of the New Testa- 
ment. Extracts from them are to be found in all the larger 
commentaries, and also in the works of Dr.|Lightfoot. 

V. The other versions made immediately from the Hebrew 
and Greek originals follow next in order, particularly the Arabic 
translations of the Old Testament : but no certain dependence 
can be placed, as an authority in support of a reading, on the 
Latin translations of the Oriental versions, which are printed 
in the Polyglott Bibles. On the peculiar application of antient 
versions to the ascertaining of various readings, see Chapter VIII, 

It will not however be necessary to consult antient versions, 
except in passages that are really difficultj or unless a par- 
ticular examination of them be instituted for some special object 
of inquiry. In this case not one or two versions merely should 
be consulted, but every version that is accessible should be 
referred to ; and all such places should be compared together 
as are parallel, that is, those passages in which the same word 
or the same form of speaking respectively occurs ; and, where 
any thing worthy of preservation offers itself, it will materially 
facilitate future studies to note it either in an interleaved Bible, 
or, which perhaps is preferable, in an interleaved Lexicon. This 
practice will not only enable the biblical student to discover and 
correctly to appreciate the genius of a version, and the ability, 
or the reverse, with which it may be executed ; but it will also 
supply many important helps for the interpretation of Scripture. 
As, however, some of the antient versions have been altered or 
interpolated in many places, great care must be taken to dis- 
tinguish the modern amendments from the genuine text of the 
original antient translator. The various excellent concordances 
that are extant, will aflfbrd great assistance in finding out such 
parallel words or phrases. 

In order to ascertain how far the antient versions represent 
correctly the meaning of Hebrew or Greek words, the follow- 
ing rules will be found useful. 

1 . That meaning is to he taken and received as the true one, 
'which all the versions give to a word, and "which is also coiifirmed 
hy the kind,red dialects : 

Because, the number of testimonies worthy of credit being as great 
as possible, there can be no room left for doubt. 

220 On the Antient Versions. [Parti. Ch» 

2. All those significations^ formerly given to Hebre'w ivords, 
are to be cofisidei-ed as correctly given, which the Septuagint or 
other Greek translators express by the same or similar Greek 
"ioords, although no trace of such meaning appear in any Orien- 
tal language. 

For, as no doubt can be entertained of the diligence and scrupulous 
learning of those translators, who can presume to measure the vast co- 
piousness of the Arabic, Syriac, and other Oriental languages, by 
the few books which in our time are extant in those languages Y since 
no one is so ignorant as to suppose that all the riches of the Greek and 
Latin languages are comprised in the verj- numerous remains of classi- 
cal literature with which our age happily abounds. With regard to the 
New Testament, " in cases where the sense is not affected by different 
I'eadings, or the translator might have taken them for synonymous, the 
evidence of Greek manuscripts is to be preferred to that of an antient 
version. The same preference is due to the maimscripts wherein the 
translator has omitted words that appeared of little importance, or a 
passage in the Greek original is attended w ith a difficulty which the 
translator was unable to solve, and therefore either omitted or altered 
according to the arbitrary dictates of his own judgment." ' 

3. Where the versions differ in Jixing the sense of a xvord, 
the more antient onesj being executed "with the greater care and 
skill, are in thefrst place to be consulted, and preferred to all 

For, the nearer a translator approaches to the time when the original 
language was vernacular, we may readily infer that he has expressed 
wath so much the greater fidelity the true signification of words, both 
primary and proper, as well as those which are derivative and trans- 
lated. There are, however, some cases in which antient versions are 
of more authority than the original itself. Most of the translations of 
the New Testament, noticed in the preceding pages, surpass in anti- 
quity the oldest Greek manuscripts now extant : " and they lead to a 
discovery of the readings in the very antient manuscript that was used 
by the translator. By their means rather than from the aid of our 
Greek manuscripts, none of which is prior to the fourth or fifth 
century, we arrive at the certain knowledge, that the antient writings 
have been transmitted from the earliest to the present age without 
material alteration ; and that our present text, if we except the pas- 
sages that are rendered doubtful by an opposition in the readings, 
is the same which proceeded from the hands of the apostles. Whenever 
the reading can be precisely detennined, which the translator found in 
his Greek manuscript, the version is of equal authority with a manu- 
script of that period : but as it is sometimes difficult to acquire this 
absolute certainty, great caution is necessary in collecting readings 
from the antient versions." ^ 

4. A meaning given to a word by o?dy one version, provided 
this be a good one, is by no means to be rejected ,- especially if it 
agree with the axdhm's design and the order of his discourse. 
For it is possible that the force and meaning of a word should be un- 

' Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 3. 2 Michaelis, vol. ii. p. 2. 

V. Sect. III.] I'heir Use and Application. 221 

known to all other translators, and no trace of it be discoverable in 
the kindred dialects, and yet that it should be preserved and transmitted 
to posterity by one version. This remark applies chiefly to things which 
a translator has the best opportunity of understanding from local and 
other circumstances. Thus, the Alexandrian interpreters are the most 
ample testimony for every thing related in the Old Testament con- 
cerning Egypt, while others, who were natives of Palestine, and per- 
haps deeply skilled in Jewish literature, are the best guides we can 
follow in whatever belongs to that country. ' 

5. Lastly, ^' Those versions" of the New Testament, " in which 
the Greek is rendered word for word, and the idioms of the 
original, though harsh and often immeaning in another language, 
are still retained in a translation, are of more value in "point of 
criticism than those which express the sense of the original in a 
manner more suitable to the language of the translator" 

The value of the latter, as far as regards their critical application, 
decreases in proportion as the translator attends to purity and elegance, 
and of course deviates from his original : but their worth is greater in 
all other respects, as they are not only read with more pleasure, but un- 
derstood in general with greater ease. By means of the former we 
discover the words of the original, and even their arrangement: — but 
the latter are of no use in deciding on the authenticity of a reading, if 
the various readings of the passage in question make no alteration in 
the sense. No translation is more literal than the New Syriac, and 
none therefore leads to a more accurate discovery of the text in the 
antient manuscript from which the version was taken ; but, setting 
this advantage aside, the Old Syriac is of much greater value than the 
New. 2 

1 Jahn, Introduct. ad Vet. Feed. pp. 116 — 122. Picter, Theologie Chretieniie, 
torn. i. pp. 131 — 152. Bauer, Herm. Sacr. pp. 147 — 162, 301—309. J. B. Carp- 
zov. Prim. Lin. Herm. pp.62 — So. Ernesri, Inst. Interp. N.Test. p. 57. Morus in 
Ernesti, torn. i. pp. 130, 131. Gerard's Institutes, pp. 107 — 111. Bishoj,- Lowth's 
Isaiah, vol. i. pp. Ixxxvii — xc. 8vo. edit. PfeifFer, Herm. Sac. c. 14, (Op. torn. ii. 
pp. QQZ~QQA.) 

5 Michaelis, vol, ii. p. 3. 

222 Moderji Veisions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 




I. Scarcity and high prices of the Scriptures. — II. Rude attempts to 
convey an idea of their contents to the poor and illiterate. — Account 
of the BiBLiA Pauperum. — III. Number and classification of the 
translations of the Bible into Modern Languages. 

I. 1 HE versions noticed in the preceding chapter are all 
that are of importance for the purposes of biblical criticism : 
but copies of them do not appear to have been very numerous 
in any country. In the early ages of Christianity, however 
anxious its professors must have been to become possessed of the 
sacred volume, — and however widely it was read in their as- 
semblies for divine worship, — still the publication of a version 
was not what it now is, — the emission of thousands of copies 
into the world. It consisted, in a great measure, in translators 
permitting their manuscripts to be transcribed by others : and 
so long as the tedious process of copying was the only one 
which could be resorted to, exemplars of the sacred writings 
must have been multiplied very slowly. Before the inventions 
of paper and printing, manuscripts were the only books in use, 
and bore such excessively high prices, especially those which 
were voluminous, that few besides the most opulent could afford 
to purchase them ' : even monasteries of some consideration 
had frequently only a missal. So long as the Roman empire 
subsisted in Europe, the reading of the Scriptures in Latin 
universally prevailed : but, in consequence of the irruptions of 
the barbarous nations, and the erection of new monarchies 
upon the ruins of the Roman power, the Latin language be- 
came so altered and corrupted, as no longer to be intelligible 
by the multitude, and at length it fell into disuse, except among 
the ecclesiastics. 

1 Concerning the rarity and high prices of books, during the dark ages, the reader 
will find several authentic anecdotes in the first volume of an * Introduction to the 
Siiicly of Bibliography,' (pp. 345 — 549.), by the .nuthor of this work. 

VI. Sect. I.] General Observations. 223 

In the eighth and ninth centuries, v/hen the Vulgate Latin 
version had ceased to be generally understood, there is no rea- 
son to suspect any intention in the church of Rome to deprive 
the laity of the Scriptures. " Translations were freely made, 
although the acts of the Saints were generally deemed more 
instructive. Louis the Debonair is said to have caused a 
German version of the New Testament to be made. Otfrid, in 
the same" (that is the ninth) " century, rendered the Gospels, 
or rather abridged them, into German Verse : this work is still 
extant, and is, in several respects, an object of curiosity. In the 
eleventh or twelfth century, we find translations of the Psalms, 
Job, Kings, and the Maccabees, into French. But, after the 
diffusion of heretical principles, it became expedient to secure 
the orthodox faith from lawless interpretation. Accordingly 
the council of Thoulouse, in 1229, prohibited the laity from 
possessing the Scriptures ; and this prohibition was frequently 
repeated upon subsequent occasions." ' 

II. Although the invention of paper, in the close of the thir- 
teenth or early in the fourteenth century, rendered the tran- 
scription of books less expensive, yet their cost necessarily 
placed them out of the reach of the middling and lower classes, 
who (it is well known) were immersed in the deepest ignorance. 
Means, however, were subsequently devised, in order to convey 
a rude idea of the leading facts of Scripture, by means of the 
Block Books or Books of Images, as they are termed by Biblio- 
graphers, of which the following notice may be not unaccept- 
able to the reader. 

The manufacturers of playing cards, which were first in- 
vented 2 and painted in the fourteenth century, had in the fol- 
lowing century begun to engrave on wood the images of the 
Saints, to which they afterwards added some verses or sentences 
analogous to the subject. As the art of engraving on wood pro- 
ceeded, its professors at length composed historical subjects, 
chiefly (if not entirely) taken from the Scriptures, with a text or 
explanation engraved on the same blocks. These form the 
Books of Images or Block books just mentioned : they were 
printed from wooden blocks; one side of the leaf only is 
impressed, and the corresponding text is placed below, beside, 
ov proceeding out oJ\ the mouth of the figures introduced. 

Of all the Xylographic works, that is, such as are printed frora 
wooden blocks, the Biblia Pauperum is perhaps the rarest, as 
well as the most antient ; it is a manual, or kind of catechism of 

1 Hallam's View of Europe during the Middle Ages, vol. ii. p. 556. 4to edition. 

2 They appear to have been first invented in 1390 by Jacquemin Gringonneur, a 
painter at Paris, for the amusement of Charles VI. king of France, who had fallen 
into a confirmed melancholy, bordering on insanity. Rees's Cyclopcedio, vol. vi. article 

224- Modem Ver.noiis of' the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

the Bible, for the use of young persons and of the common 
people, whence it derives its name, — Biblia Pauperwn — the 
Bible of the Poor ; who were thus enabled to acquire, at a com- 
paratively low price, an imperfect knowledge of some of the 
events recorded in the Scriptures. Being much in use, the 
few copies of it which are at present to be found in the libraries 
of the curious, are for the most part either mutilated or in bad 
condition. The extreme rarity of this book, and the circum- 
stances under which it was produced, concur to impart a high 
degree of interest to it. 

The Biblia Pauperum consists of forty plates, with extracts 
and sentences analogous to the figures and images represented 
therein ; the whole are engraven on wood, on one side of 
the leaves of paper ; so that, when folded, they are placed 
opposite to each other. Thus, as the white sides of the leaves 
may be cemented together, the total number is reduced to 
twenty, because the first and last page remain blank. Copies 
however are sometimes found, the leaves of which not having 
been cemented on their blank side, are forty in number, like the 
plates. Each plate or page contains four busts, two at the 
top, and two at the bottom, together with three historical sub- 
jects : the two upper busts represent the prophets or other per- 
sons whose names are always written beneath them ; the two 
lower busts are anonymous. The middle of the plates, which 
are all marked by letters of the alphabet in the centre of the 
upper compartment ', is occupied by three historical pictures, 
one of which is taken from the New Testament ; this is the 
type or principal subject, and occupies the centre of the page 
between the two anti-types or other subjects, which allude to 
it. The inscriptions which occur at the top and bottom of the 
page, consist of texts of Scripture and Leonine verses. 

Thus in the fortieth plate, of which our engraving is a copy % 
the two busts of David and Isaiah are placed in the middle of 
the upper part of the page, between two passages of the Bible. 
Thejirst of these, on the left of those prophets, is partly taken 
from the Song of Solomon (chap. v. 7, 8.) and runs thus: 
Legitur in Cantico Canticorum quarto capite, quod, (or quo) 
sponsus alloquitur sponsam, ct earn sumendo dixit ,• " Totapidchra 
es, arnica mea, et macula no7i est in te. Veni, arnica mea ; veni, 
coronabere." Sponsus verus iste est Christus ; qui, in assumendo 
earn sponsam, quce est anime sine macula omnis peccati, et intro- 
ducit earn in requiem eternam, et coronat cum corona immortali' 

' These letters Mr. Dibdin thinks are the origin of the signatures which are used 
to denote the order of the sheets in printed books. Bib. Spenc. vol. i. p. xxvi. 

2 Made from the last pkte or page of the exemplar, which was the late Mr. WiUett's. 
See the engraving facing the title-page. 

VJ. Sect. I.j General Observations. 225 

The second passage, which is on the right of David and 
Isaiah, is taken from the Book of Revelations, and runs thus : 
Legitur in Apocalypsi xxi^. capite^ quod angelus Dei apprehendit 
Jhoannem Evangelistam, cum esset in spiritu, et volens sibi osten- 
dere archana Dei dixit ad eum ; *' Veni, et ostendam tibi spon- 
sam, uxor em agni." Angelus loquitur ad omnes ****', ut 
veniant ad auscultandum in sponsum, agnum innocentem Christum, 
animas innocentes coronantem. 2 

Beneath the bust of David which is indicated by his name, is 
a scroll proceeding from his hand inscribed : * * *» sponsus do- 
minus procedens de thalamo suo. 

Beneath Isaiah is ysaye vi, with a label proceeding from his 
hand, inscribed * * * * 1 sponsus decoravit me corona. 

The letter . t? . between these two labels denotes the order of 
the plate or page, as the cuts in this work follow each other 
according to two sets of alphabets, each of which extends from 
a to b only : when the first series is completed, a second is 
begun, the letters of which are distinguished by two points 
♦ a ♦ ♦ 6 . . c ♦ &c. 

In the central compartment, between the busts above de- 
scribed, is the type or principal subject; it represents the 
rewards of the righteous in the eternal world, and the Redeemer 
is introduced as bestowing the crown of life on one of the elect 
spirits. The antitype on the left is the daughter of Sion, crowned 
by her spouse with the following Leonine verse, 

Laus ale vere : sposU bn sest here ; 

that is, 

Laus anime vere sponsum bene sensit habere. 

The antitype on the right is an angel, speaking to St. John, 
with this verse beneath : 

Spos^amat sposam X* nimis et speciosam ; 

that is, 

Sponsus amat sponsam Christus fdmis et speciosam. 

From the left hand figure of the bust at the bottom of the plate, 
proceeds this label : corona tua c'ctdigata [circumligata] siet 
[sit] et calciame [calciamenta] I peb"^ [in pedibus], with a 
reference to Ezekiel, ch. xxiv. which however throws no light 
whatever on the subject. 

1 Two words are here omitted : they are so abbreviated in the original, as to defy 

2 The above sentences are printed without the contractions, which are so numerous 
and so complex, as to be with difficulty understood by any who are not conversant in 
antient records and early .piinted books. 


226 Modern Versions of the Scri'ptures. [Part 1. Ch. 

From the figure on the right proceeds the label, sponsaho te. 
in sempiternum, &c. with a reference to the prophecy of Ho- 
sea, ch. V. ^ 

Bibliographers are by no means agreed concerning the age, 
which they assign to the curious volume above described. 
Mr. Dibdin ^, it is apprehended, dates it too low, in fixing it 
to the year 1450 : and though the cuts are not designed in so 
heavy and Gothic a style as Baron Heinecken ascribes to them, 
yet the execution of them on the wood-blocks is confessedly 
very coarse, as our specimen (which is an exact fac-simile) will 
abundantly prove. The form of the letters also is too Gothic, 
and too void of proportion to bear so late a date : indeed, if they 
be compared with the letters exhibited in some of thefac-similes 
in the Bibliotheca Spenceriana (which are supposed to have 
been executed betv/een 1420 and 1430), the similarity of coarse- 
ness in the shape of the letters, will render it probable that the 
Biblia Pauperum is nearly of equal antiquity. In fact, it is this 
very coarseness of the letters (as Heinecken has remarked) which 
has caused the edition above described to be preferred to every 
other of the Biblia Pauperum. ^ 

I Baron Heinecken, who has examined several copies of this work with minute atten- 
tion, has discovered five different editions of the BibliaPauperum ; the fifth is easily known, 
as it has fifty plates. In executing the other four editions, the engravers, he observes, 
have worked with such exactness, that there is very little difl^erence between any of 
them, so that it is impossible to determine which is the first. The attentive bibliographer 
however will discover several variations. These are pointed out by Heinecken, who 
has described the subjects of the different plates or leaves with much minuteness; as 
his interesting work is in the hands of every bibhographer and amateur, it will be suf- 
ficient to refer to his Id^e d'une Collection d'Estampes, pp. 295 — 333 ; from which 
Santander has abridged his neat account. Diet. duxv. Siecle, vol. ii. pp.207 — 210. 
Lambinet (Recherches sur rimprimerie, pp. 61 — 72;) and Daunou (Analyse des 
Opinions sur I'Origine de I'lmprimeire, pp. 7 — 15.) have short but interesting notices, 
relative to this and the other Books of Images, which will repay the trouble of perusal 
to those who have not the dear volume of Heinecken, or the elaborate work of 

* Bibliotheca Spenceriana, vol. i. p. xxvi. 

3 The rarity of the Biblia Pauperum has caused the few copies of it, which are 
known to be extant, to be sold for the most exorbitant prices. These indeed have 
varied according to the condition and difference of the several editions. The copy 
which Heinecken describes as the first (and which is noticed above), cost at the sale of 
M. de Boze, in 1753, 1000 livres, (431. 15s.); at the sale of M. Gaignat in 1769, 
830 livres (361. 6s.) ; at the sale of M. Paris in 1791, 511. ; and at that of Mr. Willett, 
in 1813, two hundred and forty-five guineas ! The edition, described by Heinecken 
as the second, produced at M. Verdussen's sale, in 1776, 250 florins of exchange, 
(about 241.) ; at that of M. la Valliere, in 1783, 780 livres, (341. 2s. 6d.) ; and at that 
of M. Crevenna, in 1789, 946 livres, (411. 7s. 9d.) Copies of the Biblia Pauperum 
are in his Majesty's library (formerly Gaignat's copy); in that of Earl Spencer ; the 
Bodleian and Corpus Christi Libraries, at Oxford ; in Bennet College Library, Cam- 
bridge ; in the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, (it is very imperfect) ; in the Royal 
Library at Paris (formerly Valliere's copy, it is imperfect) ; and in the Public Library 
at Basle. For an account of the Speculum Humaner Salvationis and other curious 
Books of Images, see the author's Introduction to Bibliography, vol. ii. Appendix, 
pp. V. — xiv. ; and Baron Heinecken's Idee Generale d'une Collection complete des 
Etampes. 8vo. Leipsic, 1771. 

VI. Sect. I.] General Observaiiotis. 227 

III. The discovery of the art of printing in the fifteenth 
century, and the establishment of the glorious Reformation 
throughout Europe, in the following centurj^, facilitated the 
circulation of the Scriptures. Wherever its pure doctrines 
penetrated, the nations that embraced it, adopting its grand 
principle — that the Bible contains the Religion of Protestants, 
were naturally desirous of obtaining the sacred volume in their 
respective languages. And even in those countries, into which 
the Reformed Doctrines were but partially introduced, it was 
found necessary to yield so far to the spirit of the times, as to 
admit, in a limited degree, vernacular translations among the 
people '. Since the Reformation, wherever learned and pious 
missionaries have carried the Christian Faith, the Scriptures 
have been translated into the languages of its professors. 

The total number of dialects, spoken in any part of the 
world, is computed to be about five hundred ; and of these some- 
what more than one hundred appear to constitute languages 
generically distinct, or exhibiting more diversity than resem- 
blance to each other. Into upwards of one hundred and fifty 
of these various dialects, the sacred Scriptures have been trans- 
lated, either wholly or in part; and not less than sixty of them are 
versions in the languages and dialects of Asia. It is obvious that 
very few modern versions can be of service in the criticism or 
interpretation of the Bible ; but as the author has been censured 
for omitting them in the former edition of this work, he has 
endeavoured to supply that deficiency, and to procure the best 
information possible, on a topic so interesting to every sincere 
professor of Christianity. 

The modern versions of the Scriptures are twofold, viz. in 
the Latin language, and in the vernacular languages of all the 
countries in which Christianity has been propagated : and both 
are made either by persons in communion with the church of 
Rome or by Protestants. 

1 Historical Sketch of the Translation and Circulation of the Scriptures, by the 
Rev. Messrs. Thomson and Orme, (8vo. Perth, 1815.) p. 44. 


228 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 



I. Modern Latin Versions of the entire Bible executed by persons in 
communionwiththe church of Rome. — 1. OfPagninus. — 2. Of Mon- 
tanus.—S. Of Malvenda and Cardinal Cajetan. — 4. Of Houbigant. 
^11, Modern Latin Versions of the whole Bible executed by Pro- 
testants. — 1. OfMunster. — 2. Of Leo Juda. — 3. Of Castalio. — 4.0/ 
Junius and Tremellius. — 5. Of Schmidt. — 6. Of Dathe. — 7. Of 
Schott and Winzer. — III. Modern Revisions and Corrections of the 
Vulgate Latin Version, by Catholics and Protestants. — IV, Modern 
Latin Versions of the JNew Testament — 1. Of Erasmus. — 2. Of 
Beza. 3. Of Sebastiani. — Other modern Latin Versions of less note. 

I. Of the modern Latin versions of the Old Testament, 
made by individuals in communion with the church of Rome, 
those of Pagninus, Montanus, Malvenda, Cajetan, and Houbi- 
gant, are particularly worthy of notice. ' 

1. Sanctes Pagninus, a Dominican monk, was the first 
modern oriental scholar who attempted to make a new trans- 
lation of the Scriptures from the original languages. Having, 
in the course of his studies, been led to conceive that the Vul- 
gate Latin Version of Jerome (of which an account has been 
given in the preceding chapter), was greatly corrupted, he un- 
dertook to form a new translation of the Old Testament from 
the Hebrew, following Jerome only where he thought that his 
version corresponded to the original. Under the patronage of 
the Popes Leo X. Hadrian VI. and Clement VI., he devoted 
twenty-five years to this great work ; which was first printed at 
Lyons in 1528. The Jews, who read it, attested its fidelity. 
The great fault of Pagninus is, that he has adhered too closely 
and servilely to the original text ; and this scrupulous attach- 
ment has made his translation obscure, barbarous, and full of 
solecisms. He has also altered the commonly received names 
of men and cities, and has substituted others in their place, 
which are pronounced according to the pronunciation of the 
Masorites. Though this translator's labours were very se- 
verely criticised by Father Simon, yet he acknowledges his 
great abilities and learning : and all the later commentators 
and critics concur in justly commending his work, as being 

> The materials of this section are derived from Masch's and Boerner's Edition of 
Le Long's Bibllotheca Sacra, vol. if. Walchii Bibliotheca Theologica Selecta vol. iv. 
pp. 64—76. Carpzovii Critica Sacra Veteris Testament!, pp. 707—757. 'simon's 
Hist, Critique du Vieux Testament, livre ii. ch.xxii. 

VI. Sect. II.] Modern Latin Versions. 229 

remarkably exact and faithful, and admirably adapted to ex- 
plain the literal sense of the Hebrew text. Pagninus after- 
wards translated the New Testament from the Greek, which 
he dedicated to his patron. Pope Clement VII. It was printed 
with the former at Lyons, in 1 528. 

2. The translation of Pagninus was revised by Benedict 
Arias MoNTANUS,who has erroneously been considered as a new 
translator of the Bible in the Latin language. His chief aim 
was, to translate the Hebrew words by the same number of 
Latin ones; so that he has accommodated his whole translation 
to the most scrupulous rules of grammar, without any regard to 
the elegance of his Latinity. Montanus's edition, therefore, may 
be considered rather as a grammatical commentary, than a true 
version, and as being adapted to instruct young beginners in 
the Hebrew than to be read separately : being printed inter- 
linearily, with the Latin word placed exactly over the Hebrew, 
it saves the student the trouble of frequently referring to his 
Lexicon. In the New Testament, Montanus changed only a 
few words in the Vulgate version, where he found it to differ 
from the Greek. This translation has been very frequently 
printed in various sizes ; but the best edition is the first, which 
is in folio, and printed at Antwerp in 1571. 

3. The translation of Thomas Malvenda, a Spanish Domi- 
nican, being more grammatical and barbarous than that of 
Montanus, is but little esteemed, and has fallen into oblivion. 
The version, which bears the name of Cardinal Cajetan, 
strictly speaking, is not his production ; having been made by 
two persons (one a Jew, the other a Christian), both of whom 
were well skilled in the original language of the sacred volume. 
The whole of the New Testament was likewise translated, ex- 
cept the Revelation. Cajetan carefully avoided those barba- 
rous expressions which he must have used, if his version had 
been grammatically literal. 

4. The Latin version of the Old Testament, printed by 
Father Houbigant in his critical edition of the Hebrew Bible 
(noticed in p. 127, supra) is not framed according to the 
present Hebrew text, but according to the text, as he thought it 
should be corrected by manuscripts, antient versions, and critical 
conjectures. His Latin version and Prolegomena ^ave been 
printed separately in two volumes, 4to. 

II. Since the Reformation, several Latin versions of the Old 
Testament have been made from the original Hebrew by 
learned Protestants. The most esteemed are those of Munster, 
Leo Juda, Castalio, Junius and Tremellius, Schmidt, Dathe, 
Schott and Winzer. 


230 Modern Versmis of the Scriptures. [Part I. Cb. 

1. In the year ISS*, Sebastian Munster printed at Basle 
a new translation of the Old Testament from the original He- 
brew: and in 1546 he published a second edition, with the 
Hebrew text, and with the addition of some notes, which Fa- 
ther Simon thinks useful for understanding the style of the 
sacred writings. Without rigidly adhering to the gramma- 
tical signification of the words, like Pagninusand Montanus, he 
has given a more free and intelligible version : but by not de- 
viating from the sense of the Hebrew text, he has retained 
some of its peculiar idioms. He has also availed himself of 
the commentaries of the best of the rabbinical writers. Though 
Simon freely censures particular parts of Munster's version, he 
decidedly prefers it to those of Pagninus and Montanus : and 
Huet gives him the character of a translator well versed in the 
Hebrew language, whose style is very exact and conformable 
to the original. 

2. The translation which bears the name of Leo Juda was 
commenced by him, but being prevented by death from finish- 
ing the work, he left it to be completed by Theodore Bibli- 
ander, professor of divinity at Zurich. With the assistance 
of Conrad Pellican, who was professor of Hebrew in the same 
place, Bibliander translated the rest of the Old Testament 
from the Hebrew : the New Testament was undertaken by 
Peter Cholin and Rodolph Gualter, two learned Protestants, at 
that time resident at Zurich. This version was first printed in 
1543, and was reprinted by Robert Stephens at Paris, in 1545, 
with the addition of the Vulgate version, in two columns, and 
with short notes or scholia, but without specifying the trans- 
lator's name. Though it was condemned by the divines at 
Paris, it was favourably received by those of Salamanca, who 
reprinted it with some trifling alterations. Its style is more 
elegant than that of Munster ; but the translator sometimes 
recedes too far from the literal sense. 

3. The Latin version of Sebastian Chatillon or Castalio 
(as he is generally called) was begun at Geneva, in 1 542, and 
finished at Basle in 1550, where it was printed in the following 
year, with a dedication to Edward VI. king of England. His 
design was, to render the Old and New Testaments in ele- 
gant Latin -, but his style has been severely censured by some 
critics, as being too much affected, and destitute of that noble 
simplicity, grandeur, and energy, which characterise the sacred 
originals. Professor Dathe, however, has vindicated this 
learned Protestant from these charges. Castalio's version has 
been frequently reprinted : the best edition of it, is that printed 
at Leipsic, in 1738, 8vo. 

VI. Sect. II.] Modern Latin Versions. 231 

4. The version of Francis Junius and Immanuel Tremel- 
Lius was first published in 1575 ; it was subsequently corrected 
by Junius, and has been repeatedly printed. By the Protestant 
churches it was received with great approbation, and to this 
day it is held in great esteem for its simplicity, perspicuity, and 
fidelity. Father Simon criticised it with great severity ; but our 
learned countryman, Matthew Poole, in the preface to his 
Synopsis Criticorum Sacrorum, reckons it among the best ver- 
sions : and the ecclesiastical historian, Dupin, commends it 
for its close adherence to the Hebrew. Junius and Tremel- 
lius have been very particular in expressing the article by de- 
monstrative pronouns. 

5. In 1696, was published (after the author's decease) a new 
Latin translation of the Bible, by Sebastian Schmidt, who 
was professor of oriental languages at Strasburgh. Of this 
version there have been several editions. It is strictly lite- 
ral ; and is chiefly useful to young students in the Hebrew 

6. The version of John Augustus Dathe, who was professor 
of oriental literature at Leipsic, is deservedly in high repute 
for its general fidelity and elegance, both in this country and on 
the continent. It was originally published in detached octavo 
volumes: the Pentateuch, in 1781; the Historical Books, in 
1784 ; the Greater Prophets, in 1779, and again in 1785 ; the 
Minor Prophets in 1773 (the third edition in 1790); the 
Psalms, in 1787; and the Books of Job, Proverbs, Eccle- 
siastes, and the Song of Solomon, in 1789. Professor Dathe 
*' never published any part, until he had repeatedly explained it 
in his public lectures, and convinced himself that no difficulties 
remained, but such as could not be removed. In this manner 
was his translation produced, which may be considered as a 
perpetual commentary." ' 

7. In the year 1816, another new translation of the Old 
Testament, from the Hebrew, was commenced by M. M. 
Henry Augustus Schott and Julius Frederick Winzer. 
One volume only has appeared, comprising the Pentateuch. 
This version professes to be very close. 

III. Besides the preceding new modern Latin versions, there 
have been several editions of the Latin Vulgate, so much corrected 
from the original Hebrew and Greek as in some degree to be 
considered new translations. Of this number are the Latin 
Bibles published by Clarius, Eber, and the Osianders. 

Isidore Clarius's edition of the Vulgate first appeared at 
Venice, in 1542, and is of extreme rarity: it was reprinted at 

1 Aikiii'sBiographical Dictionary, vol. X. Supplement, p. 506. 

2 * 

232 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 

the same place in 1557 and 1564. He has not only restored 
the antient Latin text, but has also corrected it in a great 
number of places which he conceived to be erroneously trans- 
lated, so as to make them conformable to the Hebrew original. 
Although he corrected more than eight thousand places, as he 
states in his preface, yet he omitted some, lest he should offend 
the Roman Catholics by making too many alterations in the 
Vulgate version. 

The method of Clarius was followed by Paul Eber, who cor- 
rected the Vulgate from Luther's German version. His edi- 
tion was published at Wittemberg, in 1565, with the addition 
of Luther's translation, under the authority of Augustus, 
Elector of Saxony; and was reprinted in 1574, in ten volumes, 

The edition of Luke Osiander appeared in 1578, and has 
since been very often reprinted ; as also has a German trans- 
lation of it, which was first published at Stutgard, in 1600. 
Andrew Osiander's edition was also printed in 1600, and fre- 
quently since. They have both corrected the Vulgate, accord- 
ing to the Hebrew originals ; and have occasioned some con* 
fusion to their readers, by inserting their emendations in a 
character different from that in which the Vulgate text is 

IV. There are likewise several Latin versions of the New 
Testament, made both by Catholics and Protestants, of which 
those of Erasmus, Beza, and Sebastiani are particularly worthy 
of notice. 

1. The celebrated Erasmus has the honour of being the first 
translator of the New Testament into the Latin language from 
the original Greek. In this version he followed not only the 
printed copies, but also four Greek manuscripts j according to 
the example of Jerome, he varied but little from the Vulgate^ 
The first edition of his translation appeared in 1516, and was 
dedicated to Pope Leo X., by whom it was highly commended 
in a letter of thanks which he wrote to Erasmus. The pontiflF'& 
praises, however, did not prevent his> labours from being cen- 
sured with great severity by certain Roman Catholic writers, 
against whom Erasmus defended himself with great spirit.. 
His version has been frequently printed, and corrected, both 
by himself and by his editors. 

2. The Latin version of Theodore Beza was first published 
in 1556, and has since been repeatedly printed. On account 
of its fidelity, it has always been highly esteemed by Protest- 
ants of every denomination. Bishop Walton, indeed, was of 
opinion that he was justly charged with departing unnecessarily 
from the common readings, without the authority of manu- 

VI. Sect. II.] Modern Latin Versions. 2S3 

scripts ; but a careful examination of Beza's translation will 
show that that distinguished prelate was in this instance mis- 

S. In the year 1817, a new Latin version of the New Testa- 
ment was published by Leopoldo Sebastiani, the very learned 
editor of Lycophron (Romae, 1803, royal 4to), justly celebrated 
throughout the East, and not altogether unknown in England, 
for the losses he sustained, and misfortunes he suffered, in con- 
sequence of important services which he gratuitously rendered 
to the British government, while resident in Persia as president 
of the missionaries sent out by the church of Rome, at the 
time that Buonaparte attempted to establish relations with the 
court of Ispahan. The version is made from the Alexandrian 
manuscript, with which the translator states that he collated 
several manuscripts and collections of various readings, availing 
himself also of every critical aid he could procure, and parti- 
cularly of the writings of the Greek fathers, and the assistance 
of the most learned of the modern Greek clergy. To obtain 
the latter, M. Sebastiani expressly travelled through the whole 
of Greece. In all doctrinal points, this version is made con- 
formable to the tenets inculcated bi/ the church of Home. ' 

The Latin version of M. Schott, which is printed with his 
critical edition of the Greek Testament, has already been no- 
ticed in page 142 supra : to this professor Keil ^ has added the 
two following, neither of which has fallen under the writer's 

(1.) Chr. Guil. Thalemanni Versio Latina Evangeliorum Matthsei, 
Lucse, et Johannis, itemque Actuum Apostolorure, edita a C. C. Titt- 
manno. Berolini, 1781, 8vo. The remaining books of the New Tes- 
tament were translated by M. laspis, and intitled, 

Versio Latina Epistolarum Novi Testamenti, perpetua annotatione 
illustrata a Godofredo Sigismundo laspis. Lipsiae, Vol. I. 1 793, Vol. 
XL 1797, 8vo. 

(2.) Sacri Novi Testamenti Libri omnes, veteri Latinitate donati 
ab Henrico Godofredo Reichardo. Lipsiae, 1799, 8vo. 

' M. Sebastiani's translation is entitled " Novum Testamentum, ob frequentes 
omnium Interpretationum Hallucinationes, nunc demum ex Codice Alexandrine, adhibitis 
etiam comphiribus manuscriptis variantibusque Lectionibus editis, summa fide ac cura 
Latine redditum. Omnibus Sacris Auctoribus Gra?cis, Sacris Criticis, Glossariis, eE 
Instructioribus per totam Graeciam Ecclesiasticis Viris diligentissime consultis. Interprete 
Leopoldo Sebastiani Romano. Londini, 1817." Royal 8vo. 

5 Keilii Elementa Hermeneutices Novi Testamenti, p. 158. Lipsix, 1811 , I2mc>. 


Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 



I. German Version of Luther. — Notice of Ten Versions derived from 
it. — Notice of other German Versions by Protestants, and by Roman 
Catholics. — Jewish- German Versions. — II. Versions in the lan- 
guages SPOKEN IN THE British Isles. — 1. English Versions, par- 
ticularly Wicklife's Bible. — TindaVs Bible, — Coverdale's Bible. — 
Matthew es.-.^Cranmer's or the Great Bible. — Geneva Bible. — English 
Versions by Roman Catholics at Rheims and Douay. — King James's 
Bible, or the authorized Version now in use. — History of it. — Notice 
of its best editions. — Its excellency vindicated against recent Objec- 
tors. — Testimonies of eminent critics to its fidelity and excellency. ~— 
2. Welsh Version. — 3. Irish Version. — 4. Gaelic Version. — 
5. Manks Version. — III. French Versions. — IV. Dutch Ver- 
sion. — V. Italian Version. — VI. Spanish Versions. — 
VII. Russian Version. — VIII. Croat Version. — IX. Bassue 
Version. — X. Hungarian Version. — XI. Polish Versions. — 
XII. Bohemian Version. — XIII. Romaic or Modern Greek 
Versions. — XIV. XV. Bulgarian and Wallachian Versions. — 
XVI. Romanese Versions. — XVII. Turkish Versions. — 
XVIII. Portuguese Version. — XIX. Albanian Version. — 
XX. Maltese Version. 

1 HE translations of the Scriptures into the different modern 
languages of Europe are so numerous, that it is difficult to ob- 
tain correct accounts of all of them. The following table 
exhibits at one view the chief translations which have been 
made, together with the years of their appearance, the names 
of their authors where these could be ascertained, and the 
places where they were severally printed. ' 





Place of Printing. 





Martin Luther 






Tindal & Coverdale - 





Robert Olivetan 






Olaus Petri 

Upsal, Sweden 





Palladius and others - 








- - 


f Antonio Brucioli's ") 
i_ revised? - J 



_ _ 



Cassiodorus de Reyna 

Frankfort or Basil 





Cyril and Methodius - 


Helvetian dialect - 





1 This table is copied from Messrs. Thomson and Orme's Historical Sketch of the 
Translation and Circulation of the Scriptures, p. 45, with some corrections. 

VI. Sect. III.] 

The German Versions. 



Lower Saxon dialect 








Pomeranian dialect 




Modern Greek 








Esthonian, dialect of 

Dorpatian dialect - 


Upper Lusatian 





























Elias Hutter 
Maximus Calliergi 

Lazarus Seaman 
Dr. Daniel, Bp. Bedell 

Place of Printing. 



{Bishop Wilson 
{James Stewart andl 
others - J 

{Ferreira d' Almeida, "» 
Cath. - J 

{Antonio Pereira, "J 
Cath. - -/ 

Padre Scio -, 

( Rev.W.Jowett,M.A. \ 
\ and Signor Cannolo J 








Holum, Iceland 


Cralitz, Moravia 













Amsterdam and 




Of the various translations above enumerated, the following 
are more particularly worthy of notice. 

1. German Versions. — As Germany has the honour of 
being the country where the art of printing was first discovered, 
so it was distinguished in the annals of sacred literature, by 
being the first in which the Holy Scriptures were issued from 
the press in the vernacular language of its inhabitants. So early 
indeed as the year 1466, a German translation from the Latin 
Vulgate was printed, the author of which is unknown '. Scarcely, 

1 A copy of this very rare work is in the splendid collection of Earl Spencer. See 
a description of it, in Mr. Dibdin's Bibliotheca Spenceriann, vol. i. pp. 42 — 47. 

2S6 Modem Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

however, had the Reformation commenced, when Luther medi- 
tated a new version of the Scriptures for the general use of his 
countrymen. His first publication comprised the seven peniten- 
tial Psalms, from the Latin of John Reuchlin. These appeared 
in 1517, and were followed by the New Testament, in 1522; 
by the Pentateuch, in 1523; by the Book of Joshua, and the 
remaining historical Books, in 1524; in which year also appeared 
the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song 
of Songs. In 1526 was published the prophecies of Jonah and 
Habakkuk; in 1528, those of Zechariah and Isaiah; in 1529, 
the apocryphal book of Wisdom; in 1530, the book of Daniel 
together with the remaining apocryphal books; in 1531, the 
entire book of Psalms ; and in 1531 and 1532, the rest of the 
prophetical books. All these portions of Luther's translation 
are of extreme rarity. The first complete and revised edition of 
the whole Bible was printed at Wittemberg in 1533-35, in 
folio : and in the revision of it, he is said to have had the assist- 
ance of Philip Melancthon. Luther made his version directly 
- from the original Hebrew and Greek, and not one of his nume- 
rous enemies ever durst charge him with ignorance of those 
languages. His translation is represented as being uncommonly 
clear and accurate, and its style in a high degree pure and 
elegant. Having originally been published in detached portions, 
as these were gradually and successively circulated among the 
people, Luther's version produced sudden and almost incredible 
effects, and contributed more than any other cause, to extirpate 
the erroneous principles and superstitious practices of the church 
of Rome, from the minds of a prodigious number of persons '. 
Since that time it has been printed times without number ; and 
as the reformation spread, it served as the basis of several other 
translations, viz. 

1. The Lower Saxon Translation was printed at Lubeck, in 1533-4. 
Its authors are not known ^. This version was undertaken at the sug- 
"■estion of Luther himself, and under the direction of John Bugenha- 
gius, who wrote a preface, and supplied short notes, and also arguments 
to the different books. 

2. "The Pomeranian Version was printed in 1588, in quarto, by the 
command of Bogislaus XIII., duke of Pomerania : it was made from 
the Wittemberg edition of Luther's Bible, printed in 1545. 

3. The Danish Version was undertaken by command of Christian III. 
king of Denmark, and at the suggestion of Bugenhagius : it was printed 
ut Copenhagen in 1550, and is of extreme rarity. Previously to the 
publication of this version, the New Testament had been translated 
from the Vulgate, as well as the Psalms, and the five books of Moses. 

1 Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 60. 

'^ Another Lower Sa.ton Version from the Vulgate was printed at Lubec in 1494, in 
two folio volumes. The reader will find a bibliographical notice of it in the Bibliotheca 
Spenceriana, vol, i- p[>. 55 — 58. 

VI. Sect. III.] The German Versions. 2S7 

The Danish version was subsequently revised and corrected, in the 
reigns of Frederick II. and Christian IV. kings of Denmark ; the revi- 
sion, made by command of the last-mentioned monarch, is, we believe, 
the standard of the succeeding editions of the Danish Scriptures, which, 
however, are said to vary considerably from Luther's German version. 

4. The Icelandic Translation of the entire Bible was printed at 
Holum, in Iceland, in 1584, under the patronage of Frederick II. The 
New Testament had been translated by Oddur Gottshalkson (whose 
father filled the episcopal see of Holum), and printed in Denmark, in 
1539, at the expense of Christian III. This was followed by an Ice- 
landic Version of the Epistles and Gospels, for all the Sundays in the 
year, published in 1562, by Olaf Hialteson, the first Lutheran Bishop 
of Holum ; which may be considered as a second edition of certain 
portions of Oddur's New Testament, the compiler having availed him- 
self chiefly of that version, in writing out the lessons of which the 
work consists. In 1580, the Proverbs of Solomon were translated by 
Gissur Eincerson, the first Lutheran Bishop of Skalholt, who also trans- 
lated the book of Sirach, printed in the same year at Holum. At length, 
in 1584, as above noticed, the whole of the Old and New Testaments 
was printed in Icelandic, through the unremitting zeal and pious libe- 
rality of Gudbrand Thorlakson, Bishop of Holum, who not only con- 
tributed largely to the undertaking himself, but also obtained a muni- 
ficent donation from Frederick II., with authority to raise a rix-doUar 
in aid of the work from every church in Iceland. It is not known what 
share this eminent prelate had in the translation, which is considered as 
the production of different hands. Gottshalkson's version of the New 
Testament, as well of some parts of the Old Testament, was adopted, 
after having been revised by Gudbrand. This edition has always been 
very highly esteemed, on account of the purity of its diction ; and, even 
at this day, it is preferred before more modern translations. A second 
edition of the Icelandic Bible appeared at Holum in 1644, under the 
editorial care of Thorlak Skuleson, bishop of that see ; by whom it was 
carefully revised and corrected. This is the standard text from which 
the two most recent impressions of the Icelandic Version have been 
printed. ' 

5. The Swedish Version was made from the first edition of Luther's 
German translation : it was begun by Laurence Andreas, and finished by 
Laurence Petri, and was printed atUpsal, in 1541, by the command of 
Gustavus I., king of Sweden. 

6. The Dwfc/i Translation appeared in 1560, and after being re- 
peatedly printed, was superseded by a new Protestant translation, of 
which an account is given in page 272, infra. 

7 — 10. The Finnish Version was printed at Stockholm, in 1642 % and 

1 The above particulars are abridged from the Rev. Dr. Henderson's * Historical View 
of the Translation and different Editions of the Tcelandic Scriptures,' in the second 
volume (pp. 249 — HOG.) of his very interesting Journal of a Residence in Iceland, 
during the years 1814 and 1815, 8vo. Edinburgh, 1818. 

2 This edition was accompanied with a translation in the Esthonian language, spoken 
in the province of Esthland or Esthonia. It is a totally distinct language, being closely 
allied to the Finnish. Bp. Marsh's History of Translations, p. 4. note. There is also a 
dialect of the Esthonian, called the Dorpatian EsLhonian, into which the New Testa- 
ment was translated and published in the year 1727. 

S38 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch* 

again in 1644', the Lettish (or Livonian) at Riga 1689''; the Sora- 
hie or fVendish (a dialect spoken in Upper Lusatia), at Bautzen (Budis- 
sae), in 1728, and again in 1/42 ; and the Lithuanian, at Kbnigsberg 
(Regiomonti), in 1735. 

Valuable as Luther's German translation ol" the Scriptures 
confessedly is, it was severely attacked, on its publication, by 
the enemies of the reformation, whose productions are enume- 
rated by Walchius ^. Luther's translation, reformed by the 
Zuinglians and Calvinists, was printed, in various editions at 
Neustadt, between the years 1679 and 1695 j at Herborn in 
1695, 1698, 1701-5-8, and 21 ; at Heidelberg in 1617 and 
1618, and many times since; at Cassel in 1602; and at Basle 
in 1651, 1659, and in the last century very frequently. 

Between the years 1525 and 1529, Leo Juda published at 
Zurich a German-Swiss translation of the Scriptures. As far 
as he could, he availed himself of such parts of Luther's version 
as were then printed. In 1667 a new and revised edition of 
Leo Juda's translation was published at Zurich : the altera- 
tions and corrections in it are so numerous, that it is consi- 
dered as a new translation, and is commonly called the Neiv 
Zurich Bible, in order to distinguish it from the Old Zurich 
version of Leo Juda. " It was undertaken by Hottinger, Miiller, 
Zeller, HoflPmeister, and others, and conducted with great care 
and precision. As their plan seems to have had some resem- 
blance to that pursued by our own admirable translators, and 
may, perhaps, have been copied from it, this version is more 
particularly deserving of notice. When these learned men met 
together, Hottinger and Miiller had each of them the Hebrew- 
text put into their hands ; Zeller had the old Zurich version, 
Wasser took the Italian of Giovanni Diodati and Parens' edi- 
tion of Luther's Bible, Hoff meister had the Septuagint and the 
Junio-Tremellian version before him, and Freitz the Belgian 
Bible. When any difference arose, the point was argued by 
them all ; each was called upon to give his opinion of the trans- 
lation which was in his hands ; and that reading was adopted, 
which, after mature consideration, seemed most agreeable to 
the Hebrew." * 

As the Zurich version differs very materially fi'om that of 

' A translation of the Scriptures into the Karelian language (spoken in Karelia, a 
province of East Finland) is at this time printing under the direction of the St. Peters- 
burg Bible Society ; but it is not known whether this version is made from the Finnish, 
or not. 

* An edition of the New Testament, both in Livonian and Esthonian, had been al- 
ready printed at Riga, in 1685 and 1686. The Lettish or Livonian is a Sclavonian 

3 WalchiiBibliotheca TheologicaSelecta, vol. iv. pp.79 — 81. 

* Whittaker's Inquiry into the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures in Europe, 
p. 53.— Cambridge, 1819, Svo. 

VI. Sect. III.] The German Versions. 239 

Luther, John Piscator undertook another, from the Latin ver- 
sion of Junius and Tremellius, which he has followed very 
closely. It appeared in detached portions between the year 
1602 and 1604, and was repeatedly printed during the seven- 
teenth century. Piscator's version, having become very scarce, 
has lately been revised by the Biblical and Divinity Professors, 
and three Pastors of the Helvetic church, who have corrected 
its orthography, and such words as have become obsolete, pre- 
viously to an edition of 8000 copies of the entire Bible, and 4000 
copies of the New Testament, which has been executed by the 
Bern Bible Society, aided by a pecuniary grant from the British 
and Foreign Bible Society of London. 

Besides the preceding German Versions made by Protes- 
tants, there are also translations made by Roman Catholic 
divines ; some of them appeared almost as early as that of 
Luther, to which, however, they are greatly inferior in point of 
perspicuity. Three of these are particularly mentioned by 
Walchius, viz. 

1. That of John Detemberger, whose translation clearly 
evinces that he was utterly unfit for the task he undertook, and 
who hesitated not to acknowledge that he was totally ignorant 
of Hebrew. He took much from Luther, against whom he 
vehemently inveighs. His translation was first published at 
Mayence in 1534, and has been several times printed since that 

2. The Version, which bears the name of John Eckius. He 
translated only the Old Testament, the New being executed by 
Jerome Emser. It was first published in 1537, and has also 
been repeatedly printed. 

3. The Version of Caspar Ulenberg, which was undertaken 
under the patronage of Ferdinand, archbishop and elector of 
Cologne, is preferred by those of his own communion to all the 
other German Versions. He follows the Sixtine edition of 
the Latin Vulgate. This translation first appeared in 1630 
and has undergone very numerous impressions. 

The three translations just noticed, include the Old and New 
Testaments. In addition to them, three new versions of the 
New Testament have, within a few years, been circulated very 
largely among the Roman Catholics of Germany, who have 
evinced an ardent desire for the Scriptures, notwithstandino- the 
fulminations of the papal see against them. Of two of these 
versions, the Ratisbon edition, and that executed by M. Gossner 
a learned Catholic priest, formerly of Munich, the author has not 
been able to obtain any authentic particulars ; the third was exe- 
cuted about the year 1 8 1 2, by the Rev. LeanderVan Ess, professor 
of divinity in the university of Marburg, in conjunction with his 
brother. It is made directly from the Greek, and has been 

24-0 Modern Versions qf the Scriptures. [Part 1. Cli. 

recommended by the first Protestant clergymen at Dresden and 
Zurich ', as well as by several authorities among the Roman 
Catholic literati, as exhibiting a pure and correct version of 
the Sacred Original. * 

There are also two translations of the Old Testament in the 
dialect spoken by the Jews in Germany, called the Jewish- Ger- 
man. One was made by Joseph Josel Ben Alexander, and was 
printed by Joseph Athias at Amsterdam, in 1679 : previously to 
publication it was revised by Rabbi Meir Stern, chief rabbi of 
the synagogue at Amsterdam. The other Jewish- German 
translation was executed by Rabbi Jekuthiel Ben Isaac Blitz, 
and was printed by Uri Veibsch Ben Aaron, also at Amsterdam, 
in 1679. Kortholt terms this translator a blasphemous impostor, 
and charges him with having disguised certain prophecies rela- 
tive to the Messiah, in consequence of his Jewish predilections. 
Of these two semi-barbarous, unfaithful, and now almost uni- 
versally neglected translations, which can be of no use whatever 
in scripture criticism, Carpzov has given an account, with speci- 
mens ^. And as the German Jews are at this time animated by a 
spirit of candid inquiry, a Jewish- German translation of the^(e'MJ 
Testament has lately been printed for their benefit, at the ex- 
pense of the London Society for the conversion of the Jews. 


1. English Versions *. — Although it is impossible, at this 
distance of time, to ascertain when or by whom Christianity was 
first planted in this island, as well as the earliest time when the 
Scriptures were translated into the language of its inhabitants, 
yet we know that, for many hundred years, they were favoured 
with the possession of part, at least, of the sacred volume in their 
vernacular tongue. The earliest version of which we have any 

1 The late Rev. Dr. Reinhart, first chaplain to the court of Saxony, and the pre- 
sent venerable superior of the Zurich clergy, Antistes Hess. 

9 Owen's History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, vol. ii. p. 229. From 
the Seventeenth Report of that Society, it appears, from the month of September 1812 
to December 51st 1820,that the learned and pious Professor Van Ess has distributed not 
fewer than three hundred and ninety four thousand and sixty 'Seven copies to persons of 
his own communion,* who have received them with the liveliest gratitude; besides which, 
he has distributed 5,394 New Testaments of other Roman Catholic and Protestant Ver- 
sions, in various languages, and 8,749 Roman-Catholic and Protestant Bibles. In all, 
408,210 copies of the Holy Scriptures have been put into circulation through the pro- 
fessor and his friends. 

3 Carpzovii Critica Sacra Veteris Testament!, pp. 757 — 786. 

4 Our account of Enghsh Translations is drawn from I^ewis's History of the Trans- 
lations of the Bible, prefixed to his edition of WicklifFe's New Testament, folio 17.51 ; 
Johnson's Historical Account of the several English Translations of the Bible, originally 
published in 17.50, in 8vo. and reprinted in the third volume of Bishop Watson's Col- 
lection of Theological Tracts ; and Archbishop Newcome's View of the English Biblical 
Translations, Dublin, 1792, 8vo.; .ind Mr. Wiiittakcr's learned and elaborate Inquiry 
into the Interpretation of the Hebrew !5criptures, pp.53 — 114. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 241 

account, is a translation of the Psalms into the Saxon tongue 
by Adhelm or Adelme, the first bishop 'of Sherborne, about the 
year 706. A Saxon version of the four Gospels was made by 
Egbert, bishop of Lindisfern, who died a.d. 721 ; and, a few 
years after, the venerable Bede translated the entire Bible into 
that language. Nearly two hundred years after Bede, King 
Alfred executed another translation of the Psalms, either to 
supply the loss of Adhelm's (which is supposed to have perished 
in the Danish wars), or to improve the plainness of Bede's 
version. A Saxon translation of the Pentateuch, Joshua, part 
of the Books of Kings, Esther, and the apocryphal books of 
Judith, and the Maccabees, is also attributed to Elfric or Elfred, 
who was archbishop of Canterbury, a.d. 995. 

A chasm of several centuries ensued, during which the Scrip- 
tures appear to have been buried in oblivion, the general 
reading of them being prohibited by the papal see. The^rs^ 
English translation of the Bible, known to be extant, was exe- 
cuted by an unknown individual, and is placed by Archbishop 
Usher to the year 1290: of this there are three manuscript 
copies preserved, in the Bodleian library, and in the libraries 
of Christ Church and Queen's Colleges at Oxford. Towards 
the close of the following century, John de Trevisa, vicar of 
Berkeley in Cornwall, at the desire of his patron. Lord Berke- 
ley, is said to have translated the Old and New Testaments into 
the English tongue. But as no part of this work appears ever 
to have been printed, the translation ascribed to him is sup- 
posed to have been confined to a few texts, which were painted 
on the walls of his patron's chapel at Berkeley Castle, or which 
are scattered in some parts of his works, several copies of 
which are known to exist in manuscript. Nearly contempo- 
rary with him was the celebrated John WicklifFe, who, about 
the year 1380, translated the entire Bible from the Latin Vul- 
gate into the English language as then spoken, not being 
sufficiently acquainted with the Hebrew and Greek languages 
to translate from the originals '. Before the invention of print- 
ing, transcripts were obtained with difficulty, and copies were 
so rare, that, according to the registry of William Alnewick, 
bishop of Norwich, in 1429, the price of one of Wickliffe's 
Testaments was not less than four marks and forty pence, 
or two pounds sixteen shillings and eight-pence. This 
translation of the Bible, we are informed, was so offensive 
to those who were for taking away the key of knowledge 
and means of better information, that a bill was brought into 

' The New Testament of WicklifFe was published in folio by Mr. Lewis in 1731 ; 
and was handsomely re-edited in quarto, in 1810, by the Rev. Henry Hervey Baber, 
one of the librarians of the British Museum, who i)refixed a valuable memoir of this 
♦' Apostle of England," as WicklifFe has sometimes been called. 


242 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 

the House of Lords, 13 Rich. II. a. d. 1390, for the purf>osc' 
of suppressing it. On which the Duke of Lancaster, the 
king's uncle, is reported to have spoken to this effect : *' We 
will not be the dregs of all : seeing other nations have the law 
of God, which is the law of our faith, written in their own lan- 
guage." At the same time he declared in a very solemn manner, 
" That he would maintain our having this law in our own 
tongue against those, whoever they should be, who first brought 
in the bill." The duke was seconded by others, who said, 
'* That if the Gospel, by its being translated into English, was 
the occasion of running into error, they might know that there 
were more heretics to be found among the Latins than among 
the people of any other language. For that the Decretals 
reckoned no fewer than sixty-six Latin heretics ; and so the 
Gospel must not be read in Latin, which yet the opposers of 
its English translation allowed." Through the Duke of Lan- 
caster's influence the bill was rejected; and this success gave 
encouragement to some of Wickliffe's followers to publish an- 
other and more correct translation of the Bible. But in the year 
1408, in a convocation held at Oxford by Archbishop Arundel, 
it was decreed by a constitution, ' That no one should there- 
after translate any text of Holy Scripture into English, by way 
of a book, or little book, or tract; and that no book of this 
kind should be read, that was composed lately in the time of 
John WicklifFe, or since his death.' This constitution led the 
way to great persecution, and many persons were punished se- 
verely, and some even with death, for reading the Scriptures 
in English. ' 

In England, as in other parts of Europe, the spread of the 
pure doctrines of the Reformation was accompanied with new 
translations into the vernacular language. For the first printed 
English translation of the Scriptures we are indebted to William 
Tindal, who, having formed a design of translating the New Tes- 
tament from the original Greek into English, removed to Antwerp 
in Flanders, for this purpose Here", with the assistance of the 
learned John Fry, or Fryth, who was burnt on a charge of 
heresy in Smithfield, in 1552, and a friar, called William 
Roye, who suffered death on the same account in Portugal, 
he finished it, and in the year 1526 it was printed either at 
Antwerp or Hamburgh, without a name, in a middle sized 
8vo volume, and without either calendar, concordances in 
the margin, or table at the end. Tindal annexed a pistil 
at the close of it, in which he " desyred them that were 
learned to amende if ought were found amysse." Le Long 
calls this " the New Testament translated into English, from 
the German version of Luther ;" but for this degrading appella- 

J Lewis's Histoj^, pp. 7. — 15. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 24-3 

tion he seems to have no other authority besides a story related by 
one Cochlaeus ', an enemy ofthe Reformation, with a view of depre- 
ciating Tindal's translation. Many copies of this translation found 
their way into England ; and to prevent their dispersion among 
the people, and the more effectually to enforce the prohibition 
published in all the dioceses against reading them, Tonstal, bishop 
of London, purchased all the remaining copies of this edition, 
and all which he could collect from private hands, and committed 
them to the flames at St. Paul's cross. The first impression of 
Tindal's translation being thus disposed of, several other numer- 
ous editions were published in Holland, before the year 1530, in 
which Tindal seems to have had no interest, but which found a 
ready sale, and those which were imported into England were 
ordered to be burned. On one of these occasions, Sir Thomas 
More, who was then chancellor, and who concurred with the 
bishop in the execution of this measure, enquired of a person, 
who stood accused of heresy, and to whom he promised indem- 
nity, on consideration of an explicit and satisfactory answer, 
howTindal subsisted abroad, and who were the persons in Lon- 
don that abetted and supported him ; to which inquiry the he- 
retical convert replied, " It was the Bishop of London who 
maintained him, by sending a sum of money to buy up the 
impression of his Testament." The chancellor smiled, admitted 
the truth ofthe declaration, and suffered the accused person to 
escape. The people formed a very unfavourable opinion of 
those who ordered the word of God to be burned, and con- 
cluded, that there must be an obvious repugnance between the 
New Testament and the doctrines of those who treated it with 
this indignity. Those who were suspected of importing and 
concealing any of these books, were adjudged by Sir T. More to 
ride with their faces to the tails of their horses^ with papers on 
their heads, and the New Testaments, and other books which 
they had dispersed, hung about their cloaks, and at the stand- 
ard in Cheapside to throw them into a fire prepared for that 
purpose, and to be fined at the king's pleasure. 

When Tonstal's purchase served only to benefit Tindal, and 
those who were employed in printing and selling successive 
editions of his Testament, and other measures for restraining 
their dispersion seemed to have little or no effect, the pen ofthe 
witty, eloquent, and learned Sir Thomas More, was employed 
against the translator ; and the bishop granted him a licence, or 
faculty, dated March 7, 1527, to have and to read the several 
books which Tindal and others published ; and at his desire Sir 
Thomas composed a dialogue, written with much humour, and 
designed to expose Tindal's translation, which was published in 
1529. In this dialogue he alleges, among other charges, that 

* 111 Actis Martini Lutheri ad an. 1526, p. \32. 
R 2 

^4i4i Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Cb- 

Tindal had mistranslated three words of great importance, viz. 
the words priests, church, and chai'ity ; calling the first seniors, 
the second congregation, and the third love. He also charges 
him with changing commonly the term grace into favour, con- 
fession into knowledging, penance into repentance, and a contrite 
heart into a troubled heart. The Bishop of London had, in- 
deed, in a sermon, declared, that he had found in it no less 
than 2000 errors, or mistranslations ; and Sir Thomas More 
discovered above 1000 texts by tale, falsely translated. In 1530, 
a royal proclamation was issued, by the advice of the prelates 
and clerks, and of the universities, for totally suppressing the 
translation of the scripture, corrupted by William Tindal. 
The proclamation set forth, that it was not necessary to have 
the Scriptures in the English tongue, and in the hands of the 
common people ; that the distribution of them, as to allowing 
or denying it, depended on the discretion of their superiors ; 
and that, considering the malignity of the time, an English 
translation of the Bible would rather occasion the continuance, 
or increase of errors, than any benefit to their souls. How- 
ever, the proclamation announced the king's intention, if the 
present translation were abandoned, at a proper season, to pro- 
vide that the Holy Scriptures should be by great, learned, and 
catholic persons, translated into the English tongue, if it should 
then seem convenient. In the meantime, Tindal was busily 
employed in translating from the Hebrew into the English the 
five books of Moses, in which he was assisted by Miles Cover- 
dale. But his papers being lost by shipwreck in his voyage to 
Hamburgh, where he designed to print it, a delay occurred, 
and it was not put to press till the year 1530. It is a small 8vo. 
printed at different presses, and with different types. In the 
preface he complained, that there was not so much as one i in 
his New Testament, if it lacked a tittle over its head, but it had 
been noted, and numbered to the ignorant people for an heresy, 
who were made to believe, that there were many thousand 
heresies in it, and that it was so faulty as to be incapable of 
amendment or correction. In this year he published an answer 
to Sir Thomas More's dialogue, containing his reasons for the 
changes which he had introduced into his translation. The 
three former editions of Tindal's English New Testament being 
all sold off, the Dutch booksellers printed a fourth in this year, 
in a smaller volume and letter. In 1531, Tindal published an 
English version of the prophet Jonah, with a prologue, full of 
invective against the church of Rome. Strype supposes that 
before his death he finished all the Bible but the Apocrypha, 
which was translated by Rogers ; but it seems more probable 
that he translated only the historical parts. In 1534, was 
published a fourth Dutch edition, or the fifth in all, of Tindal's 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Fersiom. 245 

New Testament, in 12mo. In this same year, Tindal printed 
his own edition of the New Testament in English, which he 
had dihgently revised and corrected j to which is prefixed a 
prologue ; and at the end are the pistils of the Old Testament, 
closing with the following advertisement, " Imprinted at Ant- 
werp, by Marten Emperour, anno M. d. xxxiv." Another edi- 
tion was published this year, in 1 6to. and printed in a German 
letter. Hall says, in his Chronicle, printed during the reign 
of Henry VIII. by Richard Grafton, the benefactor and friend 
of Tindal; " William Tindal translated the New Testa- 
ment, and first put it into print; and he likewise translated the 
five books of Moses, Joshua, Judicum, Ruth, the books of 
Kings, and books of Paralipomenon, Nehemiah, and the first 
of Esdras, and the prophet Jonas ; and no more of the Holy 
Scriptures." Upon his return to Antwerp, in 1531, King 
Henry VIII. and his council, contrived means to have him 
seized and imprisoned. After long confinement he was con- 
demned to death by the emperor's decree in an assembly at 
Augsburgh; and in 1536, he was strangled at Villefort, near 
Brussels, the place of his imprisonment, after which his body 
was reduced to ashes. He expired, praying repeatedly and 
earnestly, " Lord, open the King of England's eyes." Several 
editions of his Testament were printed in the year of his death. 
Tindal had little or no skill in the Hebrew, and therefore he 
probably translated the Old Testament from the Latin. The 
knowledge of languages was in its infancy ; nor was our English 
tongue arrived at that degree of improvement, which it has 
since attained ; it is not, therefore, surprising, that there should 
be many faults in this translation which need amendment. This, 
indeed, was a task, not for a single person, but requiring the 
concurrence of many, in circumstances much more favourable for 
the execution of it than those of an exile. Nevertheless, although 
this translation is far from being perfect, few first translations, says 
Dr. Geddes ', will be found preferable to it. It is astonishing, says 
this writer, how little obsolete the language of it is, even at this 
day; and in point of perspicuity, and noble simplicity, propriety of 
idiom, and purity of style, no English version has yet surpassed it. 
In 1535 the whole Bible, translated into English, was printed 
in folio, and dedicated to the king by Miles Coverdale, a man 
greatly esteemed for piety, knowledge of the scriptures^ and 
diligent preaching; on account of which qualities King Ed- 
ward VI. advanced him to the see of Exeter. In his dedication 
and preface, he observes to this purpose, that, as to the present 
translation, it was neither his labour nor his desire to have this 
work put into his hand ; but ** when others were moved by the 

' Prospectus for a New Translation of the Bible, p. 88, 

24-6 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

Holy Ghost to undertake the cost of it," he was the more bold 
to engage in the execution of it. Agreeably, therefore, to de- 
sire, he set forth this " special " translation, not in contempt 
of other men's translations, or by way of reproving them, but 
humbly and faithfully following his interpreters, and that under 
correction. Of these, he said, he used five different ones, who 
had translated the Scriptures not only into Latin, but also into 
Dutch. He further declared, that he had neither wrested nor 
altered so much as one word for the maintenance of any manner 
of sect, but had with a clear conscience purely and faithfully 
translated out of the foregoing interpreters, having only before 
his eyes the manifest truth of the Scripture. But because 
such different translations, he saw, were apt to offend weak 
minds, he added, that there came more understanding and 
knowledge of the Scripture by these sundry translations, than 
by all the glosses of sophistical doctors ; and he therefore de- 
sires, that offence might not be taken, because one translated 
** scribe," and another "lawyer," one " repentance," and an- 
other " penance," or " amendment." This is the first English 
Bible allowed by royal authority ; and also the first trans- 
lation of the whole Bible printed in our language. It was 
called a *' special" translation, because it was different from the 
former English translations ; as Lewis has shewn ' by comparing 
it with Tindal's. It is divided into six tomes or parts, adorned 
with wooden cuts, and furnished with scripture references in 
the margin. The last page has these words : ^^ Prynted in the 
yeare of our Lorde m. d. xxxv. and fynished the fourth day of 
October." Of this Bible there was another edition in a large 
4to, 1550, which was re-published, with a new title, 1553; 
and these, according to Lewis, were all the editions of it. 
Coverdale, in this edition of the English Bible, prefixed to 
every book the contents of the several chapters, and not to the 
particular chapters, which was afterwards the case ; and he 
likewise omitted all Tindal's prologues and notes. Soon after 
this Bible was finished, in 1536, Lord Cromwell, keeper of 
the privy seal, and the king's vicar-general and vicegerent in 
ecclesiastical matters, published injunctions to the clergy by the 
king's authority, the seventh of v/hich was, that every parson, or 
proprietary of any parish church within this realm, should, be- 
fore the 1st of August, provide a book of the whole Bible, both 
in Latin and in English, and lay it in the choir, for every man 
that would, to look and read therein ; and should discourage 
no man from reading any part of the Bible either in Latin or 
English, but rather comfort, exhort, and admonish every man 
to read it, as the very word of God, and the spiritual food of a 
inan's soul, &c. 

I Hist. Engl. Transl. p. 98. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Fenions. 24-7 

In 1537, another edition of the English Bible was printed by 
Grafton and Whitchurch, at Hamburgh, as some think, or, as 
others suppose, at Malborow, or Marpurg in Hesse^ or Mar- 
beck in the duchy of Wittemberg, where Rogers was superin- 
tendant. It bore the name of Thomas Matthewe, and it was 
set forth with the king's most gracious licence. Mr. Wanley 
is of opinion, that, to the end of the book of Chronicles, this 
edition is Tindal's translation; and from thence to the end of 
the Apocrypha, Coverdale's : but Lewis ' thinks it probable 
that the prophecy of Jonah should be excepted, which Tindal 
finished in his life-time, and which is the same in this edition, 
and in Coverdale's Bible of 1535. Mr. Wanley also observed, 
that the whole New Testament was Tindal's. Bale says, Ro- 
gers translated the Bible into English, from Genesis to the end 
of Revelation, making use of the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Ger- 
man, and English (i. e. Tindal's) copies. This book contained 
Tindal's prologue and notes ; and, as Heylin says ^, it was no 
other than the translation of Tindal and Coverdale somewhat 
altered. The name of Matthewe is allowed to have been ficti- 
tious, for reasons of prudence ; one of which was, that the me- 
mory of Tindal had become odious to many. It may well be 
admitted, that John Rogers, a learned academic, and the first 
who was condemned to the flames in the reign of Queen Mary, 
was employed by Cranmer to superintend this edition, and to 
furnish the few emendations and additions that were thought ne- 
cessary. This must have been the general persuasion in 1555, 
as the condemning sentence preserved by Fox ^j is " against 
Rogers, priest, alias called Matthew." Cranmer presented a 
copy of this book to Lord Cromwell, desiring his intercession 
with the king for the royal licence, that it might be purchased 
and used by all. There are extant two letters * from the arch- 
bishop, on the subject of Lord Cromwell's intercession, ex- 
pressing warm approbation and acknowledgment. *' I doubt 
not," says he, *' but that hereby such fruit of good knowledge 
shall ensue, that it shall well appear hereafter what high and 
excellent service you have done unto God and the king ; which 
shall so much redound to your honour, that, besides God's re- 
ward, you shall obtain perpetual memory for the same within 
this realm." — " This deed you shall hear of at the great day, 
when all things shall be opened and made manifest." In the 
year 1538, an injunction was published by the vicar-general 
of the kingdom, ordaining the clergy to provide, before a cer- 
tain festival, one book of the w^holeBible, of the largest volume 

I p. 107. 2 Hist. Ref. fol. 20. 

3 Acts, &c. vol. iii. 125. * Strype's Lite of Cranmer, p. 5S. 

R 4 

248 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. CIi. 

in English, and to set it up in some convenient place within 
their churches, where their parishioners might most commodi- 
ously resort to read it. A royal declaration was also published, 
which the curates were to read in their several churches, in- 
forming the people, that it had pleased the king's majesty to 
permit and command the Bible, being translated into their 
mother tongue, to be sincerely taught by them, and to be 
openly laid forth in every parish church. But the curates were 
very cold in this affair ', and read the king's injunctions and 
declarations in such a manner, that scarcely any body could 
know or understand what they read. Johnson ^ adds, that they 
also read the word of God confusedly ; and that they bade 
their parishioners, notwithstanding what they read, which they 
were compelled to read, " to do as they did in times past, and 
to live as their fathers, the old fashion being the best." Fox 
observes ', that the setting forth of this book much offended 
Gardiner and his fellow bishops, both for the prologues, and 
especially because there was a table in the book chiefly about 
the Lord's supper, the marriage of priests, and the mass, which 
was there said not to be found in Scripture. Strype, however, 
says ♦, it was wonderful to see with what joy this book was re- 
ceived, not only among the more learned, and those who were 
noted lovers of the reformation, but generally all over England, 
among all the common people ; and with what avidity God's 
word was read, and what resort there was to the places ap- 
pointed for reading it. Every one that could, bought the book, 
and busily read it, or heard it read ; and many elderly persons 
learned to read on purpose. During a vacancy in the see of 
Hereford, it was visited by Cranmer, who enjoined the clei'gy 
to procure, by the 1st of August, a whole Bible in Latin and 
English, or at least, a New Testament in these languages; to 
study every day one chapter of these books, conferring the 
Latin and English together, from the beginning to the end ; 
and not to discourage any layman from reading them, but en- 
courage them to it, and to read them for the reformation of 
their lives and knowledge of their duty. In the course of the 
year 1538, a quarto edition of the New Testament, in the 
Vulgate Latin, and Coverdale's English, bearing the name of 
Hollybushe, was printed, with the king's licence, by James 
Nicolson. Of this another more correct edition was published 
in 1539, in 8vo, and dedicated to Lord Cromwell. In 1538, 
an edition in 4to. of the New Testament, in English, with 
Erasmus's Latin translation, was printed, with the king's licence, 

1 Lewis, p. 108. 2 Hist. Account, &c. in Bishop Watson's Collcetion, vol. iii. p. 94. 
3 Acts, Sec. vol. ii. .516. •* Life of Cranmer, p. 64. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 249 

by Redman. In this year it was resolved to revise Matthewe's 
Bible, and to print a correct edition of it. With this view 
Grafton went to France, where the workmen were more skilful, 
and the paper was both better and cheaper than in England, 
and obtained permission from Francis I. at the request of kino- 
Henry VIII. to print his Bible at Paris. But, notwithstanding 
the royal licence, the inquisition interposed, and issued an order 
dated December 17, 1538, summoning the French printers 
their English employers, and Coverdale the corrector of the 
work, and prohibiting them to proceed ; and the impression^ 
consisting of 2500 copies, was seized, confiscated, and condemned 
to the flames. Some chests, however, of these books, escaped 
the fire, by the avarice of the person who was appointed to 
superintend the burning of them ; and the English pro- 
prietors, who had fled on the first alarm, returned to Paris as 
soon as it subsided, and not only recovered some of these 
copies, but brought with them to London the presses, types, 
and printers, and resuming the work, finished it in the following 

As soon as the papal power was abolished in England, and the 
king's supremacy settled by parliament in 1534, Cranmer was 
very assiduous in promoting the translation of the Holy Scrip- 
tures into the vulgar tongue; well knowing how much the progress 
of the reformation depended upon this measure. Accordino-ly 
he moved in convocation, that a petition should be presented to 
the king for leave to procure a new translation of the Bible. 
This motion was vigorously opposed by Gardiner, bishop of 
Winchester, and his party: but Cranmer prevailed. The 
arguments for a new translation, urged by Cranmer, and en- 
forced by Queen Anne Bullen, who had then great interest in the 
king's affections, were so much considered by him, that, notwith- 
standing the opposition, public and private, on the part of Gar- 
diner and his adherents, Henry gave orders for settino- about it 
immediately. Toprevent any revocation of the order, Cranmer 
whose mind was intent on introducing a free use of the English 
Scriptures by faithful and able translators, proceeded without 
delay to divide an old English translation of the New Testa- 
ment into nine or ten parts, which he caused to be transcribed 
into paper-books, and to be distributed among the most learned 
bishops and others ; requiring that they would perfectly correct 
their respective portions, and return them to him at a limited 
time. When the assigned day came, every man sent his appro- 
priate portion to Lambeth, except Stokesly, bishop of London. 
This laudable design of the archbishop failed ; but the business 
was executed by other persons, whom he countenanced and en- 
couraged. In April 1539, Grafton and Whitchurch printed the 

250 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 

Bible (called the " Great Bible") in large folio, " cum privi- 
legio ad imprimendum solum." A beautiful frontispiece, de- 
signed by Holbein, and particularly described and exhi- 
bited in an engraving by Lewis, was prefixed to it : and in 
the text, those parts of the Latin version, which are not found 
in the Hebrew or Greek, are inserted in a smaller letter ; such, 
for instance, as the three verses of the 14th Psalm, which are 
the 5th, 6th, and 7th, in the translation of the English liturgy, 
and the controverted clause in 1 John v. 7, 8 ; and a mark is 
used to denote a difference of reading between the Hebrew and 
Chaldee, afterwards explained in a separate treatise. In this 
edition Matthewe's Bible was revised, and several alterations 
and corrections were made in the translation^ especially in the 
book of Psalms. Tindal's prologues and notes, and the notes 
added by others, in the edition of 1537, were wholly omitted. 
Pointing hands, placed in the margin and in the text, show the 
passages on which these notes were to have been written. John^ 
son ' calls this third edition of the Scriptures the Bible in the 
large or great volume, ascribes it to the year 1539, and sup- 
poses it to have been the same which Grafton obtained leave to 
print at Paris. He says, that Miles Coverdale compared the 
translation with the Hebrew, mended it in many places, and 
was the chief director of the work. Agreeably to this. Cover- 
dale, in a sermon at Paul's cross, defended his translation from 
some slanderous reports which were then raised against it, con- 
fessing " that he himself now saw some faults, which, if he might 
review the book once again, as he had twice before, he doubted 
not he should amend ; but for any heresy, he was sure that there 
was none maintained in his translation." This is related by 
Dr. Fulke, who was one of Coverdale's auditors. A second 
edition of this Bible seems to have been printed either in this or 
the next year, by Edward Whitchurch ; but the copy is im- 
perfect, and has no date. 

In the course of the year 1539, another Bible was printed 
by John Byddell, called " Taverner's Bible," from the name 
of its conductor, Richard Taverner; who was educated at Christ- 
church, Oxford, patronised by Lord Cromwell, and probably 
encouraged by him to undertake the work, on account of his 
skill in the Greek tongue. This is neither a bare revisal of the 
English Bible just described, nor a new version; but a kind of 
intermediate work, being a correction of what is called " Mat- 
thewe's Bible," many of whose mai'ginal notes are adopted, and 
many omitted, and others inserted by the editors. It is dedi- 
cated to the king. After his patron's death, Taverner was im- 

1 In Bp. Watson's Tracts, vol. iii. p. 76. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 251 

prisoned in the Tower for this work ; but he had the address 
to reinstate himself in the king's favour. Wood ' gives a par- 
ticular account of Taverner ; attributes his imprisonment to the 
influence of those bishops who were addicted to the Romish re- 
ligion ; and informs us, that his version was read in churches 
by royal authority. In November 1539, the king, at the in- 
tercession of Cranmer^ appointed Lord Cromwell to take special 
care that no person, within the realm, should attempt to print 
any EngKsh Bible for five years, but such as should be admitted 
by Lord Cromwell ; and assigns this reason for the prohibition, 
that the Bible should be considered and perused in one trans- 
lation, in order to avoid the manifold inconveniences to which 
human frailty might be subject from a diversity of translations, 
and the ill use that might he made of it. In the year 1540, 
two privileged editions of the Bible, which had been printed 
in the preceding year, issued from the pi-ess of Edward Whit- 
church. Lewis mentions three other impressions of the " Great 
Bible," which appeared in the course of this year; two printed 
by Whitchurch, and one by Petyt and Redman. Cranmer 
wrote a preface for the editions of the year 1540, from which 
we learn the opinions and practice of those times. In May of 
this year, the curates and parishioners of every parish were re- 
quired, by royal proclamation, to provide themselves with the 
Bible of the largest volume before the feast of All Saints, under 
the penalty of 40s. for every month during which they should 
be without it. The king charged all ordinaries to enforce the 
observance of this proclamation ; and he apprised the people, 
that his allowing them the Scriptures in their mother-tongue 
was not his duty, but an evidence of his goodness and liberality 
to them, of which he exhorted them not to make any ill use. 
In May 1541, one edition of Cranmer's Bible was finished by 
Richard Grafton ; who, in the November following, completed 
also another Bible of the largest volume, which was superin- 
tended, at the king's command, by Tonstal, bishop of Durham, 
and Heath, bishop of Rochester. 

In consequence of the king's settled judgment " that his sub- 
jects should be nursed in Christ by reading the Scriptures," he 
again, on the 7th of May, published a brief or decree, for set- 
ting up the Bible of the great volume in every parish church 
throughout England. However, this decree appears to have 
been very partially and reluctantly observed ; and the bishops 
were charged, by a writer in 1546, with attempting to suppress 
the Bible, under pretence of preparing a version of it for pub- 
lication within seven years. After the death of Cromwell in 

1 Hist, et Ant. Univ. Oxon. fol. 1674, l.ii. p. 264. 

252 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

1 54-0, the bishops inclined to popery gained strength ; and the 
English translation was represented to the king as very erro- 
neous and heretical, and destructive of the harmony and peace 
of the kingdom. In the convocation assembled in Feb. 1542, 
the archbishop, in the king's name, required the bishops and 
clergy to revise the translation of the New Testament, which, 
for that purpose, was divided into fourteen parts, and portioned 
out to fifteen bishops ; the Apocalypse, on account of its diffi- 
culty, being assigned to two. Gardiner clogged this business with 
embarrassing instructions ; and Cranmer clearly perceiving the 
resolution of the bishops to defeat the proposed translation, pro- 
cured the king's consent to refer the matter to the two univer- 
sities, against which the bishops protested ; but the archbishop 
declared his purpose to adhere to the will of the king his master. 
With this contest the business terminated ; and the convocation 
was soon after dissolved. The Romish party prevailed also in 
parliament, which enacted a law that condemned and abolished 
Tindal's translation, and allowed other translations to remain 
in force, under certain restrictions. After the passing of this 
act, Grafton, the king's printer, was imprisoned; nor was he 
released without giving a bond of 3001. neither to print nor 
sell any more English Bibles, till the king and the clergy should 
agree on a translation. In 1544, the Pentateuch was printed 
by John Day and William Seres ; and in 1546, the king pro- 
hibited by proclamation the having and reading of Wickliffe's, 
Tindal's, and Coverdale's translations, and forbad the use of any 
other than what was allowed by parliament. From the history 
of English translations during the reign of Henry VIII. we 
learn, that the friends to the reformation conducted themselves 
with zeal and prudence in the great work of introducing and 
improving English translations of the Bible -, that they en- 
countered many difficulties from the dangerous inconstancy of 
a despotic prince, and from the inveterate prejudices of a strong 
Romish party ; and that the English scriptures were sought 
after and read with avidity by the bulk of the people. 

Upon the accession of Edward VI. the severe stat. 34 and 
35 Henry VIII. c. 1. was repealed, and a royal injunction was 
published, that not only the whole English Bible should be 
placed in churches, but also the paraphrase of Erasmus in 
English to the end of the four Evangelists. It was likewise 
ordered by this injunction, that every parson, vicar, curate, &c. 
under the degree of a bachelor of divinity, should possess the 
New Testament, both in Latin and English, with the para- 
phrase of Erasmus upon it; and that the bishops, &c. in their 
visitations and synods should examine them, how they had pro- 
fited in the study of the Holy Scriptures. It was also appointed. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 253 

that the epistle and gospel of the mass should be read in 
English ; and that on every Sunday and holiday, one chapter 
of the New Testament in English should be plainly and dis- 
tinctly read at matins, and one chapter of the Old Testament 
at even-song. But in the year 1549, when the book of 
common prayer, &c. was finished, what nearly resembles our 
present custom was enjoined, viz. that after reading the Psalms in 
order at morning and evening prayer, two lessons, the first from 
the Old Testament, and the second from the New Testament, 
should be read distinctly with a loud voice. During the course 
of this reign, that is, in less than seven years and six months, 
eleven impressions of the whole English Bible were published, 
and six of the English New Testament; besides an English trans- 
lation of the whole New Testament, paraphrased by Erasmus. 
The Bibles were reprinted, according to the preceding editions, 
whether Tindal's, Coverdale's, Matthewe's, Cranmer's, or 
Taverner's ; that is, with a different text, and different notes. 
But it is doubted by the writer of the preface to King James's 
translation, whether there were any translation, or correction 
of a translation, in the course of this reign. 

In 1562, the " Great Bible," viz. that of Coverdale's trans- 
lation, which had been printed in the time of Henry VIII. and 
also in the time of King Edward, was revised by Archbishop 
Parker, and reprinted for the use of the church ; and this was 
to serve till that projected by his grace was ready for publica- 

Many of the principal reformers having been driven to Geneva 
during the persecutions of Queen Mary's reign, they published, 
in 1557, an English New Testament, printed by Conrad Ba- 
dius ; the first in our language which contained the distinctions 
of Verses by numerical figures, after the manner of the Greek 
Tes'tament, which had been published by Robert Stephens in 
1551. R. Stephens, indeed, published his figures in the 
margin ; whereas the Geneva editors prefixed theirs to the be- 
ginning of minute subdivisions with breaks, after our present 
manner. When Queen Elizabeth passed through London from 
the Tower to her coronation, a pageant was erected in Cheap- 
side, representing Time coming out of a cave, and leading a 
person clothed in white silk, who represented Truth, his 
daughter. Truth had the English Bible in her hand, on which 
was written '' Verbum veritatis." Truth addi'essed the queen, 
and presented her with the book. She kissed it, held it in her 
hand, laid it on her breast, greatly thanked the city for their 
present, and added, that she would often and diligently read it. 
Upon a royal visitation in 1559, the Bible, and Erasmus's 
paraphrase, were restored tothechurches; and articles of enquiry 

254 Modern Fersiofis of the Scriptures. [Pai't I. Ch. 

were exhibited whether the clergy discouraged any from read- 
ing any part of the Scriptures. " Ministers were also enjoined 
to read every day one chapter of the Bible at least ; and ail 
who were admitted readers in the church were daily to read 
one chapter at least of the Old Testament, and another of the 
New, with good advisement, to the encrease of their know- 

During the year, the exiles at Geneva published the book of 
Psalms in English, with marginal notes, and with a dedication 
to the queen, dated February 10. In 1560, the whole Bible 
in -ito. was printed at Geneva by Rowland Harle; some of the 
refugees from England continuing in that city for this purpose. 
The translators were Bishop Coverdale, Anthony Gilby, Wil- 
liam Whittingham, Christopher Woodman, Thomas Sampson, 
and Thomas Cole; to whom some add John Knox, John 
Bodleigh, and John Pullain ; all zealous Calvinists, both in 
doctrine and discipline : but the chief and the most learned of 
them were the three first. Professing to observe the sense, and 
to adhere as much as possible to the words of the original, and 
in many places to preserve the Hebrew phraseology, after the ' 
unremitting labour and study of more than two years, they 
finished their translation, and published it; with an epistle de- 
dicatory to the queen, and another, by way of preface, to their 
brethren of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Besides the trans- 
lation, the editors of the Geneva Bible noted in the margin 
the diversities of speech and reading, especially according to the 
Hebrew ; they inserted in the text, with another kind of letter, 
every word that seemed to be necessary for explaining any par- 
ticular sentence ; in the division of the verses, they followed 
the Hebrew examples, and added the number to each verse ; 
they also noted the principal matters, and the arguments, both 
for each book and each chapter ; they set over the head of every 
page some remarkable word or sentence, for helping the me- 
mory ; they introduced brief annotations for ascertaining the 
text, and explaining obscure words ; they set forth with figures 
certain places in the books of Moses, of the Kings, and Eze- 
kiel, which could not be made intelligible by any other descrip- 
tion ; they added maps of divers places and countries, men- 
tioned in the Old and New Testament ; and they annexed two 
tables, one for the interpretation of Hebrew names, and the 
other containing all the chief matters of the whole Bible. Of 
this translation, thei'e were above 30 editions in folio, 4to, or 
8vo, mostly printed by the queen's and king's printer, between 
the years 1560 and 1616. Editions of it were likewise printed at 
Geneva, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam. To some editions of 
the Geneva Bible, (as to those of 1 599 and of 1 6 1 3 ), is subjoined 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 255 

Beza's translation of the New Testament, englished by L. 

In the year 1568, the Bible, proposed by Archbishop Parker 
three years before, was completed. This edition, according 
to Le Long, was undertaken by royal command ; and it is 
mentioned by Strype, to the honou}* of the archbishop, that he 
had resolution to perform what Cranmer, as opposed by the 
bishops of his days, had in vain endeavoured to accomplish. In 
this performance, distinct portions of the Bible, at least 15 in 
number, were allotted to select men of learning and abilities, 
appointed, as Fuller says, by the queen's commission ; and, ac- 
cordingly, at the conclusion of each part, the edition of 1568 
has the initial letters of each man's name to the end of the first 
epistle to the Corinthians ; e. g. at the end of the Pentateuch, 
W. E. for William, bishop of Exeter, whose allotment ended 
there ; at the end of Ruth, R. M. for Richard Menevensis, or 
bishop of St. David's, to whom pertained the second allotment; 
and so of the rest. But it still remainsuncertain, who, and whether 
one or more, revised the rest of the New Testament. Eight of the 
persons employed were bishops ; whence the book was called the 
" Bishops' Bible," and the " Great English Bible." The arch- 
bishop employed other critics to compare this Bible with the 
original languages, and with the former translations ; one of 
whom was Laurence, a man famous in those times for his 
knowledge of Greek, whose castigations the bishop's Bible fol- 
lowed exactly. His grace also sent instructions concerning the 
method which his translators were to observe ; and recommended 
the addition of someshoit marginal notes, for the illustration or 
correction of the text. But the particulars of these instructions 
are not known. The archbishop, however, directed, reviewed, 
and finished the whole ; which was printed and published 
in 1568, in a large folio size, and with a beautiful English letter, 
on royal paper; and embellished with several cuts of the most 
remarkable things in the Old and New Testaments, and in the 
Apocrypha, with maps cut in wood, and other engravings on cop- 
per. It has numerous marginal references and notes, and many 
useful tables. It also has luimerous insertions between brackets, 
and in a smaller character ; which are equivalent to the italics 
afterwards used by James's translators. Dr. Geddes is of opinion >, 
that italic supplements were first used by Arias Montanus, who 
died in 1598. The several additions from the vulgar Latin, inserted 
in the " Great Bible," are omitted ; and verse 7 of 1 John v. which 
was before distinguished by its being printed in a different letter, 

' Letter to the Bishop of London, p. o3. 

256 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

is here printed without any distinction ; and the chapters are 
divided into verses. In the following year, 1569, it was again 
published in large 8vo, for the use of private families. This 
Bible was reprinted in 1572, in large folio, with several cor- 
rections and amendments, and several prolegomena; this is 
called 'f Matthew Parker's Bible." With regard to this Bible, 
Lewis ' observes, that the editions of it are mostly in folio and 
4to, and that he never heard but of one in 8vo; for which he 
supposes this to be the reason, that it was principally designed 
for the use of churches. In the convocation of the province of 
Canterbury, which met in April, 1571, a canon was made, en- 
joining the churchwardens to see that the Holy Bible be in 
every church in the largest volumes, if convenient; and it was 
likewise ordered, that every archbishop and bishop, every dean 
and chief residentiary, and every archdeacon, should have one 
of these Bibles in their cathedrals and families. This trans- 
lation was used in the churches for forty years ; though the 
Geneva Bible was more read in private houses. 

In the year 1582, the Romanists finding it impossible to 
withhold the Scriptures any longer from the common people, 
printed an English New Testament at Rheims : it was trans- 
lated, not from the original Greek, but from the Latin Vul- 
gate. The editors (whose names are not known) retained the 
words azymeSf tunike, holocaust^ paschej and a multitude of 
other Greek words untranslated, under the pretext of wanting 
proper and adequate English terms, by which to render them ; 
and thus contrived to render it unintelligible to common readers. 
Hence the historian Fuller took occasion to remark that it 
was * a translation which needed to be translated;' and that its 
editors, * by all means laboured to suppress the light of truth 
under one pretence or other.' Our learned countryman, Thomas 
Cartwright, was solicited by Sir Francis Walsingham, to refute 
this translation : but, after he had made considerable progress 
in the work, he was prohibited from proceeding further by 
Archbishop Whitgift ; who, judging it improper that the de- 
fence of the doctrine of the Church of England should be com- 
mitted to a puritan, appointed Dr. William Fulke in his place. 
By him the divines of Rheims were refuted with great spirit and 
ability. Fulke's work appeared in 1617, and in the following 
year, Cartwright's confutation was published under the auspices 
of Archbishop Abbot ; both of them were accompanied with 
the Rhemish ti'anslation of the New Testament. The Old Tes- 
tament was translated from the Vulgate at Douay (whence it is 

J Hist. En;;. Traiisl. p. 61. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions, 257 

called the Douay Bible) in two volumes 4to, the first of which 
appeared in 1609, and the second in 1610. Annotations are 
subjoined, which are ascribed to one Thomas Worthington : 
the translators were William (afterwards Cardinal) Ailen, 
Gregory Martin, and Richard Bristow. This translation, with 
the Rhemish version of the New Testament above noticed, 
forms the English Bible, which alone is used by the Romanists 
of this country. ' 

The last English version that remains to be noticed, is the 
authorised translation now in use, which is commonly called 
King James's Bible. He succeeded to the throne of Eng- 
land in 1602; and, several objections having been made to 
the Bishops' Bible at the conference held at Hampton Court 
in 1603, the king in the following year gave orders for the 
undertaking of a new version, and fifty-rfour learned men 
were appointed to this important labour : but, before it was 
commenced, seven of the persons nominated were either dead 
or had declined the task; for the list, as given us by Fuller % 
comprises only forty-seven names. All of them, however, 
Mrere pre-eminently distinguished for their piety and for 
their profound learning in the original languages of the 
sacred writings : and such of them as survived till the com- 
mencement of the work were divided into six classes. Ten 
were to meet at Westminster, and to translate from the Penta- 
teuch to the end of the second book of Kings. Eight, assem- 
bled at Cambridge, were to finish the rest of the Historical 
Books, and the Hagiographa. At Oxford, seven were to 
undertake the four greater Prophets, with the Lamentations of 
Jeremiah, and the twelve minor Prophets. The four Gospels, 
Acts of the Apostles, and the Apocalypse, were assigned to 
another company of eight, also at Oxford : and the Epistles 
of Saint Paul, together with the remaining canonical epistles, 
were allotted to another company of seven, at Westminster. 
Lastly, another company, at Cambridge, were to translate the 
apocryphal books, including the prayer of Manasseh. To 
these six companies of venerable translators, the King gave 
the following instructions : 

" 1 . The ordinary Bible read in the church, commonly called the 
Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will 

• In 1805 a new edition of the Douay English Bible, with notes by Bishop Chaloner, 
was printed at Edinburgh in five volumes, 8vo. Editions have also been lately published 
at Manchester, Liverpool, Dublin, and Cork. For a review of the dangerous tenets 
of the Rhemish Testament, " corrected, and revised, and approved of by the most 
reverend Dr. Troy, R. C. Archbishop of DubUn, " (Dublin, 1816), see the British 
Critic (N. S.) vol. viii. pp. 296—508. 

s Church History, bookx. pp. 44 — 46. 


258 Modern f^ersions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 

" 2. The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other 
names in the text, to be retained, as near as may be, accordingly as 
they are vulgarly used. 

" 3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept, as the word church not 
to be translated congregation. 

" 4. When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept, 
which hath been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, 
being agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogy of faith. 

" 5. The division of the chapters to be altered either not at all, or as 
little as may be, if necessity so require. 

" 6. No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the expla- 
nation of the Hebrew or Greek words which cannot, without some 
circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text. 

" 7. Such quotations of places to be marginally set down, as shall 
serve for the fit references of one scripture to another. 

" 8. Every particular man of each company to take the same cl-apter 
or chapters ; and having translated or amended them severally by him- 
self, where he thinks good, all to meet together, to confer what they 
have done, and agree for their part what shall stand. 

" 9. As any one company hath dispatched any one book in this 
manner, they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of, seriously and 
judiciously : for his majesty is very careful in this point. 

" 10. If any company, upon the review of the book so sent, shall 
doubt or differ upon any places, to send them word thereof, to note the 
places, and therewithal to send their reasons ; to which if they consent 
not, the difference to be compounded at the general meeting, which is 
to be of the chief persons of each company, at the end of the work. 

" 11. When any place of special obscurity is doubted of, letters to 
be directed by authority, to send to any learned in the land for his 
judgment in such a place. 

" 12. Letters to be sent from every bishop to the rest of his clergy, 
admonishing them of this translation in hand, and to move and charge 
as many as, being skilful in the tongues, have taken pains in that kind, 
to send their particular observations to the company, either at West- 
minster, Cambridge, or Oxford, according as it was directed before in 
the king's letter to the archbishop. 

" 13. The directors in each company to be the Deans of Westmin- 
ster and Chester for Westminster, and the King's Professors in Hebrew 
and Greek in the two Universities. 

" 14. These translations to be used, when they agree better with 
the text than the Bishops' Bible, viz. Tyndal's, Coverdale's, Mathewe's, 
Whitchurch's, Geneva. 

[ " 15. Besides the said directors before mentioned, three or foxir 
of the most antient and grave divines in either of the Universities, not 
employed in translating, to be assigned by the Vice-Chancellor, upon 
conference with the rest of the heads, to be overseers of the translation, 
as well Hebrew as Greek, for the better observation of the 4 th rule 
above specified."] ' 

According to these regulations^ each book passed the scru- 

1 The preceding rules are given from a corrected copy in the Rev. H. J. Todd's 
Vindication of our authorised translation and translators of the Bible, pp. 9 — 12. 
London, 1819, 8vo. 

VI. Sect. 111.] The English Versions. 25d 

tiny of all the ti'anslators successively. In the first instance, 
each individual translated every book, which was allotted to his 
division. Secondlj^, the readings to be adopted were agreed 
upon by the whole of that company assemlDled together, at 
which meeting each translator must have been solely occupied 
by his own version. The book, thus finished, was sent to each 
of the other companies to be again examined ; and at these 
meetings it probably was, as Selden informs us, that " one read 
the translation, the rest holding in their hands some Bible, 
either of the learned tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, &c. 
If they found any fault, they spoke ; if not, he read on '." Fur- 
ther, the translators were empowered to call to their assistance 
any learned men, whose studies enabled them to be serviceable, 
when an urgent occasion of difficulty presented itself. The 
translation was commenced in the spring of 1607, and the com- 
pletion of it occupied almost three years. At the expiration 
of that time, three copies of the whole Bible, thus translated 
and revised, were sent to London, — one from Oxford, one 
from Cambridge, and a third from Westminster. Here a com- 
mittee of six, two being deputed by the companies at Oxford, 
two by those at Cambridge, and two by those at Westminster, 
reviewed and polished the whole work : which was finally re- 
vised by Dr. Smith (afterwards bishop of Gloucester), who 
wrote the preface, and by Dr. Bilson, bishop of Winchester, 
This translation of the Bible was first published in folio in 
161 1, with the following title: 

" The Holy Bible, conteyning the Old Testament and the New, 
newly translated out of the Original} Tongues, and with the former 
Translations diligently compared and revised by his Majesties speciall 
Comandement. Imprinted at London, by Robert Barker, Printer to 
the King's most excellent Majestic. 1611." 

There are copies of it which have the dates of 1612 and 
1613. In some of the very numerous editions printed between 
the years 16S8 and 1685, an alteration is introduced in Acts 
vi. 3. ; where, instead of we mmj appoint, we read ye mai/ ap- 
point. This alteration has been charged upon the Inde- 
pendents during the time of Cromwell's usurpation ; but, as 
the first Bible, in which it was observed, is that printed at 
Cambridge by Buck and Daniel, in 1638, it is in all proba- 
bility an error of the press, without any design to favour any 
particular party 2. In 1653, an edition was printed by John 

1 Selden'sTableTalk,article^/W^.— Works, vol. iii. col. 2009. 

2 Another material error has crept into many modern editions of the English Bible, 
in 1 Tim. iv. 16., where we read Take heed unto thyself and thv doctrine, instead of 
THE doctrine. The origin of this mistake (which the author of this work has found in 
various editions printed between the year 1690 and the commencement of the present 
century) it is now impossible to ascertain. It was first pointed out by the eminently 
learned Bishop Horsley. t 

260 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Cli. 

Field, at Cambridge, in 24mo, which is of extreme rarity and 
beauty: an imitation of it was made in Holland, in 1658 ; but 
the genuine edition is known by having the four first psalms on 
a page, without turning over. In 1 660, the same printer executed 
a spendid folio edition of the Bible, which was illustrated with 
chorographical plates, engraved by Ogilby, an eminent artist of 
that time: he also printed several other editions in 8vo and 12mo, 
but they are not considered as typographical curiosities. From 
the time of Field to the end of the seventeenth century, several 
curious flat Bibles were printed, which are denominated 
preaching Bibles, from the use made of them in the pulpit dur- 
ing that period. The typographical execution of them is very 
clear, the type being a broad-faced letter, upon thin paper, with a 
few marginal notes, which gives them a superiority over many 
of the thick and heavy volumes that have since been printed. 

In 1683, this translation was corrected, and many references 
to parallel texts were added by Dr. Scattergood ; and in J 701, 
a very fine edition was published in large folio under the direc- 
tion of Dr. Tenison, archbishop of Canterbury, with chronolo- 
gical dates, and an index by Bishop Lloyd, and accurate tables of 
Scripture weights and measures by Bishop Cumberland : but 
this edition is said to abound with typographical errors. The 
latest and most complete revision is that made by the late Rev. 
Dr. Blayney, under the direction of the Vice-chancellor and 
delegates of the Clarendon Press, at Oxford. In this edition, 
which was printed both in quarto and folio, in 1769, thepimc- 
tuatioji was thoroughly revised ; the words printed in Italics 
were examined and corrected by the Hebrew and Greek ori- 
ginals ; x\\c proper names, to the etymology of which allusions 
are made in the text, were translated and entered in the margin, 
the summaries of chapters and running titl^ at the top of each 
page corrected ; some material errors in the chronology recti- 
fied ; and the marginal references were re-examined and cor- 
rected, and thirty thousand four hundred and ninety five new 
references were inserted in the margin '. From the singular 
pains bestowed, in order to render this edition as accurate as 
possible, it has hitherto been considered the standard edition, 
from which all subsequent impressions have been executed. 
Notwithstanding, however, the great labour and attention 
bestowed by Dr. Blayney, his edition must now yield the palm 
of accuracy to the very beautiful and correct edition published 
by Messrs. Eyre and Strahan, his Majesty's Printers, but 
printed by Mr. Woodfall in 1806, and again in 18 12, in quarto ; 

1 A full account of Dr. Blayney's Collation and Revision was communicated by him 
to the Gentleman's Magazine for,November 1769, vol. xxxix. pp. 517 — 519. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 261 

as not fewer than one hundred and sixteen errors were disco- 
vered in collating the edition of 1806 with Dr. B.'s, and one of 
these errors was an omission of considerable importance'. 
Messrs. Eyre and Strahan's editions may therefore be regarded 
as approaching as near as possible to what bibliographers term 
an immaculate text. ^ 

After the publication of the present authorised translation, all 
the other versions gradually fell into disuse, with the exception 
of the Psalms, and the Epistles and Gospels in the Book of 
Common Prayer, which were still continued, the former accord- 
ing to the translation of Cranmer's Bible, and the latter accord- 
ing to that of the Bishops' Bible, until the final revision of the 
Liturgy, in 1661 ; at which time the Epistles and Gospels were 
taken from the present version, but the Psalms are still retained 
according to the translation of Cranmer's Bible. ^ 

Upwards of two centuries have elapsed, since the authorised 
English Version of the Holy Scriptures, now in use, was given 
to the British nation. During that long interval, though many 
passages in particular books have been elucidated by learned 

• In Dr. Blayney's edition of 1769, the following words are omitted in Rev. xviii. 
22 after the words " no more," viz. " at all in thee ; and no craftsmnn, of whatsoever 
craft he be, shall be found any more." 

2 Only one erratum, we believe, has been discovered in the edition of 1806. The 
following particulars relative to the above-mentioned London editions of the Bible may 
not be unacceptable to the bibliographical reader, at the same time they will show that 
their claims to l)e considered as standard editions are not altogether unfounded. — The 
booksellers of the metropolis, having applied to His Majesty's Printers to undertake a 
handsome edition of the Bible, confided the execution of it to Mr. George Woodfall in 
1804. The copy printed from was the current Cambridge edition, with which Mr. 
W.'s edition agrees page for page. It was afterwards read twice by the Oxford im- 
pression then in use, and the proofs were transmitted to the Rev. Lancelot Sharpe, by 
whom they were read with Dr. Blayney's 4to. edition of 1769. After the proofs re- 
turned by Mr. S. for press had been corrected, the forms were (laced upon the press 
at which they were to be worked, and another proof was taken. This was read by Mr. 
Woodfall's superiiitendant, and afterwards by Mr. W. himself, with Dr. Blayney's 
edition, and any errors that had previously escaped were corrected ; the forms not hav- 
ing been removed from the press after the last proofs had been taken off. By this pre- 
caution, they avoided the danger of errors (a danger of very frequent occurrence, and 
of no small magnitude), arising from the removal of the forms from the proof press 
to the presses on which the sheets were finally worked off. Of this edition, which was 
ready for publication in 1 806, five hundred copies were printed on imperial 4to., two thou - 
sand on royal, and three thousand on medium quarto size. In the course of printing this 
edition from the Cambridge copy, a great number of very gross errors was discovered in 
the latter, and the errors in the common Oxford editions above noticed were not so few 
as 1200 ! The London edition of 1806 being exhausted, a new impression was put to 
press in 1810, and was completed, with equal beauty and accuracy, in 1812. 

3 About the time when King James resolved on a new translation of the Scriptures, 
another translation was finished by Mr. Ambrose Usher, elder brother of the eminently 
learned primate of Armagh, of the same name. It is still in manuscript, and is 
preserved in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. There are likewise extant in 
print several English translations of the Old and New Testament, and of detached parts 
thereof: but as these are more or less accompanied with commentaries, the account 
of them is necessaiily referred to the Appendix to this volume, No. VII. 

s 3 

262 Modern Versions of the Scriptures. [Part L Ch. 

men, with equal felicity and ability ; yet its general fidelity, per- 
spicuity, and excellence, have deservedly given our present 
translation a high and distinguished place in the judgment of 
the Christian world, wherever the English language is known 
or read. Of late years, however, this admirable version — the 
guide and solace of the sincere Christian — has been attacked 
with no common virulence, and arraigned as being deficient 
in fidelity, perspicuity, and elegance ; ambiguous and incor- 
rect, even in matters of the highest importance; and, in 
short, totally insufficient for teaching " all things necessary 
to salvation." The principal antagonists of this version, 
in the present day, (to omit the bold and unmeasured asser- 
tions of the late Dr. Geddes and others), are Mr. John Bel- 
lamy ', in the prospectus, preface, and notes of his new trans- 
lation of the Bible, and Sir James Bland Burges, in his 
* Reasons in favour of a New Translation of the Scriptures,* 
(8vo. London, 1819) ; both of whom, among other things, have 
affirmed, that our authorised translation is insufficient for 
teaching all things necessary to salvation : and they declare 
that it is not made from the original Hebrew, but from the 
Septuagint or Greek translation, and from the Vulgate or 
Latin Version. The assertions of these writers have been 
answered in detail, particularly by the Reverend Messrs. 
Whittaker and Todd, in their works cited below ", to which 
the reader is referred. In refutation of the assertion that 
our version was not made from the original Hebrew and 
Greek, it is sufficient to refer to the account given of it in the 
preceding pages ^ : we shall therefore conclude our notice of this 
admirable translation, with a few of the very numerous testi- 
monies to its value, which have been collected by Archbishop 
Newcome and Mr. Todd, and shall subjoin two or three others 
that appear to have eluded their researches. 

1. John Selden 4. " The English translation of the Bible is the 

1 A notice of Mr. Bellamy's work will be found infra, in the Appendix to this 
volume. No. VII. 

2 A Vindication of our authorised Translation and Translators of the Bible, and of 
preceding English Versions authoritatively commended to the notice of those Translators, 
&c. &c. By the Rev. H. J. Todd, M. A. London, 1819, 8vo. — An Historical and 
Critical Enquiry into the Interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures, with Remarks on 
Mr. Bellamy's New Translation. By J. W. Whittaker, M.A. London, 1819, 8vo. 

3 See pp. 257 — 259. supra. The seventh section of Mr. Todd's Vindication of the 
authorised translation of the Bible contains an account of the forty-seven translators 
who were employed on it, and of the state of learning in their time. This does not 
admit of abridgement : but the result is highly satisfactory, and proves that those ve- 
nerable men were eminently skilled in the oriental and Greek languages, and conse- 
quently were, in every respect, fitted for the high and honourable task assigned to them 
by their sovereign. 

4 Setden, Works, iii. 2009. This is cited by Abp. Nev/come, without additioB. 
Selden was the contemporary of the translators. He died in 1654, at the age of 70. 

VI. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 2gS 

best translation in the world, and renders the sense of the original best, 
taking in for the English translation the Bishops' Bible as well as King 
James's. The translators in King James's time took an excellent way. 
That part of the Bible was given to him, who was most excellent in 
such a tongue : as the apocrypha to Andrew Downs : and then they 
met together, and one read the translation, the rest holding in 
their hands some Bible, either of the learned tongues, or French, 
Spanish, Italian, &c. If they found any fault, they spoke ; if not, he 
read on. There is no book so translated as the Bible for the purpose. 
If I translate a French book into English, I turn it into English phrase, 
not into French-English. Ilfaitfroidj I say, 'tis cold, not, makes 
cold. But the Bible is rather translated into English words than 
into English phrase. The Hebraisms are kept, and the phrase of that 
language is kept." 

2. Bishop Walton'. "The last English translation, made by 
divers learned men at the command of King James, though it may 
justly contend with any now extant in any other language in Europe, 
was yet carped and cavilled at by diverse among ourselves ; especially 
by 2 one, who being passed by, and not employed in the work, as one, 
though skilled in the Hebrew, yet of little or no judgment in that or 
any other kinde of learning, was so highly offended that he would 
needs undertake to show how viamj thousand places they had falsely 

I Dr. Bryan Walton's Coiisiderator Considered, or a Defence of his Polyglott Bible, 
&c. 1659, p. 5. This is not noticed by Abp. Newcome. But a most important tes- 
timony it is. He was one of those most learned divines, who, in 1656, were publicly 
requested to consider of the translations and impressions of the Bible, and to offer their 
opinion therein to the committee for religion ; Bulstrode Whitlock having the care of 
this affair, at whose house they met. They pretended to discover some mistakes in the 
last English translation ; but the business came to nothing. See Lewis, &c. p. 355. 
Johnson, &c. p. 99. In the above citation we have the opinion of Walton, (than whom 
a more competent judge neither friends nor foes of our translation can produce,) three 
years subsequent to this meeting, upon the excellence of this version, together with his 
notice of an impotent attack made upon it. He has also, in the Prolegomena to his Biblia 
Polyglotta, 1657, placed our own in the highest rank of European translations. 

3 This person was undoubtedly Hugh Broughton, fellow of Christ College, Cam- 
bridge ; who had certainly attained great knowledge in the Hebrew and Greek tongues. 
But a more conceited or arrogant man hardly existed. With the Bishops' Bible he 
had found great fault ; insisted upon the necessity of a new translation ; pronounced his 
own sufficiency to make one exactly agreeable to the original text of the Hebrew ; 
boasted of encouragement to this purpose from men of all ranks ; and at length excited 
a very warrantable suspicion, that, in so important a task, he was unfit to be trusted. 
Thus discountenanced, he went abroad; leaving behind him this quaint character, 
expressive at once of his vanity and learning, " that he was gone to teach the Jews 
Hebrew!" See Sir J. Harrington's Brief View of the State of the Church, 1655, 
p. 75. He returned to England, however, in 1611, and commenced the defamation 
against the new translation to which Walton adverts. By the contents of a little tract, 
which he published in 1608, intitled " A Petition to the Lords to examine the religion 
and carriage of Archbishop Bancroft," he gives us no cause to lament that he had no 
share in the new translation. I question if his countrymen would have understood his 
language ; as the case has been with another partial translator, who was not of the au- 
thorised selection. Broughton thus rails at Bancroft ; " Bancroft, seeing himself in 
Judaisrne, and as I heard in his allowed libel equal scoffer, as of a mist soon scattered, 
raved against me for peailes to such, and holy things to such !" p. 2. " Bancroft is a 
deadly enemy to both Testaments, and unallowable in this course to be a teacher, or to 
rule in learning !" p. 8. After this foolery and slander, the reader will not be surprised 
to hear that he abuses Lively and Barlow also, two of our authorised translators. 

S 4? 

Se* Modern Versions of live ScrijJtures. [Part I. Cli. 

rendered, when as he could hardly make good his undertaking in any 
one .'" 

3. Bishop Lowth '. " The vulgar translation of the Bible — is the 
best standard of our language. " 

4. Bishop HoRSLEY '"^. " When the translators in James the First's 
time began their work, they prescribed to themselves some rules, which 
it may not be amiss for all translators to follow. Their reverence for 
the sacred scriptures induced them to be as literal as they could, to 
avoid obscurity ; and it must be acknowledged, that they were "ex- 
tremely happy in the simplicity and dignity of their expressions. Their 
adherence to the Hebrew idiom is supposed at once to have enriched and 
adorned our language ; and as they laboured for the general benefit of 
the learned and the unlearned, they avoided all words of Latin original, 
when they coidd find words in their own language, even \vith the aid 
of adverbs and prepositions, which would express their meaning.'' 

5. Bishop MiDDLETON^. "The style of our present version is in- 
comparably superior to any thing which might be expected from the 
finical and perverted taste of our own age. It is simple, it is harmo- 
nious, it is energetic ; and, which is of no small importance, use has 
made it familiar, and time has rendered it sacred." 

6. Dr. Geddes *. " The highest eulogiums have been made on the 
translation of James the First, both by our own writers and by foreigners. 
And indeed, if accuracy, fidelity, and the strictest attention to the 
letter of the text, be supposed to constitute the qualities of an excel- 
lent version, this of all versions must, in general, he accounted the 
most excellent. Every sentence, every word, every syllable, every 
letter and point, seem to have been weighed with the nicest exactitude, 
and expressed either in the text, or margin, with the greatest preci- 
sion. Pagninus himself is hardly more literal ; and it was well re- 
marked by Robertson, above a hundred years ago, that it may serve 
for a Lexicon of the Hebrew languaije, as well as for a translation." 

7. Rev. J. W. Whittaker *. " The highest value has always been 
attached to our translation of the Bible. Sciolists, it istnie, have often 
attempted to raise their own reputation on the ruin of that of others ; 
and the authors of the English Bible have frequently been calumniated 
by charlatans of every description : but it may safely be asserted, with- 
out fear of contradiction, that the nation at large has always paid our 
translators the tribute of veneration and gratitude which they so justly 
merit. Like the mighty of former times, they have departed and 
shared the common fate of mortality , but they have not, like those 
heroes of antiquity, gone without their fame, though but little is 
known of their individual worth. Their reputation for learning and 
piety has not descended with them to the grave, though they are there 

I Lowth, Introd. to Eng. Grammar, 2d ed. p. 93, cited by Archbishop Newcome. 

* Review of Dr. Geddes's Translation of the Holy Bible, Brit. Crit. July 1794, 
p. 7. The reviewer is now known to have been the late Bishop Horsley. 

3 Dr. Middleton (now Bishop of Calcutta) on the Greek Article, p. 328. 

■* Dr. Geddes's Prospectus of a New Translation of the Holy Bible, p. 92. Cited by 
Abp. Newcome, with a longer extract from the author. — Todd's Vindication, pp. 68, 
70, 75, 80. 

* Whittaker, Hist, and Crit. Enq. p 92. 

Vi. Sect. III.] The English Versions. 265 

alike heedless of the voice of calumny, and deaf to the praise which 
admiring posterity awards to the great and good. Let us not therefore 
too hastily conclude that they have fallen on evil days and evil tongues, 
because it has occasionally happened that an individual, as inferior to 
them in erudition as in talents and integrity, is found questioning their 
motives, or denying their qualifications for the task which they so well 
performed. Their version has been used, ever since its first appear- 
ance, not only by the church, but by all the sects which have forsaken 
her ; and has justly been esteemed by all for its general faithfulness, 
and the severe beauty of its language. It has survived the convulsion 
both of church and state, being universally respected by the enemies 
of both, when the established religion was persecuted with the most 
rancorous malignity ; as if its merits were independent of circum- 
stances, and left at a distance all the petty rivalships of sectarianism, 
and the effervescence of national frenzy. It may be compared with 
any translation in the world, without fear of inferiority ; it hasnot shrunk 
from the most rigorous examination ; it challenges investigation ; and, in 
spite of numerous attempts to supersede it, has hitherto remained un- 
Hvalled in the affections of the country." 

8. Dr. Doddridge. — " On a diligent comparison of our transla- 
tion with the original, we find that of the New Testament, and I might 
also add that of the Old, in the main, faithfid and judicious. You 
know, indeed, that we do not scruple, on some occasions, to animad- 
vert upon it ; but you also know, that these remarks affect not the 
fundamentals of religion, and seldom reach any further than the beauty 
of a figure, or at most the connection of an argument. ' 

9. The testimony of Dr. John Taylor, of Norwich, author of the 
excellent Hebrew and English Concordance (whose theological creed 
we regret to say was Arlan), is yet more striking. 

" In above the space of one (now two) hundred years," says he, 
" learning may have received considerable improvements ; and by that 
means some inaccuracies may be found in a translation more than a 
(two) hundred years old. But you may rest fully satisfied, that as our 
English translation is, in itself, hy far the most excellent book in our 
language, so it is a pure and plentiful fountain of divine knowledge, 
giving a true, clear, and full account of the divine dispensations, 
and of the gospel of our salvation : insomuch that whoever studies the 
Bible, THE English Bible, is sure of gaining that knowledge and faith, 
which, if duly applied to the heart and conversation^ will infallibly 

GUIDE him to eternal LIFE."^ 

10. The last testimony we shall adduce, is that of the eminent orien- 
talist and commentator. Dr. Adam Clarke. — "Those," (says he), "who 
have compared most of the European translations with the original, 
have not scrupled to say that the English translation of the Bible, 
made under the direction of king James the First, is the most accu- 
rate and faithful of the Avhole. Nor," adds Dr. C, " is this its only 
praise : the translators have seized the very spirit and soul of the 

1 Dr. Doddridge's Works, vol. ii. p. 329, Leeds edit. 

9 Scheme of Scripture Divinity, ch. xl. in Bishop Watson's Collection of Theolo- 
gical Tracts, vol. j, p. 188. 

266 Modern y^ersions of the Scriptures. [Parti. Ch. 

original, and expressed this almost every where, with pathos and 
energy. Besides, our translators have not only made a standard trans- 
lation ; but they have made their translation the standard of our lan- 
guage : the English tongue in their day was not equal to such a work 
— but God enabled them to stand as upon Mount Sinai, and crane up 
their country's language to the dignity of the originals, so that, after 
the lapse of two hundred years, the English Bible is, with very few 
exceptions, the standard of the purity and excellence of the English 
tongue. The original, from which it was taken, is, alone, superior to 
the Bible translated by the authority of king James." ' 

Notwithstanding these decisive testimonies to the superior 
excellency of our authorised version, it is readily admitted 
that it is not immaculate, and that a complete correction of it 
is an object of desire to the friends of religion, were it only to 
silence the perpetually repeated cavils of the opposers of divine 
revelation ; who, studiously disregarding the various satisfac- 
tory answers which have been given to their unfounded objec- 
tions, persevere in repeating them, so long as they find a very 
few mis-translated passages in the authorised version. But that 
such a correction is a work of immediate or jjressing necessity — or 
that the existing translation is faulty in innumerable instances, 
and ambiguous and incorrect even in matters of the highest 
importance, — or that sacred criticism is yet so far advanced 
as to furnish all the means that may be expected, we hesitate 
not to deny. So pernicious must it be (especially in these times) 
frequently to agitate and unsettle the minds of men on these 
subjects, that we should hope this task, whenever it shall be 
again performed, may be completed for ever. In the mean 
time, when we consider the r;^n/j^w real faults, which the 
most minute and scrupulous inquirer has been able to find in 
our present translation ; when we perceive such distinguished 
critics as Archbishop Newcome and Bishop llorsley (to 
mention no more), producing verjj discordant interpretations of 
the same text or word, we cannot but call to mind, with grati- 
tude and admiration, the integrity, wisdom, fidelity, and 
learning of the venerable translators, of whose pious labours 
we are now reaping the benefit; who, while their reverence 
for the Sacred Scriptures induced them to be as literal as they 
could, to avoid obscurity, have been extremely happy in the 
simplicity and dignity of their expressions, and who, by their 
adherence to the Hebrew idiom, have at once enriched and 
adorned our language. And instead of being impatient for a 
revision of the present text, we shall (to adopt the energetic 
expression of Mr. Todd) ' take up the book, which from our 
infancy we have known and loved, with increased delight ; and 

' Dr. A. Clarke's General Preface to his Commentary on the Bible, vol. i. p. xxi. 

VI. Sect. III.] The Welsh Versions. 267 

resolve not hastily to violate, in regard to itself, the rule 
which it records, — " forsake not an old friend, for the 

NEW IS not comparable TO HIM." ' 

*' Happy, thrice happy, hath our English nation been, since 
God hath given it learned translators, to express in our mother 
tongue the heavenly mysteries of his holy word, delivered to 
his church in the Hebrew and Greek languages ; who, although 
they may have in some matters of no importance unto salva- 
tion, as men, been deceived and mistaken, yet have they 
faithfully delivered the whole substance of the heavenly doc- 
trine contained in the holy Scriptures, without any heretical 
translations or wilful corruptions. With what reverence, joy, 
and gladness, then ought we to receive this blessing ! Let us 
read the Scriptures with an humble, modest, and teachable 
disposition : with a willingness to embrace all truths which are 
plainly delivered there, how contrary soever to our own 
opinions and prejudices ; and in matters of difficulty, readily 
hearken to the judgment of our teachers, and those that are 
set over us in the Lord ; check every presumptuous thought or 
reasoning which exalts itself against any of those mysterious 
truths therein revealed ; and if we thus search after the truth 
in the love of it, we shall not miss of that knowledge, which 
will make us wise unto salvation." ' 

2. Welsh Versions. — From an epistle of Dr. Richard 
Davis, Bishop of Saint David's, prefixed to the Welsh New 
Testament, printed in 1567, we learn that there was a British 
or Welsh version of the Pentateuch extant about (if not before 
the year) 1527, though the translator's name is not known. 
Some other small and detached passages of Scripture appear also 
to have been translated into this language in the reign of King 
Edward VI., which were printed, in all probability, for the use 
of his Liturgy. But it was not until the reign of Elizabeth 
that efficient steps were taken to supply the inhabitants of the 
principality of Wales with the Holy Scriptures in their verna- 
cular dialect. In 1 563 an act of parliament was passed (5 Eliz. 
c. 28.) enacting, that the Old and New Testaments, together 
with the Book of Common Prayer, should be translated into the 
British or Welsh tongue ; and committing the direction of the 
work to the Bishops of Saint Asaph, Bangor, Saint David's, 
Llandaff, and Hereford. They were to view, peruse, and 
allow the translation, and to take care (under a penalty of .^40 
on each of them), that such a number should be printed and dis- 
tributed by March 1, 1566, as would furnish copies to every 

I Johnson's Historical Account of the several English Translations of the Bible, 
in the concluding paragraph. Bishop Watson's Collection ofTr.icts, vol. iii. p. 100. 

268 Modern Fersions of the Scriptures. [Part L Cli. 

cathedral, collegiate and parish church and chapel of ease, 
within their respective dioceses, where Welsh was commonly 
spoken. In 1567, was printed at London, the first translation 
of the New Testament. The translators wei*e Thomas Huet, 
Chantor of Saint David's, Dr. Richard Davis, Bishop of Saint 
David's, and William Salesbury, a man of great industry, 
learning, and piety. But there was no edition or version of 
the Old Testament in the British tongue, till more than twenty 
years after the publication of the New Testament. The person 
chiefly concerned in rendering this important service to the 
antient Britons, was William Morgan, D.D. who was bishop 
of Llandaff in 1595, from which see he was, in 1604, translated^ 
to that of Saint Asaph. He Jirst translated the entire 0\dl 
Testament, together with the Apocrypha, into Welsh, and 
also revised and corrected \he former version of the New Tes- 
tament, both of which were printed, in one volume folio, in 1588. 
During the reign of James I. the Welsh Version underwent a 
further examination and correction from Dr. Parry, Morgan's 
successor in the see of Saint Asaph. This corrected version, 
which is usually called Parry's Bible, is the basis of all subse- 
quent editions. It was printed at London in 1620. Seventy, 
years afterwards, another folio edition was printed at Oxford, 
under the inspection of Bishop Lloyd, in 1690. These folio 
impressions were intended principally, if not wholly, for the 
use of churches : so that, for upwards of seventy years, from 
the settlement of the reformation by Queen Elizabeth, there 
was no provision made ibr furnishing the country or people in 
general with copies of the Scriptures. The honour of the first 
supply of this kind is due to one or more citizens of London, at 
whose private expence an octavo edition was printed in 1630. 
In 1654 and 1678 two other octavo editions appeared ; the latter 
of these consisted of 8,000 copies, to the publication of which the 
Rev. Thomas Gouge, a learned non-conformist minister', not 
only contributed very largely out of his private fortune, but 
procured ample subscriptions from numerous opulent and be- 
nevolent individuals. The next octavo edition of the Welsh 
Bible was published in 1690, under the patronage of Thomas 
Lord Wharton, by Mr. David Jones; who was assisted in the 
undertaking by some ministers and citizens of London. This 
was the last edition that appeared in the seventeenth century, 
and also the niost numerous ; the editor, it is said, having dis- 
tributed not fewer than ten thousand copies ^. During the 

1 The reader will find a pleasing account of Mr. Gouge's various benevolent and 
pious undertakings in Archbishop Tillotson's Sermon on his Death, Works, vol. ii. 
pp. 540 — 349, 8vo. London, 1820. 

* The jireccding account of Welsh Bibles is abridged from an Historical Account of 

VI. Sect. 111.] The Irish Vernon. *^69 

eighteenth century, six editions of the Welsh Bible were 
printed chiefly, if not wholly, at the expense of the venerable 


1718, 1727, 1746, 1752, 1769 or 1770, and 1799. This 
last edition consisted of ten thousand copies of the Welsh Bible, 
Common Prayer, and singing Psalms, besides two thousand 
extra copies of the New Testament. Ample as this edition was, 
in a few years, co|3ies of the Scriptures became extremely 
scarce and dear in the Principality: and in 1802, some pious 
and benevolent individuals projected a new impression, the 
circumstances connected with which ultimately led to the form- 
ation of the British AND Foreign Bible Society '. Their 
attention was immediately directed to the wants of the Princi- 
pality : in 1806, a large and very correct stereotype impression 
of the New Testament was issued, which obtained a rapid sale, 
and subsequent editions have been printed. In 1821, the 
Society for promoting Christian Knowledge defrayed the ex- 
pense of a large edition, in crown octavo, of the Welsh Bible, 
with the Liturgy and Psalms. It was executed at the press of 
the University of Oxford, and is one of the most beautiful spe- 
cimens of typography ever printed ; so that the inhabitants of 
Wales are now abundantly supplied with the Scriptures in their 
native tongue. 

3. Irish Bibles — The New Testament having been trans- 
lated into Irish by Dr. William Daniel, archbishop of Tuam, Dr. 
Bedell (who was advanced to the see of Kilmore and Ardagh in 
1629), procured the Old Testament to be translated by a Mr. 
King ; who, being ignorant of the original languages, executed 
it from the English Version. Bedell, therefore, revised and 
compared it with the Hebrew, the Septuagint, and the Italian 
version of Diodati. He supported Mr. King, during his un- 
dertaking, to the utmost of his ability; and when the transla- 
tion was finished, he would have printed it in his own house, 
and at his own charge, if he had not been prevented by the 
troubles in Ireland. The translation however escaped the hands 
of the rebels, and was subsequently printed in 1685, at the 
expense of the Hon. Robert Boyle ^. What editions were 
printed during the eighteenth century, the author of the present 
work has not been able to ascertain. The British and Foreign 
Bible Society early exerted itself to supply the want of the British 

the Britiih or Welsh Versions and Editions of the Bible. By Thomas Llevvellyiij 
L.L.D. (8vo, London, 1768) pp. 1 — 50. In an .ippendix (pp. 91 — 112) this author 
has printed the dedications, which were prefixed by the translators to the first im- 

1 See the Rev. John Owen's History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, vol. i. 
pp. 1—12,138—150, 262. 391. 

9 Biographia Brirannica, article Bedell, vol. ii. p. 136, 2d edition. 

270 Modern f^ersions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

and Foreign Bible in the Irish language. In 1811, an edition 
of the New Testament was completed; and in 1813, the Bible 
was stereotyped. Another edition is at this time in progress at 
the expense of the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. 

4. Manks Bible. — Towardsthecloseofhislife,tbetruly vene- 
rable bishop of Sodor and Mann, Dr. Thomas Wilson, formed 
a plan for translating the New Testament into the Manks lan- 
guage ; but he did not live to make a further progress than to 
translate the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, and to print 
at his own expense the Gospel of Saint Matthew. His exem- 
plary successor, Bishop Hildesley, revised the manuscript, and 
completed the version of the New Testament, which, by the 
munificent aid of the Society for promoting Christian Know- 
ledge, and of other benevolent individuals, he was enabled to 
print between the years 1756 and 1760. In 1766, he was en- 
couraged, by the influx of benefactions, to undertake a Manks 
Version of the Old Testament, which was completed only two 
days before his decease, on the 30th November, 1772. ' 

5. Gaelic Bibles. — The Society in Scotland for propa- 
gating Christian Knowledge, has the honour of giving to the 
inhabitants of the Highlands the Holy Scriptures, in their ver- 
nacular dialect. The New Testament was translated by the 
late Rev. James Stewart? minister of Killin, and printed at their 
expense in 1765: it bears a high character for fidelity and 
accuracy. The several books of the Old Testament were trans- 
lated and published, in four detached portions or volumes, at 
different times, as the Society's funds would permit. In 1796, 
the first edition of the New Testament being exhausted, the 
Society published another, consisting of twenty thousand copies. 
And as some of the first printed volumes of the Old Testament 
were so much reduced in number, in 1802, as to be insufficient 
to supply the urgent demands of the Highlands in general, 
and of the Society's own schools in particular, a new edition of 
twenty thousand copies was printed. Three parts out of four, 
into which this portion of the Bible had been divided, were ren- 
dered from the Hebrew with great simplicity, and with as literal 
an adherence to the original text as the idiom of the respective 
languages would admit. As the style of the fourth part, which 
was executed by another person, had receded from this simpli- 
city, it was revised and corrected with the utmost care. From 
this corrected text (a copy of which was furnished by the Society 
in Scotland as soon as it was finished), the British and Foreign 
Bible Society executed their stereotype editions in 1807, which 
(as the Scottish Society was unable to supply the urgent and 

> Chalmers's Biographical Dictionary, vol. xvii, pp. 480 — 482, from Mr. Butler's 
Memoirs of Bp. Hildesley. 

VI. Sect. III.] The French Versions. 271 

very numerous demands for the sacred writings) were purchased 
at reduced prices by the poor Highlanders, with the livehest 
expressions of gratitude. ' 

III. French Versions.— The earliest French translation 
of the Scriptures is that of Guiars de Moulins, a canon of St. 
Pierre d'Aire, in the diocese of Touraine, who was employed 
in this work from the Vulgate, from 1291 to 1294. Several 
copies of this translation are in the Roj'al Library at Paris ; and 
an edition of it was printed by order of Charles VIII. to 
whom it was dedicated, at Paris in 1487. In 1512, James 
Le Fevre, of Estaples (better known by the name of Jacobus 
Faber, Stapulensis,) published a translation of Saint Paul's 
Epistles, with critical notes and a commentary, in which he freely 
censures the Vulgate ; and in 1523 he published at Paris, in a 
similar manner, the whole of the New Testament. This was 
followed by detached books of the Old Testament, and by an 
edition of the entire French Bible translated by himself. It was 
printed at Antwerp by Martin L'Empereur, in 1530, (again in 
1534, and 1541,) and was revised by the divines of Louvain, 
whose edition appeared in 1 550, and has since been repeatedly 
printed. The translation of Le Fevre is said to be the basis of 
all the subsequent French Bibles, whether executed by Roman 
Catholics or Protestants. The first Protestant French Bible 
was published by Robert Peter Olivetan, with the assistance of 
his relative, the illustrious reformer, John Calvin, who corrected 
the Antwerp edition, wherever it differed from the Hebrew. It 
was printed at Neufchatel, in 1535, in folio ; and at Geneva in 
1540, in large quarto, with additional corrections by Calvin. Both 
these editions are of extreme rarity. Another edition appeared 
at the same place in 1588, revised by the College of pastors 
and professors of the Reformed Church at Geneva, (Beza, Gen- 
lart, Jaquemot, Bertram, and others,) who so greatly improved 
Olivetan's Bible, both in correctness and diction, that it thence- 
forth obtained the name of the Geneva Bible, by which it is now 
generally known. It has gone through very numerous editions, 
the latest of which is that of Geneva, 1805, in folio, and also in 
three volumes 8vo. Another French Protestant version (made 
from the Italian translation of Diodati) was published in 1562, 
which for a short time was held in estimation by the Calvinists. 
The French translation of Sebastian Castalio, who was but in- 
differently skilled in that language, appeared at Basil in 1555; 
being accommodated to his Latin version above noticed, it was 
liable to the same objections, and was never held in any esteem. 

' Address of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian Knowledge, 1 SOS- 
Owen's History of the Bible Society, vol. i. pp. 205, 206, 314—316. In 1820, a 
Gaelic translation of the Book of Common Prayer was completed and printed, at the 
expense of the incorporated London Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. 

272 Modern Versions of the Scripha-es. [Pare I. Ch. 

A reformation of the Geneva Bible was undertaken by Renat 
Benoist (Renatus Benedictus), professor of divinity in the col- 
lege of Navarre. It was published, with notes^ in 1566 ; but 
being condemned by a brief of Pope Gregory XIII, in 1575, 
a new edition was undertaken by the divines of Louvain, who 
freed it from the corrections of the reformed, and made it altoge- 
ther conformable to the Latin. This edition was printed at 
Antwerp in 1575, and at various places since. In 1820, a ver- 
sion of St. John's Gospel, in the dialect spoken at Thoulouse, 
and in its vicinity, was printed at Thoulouse '. There are 
several other French translations, by private individuals, which 
are made from the Vulgate ; as that of Isaac Louis Le Maitre de 
Sacy, both with and without notes, and the version of the New 
Testament by Quesnel, whose moral reflections are justly ad- 
mired for their piety. Father Amelot's translation of the 
New Testament was published in 1666; Godeau's para- 
phrase, in 1668; and Father Bouhours's translation, in 1697- 
1703. All these are now nearly forgotten. The French ver- 
sion of the ingenious critic. Father Simon, published with 
notes in 1702, was translated into English by Mr. Webster, in 
two volumes 4to., 1730. The Protestant French Version of 
the New Testament, executed by M. M. Beausobre and L'En- 
fant (4to. Amsterdam, 1718), is much esteemed for its closeness. 
Various portions of the Bible have been translated into French 
by other writers, who are not of sufiicient note to require a 
distinct mention. 

IV. Belgian Versions. — A Flemish translation of the 
Scriptures was made from the Vulgate in the sixteenth century, 
and printed, at Cologne in 1475, at Delft in 1477, and at other 
places. For a long time the Protestants in the Low Countries 
had only the Dutch translation, made from Luther's German 
version in 1560, which has already been noticed in page 237. But 
in 16^18, in consequence of an order issued by the Synod of Dort, 
anew translation was undertaken from the Hebrew and Greek. 
The translators of the Old Testament were John Bogermann, 
William Baudart, and Gerson Bucer ; the New Testament and 
apocryphal books were assigned to James Roland, Antony 
Walaeus, and Festus Hommius. Their portions, when finished, 
were submitted to the careful revision of others. "This Dutch 
version was first printed in 1637, and is highly valued for its 
fidelity ; the Remonstrants, however, being dissatisfied with the 
New Testament, translated it anew from the Greek ; and their 
version was printed at Amsterdam in 1680. 

V. Italian Versions. — Four versions of the Bible are extant 
in the Italian language. The earliest is that of Nicolao Ma- 

1 Le Sent Ebangely de Nostre Seignour Jesus Christ sela'm Sent Jan, traduit en 
Lengo Toulouzenzo. a Toulouso, 1820, 12mo. 

VL Sect. 111-2 Spajiish Versions. 373 

lermi, who translated it from the Latin Vulgate : it was first 
published at Venice, in 1471, in folio. The second is that of 
Antonio Bruccioli, also printed at Venice in 1532: he pro- 
fesses to have made his version from the Hebrew and Greek, 
but Walchius says, that he chiefly followed the Latin trans- 
lation of Sanctes Pagninus. A revised edition of Bruccioli's 
Italian Bible, rendered conformable to the Vulgate by Sanctes 
Marmochinus, was printed at Venice in 1538. An Italian 
versioQ has moreover been said to have been published under 
the auspices of Pope SixtusV. ; but its existence is very doubtful. 
A Protestant Italian version of the New Testament was pub- 
lished at Geneva in 1561, and of the entire Bible in 1562, 
which is usually considered as a revision of Bruccioli's : but 
Walchius asserts that it is altogether a new translation. It 
has, however, long been superseded by the elegant and faith- 
ful version of Giovanni Diodati, published in 1607. The latest 
Italian version is that executed, in conformity with the Vulgate, 
by Martini, archbishop of Florence, towards the close of the 
eighteenth century : it received the sanction of the late pope 
Pius VI. 

VI. Spanish Versions. — The earliest edition of the Scrip- 
tures in the Spanish language, was executed from the Vulgate, 
and printed at Valencia, in 1478 '; it is now of very rare 
occurrence. In 1553, a Spanish version of the Old Testament 
was made for the Jews by Edward Pinel ; it was printed at 
Ferrara. In 1630, a revised edition of it was published at 
Amsterdam, by Manasseh Ben Israel. A much earlier trans- 
lation than this is said to have been made by some learned 
Jews, which has been too hastily attributed to rabbi David 
Kimchi. An edition of the Old Testament in Hebrew, and in 
Jewish- Spanish, was printed at Vienna, in the years 1813, 14, 
15, and 16, in four volumes, quarto, for the use of the Jews of 
Constantinople and of most of the cities of Turkey, who are 
Spanish Jews. The Hebrew text is printed with vowel points, 
on one half of the page, and the Jewish-Spanish, with rabbi- 
nical characters on the other ^. Among the Christians, Cassio- 
dore de Reyna translated the Scriptures into Spanish, from 
the original languages, but availed himself of the assistance af- 
forded by the Latin versions of Pagninus and Leo Juda : it was 
published at Basil, in 1569. A revised edition of it by Cyprian 
de Valera, a Protestant, who consulted later versions and notes, 
especially the Geneva French Bible, was published at Amster- 
dam, in 1702. A new Spanish version of the entire Bible, 
from the Latin Vulgate, was published at Madrid in 1793-4, 

' Thomson's and Orme's Historical Sketch of the Translation of the Scriptures, 
p. 40, note. 

* Sixteenth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Appendix, p. 24. 

274; Modern Versions qf the Scriptures. [Part I. Ch. 

by Don Philipe Scio de San Miguel, (subsequently appointed 
Bishop of Segovia,) in ten folio volumes ; it is adorned with 
three hundred engravings copied from those of Marillier 
and Monsiau, which were executed for the edition of Sacy's 
French version of the Bible, printed at Paris in 1789 
and the following years. This edition is very rare and 
dear even in Spain. Padre Scio's Spanish version was re- 
printed at Madrid between the years 1794 and 1797, in nine- 
teen large 8vo volumes, with plates. There are copies of this 
edition both with and without the Latin text. The third 
edition of this version was published at Madrid in 1808, in 
Latin and Spanish, in sixteen volumes, which have the ap- 
pearance of small quartos : they are very neatly executed. The 
Vulgate text and Spanish translation are printed in parallel 
columns. To each book is prefixed a critical preface, and at 
the foot of the page is a copious commentary, drawn principally 
from the writings of the fathers. ' 

VII. Russian Version. — The Sclavonic or Old Russian ver- 
sion has been already noticed in pages 201 and 215 : but as this, 
though the established version of the Greek church, is no 
longer intelligible to the common people, a translation of the 
Bible into the modern Russ was made by M. GlUck, a Li- 
vonian clergyman, and printed at Amsterdam in 1698 ^. As the 
Russian language has undergone considerable changes since 
that time, the Emperor Alexander, by an edict in February 
1816, directed the Holy Synod of Moscow to prepare a new 
translation: and in March 1819, the four Gospels were pub- 
lished in that language. ^ 

VIII. Croat Bible. — The Kew Testament in the language 
of Croatia, was first published at Tubingen, in 1551. It was 
translated by the pastor Truber, and was reprinted with some 
corrections by the translator, at the same place, in two octavo 
volumes, in 1581-2. These editions are of extreme rarity. 
The first edition of the entire Croat Bible appeared at Wit- 
temberg, in 1584. The New Testament is the version of 
Truber. The Pentateuch, Proverbs, and Book of Ecclesi- 
asticus were translated by the editor, George Dalmatinus, who 
also wrote the Preface. ■* 

• A modern Polyglott Bible, designed as a companion to that in the Hebrew, Greek, 
Latin, Syriac, and English languages (noticed in p. 1 24, supra) , is now in course of pub- 
lication by Mr. Bagster. It comprises Luther's German version, carefully printed ; the 
French version, from a reprint of Ostervald's edition, printed at Basle, in 1819-20; 
Diodati's Italian version ; and the Spanish version, from the edition of Padre Scio, 
above noticed. 

2 Bishop Marsh's History of Translations, p. 6. 

3 Sixteenth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, for 1820, Appendix, 
pp. 29, 50. The modern Russian version was received with the liveliest gratitude, both 
by clergy and laity, of which some pleasing testimonies are given in p. 31. 

■* Adler's Bibliotheea Biblica, Part IV, pp. 151, 152. 

VI. Sect. III.] The Polhh Ftrxtons. 275 

IX. The New Testament, in the Basque dialect, was first 
printed at Rochelie, in 1571, with a dedication in French to 
Joan d' Albret, Queen of Navarre, by John de Licarrague de 
Briscous. It is furnished with parallel passages in the maroin, 
and at the end are summaries of contents, indexes, &c. ' 

X. Hungarian Bible. — The Hungarian Protestant ver- 
sion was executed by Caspar Caroli, who availed himself of the 
previous labours of Vatablus, Pagninus, Munster, Tremellius, 
and of the Vulgate. It was first published in 1589, at Wy- 
solyin; and subsequently at Hanau, in 1608; at Oppenheim, 
in 1612; at Amsterdam, in 1645, 1684, and 1685, and at other 
places. Of the edition printed in Holland, in 1 7 1 7, three thou- 
sand copies are said to have been intercepted by the Jesuits, 
into whose custod}^ they were committed, to prevent any use 
from being made of them. There is also a popish version, 
made from the Latin Vulgate, by George Kaldi, and printed 
at Cologne and Vienna. 

XI. Polish Bibles. — Three versions of the Scriptures have 
been published in the Polish language. The first was undertaken 
for the use of the Roman Catholics, and was published at 
Cracow in 1561 ; reprinted at the same place in 1577, 1599 
and 1619, and at other places. The second was made by the 
Socinians under the patronage and at the expense of Prince 
Nicholas Radzivil; it was published at Pinczow, in Lithuania, in 
1563, and is one of the rarest books ever printed 2. This 
translation was reprmted at Zaslau, in Lithuania, in 1572. The 
third Pohsh version was made by the Reformed, or Calvinists, 
in 1596. A translation of the New Testament into the Judseo- 
Polish dialect (which is spoken by the Jews, who are very 
numerous in Poland) has been made by the Rev. N. Solomon, at 
the expense and under the patronage of the London society for 
promoting Christianity among the Jews ; it was printed in 1821 '. 
A translation of the New Testament into the language of Samo- 
gitia^ a province of PolamI, was printed in 1820, at the ex- 
pense of the Russian Bible society. 

XII. Bohemian Bibles. — The first Bohemian translation 
was made from the Latin Vulgate, and was published at Prague 
in 1488. The other, for the use of the Protestants in Bohe- 
mia, was made from the sacred originals by Albert Nicolai 
John Capito, Isaiah Coepolla, and other learned reformers, 
at the expense of the baron, John'Zerotimus. It was pub- 
lished between the years 1579 and 1593, in six quarto volumes, 

' Adier's Bibliotheca Biblica, Part IV, p. 151. 

A copy of this translation is in the library of Earl Spencer, and is described by 
Mr. Dibdin, Bib. Spenc. vol. i. pp. 85—89. 

' Thirteenth Report of the London Society for the Conversion of the Jews, p a 

T 2 

276 Modem Versions of the Scriptures. [Part I. Cb. 

without any indication of the place where they were printed, 
which is supposed to have been KraUtz. 

XIII. Modern-Greek, or Romaic Versions. — The Ro-. 
mai'c is a corruption of the antient Greek, so great indeed, that, 
compared with the latter, it may be pronounced a new Ian-, 
guage : It is at present in general use, both for writing and 
conversation, the antient Greek being used solely for ecclesias- 
tical affairs. Into this language the New Testament was trans- 
lated by Maximus Calliergi, and was printed at Geneva in 
1638, in one large quarto volume, in two columns, one con- 
taining the antient, the other the modern Greek. It was pub- 
lished at the expense of the then United Provinces, upon the 
solicitation of Cornelius Haga, their ambassador at Constan- 
tinople. The Greeks, however, did not receive it with much 
favour. This translation was reprinted at London in 1 703, in 
one volume 12mo, by Seraphin, a monk of Mitylene ; who 
prefixed to it a preface, which gave offence to the Greek 
bishops, particularly to the patriarch of Constantinople. 
By his order it was committed to the flames. The edition 
of 1703 (which, in consequence of this suppression, has: 
become extremely rare) was reprinted in 1705; and in that 
edition the objectionable passages in Seraphin's preface were 
omitted. A more correct edition of it was printed at Halle, 
in Saxony, in 1710, in one volume, 12mo, under the patronage 
and at the expense of Sophia Louisa, Queen of Prussia '. 
From this last edition was printed the impression executed 
at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible Society, in one 
thick volume, 12mo. (Chelsea, 1810), the antient and modern 
Greek being in parallel columns. To this edition the patriarch 
of Constantinople gave his unqualified approbation 2. With 
regard to the Old Testament, though the book of Psalms was 
translated into Romaic, and printed at Venice, in 1543, and the 
Pentateuch (by the Jews at Constantinople) in 1547, yet no 
entire version of the Scriptures was extant in modern Greek, 
until the archimandrite Hilarion (whom the general suffrage of 
the learned Greeks concurs in representing as best quali- 
fied for the task) undertook first a new translation of the New 
Testament, which is undergoing a scrupulous revision, pre- 
viously to being printed. The same person, with the assistance 
of two learned ecclesiastics, is at this time occupied in trans-, 
lating the Old Testament from the antient into the modern 
Greek. ^ 

» Butler's Horae Biblics, vol. i. pp. 177 — 179. 

2 Owen's History of the British and Foreign Bible Society, vol. ii. p. 358, note. 

3 Sixteenth Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society, Appendix, pp. 19, 20. 
Seventeenth Report, p. liv. 

VI. Sect. III.] The Turkish Versions. 277 

XIV. XV. Wallachian and Bulgarian Versions. — A 
translation of the New Testament in the Wallachian language 
was published at Belgrade, in 1648 ; and a version of the same 
has been undertaken in the Bulgarian language, under the 
direction of the Petersburg Bible Society. 

XVI. RoMANESE Versions. — The Romanese language is 
divided into two dialects, the Churwelsche and the Ladiniche. 
The former is spoken by the inhabitants of the Engadine (one 
of the loftiest vallies in Switzerland, bordering on the Tyrol) ; 
the latter, by the Ladins, who reside on the confines of Italy. 
The Scriptures were translated into the Churwelsche dialect, 
and published in 1657, at Schuol, a town of the Lower En- 
gadine, and into the Ladiniche at Coire, in 1719. Editions of 
both these versions have lately been printed by the Bible 
Society at Basle, aided by the British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety in London. 

XVII. Turkish Versions. — In 1666, the New Testament 

was printed in Turkish, at Oxford : it was translated by Dr. 

Lazarus Seaman, and was published at the joint expense of the 

Hon. Robert Boyle and of the Levant or Turkey Company of 

London, for the benefit of the Christians in Turkey, by whom 

St was very gratefully received. In the same year a translation 

of the whole Bible into the Turkish language was completed 

by Albert us Boboosky ', first dragoman or interpreter to the 

Porte. He undertook this arduous work at the request of 

the celebrated Levin Warner, at that time ambassador from 

Holland; and his translation was sent to Leyden, corrected 

and ready for the press. Here it lay until 1814, when the 

Rev. Dr. Pinkerton having ascertained its value, recommended 

it to the British and Foreign Bible Society. The curators of 

the university of Leyden having confided the manuscript to his 

excellency Baron Von Diez, at that time counsellor of legation 

to the court of Berlin, this distinguished scholar devoted the 

last two years of his life to its revision, and to superintending the 

• Owen's History of the Bible Society, vol. iii. pp. l3, 14. 257. 500. Sixteenth 
Report of the Society, Appendix, p, 17. Albertus Boboosky was born in Poland, in 
the beginning of the seventeenth century. While a youth, he was stolen by the 
Tartars, and sold to the Turks in Constantinople. By them he was educated in the 
Mohammedan faith, and when he grew up became first dragoman or translator to 
Mahomet or Mohammed IV. His Turkish name was Hali Bey. He understood 
seventeen languages, and is said to have spoken French, German, and English with the 
fluency of a native. To the English language he was greatly attached ; and at the re- 
quest of Mr. Boyle translated the catechism of the Church of England into Turkish. 
He also composed several works himself, several of which have been published : but 
his great work was the Translation of the Scriptures above noticed. Boboosky also 
wrote a grammar and dictionary of the Turkish language. But it is not known 
what has become of them, and of the church catechism. This wonderful man intend- 
ed to liave returned into the bosom of the Christian church ; but died, before he ac« 
complished iiis design. Owen's Hist. vol. iii. p. 14, no<e. 

T 3 

278 Modern Versions of Asia. [Part 1. Ch. 

printing of it. On his decease, in 1817, the editing of this 
version was cheerfully undertaken by M. KiefFer, professor of 
the oriental languages at Paris; and in 1819, the New Tes- 
tament was completed. The Old Testament is passing through 
the press, with as much rapidity as the nature of the work will 
permit. The style of Boboosky's translation is said to be pure 
and elegant, such as will be read with pleasure by the man of 
letters, and at the same time be understood by the lowest in 

XVIII. Portuguese Version. — In 1681, the New Testn- 
ment was printed in the Portuguese language at Amsterdam ; 
and some portions were printed in the former part of the last 
century by the Missionaries at Tranquebar. A Portuguese 
version of the Old Testament, executed by Joao Ferreira 
d* Almeida and Jacob op den Akker, was published at Batavia, 
in 1748-53, in two volumes 8vo. These were Protestant 
versions. In 1781, Antonio Pereira published a Portuguese 
version of the New Testament, at Lisbon; and in 1783, the 
entire Bible. This translation is made from the Vulgate 
Latin version, and in all doctrinal points is in union with the 
church of Rome. 

XIX. Albanian Version. — The Albanians are a hardy 
people, inhabiting the countries antiently known by the names 
of Illyricum and Epirus: numerous tribes of them are also 
spread over Macedonia and the Morea or Peloponnesus. A 
translation of the New Testament into their language was 
finished in the year 1820 by Dr. Evangelos Mexicos, under 
the patronage and at the expense of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society ; which it is intended to print in parallel co- 
lumns, one containing the Greek text, the other the Albanian 

XX. Maltese Version. — The Maltese may almost be 
considered as a dialect of the Arabic language. Into this dialect 
the New Testament has been translated by Signor Cannolo, a 
native of the island of Malta, under the direction and v/ith the 
assistance of the Rev. William Jowett, M. A., one of the Re- 
presentatives of the Church Missionary Society in the 
Mediterranean. The Old Testament is in progress. As very 
few books have appeared in Maltese, it is proposed to print and 
circulate one of the Gospels, for the judgment of the learned, 
before the NeW Testament shall be put to press. 

VI. Sect. IV.] The Hebrew Fersiotis. 279 



I, Hebrew. — II. Chaldee. — III. Versions in the oriental languageSi 
either translated by the Baptist Missionaries at Serampore, or 
printed at the Mission Press. — 1. Arabic, and the languages derived 
from or bearing affinity to it. — 2. Sanscrit, and the languages 
derived from or bearing affinity to it. — 3. Chinese, and the lan- 
guages derived from or bearing affinity to it. — IV. Other Asiatic 
Versions. — 1. Formosan. — 2. Tartar. — 3. Georgian. — 4. Taheitan. 

I. Hebrew. The New Testament was first translated 
into Hebrew by the learned Elias Hutter, who published it in 
his polyglott edition of the New Testament in twelve lan- 
guages, viz. Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, Latin, German, Bohe- 
mian, Italian, Spanish, French, English, Danish and Polish, 
at Nuremberg, in 1599, 1600, in two volumes, 4to. In his 
preface he states, that when meditating that work, he sought 
in vain for a Hebrew version of the New Testament. No 
alternative therefore was left to him, but to attempt it himself. 
Accordingly, laying aside every other undertaking, he trans- 
lated, corrected, and finished it in the space of one year. For 
a first translation, especially when we consider the shortness 
of the time in which it was accomplished, it is truly a wonder- 
ful performance. From Hutter's Polyglott the Hebrew text 
was detached, and printed sepai'ately, with some corrections, 
under the superintendance of William Robertson, 8vo. London, 
1661. It is a volume of extremely rare occurrence, as the 
greater part of the impression was consumed in the great fire 
of London, in 1666. Robertson's edition was beautifully 
reprinted in 12mo, at London, in 1798, by the Rev. Richard 
Caddick, with the pious and benevolent design of enlightening 
the minds of the Jews. This translation not being executed in 
pure biblical Hebrew, and consequently not adapted to the 
Jews, the London Society for promoting Christianity among 
them, in 1817, completed and published a new translation in 
biblical Hebrew, the purity of which has been acknowledged 
by learned Jews. The Gospel of Saint Matthew had been 
published in 1814, and the succeeding books at different times, 
as they could be completed '. The late Rev. Dr. Buchanan, 

1 There are extnnt various other Hebrew translations of detached books of the New 
Testament, by different individuals, which we have not room to enumerate. The 

T 4- 

280 Modem Versions of Asia. [Parti. Ch. 

during his researches in the interior of India, obtained a 
Hebrew manuscript of the New Testament in the country of 
Travancore, which is now deposited in the University Library 
at Cambridge. It is written in the small Rabbinical or Jerusa- 
lem character. The translator was a learned Rabbi, and the 
translation is in general faithful : his design wasj to make an 
accurate version of the New Testament, for the express pur- 
pose of confuting it, and of repelling the arguments of his 
neighbours, the Syrian or St. Thom6 Christians. His own 
woi-k Was the providential instrument of subduing his unbelief; 
and he lived and died in the faith of Christ. A transcript 
of this Travancore Hebrew New Testament is in the Library 
of the London Society for promoting Christianity among the 
Jews. ' 

II. Chaldee. — The New Testament has not hitherto been 
published in this language : but a copy in manuscript exists in 
the Vatican Library. The manuscript contains both the Old 
and New Testaments, written in Syriac characters, but the 
language is Chaldee. ^ 

III. Versions in the Oriental Languages, either 


OR PRINTED AT THE MissiON Press. — The Baptist Missionaries 
entered India in 1793, and ultimately fixed themselves at 
the Danish settlement of Serampore, near Calcutta. To this 
mission chiefly belongs the honour of reviving the spirit for ' 
promoting Christian knowledge, by translations of the Bible. 
Soon after theu' establishment at Serampore, they were con- 
vinced that, if ever Christianity took deep root in India, it 
must be through the Holy Scriptures being translated and put 
into the hands of the various tribes who inhabit that vast coun- 
try. Aided by a noble fund for translations raised by subscrip- 
tions among the societies of the Baptist denomination in Great 
Britain, almost from the commencement of their pious labours, 
and also by various annual grants of money from the British and 
Foreign Bible Society, from the year 1806 to the present time, 
the missionaries applied themselves to the great work of trans- 
lating the Scriptures. In this undertaking, which has been 
honoured with the sanction of the Marquess Wellesley, and sub- 
sequent governors general of India, the Rev. Doctors Carey and 
Marshman, and the Rev. William Ward,- have pre-eminently 

reader will find an account of them in Dr. Clarke's Bibliographital Dictionary, vol. vi. 
pp. 218—222. 

• Fourth Report of the London Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews, 
Appendix, p. 45. 

9 Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary, vol. vi. p. 213. 

VI. Sect. IV.] The Arabic Versions. 281 

distinguished themselves ; and, with their coadjutors, have con- 
tinued with unwearied assiduity to prosecute their arduous work. 
Having formed a typographical establishment at Serampore, they 
have also been enabled to print translations of the Scriptures 
entire or in part, which had been made by other learned and 
pious individuals. And when the Mission College, recently 
founded at Calcutta by the Right Rev. Dr. F. Middleton 
Bishop of Calcutta, (one of whose special objects, for the spiritual 
welfare of India, is the translation of the Bible into the hitherto 
untranslated dialects of India), shall commence its active ope- 
rations, we may with just confidence anticipate the ultimate 
triumphs of our holy religion among the numerous tribes who 
inhabit that immense continent. ' 

The languages spoken in India form three classes, viz. 

1 . The Arabic, and the languages derived from or bearing 
an affinity to it; 2. The Sa?iscrit or Sungscrit ; and 3. The 
Chifiese, with the languages respectively derived from or 
bearing an affinity to them. ® 

1 . Modern Versions in the Arabic language, and its cognate 

(1) Arabic. — A version of the entire Bible in Arabic has 
come down to us, of which an account has been given in 
pp. 195 and 212, supra. Though highly valued by some orien- 
tal scholars for its general accuracy and fidelity, it has become 
antiquated in its dialect, and consequently unacceptable to the 
learned Arabians. On this account a new translation, in elegant 
modern Arabic, was commenced by Sabat, an eminent Arabian 
scholar, under the superintendance of the late Rev. Henry 
Martyn, B.D. one of the Hon. East India Company's Chaplains. 
The New Testament was completed and published at Calcutta, 

1 As soon as it was known in England that Bp. Middleton was forming the Mission 
College at Calcutta, the sum of ^5000 sterling was voted to him by each of the 
venerable Societies, for promoting Christian Knowledge, and for the propagation of the 
Gospel in foreign parts, in aid of that Institution. The same sum was voted to his 
Lordship by the Church Missionary Society, without condition or restriction, in further- 
ance of his plan. And the like sum of ^^5000 was voted by the British and Foreign 
Bible Society , in aid of the translations of the Holy Scriptures. 

2 Where no other authority is cited, our notices of oriental translations are abridged from 
the " Brief View of Baptist Missions and Translations," 8vo. London, 1815; from the 
" Periodical Accounts of the Baptist Missionary Society," No. XXX. ; from the Sup- 
plement to No, XXXI., containing a further memoir of the translations of the sacred 
Scriptures, dated March 21, 1816, 8vo, London, 1817; from Specimens of Editions 
of the Sacred Scriptures in the Eastern languages, translated by the Brethren of the 
Serampore Mission, and of several others, printed at the Mission press, Serampore, 
1818, 4to ; and from the " Seventh Memoir respecting the Translations of the Sacred 
Scriptures into the languages of India, conducted by the Brethren at Serampore," 8vo, 
Serampore, 1820. The plate representing the Lord's Prayer in Javanese, and the 
speciinens of Versions in pp. 294—299, have been kindly communicated for the ute 
of this work, by the Rev. J.Dyer, one of the Secretaries of that Society. 

282 Modern Ferstons of Asia. [Part I. Ch. 

in 1812, at the expense of the British and Foreign Bible So- 
ciety '. The Old Testament was continued by the Rev. T. 
Thomason and Sabat. An edition of the Arabic New Tes- 
tament, in Syriac characters, is now printing at Paris, at the 
expense of the Bible Society : it is expected to be finished in 
the course of the present year, 1821. See a specimen of the 
Arabic version in p. 299, infra. 

(2) Persian. — The Persian Version, alieady noticed in 
pp. 196 and 214, having also become antiquated and obsolete, a 
new one was undertaken by Lieut. Colonel Colebrooke, who 
completed the Four Gospels. They were published at Calcutta 
in 1804. An entire version of the New Testament, in pure and 
elegant Persian, was executed by the late Rev. H. Martyn, who 
travelled from India to Shiraz, the Athens of Persia, for that 
purpose. He arrived there in June 1811, and by the middle of 
the following year he had completed his work, with the assist- 
ance of Meer Seyd Ali, a learned native. He next proceeded 
to translate the book of Psalms into the same language ; and 
thus rendered those important parts of the Sacred Scriptures 
into the vernacular language of two hundred thousand who 
bear the Christian name, and which is known over one-fourth 
of the habitable globe. A beautifully written copy of Martyn's 
translation was presented by Sir Gore Ouseley, bart., his Ma- 
jesty's ambassador extraordinary, to the Sovereign of Persia, 
who publicly expressed his approbation of the work ". He sub- 
sequently carried another copy of the manuscript to Petersburg, 
where it was printed at the expense of the Petersburg Bible 
Society, under the superintendance of Sir G. Ouseley. A spe- 
cimen of this version is given in page 298. 

(3) Pushtoo or Affglian. — This language is spoken beyond 
the river Indus, by a people, who, there is every reason to con- 
clude, are descended from the ten tribes of Israel. The eminent 
linguist, the late John Leyden, M.D., commenced a translation 
of the New Testament •, and on his death in 1812, the Baptist 
missionaries at Serampore procured men skilled in the language 
to complete his undertaking. The whole of the New Testa- 
ment has been printed at the mission-press ; and the Pentateuch 
is advanced at the press as far as the Book of Leviticus. A 
specimen of this version is given in page 295. 

(4) Bulocha or Buloshee. — This language is spoken on the 
western banks of the Indus, the country of Bulochistan ex- 

> Buchanan's Christian Researches in Asia, pp.285 — 290. (London, 181 l.j 
- Owen's Hist, of the Bible Society , vol. iii. p. 41.. vol. ii. p 261. In pp. 265 — 267 
an English tMnslation of the letter of tlie King of Persia is printed at length. See 
also the very interesting Memoir of the Rev. Henry Maityn, B.D, 8vo, Londo-i, ISI9, 
particularly pp. -341 — 45-7. 

VI. Sect. IV.] The IVestern-Indiatt Versions. 283 

tending westward to Persia. Considerable progress has been 
made by the missionaries in translating the New Testament into 
this dialect, in which they have printed the Four Gospels. See 
a specimen of it in page 296. 

'2- Versions in the Sanscrit or Sungskrit language, and 
its cognate dialects : 

(1) Sanscrit. — This, though the parent of all the languages 
spoken in western and southern India, is, at present, the cur- 
rent language of no country, though it is spoken by the learned 
nearly throughout India. The New Testament was published 
in Sanscrit at Serampore, in 1811 ; the Pentateuch in 1812; 
the remaining historical books in 1815; the Hagiographa in 
1816 ; and the translation of the prophetic books was finished 
in 1818, when the last information was received. The Baptist 
missionaries are preparing a new edition of this version, which 
is read with great interest by the Bramins. A specimen of it is 
given in page 294<. 

(2) In Western India, not fewer than twenty-nine languages 
are derived from the Sanscrit, and into seventeen of these the 
sacred volume has been wholly or in part translated, viz. 

i. The Sikh, Sheek, or Punjabee, which is spoken in the 
province of Punjab, or the country of the five rivers {ivom. pu7ij 
five, and ab water) : into this language the entire Bible has been 
translated and printed at the Serampore press. See a specimen 
of it in page 296. 

ii. The Assamese, or language of the kingdom of Assam, in 
which the Neiio Testament is completed and printed. See a 
specimen in p. 296. 

The New Testament has also been translated and printed in 

iii. The Kashmiree or Kashmeen-, which is spoken in the ex- 
tensive province of Kashmire, in the North of Hindostan : — See 
a specimen of it in page 295 ; 

iv. The Wucha or Multanee^ or dialect of Wuch, a country 
on the eastern bank of the Indus, which reaches from the Punjab 
to- Auch ; 

V. The Gujurat or Guzurattee, which is spoken in the penin- 
sula of Guzurat ; 

vi. The Bi/caneer, which is spoken to the south of the 
Punjab, and extends westward to the country where the Wucha 
begins; and in 

vii. The Kunkuna, which language begins where the Guzu- 
rattee ceases to be vernacular, and is spoken at Bombay, and 
thence up the coast as far as Goa. In this language also the 
Pentateuch is considerably advanced : when that portion is 
finished, the Serampore brethren intend to transfer the com- 
pletion of the Old Testament to the Bombay Auxiliary Bible 

284- Modern Versions of Asia. [Part I. Ch* 

The New Testament is more than half printed j and is expected 
to hejinished in the course of the present year ^ in 

viii. The Manmar, or Marwar, which is spoken to the 
south-west of the Bikaneer country ; 

ix. The Oojuvinee, or language of the province of Oujein; 

X. The Bundelkhundee, spoken in the province of Bundelk- 
hund : and 

xi. The Nepdlese, or language of the kingdom of Nepal. 

The Four Gospels have been 'printed in 

xii. xiii. The Kanouj or Kanhiikoobja, and Jumboo lan- 

The Gospels of Mattheiic and Mark have been printed in 

xiv. XV. xvi. The Palpa, Kausulee or Koshtd, and Bhtda- 
neer languages, and also in 

xvii. The Magudha or Pali language, which is spoken in south 
Bahar. It begins where the Mahratta language ends, and ex- 
tends nearly to the banks cf the Ganges, and is the learned 
language of Ceylon, and of the Burman Empire. This version 
was commenced by the late Mr. W. Tolfrey at Colombo, in 
1813: and on his death in 1817, the task of finishing and 
editing it was confided by the Colombo Auxiliaiy Bible Society 
to the Rev. Messrs. Chater and Clough. 

(3) In Southern India, twelve tiialects are spoken, that 
are either derived from the Sanscrit, or bearing an affinity to 
it, and into which the Scriptures have been wholly or in part 
translated, viz, 

i. In the Mahratta, of which language Dr. Carey is pro- 
fessor at Calcutta, the Pentateuch and New Testament, 
translated by the Baptist missionaries, have long been in 
circulation, and the Historical Books were printed in 1820. 
See a specimen of it in page 294. 

ii. The Hindee or Hindoostan/iee, being spoken over an im- 
mense tract of country in India, varies much in its dialects ; 
and not fewer than three different translations of the sacred 
volume have been printed. The earliest was that of the four 
Gospels, by William Hunter, Esq. ; which was executed at the 
press of the college of Fort William. Another translation 
was completed by the late Rev. Henry Martyn ', in 1808, and 
printed at the expense of the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society. 
A revised edition of this version, by the Rev. Mr. Bowley, 

1 To this eminently learned and exemplary divine, the native Christians and others 
who speak the Hindostanhee language, are indebted for a Compendium of the Liturgy 
of the Anglican Church, which was translated by him, and printed in 1818, at the ex- 
pense of the Prayer Book, and Homily Society of London. Mr. Martyn was the Jirst 
clergyman of that church in India who introduced her service to our native subjects in 
Bengal. His work, having received repeated revision and amendment, is esteemed by 
competent judges to be a perspicuous and faitliful version of the sublime original. 

VI. Sect. IV.] The Southern-Indian f^ersions. 285 

(one of the missionaries of the Church Missionary Society, who 
is stationed at Chunar) was finished at Calcutta in 1820, at 
the expense of the same Society : and measures are takino- to 
add to it the Old Testament in the same language '. In 1820 
the Calcutta Society printed a large edition of Mr. Martyn's 
version of St. Matthew's Gospel, in Hindoostanhee, with the 
English on the opposite page : and of Mr. Bowley's revision, 
which, by the disuse of Arabic and Persian words, is pecu- 
liarly adapted to the inhabitants of Benares and the Upper 
Provinces, the three first Gospels were printed in the same 
year. A specimen of the Hindoostanhee version in the Persian 
character is given in page 298. 

The third Hindee version of the New Testament was com- 
pleted many years since by the missionaries at Serampore, who 
published the Old Testament in 1818. A new edition of the 
New Testament was printed in 1820, at their press, from a 
neia version, executed by the Rev. John Chamberlain, whose 
long residence in the western provinces of India, together 
with his intimate knowledge of the popular dialects of the Hin- 
doos, has eminently qualified him for the undertakino-. A 
specimen of this version is given in page 296. 

iii. In the Bengalee^ or language of the province of 
Bengal, the whole of the Scriptures is published. Five 
editions of the New Testament (which was completed twenty- 
five years since) and two of the Psalms, and some other 
parts of the Old Testament, have been printed; and a 
new edition of the entire Bible is preparing, in one large 
royal 8vo volume, together with two thousand extra copies of 
the New Testament in 12mo. For this edition the mission- 
aries are preparing paper, made of the sun plant ( Crotolaria 
junced)^ which, though inferior to English paper in point of 
colour, is equally impervious to the worm, and far more dura- 
ble. A large edition of the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. 
John, in English and Bengalee, on opposite pages, was printed 
at Calcutta in 1820, chiefly for the benefit of the natives who 
are attached to public offices and houses of agency. See a 
specimen of the Bengalee version in page 294. 

A new Bengalee version of the New Testament, completed 
by the late Mr. Elierton, was printed at Calcutta, in 1820 ^ 

iv. The Ooriya or Orissa language is spoken in the province of 
that name : it has a very close affinity to the Bengalee, but with 
different terminations, and a different character. In this Ian- 

» Memoirs of Martyn, p. 292. Sixteenth Report of the Bible Society, pp.lxxi. 
182,103. Nearly the whole of the Old lestameiu had been translated. 
2 Sevententh Report of the Bible Society, p.lvii. 

286 Modern Versions of Asia. [Parti. Ch. 

o-uage, the entire Bible was translated by the Baptist mission- 
aries several years since : a second edition of the New Testa- 
ment is nearly completed at Serampore. A specimen of this 
version is given in page 295. 

V. The Brij'Bhassa language, which is spoken in the upper 
provinces of Hindoostan, and contains a greater mixture of the 
Sanscrit than most of the other dialects of the Hindee. The 
four Gospels have been translated ; and the Gospel of St. Mat- 
thew was printed in 1816. See a specimen of it in page 295. 
The Brij-Bhassa version is likely to be more acceptable to the 
inhabitants of the province of Dooab than the Hindoostanhee. 

vi. The Kurnata or Canarese language is spoken in the 
country extending northward from Tellicherry to Goa, and 
eastward from the coast of Malabar to the country where the 
Tamul is spoken, including the whole of the Mysore. In this 
language the New Testament was printed in 1 820, from the 
translation of the Rev. Mr. Hand*. A specimen of it is given 
in page 297. 

vii. The Tamul language is spoken in the south-eastern part 
of India, from Madras to Cape Comorin. Two different trans- 
lations have been made in this language. The first was executed 
by the learned German missionaries, who were educated at 
Halle, and were employed in the last century by the Danish 
government. The New Testament was commenced by Bar- 
tholomew Ziegenbalg in 1708, and finished in 1711. A print- 
ing press and paper having been provided at Tranquebar by the 
assistance of the venerable Society for promoting Christ- 
ian Knowledge, this translation after having been revised by 
Griindler, another missionary who arrived after Ziegenbalg, was 
put to press in 1714, and finished in the following year. This 
Tamul New Testament was reprinted at Tranquebar in 1722, 
and again in 1758, and also at Columbo in 1743. In the year 
1717, Ziegenbalg commenced a Tamul version of the Old Tes- 
tament; but he died in 1 719, having finished only the Pentateuch 
with the books of Joshua and Judges. The translation was conti- 
nued and completed by the distinguished missionary Benjamin 
Schultze, who arrived at Tranquebar in 1719 : it was printed 
at Tranquebar, in four volumes, in the years 1723-26-27, and 
28. The second translation of the New Testament into Tamul 
was made by Fabricius, another German missionary, at Madras, 
where it was printed in 1777'. In 1814 an edition of the 
Tamul New Testament was completed at the Serampore press, 
at the expense of the Calcutta Auxiliary Bible Society ; and as 
the lapse of years rendered further correction of it neces- 

1 Bishop Marsh's History of the TranslatioJis of the Scriptures, p. 37. 

VI. Sect. IV.] The Southern-Indian Versions. 287 

sary, the Rev. C. T. E. Rhenius and the Rev. Dr. Rottler ', 
at Madras, are actively occupied in revising Fabricius's version. 
This revision having been highly approved by competent judges, 
the Madras Bible Society have ordered the book of Genesis to 
be printed for general circulation, with the ultimate intention of 
printing a revised edition of the entire Tamul Bible ®. See a 
specimen of the Tamul version in p. 299 ^. 

viii. The Telinga language, sometimes called the Teloogoo, is 
spoken in the Northern Circars. In this language, which ap- 
pears to be a dialect of the Tamul, the missionary Schultze, above 
noticed, translated the Bible : but it was never printed *. A 
Telinga version of the New Testament was executed by the 
Missionaries at Serampore, in 1818 ; and the Pentateuch is 
printed as far as the book of Leviticus. On the completion of 
the Pentateuch, the honour of finishing this version was resigned 
to the Madras Auxiliary Bible Society : and some progress had 
been made by the Rev. Mr. Pritchett, whose labours were ter- 
minated by death in 1820. A specimen of the Telinga Version 
is given in page 295. 

ix. While the Dutch had settlements in the Island of Cey- 
lon, they were not inattentive to imparting the Scriptures to 
such of the natives as embraced the Christian faith. The four 
Gospels were translated into Ci7igalese, or the language of that 
island, and were printed at Colombo in 1739, and again in 
1780 ; the Acts of the Apostles, in 1771 ; the Psalms in 1755, 
and again in 1768; and the entire New Testament, together 
with the books of Genesis, Exodus, and Leviticus were printed 
at the same place in 1783. After Ceylon had become part of 
the British Empire, a new Cingalese version of the New Testa- 
ment was undertaken by Mr. W. Tolfrey, aided by native as- 
sistants, under the patronage and at the expense of the Co- 
lombo Auxiliary Society. That nothing might be omitted, 
which could insure the excellence of this translation, two hun- 
dred copies of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark were printed 
off, and circulated among the Modeliars (native magistrates) 
proponents, and catechists at Colombo, who were the best 
skilled in Cingalese; several were also sent to the settlements 
of Point de Galle and Matura, where that language is spoken 
in the greatest purity. Pains were taken to obtain a fair and 
candid opinion of the new work, and it is satisfactory to know, 

> The Rev. Dr. Rottler has also translated the book of Common Prayer into the 
Tamul language: it was printed, at Madras in 1819, in quarto. 

2 Sixteenth Report of the Bible Society, p. 1 83. 

3 Bishop Marsh's History of Translations, p'. 37, note. 

4 In 1820, the Prayer Book and Homily Society of London made a grant of books, 
to be sold at Madras, the proceeds of which are to be applied in aid of printing the 
book of Common Prayer in the Tamul and Malayalim languages. 

28 g Modern Versions of Asia. [Part I. Ch. 

from the decision of numerous and competent judges, that the 
language and style of this extensive specimen of the New Version, 
were not only pure and suitable to the dignity of the subject, 
but also plain and intelligible. Mr. Tolfrey had gone through 
repeated revisions of the whole New Testament, and had finally 
corrected to the end of the second chapter of the second epistle 
to Timothy, when his labours were interrupted by a sudden 
death, in 1817. The Cingalese New Testament was finished 
and printed under the united exertions of the Rev. Messrs. 
Chater and Clough (the former a Baptist and the latter a Wes- 
leian-Methodist Missionary), and of Mr. Armour, an intelligent 
schoolmaster of the latter connexion ; and measures were taken 
for adding to it the Old Testament, of which only the three 
first books of Moses had been hitherto translated. A second 
edition of the Cingalese translation of the New Testament was 
completed in 1820; and of the Old Testament, the Book of 
Genesis has been printed. See a specimen of the Cingalese 
Testament, in p. 299. ' 

X. A translation of the New Testament into the Maldivian 
language, (which is spoken in the small but very numerous 
Maldivian islands, that lie to the south-west of Ceylon), has 
been commenced by the missionaries at Serampore. The 
Gospel of Matthew has been completed. 

xi. In 1612 (a few years after the establishment of the Dutch 
East India Company), Albert Cornelius Ruyl began a trans- 
lation of the New Testament into the Mala?/ language, which 
is spoken not only in Malacca, but in Java and many other 
islands of the Indian archipelago. He lived only to finish the 
Gospels of Matthew and Mark, which were sent to Holland, 
where they were printed at Enkhuysen in 1629, and again, 
at Amsterdam, in 1638. In 1646 the Gospels of Luke and 
John, translated by M. Van Hassel, one of the East India 
directors, was printed at Amsterdam, where the four Gospels 
were again printed in 1651, accompanied with the Acts of the 
Apostles; and in 1668, the whole New Testament in the 
Malay language, was printed at Amsterdam. From this edi- 
tion the Gospels and Acts were printed at Oxford in 1677, and 
again in 1704. Of the Old Testament in the Malay language, 
some portions were printed in the seventeenth century : but 
the first edition of the entire Malay Bible was printed in 1731 
and 1733, in Roman characters. Another edition of the whole 
Malay Bible was printed in the Arabic character at Batavia, in 

1 Owen's History of the Bible Society, vol. iii. pp. 120, 325, 469. Sixteenth Re- 
port of that Society, p. 189. In 1820, the book of Common Prayer was translated into 
Cingalese, under the direction of the Hon. and Rev. T. J. Twisleton, D.D. Arch- 
deacon of Columbo. 



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Vr. Sect. IV.] Chinese Versions. 289 

1758 '. This version having become extremely scarce, an 
edition of the Malay Bible in Roman characters, was printed 
at Calcutta, in 1815-17, under the direction of the auxiliary 
Bible Society there, aided by a munificent grant of 10,000 
sicca rupees from the governor-general in council, on the part 
of the honourable East India company. Another edition in 
Arabic characters, revised by the Rev. R. S. Hutchings, was 
completed at Calcutta in 1821, under the direction of the 
same society. Specimens of the Malay version, both in Roman 
and in Arabic characters, are given in page 299. — As a dialect 
of the Malay is spoken at Batavia, the Java Bible Society, in 
1814, engaged the Rev. Mr. Robinson (a Baptist missionary), 
and Mr. Kool, a native translator to the government of that 
island, to undertake a version of the New Testament in that 
dialect. The Gospel of Matthew has been completed by the 
latter ; but what further progress has been made, we have not 
been able to ascertain. The annexed plate exhibits the Lord's 
Prayer in Javanese, translated by the Rev. Mr. Trowt, another 
missionary from the Baptist society. 

xii. The Malayalim or Malabar language is spoken on the 
coast of Malabar, in the country of Travancore. In this lan- 
guage the Catanars, or clergy of the Syrian church at Cotym, 
are translating the Scriptures under the direction of the Rev. 
Benjamin Bailey, one of the missionaries sent to India by the 
Church Missionary Society. The Malayalim spoken by the 
Syrian Christians of Travancore, differs greatly both in words 
and idioms from that spoken in the northern part of Malabar. - 
In order to render the Malayalim version of the Bible as cor- 
rect as possible (which is now in progress), the Calcutta Bible 
Society in 1820 sent a printing press, types, and paper, to 
Cotym, where a new college has been founded for the Syrian 
Christians, by the Rajah of Travancore and Colonel Munro, 
the British resident at his court. 

3. Versions in the Chinese, and the languages derived from 
or hearing affinity to it. 

Chinese Versions. — The Chinese language, in the cha- 
racters peculiar to it, is read not only throughout China, but 
also in China, Cochinchina, and Japan, by a population of more 
than three hundred millions of persons. Two versions of the 
entire Bible are extant in this language, the translators of which 
have been aided in their arduous and expensive undertakings 
by the British and Foreign Bible society. The earliest of these 

1 Bishop Marsh's History of Translations, p. 35. 

2 Missionary Register, for 1820, p. 48, 

290 Modern Versions of Asia, [Part I. Ch. 

was commenced by the Rev. Dr. Marshman, at Serampore, by 
whom the New Testament was printed in 1814. The transla- 
tion of the Old Testament, which was executed many years 
since, has been printed in detached portions, and at different 
times. The historical books, which will finish the Bible, are now 
in the press, and will be completed in the course of the present 
year, 1821. The missionaries at Serampore are possessed of se- 
veral sets of Chinese characters, both in wooden blocks and also 
in metal types ; a specimen of the latter is given in page 297. 
The other version was commenced in 1812 by the Rev. Dr. 
Morrison of Canton ^ aided by the Rev. Mr. Milne at Malacca, 
(both in the employ of the London Missionary Society), and 
was finished in 1820^. The New Testament of this version 
has been circulated to a considerable extent among the Chinese 
inhabitants of Java, and of the islands in the Indian seas, and 
with the happiest effects. ^ 

From the Chinese language are derived seven others, which 
are spoken in Eastern India. Into three of these the New Testa- 
ment is now in course of translation, viz. the Khasee or Kassai, 
the Munipoora, and the Burman. 

i. The Khasee or Kassai language is spoken by an indepen- 
dent nation of mountaineers, lying between the eastern border 
of Bengal, and the northern border of the Burman empire. In 
this language, the Baptist missionaries have translated and 
printed the four first Gospels. 

ii. Tlie Munipoora is spoken in the small kingdom of that 
name, which lies between Assam and the Burman empire. 
The Gospel of Matthew has been printed in this language. 

iii. The Burman language, which is spoken in the empire of 
that name, has borrowed the Sanscrit alphabet. Into this lan- 
guage, the New Testament has been translated by Mr. Felix 
Carey, son of the Rev. Dr. Carey, of Serampore. The Gospel 
of Matthew was printed by him at Rangoon, in the Burman 
empire, in royal octavo, in 1817. A specimen of it is given in 
page 296. 

1 To Dr. Morrison the Christians in China are indebted for a version of the Liturgy 
and Psalter of tiie Anglican church. Having presented the Chinese with the Scriptures 
in their native language, this distinguished oriental scholar, (who, to his honour be it 
recorded, is a conscientious dissenter from that church), was desirous of giving them a 
formulary in which they might offer acceptable devotions to the throne of grace ; and as 
he could find no form, which so completely met his views, as the Liturgy of the church 
of England, he translated it into the Chinese language. This version was printed in 
1820, at the expense of the Prayer Book and Homily Society. 

2 Owen's Hist. vol. ii. p. 467. Sixteenth Report, p. Ixxvi. 

3 Many authentic particulars were communicated to the Java Bible Society by their 
late Secretary, the Rev. Mr. Supper : some of these are recorded by Mr. Owen, 
vol. iii. pp. 224, 225. 

VI. Sect. IV.] Tartar f^ersions. 291 

In concluding the preceding notice of the versions, executed 
principally by the learned Baptist missionaries, and at their 
press, it is impossible not to recognise the hand of God, who 
has raised up and qualified them tor the arduous task to which 
they have devoted their time, money, and labour : for though 
they have been nobly assisted by subscriptions and grants froni 
Europe, yet it ought not to be forgotten that they have largely 
contributed to defray the expenses of translating and printing 
out of those profits, which their extraordinary acquirements 
have enabled them to realise. They have translated and printed 
the whole of the Sacred Scriptures in five of the languages of 
India; the whole of the New Testament injifteen others; in 
six other languages it is more than half printed, and \n ten 
others considerable progress has been made in the work of 
translation. And these vast undertakings have been accom- 
plished within the short space of twenty-six years, since the 
commencement of their first version (the New Testament iri 
Bengalee). W^hen we consider the experience which they have 
gained, — the number ol'learned natives whom they have trained 
up and accustomed to the work of translation, — the assistance 
which is to be derived from our countrymen in various parts of 
India, who are acquainted with any of its dialects, — and the 
advantages now enjoyed for printing at a moderate expense, — 
we may reasonably indulge the hope that, in the course of a few 
years more, the word of life will be extant in all the different 
languages and dialects of India. 

IV. Other Asiatic Versions of the Holy Scriptures. 
1. FoRMosAN Version. — The island of Formosa fell into 
the hands of the Dutch, who expelled die Portuguese thence, in 
1651. During their eleven years' possession of it, Robert 
Junius, a native of Delft, preached the Gospel to the inhabi- 
tants, and it is said, with great success. For their use, the 
Gospels of Matthew and John were translated into the Formosan 
language, and printed at Amsterdam, with the Dutch transla- 
tion, in 1661, in quarto. But the Dutch being expelled from 
that island by the Chinese in 1662, the Formosan version was 
discontinued : and in all probability the Formosans never re- 
ceived any benefit from the work just noticed. ' 

2. Tartar Versions. — The Tartars compose a distinct na- 
tion, of Turkish origin, though now totally distinct from the 
Turks, and are subdivided into various tribes, each of which 
has its peculiar language. Into fifteen of these languages, 
translations of the sacred volume are either printed or preparing, 

' Dr. Clarke's Bibliographical Dictionary, vol i. p. 288. 

" , u 2 

292 Modern Fersions of Asia. [Part. I. Chr 

under the direction and at the expense of the Russian Bible 
society, viz. the Nogai-Tartar, Mongolian, Calmuck, Orenberg 
Tartar, Tschuwaschian,Tscheremissian, Tartar-Hebrew (spoken 
in the interior of Asia), Mordvinian or Mordwaschian, Ostiakian, 
Wogulian, Samoiedian, Tschapoginian, Zirianian, and a dialect 
of the Tartar spoken in Siberia. Of these various translations, 
the Calmuck was commenced by the Moravian missionaries, 
at Sarepta, on the banks of the Wolga, in Asiatic Russia. The 
remainder of the New Testament is translating by Mr. Schmidt, 
who is also superintending the Mongolian version, which is 
preparing by two converted Mongolian chieftains. The Edin- 
burgh Missionary ^Society's missionaries at Karass have made 
considerable progress in a Tartar-Turkish version of the New 
Testament. In 1816, the Rev. Dr. Pinkerton, while travelling 
in the Crimea, discovered a pure Tartar translation of the Old 
Testament from the Hebrew, at Dschoufait Kale. This has 
been revised, and is now printing at St. Petersburg. ' 

3. The Georgian Version. — At the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, the whole of the New Testament, together 
with the Psalms and the Prophets, was printed in the 
Georgian language, at Teflis, in Georgia, by order of the 
prince Vaktangh. The entire Bible was printed at Moscow 
in 1743, in folio, at the expense of Elizabeth empress 
of Russia, under the inspection of the princes Arcil and 
Bacchar ^. From this edition the Moscow Bible Society printed 
an impression of the New Testament in 1816, and another in 
1818. According to the tradition of the Greek church, 
the Georgian version was originally made in the eighth cen- 
tury, by Euphemius the Georgian, the founder of the Ibirian 
or Georgian monastery at Mount Athos, where his actual au- 
tograph was discovered in the year 1817, and is preserved to 
this day. As the greater part of the books of the Old Testament 
of this antient version was lost in the wars in which the Georgi- 
ans were so frequently involved with the Persians and Turks, the 
editors of the Moscow edition were obliged to translate most 
of the books of the Old Testament from the Sclavonian ver- 
sion. The Moscow Bible Society are taking measures to 
obtain a correct transcript of Euphemius's manuscript, from 
"which to print a faithful edition of the Georgian Bible ^. Two 
MSS. of the Georgian Version of the Gospels, are said to be 
preserved in the Vatican Library at Rome. 

> Ovven*s History, vol. iii. pp. 211-^215. Sixteenth Report of the Bible Society, 
jip. 45, 44, 55, 67. 

2 Bishop Marsh's History of Translations, p. 52. 

3 Sixteenth Report of the Bible Society, pp. 55 — 55. 

VI. Sect IV.] The Taheitan Fersioti. 293 

4. Taheitan Version. — The blessed effects, with which 
the labours of the Missionaries (sent out by the London 
Missionary Society in 1796) have been crowned, have already 
been noticed '. In consequence of the extraordinary success 
which has recently attended the preaching of the Gospel in 
Otaheite (or Taheite, as the natives term that island) and 
the neighbouring islands of Huaheine and Eimeo, openings 
have been made of the most promising nature for the disse- 
mination of the Holy Scriptures. Aided by grants of paper 
from the British and Foreign Bible Society, the Missionaries 
in 1818 printed 3000 copies of the Gospel in the Taheitan 
language, and in 1820, having received further supplies, they 
completed the four Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. 

» See vol. i. p. 518. 

U 3 

( 294 ) [Part I. Ch. 


of THE 


C!l;a52item Ilangua0e0, 


Translated by the Brethren of the Serampore Mission. 

Text. " The people that sat in darkness saw great light : and to 
them which sa>t in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung 
up." Matt. iv. 1 6. 


In the Deva Nagree character, which is used throughout India. 


C^ Cite 33gf ^fc^ ^(jqiltfe^ \51^W 2^' ^^CJTf 

(K^j\m ^itriic^ ^\'^ii ^^^^ <^^ Ktiife 


^^ 5?qo5 ^^ 3r7qi5-?T55i5? ^sr I — ' 

VI. Sect.lV.] ( 295 ) 


•3JT fe^=!\^Tf%H\ ^-^TtT •UTH\ mm ^M^ I 



t^T ^?: ^^t ^9H tiT mm^ I^T^^^ % ^ 


u 4 

( 296 ) [Part I. Ch. 


^T7j3c:5 f%5T 'H^s^ ear '»af3'STI^Tf^ ^^ ^fz 




OCOCflF • 


VI. Sect. IV.] { 297 ) 



Text. " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 
And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon 
the face of the deep : and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of 
the waters. And God said, Let there be light : and there was light. 

Gen. i. 1—3. 

" it If © M «^ ^ # 

T^O^ODo (&^«0oa ^g^CCSS) fGb8g'6^ 

( 298 ) [Parti. Cb. 





eastern i^anguagesJ, 




Text. — " The people that sat in darkness saw great light : and to them 
which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up." 

Matt. iv. 16. 



VI. Sect. IV.] ( 299 ) 



UvJbLjAUc *Ia*5 5^^ piUaJ^^ ur^JLsJT LrUJJ 

Hlawm' Itu jarg diidoHi pada kalam^ fudaL meli- 
hat fawatu tararg jaiig besar: dan bagi fegala 
'awracg jajcg dudolii pada tanah dan bajajog 
mawt 'itu, tararg pawn sudah terbit bagiuja. 


Text. — ^And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt 
in the land of Nod, oh the east of Eden. Gen. iv. 16, 

300 Modern Versio7is of Africa. [Parti. Cli. 



I. African Versions. — 1. Amharic and Tigr^. — 2. Bullom. — 3. Susoo. 
— II. American Versions. — 1. Virginian. — 2. Delaware.— 
3. Mohawk. — 4. Esquimeaux. — 5. Gr'eenlandish. — 6. Creolese. 

I. African Versions. — 1. Amharic and Tigre, or ver- 
nacular tongues of Abyssinia. — The version in the ecclesias- 
tical or antient language of Ethiopia, noticed in pp. 197 — 201, 
being confined to the churches, and understood by few 
comparatively besides the clergy, M. Asselin de Cherville, 
French consul at Cairo, was induced to undertake a version 
of the entire Bible in the Amharic \ the dialect spoken 
at the court of Gondar, which is the dialect prevalent in 
the eastern parts of Africa bordering on the equator, and 
through which a considerable intercourse is maintained be- 
tween the natives of Abyssinia and the Arabians and Ne- 
groes of the interior. For ten years M. Asselin employed 
an intelligent Ethiopian, named Abraham, on this important 
work, to which he devoted two entire days in every week. In 
order to ensure correctness, he read with this person slowly 
and with the utmost attention, every verse of the sacred volume 
in the Arabic version, which they were about to translate. M. 
Asselin then explained to him all those words, which were 
either abstruse, difficult, or foreign to the Arabic, by the help of 
the Hebrew original, the Syriac version, or the Septuagint, 
and also of some commentaries. After they finished the transla- 
tion of one book, they collated it once more before they proceeded 
further. This version has been bought for the British and 
Foreign Bible Society by the Rev. Mr. Jowett ; who undertook 
a voyage into Egypt from Malta, for the express purpose of 
completing the purchase. The manuscript is arrived in this 
country, and will be printed as soon as circumstances will per- 
mit, under the editorial care of the Rev. Samuel Lee, professor 
of Arabic in the University of Cambridge. During Mr. Jowett's 
residence in Egypt, in 1819, in conjunction with the late Mr. 
Nathaniel Pearce, who had lived many years in Ethiopia, he 
commenced a translation ofthe Gospels into the Ti^r^, the verna- 
cular dialect of the extensive province of Tigre. The Gospel 
of Mark has been completed. - 

' In Ludolph's Grammatica Lingua Amharic* (pp. 54, 55."), there is an Amharic 
translation, by Abba Gregorius, of thirteen verses of the eleventh chapter of Saint 
Luke's Gospel. 

3 Sixteenth Report ofthe Bible Society, p. 169. 

VI. Sect, v.] Modern Versions of America. 301 

, 2. Bullom version. — The Bulloms are a numei'ous people on 
thewestern coast of Africa, among whom the missionaries sent 
out by the Church Missionary Society, laboured for several years. 
Into the language of this people, the four Gospels and the Acts 
of the Apostlesj have been translated by the Rev. G. R. Ny- 
lander ', a distinguished labourer in the service of that society. 
The Gospel of Saint Matthew was printed at the expense of 
the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1 8 1 6. ^ 

3. Susoo Version. — The Susoos are also a numerous tribe on 
the western coast of Africa, in the vicinity of Sierra Leone ; 
among whom the same Society's missionaries laboured for se- 
veral years. By these missionaries the four Gospels and other 
parts of the New Testament, together with several books of 
the Old Testament, have been translated into the Susoo lan- 
guage. But their further benevolent and pious labours are at 
present suspended among the Susoos and the Bulloms, by the 
revival of the nefarious slave-trade on those coasts. 

II. American Versions. — Although the multiplicity of dia- 
lects spoken by the Indian tribes of North America seemed to in- 
terpose an insuperable bar to the labours of those benevolent in- 
dividuals who were desirous of communicating the Scriptures to 
them ; yet this obstacle has been diminished by the discovery, 
that so close an affinity subsists among them, that a young un- 
lettered Indian of good capacity can (it is said) make himself 
master of them all. The following are the dialects into which 
the whole or part of the Bible has been translated. 

1. The Virginian Bible was translated by the Rev. John 
Eliot, who has justly been denominated the apostle to the 
Indians, from his unwearied labours to diffuse the blessings of 
Christianity among them. The New Testament was published 
at Cambridge in New England, in 1661, and the Old Testa- 
ment in 1663. The entire Bible was reprinted at the same 
place in 1685. 

2. The Delaware language is spoken through a very consider- 
able portion of North America. Into this language, part of the 
Scriptures was translated by the Rev. Mr. Fabricius, one of the 
Moravian missionaries to the Delaware Indians, but it does not 
appear to have been printed ^ In 1818, the three Epistles of 

1 The Rev. Mr. Nylander has also rendered an additional service to such of the 
Bulloms as have embraced the Christian faith, by translating select portions of the 
Liturgy of the Anglican church into their vernacular language. These were printed in 
Bullom, and in Roman characters (that people having no characters of their own), in 
1816, at the expense of the Prayer Book and Homily Society. 

2 Owen's Hist. vol. iii. p. 126. 

3 Bp. Marsh's History of Translations, p. 99, where it is stated that another mis- 
eionary, Schmick, translated a portion of the Gospels into the Mahican language. 

302 Modern Versiofts of America. [Part I. Ch. 

John were translated into the Delaware language by the Rev. 
C. F. Dencke, a missionary from the United Brethren or Mo- 
ravians. It was printed at the expense of the American Bible 
Society, and is intitled, lli^ek Nechenenawachgissitschik Bambilak 
naga Geschiechauchsit jpanna Johannessa Elekhangup. Gis- 
chitak Elleniechsink untschi C. F. Denke. That is, 77?^ Three 
Epistles of the Apostle John, translated into Delaware Indian, 
by C, F. Dencke; New York, 1818, 18mo. 

The translation is printed on the left-hand page, and the 
English authorised version on the right. As copies of this De- 
laware Indian translation are not common, the following speci- 
men of it, from 1 John iii. 1 — 4. may not be unacceptable to 
the reader. 

Necheleneyachgichink aptonagan. 

Pennamook! elgiquipenundelukquonkWetochwink wdaoaltowoagan, 
wentschi luwilchgussiank Gettanittowit wdamemensemall. Gunt- 
schi matta woachgussiwuneen untschi pemhakamixitink, eli pemha- 
kamixit taku wohaq' Patamawossall. 

2. Ehoalachgik! juque metschi ktelli wundamemensineen Gettanit- 
towitink, schuk nesquo majawii elsijanktsch. Schuk ktelli majawelen- 
damenneen nguttentsch woachquake, ktellitsch linaxineen, elinaxit, 
ktellitsch newoaneen elinaxit. 

3. Woakwemi auwen nechpauchsit jun nhakeuchsowoagan, kschie- 
chichgussitetsch, necama Patamawos elgiqui kschiechsid. 

4. Auwen metauchsit, necama ne endchi mikindank matta weltoq', 
woak eli machtauchsit wuntschi mikindamen matta weltoq'. 

3. The Mohawk language, besides the tribe from whom it takes 
its name, is intelligible to the Five Nations, to the Tuscaroras, and 
to the Wyandots or Hurons. In the early part of the eighteenth 
century, a translation was made of the Gospel of Matthew, and 
also of several chapters both of the Old and New Testament, into 
this language, by the Rev. Mr. Freeman. Some portions of 
the latter were })rinted at New York, and reprinted at London 
with the English Liturgy, and the Gospel of Mark (translated 
by Captain Brant) in 1787, for the use of the Mohawks, who 
have a chapel at Kingston in Upper Canada, where divine 
service is performed in their native tongue, by a missionary 
supported by the venerable Society for })romoting Christian 
Knowledge. This edition was printed at the expense of the 
Entrlish government. To these portions of the Scriptures was 
added the Gospel of John, translated in 1804 by Captain John 
Norton S a chief of the Six Nation Indians in Upper Canada. 
This version was printed at the expense of the British and 

1 Capt. Norton was ado])ted by the Confederacy of the Six Nations, hi 1791, and in 
1800 appointed a chief, under the title of Teyoninhokaraw^n. His father was a 
Cherokee, and served in the British array. 

VI, Sect, v.] Modern Versions of America. 303 

Foreign Bible Society, and its accuracy was, shortly after, at- 
tested in the most favourable manner by the interpreters in the 
Indian villages.' 

4. In theEsquimeaux language, a harmony of the Four Gospels 
was made by the missionaries of the Moravian Brethren, many 
years since. From this version the Gospel of John was selected 
by the Rev. Mr. Kohlmeister, and printed by the Bible So- 
ciety in 1809. To this was added, in 1813, a translation of the 
other three Gospels, which had been made by the venerable 
superintendent of the Labrador mission, the Rev. C. F. Burg- 
hardt, who possessed an intimate knowledge of the Esqui- 
meaux dialect, and finished his revision only a short time before 
his death, in 1812: and in the year 1819 the Acts of the 
Apostles and the Epistles were printed in the same dialect, by the 
Bible Society, and received (as the other portions of the New 
Testament had been) with the deepest sentiments of gratitude. - 

5. In 1759, the Greenlanders received from the Moravian 
Brethren, a translation of their harmony of the four Gospels^, 
and in 1799, the whole of the New Testament was printed in 
their vernacular tongue; but, whether it was executed by the 
missionaries, or by the direction of the Danish government, we 
have not been able to ascertain. 

6. Lastly, the New Testament was translated into Creolese, 
for the use of the Christian negroes in the Danish West India 
islands, and was published at Copenhagen, in 1781, at the ex- 
pense of the king of Denmark. In 1819, the Danish Bible 
Society printed an edition of 1500 copies, which have been 
transmitted to the Danish West Indies. •* 

1 Owen's History, vol. i. pp. 126 — 155. 

2 Ihid. vol. i. p. 460. vol. ii. pp. 289, 359. vol. iii. p. 483. Sixteenth Report 
of the Bible Society, pp. Ixxxiii. Ixxxiv. Seventeenth Report, p. Ixxix. 

3 Cnintz's History of Greenland, vol.ii. p. 299. 

4 Adler's Bibliotheca Biblica, Part IV. p. 116. Sixteenth Report of the Bible 
Society, p. 127. Beside the particulars recorded in the preceding sections, there are 
many interesting circumstances relative to the history of translations and translators, 
which the limits of this work do not allow to be detailed. For these, and indeed for 
«very thing relative to the literary history of the Holy Scriptures, we refer the 
reader to the Rev. James Townley's "Illustrations of Biblical Literature, exhibiting 
the His ory and Fate of the Sacred Writings from the earliest period to the present 
century ; including Biographical Notices of Translators and other eminent Biblical 
Scholars.'' London, 1821, in 3 volumes, 8vo. 

304 On the Critical Use of the [Parti. 



I. The Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament. — 11. The Talmud ; — 
1. The Misna. — 2. The Gemara. — Jerusalem and Babylonish Tal- 
muds. — III. The Writings of Philo-Judaus and Josephus. — Account 
of them. — The genuineness of Josephus' s testimony to the character 
of Jesus Christ proved. — IV. On the Use of the Writings of Pro- 
fane Authors for the Elucidation of the Scriptures. 

JjESIDES the various aids mentioned in the preceding chap" 
ters, much important assistance is to be obtained, in the criticism 
and interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, from consulting the 
Apocryphal writings, and also the works of the Rabbins, and 
of profane authors who have written in the Greek language, 
especially those of Josephus and Philo ; which serve not only 
to explain the grammatical force and meaning of words, but 
also to confirm the facts, and to elucidate the customs, manners, 
and opinions of the Jews, which are either mentioned or inci- 
dentally referred to in the Old and New Testaments. 

Of the writings of the Jews, the Targums or Chaldee Para- 
phrases, which have been noticed in a former page ', are perhaps 
the most important ; and next to them are the Apocryphal 
books of the Old Testament, and the Talmud. 

I. The Apocryphal Books, as we have already had occasion 
to remark", are the productions of the Alexandrian Jews and 
their descendants. They are all curious, and some of them 
extremely valuable. It is to be regretted that the just rejection 
of these books from the scriptural canon by the reformed 
churches has occasioned the opposite extreme of an entire dis- 
regard to them in the minds of many serious and studious 
Christians. As a collection of very antient Jewish works, an- 
terior to Christianity, as documents of history, and as lessons 
of prudence and often of piety, the Greek Apocryphal writings 
are highly deserving of notice : but, as elucidating the phrase- 

> See pp. 164—170, siijira. « See Vol. I. Appendix, No. V. Sect. I. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and Rabbinical WritingSi S^c. 305 

ology of the New Testament, they claim the frequent perusal 
of scholars, and especially of theological students. Kuinbel 
has applied these books to the illustration of the New Testa- 
ment, with great success, in his Observationes ad Novum 
Testamentum ex Libri Apoayphis V. T., Lipsiae, 1794, 

II. The Talmud (a term which literally signifies doctrine) 
is a body of Jewish Laws, containing a digest of doctrines and 
precepts relative to religion and morality. The Talmud con- 
sists of two general parts, viz. The Mistia or text, and the 
Gemara or commentary. 

1. The Misna (or repetition a.^ it literally signifies) is a col- 
lection of various traditions of the Jews, and of expositions of 
scripture texts ; which, they pretend, were delivered to Moses 
during his abode on the Mount, and transmitted from him, 
through Aaron, Eleazar, and Joshua, to the prophets, and by 
those to the men of the Great Sanhedrin, from whom they 
passed in succession to Simeon (who took our Saviour in his 
arms), Gamaliel, and ultimately to Rabbi Jehudah, surnamed 
Halckadosh or the Holy. By him this digest of oral law and 
traditions was completed, towards the close of the second cen- 
tury, after the labour of forty years. From this time it has 
been carefully handed down among the Jews, from generation 
to generation ; and in many cases has been esteemed beyond 
the written law itself. The Misna consists of six books, each 
of which is intitled order, and is further divided into many 
treatises, amounting in all to sixty-three ; these again are divided 
into chapters, and the chapters are further subdivided into sec- 
tions or aphorisms. The best edition of the Misna, unaccom- 
panied by the Gemara, is that of Surenhusius, in 6 vols, folio, 
published at Amsterdam, 1698 — 1703, with a Latin version 
and the Commentaries of Rabbi Moses de Bartenora, of Mai- 
monides, and of various Christian writers. Several treatises, 
relative .to the traditions of the Jews, have been published at 
different times, by learned men, among which we may par- 
ticularly notice the following publications, viz. 

(1.) The Traditions of the Jews, or the Doctrines and Expositions 
contained in the Talmud and other Rabbinical Writings : with a pre- 
liminary Preface, or an Enquiry into the Origin, Progress, Authority, 
and Usefulness of those Traditions ; wherein the mystical Sense of the 
Allegories in the Talmud, 8iC. is explained. [By the Rev. Peter Stehelin, 
F. R. S.] London, 1742. In two volumes 8vo. 

This is a work of extreme rarity and curiosity ; it bears a very high price, which 
necessarily places it beyond the reach of Biblical students. But most of the informa- 
tion which it contains will be found in 

(2.) Modern .Tudaism ; or a Brief Account of the Opinions, Tradi- 


306 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

tions, Rites, and Ceremonies of the Jews in modern Times. By John 
Allen. London, 1817, 8vo. 

The various traditions, &c. received and adopted by the modern Jews, (that is, by 
those who lived during and subsequently to the time of Jesus Christ), are fully and 
perspicuously treated in this well-execuied volume, which illustrates various passages in 
the New Testament with great felicity. 

(3.) Miscellaneous Discourses relating to the Traditions and Usages 
of the Scribes and Pharisees in our Saviour Jesus Christ's Time. By 
W. Wotton, D.D. London, 1718. In two volumes 8vo. 

This is a very curious work. Volume I. contains a discourse concerning the nature, 
authority, and usefulness of the Misna ; a table of all its titles, with .summaries of their 
contents; a discourse on the recital of the Sliema (that is, of Deut. vi. 4 — 9., so called 
from the first word, i. e. /zt'ar), on the phylacteries, and on the Mezuzotk ox sche- 
dules fixed on gates and door-posts; together with a collection cf texts relative to the 
observance of the Sabbath, taken out of the Old and New Testaments and Apocryphal 
Books, with annotations thereon. Volume II. contains two treatises from the Misna, 
in Hebrew and English, one on the Sabbath, intitled Shabhath ; and another, intitled 
Eruvin, concerning the mixtures practised by the Jews in the time of Jesus Christ, to 
strengthen the observation of the Sabbath. JDr. Wotton has given copious notes to both 
these treatises, which illustrate many passages of Holy Writ. 

2. The Gemaras or commentaries are two- fold : — (L) The 
Gernara of Jerusalem^ which, in the opinion of Prideaux, Bux- 
torf, Carpzov, and other eminent critics, was compiled in the 
third century of the Christian sera; though from its containing 
several barbarous words of Gothic or Vandalic extraction, 
father Morin refers it to the fifth century. This commentary 
is but little esteemed by the Jews. (2.) The Ge?nara of Baby- 
lon was compiled in the sixth century, and is filled with the 
most absurd fables. It is held in the highest estimation by the 
Jews, by whom it is usually read and constantly consulted as a 
sure guide in all questions of difficulty. The best edition of 
this work is that of Berlin and Francfort, in Hebrew, in 12 
volumes, folio, 1715. The Jews designate these commentaries 
by the term Gemara, or j)erfection, because they consider them 
as an explanation of the whole law, to which no further additions 
can be made, and after which nothing more can be desired. 
When the Misna or text and the commentary compiled at 
Jerusalem accompany each other, the whole is called the Jeru- 
salem Talmud ; and when the commentary which was made 
at Babylon is subjoined, it is denominated the Babylonish Tal- 
mud. The Talmud was collated for Dr. Kennicott's edition of 
the Hebrew Bibl*e : and as the passages of Scripture were taken 
from manuscripts in existence from the second to the sixth cen- 
tury, they are so far authorities, as they show what were the 
readings of their day. These various readings, howevei", are 
neither very numerous nor of very great moment. Bauer states 
that Fromman did not discover more thsLU fourteen in the Misna: 
and although Dr. Gill, who collated the Talmud for Dr. Kenni- 
cott, collected about a thousand instances, yet all these were 
not in strictness various lections. The Talmud, therefore, is 

Ch. VII.] Jewisli and Rabbinical Writings, S)C. 307 

more useful for illustrating manners and customs noticed in the 
Scriptures, than for the assistance it can afford in the criticism 
of the sacred volume. ' 

The Rabbinical writings of the Jews are to be found chiefly 
in their commentaries on the Old Testament : which being more 
properly noticed in a subsequent page ®, it is not necessary here 
to describe them more particulai'ly. 

As all these Jewish writings ai'e both voluminous and scarce, 
many learned men have diligently collected from them the most 
material passages that tend to illustrate the Scriptures ; whose 
labours in this important department we are now briefly to 

1 . Mellificium Hebraicum, sive Observationes ex Hebrseorum An- 
tiquiorum monumentis desumptse, unde plurima cum Veteris, tuni 
Novi Testamenti, loca explicantur vel illustrantur. Autore Chris- 
tophoro Cartwrighto. In the eighth volume of the Critici Saeri, pp. 
1271— 142G. 

To our learned countryman Cartvvright belongs the honour of being the first who 
applied the more antient writings of the Jews to the illustration of the Bible. He was 
followed in the same path of literature by Drusius, whose PrcBterita sive Annotationes 
in Totum Jesu Christi Teslamentuvi (4to. Franequerae, 1612) contain many valuable 
illustrations of the New Testament. Some additions were subsequently made to his 
work by Balthasar Scheidius, wliose Prtslei-ita PrcBteritorum are included in the publica- 
tion of Meuschen, noticed in No. 4. infra. 

2. Horse HebraiccB : or Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations on the 
New Testament, by John Lightfoot, D. D. in the second volume of his 
works, folio, Lond. 1684. 

These invaluable remarks of Dr. Lightfoot (which were published at different times, 
in quarto) have long been held in the highest esteem, for the great light which they 
throw on different passages of the New Testament : unfortunately they proceed no 
farther than the first Epistle to the Corinthians. To complete the work of I.,ightfoot, 
Christian Schoetgenius published 

3. Horae Hebraicse et Talmudicae in Universum Novum Testa- 
mentum, quibus Horse Jo. Lightfooti in libris historicis supplentur, 
epistolse et apocalypsis eodem modo illustrantur. Dresdae, 1 733. In 
two volumes 4to. 

In this elaborate work Schoetgenius passes over the same books on which Dr. Light- 
foot had treated, as a supplement, without touching the topics already produced in the 
English work; and then continues the latter to the end of the New Testament. Copies, 
in good condition, generally sell from two to three guineas. 

4. Novum Testamentum ex Talmude et Antiquitatibus Hebreeorum 
illustratum, a Johanne Gerhardo Meuschenio. Lipsiae, 1 736, 4to. 

1 Bauer, Crit. Sacr. pp. .340 — .545. Jahn, Introd. ad Vet. Feed. p. 174. Kennicott, 
Dissertatio Generalis, § 32 — 55. Leusden, Philologus Hebraso-mixtus, pp. 90 et seq. 
In pp. 95 — 98, he has enumerated the principal contents of the Misna, but the best 
account of the Misna and its contents is given by Dr. Wotton, Discourses, vol. i. Disc, 
i. and ii. pp. 10 — 120. — See also V.''aehner's Amiquitates Ebraeorum, vol. i. pp. 256 — 
340. — Pfeiffer, op. tom. ii. pp. 852 — 855. De Rossi, Variae Lectiones, tom. i. Proleg. 
canons 78 — 81 ; and Allen's Modern Judaism, pp. 21 — 64. Buddasus, in his Intro- 
duclio ad Historiam PhilosophicB Ebraorum, pp. 116 et seq. has entered most fully 
into the merits of the Jewish Talmudical and Rabbinical writings. 

9 See the Appendix to this volume, No. VII. Sect. II. on Jewish Commentators. 

X 2 

308 ' On Hie Critical Use oj the [Part I, 

In this work are inserted vurious treatises by Danziiis, Rheiiferd, Scheidius, and others, 
who have applied themselves to the illustration of the New Testament from the Jewish 

Different commentators have drawn largely from these 
som'ces in their illustrations of the Bible, particularly Ains- 
worth on the Pentateuch, Drs. Gill and Clarke in their entire 
comments on the Scriptures, Wetstein in his critical edition of 
the New Testament, and Koppe in his edition of the Greek 
Testament, who in his Notes has abridged the works of all 
former writers on this topic. 

In availing ourselves of the assistance to be derived from the 
Jewish writings, we must take care not to compare the ex- 
pressions occurring in the New Testament too strictly with the 
Talmudical and Cabbalistical modes of speaking; as such 
comparisons, when carried too far, tend to obscure rather than 
to ilkistrate the sacred writings. Even our illustrious Light- 
foot is said not to be free from error in this respect : and Dr. 
Gill has frequently incumbered his commentary with Rabbinical 
quotations. The best and safest rule, perhaps, by which to 
regulate our references to the Jewish writers themselves, as well 
as those who have made collections from their works, is the 
following precept delivered by Ernesti : — We are to seek for 
help, says he, only i7i those cases isohere it is absolutely necessary; 
that is, where our Jaiowledge of the Greek and Hebrew tongues 
affords no means of ascertaining ati easy sense, and one that cor- 
responds with the context. The same distinguished scholar has 
further laid it down as a rule of universal application, that our 
principal information is to be sought from the Jewish writings, 
in every thing that relates to their sacred rites, forms of teach- 
ing and speaking ; especially in the epistle to the Romans, 
which evidently shews its author to have been educated under 
Gamaliel. ' 

Some very important hints, on the utility of Jewish and 
Rabbinical literature in the interpretation of the New Testa- 
ment, occur in the Rev. Dr. Blomfield's discourse, intitled 
A Reference to Jewish Tradition necessary to an Interpretation 
of the New Testament. London, 1817, 8vo. 

in. More valuable in every respect than the Talmudical 
and Rabbinical Writings, are the works of the two learned 
Jews, Philo and Josephus, which reflect so much light on the 
manners, customs, and opinions of their countrymen, as to de- 
mand a distinct notice. 

t Ernesti, Instit. Interp. Novi Testament!, p. 274. In the 5th vol. of Velthusen's, 
Kuinoel's, and Ruperti's Commentationes Theologies (pp. 117 — 197) there is a useful 
dissertation by M. Weise, De more domini acceptos a magistris Judaicis loquendi ac 
disserendi modos sapienter emendandi. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and Bahbitiical Writings^ S^c. 309 

1. Philo, surnamed Judaeus in order to distinguish him 
from several other persons of the same name ', was a Jew of 
Alexandria, descended from a noble and sacerdotal family, and 
pre-eminent among his contemporaries for his talents, elo- 
quence, and wisdom. He was certainly born before the 
time of Jesus Christ, though the precise date has not 
been determined ; some writers placing his birth twenty, and 
others thirty years before that event. The latter opinion ap- 
pears to be the best supported : consequently Philo was about 
sixty years old at the time of the death of our Redeemer, and he 
lived for some years afterwards. He was of the sect of the Pha- 
risees, and was deeply versed in the Scriptures of the Old Tes- 
tament, which he read probably in the Septuagint version, 
being an Hellenistic Jew, unacquainted (it is supposed) with 
the Hebrew, and writing in the Greek language. Some emi- 
nent critics have imagined that he was a Christian, but this 
opinion is destitute of foundation : for we have no reason to 
think that Philo ever visited Judaea, or that he was acquainted 
with the important events which were there taking place. In- 
deed, as the Gospel was not extensively and openly promul- 
gated out of Judaea, until ten years after the resurrection of 
Jesus Christ, and as there is not the most distant allusion to 
him, — much less mention of him, — made in the New Testa- 
ment, it cannot be supposed that this distinguished person was 
a convert to Christianity. The striking coincidences of senti- 
ment, and more frequently of phraseology, which occur in the 
writings of Philo, with the language of Saint Paul and Saint 
John in the New Testament, are satisfactorily accounted for, 
by his being deeply versed in the Septuagint (or Alexandrian 
Greek) version of the Old Testament, with which those Apostles 
were also intimately acquainted. The writings of Philo exhibit 
many quotations from the Old Testament, which serve to show 
how the text then stood in the original Hebrew, or, at least, in 
the Septuagint version : and although they contain many fan- 
ciful and mystical comments on the Old Testament, yet they 
abound with just sentiments eloquently expressed, and were 
highly esteemed by the primitive Christian church ; and his 
sentiments concerning the logos, or word, bear so close a 
resemblance to those of the apostle John, as to have given 
rise to the opinion of some eminent men that he was a Chris- 
tian. ^ 

1 Fabricius and his editor, Professor Harles, have given notices of /orty-sew/j per- 
sons of the name of Philo. Bibliotheca Grasca, vol. iv. pp. 750 — 754. 

2 The late Mr. Bryant has collected the passages of Philo concerning the Logos in 
his work entitled ' The Sentiments of Philo Judaeus concerning the Aaya; or Word 

X 3 

310 On the Critical Use of the [Part 1. 

In the writings of Philo^ we meet with accounts of many cus- 
toms of the Jews ; of their opinions, especially such as were 
derived from the oriental philosophy ; and of facts particularly 
I'elating to their state under the Roman emperors, which are 
calculated to throw great light on many passages of the sacred 
writings '. The following are the two best and indeed only eli- 
gible editions of Philo's works, exclusive of various detached 
pieces which have been printed at different times and places. 

1. Philonis Judsei, quae reperiri potuerunt, omnia. Textum cumMSS. 
contulit, quamplurinia e codcl. Vaticano, Mediceo, et Bodleiano, scrip- 
toribus item vetustis, necnon catenis Grsecis ineditis, adjecit, interpre- 
tationemque emendavit, universa notis et observationibus illustravit 
Thomas Mangey, S. T. P. Canonicus Dunelmensis. Folio, 2 vols. Lon- 
dini, 1742, 

This is a noble edition, equally creditable to the editor, the Rev. Dr. Mangey, and to 
the primer, the late celebrated William Bowyer. Dr. M. revised the works of Philo, 
which he collated with thirteen manuscripts, and corrected the I^atin Version of them, 
which had been made by Sigismund Gesenius, Morelli, and others. The different trea- 
tises are arranged in a much better order than that which appears in preceding editions, 
and many obscure and difficult passages are excellently corrected and illustrated. 

2. Philonis Judaei Opera omnia, Grsec^ et Latin^, ad editionem 
Th. Mangey, coUatis aliquot MSS. Edenda curavit Aug. Frider. 
Pfeiffer. 8vo. vols. I— V. Erlangee, 1785—1792. 

The text of Dr. Mangey is adopted in this valuable edition, which has, unfortunately, 
never been completed. Pfeiffer collated three Bavarian manuscripts, and retained only 
such of Mangey 's notes as contain either some new information, or some emendation of 
the text ; to which he added observations of his own, chiefly settling the various lections. 

As the preceding editions of Philo's works are extremely 
scarce and dear, the chief passages of his writings which mate- 
rially illustrate the New Testament, have been selected and 
applied in the following very valuable publications. 

1. Job. Benedicti Carpzovii Exercitationes in S. Paulli Epistolam ad 
Hebrssos ex Philone Alexandrino. Praefixa sunt Philoniana Prolego- 
mena, in qviibus de non adeo contemnenda Philonis eruditione Hebra- 
ica, de convenientia stili Philonis cum illo D. Paulli in Epistola ad 
Hebreeos, et de aliis nonnuUis varii argumenti exponitur. Helmstadii, 
1750, 8vo. 

2. J. B. Carpzovii Stricturae Theologicse in Epistolam Pauli ad Ro- 
manos. Adspersi subinde sunt floras Philoniani. Helmstadii, 1758, 

This is the second and best edition of Carpzov's Observations on St. Paul's Epistle to 

of God ; together v.'ith large extracts from his writings, compared with the Scriptures 
on many other particular and essential Doctrines of the Christian religion.' (8vo. Lon- 
don, 1797.) As this volume is now rarely to be met with, the reader will find the 
most material passages of Philo's writings, selected and faithfully translated in the Rev. 
Dr. J. P. Smith's Scripture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. i. pp. 420 — 445. — Dr. A. 
Clarke has given thirty-jive instances of the particular terms and doctrines found in 
Philo's works, with parallel passages from the New Testament, in his Commentary, 
at the end of the first chapter of Saint John's Gospel . 

1 Fabricii Bibliotheca Grapca, a Harles, vol. iv. pp. 720 — 750. Dr. Gray's Connex- 
ion between Sacred and Profane Literature, vol. i. pp.288 — 502. Dr. Smith's Scrip- 
ture Testimony to the Messiah, vol. i. pp. 41 T, 418. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and Rabbinical Writings, Sfc. 311 

the Romans ; they orighially appeared in detaclied portions, at Hehnstadt, in quarto, 
between the years 1752 and 1756. 

3. Christopheri Frederici Loesneri Observationes ad Novum Testa- 
nientum e Philone Alexandrino. 8vo. Lipsse, 1777. 

This woric was preceded by a quarto tract of I^oesner's, intitled Lectionum Pkiloni- 
anarum Specimen, published at Leipsic, in 1758. The force and meaning of words are 
particularly illustrated, together with points of antiquity and the readings of Philo's text. 
The light thrown upon the New Testament, by the writings of Philo, is admirably elu- 
cidated by Loesner ; to complete whose work there should be added Adami Frid. Kuhnii 
Spicilegium Loesneri Observationum ad N. T. e. Philone Alexandrino. Sorau, 1783, 
4to.; 2d. edit. Pfortae, 1785, 8vo. The second is the best edition. 

2. Flavius Josephus was of sacerdotal extraction and of 
royal descent, and was born a. d. 37 : he was alive in a. d. 
96, but it is not known when he died. He received a liberal 
education among the Pharisees, after which he went to Rome, 
where he cultivated his talents to great advantage '. On his 
return to Judaea, he commanded the garrison appointed to de- 
fend Jotapata against the forces of Vespasian, which he bravely 
maintained during forty- seven days. Josephus being subsequently 
taken prisoner by Vespasian, was received into his favour; and 
was also greatly esteemed by Titus, whom he accompanied to 
the siege of Jerusalem, on the capture of which he obtained the 
sacred books and many favours for his countrymen. When Ves- 
pasian ascended the imperial throne, he gave Josephus a palace, 
together with the freedom of the city of Rome, and a grant of 
lands in Judaea. Titus conferred additional favours upon him, 
and Josephus out of gratitude assumed the name of Flavius. 
The writings of Josephus consist of, 1. Seven books, relating the 
War of the Jews against the Romans, which terminated in their 
total defeat, and the destruction of Jerusalem. This history 
was undertaken at the command of Vespasian, and was written 
first in Hebrew and afterwards in Greek : and ,so highly was 
the emperor pleased with it, that he authenticated it by putting 
his signature to it, and ordering it to be preserved in one of the 
public libraries; 2. Of the Jewish Antiquities, in twenty books, 
comprising the period from the origin of the world to the twelfth 
year of the reign of Nero (a. d. 66.), when the Jews began to 
rebel against the Romans ; 3. An account of his own Life ; 
and 4. Two Books vindicating the Antiquity of the Jewish Na^ 
Hon against Ajjion and others. 

The writings of Josephus contain accounts of many Jewish 
customs and opinions, and of the different sects that obtained 
among his countrymen ; which very materially contribute to the 
illustration of the Scriptures. Particularly, they contain many 

• It is highly probable that Josephus was the companion of Saint Paul in his voyage 
to Rome, related in Acts xxvii. See Dr. Gray's Connexion of Sacred and Profane 
Literature, vol. i. pp. 357 — 368. 


312 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

facts relative to the civil and religious state of the Jews about 
the time of Christ : w^hich being supposed, alluded to, or men- 
tioned, in various passages of the New Testament, enable us 
fully to enter into the meaning of those passages '. His accurate 
and minute detail of many of the events of his own time, and, 
above all, of the Jewish war, and the siege and destruction of 
Jerusalem, affords us the means of perceiving the accomplish- 
ment of many of our Saviour's predictions, especially of his cir- 
cumstantial prophecy respecting the utter subversion of the 
Jewish polity, nation, and religion. The testimony of Josephus 
is the more valuable, as it is an undesigned testimony, which 
cannot be suspected of fraud or partiality. The modern Jews 
have discovered this, and therefore a writer, who is the princi- 
pal ornament of their nation since the cessation of prophecy, is 
now not only neglected, but despised ; and is superseded among 
the Jews by a forged history, composed by an author who lived 
more than eight centuries oftcj- the time of Josephus, and who 
has assumed the name of Josippon, or Joseph Ben Gorion. 
The plagiarisms and falsehoods of this pseudo- Joseph us have 
been detected and exposed by Gagnier, Basnage, and especially 
by Dr. Lardner. ^ 

Michaelis particularly recommends a diligent study of the 
works of Josephus, from the beginning of Herod's reign to the 
end of the Jewish antiquities, as affording the very best com- 
mentary on the Gospels and Acts ^ : and Morus * observes that 
the Jewish historian is more valuable in illustrating the histories 
related in the New Testament than for elucidating its style. 
Our numerous references to his works in the third, as well as 
in the preceding volume of this work, sufficiently attest the ad- 

1 In all matters relating to the temple at Jerusalem, and to the religion of the 
Jews, there is a remarkable agreement between the authors of the Npw Testament 
and Josephus ; who had in person beheld that sacred edifice, and was himself an 
eye-witness of the solemn rites performed there. Hence it is obvious, that his 
statements are unquestionably more worthy of credit than the imsupported asser- 
tions of the Talmudists, who did not flourish until long after the subversion of the 
city and temple, and of the whole Jewish polity, both sacred and civil. A single in- 
stance, out of many that might be adduced, will suffice to illustrate the irnportance 
of this remark. The Talmudical writers affirm that the priests only killed the paschal 
lambs ; but Josephus (whose testimony is confirmed by Philp) relates that it was lawful 
for the master of every family to do it, without the intervention of any priest ; and 
they further relate that at the time of the passover, there were so many families 
at Jerusalem, that it was utterly impossible for the priests to kill the paschal lamb for 
every family. In the New Testament we read that Jesus Christ sent his disciples to 
a private house, that the passover might be prepared by its possessor and by them, with- 
out the presence of any priest, or previously taking the lamb to the temple. As the 
statements of Philo and Josephus are corroborated by the relation in the New Tes- 
tament, they are undoubtedly correct. 

2 Jewish Testimonies, Lardner's Works, 8vo. vol. vii. pp. 162 — 187; 
4to. vol. iii. pp. 560 — 574. 

9 luHoduction to the New Testament, vol. iii. part i. pp. 339 — 341. 

4 Mori super Hermeneutica Novi Testament! Acroases Academics, torn. ii. p. 195. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and Rabbinical Writings, Sfc. - 313 

vantages resulting from a diligent examination of them '. 
Josephus is justly admired for his lively and animated style, the 
bold propriety of his expressions, the exactness of his descrip»- 
tions, and the persuasive eloquence of his orations, on which 
accounts he has been termed the Livy of the Greek authors. 
Though a strict Pharisee, he has borne such a noble testimony to 
the spotless character of Jesus Christ, that Jerome considered 
and called him a Christian writer. Mr. Whiston and some mo- 
dern writers are of opinion that he was a Nazarene or Ebionite 
Jewish Christian, while others have affirmed that the passao-e in 
his Jewish antiquities, concerning Jesus Christ, is an interpola- 
tion . The passage in question is as follows : 

" Noiio there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be 
lawful to call him a man : for he performed many wonderful 
works. He was a teacher of such men as received the truth with 
pleasure i He drew over to him many of the Jews, and also many 
of the Gentiles. This man was the Christ. And when Pilate 
at the instigation of the principal men among us, had condemned 
him to the cross, those who had loved him from the first, did not 
cease to adhere to him. For he appeared to them alive again on 
the third day ; the divine prophets having foretold these and ten 
thousand other wonderfid things concerning him. And the tribe 
of the Christians, so named from him, subsists to this time." 2 

This passage has already been given in Vol. I. p. 215, as a 
proof of the credibility of the New Testament history : it is 
repeated in this place, i>n order that it may be more conveniently 
subjected to the test of critical examination. The genuineness 
and credibility of this testimony have been questioned, on the 
ground that it is too favourable, to be given by a Jew to Christ • 
and that, if Josephus did consider Jesus to be the Christ or ex- 
pected Messiah of the Jews, he must have been a believer in 
him, in which case he would not have despatched the miraculous 
history of the Saviour of the World in one short paragraph. 
When, however, the evidence on both sides is fairly weighed, 
we apprehend that it will be found to preponderate most 
decidedly in favour of the genuineness of this testimony of Jo- 
sephus : for 

1 . It is found in all the copies of Josephus's works, which are 
now extant, whether printed or manuscript ; in a Hebi'ew 
translation preserved in the Vatican Library ^, and in an Arabic 
Version preserved by the Maronites of Mount Libanus. 

1 Dr. Gray has illustrated, at length, the benefit to be derived from the writings 
of Josephus, in the illustration of the Scriptures. See his Connexion between Sacred 
and Profane Literature, vol. i. pp. 503 — 550. 

2 Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. iii. § 5. 

3 Baronius (Annales Ecclesiastici, ad annum 134) relates that the passage in this 
Hebrew Translation of Josephus was marked with an obelus, which could only have been 
.done by a Jew. 

314 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

2. It is cited by Eusebius, Jerome, Rufinus, Isidore of Pe- 
lusium, Sozomen, Cassiodorus, Nicephonis, and by many others, 
all of whom had indisputably seen various manuscripts^ and of 
considerable antiquity. 

3. Josephus not only mentions with respect John the Bap- 
tist ', but also James the first bishop of Jerusalem. — *' Ana- 
nus" (he says) " assembled the Jewish Sanhedrin, and brought 
before it James the Brother of Jesus who is called Christ, with 
some others, whom he delivered over to be stoned as infractors of 
the law ^" This passage, the authenticity of which has never 
been disputed or suspected, contains an evident reference to 
what had already been related concerning Christ : for why else 
should he describe James, — a man, of himself but little known, 
— as the brother of Jesus, if he had made no mention of Jesus 
before ? 

4'. It is highly improbable that Josephus, who has discussed 
with such minuteness the history of this period, — mentioned 
Judas of Galilee, Theudas, and the other obscure pretenders to the 
character of the Messiah, as well as John the Baptist and James 
the brother of Christ, — should have preserved the profoundest 
silence concerning Christ, whose name was at that time so cele- 
brated among the Jews, and also among the Romans, two of 
whose historians (Suetonius and Tacitus) have distinctly taken 
notice of hira. But, in all the writings of Josephus, not a hint 
occurs on the subject except the testimony in question. 

5. It is morally impossible that this passage either was or 
could be forged by Eusebius who first cited it, or by any other 
earlier writer. Had such a forgery been attempted, it would 
unquestionably have been detected by some of the acute and 
inveterate enemies of Christianity : for both Josephus and his 
works were so well received among the Romans, that he was 
enrolled a citizen of Rome, and had a statue erected to his 
memory. His writings were also admitted into the imperial 
library : the Romans may further be considered as the guar- 
dians of the integrity of his text ; and the Jews, we may be 
assured, would use all diligence, to prevent any interpolation 
in favour of the Christian cause. Yet it cannot be discovered 
that any objection was ever made to this passage, by any of the 
opposers of the Christian faith in the early ages : their silence 
therefore concerning such a charge is a decisive proof that the 
passage is not a forgery. Indeed, the Christian cause is so far 
from needing any fraud to support it, that nothing could be 
more destructive to its interest, than a fraud so palpable and 

1 Ant.Jud. lib. xviii. c. v. §2. 

9 Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. viii. (al. ix.) § 1. 

Ch. VII.] Jetsoish and Rabbinical Writings, Sfc, 315 

To this strong chain of evidence for the genuineness of Jo- 
sephus's testimony, various objections have been made, of which 
the following are the principal : 

Objection 1 . This passage 'was not cited by any early Chris- 
tians before Eusebius, such as Justin Martyr, Clement of Alex- 
andria, Tertullian, or Origen : nor is it cited by Chrysostom 
or Photius, 'who lived after his time. 

Answer, — There is no strength in this negative argument against 
Eusebius, drawn from the silence of the antient fathers. The fathers 
did not cite the testimony of Josephus, 1 . either because they had no 
copies of his works ; or 2. because his testimony was foreign to the 
design which they had in writing ; which was, to convince the Jews 
that Jesus was the Messiah, out of the Old Testament, and conse- 
quently they had no need of other evidence ; or 3. because, on account 
of this very testimony, the evidence of Josephus was disregarded by 
the Jews themselves. ' 

Objection 2. The passage in question interrupts the order 
of the narration, and is unlike the style of Josephus. 

Answer. — It is introduced naturally in the course of the historian's 
narrative, the order of which it does nof disturb. It is introduced under 
the article of Pilate, and connected with two circumstances, which oc- 
casioned disturbances ; and was not the putting of Jesus to death, and 
the continuance of the apostles and disciples after him, declaring his 
resurrection, another very considerable circumstance, which created very 
great disturbances ? And though Josephus does not say this in express 
terms, yet he intimates it, by connecting it with the two causes of 
commotion, by giving so honourable a testimony to Jesus, and telling 
us that he was crucified at the instigation of the chief persons of the 
Jewish nation. It would scarcely have been decent in him to have said 
more on this head. The following view of the connexion of the pas- 
sage now under consideration, will confirm and illustrate the preceding 

In his Jewish Antiquities (Book xviii, c, i.) he relates, in the first 
section, that Pilate introduced Caesar's images into Jerusalem, and 
that in consequence of this measure producing a tumult, he commanded 
them to be carried thence to Csesarea, In the second section, he gives 
an account of Pilate's attempt to bring a current of water to Jerusalem, 
the expense of which he defrayed out of the sacred money : this also 
caused a tumult, in which a great number of Jews was slain. In the 
third section he relates that, about the same time Pilate crucified Jesus, 
who was called Christ, a wise and holy man : and (§ 4. ) about the 
same time also, he adds, another sad calamity put the Jews into dis- 
order, which he promises to narrate after he had given an account of 
a most flagitious crime which was perpetrated at Rome in the temple 
of Isis : and after detailing all its circumstances he proceeds (§5.) 
agreeable to his promise, to describe the expulsion of the Jews from 
Rome, by the emperor Tiberius, in consequence of the villanous con- 

1 The above refuted objection is examined in detail by Professor Vernet, in his 
Traite de la Verite de la Religion Chretienne. tome ix. pp. 165—221. 

316 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

duct of four of their countrymen. Such is the connexion of the whole 
chapter : and when it is fairly considered, we may safely challenge any 
one to say, whether the passage under consideration interrupts the 
order of the narration : on the contrary, if it be taken out, that con- 
nexion is irrecoverably broken. It is manifest, that Josephus relates 
events in the order in which they happened, and that they are con- 
nected together only by the time when they took place. 

With regard to the objection that the passage in question is unlike 
the style of Josephus, it is sufficient to reply in the quaint but expres- 
Mve language ofHuet, that one egg is not more like another than is the 
style of this passage to the general style of his writings. Objections from 
style are often fanciful : and Daubuz has proved^ by actual collation, 
the perfect coincidence between its style and that of Josephus in 
other parts of his works '. This objection, therefore, falls to the 

Objection 3. — The testimony of Josephus concerning Jesus 
could not possibly have been recorded by him :for he 'was not only 
a Jew, but also rigidly attached to the Jewish religion. The 
expressions are not those of a Jew, but of a Christian. 

Answ^er. — Josephus was not so addicted to his own religion, as to 
approve the conduct and opinion of the Jews concerning Christ and 
his doctrine. From the moderation which pervades his whole narrative 
of the Jewish war, it may justly be inferred, that the fanatic fury 
which the chief men of his nation exercised against Christ, could not 
but have been displeasing to him. He has rendered that attestation 
to the innocence, sanctity, and miracles of Christ, which the fidelity 
of history required : nor does it follow that he was necessitated to re- 
nounce on this account the religion of his fathers. Either the common 
prejudices of the Jews, that their Messiah would be a victorious and 
temporal sovereign, or the indifference so prevalent in many towards 
controverted questions, might have been sufficient to prevent him from 
renouncing the religion in which he had been educated, and embracing 
a new one, the profession of which was attended with danger : or else, 
he might think himself at liberty to be either a Jew or a Christian, as 
the same God was worshipped in both systems of religion. On either 
of these suppositions, Josephus might have written every thing which 
this testimony contains ; as will be evident from the following critical 
examination of the passage. 

The expression, — " if it be lawful to call him a man," — does not 
imply that Josephus believed Christ to be God, but only an extraor- 
dinary man, one whose wisdom and works had raised him above the 
common condition of humanity. He represents him as having " ■per- 
formed many wonderful works." In this there is nothing singular, for 
the Jews themselves, his contemporaries, acknowledge that he wrought 
many mighty works. Compare Matt. xiii. 54. xiv. 2., &c. and the 

1 See Daubuz, Pro Testimonio Joseph! de Jesu Christo, contra Tan. Fabrum et alios, 
(8vo. Lond. 1706) pp. 128 — 205. The whole of this Dissertation is reprinted at the 
end of the second volume of Havercamp's edition of Josephus's works. Mr. Whiston 
has abridged the collation of Daubuz in Dissertation I. pp. v. — vii. prefixed to his 
translation of the Jewish historiau, folio, London, 1737. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and Rabbhiical Writings, 8^c. 317 

parallel passages in the other Gospels. Josephus further says, that " he 
was a teacher of such men as gladly received the truth with pleasure," — 
both because the moral precepts of Christ were such as Josephus ap- 
proved, and also because the disciples of Christ were influenced by no 
other motive than the desire of discerning it. " He drew over to him 
many, both Jews and Gentiles." How true this was, at the time when 
Josephus wrote, it is unnecessary to show. The phrase, " This man 
was the Christ," — or rather, " Christ teas this man"{o X^ito: ovioim), — 
by no means intimates that Jesus was the Messiah, but only that he 
was the person called Christ both by the Christians and Romans ; 
just as if we should say, " this was the same man as he named 
Christ." X^iTo^ is not a doctrinal name, but a proper name. Jesus 
was a common name, and would not have sufficiently pointed out the 
person intended to the Greeks and Romans. The name, by which he 
was known to them, was Chrestus, or Christus, as we read in Suetonius 
and Tacitus ; and if (as there is every reason to believe) Tacitus had 
read Josephus, he most probably took this very name from the Jewish 
historian. With regard to the resurrection of Christ, and the pro- 
phecies referring to him, Josephus rather speaks the language used by 
the Christians, than his own private opinion : or else he thought that 
Christ had appeared after his revival, and that the prophets had fore- 
told this event, — a point which, if admitted, and if he had been con- 
sistent, ought to have induced him to embrace Christianity. But it 
will readily be imagined, that there might be many circumstances to 
prevent his becoming a proselyte ; nor is it either new or wonderful' 
that men, especially in their religious concerns, shoidd contradict 
themselves and withstand the conviction of their own minds. It is 
certain that, in our own times, no one has spoken in higher terms 
concerning Christ, than M. Rousseau ; who nevertheless, not only in 
his other writings, but also in the very work that contains the very 
eloquent eulogium alluded to, inveighs against Christianity with acri- 
mony and rancour. * 

The whole of the evidence concerning the much litigated 
passage of Josephus is now before the reader ; who, on consi- 
dering it in all its bearings, will doubtless agree with the writer 
of these pages, that it is genuine, and consequently afFprds a 
noble testimony to the credibility of the facts related in the 
New Testament. 

The following are the best editions of the works of this illus- 
trious Jewish historian. 

1 Appendix to the Life of Dr.Lardner, Nos. IX. and X. 4to, vol. v. pp. xlv. — xlviii. 
Works, 8vo. vol. i. pp. civ. — clxviii.Vernet,Traite de la V^rite de la Religion Chretienne, 
torn. ix. pp. 1 — 236. Huet, Demonstratio Evangelica, Proposiiio III. vol. i. pp. 46 — 56. 
Bretschneider's Capita Theologia" Judasorum Dogmaticae, e Flavii Joseph! Scriptis collecta 
(Svo.LipsiselS.) pp.59 — 64. See also /^mdzc<«i^/awan(e, or aVindication of the Testimony 
given by .losephus concerning our Saviour Jesus Christ. By JacobBryant, Esq. 8vo. Lon- 
don, 1780. Dr. John Jones has shown that Josephus has alluded to the spread of Chris- 
tianity in other parts of his works; see his " Series of important Facts, demonstrating 
the Truth of the Christian Religion, drawn from the writings of its friends and 
enemies in the first and second centuries," (8 vo, London, 1820.) pp.9 — 22. He 
considers the Jewish historian as a Christian, 

318 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

1. Flavii Josephi Opera, quae reperiri potuerunt, omnia. Ad 
codices fere omnes, cum impresses turn manuscriptos, diligenter re- 
censuit, nova versione donavit, et notis illustravit Johannes Hudsonus. 
Oxonii, e Theatro Sheldoniano, 1720, 2 vols, folio. 

Those distinguished bibliographers, Fabricius, Harwood, Harles, and Oberthiir, are 
unanimous in their commendations of this elegant and most valuable edition. The 
learned editor Dr. Hudson died the year before its publication, but, fortunately, not till 
he had acquired almost every thingrequisite for a perfect edition of liis author. " He 
seems to have consulted every known manuscript and edition. The correctness of the 
Greek text, the judgment displayed in the annotations, the utility of the indexes, and the 
consummate knowledge which is evinced of the history and antiquities of the time, ren- 
der this work deserving of every thing said in commendation of it. Copies on large paper 
are very rare and dear, as well as magnificent." Dibdin on the Classics, vol. ii. p. 11. 

2. Flavii Josephi, quae reperiri potuerunt, Opera omnia, Greece et 
Latine, ex nova versione, et cum notis Joannis Hudsoni. Accedunt 
Notse Edwardi Bernardi, Jacobi Gronovii, Fr. Combefisii, Ezechielis 
Spanhemii, Adriani Relandi, et aliorum, tam editse quam ineditse. Post 
recensionem Joannis Hudsoni denuo recognita, et notis ac indicibus 
illustrata, studio et labore Sigeberti Havercampi. Arastelodami, 1726, 
2 vols, folio. 

This is usually considered the editio optima, because it contains much more than Dr. 
Hudson's edition. The Greek text is very carelessly printed, especially that of Josephus's 
seven books on the war of the Jews with the Romans. Havercamp collated two manu- 
scripts in the library of the university at Ley den ; and, besides the annotations mentioned 
in the title, he added some observations by Vossius and Cocceius, which he found in the 
margin of the editio princeps, printed at Basil, in J 644, folio. The typographical execu- 
tion of Havercamp's edition is very beautiful. 

3. Flavii Josephi Opera, Grsec^ et Latine, excusarad editionem Lug- 
duno-Batavam Sigeberti Havercampi cum Oxoniensi Joannis Hud- 
son! coUatam. Curavit Franciscus Oberthiir. Lipsiss, 1782 — 1785. 
Vols. I.— III. 8vo. 

This very valuable edition, which has never been completed, comprises only the Greek 
text of Josephus. The succeeding volumes %vere to contain the critical and philological 
observations of the editor, who has prefixed to the first volume an excellent critical no- 
tice of all the preceding editions of Josephus. " The venerable Oberthiir is allowed to 
have taken more pains in ascertaining the correct text of his author, in collating every 
known MS., in examining every previous edition, and in availing himself of the labours 
of his predecessors, than have yet been shown by any editor of Josephus." It is therefore 
deeply to be regretted that such a valuable edition as the present should have been dis- 
continued by an editor so fully competent to the arduous task which he has begun. 
Dibdin on the Classics, vol. ii. p. 13. 

Several English translations of Josephus have been published 
by Court, L'Estrange, and others; but the best is that of Mr. 
Whiston, folio, London, 1737, after Havercamp's edition; to 
which are prefixed, a good map of Palestine, and seven disser- 
tations by the translator, who has also added many valuable 
notes, correcting and illustiating the Jewish historian. Whis- 
ton's translation has been repeatedly printed in various sizes. 

IV. Although the works of Philo and Josephus, among pro- 
fane writers, are the most valuable for elucidating the Holy 
Scriptures ; yet there are others, whom by way of distinction 
we terra Pagan 'writers^ whose productions are in various ways 
highly deserving the attention of the biblical student, for the 

Ch. VII.] Jewish andMabbinical Writings, Sj-c. 319 

confirmation the}' jifford of the leading facts recorded in the 
sacred volume, and especially of the doctrines, institutions, and 
facts, upon which Christianity is founded, or to which its 
records indirectly relate. ^' Indeed, it may not be unreasonably 
presumed, that the writings of Pagan antiquity have been pro- 
videntially preserved with peculiar regard to this great object, 
since, notwithstanding numerous productions of past ages have 
perished, sufficient remains are still possessed, to unite the cause 
of heathen literature with that of religion, and to render the 
one subservient to the interests of the other." ' 

Of the value of the heathen writings in thus confirmino: the 
credibility of the Scriptures, we have given very numerous in- 
stances in the preceding volume'^. We have there seen that 
the heathen writings substantiate, by an independent and col- 
lateral report, many of the events and the accomplishment of 
many of the prophecies recorded by the inspired writers ; and 
that they establish the accuracy of many incidental circum- 
stances which are interspersed throughout the Scriptures. 
*^ Above all, by the gradually perverted representations which 
they give of revealed doctrines and institutions, they attest the 
actual communication of such truths from time to time ; and 
pay the tribute of experience to the wisdom and necessity of a 
written revelation." ^ Valuable as these testimonies from the 
works of heathen authors confessedly are, their uses are not 
confined to the confirmation of scripture-facts : they also fre- 
quently contribute to elucidate the phraseology of the sacred 
writers. Two or three instances will illustrate this remark. 

1. Pagan writers use words and phrases coincident with, or 
analogous to those of the sacred writers, whose meaning they 
enable us to ascertain, or show us the force and proprietjf of 
their expressions. 

Thus, the sentiment and image of the prophet Isaiah, 
On what part will ye smite again, will ye add correction ? 
The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint : 

Isa. i. 5. Bp. Lowth's translation. 

Are exactly the same with those of Ovid, who, deploring his exile to 
Atticus, says that he is wounded by the continual strokes of fortune, 
so that there is no space left in him for another wound : 

Ego continuo fortunae vulneror ictu : 

Vixque habet in nobis jam nova plaga locum. 

Ovid. Epist. ex Ponto. lib. ii. ep. vii. 41, 42. 

But the prophet's sentiment and image are still more strikingly il- 
lustrated by the following expressive line of Euripides, the great force 

1 Dr. Gray's Connexion of Sacred and Profane Literature, vol. i- p. 5. 
« See Vol.1, pp. 172—238. » See vol. I. pp. 174—180. 

320 On the Critical Use of the [Part I. 

and eftect of which Longhius ascribes to its close and compressed 
structure, analogous to the sense which it expresses. 

Ti/iu Kaxuv Sw K bukit' iffB-' ovrt ri^n. 

I am full of miseries: there is no room for more. 

Eurip. Here. Furens, v. 1245. ' 

2. Pagan writers often employ the same images moith the sacred^ 
so as to throw light on their import, and generally, to set off" 
their superior excellence. 

Thus, the same evangelical prophet, when predicting the blessed 
effects that should flow from the establishtnent of the Messiah's king- 
dom, says, 

They shall beat their swords into plough-shares, 
And their spears into pruning hooks : 
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, 
Neither shall they learn war any more. 

Isa. ii. 4. 

The same prediction occurs, in the same words, in Micah, iv. 2. 
The description of well-established peace (Bp. Lowth remarks) by the 
image of beating their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into 
pruning hooks, is very poetical. The Roman poets have employed the 
same image. Thus Martial has an epigram (Hb. xiv. ep. xiv.) intitled 
Falx ex ense — the sword converted into a pruning hook. 

The prophet Joel has reversed this image, and applied it to war 
prevailing over peace. 

Beat your plough-shares into swords. 
And your pruning hooks into spears. 

Joel, ill. 10. 

And SO has the prince of the Roman poets : 

Non ullus aratro 
Dignus honos : squalent abductis arva colonis, 
Et curvjE rigidum fakes conflantur in ensem. 

Virgil, Georg. lib. i. 506 — 508. 
Dishonour'd lies the plough : the banished swains 
Are hurried from the uncultivated plains ; 
The sickles into barbarous swords are beat. * 

Additional examples, finely illustrative of the above remark, may 
be seen in bishop Lowth's notes on Isa. viii. 6 — 8. xi. 6 — -8. xxix. 7. 
xxxi. 4, 5. xxxii. 2. xiv. 2. and xlix. 2. 

The great benefit which is to be derived from Jewish and 
Heathen profane authors in illustrating the Scriptui'es, is ex- 
cellently illustrated by the Rev. Dr. Robert Gray, in his work 
intitled : 

The Connexion between the Sacred Writings and the Literature of 
Jewish and Heathen authors, particularly that of the Classical Ages, 
illustrated ; principally with a view to evidence in confirmation of the 
truth of Revealed Religion. London, 1819, in two volumes, 8vo. 

The first edition of this valuable work, which is indispensably necessary to the biblical 
student who cannot command access to all the classic authors, appeared in one volume, 
8vo. in 1817. A multitude of passages of Scripture is illustrated, and their truth con- 

1 Longinus, de Sublim. c. 40. Bp. Lowth's Isaiah, vol.iL p. 9. 

2 Lowth's Isaiah, vol. ii. p. 29. 

Ch. VII.] Jewish and B.abbinical IfritingSi ^-c. 321 

firmed. Classical literatui'e is here sliovvn to be the handmaid of sacred literature, 
in a style and manner which cannot fail to instruct and gratify the reader. Inde-^ 
pendently of the main object of Dr. Gray's volumes, the illustration of the scrip- 
tures, — his general criticisms on the classic writers are such as must commend them 
to the student. " The remarks" (it is truly said by an eminent critic of the present 
day,) " are every where just, always impressed with a candid and sincere conviction of 
the blessing for which our gratitude to God is so eminently due, for His revealed word, 
whose various excellencies rise in value upon every view, which the scholar or divine can 
take of what have been the best efforts of the human mind in the best days which pre- 
ceded the publication of the Gospel. There is no one portion of these volumes that is 
not highly valuable on this account. The praise is given which is due to the happiest 
fruits of human genius, but a strict eye is evermore preserved for the balance of prepon- 
deration, where the Word of Truth, enhanced by divine authority, bears the scale down, 
and furnishes the great thing wanting to the sage and the teacher of the heathen world. 
Their noblest sentiments, and their obliquities and deviations into error, are alike 
brought to this test, and referred to this sure standard. The concurrent lines of pre- 
cept or instruction, on this comparative survey, are such as establish a sufficient ground 
of evidence, that all moral goodness, and all sound wisdom, are derived from one source 
and origin, and find their sanction in the will of Him, of whose perfections they are the 
transcripts, and of whose glory they are the manifest transcripts." British Critic (New 
Series) vol. xiii. p. 316. in which Journal the reader will find a copious and just analy- 
sis of Dr. Gray's volumes. 

Grotius and other commentators have incidentally applied 
the productions of the classical writers to the elucidation of the 
Bible : but no one has done so much in this department of 
sacred criticism, as Eisner, Raphelius, Kypke, and Bulkley, 
the titles of whose works are subjoined. 

1. Jacobi Eisner Observationes Sacrse in Novi Foederis Libros, 
quibus plura illorum Librorum ex auctoribus potissimum Grsecis, et 
Antiquitate, exponimtur et illustrantur. Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1720. 
1728. In two volumes 8vo. 

2. Georgii Raphelii, Ecclesiarum Liinenburgensium Superintenden- 
tis, Annotationes in Sacram Scripturam ; Historiese in Vetus, Philo- 
logicse in Novum Testamentum, ex Xenophonte, Polybio, Arriano, et 
Herodoto collectBe. Lugduni Batavorum, 1747. In two volumes Bvo. 

3. Georgii Davidis Kypke Observationes Sacrae in Novi Foederis 
Libros, ex auctoribus potissimum Grsecis et Antiquitatibus. Wratis- 
laviae, 1755. In two volumes Bvo. 

4. Notes on the Bible, by the late Rev. Charles Bulkley, published 
from the Author's Manuscript. London, 1802. In three volumes 8vo. 

This is a work of very considerable research : the plan upon which it is executed is 
calculated to throw much light on the Scriptures, by assisting the scholar in appre - 
hending the precise meaning of the words and phrases employed in them. For a full 
account, with copious specimens, of these volumes, see the Monthly Review (New 
Series) vol. xlvii. pp. 401 — 411. 


322 On the Various Readings [Part I. 



I. The Christian Faith not affected by Various Readings. — II. Nature 
of Various Readings. — Difference between them and mere errata. — 
III. Causes of Various Readings; — 1. The negligence or mistakes 
of transcribers ; — 2. Errors or imperfections in the manuscript 
copied; — 3. Critical conjecture ; — 4. Wilful corruptions of a manu- 
script from party motives. — IV. Soitrces whence a true reading is 
to be determined ; — 1. Manuscripts ; — 2. Antient Editions ; — 3. An- 
tient Versions ; — 4. Parallel Passages ; — 5. Quotations in the Writ- 
ings of the Fathers ; — 6. Critical Conjecture. — V. General Rules 
for judging of Various Readings. — VI. Notice of Writers v^ho have 
treated on Various Readings. 

I. 1 HE Old and New Testaments, in common with all other 
antient writings, being preserved and diffused by transcription, 
the admission of mistakes was unavoidable; which, increasing 
with the multitude of copies, necessarily produced a great va- 
riety of different readings. Hence the labours of learned men 
have been directed to the collation of manuscripts, with a view 
to ascertain the genuine reading : and the result of their re- 
searches has shown, that these variations are not such as to 
affect our faith or practice in any thing material : they are 
mostly of a minute, and sometimes of a trifling nature. *' The 
real text of the sacred writers does not now (since the originals 
have been so long lost) he in any single manuscript or edition, 
but is dispersed in them all. It is competently exact indeed, 
even in the worst manuscript now extant; nor is one article of 
faith or moral precept either perverted or lost in them '." It 
is therefore a very ungrounded fear that the number of various 
readings, particularly of the New Testament, may diminish 
the certainty of the Christian religion. The probability, 
Michaelis remarks, of restoring the genuine text o^any author, 
increases with the increase of the copies ; and the most inaccu- 
rate and mutilated editions of antient writers are precisely those, 
of whose works the fewest manuscripts remain -. Above all, in 

1 Dr. Bentley's Remarks on Free-thmking, rem. xxxii. (Bp Randolph's En- 
chiridion Theologicum, vol. v. p. 163.) The various readings that affect doctrines, and 
require caution, are extremely few, and easily distinguished by critical rules; and 
where they do affect a doctrine, other passages confirm and establish it. See examples 
of this observation in Michaelis, vol. i. p. 266, and Dr. Nares's Strictures on the 
Unitarian Version of the New Testament, pp. 219 — 221. 

2 Michaelis's Introduction to the New Testament, vol. i. pp. 263 — 268. " In 
profane authors," says Dr. Bentley, " (as they are called) whereof one manuscript 

Ch. VIII.] In the Old and Nav Testaments. 32-i 

the New Testament, the various readings show tliat there could 
have been no collusion ; but that the manuscripts were written 
independently of each other, by persons separated by distance 
of time, remoteness of place, and diversity of opinions. This 
extensive independency of manuscripts on each other, is the 
effectual check of wilful alteration ; which must have ever been 
immediately corrected by the agreement of copies from various 
and distant regions out of the reach of the interpolator. By 
far the greatest number of various readings relate to trifles, and 
make no alteration whatever in the sense, such as Aa^id for Aau<S ; 
%oKoii.wvTa. for I,qXo{x,u>vix. ; x«< for 8= ; xayu for xai syon (SiJ 
for a7ld I) ; sharrMv for sKaa-a-cov ; Kvgiog for Osog ; \aXoo(riv for 
\uXif^croo(Tiv ;^g for Mwycrijj; and yjvscr^cy for ysvsa-^aj ; all 
which in most cases may be used indifferently. 

In order to illustrate the preceding remarks, and to convey 
an idea of their full force to the reader, the various readings of 
the first ten verses of Saint John's Gospel are annexed, in 
Greek and English ; — and they are particularly chosen because 
they contain one of the most decisive proofs of the divinity of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Common Heading. 

Ver. 1 . 'O Xoyoi riv 
nPOS Tov e»av 

The Word was with 

• 2. Ourof n" fx «gAJ'' 
■VpOf rov Qiov 

The same was in the 
beginning with God. 

4. Ev awru ^a>) HN 
In him was life. 

4. Keci ii ^Mti ^1 ro (fu; 

And the life was the 
light of men. 

— the light or men. 

Various Reading. 

• EN rca'Qtai — in God 


■ESTIN— TS life. 


The liaht was the life. 


Clemens Alexandriniis. 

The MSS. 47 and 64 of 
Griesbach's notation ; Mat- 
thjei's 19. 

The Codex Bezae, Origen, 
Augustin, Hilary, and other 

The fragment of St. John's 
Gospel edited \>y Aldus, Cle- 
mens Alexandrinvis, and 

B. The Codex Vaticaniis. 

only had the luck to be preserved, — as Velleius Paterculiis among the Latins, and He- 
sychius among the Greeks — the faults of the scribes are found so numerous, and the de- 
fects so beyond all redress, that, notwithstanding the pains of the learnedest and acutest 
critics for two whole centuries, those books still are, and are likely to continue, a mere 
heap of errors. On the contrary, where the copies of any author are numerous, 
though the various readings always increase in proportion, there the text, by an accurate 
collation of them made by skilful and judicious hands, is ever the more correct, and 
comes nearer to the true words of the author." Remarks cm Free-thinking, in En- 
chirid. Theol. vol. v. p. 158. 

Y 2 


Ow the Various Headings 

Pan. 1. 

Common Reading. 

Various Reading. 

5. H' (rKorictATTO to 

The darkness compre- 
hended IT not. 

7. iKa rravns 7n;svireii(ri 
S/ avrov 

That all men might i ( 
believe through him. <y 

>AuroN — HIM not. 


9. Eo^ofiivat ;/f TON 

That Cometh into the 

10. Ek Til KOtTftil '.)» 

He was in the world. 

In HUNC mundum — 
into THIS world. 


mundo — in this I 
world. "K 



B. The Codex Vaticanus, 
the MSS. 13 and 114* of 
Griesbach, three other MSS. 
of less note, and Theodotus. 

The MS. 235 of Gries- 
bach, the Aldine Fragment of 
St. John's Gospel, Irenseus, 
and Hilary. 

The Vulgate and Italic (or 
old Ante-Hieronymian) Ver- 
sions, Tertullian, Cyprian, 
Hilary, Ambrose, Augustine, 
and other fathers. 

The MSS. of the old Latin 
Version, denominated the Co- 
dices Veronensis,Vercellensis, 
Brixiensis, and Corbeiensis, 
edited by Blanchini and Saba- 
once, Augustine repeatedly. 

On the whole, these various readhigs, — though not selected 
from any single manuscript, but from all that have been collated, 
together w^ith the antient versions and the quotations from the 
fathers, — no where contradict the sense of the evangelist ; nor 
do they produce any material alteration in the text. ^ 

The principal collators and collectors of various readings for 
the Old Testament, are Dr. Kennicott and M. De Rossi, of 
whose labours an , account has already been given '^. As the 
price of their publications necessarily places them out of the 
reach of very many biblical students, the reader, who is desir- 
ous of availing himself of the results of their laborious and 
learned researches, will find a compendious abstract of them in 
Mr, Hamilton's Codex Criticus '^. For the New Testament, the 
principal collations are those of Erasmus, the editors of the 
Complutensian and London Polyglotts, Bishop Fell, Dr. Mill, 
Kuster, Bengel, Wetstein, Dr. Griesbach, and Matthsei, de- 
scribed in the preceding pages of this volume * ; and for the 


> Christian Observer for 1807, vol. 

2 See pp. 127—129. supra. 

3 Codex Criticus of the Hebrew Bible, wherein Vander Hooght's text is corrected 
from the Hebrew manuscripts collated by Kennicott and De Rossi, and from the antient 
versions ; being an attempt to form a standard text of the Old Testament. To which is 
prefixed an Essay ,on the nature and necessity of such an undertaking. By the Rev. 
George Hamilton, A. M. London, 1821, 8vo. 

4 See pp. 135—141. mpra. A4ichaelis has given a list of authors who have collected 

various readings, with remarks on their labours. Introd. vol. ii. part i. pp. 419 429, 

See also Pfaff's Dissertatio de Genuinis Novi Testamcnvi Leetionibus, pp. 101 — 122. 

Ch. VIII.] In the Old and New Testaments. 325 

Septuagint, the collations of the late Rev. Dr. Holmes, and his 
continuatoi", the Rev. J. Parsons. ' 

II. However plain the meaning of the term ' Various Read- 
ing^ may be, considerable diiFerence has existed among learned 
men concei'ning its nature. Some have allowed the name only 
to such readings as may possibly have proceeded from the 
author; but this restriction is improper. Michaelis's distinc- 
tion between mere errata and various readings appears to be the 
true one. " Among two or more different readings, one only 
can be the true reading ; and the rest must be either wilful cor- 
ruptions or mistakes of the copyist." It is often difficult to dis- 
tinguish the genuine from the spurious; and whenever the 
smallest doubt can be entertamed, they ail receive the name ot 
VARIOUS readings; but, in cases where the transcriber has 
evidently written falsely, they receive the name ol errata. 

III. As all manuscripts were either dictated to copyists or 
transcribed by them, and as these persons were not superna- 
turally guarded against the possibility of error, different read- 
ings would naturally be produced: — 1 . By the negligence or mis- 
takes of the transcribers; to which we may add, 2. The exis- 
tence of errors or imperfections in the manuscripts copied ; 
3. Critical emendations of the text; and 4. Wilful corruptions 
made to serve the purposes of a party. Mistakes thus pro- 
duced in one copy would of course be propagated through all 
succeeding copies made from it, each of which might likewise 
have peculiar faults of its own ; so that various readings would 
thus be increased, in proportion to the number of transcripts 
that were made. 

!• Various readings have been occasioned by the negligence or 
mistakes oj" the transcribers. 

(1.) When a manuscript was dictated, whether to one or to several 
copyists, the party dictating might not speak with sufficient clearness ; 
he might read carelessly, and even utter words that were not in his 
manuscript ; he might pronoimce different words in the same manner. 
The copyist therefore, who should Follow such dictation, wo\dd ne- 
cessarily produce different readings. One or two examples will illus- 
trate this remark. 

In Eph. iv. 19. Saint Paul, speaking of the Gentiles, while without the Gospel, says, 
thiitbeing past feeling,the^ gave Ikemselvcs over to (asciviousircss. V or a-jr/iy^ynKiTH, past 
feeling (which the context shews to be the genuine reading), several manuscripts, ver- 
sions, and fathers read a-^'/iX-^iy.oris, being without hope. Ylir. Mill is of opinion, that this 
lection proceeded from some ignorant copyist who had in his mind Saint Paul's account 
of the Gentiles in Eph. ii. 12. where he says that they had no hope, iX'nla. y-vi 
i^ovn;. But for this opinion there is no foundation whatever. The antient copyists 
were not in general men of such subtile genius. It is therefore most probable that the 
word ctTTyiX-riKort? crept in, from a mis-pronunciation on the part of the person dictating. 

' See an account of their edition of the Septuagint, infra, m the Appendix to thi 
volume, No. IV. 

Y 3 

3^6 Oil the Various Beadings [Pan I. 

The same remark will account for the reading of yni^ioi, young children, instead of «««/, 
gentle, in 1 Thes. ii. 7., which occurs in many manuscripts, and also in several versions 
and fathers. But the scope and context of this passage prove that vn^ioi cannot be the 
original reading. It is the Thessalonians, whom the apostle considers as J/oung children, 
and himself and fellow labourers as the nurse. He could not therefore with any pro- 
priety say that he was among them as a little child, while he himself professed to be 
their nurse. 

(2.) Further, as many Hebrew and Gfeek letters are similar both 
in sound and in form, a negligent or illiterate copyist might, and the col- 
lation of manuscripts has shown that such transcribers did, occasion 
various readings by substituting one word or letter for another. Of 
these permutations or interchanging of words and letters, the Codex 
Cottonianus of the Book of Genesis affords the most striking examples. 

Thus, B and M are interchanged in Gen. xliii. 11. <ri^ifiiy6ov is written for -ri^tSinfoy. 
— r and K, as yuvtiyos for xwvjjyaj, x. 9.; and S contra (paXtx for (paXty, xi. 16. — r 
and N, as <rvyxoy)/ov<ny for ffuvxo^ovffn, xxxiv. SO. — T and X, as S^aj^jieara for Jjay- 
IA,ocTa,, xxxvii. 6. — A and A, as KEX^ttova/atij for Kih/Jt,aiawus, xv. 19. ; and ^ contra AHu/h 
for Ai\ufi, xxxvi. 2. — A and N, as Ne6f«i/» for NsSgwS, x. 9. — A and T, as Arar for 
AraJ, X. 10., &c. — Z and C, as XairaS for 'K(tZ,a.%, xxii. 22; and ^axag;^«<r<» for 
f4.ecKa^iffov<riv, xxx. 15. — and X, O^o^ax foi O;^;o^a^, xxvi. 26. — and T, a7i-of^a(ptiTi 
for wrec-^afn^i, xvi. 9. — K and X, as KaXa^ for XaXa;^;, x. 11.; and eu^ for ov», 
xiii. 9. — n and *, as txpi^ti^vrai for vrs^ti^tirat, xxxix. 9. Sometimes consonants are 
added to the end of words apparently for the sake of euphony ; as XaifaX for XuSa, 
xiv. 15. — yvvuiKav for yumixa, xi. 13. — Eu'/Xccr for EwXa,,x. 7. — M is generally 
retained in the different flexions of the verb XafiSavu, in the future Xn/^-if/o/iai, Xt)/^ 
■4'ovTou, xiv. 25, 24, &.C. and in the aorist, \n//.(fdnTo, xviii. 4. And also in the word 
auff.'pra^tii'Knf/.^Stis, xix. 17. This also is common in the Codex p^aticanus. Some- 
times a double consonant is expressed by a single one, and vice versa ; for instance, 
invtiKotfa for imvnxavra, v. 9., and 'SwaaQ for Itvaa^, x. 10.; ^piXia for ■>^i\Kuc, xxiv. 
47., &c. 

The Vowels are often interchanged, for instance, A and E, as riirfft^axovra for 
TiffffOfiaKovrcc, vii. 4., ayar*) for avss"?), xxi. 14. — A and H, as anaii,iv for >3vta;|fy, viii. 6., 
fca-^ai^ri for /^a^ai^a, xxvii. 40. — E and H, as i-^pifta for iipti/ia, XXV. 29., Tivvtrwao'd^ 
for £vi/5rv(a<r9->j, xxviii. 12. — H and I, as Kirtci for Kirioi, x. 4., tXixti for (Xixt,xlix. 11. — 
H and T, as -^nx^* for ■^vx'"'y *'■• ^7. — Vtr/^a, for Pivfita, xxii. 24. — O and T, as 
"hiu^vipx, for 2io^o(px, vi. 17. — O and Jl, as PotkiSo^ for Vou^a^, x. 11. 

The Vowels are often interchanged with the Dipthongs, for instance, AI and E, as 
a-jriXivffKrSoci fox aTiXiuffiffh, 'x\x.2.., avmyKni for aviviyxi, xxii. 2., vaiiioufot iftStov, 
XXXV. 27., xaTu^irai for xara^in, xlii. 38. — EI and A, as yn^n for yn^a, xv. 15.— 
EI and E, as uvixiv for sysxsv, xviii. 5. — EI and H, as ittiv for riiuv, xviii. 19. — EI and 
1, as ■^nxii for <jra(%i<;nxitt xviii, 8., yuvaix^ot, for yvtaixint., xviii. 11., ovhti for 
auhm^ xxxi. 41., x^%tot for xf/ov, xv. 9., &c. — OI and H, as XaSois for XaSns. xxxi. 50. 
— OT and H, as ^Xti^ns for -rXti^ous, xxvii. 27 ; and, lastly, OT and Xi, as xara^oa- 
[iivous for xara^M/^oivous , xii. 15. • 

The manuscripts of the New Testament abound with similar instances of permuta- 
tions. Thus we meet with AfuvitSafe, for Afnya^xli, in Matt. i. 4. ; Axiift. for Axt'f^, 
in Mntt.i. 14.; S^a t»v f/.tuS^nraiv for Su/i ruv /^aS-tiTo/v, in Matt. xi. 2.; MarSav for 
MarB^ar, in Ijuke iii. 24. ; fca.fa.tBrt for fueo^atiBn, in Luke xiv. 54 ; tovov for tuttov, 
in John xx. 25.; xkiqu for xu^m, in Rom. xii. 11.; AauiB for Aafii^, in Matt. i. 1., 
and ill many other passages. The reader will find numerous other examples in the 
elder Michaelis's Dissertation on various readings'^. Permutations of this kind are very 
frequent in antient manuscripts, and also in inscriptions on coins, medals, stones, pillars, 
and other monuments of antiquity. 

(3.) In like manner the transcribers might have mistaken the line on 
which the copy before them was written, for part of a letter ; or they 
might have mistaken the lower stroke of a letter for the line ; or they 

' Dr. Holmes's Edition of the Septuagiiit, Vol. I. Pra;f. cap. II. § I. 
^ D. Christiani Benedict! Michaelis Tractntio Critica de Vaiiis Lcctionibus Novi 
Testament!, pp. 8 — 10. Hala: Masdiburgicie, 1749, 4lo. 

Ch. VI II. J /« the Old mid New Testaments. 3^7 

■might have mistaken the true sense of the original, and thus have 
altered the reading ; at the same time they were unwilling to correct 
yuch mistakes as they detected, lest their pages should appear blotted 
or defaced, and thus they sacrificed the correctness of their copy to the 
beauty of its appearance. This is particularly observable in Hebrew 

(4.) A person having written one or more words from a wrong place, 
and not observing it, or not choosing to erase it, might return to the 
right line, and thus produce an improper insertion of a word or a 

Of this we have a striking instance in John vii. 26. — Do the rulers know indeed 
{aXTi^us)., that this is the very Christ {^uXn^ut o K^tros, truly the Christ) ? The 
second ttXti^us is Wanting in the Codices Vaticanus, Cantabrigiensis (or Codex Bezse), 
Cyprius, Stephani n, or Regius 62, Nanianus, and Ingolstadiensis, in numbers 1, IS, 
28, 40, 65, 69, 116, 118, and 124 of Griesbach's notation, and nine other manuscripts 
of less note, which are not speciKed by him ; it is also wanting in the manuscripts noted by 
Matthasi with the letters a, 1, s, and 10, in all the editions of the Arabic version, in 
Wheeloc's edition of the Persian version, in the Coptic, Armenian, Sclavonic, and Vul- 
gate versions; and in all the copies of the Old Italic version,except that of Brescia. Origen, 
Epiphanius, Cyril, Isidore of Pelusium, Chrysostom, and Nonnus, among the antient 
fathers ; and Grotius, Mill, Bengel, Bishop Pearce, and Griesbach, among the modern 
writers, are all unanimous in rejecting the word aXnS-as. The sentence in 1 Cor. x. 28. 
Taw y«g Kjjgtou n yn kou to «Xi^a>jJi,tx. avrtjs. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness 
thereof, is wanting in the Codices Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Cantabrigiensis, Basi- 
Jeensis, Boreeli,HarleianusNo. 5864, and Seidelii, and inNos. 10, 17, 28,46, 71*, 73, 
and 80, of Griesbach's notation : it is also wanting in the Syriac version, in Erpenius's 
edition of the Arabic version, in the Coptic, Sahidic, Ethiopia, Armenian,Vulgate, and Old 
Italic versions, and in the quotations of the fathers Johannes Damascenus, Ambrosiaster, 
Augustine, Isidore of Pelusium, and Bede. Griesbach has left it out of the text, as a 
clause that ought most undoubtedly to be erased. There is, in fact, scarcely any authority 
to support it ; and the clause is superfluous ; in all probability it was insened from the 
iwenty-sixth verse, which b word for word the same. 

(5.) When a transcriber had made an omission, and afterwards ob- 
served it, he then subjoined what he had omitted, and thus produced 
:i transposition. » 

Thus, Matt. V. 4. is sulyoined to 5. in the Codex Beza, in the Vulgate version, and 
in the quotation of Jerome. Luke xxiii. 17. 13 omitted in the Codices Alexandrinus, 
Vaticanus, Cyprius, and Stephani «, in the Coptic and Sahidic versions, and in the 
Codex Vercellensis of the Old Italic version : and it is subjoined to the nineteenth 
verse in the Codex Bezx. 

In like manner, Rom. i. 29. is very different in different copies. 

In the Textus Receptus or common editions, we read, ahxix, tro^vtia, ■ifovngicth 
^Xtoviltct, xaxia, — unrighteousness, fornication, tvickedness, covetousness, malici- 

In the Codex Alexandrinus and Ethiopic version, we read, aSixici, "rovwia, xuxicc 
■rXion^ia, — unrighteousness, iviekedness, maliciousness, covetousness. 

In the Codex Claromontanus, we read. ahiKicc, kocxiu, ^o^vua, (rXiovi^icc, — unrighle- 
ousness, maliciousness, covetousness. 

In the Vulgate version, we read, iniquitate, malitid,fornicatione, avaritid, nequitia, 
whence it is evident that the authors of that translation read, a^i»i», vovtigtu, woaniu, 
■^Xiovl^ia, Kaxici. And 

The order of the words in the Syriac Version shows that its authors read, ciSiKiet, 
tro^viia, •rovti^ia, xaxia, frXion^ia, — unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, malt' 
ciovsncss, covetousness. 

(6.) Another cause of various lections in Hebrew manuscripts, refer- 
able to this head, is the addition of letters to the last word in the lines 

^ Dr. Gerard's Institutes of Biblical Criticism, p. 238. 
Y 4 

328 On the Various Readings [Part I. 

in order to preserve their symmetry ; and in Greek manuscripts omis- 
sions are frequently occasioned by what is called o/xoioteXeutov, (homoeo- 
ieleuton) or when a word after a short interval occurs a second time in 
a passage. Here, the transcriber having written the word at the begin- 
ning of the passage, on looking again at the book from which he copies, 
his eye catches the same word at the end of the passage, and continuing 
to write what immediately follows, he of course omits intermediate 

This fact will account for the omission of the concluding sentence of Matt, v, 19., 
and the whole of verse .50, in the Codex Bezae. Again, in Matt, xxviii. 9., the words 
uvxyyitXa.1 tois fz,a^y,ritis aurau {lo tell his disciples^, are omitted from the same cause, 
ill the Codices Vaticanus and Bezw, in the MSS. by Griesbach numbered 10, 53, 49, 
59, 60, 69, 119, 142*, 225, 227, the Evangelisteria numbered ], 15, 15, 17,52, in the 
second of the Barberini AISS., and in those noted d. and q. by Matthsei j as well as in the 
Syriac, Arabic (as printed in the London Polyglott), Persic, Coptic, Armenian, Vulgate 
Latin, Saxon, and Old Italic Versions (except the manuscript of Brescia), and by the 
fathers Origeii, Chrysostom, Jerome and Augustine. And Mark jx. 26. is omzWed in 
the Codices Vaticanus 1209, Stephani «, Vaticanus 354, and the MSS. by Griesbach 
numbered 2, 27, 63, 64, 121, 157, in Matthasi's 17, in the Coptic Version, the 
Codex San-germanensis 2 of the Italic Version, iu the printed editions of Aldus andFro- 
benius, and by Theophylact. 

(7.) As all antient manuscripts were written in capital letters, and 
without any spaces between words, or even sentences, syllables are 
frequently omitted or repeated. So, careless or ignorant transcribers 
have very often mistaken the notes of abbreviation, which are of fre- 
quent occurrence in antient manuscripts. A few specimens of such 
abbreviations are given in pp. 52, 78, 105, and 106, of this Volume. 

From this source probably originated the reading, in 1 Pet. ii. 3. of Xj/s-«; (Christ) 
instead of Xgoros (gracious), which occurs in the MSS. by Griesbach numbered 40, 68, 
and others of less note, in Matthasi's g, in some printed editions, and also in the verse as 
cited by Clemens Alexandrinus, Gregory Nazianzen, and Procopius, and by Theophylact 
in his commentary on this text. The reading in the manuscript whence the transcriber 

made his copy, must have been Xf ; which, not being understood by him, he altered 
into X^ice;. 

(8.) Lastly, the ignorance or negligence of transcribers has been a 
most fruitful source of various readings, by their mistaking marginal 
notes or scholia for a part of the text. " It was not unusual in antient 
manuscripts to write in the margin an explanation of difficult passages, 
or a word synonymous to that in the text, but more usual and more 
easily understood, orwith the intent of supplying a seeming deficiency; 
any or all of which might, in the copies taken from the manuscript in 
which these notes were written, be easily obtruded on the text itself. 

Thus, to Matt. vi. 33. some copies, as well as the fathers Clemens Alexandrinus, 
Origen, and Eusebius, add the following clause, as having been utterel by Jesus Christ. 
Airii-ri ra, (/.lyaXa, xai tol (/.iK^ct vfj^iv rrQCiaTi^i'/iffi'rar Koct airiTri ru ivcvpavia, xai to. 
imyiia v^oB-ri^miTcu u^/v : — Seek ye great thing'^, and little things shall be added 
unto you ; and seek ye heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added unto you. 
But this addition is manifestly a gloss. 

So, in Mark vii. 55., nfter he spake plain, the following sentence is added in MS. 90 
of Griesbach's notation ; — Kai sXaku iu>.oyZv rov ©tav, — and he spaJce, praising God. 
That the man did this, we may readily conclude ; but this sentence was not added 
by the evangelist. It is evidently a gloss. 

Again, in Luke vii. 16, after the sentence Gof/ hath visited his people, the words 
t/f aya^o-j, for good, are added in the manuscripts by Griesbach noted M. 15, 50, 69, 
71, 106, 114, and ciglit otiiers, in Matth2?i's x, in the Syriac (as printed in the London 
Polyglott) , in ihe Armenian, and in ail the Arabic versions, and in the t;odicesVeronensis., 

Ch. VIll.] I?i the Old and Ne-w TestauetUs. 32.9 

Vercellencis, Corbeiensis, Colbertinus 4051, San-germanensisl, and Forojuliensis, of the 
Old Italic Version. But it is manifestly a gloss, and is rejected as such by Dr. Mill, and 

It is worthy of remark, that the difference caused by these or similar additions 
does in no respect whatever affect any point of faith or morality. Several eminent 
critics, for instance, are of opinion that the controverted clause in J John v. 7, 8, crept 
into the text in this manner; because it is not found in any antient manuscripts, nor in 
the writings of the fathers who disputed against the Arians. The evidence for the passage 
in question is fully considered in Vol. IV. pp. 499 — 529 infra. But, for the sake of ar- 
gument, let us suppose it to be an omission in the manuscripts where it is wanting, or avi 
addition to those where it occurs: it cannot in any way be prejudicial to the Christian 
faith ; because, whatever sense we may put upon that passage, the same truth being most 
clearly and indisputably taught in other places of the New Testament, there is no mors 
occasion for adding it, than there is inconvenience in omitting it. 

2- Errors or imperfections in the manuscript, from tvhicha transcriber 
copied, are a further source of various readings. 

Besides the mistakes arising from the strokes of certain letters being 
faded or erased, others of a contrary nature may arise from the trans- 
parency of the paper or vellum, whence the stroke of a letter on one side 
of the leaf may seem to be a part of a letter on the other side of the 
leaf, and in this manner O may be taken for e. 

According to Wetstein, this very accident happened to Mill, in examining the cele- 
brated passage (1 Tim. iii. l6.) in the Codex Alexandrinus. Mill had asserted, in regard 
to the OC in this manuscript, that some remains of a stroke were still visible in the middle 
of theomicron, and concluded therefore that the word was properly 0C. But Wetstein, 
who examined this manuscript more accurately, could discover no trace of any stroke in 
the omicron, but took notice of a circumstance which he .supposes led Mill into error. On 
the other side of the leaf, directly opposite toO is the letter 6, in the wordeT2SBSlA, 
the middle stroke of which is visible on the former side, and occupies the hollow of O. 
Wetstein having made the discovery, called several persons to witness, who confirmed 
the truth of it. But this hypothesis of Wetstein's has been questioned by Dr. Woide ', 
and has been most clearly diq)roved by Dr. Berriman 2, In order to discover the 
genuine reading of a manuscript where the letters are faded, Michaelis recommends the 
critic to have recourse to such as are related to it, either in time, place, or character, and 
if possible to those which were immediately copied from it while the letters were still 
legible. Velthusenand Griesbach are unanimous in regard to the propriety of this rule, 
but in their application of it to 1 Tim. iii. 16. they have drawn directly opposite conclu- 
sions. Those who endeavour to supply what time has destroyed, and venture to write 
anew the remnant or seeming remnant of a faded stroke, are guilty of an act that deserves 
the highest censure : the Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephrem, and Codex Claromon- 
tanus, have all suffered in this manner, but the authors of these amendments have de- 
prived their successors of the means of judging for themselves, and have defeated the end 
which they intended to answer. 

Again, the omission of a passage in an antient manuscript, which the writer added af- 
terwards in the margin, might lead a copyist into error, unless it was particularly marked 
in what part of the text the passage ought to be inserted. Many manuscripts are still 
extant, in which omissions are in this manner supplied, especially in those preserved at 
Moscow, which Matthsi has extracted and accurately described in his critical edition of 
the New Testament. 

3. A third source of various readmgs is critical conjecture, or 
an intended imjn-ovement of the original text. 

" In reading the works of an author of known literary repu- 
tation, wc ascribe grammatical or orthographical errors, if any 
are to be found, rather to a mistake of the printer than to a 

i Novum Testamentum Grsecurp, e Codice MS. Alexandrino ; Prsfat. § 87. 
p. xxxi. 

~ Critical Dissertation upon 1 Tim. iii. 16. pp. 1.53 — 160. 

330 On the Various Readings [Part f . 

want of knowledge in the writer. In the «ame manner the 
transcriber of a manuscript attributes the faults of his original 
to the error of a former copyist, and alters them, as he supposes 
they were written by the author. But if he carries his critical 
conjectures too far, he falls himself into the error which he in- 
tended to avoid." This may be done in various ways : 

(1.) Thus the transcriber may take an expression to be faulty, which 
in reality is not so ; or he may mistake the sense of the author, and 
suppose that he has discovered a grammatical error, when in fact he 
himself construes falsely : — or the grammatical error intended to be 
corrected actually proceeded from the author himself. ' 

(2.) Further, some critical copyists have not only corrected ungram- 
niatical or inaccurate expressions, but have even converted inelegant 
into elegant phrases : and they have likewise omitted words that ap- 
peared to them superfluous, or the difference of which they did not 

Thus, in Mark vii. 37. reot aXaXaut, the dumb, is omitted as superfluous in Grieshach's 
1V1S.28, (Colbertinus 4705, or Colberiinus 2. of Dr.Mill's notation.) So, in Mark x. 19» 
M« a.-rcfnonfftit, defraud not, b omitted in the Codices Vaticanus and Cyprius, and 
in eighteen other manuscripts, as well as in the Armenian version, and also in 
Theophylact. It seems included in /nn xXn^^ni, do not steal, and does not occur in the 
other Gospels. Once more, Xiyotrot, saying (Matt. i. 22.) is omitted, because the 
transcriber deemed it an unnecessary addition after the words, that which was sjwken qf 
the Lord by the propfiet. 

(3.) But of all the sources of various lections which are referable to 
this head, the most ample, according to Michaelis, and the most pro- 
ductive of spurious passages in the New Testament, is the practice of 
altering parallel passages so as to render more perfect their conformity 
to each other. The Gospels in particular have suffered in this way ; 
and Saint Paul's Epistles have very frequently been interpolated in 
order to make his quotations from the Old Testament harmonise with 
the Septuagint version, where they differed from the exact words of 
the latter. Two or three instances of alterations from parallel passages 
will confirm this remark. 

Thus, in Matt. xii. 8. For the son of man is lord even of the Sabbath-day, xai even 
is omitted in eighty-seven manuscripts, and in several printed editions, as well as in the 
Syriac, Arabic, the Persic in Bp. Walton's Polyglott, the Coptic, Armenian, Sclavonic, 

1 With regard to these corrections of grammatical errors, Michaelis has laid down the 
four following rules, viz. 

" 1. In those passages where we find only an apparent grammatical error, the seemingly 
erroneous reading may be generally considered as the genuine, and the other readings as 
corrections, and therefore spurious. 

" 2. Real grammatical errors, in the works of a correct and classical writer, are justly 
ascribed to a mistake of the copyist, and the same sentiments may be entertained of 
an author of less eminence, when among several copies one or two only have the false 

" 3. But when expressions that deviate from the strictness of grammar are found in 
the writings of an author who had not the advantage of a learned education, and was to- 
tally regardless of the accuracy of his style, not in single but repeated instances, and re- 
tained in a very great number of manuscripts, they must be attributed, not to the tran- 
scriber, but the author. 

" 4. When one grammatical error in particular is frequently found in one and the same 
writing, as the improper use of the nominative in the book of Revelation, no doubt can 
be made that it proceeded from the author himself." Michaelis, vol, i. p, 306. 

Ch. VIII.] In the Old and New Testaments. 331 

and Italic versions, and also in the passage as quoted by Tertuliian, Cyprian, Origenj 
Chrysostom, Euthymius, and Theophylact. It has been added from the parallel passage in 
Markii. 28. or in Luke vi. 5.; and is justly rejected by Griesbach as an interpolation. 
In Matt. xii. 3.5. vne Ka^iias, of the heart, is wanting in one hundred and seven manu« 
scripts as well as in several printed editions, and in the Arabic, Persic, Sclavonic, Anglo- 
Saxon, Old Italic, and Vulgate versions ; it is also wanting in the passage as cited by 
Origen, the author of the Dialogue against the Marcionites, Gregory Nazianzen, Gre- 
gory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Cyprian, Lucifer, Hilary, and Ambrosi- 
aster. It has been inserted from the parallel place in Luke vi. 45. 

The clause in Matt, xxvii. 35. ha frXupuBn to pn^tD (that it might be fulfilled which 
was spoken), &c. to the end of that verse is omitted in one hundred and sixty-one ma- 
nuscripts, in the Syriac MSS. and also in some Syriac editions, in the Arabic version 
both MSS. and also as printed in Bp. Walton's Polyglott, in the Persic version of the 
Polyglott, in all the manuscripts and in most printed editions of the Coptic, Sahidic 
Ethiopic, and Sclavonic versions, in most MSS. and editions of the Vulgate Latin ver- 
sion, in several MSS. of the Old Italic version ; and likewise in the verse as cited by 
Chrysostom, Titus of Bostra, Euthymius, Theophylact, Origen, the Old Latin trans- 
lator of Irenaus, Augustine, and Juvencus. This clause has been interjiolated from 
John xix. 24. Griesbach justly omits it as decidedly spurious. 

Numerous similar interpolations have been made in the Acts of the Apostles, by these 
supposed amendments ; and where the same story is related more than once, tran- 
scribers, and more frequently translators, have supplied from the one what seemed to 
be deficient in the other. Not to multiply examples unnecessarily in illustration of this 
last remark, it will be sufficient to compare the narrative of Saint Paul's conversion as 
related by Saint Luke (Acts ix.), with that Apostle's own account of it in Acts xxii. and 
xxvi. ; and also the two narratives of the conversion of Cornelius, described in Acts x. 
and xi. 

(4.) Lastly, some critics have altered the text of the New Testa- 
ment in conformity to the Vulgate version ; but various readings, which 
are evidently derived from this source, are utterly undeserving of at- 

4 . Wilful corruptions^ in order to serve the purposes of a party ^ 
xiohether orthodox or heterodox, are another source of various 

Among the antient heretics, no one has been more severely 
charged with falsifying the sacred text, in order to support his 
tenets, nor has any one more justly deserved the censure, which 
lias been bestowed upon such imwarrantable conduct, than 
Marcion. Yet Michaelis has shown that all his deviations from 
the text in common use are not wilful corruptions, but that many 
of them are really various readings ; and he has exculpated the 
Arians from the same charge. 

It is however well known that Marcion caused the two first chapters 
of Saint Luke's Gospel to disappear from his copy, as also Luke iv. 
37, 38, 39. In Luke viii. 19. he also expunged the words rj ^ww 
xa» ot a.^s.y^Qk auToi/, his mother and brethren. In Mark xv. 28. instead 
of p.ETa dvofAm sAoytaSn, he was numbered with the transgressors, the Eiity- 
chians read nx^uiv, dead, in order to support their hypothesis, that Christ's 
body was an aerial form and not human. 

On the other hand, it is a fact that some corruptions have 
been designedly made by those who are termed orthodox, and 
have subsequently been preferred when so made, in order to 
favour some received opinion, or to preclude an objection 
against it. As tliis is a source of various readings (we believe) 

332 On the Various Readings [Part 1. 

but little known, and less considered, we shall adduce two or 
three examples from PfafF's dissertation on various readings, 
who has considered the subject at length. 

1. Mark xiii. 32. Ov^sbvtoc. These words are omitted in some ma- 
nuscripts, and rejected by some of the fathers, because they thought it 
favoured the Arians. Ambrose, who flourished in the fourth century, 
states that many manuscripts in his time omitted them. 

2. Luke i. 35. After yEvvwjuEvov , the words ik a-ov have been added in 
several manuscripts in the Syriac, Persic, Arabic, Ethiopic, and other 
translations, as well as in numerous quotations of the fathers, in oppo- 
sition to the Eutychians, who denied the two natures of Jesus Christ. 

3. Luke xxii. 43. The whole verse is omitted in the Alexandrian 
and some other manuscripts, because some orthodox Christians ima- 
gined that the mention of an angel's strengthening our Saviour during 
his agony in the garden detracted fi-om his Deity. 

4. 1 Cor. XV. 5. Saint Paid asserts that Christ appeared after his 
resurrection to the twelve, roi; liuh.zi, though at that time two of the 
number were wanting, Thomas being absent, and Judas Iscariot being 
dead. Some manuscripts therefore read iv^bku, eleven, lest the sacred 
historian should be charged with falsehood, though every attentive 
reader of the New Testament knows that the Apostle, in writing this, 
used the figure called synecdoche, in which a part is put for the whole. 

5. Matt. i. 18. n^iv v) avnx^itv a.vTour, (before they came together), and 
25, awmq rov it^utotohov {her first-horn), are in some copies designedly 
omitted, lest any should doubt the perpetual virginity of Mary the 
mother of Christ. 

III. The causes of various readings being thus ascertained, 
the next step is to consider the sources whence the true reading 
is to be determined. The legitimate sources of emendation are, 
1. Manuscripts; 2. The most antient and best editions; 
3. Antient versions, (and, for the Old Testament in particular, 
the Samaritan text of the Pentateuch, together with the Masora, 
and the Talmud); 4. Parallel passages; 5. Quotations 
from the fathers; and 6. Conjectural criticisms. But these 
various sources are all to be used with great judgment 
and caution, as being fallible criteria; nor is the common 
reading ever to be rejected but upon the most rational grounds. 

1. Marmscripts. — Having already given some observations 
on the age of manuscripts, together with an account of some of 
the most antient ', it will only be necessary that we should in this 
place offer a few hints concerning their relative value, and the 
application of them to the determination of various readings. 

(1.) In general, then, we may affirm that the present copies of the 
Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, under the guardianship of 
the Jewish, Samaritan, and Christian churches, agreeing in every 
thing essential, are of the same authenticity and authority with the 

' See ail account of the principal Hebrew and Greek MSS. in pp. 56 — :! 17 of the 
present volume. 

Ch. VIII.] In the Old and New Testaments. 333 

original autographs ; notwithstanding the errors that have crept into 
them, from whatever cause. 

(2.) The number of manuscripts, however, is not so much to be 
considered as their quality, antiquity, and agreement with the most 
antient interpreters ; for the true reading may be preserved in a single 

(3.) Those manuscripts are to be accounted the best, which are 
most consonant with those used by the antient interpreters ; and, with 
regard to the Old Testament, in particular, M. De Rossi states that 
those manuscripts are in every case preferable which have not been 
tampered with by the Masoretes, and which have the Chaldee para- 
phrase interjected, in alternate verses. 

(4.) Although, other things being equal, the more antient and ac- 
curately written manuscripts are to be preferred, yet a recent and in- 
correct copy may often have the better reading, because it mav have 
been transcribed from an excellent and antient copy. 

(5.) An accurate manuscript is preferable to one that is negligently 
written. Various readings, therefore, particularly in the Hebrew Scrip- 
tures, which are found in manuscripts transcribed by a learned person, 
or for a learned person, from some celebrated or corrected copy, are 
to be preferred to those written for private use ; and the readings found 
in antient and unpointed manuscripts, written for the use of the syna-