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reading: “ And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.” Other Cambridge copies exhibit this reading.
“ The neuter pronoun it had originally no variation of case. The possessive its, which is of so much importance to accuracy and precision in our language, does not once occur in the whole of our common version. Instead of it, the possessive of the third person masculine or feminine was used, or the adverb thereof. This occasions frequently some degree of obscurity, as it is difficult to perceive whether his or hers refer to persons or to things. Lev. i, 6. And cut it into his pieces.' This occurs often, ver. 39. (and his inwards, and his legs,' &c. ver. 15. And the priest shall bring it unto the altar and wring off his head,' &c. "And the blood thereof,' &c. Ps. i, 3. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.'”.
In the last example the concluding part of the verse appears, to the reader of the coinmon version, to refer to the pious man, instead of being the completing of the beautiful simile by which his felicitous circumstances are illustrated.
“ He shall be like a tree planted near streams of water,
And it brings all its produce to maturity.” Street's Version. Numerous examples are given of the deformities of the common version occasioned by the improper use of the relative and distributive pronouns, and the moods and tenscs of verbs. Fewer instances of false concord, Mr. Boothroyd remarks, occur in the version of the Old Testament, than in that of the New; and this he thinks is owing to the simple structure of the Hebrew language.
In addition to the instances which Mr. Boothroyd has supplied in this section, of the errors and blemishes of the public version, and of the emendations which he thinks worthy to be adopted, we might suggest the propriety of changing in many passages the position of the negative particle not, which would increase their perspicuity and force. Matt. ix, 13. “ I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” “I am come to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” 1 Thess. i, 5. “ For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but in power.” « For our gospel came unto you, not in word only, but in power.” Heb. xii, 18. For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touch ed,” &c.” “ For ye are come, not unto the mount," &c.
The supplementary italics in the common version, are frequently unnecessary, and sometimes convey an erroneous interpretation of the passages in which they occur. 2 Cor. iii, 1. “ Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2. Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly
declared to be the epistle of Christ," &c. Here we have no fewers than six words, “others," "letters," " forusmuch as ye are," which are totally unnecessary. Let the verses be read with. out them, and every reader will perceive the improvement. Words which are evidently implied in the original, ought not to be discriminated by a different character in the translation. In some copies of the English Bible this rule is observed in some passages, but violated in others, while the same passage in differ, ent editions exhibits a different usage in the employment of the supplementary italics. We give an example: “But in those 84crifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year"“ But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance," &c. Heb. x, 3.
In the fifth section, the great improvement which the authorized version admits in “accuracy of interpretation," is assigned as a reason for the author's projected undertaking. This is the most important consideration; and if it can be proved that the common version does not, in innumerable instances, faithfully and clearly represent the sense of the original, it must be allowed that it ought to be revised and corrected. The public version, Mr. B. remarks, abounds with a literal rendering of Hebrew and Greek idioms and phrases, which either convey no definite sense to the English reader, or to which a wrong sense may be easily attri. buted. “ To lift up the hand;" “ To lay the hand on;" “ To lift un the head of a person;" « To give the neck of enemies;” « To harden the neck;" “ To war fat;" “ Him that is shut up and left;" “ To get a name;" “ To make a name;" &c. are adduced as examples, and explanations of them are furnished as specimens of the renderings in the proposed version.
The sixth section treats of figurative icrms. With literal renderings of these the common version abounds. The fidelity and beauty of a translation essentially depend on the care of the iranslator in discriminating between such figurative terms of the origipal as may with propriety be retaincd in the version, and such as require to be literally rendered: the figurative use of words being very different in different languages. The remarks which Mr. B. has introduced into this section are creditable to his judy. ment and taste; and it is evidently his concern to be found ireading in the steps of the most judicious critics. We extract the following remarks:
“ The language of Psalm XXXVI, 9. conveys no distinct idea to iny mind: • In thy light we shall see light.' If understood withint a figlirc, it is a mere truism. If understood metaphorically, do the terms in English ex. press properly the metaphor, or convey the sense! I ain satisfied no person of judgment or candour will maintain either position. If we understand by light, the word of God, we must desert the idioin in the latter clause: • By thy light (or word) we shall be enlightened. Or if we understand light to mean God's favour, and by light in the close, joy, prosperity; this is the version: Through thy light (or favour) we shall enjoy prosperity.', There is evidently a play on the word light, and the term is used in differ
ent senses. I conceive the text will admit either rendering, and I hesitate which to prefer."
The translators of the common version having either not understood or not attended to the « peculiar manner" in which the tenses and conjugations of the Hebrew verbs are used, have rendered many passages in an ambiguous and obscure manner, which affords Mr. Boothroyd another reason for attempting improve. ments in the English Bible. How excellent soever the common version may be, it is unquestionable that it did not proceed from men eminently skilled in Hebrew. The influence of the Greek and Latin versions is to be traced throughout the whole of it. Nor can this appear at all surprising, if we reflect that king Janies's translators were only the revisers of a version which, in the first instance, had been made by Tyndal, who, it is highly probable, principally used the vulgate. Many improvements in the English Bible may doubtless be made by accomplished Hebrew scholars.
“In many instances the English preterite is used when the context and design of the author clearly prove that the present is the proper tense Our translators in many places have so rendered, and with the strictest propriety. The learned reader need only compare the version of the first Psalm with the Hebrew for a proof of this. Misled by prior translators, they have in many places, improperly rendered it otherwise. Gen. iv, 14. • Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth,' &c. We have not many instances of so many inaccuracies contained in one single commentary. The words seem put together without any regard to sense or propriety. The verb should be in the present tense; · Behold thou drivest me out this day,' &c. If driven from the face of the earth, in what other world was he to reside? The original properly signifies, from the face of this ground: i. e. the place where Cain had hitherte dwelt. And it shall (will) come to pass that every one that findeth me shall slay me.' Strange indeed! If every one, who might meet with bim, was to slay him, how many lives had he, and how often might he be slain? In the next commentary our translators have properly rendered (52) whosoever; and propriety demanded the same rendering here. And it will come to pass that whosoever findeth me will slay me. The impropriety of shall in this last clause is obvious, as it implies that the person who found him, was under some kind of necessity to slay him. In short, the expression of his fear is converted into a prediction."
In the common version, 2 Kings v. 18. Elisha, a true prophet of Jehovah, is represented as conniving at the idolatry of the Sy. rian general Naaman. By translating the passage in the preterite, according to the original, this inconsistency is removed: “ In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my Lord went into the house of Rimmon 10 Low down himself (or worship) there, and leaned on my hand, I bowed down myself there; that I bowed down myself-the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing." This text has lately been the subject of debate between the bishop of St. David's, and Mr. Bellamy, whose version of the pas
sage is substantially the same as that which we have inserted, and which is transcribed by us from Whitby's Commentary, vol. i. p. 380. Ed. 1709, on Luke xii, 8. . A good version of the scriptures ought to convey as much as possible the spirit and manner of the original. In the common version these have been frequently sacrificed by the diversity of renderings which the translators have employed in translating the same Hebrew or Greek words and phrases-as pn, which they rendered by law, statute, decree, ordinance. Many passages of scripture, says Mr. B. would be placed in a striking light by · uniformity of rendering. Isaiah xxxvii, 3, 4, should be thus ren. dered: “ This day is a day of trouble and of reproof, and of blas. phemy. It may be that the Lord thy God will reprove the words,” &c. “Rabshakeh has uttered words of reproof against Judah: it may be that God will reprove the words of the Assyrian.” Rom. i. 19. “ Because that which is known of God is manifest (Pavegor) among them: for God hath manifested it (Eparsewri, not shewed it) unto them.” The manner and spirit of the originals cannot be exhibited in a version, unless the poetical parts of scripture be divided into lines corresponding with the metre. For the same reason, quotations from the Old Testament, and parallel passages, should be uniformly rendered. Matt. xxvi, 41, and Mark xiv, 38, exactly correspond in the original, but differ in our translation: “ Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” “ Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation: the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.” Instances of this kind are very frequent. In Matt. xvi, 26, we have What is a man profited;" in Luke ix. 25, “ What is a man advantaged;"'-- the words of the original being the same in both places. O áexitpixanos, John ii, 8, 9 is, in the former verse, “ governor of the feast;" in the latter, “ ruler of the feast.” The common reader of the public version never can suppose that “ Areopagus" and “ Mars'-Hill,” Acts xvii, 19, 22, are the same place. rauss is rendered in some places by wedding, and in others, by marriage, neither of which terms conveys the proper meaning of the word in almost every passage in which it occurs in the New Testament: convivium nuptiale, “ marriage feast," is clearly tire proper rendering.
The concluding section is on the regard due to the common version, in which Mr. Boothroyd records his approbation of the rules which archbishop Newcome bas proposed, and his intention of governing himself by them. “ The language, sense, and punctuation of our present version," he remarks, “ should be retained, unless when a sufficient reason can be assigned for departing from them.” Uniformity in the orthography of proper names is included in the improvements which the author contemplates in his projected version. In the New Testament, king
James's translators have followed the Greek, and instead of Elijah, have written Elias; Eliseas for Elisha; Esaias for Isaiah; Charran for Haran; Osee for Hosea, &c.
" The public have a right to know what are the theological opinions of the author of this attempt. He feels no hesitation in avowing them.Though he has learnt to call no man master, but freely to follow that sense of the sacred scriptures which he conceives the original most naturally suggests, yet he owns, that in his general views he most entirely agrees in the theological sentiments of that great and good man, Philip Doddridge.
“The corrected text for the Old Testament which the author intends to adopt, will be that stated in his edition of the Hebrew Scriptures: and for the New he will generally follow the most accurate edition of Griesbach." . These reflections, though but a small part of what might be written on the subject, are sufficient to prove the object for which they werc written. That an improved version of the scriptures is desirable, and would be highly advantageous, is an opinion in which many illustrious scholars of the present and of past times have cordially united. Into whose hands shall such a work be committed? Into the hands, certainly, of any competent person who may be able and willing to prosecute it. Fidelity and abilily are the only requisites. Mr. Boothroyd offers himself for this important enterprise; and as specimens of his qualifications, and of the manner in which he proposes to conduct the undertaking, he has accompanied the á Reflections” with a translation of nearly the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, and of part of the third chapter of the book of Job, with notes. From these specimens we give the following extracts:
13 “And the evening had been, and the morning had been, a third day; 14 And God said, Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens* to give light upon the earth, and to distinguish the day from the night;t and let them be for signs of stated times, and of weeks, and of years; and so it was. 16 For God made the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for the regulation of the day, and the less for the regulation of the night: he made also the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth, 18 And to regulate the night, and to distinguish the light from the darkness; and God saw that this also was good.
“14 I adopt the reading of the Samaritan, Sept. and 1 ms. on this comment, and omit the next, as I am satisfied that it has originated from the words omitted being afterwards inserted, and the beginning of this verse again repeated. That office which the light created on the first day had hitherto discharged, is henceforward to be discharged by the sun, moon, and stars. These are to be signs of stated times. So J. T. render giros, and so the word is most usually rendered. I render '2', weeks, a sense
Sam. Sep. 1 ms. . | And let them he for luminaries in the expanse of the heavens, to give ligbt sepon the earth