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tion of the Text. For the Jews, tho they have generally put the Reading, As A LYON into the Text, (which Reading of the MasoRITES (9) Grotius thinks defensible) yet they have left the Reading, THEY PIERCED, in the Text of a few Copies and in the Margin of many other Copies; and they have continued 'the Reading THEY PIERCED in all Copies of the Septuagint, which yet Mr. W. (r) pretends they have throughout corrupted to serve their Purposes.
So that there is not the least Colour of Proof, that 'the Jews have corrupted any Passages of the Old Testament, which can be apply'd to Matters of Christianity; much less any Passages cited from thence by the Apostles; but on the contrary, it seems plain by the few Instances of Justin MARTYR to support his Charge of Corruption against the Jews, that the Christians had so careful an Eye upon the Old Testament in Respect to all Passages, which could be strain'd' so as to seem to allude to Christianity (for of such only do the Passages produced by JUSTIN (s) confift, notwithstanding he says, that they exprefly declare, that Jesus, who was crucify’d, was God and Man, and was to be crucify'd and dye ;) that it was impossible for the Jews to make any Alteration either in the Hebrece or Septuagint, without being found out and detected by the Christians. Christians (t) them
(9) Grotius in Locum. ' (r) Whiston's Esay. p.78. (5) Juftin apud Whiston. Ib. p. 140.
(t) Auguft. De Civit. Dei. 1. 15. C. 14.
felves were absolute Security against such Corruptions of the Jews. Some others indeed of the Fathers as well as Justin MARTYR, did charge the Jews with maliciously corrupta ing the Scripture to the Prejudice of Christianity; but ORIGEN, JEROM, Austin, and other Fathers, vindicated (u) them from that Charge; as have done divers learned (w) Moderns, who contend, that those Fathers, who charged the Jews with maliciously falfifying the Old Testament were mistaken in Matter, by laying too great a Stress on the Septuagint, which was a very faulty Copy and Translation, and by imagining, that the Jews produced corrupted Scripture, when in their Controversies with Christians they produced either the original Hebrew, or the ( x ) accurate and pure Version of AQUILA, in Opposition to the Septuagint.
The Jews were so little disposed to corrupt the Old Testament in Respect of the Passages cited from thence, or capable of being made Use of, in Behalf of Christianity; that AQUILA himself, tho' a Jew and a great Enemy to Christianity, cannot be justly charged with translating unfaithfully any one Passage conceived to have Relation to Christianity, as is
(u) Simon Hist. Crit. du V. Test. p. 6. Pezron Defence de l'Antiquité des Tems. p. 133. Capell. Critica Sacra. p. 2, &c.
(w) Grabe De Vitiis Sept. Interp. p. 34. Clerici Hist. Eccles. p. 525–527. Martianey Defence du Texte Hebreu. Simon Ib. p. 102-104. Capellus Ib. p. 2, 3. Rivet. N. Fuller. Glaslius. Dupin. Hottenger, &c.
(x) ORIGEN in Cantica. Ib. Epist. ad AFRICANUM. p. 224. Hieron. Epist. ad Marcellam. Tom. 2. Col. 707. Ib. Epistola ad Damasum.
proged by MONTFAUCON, (y) who Thews the weak arguing of all those Fathers, who charged AQUILA with such Unfaithfulness, in Respect to all the Passages, on which they grounded their Charge ; that (2) JeROM, who had ORIGEN's Hexapla before him, when he made his Latin Translation, generally preferr’d the Sense of AQUILA and SYMMACHUS, as being better Interpreters than the Seventy, tho’ both Jews, and Translators after the Rise of Christianity; and that (a) AQUILA, THEODOTION, and SYMMAchus, translate the famous Passage of HoSEAH, which St. MATTHEW applies to CHRIST's Coming out of Egypt, exactly as St. Matthew does, not imitating the Tranflation of the Septuagint, which gives no literal Ground for St. MATTHEW's Application of it in the Manner he does. And indeed, I cannot imagine why the Jews of any Understanding or common Sense, should have endeavour'd the Alteration of any such Passages of the Old Testament; it being a Matter of no Manner of Moment to them, but of great Mischief to them so to do. For the Old Testament, literally understood, not any where serving the Purposes of Christians ; and the Jews rejecting all the allegorical Reasonings and Interpretations of Christians; and likewise plainly seeing, that the whole Old Testament in any Copy, or however translated,
(y) Montfaucor, Prelim. ad Origeni: Hexapla. c. 5. (2) Ib. c. 6. & 8.
(a) Whilton's Ejay. p. 90.
or however changed by them, was às capable of being allegorically apply'd to prove Christianity, as their own Vulgar Hebrew, or the Copies of the Septuagint in the Hands of Christians; there was no Şense nor Reason in making the few Changes charged upon them by fome Fathers ; much less those vaft Changes now charged upon them by Mr. W; or indeed in making any Changes at all. And besides doing what served not their Purpose, the Jews would therein have been certainly detected and exposed to the just Censures of Christians ; who, as appears, watch'd them, and charged them with such Attempt, even without proper (6) Materials to make good the Charge. Mr.W. himself should allow the Jews to be under fome Restraints, how much foever they were disposed to corrupt the Bible; when he can suppose, that (c) in the Days of JOSEPHUS, the Yews durst not make any Alteration in the facred Books, and that (d) dire&t Corruption was in certain Cases by no Means practicable.
In fine, ORIGEN himself; one of the most zealous Christians that ever was; and who, by the Time wherein he lived, and by his great Learning and Ability, and by compiling his Hexapla, consisting of the Hebrew Text in Hebrew and Greek Characters, the Versions of AQUILA, SYMMACHUS, the Seventy, and THEODOTION, in six Columns; was the molt capable of all Men to know whether
(6) Simon Hist. Erit, du V. T. p. 6. Ellay. P. 220,
(d) Ib. p. 238.
the Jews had corrupted the Old Testament in Respect to the Citations made from thence in Behalf of Christianity; but yet he never charged the Jews, as far as appears, with any such Corruptions, either in the numerous Notes, which he made on his Hexapla, or in any of his other Works; which if he had found out, he would not have fail'd to have discover'd. And this negative Argument is the stronger, inasmuch as ORIGEN has treated of the Jewish Corruptions of the Bible in a (e) Letter to AFRICANUS; wherein he only charges the Jews with corrupting such Places of their holy Books as seem'd to derogate from the Honour of their Rulers in the Eyes of the World. Whereby he should seem to suppose them free from all Charge of Corruption in Respect to all Passages, wherein he, as a Christian, was too much concern’d to be filent, at a Time when he was treating of their Corruption of their holy Books in other Respects, and That of Corruptions supposed by him (f) to be made by the Jews, since the Days of the Apostles. Nay, we are inform’d, by two (8) learned Authors, that ORIGEN has fomewhere in his Works particularly vindicated the Jews in this Matter.
(e) Origenis Epist. ad Africanum. Apud Whiston's Elay. p. 133. It is printed at the End of WETSTEIN's Edition of ORIGEN's Dialogue against the Marcionites.
(f) Apud Whiston. "Ib. p. 139, 140. (8) Simon Hist. Crit. du V. Test. p. 6. See also Glalii Philologia Sacra. p. II.