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been, to the learned reader, more significant than chief-captain, deputy, band.
The word 'nyeuwv also, though sometimes a general term, denoting governor or president ; yet, as applied to Pilate, is known to import no more than procurator. Properly there was but one president in Syria, of which Judea was a part. He who had the superintendency of this part was styled imperatoris procurator. For this we have the authority
. of Tacitus the Roman annalist, and of Philo the Alexandrian Jew. And though the author of the Vulgate has commonly used the term præses for ‘nyeuw ; yet, in translating Luke 50, he has rendered ηγεμονευοντος Ποντια Πιλατο της Ιεδαιας, procurante Pontio Pilato Judæam. To those who know a little of the language, or even of the history, of ancient Rome, the Latin names, in many cases, are much more definite in their signification, than the words by which they are commonly rendered, and, being already familiar in our language, are not, even to the vulgar, more obscure than names originally English, relating to things wherewith they are little acquainted. For a similar reason, I have also retained the name prætorium, which, though a Latin word, has been adopted by the sacred writers, and to which neither common-hall nor judgment-hall entirely answers. That the Evangelists, who wrote in Greek, a more copious language, found themselves compelled to borrow from the Latin, the name of
50 Luke, iii. .1.
what belonged to the office of a Roman magistrate, is to their translators a sufficient authority for adopting the same method.
18. I SHALL conclude this Dissertation with observing, that there are two judicatories mentioned in the New Testament, one Jewish, the other Grecian, the distinguishing names of which may not, without energy, be preserved in a translation. Though the noun ovvedprov is Greek, and susceptible of the general interpretation council or senate ; yet, as it is commonly in the Gospels and Acts appropriated to that celebrated court of senators or elders accustom. ed to assemble at Jerusalem, and from the Greek name, called sanhedrim, which was at once their national senate and supreme judicatory ; and, as it appears not, in those books, to have been ever applied to any other particular assembly, though sometimes to such in general as were vested with the highest authority ; I have thought it reasonable to retain the word sanhedrim, in every case where there could be no doubt that this is the court spoken of. The name has been long naturalized in the language ; and, as it is more confined in its application than any common term, it is so much the more definite and energetic. The other is the famous Athenian court called the Areopagus, and mentioned in the Acts 51 which, as it was in several respects peculiar in its constitution, ought to be distinguished in a version,
51 Acts, xvii, 19.
as it is in the original, by its proper name. der it Mars-hill from etymology, without regard to use, would entirely mislead the unlearned, who could never imagine that the historian spoke of bringing the Apostle before a court, but would sup-. pose that he only informed us that they brought him up to an eminence in the city, from which he discoursed to the people. This is in part effected by the common version ; for, though in verse 19, it is said, They brought Paul to Areopagus, it is added in verse 22, Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars. hill, and said. This leads one to think that these were two names for the same hill. The Areopagus with the article is the proper version in both places.
DISSERTATION THE NINTH.
INQUIRY WHETHER CERTAIN NAMES WHICH HAVE BEEN ADOPTED INTO
MOST TRANSLATIONS OF SCRIPTURE IN THE WEST, COINCIDE IN MEAN. ING WITH THE ORIGINAL TERMS FROM WHICH THEY ARE DERIVED, AND OF WHICH THEY ARE USED AS THE VERSION.
It was observed in a former Dissertation, as one cause of difficulty in the examination of the Scriptures, that before we begin to study them critically, we have been accustomed to read them in a translation, whence we have acquired a habit of considering several ancient and Oriental terms as equivalent to certain words, in modern use, in our own language, by which they have been commonly rendered. What makes the difficulty the greater is, that when we become acquainted with other versions beside that into our mother-tongue, these, instead of correcting, serve but to confirm the prejudice. For, in these translations, we find the same original words rendered by words which we know to correspond exactly in those tongues, to the terms employed in the English translation. In order to set this observation in the strongest light, it will be necessary to trace the origin of some terms which have become technical among ecclesiastical writers, pointing out the changes in meaning which they have undergone. When alterations are produced gradually, they escape the notice of the generality of people, and sometimes even of the more discerning. For, a term once universally understood to be equivalent to an original term, whose place it occupies in the translation, will naturally be supposed still equivalent, by those who do not attend to the variations in the meanings of words, which a tract of time often insensibly produces. Sometimes etymology contributes to favour the deception.
1 Diss. II. Part III. $ 6.
How few are there, even among the readers of the original, who entertain a suspicion that the words mystery, blasphemy, schism, heresy, do not convey to moderns precisely those ideas which the Greek words (being the same except in termination) uvoτηριον, βλασφημια, σχισμα, αιρεσις, in the New Tes. tament, conveyed to Christians in the times of the Apostles? Yet, that there is not such a correspondence in meaning between them, as is commonly supposed, I intend, in the present Dissertation, to put beyond a doubt. That there is a real difference, in regard to some of those words, is, I think, generally allowed by men of letters; but as all are not agreed in regard to the precise difference between the one and the other, I shall here examine, briefly, the import of the original terms, in the order above mentioned, that we may be qualified to judge how