« ForrigeFortsæt »
BIBLICAL ERRORS IN JOHNSON'S DICTIONARY.
BY DR. BENISCH.
SIR,-Allow me to call the attention of the lexicographers of the English language to two mistakes in Johnson's Dictionary referring to Scripture.
The Doctor explains 'pygarg' as a bird.' I am not willing to dispute the correctness of this explanation as far as it goes; I am also aware that the Greek etymology admits of such a rendering, and, moreover, that Pliny (x. 3), enumerating the eagles, says, 'secundi generis pygargus in oppidis mansitat et in campis albicante cauda.' But if the English pygarg means a certain species of bird, excluding all kinds of quadrupeds, how are we to understand the rendering of the Anglican version in Deut. xiv. 5, where among the beasts allowed to be eaten by the Jews, is also mentioned the i, translated pygarg.' The tenor of the text not only excludes the possibility of meaning any species of bird whatever, but evidently points to some species of antelope. And, indeed, as such is the pygarg described by Aristotle 'Hist. Animal.,' 9-32, and by Pliny (x. 3). This was also no doubt the meaning attached to it by the Septuagint, which the Anglican version in this instance follows. I think therefore that the future editors of Dr. Johnson's Dictionary, in order to avoid confusion, should explain 'pygarg' as a species of eagle, and also a kind of antelope.
The same author under the head to sit,' assigns to this term as its 13th meaning, 'to exercise authority,' and quotes from Judges: Asses are ye that sit in judgment.' Now, to the best of my knowledge, there is no such passage in Scripture. That in Judges referred to, runs thus: Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment and walk by the way.' It is easy to perceive how the ludicrous mistake arose, and is even pardonable in the hurry of copying authorities; but having been pointed out, the mistake ought to be corrected in future editions of the work.
THE SEPTUAGINT TRANSLATION OF JEHOVAH.'-The Rev. W. Niblock, of Donegal, writes to us in correction of the assertion of Gesenius, that the sacred name is uniformly rendered by ó kúptos, in which observation his translation seems to concur, and others have probably made the same statement on the high authority of the great Hebrew lexicographer. But on comparing the Greek translation with the Hebrew original some few years ago, Mr. Niblock ascertained that the Seventy were by no means so uniform in their rendering of in? as Gesenius affirms. The extent of their departure from such uniformity may be easily ascertained by every scholar; but, as an instance, the word is in one chapter three times rendered by ỏ Oɛós, Prov. iii. 5, 7, 19.
a To this misquotation my attention was called by my friend the late Michael Josephs, one of the most eminent Hebrew scholars that this country possessed.
VOL. IV.NO. VII.
NOTICES OF BOOKS.
The Pictorial Bible; being the Old and New Testaments according to the Authorized Version: illustrated with Steel Engravings after celebrated Pictures, and many hundred Wood-cuts, representing the Landscape Scenes, from original drawings, or authentic engravings; and the subjects of Natural History, Costume, and Antiquities from the best sources. To which are added, Original Notes, chiefly explanatory in connection with the Engravings, or of such passages connected with the History, Geography, Natural History, Literature, and Antiquities of the Sacred Scriptures, as require observation. By JOHN KITTO, D.D., F.S.A. A new Edition, of which the Notes are much augmented and completely revised. London: Charles Knight. 1848. 4 vols. 8vo.
WE have copied this long title in full, as it is in some respects a sufficient answer to the inquiries made of us respecting this new edition of the Pictorial Bible. It is in further answer to such inquiries that the present notice of the work is given, notwithstanding the obvious difficulty which arises from the relation in which the Editor of the Journal of Sacred Literature stands to that work. That relation precludes us from offering any opinion of the claims and merits of the Pictorial Bible; but does not forbid us from stating the views under which the new edition has been produced, or from pointing out the features which distinguish this edition from the original work.
A new edition of a large work stereotyped in the first instance, and of which therefore any number might be struck off to meet the current demand, would not have been prudent or justifiable, on account of the great expense, had not some marked improvements been contemplated.
During the years which have passed since the Pictorial Bible first appeared, an unexampled degree of activity has been manifested both in this country and abroad, in exploring all the sources of knowledge contributory to the illustration of the geography, history, zoology, botany, ethnography, antiquities, and criticism of the sacred volume; and in the development and elucidation of the customs and manners, and the public and social institutions, of the Hebrew people and of the other nations whom its inspired pages bring before us. All this had been watched most observantly by the editor, who had constantly, in the course of the intervening years, noted down whatever had fallen under his eye, or had been suggested by his own reflections, as tending in any degree, by the correction of his former views, or, by the addition of new and interesting matter,-to keep the work up to the requirements of the present time, and to bring it, as nearly as the constant progression of our knowledge allows, into that condition which might be held to establish its permanent character and value.
Although a work of this kind deals chiefly with what the Germans would call Thing-Knowledge, rather than with what they distinguish as Word-Knowledge-it is but right to state that the Pictorial Bible is not wanting in such critical remarks as may tend to develop the meaning of the sacred writers, or to elucidate what are usually regarded as the hard texts of Scripture.' It is also often found necessary to examine the words of the original texts at the outset of many of the notes, as the groundwork of the conclusions on material subjects which these notes embody. In both these particulars increased attention has been given in the new edition; and, taken altogether, a large body of criticism and exegesis has thus been almost insensibly formed, which would, it was hoped, render the work an acceptable help to students and ministers, without in any degree comprising those more popular elements which have secured for the Pictorial Bible a large measure of the public favour.
There is no department of Biblical literature in which more advance has of late years been made, or on which more publications have appeared, than in that most interesting one devoted to the examination of the literary history and distinguishing circumstances of the several books which compose the sacred volume. In the present edition of the Pictorial Bible increased attention has been therefore given to this department, and every book has been furnished with a new and more copious introduction, affording, so far as the plan of the work allows, the results of the best information with reference to it, which the most careful research has been able to supply.
The close of each of these Introductions exhibits the new feature, the importance of which will be differently estimated by different persons, of an ample list-a complete list is perhaps scarcely possible of the separate Commentaries which have been published in that Book of Scripture in this country and abroad. They are given in chronological order, and have been prepared with much care and labour. We are not aware of any lists like these. Winer's and others, published on the Continent, take but little notice of works published out of Germany; and those set forth in this country take but little heed of those issued on the Continent; but in these lists equal attention has been given to both; and although it is admitted that they may not be of material service to the general reader, even he may allow them the small space they occupy, in consideration of the service they cannot fail to render to students and ministers. Even the thoughtful general reader may find some matter for suggestive meditation in these lists. They will enable him to see what are the books which have been chiefly attractive for separate exposition; he will perceive how much more attention has, until of late years, been given to the separate consideration of particular sacred books, abroad than in this country; and he may trace the periods in which this department of Biblical literature was most cultivated.
In the years which elapsed between the completion of the original work and the commencement of the new edition, the time and attention of the Editor had been almost entirely occupied in labours connected
nected with Biblical literature. He had thus been most advantageously posted for the accumulation of materials for this new edition; while his enlarged acquaintance with the labours and researches by which foreign scholars have of late years enriched the branches of theological knowledge embraced within the plan of this work, will probably be found to have materially contributed to its improvement.
The final results appear in a considerable body of fresh matter, exhibited in some thousands of new notes, and in additions to, and improvements of, a large number of the notes contained in the original work. Space for this has been provided, by an actual increase of the letter-press; by the omission of one class of wood-cuts; by the careful excision from the original work of such matters as might, it was judged, be spared not only without loss, but with advantage; and by the pruning and condensation of many notes which remain without essential alteration. The effect of all this may be seen in the fact that in the Pentateuch alone, besides introductions occupying several pages, between four and five hundred new notes have been introduced, without the sacrifice of any valuable matter contained in the original work, and with the addition of a large number of really illustrative engravings, which did not appear in that publication.
The general result may thus be stated:-That the matter of the original work has undergone a most careful and elaborate revision: that nothing of interest or value in the original work is wanting in the new edition and that large additions have been made, equal altogether, probably, to above one-third of the whole work, of the same kinds of useful information which have secured for the Pictorial Bible the high consideration with which it has been favoured.
The general aspect of the work is considerably different from that of the old edition-the page is larger, the paper better, and the notes are printed not across the page, but in double columns. But the greatest visible difference is in the engravings. In the original work there were large wood-cut engravings, after historical pictures, printed on the same page with the text. Many of these were admirable as works of art; but being often inaccurate as exponents of history, and imperfect in representations of manners and costume, they appeared objectionable in an edition of the Bible which aimed at the accurate illustration of such particulars. They have therefore been altogether omitted, and their place has been supplied in part by a few excellent maps, and by some engravings on steel from modern paintings to which the same objections were not applicable. But chiefly has advantage been taken of this omission to introduce a vastly increased number of really illustrative wood-cuts, whereby the value and extent of that portion of its information which is better conveyed by pictures than by written language, is most materially enhanced, and this portion of the work must be regarded as having been improved in full proportion with the written notes. It may be added that as the wood engravings have been throughout selected by the Editor and prepared under his direction, there prevails through this work a harmony between the letter
press and the engravings which is not always found in works pictorially illustrated.
There appears to be a more frequent reference to authorities in this than in an original edition. Some discretion was needful here, as the minuteness of reference necessary in works designed for scholars, must have been out of place in a book intended for general use, and few of the possessors of which would be willing or able to follow the references. Under these circumstances the course has been chosen of mainly confining the references to the works in which those desirous of pursuing the inquiries might find further information, and of stating the sources from which direct quotations are derived. It must be confessed that experience may have suggested some reserve in respect of quotations. It could not escape the notice of the editor that many books had been composed mainly out of his materials, without any acknowledgment of the source from which they were derived; although where he gave authorities the writers re-produced them without any reference to the intermediate work in which they were first exhibited, as digested and applied to the purposes of Biblical illustration. The only way to baffle this unfairness, would be by greater chariness of reference; and it must therefore have been through some effort of selfdenial, out of regard to the interest of his readers, that in the present edition the references have been materially extended rather than diminished. It may be that, without being insensible to the unfairness with which his labours have been thus appropriated in every possible form by every class of compilers, the Editor has not been unmindful that, in the midst of all, the great object of his life and labours, USEFULNESS, has been attained even by the way in which his humble exertions in promoting the knowledge of God's word have, by their dispersion through a thousand channels, become part of the common knowledge and education of the time.
Loyola; and Jesuitism in its Rudiments. By Isaac Taylor. London: Longmans. 8vo. pp. 382.
Here at last we have an answer to questions which have often been put to us by Correspondents- What is Isaac Taylor about? What prevents him from going on with the translation of Josephus, on which we have already spent a pound, and the completion of which has been so long since and so often promised?' Lo, here is the answer. Mr. Taylor has been busy with Loyola and the Jesuits; and as this is designed to be but the first of a series of works on cognate subjects, we apprehend that those who are waiting for Josephus must make up their minds still to wait. We must confess that we are not disappointed. Much as we value those qualities as a translator which Mr. Taylor evinced in his translation of Herodotus, we much prefer to see him engaged on original productions. Considering how short the term of literary life to any one man is, it angers us that an able writer should, from constraint or perverted choice, waste his precious time and resources upon any other kind of work than that which he can do best