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To judge of the comparative merits or demerits of either version. we must leave to our readers. What would appear to us to constitute the chief source of error on the part of our early translators, is that, forgetful of the historical character of St. Luke's work, in the second part of which, the Acts (i. e. the History of the Apostles' (ch. i. 1) he himself calls the first part, the Gospel, Tov Apaτov 2оyov, the first book of histories,' the Greek term being in this sense used also by Herodotus, Xenophon, &c. They mistook the corresponding character of our preface, in taking a doctrinal view of it, and thus, for the sake of consistency, were compelled to force, in dubious language, a construction upon the text which it does not and will not bear.
As to the conclusions to be drawn from our prooemium in regard to the origin of the three first Gospels, it is not our present purpose to enter into this subject further than to point out its most apparent feature--the all-important fact that at any rate those histories of primitive Christianity which had been written previously to the Gospel of St. Luke, and among which number the Gospels of both St. Matthew and St. Mark may be proved to belong, were based, as well as his own, partly on the oral testimony of the entire body of the Apostles and other eye-witnesses, and partly on the personal knowledge and experience of the writers themselves. One or two more remarks: St. Paul, in his second epistle to the Corinthians (viii. 18) says, ‘ συνεπέμψαμεν δὲ μετ ̓ αὐτοῦ (Τίτον) τὸν ἀδελφόν, οὗ ὁ ἔπαινος ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ διὰ πασῶν τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν, which words are by our translators of the Bible rendered, And we have sent with him (Titus) the brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the churches.' The brother here alluded to is generally admitted to be St. Luke, whom we know at that time to have been in the company of St. Paul; and the evident sense of our quotation is, that the Gospel of Luke was the subject of universal praise among the Christian churches. Now the second epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, or at least that portion of it from which the above sentence is taken, can most satisfactorily be shown to have been composed in the year 59 A.D., shortly after Easter. The three first Gospels consequently must have been written previously to that period.
With regard to the Gospel of St. Luke, we believe this period may be fixed with much greater accuracy. That Theophilus was a Roman, and that the Gospel dedicated to him was designed for the especial use of Romans, we are entitled to infer from numerous passages occurring in it, and upon the most ample grounds. When St. Paul, after a prolonged stay at Corinth, left that city, according to our computation in the early part of the year 53 A.D., Aquila and Priscilla, his friends and disciples, accompanied him as far as
Ephesus, where they remained (Acts xviii. 19, comp. 26). About six years later we find them again settled at Rome, whence a public decree of the Emperor Claudius against the Jews had expelled them in 49 A.D. (Orosius, Hist. Eccl. vii. 6); for St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans (xvi. 3-5), says, 'Greet Aquila and Priscilla, my helpers in Christ Jesus, who have for my life laid down their own necks; unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house,' &c. Who, in reading these words of the Apostle, can doubt but that the Christian community at Rome, then already numerous, was planted by Aquila and Priscilla? At the earnest entreaty of St. Paul, it would appear, they had returned to Rome, to spread and confirm the truths of the Gospel of Christ among its adherents in that capital, until such time as he himself should be able to visit Rome, to the end that they might be established.' Hence he calls Aquila and Priscilla 'his helpers in Christ Jesus ;' hence he says, 'they have for his life laid down their own neck,' which is evidently to be taken in a proverbial sense, meaning that for his life,' the promotion of Christianity, they have made every sacrifice, and perhaps even incurred personal danger; hence he states them to be deserving not only of his individual gratitude, but of the thanks also of every Gentile church. Connecting then these two facts with the last sentence of St. Luke's preface, the natural conclusion we arrive at will be, that Theophilus, a Roman of distinction, and a former personal acquaintance of the Evangelist, on hearing from Aquila of the new doctrine' and the wonderful circumstances which had attended its introduction into the world, took a sufficient interest in that relation to make inquiries of St. Luke as to its real truth. Such, indeed, would appear to have been the immediate occasion which originated the third of our Gospels; and if this view be correct, we may with a considerable degree of certainty place its appearance in the years 55-57 A.D., a sufficient time with regard to the two extreme periods named above being allowed, on the one hand, for the stay of Aquila and Priscilla at Ephesus and their return to Rome, and, on the other hand, for the Gospel becoming known throughout all the churches.'
Lastly, it is deserving of notice that St. Luke, according to our revised translation, states his Gospel to be arranged in strict chronological order. Whether the same order is still preserved, or whether it has subsequently been disturbed, and under what influences and to what extent-these are questions the discussion of which is necessarily excluded from the scope of our present design.
OBSERVATIONS ON THE TENSES OF THE HEBREW VERB.
By the Rev. D. H. WEIR, M.A.
When we come to the consideration of the manner in which time is specified in Hebrew, we must begin by discarding the preconceived notions we have acquired as to the proper function of the tenses.'-Nordheimer.
I.-On the Formation of the Tenses.
'VERBS,' says Adam Smith, must necessarily have been co-eval with the very first attempts towards the formation of language. No affirmation can be expressed without the assistance of some verb. We never speak but in order to express an opinion that something either is or is not. But the word denoting the event, or the matter of fact which is the subject of our affirmation, must always be a verb.'
This observation I believe to be upon the whole well-founded. It is true, indeed, that some very simple propositions may be, and in Hebrew and other languages are, expressed without the assistance of the verb. But, in general, the verb is essential to the expression of thought, and must, therefore, constitute an original part of every language.
The attempt to trace back every Hebrew verb to a more primitive noun seems, therefore, to involve a violation of the constitution of language. There is, indeed, a very intimate connection between the cognate verbs and nouns in the Hebrew language; and upon this connection Dr. Lee has founded his very ingenious system. But to affirm that the noun has in every case preceded the verb in the order of time-however numerous the analogies by which that affirmation may seem to be supported-is an excess of refinement by which the natural and probable are sacrificed to the apparently simple and ingenious.
Neither, on the other hand, is the noun to be regarded as invariably a derivative of the cognate verb. In very many cases, I believe, it is; but there are in every language, not excepting Hebrew, nouns to which, if our classification be a natural one, we must assign the position of primitives. It appears to be as inconsistent with the principles of language to consider the noun in every case the derivative of the verb as to consider the verb in
every case the derivative of the noun. And much ingenuity has been thrown away in searching for verbs from which to deduce the formation of nouns really primitive.
To say that it is convenient, in laying down the rules of Hebrew grammar, to consider either the noun or the verb as comprehending all primitives, is no proper defence of an arrangement, which is obviously unnatural.
Assuming then the verb to be an original and essential part of the Hebrew language, we proceed to inquire into the formation and uses of its various parts. Our attention will be confined to the inflections of the kal conjugation, as the other conjugations (or rather distinct derivative verbs) probably came into use at a later period in the history of the language.
If any part of the verb must be fixed on as the root, from which all the others are derived, that part appears to be the imperative. This is the part which would naturally come first into use, especially in a primitive state of society; and in all languages, accordingly, its form is extremely simple. When I say, 'come,' 'go,' 'stand,' 'tell me,' &c., I use a form of expression necessary even from the earliest times; and we cannot, therefore, err greatly if we fix upon this part-supposing it necessary to fix upon any-as the primitive part or root, from which to deduce all the other inflexions of the verb.
Another principal part of the verb is the participle, the form of which is very short and simple. It usually consists of the same consonants as the imperative; but the difference in signification was probably marked from the beginning by a difference in sound. It is employed to denote a state of action or existence either really present or supposed to be present; and is thus essentially distinguished from the imperative, which necessarily involves the idea of futurity. This distinction in signification was accompanied and expressed by a distinction in sound; thus Dap arise, Dp arising; hip, bup, &c.
From these two parts, the imperative and participle, all the other inflexions of the verb are easily deducible.
From the imperative is derived at once the infinitive, which is usually of the same form, and expresses the same idea, but without any particular reference to person or time. 'He told me to
come is only a modified form of the more ancient expression, 'He said to me, Come.' Hence we find i imperative and infinitive. The absolute form of the infinitive seems to be of later origin.
Each of these forms, the imperative and infinitive, is varied according to the number, &c., of the objects spoken to or spoken of.
The imperative is used only when one or more persons present are addressed. It has, therefore, but one person—the second. Of this person, however, there are four variations, formed by affixing particles of gender and number. For the masculine singular the primitive form is retained. The feminine is distinguished from it by the addition of, probably part of . To denote the masculine and feminine plural respectively and are affixed: or which is sometimes found being the sign of the plural, and îș or n its feminine.
The use of the infinitive is more extensive and indefinite. It is employed to denote action, &c., on the part not merely of the person or persons addressed, but also of the person or persons speaking and those spoken of. It, therefore, admits and requires a greater variety of inflexions than the imperative. These are formed, chiefly, by prefixes: the object speaking or spoken to or spoken of being first brought before the mind, while the action or state of being affirmed of that object is regarded as future, and therefore placed last. Thus ip, to kill, is an expression than which no other can be more indefinite. But when I prefix , as hip, contr. Sip, he to kill, or he shall kill, the expression at once becomes definite-the act of killing being restricted to the person of whom I speak. Similar is the formation of hip and
,thou to kill ,אַתָּה קְטַל the former being a
contracted form ; אֶקְטל
or thou shalt kill; and the latter of up, I to kill, or I shall kill. Adding to the first two of these three forms the plural termination ↑ (for ¡), and changing the prefixed of the other into? (from →), we have the three corresponding plural forms abypt, abupa, Supa. These six forms probably constituted the original future. But, as the language became more copious, other changes of inflexion were made with the view of marking the distinction not only of number and person, but of gender. Such a change was obviously unnecessary in the first person. To the second and third persons, however, both of the singular and plural feminine forms were attached. Those of the second persons are analogous in structure to the corresponding parts of the imperative, and np. With these the third persons feminine are nearly identical, bp and pn. The formation of these last has never been very satisfactorily explained. May I hazard the conjecture that they originally belonged to the second person, the object spoken of (according to the present usage) being formerly the object spoken to?
We come now to what is usually called the past tense, but