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marks," the parables of the Psalmist are tion-or that they attended to the sense very different from those made use of of prophecies without tying themselves by our Saviour. Those of the one were down to the expressions used by the nothing but short sententious narrations prophet. Now, supposing many of of past facts; the other were obscure these citations to be accommodated, speeches involved in similitudes."* In how naturally does it account for the citing, therefore, the words of the changes of words, and reconcile this Psalmist in so very different a sense, difficulty apparently insurmountable ! the evangelist in effect declared that he For no one will deny, that, if quoted in only accommodated those words to his this manner, and with this intention, present design, although he introduced the passages may be altered, and, as it them as if he had cited a real prophecy, were, new-modelled, to suit the ideas of and were relating its accomplishment. the person applying them. Nothing
From what has been said, we trust it considerable is built on these quotawill appear perfectly natural, consider- tions, no inference of importance is ing their knowledge of the Scriptures, drawn from them-had they been all and their veneration for them, that the omitted, Christianity would stand on as writers of the New Testament should firm a foundation as with them. use this mude of introducing quotations The greatest objection which has pertinent to the subject upon which they been stated against this doctrine, arises were treating. This presumption, how from the manner in which these quotaever, amounts almost to a positive cer- tions are introduced by the evangelists. tainty when we find, that, far from be. They are generally prefaced by some ing singularin this it was a common prac. formulæ like theses as it is writtentice of the writers of the apostles' days, that it might be fulfilled-it hath been and particularly of the next century, said," &c. which, by many eminent criHe must be a stranger to the Hebrew tics, have been supposed to imply that writers (says Bishop Kidder) that does the sacred writers understood such pasnot know that nothing is more common sages in the prophets to have been deamong them, than such accommoda- signations or predictions of events in tions of the text upon all occasions. the Messiah's time, and as such quoted They abound in such applications. them in their writings. But, as time Grotius urges the same idea in his com- will not permit me to examine alt of ment upon St. Matthew.. Ubi factum these formule, I will briefly consider aliquod veteri simile occurrit, dicunt the one which appears most strongly to Hebræi impletus est, hic vel ille Scrip- oppose our hypothesis. turæ locus. But no writer has more We find, then, before several of these satisfactorily substantiated the fact than quotations the phrase ivo nangwin, " that Surenhusius, in his Bichos nalan ayncit might be fulfilled," as rendered in our who has, with infinite labour, made translation. numerous extracts from the Talmud And, first--Nothing can be inferred and Rabbinical writings, and almost set from the use of the word ivo" that." For it beyond a doubt.
this particle does not always signify the Again-Upon a comparison of the end or design, but often merely the accited texts with the original Hebrew, or cidental event. Thus, "for judgment with the Septuagint version, we are am Icome into the world, (iv) that they astonished to find that they do not agree which see not might see, and they which verbatim, in many instances, with ei- see might be made blind."* Just in the ther. What must we infer from this? same manner does the same evangelist Either that the evangelists apply the apply a passage of Isaiah : But though words of the Old Testament without he had done many miracles before them, regarding the original view and inten- yet they believed not on him : (ivce) that
the saying of Isaiah the prophet might * Dr. Sykes on the Truth of the Christian be fulfilled, Lord, who hath believed Religion, cl. xiii. + As the writer had not access to the book of
our report?* Not that Jesus came into Surenhusius, all that is said of him is taken from Horne's Introd, rol. ji, note.
* John ix. 39.
† John xii. 38.
April, 1823.) On the Integrity of the Text of the Greek Testatment. 111 the world to blind, or with a design to (where the verb used is tangow) and then blind the people; not that God design- cites the following verse from Homer ed that the Jews should not regard the miracles of our Saviour; but, in the ac
Του και απο γλωσσης, μελλος γλυκιων χεεν
duen. cidental event of things, it so happened that the miracles of our Lord were the
Words sweet as honey from his lips
distilled. occasions of their obstinacy, and the words of Isaiah as exactly suited their Which verse, however applicable to case as if they had been a prophecy this great philosopher, is not to be conapon that very generation. And, from sidered as an oracle delivered by the John xix. 24, says the acute critic poet, with a view to the particular use Campbell, if rigorously interpreted, we of it by this biographer. must infer that the Roman soldiers, pa
To sum up, therefore : the phrase ivos gans, who knew nothing of holy ivrit, *angwon, and the others nearly synoniacted, in dividing our Lord's garments,
mous with it, mean nothing more, in and casting lots for his vesture, not from many instances, “ than that the text is any love of spoil, but purely with a
accommodated to their purpose; or the view that the Scripture might be ful-event darkly intimated is now plainly filled, for it said they resolved on the declared ; or a fact as truly answers the measure iva 'n vzadu mangwon (that the citation, as if the place had been a proScripture might be fulfilled.)
phecy of it.” And, in conclusion, I Secondly, The word Trangwon does would remark, that the difficulties atnot favour our opponents any more than tending the prophecies which at first the preceding. For it dões not, as sight are so appalling, and which, like might be inferred from the word "ful- blots, sully the fair page of revelation, fil” in our language, always imply that will, upon an impartial investigation, “ the event to which it refers was the pass away like a summer's cloud, or introduction of the prophecy with which the morning dew.
W. S. it is compared." For in many cases, and indeed in most, it signifies no more
For the Christian Journal. than merely" to be true,” or, as Campbell renders it, “ to verify."
And this Remarks on the Integrity of the Text we have on the authority of the Seven
of the Greek Testament. ty, who, in 1 Kings i. 14, have used The criticism of the sacred writings, the word to denote the confirmation of or, as it is technically termed, Biblical the testimony of one by the testimony Criticism, in its proper and confined of another.
sense, is the sum and substance of that It is not asserted but that the word knowledge which enables us to ascermay means to fulfil,"even in its strictest tain the genuineness of a disputed text. sense, but that it is not the rendering It differs essentially from criticism, as generally in use, and which best suits that term is usually received. The latthe context in the places in which it is 'ter may be defined that branch of used in the sacred volume. Surenhusius, science which has for its object a genethe writer above quoted, has given se- ral accuracy of composition, whether veral instances in which the accommo- sentiment, expression, or language be dated passages of the Targums and Rab- concerned. The former is more limited binical writings are introduced by this in its operations. It interferes not with very phrase; and Sharpe, in lris second the grammatical construction of lanargument in defence of Christianity, has guage--with the purity or orthodoxy of two remarkable passages to the same
sentiment with the logical propriety effect from profane writers. In Ælian, of expression. Its object is to inquire the stoic philosophrer Diogenes is re- what were the precise words which ported to leave said, that he “ fulfilled” proceeded from the pens of the inspired in himself all the curses of tragedy; writers-to ascertain whether the reand Olympiodorus, in his life of Plato, puted authors of the gospels and epishas this remarkable expression, " that tles really endited the words and phrait might be true concerning him," ses ascribed to them, or whether their
works have been mutilated and core antiquity, which has passed through a rupted by omission and interpolation. variety of copies, both ancient and mo
The importance and necessity of the dern, both written and printed—copies inquiry must be obvious to every person which differ from each other in very who is persuaded that Christianity is numerous instances—we should have founded in reason, and with whom in. some reason to believe that the copy or ward sensation supersedes not outward edition which we undertake to interargument. On the decision of the ques- pret approaches as nearly to the original tion depends our faith in the oracles of as it can be brought by human indusGod; for if it could be proved, that at try, or human judgment;* and, acany period since the formation of the cordingly, we find that talents of the canon, -the sacred writings have been first order have been put in requisition corrupted to such a degree, that the to investigate the remains of Roman genuine text is now irrecoverably lost; and Grecian literature. It bas been if it could be shown that not one of the thought desirable to obtain an accurate various authorities we possess will coun- text for the plays of Terence, and the tenance certain doctrines, which for ages odes of Horace: and the prosecution have enlivened the faith, and animated of this purpose has been deemed an obthe hopes of the true disciples of Jesus ject for the talents of a Bentley. In -the evidence for the Christian religion later days a Wolfe and a Heyne bave inwould be not a little weakened. Let stituted critical inquiries into the poems us suppose a man of liberal education, of Homer. And if these, which are of sound understanding, and of serious merely works of taste-works which, dispositions, who has remained unset: compared with the inspired volume, are tled in his religious opinions for want of no estimation-if these have been of proper instruction, but who would deemed worthy of so much labour, the readily consent to the truth of Christi- student surely will not suffer the Bible anity, provided certain propositions to lie before him without making himnecessary to establish that truth were self acquainted with the authority on clearly explained to him. Such a man which it rests for its integrity. would require of us, in the first place, In addition to the importance of the that we should produce our arguments study of criticism, as containing the elefor the divine inspiration of the writ- ments of that analysis by which we graings containing the principles of Christ dually discover the truth of our religion, tianity: he would then require satisfac- its advantages are obvious in another tory evidence that the several parts of respect. “It produces a habit of accuthese writings were really composed by rate investigation, which will be highly the authors to whom they are ascribed. beneficial to us in our future theological But this would not be all: admitting inquiries. Its influence also is such, that certain books, with the titles of that it pervades every other part of those we possess, were written by the theology; and as our notions in this apostles and evangelists, still he would part are clear or obscure, our concludemand proof, by which the very words sions in other parts will be distinct or of these books might be identified with confused. In short, it is a branch which the words written or dictated by them. affords nutriment and life to all the Should we fail to produce this evidence, other branches, which must become which must be altogether of an histori- more or less vigorous, in proportion cal nature, the inquirer might reason- as this branch either flourishes or de ably doubt whether our faith was built cays.”+ on a safe foundation, and might, with Deeply impressed, then, with a sense reason, assert, that the Scriptures on of the necessity of an accurate knowwhich we rest it, are as likely to be mo- ledge of the Greek text, we intend to dern inventions as the productions of offer a few remarks, to show that variinspired men eighteen hundred years ous readings have been unavoidable in ago. The principle is the same when the numerous manuscripts of the Newapplied to profane authors. “When Testament; to point out some of the we attempt to expound a work of high
* Marsh, lect, ii. † Ibid. leet. ij.
causes by which they have been pro- sufficient information to enable us to duced; and to examine the validity of determine accurately by whom the saan objection raised by the infidel, that cred writings were collected into a their existence entirely destroys the au- volume, nor does it inform us whether thority of the sacred writings.
the autographs were used in the collaThe autographs of the New Testa- tion. That the originals had perished, maent have been lost. We know of is highly probable; for although some none who deny this position, except a have appealed to the authority of Terfew Romanists, who pretend that the tullian,* in the second century, to show original of St. Mark's gospel is in the that they were then in existence, we library at Venice: bat, independently cannot suppose that the several churches of other considerations, the fact which to which they were addressed, could the most eminent critics have establisho have contributed to so important an uned, that it is a copy of a Latin version, dertaking as the framing of a canon, is sufficient to silence every cavil. It without having the slightest mention of was next to impossible that the origin- the circumstance in the page of history. als should have been preserved, espect. The compilers, then, used copies, which, ally during the afflicting persecutions however, could have had but few er to which the primitive Christians were rors. But, as the church increased, the exposed. The lapse of time has de- copies must necessarily have increased stroyed almosi every vestige of manu- also, and with them the errors of scribes. scripts written prior to the sixth cen- They were transcribed at different tury. A continued miracle would have times, in different places, and by differbeen necessary to preserve them entire, ent persons, and frequently the tranand, had they been preserved, it would scribers were grossly ignorant, and have been to no purpose with the un- wrote merely for hire. But supposing believer; for he would immediately all the scribes to have been the most have inquired by what standard we are approved members of the churchesto judge of the handwriting of an apos- supposing all to have made a correct tle. There was no necessity for their impression a matter of faith, still
, unpreservation. Must we doubt whether less they had been inspired, mistakes the Æneid is the production of Virgil, would have been unavoidable. “Whobecause the original has been lost? ever doubts tlie truth of this, may make And if this be the case with respect to the trial by transcribing a few pages of profane, why should any doubt remain the Greek Testament, and comparing in regard to the sacred writings? When his copy with the original. Or he may the epistles were circulated throughout examine a printed sheet as it comes the countries to which they were ad- from the press, in which he will often dressed, copies were taken, which an- find mistakes after the second and third swered all the purposes of the original. correction. In an edition of the Bible, If the churches were careful that the the press is sometimes corrected five copies should be made by faithful times before the work is printed off: scribes, (and every consideration is in yet, in the very editions which are callfavour of the supposition,) they needed not the autographs, which it was im- Many eminent writers are of opinion, that possible for all to possess. At the pre- Tertullian, by “ authenticæ literė," has no re
ference to the autographs, but that he means sent day, numerous editions of works
well attested Scriptures. See the subject disare published in countries far distant cussed by Dr. Lardner, Works, vol. i.p.425, Lond. from each other, but no person is anxi. 1815. In less than a century after Tertullian, ous to see the original manuscript: copies. "Origen, at the beginning of the
third « The edition supplies the place of the century, complained of these diversities, which author's copy, which a printer thinks he ascribed to several causes, as the negligence, is useless to preserve when the publica- Jerome tells us, that when he made his version tion is finished.”
of the New Testament, he collated the manu. After the death of all, or of the scripts that were then extant, and found 2 greatest part of the apostles, was framed great difference among them.” Beausobre and
L'Enfant's Introduction, in Bishop Watson's the' canon. History does not afford Tracts, vol. iii. p. 283. Vol. VII.
ed mirabiles, as if absolutely perfect, The best method, undoubtedly, to we discover typographical errors.” Mi- discover the different causes of variachaclis' Introd. vol. I. chap. vi. sect. 3. tion, is to compare negligent copies with
It is said by some, we are aware, the original manuscript of an author, that as divine Providence has merci- and to devote a large portion of time to fully granted a revelation to man, he the correction of both written and will not allow the admission of errors printed copies. But as opportunity is into that revelation. The belief of not afforded to every student to make every sincere Christian is, that the
trial, and as the labours of the most Scriptures have not been materially distinguished critics in Europe have corrupted—that their doctrines are ex- contributed much to simplify, the subplicit, and that, where faith or practice ject, we cannot do better than apply is concerned, no various readings exist ourselves diligently to the study of their which can shake his confidence in them. writings. Michaelis, after a laborious Every believer who has examined the investigation, determines, that the most subject will say, with Bishop Marsh, important causes of various readings that " for the common purposes of reli- may be reduced to five heads :-1. The gious instruction, the text in daily use omission, addition, or exchange of letis amply sufficient. But this belief ters, syllables, or words, froin the mere is not inconsistent with the supposition, carelessness of transcribers. 2. Misthat various readings have been pro- takes of the transcribers in regard to duced. The keeping of the sacred vo- the true text of the original. 3. Errors lume was committed to secondary in- or imperfections in the ancient manustruments, and, notwithstanding the scripts from which they copied. 4. Cricare and diligence which have been ex- 'tical conjecture or intended improveercised in the preservation, tiie fact is ments of the original text. 5. Wiltul undeniable, that various readings do ex- corruptions to serve the purposes of a ist. To say that Providence would in- party, whether orthodox, or heterodox.* terpose in the prevention of errors, is to The question now arises, whether the argue in the same manner as if one various readings amount to so large a should assert that infidels have never number, that the integrity of the text is opposed Christianity, because their at- thereby weakened or destroyed. The tacks have a tendency to thwart the de- question is not new, but one which has signs of Providence.
been agitated between infidels and beIt is, by no means, an easy task to lievers, and even between believers enumerate all of the causes which have themselves, for nearly two centuries, : contributed to multiply various read- When Bryan Walton, in the middle of ings. In this country, the difficulty is the seventeenth century, published his increased, from our not possessing the great Polyglot Bible, with extracts from manuscripts which it is necessary to anuscripts, versions, and fathers, compare with each other. We know
never before printed, a work which little of the ancient method of writing confers immortal honour, as well on We are ignorant whether in particular the English nation at large, as on the copies the scribes wrote from dictation, learned men who were engaged in it,'' or transcribed from manuscripts before he met with immediate opposition fron them, or whether they ever had the pre- the puritanical writers, who fancied (for sumption to write from memory. We the temper of the times was ill adapted can form no deductions a-priori: we to calm investigation) an attempt was must depend altogether upon experience. made to weaken the authority of the Every compositor in a printer's office text.f Even the great divine, Dr. John would be able to afford us more information on such a subject than could be * Bishop Marsh has enlarged upon these in derived from years of study.*
his Fifth Divinity Lecture:
†“Several persons think it would have been For this reason Erasmus stands so high in much better to let those various readings rethe list of editors of the Bible. Being a correc- main in libraries, than communicate them to tor in a printer's office himself, he was able to the public: but the making of this diversity detect mistakes where the mere student would known to the world has been of great service to hare been entirely at a loss.
the Christian cause. 1. As the diversity could