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Sylloge Commentationum theologg. edita a Dav. Iul. Pott et Geo. Alex. Ruperti, Helmst. 1800—2. III. 8.
H. Muentinghe Sylloge Opusculorum ad doctrinam sacram pertinentium. L. B. 1791. 93. II. 8.
I. L. Moshemii diss. ad sanctiores disciplinas pertinentium Syntagma, L. 1733. 4.
1. G. Altmanni Meletemata Philologico-critica. Trai. ad Rh. 1753. III. 4.
1. A. Ernesti Opuscula theologica. Ed. secunda auctior, L. 1792. 8. (Prima 1773, accesserunt nunc 10, Commentt.)
I. A. Noesselt Opuscula ad interpretationem SS. SS.
C. G. Storr Opuscula academica ad interpret. LL.SS. pertinentia. Tub. 1796.
S. F. N. Mori Dissertationes theologicæ et philologicæ. Vol. I. L. 1787, II. 1794. 8.
Etiam Doederlini, Seileri, Ammonii, Greenii, Heil manni, Frommani, Niemeyeri, Gehii, Schulzii, I. D. Michaelis, Opuscula, Camereri (kritische Versuche) Henkii (Opuscula academica theolog. potissimum argumenti. L. 1802. 8.) huc pertinent.
PRECEPTS FOR PROPERLY EXPLAINING THE NEW TES
I. As it is the great object of the interpreter, that those for whom he interprets any work should clearly perceive the meaning of all its parts ; it is not sufficient that he himself should understand his author; he must exhibit his meaning to others in perspicuous and appropriate language.
It is necessary, therefore,
1. That he should use the greatest diligence in explaining the signification of words, and avoid that levity, or carelessness, by which many things are overlooked.
2. That he should employ all his acumen, in distinctly conceiving and clearly expressing the true sense.
3. The greatest care is requisite, in exhibiting the connexion of the discourse, and in explaining the nature of the arguments and of the subjects.
4. That peculiar art should be studied, by which the interpreter teaches his readers to discover the meaning thema selves.
5. He should choose those words which most exactly correspond to those of his author.
6. When many words are used in the same general sense, he should select the most definite and perspicuous.
7. He should not only exhibit the true sense, but also explain how that sense came to be attached to the words in that particular place, and exhibit the grounds or reasons of it.
II. The diversity in the objects of commentators, produces a corresponding diversity in the method of exposition, and gives rise to Scholia, Perpetual Annotations, Commentaries, Observations upon particular passages.
From the different objects of these several methods of exposition, can be easily understood what is required in each, and what attention is to be given to the explanation of words, and what to the subject matter.
The interpreter should determine what method of interpretation he intends to pursue, and should adhere to it.
Scholia contain brief expositions of the meaning of words and phrases, and of the subject treated, without ex
hibiting the grounds of the exposition. They have the advantage of leading the reader more directly to the sense. Perpetual Annotations illustrate every thing, omitting no passage nor subject, exhibiting a summary of observations and discussions on the author. Commentaries enter into the business of explanation, more fully, and subtlely, and with greater apparatus of learning. The subjects are more copiously examined and explained, and more numerous illustrations adduced. They are designed for more advanced students, and for interpreters themselves. Books of Observations upon particular passages, are more extendeid in their interpretations, than it is possible for commentaries to be ; they embrace the materials which belong* to all the other classes,
III. A peculiar and important method of exposition is that of versions and paraphrases. Neither can be properly executed uuless their authors have previously mastered the book or passage they intend to translate or paraphrase, and are well versed in the language into which the translation is made. Versions of different books, and with different designs, should not all be conducted upon the same plan.
A translation is the rendering fully, perspicuously, and faithfully the words and ideas of an author into a different language from that which he used. A paraphrase is the expression, in greater extent, of the meaning of the author, where what is necessary to explain the connexion, and exhibit the sense, is inserted. The utility of both is great, but neither can supercede the necessity of more extended and minute interpretation.
A version should be, 1. correct ; 2. aithful, in expressing the precise manner in which the idea is presented, the figures, the order, connexion, and mode of writing, yet
not always literal, and expressing word for word. 3. It should be accommodated to the idiom of the language the translator is using. 4. It should be perspicuous and flowing.
In reference to versions it may be enquired, 1. Under what circumstances may it be lawful to depart from the style and manner of the author? (there are words, figures, modes of construction, which cannot be literally expressed in a different language). 2. Whether the Hebraic construction is to be retained ? It seems by no means proper that the peculiar manner of an ancient author should be entirely obliterated, much less that a different manner should be obtruded upon him. 3. Whether the technical terms which occur in the New Testament should be changed for others.
In a paraphrase it is required, 1. that all the ideas of the author, their connexion and order, be fully and clearly exhibited ; 2. that nothing be inserted which the discourse of the author does not really contain; 3. that it be not too prolix ; 4. that it be perspicuous and easy.
J. J. Griesbach über die verschiedenen Arten deutsch, Bibelübersetzun. gen, Repert. f. Bibl. und morg. Litt. VI.
Hen. Gf. Reichardi Tractatus gramm. theol. de adornanda N. Test. versione vere Latina-L. 1796. 8.
IV. The interpreter should be careful, not to transgress his own limits, and encroach upon the province of the critic, or theologian. Something, indeed, which strictly pertains to these departments, may be requisite, to the full understanding and exposition of the passage he may wish to explain; as far, therefore, as is requisite to attain this object, it may be proper for him to proceed.
As to the limits of the interpreter, it may be remarked, that his work is finished when we are taught, 1. what
the author thought, or said, 2. the manner in which he said it, 3. the sense in which, what he says, is to be understood.
The more ancient interpreters erred,
a. In mingling too many doctrinal discussions in their expositions, (cf. J. A. Ernesti Prælectt. in Ep. ad Hebr.)
b. In introducing too much of history and archæology, not immediately connected with the passage under consideration.
c. They investigated too exclusively the arguments of the Sacred Writers.
Modern commentators have erred, a. in too frequently and copiously disputing about the subjects, or the events of Scripture, b. and also in applying the passages they treated so extensively to morals. For although the methods of exposition may be different, as authors have different objects in view, yet the office of the interpreter, the critic, the theologian, and the popular teacher, should never be confounded.
In order to become skilled in interpreting the Sacred Volume, we must read with care the best examples or models of every class of interpreters, study the works which have been written on the interpretation both of the Old and New Testaments, and practise ourselves, not only in the exposition of the sacred, but also of profane writers.