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Alexandrian version, and the Apocrypha, to this sort of Greek, yet the Pagans also must be included, who were till then ignorant of the Hebrew language. I am not willing, therefore, to say that even in this age, they were understood by all, and entirely destitute of obscurity. It must be remembered, however, that in this age there were Doctors in the churches, who had been Jews, and who were able to interpret the Hebrew language. There were many lay men also in the Christian assemblies, who having formerly been Jews and acquainted with the language, were able to instruct the Pagans. It is evident, therefore, that in that age the books could be read and understood.
§ V. Defenders of the purity of N. T. enumerated, who
contend that the writers of the N. T. were purely Grecian.
SEB. PFOCHEN-in diatribe de linquæ græcæ N. T. puritate, ubi quam plurimis, qui vulgo finguntur, Ebraismis larva detrahitur et profanos quoque auctores ita esse locutos : ad oculum demostratur. Amstel, 1629 and 1633, 12 mo. BALTHAS. STOLBERG-in a tract on the Greek language, de solicismis et barbarismis græcæ N. T. dictioni falso tributis, ut et de Cilicismis aliisque a punto nove usurpatis, with a preface by C. S. Schwarzfleisch. Wittenberg, 1685, 4to. 3d Edition. Witten. 1688, 4to.
Erasmus Schmidt-in his notes on the New Testament. (Nurenberg, 1658, folio.
Anthony Blackwall-in the Sacred classics, or in auctoribus Sacris classicis defensis et illustratis endeavours to show that the writers of the New Testament and their language were purely classic. His book was written in English and translated into Latin by Christ. Wollius, who defends the same opinion. (Lipsig 1736, 4to.)
[Note.—The standard of this opinion, and the conse
quent controversy, was raised by HENRY STEPHENS, who after the correct judgment of Erasmus and Laurentius Valla, in the 16th century, concerning the impure style of the New Testament attempted to defend its purity in the preface to his edition of the New Testament, published in 1578. Hence the theologians were excited to this kind of study. A great diversity of opinion was observed, yet the controversies did not appear before Sebastian Pfochen, whose book the author has recommended, and it is also inserted among other writings, on this subject, in Jacobi Rhenferdi disser. tationum philogico-theologicarum de stilo N. T. syntagmati. Leovard, 1702, 4to. See also T. H. van der Honert, syntagma disset. de stilo N. T. græci. Amst. 1703, 4to.
In Germany, the first that repeated and endeavoured to defend the opinions of Pfochen ,was J. Grosse, who published at Jena, in 1640, Triadem propositionum theologicarum stilum N. T. a barbaris criminationibus vindicantium. He chiefly opposed Joachim Junge, a virulent, though learned adversary of Pfochen. Jungius published Sententias doctissimorum quorumdum virorum
de Hellinistis et hellenistica dialecto. Jena, 1639, which book it would be well to compare diligently with those of Heinsius, which will be noted hereafter (VII.)
Christ. Sigism. Georgius.—who wrote two books on this subject : Vindiciarum N. T. ab Ebraismis libros III. Frankfort, 1732, 4to., and Hierocriticum N. T. S. de stilo N. T. Libros III. Wirtenberg, 1533, 4to. E.]
§ VI. Defenders of the contrary opinion enumerated.
Among those who asserted that the diction of the New Testament was similar to the Hebrew, we name in the first place Martin Luther and Philip Melancthon, not because they have written on the subject, for the question was not agitated in that age, but because in their commentaries
they have interpreted many passages by comparing them with the Hebrew, and in this manner they have declared their sentiments concerning the source of the New Testament diction.
The same is often done by Joach. Camerarius who published Notationem (notitiam) figurarum Sermonis in libris quatuor Evangeliorum. Lips. 1572, 4to., and also in Apostolicis Scriptis atque in librum πράξεων et αποκαλύψεως. . Lips. 1752, 4to. (republished in the Cambridge edition of Beza's N. T.) In these, as Erasmus has done in the notes to his edition of the New Testament, he has illustrated the New Testament style from the Hebrew usage.
But in my opinion Theodore Beza, in his notes on the N. T., deserves the highest praise for demonstrating that the New Testament books are filled with Hebraisms, and for the liberal mode of treating those Hebraisms.
John Drusius, in Annot. in totum J. C. Testamentum, s. Præteritorum libris decem. Franeq. 1612, 4to., and in Commentario ad voces Ebraicas N. T.; also Ejus Annotationum in N. T. parte Altera. Franeq. 1616, 4to.
Isaac Casaubon, in Exercetatt. xvi. ad Cardinalis Baronii Prologomena in Annales. Geneva, 1555, 4to.
Sal. Glassius, to whose Philologiæ Sacræ, nostris temporibus accommodatæ a Joh. Aug. Dathis, (Lips. 1776, 8vo.) are affixed Dissertations on the style of the sacred books, and of the New Testament.
Tho. Gataker, in Dissert. de Novi Instrumenti Stilo, London, 4to., and in his Operibus Criticis, Utrecht, 1698, fol. Gataker. who flourished in Britain, was, according to Ernesti, the most learned of those who refuted the error, that a comparison of the poets alone was enough to prove the purity of the New Testament.
Moses Solanus, a Frenchman, who wrote a good commentary on Lucian, and also a dissertation de Stilo N. T. contra Seb. Pfochenium, (which is inserted in the Rhenferdian Collection.)
John Olearius, in libro de Stilo N. T., which being enlarged by John Conrad Schwartz, with the Dissertation of John Henry Boecler, de lingua N. T. originali, was published at Cobourg, 1721, 8vo. This little book is full of instruction ; although short, it is very useful for contracting a familiarity with those things in the New Testament which are singular.
John Vorstius, in Comment. de Hebraismis N. T., besides his thoughts de Stilo N. T., they have addedHoratii Vitringæ Animadv. ad Commentar. de Hebraismis N. T. curante Joh. F. Fischer. (Lips. 1778, 8vo.) See also Joh. F. Fischeri Supplementorum Commentarii Verstiani de Hebraismis N. T. Lips. 1790, 4to.
Samuel Werenfels, in Dissert. de Stilo Scriptorum N. T. (Basil, 1698, inserted also in his Opuscul. Tom. I. p. 311. Lausanne, 1792, 8vo.)
John Leusden, in a singular little book de Dialectis N. T. singulatim de ejus Hebraismis, republished by John Fr. Fischer. Leips. 1792, 8vo.
[Note. -Many things of this sort are found in J. F. Fischeri Proluss. de Vitiis Lexicorum N. T., Lips. 1791, 8vo. ; but besides these, the names and writings of others can be learned from Buddei Isagoge, p. 1301. Michaelis' Introduction to N. T., Tom. I. p. 106. 223. Fischer's Preface to Leusden's book de Dialectis N. T., ed. ii. 1792, 8vo. Fabricii Bibliotheca Græca, Vol. IV. p. 891. ed. Harl. But the whole history of this controversy de Stilo N. T. Chr. Matt. Pfaffius gives, in his exergetical notes on Matthew, Lect. III. p. 28. E.]
Š VII. The style of the New Testament, which we have been describing, is correctly denominated Hebræo-Grecian, But there are some, as J. Joseph Scaliger, (Animadv.
ad Eusebium, p. 139,) and after him John Drusius, who prefer calling it Hellenistic. The reason is, that after the time of Alexander, the name Hellenist was applied to those native Jews, who lived out of Palestine, and who not only used the Greek language, but conformed to the Grecian customs and modes of living; for when the Jews were led into captivity by the Ptolomies of Egypt, and the Antiochs of Syria, they were so mingled with the Greeks, that many of their native customs were disused and forgotten, and succeeded by Grecian customs, with the Grecian language. The language of these Hellenists, however, was filled with Hebraisms, and many things were literally translated from the Hebrew. This is the language found in the New Testament; and if any wish to call it Hellenistic, I shall not object. But let them beware lest, with Daniel Heinsius, they understand by it some peculiar dialect. Such would be like one who should discover Germanisms in a Latin book, and should conclude that the language was a dialect of the German ; or one who should hear in the language of a modern Jew, a mixture of Hebrew and German words, and should call it a dialect of the Hebrew ; for this is not a diversity of terminations and form, which constitutes a dialect, but a new mixture of different languages.
When Heinsius used the word dialect in this affair, (in Prefatio ad Nonni, Episcopi, Paraphrasin Evangelii Johannii, Leyden, 1627, 8vo ; and in Exercit. Sacris ad N. T., Leyden, 1639, and lastly in Exercit. de Lingua Hellenistica et Hellenistis, Leyden, 1643, 8vo. ; add also his Apologiam adversus Croium, 1696, 12mo,) though the error of a man who was often engaged in accurately illustrating and explaining the Greek diction from the Hebrew usage, did not much injury to the cause in general; yet it gave rise to a controversy, replete indeed with learning, but not with kindness. For Heinsius found an adversary in Claudius Salmasius, a man of genius and learning, who