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undertook, in a book de Hellenistica, or Commentario Controversiam de Lingua Hellenistica Decidente, (Leyden, 1643,) to refute the opinion that the Hellenist was a peculiar dialect of the New Testament. To this Heinsius replied, and in the same year Salmasius published Funus Linguæ Hellenisticæ, sive Comfutationem Exercit. de Hellenistica. Not caring to have his opinion as it were buried, and the funeral ceremonies performed, Heinsius wrote another book ; Salmasius answered it by publishing Ossilegium Linguæ Hellenisticæ sive Appendicem ad Comfutationem Exercitionis de Hellenistica, Leyden, 1743, 8vo. So that the funeral of the Hellenist being over, its bones and ashes were collected together and utterly destroyed.
[Note. -Concerning the Hellenistic dialect, there are two subjects of inquiry ; first, who may be, and have been called Hellenists; and secondly, whether the term Hellenistic dialect is correctly applied.
Concerning the Hellenists, there are three principal opinions
1. Heinsius (Aristarchi Sacri, P. I. Ch. x. p. 795, et P. II. Ch. viii. 898, Leyden ed. 1639, fol.) calls those Hellenists who were native Jews, but lived out of Palestine, chiefly in Egypt, and who used the Greek version of the Bible, and spoke generally the Greek language inflecting to the Hebrew idiom.
2. Salmasius (de Hellenistica, p. 190,) calls those Hellenists, who were not native Jews, but proselytes. He adds also, that they adopted from the Greeks the Greek version of the Bible, which the Jews of Palestine never used.
3. John Lightfoot (in addendis ad Horæ. Heb. in 1 Cor. xiv. Cap. I. opp. Tom. II. p. 929, wishes to distinguish them thus, that the Hebrews were Jews of Palestine, Babylon, Assyria, ,and Syria, to whom the Hebrew or SyroChaldaic was vernacular ; and that the Hellenists were native Jews, but dwelling among the Gentiles, ¿v diadroga, to whom the Greek was vernacular. Morus embraces the opinion of Heinsius, not only in his Hermeneutics, but elsewhere. But when the arguments adduced by Salmasius and Carpsovius, (Crit. Sacræ,) are duly estimated, it seems necessary to abandon this opinion ; for first, in Acts ii. V. 11, Ιουδαιοι τε και προσηλυτοι are mentioned, among whom, in Ch. vi. 5, the Hellenists are reckoned, of whom was Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch, vr, 5; so that the writer evidently makes no distinction between proselytes and Hellenists. But in Ch. xi., the Hellenists are distin. guished from the Jews, and in Ch, vi., the Hebrews from the Hellenists. At this time the Church was composed of two classes, Hellenists, and Hebrews or Jews, for between the latter there was no difference, except that Hebrew was a more ancient and general appellation, pertaining to the whole nation, while Jew was applied rather in a religious sense, and confined to the inhabitants of Judea. If this distinction is correct, we can easily comprehend why Paul, though a native of Tarsus, and born of Hebrew parents among the Greeks εν διασπορά, never calls himself έλλενικην, but every where éßganov; and by this the opinion of Salmasius is confirmed.
2. It cannot be conceded that all the Jews, through all their wide dispersion, in Italy, India, Persia, and other Eastern lands, understood and commonly used the Grecian language. We cannot, therefore, with Heinsius, agree to call all that dwelt out of Judea, Hellenists. The word canvis en is used among the Greeks in two senses,
In the first and more general sense, it is applied to any one who uses the Greek language των Ελλήνων, and in this sense is opposed to every foreign dialect. In the stricter sense, it is applied to those who cultivate the more polite Grecian learning. The signification, therefore, of this word, and of Examuisns, derived from it, is different from the one which Heinsius would give to it, so that the Hellenistic language was unknown to the ancients, both in name and in fact. If this be used, it should be applied only to the language in which the words are Greek and the idiom Hebrew, without reference to the nation or country of a writer.
The 2d inquiry is, whether the term Hellenistic dialect is correctly applied.
Salmasius, both from the etymology of the word and the authority of the ancients, has shown that to constitute a dialect, two things are required. 1. That the people who use the dialect ought to be definitely limited, and divided from another people, who use a different dialect. 2. That its difference ought to consist in single words rather than phrases, and regard the transposition of letters and syllables, and the change in grammatical forms. In what is called the Hellenistic dialect, neither of these things occurs.
For there was no people or city called Hellenist, but they were exiles through all the earth ; nor did this dialect exhibit any thing peculiar in its simple words, though its whole construction was new, or rather, as Morus says, it was a new mixture of different languages.
The most eminent authors in this controversy, were Richard Simon, Histoire Crit. d. N. T., L. II. Ch. 27, against Salmasius. Opposed to Simon was
Joh. Hen. Maius, in Examine Historiæ Criticæ N. T., 1694, 4to. C. 27, 28. He referred the style of the N. T. and the Septuagint, to the Macedonian and Alexandrine dialect.
John Croius, Observatt. in N.T. Genev. 1645, 4to. C. 30, 34.
Matthew Cotter, in Exercitatt. de Hellenistis, et Linguæ Hellenist. Strasburg, 1646, 12mo.
Mart. Schock, de Hellenistis et Ling. Hel. Dissert. ad Heinsium et Salmasium. Utrecht, 1651, 8vo.
Aug. Pfeiffer, in Critica Sacra. (Dresden, 1680,) 8vo.
§ VIII. Of the appellation, Alexandrine Dialect.
This name was first selected by John Ernest Grabe, the British editor of the Septuagint, from the Codex Alexdrinus (Oxford, 1707-29, 4 vols. fol.)
But that this appellation is unsuitable, is evident, first, from what has previously been shown, that the HebræoGrecian style is not a dialect. And secondly, this style was used by the Jews of other places, for all who lived out of Palestine, used the Greek language conformed to the Hebrew idiom. There is no cause, therefore, why this should be named from the city of Alexandria. And lastly, this name would cause much confusion; for in the literary history of the Grecian language, the Alexandrine dialect denotes those provincialisms which the Alexandrines used instead of pure Greek. Such Alexandrinisms were collected by Irenæus, a grammarian of Alexandria, in a curious book without a date. (Vide Fabricii Bibl. Græc. Vol. IV. p. 537.) FRED. WILLIAM STURZE, has also written a dissertation, de Dialecto Alexandrina ratione simul habita versionis librorum N. T. Græcæ. But many things peculiar to this dialect, occur not only in the Alexandrine version, but also in the books of the New Testament.
$ IX. The Style of the New Testament has been in flu
enced by gther languages besides the Hebrew. Every thing in the New Testament which is not pure Greek, is not therefore derived from the Hebrew ; for there are in these books,
I. Latinisms. Thus in Luke xii. 58, is the phrase šgyadiav doīvas, which is the Latin operam dare ; in Chap. xiv. 18, fxs me magnTquévov, habe me excusatum ; in Matt. xxii. 15, aap ßávei o'um Bohrlov, consilium capere ; in Titus ii. 10, motiv dyadriv &v8sIxvūves, fidem bonam exhibere. OLEARUS, in his valuable book the Stilo N. T. has collected many things of this kind. (p. 368, Ed. Schwarz.)
[Note. The introduction of Latinisms arose from the extent of the Roman Empire, the use of Roman laws, the presence of the Romans in the provinces, the commerce of merchants, and finally from the Greek writers who used them.
After Joh. ERH. KAPPIUS wrote a dissertation de N. T. Græci Latinismis, merito ac falso suspectis, (Lips. 1726, 4to.,) a controversy arose between Sigism Fr. Dresigius, in favour of the opinion of Kappe, and C#. Sır. GEORGIUS, who took the opposite side. Both are embraced in the second part Hierocritici Novi Fæderis. Wittenb. 1733, 4to.
Joh. GEO. PRITEUS has also collected examples of such Latinisms in Introd. in Lectionem N. T. Lips. 1764, p. 320. E.]
II. Persian words. As yoga for treasury, máyou for wise men, ágyagsuśiv, to compel. Matt. v. 41.
III. Syraisms. As, åßßá, magar djá, which is, the Lord comes. 1 Cor. xvi. 22.
IV. Chaldeeisms. To this belongs the use of remission of debt, for forgiveness of sins. On this consult Buxtorf's Lexicon.
V. Rabbinisms. Which have been treated of in separate books by John LIGHTFOOT, in Horis Hebraicis et Talmudicis. Lips. 1679, 4to, and in Operis, 2d Ed. Utrecht, 1699, fol. tom. II. And by Cru. SCHOETGIN, in Horis Heb. et universum N. T. Dresden, 1773-42, Tom. II. 4to. To the Rabbinisms belongs the well-known Formula, to bind, and to loose.
From these things, it is evident that the style of the New Testament is far from being perfectly pure.