Page images
PDF
EPUB

the aorist and the preterite, are sometimes put in place of the future.

2. They sometimes express simply and universally, what is to be understood with limitation. These remarks are also applicable to the writings of the New Testament.

It has been questioned how far the analogy of faith, may be used as a rule of interpretation.

G. Fr. Schroeteri. d. de interpretatione, Scr. S. ad analogiam fidei. Vit. 1718. 4.

Rambach. Institutiones hermeneuticæ, II, 1.

II. In the use of certain figures, the writers of the N. T. as also other ancient writers, have a distinct style. Some of these figures affect only single words, sentences, or phrases ; others, whole passages, and entire discourses ; to which last, must be referred, allegories and parables. As in the right explication of these, the usage of the Orientals and the Jewish Doctors is chiefly to be regarded ; so we should be very careful not to give any other explanation than that which the nature of the subject and design of the author require.

Joach, Camerarii Notatio figúrarum sermonis in libris Evang. Lips. 1552. 4. in apostolicis scriptis ib. 1572. 4. uterque lib. in Bezæ ed. N. T.

C. L. Baueri Philologia Thucedidean-Paulina S. Notatio figurarum dictionis Paulinæ cum Thucydidea comparatæ, Hal. 1792. 8. inprimisque eiusd. Rhetor. Paulinæ, T. II. p. 511. ss.

There has been some dispute as to the use of irony.

J. C. S. Ironia a Jesu et discipulis eius abjudicata, Mise. Lips. nov. 1, p. 31. ss.

J. Fr. Stiebriz d. de ironia sacra. Hal. 1759. 4.

Gotth. Beni. Matthesii Comm. de symbolico docendi genere in sacris ser. obvio. Schneeb. 1787, 4.

On Allegories,

Seriptto plures de ea laudat Blankenburg. ad Sulzeri Theor. Art. 1, p. 57. ss. 71. ss.

S. F. N. Mori Pr. Ostenditur quibus causis allegoriarum interpretatio pitatur. L. 1781. et in Diss. Theol. atque phil. I, p. 390.

1. The object of the allegory, is to be sought in the occasion which gave rise to it (Joh. IV. 10. ss.) in the context, or in the explanation which is sometimes added. (Joh. VIII, 38. Eph. VI, 14. ss.)

2. It is to be observed, what is the primary object in every allegory, and how this object may be literally expressed.

3. The nature of the subject should be atttended to, that the propriety of the allegory may be perceived.

4. We must examine the history, (Luke, XII, 49,) and the manners and customs of the East. There are many allegories which are characteristically oriental.

5. In the same allegory, one part is not to be understood literally, and another figuratively.

6. In no case, is every circumstance in the allegory to be considered, significative of a moral sense, but, the main idea, or principal design, is, in general, only to be regarded.

Conr. Ikenii d. de locutionibus allegoricis et emblematicis sæpe in generaliori complexu sumendis, neque ad singulas partes aut verba semper extendendis, in Diss. ejus. phil. theol. p. 593. ss.

On the nature, kinds, and use of Parables, see,

G. C. Storr Comm. ne parabolis Christi, 1779, et opuscc. acadd. ad ininterpr. SS. I, p. 89. ss.

J. J. Hess über die Parablen mit Rücksicht auf Lehre vom Reiche Gottes, in his work, über die Lehren, Thaten und Schicksale des Herrn, ein Anhang zur Lebensgesch. p. 175. ss.

Ueber die Lokalität der Parablen Jesu, in d. Beytr. z. Bef. d. vern. Denk. in der Rel. XI, p. 138.

G. L. Bauer Sammlung und Erklärung der parabol. Erzählungen unsers Herrn, L. 1782, 8.

Lectures on the Parables of our Saviour, with a preliminary discourse on Parables, by Andrew Gray.

In parables, the primary parts, are to be carefully distinguished from those, which are merely accessory ; lite

ral and tropical explanations are not to be mixed ; the interpretation is to be sought from the design, from the occasion, from the circumstances of time and place, from the character of the hearers, and from the explanations often added.

III. In proverbs and aphorisms, there is often something peculiar in the use of words. The Oriental style, with regard to both classes, is to be carefully regarded ; and attention paid to the circumstances under which they were uttered, and the design they were intended to answer, that neither greater nor less force be attributed to them, than the nature of the case requires.

1. As it regards proverbs, it may be remarked that the Orientals,

a. Drew their images from the heavens, or from nature generally, as it is exhibited to them, and it is from these, their proverbial expressions are derived.

b. They are peculiarly fond of the hyperbolical and enigmatical style.

c. When their proverbs rest upon a comparision, the comparision is not fully stated.

Mart. del Rio Adagialia Sacra vet. et Novi Test. Lugd. 1614, 4.
Andr. Schotti Adagialia Sacra N. Test. græcolatina--Antw. 1629. 4.

J. Vorstii Diatribe de Adagiis N. T. repetita in Fischeri edit. Philologiæ S. Vorstii, p. 745. et Leusdeni lib. de Dialect. N. T. ed. 2. p. 169.

In the explanation of these proverbs, reference is constantly to be had, to the nature and design of the passage.

2. The characteristic features of the Aphoristic style, are,

a. Brevity and ambiguity of expression ; at times assuming the form of the enigma.

b. A manner ingenious and pointed.

C. A want of close connexion, in the different sentences,

Ulr. Andr. Rohde de vett. poetarum sapientia gnomica Hebræorum inprimis et Græcorum, Havn. 1800 8. Consult, also, the writers upon our Saviour's sermon on the mount, particularly Pott.

CHAPTER III.

ON INVESTIGATING THE SENSE OF PASSAGES.

I. Aş it is requisite for the interpreter to observe which signification of a word suits a particular passage, and what usage prevails through the book he is investigating ; so, also, he must endeavour to discover the sense (which is to be distinguished from the signification,) which belongs to each word, and to the whole expression or sentence; and this sense or meaning may either be uniformly attached to the words or phrases agreeably to Hebrew usage, or it may belong to them only, in particular places.

1. The choice of signification, depends principally upon the context,

2. The usus loquendi which prevails in a particular passage, is determined, either from the context, or from the nature of the subject, or of the language.

The phraseology which is derived from the Grecian usage, is to be distinguished from that which is of Hebrew, or Syro-chaldaic origin,

3. To discover the sense of words, or sentences, is ta discover the idea which the author really intended to at tach to them, in the connexion in which they occur. For the signification of a word or sentence, may be variously modified by the circumstances in which it is used-see,

Mori diss. de discrimine sensus et significationis in interpretando-and,

Eichstadt ad Mori Hermineuticam,

4. The sense which belongs to particular words or expressions, is either always the same as in the phrase xadioas Èx dežiūv dež or it is different in different places, as in the words πνευματικός σαρκικός, ,

Care, therefore, is to be taken, not to confound the sense and the signification.

II. The means of discovering the meaning of a passage, are not only the nature of the language, the customary usage, and sound judgment; but also, the context, the design of the writer, the nature of the subject, and history; hence the grammatical, logical, and historical sense is spoken of separately. It may be well to make these distinctions in scholastic disputations, but in the work of interpretation, there is to be but one sense sought, which is to be discovered by these three several methods, and which does not admit of variety. Rules are derived from these helps for properly determining the meaning; and arguments, to prove that a certain sense is the only proper sense of a passage.

What has been just remarked amounts to this : that it should be our object, to discover, not merely what sense may or may not be attributed to a particular passage, but what sense we are bound to attribute to it.

1. To the language belongs the analogy of language ; whether of one, or more, or all languages. This subject will be considered hereafter.

2. The usus loquendi, determines what sense is usually connected with certain words and phrases in a particuJar place, time, or among a particular people, or in reference to a particular subject.

3. The usus loquendi will not always suffice to determine the sense, because, a, it is sometimes obscure, b.it

« PreviousContinue »