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W34 1791



A Differtation on the Ancient Verfions of the Bible; fhew-
ing why our English Translation differs fo much from
them, and the excellent Ufe that may be made of them to-
wards attaining the true Readings of the Holy Scriptures
in doubtful Places. In a Letter to a Friend. The
fecond Edition, prepared for the Prefs by the Author
before his Death, and now printed from his own
Manufcript. By the late Rev. Dr. THOMAS BRETT.
Lond. 1760.

p. I.

In the Year 1729, Doctor Brett published a Chronological Effay in
Defence of the Computation of the Septuagint. In that Tract he ob-
ferves, that if the Reader "compares the xivth Pfalm in his Bible, which
is tranflated from the Hebrew, with the fame Pfalm in his Common-
Prayer-Book, tranflated from the Septuagint, he will find that in his
Common-Prayer-Book, there are four whole Verfes more than are in
his Bible, viz. ver. 4, 5, 6, 7. Yet these Verses are every one of them
cited by St. Paul in the fame Words, Rom. iii. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18." For
the clearing up of this and fimilar Difficulties, he wrote, in the fame
Year, the Effay which is here republished; the first Edition of it came
out in 1742, feveral Years after it had been compofed. It is an excel-
lent Differtation, and cannot fail of being very useful to fuch as have
not Leisure or Opportunity to confult Dr. Hody's Book de Bibliorum
Textibus; Bishop Walton's Prolegomena to his Polyglot; Du Pin's
Canon of Scripture; Dean Prideaux's Account of the Hebrew Scrip-
tures in the 2d Vol. 8vo of the Old and New Teftament connected;
the 2d Book of Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus; Lewis' Origines Hebrææ;
and other Works of a like Nature. Dr. Owen's Inquiry into the
prefent State of the Septuagint Verfion, Lond. 1769, is very deserving
of the Reader's Attention.

An Hiftorical Account of the feveral English Translations of
the Bible, and the Oppofition they met with from the Church
of Rome. By ANTHONY JOHNSON, A. M. Lond.

р. бо.

In the Preface to Pole's Annotations on the Bible, there is a fhort
Account of the English Translations of it; and a Tract was printed in
London, 1778, intitled, A Lift of various Editions of the Bible, and
Parts thereof, in English, from the Year 1526 to 1776. If the Reader
wishes to make a deeper Inquiry into this Subject, he will find full
Information, not only with relpect to various Tranflations of the Bible
into English, but into a great many other Languages, in Mr. Le Long's
Bibliotheca Sacra;

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This Work, which is prefixed to the Author's Paraphrafe and Notes

on the Epistle to the Romans, is greatly admired by the Learned, as

containing the beft Introduction to the Epiftles, and the clearest Ac-

count of the whole Gospel Scheme, which was ever written. The

Doctrine of a double Juftification was difliked by Bp. Bull; and it has

lately been animadverted on, as not founded in Scripture: however that

may be, it has had, in modern Times, other Supporters befides Dr.

Taylor; and it seems to have been well understood by Grellius, above

150 Years ago. Juftificatio noftra vel accipitur pro ejufmodi a reatu ac

pœna, quam peccatis promeruimus, abfolutione ac liberatione, qua fit,

ut nolit nos Deus punire, fed potius nobifcum perinde velit agere, ac fi

jufti et innocentes effemus: vel accipitur pro ipfa falute noftra quam ali-

quando confecuturi fumus. Illa Juftificatio fimul ac fidem in Chriftum

complectimur nobis contingit, et tam diu durat, quamdiu in nobis du

rat fides, eaque viva et per charitatem efficax, feu quæ Obedientiam,

qualem Chriftus a nobis requirit, habeat conjunctam. Hæc vero pofte-

riar Juftificatio quæ ex illa prima fluit in adventu Domini Jefu nobis con-

tinget. Crel. in Rom. c. v. and in his commentary on 1 Cor. c. i, he

fays, Juftificamur fimul atque Doctrinæ Chrifti fidem adjungimus, id eft

jus adipifcimur ad immunitatem ab omnibus pœnis et ad vitæ æternæ

adeptionem. Verum hoc jus nondum eft plenum, fed adhuc a condi-

tione, quæ fequi debet, pendet, nempe ut conftantes in fide fimus, ac

fanctitati vitæ in pofterum ftudeamus, itaque juftificatio partim antecedit

fanctificationem, partim fequitur. Hinc patet, quid fentiendum de illo

triftiffimo dicto (of St. Auguftine): Bona opera non antecedunt justifi-

candim, fed fequuntur juftificatum; antecedunt enim juftificandum plenè,

fequuntur juftificatum inchoatè, &c.

Plain Reafons for being a Chriftian. Lond. 1730.

P. 456.

The Merit of this Tract will not be seen by an hafty Reader; every

Article of it contains Matter for much Confideration, and fhews the
Author to have been well acquainted with his Subject. It was written
by Dr. Chandler, but not published till it had been revised by fome other
Diffenting Minifters.

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OU defire to know, "Since the Greek Septuagint and the Eng"lish Bible are Tranflations from the Original Hebrew, how "it comes to pass that these two Tranflations have fuch Variations "from each other? I do not mean in fome few Words only, but in "whole Sentences; many being in our English Tranflation which are "not to be found in the Septuagint, and fome again in the LXX which "are not to be found in our English Bible."

I do not at all wonder at your asking fuch a Question; for a Clergyman who has but a small Benefice, which will not afford him Means to buy Books of a large Price, and lives in an obfcure Place in the Country, near no Library from which he may borrow fuch Books, or have Opportunity to confult them, is not to be blained, if he should not know how to answer this, or other Queftions relating to ecclefiaftical Matters. For although he came from the University well verfed in the learned Languages, (as you fhew yourself to be, or you could not have compared our English Bible with the LXX, and fo would never have thought of the Matter) yet for want of Books to inform him how the Scriptures have from Time to Time been copied, tranflated and publifhed, he may not be able to answer fuch a Queftion, and fatisfy himfelf in fuch a Point as this.

And I must confefs for myself, that if I had not the Polyglot Bible, before which Bifhop Walton (the learned Editor of that noble and ufeful Work, confifting of fix large Folios) has put feveral excellent Prolegomena, and Du Pin's Compleat Canon of Scripture, with fome other Books relating to the Editions and Tranflations of the Holy Scriptures, I could not have answered your Question. But by the Affiftance of VOL. III.



thefe Books, I hope I may do it to your Satisfaction. And I can give you a plain, fhort, and cafy Answer, which is, that there were different Copies of the Hebrew Original, and the LXX tranflated from one Copy, and our English Tranflators from another; fo as the Copies differed, the Tranflations differed alfo.

But another Queftion may arife. How came there to be so much Difference between feveral Copies of the fame Book? I answer, the fame will always happen in all Books frequently tranfcribed by feveral Hands. Now, I believe no Book ever had fo many Tranfcripts as the Bible. As the Jews had feveral Synagogues in Judea, fo had they in all Countries where they were difperfed after the Captivity. For they did not all return to Judea at the Restoration of Jerufalem and the Rebuilding of the Temple, but very many continued in thofe Parts of the Chaldean, Perfian, Grecian and Roman Empires where they had obtained Settlements, where alfo they increafed and multiplied. This we may be convinced of from what we find in the New Teftament, where we read that in every Place unto which the Apoftles went to preach the Gofpel they found Numbers of Jews and a Jewish Synagogue. And every Synagogue had at least one Copy of the Bible, befide the many Copies written for the Ufe of private Perfons. Every one of thefe Copies was written fingly by itfelf, (the Invention of Printing, by which ten Thoufand Copies coming out of the fame Prefs fhall not differ fo much as a Letter or a Comma, being yet fcarce three Hundred Years old) and therefore could hardly fail to differ in fome Particulars even from the Copy from which it was taken, unless more than once carefully revifed, compared and corrected, which we may reafonably fuppofe was not always done. Thefe Copiers therefore could hardly keep free from making many Miftakes, fuch as often to omit a Word, or to write one Word for another: which laft Mistake might easily be made in Hebrew Books, where the Letters and, and, and П, and fome others are fo near alike, that very often in Writing one can hardly be diftinguifhed from the other; and the miftaking fuch a Letter changes the Word, and gives it another Signification.

Copiers alto, in the tranfcribing fo large a Book as the Hebrew Bible, might cafily mistake fo far as to be guilty of confiderable Overfights, even to overlook and omit a whole sentence, efpecially when they wrote in Hafte, as, no Doubt, many of them did, who made it their Bufinefs to copy Books for their Livelihood. Where therefore the LXX want a Period or Sentence which is in our English Bibles, we may fuppofe it was wanting in the Copy from whence they tranflated: And where they have a Sentence which is wanting in our English Bibles, we may fuppofe it was in the Copy from which their Tranflation was made, but left out in the Copy from whence our prefent Hebrew Copies were taken, and from which we have our English TranflationAnd so vice versa. This I think is a natural and rational Account how thefe Diverfities arofe; that is, from different Copies of the Original. Which Differences could hardly be avoided, and might eafily happen through the Careleinefs and Overfights or Miftakes of Tranfcribers, who ould fcarce avoid them in fo long a Work.

Some indeed will tell you that the LXX in their Tranflation took


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