Page images


45 W3+ 1791 v. 3

[blocks in formation]

A Dissertation on the Ancient Versions of the Bible ; Shew-

ing why our English Translation differs fo much from
them, and the excellent Use 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
second Edition, prepared for the Press by the Author

before his Death, and now printed from his own

Manuscript. By the late Rev. Dr. Thomas Brett.

Lond. 1760.

p. 1.

In the Year 1729, Doctor Brett published a Chronological Essay in
Defence of the Computation of the Septuagint. In that Tract he ob-
serves, that if the Reader “compares the xivth Pfalm in his Bible, which
is translated from the Hebrew, with the same Píalm in his Common-
Prayer-Book, translated from the Septuagint, he will find that in his
Common-Prayer-Book, there are four whole Verses 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 same Words, Rom. iii. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.” For
the clearing up of this and similar Difficulties, he wrote, in the same
Year, the Essay which is here republished; the firft Edition of it came
out in 1742, several Years after it had been composed. It is an excel-
lent Dissertation, and cannot fail of being very useful to such as have

not Leisure or Opportunity to consult Dr. Hódy'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 Testament 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

present State of the Septuagint Version, Lond. 1769, is very deserving

of the Reader's Attention.

An Historical Account of the several English Translations of

the Bible, and the Opposition they met with from the Church

of Rome. By ANTHONY JOHNSON, A. M. Lond.


p. 60.

· In the Preface to Porle's Annotations on the Bible, there is a short
Account of the English Translations of it; and a Tract was printed in
London, 1778, intitled, A List of various Editions of the Bible, and
Pasts thereof, in English, froin 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 Translations of the Bible
into English, but into a great many other Languages, in Mr. Le Long's
Bibliotheca Sacra;

Vol. Ill.


v An Introduction to the Reading of the Holy Scriptures; irt-

tended chiefly for young Students in Divinity. By Messrs.
BEAUSOBRE and L'ENFANT. Camb. 1779. p. 101.

This is a Work of extraordinary Merit; the Authors have left scarcely
any Topic untouched, on which the young Student in Divinity may be
fupposed to want Information. Macknight's Preliminary Observations,
&c. prefixed to his Harmony; Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus ; Pritii Intro-
duétio ad Lectionem N. Testamenti; Harwood's Introduction to the
Study of the New Testament; Percy's Key to the New Testament; and
Coliger's Sacred Interpreter, may be properly read along with this Intro-
A Key to the Apoftolic Writings, or an Essay to explain the
Gospel Scheme, and the principal Words and Phrases the

Apostles have used in describing it. By J. TAYLOR.
Lond. 1754.

p. 315.
This Work, which is prefixed to the Author's Paraphrase and Notes
on the Epistle to the Romans, is greatly admired by the Learned, as
containing the best Introduction to the Epistles, and the clearest Ac-
count of the whole Gospel Scheme, which was ever written. The
Doctrine of a double Justification was disiked by Bp. Bull; and it has
Jately been animadverted on, as not founded in Scripture : however that
may be, it has had, in modern Times, other Supporters besides Dr.
Taylor; and it seems to have been well understood by Grellius, above
150 Years ago. Justificatio nostra vel accipitur pro ejusmodi a reatu as
pæna, quam peccatis promeruimus, absolutione ac liberatione, qua fit,
ut nolit nos Deus punire, sed potius nobiscum perinde velit agere, ac si
justi et innocentes essemus : vel accipitur pro ipfa salute nostra quam ali-
quando consecuturi fumus. Illa Justificatio fimul ac fidem in Christum
complectimur nobis contingit, et tam diu durat, quamdiu in nobis due.
rat sides, eaque viva et per charitatem efficax, feu quæ Obedientiam,
qualem Christus a nobis requirit, habeat conjunctam. Hæc vero poste-
rior Justificatio quæ ex illa prima fuit in adventu Domini Jesu nobis con-
tinget. Crel, in Rom. c. v. and in his commentary on 1 Cor. c. i, he
says, Justificamur fimul atque Doctrinæ Chrifti fidem adjungimus, id est
jus adipiscimur ad immunitatem ab omnibus pænis et ad vitæ æternæ
adeptionem. Verum hoc jus nondum est plenum, fed adhuc a condi-
tione, quæ sequi debet, pendet, nempe ut conftantes in fide fimus, ac
sanctitati vitæ in posterum ftudeamus, itaque justificatio partim antecedit
fanctificationem, partim sequitur. Hinc patet, quid sentiendum de illo
tristisiimo dicto (of St. Augustine) : Bona opera non antecedunt justifi-
candi. m, fed fequuntur justificatum; antecedunt enim justificandum plenè,
fequuntur justificatum inchoatè, &c.
Plain Reasons for being a Christian. 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 Consideration, and thews 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 some other
Dillenting Ministers.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

REVEREND SIR, VOU desire to know, « Since the Greek Septuagint and the Eng:

1 " lish Bible are Translations from the Original Hebrew, how « it comes to pass that these two Translations have such Variations

from each other? I do not mean in some few Words only, but in « whole Sentences ; many being in our Englih Translation 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 such 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 obscure Place in the Country, near no Library from which he may borrow such Books, or have Opportunity to consult them, is not to be blained, if he should not know how to answer this, or other Questions relating to ecclesiastical Matters. For although he came from the University well versed in the learned Languages, (as you fhew yourself to be, or you could not have compared our English Bible with the LXX, and so would never have thought of the Matter) yet for want of Books to inform him how the Scriptures have from Tiine to Time been copied, translated and published, he may not be able to answer such a Question, and satisfy himself in such a Point as this.

And I must confess for myself, that if I had not the Polyglot Bible, before which Bishop Walton (the learned Editor of that noble and useful Work, consisting of fix large Folios) has put several excellent Prolegomena, and Du Pin's Compleat Canon of Scripture, with some other Books relating to the Editions and Translations of the Holy Scriptures, I could not have answered your Question, But by the Affiftance of Vol. III,


Copies was writcopies coming out, being

these Books, I hope I may do it to your Satisfaction. And I can give you a plain, short, and cały Answer, which is, that there were different Copies of the Hebrew Original, and the LXX translated from one Copy, and our English Translators from another; so as the Copies différed, the Translations differed also.

But another Question may arise. How came there to be so much Difference between several Copies of the same Book ? I answer, the same will always happen in all Books frequently transcribed by feveral Hands. Now, I helieve no Book ever had so many Transcripts as the Bible. As the Jews had several Synagogues in Judea, so had they in all Countries where they were dispersed after the Captivity. For they did not all return to fudea at the Restoration of Jerufalem and the Rebuilding of the emple, but very many continued in those Parts of the Chaldean, Perfinn, Greciun and Roman Empires where they had obtained Settleinents, where also they increased and multiplied. This we may be convinced of irom what we find in the New Testament, where we read that in every Place unto which the Apostles went to preach the Gospel they found Numbers of Jews and a Jewish Synagogue. And every Synagogue had at least one Copy of the Bible, beside the many Copies written for the Use of private Persons. Every one of these Copies was written singly by itself, (the Invention of Printing, by which ten Thousand Copies coming out of the same Press Thall not differ so much as a Letter or a Comma, being yet scarce three Hundred

Years old) and therefore could hardly fail to differ in some Particulars even from the Copy from which it was taken, unless more than once carefully revised, compaied and corrected, which we may reafonably suppose was not always done. These Copiers therefore could hardly keep free from inaking many Mistakes, such as often to omit a Word, or to write one Word for another: which last Miftake might easily be made in Hebrew Books, where the Letters ) and 2, 7 and 7, 7 and 77, and some others are so near alike, that very often in Writing one can liardly be distinguished from the other ; and the mistaking such a Letter changes the Word, and gives it another Signification.

Copiers alto, in the transcribing lo large a Book as the Hebrew Bible, might easily mistake so far as to be guilty of considerable Oversights, even to overlook and omit a whole Sentence, especially when they wrote in Halte, as, no Doubt, many of them did, who made it their Business to copy Books for their Livelihood. Where therefore the LXX want a period or Sentence which is in our English Bibles, we may suppose it was wanting in the Copy from whence they translated : And where ihey have a Sentence which is wanting in our English Bibles, we may luppote it was in the Copy from which their Translation was made, but left out in the Copy from whence our prefent Hebrew Copies were taken, and from which we have our Englina Translations And so vice versa. This I think is a natural and rational Account how these Diversities arose; that is, from different Copies of the Original. Ihich Differences could hardly be avoided, and might easily happen throrth the Carcleiness and Oversights or Mistakes of Transcribers, who ould scarce avoid then in so long a Work.

. · Some indeed will tell you that the LXX in their Translation took


« PreviousContinue »