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mere arrangement in which we have been accustomed to read the sacred volume. This, though a prejudice, is yet connected with feelings which cannot be condemned. Like every other change in matters of religion, it will meet with opposition; but ultimately the plan proposed must prevail, and an arrangement adapted to the sense, be admitted into general use.
Mr. JAMES NOURSE.
FOR THE SECOND EDITION.
FROM REV. DR. ALEXANDER.
It is known to every one, in the least acquainted with Biblical subjects, that the division of the sacred scriptures into chapters and verses, was not made by the inspired writers; but is the invention of men, and in a considerable part modern. Now, although these divisions afford great convenience in making references to particular passages of scripture; yet they often interrupt the sense and destroy the connexion, because they are injudiciously placed. Every attentive reader of the Bible must have observed, that in many instances where the connexion is close, and the text should be continuous, a break occurs by the termination of a chapter or a verse. To obviate this inconvenience, most critical editors of the Greek Testament, as WETSTEIN, GRIESBACH, KNAPP, &c. have rejected the common division of our chapters and verses, and have divided the text into paragraphs, in accordance with the sense: but, that the facility of making references might not be destroyed, and our existing concordances rendered useless, they have preserved the numbering of the chapters and verses in the margin, in juxtaposition with the text to which they are attached.
Now, it is desirable that the same arrangement should be made in our English editions of the Bible-at least, in some of them; and Mr. James Nourse has undertaken the work, and has bestowed much care and no inconsiderable labor in preparing the New Testament for publication, upon the plan above mentioned. I would, therefore, respectfully recommend his undertaking to the patronage of the Christian public.
Princeton, N. J.
FROM REV. DR. MILLER.
Princeton, N. J.
MY DEAR SIR,
Every thing which facilitates the intelligent reading of the sacred scriptures, is, of course, valuable and worthy of encouragement. It is therefore with pleasure that I am informed of your design to publish a second edition of the New Testament, on the plan alluded to in the preceding statement of my reverend and respected colleague. I entirely concur with him in his views of the subject, and in his wishes for the success of your undertaking.
I am, my dear sir, with much respect,
LORD AND SAVIOUR
AND WITH THE FORMER TRANSLATIONS DILIGENTLY COMPARED AND REVISED.
TRANSLATED OUT OF
The Original Greek,
IS ARRANGED IN PARAGRAPHS, SUCH AS THE SENSE REQUIRES; THE DIVISIONS OF CHAPTERS AND VERSES BEING NOTED IN
THE MARGIN, FOR REFERENCE.
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fourth day of April, in the fifty-third year of *L. S. the independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1829, JAMES NOURSE, A. M. of the said district, has deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
"The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; translated out of the Original Greek, and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised. The Text of the Common Translation is arranged in Paragraphs, such as the sense requires; the divisions of Chapters and verses being noted in the margin, for reference. By JAMES NOURSE, A. M."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." And also to the Act entitled, "An Act supplementary to an Act, entitled 'An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching, historical and other Prints."
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the
1. THOSE editions of the Greek Testament, which divide the text into continuous paragraphs, and retain the notation of Chapters and Verses in the margin for the purpose of reference, are by scholars now used altogether. Such are the advantages resulting from an arrangement of this kind, that it is surprising any other should ever have obtained.
2. The design of this Edition of our Common version, is to present the English reader with the word of God, so arranged, that the injurious tendency of the divisions so universal in our English copies, may be counteracted. The common text is faithfully reprinted, and indeed in many cases, where copies vary, has been compared with the original.
3. That there is any thing sacred in the old divisions which forbids their change, or even their entire rejection, will be supposed by none, when it is known that the divisions of Chapters were first introduced into the Bible about the middle of the 13th century, and Verses about the middle of the 16th. The former were invented by Hugo de Sancto Caro, who had projected the first Concordance, and wished for references more convenient than those which the old divisions afforded. They were cautiously received, however; having been made without primary regard to the sense. The latter were invented by Robert Stephens, and first used by him in his edition of the Greek Testament, printed A. D. 1551. He made them solely for the purpose of reference. Their usefulness in this respect soon gained them a general reception, and by some they were unwarily transferred from the margin into the body of the text, which was then first broken up after the common method.
4. The notation of the Chapters and Verses is, as the title imports, retained only in the margin. The chapters are noted by antique figures, 1, 2, 3, &c.; the verses, by figures of common size. The chapter or verse always commences in the line, at the end of which figures are placed.
The end of the chapter or verse is always at the longest pause in the line; or, when this is not the case, a small perpendicular dash or stroke (') is inserted, a little above the line of the text: Matt. i. 4. Wherever it would be difficult to learn the end of the verse from the punctuation alone, this dash is introduced: Matt. iii. 16. iv. 9, &c. Sometimes, when the verses are unusually short, two or more may end in the same line; in such cases the dashes occur at the end of every verse, while the number of only the first that ends in the line is found in the margin, (the numbers of the rest being omitted:) Matt. xv. 25. John i. 35, 37. But when two verses end in the same line, the number of each being a unit, both are noted: Matt. xxv. 4, 5. 7, 8.
5. Though no word is changed in this edition of the text of our Common Translation, yet the attentive reader will soon perceive that the punctuation somewhat differs from the old. This variation, however, nowhere alters the sense, but is intended to impress more vividly the common meaning of the passage.
Two dashes, or several periods, are placed both before and after a sentence, to intimate that the sentence embraced by them is a kind of parenthesis or digression: Matt. xxvii. 9. John i. 15. 1 Tim. i. 5, 18. Heb. v. 7. vii. 1, 13. Two or more periods are sometimes used, to intimate that the narrative or discourse is abruptly ended: Acts vii. 33, &c. All quotations from the Old Testament are marked in the common manner, (""): some quotations from heathen poets, (as Acts xvii. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 33. Titus i. 12,) some repetitions of what had been said on a former occasion, (as Matt. iii. 17.) and some proverbs, are marked with a single quotation, (''). These are the only alterations admitted.
6. In forming the paragraphic divisions, the edition of the Greek by KNAPP, (3d ed. Halle, 1824,) has been chiefly followed: sometimes BENGEL'S are preferred; but not unfrequently new ones have been introduced, according to the editor's judgment.
These divisions are of three kinds: First, those which commence with ANTIQUE capitals, informing the reader of the commencement of the different PARTS into which a gospel or epistle is divided: Matt. i. 1. iii. 1. iv. 13. These parts are numbered on the head of the page. Secondly, those which commence with common CAPITALS, showing that the connexion of such paragraphs with what precedes is slight: Matt. i. 18, &c. Thirdly, those which commence