(B.T. Vols. 13, 14 [28 sections].)
1 — Matthew|
2 — Mark
3 — Luke
4 — John
5 — Acts
6 — Romans
7 — 1 Corinthians
8 — 2 Corinthians
9 — Galatians
10 — Ephesians
11 — Philippians
12 — Colossians
13 — 1 Thessalonians
14 — 2 Thessalonians
15 — 1 Timothy
16 — 2 Timothy
17 — Titus
18 — Philemon
19 — Hebrews
20 — James
21 — 1 Peter
22 — 2 Peter
23 — 1 John
24 — 2 John
25 — 3 John
26 — Jude
27 — Revelation
Believing that it may be of service to examine the just published result of the ten years' labour bestowed by the Committee of Revision on the New Testament, I proceed to give a review of their more noteworthy changes from first to last. In this way the reader will have in the simplest and fullest way the evidence of their work for good or for ill before his own eyes, so as to preclude (as much as possible) any representation of its character otherwise than it really is. The close of the survey will afford a more just and fitting occasion to offer an opinion as to its value as a whole. It is but natural to us all to be either carried away by a hasty conclusion based on what pleases us at a first glance and a general impression, or to be unfairly repelled by corrections which, however well-grounded or wisely applied, shock the prejudices of our ignorance. Nevertheless none can well overlook the fact that the revisers have studiously sought to preserve the dignified simplicity of the Authorised Version, as they have assuredly purged it from an immense number of inaccuracies, known more or less to the Christian scholars who have studied our Bible during the last two centuries and a half. Indeed it was the impulse given to Biblical research by the mass of materials brought to light or considerably better known within the hundred years just passed which forced on this revision, notwithstanding the rather strong obstacles offered through the enormous circulation of the Authorised Version by the chief Bible and other Societies and by the public or private printers, who would obviously dread the probable depreciation of their vast stocks, etc. Apart from such influences, every sober and godly believer desires to have revealed truth in the purest form.
But there are two principal sources of difficulty: one of the original text; the other of translation. Of the two the harder to settle is the question of the Greek text; and the answer to this, though not the avowed object of the revisers, was necessarily their first and urgent duty to meet before the task of rendering could be carried on. Although able critics have for a century sought to edit the Greek Testament on documentary evidence of Greek manuscripts, ancient versions, and early citations, none as yet has succeeded in commanding more than partial confidence; neither Griesbach nor Scholz, neither Lachmann, nor Tischendorf, nor Tregelles; neither Meyer in his Critical Commentary, nor Alford or Wordsworth. Hence it has been a necessity, for any careful and conscientious scholar who would really know the sources, to compare several of these editions, and search into the grounds on which their differences depend, so as to have anything like a correct and enlarged view of the text, and to judge fairly of the claims of conflicting readings. But few of the revisers themselves entered on their grave and responsible task with adequate and special knowledge of that which was essential to the right execution of their undertaking; and though no doubt their long and unremitting occupation with the subject has helped most of them to a much better understanding than they possessed at first, yet it is certain that, in order to do such a work well, mature spiritual judgment, with continual dependence on the Lord, is just as essential as a sound and thorough familiarity with the ancient witnesses of all kinds. For it could not but be that in so mixed a Committee the few adepts, who were at home in all the external matters of debate and possessed of superior learning and ability in these questions, would have an easy and habitual preponderance over the less intelligent majority, especially after these had exposed to those their own shortcomings at an early day. But N.T. critics however skilled and competent, might be men of strong bias and committed to a mistaken or narrow school of recension, which would be sure to tell unfavourably on the revision, unless there were of equal power and knowledge to stand for larger views with no less firmness and decision. How far one or other of these alternatives may apply to the working of the Revisers is known to wise men among themselves: the fruit of their labours is before us, and we would now without further preface look into the details, which may disclose enough to outsiders.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.
The first thing that strikes the mind, as undesirable in an accurate version of the Scriptures, is, that words supplied by the translators, which have no counterpart in the original, should not be designated as such by italics as attempted more or less fully in the Authorised Bible. Dr. Scrivener's Cambridge Paragraph Bible sought this more systematically, and therefore is happier in this respect. In the Revised New Testament, on the contrary, the indication of supply is less than ever. It would have been better for the reader had the amount indicated been far greater. Take the instance of "the Lord" so common in the Synoptic Gospels, especially Matthew and Luke, where the Greek word is anarthrous, and means Jehovah. (See Matt. 1:20, 22, 24.)* Not so the official title of Christ, unless employed predicatively which would of course deprive it of the article. Again, in 1:20 we have "take unto thee," and in 21 "took unto him," without indicating, that the pronouns are supplied. So with "our" in Matt. 3:9. It seems, arbitrary to print "it" in Roman in Matt. 2:3, and in Italics in Matt. 3:15. Many an unlettered preacher is thus exposed to dwell with emphasis on words merely inserted by the translators as if they were the veritable expressions of the Holy Spirit, from which error they were better guarded by the Authorised Version, and ought to have, been yet more now. It is allowable in a version of Greek or Latin Classic or of any human composition to supply what seems idiomatically requisite in our tongue without distinct notification to the reader. But Scripture stands alone, and deserves the homage of carefully distinguishing what man judges necessary in the language which reflects the original. In some cases it may prove a danger signal; in all it seems due to God and man. As the tendency of the day is to deny the difference between the word of God and any other book, it is the more imperative.
*Here, is a list of these occurrences: Matthew 1:20, 22, 24; Matt. 2:13, 15, 19; Matt. 3:3; Matt. 4:7, 10; Matt. 5:33; Matt. 21:9, 42; Matt. 22:37, 44; Matt. 23:39; Matt. 27:10; Matt. 28:2. Mark 1:3; Mark 11:9; Mark 12:11, 29 (bis) 30, 36; Mark 13:20. Luke 1:6, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17, 25, 28, 32, 38, 45, 46, 58, 66, 68, 76; Luke 2:9 (bis), 15, 22, 23 (bis), 24, 26, 38, 39; Luke 3:4; Luke 4:8, 12, 18, 19; Luke 5:17; Luke 10:27; Luke 13:35; Luke 19:38; Luke 20:37, 42. John 1:23; John 12:13, 38. Acts 2:20-21, 25, 34, 39; Acts 3:22; Acts 5:9, 19; Acts 7:31, 33, 37, 49; Acts 8:26, 39; Acts 12:7, 11, 17, 23; Acts 15:17 (bis). Rom. 4:8; Rom. 9:28-29; Rom. 10:13, 16; Rom. 11:3, 34; Rom. 12:19; Rom. 14:11. 1 Cor. 1:31; 1 Cor. 2:16; 1 Cor. 3:20; 1 Cor. 14:21. 2 Cor. 3:16-17, 18; 2 Cor. 6:17-18; 2 Cor. 10:17. Heb. 1:10; Heb. 7:21; Heb. 8:2, 8, 9, 10, 11; Heb. 10:16, 30 (bis); Heb. 12:5-6. James 5:10-11. 1 Peter 1:25; 1 Peter 3:12 (bis), 15. 2 Peter 2:9, 11; 2 Peter 3:8, 10. Jude 5, 9, 14. Rev. 1:8; Rev. 4:8; Rev. 11:17; Rev. 15:3-4; Rev. 16:5, 7; Rev. 18:8; Rev. 19:6; Rev. 21:22; Rev. 22:5. It is only, it appears, when the Greek answers to Adon, not Jehovah, that the article is used of God. As said of Christ, it follows ordinary rules, Jehovah being regard as a proper name, to which it approached in "the Lord" as a title also. He too is Jehovah. But, Winer notwithstanding, a preposition or a genitive can have nothing really to do, with its anarthrous usage, any more than with Θεός, or other words of the kind.
It is singular that the Revisers have left Matt. 2:1 as it stands in the Authorised Version, when a slight and lawful change of rendering would guard the reader from a really groundless misapprehension of the history. As it stands one might infer, with superficial poets and painters, according to tradition, that the visit of the magi followed close upon the Messiah's birth. And this error has been greedily misused by sceptics. But a comparison of Luke 2 shows that it was not so; confirmed by the accurate ascertainment of the time by Herod, and his consequent slaughter of the male babes at Bethlehem from two years old and under. Room must be left for several months', if not a year's, interval. As we know, the parents came up to Jerusalem for the passover every year; and is anything more intelligible than the interest which would draw to Bethlehem those who knew that the Child was the promised son and heir of David's throne? Then, on a subsequent occasion, came the magi who had seen the star in the east, and gone to Jerusalem in consequence. They had learnt, through Herod, from the scribes that Bethlehem was the predicted spot; and the star, to their joy, re-appears to guide them, till it stood over the place where the Child was. The aorist participle leaves the sense quite open, where "Now when," etc., limits it in this case unduly. Translate, therefore, "Now Jesus having been born," or "Now after Jesus was born," etc.
In Matt. 4:18, 20, 21, the difference between a "net" (ἀμφίβληστρον) and the "nets" (δίκτυα) is not marked even in the margin (both distinct from Matt. 13:47); whereas they have properly done so as to the "baskets" in Matt. 16:9-10. So there is no attempt even in the margin to distinguish between ἀγαθός and καλός, both indiscriminately rendered "good;" though the one means "kind," "beneficial," "excellent," the other "upright" or "honourable."
In Matt. 6:11 (as in Luke 11:3) the rendering is "daily," which the context seems to refute as tautology. "Needful" or "sufficient" I believe to be the true thought, in contrast with περιούσιος, "abundant," "superfluous," "more than enough." Doubtless the word is unusual, coined (Origen thought) for the purpose. Bishop Lightfoot argues against this source, as if the form in that case should be ἐπούσιος. But ἐπιετής is opposed to this rigidity of derivation, being as far as we know a word of late formation like ἐπιούσιος, without question of the digamma. Hence οὐσία does not require the derivation ἐπούσιος. Still less must we restrict οὐσία to mean "essential being" or "substance" in that sense; for the New Testament itself uses it only in the meaning of "subsistence;" and its application in well-known orators, etc., to "property" real (φανερά) or "personal" (ἀφανής) is certain and common. It is unnecessary therefore to trace the word to ἐπιοῦσα (ἡμέρα) "the morrow," and if we did, we could not without harshness make it mean "till tomorrow," that is of today, which (as we have seen) does not suit the context. Nor is the mystical sense, founded either on ὁ ἐπιὼν κ. (the coming world) or on ἐπιούσιος (supersubstantial) worthy of serious argument. Nor is it worthy reasoning, finally, to say that, because the disciples were not to be anxious for the morrow, they were not to pray for their bread today.
It would have been well, if so small a point as "wine-skins" (Matt. 9:11) is carefully substituted for "bottles," that "demons" and "demoniacs" (Matt. 8:28, 31) had always taken the place of "devils," etc., keeping the word "devil" for the different term which scripture gives to their chief.
A seriously mistaken change of reading is adopted in Matt. 11:19, ἔργων, "works," on the authority of Bp.m. 124 (a Vienna cursive of cent. xii.) and of some ancient versions, instead of τέκνων is in all other authorities, not to speak of Luke 7:35. Even Origen lends "works" no support, any more than Chrysostom. It is monstrous to suppose that we are carried back in thought to the moment when Wisdom's works were planned. The contrast is with "this generation;" as the Lord also in the verses following sets forth, the latter as objects of more than outward judgment, whilst the former are objects of the Father's sovereign grace. That the Wisdom of God should be justified of its works seems a truism — of its children is a weighty truth.
Timidity, or want of knowledge, is manifest in perpetuating (Matt. 13:30 and elsewhere) "the end of the world," and relegating to the margin the unquestionably true rendering, "the consummation of the age."
In Matt. 28:1 the old and common error reappears, which has created immense confusion in arranging the order of the facts of the resurrection. The word ἐπιφώσκειν applies equally to the dusk as to the dawn, the context alone deciding. The Jewish day began with the evening. Here it is assuredly the dusk, for the dawn of the first day could not be ὀψὲ σαββάτων. The women came to the tomb on Saturday evening as here, as well as on Sunday morning early to which no doubt the earthquake in verse 2 belongs, when they were there again.
It is a pleasanter task to note some of the improvements of the Revisers, though almost all of moment are familiar to Christians for many years, and may be found in versions of private men. Thus it has long been felt well that Old Testament names, as in chapter 1, should follow the Hebrew rather than the Greek form. Again, the tendency to assimilate the Gospels has been watched against, as in Matt. 1:25 (cf. Luke 2:7); Matt. 5:41 (cf. Luke 6:27-28); Matt. 9:13 and Mark 2:17 (cf. Luke 5:32); Matt. 17:21 (cf. Mark 9:29); Matt. 18:11 (cf. Luke 19:10); Matt. 19:16-17 (cf. Mark 10:17-18, Luke 18:18-19); Matt. 20:16 (cf. 22:16); Matt. 20:22-23 (cf. Mark 10:38-39); Matt. 23:14 (cf. Mark 12:40, Luke 20:47); Matt. 25:13 (cf. Matt. 24:42, 44). The repetition of our Lord's name, Jesus, is corrected as in Matt. 4:12, 18; Matt. 8:5; Matt. 13:36; Matt. 14:14, 25; Matt. 15:16, 30; Matt. 16:20; Matt. 17:11; Matt. 22:37; Matt. 24:2. This was probably owing to ecclesiastical influence, like the doxology fit the end of the prayer for the disciples (Matt. 6:13), and the "Amen" at the end of the Gospel, and indeed of all the Gospels.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARK.
In Mark 1:2 the Revisers have rightly abandoned "in the prophets" though given in the Alex. and most other MSS, because it is an evident correction made to ease the difficulty. The Sinai, Vatican, Cambridge of Beza, Parisian (L) and St. Gall uncials, with some twenty-five cursives, the most ancient versions and express early citations, preserve the true text, "in Isaiah the prophet." Even on human ground it is absurd to suppose that the writer did not know that the first words quoted were from Malachi 3:1; and if inspiration be allowed, the only question is as to the principle of thus merging a secondary in a primary quotation. Compare the somewhat different use of "Jeremiah" rather than Zechariah in Matthew 27:9-10. There is purpose in both, which cursory readers have not seen; and so they have been quick to impute a slip, as the later copyists were to eliminate it. But it is as irreverent as unwise and evil to obscure or deny the truth even in such points as these, because the modes of scripture application differ from those of ordinary men, and we may not at a first glance be able to appreciate or clear up the profound wisdom of inspiration. Kuster's conjecture that the reading was originally "in the prophet" seems a mere effort to get rid of what he did not understand; which really, like such attempts generally, leaves the chief point where it was. — Verse 14, "of the kingdom" disappears with good reason, though most uncials and cursives insert the words, the old versions being pretty evenly divided. It is an addition borrowed from Matthew, whose Gospel it suits perfectly.
In Mark 2:1, 20 an article is needlessly inserted. Translate "at home" in contrast with being abroad or elsewhere, and "days will come." — At the end of the latter verse "in that day" has the best authority, not "in those days," which came in from the corresponding passage of Luke 5 — The end of verse 12 is simply "thus," "on this fashion" being antiquated.
In Mark 3:13, as in Matthew 5:1, the indefinite article appears wrongly in the Authorised Version, the Revised gives "the" correctly, not meaning any particular mountain, but the high land as contrasted with the low or plain, as on board ship or on the sea is in contrast with on the shore. — In verse 14 the Revisers rightly give "appointed" instead of the equivocal "ordained." They are no less fair in striking out the "ordained to be" of Acts 1:22, and in changing "ordain" to "appoint" in Titus 1:5. They would have done better in giving "chosen" in Acts 14:23 and 2 Corinthians 8:19, as they do in Acts 10:41, though "appoint" is no doubt a legitimate rendering of χειροτονέω. — The chief change of text is in verse 29, "guilty of an eternal sin," instead of "in danger of," or "subject to eternal judgment." "Damnation," as is well known, is not the true force of κρίσεως, though its effect. But the true reading on excellent authority appears to be ἁμαρτήματος, "sin" or "guilt," which might naturally be toned down into judgment. It is more forcible and absolutely expressed than even in Matthew, where blaspheming against the Spirit is said to be irremissible, either in this age, that is, of the law, or in that which is to come, that is, of Messiah reigning over the earth, when all other iniquities are forgiven, and all diseases are healed.
There are many minute changes in Mark 4, but the only correction of version one would notice is the unquestionably right one of "in the stern sleeping on the cushion," instead of "in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow" in verse 38.
In Mark 5:36 it is well to remark the παρακούσας of the critical editors instead of the [εὐθέως] ἀκ. of the common text. But it is doubtful whether the marginal "over-hearing" should not rather have taken the place of the Revisers' text "not heeding," which would have suited if the Lord had said nothing. But He heeds the word spoken enough to bid the synagogue-ruler, "Fear not, only believe."
The latter half of Mark 6:11 seems an accommodation from Matthew 11 and Luke 10 with changes. Yet the ancient testimony is so ample (eleven uncials, nearly all the cursives, and some of the best versions) that it surprises one to see no remark on such a difference in the margin of the Revisers. In the footnotes of the corresponding Greek text Mr. E. Palmer of course gives the words. — The rendering of a phrase in verse 20 as well as the reading after it is questionable. Does συνετήρει αὐτόν mean "kept him safe," or "paid close attention to him"? and is the true reading "was perplexed," ἠπόρει ( B L Cop.) or the far more largely supported ἐποίει which their margin renders?
Mark 7:3 presents a difficulty of translation if not of reading. Tischendorf now adopts πυκνά from the Sinaitic copy, confirmed perhaps by some Latin and other versions; but the mass of authority sustains πυγμῃ, lit. "with the fist," or "up to the elbow," the usual construing being "diligently" or "frequently," with "vigour" or "with nicety." — The addition in italics at the end of verse 11 is rightly omitted by the Revisers, as in Matthew 15:5 also; but a serious Italic supplement appears in verse 19, This he said. Here again is the preliminary question of καθαρίζων and καθαρίζον, the former undoubtedly carrying much the most weight externally, if one did not bear in mind how carelessly the best MSS interchange ω and ο, which almost nullifies their suffrages on the point. The strange version of the Revisers seems due to Origen (Comm. in Matt. 15:10). K. usually is regarded, if in the neuter, as in apposition with the sentence; if in the masculine, as appended in an independent construction, with the gender conformed to τὸν ἀφεδρῶνα, the departure from formal grammar giving the more force to the participle. Indeed καθαρίζει, and καὶ καθαρίζει are found in some copies, all indicative of the difficulty presented by the construction.
In Mark 8:24-25, of the Revised Version, we have the healing of the blind man more graphically than in the common text and version. "I see men; for I behold them as trees, walking." Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes, and he looked stedfastly (διέβλεψε) and was restored and saw all things clearly (ἐνέβλεπε τηλαυγῶς [Tisch. δηλ.] ἅπαντα).
In Mark 9:23 the oldest and best authorities omit πιστεῦσαι, though it has large uncial support. Perhaps its difficulty may have led to the omission. If genuine, the true meaning is not the muddle of two clauses as in the Authorised Version, but rather "the If thou canst [is] to believe." The question of power turns on faith. In verse 24, 29, the evidence is strong against μετὰ δακρύων ("with tears"), weak against καὶ νηστείᾳ, "and fasting;" but the Revisers leave both out, as they do verses 44, 46, none omitting verse 48. Some of these witnesses leave out the latter half of 49, followed by our Revisers. The substance of the truth abides no doubt; but the solemnity of the warning appears to be enfeebled in the curtailed form; and the distinction between the wicked and righteous as tested by God's judgment moral in grace or final in verse 49.
The Revisers, on few but first-rate authorities, read in Mark 10:1 "and" beyond Jordan, for the A. V. "by."
In Mark 11:8 they read "fields" (ἀγρῶν) instead of "branches" (δένδρων) with other small changes.
In Mark 12:6 the Revisers omit "his," and in verse 20 "therefore" on firm grounds, and for "God" give "He" in verse 32.
There is no doubt that "spoken of by Daniel the prophet" is an importation into Mark 13:14 from Matthew 24. But there is an interesting though dubious reading in the same verse, "standing where [he] ought not" ἑστηκότα ( B L and so Tisch. Tregelles, Alford), instead of ἑστός (Steph.), ἑστώς (Elz. Griesbach, Scholz), ἑστηκός Lachmann and Green), στηκόν (seven cursives). If the masculine be well founded, it points to the Antichrist, the lawless one of 2 Thessalonians 2:4. But why should the Revisers perpetuate "her parable," "her branch with its leaves" here, verse 28, as in Matthew 24:32? Why not "its," especially as in Revelation 22:2 they correct "her" into "its fruit"?
In Mark 14 among other changes less noteworthy are the omission of "eat," verse 22, and of "now," verse 24, at the Lord's Supper, and the insertion of "thou" emphatically, verse 30, the best MSS substituting ἔλαβον "received" for ἔβαλλον for "did strike" in verse 65, and omitting the last clause of verse 70.
In Mark 15:7 they follow ἀναβάς "going up," for crying out," and omit "to drink" in verse 23 as well as verse 28 (from Luke 22:37).
The Revisers put most undeservedly a certain stigma on Mark 16:9-20, because B omit these verses, L with a break adding a miserable compendium, and many cursives giving them with more or less doubt, No good version of antiquity omits. But few fathers on harmonistic grounds talk of the accurate copies ending with ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ. We need not now discuss the alleged internal reasons against the paragraph. The positive external proofs are really overwhelming; and the internal prove not only that it is inspired scripture, but from none other than Mark himself.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE.
There is more to court remark in the third Gospel. In Luke 1:17 is the first change of version to be weighed: ἐν φ. δ. can hardly bear "to" the wisdom of the just, as in the Authorised Version. The Revisers are obliged to intercalate "to walk" in the wisdom, etc., in order to give the force. Some suggest "by" or "according to;" but the sense fails in this connection, if the preposition could bear it. — In verse 28 there are two changes of text — the exclusion of "the angel," though supported by much and good authority, and of "blessed art thou among women," which incontestably appears in verse 42; in 29 also, "when she saw him" was probably suggested by verse 12. — But the rendering of the last clause of verse 35 is strange and objectionable, that of the margin (which is in main the Authorised Version), or the American suggestion, being better. — In verse 37 is a bold change of reading (τοῦ θ. for τῶ. θ.) which necessitates the rendering "no word from God shall be void of power."
In Luke 2 are changes of text or translation much to be considered. In verse 2 they give, "This was the first enrolment when Quirinius," etc. It would seem really to be a parenthetic statement to guard from confusion. God caused the decree to bring about the presence of Mary with her affianced husband at Bethlehem, and so accomplish the prophecy of Micah years before the enrolment was completed. — Of course they have in verse 10 "all the people," that is, the Jews. — Verse 14 follows the later editors, or their few but first-rate authorities, ἐν ἀνθρώποις ἐνδοκίας "among men in whom he is well pleased." But Luke was given to magnify the grace of God, not to seal human righteousness. There is good and ample authority for the common text, only rendered "good-will in men," which incarnation proved. — Passing over minor points we have in verse 22 "their" instead of the common "her," but hardly the exact shade of verses 31, 32. "All the peoples" is better than "all peoples," and revelation of Gentiles" is the true meaning, not "to all the Gentiles." Before the Word was made flesh Gentiles were in the dark is regards the light of God; as the Jews who despised the true light have fallen into darkness, till the word is made good, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah is arisen on thee." The Revisers prefer, in verse 38, "redemption of Jerusalem" to "redemption in it," though the witnesses are very few. "To Jerusalem" in verse 42 is probably a repetition from the verse preceding.
Luke 3:2 should be "in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas," the true text being singular, not plural. — A good many small corrections follow. It is surprising that few as yet see that the true parenthesis, marked or not, in verse 23 is not merely "as was supposed" but "being the son as was supposed of Joseph," so as to connect the genealogy that follows directly with the Lord through Mary. For Joseph was the son of Jacob, in the Solomon line, as Mary was daughter of Heli, in the Nathan line; and our Lord needed to be thus born in order to be unequivocally heir of David and true man. To have been son of Mary was essential to the truth, the means and demonstration as well as the display of the good pleasure of God in men; to inherit the royal, or Solomonic, right to the throne depended on Mary's espousal to Joseph; whilst His being Son of God in the highest sense was the ground and turning-point of all blessing. Had He been really Joseph's son, as He was not, all the truth of His person would have been denied; had He been, as He was not, Mary's son only, He had been true man but not true Messiah. He must therefore be Joseph's son legally, Mary's son truly, and God's Son supremely, in order to satisfy the word and accomplish the purposes of God; and all this the scriptures show plainly that He was. But the proof is enfeebled by not seeing the connection in Luke 3:23, and this in the Revised Version as much as in that of 1611, the only expressed υἱός being in the parenthesis, and the proper genealogical line uniformly elliptic, as is often the case in such statements.
In Luke 4 the most striking change is in verse 8, where the common text and all versions founded on it have ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ, taken from Matthew 16:23, and confounded with Matthew 4:10, where it is rightly ὕπαγε, Σ. Here however these were left out in the wisdom of the Spirit, who inspired Luke to place second what was in fact the third temptation. This made the omission necessary; as otherwise we should have had in Luke the Lord bidding the enemy depart, and instead of it the enemy making another assault immediately after. Perhaps not one of the critical editors saw the impossibility of the words of Matthew re-appearing in Luke, though they rightly left them out on grounds purely diplomatic. Luke as usual presents the circumstances in their moral order, (the natural, the worldly, and the religious temptation respectively,) whilst Matthew, as is his wont, gives them dispensationally, and this fell in here with the order of fact.
The Revisers in Luke 5 do not distinguish more than the Authorised Version μέτοχοι, verse 7, and κοινωνοί, verse 10, though the latter is the more formal "partners," the former rather "companions."
In Luke 6:1 they omit, save in their margin, the word "second-first." Now the witnesses ( B L) which omit the word are few, though high; and the difficulty of understanding a word nowhere else occurrent, and in itself hard to explain without an exact knowledge of Jewish scripture and usage, accounts readily for the tampering hand of copyists prone to cut knots instead of untying them. The sabbath before the wave-sheaf was offered the Jews ever regarded as great (John 19:31); the sabbath after the wave-sheaf was also in high esteem, but not equal to the former. It was δευτεροπρῶτον. Nobody would or could create a needless difficulty by inserting this into A C D E H K M R S U V X Γ Δ Λ Π; but we can easily account for a few omitting what was hard in their eyes, as it is to most readers still. — In verse 17 they rightly translate "a level place," not a plain, as in the Authorised Version. It was a plateau on the mountain, which upsets the notion of two sermons: one on the mount, the other on a plain. Not so, but the Spirit gave Matthew to present the discourse suitably to his design, and to Luke another method equally in keeping with his aim.
Verse 35 is the most remarkable innovation, as far as translation is concerned, which as yet occurs in the Revision. "But love your enemies … and lend, never despairing," with the still stranger marginal alternation, "despairing of no man," μηδὲν (or, α) ἀπελπίζοντες. The Authorised Version is "hoping for nothing again." Now we cannot reason on the usage of the word elsewhere in the New Testament, for this is its only occurrence. What influenced the Revisers is the fact that the word occurs in Polybius and the like in the sense of despairing or giving up in despair, and in the Authol P. ii, 114 of driving to despair. But even Liddell and Scott furnish, from Diog. L. i. 1-59, an instance of the modification, hoping that a thing will not happen. The fact is, that words thus compounded admit of meanings so widely different as to include senses nearly opposed. Thus ἀπάγειν means to take away, or to bring home; ἀπαλλάσσειν to release, to destroy, to escape; ἀπαυρᾶν to take away from, or receive; ἀπειπεῖν to speak out, deny, forbid, disown, or fail; ἀπελαύνειν to drive away, or to march; ἀπέρχεσθαι to go away, or to come back; ἀπεσθίειν to eat off, or up, and to leave off eating; ἀπέχειν to keep off or hinder, or to receive in full; ἀποβαίνειν to throw away, and to throw back; ἀποβλέπειν to look on, or at, or away; αποδακρύειν to weep much or to cease weeping; ἀποδαρθάνειν to sleep a little, or to wake up; ἀπόκεισθαι to be laid up in store, or aside; αποκλαίεσθαι to bewail oneself, or to cease wailing, etc. This induction suffices to show that verbs compounded with ἀπό admit of flexibility enough in sense to cover the meaning attached to the word in our old and other Versions.
The question then mainly turns on the requirement of the context. And when one weighs verses 30-34 with care, it seems surprising that a sense so unnatural here should be attached to the word in verse 35. Especially consider the immediately preceding verse: "and if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much." What can be simpler than the converse call of grace, love, do good, lend, "hoping for nothing again." (Cf. Luke 14:12.) What worthy sense in such a connection is there in "never despairing"? Does it mean that, whatever we may give thus unselfishly in faith, we are to have no fears of coming short for ourselves? If so, it seems needless, mean, and out of character with all the rest. Never despair because of giving or lending to others! Even a generous man might be beyond such fears, not to speak of a son of the Highest exhorted by the Only-begotten of the Father. And what here is the force of the margin "despairing of no man"? If the Revisers understand despairing of no man's honesty or gratitude in repayment, it seems quite contrary to the spirit of verse 30, not to mention that the sequel of verse 35 casts the believer wholly on God's great recompense.
Have the Revisers caught the idiom in 38, 44; Luke 14:35; Luke 16:4, 9; Luke 23:31? The Authorised Version followed by themselves takes it rightly in Luke 12:20. To give the plural literally misleads the English reader. It is meant to be general, and for us an impersonal or passive turn best expresses the thought. In several cases God is really meant without saying so.
In Luke 7:31 the Revisers properly drop, among lesser additions without due warrant, the spurious words which begin the verse, which were inserted by copyists who did not perceive that verses 29, 30 are a parenthesis of the evangelist, and that the Lord continues from the end of verse 28.
In Luke 8 one of the most weighty corrections is in verse 51, where "put them all out and" should not be, though rightly in Mark 5:40.
In Luke 9:35 "chosen" takes the place of "beloved Son" as in Matthew and Mark. Verses 55, 56 are simply thus: "But he turned and rebuked them. And they went to another village." But the end of verse 55 in the vulgar text has more authority than the beginning of verse 56. The Revisers even omit the last words of verse 54.
In the parable of the good Samaritan the Revisers, on good authority, strike out additions of the common text, in verses 32 and 35 especially.
But Luke 11 affords more cases, especially in Luke's form of the prayer, where "Father" alone is read, not "Our Father which art in heaven," an importation from Matthew, as is "Thy will be done as in heaven so in earth," and "but deliver us from evil:" all of which petitions had special interest and value for Jewish disciples. Ought there not to have been a more distinctive version of ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ in verse 13 than the "heavenly" of the Authorised Version here followed? (Compare Matt. 5:16, 44, 48; Matt. 6:1, 9.)
No doubt cases are not infrequent where an anarthrous form in Greek requires the definite article in our idiom. But the tendency even in the Revised Version is to introduce it needlessly. Thus in Luke 11:31-32 (as in Matt. 12:41-42) it is enough and even more exact to say "a queen" and "men of Nineveh." The article might have been used in Greek if the intention had been to refer to them as those well-known in Old Testament history or prophecy. But as it is not, "the queen" and "the men" seems uncalled for. On the other hand, why should we have "mint and rue," etc. (and in Matt. 23:23, "mint and anise and cummin") when the Greek article is so expressly introduced to mark the minutious exactitude of Jewish legalism. Between these however may be noticed in verse 33, "a cellar," an improvement on "a secret place"; and in verse 41, for "such things as ye have" or "your property," an unquestionally sound rendering of τὰ ἐνόντα, "those things which are within" and in the margin "ye can," neither of which seems at all so suitable to the context. Of course those who advocate the revised textual rendering might point to the preceding verses in its justification; but to give for alms those things which are written is really a paradox, instead of the simple dealing with the Pharisee's conscience, which to plain minds is the thing intended. "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and these defile the man, anything but a suitable material for alms, leaving all things clean to him.
In Luke 12:31 it is "his [your Father's] kingdom" rather than "the kingdom of God," though the authorities are not numerous.
In Luke 13:15, Hypocrites, not "hypocrite;" and omit desolate in verse 35, brought in from Matthew 23.
In Luke 14:5 the Revisers have resisted the temptation of following the mass of ancient authority and of modern critics, and retain "ass," giving "son" in the margin.
In Luke 15:22 they add "quickly" on good, but not large, authority, and omit "again" in verse 32.
"It fails" in Luke 16:9 has beyond doubt preponderant authority over "ye fail;" but it is difficult to see its superior force or even propriety.
"Against thee," in Luke 17:3, came in probably from Matthew 18:15, though even there B omit, as here also with A L. Omit verse 36, borrowed from Matthew 24:40.
In Luke 18:1 the Revisers rightly translate "that they ought" etc., not "men." — In verse 28 they follow a few very ancient copies in giving "our own" instead of "all," which however is supported by A and many other uncials.
I am surprised ἐν τῳ ἐγγίζειν αὐτόν is not represented in its vagueness, "while he was nigh," so as to suit going out of Jericho as truly as coming in. (Cf. Matt. 20:29; Mark 10:46.) Perhaps they and the Authorised Version were deterred by the story of Zacchaeus afterwards as the Lord passed through Jericho; but this is no sufficient obstacle. To my mind the aim of the Spirit appears to be the bringing together this story and the parable of the Pounds (Luke 19) to illustrate the moral ways of God in the two advents of Christ, which would have been marred by the interposition of the blind man healed in its actual historic place.
In Luke 20:13 there is good authority for omitting "when they see him," with lesser points before and after; also "why tempt ye me?" from Mark, with other omissions. It seems singular that κρίμα should be confounded in verse 47 with κατάκριμα: "sentence" (often included in "charge" also) is the true thought. (Cf. Luke 23:40.)
In Luke 21:19 the Revisers have adopted a reading and a rendering at least questionable. A B are but slender authority for κτήσεσθε, as against κτήσασθε differing only by one letter; and their own rendering of 1 Thessalonians 4:5 sustains the Authorised Version, "possess," against their own "win" here.
There is in Luke 22:31 the precarious omission of the opening words "And the Lord said" with no more than three uncials (B L T). Thus they render, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you that he might sift you as wheat; but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not: and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, stablish thy brethren," consigning to the margin the notion of Alford, etc., that ἐξαιτέομαι should here convey the sense of "obtained you by asking;" which is clean contrary to the context and indeed to the truth generally. They give the addition, on better evidence, of "today" in verse 61, whilst all but the same manuscripts omit "struck him on the face and" in verse 64.
Luke 23:17 is rejected with the best authorities and critics; it was founded probably on Matthew and Mark, with a good many changes of words here and there.
It is strange that any critics should have been moved by an erratic uncial to doubt Luke 24:12 and 40. Many more instances of lesser moment might be added; but these selections may suffice.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN.
The corrected rendering of John 1:9 seems not only clumsy, but so ambiguous that many readers will doubt or misunderstand what the Revisers really mean by it. "There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world." If the comma after "man" is intended to sever "coming into the world" from "man," and to connect the phrase as a predicate with the true light or the relative that follows, it is all well; but is not so slight an intimation — likely to be misapprehended? This at any rate, if so meant, aims at the true sense. John was not the light in question. The true light was that which lightens every man, not absolutely nor always, but on coming into the world. It is the character or effect of the Incarnation. The Authorised Version is unquestionably incorrect, besides giving a tautological meaning if the article could be dispensed with. Further to be a man, and to come into the world, are said to be equivalent in Rabbinical usage. But does any Rabbi add [the article in such cases]? It is not correct. They may employ "those that come into the world" to express "all men;" but where do they employ both phrases "every man coming into the world," as John is presumed to say here? The truth is that in one form or another ὁ ἐρχόμενος regularly applies to the Lord Jesus, as in John 1:15, 27; John 3:31 (bis), as also in Matthew 11:3; Luke 7:19-20; yet more fully and definitely ὁ ἐρχ. εἰς τὸν κ., John 6:14, where it would be idle to take it for any man as such, and not as appropriated to the Messiah. (Cf. John 11:27.) It would be well also to note John 3:19; John 9:39; John 12:46; John 16:28; John 18:37. These instances ought to leave no doubt in any careful mind that our evangelist habitually uses the phrase of Christ to the exclusion of every other, it must be connected here not with π. ἄνθρωπον, but with τὸ φῶς τὸ ἀλ. The nearest approach is John 16:21, which is pointedly different, not to speak of any ulterior mystery in its figure.
It is surprising under such circumstances that the Five Clergymen should say it is impossible to determine with certainty whether the particle ἐρχόμενον is to be taken with φῶς or with ἦν in the nominative case neuter, or with ἄνθρωπον in the masculine accusative. They, too, while adopting the same sense as the Authorised Version, strive not to exclude a quite different reference, the converse of the Revisers.
But if the Revisers intended in their text to convey that Christ is the true light which coming into the world lighteth every man, they give in the margin, "The true light, which lighteth every man, was coming" into the world: a rendering grammatically possible, though not probable, but contextually excluded by the verse following which speaks of the Lord in immediate connection as in the world, and not to come, or in mere process of coming. Next, the margin adds another alternative, indicative of the uncertainty of the Revisers, "every man as he cometh." But is this serious? It is no question of a reasonable soul or conscience, but of Christ the true light. Is it orthodox that Christ enlightens "every man as he cometh," etc.? What do they suggest by it? What can any one infer but that, if this be true, Christ gives His own light to every man on his coming into the world? A doctrine less defensible and more unworthy than the delusion of every man's being born again by baptism. Here a signal spiritual blessing is bound up with every man's birth of nature. Would it not be nearer the truth of God to say that no man as he comes into the world is enlightened by Christ?
In result, then, we see that the Revisers reject apparently the Authorised Version, and give us in the text the right sense so obscurely that most readers will confound it with the only meaning meant to be shut out, while the margin gives the choice between a version possible and harmless, but quite unsuitable to the context, and another directly opposed to any creed in Christendom, unless it be that of Quakers. It is probably due to their adherence to the order of the Greek words that they have in the revised text left their meaning anything but clear and express. They have thus sacrificed their own principle not to leave any translation or arrangement of words which could adapt itself to one or other of two interpretations, but rather to express as plainly as possible that interpretation which seemed best to deserve a place.
They are also somewhat capricious in representing the article or the anarthrous construction. Thus in John 1:12 they say "the right to become children of God," where they properly drop it before "children," and needlessly insert it before "right." They give us "a woman" in John 4:27, and "a servant" in John 13:16; but they do not say "the woman" in John 16:21, though they do say "the child," whereas the one like the other is used generically, like "the bondservant" and "the son" in John 8:35.
Slight but generally accredited changes occur not seldom in John 1, 2, which call for no particular remark. In verse 11 of John 2 "signs" is rightly given, and throughout this Gospel, rather than "miracles;" but why should ἐξουσία be rendered "right" in John 1:12, "authority" in John 5:17, and "power" (margin, "right") in John 10:18?
In John 3:15 they adopt "believeth may in him have eternal life," whilst in verse 16 they retain "believeth on him should not perish but have eternal life." It is a question of readings, and it cannot be doubted that they have good authority. In John 4:42 they properly, with all critics and on good grounds, discard "the Christ," the true force being far clearer without that title; so do they, on ample authority, omit other additions of loss moment.
But the omission of the last clause of verse 3, and the whole of verse 4 in John 5, is grave. No doubt a few of the oldest and best MSS and versions omit all or nearly all this portion. Still the unquestionable answer of the sufferer in verse 7 seems hardly compatible with the omission, which ancient rationalism might desire, as does the same spirit in our own day. There seems nothing unworthy of God in the omitted clause, while, on the contrary, what is there falls in with the scope of what is undoubted, if it be not requisite to give the full force. God under the law had not left Himself without witness of mercy; but sin wrought havoc, and strength was needed to avail oneself of any remedy afforded. What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, and so gave us deliverance. Jesus with a word heals the man whom no angel's help, no ordinance, could avail to meet.
In the body of the Lord's discourse, wherein He shows Himself the source of life now to faith, vindicated by the execution of judgment by-and-by, we have the Revisers very properly exhibiting "judgment" where the Authorised Version had "judgment," "condemnation," and "damnation." (Vers. 22, 24, 27, 29.)
John 6 affords many small points of correction as to which most are agreed; and so does John 7. But on these details there is little reason to dwell.
The most noteworthy and important omission is of course the end of John 7 and beginning of John 8 to verse 11 inclusively. Here confessedly most of the old uncials are adverse, and not a few versions are silent, as ancient commentators also. But it is painful to add that Augustine at an early day, and Nicon, an Armenian abbot of the tenth century, bear their distinct testimony to the subjective reasons which led to leaving out the story, even where it was well known to exist in the Gospel. Nothing on the other hand can account for its insertion if it were not the inspired word of God; and in no place does it fit in, spite of strong and repeated efforts to dislodge it, save as the fact introductory to the discourse of our Lord in this chapter. The internal objections to the style or language are as weak as those alleged against Mark 16:9-20. The words, which viewed superficially afford occasion, turn out when duly weighed to be powerful evidences of their own genuineness as well as authenticity; as is indeed the case invariably with true scripture for all who value the truth.
But there is a difficulty of translation in the central part of this chapter which should not be lightly passed over. The Jews say to the Lord (ver. 25), "Who art thou? Jesus said unto them, Even that which I have also spoken unto you from the beginning," τὴν ἀρχὴν ὅτι καὶ λαλῶ ὑμῖν. Such is the Revisers' translation and Mr. Palmer's text, pretty much as the Authorised Version, 41 even the same that I said unto you from the beginning."* It is the more strange, as Tyndale followed by Cranmer had rendered it not only in better keeping with the context but with less violence to grammatical propriety: "Even the very same thing that I saye (C. speake) unto you." The Geneva Version introduced the error which still taints the Revision: "Even the very same thing that I sayde unto you from the begynnyng," which rendering appears to give a twofold meaning to τὴν ἀρχήν, besides that one of these meanings leads to the violation of the time of the verb. This the Five Clergymen seek to avoid in "That which I also say unto you from the beginning." But even if this were otherwise allowable, how can τὴν ἀρχήν = ἐξ = (or ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς? It is common enough to see ἀρχήν or ἀρχάς, with or without κατά, in the sense of at first, in the beginning, to begin with; and no doubt the assumption that so it means here gave occasion to "I said" or "I have spoken" as the rendering of λαλῶ. Were all this permissible and feasible, where is the propriety of the sense that results? Plato's Lysis (recogn. Baiter. Orell. & Wink. 367, col. 2) proves that it is too hasty to say that the phrase cannot mean absolutely, altogether, save in negative and quasi-negative sentences; and Elsner adds a few more occurrences in later Greek. This alone gives a worthy meaning: "Who art thou? Absolutely what I am also speaking to you." Jesus is the Word, the Truth: what He speaks corresponds wholly with His being. He is what He says, as none other: not only the truth in itself, but precisely what comes out from first to last in this chapter, where He first acts as the light, then reveals Himself as such, and shows that He is the truth, the Son, and finally God, the Eternal One: before Abraham was (γενέσθαι) I am (ἐγώ εἰμι).
*The Vulgate has, Principium qui (some copies, quia) et loquor vobis; and this of course Wiclif follows, and the Rhemish yet more closely. No one can doubt that they are all absurdly wrong, though Augustine and Ambrose misused their liberties to extract a tolerable sense from what must have been wholly ungrammatical. To bear such a version the Lord must have said ἡ ἀρχή, not to speak of anything else. The Greek ecclesiastics, not comprehending the connection, have apparently evaded coming to close quarters.
There is little calling for notice in the Company's work on John 9 save the reception of ἡμᾶς "us" in verse 4 instead of the first "me" without even a caution in the margin. Also they might have avoided both text and marginal alternative of John 10:2 by giving simply "is shepherd of the sheep." It is not often perhaps that English answers to the anarthrous Greek without the definite, or even the indefinite, article; but here it seems to be unequivocally preferable. They have adopted a better text than the Received in verse 4: "When he hath put forth all his own," reading "all" and dropping "sheep." So in verses 14, 15, they have given the undoubtedly requisite correction on good authority, which beautifully connects the two verses now severed;* excluding the gross blunder of "fold" instead of "flock" for ποιμνή in verse 16, where Tyndale was right. — To verse 29 it seems rather surprising they should have deemed it advisable to give in the margin, "That which my Father hath given unto me," even though read by some ancient authorities, seeing that this is not really "greater than all," and that it also wholly breaks the context. No doubt Tischendorf, Tregelles and Alford adopt this unreasonable variation; but, strange to say, Dr. S. Davidson, who translates the text of the first, follows the ordinary readings here, and so does the last in his revised New Testament. And is there not a purposed omission of the object in both parts of the verse, which should be heeded by the translator instead of supplying "them" twice, as the Revisers do? The omission gives force to the gift, and strongly negatives wresting out of the Father's hand. Minor points may be left.
* Of English versions here Wiclif is the best, and the Rhemish the worst, though both were founded on the Vulgate.
In John 11 nothing appears to detain us.
In John 12 why not "the" grain of wheat, as they themselves give "the" mountain, "the" rock, "the" bushel, "the" lampstand, "the" sower, "the" bason, "the" sop, etc.?
Nor is there in John 13 anything special to notice, "during supper" being certainly the true force of δείπνου γιν., not "supper being ended." Even if γεν. (A D and a dozen uncials more, and almost all cursives, etc.) be read, it would mean "supper being come."
In John 14:23 they of course give "my word," not "words;" on 15 and 16 we need not dwell.
In John 17:4 "having accomplished" is well known to rest on excellent authority, but differs very slightly in sense from the more general text; so in verse 11, "keep them in thy name which" is accepted ordinarily instead of the common reading. Surely it would have been better in verse 16 to have adhered to the emphatic Greek order, "Of the world they are not," as compared with the same words in verse 14. In verse 19 they say "sanctified in truth," rightly omitting the article, as others did before them. They drop ἔν, "one in us," verse 21, and read in their text of verse 24, "ὅ, that which," instead of "οὕς, those whom" (cf. John 6:37, 39), only that in the earlier chapter each form is used distinctly, not blended, as they would be here were the critical reading accepted as certain.
In the four closing chapters are corrections of slight blemishes in the common text, but happily nothing of sufficient moment to call for remark. "Simon, son of John" rather than Jonas, as in John 1:42. "Perceivest" is a poor alternative in the margin for "knowest," γινώσκεις as compared with οἶδας.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
This book furnishes such an abundant harvest of various readings, as well as of questionable renderings that those pointed out, whether for commendation or for censure, must be regarded rather as samples than a complete review.
Acts 1 calls for no special notice, though there is laxity in verses 14, 18, 19; correctness in verses 7, 17, 22. Why should πνοή in Acts 2:2 be translated "wind," as in the Authorised Version? The sound out of heaven seemed like the rush of an impetuous blast or blowing. And why should φωνή in verse 6 be confounded with the ἦχος of verse 2, instead of the more natural Septuagintal sense of "report," adopted in the Authorised Version? The rumour of what had occurred to the disciples might well attract people from all parts to the spot where they were gathered; how could the sound from heaven do so? T. S. Green takes it as "gift of speech," Bloomfield as the noise of the multitude; but the former seems without example in the LXX, or New Testament, and the loud noise would be when the strangers flocked rather than that which drew them together. Another point by no means clear is the "parted" or "parting asunder" of verse 3, which they alternate in the margin with "parting asunder among them," or "distributing themselves" — a very different meaning. Alford and the Authorised Version follow Erasmus' dissectae, rather than the Vulgate dispertitae, which Wiclif neglected wholly. But Wiclif was right as to men of Crete, where Tyndale and the Geneva by a strange error gave "Grekes" in chapter 2, and the Authorised Version "Cretes," not the singular "Cretians," of Titus 1:12. Again, is it desirable in verse 22 to continue "approved" (ἀποδεδειγμένον), seeing that the word is never used now in the sense of "shown plainly forth," "proved," "appointed," but judged worthy or pleasing, which wholly misleads? To this the Vulgate and Beza contributed, giving "approbatum," rather than Erasmus' "exhibitum," or "demonstratum," or "designatum." In verse 23 the Revisers very properly give "by the hand of lawless men," and leave out of verse 30 a clause as unauthorised as it is unnecessary; equally good is their omission of ἀσμένως in verse 41, an evident insertion from Acts 21:17. Verses 42, 46 are more correctly represented, though the close of verse 47 might be better than "And the Lord added to them, day by day, those that were being saved." The marginal alternative is not more literally true to the Greek than requisite. "And the Lord kept adding together day by day, those that should be saved." This formed "the assembly;" and so the words τῃ ἐκκλησιᾳ crept in, and drove out ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό Which then and there became useless, so as to introduce Acts 3, where they are not wanted. For the true force of τοὺς σ., let me appeal to the respectable Company themselves in their version of Luke 13:23 (not to speak of 1 Cor. 15:2). Correct accordingly not only Acts 2:47 but 1 Corinthians 1:18, and 2 Corinthians 2:15, τῶν σ. in Revelation 21:24 being beyond a doubt spurious. It has been often pointed out that οἱ σ. is a technical expression of the LXX for the Jewish remnant destined to salvation out of the ungodly people, and that the present participle is here used (as the indicative no less frequently) apart from time for the class; for the same persons at the same time have predicated of them the aorist and perfect as well as the present. This proves that the present must be used, not historically, but as the description of a class; the present cannot otherwise apply, as well as the two past tenses; abstractedly of the character it might. Compare the use of "sanctified" in Hebrews 10:10, 14, to which the same principle applies.
In Acts 3:18, 26, as in Acts 4:27, 30, the Revisers rightly give, not Son or Child, but "servant," referring to Isa. 42:1; (Matt. 12:18); Isa. 52:13; Isa. 53:11. Verses 19, 20 are given accurately, "Repent ye, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that he may send the Christ who hath boon appointed for you, even Jesus."
In Acts 4-6 there are changes requisite, but not perhaps of any great importance.
In Acts 7:38 is perpetuated the old error of "church" in the wilderness, with "congregation" in the margin, the converse of Hebrews 2:12, where "congregation" appears in the text, "church" in the margin. There is a good deal of uncertainty in the treatment of verse 53, the law "as it was ordained by angels," or "as the ordinance of angels," Greek "unto ordinances of angels." Undoubtedly εἰς διαταγὰς ἀγγ. is not an easy phrase, but means at injunctions or ordering of angels. (Cf. Matt. 12:41; Gal. 3:19.) In verse 59 if words must be intercalated, they are more right in saying "the Lord" than the Authorised Version, which detracts from His glory by inserting "God;" better leave out either and give, "invoking and saying, Lord Jesus," etc.
In Acts 8 verse 37 is with good reason expunged. Still stronger is all textual authority against the interpolated clauses in Acts 9:5-6, from "persecuted" to "Arise," or rather, "But arise;" for in error the conjunction has been omitted. This is a notable instance of Erasmus' temerity, misled by the Vulgate, the source of the corruption, founding the words in part on Acts 22:10; Acts 26:14. The Complutensian text is right, διώκεις ἀλλὰ ἀνάστηθι κ. τ. λ., and so all modern critics, and of course the Revisers. But the Complutensian is as wrong as Erasmus, and the rest who follow the inferior MSS in giving "Christ" rather than Jesus ( A D C E, fifteen cursives, Vulg., Syrr., Sah., Memph., Theb., Armen., Aeth. etc.) which the Revisers follow, as also "church" rather than "churches" in verse 31, the Compluten. giving the plural form in Greek, the singular in Latin.
In Acts 10 the most remarkable change seems the omission of "and fasting" in verse 30, the most ancient MSS and Versions omitting the words, the mass sustaining them.
In Acts 11:12 is a very questionable adoption, "making no distinction" μηδὲν διακρίναντα* which rests on corr. A B and half-a-dozen cursives. The primary reading of the Sinait. with Laud's and a few cursives is μ. διακρίνοντα, but the bulk of MSS with all the versions support μ. διακρινόμενος, as in Acts 10:20 where the MSS are not at all at variance. D and Syrp. omit the words, as Griesbach thought probable and Alford and Green certain. But the rendering is right in verse 17, as is the reading Ἕλληνας, Greeks, (not Ἑλληνιστάς, Grecians,) in verse 20, as many have pointed out long ago. There would have boon no great moment in mentioning the gospel going out to Hellenists, for there was no question from the first about Greek-speaking Jews. The grand point is the free action in the Spirit of these scattered brethren in preaching to the Gentiles, besides and apart from the formal mission of Peter to Cornelius; and that the Lord's hand was with them.
* οὐδὲν διέκρινε is the phrase for this in Acts 15:9.
There is nothing to detain us in Acts 12, but Acts 13 presents many matters of question and interest. Would it not be better to have distinguished between" sent" in verses 3 and 4? The first is only let go, the second is really "sent forth," which when not distinguished might lead to false inferences in clerical minds. Still stranger is the adoption with Tregelles of ἐτροποφόρησεν which is the vulgar or Stephano-Elzevirian text and has high authority ( B etc.) with the great mass of cursives and other witnesses. Ἐτροφ. has not only A C p.m. E and some cursives and almost all the ancient versions save the Vulgate, but Deuteronomy 1:31 in Hebrew and the LXX (save a few copies of the latter), the intrinsic sense being in my judgment beyond comparison in its favour: and so Alford, Bloomfield, Griesbach, Green, Lachmann, Mill, Scholz, Tischendorf, Wells, and Wordsworth. Bengel too even thinks that the other word means the same thing, an alternative only in form, the context pointing to the sense of Deuteronomy 1 and Numbers 12, especially as Jehovah, whatever His grace, chastised their manners in the wilderness as is written for our admonition. Again, though the critical reading of verses 19, 20, is that of the Revisers, they involve themselves in an ungrammatical rendering of ὡς ἔτεσιν κ. τ. λ. as if it were ὡς ἔτη "for about four hundred and fifty years," instead of "in about four hundred and fifty years." The distinctive use of the dative and accusative in questions of time should not be overlooked in the version, as it is not in the context. On the other hand they rightly drop again" in verse 33, as the participle cannot mean "up" and "again," though it may mean either; which is expressly distinguished in verse 34. In verse 34 they draw no attention to the peculiarity of ὅσιος for "holy" or the preceding ὅσια.
In Acts 14 there is scarcely anything to change; in Acts 15:34 is not now read by any critic of note, as not appearing in A B E H L P, some sixty cursives, etc.
In Acts 16:7 they rightly give "the Spirit of Jesus;" but why in verse 12 "a city of Macedonia, the first of the district," when a principal city of the district of Macedonia" strictly represents the Greek text? Amphipolis had been for some time the capital of the district, and Neapolis was first in geographical order for one arriving from the East like the apostle. It is known however that a Greek city might be designated πρωτή without being the metropolis of the region, as for instance, Smyrna and Pergamos were so styled, though Ephesus was the capital of the province. And reasons were not wanting quite sufficient for such a claim on the part of Philippi, especially as Augustus had shown himself ready to show it uncommon favour.
Again in Acts 17:1 why should ὡς δ. be translated "somewhat superstitious"? Very religious, devoted to higher powers, or given up to demon worship, seems rather the force of the word here. They rightly change "the Lord" into "God" in verse 27; but τὸ θεῖον, the divine, or what is divine, in verse 29, should not be confounded With θειότης or still less θεότης.
In Acts 18:5 they correctly substitute "by the word" for "by the Spirit," whilst Alford would render it "earnestly occupied in preaching," and T. S. Green similarly.
In Acts 19:16 it is "both of them," not the seven, but two of them, easily made into all, but not the converse.
In Acts 20:7 it is correctly "when we came together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them," etc., and in verse 30 "the disciples."
In Acts 21:15 "our baggage" or "effects" is right instead of "carriages."
Acts 22 affords little to remark on, but Acts 23:9 ends correctly with "and if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an angel?" So A B C E and other good authorities, though the addition of the common text is not without numerous attestations. In verse 27 σὺν τῳ στρ. is not "with an army," but with the soldiery, or my soldiers.
In Acts 24:14 the Revisers rightly say "a sect," or faction or parties, as they should have said, not heresies but sects or factions in 1 Corinthians 11:19, and in Galatians 5:20, as Titus 3:10 should be factions rather than "heretical."
The only thing one would now notice in Acts 25: is in verse 5, where the Authorised Version deserts Erasmus and Stephens for the Complutensian and Beza (at least in his later editions, for up to that of 1565 he too omitted ἄτοπον). Only the modern critics (Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles) exclude τούτῳ "this, as well as adopt ἄτοπον "amiss." It may be added that δυνατοί here does not refer to ability, as in the Authorised Version, following Erasmus and Beza, but to power, influence, or authority, as in the Vulgate potentes, not qui … possunt.
In Acts 26:17 ἐξαιρ. does not seem to mean deliverance or rescue, but taking Paul out from the people, and from the Gentiles. Verses 28, 29 are given correctly in the main. "In a little thou art persuading me to become a Christian. And Paul, I would to God, both in a little and in much, that not thou only but also," etc.
Acts 27 stands singularly in the ordinary Authorised Version. Verse 9 is "the voyage," not sailing or navigation; and down south-west or down north-west (verse 12) means the opposite point of the wind, i.e. looking north-east and south-east. In verse 17, χαλ. τὸ σκεῦος is not "strake sail," but "lowered the gear," and so scudded (οὕτως ἐφ.). In verse 30 the sense is to lay or carry out, not to "cast out," anchors; nor does verse 40 mean "taking up" but casting off the anchors; nor committing themselves but letting the anchor go into the sea; as also by τὸν ἀρτ. is meant the foresail, not the "mainsail." The revision in all this seems quite correct.
In Acts 28: the doubtful authority of the central part of verse 16 is acknowledged, and the whole of verse 29, the best witnesses being adverse, not only in MSS but in the ancient versions.
The apostolic epistles afford quite another test of our Revisers; for doctrine far more than narrative materially affects our judgment, as in the earlier half of the New Testament, where a choice of reading or of rendering lies otherwise open to me. A right decision is, if possible, as much more momentous as it is more delicate. Of course we take the epistles as they stand in the English Bible.
The first verse of the first chapter of Romans affords an instance of loose or wrong views. "Called to be an apostle" is no less mistaken than "called to be saints" in Rom. 1:7. As he was then an apostle, so were they saints. There is no need of supplying any words in either case; and in both the supply of "to be" rather weakens and falsifies, instead of justly defining the sense. It was for the saints in their call, as for the apostle in his, a fact. In neither case was it a birthright, nor was it a human acquirement; but they became, what they were, apostles or saints by calling. It was the call of grace, according to divine purpose, but an actual relationship, which "to be" at least obscures. So it is also in 1 Corinthians, Jude, and the Revelation, as well as in Romans 8:28. Again, γρ. singular or plural, for "the scripture" or "the scriptures," regularly takes the article; so that, in Greek, there must be a specific reason here to render the word anarthrous. The epithets here and in Rom. 16:26 are supposed by some to account for this, as others allege the propositions; but neither ground seems satisfactory; and it is weak to say that it was indifferent to insert or omit the Greek article. The expression here then appears to be purposely general. Further, the characteristic description of, not God's gospel only, but His Son, in verses 3, 4, is not as faithfully reflected in the Revision as one might desire: see also verse 16. So, in verses 17, 18, one doubts the need of saying either "a" righteousness or "the" wrath, the phrases being alike characteristic.
But the Version of κατεχόντων in verse 18 calls for the more notice, as the Company adopt a sense which has prevailed extensively among ancients and moderns; yet is it not the primary force of the word but rather a possible contextual modification, which the context here in my judgment proves inadmissible. The word means, not simply like ἔχειν, to have, but to have thoroughly, to take (Matt. 21:38, Luke 14:9), to possess (1 Cor. 8:30), to hold, or keep if there be danger of losing, to hold fast (Luke 8:5; 1 Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 15:2; 1 Thess. 5:21, etc.); if there be an opposing power, to withhold or hinder. (2 Thess. 2:5-6.) What then is the connection of the passage helping us to determine which of these shades of meaning is best here? The apostle (ver. 16) was not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God's power unto salvation to every one that believeth, both Jew first and Greek. For God's righteousness is revealed therein from faith unto faith, according as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith, verse 17. This may be fairly regarded as the subject-matter of the epistle. The next verse states summarily why such an intervention of grace was requisite if a man was to be saved righteously. For there is revealed God's wrath from heaven against (or upon) all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men that possess or hold the truth in unrighteousness. This is precisely what is unfolded in what follows to the end of Rom. 3:20: first, every sort of ungodliness in the Gentile world, gross to the end of chapter 1, and more refined in the first half (vers. 1-16) of Rom. 2; where secondly he turns to the proof of unrighteousness in those that hold the truth in unrighteousness, which marks the self-satisfied and unbelieving Jew.* Nor is anything more common in Christendom than truth, or orthodoxy, held ever so firmly along with total disregard of practical righteousness. It was notoriously so at that time among the Jews. Assuredly this is a phase of evil against which God's wrath is revealed; and the warning is as solemn as it is instructive in the most comprehensive treatise inspiration furnishes on the foundation of Christianity. Stifling or hindering the truth is a part of men's ungodliness no doubt; but for this very reason it does not fit in so strikingly with the Spirit's distinction between every sort of ungodliness and unrighteousness of those that hold the truth in unrighteousness. It appears to me then that "hold down" or hinder," as the Revisers (English and American) say, does not give the true sense, nor does the marginal alternative "withhold" of the previous English Versions, still less "detain" of the Rhemish, with the Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic. The Coptic is right, if I may judge from Wilkins. The Ethiopic is there quite unreliable, I believe therefore that the Authorised Version is right, not the Revision.
*Chrysostom (Hom. in loc. pp, 36, 37, Field, Oxon. 1849) seems rather unusually wide of the mark, taking verse 18 of one class, evil in dogma and life, of which the proof follows in verse 19 etc. Nor is he alone in the mistake of thus limiting "the truth" to the testimony of creation.
The Company have, as almost all allow, properly cast out "of Christ" (ver. 16), "also" (ver. 24), "of and fornication" (ver. 29), "implacable" (ver. 81). In verse 28 they render οὐκ ἐδ. "refused," which is beyond question more correct than "did not like" of the Authorised Version. From "proving," in the sense of assaying, the word comes to mean "approve," or think good, or choose; and "hateful to God" is the true force rather than "haters of God" in verse 30. Whether they are not deceived by sound in giving πρ. rather than ποι. the sense of "practise" is a grave consideration, though they stand not alone in their judgment; it affects the bearing of many scriptures from Matthew to Revelation as well as Romans frequently.
In Rom. 2 there is much less to arrest us. "Incorruption" is right, not immortality, in verse 7, as in Ephesians 6:24 morally, and 2 Timothy 1:10, as well as 1 Corinthians 15:42, 50, 53. But "a" law in verse 13 seems objectionable, if they discard the article with the first νόμου and accept it with the second where Mr. Palmer gives the article. With Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Wordsworth, the article should be in neither, and the version accordingly be "the law-hearers" and "the law-doers," or "the hearers of law" and "the doers of law" as Mr. Green. We all know that Bishop Middleton in his celebrated treatise repeatedly pronounces this form inadmissible; but it is his oversight of cases not in the New Testament only (Matt. 11:13; Heb. 9:13) but in the purest Attic Greek. (Plat. Phaedr. 808, 811, edd. Bait. Orell. et Winck.) Equally wrong was Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who tries to account for the absence of the article in the sentence of Mark where it is well established. The governed noun need not therefore take the article, because the governing noun has it; whether it should take it or not depends on general principles. In verse 27 they have followed others in correcting the strange inaccuracy of the Authorised Version "by" the letter, etc. for which they give "with" to express the condition, not the instrument. The medium through which the act was done is not in question. But here again why not "who with letter and circumcision art a transgressor of law"? Of course the blunder of ἴδε "behold," for εἰ δέ "but if" (ver. 17) in the vulgarly received text, is corrected.
Rom. 3 offers more frequent and grave matter for inquiry. Thus the Authorised Version in the end of verse 4 is corrected into "comest into judgment," and "taketh vengeance" into "visiteth with wrath." But why should not the Revisers adhere to their usual "judgment" in verse 8? In the following verse they render προεχόμεθα "are we in worse case than they?" instead of the generally preferred "better," with the marginal alternative of "do we excuse ourselves?" The active voice may mean to have the advantage or surpass, the passive to be excelled; and so Wetstein suggested here, whom substantially the Company follow in their text, whilst giving the view of Hemsterhuis, Venema, Koppe and Wahl, in the margin, founded on one sense of the middle voice as such is beyond question of common usage. As the word occurs but once in the New Testament, we have no direct help to decide; but it has been pointed out that παρέχεσθαι is used (Acts 19:24; Col. 4:1; Titus 2:7) where it differs from παρέχειν only by a delicate shade. Hence in not a few passages there is a conflict of readings between the active and the middle form of verbs, as in Luke 15:9, John 14:23, Acts 23:13. Whether in the simple verb or in its compounds, the active and the middle in some cases approximate, though no doubt each has its appropriate application. In the present instance the middle voice suits the force intended, far more than the active προέχομεν: "are we on our part better?" And as the context favours this rendering, so it condemns the version of the Revisers beyond all others as well as their margin.* For in the previous verses the apostle had shown clearly that the Jews possessed signal advantages of an exterior sort over the Gentile; and this he was careful to press as aggravating their responsibility: for the argument towards the close of Rom. 2 might have seemed to place them all on one dead level. But if we, the Jews, have superior privileges, specially in having the scriptures, are we in ourselves better? Not so certainly; for we before charged both Jews and Greeks with being all under sin; and then scriptures are quoted from the Psalms and the Prophets exposing their sins in every way and in the highest degree. Thus the very law in which they boasted was the irrefutable witness of their universal and heinous guilt; that, as the Gentiles were already proved abominable, and the Jews were now convicted by what the law speaks to those within its scope, every mouth might be stopped and all the world come under God's judgment. And this serves to show the mistaken division here; — for verses 19 and 20 close this paragraph, the opening words being bound up with the citations from the law, or Old Testament. Sin was universal; law, far from delivering, wrought only full knowledge of sin. Man had nothing but unrighteousness for God: had God anything for man but wrath and judgment?
*Besides, will the Greek even bear the marginal sense, any more than Meyer's, "what then, have we an excuse?" The verb in this sense demands an object: and hence grammatically Wahl, etc. were compelled to find it in τι. But this construction would require the answer to be, not οὐ π., but οὐδέν.
"But now apart from law God's righteousness hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe." Such is the fresh subject, though in resumption of the great keynote just raised for a moment in Rom. 1:17, but interrupted to let in the demonstration of man's state which called forth God's wrath. It will be noticed by the reader what havoc is made by the omission of καὶ ἐπὶ π. "and upon all" in verse 22. No doubt four or five of the oldest uncials with two cursives and some ancient versions and fathers leave the words out; and they are followed by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort. But the Homoeoteleuton simply and satisfactorily accounts for the slip, aided as it may have been by the inability of many to see the double bearing of the truth enunciated. For how readily the mind swerves to Calvinistic views, or to Arminian; and how few accept the truth in its fulness, of which extreme partisans see but one part, unintelligently opposed to the other part! The main body of uncials, cursives, versions, and fathers declares for the text as rendered in the Authorised Version. Even the mutilated form of some of the best Latin copies ("super omnes") bears witness against that abbreviation which has found favour. And though the expositions of Greeks and Latins have little worth or point, they show the fact; for it is no question of Jews and Gentiles, but of God's righteousness manifested unto all, going out toward all indiscriminately, and taking effect actually on all those that believe. To overlook the difference of the prepositions is unworthy, and yet more so to confound "all" with "all that believe." The old writers who state but misapprehend the difference were certainly not the men to foist in a clause which, giving both comprehensiveness and precision, falls in as strikingly with this epistle in particular as with all scripture generally. God's righteousness could not but be for all; but in fact none but believers profited by it through faith in Christ. Its direction was towards all, not merely in believers, but all mankind; its application was upon all that believe. To take away the former is to deprive it of breadth; to blot out the latter is to deny its depth and strength. "Unto," not "upon," all that believe is far short of divine truth. The ordinary reading just suits the gospel of God; that of the Revisers seems equally one-sided and useless. To say that God's righteousness is unto all that believe would be a truism.
On the other hand it is strange to see that they retain "a propitiation" with the Authorised Version in verse 25, instead at best of presenting a "propitiatory" or mercy-seat as the Greeks generally understood, and they themselves do elsewhere (Heb. 9:5) and Tyndale did here. — The rendering also that follows, "through faith, by his blood," is by no means sure. In verse 28 it seems peculiar that "for" ( A Dp.m. E F G, many cursives, versions, and fathers, and hence received by almost all, notwithstanding B C K L P and the Syrr. etc. which favours "therefore") is not approved by the Company, but "therefore" as in the received text. What misled was the supposition that it is a conclusion from the argument preceding, but rather a reason in support of verse 27. They are bold men who reject the judgment of Alford, Bengel, T. S. Green, Griesbach, Harwood, Koppe, Mill, Scholz, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Wells, Wordsworth, and the Five Clergymen. Is it that Drs. Westcott and Hort have changed their opinion? Judging by Dr. Vaughan's text of Romans (1st ed.) they did not then oppose the critics. — Nor do the Revisers, seem successful in dealing with the anarthrous form of verses 31, 32, nor with the distinctive force of the prepositions, etc. in verse 30. It is not "the" circumcision and "the" uncircumcision, which would imply these bodies of people, but persons of either class as such: "by faith," not by works of law which Jews might plead, and "through their faith" if Gentiles believed in Christ: the one excluding legal pretension, the other honouring faith where it existed.
In Rom. 4 the main blemish is one perpetuated from the Authorised Version in verse 12, and probably due to not seizing the force of π. π., which means chief, or first characteristic, type of true separation to God; "father of circumcision, not to those of circumcision only [Jewish], but also to those that walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision [Gentile believers]." The erroneous version appeared in Tyndale, but not in the other English translations (Wiclif, Cranmer, Geneva, and Rhemish), which rightly give two classes, not one only characterised doubly.
In Rom. 5 none can be surprised to hear that the Revisers adopt for their text "let us have" for "we have," though in Greek it is only the question of a long for a short ο, letters habitually confounded (Itacism as it is called) in the best and oldest MSS. The diplomatic groundwork, though seemingly strong beyond measure, is therefore really precarious, unless the context be also clear and sure. But in my judgment the dogmatic or inferential, not exhortatory, character in this part of the epistle decidedly demands the indicative rather than the subjunctive in Rom. 5:1-2, 3, as is strongly confirmed by the structure of verse 11, which does not admit of the latter. But souls weak in the gospel would naturally incline to the subjunctive of old as now. — Of course, "reconciliation" displaces "atonement" in verse 11. But it seems strange that the Company have not adopted, even in the margin, the excellent suggestion of the famous Dr. Bentley (Ellis, p. 28) presenting the first clause of verses 15, 16 in the interrogative form. The sense is clearer thereby. They correct the confusion of εἰς as if it were ἐπί in the elliptical verse 18, and rightly say "unto all men to condemnation," etc.; also of course "the one" and "the many" are accurately given throughout, with other corrections of interest.
In Rom. 6 the revision of verse 3 may dispel the delusion that all were not baptised, only many: a strange oversight of the force of the phrase. But baptism was to or unto, not "into," a person, though that of the Spirit was "into one body."
The revision of Rom. 7:3-4, "be joined to," is certainly better than the too definite "married" of the Authorised Version. The Greek exactly answers to the Hebrew, as for instance in Hosea 3, "To be, or belong to" is the literal and precise force. Again, it is high time that the doctrinal error involved in the editions of Beza, and repeated in the text of the Authorised Version, should be expunged. Indeed, it seems to lack the support of a single MS or even version, and to have been a mere conjecture of Beza founded on a misconception of Chrysostom, who really, like every other early ecclesiastical writer, had ἀποθανόντες (not -τος). That the law died is Antinomian in tendency; that the Christian died to law (Gal. 2:19; Col. 2:20, Col. 3:8), is sound and fundamental truth. There is a various reading here (τοῦ θανάτου) supported by Graeco-Latin uncials, and mentioned by Origen as then extant in some Greek copies, and followed by the Vulgate (except the Amiatine, which gives morientes, though it should be mortui), and many Latin fathers. But this is to miss the means of discharge or quittance from the law. Of course the Rhemish, like Wiclif, adheres to the less correct form of the Vulgate, whilst all the other English Versions were right in this till the Authorised Version went farther astray than ever. Erasmus, not in his first but in a later edition, had paved the way for Beza's rash conjecture through a misuse of Chrysostom's comment on the passage. Dr. Bloomfield, in his Recensio Synoptica, v. 580, attributes ἀποθανόντος to accident. But this is beyond controversy a mistake, from not knowing the facts. Had it been found in Greek copies, it might have been so; but we can trace its first appearance to the intentional alteration of Théodore de Bèze. — Toward the close of the same verse (6) do not the Company go too far in translating ὥστε δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς, "so that we serve," and not "so as to serve," or "so that we should serve"? — There seems no effort on the Revisers' part to distinguish between σαρκινός (ver. 14) and σαρκικός as in 1 Corinthians 3:3; 9:12, though there is in 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Rom. 8 is of mingled character. The Revisers are justified in excluding the last clause of verse 1, which, even if genuine, is incorrectly rendered in the Authorised Version. But why print "Spirit" with a capital in verses 2, 9 (twice), 11 (twice), 14 and 16, while they print it with a small letter in verses 4, 5 (twice) 6, 9 (twice more), 13, 15? Again, in verse 4 the textual rendering and the marginal should change places; and so perhaps in verse 11. In verse 24 they have adopted "who hopeth for that which he seeth?" on the authority, as far as I am aware, of the great Vatican uncial (1209) supplemented by the margin of a Bodleian cursive, Roe 16, conventionally cited among the Pauline copies as 47. No editor has as yet ventured to put this forward as the true text, though no doubt the resulting sense seems simple and suitable — indeed so much so as to look like the smoothing down of a rather rugged phrase. And it may be mentioned that Mr. Hansell's Oxford edition of the more famous uncials does not represent B aright, any more than older editors, ὅ γὰρ βλέπει τις, τί ἐλπίζει ; whereas Tischendorf reports its text (p.m.) as ὅ γὰρ βλ., τίς ἐλπ. The margin of verse 47 is the less trustworthy here as reading ὑπομένει for ἐλπ. though, strange to say, p.m. and A do the same. Is it not strange that under such circumstances so ill-sustained a reading should be the ground of a change in so grave a work as the publicly revised version of the New Testament? — In verses 27, 28, the added words in Italics only encumber and enfeeble the sense. The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God and His nature, yet more than His will, which comes very short of the truth. And though the "purpose" be without doubt of God, still it has pleased Him not to qualify it here in any way, as the fullest explanation follows in verses 29, 30. The conformity to the image of His Son is in resurrection glory, far beyond and distinct from any transformation meanwhile by the Spirit as described in 2 Corinthians 3:18. — The punctuation of verses 33-35 is better than in the Authorised Version, but not quite uniformly correct. "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth [or shall condemn]? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us: who shall separate from the love of Christ? shall tribulation," etc. In the close of this part of the apostle's profound communication there is good and full authority, as is well known, for placing "nor powers" after (not before) "nor things present nor things to come."
The opening verses of Rom. 9 are fairly rendered in the Revised V. as in the Authorised, being substantially alike. The marginal alternatives are of no real weight; the last, like the American suggestion, being unidiomatic. For in such cases the predicate ought to have the emphatic position, and the subject should have the article in Greek, the only apparent exception being the LXX's rendering of Psalm 68:19, which is acknowledged as corrupt. Mr. T. S. Green has inadvertently dropt the rendering of καὶ ἡ νομοθεσία, "and the law-giving" out of this portion. Verse 9 runs "For this word is of promise" or [one] of promise, the Revised seeming looser than the Authorised Version. And ought there not to be "one" vessel (not "a" merely) in verse 21, to express the first ὅ ? Verse 28 is presented in the abridged form of the oldest MSS and versions, which most modern editors prefer; the larger form seems assimilated to the LXX. Other omissions of loss moment occur here and there. The Authorised Version alone fell into the unmeaning error of "that" stumbling-stone in the last verse.
In Rom. 10:1 all critics of weight on ample evidence, instead of "for Israel," read "for them," as following up Rom. 9. But the Revisers also adopt the briefer reading in verse 5, on small but ancient and good testimony. In verse 12 the Revisers go back in substance, though more correctly, to the English versions older than the Authorised Version, with a copulative perhaps needlessly inserted. They also drop as not duly authenticated one of the last clauses of verse 15 ("of those that announce glad tidings of peace") with the noble quaternion, A B C, supplemented by a few cursive witnesses, ancient versions, and early writers.
The latter part of Rom. 11:6 is rejected by p.m. A C D B F G P, etc., with the ancient versions, save the Syrr. and Eth., and so is properly left out of text and margin by the Revisers, notwithstanding its presence (p.m.) in the favourite Vatican, L, and the mass of cursives. In verse 17 they adopt, on the doubtful authority of p.m. B C with the Coptic, the singular exclusion of καὶ "and." That the copyists took liberties with the verse is plain from D F G omitting τῆς ῥίζης καί altogether, and in Latin as well as Greek. In verse 21 they discard (as do some modern critics) μήπως, and with the best copies read simply οὐδε σοῦ φείσεται in the face of Chrysostom's express contradiction. (iv. 338, Field, Oxon, 1849.) Certainly the preferred text is far easier than that commonly received, which is opposed to the well-known canon of diplomatic criticism. In verse 22 Θεοῦ "God's," is now given on weighty grounds. Verse 31 is an unhappy instance of misrendering; the comma if inserted should follow, not precede, τῳ ὑμ. ἐλέει, as the true force is "even so have these also disbelieved your mercy, that they also may be objects of mercy." The older English versions were right, following with the Pesch. and the Philox. Syrr., the Coptic, and the Vulgate, till the Geneva misled under the false guidance of Beza. Luther on the one hand and Estius on the other were nearer the truth; and so apparently Green, Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles.
There is little to arrest in the revision of Rom. 12. To render ὁ πρ. in verse 8 "ruleth" is a deduction from the close meaning of "presideth," though perhaps allowable and true; as in verse 10 the word translated "preferring" means being the first, or leading the way in the honour paid to each other. It is one of the strange phenomena of ancient copies that some (Dp.m. F G) should be found with the monstrous reading καιρῳ "time" or "season;" that Erasmus should have adopted it in his editions ii.-v. after having "the Lord" in his first edition; and that Stephens, Mill, and even Griesbach should have followed in his wake. The weight of external evidence as well as internal propriety so decidedly preponderates against this heathenish maxim that one is surprised to see greater weight attached to it by the marginal note of the Revisers than in the Authorised Version. Every recent editor of weight rejects it with A B Dcorr E L P and almost all the cursives, ancient versions and fathers, save some Latins. To buy up the fit time is one thing; to serve it is another, which wrongs the Lord to whom alone we owe allegiance unlimited. In verse 16 τοῖς ταπ. συναπαγόμενοι is rendered worse than in the Authorised Version, which adheres to the personal application prevalent with the Greek commentators. But the Revision on too narrow a view of the antithesis decides with some moderns for the neuter, "condescend to things that are lowly," adding in the margin the impossible literal rendering "be carried away with." Now condescension is not a christian feeling, but rather of Gentile patrons (cf. Luke 22:25-26). it supposes the maintenance in the saints of what Christ destroys and displaces by grace in a new creation; whereas "going along with," or some such rendering stronger than the "inclining" of the Five Clergymen, seems to me required by the word as modified by the context. It would be too much to expect in heathen writings the expression of a feeling there unknown; but Chrysostom (in loc.) fairly explain.* Theodoret's συγκατιέναι falls into the idea of condescension (Opera Omnia ex recens. Jac. Sirmondi, v. 134). Mr. Green gives "assert yourselves with the lowly."
*Webster and Wilkinson (ii. 439) suggest the singular idea that it may mean "carried off with," as if they could not resist the attraction of low company! But though undoubtedly used elsewhere (Gal. 2 and 2 Peter 2) in a bad sense, it means what is truly noble here.
In Rom. 13 are a few inconsiderable but warranted changes from the Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version, as in verses 1, 3, 7, 9.
In Rom. 14 they rightly omit the second clause of verse 6, as well as "both" … "and revived" in verse 9. They also properly substitute "God" for "Christ" in verse 10. Then again they duly distinguish between "destroy" in verse 15, and "overthrow" in verse 20, which is neglected in some careful versions. On rather slender authority they leave out "or is offended, or is weak" at the end of verse 21. But they are certainly justified in relegating to the end of chapter 16 the doxology which some 200 cursives with L and others foist in here, though two uncials A P have it in both, and some in neither.
In Rom. 15 some few slight differences from the Authorised Version are adopted, as in verses 4, 7, 8, 17, 19, 29. In verse 16 is not some of the force of the apostolic phrase lost in the vague "minister of Christ Jesus … ministering the gospel of God"? It is "serving sacrificially" as just after explained in an allusion to Numbers 8 — Mr. Green by the way leaves out of his version the English corresponding to εἰς τὰ ἔθνη in this connection.
Rom. 16 furnishes but inconsiderable variations. In verse 1 it should be "Cenchreae." — The "also" of verse 2 should be with "she herself," not with "myself." — "Prisca" is the true form in verse 3; as in verse 5 it should be "Asia," not "Achaia," and in verse 6 "you" rather than "we." Junias and Urbanus are preferable to Junia and Urbane." — In verse 16 the apostle added "all," which slipt out of the received text and Authorised Version. — "Amen" should disappear from the end of verse 20, after a benediction which some repeat with πάντων added as verse 24, contrary to A B C and other good authorities; as others omit it at verse 20. — "By the scriptures of the prophets" in verse 26 misleads: read "by prophetic writings" or scriptures, meaning thereby his own epistles on "the mystery," or the inspired writings in general of the New Testament. For the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. (Eph. 2, 3.)
THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.
It is only needful to call attention to "called to be," in 1 Cor. 1, 2, as the error of the Rhemish version, followed by the Authorised Version and Cranmer. Wiclif seems better, But especially Tyndale and the Geneva version, as they gave "by vocation," and "by calling," which reflect the sense justly enough, though (strange to say) in Romans 1 both were wrong in verse 1, right in verses 6, 7. — Verse 24 helps to prove that the addition of "to be" is not only needless but wrong. — Again in verse 18 the Company gives us "are being saved" from not bearing in mind that the present participle may be, and often is, employed to present a class stamped with the character of salvation, rather than the process or fact going on. Compare the remarks made on the revision of Acts 2:47. They forget the absolute present, which this must be, not an actual present, as already shown. — They are right in verse 21, "the preaching" or thing preached, as also "signs" for "a sign," in verse 22, as has been generally allowed; so also in the imperative force "behold," in verse 26 — They are justified again in their rendering of verse 30.
But in the first verse of 1 Cor. 2 occurs an extraordinarily violent change, the "mystery" instead of "testimony" of God. This of course turns on the adoption of μυστήριον (as in p.m. A C, some seven or eight cursives, the Pesch. Syr., and Memph., with some early citations, whereas all the editors of note, even the most extreme, properly adhere to μαρτύριον, with the great stream of authority early and later. Alford and Meyer treat it as a gloss from verse 7, Lachmann and Tregelles, bold as they were, reject it from their text. None but Drs. Westcott and Hort admit it. Was it not strange that a company of grave men, under the call to provide a version aspiring to general acceptance, should yield to so precarious and generally rejected a reading? The context is, in my judgment, certainly and irreconcilably opposed to the innovation. For the apostle distinguishes between his first announcing at Corinth the glad tidings, apart from every human effort to make the truth palatable, not knowing anything among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and the speaking wisdom among the perfect or full-grown, God's wisdom in a mystery. This evident and most momentous contradistinction is ruined by endorsing the blunder of scribes, who confounded two words similar in appearance, and easily interchanged by any whose spiritual senses were not exercised to discern the difference. Hence Bengel gave this variant his lowest mark in the Appar. Crit., while in his Gnomon he expounds, with his usual fine tact, the difference between verses 1 and 7 in a way which shows how rightly must vanish from any place in the first. Griesbach gave a better mark to the reading than it deserves. Pott pertinently remarks that not καταγγέλλων but γνωρίζων or λαλῶν would suit μυστ. whereas it exactly fits in with μαρτ. — Omitting lesser points, the last clause of verse 13 appears to be inadequately rendered if we take the context into account. The marginal "combining" is the simple unmodified force of συγκρίνειν, to which is opposed ἀνακρ. directly afterwards. Now if the aim of the verse had been duly weighed, it would have been seen that it is a question, not here (as in verse 14) of receiving and knowing, but of communicating. Hence the conveyance of spiritual things by spiritual [words] is the meaning, rather than expounding or interpreting special things to spiritual men, though otherwise the words might quite bear this. Thus the source that revealed, the means of communication, and the power of reception, are shown to be in the Spirit of God. "Combining" is too vague; "comparing" or "interpreting" would do well for the receiver; but neither expresses properly the conveyance of the truth or spiritual things by the inspired agents in a medium of spiritual words.
In 1 Cor. 3:3 they have rightly dropt "and divisions," and in verse 9 rendered the phrase "God's fellow-workers," instead of "labourers together with God," which is very objectionable, as irreverent and feeding human vanity. It is the more peculiar therefore that in 2 Corinthians 6:1 our Revisers should there introduce the obnoxious idea in italics. So do the Five Clergymen, and Dean Alford in his version. They were fellow-labourers doing God's work; but to say "fellow-workers with God" is false and presumptuous, and so of course is "with him." — In verse 16 they make the apostle say, "a temple of God," as does Mr. T. S. Green. No doubt the phrase is capable of being so rendered in itself; but the truth forbids. It should be God's temple. The same oversight of the anarthrous construction often occurs. The Company were not masters of the use or absence of the Greek article. Whether the English should have the indefinite article or not depends on the nature of the case, and often on the truth as defined elsewhere. A similar error occurs in Ephesians 2:22; it is common in other subjects also.
In 1 Cor. 4:1 they have, like others, rightly added "Here" (ὧδε), though Mr. Green adheres to the received reading (ὅ δὲ), and translates "And for the rest of the matter." — And in verse 6 they follow the critical omission of φρονεῖν, which would then give "that in us ye may learn the [lesson], Nothing above what is written." There seems no need to depart from the historic force of the aorist in verse 18 (compare also their rendering of the aorist in vers. 8, 17).
The received reading "is named" in 1 Cor. 5:1 gives place to the true and nervous sense resulting from its simple omission according to the best authorities. — In verse 9 they retain the Authorised Version, instead of the epistolary aorist, which, however, they express in verse 11. This insinuates the idea of some that the apostle had written a previous letter which we have not. Grammatically there is no doubt that both may refer to the epistle he was then writing, as every scholar must know; and νυνί may have a logical force, or a temporal, as required. Of course τῃ ἐπιστ. cannot mean "an epistle," as in the older versions, but "the," or "mine." — The revision properly omits "therefore," in verses 7, 13. It is a direct call in both, not a consequence.
The most important change in 1 Cor. 6, well known and fully sustained by authority, is the omission of the latter half of the last verse. Unspiritual men thought "the body" too low, and must needs foist in, "and in your spirit, which are God's," which distracts from the aim in view. The body of the Christian, which is even now God's temple by the Spirit's dwelling, soon to be conformed to the body of Christ's glory, is claimed meanwhile for his glorifying God therein, whatever be the difficulties or doubts or unbelief of philosophy.
In 1 Cor. 7 there are unwarranted additions of the common text struck out with good reason from verses 3, 5, and 39. — The chief mistranslations in the chapter, are, however, not rectified in the text, and in one weighty case at least not even in the margin. Thus "abusing," in verse 31 would answer to παραχρώμενοι, not to καταχρώμενοι (as the margin corrects, and the text in 1 Cor. 11:18), and the great difficulty created by not extending "virgins" to virginity in both sexes (cf. Rev. 14:4) is left without help, especially in verses 36-38, where the estate seems meant. Doddridge was more perplexed by this passage than by any other in the epistle; and no wonder, if he followed the Authorised Version, which the Revisers also follow. Verse 47, as he admits, "puts the issue of the matter on the man's own mind, the power he had over his own will, and his having no necessity; whereas if a daughter or a ward were in question, her inclination, temper, and conveniency were certainly to be consulted; and it would be the same if the virgin spoken of were one to whom the man was himself engaged." That παρθένος should be extended from the person to the condition (παρθενία) is easy to see, though it may want proof. Perhaps we should hardly look for it in the classic language of the corrupt Greek mind. The difficulty of ἐκαμίζων, or rather of γαμ., the critical form, is null; were it γαμῶν, as Mr. Slade thought, in the case of his own virginity, it would be insuperable, for how could a man be said to marry it? If he took a wife, he might be said to give it in marriage by an easy figure, from just before speaking of keeping his own virgin estate — an emphasis very hard to apply to one's ward or daughter as assumed. The addition of "daughter" three times, in my opinion, makes the revision worse than the Authorised Version.
In 1 Cor. 8:7 the Company, like Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles, have adopted συνηθεία, "through their habituation," with A B P, four or five cursives, Memph. Basm. etc., against συνειδήσει, "through their conscience," with the great mass of other authority. — They have also reversed the ordinary order in the latter part of verse 8.
A similar inversion occurs in 1 Cor. 9:1. — Passing over minor matters, they have rightly inserted the omitted clause of verse 20. — Yet why translate ἀδόκιμος here "rejected," but in 2 Corinthians 13 "reprobate" as in Romans 1:28? "Worthless" would be yet better than "rejected" in Hebrews 6: where it is a question of "land" or "ground."
From 1 Cor. 10 the Revisers have struck out some additions long abandoned on good authority, and substituted particles (or other words as in verse 9) more in accordance with the context, which had got changed by careless or meddling scribes. See verses 1, 10, 13, 23, 24, 28, 80.
"Traditions," in 1 Cor. 11:2, though lawful otherwise, seems objectionable as exposing the unwary reader to a serious assumption of Rome, which tends and is even boldly used to subvert the authority of scripture. — In the margin of verse 19 they give "factions" or "sects," which more truly represents αἱρέσεις than heresies" or heterodoxies, which does not seem meant. They were parties in separation from the assembly, which the apostle warns must result from the "schisms or divisions already within. This is very important for many mistake the truth here taught and imagine that "schism" is the fruit of heresy;" whereas on the contrary splits without, or heresies" as here shown (that is, factions or sects), come from splits within (that is, "schisms" or divisions). Differences within are dangerous and bad; but when self-will and impatience burst all the bands of unity and boldly take shape as a party without, how much worse? The kindred word, "an heretical man" in Titus 3:10, is thus rendered plain, as not necessarily heterodox, but independent and self-willed, impatiently breaking through unity in his self-confidence and disregard of the assembly. It is strange that the Revisers, or any one else, should continue the misleading "heretic," when it really means a sectary or party-leader. Hence it is no question of putting him out; for he was gone out; and Titus after a first and second admonition was simply to have done with him, "knowing that such a one is perverted and sinneth, being selfcondemned." The main mistranslations in the section relating to the Lord's Supper are corrected by the Revisers, though "guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord" in verse 27 may still leave the door open to mistake. But "Take, eat" and "broken" are rightly gone from verse 24, "covenant" appears in verse 25, "or" displaces "and" in verse 27, "the" supplants "that" twice in verse 28, above all "judgment" expels "damnation" which was always an inexcusable error refuted by verse 32, and "discern" is rightly used both for "the body" that is, the Lord's, and "ourselves" in verses 29, 31. These corrections, long known and sure, are none the less to be thankfully received in what is now so largely disseminated where the English language is used or known. Evil and superstitious doctrine, too common, will hence be detected; and by grace the truth will get in where it has long been obscured.
1 Cor. 12 affords much less scope for remark, as there was less disposition in the copyists or translators. In verse 2 the Revisers rightly read "when ye were Gentiles, ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever" etc. — Verse 3 is also rendered better. — Needless additions of the received text vanish from verses 6, 12, 21.
I cannot but coincide with the Revisers in preferring "love" to charity in 1 Cor. 13 as elsewhere.
The changes in 1 Cor. 14 are almost as few as in 1 Cor. 12, but those made (5, 18, 25, 85, 37) seem well-founded, though it is strange that τὰ πν. in verse 1 and πν. in verse 12 should be alike translated "spiritual gifts."
Nor is there much to remark as to 1 Cor. 15. In verse 2 "are saved" is right, though not consistent with the work elsewhere. — One omission, of ἐγένετο, is notorious in verse 20. — "To God even the Father," in the Revised as in the Authorised Version, is not a happy rendering; and still less is Mr. Green's "to God the Father;" because both tend to lower the Son, as if the Father only were God, or as if the Father might be all in all, whereas it is really God (i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Hence "to him that is God and Father" appears less objectionable. "To God and the Father" say the Five Clergymen, which sounds as if the Father were not God; yet this none can mean. There is a double correction though slight, in verse 41, as also in verse 47; see also verse 55.
In 1 Cor. 16 it is surprising that the Revisers support the various old English versions (Wiclif excepted) in verse 8, against the more natural sense which the Greek commentators prefer. His recommending them by letters is the point. — There is nothing else that strikes me as notable save in verse 22: "if any one loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha [that is, Our Lord cometh]."
THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS.
In 2 Cor. 1:9 the margin seems better than the text, which seems to betray ignorance of the truth conveyed. — In verse 12 the Revisers are pretty bold in absolutely discarding "simplicity" for the alternative "holiness" without even a marginal note. — In verse 20 they give the sense, if not perfectly, far better than the Authorised Version.
It is not at all clear, to say the least, that the apostle refers, in 2 Cor. 2:3-4, to the same letter. But in verse 3 he may speak of the present or second, and in verse 4 of the first, which would affect the version. Here the two are identified. — Verse 10 is rendered from a better text than the received. — "Leadeth us in triumph" in verse 14 is correct; but "in" them that "are being saved" does not agree with "are saved" in 1 Corinthians 15:2 any more than with the truth. — Is not "retailing," or "trafficking with" the word, the point in verse 17? "Which" is an error, and rightly dropt in the revision.
In 2 Cor. 3:3 is a bold adoption of the reading καρδίαις, with the version "tables that are hearts of flesh." It is to be presumed that the two Bishops Wordsworth, Dr. Scrivener, and other sober scholars in the Committee did not tamely give in, without a severe struggle, to what one of them not long ago called a "perfectly absurd reading." Yet that reading externally has the strongest authority. The Five Clergymen adopt the reading of the most ancient copies, but adhere to the Authorised Version, explaining it by "heart-tables of flesh." — But a grievous error follows in the very arrangement of the paragraph. The vital thread of connection is cut through by closing one section at the end of verse 11, and beginning a new one at verse 12. Now, whether we do or do not use parenthetical marks, there is one of the apostle's frequent parentheses in this chapter, embracing verses 7-16; so that, for the sense, verse 6 is followed (with a most instructive digression helping on the truth between) by verse 17: "for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life … Now the Lord is the spirit." It is not that the Lord is the Spirit, as they print, which tends to confound the Lord Jesus, the spirit underneath the letter in question, with the Holy Ghost. I am convinced that spiritual intelligence of this most instructive scripture, as a whole, is impossible without seizing this; and it is, I submit, equally evident that the Committee cannot have perceived it: else they had not so divided what ought at least to have been left unbroken, if they did not supply the aid of the usual parenthetical signs to help the reader, as they do sometimes, but too sparingly. — Again occurs the strange version "a" new covenant, through their not apprehending the characterizing force of the anarthrous construction, to the detriment of the meaning. — "Came with glory" is right, only stating that it was "so brought in, and contrasted with the ministration of the Spirit (for it should be thus, not "spirit") being, or subsisting in glory. Compare verse 11 also.
In 2 Cor. 4 there are some peculiar changes, especially in verse 6, where they represent the apostle thus: "Seeing it is God that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined," etc. Here they follow Tischendorf's eighth edition against his seventh, or rather p.m. A B Dp.m. and a few other witnesses against the great mass of manuscripts, versions, etc. — They are right of course in giving "the gospel of the glory," not "the glorious gospel:" a most unhappy rendering, which leads into all sorts of wrong thoughts, besides missing the truth. — In verses 10, 11 it is "Jesus" all through, not "the Lord," as the received text adds in verse 10.
In 2 Cor. 5:3 they rightly adhere to the Authorised Version, rejecting the perversion of Dean Alford and others, as also in verse 7. — Of course they avoid the equivocal language of our version in verse 9. — But there are grave questions in verse 14, where, with the critics, they follow the stream of the most ancient manuscripts, and drop the hypothetical particle represented in the Rescript of Paris and many other copies, with the best versions, and, I think, most early citations. But in my judgment, whatever the reading or translation, the Bishop of Durham is not warranted in saying that a death to sin is meant, but death through sin, to interfere with a revelation so foreign to Christendom.
It is not true that all men have died with Christ to their former selves and to sin, so as to be therefore bound to lead a new life — His life. Nor is this said here; but Christ's dying for all is used as a proof of death in all. There is even a contrast, "they which live," with all who died; and οἱ ζῶντες means not merely that they were alive, but that they lived spiritually, and of these as distinguished from all who died — of these only is it added that they should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who, for their sakes, died and rose again. The "all" who died are all men, who are naturally lost; "they who live" are the saved who are called to live to the dead and risen Christ, and no longer (as once) to themselves. It is true that these died with Christ to sin; but this is the doctrine of Romans 6, and not, of 2 Corinthians 5. It is here death through, and not to, sin; and the making it "to sin" introduces the confusion and heterodoxy evident in Dr. Lightfoot's doctrine. All men have not participated potentially, as he says, in Christ's death; for this is true only of those who live through faith, in contrast with all who died through sin. I doubt not that all are bought; but only believers have in Him redemption. through His blood, the forgiveness of their trespasses. The righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ is toward all, and upon all that believe. The gospel is not limited, as some would make it; but it is efficacious, though for faith only, unlike what others say. — In verse. 19 the Revisers avoid the error of the Five Clergymen, but the omission of the comma after Christ vitiates their rendering as compared with that of the Authorised Version. — The last verse is more energetic without "for," which some Greek scribes thought proper to insert rather early.
For 2 Cor. 6:1 compare the remarks on 1 Corinthians 3:9; and with verse 16 compare those on 1 Cor. 3:16.
The Revisers are assuredly justified in connecting closely 2 Cor. 8 with the preceding chapter, the rest returning to what he had said in 2 Cor. 2, the end of which had led him out in a grand unfolding of the gospel, which some were even then quick to clog and adulterate by mixing the law with it; and the gospel led him out into an admirable setting forth of the service of Christ according to His death, resurrection, and glory in the power of the Spirit. From this rich digression he comes back to his question with the Corinthian saints. — Verses 8-10 are in general far closer than in the Authorised Version, though one may question the taste of "which bringeth no regret," in verse 10: not, or never to be regretted seems simpler. Verse 13 is more correct now.
In 2 Cor. 8:3 and 4, stand more correctly in the revision; as also verses 7, 12, 19, 21, 24.
In 2 Cor. 9 there is, if possible, less to note: verses 4, 10, 13, 14.
Of 2 Cor. 10 the reader can compare verses 7, 13, 16, which give the sense better than the Authorised Version.
Their judgment as to the true text of chapter 11:3 seems very questionable; but I do not argue it here, nor specify more.
2 Cor. 12:1 should be weighed: see also verses 11, 12, 14, 18, 19.
Nor is there much to be noticed in 2 Cor. 13. But it seems strange that the Revisers should fail here also to preserve the force of the scriptures from ruin through vicious punctuation. Verse 3 ought to begin a new sentence, interrupted by a digression which begins with the latter half of that verse. and includes also verse 4; and the conclusion or apodosis of the sentence, which answers to the protasis of the first half of verse 3, follows in verse 5. So that if by external marks, we are to help readers who easily let slip the connection of thought, it would run thus — "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me (who to youward is not weak but is powerful in you; for indeed he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by God's power; for we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through God's power toward you), try your own selves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves," etc. The arrangement, bad in the Authorised Version, is no better in the Revised; and perhaps this has contributed to the singular misconception which has prevailed as to the passage. How many misuse it to consecrate their inward workings of question and doubt as to God's grace toward them, as if this scripture set them so to work! It is really an irrefragable argumentum ad hominem and a withering rebuke to Corinthian vanity if they had any heart for Christ and His apostle. Since they sought a proof of his apostleship, why not examine themselves? They were their own selves the proof, unless they were reprobate — the last thing they thought. As surely, then, as they were in the faith, he was an apostle — to them without doubt who, through his speaking, had Christ in them. The whole force of this argumentative appeal turns on their assurance of being in the faith to the certainty of his apostleship; and this, generally misunderstood through stops which ruthlessly surrender all the links and ignore the parenthesis essential to be noted, is perverted by unbelief to prove that the apostle calls on the believer to search and see whether he be not an unbeliever after all! The Revisers certainly cannot boast of rescuing the passage from the confusion which here reigns in the Authorised Version, and almost all others. They probably just followed mechanically in the wake of their predecessors; for had they previously understood the reasoning of the apostle or stopped to consider the meaning of the text they were translating, it is hard to see how they could have overlooked the facts, that verse 2 closes the previous subject, and that the new sentence passes from 3 to 5, with an intervening digression.
THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS.
The changes in this brief Epistle need not occupy us long. In Gal. 1:6 the present force is properly given, "ye are so quickly removing" (not "removed"), and "in" (not "into") the grace of Christ, and of course, "unto a different [not "another"] gospel:" a very considerable correction of mere renderings, and long known to be necessary, for a single verse. So also the slight shade of distinction between "should preach" in verse 8 and "preacheth" in verse 9 is due to truth. — The revision of verse 18 seems more cumbrous and less Pauline than as it stands in the Authorised Version.
In Gal. 2:2-4 we have to complain of the same defect in catching and conveying the scope, which we saw so conspicuously in 2 Corinthians 3 and 13, reproduced here also in a punctuation which quite destroys the true, and insinuates a false, connection. It is the more striking because the Company show no disinclination to avail themselves of parenthetical signs for verse 8, to which nobody demurs, though these are less required there than here: they were guided in both by their predecessors, who so marked verse 8 but not verse 8. There is strictly another insertion in verse 6; but there is perhaps less necessity there to indicate it, though there be parenthesis within parenthesis. The late Mr. Bagge was more right than Dean Alford or the Bishops of Bristol and Durham. — But the rendering of verse 16 in the text is really strange, "save" being here most inadequate to convey the strongly oppositive exception conveyed by ἐὰν μή. The margin "but only" is much better, for it excludes works of law, whereas "save" admits of them conjointly with faith in Jesus Christ. Now the entire argument, and especially this verse, contradicts any such combination. Justification is not by law-work; it is through faith. We believed on Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Him, and not by law-works, because by law-works shall no flesh be justified. Hence every shade of orthodoxy concurs in giving a stronger opposition to the phrase than the Company convey in their singularly mild version. Law-works are excluded from being put with faith in Christ in order to justification. It is really stronger than ἀλλά, whatever the common point implied besides the contrast.
Here we see, too, how little the Revisers estimated the force of the anarthrous construction. They put in the margin "works of law," and "law," where their text gives "the works of the law," and "the law;" and they do not always mark this, as twice in the latter part of verse 16. It is as opposed to fact as to philological principle that the article was inserted or omitted arbitrarily. Prepositions are no exceptions, though from their nature they suit with peculiar facility the anarthrous usage; but the presence or the absence of the article depends on its general principle. Thus in Romans 3:19 the article is twice required with νόμος, and once with a preposition; in verse 20 it is twice left out just as correctly, and in verse 21 it is once both omitted and inserted with ν., and in each with a preposition; in the last verse of the chapter it is twice anarthrous, and in both the object of verbs. It is bad grammar and perhaps feeble theology to confound νόμον with τὸν ν. The apostle generalises, though no doubt "the" law falls under the expressly characteristic term. So it is often in Romans, as in Galatians and elsewhere; but there is not the least backwardness or laxity in giving the article with this word or any other where its presence is really wanted. The indefinite article of our tongue would be quite improper in all or most of these cases; nor does English idiom forbid the exact representation of its anarthrous usage in at least very many instances like these cited, and Gal. 2:19, 21, Gal. 3:2, 5. — Verses 10-13 are valuable in confirming the refutation of the too prevalent fallacy, where we have the broad principle in its characteristic and therefore anarthrous form, and then the article for the particular matter of fact; see again the principle in verse 11, and the fact in verses 12, 13. If the Company had understood the true force of the anarthrous usage, they never would in my opinion have agreed to consign to the margin what ought to have been unhesitatingly set out in the text.
In Gal. 3:1 they have rightly struck out the addition (from the end of Gal. 5:7), though it has no little ancient support in manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, also at the end of the verse. — In verse 12 it is rightly "he" (not "the man"); but "upon" in verse 14 goes beyond εἰς (unto). It is not Paul, but his translators and commentators who fail in the force of the preposition. — In verse 17 the gloss "unto Christ" rightly vanishes. — In verse 20 the article is no doubt generic; but why should we not say "the" Mediator, though we only speak of one descriptive of the class? Perhaps in this particular instance it was desirable to avoid the equivoque of more previous mention, which is not at all the reason of its insertion here. Again, it seems to me that the italic insertion here is needless, and rather enfeebles the apostle's idea that it "is not of one" (that is, it supposes at least two parties, whilst God is one), promising and accomplishing Himself. — Nor is there any need of inserting "to bring us" in verse 24, where "up to," or "unto," is better than "until," as expressive of the object in view, and not of a temporal limit only. — Nor does the severance of "faith" from "in. Christ Jesus," here insinuated by the punctuation, seem warranted. — Our being one in Christ Jesus follows in verse 28; but here it is not one in Christ, nor Abraham's seed, that is being urged, But that the Galatian saints were God's sons through faith in Christ Jesus. Drs. Alford and Ellicott were right, not the Bishop of Durham. — In verse 28 they translate ἔνι by the more forcible "there can be," and omit the copulative in verse 29.
In Gal. 4:7 the critical reading which rests on superior authority is adopted, for the comma softening down the sense in Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version. — But do the Revisers really understand the import of verse 12? The apostle exhorts the Galatians to be as he is, free from law, "for I [am] as ye." To say "as ye are" seems to spoil the thought, for at that time they were affecting the law, and from this he is earnestly dissuading them. They did him no wrong in affirming that he taught or practised freedom from the law in virtue of Christ's death; for such is the doctrine and the life of the Christian, as Romans, Galatians, and Colossians clearly prove. Are the Revisers justified in treating δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν as "because of infirmity"? No one, of course, questions that διά with the accusative ordinarily means "on account of;" but the question is, whether this narrow view which yields so strange a sense be here intended, when in poetry at least such a form was notoriously used to express a state in which one might be. The Greek fathers saw no difficulty in thus interpreting the Pauline phrase, and never thought of confounding it with the phrase in Thuc. vi. 102; and it appears to me that Nicias would have startled his audience beyond measure if he had said δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν ἔσωσα τὸν κύκλον, in the sense of "on account of an infirmity I saved, etc." though he might very simply be left behind on that account. Again, the version of verse 18 seems hazardous, and little agreeing with the context, though one can readily admit the difficulty of the passive form, which some believe to be a true middle. But the passive sense makes sad havoc in the verse and its connection
Gal. 5:1 is an entangled question as to text and translation: whether the Revisers were wise in giving us so awkward a result seems doubtful. — Is the rendering of verse 10 English? "I have confidence to your word in the Lord" — confidence to, or toward a person! Who ever heard of such language save among youths whose mother-tongue got spoilt by Greek idiom? On the other hand the "in" of the Authorised Version goes beyond εἰς, which in this connection should be translated "as to." — Verse 12 appears to be fairly given. — The rendering of verse 17 is uncompromisingly accurate.
In Gal. 6 there is nothing specially calling for remark beyond the correct rendering of verse 11, and the omission of "the Lord" in verse 17.
THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS.
In Eph. 1:1 the common class is obscured by putting in "the" before "faithful," like Dean Alford, though less than in the Authorised Version, reproduced by Bishop Ellicott. Mr. Green is more accurate. — I do not think that τὴν ἀπολ. in verse 7 is rightly rendered "our" redemption, though no doubt it is ours. The article simply designates redemption as a distinct object which we have in Christ, like παρρ. in Eph. 3:12 where the Revisers do not say "our," and this properly. But passing over questionable points, is not the version of verse 11 distinctly for the worse as compared with the Authorised Version? It is exactly one of the marked points of contrast between the faithful now and Israel of old, that these are designated the inheritance of Jehovah, those are styled God's heirs and Christ's joint-heirs. Hence the force of ἐκληρώθημεν is that we were allotted our inheritance, not "made a heritage," the καί adding this to our being called. For there are two main parts in the blessing: our calling, and also our inheritance, which embraces the universe as put under Christ (cf. verse 10), given as Head over all things to the church which is His body. The church is in God's grace and purpose the heavenly Eve of the Last Adam, to possess all things, not merely the things on the earth like the first man, but the things in the heavens. Here accordingly it will be noticed that the apostle speaks not of the glory of God's grace (ver. 6), nor of the riches of His grace (ver. 7), but of His glory (vers. 12, 14). He looks not at present privilege, but onward to the redemption of the purchased possession which will be then, as distinguished from the redemption we have now through His blood, the forgiveness of our offences. There is no doubt that God purchased the church with the blood of Christ, and that the believers from among the Jews are now reckoned a people of possession, or peculiarly His own, as indeed are all saints. but this does not at all decide the true force of the purchased possession here, which is really the inherited universe when His glory dawns. There is no need for introducing the italic supplement "God's" here or elsewhere. Of our inheritance in that day the Holy Spirit of promise is meanwhile earnest, because we are not yet in possession.
- Next we have an instance of what seems nothing less than hardihood in the Company, due probable to scholastic influence overriding all right spiritual fooling: a too common fault in the Revised New Testament. Three of the primary copies with later uncials, also a single cursive, and a few Fathers, omit ἀγαπὴν τήν: an omission obviously accounted for by one of the most frequent causes of various readings, homeoteleuton. The omission, to my mind, gives us no sense; and this has positively passed muster as the collective judgment of the Company! "For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and which ye show toward all the saints." Of course they say in the margin that many ancient authorities insert "the love;" but what temerity in adopting for their text what Lachmann alone (now followed by Westcott and Hort), never hindered by the least apprehension of divine truth, ventured to endorse! No doubt Bishops Ellicott and Wordsworth, and Drs. Brown and Scrivener, and one would hope others, protested, but were outvoted. Tischendorf and Tregelles were daring, especially after the Sinaitic MS gave sometimes its voice in accordance with the occasionally wild readings of the Vatican copy; but even they, in spite of their tendencies, here withstood this idolatry of ancient documents to the destruction of truth. Love "toward all the saints" (Col. 1:4) should have guarded against such an error in their thoughts of Ephesians 1:15, though each scripture has its peculiar form. — There are other things by no means sure in the chapter; but we pass on.
With Eph. 2:18 compare Eph. 1:7 and Eph. 3:12. They are right in adopting ἐστε (verse 19), and εἰρήνην (verse 17), omitted in Text. Rec. — Against their dropping the article, though sustained by corr. A C P many cursives, etc., in verse 21, I have anything save objection; but their version, as so often in such cases, is in no way justified, though it might seem so on a first glance at the anarthrous form. But πᾶσα ἡ οἰκ. would imply that the building was complete, in contradiction to the express teaching of the clause that it is only in process — "groweth into a holy temple in the Lord." So the Revisers themselves render πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραήλ in Acts 2:36, though they give "every house" in the margin. This they might have done here with less opposition to God's word generally; for "each several building" is irreconcilable with what is everywhere else insisted on. There is no such thought in scripture as ecclesiastical independency, but intercommunion. It may not be here the church as one, but as a whole, not every part. (Cf. the revision of Matt. 3:15; Eph. 1:1; and many like cases.)
In Eph. 3:7 was there any real need to say "that" grace of God? — Of course in verse 9 it is "dispensation" not "fellowship" as in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version, and "by Jesus Christ" disappears. — In verse 14 they appear to be justified in rejecting "of our Lord Jesus Christ," as also in saying (not all the, but) "every family." But they do not seem right in verse 18, which should be "being rooted and grounded in love in order that ye," etc. This adds to the clearness of the truth, if it be not absolutely needful. External authority is confessedly strong for the insertion of αί before ἐν Χ. Ἰ. in verse 21; but one does not wonder that Ellicott, Green and Wordsworth rejected, and that Alford hesitated to accept it even in the face of A B C and other witnesses.
In Eph. 4:6 most editors, like many copyists, have lost the finely drawn truth by a misapplied love of uniformity. It is exceedingly hard to suppose the insertion of ἡμῖν (not ὑμῖν as in Text. Rec. and Auth. Ver.) unless it were really of God. Man would be prone to remove it even in the early days, as we find it wanting in A B C Ocorr. P and not a few cursives, etc. But the mass of testimony in MSS uncial and cursive, Versions and Fathers, favours "us all." And so beyond cavil does the internal requirement. For as the apostle had traced vital or intrinsic unity in verse 4, and external unity in verse 5, he closes with the unity of the God and Father of all, universally supreme and permeating, and withal most intimate for "us all," but this limited to us all (them who believe). No blunderer, still less a forger, could have hit on a shade of truth so unexpected beforehand, yet so momentous and happy when expressed. If people had introduced a gloss, they would have extended the pronoun to all three. — In verse 10 "due" measure seems hardly allowable. — Do not verses 22, 23, set forth truth in the person of Jesus? "Your putting [or having put] away," etc. (Compare Col. 3:9-10.) For the Christian it is a fact already accomplished in the Saviour, of which faith lays hold; as mysticism always strains after it in man's own feelings. — And what is the meaning, verse 30, of "the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed"? etc. The sealing was in His power, or in virtue of Him. — The Revisers rightly say in verse 32, "even as God also in Christ forgave you."
In Eph. 5:1 they correctly say "imitators" of God, and in verse 4 "befitting" for the obsolete synonym "convenient." In verse 5 they read ἴστε (not ἐστε) λ.; as also the fruit of "light" in verse 9, so agreeable to the context. But whether their view of the end of verse 13 is sound may be doubted. — With verse 20 compare note on 1 Corinthians 15:24. — "Christ" is right in verse 21; and the more correct "washing" stands in the text of the Revisers as in the Authorised Version. Only they say "with" for "by" the word, which is regrettable perhaps. — In verse 29 it is "Christ," not "the Lord," as in the Authorised Version followed by Text. Rec. — In verse 30 they leave out the latter half in Text. Rec., as in the Authorised Version also.
In Eph. 6 but little appears to demand notice. — See verse 5 for a change of order, and verse 9 for a necessary correction of the Text. Rec. and of the Authorised Version. — The rendering of verse 12 is also much better, "high" places being unequivocally wrong. — The last verse ends rightly with an uncorruptness," or incorruption. "Sincerity" is misleading.
THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
Phil. 1:5 is more correctly translated "in furtherance of," not "in" (εἰς), the gospel, as the same proposition should be "for" (Rev. Ver. "unto"), not "till" (Auth. Ver.) the day of Christ in verse 10. — In verse 18, instead of "in all the palace, and in all other places," the Revisers prefer "throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest." — The interference with the true order of verses 15-17, to give a more mechanical exactitude, is rectified, whereas as originally written it is more forcible. — But verse 22 seems ill-represented. Does not καρπὸς ἔργου = operae pretium, worth while? Thus the connection would run: If to live in the flesh (fall to me), this (is) to me worth the while; and what I shall choose I know not, whereas not only does the arrangement of the Revisers seem cumbrous, but the result is unsatisfactory. "But if to live in the flesh — if this is the fruit of my work, then what I shall choose I wot not." What does this mean, if the sentence would bear so awkward and violent a construction? Even the literal sense given in the margin appears far preferable, "this is the fruit of my work," or this is to me fruit of my work. It gives me opportunity for longer labour and its yield in the Lord's harvest. — Nor are the Company happy in their rendering of the last words in verse 27, where they miss the apostle's animated identification of the saints with the faith of the gospel, personified as the agent engaged in conflict. Striving "with," that is, in concert with, is much better than "for."
In Phil. 2:1 "comfort" and "consolation" rightly change places. — In verse 6 "a prize to be on an equality" is more correct than "robbery to be equal," as also "emptied himself" in verse 7. — In verse 9 the right reading "the" (not a) name is adopted, and "in" (not at) the name in verse 10. — But why 'things" instead of "beings" when we have the knee and tongue called to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? Is not this very distinct from the personification of universal nature in Psalm 148 or elsewhere? The groaning or deliverance of creation in Romans 8 is quite another thing, and ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς in Revised Version is not at all the Same as καταχθονίων here, being things which burrow, not the lost infernal beings. — In verse 80 it is surprising the Revisers did not see that the Rescript of Paris in giving simply "the work" preserves the true reading, to which others added ΧΥ or ΚΥ. But others must here have overborne the Bishop of Durham. The insertions are easily accounted for.
Phil. 3:3 "worship by the Spirit of God" is the right; and "have I counted" in verse 7. — Of course that in verse 11 it is the resurrection from (or from among the dead, not "of" as in the Authorised Version, following the bad reading τῶν ν. instead of τὴν ἐκ ν., not to speak of the intensified form of the word (ἐξανάστασις) here, only occurrent in the New Testament, as has been often noticed and is obvious.
[But let me here express my astonishment at a very learned Reviser's comment on verses 12-16, as if St. Paul (!) held "the language of hope, not of assurance … My brothers, let other men vaunt their security. Such is not my language," etc. What surprising ignorance even of the gospel practically! How could men so short of ordinary christian faith be expected to translate the New Testament adequately, no matter what their scholastic attainments? They may be pious, but do not see that the apostle treats of enjoying Christ experimentally, and then of being actually in glory with Christ, not in the least of assurance as to eternal life in Christ or the forgiveness of sins, which are matters of common christian knowledge. (1 John 2:12-13.) He could not rest in anything short of what characterised Christ — the out-resurrection and glory — to be with and as Himself on high. It was this prize he had not already obtained, in this respect he was not already perfected. There is no question of false security, but of eye and heart set on the goal above, instead of the profession of Christ combined with the minding of earthly things. Other scriptures denounce fleshly license; here judaising or fleshly religion. The Right Rev. Reviser is quite mistaken (pp. 70, 151, 152) in the apostle's drift. It is unchristian nomianism, not corrupt antinomianism, of which he here writes such solemn and even stern words of warning.]
The version of verse 20 is an improvement on the Authorised Version, but is it not feeble? We await as Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation in this epistle is regarded as incomplete till the body of our humiliation has its fashion changed into conformity with the body of His glory.
The Authorised Version is duly corrected in Phil. 5:2, 8, in its misunderstanding of the female names, a false reading, and a false rendering. — There are also corrections of misreadings in verses 18 and 23, But nothing of special moment. — The rendering is improved especially in verses 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 15, 17.
THE EPISTLE TO THE COLOSSIANS.
Col. 1:1, we have "Christ Jesus" rightly: verse 2, a proper omission of "and Lord Jesus Christ" and in verse 8 of "and" — "God the Father," etc. — But the Revisers are capricious in their treatment of οἱ οὐρ., giving sometimes "heaven," sometimes "the heavens." The inspired writers use the two phrases with distinctness of purpose. Thus it is always in Matthew "the kingdom of the heavens," but in the Revised Version, as in the Authorised Version, "of heaven;" and so with "your," "our," or "My Father which is in heaven," whereas really it is "in the heavens." Yet the evangelist uses the singular form in Matt. 5:18, 34; Matt. 6:10, 20, 26; Matt. 8:20; Matt. 11:23, 25; Matt. 13:32;
Matt. 14:19; Matt. 16:1-2, 3 (if 2, 3 be genuine); Matt. 18:18 twice (Matt. 19:21 being doubtful perhaps); Matt. 21:25 twice; Matt. 22:30; Matt. 23:22; Matt. 24:29-30 twice, 35; Matt. 26:64; Matt. 28:2, 18. On the other hand, the Revisers rightly say "the heavens" in chapter 3:16-17, but not (in addition to the phrases already referred to) in Matt. 5:12; Matt. 16:19 twice, while again they give "the heavens" in Matt. 24:29, yet the singular form wrongly in verses 31, 36. Similar caprice might be shown in Mark and Luke where both forms occur (for John's Gospel has only the singular), save that the Revisers in the Acts give the plural correctly in its two occurrences. In Ephesians they give the plural twice rightly, and twice as singular wrongly, as also in Philippians 3:20, the only occurrence there. In our Epistle, chapter 1, they give the plural three times accurately in verses 5, 16, 20 (in Col. 4:1 they adopt the singular variant), but not in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. In Hebrews they are right save in Heb. 12:23, 25, in both like the Authorised Version. In 1 Peter 1:4 they are wrong, in 2 Peter 3:5, 7, 10, 12, 13 right, in both again following the Authorised Version. In the Revelation there is but one plural occurrence, and the Authorised Version and Revised Version agree in reflecting it rightly.
- In verse 6 the Revisers follow the good authorities in giving "and increasing," or "growing" which the Text. Rec. omits, and in dropping the expletive "also" in verse 7, where they adopt the absurd reading of many ancient and modern authorities, ἡμῶν, "our," instead of ὑμῶν, their marginal alternative. Here however Westcott and Hort had not only Alford, Lachmann, Tregelles, to keep them in countenance, but the Elzevirian Text. Rec. of 1633. This however may have been a mere printer's error, like that of the copyists; for the first (1624) and the latter editions of the Elzevirs adhere to the reading of Erasmus, of the Complutensian, of Colinaeus, of Stephens, and of Beza; as it holds its ground rightly to this day. The ancient versions are unanimous in rejecting ἡμῶν; and no wonder: for the sense which would result from this reading is untrue, as it would seem that Epaphras, valued and faithful as he may have been, was in no sense "vice apostoli," as says a Latin commentator contrary to all others, Greek or Latin, who allude to it.
- In verse 10 "increasing in" seems a questionable rendering. Is not "growing by" better, as the margin suggests for the last word? — There is no doubt that "through his blood" should vanish from verse 14. It stands rightly in Ephesians 1:7, whence probably it was introduced here. The person is the point here, not yet the work, which comes afterwards in verses 20-22. — "In him" in verse 16 appears a bald or mystic expression. It was in His power or in virtue of Him that all things were created. To be in Christ, to walk or dwell in Him, is for believers as intelligible as it is blessed; but for the universe to be created in Him, what is the meaning? It is assumption to Fay that we are shut up to any such rendering. No doubt ἐν is more than διά (the expression of the means or instrument) and supposes intrinsic ability.
- The next matter of weight for consideration is in verse 19, where the old fault of the Authorised Version reappears. There the excellent Tyndale led the way in error, Wiclif before and the Rhemish since being nearer the truth. The doctrine is as bad as the version, and derogatory to the Son as well as the Spirit in our epistle, and the very part where the prime object is to assert the glory of Christ in every way. For in Him all the fulness was well-pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things unto itself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. The margin offers a less offensive rendering than the Revised text; but Col. 2:9 goes far to commend a version which needs no words to be supplied and wonderfully falls in with the grand aim of exalting Christ's person. — In verse 25 the context suggests "complete" rather than "fulfil." There was a blank left in the revelations of God; and the apostle, as minister not only of the gospel but of the assembly, was given to complete the word of God, who would now manifest to His saints the mystery hidden from the ages and from the generations. Such was the dispensation or stewardship of God given him toward the Gentiles. Compare Ephesians 3 "Perfect" in verse 28, as in Philippians 3:15, means "full-grown," as the Revisers, following the Authorised Version "of full age," give in Hebrews 5:14.
Col. 2:3 does not exhibit a satisfactory text, though there are added and indefensible words in the text which the Authorised Version followed. It is very doubtful whether "and of Christ" should stand any more than "and of the Father," the importance of which omission would be that the version would run "in which." That is, all these treasures are in the mystery. — Nor is there need for "so" in verse 6. — "Of the sins" is an error in the common Greek text which the Revisers, with the critics, properly omit in verse 11. — But are they not adventurous in following the few uncials and cursives, though supported by Greek and Latin ecclesiastics, which drop ἐν and give the force "through" in verse 13? — In verse 15, dropping the interpolated copulative, they adhere to the literal or ordinary force of ἀπεκδυσάμενος, "having put off from himself," with Alford and Ellicott, which results in an apparently fanciful meaning, which it is hard to believe intended by the Spirit of God. Every scholar knows that later usage employed middle forms where a middle sense cannot be recognised, though there is a distinction from the active voice. Hence even Winer does not accept the strict middle sense here, any more than Meyer or others, inclining to some such force as in the Authorised Version. If God be the subject throughout, the Latin application to the Lord's divesting Himself of the flesh or body is out of the question; and certainly the word is rarely if ever used absolutely or with such an ellipsis. Theodoret and Chrysostom are vague, but regard Christ as the subject. — In verse 18 they drop the negative with several of our bolder modern critics, which would thus express the pretension of the mystics whom the apostle is exposing. — Their version of the last clause in verse 23 is no less bold, though no doubt it suits the context if it were tenable. But does the preposition πρς ever convey the idea of counteraction or adverse aim save from the context, as from any word of fighting or the like, of which there is no trace here? If "against" therefore be improper in this connection, the force would be a warning against ascetic treatment, without a certain honour due to the vessel of the Holy Spirit, which is really for satisfaction of the flesh.
In Col. 3 there is happily but little to remark. The stronger and more accurate force we saw in Galatians 3 reappears in verse 11. — But it is very questionable whether "Christ" is not changed for the worse in verse 13 into "Lord" as in A B Dp.m. F G, etc., Vulgate, etc. The Sinaitic reads "God;" the ordinary reading has ancient and extensive support, especially in versions and citations. — But the Revisers, with all critics, on the best authority have the peace "of Christ" in verse 15. — In the end of verse 16 they rightly give to "God," and omit "and" in verse 17, as well as "own" in verse 18. — In verse 22 it is rightly "the Lord," not "God" as in the Authorised Version following the Received Text; and the copulative is dropt at the beginning of verse 23, and the causal conjunction before the final clause of verse 24. — Of course the first verse of Col. 4 is properly connected with Col. 3 as its true close.
In the last chapter there is yet less to notice. — Verse 8 is a plain instance where the influence of most of the oldest copies has misled editors and the Revisers. The Paris rescript — and the mass of uncials and cursives and versions are confirmed in their reading as right by the end of verse 9 as well as the beginning of verge 7. — In verse 10 it is properly "cousin." — In verse 12 they rightly supply "Jesus" omitted in Text. Rec. — In verse 13 it is as in the best copies "labour," not "zeal," the manuscripts differing singularly. — The main question of verse 15 lies between "their" ( A C P, eight cursives, etc.) and "his" (D E F G K L and the mass with some ancient versions, etc.), "her" (though adopted by Lachmann who reads Νύμφαν, after the Vatican and very little more) being given in the Revisers' margin, and not "his," which seems strange.
In this Epistle the critical changes are few.
In 1 Thess. 1:1 "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Origen expressly noted the words as not read in his day, though they are supported by the Sinaitic, Alexandrian, and many other good MSS and versions, etc. B F G and the best versions reject the words. — There are slight corrections in verses 8 and 10.
In 1 Thess. 2:2 an expletive καί is expunged, as also γάρ in verse 9. — There is an omission of καί supplied at the beginning of verse 13, as of ἰδίους in verse 15 and of "Christ" in verse 19. As to translation, is not verse 13 awkwardly rendered? Translate rather, "when ye received God's word of message (or report) — God's word heard — from us, ye accepted not men's word, but as it is truly God's word," etc.
1 Thess. 3:2 brings before us a text variously found in the MSS. But if συνεργὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ be read, as in the margin, "fellow-worker with God" will not do, for reasons already stated in discussing 1 Corinthians 3, etc. It is not the thought at all, however pleasing to man's nature. God employs labourers as work-fellows; but He is no work-fellow of theirs. It is irreverent. In the text they read διάκονον, "minister," as the Vatican copy omits τοῦ Θεοῦ, and thus either way the difficulty is avoided. But there is really none when the word is rendered, not as by mere scholarship, but in the knowledge of God. — A few lesser points might be spoken of, but the chief is the exclusion of "Christ" which Text. Rec. introduced on insufficient grounds.
In 1 Thess. 4:1 there is a short clause omitted in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version which is here rightly given, "even as ye do walk." — The Revisers, I think, aptly render verse 4 "to possess himself of," as also of course verse 6. — In verse 8 it is "you," not "us." In verse 13 it is "we," not "I" as in Text. Rec. — In verse 14 the margin is right, "through Jesus." — The peculiarity of the "shout" is left out in verse 16.
In 1 Thess. 5:3 the particle "for" disappears properly, as it should appear in verse 5. There is little else to note but the omission of ἁγίοις "holy" in verse 27, where if we take MSS, versions and citations into account, external authority is rather evenly balanced. If it were a solitary expression in the Pauline epistles, this would not really weigh against its occurrence in his earliest, and in so solemn a connection. I doubt the wisdom or certainty of casting it out here. It occurs also in Hebrews 3:1.
The rendering of 2 Thess. 1:8 is correct, not that of the Authorised Version which overlooks the two articles in the Greek, expressive of two distinct classes of men with whom the day of the Lord is to deal: those that know not God (the nations or heathen); and those that, if they know Him after a sort, obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus (unbelieving Jews). The addition of "Christ" here is questionable; B D E G K L P, some thirty cursives, half the ancient versions, and many ancients who cite, being adverse. — In verse 10 it should be "believed." — In verse 12 the weight of authority omits "Christ" at the beginning.
In 2 Thess. 2:1 "touching" or "in behalf of" the coming or presence of our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be founded on a misapprehension of the contextual requirement. Nobody doubts that either is a good rendering of the proposition in itself. But the connected language may modify, as well as the subject. matter; and all this has to be weighed. Was it not assumed by the Revisers, as in Alford's Commentary, that the coming of our Lord was the theme which he was about to explain to the Thessalonians? "It is most unnatural," says the Dean in objection to the rendering of the Vulgate, Authorised Version and many ancient commentators, "that the apostle should thus conjure them by that, concerning which he was about to teach them." This however is exactly opposed to the fact; for he is beseeching them ὑπὲρ τῆς π. τ. κ. ἡ. Ἰ. Χ. κ. ἡ. ἐ. ἐ. ἀ. not to be quickly shaken by a false impression about the day of the Lord. This, not His presence, is the real subject in hand. They are so distinct, that the apostle entreats ὑπὲρ the one not to be troubled about a wrong view of the other. It is the confusion of the two which led to the wrong rendering, as it also forbids the right understanding of the argument and of the truth in the context. It is impossible to read attentively the chapter before and the following verses without perceiving that the apostle is treating of that day, as the Authorised translators rightly saw in verse 3. And therefore it is that in verse 8 we have, not of the Lord's coming merely, but "of the manifestation of his coming," which really for the sense coalesces with His day. The one is for the gathering to Him of His friends; the other, for the destruction of His foes. Hence it is most intelligible to beseech the brethren, for the sake or on account of that blessed hope, not to be soon agitated nor yet troubled by the error that the day of the Lord was there. He begs them by a motive of deepest comfort not to be upset by the delusion that the day was present. How could this be, as the Lord had not yet come and gathered His own to Himself on high? How could it be, seeing that the apostasy and the man of sin were not yet developed in all their matured and manifested lawlessness, as they must be for the Lord to execute His judgment on them when that day dawns? This may serve to convince serious readers that the actual misunderstanding was about the ἡμέρα or day, not the παρουσία or presence, as has been erroneously taken for granted.
Accordingly too the rendering, with a verb of entreaty as here, is properly "for the sake of," "by reason of," or, more tersely, "by," as in all the well-known English versions (Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, Geneva, Rhemish, and Authorised Version). It is uncritical to confound ἐρωτᾳν περί with ἐρ. ὑπέρ, as the Revisers have done; and the New Testament abounds with proof that, when it was a question of beseeching for a person or asking about a thing, the former is the constant and correct phrase. We are therefore entitled to infer that ἐρ. ὑπέρ has its own distinctive force; and as "on behalf" or "instead of" is excluded by the nature of the case, so the bearing of the context most naturally points to some such rendering as is in the Authorised Version, and beyond just doubt disproves "touching" in the Revised Version or any other rendering of like import. The Revisers however have correctly expunged the "by" of the Authorised Version in the same clause for the one article of course forms the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into one closely connected object of thought with "our gathering together unto him," instead of dissociating them as the unwarranted insertion of "by" does.
- In verse 2, in the endeavour to be literal have they not missed our own idiom? Dr. Angus ought to be able to say whether "shaken from your mind" is good English. The Authorised Version is at least idiomatic. But they have restored the true reading of "the Lord," not of "Christ," and they have given the correct version "is now present" or rather "is present," instead of the misleading "is at hand," which has darkened expositors, preachers, and readers without end. — In verse 3 they rightly say "the falling away" or apostasy, and as rightly discard "as God," though it is hard to tell why they did not render more literally ὅτι ἐστὶν θεός at the end, instead of repeating the English phrase which represents the interpolated ὡς θεόν. — In verses 7, 8 they are quite right in giving us "lawlessness," and "the lawless one," instead of the words in the Authorised Version which would answer to ἀδικία and πονηρός. The latter half of verse 7 is also better rendered as a whole; and "Jesus" is added on excellent authority, of moment to set aside pseudo-spiritual applications of the verse, as "slay" or destroy is better than "consume," which is popularly employed to aid false interpretation.
- In verse 11 "sendeth them a working of error" rightly displaces "shall send them strong delusion" in the Authorised Version. But could they not do better for the force of τῳ ψεύδει than perpetuate the old "a lie"? How strange that both Bishop Ellicott and the late Dean Alford should so little comprehend the truth here set out as to fancy, because of verse 7 and the present tense, that God's sending this judicial delusion is now! What about the lawless one's presence in verse 9? It is the ethical, not the historical, present, an usage quite common in all philosophical and indeed other writings, as well as in holy scripture. The error in this case affects, not the translation, but the intelligence of scripture; but it does affect the version in "them that are perishing" as in verse 10 and often in other words elsewhere, where they convert a moral present into a direct or historical one under the illusion that this only is correct. — "Work and word" rightly take the place of "word and work" in the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version.
In 2 Thess. 3:4 the "you" of Text. Rec. disappears. — There is a conflict of readings at the end of verse 6, whether it be "he" as in the Authorised Version, "they" as in the Revised Version, or ye" as in the margin. The singular is ill-attested; they" has the better claim. — In verse 12 they rightly change from "by our" to "in the." — The form of verse 14 "that ye have no company with him" may be right; but in so doubtful a case, does it seem wise or fair to commit the Revision to it?
In 1 Tim. 1:1 the omission of the italics supplied in the Authorised Version brings out better the force: "Christ Jesus our hope;" and "true" or "genuine" is better than "own" in 2. — The misreading of the Text. Rec. in 4 is the source of the wrong thought in 4, where the real point is God's dispensation or administration, not "godly edifying," which ought to be an effect of it. — In 5 they have well given "charge," as in 3 and 18, where "commandment" misleads, as many ignorantly think of the law, especially as this follows, not seeing the contrast. — It seems surprising that the Revisers in 9 should consign "smiters" twice to the margin, and give "murderers" in their text. The simple verb certainly means to thresh, or beat, rather than to kill; and the compound in well-known pieces of classic Greek is distinguished, as here, from man-slayers or murderers. (See Lysias, 116; Plat. Phaed. 114; Aristoph. Nub. repeatedly. — They rightly present the "gospel of the glory," instead of the unmeaning or wrong-meaning "glorious gospel." The glory of God into which Christ has entered is 'the true and full standard of judgment by which the apostle, who had beyond any other beheld it, measures that which is unsuitable for God and His own. How little those who desire to be law-teachers enter into this! — "King of the ages," in the margin, seems preferable to "King eternal" in the text of 17. Law had been just contrasted with the gospel: God was the sovereign disposer of the ages for His own glory. But here He is the only God; not "only wise," as in Romans 16, where the mystery is not revealed, but His righteousness in the gospel of indiscriminate grace, and the law is vindicated yet set aside in Christ dead and risen, and all is conciliated with the fulfilment of His special promises to Israel; none but the "only wise God" could. Here He is the "only God;" He may act in creation or in judgment, in promise, law, or gospel, but He is the only God, whatever be the difference of dealing or dispensation.
In 1 Tim. 2:3 why should the Revisers give "desiring" (θέλ.) in 1:7, and "willeth" (θ.) here, but "desire" βούλομαι in 8? In 2 Peter 3:9 they render β. "wishing." Why this looseness and caprice? Buttmann's distinction (Lexil. i. 26), that θ. [ἐθέλω] is not only the more general expression for willing, which is true, but that kind especially where a purpose is included, as compared with β., which implies a mere acquiescence in the will of others, seems to be quite untenable even in Homer. It is β. which is used especially to express mind or purpose if required. Mr. Green is also faulty in giving just the same force to the two different words in 1 Tim. 2:3 and 2 Peter 3:9; so indeed are the old well-known English versions. — Is not the rendering of 5 clumsy, though close? — In 8, 11, the twofold mistake of the Authorised Version is rectified. Read "the men" and a woman." In 9 it is rather "deportment" than dress," which follows in 10. — In 12 a woman is forbidden to exercise (not merely to usurp) authority. Such full power over man is not hers. — In 14 the emphasis is not expressed in English, "quite deceived." It is a mistake to refer 15 to salvation through the birth of Christ. Bishop Ellicott has said what he can in detail as well as contextually for that application, as Dean Alford for "the higher meaning" of σωθήσεται as in the Revision, but I think in vain. To compare it with 1 Cor. 3:15 shows a strange cast of mind.
In 1 Tim. 3:3 the Revisers rightly omit "not greedy of filthy lucre," which was introduced from Titus 1, The caution here follows in 16 no lover of money." But is there no intended reference to disorder through excess of wine in πάροινον, which they give simply as "brawler," especially as "striker" follows? — Is "condemnation" of the devil correct in 6? κρίμα was either a suit, the matter for it, or the sentence. Mr. Green takes it as "strong impeachment from the devil;" but it seems rather his charge or fault. — In 16 there is little doubt that the true reading is ὅς, He who, rather than θεός, though this be implied. B is wanting, but A C F G, with some cursives and very ancient versions, support ὅς, as D and the Latins read ὅ, K L P and most cursives giving Θεός.
The Revisers render aright the beginning of 1 Tim. 4:2, so strangely misunderstood in the Authorised Version and elsewhere. Demons might speak lies, of course but how can we fairly speak of their "hypocrisy," or of their own conscience?" It is instructive to see that beside the demons there are the misleaders and the misled. Translate, therefore, "in (or through) hypocrisy of men that speak lies, cauterised in their own conscience," etc. — "Saviour" goes too far in 10, which should rather be "preserver" but "both" is rightly dropped in an earlier clause of the verse, as "in spirit" is in 12.
In 1 Tim. 5:4 they have with good reason omitted "good and." To say "acceptable" is just the truth. — The old error, "having condemnation," instead of at most "guilt," recurs in 12. Why should they not have said "an" ox when treading out corn? The Authorised Version is doubly in fault, "the ox that," etc. — In 23 they rightly give "Be no longer a drinker of water." The Authorised Version, "Drink no longer water," goes too far. — But in 25 ought they not to have rendered it "the good works also [are] manifest" (or, evident beforehand, etc.)?
1 Tim. 6 has not a few misreadings in the Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version. "The" teaching or doctrine is right in 1; and the close of 2 should be, "they that partake in (or profit by) the good service are believing and beloved." — The Authorised Version of 5 is opposed to all intelligence of the usage of the article. It should be that godliness is gain, or a way of gain, as in the Revised Version, where "from such withdraw thyself" is rightly omitted. In 7 the Revisers are probably right in excluding "it is manifest", (δῆλον), or the equivalent, in the various MSS. So also in 10 the Revisers properly say "a root of all kinds of evil," or of all evils. "The root," as in the Authorised Version, is good neither in doctrine nor in fact nor in grammar. — In 12 "also" only encumbers the sense. — It is surprising that the Revisers should in their text confound the sense of ζωογονοῦντος (A D F G, P, etc.) with that of the Text. Rec. ζωοποι. ( K L, the cursives in general, etc.) "Preserving alive" is admirably in keeping with the Epistle: cf. Ex. 1:17-18, 22, Judges 8:19, Luke 17:33, Acts 7:19. To suppose a reference, as Alford, to "eternal life" above is outrageous, any more than to resurrection with Chrysostom or others. — In 17 they are justified in omitting "living." — In 19 it is "that which is really life," rather than "eternal life" after the Text. Rec.
There are no remarkable changes which occur to my mind in the early verses of 2 Tim. 1. "Beloved child" in 2 displaces "dearly beloved son," and "supplications" stands in lieu of "prayers" in 3. — "Stir up" still appears in 6, instead of "stir into flame" (or "rekindle") in the margin. — It is hard to see why "discipline" should supplant a sound mind," in 7. — In 8 the truer force appears, suffer hardship with the gospel," etc. — What is the meaning of "before time eternal," in 9? — In 10 "incorruption" is right, the body being in question, not the soul, life for the soul and incorruption for the body brought to light by the gospel. — The omission of ἐθνῶν Gentiles or nations in 12 rests on the meagre testimony of A 17, contrary to all other authority; but no doubt the Cambridge professors favoured the omission, though Lachmann read the word in his later edition, while Tischendorf in his eighth edition joined Tregelles, swayed overmuch as usual by the Sinaitic, as well as by the idea that it may have been borrowed from 1 Tim. 2:7. But the context would incline me to its acceptance. In the former Epistle it falls in with the testimony of grace: the glad tidings of a ransom for all could not but go forth to the nations. So here, the power of Christ in death and resurrection gives occasion to the manifestation of eternal counsel, wholly above the course of dispensation to Israel; and accordingly the gospel meets men universally in the grace and power of God, and hence in a life superior to death, and a love which no sufferings could daunt or quench.
- Why should the Revisers repeat the inaccuracy of the Authorised Version in 13? Timothy had heard the truth from the apostle in words taught of the Holy Spirit, and is exhorted to have an outline or pattern of sound words which he had thus heard, an inspired expression of what God has revealed, and this in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. For this power is needed, and Timothy is told to guard the good deposit by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us (i.e., Christians) — both the more urgently wanted because it is a time of departure, as Paul experienced before his decease. Hold "the pattern" misleads, as if Timothy had some well-known formula distinct from apostolic teaching.
In 2 Tim. 2:3 the Revisers rightly adopt the ancient reading συγκακοπάθησον, but their margin gives a sense preferable to their text. The apostle is not here speaking of his own sufferings. The Text. Rec. οὺ οὖν (as in the Authorised Version, "Thou therefore," etc.) crept in early, as it is found in a few uncials, most cursives, and some ancient versions; but it is a mere clerical blunder. — In 7 it is correctly "shall give thee." — In 13 "for" is rightly added. — In the first clause of 19 they give, quite properly, "the firm foundation standeth," and "the Lord," instead of "Christ" in the last clause. — But the last verse affords an extraordinary sample of baldness in the Committee, which can hardly have been satisfactory to the Bishop of Gloucester and others. It is the sense preferred by Wetstein and G. Wakefield, and, singular to say, Bengel. It seems to me distinctly ungrammatical on the face of it, that a past act in contrast with present state should be represented by ἐζωγρημένοι, which really implies the present result of what has been done. To bear the sense given, the former ought to have been ζωγρηθέντες, as another has justly remarked. Doubtless the pronouns are distinguished, but it seems harsh indeed to refer αὐτοῦ to the Lord's servant with so much intervening. Beza's proposal seems best — "that out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him, they may awake for [or, unto] His will," that is, to do God's will. In the margin they do give substantially this alternative; but does it not seem extraordinary that the Committee was found pliant enough to endorse the actual text?
In 2 Tim. 3 there is little to notice for general readers till we come to 10, where the Revisers appear to me rightly to read the aorist with A C F G 17 rather than the perfect of the Text. Rec. with the mass of inferior authority (which probably slipt in through 1 Tim. 4:6): "But thou didst follow up my teaching," etc. — In 14 they decide for the plural, as the margin explains, and so the most ancient MSS., though the ancient versions lean with slight dissent to the singular "whom," as in the Text. Rec. — The version of 16 is questionable. As it stands it might imply that some scriptures are not divinely inspired, which is certainly opposed to the scope. "Every scripture, being divinely inspired, [is] also profitable," etc., differs from the more usual rendering in the margin only in assuming, instead of asserting divine inspiration. In any case it is "every" scripture, which would apply in due time to what was yet to be written as well as to what had been already. It is purposely thrown into axiomatic form. If assumed to be God-inspired, it seems needless to say that it is useful or profitable. I therefore prefer in this the construing of the Authorised Version.
In 2 Tim. 4:1 the Revisers reject οὖν ἐγώ and τοῦ Κυρίου of the Text. Rec. as well as κατά, followed by the Authorised Version, though sustained by the later uncials, almost all the cursives, and all the old versions, even the Latin and Coptic. The testimony of Chrysostom is perplexing, for he seems to support καί ( A D F G., etc.) as well as κατά. But assuming the critical reading, ought we not to render "I charge both by His appearing and His Kingdom?" And why say "the" living and "the" dead? — In the end of 4, have they reflected justly or fully ἐκτραπήσονται? Of course they correct "a" into "the" crown, etc. in 8, and that "love" into "have loved." — In 15 they adopt the reading "withstood" for "hath withstood." — In 18 they drop the initiatory copulative, and read only "the Lord" in 22.
EPISTLE TO TITUS.
In Titus 1:4 the Revisers on first-rate authority read "grace and peace" instead of "grace, mercy, peace," as in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version. "Lord" is also omitted. — The first copulative is left out on high authority in 10.
In Titus 2:5 "workers at home," not merely "keepers" there, as the Authorised Version following Text. Rec. a letter easily omitted makes the difference. — In 7 the true text is "uncorruptness, gravity," ἁφθορίαν, σεμνό τητα, not ἁδίαφθορίαν, σ., ἀφθαρσίαν, which last even the Elzevirs and Griesbach, with all modern critics, reject, though Stephanus received it in his edd. of 1546, 1549, and 1550, misled by the Complutensian editors not Erasmus. — In 13 the Revisers translate rightly "the appearing of our great God," etc.
Titus 3:1 is right, "to be obedient," not "to obey magistrates," which is already implied. — In 5 they rightly follow the Authorised Version, and give "washing." "Layer" ought not to be even in the margin. (See Eph. 5:26.)
EPISTLE TO PHILEMON.
In 2 ἀγαπητῃ, "beloved," of the Text. Rec., followed by the Authorised Version, is properly excluded, and ἀδελφῃ, "sister," takes its place on ancient and ample, authority. The internal superiority of the critical reading is obvious. But the rendering of 6 seems very dubious in every English version save Tyndale's, the worst perhaps being the Rhemish and the Authorised Version, followed by the Revisers for the sense, though with the change of "fellowship" for "communication." I believe it ought to be "thy fellowship (or participation) in the faith." They appear to me no less unhappy in the perpetuating of the Text. Rec. ὑμῖν, you," in the same verse, though supported by F G P, many cursives, etc.; but ἡμῖν, "us," has the excellent authority of A C D E K L, about fifty cursives, and other authorities. This would involve the alternative rendering of "acknowledgement" rather than "knowledge." "Jesus" should probably be omitted. — In 7 the true reading seems to be, as they prefer, χαρὰν γὰρ π. ἔσχον, "for I had great joy." Even the Elz. (1624) has χαράν instead of the Stephanic χάριν, though both gave ἔχομεν, "we have." — The peculiar emphasis of αὐτόν instead of the vulgar σὺ δέ is well given. προσλαβοῦ in the Text. Rec. was borrowed from verse 17, though many good authorities supply it here. — "Lord" should disappear from the end of 20.
THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS,
The opening of this Epistle seems to me unworthily represented in the Revised Version. In ver. 1 "Divers" twice is to make bad worse, though not so incorrect as the "diversely" of Tyndale, the one being obsolete for more than one, the other really meaning differently. They have, of course, substituted ἐσχάτου for the Text. Rec., ἐσχάτων, which has not the support of a single uncial; and they have avoided the error of "times" instead of parts or portions. "God having of old spoken in many measures and in many modes to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days spake to us in [the] Son." The last expression is evidently the truth of especial weight; and here the Revisers conspicuously fail. Indeed, the anarthrous construction is their habitual stumbling-block, as is the abstract usage of the Greek article, which requires the absence of the definite article in English. Their text is wrong in bringing in "his," which is not all the idea bore, though, of course, true in itself; whilst their margin, "a Son," is yet worse in every way, as being liable to grave misconstruction anywhere, and peculiarly at issue with a context which has for its aim to set forth His sole, intrinsic, and unapproachable glory as Son of God. The true idea is as Son, or in the person of Him who is Son, contrasted with His servants the prophets. Our tongue, however, does not admit of this characterising style of speech, like the Greek, after a preposition, but only in the nominative; and hence we must insert our article or even paraphrase it. But can there be any doubt that here, as too often in such cases elsewhere, the Revisers have missed the mark in a very essential point of truth?
- In 3 they give rightly the very image, or impress, "of His substance." "Person" is quite wrong, not only in translation, but in doctrine. For a wonder they are right about purification "of sins," perhaps to avoid the appearance of reading ἡμῶν as in Text. Rec. contrary to m p.m. A B Dp.m. all and many other witnesses. They ought to have translated similarly in Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14, where they have ruined the sense by treating the article as a possessive four times in error. Nor is the omission of δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ ["by himself] by any means so sure as to justify not even a notice in the margin. E K L M are no doubt inferior to A B P, Dp.m. giving δι᾽ αὐτοῦ, but both the Syriac, the AEthiopic and the Coptic are at least equal to the Vulgate and the Armenian. Indeed, Theodoret in his comment expressly says that δι᾽ αὐτοῦ should be read with an aspirate for δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ (δασέως ἀναγιγνώσκειν προσήκει, ἀντὶ τοῦ, δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ, B. Theod. Opp. ed. Sirmond. v. 549). Nor is there the least hint of the middle voice in the aorist participle, the more striking as the purification made was of the sins of others — assuredly not His own. The favourite Vulgate (factus) is here out of the way false, as it is in the next word, and often to the subversion of the truth in this epistle. In 4 the Revisers have improved on "being made" of the Authorised Version, which is very objectionable, but "having become" is not much better.
- The doubtful point of 6 is the Revisers' adoption of the margin of the Authorised Version, and consigning its text to their margin; the improvement is "first-born" for "first-begotten." In 7 and 8 and 13 it is better to assimilate if not render the same (for the first πρός is indirect, the second direct), instead of giving "of and "unto," as in the Authorised Version. Whether "of" in both cases is better than "as to" seems doubtful. But there is as little doubt that καί is wrongly dropt in the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version of 8 as that the Authorised Version is more correct than the Revised Version in not making a reciprocal sentence of the clause that follows, where the predicate by poetical inversion precedes the subject — a matter of no moment where the latter is defined by the article. — In 8 they have not adhered to the preterite rendering of the aorists, though there seems no reason why they might not have said, "Thou didst love righteousness and hate iniquity (or lawlessness). Therefore God, thy God, anointed," etc. And so in 10 "didst say," etc. — But it does seem strange that the advocates of the Vatican and a few others (MSS. A D p.m. etc. should have induced the Company to adopt ὡς ἱμάτιον, which reads so unmeaningly in the second clause of 12. Even Tregelles bracketed, and Lachmann alone adopted the gloss. It is a wonder they did not heed Tischendorf's reading ἀλλάξεις for ἐλίξεις, which adheres to the Hebrew, though resting only on p.m. Dp.m., Latin auxiliaries, etc., "as a vesture wilt thou change them, and they shall be changed," but the Vatican does not favour this. — In 13 why not "a" rather than "the" footstool?
In Heb. 2:1 "lest haply we drift away" is a better rendering than in either the text or the margin of the Authorised Version, both of which are ungrammatical. But is "recompense of reward" well here, because it suits, though cumbrously Heb. 10:35, Heb. 11:26? Would not requital or retribution in our text, and recompense elsewhere be better English? The Authorised Version misled the Revisers' Version in this unusual excess of sameness. — In 4 it is hard to see why the Authorised Version should be followed in the text and the margin. — In 5 the "habitable" world as it really is would dispel some vague impressions which "the world" is apt to leave on ill-taught minds. — The version of Ps. 8:4 is kept in 6, not quite in unison with Heb. 13:3; but the preterite which prevails in 7 was forgotten in 6, — And why should we have "the" angels in 9 is in 7, where it is no question of the whole class but of beings thus characterised? Our language allows corresponding precision. And is it certain that ὑπὲρ πάντος means "for every man?" Why not for every [thing]? We have just heard of πάντα, τὰ πάντα, and τὴν οἰκ., and afterwards in ver. 10, but these of men also, not as πάντας but as πολλοὺς υἱούς. It is not that there is the least dogmatic difficulty as to all mankind, at least for one who applies Christ's death for all in 2 Cor. 5:14, as His death through and for sin, rather than to it, which last is exclusively true of believers. It is a question only of what best suits the context. — In 12 "the congregation" is decidedly better than "the church," as in the Authorised Version. — In 13 they desert their preterite, perhaps owing to the Authorised Version of Isa. 8:18. — In 14 is it not strange to consign the true order "blood and flesh" to the margin, and to adopt the other and commoner order in the text? — In 16 there is a well-known correction of the Authorised Version adopted; for it is a question not at all of having taken the nature of man, but of interest and succour for Abraham's seed, not angels. — In 17 "reconciliation" gives place very properly to "propitiation."
In Heb. 3:1 "Christ" of the Authorised Version, following Text. Rec., disappears rightly. — But why in 2 "who was" or "who is"? "As being" is more correct. It is hardly to be supposed that Mr. Green meant to omit ὅλῳ with the Vatican, especially as he gives "all" in his version. — In 6 surely it is Christ as "Son over His house," not "a Son." Nor is there ground to say "our," but "the" boldness and the boast, rather than boasting or glorying, which would be rather καύχησις. — In 9 "wherewith," not "when," or "where," also "by proving," ἐν δοκιμασία, rather than ἐδοκ. as in the LXX. and Text. Rec., which adds με twice. — In 10, ταύτῃ, "this," not ἐκείνῃ, "that." — Is not the connection of διό (7) with βλέπετε (12)? If so, it is neglected in the Revised as much as in the Authorised Version. — In 14 as "partakers of Christ" has quite a different meaning, would it not have been better to have adopted throughout, as in Heb. 1:9, a more suitable rendering? "Fellows" from Ps. 45 is scarcely desirable. Partners or companions might be used. In 16, for τινές of the Text. Rec., they read with most critics τίνες. For who when they heard, or in hearing, did provoke? In the end of 18 the disobedient means those who did not listen to the word. Hence in 19 it is "unbelief." See Heb. 4:6, 11.
Heb. 4:2 presents a notable instance of temerity. I do not speak of the clumsy literality of the word "of hearing," but of what follows, "because they were [in the margin it was according to some] not united by faith with them that heard." No doubt Alford, Tregelles and Lachmann were blinded by their fidelity to the more ancient MSS. Tischendorf, strengthened by the Sinaitic which rejects the pl. acc. form, corrected his early change from the Text. Rec. because of the paucity of witnesses in its favour, save the Syriac and some of the Latin. But a more monstrous result than the sense flowing from that which pleased the ancient copyists and the modern critics, as well as the Revisers, it is hard to conceive. Besides, even the marginal alternative fares hardly at their hands. What is the sense from "it was?" "Because the word was not united by faith with them that heard." How greatly inferior to the Authorised Version! If the ordinary reading, or its form in , had a place in the margin, the Revisers ought to have given it a decent rendering, not one which sounds almost ridiculous. Nothing can be more confused and incoherent with the argument than the sense attached to the favourite reading; and even most modern commentators who adopt it on diplomatic grounds give it up, save the late intrepid Dean of Canterbury, who will have no special reference to Caleb and Joshua, yet fairly owns that his own interpretation does not satisfy himself Without dwelling on minor points, 10 appears to be only in part corrected. The Authorised Version was misled by Tyndale and that of Geneva, and the rendering falls in with the evangelical misapplication of the chapter to a present rest for the soul by faith, instead of the rest of God, which we are to enter at Christ's coming, a stimulus to present labour and to fear of taking our rest now. It ought to be "ceased from his works as God from His own." It is clear that it can be no question here of Christ giving rest to all those that labour and are heavy-laden, but to those who already believed in, or at least professed, His name; else they would have been called to believe, not to fear, still less to diligence in every good work. One need say nothing of Owen's wild idea adopted by Ebrard and Alford that so describes Christ. Not so; it is the general statement that he who has entered into God's rest has himself to rest from his works — a truth which applies even to God, who rested after His works in creating. It is no question of bad works: God's own were certainly good. It is a mistake that this view converts the aorist into a perfect or present. For if any tense but the aorist were used in Greek, it might, nay must, have misled. Believers now are viewed as εἰσερχ and in no way as εἰσελθόντες and the finite verb is properly in the same tense. It is the case supposed when the rest is entered, not at all the present result of a past act in the perfect. If the present had been used, as often expressive of a general principle, it was obviously liable to mislead the reader, for the entrance is unquestionably future.
- In 14 is not "the" better than "our" confession? — But the close of 15 is more serious. To say "yet" as in the Authorised Version, following others since Tyndale, leaves the door open to misconstruction of the true meaning and even to heterodoxy. Indeed, not a few have drawn, what they scarcely could have done from χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, that it means the Lord, however tempted, never sinned; whereas the true sense is that He has been in all things tempted in like sort, sin excepted. He never had our sinful temptations from a fallen nature such as James (James 1:13-15) speaks of. For this He suffered on the cross, and now sympathises with us in out dangers, difficulties, and weakness. He knew these trials incomparably more than we; but there was no sin in Him, no evil proclivities in His nature as in ours. — In 16, why not "for seasonable help?" "Time of need" limits the succour too much to the moment of trespass; the former is the larger and more worthy sense, as it is the most faithful version.
In Heb. 5 the first thing we would note is the right omission of ὁ in 4, which would make it not hypothetic, but actual, which really is in the clause following. It is not therefore "he that is," as in the Authorised Version, following the Text. Rec., but, "as" or "when" called. — In 8 "though He were Son," or "Son as He was." is better than "a" Son, but there is no need of "the" before "author." — In 7, as in Heb. 11:17, προσφέρω is confounded with ἀναφέρω, which does mean offer up as well as bear. — In 12 "the rudiments" do not go well with "the first principles" as may be made plainer by Heb. 6:1, where our Revisers give us "let us cease to speak of the first principles of Christ." There is nothing better than "the beginning." First principles are never to be left; but the word of the beginning of Christ might safely be left to go on to the knowledge of His redemption and glorification, which are the true power for acting by the Holy Ghost on the new man. Without this is no "full growth" to which one is pressed on in Heb. 6:1. Solid food is for "full-grown men," as in 14.
In Heb. 6:6, "If they shall fall" in the Authorised Version is brought back to the true and literal force, "and have fallen." It was a fact described. — In 7 it is ground, or land, not "the" land. — In 10 they omit "the labour" on high and ample authority. — Is not "desire" defective unless more strongly qualified in 11? — There is no need of "a" forerunner in 20.
In Heb. 7 there is extremely little to criticise: a particle struck out in 4, the article in 5, 10, change of form in 11, 16, 18, and priests instead of priesthood in 14, a quotation curtailed a little in 21, and a particle added in 22, are almost all. — Of course, the mistranslation in the Authorised Version of ver. 19 is avoided by the Revisers. The Old English Versions in general treat it wretchedly, from Wiclif down, Rhemish and all. Not one seems to have heeded the plain fact that 19 is the correlative to 18, marked carefully by the regular μὲν … δέ, with the first parenthetic clause at the beginning of 19, which explains why the foregoing commandment was annulled. Think of Tyndale making 18 a period, so as to predicate of the law, that it not only made nothing perfect, which is true, but was the introduction of a better hope, which is not only untrue but utterly false. Cranmer follows him in this; but even Wiclif had avoided it, as the Geneva Version more. The Rhemish is, as often, ambiguous, and suggestive of wrong more than of right, probably the fruit of sheer blank ignorance of the truth. If the Authorised Version kept clear of positive error in the text, they brought it into their margin. The parenthesis of which they did not think would have proved a safeguard, as well as seeing the contrast between the foregoing commandment and the better hope, the one abrogated and the other brought in. Of the ancient version, the Peschito Syriac is perhaps the nearest, save the Philoxenian, which is closer still. Lachmann, in his early and later editions, punctuates the Greek correctly, but not the Vulgate, which may, if rightly divided, intend the true thought. Theophylact is more distinct than Theodoret or Chrysostom.
In Heb. 8:1 there is no need to say more than "a" chief point or summary. — In 2 why "sanctuary "in text or "holy things" in margin? Surely it should be uniformly the holy [place] or holies here, Heb. 9:8, 12, 24, and Heb. 10:19. A needless "and" is rightly excluded. — In 4 the γάρ, "for," of the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version yields to the οὖν of the Revisers, or rather of the best ancient witnesses. "If then he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there are those that offer the gifts according to law"; for here again the article is no more desirable in English than in Greek, though it might have been used in both. It is not that it is optional for the same shade of sense; on the contrary, it is due to exactness in expressing character rather than mere fact. But the Revisers seem not at all alive to this refinement in either language. It will be noticed that τῶν ἱέρεων of the Text. Rec. with its counterpart in the Authorised Version disappears as the mere gloss of inferior and later copies. — Why "Testament" should be given in the margin of 8, 9, 10 is inconceivable, since the context, as well as the Hebrew, point only to "covenant." It is quite a different case in Heb. 9:16-17 but even there neither before nor after, "testament" there too being quite wrong in the margin of 15 and 20. — In 11 citizen or "fellow-citizen" is right on the best authority. There is no attempt at distinguishing the call to objective knowledge from the promise of inward knowledge or consciousness, though it has been often pointed out. The omission of "and their iniquities" or lawlessness is supported by but two great uncials (p.m. B.) and two cursives (17, 23), but by almost all the ancient versions.
In Heb. 9:1 the Authorised Version did not follow the Text. Rec. in acknowledging σκηνή, Tabernacle. Like the Revisers it supplies "covenant." No doubt the former was mistaken from 2. The rendering at the close in the Authorised Version is untenable it should be, "the sanctuary a worldly one," rather than the Revisers' form, "its sanctuary, a sanctuary of this world." Mr. Green takes it as "the holy garniture," which is at least grammatical. — In 6-9 the present form is rightly given by the Revisers, "go in," "offereth," "hath not yet," etc., "is yet," "which (or, "the which") is," "are offered," "that cannot." Again, is it correct to confound λατρεύειν with προσκυνεῖν? No doubt λ. is not δουλεύειν, but divine service is the idea, and this whether of the Jew as here or of the Christian as in 14, Heb. 10:2. — In the margin of 11 they give that strange reading of some old witnesses, "that are come," the spiritual sense of most, no doubt, controlling the hard drivers of diplomatic authority. At the end of this verse they give properly "creation," instead of "building," as in the Authorised Version. — But have they seized the true force of διά in 12? No one denies that the preposition from a local and temporal rises to a causal force, and so to accompaniments, mode, or manner, etc. — In 15 it seems very questionable to say "a" death.
- The famous passage in 16, 17, is fairly rendered, though not so close as might be, and with an interrogation at the end which had better not have been. "Doth it ever avail," etc., is poor. The validity or force is more suitable here. That the alternative of "covenant" in the margin should not enter this parenthetic digression is to my mind plain from the fact that death of the covenanter is needless to a covenant's validity, whereas it is essential to the operation of a will that the testator die; as is here expressly argued by the inspired writer. Before and after these two verses it is a question only of "covenant." — In 21 the Revisers rightly say with "the" blood, whereas in a general statement, as in 22, it is in English as in Greek anarthrous. — In 24 "before the face of God is more energetic. — In 26 it is the consummation of the ages," not the equivocal and misleading end of the world" as in Authorised Version. It was when the past dealings of God in all ways of moral trial conveyed that Christ died as a sacrifice for putting away of sin. The new heavens and earth throughout eternity will display this. — 27 is feebler in the Revised than in the Authorised Version, "cometh" being quite uncalled for; judgment is as much the portion of men as once to die. — Then comes in 28 what grace gives to faith in Christ once offered and to appear a second time. At His first coming He bore sins of many (not of all: else all would be saved, but of all believers); He will appear again to those that look for Him, as far as regards them apart from sin, unto salvation, i.e., of their bodies, then to be changed into the likeness of the body of His glory.
In Heb. 10:1 several obvious blunders of the Authorised Version are corrected: "the" coming good thing, "the same" sacrifices, they "offer." But how rash to endorse in such a work "they can"! It is known that this plural form is supported by A C D … corr P, and probably thirty or more cursives, etc., whereas the singular as in the Text. Rec. and with most critics has the suffrages of Dp.m., E H K L, and a fair number of cursives, some of the most ancient versions, etc. — Of course in 2 οὐκ is read with an interrogation on the best and fullest authority: so Erasmus, Stephens, and all the modern critics, contrary to the Complutensian editors, Beza, and Elzevirs, who omit it with some cursives, some Latin copies (not the oldest), the Syriac etc., which Wiclif and the Rhemish follow. — "In them" would be quite enough in 3, and better than "in those as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. — In 4 "blood," not "the" blood. — In 5 rightly "didst thou prepare." — But why in 6 "sacrifices for sins?" Why not adhere to the Old Testament familiar "sin-offerings?" So of course in 8. In both the Peschito shows how soon the knowledge of scripture evaporated after the Apostles, for that venerable version actually confounds the burnt-offering with that for sin. I purposely quote from Etheridge, "entire burnt-offerings for sin Thou hast not required. … entire burnt-offerings for sins Thou hast not willed." No offerings stood in more complete contrast than the holocaust and that for sin; and by this confusion also one loses the four classes here distinguished — burnt-offering, the minchah or unbloody corn oblation, the sacrifice of peace-offering, and the sin-offering. — In 9, as in 7, it is "I am come," not "I come" as in Authorised Version, and "O God" from the Text. Rec. is rightly dropt on the best authority.
- In 10 they correct the blunder of the Authorised Version, and read "once 'for all'" without italics. — In 12 it is rightly "he" (though it be οὗτος not αὐτὸς), not" this man" as in the Authorised Version. But the connection of "for ever" with the offering ono sacrifice for sins, instead of with "sat down," is an error of the first magnitude, common to Wiclif, the Rhemish, the Authorised Version, and the Revised Version, but not Tyndale, Cranmer, or Geneva. The sense of the phrase εἰς τὸ διηνεκές being continually or in perpetuity, rather than "for ever," is in its own nature incapable of being combined with the aorist, and can only go with such tenses as the present and perfect, which suppose continuance. To make the present construction orthodox, one must conceive some such ellipse "as [the efficacy of which lasts] for ever," which would be intolerable. The only party which the misrendering can serve is the sacerdotal one, which pretends to offer a continual sacrifice for the living and the dead; but in order to have the least real weight the Greek should have been προσφέρων, and we should have been landed back into the Judaism of verse 11, with which the Apostle is contrasting Christianity, which mainly depends on the completed act taught by προσενέγκας as in our verse. It is hardly possible to conceive a blunder in more direct issue with the entire teaching of this Epistle. — It is evident that the Authorised Version is not justified in giving the same force "are sanctified" to ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμέν in 10 and to τοὺς ἁγιαζομένους in 14. The Revisers rightly say in the one case "we have been sanctified," and in the other "them that are sanctified," not those that are (or were) being sanctified as in the analogous case of Acts 2:47, 1 Cor. 1:18, which we saw they happily forgot in 1 Cor. 15:2. There is a moral present, and not merely an historical one of actual time. O si sic omnia. The late Dean Alford was consistently wrong in saying even here, in the face of 10, "them who are being sanctified." — Is there any need for marking the apodosis, formally at the end of 16, "then saith he?"
"Before" is certainly wrong in 15. — And why in 20 "by" the way? Why not "the new and living way which he dedicated for us," etc.? — In 21 a great "priest" is right. — But why "fulness" here and in Heb. 6:11, when they gave in their text of Col. 2:2 "full assurance?" — It is of course "hope" in 23. — Would not 28 open more correctly thus, "When one set at nought Moses' law," etc.? "A man that hath set," etc., offends against more than one point of importance. — In 34 it is not as in Text. Rec. "of me in my bonds," but on good authority "on those in bonds;" also ἐν of the Text Rec. disappears, and the true force is either "that ye yourselves," or "that ye have for yourselves," according to the reading preferred. — In 38 it is correctly "any righteous (or just) one." It may not be needful to interpolate "one" or "any man;" but there is no real ground for inferring that the same man is meant. The Hebrew and the Septuagint exclude such a thought, and certainly the Apostle did not intend differently. But the form differs according to Divine wisdom to warn the Jewish professor who professed faith but might not live by it.
It is a nice question as to Heb. 11:1 whether ὑπόστασις here means grounded assurance as in Heb. 3:14, or substantiating which more approaches the older view. The Peschito's "realisation" might express it best in this, as "demonstration" in ἔλεγχος. — In 2 ἐν τ. means "in virtue of this," or "by it" briefly. — In 3 the perfect is twice misrendered by the Authorised Version. It should be "have been framed," and "What is seen hath not come into being;" for the true reading is τὸ βλ. with the best authorities, not τὰ βλ. an accommodation to φ. which is in the plural. — In 5 "he hath had testimony" … "that he had," not "he had" … "that he," as in Authorised Version. It is also before "the" translation, not "his" as in Text Rec. — In 6 it should be "draweth near" (προσερχ.), as usually, not "cometh" as in Revised Version, following Authorised Version. So also at the end of Heb. 10:1, where the Revisers have draw "nigh," a rendering they give to ἐγγίζειν. 5 — Prepared "for" seems in our day better English than "to" in 7. — In 8 "was going" is preferable to went, especially after ἐξῆλθεν just before. -" Even "in" seems out of place; is it not "Sarah herself also?" Is not this a common mistake of the Revisers? "Even" is used properly where one means to express anything strange, as in 19; is this the idea here? They are right in excluding "and been persuaded of them," an addition of Text. Rec. in 13 on the slenderest testimony. — In 14 the Revisers render ἐπιζητοῦσιν, "seek after," which is all well; but would it not have been better to have given "seek out," not "after," to ἐκζ. in 6? — Here again in 17 we have twice over the confusion of προσφ. with ἀναφ. offering, and not offering "up." — In 26 it is "of," not "in" Egypt; Lachmann with the Alexandrian copy reading Αἰγύπτου as the Text. Rec. has ἐν — ῳ. — It was not needful to alter "for" into concerning "in 40, as the Revisers render περί in Heb. 13:18.
In Heb. 12:2 "faith," or the faith, seems to be the thought, not our faith as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. The Revisers say "hath sat down" for κεκ., having given "sat down" for the ἐκαθ. in Heb. 1:2, Heb. 8:1, Heb. 10:12. The Authorised Version had said "is set" in Heb. 8:1 as well as in the passage before us, so that they do not seem to have distinguished on principle. — But how was the Company persuaded into deserting ἑαυτόν or αὐτόν, accepted even by Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, on ample authority? Was it not by the strong pressure of Cambridge admirers of paradox if it be only ancient? No doubt they can cite D E, all p.m. with the same old Latin copies, the Pesch., etc. The resulting sense in this connection is not only inferior beyond comparison, but intolerable.
- 7 affords a remarkable departure from the Text. Rec. εἰ "if" for εἰς in the sense of "for." "For chastening endure (or, better, ye are enduring); as with sons God is dealing with you." The ancient MSS. and Versions remarkably consent against the text adopted by Erasmus, the Complutensian editors, Colinaeus, Stephens, Beza, Elzevirs. Bengel, whose critical insight was great, here failed, thinking the true reading to be the slip of a Greek pen, though he was well aware that the widespread testimony of the old version told a different tale. Even Matthaei, who loved to fight Griesbach, was here compelled to reject the few minuscules and accept the united voice of antiquity; and of course Alford, Lachmann, Scholz, Tischendorf, and Tregelles follow. Is it sound to say that if ye endure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons? Does His fatherly course depend on our patience? On the other hand, it is important to feel that we endure as chastening, not as punishment: οὐκ εἰς κόλασιν, οὐδὲ εἰς τιμωρίαν, as Chrysostom pertinently observes. It is as certain as such a thing can be that the text of his comment (Epp. Paulin. vii. 330, ed. Field, Oxon.) has been tampered with to make it accord with εἰ. — The version of 10 is properly cleared of obsolete speech, save that "us" and "our" rather enfeeble the form. — Ought not "to be" No chastening," etc.?" — "The" many in 15 is a doubtful reading sustained by two great uncials and as many cursives, etc., against all the other authorities. Cf. Mark 9:26. — In 17 the Revisers have by the parenthesis set out duly the true meaning. It was not repentance, but the inheritance of blessing which Esau sought out with tears. — In 18 the Revisers omit ὄρει on fuller evidence than their insertion in 15; but they supply it from 20 in the general sense instead of adopting Mr. Green's singular turn, "to a fire to be touched and glowing." — If the true meaning of παρῃτήσαντο in 19 had been borne in mind, "deprecated," "declined," "excused" (see 25), it would perhaps make the absence of μή more probable as in P, 10, 73, etc., — Of course the last clause of 20 in the Text. Rec. is dropt.
- In 22, 23 the Revisers have failed to give the true connection, καί really indicating each new object, and consequently misrepresented the sense of this weighty passage. The myriads of angels are the general assembly, and "church of firstborn ones" are a new and wholly distinct group, here confounded with παρηγύρει, which really goes with ἀγγέλων. — How absurd to connect, as the margin does, a Mediator with a testament! With a covenant it is all right. — And why "than that of Abel?" According to Heb. 11:4 it is Abel, as it were, speaking in his blood or death; παρὰτό in L. and others, but it seems a mere gloss for facility. — In 26 it should be "I will shake" instead of the present in the Text. Rec. — In 28 there is strong and abundant testimony for "we serve," where the Revisers rightly cleave to the common text.
In Heb. 13:3 the Revisers correctly in general render a verse probably mistranslated through anti-Romanist zeal. But ἐν π. may, and probably does, mean "in all things," or every way, as in verse 18, and often elsewhere; whereas the masculine sense, though popular among Protestants, is here harsh in construction and can hardly be laid down absolutely if we bear in mind 1 Cor. 7. The imperative is right, and "undefiled" a predicate as "in honour." — The beginning of 5 is loosely translated. Surely ὁ τρόπος is the way of dealing without going further to make a smooth construction with the following clause. But the energy of the quotation is far better represented in this and the succeeding verse 6. It is not "may" but do say; and the interrogative is not only correct, but gives real point. — In 7 they have correctly treated the words as referring to their guides, not "who" but "the which" or such as spoke to them the word of God, whose faith they were to imitate, contemplating the issue of their career or behaviour. It was terminated, and they were to be recalled to mind, no longer to be obeyed like their living leaders (17). — "Jesus Christ" is the subject of the distinct proposition that follows. Indeed verse 8 might fittingly open a new parenthesis which would close with 16, though it is no bad transition from the teaching of the deceased leaders to the abiding sameness of the Lord Jesus. But the apposition insinuated in the punctuation of ordinary English Bibles is false. The unchangeableness of Christ is the guard against being carried away.
- In 9 the received reading followed by the Authorised Version περιφ. rightly gives place to παραφ. as in the Revised Version. It is not carried about as in Eph. 4:14, but carried away out of the straight course. Here, however, as in Heb. 1:1, the Authorised Version has misled the Revisers into "divers," not now for "many" but for various, ποικίλαις. "Diverse" would at least approximate, and perhaps the Revisers meant this, for their spelling is peculiar. As they interpolate an "e" into judg[e]ment, they may cut off an "e" from "divers." But the word really means motley or various. "Teachings" is unusual as a plural in our tongue, though in the singular it is all right. Probably Dr. Angus found it hard to resist the innovators. — In 14 we have no abiding city here, but are seeking after the coming one, for there is but one heavenly Jerusalem. "One" to come as in the Authorised Version is too vague, and incorrect. — Why should the Revised Version of 15 be more remote from the Greek than the Authorised Version in the last clause? Does the punctuation of 17 help the sense? "That they may do this" refers to the watching. The chiefs or leaders are to give account of their own duty, not of others' souls.
- In 20 they give "in the" instead of "through" for ἐν. It expresses the power or virtue in that blood in which God brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. — In 21 the omission of ἔργῳ is precarious, even Alford, Lachmann, and Tregelles accepting it. On the authority of A C Dcorr. K M P, the cursives, Syriac AEthiopic, Armenian, etc., sustain it against Dp.m., the Vulgate, which none follow but Tischendorf abroad, and Westcott and Hort at home. The difference, however, seems right as to sense. There is rather better evidence in favour of ἡμῖν instead of ὑμῖν as in the Text. Rec., though none but the same editors adopt the change. Lachmann had in his early edition added αὐτός, and in his later αὐτῶ before ποιῶν, the latter of which has A C to support it, though manifest glosses. — In 24 it is "from," not "of," Italy.
EPISTLE OF JAMES.
Why should the Revisers perpetuate the traditional blunder of "The General Epistle of James"? The best critics drop καθολική, following B K, A C being defective, but A also dropping it at the end: so many Latin copies, and the Pesch. Syr. It is not "general," but specially addressed to the twelve tribes.
James 1:1 has neither the closeness of a literal rendering, nor the freedom of the Authorised Version. If we are to adhere to the letter, it is in, not "of," the dispersion. The faith of James rises above all the present circumstances of God's ancient people, and addresses the nation as a whole, though distinguishing such of Israel as have the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. He thus maintains and expresses God's right over the entire people, wherever and whatever they may be. — In 3 "proof" or proving is better than "trying" in the Authorised Version. — In 4 "her" has properly given way to "its." — In 6 "doubting," "doubteth" are better than "waver," though κλύδων seems rather "a wave" or billow, than "the surge." — The punctuation, as expressive of the connection of 7, 8, is questionable, though the Authorised Version is hardly correct either in its representation of 8. It is rather a description of him that doubts. — Verses 9, 10 are given somewhat loosely, and with uncalled for neglect of the anarthrous construction. Why not an "flower of grass"? — In 11 the Revisers depart from the simple "scorching heat," not "wind," given to the word in Matthew 20:12, and Luke 12:55; but "goings" is better than "ways." — In 12 it should be not "tried," but the result "proved," or as the Revisers say "approved." "He" would have sufficed instead of "the Lord." The later uncials and almost all the cursives, etc., read "the Lord." — Why not in 13 "by evils" or evil things, rather than "with evil" as in the Authorised and Revised Versions?
- In 15 the Revisers overlook the abstract force of the article in Greek, where we leave it out in English. The Authorised Version is right. They follow nearly the Authorised Version in separating ἄνωθέν ἐστι from καταβαῖνον, but the Authorised Versions in 3:15 seems just as correct, which they do not follow. It is known that in the oldest uncials, supported by the Latins, the reading is ἵστε, "ye know," not ὥστε, "so that." Then we would proceed, "But let," etc. The anarthrous form of 20 is ill reflected in the Revised Version, as in the Authorised Version. — In 21 "implanted" is correct. — In 23 and 24 it is to "consider" or contemplate, rather than "behold." — In 24 does not ὁ π. mean more than "he that looketh"? In 26 θρ. "among you" (ἐν ὑμῖν) is rightly rejected. But as distinct from εὐσεβεία, piety, it means the outward service of God, which "religion" inadequately expresses, though it is hard to find a better. — In 27 it is well to note this, lest ignorance — should treat the verse as a definition of true "religion," as men speak. The meaning is, that this is a pare and unsullied service before Him who is God and Father: to visit orphans and widows, etc. But the article is omitted before θ. καὶ π. in p.m. Ccorr. K L, very many cursives, etc.; it is read in other MSS. of the highest authority, as also in Text. Rec.
James 2:2 of the Revised Version has rightly "synagogue," according to the peculiar bearing of the Epistle. — In 4 "partial" in yourselves of the Authorised Version goes too far; but "divided in your own minds" in the Revision scarcely hits the mark. The true force seems that they became divided, or made a difference "among themselves." For judges "of" evil thoughts, which is the literal rendering of the Authorised Version, the Revisers give "with." Of course the meaning is that they had evil thoughts, according to an idiom found sometimes in English. — In 5 the true reading on the best authority is τῳ κ. ("as to the world"), not τοῦ κ., still less τ. κ. τούτου, as in Text. Rec. followed in the Authorised Version "of this world." — In 7 is not the literal force preferable "that was called upon you"? — In 11 the Revisers rightly follow ancient authority in "dost" not and "killest," contrary to Text. Rec. — In 12 recurs the old inability to set forth the anarthrous construction: "a" law of liberty is not the sense but erroneous, though seemingly more accurate than "the" in the Authorised Version. The copulative of the Text. Rec. rightly vanishes. — In 14 it is a nice question whether the true thought be "faith" as in the Authorised Version, or "the faith": the Greek admits of either, and it becomes a question of contextual propriety. But "that faith" of the Revised Version is strong beyond warrant. It is the more strange, as in the same connection (17, 20, 22) they give "faith" as an abstraction or personification, and quite rightly.
- In 18 σου of R. Steph. ("thy," Authorised Version) is well omitted: why then should the Revisers interpolate "thy"? It was this feeling, no doubt, which led the scribes of C K L, and most of the cursives to insert the word. The real question is as to a final μου which B C and a few cursives omit. — In 20 ἀργή, "barren," as against ν., "dead" of the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version, is supported by B Cp.m. 27, 29, the best Latin copies, the Sah., and Arm. of Zohrab: slender in number, but grave, especially as assimilation easily accounts for the more popular reading. — In 21 would it not be less cumbrous to take ἀν. as on, or in, offering up? Compare 25 also. — In 22 they are right in preferring the margin to the text of Authorised Version. — In 23 there is no reason to say more than that A. was called "friend of God." — "The" is needless before spirit in 25, and of course its omission more exact.
In James 3:1 "teachers" is correct, and judgment." — In 3 they rightly read εἰ δέ "now if," probably changed into ἰδού, through 4. — In 4 the Authorised Version needlessly adds "which," corrected by the Revisers, and "steersman" displacing "governor." — In 5, 6, the confusion of the copies and the editors is great; so that one may judge the more moderately of the Revisers' text and margin. "A" world, etc. of the Authorised Version is clearly wrong, and here set right. — In 8 they reject "unruly" of the Authorised Version for "restless." In 9 they accept "Lord" for God of the Authorised Version. — It is "the" fountain in 11, and "from the same "opening," not place merely. — In 12 it is "a" fig tree, and the last clause does not speak of a fountain, like Text. Rec. and Authorised Version, but says, with the Revisers, neither can salt water yield sweet. — The Authorised Version of 15 appears to me quite as exact as the change here. Compare James 1:17. There is much difficulty in deciding the true force of ἀδ., whether it be without doubt, variance, or hypocrisy; as the verb of which it is compounded admits of a great variety of meaning. — The question in 18 is whether "in peace" should not, as in the Greek, precede "is sown."
James 4:1 has in the Revised Version the more vigorous, critical text, but hardly in as terse English as is desirable. "Whence [are] wars, and whence fighting among you? [Are they] not hence, from your pleasures that war in your members?" For the margin of the Authorised Version is right in giving "pleasures." — In 2 ζ. when used in a bad sense, is "ye envy," or "are jealous." The first word means "ye lust," or "covet." — In 3 it is difficult to distinguish in our tongue the active and the middle of αἰτ. Dean Alford went too far in calling it "an unaccountable interchange;" whereas it is really an intended, though delicate, and, of course, intelligible difference. The middle as often has an intensive force. In 2 they did not ask with earnestness; in 3 they asked with indifference, and received not; or, if there was any earnestness, it was of an evil kind, to spend in their pleasures. 4 is an instance of a valuable correction. The weighty authorities, both MSS. and Versions, reject μοιχοὶ καί. The one designation, though in the feminine, embraces all men or women who sought the world in unfaithfulness to God and their own relationship of privilege. But both the Authorised and the Revised Versions failed to give the full force; for it is really friendship with the world as distinctly as enmity with God, which they rightly say. None of our English versions is right, 1 though none is here so wrong as the Rhemish, which, following the Vulgate, confounds ἔχθρα with ἐχθρά. But is there sufficient energy in the Revision, any more than the Authorised Version of βουληθῃ? It is "shall have chosen," or be minded.
- 5 seems in the Revised Version rightly divided, as had been long suggested. There are two grave objections to the more ordinary division: (1) Who can tell the Scripture alleged to be in view? (2) Where else is φθ. used in a good sense? I think, however, that the margin of the Authorised Version gives the best sense of π. φθ., "enviously." And why bring in "the scripture" into 6? Have the Revisers done well in adhering to "Be afflicted" in 9? Surely "Be miserable" would be more in keeping with their own version of Rom. 3:16, and our next chapter, (James 5:1), as well as with the deeper expression of wretchedness in the word. — In 11 is the correction "or" judgeth his brother; for an evil feeling might work in this rather than in speaking against him either was to judge the law. — In 12 also the Revisers rightly say, One is the lawgiver, etc.; but why "only" or "even?" They rightly give "but" in the last clause on authority ample as well as ancient, and "thy neighbour" instead of "another," as in Text. Rec. — In 13, it is not "such a" but "this" city, this city here, and "trade" or "traffic" is better than "buy and sell."
- In 14, "ye are" a vapour seems the best attested by far, if the copies be allowed to have misspelt; and, Bengel and Griesbach notwithstanding, ἔσται seems simply intolerable. It was probably meant for ἐστε, a much more emphatic phrase than ἐστιν, as in L, some cursives, and the Latin copies. Does not the text of 15 begin with obsolete English? The margin is not according to the Greek only, but intelligible according to our present speech. In this verse the reading strangely differs. The Revised Version bows to the general judgment of the critics, who follow AB P, etc. in adopting ζήσομεν instead of ζήσωμεν with K L, the mass of cursives, the Latins, etc. There is no doubt among unbiassed minds that the interchange of the long and short vowels is very common in the oldest MSS., which are, therefore, to be trusted in such a question less than in any other. I, therefore, incline to "If the Lord will, and we live, we shall also do this or that." R. Stephens even read π. in the subjunctive, but this appears to yield no sense, though read by many authorities.
James 5. Have not the Revisers, by too close adherence to the Authorised Version, lost some of the graphic force of verse 1? "Weep, howling over your miseries that are coming on." — In 6, "as" of the Text. Rec. is rightly excluded, though not a few authorities favour its insertion. — In 9, it is rather "groan" or "complain" than "judge;" and certainly it is "judged," not "condemned." — In 11, it is "endured," not "endure." — In 12, it is not "into condemnation," but "under judgment." — In 13, is it not praise, not psalms, that the cheerful soul was to sing? Godly order had been secured in 14; and the "saying" of the sick man (15), in answer to the prayer of faith, is "healing," which is, perhaps, in this case and the like the less equivocal word. "Confess," therefore (omitted in Text. Rec.), your sins one to another is the remarkable conclusion; it is confidence in mutual love, and in no way official requirement or sacramental efficacy for the soul at departure. The saints are to pray one for another, that they might be healed (16). The question as to the last word is whether it means fervent or in its working. The Authorised Version seems to have conveyed both, the Revised Version the latter. — In 19, the Revisers properly add "My," and say "a," not "the," sinner in 20.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PETER.
1 Peter 1:1. Our language is not so lacking in power to characterise that it should be necessary to introduce "a" or "the" where Greek does not. Thus Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ" is really more expressive and correct than "an" apostle. Of course a similar remark applies to 2 Cor. 1:1, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:1, Col. 1:1, 1 and 2 Tim. 1:1, Titus 1:1, Phil. 1:1, James 1:1, if not to Rom. 1:1, and 1 Cor. 1:1, where the context modifies. 2 Peter 1:1 and Jude 1 have nothing to render the indefinite article needful. Again "to the elect who are sojourners" is surely to go beyond the text which speaks only of "elect sojourners" dispersed in Pontus, etc. — In 2 we come to an important matter. What is the meaning of "in" sanctification of the Spirit? The Revisers have misrepresented the truth in several instances of dogmatic moment through a fancied accuracy, but mere literality, condemned by their own practice elsewhere. We have seen this in Col. 1:16 and Heb. 1:3, where "in" gives a false sense or nonsense, opening the door to grave error, which, where positive truth is lost, enters in often under cover of the vague or obscure. Now the Revised Version of Matt. 3:11, Matt. 5:13, Matt. 6:34-35, 36, Matt. 6:7, Matt. 7:2, 6, Matt. 9:34, suffices to show that the Revisers knew they were in no way limited to "in," for they admit freely "with" "by," etc. But they too often overlook this, where their rendering yields no just sense or opposes other Scriptures. It was the more desirable to be right here, because some early Protestant translators had grievously failed as to it. Take Beza, who, swayed evidently by his theological views, gives us "ad sanctificationem Sp. per obedientiam," etc., which is doubly a falsification of God's word. Him followed our Geneva Version of 1555, "unto sanctification of the Spirit through obedience," etc. The Rhemish says, "unto sanctification of the Spirit, unto the obedience," etc. This would be inexplicable, as being destitute of just meaning, if we did not know that the Vulgate has "in sanctificationem Sp. in obedientiam," etc. The Version of Rheims of course follows it dutifully. The late Dean Alford seems to have been the most influential offender in this assumption of accuracy, adhering to "in" for ἐν, when the Authorised Version had idiomatically and correctly "by" or "with." To talk of the conditional element as environing, or the like, is mere jargon to excuse a translation which conveys no sound meaning. It is cloud and not light. Here the apostle lets the dispersed believers of the circumcision know that, instead of being externally separated in the flesh by rites as the chosen people of Jehovah, they were elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. The contrast is with Ex. 24:7-8, when Israel stood to obey the law under the blood which threatened death as the penalty, instead of cleansing from every sin those whose one desire was to obey as Christ obeyed. Compare 1 Cor. 6:11, where "sanctified" is before "justified," as here sanctification is before obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. It is the absolute setting apart of the soul to God from the first. Practical holiness is relative, and is pressed lower down in this very chapter, ver. 15, 16.
- In 3 it is "living," not lively, hope; not in this world, but above it by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. In 7 "of" gold is rightly dropt. — But in 10 it should he "prophets," not "the" prophets, as in the Authorised and Revised Versions, not the class viewed in their totality, but persons coming under that category. — In "they rightly say "glories." — In 12 "you" displaces "us" with reason as being more homogeneous: one way or another a common confusion in the MSS. — In 17 they correct the Authorised Version, "the" Father for "him as Father," and "every." for "each," man's work, "here " being quite an expletive. — In 22 the omission of "pure" rests on A B and the Vulgate, a feeble basis as against p.m. C K L P, all the cursives, and the mass of ancient versions and ecclesiastical writers, one perhaps excepted. But earlier in the verse "by the Spirit" is an addition without due warrant, as is "for ever" at the end of 23, and "of man" for "its" in 24.
1 Peter 2:2 affords some difficulty for translation in the word λογικόν, unless we take it with the Authorised Version as "of the word." "Reasonable" as in the Authorised Version of Rom. 12:1 falls too low, but is not the Revisers' "spiritual" too high? At least, it is not inherent in the word nor necessitated by its usage. "Unto salvation" at the end is sure on ample authority; for salvation, in Peter's writings — save in one exception that proves the rule, by the modification of the phrase to ensure a difference of meaning — looks onward to the final victory at Christ's revelation. — In 5 εἰς "for," is read by high and ample authority, and adopted by the Revisers in their phrase 'to be." — Verse 6 begins with "Because" on almost universal suffrage, "wherefore also" as in Text. Rec. has scarce a shadow of authority. But what is more important, the beautiful force of the first clause of 7 was lost in the Authorised Version, and even the marginal alteration was a mistranslation. Tyndale unhappily misled, and all the public English versions followed. Faith sees according to God. Christ is in God's eyes a chief corner stone, elect, precious. "To you therefore that believe [is] the preciousness." — Was it needful to define the general phrase εἰς π. in 9 by interpolating "God's own?" In the same verse "excellencies" is right.
- In 12 "which they behold" is not much in advance of the lax Authorised Version, "which they shall behold," as a reflexion of ἐποπτεύοντεσ. "Being spectators" would seem more correct — If "your freedom" be the necessary force of τὴν ἐλ., why not "your" wickedness, or malice, of τῆς κ. in 16? They are really common cases of abstracted usage. Dean Alford is more consistent in claiming the same possessive or quasi-possessive force for the articles with both words. And here it may not be uninstructive to note the weak and unsound attempt of that same dignitary to account for τῶν ἀφρ. ἀνθρ. in 15, as limited to such as reviled Christ as evil doers. For the apostle really speaks of men as a whole, and declares the race as such senseless. The phrase imports nothing less. — In 21 it is "you" twice, not "us" as in Authorised Version following Steph. (not Elz). The last clause supports the reading of the ancient MSS. — The margin of 24 ignorantly repeats the unfounded alternative of the Authorised Version, for both word and tense forbid the idea of a carrying up of our sins in Christ's body to the tree. Usage in the Septuagint, as in the New Testament, limits ἀνή … ἐπὶ to the single great act of bearing them on the tree.
1 Peter 3. In 1 and 2 "behaviour" is no doubt more intelligible English for our day than the obsolete "conversation" for manner of life in the Authorised Version. But is it correct to soften the force of the past participle in 2 in this case? — In 3 "jewels of gold," not gold merely. — The last word of 8 should be not "courteous," but "humble-minded," on ample authority, an evident link of connection with the gracious endurance which knows how to bless in presence of injury. — In 13 ζ. is more than "followers" or "imitators" (as in the Text. Rec. μ.) meaning neither, but zealous or emulous of good. — In 15 it is "the Christ," not God as such, who is to be sanctified as Lord in their hearts.
- In 18 to print "spirit" without a capital initial is matter for regret, if there be no real ground to doubt that the Spirit of God is meant. Had the phrase been as in the Text. Rec., τῳ πν., there might so far have been a better ground for supposing the spirit of Christ as man, though it would not have been decisive against the Holy Spirit. But the anarthrous phrase distinctly points to that Divine Person, though presented in character rather than objectively; and what is added conclusively proves this — "in which (or in the power of which Spirit) also he went and preached to the spirits in prison," etc. As the Spirit of Christ in the prophets (1 Peter 1:11) testified beforehand of Christ's sufferings and the glories that should follow, so did His Spirit in Noah (Gen. 6:8) strive with the antediluvians on the sure coming of the flood that was to take them all away from the earth. But this was not all; for disobedient as they were, they were to be, as they are, reserved in prison (certainly not paradise) for a judgment far more solemn. So the unbelieving Jews now might taunt those who believed, with a Christ rejected on earth and absent in heaven, as well as with their fewness; but the apostle reminds them that there were still fewer saved when the flood came, and rebellious unbelief entails a judgment graver far than anything which befalls the body, as illustrated by a time of waiting and testimony which the Lord also compares with that which precedes His return in power and glory.
- Is it accurate to render the beginning of 20, ἀπ. π., "which aforetime were disobedient"? Would not this require τοῖς ἀπ.? Is not the force rather "disobedient as they once proved when," etc.? Their being in prison was in consequence of their previous disobedience to God's patient warning. At the close of the verse "through water" is right, not "by" it. Water was the destructive element. through which grace saved Noah and those with him in the ark: cf. Cor. 3:15. — In 21 the Authorised Version followed Beza (as did Elz,) in rejecting Stephens' reading, which is the ancient one, the Sinaitic cutting the knot by rejecting both. "You" is probably right; but ἐπερώτημα is rather "demand," anything interrogated, than the interrogation which suggests a dubious or misleading sense.
1 Peter 4:5: why more than "living and dead?" Why "the"? Is it not equally good in English as in Greek? It is not the same sense. "The" makes judgment universal; whereas Scripture contrasts it with eternal life and salvation. See John 5 and Heb. 9 — Why "even" to dead? Why not "also"? As in 3:19-20, the apostle spoke of wicked dead, so does he here of righteous dead, as is implied in living according to God in the Spirit? Here also we have good news brought, not preaching only. — Ver. 11 is given fairly well. The meaning is that when one gifted of God speaks, it should be as oracles of God; not according to the oracles of God, the Scriptures (which is not in question, though in itself of course most right), but as expressing God's mind on that before us, as His mouthpiece: a serious, but not too serious, consideration; for has He not also given us His Spirit? And wherefore? Truly it supposes dependence on and confidence in God. Ministry also, it is well to remark, is distinguished from speaking, which is apt to become everything among idle people or the active-minded, and knowledge taking practically the place of faith as well as of love.
1 Peter 5:2. "Tend" is better, as being more comprehensive, than "feed," cf. John 21 — never to he forgotten by Peter any more than by John. — But is the rendering of 3 exact? It is incomparably better than what the Authorised Version here gives, but "over the charge allotted to you" might be construed into one's church or chapel, one's congregation or parish or diocese. Now τῶν κλ. Very simply means the (i.e. your) possessions; and the point is that the elders should not lord it over the saints as their belongings, but ever tend them as the flock of God. Thus were they to be models for them. 4 it is of course "the" unfading crown of glory. — In 5 the needless addition of ὑποτ. "be subject and" in the Authorised Version, following the Text. Rec., is with reason excluded to the unimpeded and energetic flow of the exhortation. — In 8 the added ὅτι of the Text. Rec. clogs the vigour of words clear and ringing as a trumpet call.
- In 9 the difficulty of the article reappears, with the unhappy result of the old rendering put in the margin, and a worse adopted in the text. The real question seems to be between "in" or "with" faith. Take Rom. 14:1: have not the Revisers rightly said "weak in faith"? It is the counterpart of the phrase before us. Here, not content with "the," they descend to "your." These things ought not so to be. — They rightly give "you" for "us" in 10, as the context ought to have shown, in confirmation of the best external authority, Further, it is "shall," not the opt. as in Text. Rec. with a few copies of slight account. — In 12 "as I suppose" or "account" is no slight or doubt of Silvanus, but the contrary. "Stand" is the reading of high authority, uncial and cursive, instead of the more popular "ye stand." — It is singular that the Sinaitic is not without a slight support in the margin of two cursives, and some of the oldest Latin copies say expressly what the Authorised Version gives in italics. But the Revisers seem justified in holding it to be some well-known sister, perhaps Peter's wife: the salutation of Marcus that follows confirms this. Dogmatically too it is difficult to suppose elect, or co-elect, said after Christ came otherwise than of individuals. In the Old Testament we have it said corporately or nationally; in the New Testament individually.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PETER.
2 Peter 1. 1 has the great defect of an equivocal or erroneous rendering of ἐν, (that frequent stumbling-block of the Revisers), and this in a text so much the more important as it is often pressed dogmatically, not seldom wrongly, owing to this very error. I do not dwell on "a" more than ones used needlessly here, as this has been frequently noticed elsewhere; but "faith with us in the righteousness" suggests in our idiom the object believed in. This is not the aim of the passage. The Apostle means that the Christian Jews, to whom he is for the second time addressing himself, obtained like precious faith with us "your apostles" (2 Peter 3:2) in virtue of (or through) the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ; as the Revisers rightly give the last words in their text, though not in the margin. There were special promises to the fathers about the blessing of their seed, and God was righteous in fulfilling them. There has always been a believing remnant of that people, if of no other continuously. Jesus, not more truly man than the Lord God of Israel, has been faithful to that word of distinguishing favour; and if those Jews to whom Peter was writing received faith, like precious faith with the apostles, it was in virtue of His making good the promise to them and their children by giving them to believe. Such is the righteousness here meant. Hence "through" in the Authorised Version is substantially correct, as being less ambiguous than "in" of the Revised Version, which is apt to mislead by suggesting His righteousness as the thing believed in, instead of pointing out His fidelity to promise in bestowing faith on them. — It may be well to make no abrupt severance of 3 from 2; but surely it is still more requisite not to mar the connection of 3, 4, with 5, the former being a sort of protasis, as the latter is an apodosis in sense. Hence, if it be right to close 2 with a semicolon, it is intolerable to put a period after 4, and to begin 5 as a new sentence. "Since His divine power hath granted to us all things that are for life and godliness … yea, and for this very reason, adding on your part all diligence, in your faith furnish," etc. All our old English Versions fail in this; none more than the Revised Version.
There is, however, an important correction which closes verse 3 (the margin of the Authorised Version being better than its text), as it had been in Tyndale and Cranmer. But the Geneva Version went all wrong, following Beza who know the true reading but plighted it for an inferior one, and even mistranslated the inferior one through his inability to make out its meaning "ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῃ, quae lactio in pancis admodum codicibus, iisque dubiae fidei, a nobis est inuenta: neque mihi sane probari potest." Now there are a dozen cursives at least, not to speak of four of the great uncials, in favour of ἰδίᾳ δ. κ. ἀ.; so that there is ample and excellent authority. And any reasoning on God's being denied elsewhere to call us to His glory cannot swamp the clear force here of being called by it. Then follows fresh reasoning on ἀρετῃ, the upshot being "mihi quidem multo probabilis videtur, διὰ praepositionem pro usurpatam, sicut etiam annotatiuimus Rom. 6 a. 4, et ἀρετὴν idem atque ἁγιασμὸν declarare," etc. No doubt the majority of copies support διὰ δ.κ.ἀ. In meaning the only difference that results is that the more ancient text adds "His own," but in any case it is "by," not "to." Adam innocent enjoyed the good around and gave God thanks; Israel was governed as well as tested by the law. God called us "by His own glory," outside and above all that is seen, and "by virtue," the spiritual courage that refuses the snares which would entice us from the path that leads there. Compare Rom. 3:23, Rom. 5:2.
In 2 Peter 4 is corrected the error of Tyndale, etc., and of the Authorised Version following them. They ought to have gathered from the preceding verse that δεδ. is, if not a deponent, middle in sense, not passive. The change of order in, "precious and very great promises" is abundantly sustained; indeed, the precise form in the Text. Rec. has scarce any support, but with a slight change many copies give it, some however having ὑμῖν for ἡ. mistakenly. — In 5 "And beside this" of the Authorised Version is as untenable as any other of the older English. The Revised Version is much better, save as we have seen the dislocation by their punctuation. But "in" your faith is right, as well as "supply," not "add to," and so throughout 6 and 7. Only the italic "your" six times over is needless. — In 8 "idle [marg. Authorised Version] nor unfruitful" is an improvement without "to be;" but surely εἰς here means "as to" or "as regards," not "unto" of the Revised Version any more than "in" of the Authorised Version. — The Revisers give, like the Authorised Version, rather a paraphrase of 9 than a close version. — In "the sense is "richly furnished" or supplied, not "ministered." — In 12 the true reading is μελλήσω, "I shall be ready," ( A B C P etc., with the most ancient versions), not οὐκ ἀμ. etc. as in the Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version, "I will not be negligent." The change at the close seems uncalled for, due probably to Dean Alford. — The rendering of 16, 17, is loose, not only in general form but even to the diluting ὑπό "by," to ἀπό "from" at the close. — But 19 is given much better by the Revisers, the inspired contrast of the lamp of prophecy with daylight dawning and the day or morning star arising in the heart being clearly given. — But it may be doubted whether the textual "private" or the marginal "special" of 20 gives the true force of ἰδίας. Divine prophecy is a vast connected whole, and. none of it comes of its own or an isolated solution. — For none (21) was ever ("in old time" was the error of Beza, etc.) brought by man's will; but moved by the Holy Spirit men spoke from God. It all converges on Christ's glory. There is no doubt a serious conflict of readings: ἅγιοι (Text. Rec. οἱ ἅ) instead of ἀπὸ has K L etc., ἅγιοι τοῦ Α. ἀπὸ Θ. ἅγιοι C. etc. But the critics generally prefer the text of B and several cursives supported by the Bodleian Syr. and the Coptic, which omit ἅγιοι.
In 2 Peter 2:1 the Revisers give rightly "the Master" (δεσπότην) that bought them; for it is purchase, not redemption, which is in question. Purchase is universal; not so redemption, which is inseparable from faith in Christ and the forgiveness of offences. It is clear from the passage before us that the most wicked are "bought" by the Master, whom they deny to their own swift destruction; that they were "redeemed" is more assumption, and, in fact, a grave error. — In 2 it is "the" truth. In 4 it is "angels when they sinned," not "the angels that sinned," which would require τῶν ἀ. τῶν ἁ. and then would mean the whole; whereas the apostle speaks only of a part even of those that fell. Ταρταρώσας is the word translated "cast down to hell," and occurs here only in the New Testament. It means hurling into the lowest abyss. In the same verse there is a question of reading on which turns either "pits" or "chains," the more ancient copies inclining to the former, while the expression of Jude may have suggested the latter. — In 5 "N. an eighth" means with seven others. — If the Revisers render τηρουμένους in 4 "to be reserved," and in 2 Peter 3:11 λυομένων "to be destroyed," why not κολαζομένους in 9 "to be punished"? Does not this suit εἰς ἡμ. κρ. better than "under punishment"? It is a class so characterised. — In 11 it is not "which are greater," etc., but "greater as they are," etc.
- In 12, 13 are hazardous changes, not "shall utterly (or, also) perish in their own corruption," as in the Authorised Version, but "shall in their destroying surely be destroyed," and "suffering wrong as the hire of wrong-doing," instead of receiving as they shall wages of unrighteousness." Here the Revisers have been induced, probably by Drs. Westcott and Hort, not without other support, of course, to accept the reading of p.m. ἀδικούμενοι. But will the reading, even if feasible on so slender a basis, bear the version? — "In the day-time" is a questionable reading of ἐν ἡμ. in this connection, and, as has been remarked, hardly consistent with τρυφήν, delicacy or indulgence of life, which might be by day quite as much as by night. Hence interpreters who differ widely in general, Calvin, Estius, Grotius, C. à Lap., De Wette, etc., prefer "ephemeral." There is another singular choice, not of rendering but of reading in the verse, ἀγάπαις A corr B against the overwhelming evidence of A D C K L P, almost all the cursives, and most ancient Versions, not to speak of early citations, for ἀπάταις followed by the Authorised Version. — Is "stayed," in 16, a real improvement on "forbad" of the Authorised Version, as rendering ἐκώλυσεν? "Withstood might represent it better than either, or Mr. Green's checked." — In 17 "springs" and "mists" are right; but the evidence in favour of "for ever" is strong. — In 18 τ. ὀλίγως ἀποφεύ. is the true text, not τ. ὄντως ἀποφυ. They were just escaping, not "clean escaped," or even "just fled." — In 20 γέγονεν "is become," not merely "is." — In 22 the Revisers may rightly omit the copula, but there is the usual laxity in expressing both the presence and the absence of the article: there hath happened to them the [import, pith, spirit] of the true proverb, A dog turned again to his own vomit, and, A sow washed to wallowing in mire.
In 2 Peter 3:2 the Revisers rightly read and translate "the command of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles," ἡμῶν having quite inconsiderable support, even if it could then bear the Authorised Version. — In 3 the Authorised Version after Text. Rec. wrongly omits "with mocking." — The rather difficult verses 5-7 seem to be fairly given, though connecting πυρί with τεθη., rather than τη. as in the Authorised Version and most others. Of course "his" supplants "the same" in 7. — In 9 it is rightly "to you" on preponderant authority; but there is some question between δι or εἰς, the former of which Tischendorf adopts in his last edition with A, half a dozen cursives, and the ancient Versions generally. It would mean "on your account." — In 10 the Revised Version omits rightly "in the night." Here again we see how lax are their views of the article. — In 11 "there," not "then," is preferred by the Revisers on small but good authority, the copies greatly differing. "All" is an effort in the Revised Version, as in the Authorised Version, to express the plural which expresses every form of behaviour and godliness. — In 12 they justly discard the influence of the Vulgate in "hasting unto" (as indeed the margin of the Authorised Version suggests); but whether "earnestly desiring," as in the Bodleian Syriac adequately conveys the meaning is another matter. If they mean hastening the coming of that day in heart, for aught more seems far-fetched or worse, I believe them right; but this is rather exposition or application than rendering. — Nor is their version of δι᾽ ἥν, "by reason of which," though of course correct grammatically, the only one that is sure. The temporal sense is no less just. It is a question of context which suits best here. Bengel construes it with παρουσία. — The Revisers scarcely seem justified in giving αὐτῳ (14) so defined a force as "in His sight." Even Winer does not go so far. It might be "for" no less than "of" Him.
- From 15 we learn that Paul wrote to the Jewish Christians, as Peter did in big two Epistles. For it is idle to argue from 2 Peter 1:14, 2 Peter 2:10, or 2 Peter 4:3, to set aside the plain force of the address. Nobody doubts that every word is for us who were Gentiles; but as little should it he doubted that they are both addressed simply to the Jewish dispersion in the parts designated. These scattered Jews had, before they believed, fallen largely into the evil and even heathen ways of those who surrounded them, Wieseler's notion of Gentiles in 2 Peter 2:25 is at issue with both Paul and Peter. But if this be so, the reference to St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews is unmistakable, which speaks much of "the day." — The Revisers translate ἐν χ. κ.τ.γ. (18) no better than the Authorised Version. They have no right to say "in the grace," etc., any more than the Authorised Version "in the knowledge." The insertion of our definite article bore misleads. It is more correct to say "in grace and knowledge," etc.
THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN.
1 John 1:1 stands better in the Revised Version, which not only makes each verse more distinct, but correctly distinguishes the tenses. It is in each "that which;" whilst the two later are not perfects, but simply preterites. — But there is no need for the awkwardness of "the life, the eternal life" in 2, any more than for "that eternal life" in the Authorised Version. Nor should the verse open with "For," but "And." — In 3 is not the true force "report" rather than "declare," or "show?" "Yea," etc., well represents καὶ δέ. — The first serious difference of reading is in 4, ἡμεῖς, "we," ( Ap.m. B P etc.) for ὑμῖν, "unto you" (Acorr C K L etc.); and again, ὑμῶν, "our" ( B L., many cursives and versions), for ὑμῶν (A C K P, the majority of cursives, and many ancient versions). R. Stephens followed the Complutensian editors in preferring "our," Elzevir followed Erasmus and Beza in adopting "you;" and so respectively the Revised Version and the Authorised Version. If "our" be right, it would join the believers with the apostles in the same joy through fellowship with the Father and with His Son. — But is it not strange,. that the Revisers adopt a text so ill supported as αὕτη ἐστίν (A, etc.), when there is such strong and united authority for the more emphatic ἔστιν αὕτη ( B C K L P, the mass of cursives, etc.), "And there is this message," etc.? Certainly the early editors, Erasmus, the Complutensian, and Colinaeus all give the emphatic form according to ancient authority, but not R. Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. Was it Beza that influenced the Authorised translators in "This then?" He ventures in his notes to take καί as equivalent to οὖν where it is clear that it merely adds an entirely new subject; and this a "message," not "promise," as would be true if the text of all the older editors could stand. But it is really ἀγγελία, not ἐπαγγ., in spite of C P and some cursives. It is remarkable that our translators, in misrendering their text, stumbled on the version of the right text. — There is good authority ( B C P, etc.) for omitting "Christ" in 7, though most witnesses insert it: which one would think should have been stated in the margin.
1 John 2:2 is a great improvement on the Authorised Version, where the words added in italics overstep the truth, and unwittingly imply a serious error. If "the sins of" the whole world were expiated, what would there be to judge? Never does Scripture so teach, save as to believers. Yet Christ died for every man — gave Himself a ransom for all; but only of believers is it said that He died and suffered for their sins, or bore them in His body on the tree. But He is the propitiation for the whole world, as well as for our sins; and so the gospel can go forth freely to all the creation. — Is 3 adequately rendered by the Revisers? Who could gather the difference between the present and the perfect in the opening clause? Even the Authorised Version makes a faint effort; the Revised Version none. Surely ἐγν. (the second "know") means "we acquired and possess the knowledge of." So it is at the beginning of 4 also.
Further, is it an intelligent division of the Epistle to make 3-6 a part of the paragraph beginning with 1 John 2? To my mind verses 1, 2, form the necessary supplement to the doctrine of 1 John 1 in both its parts (1-4, and 5-10), intimating not only the responsibility of the family of God, but the provision of grace to restore in the case of sin. Then 3 begins to unfold the qualities or characteristic ways of the life given us in Christ, the eternal life of the believer: obedience (3-6) and love (7-11), with their opposites. But this points to two paragraphs to be marked accordingly, which the Revisers have utterly missed by grouping 1 John 2:1-2 with 3-6 as if they were continuous; whereas the great break is after 2; and 3-11 might better have gone together, though it is perhaps more strictly correct to give first 3-6, and then 7-11 as distinct.
In 7 the true reading "beloved" is rightly followed, as fitly introducing the commandment — love. Also the Revisers as rightly expunge "from the beginning" at the end of the verse, however important these words are in the middle of it. — In 8 the rendering of the Revised Version is correct — "passing away," not "past," as in the Authorised Version. Past it will never be till Christ reigns in power and glory. Yet the same thing being true in Him and in the saints (whatever the difference of measure), the darkness passes away, and the true light does now shine.
Is not the arrangement of 12-29 objectionable? It gives evidence that the structure of the Epistle was not understood. For 12 is the comprehensive address to all the family of God (τεκνία) on the ground of their sins forgiven for Christ's name. Then 13 divides the family into the three classes of (1) fathers, (2) young men, and (3) babes (παιδία), respectively and specifically addressed again in (1) 14, (2) 14-17, and (3) 18-27; 28 and 29 resuming the general designation to the entire family as in 1 John 2:1, 1 John 3:7, 18, 1 John 4:4, and 1 John 5:21. Clearly therefore, if this be true as I feel assured, a new paragraph should not begin at 18 as in the Revised Version; as it might also have conduced to clearness if 12 had stood alone, and a new paragraph had begun with 28. No doubt the Revised Version has sought to distinguish τεκνία from the class contained under it (παιδία) by adding "my;" but is this the best way of marking the distinction? — Is it not due to the same lack of appreciating the truth intended that the Revisers like others adopt the well nigh absurd variant ἔγραψα instead of γράφω in the last part of 13? It is contrary to the plain facts of the context, and the necessary bearing of the verse. The Apostle had not written before to the babes; he was now writing to them as such for the first time, as in the same verse to the fathers and to the young men. Then he goes over the ground again to the three in 14-27, where ἔγραψα is requisite, not γράφω. It is granted that diplomatic evidence is decidedly in favour of the misreading ἔγ the end of 13. In fact, only K, a Moscow uncial, with a fair amount of cursives and some ancient versions, stands opposed to the great mass of ancient authority. It is one of the very few cases where a few witnesses of loss value contain the true reading disfigured from an early date, so that the error was widely diffused. The effect is most disastrous on the interpretation, as any English reader may see in Dean Alford's work, where we are thereby landed in the bewildering conclusion that we have three classes of readers, denoted the first time by τεκνία! πατέρες, νεανίσκοι, and the second time by παιδία, πατέρες, νεανίσκοι: a strange confusion, where the fathers are made. the central group, first introduced by τ. and then by π. as if these were identical, whereas there is the necessity of admitting that τ. and π. are differently addressed; a singular thing if they were the same clasp, to the loss of the truth that the first is the general designation, as the latter described particularly the youngest class. The inference is that τ. and π. address all the readers alike 1 and that "nothing satisfactory" comes out, which is very true. If γράφω be accepted till through 13, light dawns, and the beautiful order of the truth shines unmistakably. After speaking of all in 12, the writer first briefly addresses each of the three subdivisions, and then a second time more fully, as need required, which gives so much the force to the "fathers" where he could only repeat, without adding one word more; for Christ is all. — In 18 "there have arisen" or "come" is better than the Authorised Version, as last "hour" is more vivid. — In 19 it is rightly "they all are not of us," none are of us. The margin, like the Authorised Version, is in error, if not nonsense. — In 23 the true text is reinstated from the ignominy of italics on ample and unimpeachable authority ( B C P, about thirty-five cursives, Vulg. Cop. Syrr. Arm. Aeth, etc.). — In 24 οὖν, "therefore," is rightly dropt. — In 27 "the same" or "his" is a rather evenly-balanced question; but it is "true," not "truth;" and it is a question between "abide," or "shall abide," at the end.
In 28 "if" is better than "when," as the question is one of contingent consequence, and not exactly time. The margin has to be brought in to supply the deficiency of the Revised Version in rendering ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ. "From before Him" has been suggested. — In 29 the imp. form of the margin is, better than the ind. of the Revised Version; but there is no indication of the difference between the two words for "know." "Also" is by the Revisers adopted in the last clause; but in this epistle we have the older authorities agreeing in strange readings.
1 John 3:1 is an instance of what appears to be an enfeebling gloss appended to the first part of the verse. ἐσμεν is admirable in 2; but here καί ἐσμεν seems justly questioned, though attested by A B C P, many cursives, and the Vulgate with other ancient versions. The Revisers rightly say "children," not "the sons" as in the Authorised Version. The apostle John brings out eternal life and to be burn of God; not the position of sons in contrast with slaves. Compare John 1:12-13. — In 2 they have corrected "it doth not yet appear" into "it is not yet made manifest," though it does not accord with their claim of precision for the aorist, which Dean Alford would render "it never yet was manifested." Of course actual appearing is meant, not making known by the word to faith, for this is already and clearly made; as the next clause indeed declares, without the copula of the Text. Rec.: "We know that, if He shall he manifested, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." The "it" of the margin for "He," though approved by Tyndale, etc., seems uncalled for. — In 3 there is a strong effort to guard against the misconstruing of ἐπ᾽ αὐτῳ, "on him," by the italic addition of set.
- At length there is an adequate public version of 4, so long misrendered to the inculcation of endless error in theology: "Every one that doeth [or, practiseth] sin doeth [or, practiseth] also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness," not the transgression of the law, which is not imperfect only but false. Compare Rom. 2:12, Rom. 4:15, Rom. 5:13-14; and 1 Cor. 9:20-21. — In 6 "knoweth" in the text is a loose rendering of ἔγνωκεν, inferior to the Authorised Version. — From 13 "my" is rightly omitted; but the omission of τὸν ἀδελφόν near the close is questionable, the general truth being reserved for a later statement. — In 16 again we have the perfect ἐγν. rendered "know;" but while permanent effect is meant, a past act ought also to be implied: "We have known" or "have come to know." — The Text Rec. adds μου in 18: why should the Revisers supply "my"? — In 19 it is "shall we know," not "we know" as in the vulgar text followed by the Authorised Version. — I doubt greatly the soundness of the rendering of 20, though it is plain that the Authorised Version is rather free and breaks the connection. Some critics and grammarians are much perplexed to find or make the construction smooth, as omission seems to have been resorted to with the same purpose by the copyists. That Lachmann and Tischendorf should make a new paragraph after this verse, breaking the manifest and weighty link between 20 and 21, might seem incredible if it were not before our eyes. — I do not see how one can evade rendering 23 as in the margin, not as in the text, however unusual it may sound, which no doubt led to the tampering in 5. 58 lect εἰς τὸ ὄνομα. Compare John 5:24, and other instances of like construction.
1 John 4:2 is badly rendered, repeating the old failure of all our English Versions from Wiclif downward, the Rhemish being as often the worst. As the proposition stands in them all, the result is a grave and manifest error. For evil spirits do not shrink from confessing the bare fact stated. What they do not own is the person thus predicated; for this supposes His glory, yet in the humiliation of manhood. It would be senseless to talk of Moses or David, of Homer, Alexander, or Caesar, coming in flesh; for not one of them could have come otherwise. But the Son of God might have come in His own glory, or as an angel, or in any form He pleased. He was pleased to come in flesh, to come of woman, in the accomplishment of infinite grace. Hence the point here is the person that came in flesh, not the fact that He so came, which would be expressed by the infinitive or an equivalent and appended statement, whereas here we have the participle. It should be therefore "confesseth Jesus Christ come in flesh." — This is confirmed in the most direct manner, if we accept (as most modern critics do) the words τὸν Ἰησοῦν without further addition in 3. It is easy to understand in copies accretion more or less from the preceding verse.
- In 5 there is an effort by inserting "as" to guard against the inference which the Authorised Version might convey, that it is about (περί) the world, whereas it means out of it (ἐκ): a worldly source rather than subject. — But "in us" will never do for 9, though a seemingly faithful or literal rendering, as in the Rhemish alone of English Versions. It either deprives of all sense, or conveys a false idea. The true force of ἐν ἡμῖν in this connection is "in regard to us," or in our case. The Authorised Version renders as if the Greek were εἰς ἡμᾶς the converse of their error in Rom. 8:18, where from the English we might suppose ἐν ἡμῖν must have been in the text. — See the some thing again in 16.
- In 17 the Revisers of course rightly say "with us," nearly as in the margin of the Authorised Version 1 instead of their barbarous textual rendering "our love," which is the destruction of the truth intended. Our love could never give us boldness in the day of judgment; whereas if divine love has been perfected with us, even to the giving the Christian now to be in this world as Christ is, we may well have such boldness. How wondrous is our identification with Him who is perfect! More wondrous if this be so now in this world that we should have boldness in that day. — There is in 20 a rather bold adoption of οὐ on small but good authority, instead of πῶς, but doctrine is not affected by it.
In 1 John 5:5 the Revisers may be justified in introducing the copula, for which there is good authority. — In 6 there is a difficulty in fitly representing the change from δι᾽ ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος to ἐν τῳ thrice in the latter clauses (ἐν being omitted in the last instance in Text. Rec. with most copies, but not the oldest save 8). Christ came by water and blood, not in the power of the water only, but in the power of the water and in the power of the blood. The believer's blessing is through the death of the Second man, not of the first; and this in virtue of His death, not only to purify but to atone. We need expiation, as well as purification; and both we have in the death of Christ; as the Spirit also bears witness, who is, and because He is, the truth. — It is needless to discuss verses 7, 8, as it is clear and known that the last half of the former and the first half of the latter are spurious: three (not six) witnesses, and one testimony. Without the living energy of the Holy Spirit the other two witnesses to the death of Christ were of no avail for us. The three unite to assure the believer on God's part that life is in the Son and nowhere else, as His death alone purifies and expiates. — There is needed correction in the text and translation of 13, which is encumbered in the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version, where there ought to be nothing about "and that ye may believe," etc. — Minor points might be added after this as before; but nothing further occurs to me just now as of any great moment in the revision of this deep and blessed epistle.
THE SECOND EPISTLE OF JOHN.
I. The Authorised and Revised Versions are questionable as to "lady." Kyria* is not without claim as a proper name instead of the apellative "lady"; while the idea of some that Eclecta is meant seems unfeasible, and indeed refuted by 13. But the Revisers rightly say "in truth" as characteristic of the apostle's love. Loving in truth supposes the truth known, but it goes farther and so stamps the love. Thus in fact the Authorised Version renders the same phrase in verse 4. Again, it is not well to confound ἐγν. with γιν., the perfect with the present part. "That have the knowledge of" might fairly represent the force. — In 2 the Revisers say "it" in the last clause to mark the change of construction. — In 3 they give correctly the future: "Grace shall be with us," etc. For ἡμῶν (A B L P etc., and so Stephens) they read here, instead of ὑμῶν as in K, most cursives, and so Elz. followed by the Authorised Version. Undoubtedly "you" is the more usual wish; but this is rather an assurance, and the peculiar form well admits of the apostle's putting himself with those addressed, as in the preceding verse. "The Lord" (κυρίου) is doubtful, though strongly supported, as some of the best uncials, cursives, and versions do not sanction it.
- In 1 "I rejoice" is a dubious rendering of the aorist, though I presume its adoption was mainly grounded on the perf. that follows, εὕρ., which certainly must mean, not "I found" only, as in the Authorised Version, but "I do find." The Revisers rightly give "we received." — "That we love one another" in 5 goes back from the entreaty of the apostle to the commandment of the Lord when on earth. — In 6 divine love is shown to be identified with obedience, or at least inseparable from it, as it really is in the new nature, eternal life in Christ. What created the need for thus pressing the truth is the fact (ver. 7) that many deceivers went forth into the world, those that confess not Jesus Christ coming [ἐρχ.] in flesh. The received text εἰσῆλθον, though supported by most, and in the Authorised Version, must yield to the more ancient and truer ἐξῆλθον. Of course the last clause should be "The" deceiver and "the " Antichrist. Here, too, it will be noticed that those who so wrongly contend for a continuous force in σωζόμενοι and ἁγιαζόμενοι, the Revisers included, are obliged to own that the present part. is timeless in this instance. Compare 3 John 3, where it is really no question of epoch. At any rate the late Dean Alford very properly shows that in these cases the present has nothing to do with time, but represents the great truth of the Incarnation itself, as distinguished from its historical manifestation [ἐλθών, 1 John 5:6], and from the abiding effect of that manifestation [ἐληλυθότα, 1 John 4:2); as all three are confessions of the Person Ἰησοῦς χριστός, distinguished from the acuss. with infin. construction, which would have reduced the confession to simply the fact announced; whereas in each case it is the PERSON who is the primary predicate, the participle carrying the attributive or secondary predicate.
- There has been sad tampering with the MSS. in 8, and the text accordingly varies in the hands of the editors also. Thus Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Wordsworth follow A, eight cursives, and other good authorities, in the reading εἰργάσασθε, which gives the at best commonplace sense "ye wrought." These and others also, as Colinaeus and Alford with the Revisers, give "ye lose not" and "ye receive," but "we wrought." The text adopted by Erasmus and the Complutensian editors, by Stephens, Beza, and Elz., yields a touching appeal to those addressed, that the apostles and all who labour in the truth and for Christ might receive full recompense. Copyists, commentators, and critics missed the meaning, which is as delicate as it is forcible, though Beza was dull enough to say, in alluding to the text with the uniform second person, that the sense is the same. The Complutensians interpolate καλά after εἰργ., as does the Antwerp Polyglott; but not Goldhagen's edition, which seine have supposed a reprint of the Greek Testament in either. Romanist theology sought to draw from the verse a Scriptural ground for their Pelagian notion of the meritoriousness of good works. Its real drift was, as one might expect, generally misunderstood. — The correction in 9 is most important, "Whosoever goeth "onward," προάγων ( A B 98m.g. the best Latin, Sah. Aeth.), not παραβαίνων, as in the Text. Rec. and the more ordinary copies. "Transgression "is not the point, but development as to Christ, instead of abiding in the doctrine of Christ, His deity and humanity. It is really more forcible to Omit the second τοῦ χριστοῦ or αὐτοῦ, and so the oldest MSS. and versions, etc. — "Greeting" is the better rendering in 10, 11. — In 12 LA confirms K L P with most cursives in reading ἡμῶν, "our," with Erasmus, Compl., Steph., Elz.; but ὑμῶν, "your," has good and ancient authority.
* Dean Alford's reasoning (Prolegg. 186, vol. iv. ed. 3) seems open to exception, as he argues from the usage in the LXX. and New Testament as to Κύριος said of Jehovah to κυρία said of a woman.
THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN.
1, A similar remark applies here as to 2 John 1. — There is in 2 the better rendering of "in (lit. concerning) all things," not "above all things" as in Homeric usage. Thus simply is a strange difficulty, as others before had shown it ought to be, banished from our version. — In 3 it is rightly "brethren." Compare 2 John 7. The literal rendering "thy truth" would hardly convey the meaning, and "the truth that is in thee" as in the Authorised Version is not quite the thought, but "thy [abiding in the] truth, even as thou walkest in truth." — In 4 an omission is supplied, "these things," or "this." Only here Text. Rec. omits τῃ, which is read by A B C etc., and this the Revisers rightly follow, "in the truth." The marginal alternative of "grace" for "joy" would scarcely have received notice if the combined Vatican and Vulgate had not stood so high with the Cambridge school. — The correction in 5 is important, for the ordinary text is almost senseless, "to the brethren and to strangers." It is really toward the brethren, and that, strangers," τοῦτο instead of the second εἰς τούς. Gaius, or Caius, was thus open-hearted toward the preaching or teaching brethren, and this if strangers; and John would have him go on in that faithful work of love. He would have Gains, not merely to receive them, but to set them forward (6) on their journey worthily of God, who loves such men and such ways.
- In 7 "the Name" is the true reading on almost all authority worth speaking of, without "his" (αὐτοῦ), which is due to the Complutensian editors (not to Erasmus), followed by Beza and Elz. The best authorities give, not ἐθνῶν, but ἐθνικῶν, "of those of the nations" or Gentiles. — In 8 it is not ἀπολ., as in Text. Rec., but ὑπολ., to bear up or welcome. It may be well to mention here that p.m. and A join in the absurd misreading ἐκκλησία, instead of ἀληθείᾳ. This error may have been through the words that follow. How vain to idolize these venerable documents! Had B instead of A been one, we might have heard more on behalf of the variant. — From 9 the Text. Rec. drops τι, "somewhat," which the Revisers of course accept on excellent authority. They have done well to mark ἐπιδέχεται as distinct from ὑπολ. in 8. It is used for recognition or admission of authority, and sometimes for entertaining people. Never was a mistake greater than to conceive the Greek Testament lacking in precision. — So in 10, "bring to remembrance" is more correct than "remember," as "wicked" is preferable to "malicious." The casting out those who would receive the travelling brethren appears to have been an arbitrary rejection or declaring out, not a Scriptural expulsion or putting out on the part of the assembly. — Gaius was not to "imitate" the evil but the good (11). The copula of Text. Rec. should disappear. — In 12 it is rightly the sing. "thou knowest," not "ye know" as in the Authorised Version following Text. Rec. — It seems strange that in 14, as in 2 John 12, the margin does not represent, as in the Authorised Version, the literal rendering "mouth to mouth." — In 14 we find "the" friends rightly in the Revised Testament on both occasions. In the second epistle we have the children of the elect sister saluting; here as writing to Gains the apostle brings in the friends saluting and saluted. How refined and sincere is the love that is of God!
1. The Authorised Version has "the," the Revised Version "a," servant. Judas, bondman, etc., is best, as often pointed out. "To them that are called" would answer to τοῖς κεκλημένοις rather than to τοῖς κλητοῖς, the called. But "for" Jesus Christ, though grammatical, is open to question; "in" as parallel would seem better, or perhaps "by." "Sanctified "in the Authorised Version is the right version of a wrong reading displaced on good authority by "beloved." — 3. It seems strange that Lachmann should by punctuation so divide the sentence as to impair or destroy what is otherwise simple and weighty. He puts a comma after the twofold ὑμῖν, the effect of which is to falsify the epistle; for it does not treat of the common salvation, but is an earnest contention for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Mere scholarship without a spiritual mind is untrustworthy in divine things. In Text. Rec. followed by the Authorised Version ἡμῶν is wrongly omitted: the Revised Version inserts it correctly on high authority, and renders the text better in more than one word. — In 4 κρῖμα is rather the "charge" for which they were to be judged than "condemnation." Hence it came to mean the sentence or doom, as with us crime.
- In 5 the marginal rendering appears to be better than that of the text; but θεόν of the Text. Rec. is rightly rejected on ample authority. — The Revisers correct the double error of the Authorised Version in 5, "once knew." It should be "know once for all." "This" is an error, not of rendering like those just named, but of the Text. Rec. followed by Authorised Version. It should be πάντα, "all things," not τοῦτο, "this," as in the later copies. It is a mercy that the love of paradox with deference to A B etc. did not as in Lachmann and Alford introduce Ἰησοῦς here, where Κύριος without the article, Jehovah, is the true reading. But why τὸ δ., "afterward"? Why not "in the second place?" In 6 "angels" rightly in the Revised Version, not "the" as if all were concerned. It is a defined set among the angels. But is "hath kept … unto" good English? "He hath in keeping" might do better perhaps; and so I see, nearly, Mr. T. S. Green.
- In 8 the Revisers rightly give us "yet," and drop "filthy," which is implied in the context, as they represent well the anarthrous force of οὗτοι ἐνυπν., which can hardly bear "these dreamers," but means rather "these in their dreams," or "dreaming as they do." — In 12 I think there cannot be a doubt of the article as the genuine reading, which gives vividness and objectivity to the σπιλάδες, whether sunken rocks or blots be meant. But it is not correct to impute to Beza simply the Authorised Version which construes ἀφ. with ἑαυ. π., inasmuch as the Syriac and ancient versions in general so take it, except perhaps the Vulgate followed by the Rhemish alone of English versions, which takes it with εὐωχού. — In 13 it should be the plural form "shames" or "disgraces," which is more usual in English, to guard from the equivoque; for they can clearly have no sense of shame. It means shameful things.
Do not the Revisers furnish an unnatural and misleading version of τούτοις in 14? What is the sense of "to these?" One can imagine a far-fetched way of supposing that Enoch prophesied to the corrupting apostates who shall meet their doom when the Lord is come in judgment, But a dative of reference is far simpler, "for," "as to," "of" as in all the English versions like others. They of course give "came" as in prophetic vision, not "cometh," which is to confound the tense system; and they translate ἐν here rightly with (i.e. amidst) His holy myriads. And here be it noted that Professor Volkmar's assumption that Jude quoted from the so-called Book of Enoch is not only unfounded but gross ignorance; for while the words in our epistle fall into harmony with all revelation, those of the Aethiopic document are as different from Jude's as they are opposed to the truth. The apocryphist makes the Lord come in judgment of His holy myriads! instead of His enemies, contrary to all scripture, but the not unnatural thought of any unbeliever, Jew or Gentile. It is untrue that Jude quoted from this pretended Book of Enoch. The κατὰ πάντων of our epistle (15) resists any such idea. Not improbably it was a Jewish forgery; and men who could resort to such iniquity have no true perception of the truth, as here we see that, if the forger meant to incorporate the words of Jude into his fable, he failed even to accomplish this seemingly mechanical task, and taught heterodoxy in the change he introduced, however slight in appearance. Compare either the English version of Laurence (chap. 2 p. 2, Oxford, 1821) or the Aethiopic (cap. ii. p. 2, Oxon. 1888). M. de Sacy renders the passage correctly enough, "Et venit cum myriadibus sanctorum, ut faciat judicium super eos," etc. His note adds: "Au reste, on pourrait supposer que 1'auteur du livre d'Enoch aurait emprunté ce passage de Saint Jude." Very likely the author imitated Jude, and incorrectly borrowed, as we have seen. Certainly Jude did not quote from this apocryphal book, as Professor Westcott like others seems to suppose.
In this same 15 Tischendorf retains αὐτῶν after ἀσεβεῖς as in the Text. Rec. contrary to his critical note (Ed. viii.), which rejects it on the highest authority, but he reads λόγων against weighty witnesses. — In 18 there is a question of text and of translation. Text. Rec., in accordance with the majority, reads ἐν ἐ. χ., in the last time; but the ancient copies give ἐπ ἐσχάτου [του] Χ., etc. attesting the article, B C etc. omitting it, which the Revisers follow. Compared with other varieties of the phrase, it would seem to mean "at the end of the time." — In 19 the true reading is ἁποδ. without ἑαυτούς, as Eras. Compl. and Stephens edited, but Colinaeus even before Beza and Elz. added it. The Rescript of Paris supports it and a few cursives, which may have been Beza's three old copies. But this sort of separatist is not to be confounded with the αἱρετικός in Titus 3, 1 Cor. 11, Gal. 5, for the mischief was according to the context from their being within, not from their going out. They were certainly far from the mind and grace of Christ; but if they separated the saints from themselves or themselves from the saints, it was not, it would appear, by an outward breach: they carried on their deadly and corrupting work inside. They were "sensual," as the Authorised and Revised Versions say, or rather "natural" men. Dean Alford reasons from the words, not from the written word, when he treats ψυχικοί as midway between πν. and σαρκικοί. For 1 Cor. 2, 3 plainly prove that σ. is the true midway term, and means one unduly deferring to intellect or fleshly feeling, but a saint (like the Corinthian believers); whereas ψ. means man in his natural and absolutely unrenewed estate, as indeed here described πν. μὴ ἔχ.
- In 22, 23, the authorities are most conflicting. Some like the Text. Rec. make but two classes, others three. One could not gather from the Greek or the English of the Revisers that some of the most venerable and best documents, supported by the oldest versions and other witnesses. point to ἐλέγχετε (A C, many cursives and versions), not ἐλεεῖτε (or ἐλεᾶτε), in 22; or yet more to διακρινομένους ( A B C etc., which they rightly follow. The Vulgate represents the ancient text fairly, save that it deserts its own rendering of δ. in verse 9, which substantially suits 22 far better than "judicatos." Dr. Wells and Bengel first vindicated the true text, in which the critics wonderfully agree. Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Wordsworth, Griesbach and Scholz are poor enough, Westcott and Hort worst of all; for what can be more absurd than for scholars to present, as an inspired text, such a jumble of readings as οὕς μὲν ἐλεεᾶτε διακρινομένους σώζετε ἐκ π. ἁρπά., κ.τ.λ.? For to construe this at all we must take the first words as a strict relative, and the first verb as an indicative, to the utter dislocation of the rest of the sentence, and the destruction of any just sense from it as a whole. The twofold ἐλεᾶτε of B cannot stand, nor the omission of οὕς δέ in 13 before σώζετε. The Revisers did adopt unhappily the first ἐλεᾶτε, but the rest of their text is all right. It seems surprising that they should not have named in their margin the good and ancient evidence for ἐλέγχετε.
- In 24 both Authorised and Revised Versions agree in adopting "you" as in B C L, many cursives, and all the versions of note, though Eras., the Compl., Colinaeus, Stephens, Bengel, etc. preferred αὐτούς, "them," with K P and some forty cursives. — In 25 there is no reasonable doubt that σοφῳ in the Text. Rec., followed by the Authorised Version, is well left out by the superior authority of the older MSS. and versions. It probably crept in from Rom. 16:27, where it is as perfectly in place as here superfluous. But there are two omissions also of the Text. Rec., which are properly supplied by the Revisers, διὰ Ἰ. Χ. τ. κ. ἡμῶν and πρὸ π. τ. αἰῶνος, which rest on ample and sure authority, giving of course additional force and beauty to this solemn yet comforting epistle, with its closing doxology.
THE REVELATION OF JOHN.
Rev. 1 - 5.
The closing book of the New Testament stands less correctly than any other in the received text. Hence there is much more comparatively to be noted in comparing the Revised Version with the Authorised. Happily among critics the agreement is unusually great, as few can justify the Erasmian editions, which he only partially corrected by the help of the Complutensian. Hence many errors have been perpetuated through R. Stephens, Beza, and the Elzevirs, of which no scholar acquainted with the more ancient authorities can doubt the correction. So great has been the effect of better copies (MSS. or Vv.), that perhaps no book in the New Testament now commands more consent among scholars as to its text.
Rev. 1:1 affords an early specimen of rash innovation effected by punctuation, which has not commended itself generally, no not even to Lachmann. It was probably due to the influence of Drs. Westcott and Hort, who adopt it in their Greek text. Wiclif's is the only English version which preceded them in so strange a view; but J. H. Heinrichs contends for it in the tenth vol. of Koppe's edition, and wrongly, as I cannot but think with Dean Alford. — But there can be no doubt that they are justified with almost all critics, and on ample authority, in excluding τε "and" in the closing clause of 2. For the witness of John was the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, but visions seen by him: not consisting of visions in addition to the other two descriptions. He is here, not an apostle only, but emphatically a seer. Such is the character of the book. — In 3 there is no need as in the Authorised Version to say "this" and "those," but "the" in both instances. Some of the ancients and even a pair of cursives (7. 16.) give the demonstrative; but there is no real ground. — In 5 the change from "prince" to "ruler" is not much; "loveth" for "loved" is good; loosed" for "washed" is hazardous, though here Tischendorf too was swayed by the Sinaitic in addition to A C, etc., to give in to Lachmann and Tregelles. The vowel might easily have displaced the diphthong, especially as the rendering is thereby easier, though less akin to the Johannean style. The Greek commentators try to incorporate both figures. — In 6 the Revisers rightly say "a kingdom," and "the" glory.
- In 7 they purposely give "the" clouds, but might well have put "land" for earth in the margin. — They have also omitted the clause "the beginning and the ending," brought in from the end of the book, though the Sinaitic, etc. support it here. — In 9 they omit "also" of the Authorised Version following the Text. Rec., and "in the" before kingdom, to the great detriment of the force. "Of Jesus Christ" as in the common text cannot stand; but "in Jesus," though highly supported, is unexampled as to usage, which would seem rather to require "in Christ," or "in Christ Jesus," with excellent authority, and in the latter case very large. But "Christ" should disappear from the end of the verse, on the authority of A C P, etc. — In "a long interpolation after the first word in the common text disappears, and another after "churches." — In 14 "white as white wool" is self-evidently the sense intended; "white like wool" as in the Text Rec. and Authorised Version is not intelligible.
- It would seem also from Rev. 3:18 that red hot, and so "refined" is meant in 15 also. "And the Living One and I was dead," opens 18 rightly. "Amen" should vanish, and Hades follow death. In 19 it should be "Write therefore" as is generally known; but why the vague "hereafter, at the end, and in Rev. 4:1, instead of the more precise after these things," which is favoured by the context? John was to write (1) the things which he saw, (2) the things which are, and (3) the things which are about to happen after these (i.e., the seven churches as set out in the seven letters of our Lord): not, as Dean Alford so strangely says, the things seen supplemented by what they mean, which would demand τίνα instead of ἅ. In this, however, the Revised Version is right, like the Authorised Version and almost if not all others. — In 20 is not our tongue capable of reflecting the anarthrous usage of "angels," no less than of "seven churches"? If there is a defining genitive in the one case, there is a numeral in the other, which renders the predicate sufficiently definite without the insertion of our article in the one more than in the other.
In Rev. 2:1 of course the Revisers correct "of" to "in" Ephesus, following a better text than the received one. — The confusion and addition in 3 are corrected on good authority. "And thou didst bear" shifts from being the first member to the second place, and is connected with "for My name's sake,"" and hast laboured" being expelled. — In 4 there is rightly the omission of "somewhat," but why omit "this"? It is better without addition. — Still more important is the exclusion of "quickly" from 5 on the authority of A C P, the Vulgate, Memphitic, and AEthiopic, though the Basilican Vat. and perhaps all the cursives support it as did the earlier editors. It was an addition of the copyists, perhaps from 16. — In 7 it is not in "the midst of" the paradise of God, but "in" it, "my" being probably a gloss.
In 8 the Revisers correct "is alive" to "lived." — In 9 they omit "works and." — In 10 for "none" they have "not," and "the" (not "a") crown of life.
In 13 they leave out "thy works and," but they refer in their margin to the uncertainty of the Greek text in the clause about Antipas; and assuredly, — as it stands in the Alexandrian and Parisian or even Sinaitic Uncials, it is hardly translateable. The later Vatican, and many cursives add αἷς as the Porphyrian and others have ἐν αἷς which removes the difficulty. I do not dwell here or generally on the effort to avoid the English perfect indefinite where the aorist occurs in Greek, as it is of such frequent occurrence. — In 14 "some," or persons, that hold is better than them that hold; and a similar remark applies to 15, which closes with "in like manner" instead of "which thing I hate," a mere blunder of some copies. — In 15 there is the curious fact of a reading (ἔγνω) introduced by Erasmus, whose MS. here failed, without one known witness, followed in the Greek Bible of Aldus (1518), Cephaloeus (1524), and by Colinaeus (1534); also in the editions of R. Stephens, of Beza, and of the Elzevirs. In the Complutensian it is of course οἶδεν, and so in all critical editions, Gratz following it, but not Goldhagen. Bengel avoided the error. Yet it is remarkable that all the English translations are right in giving "knoweth," which answers not to ἔγνω which they read, but to οἶδεν, a reading which few of them saw, or thought of.
In 19 a better text is followed by the Revisers, which the reader may see by comparison. "Service" should follow "faith," and the closing clause should be "and thy last works [to be] more than the first." — In 20 "a few things" is all wrong, and on slender ground. Indeed and some cursives give "much," some others "many things"; but the weight of authority is decisively against any qualifying term here. — In 21 the Revisers rightly say "willeth not to repent." Tyndale misled the English who followed him into the feeble, if not false, "repented not." — In 22 "cast," not merely "will," as it is also "her" works. — In 24 "and" if not "unto" also should vanish: an error in the Text Rec. as in the Authorised Version. So the "and" before "which" is spurious. — In 26 "authority" is better than "power"; as it should also be "he that" keepeth my works. — In 27 the highest witnesses support the present, not future, 4 "are broken to shivers," and "they" of the Authorised Version and the margin is questionable as the subject, instead of the vessels of pottery as in the Revised Version.
In Rev. 3:2 the Revisers give "was" ready to die, reckoning from the time of strengthening, as "are" would be from the epoch of writing. Further, they omit the article on the testimony of A C and the margin of them Codex Reuchlini, which Erasmus too followed; but all others are adverse, including B P and the body of cursives, etc. Hence the Revisers translate "no works of thine." — "On thee" in 3 after "come" has very good authority, if not the best. — "But" should surely open 4, and "even" retire, both on excellent ground, Cod. Reuchl. misleading in both. — In 5 for "the same" read "thus," the adverb, not the pronoun.
In 7 there is a measure of uncertainty in the readings, but the sense is only affected in a slight degree. — But surely in 8 the latter half gives the reason, "because," not "that" as the Revisers say, connecting what follows with "I know thy works," and treating the intervening words as a parenthesis. Also is not "little power" more suitable to the context than "a" little, meaning some? Weakness characterised the Philadelphian assembly, but they kept Christ's word and denied not His name. — There seems no change of moment in 8, though a marked literality of rendering in the Revised Version, save that they depart from their usual preterite for the aorist at the close. — Nor is there anything to detain in 9. — In 10 they, with the critics, reject the opening "Behold" on ample and ancient authority. — In 12 I am not aware of any authority for the curious slip here in the Elzevir editions of the New Testament which read λαῳ people, for ν., temple.
Of course the error in 14 is corrected, and "in Laodicea" takes its place. — In 16 the true order is "hot nor cold." — In 17 there is good authority for repeating the article before "miserable," which certainly gives marked emphasis; but the chief MSS. omit, which makes the construction regular, as in the Revised Version. There is no doubt the Authorised Version erroneously omits it before "wretched," — Nothing calls for special notice in 18-22.
In Rev. 4:1 a door "opened" is correct, as in Rev. 3:8 The double "was of the Authorised Version is not necessary any more than "a voice" of the Revised Version. Compare 1:19 for "hereafter." — The copulative disappears rightly from 2. — There is no effort made to distinguish κυκλόθεν from κύκλῳ. Yet distinction it is hard for any one to believe not intended, if one compare 3, 4, 8 with 6, Rev. 5:11 in the true text, and Rev. 7:11. Another has suggested "round" for the first, and "around" for the second, which admits more of detached objects surrounding, while the first may apply to connected objects though not exclusively. — In 4 the Revisers rightly give "thrones" not "seats," as in the Authorised Version. — But in 6 why a "glassy" sea? Does not ὑαλίνη point to the material in the vision, and not to its mere smoothness? "Glassy" answers to ὑαλοειδής or ὑαλώδης or ὑαλῶπις. It is the more important, because its force symbolically depends on its true meaning; and those who miss that meaning slip into all sorts of aberrations from the truth intended, as one may see in Elliott's Horae Apoc. and other works. Of course by "living creatures" is justly displaced the strange "beasts," which, given by Wiclif, survived in all the successive English versions down to the Authorised Bible. — In 9 and 10 the future form is correct, not the English present as in the Authorised Version. — In 11, "were," not "are," is the right word.
In Rev. 5:3, "no one" is better than "no man," as in the older versions. — "And to read" in 4 is a gloss. So is "to loose" in 5. — In 7 "the book" is not duly authenticated; so that the Revisers rightly supply "it." — In 8 it is "the" saints. — In 9 it is "sing," not "sung." But the very material change is the quasi-absolute use of ἡγόρασας by the omission of "us," for which the Revisers substitute "men." This is not only sustained by A 44, Aeth., but confirmed in the strongest way by the verse following, as we shall see presently. "Purchase" is right, not "redeem."
Rev. 5:10-Rev. 9.
In 10 the true reading is not ἡμᾶς, but αὐτούς, "them," which falls in with the omitted object in the preceding verse, and the verb that follows, "they (not we) shall reign." But "over the earth" is surely the right rendering of ἐπὶ following a verb of rule. When the place in which one reigns is required, it is ἐν. But ἐπὶ implies the sphere or subject over which the rule extends, as any one can verify in the Greek version of Kings and Chronicles, and indeed in any correct Greek writing. Apart from government or authority, ἐπὶ τῆς γ. might well mean "on the earth," but not when so connected as here. There is another question of moment in the verse which the Revisers seem to have decided wrongly, the present instead of the future of the last verb. The reign of the saints over the earth (or, if they will, upon it) — by the showing of the Revelation itself was not yet come till Rev. 20, after most weighty and striking changes, and it can only be anticipated here. It is untrue, even if the church were in question, (which it is not) that we are yet reigning, though made priests and kings in title. Compare 1 Cor. 4:8, and Rev. 3:21: even our Lord sits, the rejected but exalted King, with His Father on His throne, and has as yet only, given us the promise of sitting with Him on His own throne. He will come in His kingdom; and it is in the resurrection or changed state that we shall reign with Him, not in our natural bodies, nor yet in the disembodied condition. "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Cor. 6:2-3.) That the church now reigns in Christ, all things being put under her as under His feet, is Popery, not Christianity. True doctrine therefore confirms P and some thirty cursives, some of the best versions and early comments, as against A B, some twenty-six cursives, etc., especially as it is but the question of a central letter easily dropt. This can be readily seen in Rev. 20:6, where the Alexandrian alone has the present against all other authority and the context, though it is not really so absurd there as in Rev. 5:10. Yet the Revisers have introduced this violent and really unreasonable change, without even a marginal note to record the protest of one dissenting voice that understood its bearing. The Americans are equally silent.
- Naturally they correct in 13 the singular confusion of the Authorised Version, and give "on" the sea. They also mark the article "the" blessing, etc. Another important correction long known is the omission not only of "twenty four" in the middle but of the object at the close of 14, the effect of which is to imply that the elders fell down and did homage to the Lamb as well as to Him that sitteth on the throne, in accordance with the verse before. "Him that liveth for ever and ever" has not a known Greek copy to warrant the addition, which is due to Western influence. It is noted as singular that Ewald in his Comm. (Lipsiae, 1828), after drawing out well the critical correction of 9, 10, should have wound up his remarks by an irreverent and heterodox note on the verse before us, based on this unfounded reading due to Erasmus, who translated Primasius or a later copy of the Vulgate, and translated it ill, for he omitted the article before ζῶντι. The Complutensian text printed before Erasmus' first edition rightly omits the words.
In Rev. 6:1 it is hard to see why the Revisers should render their correct text "with" a voice, as it is a nom. pend. They rightly read "seven," and as rightly omit "and see," though B and near forty cursives support the sense, not one known MS., the precise form (βλέπε, a conjecture of Erasmus) of the Text. Rec. The correction here is valuable; for the call of each living creature is not to the prophet or any other than to each horsemen, who thereon does come. Some have thought that the copyists were influenced by Ezek. 8:9; possibly it was John 1:39: if so, it was a strange blunder. Even if καὶ ἴδε, as is most likely, was inferred from the immediately following καὶ εἶδον (ἴδον), it was a baseless and fraudulent addition. A similar remark applies to 3, 5, 7. — In 2 there is no more to remark in the text than αὐτόν instead of αὐτῳ as in 4, 5 also, which is required by ample authority. The differing force can be a good deal better felt than expressed. The genitive would be the fact simply; the dative, a permanent relation; the accusative, activity on the part of the sitter. Here is of course no question of a state or fixed position as in Matt. 16:18, Mark 6:35, Luke 12:44, John 8:7, but there is an object actively in view. All three occur in connection with the throne in Rev. 4:2 (acc.) 10 (gen.), Rev. 5:1, 7 et 13 (dat.) as in Rev. 4:9, Rev. 6:16, used with marked precision, the more remarkable as in a book abounding with anomalous Hebraistic forms, yet disproving any imputation of ignorance. Dean Alford, in a note on the first, notices how the acc. is used uniformly on the first mention, thus bearing trace of motion toward; but then at sight of Rev. 11:16, where it is not a first mention, he wavers, and gives up the gen. and dat. as seeming to have no rule at all: a conclusion due to his own defect of analysis. "Came" is better than "went."
- In 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and in Rev. 8:1, "had" should be omitted as in Authorised Version of 1. — In 4 "power" of the Authorised Version is needless. — In 5 "a balance" is right. — In 6 "as it were" a voice is required by the most ancient witnesses, though ancient versions, save Vulgate, omit it like our Authorised Version. — The Revisers are right in 8 as in 5 giving "saw," not "beheld" and "looked," as in the Authorised Version of 1 and 9. "By" is right in indicating direct agency, not "with," a general character of destruction. — In 9 the perfect participle, expressive of a permanent character or state, ought not to have been as in the Authorised Version merged in a simple preterite. For "were" read "have been." — In 10 it is rightly, "O Master, the" etc. — In 11 "a white robe was" given is alone true according to the MSS., and αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ is probably if not certainly right. For one could readily understand one or other left out by design as if needless, and the omission of ἐκ. would next lead to the plural form in the versions. It has been thought that ἑκάστοις as in Text. Rec. had the support of many cursives; but not one is known as yet. There is a curious lacuna in the Complutensian edition, marked in the Greek text in the way so characteristic and common in their accompanying Vulgate, so that we cannot cite that work as to the point. They have marked the defect wrongly however, for their line should have been after καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς and before ἵνα ἀναπ. κ.τ.λ., not before all. It was Erasmus probably who invented the plural, as well as ἑκάστοις. The marginal rendering of the Revised Version answers to the reading of B P and some fifty cursives; that of the Text. Rec. is probably Erasmus' guess once more, as we know of no Greek copy that warrants it. We know from Dr. F. Delitzsch's collation that Cod. Reuchlini, the great Rotterdam scholar's MS., has a lacuna similar to that which the Complutensian edition must have had, (doubtless from the ὁροιοτέλευτον of αὐτοῖς), and that it gave πληρώσωσιν and not πληρώσονται. The active sense is unsuitable. The Authorised Version is right; but how they drew it, unless from the Complutensian, it is hard to conceive, as the ordinary text conveys no such meaning. The critical reader can compare a similar conflict of readings in Rev. 9:5, as to ἵνα β. 13. where the Complutensian editors give βασανίσωσι. — In 12 "lo" rightly vanishes, and the "whole" moon is read, on excellent authority. — There are changes in 13, 14, but too slight to detain us. — In 15 "the rich" properly follows the chief captains or chiliarchs; and the "caves" is better than "dens." — In 16 "said" was the mere carelessness of Tyndale, followed by the other Protestant English translations, Wiclif and the Rhemish being right. — But "their" or "his" wrath in 17 is a nice question, for high authorities support each, as in the case of "them" or "his" in 8; and it does seem singular that the Revisers do not notice the alternative in their margin.
In Rev. 7:1 the omission of "and" is a strong measure, resting on A. C. and the Vulgate against all other authority; and here again no notice in the margin. "This," not "these things," is right. "At" instead of "upon" as at the end of this verse, is questionable. — In 2 we have "sunrising" for "east." — In 3 "in" is changed rightly to "on." — But "children," not "sons," is still the word in 4. — In 5-8 "sealed" disappears rightly, save at the beginning and at the end. — In 9 "these things" we find correctly for "this"; "out of every nation"; and "standing. "In 10 it is "they cry," not "cried." — In 11-13 there is scarce anything notable; but in 14 it is rightly "come out of the great tribulation." — In 15 "dwell among" is very properly changed into "shall spread his tabernacle over." — In 16 "strike" or "fall" is better than "light." — In 17 we have very literally "be their shepherd and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life," as also "every tear. "
"Followed" in Rev. 8:1 seems taken from the Authorised Version of 7. — In 2 "stand" is right, not "stood." The marginal "at," as in the text of the Authorised Version, seems more suitable than "over" the altar. But both Revised Version and Authorised Version miss the force of δώσει here. The Authorised Version might have drawn it from their own rendering of Rev. 11:3, though efficacy is perhaps better than power, especially here. — The supply of the ellipse by Lyra and Corn. a Lap. and by Beza is erroneous; and "it" or nothing is too vague. "The saints" is correct. — In 4 "which came" should be dropt. — In εἴληθεν here as in Rev. 5:7, one may be slow to believe that the perfect does not involve a continuance which the aorist does not express; but it is hard to say more than "took" as the Authorised and Revised Versions. But "the" fire is right. The order of the words at the end is not certain. — In 7 "And the first" is better than "The first angel," which was assimilated to 8, 10, and 12. "And the third part of the earth was burnt up," should be added as in the Revised Version. — In 10 it should be as a "torch." — In 13 the important variant "eagle" on ample authority displaces "angel."
In Rev. 9:1, "fallen" is right, not "fall," as in Authorised Version, a fault of rendering rather than of reading, for πίπτοντα is given by not even one cursive. Pit, "of the abyss" is also better; and so throughout. — In 4 "said" is right, and "such" represents οἵτινες better than the Authorised Version, as being character and not more fact. — In 6 also the force is given more. — But why not put "shapes" in the margin, if it must be given, and have "likenesses" in the text of 7? "Was" is right; and again in the end of 9. The Complutensian, Griesbach, and Scholz have χρυσοῖ (not without considerable authority, but the true text is "like gold" as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. — In 10 have, "not had"; also the true text as in the Complutensian is "and stings" etc., as in the Revised Version, according to the best authorities. — In 11 "They have over them as king the angel" etc. is the correct rendering. In 12 "the first" woe is right. — In 13 the omission of "four" is questionable. — In 14 "one" saying seems uncalled for, even on the critical reading; but "at," not "in." — In 15 "the" hour, etc. — In 16 "armies" is correct, "and to be omitted. — In the latter part of 17 as of 19 the present is well. — In 19 "their" should be "of the horses." — In 20 and 21 the force is given more literally.
Rev. 10, Rev. 11.
The "rainbow" in Rev. 10:1 is right, but of no great weight; nor the omission of "foot" in 2, nor "the" seven thunders in 3, nor "their voices" in 4, nor "right" hand in 5. Why in 3 have the Revisers suppressed "own"? They might have left the reason or measure of emphasis to the expositor. — But it is surprising that the Revisers should perpetuate in. their text so gross a misrendering as "time" in 6. The natural inference from that word is that eternity immediately succeeds to the sounding of the seventh trumpet; whereas it is certain from the book that a millennium and more must intervene after the seventh angel's blast before the great white throne and the new heavens and earth (i.e. the eternal state.) The marginal correction "delay" should have been in the text, meaning in this connection not time but lapse of time or space as in Rev. 6:11. — They have, however, well rendered the Hebraistic cast of 7, "then is finished" etc., where "would have been" is more according to usual phraseology; and so in fact the Greek stands in the Text. Rec. as reflecting the Basilican Vatican and some eight cursives, several ancient versions, etc., but surely rather the correction of a copyist than the original text.
- The Revisers in 8 try to make regular another of the anomalous forms of the Apocalypse by inserting "I heard it." But why in some cases when it is clearly impossible in all? It seems better to translate freely in all these peculiar forms, which the received text, following the later scribes, has also essayed to present according to regular grammar; whereas it is clear that they were written intentionally in their ruggedness, the writer knowing well how to express himself in correct Greek. And why should the Revisers have departed from the "little" book of their predecessors? No doubt Griesbach, Lachmann, Alford, and Tregelles support them, following A C 6.14; but P, a few cursives etc., agree with the Erasmian and received reading, and the Compl. is only another form of the diminutive (as in 2) with B, the body of cursives, etc. This difference is not unimportant, but meant expressly in contradistinction from Rev. 10:1-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The verses that follow (9, 10) in Rev. 10 support the diminutive. It must be remembered, too, that "book" is wrongly, given for "little" book by B, and some 35 cursives in 2, and that and others read it in 9 and with still more support in 10, where all critics adhere to the dim. as the Authorised and Revised Versions do. — No doubt the infinitive is a better text than the imperative, as in the Text Rec. of 9, as it is also the best attested. — In 10 when "displaces" as soon as." — In 11 "they say is, according to both numerous and the most ancient copies, instead of λέγει in the Text. Rec. wrongly translated he "said" with some of the Latins. And is not prophesy "over" a singular rendering? Granted that "before" as in the Authorised Version, and Tyndale's "among," and Wiclif's "to," are unusual with the dative "As to" or "concerning" is more suitable. The Revisers say "of," not "over," in John 12:16, and quite rightly they seem inconsistent and pedantic here.
In Rev. 11:1 the Revisers have rightly struck out the interpolation "the angel stood, saying." But here again they try to soften the singularity of the construction by their rendering of λέγων "and one said." The Bishop of Lincoln's comment allegorises the reed, speaking as Andreas in the Catena does in another way. — Surely the margin is better than the weaker text in 2. — With 3 compare the remark on Rev. 8:3. — In the critical text of 4 we have another sort of irregularity, when in the same clause appears formal and rational concord; and the Revisers attempt no reflection of it. "Lord" of the earth is right according to ample and ancient witnesses. In 5 "desireth," or "willeth," is better than the ambiguous "will" of the Authorised Version; but "shall" desire rests on slight evidence ( A. 38). — In 6 may or "shall" desire is right. — In 8 why should it not be "their body, or carcase [shall be] on," etc.? Of course the Revisers rightly say "their" Lord. — 9 is not ill translated though worthily: "And from among the peoples do men." etc. "And some," or "men," or — "they," as in the A. V. is more compact. — In 10 "rejoice" without "shall" stands on full authority (save 38), and so the Complutensian edition, but not so "make merry," though in the best copies, still less "send," where even the Revisers give the future with A C, etc. — In 11 it should be "the" three; but why "the" breath of life? "That behold" or "beholding" is right.
- In 12 the Revisers adhere to "they" heard, as in the Authorised Version. But there is no inconsiderable testimony to "I heard." "The" cloud is the correction of simple mistranslation. — In 13 "that," not "the same." — In 15 it should be either "that" of our Lord, or "of our Lord etc. is come." Notoriously the plural form as in the Text. Rec, and the Authorised Version is the mistake of a few cursives. — In 16 "sit," not "sat." — In 17 "which," or "who," "wast" (without "and art to come",) stand on good authority. They change "hast reigned" of the Authorised Version into "didst reign." — In 18 "came" and several other minute changes are adopted. — The Revisers are right of course in separating 19, as indeed it is the introduction to the vision that follows, rather than the conclusion of chapter 11. Probably "that is" (ὁ) is right, as later critics think on good authority, though the omission of the article in B and most cursives, etc. must make it doubtful. "Testament" is all wrong, and everywhere save in Heb. 9:16-17, as already noticed.
In Rev. 12:1 "sign" as in the old margin takes the place of "wonder," as in 3. The Authorised Version should have been consistent with its own rendering in Rev. 15:1. Tyndale ought not to have departed from Wiclif in this. The order of the Greek also is better kept in the Revised Version, as will appear from comparing 1 and 3; but there is no great reason for dropping "appeared" here after adopting it almost everywhere else in the Now Testament. No doubt the Authorised Version had preceded them in giving 4 "was seen," in Rev. 11:19, and so they might have given in Rev. 12:1 and 3, as both give in Acts 13:31, and 1 Tim. 3:16. Generally both give "appeared." Further, "arrayed" and, "clothed" are interchanged as in the Authorised Version, though the Revisers use the former. — In 2 the Committee adopt a view of the text, in the insertion of an additional copulative, on the authority of C. 95, apparently confirmed by, some of the Latin copies, more extreme than most, including: Tischendorf, till the Sinaitic carried him away. Lachmann, in his lesser edition, followed the Alexandrian in having the copulative before ὠδ — In 3 "diadems" is right, as in Wiclif and the Rhemish, not "crowns" as in the Authorised Version, etc. — "Drew" in 4 is an error, not of text but of translation in all the English versions from Wiclif down to the Authorised Version. All the English versions, the Revised included, have "stood" for "standeth." It was Tyndale who misled the early translators in giving "as soon as it was born," instead of Wiclif's more correct "when she had borne a child" or "been delivered" as in the Revised Version. — In 5 all the previous translations avoid the simple a son, a man child," as in the Revision; as all give "was to" or "should" rule, and omit "the" nations. The better text would give the last "to" in Roman letters, not italics as in the Authorised Version.
- In 6 the replaced ἐκεῖ of the old Manuscripts makes a scarce sensible difference save perhaps in emphasis Hebraistically. — In 7 the anomalous construction τοῦ π. μετά "went to war," or "going forth to war with," is unquestionably genuine. The received reading ἐπολέμησαν is that of the known copy" and probably a more guess of Erasmus from Arethas or the context. Cod. Reuchlini and the Complutensians give τοῦ π. - 9 is now accurately rendered by the Revisers in the main; and so yet more plainly 10. — In 11 it cannot be as in the Authorised Version "by," but "because of," διὰ τό, nor their "lives unto the" death. — In 12 it is "woe to the earth and to the sea," not to "the inhabiters of," as in the Text. Rec. from Erasmus' Codex Reuchlini or 1. The Complutensian editors are right so far. But the Revisers follow the older form as in A C P and a few cursives, and hence say, "woe for," etc. At the end of the verse it is not mere lapse of time, which would be χρόνος, but καιρός or season. Erasmus' manuscript of Reuchlin had the article like A C P and many cursives. It seems the more strange that he omitted it like B, and most without comment.
- In 15 the Revisers have not improved on the Authorised Version. They might easily have done so by closing the verse with "by a river," instead of "the stream." — They are right in giving "of Jesus" in 17, omitting "Christ," which has only inferior Latin support. The oldest and even the most numerous juniors do not give "Christ." The Sinaitic and the Canonici 34 in the Bodleian (98) strangely read θεοῦ. It is a pretty bold step of the Revisers to decide the question of what follows, and put what commonly stands at the beginning of chapter 13 in the close of chapter 12, adopting "he," (not "I") stood, without a marginal note. No doubt there is good and ancient authority for this departure from the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version; but excellent judges decide for the common text, and in such circumstances change without a word of caution seems hazardous.
In Rev. 13:1 the Revisers follow authority in "horns" and heads as against the Vulgate and Arm. Erasmus probably had no other ground for the erroneous order of the Text. Rec. than, besides these, the fact of Codex Reuchlini; having omitted by inadvertence κέράτα δέκα καί. They try to represent ἐπὶ τῶν κ. by "on," and ἐπὶ τὰς κ. by "upon." The received reading, answering to "name" in the Authorised Version, is not without good support (C P, several cursives, ancient versions, etc.); but the plural form has yet more, and was the first printed reading in the Complutensian edition. — There are critical questions in 2, but they do not claim attention here as the Revisers raise none in text or translation, save in their change from "seat" to "throne." — In 3 they rightly print I saw in italics, in accordance with the Complutensian edition; whereas the Reuchlin copy gave no authority to Erasmus, who ventured to insert εἶδον, probably following Latin copies (and not the best). I am unaware of any cursive save the valuable Parham 17 (95) which reads the word; but it was only brought from Mount Athos in 1837. ἐσφ. is not "wounded," as in the Authorised Version, nor yet "smitten," as in the Revised Version, but "slain," as in both margins; but "death-stroke" well renders πλ. τοῦ θ.
- In 4 the true reading is τῳ δ. ὄτι ἐδ., certainly not the Erasmian conjecture τὸν δ. ὅς ἐδ. as the Reuchlin MS. fails here. B and many cursives, however, had τῳ δεδ. Probably the Rotterdam scholar translated the Vulgate here, and so forgot the article before ἐξουσίαν following. There is an omission in the Text. Rec. followed by the Authorised Version of και before the second τίς, which the Revisers of course supply as amply justified. — In 5 there is considerable discrepancy as to βλ., but the ordinary text has the most ancient and best witnesses, though Lachmann adopted one shade of difference, and Tischendorf in his seventh edition another. But surely ποιῆσαι here is more than "continue," and means (as Dan. 8:24; Dan. 11:28, 30, 32 may illustrate) to do, act, work, practise, or pursue his course for 42 months. πόλεμον is a mere gloss from 7, though in B and most (as the Sinaitic has ὃ θέλει), and followed in the Complutensian and Elzevir editions, not in Erasmus, R. Stephens, etc. The Armenian version, etc., cut the knot by dropping the infinitive altogether. — In 6 too the plural has higher authority than the singular βλ. But the chief change is the discarding on good ground of "and" before the last clause especially if with Alford we take it as in apposition with God's name and dwelling-place. The Revisers, it seems, regard it as exegetic of the dwelling-place only. In 7 must be added "and people."
- In 8 it is certainly "name," emphatically singular, and indeed needing some means of expressing this, like "everyone" in the Revised Version, or "whose name soever," as Mr. T. S. Green proposes. Whether Dean Alford's reasoning influenced the Revisers is best known to themselves; but it is impossible to admit the soundness of bringing forward 1 Peter 1:19-20 as the same thing with our passage, for it expressly speaks of Christ foreknown before the world was founded but manifested before the end of the times. Here there is no question of Christ, purposed, — but of the name having been written from the world's foundation in the book of the Lamb that has been slain. To say that Rev. 17:8 is cited irrelevantly here is surely idle. Christ's death is nowhere said to have taken place in divine counsels; it was foreknown, but took place in time. The Lord does the things known from of old, but they are nowhere said to have been done then. Is then the Authorised or Revised Version happy? It seems to be equivocal, if not misleading. A comma before "from" would have guarded the truth. The marginal note gives the right view; from which it would appear that the majority of the Committee preferred the wrong. The MSS. are in strange confusion as to 10. The common reading seems to give the sense; and the margin of the Revised Version expresses it better perhaps than the text.
- In 11 Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus to edit in all his editions ὅμ. ἀρνιου (instead of ἀρνίῳ) followed in R. Stephen's first and second editions, but corrected in his third. It was right in the Complutensian edition. — Matthaei edited the gloss τοῦς ἐμούς "my people" that dwell. — Here in 14 "by the means of," in the Authorised Version as in other English versions, should be "by reason of"; also "who hath" is right. And truly eccentric is the preference with Lachmann of αὐτῃ (A C P) to αὐτᾳ ( B and almost all other copies). There is little here to remark in 15, 16; but the Revisers rightly with others strike out the first "or" of the two in 17, τὰ ὄν. τ. θ. ἢ τὸν ἀρ. being in apposition with τὸ χ.
In Rev. 14:1 it should be "the" Lamb on preponderant authority, though the Porphyrian uncial and at least seven cursives, etc., are known to omit the article which the Complutensian edition as well as Erasmus followed. But the Complutensian had better guidance in reading αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα, as the Revisers translate, omitted by ὁμοιοτελευτον no doubt in Codex Reuchlini as by Erasmus, Stephens, and Beza, so in the Authorised Version. Hip name and His Father's name is right. For "written" scriptum, (γεγ) Erasmus had καιόμενον, the odd error of Cod. Reuchlini. in his editions 1, 2, and 3, reproduced in the editions of Aldus, Cephalaeus, etc. But if the idea of "burnt," inustum, had been meant, the form would have been κεκαυμένον, not καιόμενον which of course means burning. — In the last clause of 2 it should be ἡ φ. ἣν… ὧς, "the voice which" … "was as," etc., on the fullest authority, though the Text. Rec. is not without support. The Complutensian edition is right. — Ancient as well as modern versions, like the English, misled the Authorised Version here as elsewhere in "sung" for "sing," as of course it stands in the Revised Version. But a very nice question is suggested by the conflict of the witnesses: should it be "a new song," as in Rev. 5, or "as it were" etc. as in the Authorised and Revised Versions? BP, most cursives and versions, omit ὡς, whereas some good cursives, Vulgate, etc., insert it. As to editions Alford and Tregelles bracket the word, Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, down to Lachmann adopt it, while the Complutensians, Bengel, Griesbach, Heinrich, Tischendorf (finally as at first), reject it. "Purchased" is right here, and in the following verse, as in Rev. 5:9. — The third "are" in 4, expressed in the received text, is probably to be understood only as in A C P, etc.; but this makes no difference in sense. — In 5 not "guile" but "lie" is the word. The MSS. (save A C P, 12) confirm "for," but the words "before the throne of God" seem to have not one known Greek witness.
- In 6 "in mid-heaven" is right. But "set" or "settled" seems better than "dwelt" for καθημένους. — The anomalous λέγων, for λέγοντα, at the beginning of 7, the Revisers try to express by "And he saith." The omission of τήν, "the," before θ. sea is very doubtful, though three uncials and at least as many cursives favour it. — The Revisers rightly omit "city," in" 8, and give "which," rather than "because," on good authority, though others not to be despised omit both, and make a new sentence begin here. The omission of the article as in Text. Rec. is unfounded, and due to Erasmus' carelessness, for the Reuchlin copy before him had no such barbarism. — There is little to note in 9, save departure from order, and in 10 the article wrongly inserted, which may have led to ἁγ. ἀγγ., instead of ἀγγ. ἁγ. or the omission of the epithet altogether, as in A, 26. etc. Is it a happy rendering to say "an eternal gospel"? Would not "everlasting gospel" or glad tidings be better? Neither here, nor in Rom. 1:1, nor anywhere else is the phrase anarthrous because it had become technical, but because the object was to present it characteristically, in distinction from the good news, at a special time, of God's grace or of Christ's glory. This, true from the garden of Eden, is to be enforced by the solemn warning of judgment at the doors. The Revisers go back to Tyndale and the Geneva version. Did any of these appreciate its exact force? — Nor is there more to observe in 11; but 12 shows us ὧδε, inserted before the latter clause, to get rid of an anomaly.
- From 13 "to me" should vanish, though not without the countenance of cursives, versions, and commentators. Both Erasmus and the Complutensians endorsed it. The Revisers in the margin give the unmeaning division which some of the ancients espoused and Wiclif expresses, and the Rhemish. Tyndale, followed by Cranmer and the Geneva version, gave "which hereafter dye in the lorde," i.e., die in the Lord. But this is singularly far from the scope. On the contrary there was to be, when this epoch arrives, no more dying in the Lord: hence their blessedness is come, rest and reward assured. The Son of Man reaps the earth, and the vintage of unmingled wrath follows. It is the public award at the Lord's appearing, for those who had laboured and suffered for Him, and with especial view to the comfort of the saints dying in the Apocalyptic crisis. There was to be no more dying in the Lord, but rather the blessedness of such thenceforward. "For," not "and," their works, etc. — But ought not the Revisers, in accordance with their practice elsewhere, as in Rev. 4:2, 4 (compared with 9, 10, and Rev. 13:1, 16, Rev. 14:9, 11), to have said "upon," not "on," the cloud? Cf 15, 16, in which last no doubt the genitive is right, not the accusative nor the dative. Neither σοι nor σου is to be read in 15. — In 18 the Revisers boldly adopt ὁ with A C, "he that," etc. But whence did our authorised translators get τῆς ἀμπέλου "of the vine"? Not from Erasmus or Stephens, but from Beza who refers to Arethas and the Complutensian edition, as well as two of his own copies and the Vulgate — O si sic omnia. — "As far as" fairly represents ἀπό in 20.
Rev. 15, Rev. 16.
In Rev. 15:1 the Revisers give rightly "seven plagues, the last" (i.e., such as are the last), not "the seven last plagues" as in the Authorised Version. The reason is annexed why they were the last — because in them was finished the wrath of God. It is scarce necessary to add that "finished" is the true rendering Of ἐπελέσθη, not "filled up," which would answer rather to ἐπληρώθη, the reading of no copy whatever. In 2 occurs again the error of "glassy" in the Revised Version, — whereas the Authorised Version "of glass" is correct, as pointed out in the remarks on Rev. 4:6. It is the symbolic material in contrast with the sea of water in the temple: no longer the means of cleansing, but the sign of fixed purity. The misrendering destroys the doctrine, as far as it goes, and insinuates either more sentiment or a false thought in lieu of the truth intended. Unlike the vision of Rev. 4, this sea was mingled with fire: those who reached it had passed through God's judicially inflicted tribulation, as their enthroned predecessors had not (having been caught up before it). "Them that come victorious from" is certainly more literal and pregnant like the Greek than "them that had gotten the victory over." It is the usual form of designating a class apart from time. But surely the marginal "upon" or the Authorised Version "on" the glass sea is right, not the mere "by" of the Revised Version. "On the shore" of the sea is a perversion, if the sea refer to the temple; and it would be hard to bring in the Red Sea among the allusions of Rev. 4. And if the Red Sea be excluded there, the beauty of the same image here, with the characteristic difference of mingled with fire, would be lost by including the Red Sea in it. To my mind the intention was to show these later overcomers as distinct, not only from the twenty-four elders, but also from the earlier martyrs of Rev. 6:9-11. If so, there is no reason from the imagery of Rev. 4 in favour of "by" or "at as against "on," any more than from Exodus 15. "Over his mark" in the Authorised Version is the Erasmian misreading, with a few cursives, an addition opposed to all the best authorities. The Complutensian editors were right. "The" harps of gold seems to have been the blunder of all the English versions from Wiclif to the Authorised Version. Certainly neither Erasmus nor the Complutensians, neither Stephens nor yet Beza, receive the article, though given in B 2, 7, 8, 16, 29, 32, 35, 38, 39, 43, 47, 48, 50, 87, 94, 97, not to speak of Andreas and Arethas. But there appears to be no doubt that it is an error, probably from repeating the last syllable of the preceding word.
- It is hard to conceive why the Revisers preferred αἰώνων "ages," to ἐθνῶν "nations," in the face of Jer. 10:7. No doubt the authorities are conflicting; but the Old Testament allusion is evident, and the context confirms it in the verse that follows. Probably the absurdly false reading which Erasmus (not the Complutensians) gave against his own MS. 1, and without any known Greek copy was due to confounding some abbreviation of seculorum for sanctorum, as Tischendorf conjectures; as it is likely that the Revisers' reading is due to 1 Tim. 1:17. No wonder then that Bengel, Griesbach, Heinrich, Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, T. S. Green, Alford, Wordsworth, hold to ἐθνῶν, if Westcott and Hort alone, or nearly so, prefer αἰώνων. But. should such a reading have found its way into the text of the Revised New Testament? Surely what has been discredited by so many and various critics of the highest eminence, on ample authority, ought not to be brought by Cambridge influence into a work which seeks universal acceptance. — In 4 the pronoun is not found in the best witnesses, though in most of the cursives etc., 95 shifting its place. The Greek for "holy" differs in the MSS., the best reading that which implies mercy in God (or piety in men), and not what means separation to God. So also the Revisers rightly say "the" nations; for they shall all come yet and pay homage before God, but this as the fruit of the manifestation of His righteousnesses or righteous acts, not of the gospel as now preached. The gospel of His grace calls and separates the believer to Christ in heaven.
- It is hardly "I looked" as in the Authorised Version of 5, but "I saw," as "behold" should vanish; for not even Erasmus' Codex Reuchlini has it and, of course, not the Complutensian edition. — But in 6 we have the portentous reading λίθον "a stone!" (A C 38, 39, 48, 90, 4) favoured by Lachmann and Tregelles, as lately by the Cambridge professors, against all the other authorities, though some support the plural form of linen. Ezek. 28 seems a poor ground in the gorgeous description of Tyre's prince for the holy executors of God's last plagues. No doubt, in Rev. 19:14 the word used is β. not λ. But this is as it should be; for angels are quite distinct from saints, however much superstitious ignorance, never Scripture, tends to merge them together. Here again, what were the Committee about to let the redoubtable twain with their satellites persuade competent and independent minds into such a vagary, or at least so questionable a word? In the editions of L., Tr., and of W. & H., it is not so singular. A public work should have been better safe-guarded. — It is "bowls" in 7 rather than "vials"; and so throughout Rev. 16, etc. — In 8 it is "finished" as in 1. It was not yet Christ coming to execute judgment in person, and to reign righteously over the earth; but the ministers of divine providence come out to complete the seven plagues of God's wrath before the day of His appearing. It is no question of saints on earth drawing near into the sanctuary (as now by the blood of Jesus in full assurance of faith), but of none able to enter till the angels have finished their task of judgment.
In Rev. 16:1 the Revisers give it literally "into," not "upon," and so in 2, 3, 4. The difference is maintained in the Greek, for it is strictly "upon" in the latter part of 2, 8, 10, 12, (of 4), 17. — In the Text Rec. of 2 it is wrongly εἰς in the latter part, but ἐπί is unquestionable. — Near the end of 3 τά seems omitted, as indeed B P and most cursives support the commonly received text. But A C, etc., give τά which might easily be dropt. The sense is substantially the same. — In 4 they say "it" became blood. — The change in 5 is greater, and on excellent authority. "O Lord" is omitted, and "thou Holy One" appears instead of "and shalt be." — In 6 "for" is dropt rightly. — In 7 it should be "I heard the altar say" on first-rate authority; as no doubt "another out of" is an interpolation due to the desire of softening so bold a figure. — In 8 "it" is probably right, rather than "him," as in the Authorised Version, which is put in the margin. — In 9 why not "the" men 9 on the other hand they say "the" God, etc. — In 10 as in 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, and 17 "angel" is excluded on very good grounds. Of course "throne" should displace "seat."
- In 12 it is "from the sun-rising," not "of the east." The article in the Greek is probably right. — In 16 the Revisers, like many, render "they," not "he." Grammatically, it might be either. If "they," it is the evil spirits as instruments; if "he," it is the One who employed them. — "Of heaven" in 17 is very doubtful, though read by the later B and most cursives. — In 18 are some slight corrections; and so there are in verses 19-21, but nothing calls for especial mention. "A man" has ancient and excellent authority in both MSS. and Versions, 99 men" rather more in Greek copies; and the Revised Version gives better the anarthrous form, as the Authorised Version would rather express the Received Text οἱ ἄνθ. with the mass of cursives. — In 30 the Greek means, not "the mountains were not" as in the Authorised and Revised Versions, but "no mountains were," etc. It is the old feebleness, or worse, in respect of the article.
Rev. 17, 18.
In Rev. 17:1 μοι "to me" rests on the witness of a few cursives, etc. The omission is assuredly right, and has all the higher authorities, and the mass too. But there is conflict as to the articles in the last phrase; and Tischendorf would not have decided against A P, etc., which omit them, without very good reason. C. is here defective. It seems doubtful. — But the Revisers seem to give rightly a preterite or aoristic expression in 2 rather than a perfect. — In 3 it is "a," not "the," wilderness. — In 4 "precious stone." But why in the Revision, "even the unclean things of her fornication"? No doubt the Authorised Version renders loosely "and filthiness," etc., or rather follows the Received Text, — which was probably only Erasmus' guess, as Codex Reuchlini reads τὰ ἀκάθαρτα with almost all witnesses, and so the Complutensian editors and all the critics. — (6) "The" harlots, etc., say the Revisers rightly; and "of the" abominations also. This was a case, not of reading, but of mistranslation in all the older English versions, save that of Rheims. Besides, they had from Latin influence the "whoredom" or fornications of the Authorised Version margin as their text. In 6 why do the Revisers here perpetuate the "martyrs" of the Authorised Version? They give "witness" in Acts 22:20, and in Rev. 2:13, and of course everywhere, I believe, as indeed elsewhere "martyr" would be a ridiculous blunder; but why here? An oversight it is presumed. "A" great wonder seems strange English.
- In 7 "wonder" is no doubt better retained than "marvel." The Authorised Version erred in omitting "the" ten horns. — Erasmus too had no reason to leave out the article at the beginning of 8, for his copy had it all right; and so the Complutensian edition of course. But the translators rendered as if it were there. It was a strange freak of Lachmann to edit ἐγέγραπτο on the slip of A (ἐγέγραπται), which clearly should have been γέγραπται with all other authorities, save perhaps a cursive or two. The "name" or "names" is a fair question, as the witnesses are divided. But there is no doubt about the important correction at the end of the verse, παρέσται "shall come" or be present, A B P, more than 40 cursives, etc., as in the Complutensian edition. Even Erasmus' copy had καὶ πάρεστι as in C W, and at least half a dozen cursives besides; his καίπέρ ἐστιν which crept into the Received Text, and led to the Authorised Version, "and yet is" is simply baseless and absurd. The Vulgate, like the AEthiopic, gives nothing here: so of course Wiclif and the Rhemish, and also, strange to say, Tyndale and Cranmer. The Geneva followed the Stephanic Text. Only some of the copies joined παρέσται with ὧδε in 9, which last B omits and joins π. with ὁ νοῦς , and so perhaps the Vulgate and the English Versions that followed it. — In 10 the Revisers are justified, I think, in giving "they" for "there"; but are they right in "the" five, "the" one? They well drop the copulative after "five are fallen." — "is given rather better, "even he is an eighth," etc.
- So is 12 less equivocal in the Revised Version. — In 13 the Authorised Version gave erroneously "strength" as the equivalent of ἐξουσία. It should be "authority." — The ellipse in 14 is filled up cumbrously by the Revisers; I doubt that any supply is needed in English, and the briefer the better, if intelligible. — In 16 not "upon" but "and" the beast is the true reading and sense, as in all known MSS., uncial and cursive, and in the ancient versions, etc., save a few Latin copies, and Arethas, some omitting it altogether. The truth conveyed is of high moment; for thus it appears that the ten horns, instead of supplanting the beast, as in the past, are in the future to join him (cf. ver. 12) in destroying the harlot: a death-blow to the mere historicalist theory. The empire once ruled in unity; the divided kingdoms have ruled since; never yet has there been an imperial head guiding them all in vengeance on the harlot of Rome, any more than the destruction of the Emperor and his satellite kings under the Lamb and the glorified saints from heaven. (cf. Rev. 19.) If history records the two first, prophecy bids us await the two last: to treat these as past is trifling with scripture. It is for the beast at least a divinely executed and everlasting destruction, instead of being, as with the previous empires, a providential overthrow only. Compare Dan. 7:11-12. Babylon falls otherwise, as we have seen. — In 17 the reading of the Received Text is found in no known manuscript τὰ ῥη. τελεσθῃ and is probably due to Erasmus, even Andreas and Arethas refusing support. The true is οἱ λ. τελεσθήσονται, but the version is unaffected substantially. — I think that the peculiar sway of Rome is marked peculiarly in the Greek of 18, and not justly reflected in the Authorised and Revised versions any more than in the other older Protestant translations. Wiclif and the Rhemish cleaving to the Vulgate are more literal, but as usual crude enough.
In Rev. 18:1 the copulative which introduces the chapter in the Received Text and the Authorised Version is supported by some cursives and ancient versions, and stands in the Complutensian edition as well as in those of Erasmus; but the best authorities discard it. But ἄλλον, "another," omitted in Codex Reuchlini and two or three more is read by all the uncials, the cursives generally, the ancient versions, and the Greek and Latin commentators, its it rightly appears not in the Received Text but in the Authorised Version. — In 2 it should be "cried with a strong voice," not ἴσχυι> φ. μ. as in the Received Text without known authority, but ἰσχυρᾳ φ. with the best and most. A and many cursives and versions have ἔπεσεν as fallen" twice, P has it thrice; but B, very many cursives and old versions and writers, read it but once. There are various insertions and omissions in the copies which call for no special notice here. "Hold"=φ. the prison where they are forcibly kept. "Foul" and "unclean" in the Authorised version represent ἀκαθάρτου. — In 3 occurs a singular discrepancy among the copies. Should it be πέπωκαν or πέπτω(ο)καν (or-ασιν)? "Drunk" or "fallen by"? Alford hesitated, Lachmann gave the last in his lesser and the first in his larger edition, Tischendorf and Wordsworth the first, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort the last, Bengel, Griesbach, and Scholz adhering to the same sense in πέπωκε of the Received Text. Here again are sundry variations in the copies, omitting or inserting strangely. "Luxury" or "wanton pride" seems better than "delicacies."
- In 4 are changes of order from that of the Received Text, but we may leave this. — In 5 Received Text (with 33, 34, if we trust Alter) is ἠκολούθησαν "followed," instead of the unquestionable ἐκολλήθησαν "were joined, heaped up, clave." The Authorised and Revised Versions both give "have reached" rather singularly. — In 6 "you" disappears for ample reason, as does "unto her" though the Received Text has here better support. "The" double is doubtful, even Lachmann omitting it with A B P and many cursives. — The ὅτι omitted before A:. in the Received Text of 7 makes no substantial difference in the version. — In 8 the best authorities (p.m. A B C P, about 35 cursives, good ancient versions, and ecclesiastical writers) concur in "judged," rather than "judgeth," as in the Received Text, with several cursives, etc. — In 9 "her" vanishes after "bewail" or "weep," though not without authority; and ἐπ᾽ αὐτήν "over her" displaces ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆ "for her," and again in 11. — In 12 the Revisers rightly leave out "the" merchandise (lit. lading or cargo); they also say "stone," and correct like small blemishes in this verse and the following 13, from which last fell out of many copies and the Received Text καὶ ἄμωμον "and amomum," or spice, after cinnamon, no doubt from similarity of ending. — In 14 "the splendid" instead of "goodly" are "perished" rather than "departed," which is an inferior reading. — "And" should not begin 16.
- In 17 is not κυβ. a "helmsman," or "pilot," rather than "shipmaster," as in the Authorised and Revised Versions? Ναύκληρος was rather the skipper or shipmaster. But ἐπὶ τῶν πλοίον ὁ ὅμιλος "the company in ships" (Received Text from Codex Reuchlini) is a wild departure from ὁ επὶ τόπον πλέων "that saileth to a place," meaning every passenger for a place, rather than, with M. Stuart, a coaster (i.e., one who does not go out to sea), as the last clause embraces as many as ply the sea. — In 13 it is of course "the," not "this," great city. — In 19 "their" ships in the sea. The article is omitted in the Received Text on slender ground. In 20 it should be "ye saints and" on excellent and abundant authority, also "ye" apostles, and "ye" prophets, but certainly not "thou" heaven, which is less correct than the Authorised "thou." But how came the Revisers to render ἔκρινεν "hath" judged, like the Authorised Version? In 21 ὅρ.=with a rush, or even "violence" as in the Authorised Version answers better to the usage of the Septuagint (Ex. 32:21, Deut. 28:49, Hosea 5:10, Amos 1:11, Hab. 1:11, not to speak of the apocryphal 1 Macc. 4:8, 30; 6:33, 47), than the "mighty fall" of the Revisers. lit the classical writers it is used for "passionate feeling," or "indignation," never that I know for a great fall. — In 22 μ. is well given as "minstrels" or "singers," for it must mean something more distinctive than musicians." — In 23 "lamp," rather than "candle, and assuredly "sorcery," not "sorceries." — In 24 that "have been" slain or slaughtered. If the Hebraistic αἵματα be right, rather than the singular form, it is against the concurrence of the most ancient MSS., A C P, with some cursive support, etc. In Rev. 16:6 36. 39. support αἵματα but A B C P and almost all the juniors read αἵμα.
"And" should disappear from the beginning according to the best and fullest authority ( A B C P, thirty-five cursives, Vulgate, Memph. Syr. etc., as against several cursives, Arm., Aeth., etc., followed by Erasmus, Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. But there is as good authority for inserting ὡς "as it were" after "I heard"; and here the Complutensian and Elzevir differ from Erasmus, and Stephens whom the Authorised Version followed. The ancient order too has been departed from, and the grammatical form with perhaps not one copy by Erasmus, and so Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, but not the Complutensian editors who adhered to the constr. ad sens. of λεγόντων. καὶ ἡ τιμή "and honour" is an addition from preceding ascription of praise, but not without some small support of inferior authorities here. The Complutensian edition rightly left it out, but Erasmus followed his Codex Reuchlini in its insertion. τοῦ θ. ἡμ. θ. "of our God" with the best, and so the Complutensian, not "to" τῳ as some copies and ancient versions, etc., still less κυρίῳ τ. θ. ἡμ. as in Codex Reuchlini, Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. — In 2 there is little to note, though the copies differ a good deal. The Complutensian editors omit the article before χ. as is done in the best copies, but the Codex Reuchlini with others reads it and misled the other early editors.
- In 3 there is yet less to say though the copies differ somewhat in form. — The order of words in 4 also differs even in the better copies, as of forms also. τῳ θρ., I doubt not, is here more correct than τοῦ θρ. as in the Received Text. The Complutensian here is no better than Erasmus. The Porphyrian uncial has τῶν θρ. — probably a mere lapse for τῳ θρ. The other uncials give the dative, not the genitive. With the saints they have the accusative, as in chap. 4 and 20; with God or Christ, the accusative the first time as in Rev. 4:2, and Rev. 20:11 (as in Rev. 14:14, and Rev. 19:11 also) the genitive or the dative afterwards, and not without a distinction. — The Sinaitic is very wrong in reading the plural in 5 "voices" for "a voice"; as the common text ἐκ is superior to ἀπό in A B C five-and-twenty cursives, etc., some of which add the further error of changing θρ. into οὐρανοῦ. Then τῳ θ. is supported by the best copies against τὸν θ. as in many cursives followed by Erasmus, the Complutensian, etc. καί before οἱ φ. wants the excellent authority of C P, but it has the very large support of A B, perhaps all the cursives and ancient versions. "Both" should vanish before "small," as in the Complutensian against Erasmus and those that went in his wake with Codex Reuchlini, etc. Compare Rev. 11:18, which confirms the copulative in the first case, not in the last.
- In 6 the Complutensian edition has ὡς "as it were," after ἤκ. not Erasmus though his own copy has it corrected in red above. A Vienna cursive (36) has it after φ. The best copies give it, and of course before φ.; and so the Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, Elzevir. Singular to say, Lachmann omitted the second "as" with A and a few cursives, contrary to all other authority. λεγ. is only a question of form οντας, -- οντες, or — οντων, as in the Complutensian, which last has the best authority, the others arising from desired smoothness. The Revisers are here obliged to content themselves like the Authorised Version, with "reigneth" for ἐβασίλευσεν. In Rev. 11:17 they have "didst reign" for "hast reigned" of the Authorised Version. It is not easy to convey in English its aoristic force; and such a case may have misled our old translators into a lower view of its meaning than is just. To represent it always in English as a simple preterite is a delusion. "Our" is lacking in the last clause of the Received Text, and hence in the Authorised Version, through Erasmus and the Codex Reuchlini, though not alone, for even A and others omit it. But there is ample proof for it.
- In 7 there is little but difference of form to note, as in 8 change of order. — In 9 copies strangely insert and omit, and shuffle; but such minute points are not my present object. — In 10 there is little textual to remark. The chief matter is that the best copies omit τοῦ before the first Ἰ, where Erasmus is right, not Stephens, Beza, or Elzevir; and so before the second where the Complutensian joins them, with undoubtedly much cursive support, but not the best authority. It may be here noticed that the meaning of the last clause is to affirm that the Spirit of prophecy (not merely the Spirit in the apostolic epistles, but in the Revelation also) is the witness of Jesus. This might, from its Old Testament character, have been otherwise doubted. The prophecy too is His testimony; it is very different from the gospel, but it is His witness none the less. And further, it seems an assumption that it is a testimony to Him; for this would be either the dative in Greek (as in English), or the genitive after περί as a regular rule. It is the testimony Jesus is rendering in the book, whoever may receive or repeat it. Compare Rev. 1:2, Rev. 12:17. Tischendorf says that Lachmann omits καλούμενος (11), but it is only so in his earlier small edition (not in his later) with A etc. Indeed some of the best Latin copies add "vocatur" to "vocabatur," as Tregelles edits the Vulgate; and so it stands in Buttmann's contribution to the larger work.
- In 12 Lachmann agrees with the Received Text and Authorised Version in reading ὡς "as" with A, many cursives, and versions. The Revisers rightly discard this on ample grounds; and give "diadems" rather than "crowns." Tischendorf in his latest edition rejected his own previous yielding to B, five and twenty cursives, Septuagint, etc., in the addition of ὀνόματα γεγραμμένα καί as in the Complutensian also. The Sinaitic is too careless here to weigh much; the Alexandrian and Porphyrian preserve the true text; C here fails. — In 13 the vesture dipt in or sprinkled with blood marks Him as coming in vengeance, as in Isaiah 63, which it is utter unintelligence to apply to His own blood. He is the holy Avenger, as once the spotless Lamb. The Hebrew of Isaiah strengthens the value of "sprinkled"; but the Septuagint is little or no help. The MSS. fluctuate painfully. p.m. has περιρεραμμένον which Origen and the Latins confirm; P 36 ῤεραντισμένον — The majority with A B support, in the Received Text, βεβαμ. So reads the Complutensian, and καλεῖται like Erasmus; but the best have κέκληται (p.m. κεκλητο being a slip).
- In 14 the article repeated before ἐν is omitted by B and many cursives, to which the last syllable preceding probably contributed), as in Erasmus, Stephens, and Beza; but it appears in A P and many cursives as in the Complutensian and Elzevir, which the Revisers rightly prefer. "The armies that are in heaven" are the same glorified saints who had been in Rev. 17:14 described as οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ, not angelic but saintly, as is plain also from what follows; they were clothed in βύσσινον, fine linen, white, pure. Compare Rev. 15 where angels are said to be arrayed in linen (λίνον), or if we believe the Revisers with "stone" (λίθον) pure, bright; a still farther remove from the clothing of the saints. — In 15 the only notable change is the exclusion of καί "and" before "wrath" which the Received Text had with most from Erasmus' Codex Reuchlini, and a few others, Andr. in some copies, contrary to all the rest and the Complutensian edition. — In 16 the article is wrongly in T. R. from Erasmus downwards before "name"; but all English have rightly "a" name, perhaps from the Complutensian. — In 17 the Revisers have rightly "birds" rather than "fowl," and "mid-heaven," for "the midst of heaven." But the change of moment is "the great supper of God," on the authority of A B P, more than 35 cursives, and most ancient versions, etc., instead of "the supper of the great God" as in the Received Text from Erasmus (not the Complutensian) following Codex Reuchlini and a few others.
- In 18 the Uncials exhibit all three possible forms after ἐπί, genitive B P and most, dative , accusative A and a few followed by Lachmann. Our Authorised Version prints "both" in italics, following the Received Text, which was due to Erasmus. But the Complutensian had τε rightly with the best and most which warrant "both." But the τε after μικρῶν "small" is not read by the more ancient, though in B and more than thirty juniors which the Complutensian edition follows, not Erasmus. or the Received Text. — In 19 Lachmann with A and a few cursives has the strange "his" for "their" armies. It may be a mere slip from the end of the verse. The article should be heeded before π. "war," the or their war, though the Received Text after Erasmus and the Complutensian is not without support (1. 6. etc.) and lately the Porphyrian uncial.
- In 20 the reading of Erasmus and so of the Received Text is μετὰ τ. which is not so good Greek as μετ᾽ αὐτ. but makes no sensible difference in English. It rests on 1. 49. etc., against all of value. Tischendorf in his eighth edition abandons ὁ μετ᾽ αὐτ. as in B, many cursives, etc., for μετ᾽ αὐτ. ὁ as in P, etc. The reading in A 41 Cop. is a blunder οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτ. ὁ. and still more in 34. οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτ. ψευδοπροφῆται, "the false prophets with him." The article should be expressed before "miracles" or rather "signs"; but it as in the Received Text should disappear before θ. at the close, though the Codex Reuchlini was not alone in misleading Erasmus. Is it correct to say with the Revisers as well as the Authorised Version that "had" received etc.? His deceiving was not after, but before, they received the mark of the beast. B and most correct the solecism of A P, etc. τὴν λ. τοῦ π. τῆς κ. which Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford adopt. — In 21 how strange too that Erasmus in his first and second editions should not have τοῦ (right in his MS.) before καθημένου. In his fifth edition it is corrected. The true reading is ἐξελθ. ( A B P and almost if not all known authorities; ἐκπορ. "goeth" or "proceedeth" was Erasmus' guess, perhaps founded on the Vulgate, but contrary to his MS., Codex Reuchlini. The Complutensian is right, not Steph. nor Beza.
The Revisers in 1 have rightly "coming," not "come," as in the Authorised Version, and "abyss" as before for "bottomless pit," here and in verse 3. English idiom perhaps requires "in" his hand, rather than "upon" literally. The angel was seen in vision with the chain hanging on his hand. — In 2 "the" old serpent is more correct than the demonstrative "that," a not infrequent fault in the Authorised Version. But would not "who" be better than "which" following? "For" completes the sense before "a thousand years." — In 3 αὐτόν "him" has such slender authority after ἔκλ. that all critics feel bound to expunge the word, and translators rightly supply "it" as after "sealed." The copulative rightly disappears before μ. τ. which should be distinguished from the singular form, as the Revisers do in Rev. 7:1, 9 (the only true case in the book); elsewhere it is plural, but even so the Revisers might have held to uniformity with advantage save in that case.
- In 4. even here Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, as well as the versions of Geneva and Rheims, give "seats," instead of "thrones," most incongruously. Would not a semicolon have been preferable to a comma after "the word of God"? For the Seer has before him two classes of sufferers in the disembodied state, and there the dividing line is marked by a change of construction. The colon is all right after "unto them" in the earliest part of the verse; because these were already changed and had followed the Lord in glorified bodies out of heaven, as seen in Rev. 19:14, and consequently were described as seated upon thrones. The saints who were slain after the translation of those symbolised by the twenty-four elders might seem to have lost all. They were too late for the rapture to heaven, and they do not survive till the Lord appears in glory to introduce His kingdom over the earth. And a distinction answering to the two classes of martyrs described in our verse had been laid down when the first of the two were seen at an early point of the Apocalyptic visions, the souls of those that had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. To their cry, "How long?" it was said that they should rest yet for a time, until both their fellow-servants and their brethren that were about to be killed as they should be fulfilled. Thus the second class is anticipated in verse 11, where the first are seen to have poured out their lives under the altar. In our verse they both are seen still to be in the separate state, the earlier and the later martyrs of the Apocalyptic period; "and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." They therefore lost nothing by being slain, whether those before the beast was manifested or those after that apostate power persecuted to death in all variety of antagonism to God and His saints. They now lived and reigned with Christ before the thousand years began, no less than the glorified assessors with Christ who knew the resurrection of life before either suffered. The glorious position of the Old and the New Testament saints in general appears in those previously seated on thrones. It was unnecessary to say that they lived and reigned, seeing that there they were long before risen, caught up to heaven, and are now seated on thrones when the world-kingdom of our Lord and His Christ was evidently come. The needed assurance is given in the later clauses for those who only appeared and suffered after the rapture and before Christ's reign on His own throne. Compare Rev. 3:21. These too had His portion. As He died, lived, and will reign; so they too had been slain for His sake and now reign with Him, as do all saints from the beginning. And all are brought in one way or another into this verse, which does contemplate these special martyrs, but leaves room in its first clauses before the Revisers' colon for all the saints who had gone before, martyrs or not.
May I add that one could hardly conceive, if one did not know, interpreters so benighted as to suppose that "judgment was given to them" means that these saints were judged? No believer comes into judgment, but in the risen state all are destined to judge the world. How strange that orthodox men should blot this out! To make it the same as Eph. 2:6, a present reign of the saints, is to confound prophecy with doctrine and lose all the special truth of the reign with Christ; as it is an utter mistake to take ψυχάς of bodies and apply πεπ. to all sorts of martyrdom. Every word seems in my judgment to convey the truth of what is abundantly set forth elsewhere — a resurrection not merely of dead persons, but also "from among" the dead. All must rise, unjust as well as just, but not all together, which is taught nowhere in Scripture, but rather what denies it. Christ rose from out of dead persons: so will the saints at His coming, leaving the rest of the dead undisturbed in their graves. And such is the plain teaching of 5. They await the resurrection of judgment, instead of rising from the dead a thousand years before to judge the world according to the wonderful purpose of God for the earth, before the judgment of the wicked dead and the eternal scene. What can be more emphatic than the words, "This is the first resurrection"? It is not the vision, but the explanation of it, not the riddle, but the solution. Indeed it is remarkable what plain language the Spirit uses here, which men have wished to allegorise.
But I turn from exposition to the less genial task of criticism. The Revisers like others have rightly omitted "But" at the beginning. — In 6 we have words which correspond admirably with the apostle's earnest desire in Phil. 3:11,* which would be unaccountable if there be only a general resurrection when all rise simultaneously. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part" in it. There seems no escape from this but the desperate expedient of explaining it to mean some present Christian privilege, or a future state of Christendom, as many divines have done. The former idea is perilously near those who taught that the resurrection is past already; the latter is the unworthy dream of glory on the earth for the church without Christ, instead of contentment in suffering with Him and waiting to be glorified together. Almost all the witnesses read "reign" in the future, The Alexandrian alone here commits the blunder of the present tense, though it is really more inexcusable in Rev. 5:10, where it had too many companions, which misled the Revisers. Here they rightly join the Authorised Version. In 7 there is little or nothing to note. — In 8 the Revisers say "to the war," rather than "to battle," the reading of αὐτῶν, omitted in the Received Text, not affecting the version. — So in 9 "over" is more correct than "on." There is no need to add "about" after "compass," or surround. "From God" is questionable, and probably imported from elsewhere, though many authorities insert the words as in the Received Text.
- In 10 "both" the beast, etc., should be there, though the Sinaitic omits. — In, 11 the order in the Received Text is not the best, but the Authorised Version has not suffered; nor in the reading αὐτοῦ for the better αὐτόν, the difference of which has been already before us. The insertion of τοῦ is right, but so are all versions. — In 12 it should be "the great and the small," as in the Complutensian edition and the Revised Version, though some good. copies favour "the small and the great." It is curious that all the other early Greek editions are wrong, all the early English versions right before the Authorised Version, save in omitting the article. But the omission of the articles in the phrase as in the Received Text has no support from any known manuscript. More than a dozen cursives omit the entire phrase, among them Erasmus' copy, Codex Reuchlini. Before "the throne" should supplant "God," which has trifling authority. Forms and order slightly vary from the Received Text, but do not affect the sense. — The critics from good copies improve the order twice in 13, but there is nothing to show in the rendering. — The only remarkable change in 14 is the addition at the end of "the lake of fire" on ancient and ample evidence.
- In 15 there is no change of reading to note, but the Revised Version is simpler than the Authorised Version. We may observe that here (11-15) it is not a judgment of the quick, as far as the nations. are concerned, as in the end of Matt. 25. Hence no question is raised how they treated the King's messengers, His brethren, who are to go out yet, ere the close of this age, and test the sheep and the goats according to the figure in the Gospel. Here it is a judgment of the dead, "the rest of the dead" left by the resurrection of the righteous, with the addition of the wicked devoured by divine judgment after Satan's last muster of the unrenewed Gentiles (7-9). Not a trace of a saint is seen in the dead before the great white throne. They had to answer in judgment for their sins, and not one is said to have been found written in the book of life; and no wonder, for it is the resurrection of judgment.
*The Bishop of Durham in loco (p. 151, Fourth edition) admits of course that the vulgar reading is wrong, and that the true is the final [but why final?] resurrection of the righteous to a new and glorified life. And then he speaks of "the general resurrection whether good or bad," which is a mere tradition opposed to Scripture. 1 Cor. 15 speaks only of the saints. There are two special resurrections, not one general.
It is well that in the Revised Version the first eight verses form a separate section. Nowhere in the book is such a division more imperatively called for, though probably even the Revisers themselves do not all appreciate the importance of their own arrangement, which tends to guard the reader from confounding the eternal state with the millennial to the loss of their marked distinctiveness. For as Rev. 20 gave us the thousand years, during Which on the one hand Satan seduces no more and on the other the risen saints reign with Christ, as the power and pride. of man were put down at the beginning, so the last uprising of the nations when Satan is loosed at the end will come to nought, and heaven and earth depart, and God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ the Lord.
After this judgment of the dead a new heaven and a new earth are seen, for the first were gone away, and the sea, it is said, exists no more: a most weighty contrast with the world that now is, and also with the world as it is to be during the thousand years. Vegetable and animal life could not be without the sea, unless by a perpetual miracle which would be absurd. The sea is the greatest of separating barriers for the nations, as it represents the restless masses of mankind not subject to regular government. Then heaven and earth is in everlasting order and harmony, all the wicked being consigned to the lake of fire, and God all in all (1 Cor. 15:28). Hence in these verses we have neither nations nor kings any longer; whereas we have both, and a state of things, however new and blessed, suited to both, in the section that begins with verse 9 down to Rev. 22:5. But this is really retrogressive; when the Lamb is put forward prominently, and the governmental relation of the Bride, the Lamb's wife (the holy and heavenly city having the glory of God), to the nations and kings of the earth. In short, as we may see more when we come to the later section, it is as clearly millennial, as the previous short section now before us is post-millennial, when provisional dealings have no more place, and all is fixed for ever.
Hence there is an absoluteness of blessing in 3, 4, and a universal extent, strikingly distinct from the beautiful picture of the favoured complement out of all nations on the earth looking to the reign of Christ in Rev. 7:15-17. Here it is a question of "men," and God Himself with them, tabernacling with them (not merely spreading His tabernacle over them), and they His people (or peoples) and He with them, their God. Nor is it only every tear wiped by Him from their eyes, but death no more and mourning and crying and pain no more, the first things being gone away and all things made new, which is but relatively true of the millennium. So all the wicked are seen to have their part in the lake of fire, which cannot be till the thousand years are over. The distinctive traits point therefore unmistakably here, not in the vision that follows, to the eternal state, of which Scripture says little, but that little full of pregnant instruction.
In 1 ἀπῆλθον (or — αν) is right, not παρῆλθε as in the Compl. edition as well as the Received Text following Codex Reuchlini and a few other cursives. The true reading is more energetic. The last clause is singularly tampered with in the Alexandrian uncial, "I saw the sea no more," which is quite short of the truth conveyed. So Dusterdieck is all wrong in talking about a new sea, for the text clearly distinguishes "the sea" from what is said of the first heaven and the first earth. — In 2 is one of those unseemly additions for which Erasmus appears to be responsible, following no known Greek copy but the Clementine edition and inferior manuscripts of the Vulgate. For the more ancient Latin copies (Am. Demid. Fuld. Tol. etc.) reject "I John" with ABP, more than forty cursives, and all or nearly all the ancient versions. And so also for putting καινήν at the end, not the beginning, of the phrase, which would perhaps admit of the marginal rendering of the Revised Version, though the text seems to me correct as in the Authorised Version. "Out of heaven from God" is the true order, though P 1.49. 79. and other cursives support the Received Text and the Authorised Version. It was not earthly, but "'out of heaven;" it was not of human source, but divine, "from God;" and, what is noticeable (though the marriage was recorded not here but in Rev. 19 more than a thousand years before), "made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."
- In 3, consequent on the descent of the holy city, a great voice is heard out of the "heaven" (or "throne"). It is hard to decide, and ought not to be closed up, as in the Revised Version, without even a marginal note, that some ancient authorities support the former, B P, almost all the cursives, and the ancient versions (save the Vulgate and margin of the Armenian as) against A 18. and the exceptions just stated. "The tabernacle of God [is] with men," His presence in the church now glorified and come down for the eternal state; and thus God will tabernacle (not "over" but) "with" them. On general principles we can say that men are changed thus to have God dwelling with them. "Peoples" is the reading of A 1.79.92. and perhaps others; but the mass, with B P and the old versions, supports, as in the Complutensian edition, the singular, which Tischendorf thinks more probably an emendation. It appears to me that αὐτοί might rather influence a scribe in favour of the plural and thus bring in the various reading. Tischendorf also omits with B, more than thirty cursives and several ancient versions, etc., θεὸς αὐτῶν or αὐτ. θ. and so the Complutensian edition, Tregelles, Westcott, and Hort.
- In 4 the Received Text, with A 1. etc., adds "God," but authority in general omits, as well as ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν in B and some fifteen cursives. Before θάν. and a few cursives etc. read no article, the effect of which would be to say "there shall be no death more," not "death shall be no more," as with the article in A B P and most. It is strange that ὅτι should be left out of the last clause, and that Tregelles should cite p.m. as omitting it, for there it is, but not the previous ἔτι, by an obvious slip, with the strange blunder of πρόβατα for πρῶτα. Even Alford and Tregelles bracket ὅτι, and Tischendorf accepts, as Lachmann, and Westcott and Hort reject it. But this is a narrow line for the Revised Version without a note to the reader that the mass of authority is opposed to A P, and some old Latin copies, though Am. and Fuld. may be doubted. — In 5 ἐπὶ τῳ θ. is right and best supported against τοῦ θ. as in the Received Text. The dative best expresses proper and permanent relationship. The variety is great as to κ. τ. πάντα, as it should be. "To me" is questionable; though P, most cursives and versions sustain it. "Faithful and true" is best supported.
- In 6 discrepancy again abounds. "It is" (as in the Received Text), or "they are" (A etc.), "done"; or "I am become," as in B P, etc. Yet the best supported reading which the Complutensian edition adopted is intrinsically the worst. The first seems to be only formed by Erasmus according to the Vulgate. The second appears to be right. The omission of εἰμι or insertion of αὐτῳ is scarce felt in translation. — In 7 "these" (not "all") things hardly can be questioned: so good is the authority. It is rather God's everlasting glory in Christ than the special glory of reigning with Christ, the Heir of all things, the final unchanging blessedness of the redeemed, each overcomer having God his God, and he His son, where the article is quite wrong. — In 8 the Received Text fails to give the article, though in Codex Reuchlini Erasmus ought to have seen it written above in red. The better authorities ( A P, some cursives, and old versions, etc.) support Erasmus and the Received Text (as against the Complutensian edition, Griesbach, Scholz, with B, very many cursives, and other ancient versions, etc.) in omitting καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς, "and sinners." The emphatic form is right in the last clause, where Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus, etc., and P has only "death." No; it is exactly not death merely because of sin as in Eden at the beginning, nor destructive judgments on the earth as in the past or the future; but now at the end "the second death," because of grace and truth fully come yet rejected, despised, or corrupted. God is not mocked. If life in Christ be refused, all ends in endless separation and wrath from God; their part is in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.
The words "unto me" in 9 are rightly struck out as having no known authority in Greek MSS. Erasmus' Codex Reuchlini opposes the learned editor himself who ventured to father them. The Complutensian editors (save in 1 John 5:7-8) adhered to their witnesses, such as they were; and of course here the words do not appear. The Armenian Version has the words, and also Lips.4 as the first of the three Latin versions of the Apocalypse in the. Univ. Library of Leipzig is designated. "Quibus ergo (says C. F. Matthaei, x. 303, ed. Rigae, 1785) Codicibus nititur πρός μὲ Responsio apud Wetstenium in promptu est. Scilicet Codd. 1. 3. 5. 6. 13. 14. 15. Et qui semper Erasmo interroganti respondent: 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 28. Ergo omnino XIII. Cujus ergo hi recensionis sunt 9 Roterodamensis credo, aut Basileensis." It may be bitterly ironical — but is too true. Did Erasmus know of Armenian or Lips.4? If not, the same root of imagination bore the same wild fruit. In the Complutensian edition ἐκ τ. ἀγ. is rightly given, omitted not without the support of a few cursives by Erasmus, etc., down to the Received Text, but not affecting our versions. One cannot be surprised that copyists softened the solecism of τῶν γόμοντων in p.m. A P. 12. 19. etc. into τῶν γεμουσῶν as in corr. and as this was unsatisfactory into τὰς γεμούσας (as in 1. 7. etc.) or γεμ. without τὰς, as in B, and at least twenty-two cursives, etc., and so the Complutensian. B. and many omit τῶν before ἑπτά, The copies greatly vary in the order of the last words. But "the bride the wife of the Lamb" has the best authority, and the substantial sense is the same.
- In 10 "the great" should disappear, though Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus, Complutensian editors, etc., not without six or more other cursives, and all the copies of Andreas' Comm. The manuscripts differ slightly as to the last words, but all the edd. are right, and so the versions, unless one except Wiclif, who has "from heume of God." — In 11 there is no copulative before ὁ φ. save in a few cursives and versions, which misled Erasmus etc., and the Authorised Version. The best authorities have it not. But Erasmus does give ὡς λίθῳ though wanting in Codex Reuchlini and other cursives, etc. — In 12 one cannot be surprised that Erasmus did not follow Codex Reuchlini, in ἔχουσα τε. But critics generally adhere to the solecism without τε as read in the best copies, and largely. Codex Sinaitic has the strange ἔχοντι in the first place, and ἔχοντας (corr. ἔχουσα) in the second, where the best also give that correction as their text, and Erasmus again gave ἔχουσαν. Lachmann alone of editors was bold enough to leave out "and at the gates twelve angels," a mere omission through similar ending in the Alexandrian, a few Latin copies, and the later Syriac. Some of the Latin commentators, through a slip of copyists, were actually led to imagine "angles" for "angels." And many and ancient copies support the addition of ὀνόματα (with or without τά) in the last clause, — which misled Lachmann, Matthaei, Tregelles (bracketed in his ed. N.T.), Alford (bracketed), and Tischendorf till his last or eighth edition. The latest criticism returns to the reading of Erasmus and the Complutensians, the common text in short, as represented in P 1. 37. 39. 47. 49. 51. 79. 91. 96. etc., save that τῶν should vanish before υἱῶν on good and full authority as against 1. 7. etc., a few giving τοῦ, and others omitting.
- In 13 Codex Reuchlini and Latin copies led Erasmus, etc., to omit καί three times, but the Complutensian is right. — In 14 Erasmus departed from ἔχων in 1, which is also read in A B P and several cursives, for ἔχων as in most with corr. ( p.m. omitting like the Aeth.) But it is doubtful if any MS. authorises ἐν αὐτοῖς as in Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, (1. like 7. omitting καὶ ἐν αὐτοῖς probably due to the Vulgate, but the margin of 1. adding in red καὶ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν). The Received Text from Erasmus also omits δώδεκα, "twelve, "before "names," though it stands in the margin of 1. The Complutensian is correct. — Erasmus followed 1. (which has other support) in dropping μέτρον in 15, though there can be no doubt of its genuineness; and so all critics. — In 16 Codex Reuchlini is defective, for it has not καὶ τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς ὅσον τὸ πλάτος. Hence Erasmus seems to have translated from the Vulgate κ. τ. μ. ἀ. τοσοῦτόν ἐστιν ὅσον καὶ τ. πλ. displaces the first words. The Complutensian edition has σταδίους, and so A B and most, with Elzevir. But Erasmus etc., gave σταδίων, and so P 1, etc. — In 17 there is nothing that calls for our notice. — In 18 ἦν of the Received Text has large support, but is left out by the best, though Codex Sinaitic.p.m. omits ἡ and reads the substantive verb. ὅμοιον (Compl.) displaces ὁμοία as in 1. etc., as it has by far the best and most witnesses. — At the beginning of 19 καί stands in 1. 7. and many more, and so in the Received Text, as well as the Complutensian but not in the best MSS., or even the oldest Latin.*z
- In 20 A B P and about 25 cursives have σάρδιον for — ος as in Erasmus, the Complutensian etc., with many cursives. Other shades of difference may be left. — But, in 21 how came Erasmus to give us διαφανής instead of the true reading διαυγής in 1. and forty more cursives, etc., as well as the uncials A B P? — Was it not odd of a scholar like Lachmann to edit after A ὁ before ναὸς αὐτῆς in 22? The last clause proves that it could not be correct Greek; and apart from this to make it not a predicate but reciprocal has no just sense. — In 23 ἐν is not in 1. and many other juniors, beside p.m. A B P, etc. Erasmus probably followed the Vulgate. But the Complutensian has it, and several cursives, as well as corr. Some have αὐτήν. — But in 24 there is the serious error in the Received Text of τῶν σωζομένων in accordance with the Codex Reuchlini. Probably it is due to some Greek comment as in Cramer's (Cat. P. Gr. vi. 577, Oxon. 1840, though τὰ μὲν οὖν σωζόμενα ἔθνη does not justify the confusion of the received text. And such I see is the opinion of Matthaei (x. 198) who cites a scholium of Andreas, which Tischendorf borrows. ἐν (1. omits) τῳ φ., as in the Received Text, should be διὰ τ, φ. on the amplest evidence; and καὶ τὴν τιμήν, though edited by the Complutensians as well as Erasmus, and not without more support than they knew, should disappear on better testimony. No doubt the words were imported from verse 26, which furnishes itself no other occasion for remark, save that Codex Reuchlini leaves it out altogether. — In 27 Erasmus found κοινων in his copy, which he changed into κοινοῦν without authority, and so it went on to the Received Text. The Complutensian had the true reading κοινόν as in A B P, and the mass of cursives etc. ποιοῦν is in 1. etc., but — ῶν is fully justified.
*It may interest the reader to know that the most learned of modern or indeed ancient writers, in the Natural History of Precious Stones, avows his wonder at the arrangement of the twelve foundation courses of the New Jerusalem. Notoriously it differs wholly from that of the High Priest's breast-plate, or Rationale as the Latins strangely render the λογεῖον or περιστήθιον. "Instead of this St. John has most ingeniously disposed of them according to their various shades of the same colour, as the following list will demonstrate, taking them in order from the bottom upwards." … "So minute an acquaintance with the nicest shades of colour of the precious stones will more forcibly impress the reader, if he should attempt to arrange from memory, and by his own casually acquired knowledge alone, twelve gems, or even half that number, according to their proper tints. The 'sainted seer' alludes in other passages … in a very technical manner" [iv. xxi: 11] … "Such allusions display that exact knowledge of particulars only possessed by persons either dealing in precious stones or from other circumstances obliged to have a practical acquaintance with their nature, which could never have been found in a Galilean fisherman, unless we choose to cut the knot of the difficulty with the ever ready sword of verbal inspiration." O the helplessness of unbelief in a man, however able, when he surrenders the true secret of holy writ!
In 1 "pure" is rightly expunged as an expletive added by several cursives and other authorities, and, as adopted by Erasmus from the Reuchlin copy, current in the received text, but not in the great uncials, A B P (C being here as often defective) as well as in some thirty juniors and most of the old versions. — The first clause of 2 is connected singularly by the Revisers with verse 1: "out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof." Of course it is possible grammatically; and, if allowed, it would strengthen De Wette's severance of τοῦ ποταμοῦ from ἐν μ. and connection of it only with ἐντ. καὶ ἐντ. But it seems a strange and poor conclusion to the grand picture of the river of life proceeding out of the throne. That no version is known to us generally as favourable to such a construction is serious, when one considers the responsibility of a Revision intended for ordinary use, and not merely what an individual or two might suggest to students. Is it not going beyond the limits of what is fair, especially if it were the impression of a few men confident in their own judgment and ready in overthrowing the pleas of others?
Let me suggest the spiritual propriety as in my opinion confirming here the rendering hitherto and everywhere approved. The beautiful truth is laid down in the opening verse that at the epoch intended the throne is now styled the throne of God and the Lamb. It was not so before He came to reign; it will not be so when He delivers up the kingdom to God even the Father, when God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) shall be all in all. And out of what is now first called the throne of God and the Lamb proceeds a river of life bright as crystal, the full unhindered power of enjoying that life eternal which the believer has here in utter weakness and with manifold hindrances. Such is its source, character, and time.
Then follows in verse 3 the weighty and interesting communication, that in the midst of the street or broadway of the heavenly city and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life according to the promise of Christ in Rev. 2:7. The paradise of God coalesces with the now Jerusalem. Life's tree producing twelve fruits, each month yielding its fruit, not merely on either side of the river, but in the midst of the street, points to the accessibility as well as full and varied supply of bounteous refreshment — this spiritually for the favoured on high. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, here again pointing to the administration of the fulness of the seasons, when God will in Christ sum up all things, or put them all under His headship, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth — in Him in whom also we obtained inheritance. For the characteristic of that day will not be either the earth alone, or the heavens alone, but both, the scene of blessing and glory, and this in suited measure of character: the heavens supremely and absolutely, evil thence expelled for ever and never more to recur; the earth filled with glory in a form and measure adapted to a scene where not curse but blessing reigns in righteousness, even if a final uprising of the nations be in store at the end, when Satan is let loose once more to seduce, before the white throne judgment of the wicked raised for their everlasting doom. But under the reign of. Christ the coexistence is plain of the heavens and the earth with. their suited inhabitants and in due order to the glory of God. Hence, as we see, whatever be on high, the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. Where weakness was still, remedial grace was not wanting. The nations had the leaves, not a word for them about the fruits.
As an instance of the danger of speculation, through ignorance of the true bearing of these scriptures, let me call attention to the late Dean Alford's note on the end of 21 to which his comment on Rev. 22:2 refers us. "There may be, — I say it with all diffidence, — those who have been saved by Christ without ever forming a part of his visible organised Church." Of course, if he meant, when the church is glorified above, at Christ's appearing and kingdom, the kings and nations of the earth form no part evidently of that higher object of divine mercy; why he should speak with diffidence of this, if it be all that is meant, is hardly intelligible. All that look with ordinary intelligence for Christ's coming to introduce the kingdom of God over the earth, assert this without hesitation; and as Alford so believed, it is scarce accountable that he should adopt shyness so unusual. Can he by some confusion of mind have meant that people have been saved by Christ without ever forming a part of it, while the church has been on the earth? "And so perhaps some light may be thrown on one of the darkest mysteries of redemption." I cannot comprehend such language in juxta-position, unless this last be his thought. If so, it is groundless, false, and mischievous; and the whole connection unjustifiable. Not a word is said about the salvation of these nations (τῶν σωζ. in 24 being notoriously spurious and even absurd); and "the mysteries" of God, being now revealed by Christ, and since redemption especially, are in no wise "dark." But the question raised is never in Scripture treated as a "mystery" at all, but as a plain and solemn warning to conscience in contradiction of the Dean's imaginary "light." "The darkest mysteries of redemption" are to a scripturally instructed mind a monstrosity.
It reminds one of the no less unhappy language on 1 Peter 3:19-20, which he applies, like the mass of men who do not understand the gospel, to Christ's preaching in His disembodied state to the disembodied spirits that refused God's voice at the flood! which, he says, "throws blessed light on one of the darkest enigmas of divine justice, the cases where the final doom seems infinitely out of proportion to the lapse which has incurred it." And then he even goes on to limit that it would be presumption in us to limit its occurrence or its efficacy! If I had not spoken plainly of such perilous language during the writer's life, I might scruple to denounce it now that he is gone. The true inference to be drawn by every intelligent reader is that men of learning are peculiarly liable, if not solidly built up in the truth of Christ, to be carried away by appearances of erudition, especially if they plume themselves on superior honesty, which is often no more at bottom than a rash confidence in themselves and contempt of others. The worst of all is ignorance of redemption, and hence sacrificing foundation truth. If the reader desires a full view of the passage on all sides, he may find it in the "Bible Treasury," ix. pp. 11, 30, 46, 58, 89, 138, 169, 265, 278, 334. Could Dean Alford have so much as realised his own words? The true stumbling-block for unbelief is, not the flood coming on ante-diluvian violence and corruption, but the unending doom of all who believe not. Now the passage speaks not of the latter, which was really in Alford's mind, but of the former which is independent of "the darkest enigma," as it certainly throws not a ray of what he calls "blessed light" on it. For what is implied in the inspired words is that those disobedient to the preaching of Christ's Spirit not only suffered a great temporal punishment, but are now kept like unbelievers generally for the final judgment. The entire comment is as illogical as heterodox; and the philology is no better. Truth in all naturally goes together. Archbishop Leighton had the soundest reasons to treat the notion of Christ's descent into hell as a dream; and that this passage if duly weighed proves no way suitable, and cannot by the strongest wresting be drawn to fit such a purpose. Heartily, and after the most careful scrutiny do I agree with that able, learned, and pious prelate against a baseless if superficially plausible assumption.
Singular to say, Erasmus in 3 rightly deserted the Codex Reuchlini, where it, 7. 30., and some fifteen more, etc., read ἐκεῖ "there," for which the Rotterdam scholar conjectured, it is to be presumed in accordance with the Vulgate, ἔτι "more," or "longer": a dangerous device, though here in fact the great mass of the best authorities, unknown to him, were found afterwards to justify the word. The Complutensian edition gives the erroneous reading ἐκεῖ. There was no reason for the Authorised Version to say "but," which the Revisers have replaced with "and." Absence of curse in the New Jerusalem is accompanied by the throne of God and the Lamb; and if we have their distinctness thus preserved, the next words involve or rather convey their oneness: "and His (God and the Lamb's) servants shall serve Him." So it is habitually with St. John. — In 4 the Revisers rightly say "on," (not "in") their foreheads." — So in 5 they as properly explode the vulgar "there" (ἐκεῖ) which Erasmus introduced from his copy, perhaps assimilated to 21:25, though not unsupported and they follow the true ἔτι "more," as in A P, etc. There is yet another variety without either in the Basilian Vatican (2066) with considerable assent of other witnesses. The copies vary also in other particulars of no great moment, as "shall" give them light, in the best copies and even the Codex Reuchlini instead of the present as in Erasmus, and the Received Text, and the Authorised Version; and "upon" them, as in A etc. "Lamp" is better than "candle."
In 6 the first ὁ is doubtful, though given in A 35. 92. The usual formula is κ. ὁ θ. as in B P and the cursives generally, as well as the Greek commentators. Rev. 21:22 may be judged favourable to the repeated article. But there need be no hesitation in adopting πνευμάτων τῶν "spirits of the" (instead of the vulgar "holy, ἁγίων 1. 79. etc.) with the Complutensian on the most ancient and ample authority, all the uncials, etc. The Sinaitic is not quite alone in the addition of με after "sent." — 7 begins rightly with the copulative, as in the Complutensian, though Erasmus' Codex Reuchlini is sustained by many MSS., Versions, etc. — The Revisers in 8 correctly say "am he that heard and saw," not saw and heard. It is a characteristic fact apart from time. The best authorities also read τ. at the end of the clause. There are other differences of form not worth recording here. — In 9 the γάρ. "for" has no known authority in a, Greek MS., and is probably due to Latin influence. It is not in the Codex Reuchlini. Of course the Complutensian edition is right. Tischendorf mentions the omission of καί by the Codex Reuchlini before "thy crown," but not again before "of them which keep." Erasmus supplied them rightly, though not from his copy. — In 10 however the Complutensian agrees with Erasmus on the authority of a few copies (1. 49. 91. etc.) in reading ὅτι ὁ κ. instead of ὁ κ. γάρ with the best. Some manuscripts, as 4. 16. 27. 39. 48. 68. omit γάρ or ὅτι. — In 11 ῥυπῶν of the commonly received text is Erasmus' conjecture, his copy being defective from ὁ ῥ to δικ. ἔτι. The word should be ῥυπωρός as in all the well known Greek copies; but ῥυπωσάτω is likewise a similar guess, though the manuscripts divide between ῥυπανθήτω as in 18. 32. and ῥυπαρωθήτω as in B and more than 30 cursives. The Alexandrian omits the clause, Cod. Eph. Resc. is defective,
There need be no doubt that δικαιωθήτω as in the Received Text from Erasmus, etc., must give place to the Complutensian reading δικαιοσυνὴν ποιησάτω, which of course the Revisers follow, with the sense "do" or "practise" righteousness, not be justified or "be righteous" as in the Authorised Version. They are right also in rendering ἁγ. "be made holy," or sanctified. — Again, at the beginning of 12 the copulative has no real place, though Erasmus found it in his copy and did not conjecture it; but it is excluded by the mass of versions, and cursives. And the true reading is represented by "is," not "shall be," though B and more than 20 cursives favour the future form. — "Am" in 13 is all right in sense, but implied rather than expressed in the best copies. Without dwelling on lesser points, the chief difference is in the presence or absence of the article before πρ. first and ἔσχ last, as well as before ἀρ. "beginning," and 7. "end," which by the best authorities close the sentence. — The most extraordinary variant is in 14 where "that wash their robes," οἱ πλύνοντς τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν ( A 7. 38. Vulg. Aeth., etc.) seems to be the true text. But it got changed into οἱ ποιοῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ "that do his commandments" in the common texts, Erasmus and the Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. One could understand, as in Rom. 2, the unchanging character of God as reflected in His children, if the common reading were assuredly right; as it is, the critical text gives prominence to that washing* by grace which supposes not more the shedding of Christ's blood than the guilt that demanded it if expiation were to be righteously. Such are they who have title to the tree of life and go in by the gates into the city. — Verse 15 points out who are "without," the dogs and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolators, and every one that loves and makes a lie. There is no evil so desperate as refusing or giving up the truth when the full revelation of grace is come. There is no ascertained authority in any Greek copy for δέ, even the Codex Reuchlini giving no warrant to Erasmus, who transmitted it to our ordinary text. The article is rightly excluded from the last phrase. Tischendorf inverts the making and loving with and half-a-dozen cursives, and a few ancient citations.
* Yet the Vulgate was not warranted in adding "in sanguine Agni" which the oldest Latin copies omit. But Beza was quite wrong in supposing that the rest of the Vulgate text was unfaithful to the best Greek copies.
In 16 there is the variety of reading ἐπί, ἐν, and neither before τ. ἐκκ. respectively, in B, most cursives, Syr., in A 18. 21. 38. 79. Vulgate, and in 1. 4. 11. 12. 31. 47. 48. Arm., etc. "in" or "for" the churches. The reading καὶ ὀρθρινός is doubtless Erasmus' coinage from the Vulgate, for ὁ πρ. "the morning." — Why in 17 the Sinaitic omits the articles so requisite before πν. and ν. it is hard to say, but so it is. Erasmus knew better without a copy; for the Codex Reuchlini is defective from "David" in 16. But he wrongly introduced ἐλθέ and ἐλθέτω where the Holy Spirit has ἔρχου and ἐρχέσθω. Nor should the copulative precede ὁ θ. though at least two cursives and many ancient versions etc. favour it. For λαμβ. τὸ ὑδ. the copies give λαβ. ὑδ. — There is a threefold error in the common text at the beginning of 18: συμμαρτυροῦμαι for μαρτυρῶ, and γάρ, which answers to nothing, as well as the suppression of ἐγώ, the guess-work of Erasmus from following the Latin copies. So also the omission of τῳ (though some copies omit it), τῆς, τοῦ, and the form ἐπιτιθῃ instead of ἐπιθῆ, and for ἐπ᾽ αὐτά, πρὸς ταῦτα, and ὁ θ. before instead of after ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν.
The omission of τῳ before β. is due to the same Latinizing source. Aldus, in his reprint of Erasmus' New Testament for his Greek Bible of 1518, did venture on the supply of τοῦ, but not, strange to say, of τῆς, nor of τῳ (bis), though of course the principle is the same. So in 19 ἀφαιρῃ is an evidently faulty effort to express the guilt of taking from the words of this inspired book, for which every manuscript has ἀφέλῃ, as βιβλίου is the correct form rather than βίβλου. Again ἀφαιρήσει is not the right expression but ἀφελεῖ. The next error goes beyond the form; for, as the Revisers agree with all critics, it is a question of "the tree," not of the "book" of life here, an error due to Latin influence, though even then the form would be incorrect as before. Erasmus mistakenly added και before τ. γ. and omitted τῳ in the last clause. All these points are of course rectified in the Revision. The Complutensian edition is right, save in ἀφέλοι though this is not without good support of MSS. In 20 Erasmus, the Complutensian, as well as Stephens with many cursives, read ναί after Αμήν, for which Beza substituted καί "pro οὖν." But even this was less daring than his notable proposal, founded on wholly unfounded premisses, to dislocate verses 12 and 13 from their place and foist them in, the latter before the former, between that which is printed as verse 16 and verse 17, to the utter destruction of the context, and particularly of the vital tie which binds 17 to 16, one of the loveliest touches in a book abounding with beauty in this kind. — In 21 A 26. omit χριστοῦ, a rather slender ground for excluding "Christ." Still less (A and the Amiatine Latin) has Tischendorf for ending with μ. π. Even the Sinaitic says "with the saints," as B. and the mass of cursives and versions say "with all the saints." With "you" all is a guess of Erasmus, as far as Greek copies are concerned, though here again he was influenced by some of the Latins. It is not to be supposed that he knew of ἡμῶν (30. etc.) for "our" Lord in the earlier part of the verse, but there too was misled by the Vulgate, etc. It is curious how the earliest, as well as the great multitude of copies, and versions etc., add ἀμήν, which nevertheless the critics generally drop.