(B.T. Vols. 14, 15 [15 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
19 — Hebrews
20 — James
21 — 1 Peter
22 — 2 Peter
23 — 1 John
24 — 2 John
25 — 3 John
26 — Jude
27 — Revelation
There need be little hesitation in allowing
- I that "S." for saint is a remnant of tradition, at issue with the general sense of the term, which is ill applied for special honour to the inspired writers of the Gospels.
- II. But it is less easy to see why "the apostle" should be struck out from the title of the Pauline Epistles, or of "Paul the apostle" from the title of the epistle to the Hebrews. "General" is most unsuitable to the title of the Epistles of James and Peter. John and Jude have a "general" character, whether it be so said or not in the titles. The older MSS. say "The Revelation of John," which may be regarded as a compendium of Rev. 1:1.
- III. Holy "Spirit" might well supersede Holy "Ghost."
- IV. If, "worship" be retained uniformly for προσκ., a note explaining its general sense is requisite.
- V. "Through" rather than "by" = διά with the genitive, in general, as well as when it relates to prophecy.
- VI. Are not all, or almost all the instances referred to causes of enticement to what is wrong, when therefore "tempt" is right enough? Such a verse as Rev. 3:10 would seem more appropriate for "try" and "trial," like 1 Peter 1:6.
- VII. The archaic "which" might well yield to "who" or "that," "be" to "are" in the pr. ind.; "wot" and "wist" to "know" and "knew," "halo" to "drag."
- VIII. "Demon" should displace "devil " for δαίμων or δαιμόνιον, and do possessed with a "demon" or "demons."
- IX. "With" should hardly move to the margin to let "in" there after "baptize."
- X. But "covenant" should every where take the place of "testament" except in Heb. 9:15-17.
- XI. It is not merely in Luke 8:15, 2 Cor. 1:6, Heb. 12:1, and James 5:11, that "stedfastness" would not suit as an alternate in the margin for "patience"; "patient endurance" seems better.
- XII. The approximate rendering of ἀσσάριον as a penny, and δηνάριον as a shilling is preferable to the more distant "farthing" and "penny."
- XIII. "God and the Father" its the revived marginal rendering of the Five Clergymen, and worse rather than better than the Authorised Version, "God even the Father," as in the Revised Version of 1 Cor. 15:2-1, the real sense being "to Him that is God and Father." In this way "our" or "His" may not necessarily go beyond "Father."
- XIV. To confine "fulfil" to "accomplish," and the like, might be well.
Matt. 1:7, the marginal "for baptism" is fair; 10 (Luke 3:9) "lieth at" hardly gives the moral force. — Matt. 6:11 (Luke 11:3) is neither "daily" nor "coming day," but "sufficient"; 27, "a cubit to the measure of his life" would be strange phraseology. "Stature" is the clear sense of Luke 14:3, and so here, and in Luke 12:29. — Matt. 8:4, and elsewhere, "go" might suffice without "thy" or "your" way. — Matt. 9:6, the truth is that the usage does imply "power" (8) as well as "authority." It is a nice point, sometimes, to say which predominates. Compare Rev. 9:3, 10, 19; Rev. 11:6, Rev. 20:6, — Matt. 10:39, and often in the Gospels else where, "life" is right, Let "soul." — Matt. 12:23 seems a needless, even if lawful, change; though the Revisers expose themselves to it in John 4:29; 31, slender indeed is the authority for the awkward marginal "unto you men." — Matt. 19:14 seems no less uncalled for. — Matt. 20:1, "that was" or "is" is alike uncalled for. Are we to say in Luke 2:15 "the men the shepherds"? In Matt. 13:23, 45 52, Matt. 18:23, it is simply an enemy, a merchant, a householder, the shepherds. In fact, it was not emphatically a man that was hostile, but the devil, and a King who in truth was not a mere man. So in Matt. 21:33, which may have led the Trans-Atlantics to "that was." — Matt. 22:23, they are right in correcting the oversight of the Revisers; for it is a question between divided authorities, and not of mere Greek rendering; some deprecating "which say," others "saying" only. — Matt. 23:9, "he who is in the heavens," if we adopt the more generally adopted reading; 23 is not "justice" but "judgment," as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. So Luke 11:42, Matt. 26:29. (Matt. 14:25, Luke 22:16, 18) is "will," not "shall." — Matt. 27:27, the praetorium, or governor's palace: so elsewhere.
Mark 2:4, 9, 11, 12, no doubt a "pallet bed" or couch, as elsewhere. — Mark 7:4, "dip" is more literal than "bathe" or "wash." — In Mark 10:13 if we say "were bringing" we should also say "were rebuking," a cumbrous form indeed, were it uniformly carried out. 32 is a question of reading, and the marg. uncalled for. In 45 "also" suffices. — Mark 11:24, "have received" scarcely accords with the aorist, and is not idiomatic. — 14 is so obscure that "pure," "liquid," "spike," — may be contended for with nearly equal force.
Luke 1:35 recurs substantially to the Authorised Version, save "is begotten" for "shall be born"; "of thee" being generally given up here. The Revised Version is awkward and improbable. 70 "of old" is weak. — Luke 2:37, as there is an article in the Greek, cannot claim it in idiomatic, English for one more than the other. 37, "for" or "unto" is a slender question. Important points, as in 2, 14, 22, 38, are passed by in silence. — Luke 3:14 seems as little happy In the American suggestion as in the Revised Version. "Harass none, nor accuse falsely" leaves the sense less restrained than either. In 20 the question of "to" or "above" is not much. But it seems strange that both the English Committee and the Americans have failed to observe that the true arrangement in 23 is to treat not as Wieseler ὡς ἐν. τ. Ἰ, but the two preceding words ὡυ ὡός also, as parenthetical and not part of the genealogy but a collateral remark before it begins. In the proper genealogical line "son" is not expressed; here it is, with the qualification in the strictest accordance with truth. The Lord was legally Joseph's son, and only so; He was really of Mary, whom even the Talmud attests as daughter of Heli. Luke therefore gives the natural line, which exactly suits his general scope, but would not prove Jesus to be the Messiah; whereas Matthew traces down from Absalom and David to Joseph, which was the Solomon branch with full legal title to Messiahship for the Jews, and this equally in its true place. The words would thus run: "And Jesus himself was at his outset about thirty years old (being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph), of Heli, of Matthat, of Levi," etc. It is not Joseph, who is here traced from Heli, but our Lord — of course through His mother. Matthew had already explicitly declared that Jacob, not Heli, begat Joseph; Heli not being of Solomon but of Nathan, and therefore unable to give the true succession to the throne of David according to Jehovah's oath. The Lord's title was complete legally, because Mary was espoused to Joseph, who was in the true Solomonic line. Jesus was the Son of God supremely, Mary's son really, and Joseph's legally; all of which must unite in the true Messiah exclusively. For according to scripture He must be God and Son of God, He must be man born of a virgin as none other ever was, and Son of David not merely from Nathan but from Solomon; and this text, rightly divided and understood, helps to clear the truth in an important way.
- Luke 4:1 is not "in" simply, but "by" from connection with "led." — Luke 6:1 shows strange indifference to the omitted "second-first" of the Revision. — In 16 "became a" is literal, as in Mr. Green's Twofold New Testament. But here again no notice of the Revisers' text and margin of ver. 35, while they strain out "Chuza," instead of the more proper "Chuzas" (see Smith's Dictionary), and "commanded" for "was commanding" or "charging (see Green). — In 33 they prefer the more figurative "drowned" to the more literal "choked." So in 9 they like "provisions" (12) rather than "victuals," "apart" (18) rather than "alone," and "was" for "should be" in 16: small points verily, even if correct, which may well be doubted. — In 11 the only point is "bathed himself" for "washed" in 38, as in Mark 7:6. — In Luke 12:49 the suggested text is strange, still more the margin. — Luke 13:32, margin, is substantially Green's rendering. — In Luke 15:16 can one doubt that the reading of B D L R, some cursives and very ancient versions, is a softening of the phrase which is certainly not found in the Authorised Version or its American revival? — In Luke 17:6 the authority is preponderant for "have" rather than "had"; as "would have" is also right. — In 11 Dean Alford pointed out that the phrase may mean on the frontiers of both.
- In Luke 18:5 the suggestion for the margin is at least not so odd as Meyer's rendering, offered in all gravity, "lest at last she — in desperation — should come and strike me in the face"! But the Authorised and Revised Versions seem more accurate in construing εὶς τ. with ἐρχ "continually coming." The query "and is he slow" etc., seems untenable, no less than "and yet." It may be well to read uniformly "Olivet" as in Acts 1:12, rather than "the mount of Olives," as in Luke 19:29, Luke 21:37. In 42 I should be disposed to go farther, and keep "thy" day and "thy" peace in the text. The Americans may well speak of "some ancient authorities" reading the pronoun twice, for the omission of which one may easily account, not so for its insertion. — Luke 20:20 "ruling power" says Green. — In Luke 22:24 perhaps "should be," or is more idiomatic here than "is" or "was." 70, Mr. Green again. — Luke 23:2 right; 15 right again. The Revisers were not entitled to ignore so many and good ancient authorities for "I remitted you to him." In 23, "urgent" is less ambiguous than "instant." In 46 the remark is well-founded. — In Luke 24:30 perhaps the imperfect at the close should be marked. In 38 "thoughts" might suffice, rather than "debatings" or "questionings."
John 1 The Americans prefer "through" to "by" in 3, 10, 17; and perhaps it might be well thus to discriminate διά from έν which is often better rendered "by" than "in." — John 2:17 as in Green. — John 3:20 (as in John 5:29) "evil" for "ill" is not much; nor "made full" for "fulfilled" — In John 5:27 "a" son of man would be wrong, especially in the text. Read not "the," but simply "Son" of man. — John 7:8 right; 21, 22, questionable; 23 right, but trivial; 38 strongly euphemistic, in contrast with their preference in Luke 15:16. — John 8:24-25 right. 25 is rather a timid dealing with the wild mis-rendering of the Revisers, both text and margin. What the Americans would substitute for the present margin should go into the text; and those who demand positive connection of τὴν ἀρχήν, instead of one merely negative as commonly, can consult Dio Cass. Fragm. Peirese, ci. ὅτι μαὶ τήν ἀρχὴν ἐπικαλέσαι τι αὐτοῖς ετόλμησαν, κ.τ.λ. (Sturz' ed. i. 96; also ii. 342; iii. 688; iv. 52). This may satisfy the most imperious that the only rendering otherwise grammatical and suitable to the context is to give τὴν ἀρχὴν its idiomatic sense Of "absolutely" or "altogether." 26 needs no ridiculous margin of Gr. into. Every one knows that the word means "to" or "unto," just as well as "into." The Revisers' margin implies that "into" is alone correct, which is itself incorrect. — 44. I agree that "stood" is untenable, and to give the margin is unintelligible, as it is a question of rendering, not of reading according to these or those authorities. — 52, 53: so Green, etc. — 58 "was born" is fuller and more precise, but lacks the dignity of the Authorised Version "was."
- John 10:8 shows the remarkable omission of "before me" in many eminent authorities. Tischendorf, in his 8th edition, has the unenviable singularity of forming his text accordingly: it might be worth mentioning in the margin. — John 12:43 gives no just ground for "that is" before "of men" and "of God," nor is "from" needed for "of." Nor is there sufficient reason to prefer the Revisers' marginal to their text, if the margin is at all justifiable. 14 right, as against "we" in the Revision, notwithstanding many old authorities, which might be stated in the margin. — John 16:25, 29: if "dark sayings," so also in John 10:7. — John 17:24 right. — John 18:37; so McClellan. — John 21:7 needs explanation rather than a marginal note.
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
Acts 2:47 is better in the Authorised Version than in the Revision, whether of British or of Americans; but of the two latter the American version, "those that were saved," is not strictly grammatical. The British amendment, "those that were being saved," might be correct but for other considerations. Every scholar knows that the present tense, including its participle, need not be temporal, but may be what is called ethical. Hence the general truth and the particular context must often come in to decide the real force intended. In itself the words τοὺς σωζομένους might quite well mean "those that were being saved" if the present participle were only used relatively. But there is an absolute usage which drops all thought of actual time, and simply expresses a person (as ὁ ἐρχόμενος he that should come), or a class (as οἱ ἁγιαζόμενοι) characterised according to the word employed. And so the Revisers correctly take it in Luke 13. — "Are they few that be saved?" Are those to be saved low? "The saved" is true; but is not quite the thought. Compare 1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15 (Rev. 21:24 being no genuine occurrence). In Eph. 2:5 is quite a different form, which does mean "ye are," or have been "saved." It seems impossible to admit the strict relative present with Peter's σώθητε just before in verse 40; for the aorist and the relative present cannot apply together. It must be therefore the absolute present, with no definite notion of time, which it is difficult in English to express justly. If the Americans meant this, they were right in their aim. But a full view of the Scripture use of the various forms appears to exclude the Revisers' version of the phrase. A Christian could not be said to be σωθείς or σεσωσμένος, if he is only in process of being saved. If σωζόμενος be applied, as it is, to such an one, it must be apart from time, referring to no particular moment when the action takes place. — In Acts 3:21 as in Acts 15:18 "from of old" is well enough. — But it is hard to see why we should go back to "it" in Acts 8:16 from the "he" of both Authorised and Revised Versions. They are, however, in my opinion quite right in adopting the critical reading ἐτροφ., instead of the received ἐτροπ. which seems a mere though early blunder of B and most others, but not of A Cp.m. E, some good cursives and all the ancient versions save the Vulgate. It is pleasant therefore to find Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Wordsworth, supporting Griesbach, Mill, etc. Bengel in his Gnomon labours elaborately to show that, though the orthography differs, the notion is the same. It is painful to see the error, which Deut. 1 refutes, perpetuated in the Revision. This was due probably to Drs. W. and H. — The marginal of Acts 14:8 had better be omitted. — In Acts 15:23 the weight of testimony is against the insertion of καὶ οἱ before ἀδ., but the American rendering is harsh indeed, however well meant, as compared with the more natural one in the Received Text. — In Acts 17:22 "very religious" seems nearer the mark than "rather superstitious." — In 19:31, Asiarchs" with a marginal explanation is suggested; but if so should there not be "Praetors" or Duumvirs in Acts 16:20, 38, and "Politarchs" in Acts 18:6? — With Acts 20:38 we cannot agree. It is a question of Scripture and spiritual judgment amidst the collision of witnesses. — For "many," in Acts 21:10 and Acts 24:17 they would give in the text the Revisers' marginal "some." "More" than might have been expected is the source of the phrase. — The question raised in Acts 23:30 is between ἐξαυτῆς which the Revisers prefer on the excellent authority of B H L P, most cursives, Syr. Pesh., Sah., Memph., Theb., etc., and ἐξ αὐτῶν A E, a few cursives and Versions. Alford, Green, Westcott and Hort adopt the former, as Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles the latter. — The Revisers are, I doubt not, right; though it might be well, with the Americans, to add the other in the margin. — In Acts 25:3, if we will be exact, it is rather laying "an ambush" than "a plot" or "wait." — I doubt that either Revisers or Americans have hit the mark in Acts 26:28-29. "In a little thou art persuading" etc. "Both in a little and in a great," [degree] etc. — In Acts 27:37 the omission of 200 in the Vatican MS., and the Sahidic version is not, as is suggested, worth notice in the Revisers' margin.
Rom. 1:17 "from" faith is here objectionable, as loading the reader naturally to the error of conceiving from one degree of faith to another, from less to more. This is not at all the thought any more than "by" in the Revised Version, which makes no just sense with "is being revealed." Hence the Revisers separated it from ἀπ., its true connection, to "righteousness," which alters the truth and mars it. in the gospel God's righteousness is revealed by faith unto faith in the gospel. — Still worse in 18 is the rendering of the Revisers "hold down," or of the Americans "hinder." Either is to lose the point, which is to mark God's wrath against not only every sort of ungodliness, but unrighteousness of men that hold the truth in unrighteousness. Firm orthodoxy may go with practical disregard of. righteousness. Holding truth down is scarcely sense; hindering it adds no worthy idea to the phrase. Holding the truth is a solemn caution for professing Christians now, as once for Jews.
Rom. 2:12 is a curious instance of the Revisers' neglect of their own claim laid to superior accuracy in the aorist. Why should not the "have" be omitted twice in the text without any marginal Greek? — In 13 the Americans are as wrong in saying "the" law twice, as the Revisers with their "a" twice. It means the law-hearers, the law-doers. Bishop Middleton was mistaken in laying down absolutely, that, if the governing noun has the article, the governed must also. But this does not justify Dean Alford in overlooking the proper force of the anarthrous construction, which gives law a general character instead of specifying only that of Moses. — In 14 they are quite wrong in mistranslating μὴ ν. after the Revisers had corrected the similar error of the Authorised Version. So "having no" is correct, instead of "not having the." — Again it is not 14, 15 only but 13 also which constitute the parenthesis. The connection of "in a day when," etc., is with "shall be judged," at the end of verse 12. — In 15 they seem right, and also 18, and 22.
In Rom. 3:9 it is pleasant to say we are agreed; and 21. — As to 23, compare Rom. 2:12. — In 25 right; "set forth a mercy-seat (or, propitiatory) through faith in his blood," omitting marginal 9, 10 and 11. — To make a paragraph of 31 seems needless. It well closes the verses from 21.
Rom. 4:1 it appears to me, according to the best testimony ( A C D E F G, some cursives, and ancient versions, etc.) connects our forefathers (or fathers) according to flesh, "not hath found according to the flesh" (K & P, most cursives, etc.) as the Americans would prefer for the text, relegating the former to the margin. Westcott and Hort follow B, 47p.m. and Chrysostom's comment in cutting the knot by the omission of "hath found" altogether. In Rom. 5:1-2, 3 they are quite right in preferring "we" to "let us" as the Revisers say. The change of ο to ω is one of the most frequent errors in the oldest copies; and this accounts for the subjunctive displacing the indicative to the grievous detriment of the sense, whatever ingenious pleaders may argue to the contrary. As to 7 agreed.
In Rom. 6:5 is it not a marvel that a considerable number of sensible men should not have been struck by the oddity of "united with him by the likeness of his death, we shall be also by the likeness of his resurrection"? It is really identified with the likeness in each case respectively. One would not impute a dogmatic aim or effect; but united with Christ by the likeness of His death or of His resurrection is strange doctrine, if indeed it have any proper sense. — And why change "serve sin" in 6 into "be in bondage to sin which is sadly ambiguous at best? — Yet worse is the rendering of 10 on which the Americans are still silent; the Authorised Version gives the only true sense. — In 7 we may of course explain in the margin δεδ. as released, cleared, discharged, "hath his quittance," etc. But it is of moment to hold "is justified" in the text, though it is singular to see the Revisers departing from their own canons of exactness as to the aorist and the perfect in this short verse. "Freed" as in the Authorised Version is equivocal, and might be confounded with that "liberty" which the Spirit of the Lord produces. From the structure of the word we see that the justification here meant is expressed not as an act but as a state. It is hard to see what is gained by the suggestion on Rom. 7:25, which is not very smooth English, without being closer to the Greek.
In Rom. 8:3 it is simply for the text a return to the Authorised Version with the R. V. rendering in the margin. I believe it should be "Spirit" (not "spirit," as if it was ours only) in 4, as well as 5, 6, and in 10 as well as 9, 13. The anarthrous construction does not deny the Holy Spirit to be in question, but presents it as character, rather than as the person objectively viewed; which might be no less true of Father and Son: only it is, from the nature of the case, more frequently so predicated of the Spirit. This is a great blemish in the Revised Version, as it was even worse in the Authorised Version, being uniformly a small "s"; which Dr. Scrivener throughout has rectified in the excellent Cambridge Paragraph Bible of 1873. — As to 13, agreed; though it is a small question; and so 24, if not 26 (as before). In 34 it is a question of an accent, and so of a tense present or future. The future I presume to be due to Drs. Westcott and Hort after Lachmann (Tyndale, the Geneva, and the Rhemish giving it of old); and perhaps one may add the Hebrew of Isaiah 1. In the Septuagint also we find the future, but quite another phrase. It seems to us with Dean Alford that ὁ δικαιῶν naturally loads to the present ὁ κατακρίνων and that the balance and the emphasis might be preserved better throughout by a colon before "who," not only between verses 34 and 35, but also between 35 and 36.
The marginal alternatives presented as to Rom. 9:5 are unworthy efforts of unbelief to enfeeble the plain testimony of the text to the Divine glory of the Lord Jesus, and the American note sins against the usus loquendi like others. — 22 is a marginal that weakens the sense.
They are right in preferring to begin the paragraph of Rom. 11 with verse 11 rather than 13. — How strange that the Americans fail to notice the error in the misrendering of 31? For it really opposes and upsets the very doctrine the apostle is teaching in the chapter, insinuating a notion flattering to Gentile conceit, and at issue with all the prophetic word?
But "spiritual," if strange in the Revisers' margin is worse for the text of Rom. 12:1 as the rendering of λογικός, which may mean of the mind, intelligent, or again according to the word, but should not be confounded with πν., however truly they may coalesce. In verse 6 the question is whether "faith" is not better than "the" or "our" faith. Abstraction gives the article in Greek in contrast with English; which the Revisers have often overlooked, as e.g., in verses 2, 3, where "our" is erroneously introduced from inattention to the principle. The Americans seem even less at home if possible here, Is we may see by their suggestion on Verse 19 and other places.
There is an important error to notice in the Authorised Version at Rom. 16:26 perpetuated by the Revisers which the Americans have overlooked. "The scriptures of the prophets" is a misleading sense. The apostle uses quite a different phrase for what is promised through God's prophets in holy scriptures. Here he carefully defines the mystery or secret kept in silence in times of old, but now manifested and by prophetic scriptures (such as he and the other inspired men of the New Testament were writing) according to command of the everlasting God made known for obedience of faith unto all the nations. Prophetic scriptures here mean emphatically and distinctively the New Testament epistles in which God was pleased to reveal the mystery of Christ and the church, in pointed contrast with the law and the prophets when the mystery was hid and He had covenant dealings with His ancient people separated from all the nations.
1 Cor. 1. 18. The reader is referred to the remarks on Acts 2:47 for a solution of the difficulty in the right construing of the absolute usage of the present participle here and elsewhere. The Revisers by keeping to its temporal force introduce confusion into the truth by setting one scripture against another; the Americans do not sufficiently guard themselves against confusion of the tenses, though their version may be justified and explained, But what is already said may suffice. Those who affect greater precision than the Authorised Version here have slipped into error through narrow views of the Greek, in aid of unsound doctrine. — I do not see why "discernment" (19) etc., should displace "prudence" or "understanding." — "There are" (26) has been suggested as a simpler alternative in the margin than "have part therein," which is cumbrous.
1 Cor. 2:6. It is hard to see how the Revised Version could have done better than to give "perfect" in their text, and "full-grown" in the margin. — 8, "knoweth" say the Revisers, and the Americans "hath known:" "hath come to know" is more the idea, I suppose. — "Of" seems to have a delicacy in 12, rather than "from" God, though this of course is true also; but "were" is better than "are." As to the end of 13 the note on the Revision applies no less to the American suggestion. "Comparing" or "combining," though possible renderings of the word in itself like "expounding" also, are unsuited to and excluded by the scope of the verse and clause, which bears on the communication of what was revealed, or spiritual things, in spiritual [words]. It is a description of the intermediate process between God's revelation, and the believer's reception, of the truth, in all three the Holy Spirit having His own blessed part. He is the power of all, as the chapter teaches. — "Natural" means "soulish," not necessarily "sensual," as wrongly given in James and Jude. It is man as he is without the teaching of the Spirit through the word revealing Christ. Nor is there need to say "the" but "a" natural man. Neither the Revisers nor the Americans show adequate care as to the presence or absence of the article, though it was well known that the Authorised Version needed much overhauling.
1 Cor. 4:8. Why not "reigned"? No doubt, "have" reigned reflects the perfect rather than the aorist. Nor is any notice taken of the Revisers' "hath" set forth in 9, any more than I "have" transferred in 6, or "hadst" in 7. — They seem right in 9, but questionable in 21.
1 Cor. 5:9, 11. Having already commented on the Revised Version here, I need not repeat what was then advanced. The suggestion only makes bad worse, both here and in 10.
1 Cor. 7:6. "Concession" may be less equivocal than "permission," which might mean on the Lord's part. — I think the Americans beyond just doubt wrong in their preference of the margin to the text of both Authorised and Revised Versions. — "Faithful" is the right word in 25, and "present" in 26 as always. And what is gained by "that is upon us?" Is it not then "present"? — As to 31 we agree. But they pass by greater mistakes, as pointed out in November, 1881.
1 Cor. 8:3, may be, though "of" idiomatically means the same thing in this connection. — 8 might be well
1 Cor. 9:10 π. in the New Test. means "altogether," "quite," not "assuredly." — In 27 there is no more reason to bring into the margin "have been a herald" than the analogous form in 1 Cor. 1:23 and elsewhere. — 1 Cor. 11:10 seems trivial. — 19 "heresies" is a word that misleads; the sense is "factions" or "sects. "In 27 "unworthily" means in an unworthy manner," and is less prolix.
1 Cor. 12:31 seems to me better in the Authorised and Revised Versions than in the American suggestion as in Alford and others.
1 Cor. 13:10, last clause, is in the American preference as in Dr. S. Davidson, etc. — In 13 it is the greater "of," not "than," these; and hence our "greatest."
1 Cor. 14:3. Perhaps "encouragement" in the true derivative sense here. — 33, 34 the order of the Authorised and Revised Versions seems far better than in Lachmann, Tischendorf, Meyer, etc., whom the Americans follow.
1 Cor. 15:2 right. — 8 seems awkward, though the article should be expressed. — 19 is better in the Authorised and Revised Versions than in the proposal of the Americans. — 33 in both the Revised Version and the American correction is inferior to the Authorised Version. — 34 is more faithfully given in the Revised Version. — 44, 46 should be compared with 1 Cor. 2:14 - 51, as in the American suggestion after Meyer, would interpret the apostle as saying what is untrue, i.e., that no Christian should die. The Authorised and Revised Versions are right. Alford, Green, Davidson, the Five Clergymen, all reject the change.
2 Cor. 1:9 is a reasonable suggestion. — 15 is slight enough. — 24 Authorised and Revised Versions right, the margin of the latter is not the thought.
2 Cor. 2:14 would be weakened by the separation from the preceding verses. — 15 may be compared with 1 Cor. 18 and Acts 2:47.
2 Cor. 3:9 affords probably an instance of an early correction in the dative for the nominative; but the older copies have it, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles adopt it, and the Americans translate accordingly, putting the ordinary text and version in the margin. — 18, κ. does not here mean "reflecting" but "beholding," as in Philo's Legis Alleg. iii. 33, ed. Richter p. 154. The etymological notion of a mirror is merged and only hinders the sense in this derived application. The Americans are partially light; as they are quite in discharging the strange marg.5
2 Cor. 4:3 may be compared with 1 Cor. 1:18 and in particular Acts 2:47.
2 Cor. 7:8-9 is Rinck's, Lachmann's, Tischendorf's, and Green's punctuation, which the Americans prefer. It seems even harsher in the Greek than in English, as I cannot but agree with Alford.
2 Cor. 12:7 is certainly of doubtful acceptance as it stands in the Revised Version and their Greek text where διό seems an unmeaning appendage. Lachmann makes some sense by closing with τῶν ἀποκ. and beginning afresh with διὸ ἵνα μὴ ὑπ. and so Westcott and Hort. Tregelles punctuates in the wildest way, sticking to his oldest copies right or wrong. No wonder that the Americans cannot approve of the text and suggest as they do.
Gal. 1:7. The Americans would like Winer's view in the margin. It seems poor. — 10 has nothing about "seeking" in the first clause, nor "striving" in the second. Acts 12:20 illustrates π. which means in this connection "to gain over" or "make a friend of."
Gal. 3:1 seems too vague in margin 4. It was after that lapse of time. — 16. The margin (2) is better than the text or the softer American view. — 20 stands cumbrously if even correctly in the Revised Version. It would be better if only a comma displaced; "and yet;" which applies to the Americans as well. — 22 is one of the very many cases where the Revisers forsake their judgment as to the aorist without reason. — In 23 is an instance that they forgot that personification gives the article in Greek, but not in English. The Americans have noticed the inconsistency but correct γέγονεν in 24 from "hath been" to "is become." It is clearly more than the simple fact, ἐγένετο. — The Americans do not notice the strange punctuation of 26, due, I presume, less or more to the Bishop of Durham's influence. I do not admit that the context points to any such severance between "faith" and "Christ Jesus. "
Gal. 4:12 "Become" is well for "be" and "am become," for "am"; but the great oversight in the Revised Version is in the last word; for if we are to supply, it should be "were," not "are." They had been Gentiles without law; and Paul maintains freedom from law by Christ dead and risen as the normal condition of the Christian, not getting under law after faith in Christ like the Galatians actually. No supply might be best. — 16 is well enough. — In 18, 19, a dash would be better after "you," and before "my children;" for the Revisers have put, not a comma, but a period between the verses.
Gal. 5:1 is a perplexing question of text. If ῃ be read, the Authorised Version is substantially right; if omitted by the Revisers, and the οὖν read after στ., their version is (I think) correct, rather than marginal 4. — The suggestion on 12 is too vague for the text, even if the sense. — 20 should be compared with 1 Cor. 11:29.
Gal. 6:1 does not mean surprised "by," but taken or detected "in." — Nor does "since" suit 10 like "as." In 11 it is the epistolary aorist, which in our idiom means "I write." The Revisers are right in saying "With how large letters," γράμμασιν. Had Paul meant to say "how long, or large, a letter," as in the Authorised Version, etc., the proper Greek would be γράμματα. And π. well expresses the length of the letters, not of the letter, which is by no means long.
Eph. 1. 16 See the note in the "Bible Treasury" for December, 1881, page 378. The suggestion is right.
Eph. 2:2. It is really "authority" rather than "power"; and "powers" would appear to be erroneous.
Eph. 3:13. The American suggestion, which we find in the Syriac and elsewhere, seems as unworthy of the truth and general context as unsupported by the surrounding words.
Eph. 6:9 is literally "the Master of both them and you." To warrant the suggestion, the Greek might have been ὁ καὶ αὐτ. καὶ ὑμ. κ.
Phil. 1:16-17. The suggestions seem uncalled for, as already implied in the text. — 22 seems to me as ill rendered by the Americans as by the Revisers. Living and dying were before the apostle — to live, Christ; and to die, gain. But if to live in the flesh [were his], this, he says, is to me worth while, or fruit of work to reap; and what I shall choose, I know not [or cannot tell, for γν. may mean either]. The "if" of the Revisers and correctors seems quite out of place from not separating the last clause, whether we omit marginal 5 or not. To regard καὶ as introducing the apodosis appears only to embarrass. The Bishop of Durham confesses how doubtful that construction is here, and how awkwardly the sentence runs even if admissible.
Phil. 2:1 is a questionable change, though on the surface "exhortation" may seem close. — 6. Is not "subsisting" a more suitable word than the suggested "existing"? The verse runs better in the Revised Version, "a thing to be grasped" not fitting in well. — 14 διαλ. is used for "questionings" as well as "reasonings," and "disputes," and may be so used here. — 15 5 "become," instead of "be," is suggested (I presume) the better to mark γένησθε rather than ἦτε (A D E F G etc.) which Lachmann preferred.
Phil. 3:8. "Refuse," as in the margin, is a wider and well supported sense rather than "dung," though this too the word σκύβαλα meant. — 9 "of" God to my mind keeps up the idea of intrinsic and immediate source rather than an external removal, and at any rate a more remote starting-point like "from." — 12, "lay" and "laid" hold on are all well for apprehend and apprehended; but the better point in the margin of the Revisers over their text is in taking ἐφ᾽ ῳ in the usual sense of the condition, or occasion, which gives character to what is spoken of, for that," "seeing that." — 13 is the same thing.
Phil. 4:4. Assuredly "farewell" does not deserve a place in the margin here. Indeed the Americans should have objected to it in the margin of Phil. 3:1. Here it is monstrous: for what is the meaning of "Farewell in the Lord alway?" and why not, if it be so, say in 1 Thess. 5:16, Farewell "alway"? There indeed they omit their marginal note properly; but they should not have given it here. — In 19 "fulfil" is one of the singular aberrations of the Revision Committee, without even a marginal alternative. The sense is "supply" as in the Authorised Version.
Col. 1:36 is their first suggestion, and the very strange one of ἀπό "for," rather than "from," as of course it means. Perhaps Alford misled them w'o says it is "temporal," and not "hidden from," which is exactly what it says and is. What do the Americans mean by "for the ages and for the generations"? It is hard to see why the Revisers were not content with the Authorised Version. "All" seems a loose way of representing the doubled preposition and article. — No notice is taken of the real mistakes in the Revision of 16 and 19, and of the unhappy severance of 24, etc., from the previous verses; by which the double ministry of Paul is cut through, whereas the connection adds much to the force. Also the word "fulfil" in 25 should be "complete." There was a blank page of revelation which Paul was called to fill up. "Fulfil" is another and her erroneous idea.
Col. 2:15. The Americans are right in preferring in substance the Authorised Version to the Revised Version, though they would put their text in the margin.
Col. 3:5. "Put to death" is best, and marginal 12 uncalled for. — In 16, not improbably the Americans are right in thus following Alford, Bengel, etc.
1 Thess. 2:6, "burdensome" fails to express the claims of weight, charge, or authority here meant.
1 Thess. 4:12 is more "honourably" or "reputably" than "honestly," or "becomingly," as suggested.
1 Thess. 5:22 is "form," not "appearance."
2 Thess. 2:2. The Americans are here thoroughly wrong in all Greek, profane as well as sacred; for ἐνέστ. means "is present," and not "is just at hand" or "impending." — 10. See Acts 2:47, etc.
2 Thess. 3:2 agreed.
The Americans have little to suggest on the R. V. of this Pastoral Epistle, and that little but of dubious value. They have nothing to say about the best way of dealing with the anacoluthon or absence of the ordinary consequent clause after 1 Tim. 1:3-4. Nor do they notice the feebleness of "a" dispensation of God in the latter of these verses. They are right of course in accepting with the Revisers "charge," as against the "commandment" of the A.V. which confounds the thing meant, either with the "commandment" in ver. 1, or still more fatally with the law treated of in ver. 7-10; as did the late Dean Alford in the amazing error of talking about "the law of God in the gospel!" as the true force of τ. π. in 5 even contradicting the true connection with π. in 3, taken up again in 18. There is no effort to express better than the A. and R. Vv., the anarthrous construction in 9; and surely the margin7 of the R. V. ("smiter") might have well displaced the text ("murderer"). It can scarcely have been forgotten by classical students that Demosthenes uses the term in the broader application of ill-usage, and that Plato in a dialogue so well known as the Phaedo expressly distinguishes man-beaters and man-slayers. The more comprehensive force seems therefore decidedly preferable. — Again, they hate nothing to say to the strange insertion of the English article because the
Greek one is requisite in the ὑγ.δ. in 10, a not infrequent fault in the R.V. Nor do they remark on the R.V., worse than the A.V. in unduly defining the general expression with which ver. 12 concludes. Undoubtedly it was to His service that our Lord appointed Paul, but what is said is appointing me to ministry (or service), though I was beforetime a blasphemer, etc. Instead of these, which have importance more or less, they say on 16 for "hereafter" read "thereafter," where in truth neither is called for, τ. μ. "those that should." And in 18 they would substitute the margin' for the A. and R. Vv. which seem both wrong in directly connecting προαγ. instead of προφ. with ἐπὶ σέ. The sense is "the foregoing or preceding prophecies as to thee."
On 1 Tim. 2:4 they observe "Read who would have all men to be saved," instead of the Revised "who willeth that all men should be saved." It is the expression of desire, not of counsel. — In the rest of the chapter they only refer to 15, and would have margin to exchange place with the text. Here again both Revisers and correctors seem at fault, and the A.V. is more accurate; for though the thing child-bearing is well rendered "in childbearing," without "her" which is not intended, still less tenable is "the" as if pointing to the virgin Mary's, which is wholly foreign to the passage, pace Ellicott after Hammond.
Not a word have they on the weighty 1 Tim. 4. In 1 Tim. 5 they only suggest as to 12 to read "pledge" (with margin Gr. faith) for "faith," a questionable rendering indeed. In 1 Tim. 6:2 they would read "are minded" for "desire."
They would reverse the Revised "incorruption" and restore A.V. "immortality" as the rendering of ἀφθαρσίαν. Very probably they were misled by Drs. Alford and Ellicott, or by others who misdirected them. For it is an error that the body is not in question here. Life refers to the soul, as incorruptibility to the body, both brought to light by Christ through the gospel. His resurrection was victory over death, which annulled its power; as the gospel brings us even now by faith into that which will be finally displayed in full at His appearing in glory. "Immortality" is a fatal step backward.
The only other American suggestion is as to the last verse of 2 Tim. 2. They, as in the A.V., prefer it all to refer to Satan, "having been taken captive by. him unto his will," with the margin lightly modified. The manifest objection to the A.V. lies in the reference of the two different pronouns to God. Hence Beza led the way in taking αὐτ. of the devil, ἐκ. Of God. Bengel's notion of spiritual captive by the Lord's servant, adopted by the Committee, appears highly unnatural. G. Wakefield has the extraordinary turn "after being rescued alive," and so far differs from the Revisers; but this was to forget the perfect and give an aoristic sense rather to the participles, besides the etymological force. To wake up to God's will after having been captive to Satan is simple enough.
affords scope for three notes: Titus 1:2, the strangely loose "long ages ago" for margin to "before times eternal," the singular rendering of the Revisers. But it is easier to disapprove than to do well. The meaning is before the ages of time, though it seems not very satisfactory as a version.
In Titus 2:13 they would make the text and the margin of the Revision exchange places. Either way the person of Christ shines in glory. The context seems here to favour the text as better than the margin.
As to Titus 3:10, "factious" is certainly less equivocal than "heretical," which is apt to be taken as heterodox; whereas a leader of a sect or party outside is meant, in contra-distinction from a schismatic within. The true meaning is of moment, as in other ways, so in utterly overthrowing De Wette's unbelieving effort to deny the apostolic and inspired claim of the Epistle by assuming the later ecclesiastical usage for this word. In reality it rather proves the contrary; and thus its true Pauline sense here confirms the fact that he who wrote 1 Cor. and Gal. wrote this letter to Titus. 2 Peter 2 allows of debate as to the precise shade of meaning, but in the Epistles of St. Paul there can be no just doubt of the same sense; and it is not the later or ecclesiastical usage.
The opening of this great epistle suggests grave questions in abundance, which the American committee slip in silence. They say nothing of the Revisers' departure from their rule as to the rendering of the aorist in Heb. 1:2, or the remarkable expression ἐν υἱῳ, where "in His Son" gives the idea inadequately, though it is difficult to represent it well in our tongue. For "as Son" is too vague, and "in the person of the Son," or "in the Son," would answer to ἐν τῳ υἱῳ, as in the contrasted phrase ἐν τοῖς πρ., the meaning is that God spoke to us in One so nearly related to Him as Son. Very poor is Chrysostom's comment, Ἰδοὺ πάλν τὸ ἐν υἱῳ διὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ φησι, πρὸς τοὺς λέγοντας τῳ πηεύματι τοῦτο ἁρμόζειν. Ὁρᾳς ὅτι καὶ τὸ, ἐν, διά ἐστι; (Interpr. Epp. Paul. vii. 9. Field, Oxon. 1862.) So among the Latins Primasius, followed by a crowd down to our day, though not without a numerous and weighty protest. Again, in the dynamic sense of personal agency in π. is unnoticed, if the reading of the three oldest copies prevail against the mass in the omission of "by Himself." It is curious to see how Ebrard over and over discusses π. as if it were active, and the Vulgate renders it as a present, instead of a past and completed act. Nor is there a word on the questionable place of "again" in 6; but their first counsel is to omit marginal ("spirits"), which seem to be on just ground; for why "make" angels "spirits," seeing that they are all assumed so to be in 14? The parallelism also points to "winds" here. The notion of making the winds His angels, and a flame of fire His servants, is ungrammatical and inadmissible in both Hebrew and Greek. The Lord really causes His angels to assume the shapes He sees fit. — In 9 they would add to the first "God" marg. "or, O God." Certainly many have so supposed, though Ps. 50:7 proves the analogy to the A.V. and the context (to my mind) is consistent with this alone. It is as man, not as God, that the Lord could be said with any propriety to be anointed. Compare Acts 10 and the very title of Messiah everywhere. In the aspect of divine glory we should not hear of "Thy fellows." The Authorised and Revised Versions, were right as they are.
In Heb. 2 we have no remark till 16, where they propose for the text, "doth he give help to," instead of "take hold," which they would relegate to the margin. It comes really to the same sense, the one being the literal meaning, the other derivative. It is not angels that Christ takes up, but Abraham's seed. The assumption of humanity was taught previously in 14, and is in no way alluded to here, though no doubt His interest in the seed of promise is a consequence. The Authorised Version was a huge blunder — physically, grammatically, contextually, and dogmatically. Christ was Himself the woman's Seed; but to take on Him as a nature Abraham's seed is unintelligible. Besides, the present tense was therefore changed into the past to give it an appearance, but in vain. There is no contrast with the nature of angels; and if there were, the seed of Abraham would be a strange opposition. So that Chrysostom who made a similar mistake had to desert the text, and puts it as the nature not of angels but of men that He took up; just as King James' translators got farther away from the truth than the versions which preceded theirs.
It will be observed that they do not comment on the concatenation of 9, where the Revisers join some of the moderns against the ancients, nor on its close where an interesting question arises, excluded by all the English Versions; though it is well-known that the Greek fathers take it as neuter, which enlarges the scope and is in keeping with what has gone before, whereas we hear of "many sons" in what follows, not of all mankind.
Their only other reference is to 17, where they with Alford, Green, the Rhemish, etc. prefer "become" to "be" a merciful etc. Those who adhere to "be" as in the Authorised and Revised Version, do not differ in sense, believing that our Lord only entered on His proper priestly functions when He ascended on high. If He were on earth, He would not even be a priest, there being those who offered the gifts according to the law. His is a heavenly priesthood.
In Heb. 3 the points noticed are of the slightest, "where" for "wherewith" (9) as in margin," and the so" of the Authorised Version ("is an alternative in the margin), in 11 where the Revisers have "as" — in Heb. 4:3 also. It is curious that all the older English Versions were right and hid "where" till the Authorised Version. — Had they remarked on the too common dilution of the Revisers which re-appears in 6, there would have been true ground of exception; for surely "as Son" is the sense, not "as a son." — They might have well pointed out also the loss of connection in 14 with Heb. 1:9, which all the old English Versions fail to keep up; not to speak of marking in the best way the links of the closing verses.
In Heb. 4:2* they are right about the singular text of the critics, adopted indeed on most ample diplomatic authority but with the strangest resulting sense, in the face of the great corroboration of the common text lent by the Sinaitic copy to the three known cursives, backed by the Vulgate and other Latin MSS., the Pesch. Syr. etc. — But they do not object to the unfounded emphasis given to "that" rest in 3, nor to the enfeebling of 10, by withholding "own" at the end. They only would read in 7, "To day, saying in David, so long a time afterward (even as hath been said before), Today if ye," etc. — Not even the serious error of "yet" in 15, imported from the Authorised Version into the Revised, draws out a word of remonstrance. "But yet" in Tyndale was a slight guard; the Rhemish is the best, for it has no supplement, as none is needed, and any such as is here insinuates the heterodoxy of its merely meaning that He did not sin. The statement however goes farther incalculably, and teaches that He was tempted, or tried, in all things in like manner, or according to our similitude, sin excepted — not sinning merely but "sin" excepted. In Him was no sin: it is that not only He did not sin, but there was nothing of the kind in Him. He knew no sin. — They are silent as to the last verse where "to help us in time of need" is freer even than the Authorised Version which omits the "us:" "for seasonable help" is surely better than Alford's "for help in time." To limit it to "today" is not warranted.
* No wonder that they would have the text and marg.5 change places, reading in margin, "many ancient authorities," etc.
On Heb. 5 they have nothing to offer. Yet we have again in 8 the worse than needless "a" Son after the quotation in 5, and "first principles" instead of simply "beginning." We may and ought to go on to full growth or "perfection," but should never leave first principles.
Hence in Heb. 6:1 they fail to put the case in its full force, though quite justified in rejecting the strange paraphrase of the Revised text. The margin7 is preferable; and "full growth," or margin,8 should have displaced "perfection" in what follows, for it is equivocal if not misleading, and 5:14 should have prevailed with the Revisers as to our verse. But was it not worth their notice that, it is "land," not "the" land? — They are warranted (9) in somewhat more than marg.1 "near to" and preferring "belong to" perhaps.
On Heb. 7 not a word, not even on the interesting difference of εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, here and in Heb. 10:1 rendered "continually," in Heb. 10:12, "for ever," as compared with εἰς τὸν αἰωνα, "for ever," Heb. 5:6, Heb. 6:20, Heb. 7:17, 21, 28. It means without interruption or break, continuously, or in perpetuity whether relative or absolute; a precision of the utmost moment both as to Christ and as to the Christian, as may appear farther on. The difficulty raised by Commentators as to eternity has no real ground in the phrase.
Heb. 8:8 has little to recommend it; for among the ancients it was expressly noticed that the apostle spoke of blaming, not it, but them; and it seems the natural construction to take αὐτοῖς with μ. rather than λ. — But was there reason to say more in 1 than "a" chief point? So in 8 "days" are coming. — Nor is there an effort even to express the different words for "knowing" in 11.
On Heb. 9 they have more to say, and first would have the margin6 of 4 change place with the text; that is, they would read in the text "altar of incense," and in the margin censer. The ancient Versions, including the Memphitic of Wilkins, save the Latin of the Clermont MS. (avrevm habens altarem) and the Aethiopic which is here nil in its vagueness, are decidedly in favour of the Revised text, not of the margin. The word as in Philo and Josephus might express either; but the connection of the censer with the high priest's action on the Day of Atonement obviously strengthens its case against the golden altar. It is plain that in 2 Chron. 26:19 θυμιατήριον "censer" in the king's hand is distinguished from θυσιαστήριον τῶν θ. "the altar of incense." Compare also Ezek. 13:11 in the LXX with Luke 1:11; Rev. 8:3; Rev. 9:13, which seem conclusive against the identification, and sustain the Authorised Version against Smith's Dict. of the Bible, i. 58, 288. For "parable" in 9 they would render π. "figure" and so in Heb. 11:19, as in the Authorised Version for both. This seems no great matter, and rather a question of linguistic taste than of substantial exactitude. It is agreed that "now" present is needless, as "then" in Authorised Version is erroneous. Much more important is διά in 12, which the Authorised Version renders "by," the Revised Version "through," probably in the same sense. It is a total mistake, to limit the preposition even with a genitive to the instrument or means, for it also expresses time or state; as here how Christ entered heaven, not whereby. "With," as in Rom. 2:27, is the more correct, intelligent, and reverent sense, as there the Revisers properly say in contrast with the Authorised Version which has no just meaning, in Heb. 9:12 a possibly improper one. It was the way of atoning efficacy in which He entered, not the medium. Compare 1 Tim. 2:15 for another shade of thought, "through" or "in," not "by." — In 14 they would add as a margin "Or, his et. sp.," I presume, to exclude the Holy Ghost from this offering, or at least to predicate it of His own spirit, as Alford etc. understand without "his." But this is to miss the great truth on which christians even from the most ancient times fell so soon away to their great loss; they failed to see His perfection as man in thus ever acting in the Spirit even to the closing and crowning fact that by the Spirit He offered Himself spotless to God. And if called here "eternal," it is in exact keeping with the character of this Epistle where the christian Hebrews are taught to view all their blessings thus, in contrast with the temporal standing, privileges and hopes of the earthly people in its best estate, salvation, redemption, inheritance, and covenant. — Their last point is merely to substitute the. categorical for the interrogative form in 17 by substituting margin5 for the text. It is possible, though unnecessary: the sense amounts to the same.
In Heb. 10:1 it is a pleasure to agree heartily with the Americans in refusing "they" can ( A B D corr P and some 30 or more cursives) against the rest of the uncials and cursives, confirmed by the ancient versions, which connect "can" with the law. "They" cannot be said to be in analogy with the Epistle: if defensible, it must be by making it in sense impersonal. And then follows the Lachmannic oddity of a period after πραγμάτων, and beginning a new sentence "They can never by the same sacrifice," etc. Therefore it is here proposed to read margin9 "many ancient authorities read they can." — But not a syllable of protest do they utter against the error of the Authorised Version repeated in the Revised Version which takes vr. 12 εἰς τὸ δ., continuously, with Christ's having offered one sacrifice for sins, whereas its true connection is with His session at God's right hand. Wiclif alone exhibits the same mistake, not Tyndale nor Cranmer nor the Geneva V. nor the Rhemish, strange to say. If it were indeed a participle present, it might go to prove the theory of the mass as a continual offering from the cross for the sins of living, and dead. But the aorist falls in naturally with the contextual argument on the unity of the sacrifice because of its perfect efficacy; and the "continuously" goes with the utmost propriety and characterizes Christ's seat on high, though only stated as a fact. There He took His seat, not precisely "for ever," but "uninterruptedly" in witness of His completed and accepted sacrifice, instead of standing day by day to renew the same ineffectual offerings, — not "for ever" but henceforth expecting till His enemies be set a footstool of His feet. It may be of interest to note that the same phrase is used just after, in 14: by one offering Christ has perfected uninterruptedly the sanctified. His saints have been perfected without a break to disturb their acceptance, as freed from their sins by His blood. Their communion may be interrupted and is by every sin allowed: their clearance from guilt is as perfect as His work can effect. Out of communion we are powerless and fail to enjoy; and His advocacy restores our souls by the washing of water by the word which gives self-judgment. But the standing of the believer is in Christ and according to the value of a work which has so purged the worshipper that they have, as Heb. 10:2 says, no more conscience of sins. The conscience is so purged as to know that all one's sins are gone before God.
In 22, 23 the Americans prefer margin7 to the Revised text, but without sound reason, it seems to me; for the three verbs of call in the three verses are connected in due order, the approach being as simply strengthened by the two perfect participles which follow, as the holding fast the confession of our hope is sustained by the faithful promise of God, and the considering one another to provoke to love and good works, carried out especially in this habitual gathering together and by exhortation in view of the day approaching. Why sever "our body washed with pure "water" from the foregoing? and why connect it particularly with what follows? Each of the subjunctives introduces a new scope, and has its own supports adjoining, and in no case, preceding. — The superiority of "our own assembling together" is not obvious. — As to 34 it is a question between "ye yourselves have" A H, some cursives, ancient Vv., etc.), — or "ye have for yourselves" (D E K L, the mass of cursives, etc.). Margin1 seems to me to be a mere blunder; and I could not say that any ancient authority countenances it, or if so, what matter? There are foolish enough things beyond doubt in the fathers.
The suggestion on Heb. 11:1 is unobjectionable. Here is the sense: — "Now faith is confidence (Heb. 3:14) in [things] hoped for, conviction of things not seen." The rendering proposed for the text in 5 seems a mere twist without adequate ground. If no more than this could be questioned, the Revisers had small reason to fear criticism.
In Heb. 12 they draw attention to the strange want of judgment in the Revised text of 3. There are a few ancient and excellent authorities which read the plural in one form or another; but the singular "himself" or "him" is the reading of Alford and Lachmann, of Tischendorf and Tregelles, none of whom lacked boldness in acting on a few old copies. The learned editors of Cambridge adopt it in their Gr. N.T. and were probably the chief influence in bearing down the opposition of others in the Committee. In 17 it is important to observe that what Esau sought diligently to obtain with tears was the coveted blessing. To have sought repentance with tears yields no good sense. This may show that an intervening parenthesis is desirable to help the unintelligent reader. It was not however a change of his father's mind but of his own for which he found no place. There was no real looking to God about his sins.
It is to be regretted that the Americans seem as far as the Revisers from correcting the vicious arrangement in 22, 23, where they all failed to see that καὶ defines each new clause after the first in the sentence from 22-24. Mount Zion is the first; then comes the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem; next myriads of angels, the general assembly; after that the church of the first-born, enrolled as they are in heaven; then God Judge of all; next spirits of just men made perfect; then Jesus mediator of a fresh (ν. not κ.) covenant; and lastly blood of sprinkling speaking better than Abel. It is confusion to mix up the church of first-born ones or heirs with the μανηγ. which really is in apposition with μυρ. ἀγγ. "To the general assembly and church" etc. is a muddle, the first term of which should end the previous object enumerated; the second begins a new one with the conjunction prefixed.
In Heb. 13:18 "honourably" or "rightly" is better than "honestly" as now limited in English. — But in 20 "an" eternal is very much to be doubted. They did not suggest "an" eternal Spirit in Heb. 9. Our tongue does not always admit of the characterizing power of the anarthrous Greek construction, as may be seen in almost every salutation of the Epistles and often elsewhere. Hence we are forced sometimes to use our definite article where Greek has none. More noteworthy far than any of these three is the true bearing of ἐν in 20, where the Revisers do not improve on the Authorised Version rendering of "through" by theirs of "with," for which they add the margin, "or, by Gr. in." It is to be feared that our American friends with the Committee at home hold Calvin's strange idea, which Bleek of late defends though one hardly likes to put it on paper, of Christ's taking the blood with Him to heaven. It is really and simply in virtue, or in the power, of His blood. — In 24 it seems needless to add the margin, "or, the brethren from." It was implied, though Wiclif and the Rhemish have supplied it, following the Vulgate as usual slavishly.
It seems surprising that the Americans, less bound as they are by traditional bias than most in the old world, should heed the title given in the Authorised Version where it is clearly opposed to truth like this of our Epistle. Had "General" been applied only to the First of John and to that of Jude, every thoughtful person would have seen it to be true in fact. For the title is no part of the original text and differs in the ancient copies. The δωδεκάφυλον, οr whole nationality, of Israel was before the inspired writer's mind, not the church at large as the term Catholic or General supposes. If any were disposed to the notion of a spiritual Israel, "that are in the dispersion" ought to dispel it. One has only to examine or think of the extra-Pauline Epistles to see how absurdly they are designated the Seven Catholic Epistles, though they were from a date early enough to satisfy those who prefer post-apostolic antiquity to scripture.
The Americans are not wrong in preferring "proving" to "proof" in James 1:3, as Dean Alford also felt. — They do not question the arrangement of 6-8; but is it not simpler and truer to take verse 7 as parenthetical, and 8 as a description of the doubter figuratively set forth in 6, rather than in apposition with "that man" in 7? — Did they not feel the importance of the plural form relegated from the text of 13 to margin? God tries faith and patience, He never tempts to lusts, which are from within. — So 17 has no notice beyond a return from the Revised Version "boon" to the Authorised Version "gift." Now we all know that the first of the two words, though properly expressive of the act of giving may be and often is used for a gift or present; but is it conceivable that we should have the two terms without a distinction other than brought together and differently qualified? Ought we not to allow that "every good giving" is here distinguished from "every perfect gift?" The character of the act good, the result in the thing given perfect, the Father of lights is the source, in contrast with evil in act and result flowing from self. — We need not repeat other remarks on the Revised Version made in April 1882, which do not appear to have presented themselves to our friends.
On James 2 we have nothing suggested. It is agreed that they rightly cleave to the Authorised and Revised Versions of 1, and reject the unsatisfactory alternative of Bengel, Calvin, Gataker, or others. So, also, the bringing in of "synagogue" for the more general "assembly" as in the Authorised Version is a sound correction for reasons which may not have occurred to the Committee on either side of the Atlantic. — One can understand also the text and margin of 4, though it be questionable if either side, be the best rendering of the word δ. — But ought they to have passed by the needless introduction of the English indefinite in 12? — Nor is "hath" called for in 13. — It is more surprising they should consent to "that" faith of the Revisers in 14. Even Dean Alford would regard the Greek article as only that of previous mention. Its emphatic force is quite unnecessary. — In 18 thy literal sense seen in the Revised margin seems better than their text and as in the Authorised Version, which is substantially Tyndale's. It appears to me that "the" is more forcible than "thy" with "works" and "faith" at the close: "Show me thy faith apart from the works [i.e., produced by it], and I will show thee by [or from] my works, the faith" [i.e. which produces them], neither carrying the English article without some such paraphrase. See the Revisers' own rendering in 26. The article here means the works proper to, faith, the works one has a right to expect from faith. It seems extraordinary that the English Versions at 19 should have deserted the text before their various translators and given what answers only to the Cambridge Greek Test of 1881, as well as the Revisers' margin, no doubt greatly due to the learned Editors' influence. For though the uncials and cursives in general differ greatly in the order of the words, the sense is the same as is represented in the Revised text; and so the mass of ancient versions. The margin has only the Vatican, backed up by Scrivener's. a c 1 m and Theophyl. All other critics justly insert the article, which makes the textual rendering imperative. — Very likely ἀργή "barren" in 20 has a claim of superiority over νεκρά dead (which may well have slipped in from the context); but was it not incautious to support the Revised Version in ignoring even in the margin what cannot be denied to have the great preponderance of ancient evidence? — In 23 "friend" of God is much more expressive, as well as more strictly correct, than "the friend." — Again in 24 why be parties to severing μ. "only" from "faith?" The connection with substantives is common and well-known. — And why "the" Spirit, when our idiom here admits of close adherence to the Greek? The last clause illustrates on the other hand that in Greek the article may be with "faith" if not with "works," where the Revisers properly enough have it not in English. Indeed with "works" the witnesses very generally insert it, save two great uncials and two cursives. Origen can scarcely be reckoned in; for he makes both "faith" and "works" here to be anarthrous.
James 3:1. appears to be encumbered rather than helped by the proposed supply "many of you," as G. Wakefield had suggested long ago; it is sufficiently implied in the phrase itself. This is the sole suggestion from the west. — Yet there are delicate questions, especially in 6, while there is little doubt of the critical readings in 3, 6, and 9. — Elsewhere the cumbrous rendering of the Committee in 15 has been noticed, which we do not repeat; and it is a grave question whether "in peace" should not be connected with "fruit of righteousness" rather than with "sown" as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. G. Wakefield made it qualify "fruit," as if equivalent to Heb. 12:11.
In James 4:4 there is but a marginal explanation suggested of "adulteresses," "That is, who break your marriage vow to God," without a word on James 5. There is no sufficient reason to doubt the soundness of the critical change, which all accept save that Tischendorf strangely connects the word μ. with the sentence before (3), not with 4. But the feminine only and fully expresses the corruption of all who tamper with the world, instead of keeping themselves unspotted from it. — In 5 the Americans rightly endorse the double query that divides the verse; but is it by any means sure that the Revisers are right in adopting the transitive form of the verb according to A B 101. 104. in the latter half? It is precisely a case where the most ancient MSS. are least reliable; for they often interchange η with ι, ο with ω, when the self-same thing is really meant. Of course the resulting difference of sense amounts to little; for according to the great mass of copies, versions, and early citations, it attributes to the Spirit Himself His dwelling in us; according to the favourites of the critics, it means God's causing Him so to dwell, which certainly agrees well with the words that follow. — It is of interest to notice the aorists in 7-10, as compared with the presents in 2-6 (excepting of course God's gift of the Spirit), though difficult to express in English. — Then in 11 we return to the present, where continuance is meant to be laid down, rather than the urgency of having it done, duration being merged. — Strange it seems that the Americans had not a word of question on the omission of the first γάρ "for" in 14. Even Tregelles only brackets the word. On rather less evidence Lachmann omits the second, the presence of which, I presume, led the copyists of p.m. B etc. to omit the former. B omits the article before ζ. also, as well as (with P its companion) in the second clause. — In 14 the readings from itacism are confusing enough. — Nevertheless, in spite of B P etc. θελήσῃ "shall have willed" is better than θελῃ or -ει, and if we are to read ο (not ω), the balance inclines to taking καὶ ζ. κ. π. together. — In 16 "every" rather than "all." — In 17 is there to be no difference caused by the anarthrous form? "To one therefore knowing how to do right, and doing [it] not, to him it is sin."
James 5:1 gives the aorist with the present participle, so as to combine instant weeping with habitual howling, because of their sins and the Lord's speedy judgment. But nobody is blamed for what is so hard to express suitably. — Why, however, is the last clause of 3 "have" laid up? "Ye laid up" etc. seems more concentrated and graphic. The Americans might have recalled the British Committee to their own rule; but it is hard to rid the mind of habit and prejudice; and the true form sounds somewhat harsh to an English ear. The perfects are used with such propriety in 2, 3, and 4, that it is idle to suppose the aorist is used in vain between them. So in 5 it should be "Luxuriously, ye lived on the earth and indulged yourselves; ye nourished … condemned … killed," etc. All is summed up conclusively in the view of the writer; who nevertheless guards against possible misuse by his transition to the present in the closing words, "he doth not resist you." (Compare also ver. 7-10). — Bentley's conjecture (Phil. Lips I. 34) of ο κς, or ὁ Κύριος, for οὐκ was as unworthy as needless. — In 16 "A righteous man's supplication" is sufficient and exact. — In 20 it seems arbitrary to omit in the margin a notice of "his" soul, supported as it is by A P more than half a dozen cursives, and all the ancient versions save Sah. Arm. of Zohrab, and adopted by, and two such editors as Lachmann, and Tischendorf in his last and eighth edition. Neither Erasmus nor Alford nor Compl., neither Stephens nor Beza nor the Elzevirs read the pronoun, but Colinaeus does.
As regards this fervent Epistle of Peter so full of that which is calculated to "strengthen his brethren," the western Committee appear to be well pleased with the work of the British Revisers. At any rate they themselves have nothing but two at best questionable remarks to offer, which we shall examine in their places, one on 1 Peter 2:2, the other on 1 Peter 5:2.
1 Peter 1:1-2, in the Revised Version, may be given in a form that suits English readers; but the strict force is, "Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ, to pilgrims (or sojourners) of dispersion, of (or in) Pontus etc. elect according to foreknowledge of God [the] Father, by sanctification of [the] Spirit, unto obedience and blood-sprinkling of Jesus Christ." The absence of the article is intended, though no doubt our tongue does not admit of the omission so — uniformly as the Greek. These are the Israel of God, not Gentiles (to correct a frequently perverted scripture), however truly the latter may partake in the same blessing; but Gentiles are not addressed in the greeting, only the christian remnant of Jews in the designated quarter of Asia Minor. Farther ἐν assuredly does not mean "through;" but "by" may sometimes represent it better than "in," which of course is the common equivalent in English. To assume that it should always be "in" is ignorance of or inattention to the usage: see 5 for the difference of "by" and "through." Some, again, would limit "of Jesus Christ" at the close to the blood-sprinkling; but this is unfounded and obscures the great truth that the christian is set apart to Christ's obedience as truly as to the application of His blood. The anarthrous form quite falls in with this: had the article been there, it would have pointed to Him personally; as it is, we have Him giving character to obedience and blood-sprinkling, in contrast with law-obedience and blood of victims which confirmed the old covenant as a penal sanction. The idea is neither obedience of faith (or believing with the heart the gospel), nor obeying what our Lord enjoined; but as He obeyed in the dependence and loving confidence of sonship, so we now practically as under grace and possession of eternal life in Him. The strange mis-translation through misunderstanding of the latter words is even more striking among some of the Reformed than in older translations or comments; but it need not occupy us now, as it has been already dealt within this review.
- 6 "in" here also is very doubtful in the "manifold temptations" or "trials," though quite right at the beginning of the verse. ἐν in such cases expresses way and character, which "by" suits English; not the instrument identified with the agent like the simple dative, still less the means distinct from that agent like διά. I do not see how talking about "the element and material" helps intelligence. — In 7, as in 13, the Revisers rightly translate, like the Authorised Version, ἐν "at" the revelation. What is the use of following the foreign fashion, and saying "in" the element, in time, in which it shall be manifested? It is to lose English in a childish literality of Greek. — But is 8 in the Revised Version as accurate as in the Authorised Version? The Americans have not observed, more than the British Revisers, that theirs would answer to μή, not to οὐκ. It should be "having not seen." In the same verse the Revisers rightly correct "in" to "on," for the connection of εἰς ὅν is not with ἀγ. but with one or both participles; but, if with both, the Revised Version fails by supplying an object to the first and so connecting the words with π. only. Translate therefore, "on whom though now not looking but believing ye exult" etc. Were the connection with the verb as in the Authorised Version, ἐν ῳ would be the construction required. The ancient versions appear to be for the most part singularly loose and unsatisfactory, as the Pesh. Syriac and Vulgate, which omit and add wildly. The Philoxenian Syriac is correct. The older English are inexact, Wiclif and Rhemish being the worst.
- In 9 Mr. T. S. Green rightly adheres to "salvation of souls," or in a general form soul-salvation. — In 11 it is hard to convey some little intimation of the phrase, which marginal3 (Gr. unto) scarcely meets, "the sufferings [that came] unto Christ," or "of Christ" as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. — Whether ἐν be or be not read in 12, the right version is "by" (hardly "with" as in the Authorised Version alone of English versions), the Rhemish treating the dative as a genitive absolute! in collision with all grammar, doubtless in subserviency to the Vulgate. I am disposed to take ἐν on full external evidence backed up by the usus loquendi already explained, notwithstanding A B and three cursives, meaning "in virtue of [the] Holy Spirit," who is looked at, not as a distinct personal object as in 11, but as a characteristic power for preaching the gospel. Only ignorance of the truth would therefore deny His presence personally in those who thus preached. The anarthrous form is the only correct one for expressing character, as here intended. — But why pass over the mistaken text of the Revisers, following the Authorised Version in 15? The marginal4 is more right, Ἅγ. being not a predicate but the virtual substantive of the phrase, "after the pattern of," or according to, "the Holy one that called you." — It seems peculiar that 20 should have passed muster with its uncalled for, not to say incorrect, "who was," as if the article were there. The force is rather, if we must supply anything for English ears, "foreknown as He was," and omitting "was" before "manifested."
In 1 Peter 2:1 is not "malice" (marg.8) better than the Revised text "wickedness"? It is allowed that the latter more general term may be well in such texts as Acts 8:22. — What has been said before in re-viewing the Revision need not be repeated now; but it seems to me that λογ. is one of those words which the christian revelation wanted and modified for its own purpose, elevating it from "reasonable" as in margin' or "belonging to the reason," as the Americans suggest, to "of the word." Compare Rom. 12:1. — In 5 is it not loose to render the text, "ye also … are built," as in Authorised and Revised Versions P Read "yourselves also … are being built" etc. — In 7 why not say, "A stone which the builders rejected, this was made head corner-stone"? — In 9 it ought to be more general, "a people for a possession," though doubtless God's possession is meant. — In 10 "God's people" suffices: and at the end "obtained" without "have," the fact now simply, in contrast with the previous state of Lo-ruhamah. — In 13 "to king" is best. — In 16 "having freedom," — the thing freedom as a cover of the thing malice. Even the Revisers do not say "your" wickedness; nor should they with freedom. The article is with both in Greek, not as a possessive, but because contrast makes the two objects, or in a measure personifies them. — The difference of aor. and pres. in 17 it is difficult to convey tersely in English. — The Americans rightly reject the supply of "them" (with Alford) or "things" (with Huther, etc.), and adhere with the Revisers to the Authorised Version with Wiclif and Rhemish. Tyndale gave here "the cause" (Pesh. Syr.), Cranmer "the vengeance," Geneva "the punishment."
1 Peter 3:1 shows a rendering similar to 1 Peter 2:18, and slightly different from 1 Peter 2:13, where it is the aorist, expressive of once-for-all action, as the need presented itself; here it is the present as expressing continuance or habit. — In 2 it is remarkable that those who contend for "in" almost to nausea abandon it here, where it might be, for the freer version of "coupled with fear," which has descended and prevailed since Tyndale. — In 3, 4, complication might be avoided by "On whose part let there be, not the outward ornament of" etc … "of the meek" etc. — In 12 it is "Jehovah's eyes," and "Jehovah's face." — It is not in 15 "Lord Christ," but Christ as Lord as in the Revised Version. — In 17 "to suffer doing well than doing ill," i.e. for the one rather than the other. — Is it not strange, first, that the Revisers should have perpetuated the error of the Authorised Version in 20, "Which … were," as if the Greek had been τοῖς, and next, that the Americans should be insensible to the mistake? The absence of the article proves the participle to be part of the predicate and assigns the reason of their present imprisonment, "disobedient as heretofore they were when" etc. — In 21, "not putting away of filth of flesh, but demand" etc.
1 Peter 4:1-2, the anarthrous construction is little heeded here by the Revisers or the Americans; see also 5, 6. — Nor is the plural unintentional which has been relegated to the margin.10 — In 11 there is need of little, if any, supply: "Let it be" would make the sense plain to the dullest. — In 12 "count not as strange the burning [i.e. of persecution] taking place among us for trial, as though" etc. It is not "has taken place" nor "which is to." The Revised Version is fairly good.
1 Peter 5:1. As the Revisers adopt οὖν "therefore," they have no right to "the" elders. It would be general in that case. — In 2 the weight of authorities is rather equally divided for and against the words "according to God," in the Revised Version but not in the Authorised Version. The Rhemish has the phrase following the Vulgate, and so Wiclif ("bi God") and Cranmer "(after a Godly sorte)" in a parenthesis of italics. The Complutensian editors have it not, any more than the Vatican MS. and others; the Sin., Alex., and Porph. uncials give it. But there need be no hesitation in rejecting the American preference of the error of the Authorised Version in Rom. 8:27, which our translators never ventured to repeat as to the same phrase in 2 Cor. 7:9-10, 11, Eph. 4:24, or 1 Peter 4:6, which is in contrast with κατ᾽ ἄνθρωπον and really is a far different idea from and far larger than κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ with which they would identify it. Beza influenced the Authorised Version, and Wetstein sought vainly to defend it; but the heathen, who are so unwisely quoted in that defence, could hardly be expected to understand "after a divine sort" or "character," in contrast with what suits a man. It is nature and mind rather than "will." — Other points may be left at present.
On the Second Epistle the American Committee have a little more to say, but not much. In 2 Peter 1:1, they prefer marg.4 to the text, and therefore would have them exchange places. Is not this a singular choice? Even G. Wakefield, heterodox as he was, translated as the Revisers. No scholar who has adequately weighed the construction contests that the omission of the second article admits of two persons strictly united in joint agency, where the phrase does not describe a single person. Contextual scope must decide which is intended; but even where it is a unity of two before the mind rather than one person, which is expressed by the one common article, the phrase seems impossible unless both stood on precisely the same platform of nature or position. Now I am disposed to believe that in the Epistles of Peter, as in that to the Hebrews, the inspired writer meant to strengthen those addressed in the great truth that Jesus was the Jehovah of Israel, the true God, no less than the Father. The righteousness in question was His faithfulness to promise in bestowing faith on them; for it could be said to the Jews, beyond any other people under heaven, "To you is the promise and to your children, and to all that are afar off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Him." Of them only, since Abram, is there at all times a remnant according to the election of grace.
Again no notice is taken of that common fault in the Revisers, the needless enfeebling indefinite article of ours twice over. Our tongue does not require "a" before "servant" or "bondman"; yet it seems harsh to omit in English "the" before "righteousness," though Mr. Green does so. "In" the righteousness might mislead, because here it would tend to convey the idea of righteousness as the object of faith,* according to a favourite dream of Calvinistic theology, which is in no way meant, as even the Puritan Dr. John Owen candidly acknowledges. God was righteous in giving them faith no less precious than the apostles' according to His promise to the fathers. "By" in the Geneva V. is legitimate or even "through," though this last might be taken the mere means (διά); whereas it is their God and Saviour's fidelity to His word, in virtue of which He secured their believing. If "in" were. thus understood, it would be all right, as in ver. 2, where the form of the phrase is not quite the same as in 1 and is correctly given in almost all versions. — The reading in 3 is not altogether sure, B K L and the great majority sustaining the common text, Erasmus and the Compl. edd., Stephens, Beza, Elzevirs; etc. whilst A C P, a decent little corps of cursives (at least 12), and a very weighty portion of Vv. support ἰδίᾳ ("by His own"). The difference in result is however much less than it might seem at for what after all is the dogmatic distinction between "through glory and virtue," and "by His "own glory and virtue?" Little or nothing beyond emphatic appropriation of glory to God, in order to enhance its bearing on the believer's call by it.
But how came the Authorised Translators to make so stupendous a blunder as to render διὰ δ. "to" glory? They were misled by the Geneva V., as it was by Beza, who knew the reading approved of by most modern critics, yet rejected not it only but the unequivocal meaning of his own text in deference to his theological idol. Hence he sets Rom. 9:23; Rom. 15:7; 1 Cor. 2:7; 1 Thess. 2:12, etc. against διά here in its regular sense, and will have it used for εἰς! as in Rom. 6:4! — both, it need scarce be added, baseless and very reprehensible blunders, to the ruin of the truth conveyed by the Holy Spirit. But he is right in taking ἀρ. of man (as in 5), and not of God, the plural in 1 Peter 2:9 having quite a different force, whatever Dean Alford may have urged. We are not like Adam who had to abide in his first estate, but sinned. Neither are we like Israel under the government of the law given by Moses to control and condemn. We are called out of our evil and ruin by God's own glory in hope, which demands meanwhile virtue, i.e. energy in refusing our own will or case. Bengel did not understand the passage.
- The "your" is uncalled for six times in 5-7, while the small point is noticed of changing "love of the brethren" into "brotherly kindness" as in the Authorised Version, and the former is relegated to the margin. — Of still less significance seem the suggestions as to 17, 18, of "was borne" and "borne" for "came" and "come," though of course the literal meaning, with the omission of the marg.12 13. Without doubt the Authorised Version is less accurate than all its predecessors in 18. This voice we (emphatically) heard come, "borne," "uttered," from heaven, not "which came" merely. It is better it should be, as the Americans suggest, "by the Majestic glory"; so Winer had long ago remarked (Moulton's ed. 462), "all other explanations being arbitrary." Luke 1:26 means "by" or "of" God, not "from," if the reading were certainly ὑπό. — In 20 no remark is made on the vagueness of interpretation, any more than on the dubious text of 21.
* So it is in the misreading of the Sinaitic MS. εἰς δ. and in some Latin copies, contrary to the unquestionable stream of testimony.
In 2 Peter 2:13 they would for "love-feasts" read "deceivings" and say in marg.12 "Some ancient authorities read love-feasts." Assuredly it is strong, in a New Testament that aspires to universal use (dislodging the Authorised Version) to adopt a reading on the very slender testimony of Acorr B and a cursive, with perhaps the Vulgate and some versions, vague enough in all conscience, as all other authority, and hence only by Lachmann, Tregelles, and the recent Cambridge editors. — There seems in fact little to detain in this. But one might have that the anarthrous form of the Greek in the last verse might have had a notice, "A dog" returned, etc. and "A sow" when washed etc.
On 2 Peter 3 they are wholly silent. Yet the first verse seems to invite correction. "This [is] now, beloved, a second letter I am writing to you." As the first was written to the christian Jews in Asia Minor, so was the second for the same parties: a fact which has no small bearing on ver. 15 and the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews. God would give the simple a divinely formed conviction without going beyond the bounds of scripture. Paul's epistles too, including that written to the christian Jews, were scripture.
Our friends have yet less to remark on the profoundly interesting and momentous Epistle before us. The Revisers have indeed corrected serious errors in the Authorised Version, and in general done well. But was there nothing to notice till near the end of 1 John 3? Why "declare" in 1 John 1:2 and again in 3? The Revisers had already given like the Authorised Version "declared" to ἐξηγ. in John 1:18. They are quite right in discriminating ἀπαγγ — from ἀγγ. But why not adhere to its strict sense "report"? They correctly cleave to "message" for the uncompounded substantive in 5.
- "Report" for ἀπαγγ. in 2, 3 is just as suitable as in its ordinary usage. The Revisers have shown undue deference to the Authorised Version in contenting themselves from the beginning of the New Testament with "tell" or "show" "bring word" or "report" being better in the first occurrence (Matt. 2:8). There are cases where the context makes "report" harsh; but here, so far is this from being so, that no word appears so appropriate to my mind. It admirably suits the peculiar relation of the apostle to Christ on the one hand and to the saints addressed on the other. It imports the authority that sent the message, or at least the source whence it was brought. Again, is it not peculiar to give here only "the life, the eternal life?" — Though the precisely same structure occurs in 1 John 2:25 they are content with "the life eternal." One need not adduce other phrases to show how little it was called for. — In 4 it is well known what conflict there is in the readings and the editions, and this in a twofold question. Should it be ἡμεῖς or ὑμῖν? and again ἡμῶν or ὑμῶν? If apparent difficulty will have weight, as goes the familiar maxim of all textual the first person must be allowed to be the less obvious; a corrector's hand would probably bring in the second. Even Stephens and Elzevir do not agree as to the last pair, the Compl. edition joining the former, as did Beza in his first edition, but not in those subsequent. So Tischendorf wavered in both clauses, his eighth edition adopting the first personal pronoun. Both MSS. and Vv. of the highest character have additions unmeaning or worse.
- In 5, as has been already stated, the true word is ἀγγελία "message," which all critics endorse, though excellent authority sustains the unquestionable error of ἐπαγγ. imported here from 1 John 2:25 where it is certainly right. That this is so finds confirmation in 1 John 3:11, where ἐπαγγ. occurs again in some first-rate authorities, though it really is nonsense. This is one of the cases where Colinaeus alone presents the true reading. Did the Authorised translators know this? It is curious that they should give the true sense from the false text of all the other old editions. — In 6 we see as elsewhere, "the" darkness. Perhaps the abstract use of the article was forgotten. It is a question of specific darkness in contrast with "the" light, which would give the article.
- In 7 "Christ" has not only many suffrages but some authorities of weight; yet there can be little doubt that the Revisers have rightly dropt it. In the same verse it is surely open to question at least whether "every" sin be not more exact than "all." To this may be opposed "all" unrighteousness in 9; but there is meant "every" kind of act, though it be less easy to say so in English of these moral ideas where "all" is on the whole best. To the repentant believers God is faithful and just, not only in remitting their sins as a whole but in cleansing them from every shade of unrighteousness. It is the principle in all its absoluteness, as John loves to speak. See again the force of the present in 7, not mere historic actuality, but the abstract truth, which from the first abides true for the believer. Even in 10 the aorist is avoided, as being the tense of narrative; it is the question of our being no sinners, the denial of our being in that position, which gives God the lie. This is a bolder evil and more flatly opposes His word than saying we have no sin, bad as this self-deception is. The perfect presents the general truth of a continuous state resulting from past acts.
In 1 John 2:1 the Americans should have observed the need of discriminating τεκνία from παιδία in this Epistle. The former term beyond doubt includes the family of God as a whole, the latter designates only the youngest portion. Hence, if we adopt "little children" for the one, "babes" might well express the other; if for τ. we are content with "children," we might add "little" children for π. in 13, 18 where alone it occurs here. It is confusing and misleads to express no difference as in the Authorised and Revised Vv. Again, none would gather that "righteous" at the end is anarthrous. Bp. Middleton need not excuse the writer; who means to draw attention especially to that quality "as righteous." The general sense, however, of 1, 2, is accurately given in the Revised Version where the Authorised translation had greatly failed. — So it is in 8, where the Authorised Version exaggerates while it is also feeble. The darkness is not "past," but passing away. — Why the Revisers say "hath" blinded in 11 does not appear. The fact was enough for the Spirit of God. — In 12 there is no doubt that the weight of external evidence is greatly in favour of ἔγραψα, but there is sufficient testimony in support of γράφω. This, in my judgment, is demanded by internal considerations, easily mistaken by superficial scribes who in all probability changed the form of the verb to suit their perversion through ignorance. The complications of commentators are as helpless as those of the critics. Hence Dr. Wordsworth joins with those whom he often opposes. The truth intended is perfectly clear, though ancients and moderns agree in missing it. There is first the γραφω, "I write," to the little children or entire family; the apostle writes to all because their sins are forgiven them for His name's sake. Then follows to each section, fathers, young men, and babes, thrice γράφω, "I write." But next is thrice repeated the form ἔγραψα, "I wrote," which goes over the ground again, with increasing enlargement to the "young men" (14-17) and to the "babes" (18-27), after which the comprehensive τ. "little children" is resumed in the Epistle, as it had preceded. I presume that the scribes did not observe this, and imagined the threefold connection lay in the end of 13 with 14, and so assimilated the form of the verb. They ought to have seen the threefold exhortation of 13, taken up again and expanded in 14-27. — The version in 19 is literally correct (not margin2); but is it a good idiomatic rendering? It is not the universality that is denied, but its predicate: "none are of us;" or "all are not of us." The Authorised version or the margin2 is not sense. Compare the end of ver. 21 and the points may be left.
On the whole the Revised Version of 1 John 3 is good; so that criticism is justly disarmed. Important, errors in the Authorised Version are corrected in 1, 2, 3, and 4. It is in 19, 20 that the Americans would read and punctuate "him: because if our heart condemn us, God" etc. (with the present text in the margin). It appears to me that neither is right, and that God being greater than our heart, and knowing all things, is brought in, not for consolation where our heart condemns but to deepen self-judgment. It is state, not standing, that is in question. The construction is peculiar from the double ὅτι, which is not without example in the New Testament without construing it as "because," but referring to the opening words.
1 John 4 does not furnish matter for the correction of the American Committee. Yet they might have noticed failure in reflecting the force of the text of 2, 3, which, it appears to me, would not prove a barrier insuperable to an evil spirit animating a false prophet. Nay, some of these insist with great force on the Lord's coming in flesh, as Irvingites, etc. Wherein then lies the ground? It is the confession of the person, not, of the bare fact. It should be therefore: "every spirit which confesseth Jesus Christ come in flesh is of God; and every spirit which confesseth not Jesus is not of God." It is the divine One comb in flesh that is confessed or not,. The evil spirit might urge that He came in flesh, to deny His deity or to insinuate the fallen character of His humanity, which last in effect denies His Godhead and makes the atonement impossible. Indeed this is the great root-lie of Satan against the truth among nominal christians. — Passing hence to 9, "in us" of the text is liable to misunderstanding, margin1 being far better; so in 16 also. — In 17 is an important correction, we may say by the way.
So, as all know, in 1 John 7, 8, not to speak of 6, as in 13, the true text is correctly represented in the Revised Version. — There remains in 18 the American preference of margin2 himself (for "him" in the text on the slender witness of Ap.m. B 105. as opposed to all other authority). Dean Alford went so far indeed as to translate "it keepeth him" i.e. the divine birth pointed at in the aor. part. γεννηθείς, "he that was begotten." Mere theory, it seems to me, would deny the reflexive pronoun here.
All the notice taken of the Revisers' work is to say "1 (and 5) "lady" add marg. Or, Cyria." Either the British Committee have been remarkably successful or the American company have not been clearsighted, or some one else is disposed to be fastidious, which in any unfair sense I abhor. For there seem to be graver questions than of Cyria for "lady," though so understood from Athanasius (not to speak of Syrr.) down to Bengel, Griesbach, De Wette, Lachmann and Tischendorf. Wetstein, Grotius, Bp. Middleton, like R. Stephens in his third edition of 1550 (not in those of 1546 and 1549), decided for Electa as the proper name. This however seems disproved by the last verse of the Epistle, where it would be equally harsh to consider that her sister bore the same name, or that the epithet should be used so equivocally, if it be a proper name in the first verse. There remains the more generally accepted sense given in the Authorised and Revised Versions and all the older English, save the Rhemish; whereas the Vulg. and Aethiopp. (if not the Sah. and Memph., which seem ambiguous) support "elect lady," which Jerome took as symbolic of the catholic church, an alternative meaning in Cramer's Cat. Pat. Gr. viii. 146, as it was held by other ancients. It was an error no doubt, as was the application to Corinth, Philadelphia, Jerusalem; no less than the tradition which gave it to Drusia, Martha, or the Virgin Mary, each of whom has had a defender. But one sees not why in this case the anarthrous construction in 1 should be unheeded, "to an elect lady" etc. Where the sense requires the article as in 13, it is duly inserted. Some for another purpose have reasoned on the greeting, not of the elect sister, but only of her children, forgetting that she might be deceased or absent from the place whence John wrote, and in either case could not be included in the salutation sent. But the entire phrase, as it forbids the symbolical interpretation, general or particular, corroborates most simply the ordinary view, only with our indefinite article; which phrase may have been employed to veil the name of the lady, while the fact and duty are carefully recorded. — In 3 no notice is taken of John's peculiar phrase παρά, "on the part of God," not ἀπό, "from God" as in the Pauline Epistles. It is more intimate (cf. 4). That Cod. Sin.pm and more than ten cursives here read the more distant preposition ἀπό cannot shake the ordinary text, either here or, in some of them, the omission of the second παρά. It is a much more doubtful question whether κυρίου "Lord" should be inserted in the same verse. authorities plead for and against. It would be the solitary case, if genuine, of so designating Christ in John's Epistles; but then it is the solitary case of a full and solemn salutation. Still I cannot but regard it as no less questionable than other assimilations to the style of the apostle Paul. — But had our American friends no compunction at the introduction into the version of the epistolary aorist or English present in 4, without even an intimation in the margin? In 3 John 3 they on the contrary give the proper aoristic to the text but the epistolary in the marg.! which involves the rest of the verse rather harshly in the same form. The perfect εὕρ. "I have found" does not prove it even in this Second Epistle. He only intimates the permanence of the discovery, while he does not go beyond the expression of a definite time of joy. — On the question of εἴχαμεν or εἴχομεν in 5 we need not enter now, nor the true connection of ἵνα. — The Revisers did well in abandoning the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version in 7; for "entered" (εἰσῆλθον), though supported by K L P and many cursives, etc. has no just sense, but ἐξῆλθον "went," or are gone, "forth." Compare 1 John 4:1, where there is no various reading in the corresponding word. On the other hand the same objection applies here as in 1 John 4:2-3. It is not the bare fact that Jesus was to come in flesh, but His person as so coming, which the deceivers do not confess. The participle, it will be noticed, is abstract or, as Alford says, altogether timeless. And very energetic is the statement, that "the" deceiver and "the" antichrist meet in him who thus dishonours the incarnate Son of God, though there is one full and final person according to prophecy to sum up and close the dismal category in his own time, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy in person. — In 8 reigns great confusion of copyists, who did not like the first person here, as being unusual and tampered with more or less from early times, The common text appears to be right. — But the Text. Rec. of 9 is utterly wrong in παραβαίνων "transgressing," which flowed from prevalent feeling and ignorance, instead of προάγων, going forward or taking the lead, the contrast of abiding in the teaching or doctrine of Christ — the truth of His person. "Going before [you]," as Alford suggests, like John 10:4, is ridiculously poor and wrong. It is rather development, — a characteristic of the school of tradition which deifies the church, or the yet more irrelevant invention of heresiarchs impatient to advance beyond the limits of revelation. Neither prizes the truth and nothing but the truth, both go outside the truth to its destruction, utterly ignorant of the whole truth, which Christ is at least as much as what He taught. The repetition of τ. χ. "of Christ," in the latter half of the verse is superfluous. The oldest and best authorities not only omit this, but adhere to the order of "the Father and the Son," contrary to A and Latin copies. — In 10 "your" is uncalled for. Had more definiteness been intended it was open to the writer to have said τήν or even to have added the pronoun: εἰς οἰκίαν is intentionally characteristic, or as we say "at home," and all the more forcible in certain cases. The antichristian teacher, coming to set forth Christ, was neither to be received, nor even greeted. It is the most extreme case, because it is no question of intelligence or privilege like church matters, nor merely discipline, but of foundations: the Christ of God was at stake; and woe be to the man who betrays Him! To confound this with other things, grave indeed in their measure, as some do who boast, is dense ignorance, and shows a lie in the right hand, which will work ruin. Here uncompromising rejection is but due to the injured Son of God. Even to greet is spurious sympathy and real sin. — In 12 our "I was not minded" fairly meets οὐκ ἐβ. (better than ἠβ.) — It is surprising that ἡμῶν "our" should not be preferred to ὑμῶν, "your." If A B, a good many cursives, and most ancient Vv. sustain the latter, K L P, many cursives, and ancient Vv. support the former, as the critics are rather evenly divided, Griesbach, Scholz, Tischendorf, and Wordsworth for ἡ. as Alford, Lachmann, Tregelles, and the Cambridge Editors for ὑ. But the first person couples the apostle with those he is writing to, a weighty element in the joy of those concerned, which the second person leaves out, in my judgment to the weakening of the truth here conveyed.
The American Committee would blot out marg.2 to 4 and in 8 give "for" (like the Authorised Version "to") rather than "with" as in the Revised Version. On both a word may be said in each place.
In 1 (and 3) the exclusion of the article is exact and not without its importance in this as in the previous Epistle, character, and not objectiveness, being intended. Compare this with the end of 4 where in "the" truth is right, though the article is omitted by Ccorr K L P. There is no loving or walking in truth, if we have not "the" truth to walk in. — In 2 the poetic sense of περὶ π. is quite untenable here, though adopted by Beza and in the Geneva Bible before the Authorised Version. It is contrary to all sound doctrine that John prayed "in primis" or "above all things" for Gaius' prosperity. As to, about, or in all things he prays that he may prosper and be in health, even as his soul prospers — this last the hinge on which he could pray that he might fare well in circumstances and bodily health. To make either or both his especial prayer is not unscriptural only but unreasonable, and below a Jew if not a heathen. Is it not startling that so flagrant, a fault should have got in, and since the Reformation too? Certainly Wiclif is loose ("of all things I make preier that thou enter and fare wilfulli?" etc.), is be overlooked apparently the first "prospere" of the Vulgate, to speak of no other flaw.
Tyndale, though right in his version of π. π., strangely deals with ὑγ. is "faredest well" which would answer better to εὐοδ., and so the Rhemish. Erasmus, though right where Beza led the way in error, extinguished all the touching grace of the verse by his impersonal vagueness, de omnibus opto, ut prospere agant et recte valeant, sicut" etc. — Had our Trans-atlantic friends nothing to say of the marg.1 to 3? To take it as present was in no way due to the participles following the verse; and less, if possible, to the purposely general statement in 4. — In 4 the marg.2 seems extravagantly wrong, even though B 7.35. Vulg. in its best copies (save Tol. etc.) Memph. favour it. Wiclif ("I have not more grace of these things than that" etc.) and the Rhemish ("Greater thanks have I not of them than that" etc.). help to expose its hopeless unsoundness. The error for a scribe was easy, but hard for a sober and intelligent believer. Some have a morbid partiality for a singular variation; but none as yet had the hardihood to adopt it save the learned editors of Cambridge in their recent work. — Is not the rendering of the Revised Version in 5 likely to support Lachmann's reading ἐργάζῃ rather than the unquestionable ἐργάσῃ, not to speak of failing to distinguish ἐργ. and ποι.? Otherwise there is good service rendered in most that follows, where the Authorised Version has serious mistakes or shortcomings.
- In 6 let me say that, though we cannot well express the anarthrous ἐν. ἐκκλ. as here meant, Winer has no better reason than elsewhere to account for the omission by any peculiar property in the word or any license in its usage. Such explanations spring from mere defect of analysis. Nor is the sense before "a" church, as translates Mr. T. S. Green; though grammatically possible, the sense is unsuitable. The absence of the article is to express character; they witnessed of Gaius's love before (the) assembly, not man nor yet God only, but ecclesiastically as such. Compare Acts 9:15; Acts 19:19; Acts 28:35; Rom. 12:17; 2 Cor. 8:21; 1 Tim. 5:20; 1 Tim. 6:12. It is rigidly accurate, though English does not appear capable of well expressing the nice shade. — In 7 one might say "for on behalf of the Name, they went forth," rather than "because that for the sake of" etc. ὑπὲρ τ. ὀν. here hardly imports the same as διὰ τὸ ὄν. αὐτοῦ in 1 John 2:12."Welcome" in 8 is a reading differing from the Received Text and should be noted. The word means to "take up" or "sustain" and should be distinguished from "receive" in 9, 10, the first use of which seems not recognising the apostle's authority in what he wrote, or rejecting him virtually, the second not admitting, to fellowship rather than hospitality, the visiting brethren, but casting out of the church those, who would do so. "For" was Dean Alford's notion, but "with" as in the Revised Version and others seems more forcible.
- In 9 there is a short but weighty omission in the common text in which the Revisers reinstate τι "somewhat" on the strong authority of A B C 7.68. Sah. Memph. et Arm. corr with more than ten cursives etc. join K L P and most cursives in omitting the indef-pronoun, but the former add ἄν which gives to the verb the force of "I should have written to" etc. And this appears to be the ground of the Vulgate's extraordinary "forsitan," the "peradventure" of Wiclif, and the "perhaps" of the Rhemish; which any christians should have felt and known to be out of harmony with divine truth, and simply impossible: I mean, not the reading ἄν, but the Latin rendering followed by its English reproducers. It would seem from the context in 10, that the subject, matter communicated was the apostle's commendation of the evangelizing brethren, dear to him, but offensive in the eyes of Diotrephes. He stood on assumed authority and resisted the apostle, the highest authority then on earth, who stood for the truth and loved those who walked in it and preached it on behalf of Christ's name.
The Americans in 1 would (like the Geneva, Rhemish, and Authorised Versions) read "Jude" for "Judas," adding in marg. Gr. Judas: a remarkable note, especially from those who do not value current customs like the old world. Yet they adopt "Judas," not Jude, in Matt. 10:4, etc. passim Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Acts 5:37; Acts 9:11; Acts 15:22, etc. In Matt. 1: etc. they do not object to "Judah" for the same word. Such variety in English seems undesirable. The Revisers, with Wiclif, Tyndale, and Cranmer, seem to me fully justified in giving "Judas," save in citations from the Old Testament where they perpetuate the Hebrew form. As usual we have no notice of the Revisers' failure to deal with anarthrous description, which they have represented aright in the second member, not in the first. Was it not as easy to have said, "servant of Jesus Christ," as "brother of James"? "A" was uncalled for in either case. It has also been remarked (in B. T. Aug. 1882, p. 127) that τοῖς κλ. should not be confounded with τ. κεκλ. as the Revisers do, whereas the Holy Spirit pointedly employs the perf. part. in the two included words of predication, but the verbal adj. with the more direct address.
There need be no hesitation in dismissing "sanctified" for "beloved" on the authority of the best MSS. and almost all the ancient versions as well as distinct citation in early times. But it is question able whether "for" is right with "kept." That the saints are and were both beloved and kept has great force in so solemn a sketch of imminent apostacy as is here portrayed. But the mischief was by these destroyers getting in, not by erring men going out in outward separation, as is generally and unintelligently assumed. It would have been a great mercy, if they had gone out as in 1 John 2. Ver. 19 is no real difficulty for this view; for the rest of the Epistle proves they were within, intent on their evil purpose or blinded instruments of a worse; and therefore their divisive way was within, not without, so far like the Pharisees among the Jews. — In 4 the Americans would have "written of beforehand," and put "set forth" into the ρογ. They overlook also the old inaccuracy of taking κρῖμα αs "condemnation" which is rather κατάκρ. In effect, it becomes this; but we ought always to translate correctly.
- In 5 they have allowed to pass the feeble rendering of the Authorised and Revised Versions, "afterward;" whereas its force seems to be to mark "the second time" of divine action: first, He saved a people out of Egypt; in the second place, He destroyed them. Still wider of the mark were Tyndale and Cranmer who connected τὸ δ. with "those that believed not." The Rhemish follows the Vulgate in the true sense; and if some wonder at "Jesus" there, let them remember that excellent authority supports this word, though κύριος, Jehovah, (or ὁ κ. "the Lord," in the Text. Rec.) has perhaps stronger claims on our acceptance. — In 6 they do not notice the scarcely English phrase "hath kept … unto," though one may shrink from G. Wakefield's "keepeth" as hardly a right rendering of the perf. But "hath in keeping" might suffice. — And why in 7 should not "the" have been avoided with δίκ as well as "a"? — So in 8 too. It is not spiritual defilement, but fleshly. "The" makes it too concrete, as in all the old English versions. — And had they no question about the rendering of ἑα υτ ποι. in 12, even if ἀφ. be severed from the preceding and connected with the following, as the Revisers prefer, with the Authorised Translation after Erasmus and Beza? "Shepherds that … feed" is a fertile if legitimate rendering of ποι., if "deluding" is a wild suggestion of Wakefield, though he sends us for confirmation to a lengthy note on Luke 17:7-8, in his Silva Crit. ii. 85 -90. — Elsewhere has been a full comment in these pages on the odd rendering of 14 "to" these, so that there is the less need to enlarge now. "For," "of," "as to," are legitimate renderings here. But "themselves" as in the Elzevirian text of 19 is an addition to that which is attested by the most reliable witnesses, and looks as if meant to clench the ecclesiastical meaning given to ἀποδ. which means separatism, but of a definite kind within rather than without. To treat it as schism, or rather "heresy" in its scriptural force of a party gone outside, is quite at issue with the intimations of this Epistle. — On 22 the Americans would add a not very important marg. note.
THE REVELATION 1.-7.
Having discussed the details of the Revised New Testament in this closing book with comparative minuteness, I may be allowed to notice more rapidly what little the American Committee have to say.
They merely propose the omission of two marg. notes, in 8 of marg.8, and in 13 of marg.11 There are insertions of less account than the former; and few of greater moment than the latter. For though the text ("a son of man") seems literally faithful, John 5:27 ought to have made not only the Revisers hesitate as to their text but our Transatlantic friends still more doubt the wisdom of their rejecting the marg. note. The Greek, like the Chaldee of Dan. 7, has not the article as is notorious, because the aim is to describe the human character of the glorious person that was seen, rather than to point to Him as a known object. Our language fails to reflect this characterising force of the anarthrous phrase; for if we say "the," it makes the person as such more prominent than the original warrants; if we say "a," it excludes Him who was well understood to be seen in the character of Son of man, which we can express better in the Gospel than here. The Father gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is Son of man, though He is also Son of God and as such gives life to every one that believes. Here, in John's great prophecy, it is more difficult to set it out adequately in English, and one can hardly avoid saying "the" Son of man, though in Italics or brackets or some such expedient, to show that it is not in Greek but due to the exigencies of our tongue. But as "a son of man" in the Revised text falls short of the truth, so the omission of the marg.11 in 13 by the Americans is a bolder departure still as giving up a truer alternative. The insertion of the article in Greek would have spoiled the real bearing of both passages. How to give the best possible English equivalent may be questionable; but "a son of man" is not the sense meant either in Dan. 7 or in Rev. 1 any more than in John 5
In Rev. 3:2 they for the Revisers, "fulfilled" read "perfected." But is not the true version "complete" rather than either? "Perfected" is appropriated by the Revisers, and without objection on the part of the Americans, to another word and for another thought, as in the Epistle to the Hebrews.
In Rev. 4:6 what they mean by "'of the throne' add marg. Or, before" seems unintelligible. I can only conjecture that they propose "before" as an alternative for "in the midst of." If so, it is plainly untenable; for in the same verse, and distinguished from ἐνώπιον τ. θρ., is ἐν μέσῳ τ. θρ. which can only be rendered "in the midst of the throne," an idea quite different from "before." The proposal is still more mystified by referring us to the comparison of Rev. 5:6, and Rev. 7:17, where we have the Lamb, not "before," but "in the midst of the throne."
So in Rev. 5:6 their marg. addition seems quite unfounded and apparently due to Dean Alford's strange note, probably misled by the Germans, one of whom is so ignorant of the elements of Apocalyptic imagery as to conceive the Lamb on the sea of glass! Perhaps the American Committee may have slipped into this notion. Certainly that sea was "before" the throne. How dangerous is this guess work!
To Rev. 6:6 they would append an explanatory note in the margin, instead of the more vague words of the Revisers. — In 11 "completed" appears once more to be best; or, "complete" their course, if the active form is to prevail as in many, and some ancient, authorities.
Of Rev. 7:17 it is unnecessary to say more.
Not a word have the Americans to say of Rev. 8:3, though they might have seen the technical force of δ. admitted in the Authorised Version of Rev. 11:3, which the Revisers have now blotted out everywhere in the book — i.e. give power, or render effectual. All the previous versions differ, and all are as wrong, it appears to me.
In Rev. 10:6 they rightly prefer the marg. alternative "delay" to the textual "time," as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. "Time" in fact only misleads; as, according to the book itself, more than a thousand years elapse from the seventh angel's beginning to sound, before eternity is come; whereas every one would infer from these versions that eternity must at once follow the sounding of that trumpet. But χρόνος in the Apocalypse as elsewhere is regularly used for "a while or space," a "lapse of time that intervenes" i.e. a delay:* see Rev. 2:21, Rev. 6:11, Rev. 20:3. So it is for example in Acts 14:3, 28, 15:23, 18:20, 23, 19:22, etc. There is really no excuse for the mistake of the Revisers. It is a mere perpetuation of traditional ignorance. Indeed it would be hard for any one to produce a single instance in the New Testament of the abstract force of "time," in contrast with "eternity," which is so arbitrarily conceived to occur here. Mr. E. B. Elliott's addition of it prolonged" or "extended" is quite uncalled for.
*So far Vitringa is quite right (Anacrisis Apoc. 577): "non sunt accipienda absolute, acsi sensus eorum esseti cum clangore Tubicinii Septimi omnia terminatum ira Secula, quae Deus Ecclesiae suae in his terris destinaverat, expectandam gloriosam ἐπιφάνειαν, quae finem impositura sit verum sublunarium motibus et afflictionibus Ecclesiae; quomodo bene multi Interpretes haec verba explicarunt; sed restricte secundum ipsius Ioannis interpretationem, eo quem dedimus sensu: Moram nullam temporis esse intercessuram inter clangorem Septimae tubae et oraculorum propheticorum implementum," etc. Every scholar knows that this sense is classical as well as Hellenistic. it is the only one that waits the context and falls in with the truth in general.
In Rev. 12:4 there is no doubt that the Americans are justified in giving a present force to the principal verb ("standeth"), and hence to the correction that follows. The truth is that here as in the Old Testament prophecy the Seer was expressly inspired to intermingle the past with the present and future. All was thus felt the more vividly to be before God who made His word known. This has led to a little swerving from a literal rendering.
In Rev. 13:1 (or end of Rev. 12) the Americans rightly contend for at least a marg. addition to "he stood" thus: — "Some ancient authorities read I stood etc., connecting the clause with what follows." Why, it is the reading of B P, all the known cursives save two, more than one ancient version and the Greek commentators Andreas and Arethas. Tischendorf retains it, notwithstanding, in his eighth or last edition. Was this beneath a marginal notice? — In my opinion they are no less right in suggesting that marg.5 and the text, ver. 8 should exchange places. (Comp. Rev. 17:8.)
In Rev. 14:6 they would for "an eternal gospel" read "eternal good tidings." Would not "everlasting" be more correct? There is a shade of difference in our tongue. I do not find that the Americans contend for "good" or "glad tidings" elsewhere: why here only? — But ἐξηράνθη in 15 does not mean "ripe" but perhaps "over-ripe" or simply and literally "dried up." Why should this be departed from?
Rev. 15:2 seems to be in the Revised Version as strongly rendered as the Greek can fairly bear.
Rev. 16:9 does not stand happily in the Revised Version though expressing the Greek article in English — at least so it seems to the Americans and to me. It is another case with 11, as all agree. — The margin might have been added in 16.
In Rev. 19:15 there is no good reason why those who said "God, the Almighty" (or some equivalent) in Rev. 1:8, Rev. 4:8, Rev. 11:17, Rev. 15:3, Rev. 16:7, 14, Rev. 19:6, should say, "Almighty God" without the English def. article in this verse.
In Rev. 22:3 is a needless departure from the almost invariable rendering of the Revised Version no less than of the Authorised Version in "do service" for the simpler "serve." The only approach to it elsewhere is in their version of Heb. 12:28 where they have "offer service"; but they might plead εὐαρέστως as modifying the sentence and inducing them to prefer "offer service well-pleasing to God," instead of the dignified simplicity of our old "serve God acceptably." However this be, in the Apocalypse it is hard to imagine why they should depart from their own well-nigh uniform practice, to give us a more cumbrous form in accordance with none of their predecessors.
FRAGMENT. — The absence of elders in Corinth necessarily made the charge to the assembly direct. How blessed for a day when they cannot be regularly! And how unworthy to complain of their absence now and to neglect the word that was given to direct in such circumstances!