The Re-Translation or Revision of the Bible.

Original Contributions

C. E. Stuart, Bible Treasury, 2nd Edition, Volume 1, June 1856.

{The original article as printed has the Hebrew text in many places. This has not been reproduced here for lack of expertise.}

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It is not God's desire that any of His intelligent creatures should remain in ignorance of His will as far as He has been pleased to communicate it. Great in counsel, excellent in working, His plans, when unfolded by the Holy Ghost, must ever afford delight and occupation to those who, whatever may be their rank in the universe, know that He is God, and they are His servants.

"The angels that excel in strength do His will, hearkening to the voice of His Word." Possessed of finite intelligence, the revelation of what has been for ages hidden in the mind of God does afford them subjects for meditation as they see His counsels gradually unveiled before their eyes; and kept by God, "the elect angels" as the Word describes them, what He does, and what He says has for them an interest beyond anything else. For what can interest a creature, whose heart is right with God, so much as that which concerns Him, and redounds to His glory? Accordingly we read, that they desire to look into the things concerning the Lord Jesus, now reported unto us by them that have preached the gospel unto us with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. (1 Peter 1:12.) They learn there, not only God's will for them, and the service He would have them render to the heirs of salvation, but God's mind and purpose about His Son; His wonderful plan of salvation and everlasting blessing for sinners; the manner by which all that He is can be displayed; His authority, where it has been impugned, be vindicated, and Himself be fully glorified. For all this, though not yet to be recorded as having a place in the history of the universe, is nevertheless the subject of divine revelation. God has spoken of it, and from His words His creatures may now learn what He will yet do. So interested then are the angels in all that concerns God, that, although this revelation was made for man, and for the most part direct from God to man, they desire to look into it. By the church is now made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenlies the manifold wisdom of God. (Eph. 3:10.) From His word, by the prophets, they learned the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow. For the announcement of that wonder of wonders, the humiliation and death of the Son of God, was made to man, not angels. Then predictions of what He would do, and how low He would stoop, was first disclosed in the word of the Lord by the prophets.

What an honour has God put on His prophets, His apostles, the church! The children of Adam, according to the flesh, have become in His goodness and favour the medium of communicating to the angelic hosts the counsels of God, till then hidden in the secret recesses of His heart. Men, not angels, have been the general depositories of His truth, regarding His Son, the destiny of this world, and all connected with it. They needed a revelation, for they were fallen, and, without it, must have perished for ever. They are more directly concerned in it, because, if believers on Christ — children of God, they are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. They have a place before God, and a relationship to Him, such as no angel can aspire to. They have an association with the Lord Jesus Christ, such as none but the redeemed can enjoy. All then, that God has been pleased to reveal, should surely interest His children. Shall, we rest satisfied with the knowledge of salvation and deliverance for ourselves from everlasting wrath? Had the elect angels no interest outside the knowledge of their personal safety, they would not have been described as looking into the things concerning the Lord Jesus. Should we not, sensible of the favour shown to us, desire to become acquainted with this revelation, whether it directly bears upon our personal salvation, or not? Has God been, for a period of 4000 years, unfolding step by step His mind, and shall we be careless about the terms He has employed? Shall He confide to us the manner of the kingdom, or the course of events, which must precede its establishment in power after our removal from this earth, and shall we listen to it as unconcerned and unwilling auditors? Meagre, indeed, must that soul's apprehension be of the favour conferred on it as a child of God, if it cares not to know all that its Father has told it. Selfish must he be, who, satisfied with the confidence of his own safety, cares not to hear about what concerns God's well-beloved Son. What interests God should interest us; what concerns His Son should concern us. The very words of the divine revelation should have a value in our eyes unsurpassed, nay, unequalled. God has written down His thoughts for man's instruction, for His children's edification. This should be reason enough for us. God saw fit, that we should have not a dim, hazy, tradition, of what He had once communicated to us, but, that the very terms, in which it had been made, should be handed down to the latest generations. It is a written revelation we possess, dictated by the Spirit of God, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth. (1 Cor. 2:13.) Then these Scriptures, the several books which together we call the Bible, are holy. The subjects of which they treat, the thoughts which they communicate, the words in which they are clothed, are all from God for man's use and guidance.

Moreover, it is a selected revelation. We have not recorded in it all that God has revealed during these 4000 years to His people. Jonah prophesied of the restoration of the coasts of Israel from the entering of Hamath unto the sea of the plain. The fulfilment of God's Word is recorded, but the terms of the revelation have not been preserved. (2 Kings 14:25.) Paul writes of having heard unspeakable words, which it is not possible for a man to utter. (2 Cor. 12:4.) John heard the voice of the seven thunders, but was forbidden to record what they said (Rev. 10:4.) And the same apostle tells us, that many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye might have life through His name. And if all had been written, the whole world could not contain the books that should be written. (John 20:30-31; John 21:25.)

Again, we would call attention to the languages chosen, by which to convey the thoughts of God, as an additional proof that what was written, and so carefully selected, was for man's use and guidance. In Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek, has the Spirit of God been pleased to write. He spake by the disciples, on the day of Pentecost, in many different tongues. In three only has He written what, it pleased God we should be acquainted with. To them must we turn, if we would learn the exact sayings of the Spirit about the Son of God, about man, about the world, the final destiny of the human race, and the earth on which we tread. And each of these languages, when employed, was just the best medium that could have been found, by which to publish far and wide the acts and purposes of God. Hebrew, the language of Palestine, as the names of places and people, before Israel possessed it, indicate the adopted language of Abraham and his descendants, as the difference between the language of Jacob and that of Laban, the Mesopotamian, clearly shows (Gen. 31:47.) Hebrew was also the language of commerce, the Phoenicians being the great carriers of the world in their days. Westward, along the Mediterranean to the far off Islands of the Cassiterides they penetrated, Eastward, down the Red Sea, along the Eastern Coast of Africa, and to India they found their way. The navies of Solomon, too, in the days of Israel's greatest glory, went to Ophir. By such means, the knowledge of the Hebrew tongue must have been extended beyond the confines of Canaan, and so an opportunity have been afforded of letting men, of different nations, speaking languages of different families from the Semitic, hear something of the wonders and truth of that God who, was worshipped in such splendour at Jerusalem as Jehovah God of Hosts. How far, through the faithlessness of Israel, this result fell short of what might have been, we have not now to inquire. We have only to do with the fact that God chose this language, in which, for 1100 years, with only a brief interval, He communicated His thoughts to men. Was it a mere accident, as men would say, that Hebrew was the language selected; was it not rather from design?  For what other tongue could have answered the end so well? Abraham gave up his native tongue for the language of Canaan; but God was by this preparing for that time, when His word should not only be written on tables of stone, or altars, in Canaan, so that Israel could understand it, but be recorded in that tongue, some knowledge of this must have extended, as names of places to this day testify, wherever the great merchants of Tyre and Sidon penetrated with their wares.

With the rise of the first of the four great empires, which were to exercise supreme authority within the prophetic earth, the Aramean or Chaldee language came into prominence. A language foreign to the Jews in the days of Hezekiah, not understood by the common people when Rabshakeh appeared before Jerusalem, it was afterwards to be the tongue in which they would converse, when Hebrew would cease to be spoken in ordinary society. Hence we have the Targums, the translations (and often very free ones), of the sacred writings of the Old Testament. But, before the Jews had dropped the pure Hebrew, God made choice of Chaldee to make known the better thereby to the nations what it behoved them to be informed of. First used in Jer. 10:11 for the message sent by Him to the Gentiles, it was afterwards the language in which God's communications to Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar were made, and His gracious intervention on behalf of His suffering servants in the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius recorded. From Daniel 2:4 to the end of Dan. 7, the book in the original is in Chaldee. A glance at the book shows the wisdom of this. God would teach the Gentiles that, though they had triumphed over the kingdom of Judah, they had not triumphed over Jehovah: their gods had not given them the victory. He, and He alone, was the true God, the God of heaven. Those portions, therefore, which concerned the latter days, and the vicissitudes of the city and people, are written in Hebrew; but those portions, which were designed to remind the Gentiles, that God had vindicated His honour, and manifested His power to save those faithful to Him, are in Chaldee. The wisdom of man is found incapable of explaining the thoughts of God, Dan. 2. The power of man is powerless to destroy those who trust in God, Dan. 3. The pride of man is humbled, and God alone is to be exalted, Dan. 4. The impiety of man is signally punished, Dan. 5. The hostility of men to God's servant ends in their utter discomfiture and death, Dan. 6. And lastly, the counsels of God, as to supreme dominion over the earth, are revealed, ending with the establishment of that kingdom which shall never be destroyed, Dan 7. In Ezra we get another portion written in Chaldee, Ezra 4:8, – Ezra 6:19; and Ezra 7:12-27, just that part of the history which records God's interventions on behalf of the oppressed and feeble remnant, now returned to their own land, that the Gentiles might learn, that Jehovah could, and did, protect His faithful people; that His word, by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, could stimulate them to work, though the decree had as yet not been reversed in their favour; and, that He could turn the hearts of Darius, and Artaxerxes to favour them, and to take an interest in the work of His house at Jerusalem.

The ages were rolling by. The time was approaching when the hope of Israel should appear, and the mystery, kept secret, since the world began — the Church — should be unfolded. It is deeply interesting to trace how God was preparing for the advent of His Son, that, when He should appear, and the Scripture, be appealed to in support of His claims as the promised seed and Messiah, the nations of the earth should have within their reach a translation of the word of God, made by Jews, and accepted by the bitterest foe of the truth, as generally correct, to which they could appeal, and see for themselves, when subject to the Spirit, as the Bereans did, (Acts 17:11-12,) whether or not Jesus was the Christ. The great centre of trade had ceased to be found at Tyre. The language of commerce was no longer Phoenician, or Hebrew, but Greek. A Greek translation became a desideratum for the Jews of the dispersion. About the year 280 B.C. this want was supplied; and when God next caused fresh revelations to be written, He chose not Hebrew, nor Chaldee, but Greek, the language then generally understood throughout the Roman earth. In the Roman senate, as well as at Jerusalem, Greek might have been heard. To the strangers of the dispersion Peter wrote in Greek. To the Roman Christians, as well as to the Hebrews, Paul dictated, what the Holy Ghost would have him say, in Greek. The twelve tribes, scattered abroad, had a message addressed specially to themselves, but James announced it in Greek. At Rome, at Alexandria, at Ephesus, at Antioch, at Jerusalem, Greek was understood; so in Greek the New Testament was written, that it might be read far and wide by Gentiles as well as Jews. What care then has God taken that His word should be made known, by using the language, best adapted for it, at the different periods of its delivery; that not merely the general sense, but the very words, in which His mind was expressed, might be within the reach, as far as possible, of those concerned!

Passing from the age of revelations, we may still trace God's care for His word, in the manner He provided for its dissemination through the medium of translations. As the knowledge of Greek declined, a Latin translation for the Christians in the western part of the Roman empire became a necessity, and, when needed, believers found their want met. For the Churches of North Africa, as early as the second century, a Latin translation had been made from the Greek, called the Vetis Latina. Subsequently some parts of the New Testament, the Gospels at least, were translated in North Italy, and called Versio Itala. Jerome first connected portions of these two, which, in his day, had become blended together, and afterwards translated the Old Testament directly from the Hebrew. As years passed on his version was mixed up with the preceding ones, and hence was formed that Latin version now known as the Vulgate. Containing some gross doctrinal errors, and others not affecting doctrine, it was, nevertheless, for centuries the only translation in which the Scriptures could be read by the greater part of the nations of Western Europe. From it Bede translated. From it Aelfric likewise in the 10th century translated portions of the Old Testament. From it Wicliff learnt God's truth, and then translated the New Testament for the benefit, of his countrymen. Thus a Latin translation, first made for the Christians of North Africa, was destined to be the only source for ages from which God's saints would learn that truth which satisfies the soul. With the dawn of the Reformation access to the original sources was reopened; and the invention of printing brought within the reach of many the Scriptures in the original tongues. Then afresh translations were made. German, English, French, Italian, and Spanish versions by degrees appeared, made more or less directly from the Hebrew and Greek. Tyndale was the first who translated the New Testament for English readers. With the Greek before him he nevertheless was influenced by the Vulgate; and thus, even in the present day, the authorised version bears traces of the influence that translation once exercised over the Western Churches. Tyndale's New Testament appeared in 1525 A.D., the Old Testament a little later. After him Coverdale brought out a translation of the Bible in 1535; Matthews in 1537; Taverner in 1539; Cranmer's Bible appeared in that same year. The Genevan version was published in 1557-1560, and the Bishop's in 1568-1572. Some preferring the Genevan, others the Bishop's, at length in 1611 came out the Authorised version, which, after some years, was generally accepted as the English version. Here too we may trace the goodness of God. The value of having one version, not two or more in common use, is great. Before therefore the Colonial empire of Great Britain had attained to its colossal greatness; before the different denominations in England and her colonies had appeared, or been moulded into distinct separate bodies; before the English tongue had spread over so large a portion of the earth's surface, and jealousies between the mother country and her colonies had led the latter to regard with suspicion anything emanating by royal authority from the former, the Authorised version appeared; and, wherever the English language is spoken, or English enterprise has penetrated, thither that version has been carried, and wherever English or American missionaries have gone, and provided the natives with a translation in their own language, the influence of the Authorised version is felt, the value of one commonly accepted translation attested. Are these slight advantages? Was this the result of accident, or of design!

But here arises a further question. Is this version a faithful one? Is it a translation which admits of amendment? Is the cry for revision the cry of people ignorant of the subject, or the simple candid expression of minds competent to form a correct opinion about it?

 From 1702, when an essay appeared by Ross proposing a new translation, the question of revision has not been allowed to slumber for any length of time. Lowth, Secker, Newcome, Blayney, Pilkington, Brett, have in one way or other advocated it. Kennicott, by the publication of various readings of the Hebrew text, and suggested emendations of the Authorised version, stimulated the desire for it. The labours of eminent scholars on the Greek Testament, names familiar to many of our readers, have shown that the received text, and Beza's text, were neither of them an accurate representation of the Greek original. The labours of textual critics in our days have confirmed this, and demonstrated that, in certain passages, the true reading, supported by every great authority, differs from that known, and followed, when the Authorised version was made; and scholars have shown, that, in other passages, a correct version of the original would differ from that given by King James's translators. We must not shut our eyes to all this. A version, which could command the general assent of all Protestant bodies, would be an inestimable boon. Meanwhile the calling attention to passages needing revision is a work of real service. All that any one proposes he can scarcely hope will be accepted; yet it will not be time thrown away if, giving what he thinks is a more correct translation of the original, he brings out into prominence some shade of meaning, which has been hither unperceived. We are well aware that, in a matter of this kind, mere assertion is of no avail without proof of what is asserted. Our proofs we must reserve for other articles.

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It would have been strange if, after all the learning and diligent labours of Biblical students for the last 200 years, no advance had been made in philological studies. Strange, too, would it have been, if the science of textual criticism had not progressed since the authorised version was made. Much, that was then unknown, has been since elucidated. The meaning of words, but seldom met with in the Hebrew Scriptures, has been in many cases cleared up by a comparison with other languages of the Semitic group. Greek phrases have been illustrated from classical authors. The grammar of the different languages has also been attended to, and much light thrown on that department of study, so needful for an accurate acquaintance with the meaning that the Spirit of God intended should be conveyed. The texts, too, of both the Old and New Testaments have been subjected to a rigorous examination. Since that day MSS., then unknown, have been brought to light, and the readings they present of the New Testament have in many instances been given to the world. ABCDFaILNPQRTYZ, Tischendorfianus, Sangallensis, Various Codices, Oxoniensis, Zacynthius, aleph and a few others, fragments of the Gospels; ABCDEFaI aleph of the Acts and Catholic Epistles; ABCDGFaHI aleph of the Epistles of Paul; ABC aleph of the Revelation have been published, and the readings of others collated. When the authorised version appeared, the Codex Vaticanus (B) was known, but not collated; the Codex Alexandrinus (A) had not been published; Codex Bezæ (D of the Gospel and Acts was known, but its peculiar readings had not been accurately determined; the Codex Sinaiticus (aleph) was still hidden in the convent-library of Mount Sinai, and the Nitrian MSS. had not given forth their treasures to the world. Now materials have been amassed for revising the texts of both the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures.

If we speak of the Hebrew Scriptures, the labours of Kennicott and De Rossi must be mentioned. If we speak of the Greek Scriptures, Walton, Mill, Bentley, Bengel, Wetstein, must not be forgotten. But these labourers, while searching out and recording readings, did not publish a revised text, being contented for the most part with stating the readings of MSS. worthy of attention; and what Wetstein and others attempted in regard to the New Testament, that Boothroyd did for the Old, by publishing an edition of the Hebrew Scriptures, with the important readings, ascertained by Kennicott and De Rossi, noted at the bottom of the page.

In 1775-7, a new era dawned on textual criticism. Griesbach then first published a critical text of the New Testament. Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, have since followed his example; whilst Hamilton, in 1821, published his Codex Criticus of the Hebrew Bible, the first attempt to form a critical text of the Old Testament.

By the labours of these and other scholars, what, it is pertinent to ask, has been accomplished? Have they demonstrated the perfection of the text from which the authorised version was made? Does the authorised version, when critically examined, faithfully represent the meaning of the originals?

At this point the subject divides itself into an inquiry regarding the Hebrew Scriptures, and the translation made from them; and another and separate question — the condition of the text of the Greek Testament, and the translation made from it. Throughout this article we shall confine ourselves to an examination, brief though it must be, of the Old Testament, as presented by the authorised version; and the first question that meets us is this, What is the condition of the common Hebrew text? By what standard shall we try it? How shall we determine its accuracy?

As for the Hebrew, so for the Greek, there are three sources to which we can turn to help us to an understanding of what the text originally was, viz., MSS., versions, and quotations from early Christian writers. A more formidable difficulty, however, presents itself at the outset, when we come to inquire about the Hebrew text, than when we examine into the accuracy of the common Greek text. The Hebrew MSS., though by no means few in number, are nearly all of one recension, exhibiting for the most part the readings approved of by the Masoretic Scribes. Their age, too, when compared with the antiquity of some MSS. of the New Testament, is comparatively modern. The Hebraeo-Samaritan Pentateuch, i.e., the Pentateuch in Samaritan characters, preserved by the small and decreasing sect of the Samaritans, which we might have expected would have been of the greatest use as a concurrent witness of what Moses wrote, often differs from the Hebrew so much, that its readings would require support ere being accepted in preference to that text handed down by the Jews. In one place it has substituted Gerizim for Ebal (Deut. 27:4), to favour the Samaritan worship. In others, its accuracy is open to grave suspicion.

Of ancient versions, the LXX, the Chaldee Targums, the Syriac, the Greek versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, as much as are extant, and the Vulgate, where it exhibits the text of Jerome's Latin version, are of great value, and often support readings differing from those of the common Hebrew text. Some of these have the support of MSS. authority. Others may reflect a text, very ancient, but no longer extant in Hebrew; but without MSS. authority such readings we could scarcely venture to incorporate with the generally accredited text. For he would be a bold critic who would amend the Hebrew by the readings supposed to have been adopted by the translators of the LXX, and other versions, however ancient, though the variations found in the different translations deserve to be noted. Lowth and Houbigant have attempted this, but it must be evident that conjecture of what ancient translators had before them is slender ground on which to meddle authoritatively with the Hebrew or Chaldee.

Of quotations from the early Christian writers, those are of value which men, as Jerome and Origen, conversant with the Hebrew, have preserved, who tell us often what the text was in their day. The works of Jewish writers should also be consulted.

By the common Hebrew text is to be understood that published by Van Der Hooght at Amsterdam, in 1705, in two volumes, 8vo. This was the text Kennicott used, and is the one generally reprinted, and answers in Hebrew to the textus receptus of the Greek Testament.

A few various readings are here subjoined. If the reader desires to be further informed on this subject, he should consult Davidson's Revision of the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament.

Gen. 49:10, Shiloh. Some MSS. read Sheloh, supported by the Hebraeo-Samaritan (hereafter in this article quoted as Sam.), LXX, Syriac, the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem, and the Greek translations of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, and many Jewish authorities. Jerome, with the Vulgate, translates "qui mittendus est," as if deriving the word from to send. For the common reading, many MSS. can be adduced, and the Graeco-Venet. version. If the Hebrew text be followed, the word must be taken as an appellation of the one predicted. If the other reading be preferred (and it does seem best accredited, the word Sheloh must be translated "whose it is," i.e., to whom the government belongs, and be regarded as equivalent to "whose it is" as translated in Ezek. 21:27. "The sceptre shall not depart … until he comes, whose it is."

Deut. 33:2, "A fiery law" two words as commonly printed, but to be read as one according to the Masora. Many MSS. with Sam. agree in this. Accepting this correction, the word, which means "Springs," must be regarded as a proper name Sinai, Seir, Paran having been mentioned, the sacred writer speaks of two others, Meribah Kadesh, here translated "with ten thousand of saints," and Ashdoth (as the two words joined together form) translated "a fiery law." The verse would then mean, as Fuerst has translated it, "Jehovah came from Sinai, and appeared to them from Seir; He appeared in brightness from Paran, He came forth to them out of Meribah Kadesh, having Ashdoth at his right hand, i.e., on the south." Ashdoth is the name of a place near the Dead Sea, in the south of the territory of Reuben (Joshua 13:20), Meribah Kadesh being in the wilderness of Zin (Num. 20). The LXX. leaves Kadesh untranslated kades, and renders the last clause, "at his right hand angels with him." The Vulgate has probably here been the original of the English version.

2 Samuel 8:12-13. Syria. Many MSS. supported by LXX. and Syriac, read "Edom," as in 1 Chronicles 18, which seems correct, the valley of Salt being in Edom (2 Kings 14:7.) The interchange of the letters (r) and (d) makes the difference.

Judges 18:30, "Manasseh:" so many MSS. Others have the letter n enlarged; the common text has it suspended above the line, thus Manasseh. Some, followed by the Vulgate, omit n: so Jerome with some Jewish writers. Omitting the n, the word in Hebrew becomes Moses, who was the father of Gershom the Levite. Jewish tradition tells us the name was altered, that the shame of having an idolatrous priest in the genealogy should not rest on the house of the lawgiver. Probably Moses is the true reading. The LXX. reads Manasseh, but, being originally a Jewish translation, its authority here would be scarcely entitled to much weight. It shows, however, how early this alteration must have been made.

Joshua 21:36-37. These verses are omitted by the Masora. Very many MSS. with many printed editions, have them, and all the versions. The common text omits them. Without them the list of cities is incomplete.

Neh. 7:68 is an example of the converse. Whilst the common text retains the verse, very many MSS., the LXX. (Vatican text) and Syriac, omit it.

Again in 2 Sam. 14:21, the Masoretic text punctuates "thou hast done," referring to Joab, whilst all the versions, and some MSS., agree with the English translation, which adheres to the written text or ch'thib, "I have done." In 2 Sam. 12:21, for "he called," some MSS., with the Syriac, Targum, and approved of by the Masora, read "she called," speaking of Bathsheba.

When and how some of the variations in the Hebrew arose, it would now be impossible to say. The origin of others, if their date be unknown, can however be easily traced. Similarity in the form of letters, as in examples already quoted, is one source of alterations; similarity in the sound of words is another, e.g., the substitution of aleph lamedh for holem lamedh, or vice versa.

1 Samuel 2:16. Here the authorised version following the common text, which reads holem lamedh - to him for aleph lamedh - nay, has to supply the negative to make sense. Many MSS., with LXX., Syriac, Vulgate, and one of the Targums have the negative in the place of the pronoun and preposition. Isaiah 49:5, the text of the authorised version gives one reading "be not gathered," the margin has the other "gathered to him." The Vulgate here supports the authorised version. Some MSS. with LXX., Targum, and Aquila read as the margin without the negative. In Isa. 9:3, we meet with another example "not increased" (so Symachus and Vulgate; but the margin with several MSS. the Targum and Syriac read, "to it increased." In these instances probably the best attested reading is that which differs from the common text, and the authorised version which follows it. In Isa. 63:9, the authorised version differs from the common text, and follows that supported by many MSS., the Talmud, and Jewish writers, "He was afflicted," lit. "to him there was affliction." But the LXX., Syriac, and Vulgate agree in the substitution of the negative for the pronoun and preposition, though they differ as to the translation of the clause. If we follow the text here which many prefer, we must translate somewhat as follows: "In all their afflictions he was not an adversary;" or, "in all their straits he was not straitened."

A comparison of the variations of the Hebrew with those of the Greek, will show that in the latter the alterations are often more important, and affect more materially the sense and form of a passage, than is generally the case in the former. This is easily accounted for by the reverence amounting almost, if not quite, to superstition with which the Jews regarded the originals. Though blinded to the full meaning of the word, they took great care of it. They would not alter, as a rule, a letter of the text, even if that letter was enlarged, reversed, or misplaced. They handed down the text as they found it, after they had settled in an early age of the Christian era, what they believed it to be; but noted in the margin what they conceived should be read. Such corrections are termed K'ri, "read," and the text ch'thib, "written." Again, if a word had been accidentally dropped out of the text, they did not insert it. Its vowels would be found without the consonants to which they belonged, and a note would tell the reader that such a word should be read; see, for an example of this, Judges 20:13. Yet, with all the care bestowed on the text, we cannot say it is faultless, or that readings have not crept into it, which were not in the originals as they came from the inspired writers. On the other hand, we should not be hasty in altering it, but we might have the important differences noted in the margin of the English Bible, as is already done in the case of some of the examples given above.

Turning from the text to the authorised version, let us see whether the translation at all times faithfully represents the meaning of the originals, in those places where the readings of the Hebrew are not open to doubt. We shall arrange the examples now to be quoted under different heads —

1. Passages, the translation of which depends on the meaning of one or more difficult or uncommon words.

Gen. 36:24, "mules," rather "hot springs," so Vulgate. See Fuerst's Lexicon. The LXX. leaves the word untranslated iamein. It occurs nowhere else.

Num. 14:34, "My breach of promise," "alienation" or withdrawal from anything; hence, metaphorically, "enmity." Occurs elsewhere Job 32:10. LXX., "the anger of my wrath," Iumon tes orges mou. Vulgate, ultionem meam, "my vengeance."

Deut. 32:42, Judges 5:2, "Revenges," "avenging." The noun occurs nowhere else. What can it mean? The context in Judges helps us to an understanding of it. A victory has been secured by the leaders and people of Israel. God is to be praised, the leaders having led, and the people having willingly offered themselves. This meaning is confirmed by the construction of the two clauses in Judges 5:2, and by the meaning of the root when compared with the Arabic, which has the sense of projecting, standing forth prominently. Hence, leadership suits the context in both places, "from the head of the princes of the enemy," — (Deut.) — "when the princes led in Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves." In this sense the LXX. translates in Deut., and Theodotion in Judges.

Judges 5:7, 11, "The inhabitants of the villages ceased," and "towards the inhabitants of his villages." To make sense, the authorised version in both places supplies inhabitants of. What, then, is the meaning of the word, which is met with nowhere else? The root bears the sense of cleaving, dividing, hence judging, and thus the idea of a ruler, which suits the context, is arrived at. "As for a ruler they ceased in Israel." "The righteous acts of His ruler." The Vulgate has translated the word by fortes, the LXX. in verse 7 by dynatoo. A kindred word is met with in Hab. 3:14, and nowhere else. There the authorised version introduces the idea of "villages." But ruler, or chief, will suit the context. The LXX. has translated it by dynaston. The Syriac, the Targums, and Jarchi, in the main agree with the idea of ruler; and the Vulgate translates it bellator.

Judges 5:11, "They that are delivered from the noise of archers." Here again, to make sense, the authorised version supplies a great deal. In Hebrew we have only two words. All turns on the meaning to be assigned to the participle, Piel, of. Prov. 30:27 here comes to our assistance, "The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands;" margin, "are gathered together". Hence the idea of an orderly procession, which suits the context in Judges, so we may translate "more than (i.e. louder than) the noise of men marching in procession."

Judges 13:18, "a secret," rather "wonderful," so margin. He does not conceal His name. See Isaiah 9:6, "His name shall be called Wonderful." He, therefore, who appeared to Manoah was Jehovah Jesus.

Job 17:6, "And aforetime I was as a tabret". In the previous clause Job speaks of himself its a by-word. It is best to take this clause as describing something similar. The meaning then would be, "I am one whose face is spit upon," i.e., an object of abomination before them. The word occurs elsewhere only as a proper name. Here the versions vary in their translations, the LXX. expressing it by gelos, the Vulgate by exemplum.

Ps. 7:13, "He ordaineth His arrows against the persecutors". Better "He maketh his arrows burning ones," i.e., to consume His enemies. See Fuerst's Lexicon.

Ps. 56:2, "O Thou most high". So the Chaldee and Aquila. But it is best to take the word here as an adverb, "haughtily," "insolently." See Rosenmüller's Scholia, and Fuerst's Lexicon.

Ps. 68:6, "With chains", rather "into prosperity." It occurs nowhere else.

Ps. 77:2, "My sore ran and ceased not." What is the meaning of the word translated "sore?" A better translation has been proposed, "my hand at night was stretched out, and ceases not," i.e., he continued in prayer.

Isa. 19:10. The meaning here turns chiefly on two words. A better translation is given by Henderson, "and her foundations (i.e. nobles, pillars of the state) shall be broken, and all workers of hire (i.e. labourers) are grieved in mind." See also Fuerst.

Isa. 30:7, "Their strength is to sit still". Various have been the renderings of this difficult clause. Some join the pronoun to the first word, others connect it with the following. Fuerst translates, "their violent pressing after aid ceases." Lowth and Henderson apply the clause to Egypt, "I have called her Rahab, the inactive," i.e., the one who sits still. Lee and Gesenius also apply it to Egypt, "Insolent in their habitations." Rosenmüller, Ferocia, nunc desidia; LXX., hoti mataia he paraklesis humon aute; Vulgate, Superbia tantum est, quiesce. All these different translations are so many confessions of the difficulty of the passage. But none of them supports the authorised version, which, though it expresses what is true of God's people, does not express the truth in this place.

Isa. 30:32, "grounded staff," rather "rod of appointment," i.e., appointed for punishment, Gesenius, Fuerst, Henderson.

Ezek. 1:24, "Voice of speech," "sound of a multitude," Fuerst, "tumult," Henderson, "falling rain," Rosenmüller. It occurs also in Jer. 11:16, translated "tumult." The versions generally appear to have read "speech," except the Vulgate which translates "sonus multitudinis," which might be followed.

Dan. 7:9, "Were cast down." better, "were placed," so LXX., Vulgate.

Hosea 6:3, "As the latter and former rain unto the earth", Better, "as the latter rain which fructifies the earth." Here * must be taken as future Hiphil of * governing "earth," and not the noun, which is elsewhere translated "former rain." See Lee and Fuerst.

Hab. 1:9, "Their faces shall sup up as the east wind." * only met with here, according to Lee means "desire." "The desire (Lee), direction (Fuerst), of their faces is eastward." Coming on the land of Canaan, their aim is to move eastward with their spoil.

{* The original has the Hebrew text.}

2. Passages in which the translation might be improved.

Genesis 4:8, "And Cain talked with Abel his brother." Rather, "and Cain said to Abel his brother." There is an evident hiatus in the sense in the Hebrew which the authorised version does not show. The Sam, with most of the versions, supplies "let us go into the field," but without MSS. authority, except in the Samaritan codices. Gen. 41:40, "According unto thy word shall all my people be ruled." This is too free. The original is as follows:– "And on thy mouth shall all my people kiss." Compare Ps. 2:12. Martin translates, "Et tout mon peuple te baisera." Samuel, when he anointed Saul, kissed him (1 Sam. 10:1). Num. 12:11-13, "Alas, my lord, I beseech Thee lay not … Let her not be as one dead … Heal her now O God, I beseech Thee." The urgency of Aaron with Moses, and the importunity of Moses with God, are beautifully expressed by the repetition in each case of the particle of entreaty "Alas, my lord, I beseech Thee … Let her not, I beseech Thee … O, God, I beseech Thee, heal her, I beseech Thee." Martin gives expression to the particle in each case, "Helas, monseigneur, je to prie. … Je te prie qu'elle. … O, Dieu Fort! je te prie, gueris-la je t'en prie." Num. 16:13, "except thou," rather "that thou." Noldius "quod," LXX hoti; but, the Vulgate agrees with the authorised version. Dathan and Abiram, in reality, bring two charges against Moses, that he designed to lead the people into the wilderness to their destruction, and that he aimed at making himself a prince over them. The English translation conveys the idea of an alternative; the Hebrew of an additional ground of complaint, because Moses had sent for them.

The historical books will furnish a few examples:–

Joshua 24:2-3, 14-l5, "the flood," * lit. "the river," i.e., Euphrates; so also Isa. 59:19. But in Jer. 46:7-8, "the flood" is * lit. "the river," i.e., the Nile. Judges 2:21, "Will not drive out any," Hebrew "a man" *, which is more forcible. Judges 5:13. Another translation of this verse is as follows:– "Then descended part of the people among the nobles: the Lord descended for me among the mighty." The difference of translation here turns on whether the word be from the root to descend, or to rule. The LXX. connected it with the former, which yields a sense in perfect accordance with the details of the battle; for Barak descended from the mountain to the valley (Judges 4:14, Judges 5:15), and the Lord went before him. The verb must be regarded as the Aramaic form of the perfect. Judges 13:12, Manoah's question, as given by the authorised version ("How shall we order the child? and how shall we do to him?") fails to convey what he really did say. "What shall be the manner (condition) of the child, and his work?" See Vulgate. A curious mistake we meet with in Ruth 3:15-16:– "And she went into the city. And when she came to her mother-in-law she said." It should be, "And he went into the city. And she went to her mother-in-law, and she said." So LXX. and Martin. Probably the Vulgate here led the English translators astray, which translates "ingressa est civitatem et venit." Often, as the reader must have remarked, it might have been followed with advantage; here its lead should be discarded. 2 Sam. 23:4. "As a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain." If the order of the original is attended to, we get a good sense: "As a morning without clouds for brightness; as the young grass of the earth (nourished) by rain." See Vulgate.

{* The original has the Hebrew text.}

From the poetical books we select the following:–

Ps. 16:3 "To the saints that are in the earth, and the nobles (i.e. excellent), in them is all my delight." In Ps. 55:22, a little alteration would improve the passage so often quoted; "Cast thy lot," i.e., that which God has appointed thee. In Ps. 68:4, if we read, "Cast up for him," or "level for him," i.e., prepare his way, we shall better understand what the Psalmist wrote. Compare Isa. 40:3-4. Again, in Ps. 74:18, the Lord is reminded that the enemy has reproached Him — "hath reproached Jehovah." So LXX. and Vulgate. Another correction should be made in Ps. 73:24, "Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and after the glory thou wilt receive me." Compare Zech. 2:8, for the same phrase correctly translated. This is a most important difference, and shows that the saints who will use this psalm will understand their position as sharers in the blessings on earth when the Lord reigns. Their calling is earthly, ours is heavenly. We shall be received by the Lord before the glory (1 Thess. 4), they after it has appeared. Such a verse in the Psalms shows that the hopes they express of future blessing are for others of God's saints than those who share in the heavenly calling.

Turning to the prophets, a more exact rendering helps its to understand Isa. 6:13, "Which being cut down have still the trunk," for "whose substance is in them when they cast their leaves." The prophet speaks of violent dealing with the nation, and compares it to a tree roughly used; the English version, on the contrary, speaks of an annual operation of nature. A little attention to Isa. 53:11, shows that the prophet speaks of two things, "He shall make righteous the many, and (not "for") He shall bear their iniquities." So Vulgate. At times we believe the authorised version has failed to convey the sense of the original, because the translators had not seized the great outlines of prophecy. Ps. 73:24, has been already noticed as an instance of this. Ezek. 37:26-27 affords another. Two things are spoken of here, God's sanctuary and God's tabernacle. His sanctuary will be among them. His tabernacle over them. See Rev. 7:15, in Greek — "will tabernacle over them." In the following chapter we read, Rev. 8:8, "which have been always laid waste," rather "continually." They were once fruitful, but since God's judgement has been poured out on Israel their fertility has departed. Martin translates more correctly "continuellement." Another instance of want of accuracy is found in Dan. 7:18, 22, 25, 27. The Chaldee has two words translated always in the authorised version by one. "Most High" which occurs only in verse 25, "He shall speak great words against the Most High." Elsewhere, in verses 18, 22, 25, 27, it is not God of whom the prophet writes, but the high places. The saints of the high places shall take the kingdom (Dan. 7:18), and judgement be given to them (ver. 22). He shall wear out the saints of the high places, the heavenly saints; the heavenly saints who are subsequently martyred (ver. 25); but the people of the saints of the high places shall have the kingdom under heaven, i.e., shall share in the earthly kingdom (Dan. 7:27). This clears up the passage greatly. The translation of Haggai 2:9 should be noticed. God owns but one house as His. It has been twice destroyed, it will be again; but in His eyes the house, however often rebuilt, is ever the same. So the Hebrew should be here translated, "the latter glory of this house," not "the glory of this latter house. In Zech. 10:4, the prophet is speaking of those who shall proceed out of Judah in a future day. "From him shall proceed a corner or chief (So. Judges 20:2; 1 Sam. 14:38; Isa. 19:13) … from him every ruler;" for this word, elsewhere translated taskmaster, oppressor, is here used in a good sense. In Zech. 11:10, for "all the people," read "all the peoples." The covenant made with all the peoples — God's promise to Abraham, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed — was apparently broken when the Lord was rejected and died. It is this the prophet is occupied with — the effects of his rejection and death to others beside Israel. Afterwards the other staff which shadowed the brotherhood between Judah and Israel was broken. The Staff called Beauty concerned all the nations. Similarly, in Zech. 12:3-4, "all the people" should be "all the peoples," i.e., the nations arrayed against Judah and against God. One more passage remains to be noticed, Zech. 14:3, instead of "Then shall the Lord go forth," we should read, "And the Lord shall go forth," with LXX., Vulgate, and Martin, who has "car." The text does not fix the time, but the order of the events.

3. Passages in which words have been added, materially affecting the sense.

Ex. 34:33, affords a notable instance of this, which makes the sacred writer to have written just the opposite of what he did write, and necessitates the omission of the conjunction "and." "And till Moses had done speaking with them he put a veil on his face." Moses wrote, "And Moses finished speaking with them, and he put a veil on his face." So LXX. and Vulgate. Affrighted at Moses, whose face was resplendent with divine glory, the children of Israel feared to approach him; but they had all to draw near, to behold the glory, and to learn what he had to communicate. That finished, he covered his face with a veil, till he entered again the presence of God; afterwards he came out and again spoke to the people with his  face unveiled, but veiled it when he had done speaking to them. Thus the passage is in harmony with  2 Cor. 3, which gives the real reason of the veiling of Moses' face, "that the children of Israel could not  steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished."  They could not "steadfastly behold his face for the glory of his countenance," and they could not, because  the veil hid it, see the transient character of the glory with which it was illuminated. To be brief, one  more passage is referred to — Hosea 6:3, "Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord."  The Hebrew expresses no condition, "And we shall know, we shall follow on to know the Lord."  So LXX.  Martin renders it, "Car nous connaitrons L'Eternel, et nous continuerons le connaitre."

4. Passages where, through a want of accuracy in the tenses, the sense is obscured.

This is oftenest the case in the prophetical portions of Scripture. Thus, in the prophetical Ps. 67:6, the Hebrew states, "the earth has yielded her increase." The authorised translation translates "Then shall the earth yield her increase." A reference to Lev. 26:42, shows that God promises in the latter days to remember the land. Hence, when that takes place, the remnant, observing the returning fertility of the soil, will know their time of blessing approaches, so add, "God, our God, shall bless us." Again, in Ps. 97:6, the verbs are in the perfect: "The heavens have declared His righteousness, and all the peoples have seen His glory." The manifestation of the Lord having taken place, all idolators shall be confounded

5. Passages in which the definite article has been improperly omitted.

Judges 2:11, Judges 3:7, Judges 8:33, Judges 10:6, 10, should be rendered "the Baalim" — not one, but many male gods; and "the Asheroth," translated "the groves," but rather, the female divinities, in Judges 3:7, and "the Ashtaroth," in Judges 10:6. The article, when expressed, brings out the enormity of their guilt — they forsook the one God to serve the many, the true God for the false ones. 1 Sam. 31:13, 1 Sam. 22:6, "a tree" should be "the tamarisk," a well-known one. Dan. 9:27, Dan. 11:39, "the many." Judges 15:19, "the hollow place." It remained after Samson had drank at it.

6. Passages in which a proper name has been translated.

Judges 15:19, for "the jaw," we should read, as the margin, "Lehi." The spring was not in the jawbone, but in Lehi, so named from the instrument Samson used. So in Judges 13:25, it should be as the margin has it in "Mahaneh Dan," a place so named because of what happened, as recounted in Judges 18:12. In Judges 20:43, we read the children of Israel trod down the Benjamites "from Menuchah," not as in authorised version "with ease." See LXX. and Martin. Zeph. 1:10, "an howling from the second rather "Mishneh,'' a part of Jerusalem. See 2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chr. 34:22, in the margin. In Ezek. 27:19, "going to and fro" should be "from Uzal," a district of Arabia (so LXX. and Aquila); but in Ezek. 27:11, "Gammadim" should be translated "garrisons." See Fuerst.

7. Passages where the punctuation should be amended. Deut. 1:32-33, these verses form part of the speech: "And in this matter ye are not trusting the Lord your God, who goes before you in the way," etc. The speech ends with verse 33.  In Ps. 56:4, there should be a question, "I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?" So Martin; but in Ps. 101:2, we should probably read without the note of interrogation, "I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way, when Thou wilt come to me." So Vulgate, Lee, and Roseumüller. Again, in Jer. 38:15, the last clause we should read without a question, "and if I counsel thee, thou wilt not hearken to me," so Vulgate and Martin; but LXX. in both these places agrees with the authorised version.

From the instances brought forward, want of space alone necessitating a selection, it will be seen that our English version is decidedly in need of amendment. How that may best be accomplished is not the subject before us; but if we dwell for a time on its defects, we must not shut our eyes to its excellencies. It has been pronounced, and with truth, as a whole, the best of modern versions. For it we have much cause to thank God. Compared with the Douay version, made for Roman Catholics in England, how great is the difference, how immense its superiority; but if it can be improved by being made a more faithful translation of the originals, shall we refuse to see its deficiencies? Surely the translators, were they now alive, would desire nothing else than that their defects should be amended, and the word of the living God, which they sought to convey to the English reader, be as accurately rendered as possible. But if a revision be undertaken, it should be of a text based on MS. authority. It must be of the Hebrew and Chaldee, read with points; and it must proceed on the understanding that it will as faithfully as possible — the idioms of the languages being duly considered — translate the text, remembering that the business of a translator is to convey the meaning of what the author wrote, and not what he thinks he should have written. The tenses of verbs, and the numbers of nouns, should be carefully attended to. In this our translators have failed, forgetting at times that the work of a translator is to translate the text — the business of the teacher to expound it. These two offices should be kept distinct. Were this work carried out efficiently, many passages might undergo a slight change, familiar words and phrases might disappear, portions of the prophetical parts might be greatly altered, and the poetical writings emerge from the pen of the translator in places almost wholly recast. How differently, for instance, the song of Deborah would read, if translated from the Hebrew afresh, with all the light we now possess regarding the meaning of the terms the prophetess employed. But if with these changes we felt sure we had approached more closely to the meaning of the Spirit of God, we should gain and not lose. In the meantime passages may well be examined, and suggested improvements canvassed.

(3).  2nd Edition, Volume 1, September 1856.


Much has of late years been done to verify, as far as possible, the text of the Greek New Testament. Whether any critical text yet published should be invariably followed as correct is a question open to doubt, or perhaps some would say, one which admits of no doubt. Perhaps the text which, from the abundant materials now gathered together, shall generally command the confidence of scholars and Bible students has yet to appear. Meanwhile, we can in some places clearly see what should be read, and what corrections of the common Greek text (whether the second Elzevir edition, published in 1633, or the third edition of Stephen, published in 1550) should now be made. That neither of these texts can be accepted as an accurate reprint of the originals or even of what was read as such in the early ages of Christianity, we need not now stop to prove.  Nor, since several attempts to revise the authorised version of the New Testament, or to translate afresh from the Greek, have of late years appeared, need we stop to inquire whether that version needs amendment. We shall, therefore, confine our remarks to pointing out some corrections of the authorised version which, in any revision, will most probably be made.

And, first, of corrections arising from changes in the Greek text.

1. Words or clauses which should be omitted.

Matt. 6:13, "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, amen;"  Matt. 25:13, "wherein the Son of man cometh;" Matt. 27:35, "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots;" Acts 10:6, "he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do;" Acts 8:37, the whole verse; Acts 9:5-6, "it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished, said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Rom. 1:16, "of Christ;" Rom. 6:11, "our Lord;" Rom. 8:1, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit;" Rom. 15:29, "of the gospel;" Rom. 16:18, "Jesus;" 1 Cor. 5:1, "so much as is named;" 1 Cor. 6:20, "and in your spirit, which are God's;" 1 Cor. 7:5, "fasting and;" 1 Cor. 10:28, "for the earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof;" 1 Cor. 11:24, "take eat;" 2 Cor. 4:10, "the Lord;" Gal. 3:1, "that ye should not obey the truth;" Col. 1:2, "and the Lord Jesus Christ;" Col. 1:14, "through His blood;" Col. 1:28, "Jesus;" Col. 2:11, "the sins of;" 2 Thess. 2:4, "as God;" 1 Tim. 1:17, "wise;" Heb. 3:1, "Christ;" Heb. 11:13, "and were persuaded of them;" Heb. 12:20, "or thrust through with a dart;" 1 John 5:7-8, "in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth;" 1 John 5:13, “that believe on the name of the Son of God;" Jude 25, "wise;" Rev. 1:8, "the beginning and the ending;" Rev. 1:11, "I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and;" Rev. 2:20, "a few things;" Rev. 2:24, "and unto;" Rev. 5:14, "him that liveth for ever and ever;" Rev. 11:17, "and art to come;" Rev. 14:5, "before the throne of God;" Rev. 16:14, "of the earth and;" Rev. 20:5, "again."

A fertile source of errors in the text has been the tendency to harmonise two independent accounts of the same thing. The Spirit of God surely had a reason for every word He saw fit to use. As the sacred writer wrote it, He intended it should appear. All that one recorded, it was not God's mind that others should record likewise. So, in Mark 2:17, "to repentance;" Mark 3:5, "whole as the other;" Mark 11:10, "in the name of the Lord;" Mark 14:22, 2nd, "eat;" should be omitted, whilst in the parallel passages of Matthew or Luke the words will be found in the text unchallenged.  

2. Additions which should be made.

Acts 4:27, "together + in this city;" Acts 16:7, "Spirit + of Jesus;" Acts 20:23, "witnesseth + to me;" 1 Cor. 9:20, "as under the law + not being really under law;" 1 Peter 2:2, "grow thereby + unto salvation;" 2 Peter 3:3, "scoffers + in their scoffing;" 1 John 2:23, "Father + but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also;" Jude 25, "Saviour + by Jesus Christ our Lord;" Rev. 8:7, "earth + and the third part of the earth was burnt up;" Rev. 14:1, "having + His name and."

3. Alterations which should be made.

 Matt. 9:36, "were harassed," for, "fainted;" Matt. 18:28, "pay if thou owest anything," for, "pay me that  thou owest;" Luke 2:22, "their purification," for, "her purification;" Luke 3:2, "high priest," for, "high priests;" John 3:25, "a Jew," for, "the Jews;" John 17:11, "keep them in thine name, which," for, "keep through thine own name those whom;" Acts 3:20, "before was appointed you," for, "before was preached unto you;" Acts 6:8, "grace," for, "faith;" Acts 9:6, "but," for, "and the Lord said unto him;" Acts 14:3, "by granting," for, "and granted;" Acts 14:14, "rushed forth," for, "ran in;" Acts 14:17, "you," for, "us;" Rom. 2:17, "but if," for, "behold;" Rom. 7:6, "having died in that," for, "that being dead;" 1 Cor. 1:23, "heathen," for, "Greeks;" Gal. 4:26, "our mother," for, "mother of us all;" Eph. 1:18, "heart," for, "understanding;" Eph. 3:9, "dispensation," for, "fellowship;" Eph. 5:9, "light," for, "Spirit;" Eph. 5:21, "Christ," for, "God;" Eph. 5:29, "Christ," for, "Lord;" Col. 3:22, "the Lord," for, "God;" 2 Thess. 2:2, "the Lord," for, "Christ;" 1 Tim. 6:19, "that which is really," for, "eternal;" 2 Tim. 2:19, "of the Lord," for, "of Christ;" Heb. 8:11, "fellow citizen," for, "neighbour;" James 5:9, "judged," for, “condemned;" 2 Peter 2:18, "in some degree," for, "clean;" 1 John 5:13, "who," for, "and that ye may;" 2 John 7, "gone out," for, "entered;" Jude 12, "carried away," for, "carried about;" Rev. 1:5, "loveth," for, "loved;" Rev. 2:15, "in like manner," for, "which thing I hate;" Rev. 8:13, "eagle," for, "angel;" Rev. 11:4, "Lord," for, "God;" Rev. 11:15, "the kingdom is," for, "the kingdoms are;" Rev. 15:3, "nations," for, "saints;" Rev. 17:8, "and shall be present," for, "and yet is;" Rev. 18:20, "saints and apostles," for, "holy apostles;" Rev. 20:12, "the throne," for, "God;" Rev. 21:7, "these things," for, "all things;" Rev. 22:6, "spirits of the," for, "holy;" Rev. 22:19, "from the tree," for, "out of the book;" Rev. 22:14, "wash their robes," for, "do His commandments."

Attention to these and other alterations which might be noticed will often throw great light on Scripture, and will correct the thoughts of God's children. For example, in the alteration of "Christ" for "the Lord" in Eph. 5:29, we learn that "Lord" is not a correct term to use when speaking of Christ and the Church. The propriety of the changes in Eph. 5:21, Col. 3:22, 2 Tim. 2:19, will be apparent. Set on high as Lord and Christ all are to own not only God, but Him who is Lord.

Besides these changes in the text, others must be made in the translation.

1. In some cases the definite article has great force, and should be inserted.

John 6:32, the bread from heaven; John 16:13, all the truth; 1 Cor. 10:5, with the most of them; 1 Cor. 12:12, the Christ, because speaking of the Head and the members together; 2 Thess. 2:8, the wicked (or rather, the lawless one); 2 Tim. 4:7, the good fight; Rev. 7:14, the great tribulation.

2. The translation should be amended.

Acts 7:59, "praying and saying," for, "calling upon God, and saying," so Syriac, Vulgate, Martin, Tynedale; Rom. 11:31, "have not believed in your mercy, that they," for, "have not believed, that through your mercy they;" 1 Cor. 9:21, "in lawful subjection," for, "under the law;" 1 Cor. 15:2, "hold fast," for, "keep in memory;" 2 Cor. 3:7, "began with glory," for, "was glorious;" 2 Cor. 3:8, "subsist in glory," for, "glorious;" 2 Cor. 3:11, "was with glory," for "was glorious;" "subsists in glory," for, "is glorious;" 2 Cor. 3:18, "unveiled," for, "open;" 2 Cor. 4:3, "veiled," "it is veiled," for, "hid," " it is hid;" Gal. 5:17, "in order that ye should not," for "so that ye cannot;" Eph. 3:15, "every family," for, "the whole family;" Eph. 3:18, "may be thoroughly able," for, "may be able;" Eph. 6:4, "discipline," for, "nurture;" Phil. 4:5, "gentleness," for, "moderation;" Col. 3:10, "unto full knowledge," for, "in knowledge;" 2 Thess. 2:2, "is present," for, "is at hand;" 2 Thess. 3:5, "patience of the Christ," for, "patient waiting for Christ;" Titus 2:13, "our great God and Saviour," for, "the great God and our Saviour;" Heb. 4:14, "passed through," for, "passed into;" Heb. 10:23, "hope," for, "faith;" Heb. 12:2, "leader and perfecter of the faith," for, "author and finisher of our faith;" 1 John 2:19, "all are not of us," for, "they are not all of us;" 1 John 3:4, "practises lawlessness," "lawlessness," for, "transgresseth the law;" "transgression of the law;" Rev. 7:15, "shall tabernacle over them," for, "shall dwell among them."

3. The needless insertion of some words, and the omission of others should be attended to.

Matt. 20:23, read, "is not mine to give, but to those for whom it is prepared of my Father;" Matt. 25:14, read, "for it is as if a man, going from home, called his servants;" 1 Cor. 14, read, "tongue," simply; John 8:1, read, "and Jesus went," so Tynedale and Geneva; 2 Cor. 5:6, read, "and know that," so Tynedale, Cranmer, Geneva.

4. More care should be exercised in the translation of words.

The distinction between (wios)*, a son, manifested as such to others, and (tecnon)*, a child, expressive of relationship, should be carefully preserved. The Lord Jesus is called (wios), never (tecnon), except in Luke 2:48 (when addressed by His mother), and Rev. 12:4. Of believers both terms are used, but only in the writings of Paul, Matt. 5:9, 45; Luke 6:35, Luke 16:8, Luke 20:36; John 12:36; Rev. 21:7, excepted. John generally speaks of relationship to God, a child, so uses (tecnon). Paul speaks of this, and of the position before the world as a son as well, so uses the word (wios) likewise. (See Rom. 8:14, 16.) To the Lord as an infant, (paidion), a little child, is applied (Matt. 2; Luke 2:17, 40); and when twelve years of age he is called (pais), a child, the same word used of Him after his resurrection, in Acts 3:13, 26, Acts 4:27, 30. Paul is the first in Acts who proclaims Him as Son (wios, Acts 9:20) of God. Between the fold aule (John 10:1, 16) and poimne (John 10:16) there is a wide difference, which should be noted. God owns now no fold; the sheep formerly in it have been led out of it; but He has a flock. Hell, (hades), the place of departed spirits, and hell, (gehenna), the place of torment, which occurs only in Matt. 5:22, 29, 30; Matt. 10:28; Matt. 18:9; Matt. 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5; James 3:6; are not the same place; yet the authorised version fails to point this out. Again, should not the reader be informed that comforter (John 14:16, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7) is the same word in the Greek as advocate (1 John 2:1), (paracletos), showing that whilst the advocacy of the Lord is carried on on high, there is another advocate, the Holy Ghost, on earth? Again, why should (episcopos) be translated bishop in 1 Tim. 3:2, and overseer in Acts 20:28?

{May be found elsewhere transliterated as huios and teknon.}

Examples might be multiplied, but our business is not to translate, but to show the need of a careful revision, both of the text and of the authorised version. When undertaken, if faithfully executed, will it not be the most convincing proof that those whose religion is professedly drawn from the Bible, and by which word and that alone, they profess to be guided, are above all party considerations, desiring for themselves and others God's word in its purity and its simplicity?