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An Introduction to the Reading of the Holy Scriptures, in
tended chiefly for young Students in Divinity. By Messrs.
BEAUSOBRE and L'ENFANT. Camb. 1779. p. idi. This is a work of extraordinary Merit; the Authors have left fcarcely any Topick untouched, on which the young Student in Divinity may be fupposed to want Information. Macknight's Preliminary Obfervations, &c. prefixed to his Harmony; Lamy's Apparatas Biblicus; Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem N. Teftamenti; Harwood's Introduction to the Study of the New Testainent'; Percy's Key to the New Testament; and Collyer's Sacred Interpreter may be properly read along with this Introduction, A Key to the Apostolic Writings; or an Elsay to explain the
Gospel Scheme, and the principal Words and Phrases the Apostles have used in describing it. By J. TAYLOR.
p. 315. This Work which is prefixed to the Author's Paraphrafe and Notes on the Epiftle to the Romans, is greatly admired by the Learned, a's containing the beft Introduction to the Epiftlesand the clearest Accoant of the whole Gofpel Scheme, whieh was ever written. The Doctrine of a double Juftification was disliked by Bp. Bull; and it has lately been animadverted on, aś not founded in Scripture; however that may be, it has had, in modern Times, other Supporters besides Dr. Taylor; and it seems to have been well underfood by Crellius, above 150 Years ago. Juftificatio noftra vel accipitur pro ejusmodi a reátu ac poeria, quam peccatis promeruimus, absolutione ae liberatione, qua fir, ut nolit nos Deus punire, fed potius nobifcum perinde velit agere, ac fi jufti et innocentes effemus: vel accipitur pro ipsa falute noftra quam ali- . quando confecuturi fumus. Illa Justificatio fimul ac fidem in Chriftum complectimur nobis contingit, et tam diu durat, quamdiu in nobis du rat fides, eaque viva et par charitatem efficax, feu que Obedientiam, qualem Christus a nobis requirit, habeat conjunctam. Hæc vero pofterior Juftificatio quæ ex illa prima fuit in adventu Domini Jefu nobis eontinget. Crel. in Rom. c. v. and in his Commentary on 1 Cor. c. i. he says, Justificamur fimul atque Doctrinæ Chrifti fidem adjungimus, id est jus adipifcimur ad immunitatem ab omnibus poenis et ad vitæ æternde adeptionem. Verum hoc jus nondum eft plenum, fed adhuc a conditione, quæ fequi debet, pendet, nempe ut conftantes in fide fimus, ac fanctitati vitæ in posterum ftudeamus, itaque justificatio partim antecedit fanctificationem, partim fequitur. Hinc patet, quid fentiendum de illo triftiffimo dicto : (Of St. Augustine) Bona opera non antecedunt juftificandum, fed fequuntur juftificatum antecedunt enim justificandum plene; sequuntur justificatum inchoate, &c. Plain Reafons for being a Christian. Lond. 1736. p. 456.
The Merit of this Tract will not be seen by an hasty Reader; every Article of it contains Matter for much Confideration, and thews the Author to have been well acquainted with his Subject. It was written by Dr. Chandler, but not published till it had been revised by some other Diffenting Ministers.
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****OU desire to know, “ Since the Greek Septuagint and the Y “ English Bible are Translations from the Original Hebrew,
" how it comes to pass that these two Translations have such Variations from each other? I do not mean in some few Words “ only, but in whole Sentences ; many being in our English Transla“tion which are not to be found in the Septuagint, and some again in “the LXX which are not to be found in our English Bible."
I do not at all wonder at your asking such a Question ; for a Clergyman who has but a small Benefice, which will not afford him Means to buy Books of a large Price, and lives in an obscure Place in the Country, near no Library from which he may borrow such Books, or have Opportunity to consult them, is not to be blamed, if he mould not know how to answer this, or other Questions relating to ecclefiaftical Matters. For although he came from the University well versed in the learned Languages, (as you liew yourself to be, or you could not have compared our Englis Bible with the LXX, and so would never have thought of the Maiter) yet for want of Books to inform him how the Scriptures have from Time to Time been copied, translated and published, he may not be able to answer such a Question, and satisfy himself in such a Point as this.
And I must confess for myself, that if I had not the Polyglot Bible, before which Bishop Walton (the learned Editor of that noble and useful Work, consisting of fix large Folios) has put several excellent Prolegomena, and Du Pin's Compleat Canon of Scripture, with some other Books relating to the Editions and Translations of the Holy Scriptures, I could not have answered your Question. But by the Alistance of VOL. III. А
there great together
these Books, I hope I may do it to your Satisfaction. And I can give you a plain, short, and easy Answer, which is, that there were different Copies of the Hebrew Original, and the LXX translated from one Copy, and our English Translators from another; so as the Copies differed, the Tranflations differed also.
But another Question may arise. How came there to be so much Difference between several Copies of the fame Book? I answer, the same will always happen in all Books frequently transcribed by several Hands. Now, I believe no Book ever had so many Transcripts as the Bible. As the Fows had several Synagogues in Judea, so had they in all Countries where they were dispersed after the Captivity. For they did not all return to Judea at the Restoration of Jerusalem and the Rebuilding of the Temple, but very many continued in those Parts of the Caldean, Persian, Grecian and Roman Empires where they had obtained Settlements, where also they increased and multiplied. This we may be convinced of from what we find in the New Testament, where we read that in every Place unto which the Apostles went to preach the Gospel they found Numbers of Jews and a fewis Synagogue. And every Synagogue had at least one Copy of the Bible, beside the many Copies written for the Use of private Persons. Every one of these Copies was written fingly by itself (the Invention of Printing, by which ten Thousand Copies coming out of the same Press Mall not differ so much as in a Letter or a Comma, being yet scarce three Hundred Years old) and therefore could hardly fail to differ in some Particulars even 'from the Copy from which it was taken, unless more than once carefully revised, compared and corrected, which we may reasonably suppose was not always done. These Copiers therefore could hardly keep free from making many Mistakes, such as often to omit a Word, or to write one Word for another: which last Miftake might easily be made in Hebrew Books, where the Letters and ), 7 and 7, 17 and and some others are so near alike, that very often in Writing one can hardly be distinguished from the other; and the mistaking such a Letter changes the Word, and gives it another Signification.
Copiers also, in the transcribing fo large a Book as the Hebrew Bible, mighi easily mistake so far as to be guilty of confiderable Oversights, even to overlook and omit a whole Sentence, especially when they wrote in Harte, as, no Doubt, many of them did, who made it their Business to copy Books for their Livelihood. Where therefore the LXX want a Period or Sentence which is in our English Bibles, we may suppose it was wanting in the Copy from whence they translated : And where they have a Sentence which is wanting in our English Bibles, we may fuppose it was in the Copy from which their TranNation was made, but left out in the Copy from whence our present Hebrew Copies were taken, and from which we have our English Translation : And so vice versa. This I think is a natural and rational Account how i hele Diversities arose; that is, from different Copies of the Original. Which Differences could hardly be avoided, and might easily happen through the Carelesness and Oversights or Mistakes of Transcribers, who could scarce avoid them in so long a Work. Some indeed will tell you that the LXX in their Translation took i
great Liberties, and departed from the original Text with Defign, adding some Things, and leaving out others wilfully to serve some private Views of their own. And others will tell you that this has been done by the Jews, who out of Hatred to the Christians have maliciously altered the Hebrew Copies. But I think it is unjust to charge either the Jews, who were the Keepers and Preservers of the Original Hebrew, or the LXX, who translated the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, with any wilful Variations from the true and authentic Text, where those Variations may be otherwise accounted for in the Manner I lave shewed they may be. However, I confess, there are some Variations which I think cannot be to accounted for; the Difference being such as could hardly proceed from meer Mistake or Oversight. This par. ticularly appears in the Genealogies of the Patriarchs in the fifth and eleventh Chapters of Genefis : Where almost every Patriarch is said to have lived an hundred Years longer before he begat bis Son according to the LXX, than he is according to the present Hebrew Bibles. Such a long, regular Difference as this could not proceed from the Carelerness or meer Oversight of any Transcriber. However, we cannot say that the LXX did here wilfully vary from the Original, or that this Variation was not in the Hebrew Copies before the LXX made their Translation, and that these hundred Years might be in that Hebrew Copy from whence they translated; though at this Distance of Time we cannot account for it. We have just Reason to believe that in the Chronology of those Genealogies there was a Variation in the Hebrero Copies before the Days of Josephus, who lived at the Time when Jerufolem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans: And therefore also might be in those Copies before the Version of the LXX.
For as Josephus was a Priest, who in his Course attended on the Temple to perform the Service of the Temple, we can scarce doubt but he had an Hebrew Copy of the Bible; nevertheless, in his Chronology, he differs from the present Hebrew Text, as he does also from the LXX. The Samaritan likewise (which is but another Copy of the Original Hebrew, written in the more ancient Hebrew Letter; that which is now used by the Jews, being what they learned from the Chaldeans during their Captivity in Babylon) differs in its Chronology from the other three. From whence we may reasonably conclude, that the LXX were not the Authors of this Difference, but followed that Hebrew Copy from whence they translated.
Another great Difference between the present Hebrew Copies and the LXX, which may allo seem to have been done with Design, is the Transposition of Chapters or Parts of Chapters towards the latter End of the Book of Exodus. After you come to the End of the seventh Verse of the 36th Chapter in the LXX, you will find immediately fol. lowing, what follows not in the present Hebrew, consequently not in our English Bibles, until you come to the 39th Chapter. And so through the 36, 37, 38 and 39th Chapters, you will find that put in one Place of the LXX which stands in another place in the present Hebrew and English Bibles. The Occasion of these Transpositions, and of the like in some other places, Dr. Grabe, in his Letter to Dr. Milles, conjectures might probably proceed from those who made up or stitched A 2
together the Rolls or Leaves of the Books after they were written, and by Mistake placed one Roll or Leaf where another mould have been : Such Mistakes we find Bookbinders sometimes make now. And this Mistake having been made in the Hebrew Copy from whence the Verfion of the LXX was made, these Dislocations are found in all the Copies of the LXX.
Another Occasion of yarious Readings, particularly as to whole Sentences or Periods, is supposed to have risen from marginal Notes, which private Persons sometimes made in their Bibles; some Copier transcribing from such Book, believing these Notes to have been set there to supply an Omission of a Sentence by the former Copier, has put it into the Text of the Copy he writes, from whence other Copies being taken, this marginal Note becomes Part of the Text in those Copies which are transcribed from it. This might be done in Hebrew Bibles, before the Translation of the LXX, and from thence might be taken into that and other Translations. · Many various Readings also with regard to Words only between the LXX and other ancient Translations, and that of our English Bible and other modern Translations made from the present Hebrew Copies, have proceeded from the Jewish Maforites, who having invented a Number of Vowel Points and Pauses, have thereby affixed a particular Reading and Sense to many Words different from that Reading and Sense in which they were understood by the LXX, and other ancient Translations made before the Invention of these Points. But of these Majoritic Points I shall have Occasion to say more hereafter.
As I said before, various Readings, and confiderable ones too, will be found in all Books written before Printing was invented. And the more Copies of such Books have been written, the more various Readings there will be. And as more Copies of the Holy Scriptures have been written than of any other Books, it is no Wonder if more various Readings be found in them, than in Books less often transcribed. For except the Transcribers of the Holy Scriptures were all inspired, and preserved from Error by the Spirit of God, as the first Penmen of those sacred Books were, it is morally impossible but they should be guilty of some Night Mistake or Oversight in so long a Work. And therefore we find like various Readings in the Greek Copies of the New Teftament, which you (by comparing the LXX and English Versions) have done in the Old, though, perhaps not so considerable. The learned and industrious Dr. Milles has collected a very great Number of various Readings from several Manuscripts, in his excellent Edition printed at Oxford and publithed 1707. To give an Instance of one or two considerable ones. The Doxology at the End of the Lord's Prayer, Matth. vi. 13. is omitted in several MSS. And eleven whole Verses at the Beginning of the eighth Chapter of St. John's Gospel. Also the 7th Verse of the fifth Chapter of the first Epistle of St. John is omitted in almost all the MSS. now remaining in these weltern Parts of the World. So that the Doctor could not procure or be informed of one MS, that had it. Though Robert Stephens declares it to have been in some of the MSS. from which he published his neat and correct Edition of the New Testament 200 Years ago : Which Edition our present