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on souther. Inis Greek, have used sons in th
on wht (thoug, Gospel
his having employed different persons in this office*. The Apostle John may have used an amanuensis, or a corrector of his Greek, in one of his works, and not in another. In the opinion of Lardner, founded upon sound reasons, to which Michaelis allows great weight, (though he is disposed to contend for a later date,) St. John's Gospel was written about the year 68. But at this period, St. John being but newly arrived from Palestine, cannot be supposed, (as Michaelis has observedt.) to have written that fluent Greek in which his Gospel is composed. He might therefore at that time have employed an amanuensis or corrector. But after thirty years residence at Ephesus, where the Greek was principally spoken, he might not feel the want of such assistance, and he might have written the Apocalypse in his own Greek;. a Greek tinged with the Hebrew idiom. This is only conjecture; which I do not propose as any sure me thod of accounting for this difficulty, but as a probable means of showing that this, or perhaps other circumstances unknown to us, may have occasioned a dissimilarity in this Apostle's language at so great a distance of time...'
But no difference of style will justify us in dený. ing St. John to be the author of the Apocalypse. The Fathers of the Church, who first received this work, might probably know the causes of this apparent dissimilarity. They were satisfied : and on such a point it is vain for us to dissent from them. And, in truth, this difference of style between the Gospel of St. John and the Apocalypse, nearly considered, is far from being so much in its disfavour, as, at first view, we. are apt to imagine. For it is such a style as St. John may have written, circumstances, considered : but it is not such a style as an impostor, an imitator of St. John, would have written. Such an one would have
* Tom. ir. p. 183.
gone to the Gospel and Epistles for his model of imi. tation.
V. This observation may serve to introduce the fifth objection, which is stated by Lardner from Dionysius, and repeated by Michaelis*, “ That the Gospel of St. John is elegant Greek ; but that the Apoca, lypse abounds with barbarisms and solecisms." For the same general answer may still be given, even if we admit the fact alleged. Various causes may have operated to produce this difference, many of them unknown to us, but known, perhaps, to the ancients of the second century, who seem not to have object. ed to this dissimilarity. More than a hundred years had elapsed, from the first reception of the book by the Church, before any such objections appear to have been advanced against it. · But the attention of modern critics has tended greatly to lessen the force of this objection. For such irregularities, in point of Grammar, as are objected against the Apocalypse, are observed also in the Septuagintt, and in other writings of the New Testament; and the Gospels and Epistles of St. John are now so far from being accounted that perfect Greek, which Dionysius represents them to be, that Black wall, (who in his Sacred Classics has attempted to yindicate the Scriptures from the charge of being written in an impure and barbarous style,) has found himself obliged to defend the Gospel and Epistles of this Apostle in more than forty passages, in some of which only he has succeeded. · But such vindication of the Holy Scriptures is un. necessary ; they must be allowed to speak a language of their own, “not with the enticing words of man's wisdomt." They use, for the most part, an Asiatic Greek, plentifully mixed with Hebraisms. A pure
* P. 529, 530.
shoiter more forcibly Greek*
cannot be so come
Attic language would by no means give them greater credibility : for in these days we should not admit the appeal of Mahomet, and conclude them divine, because elegantly composed. - Many of the expressions, which, upon this ground, have bcen objected to in the Apocalypse, have been shown to convey the sublime meaning of the sacred inditer more forcibly and effectually, than a more exact and grammatical Greek* Of this character is &TO wv, xas o no, xar é ef Xouevost, which cannot be so corrected into grammar, as to express, with equal force, that sublime attribute of God, by which he fills eternity. • The instances of irregularity, in point of gram. mar, produced from the Apocalypse by Bengel, and repeated by our authort, are all of one kind, and of a kind which is found in the Septuagint, and in Greek translated from the Hebrew. In these instances, the original, (or nominative,) case, is used immediately after a word, which, having been expressed in one of the oblique cases, seems to require, in purer Greek, the continuation of the same oblique cases. This might happen, either if the text were translated from St. John's Hebrew, or if St. John had translated
hich is foundhort, are all opse by Bence tam,
. * This is observed by Michaelis, (Introd. vol. i. part 1.
chap. iv. sect. 3.) who says, “ The very faults of grammar in the Apocalypse are so happily placed as to produce an agreea. ble effect.
+ Chap. i. 4. . IP. 529.
§ Instance ch. i. 5. ano 'Impo perplus, which may be rendered strictly grammatical by supplying é is, and this ellipsis . is so common in our English language, (and, I believe, in most modern ones, that the places objected to, pass in literal trans. lation without any apparent offence to grammar. The of. fence then is not against universal grammar, but against the particular idiom of the Greeks, and yet not against the idiom of the Oriental Greeks. See the observations of our author on the language of the New Testament, with the judicious remarks of his translator; Introduct. vol. i. ch. iv.
into Greek the Hebrew words of Jesus and of the angels*.
The instances produced by Michaelis are taken chiefly from ancient MSS. of the Apocalypse, and are not to be seen in the common and later editions. And he expresses his suspicions that these violations of grammar were probably yet more abundant in former times, having undergone the correction of transcribers. But if this supposition can be allowed, it may also be surmised, that other books of the New Testament have proabably undergone this kind of correction. And why not the Gospel and Epistles of St. John, even before the Apocalypse was written? But taking it for granted, that the Apocalypse abounds with Hebraisms, and even with solecisms, more than any other book of the New Testament,-what can we hence infer, but that we probably have the origi. nal text of the sacred writer, as preserved in the early ages with scrupulous care? A forger, an impostor, would have written another kind of Greek, more closely resembling that of St. John's Gospels and Epistles.
And although we cannot show the Apocalypse to i be written in precisely the same Greek, as the Gos
pel and Epistles of St. John, yet, I trust, we must be convinced that this circumstance is very far froin being entitled to any decisive influence in favour of the opinion, that it was not written by that Apostle, to whom the united voice of antiquity has ascribed it. Of all the arguments which have been advanced to support this opinion, there is none, which it will not be presumptuous to oppose to such authority.
Having now advanced what I deem necessary to say in answer to these objections of Dionysius, repeated by Michaelis, I shall add a few words concerning an objection of later date, to which this learned critic seems inclined to give his sanction, though he has
* As suggested in p. 155.
be the out the title, the Revel
not formally avowed it. He distinguishes between John the Evangelist, and John the Divine, as if he believed them to be two separate persons; and the latter to be the author, or the reputed author of the Apocalypse. But the title, prefixed to the Apoca. lypse, in which it is called, " the Revelation of John the Divine,” does not properly belong to the book. It is not to be found in the most ancient and authentic MSS. and is therefore rejected by Griesbach in his edition. The true title of the book is seen in the first verses of it: it is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ," not of John. But as it was communicated to the Church by St. John, and as other Revelations were afterwards written, in imitation of this, and ascribed to other Apostles, so by degrees this Revelation was distinguished in the Church by the name of John. The Apocalypse of John was the title by which it was known in the times of Dionysius*. In the following century, when many contests had arisen concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Orthodox had found their firm support in the writings of this Apostle, (who alone of the sacred writers had described the Son of God as it doyost,) they began to apply to this Apostle the title of Theologus, a title expressive both of John's doctrinet, and of his eminent knowledge in divine subjects. Athanasius calls St. John é soroyos cump..
In the decrees of the Council held at Ephesus, in
. Euseb. E. H. lib. vii. c. 24. . + The Word of God.
| See the word sodoyx, as used in Euseb. H. E. lib. iii. c. 24. and applied to the beginning of St. John's Gospel. The Christians are described as worshipping Christ, with reference to this name toy Xposou úprgor someyxyles. Euseb. H. E. lib. v. c. 28. And the Alogi, as we have seen, received that appellation, from denying the Doctrine of St. John, Toy Ev alexn 0910
con (@a) Royov. Épiph. Hær. 54. Eusebius quoting the begining of St. John's Gospel, says, ode on Deodoyes. Præp. Evang. lib. xi. c. 19.