Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors]

&c. of Hebrew manuscripts, it has digressions on other points of Hebrew literature, which shall be noticed in the sequel.-In determining the antiquity of Hebrew manuscripts, it may be useful likewise to con. sult a short treatise by Professor Schnurrer of Tübin. gen, entitled, De codicum Hebræorum Veteris Testa. menti ætate difficulter determinandâ, printed in his Dissertationes philologico-criticæ, which were published at Gotha and Amsterdam in 1790, octavo. They, who are acquainted with German, will find the most perspicuous, and the most systematic account of Hebrew manuscripts in the second volume of Eichhorn's Introduction.- -Beside the manuscripts in Hebrew letters, sixteen manuscripts of the Pentateuch in Samaritan letters were collated for Kennicott's edition, of which an account is given in the catalogue of manuscripts in the Dissertatio generalis. It was related in the tenth Lecture, that we first became acquainted with the Samaritan Pentateuch at the beginning of the seventeenth century; that the first known copy of it was deposited in the library of the Oratory at Paris; and that the deviation of its text from that of the Hebrew Pentateuch gave rise to a controversy on the subject of their relative value. But an account of the principal authors on this subject will be more proper. ly given, when we come to that department, which re. lates to the utility and application of various readings.

-The Samaritan Pentateuch was first printed in the Paris Polyglot under the inspection of Morinus, and was reprinted by Walton in the London Polyglot. In these editions it is printed in the Samaritan charac

ter. In 1790 the late Dr. Blayney, Hebrew Profes. sor at Oxford, published it, in an octavo volume, in the Hebrew character, which had been already used by Houbigant and Kennicott, in printing the deviations of the Samaritan text. Dr. Blayney's edition is moreover accompanied with the readings of the Samaritan manuscripts (collated for Kennicott's edition). which differ from the printed Samaritan text.

On the ancient versions of the Hebrew Bible, which open a second source of various readings, our means of information are very ample. A considerable part of Walton's Prolegomena is devoted to this subject: and they are particularly valuable in respect to the oriental versions, which are described in the six last chapters. The second book of Simon's critical History of the Old Testament is wholly employed on the translations of it, both ancient and modern, though the latter are of no value in a critical history of the Hebrew text, on which account the notice of Lewis's and other histories of our English translations must be reserved for the second branch of Theology, the Interpretation of the Bible. In Carpzov's Critica sacra Veteris Testamenti, printed at Leipzig in 1728, quarto, the second part contains also an account of the translations of the Old Testament. A popular account is given of them in the second volume of Prideaux's Connexion: and also in Dr. Brett's Dissertation on the ancient Versions of the Bible, of which the second edi. tion was published in London in 1760, and is reprinted in the third volume of Bishop Watson's Theological Tracts. The object of this latter work, as the au

thor declares on the title-page, was to shew the excellent use, that may be made of the ancient versions towards attaining the true readings of the Holy Scriptures in doubtful places. But that, which far surpasses all other works on the critical application of the ancient versions, is Eichhorn's Introduction to the Old Testament, in which the latter half of the first vol. ume is devoted to this subject. The best account of the editions of the ancient versions is given in the second part of the Bibliotheca sacra, published by Masch. No work contains so many of the ancient versions, and so well arranged, as the London Polyglot.

As the Septuagint is not only the most ancient version of the Hebrew Bible, but is frequently quoted in the Greek Testament, and as it is likewise more familiar to us, than any other ancient version, the Latin only excepted, * the authors, who have written on it, deserve more particular notice. The first writer, who instituted a systematic inquiry into the Septuagint version, was Archbishop Usher, in a work entitled De Græcâ Septuaginta interpretum Versione Syntagma, printed in London in 1655, quarto. It is divided in

The history of the Latin Version has been already given in the fourth Lecture. It is only the Latin Vulgate, made by Jerom from the Hebrew which can be applied to the criticism of the Hebrew Bi. ble. The old Latin version published by Sabatier (at Rheims in 1743, in three volumes folio,) being in the Old Testament made from the Septuagint, applies immediately to the criticism of the Septuagint. In the edition of the Bibliotheca sacra, Part II, Vol. III, as published by Masch, both versions are fully described. Much information on the subject of the Vulgate may be obtained from Hody's work De textir bus, &c.

to nine chapters, and relates to the origin of the ver. sion according to the account of Aristeas (then supposed to be genuine,) to the time when and the place where it was written, to the alterations which were g adually made in its text, to the corrections of Ori. gen, to the modern editions, and other subjects, with which these are immediately connected. This is a work of great merit; it displays much original inqui, ry, and may be regarded as the ground-work of later publications on the Septuagint. In 1661 Isaac Vossius published at the Hague, in quarto, his work entitled le Septuaginta interpretibus, eorumque tralatione et chronologia dissertationes. Isaac Vossius was such an admirer of the Septuagint, that he ascribed to it more authority, than to the original itself. But he met with a very powerful adversary in Humphrey Hory, then a young man and Fellow of Wadham College in Oxford, who in 1685 published in London, in octavo, his treatise entitled Contra historiam Aristec de LXX, interpretibus dissertatio : in quâ probatur illum a Judæo aliquo confectam fuisse ad conciliandam authoritatem Versioni Græcæ ; et clarissimi doctissimique viri D. Isaaci Vossii aliorumque defensiones ejusdem examini subjiciuntur. This very acute and learned writer has clearly proved his position in respect to the writing which bears the name of Aristeas : some feeble efforts were made indeed to defend the authentici. ty of that writing, especially by Whiston in an Appen. dix to his Literal Accomplishment of Scripture Prophecies: but the opinion of Hody is at present very generally adopted. In 1705 Hody, who was then become


Greek Professor and Archdeacon of Oxford, published the work already quoted in the fourth Lecture, De Bibliorum textibus originalibus, Versionibus Græcis et Latina Vulgata libri quatuor. This is the classical work on the Septuagint :* but there are others which are worthy of notice ; especially two publications by Dr. Henry Owen, Rector of St. Olave, Hartstreet, the one An Inquiry into the present state of the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament ; London, 1769, Svo; the other A brief Account historical and critical of the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament. London, 1787, 8vo. The author, who is himself an ex. cellent critic, treads closely in the footsteps of Hody. The last work especially should be read by every man, who wishes to be acquainted with the history of the Septuagint. The following is likewise a very useful work, as it represents both concisely and perspicuously the several topics, which suggest them. selves for consideration on the origin of the Septua

* As Hody in common with many other learned men considers the Hexapla and Tetrapla as different works, and they were represented in the third Lecture as only different names of the same work viewed in different lights, it may be necessary to observe, that the latter is the opinion of Eichhorn, and several other very distinguished critics of the present age. It would be foreign to the design of these Lectures to enter into an elaborate discussion on this subject. I will take however this opportunity of correcting an inaccuracy in the same Lecture at p. 68. From what was there said of the column of the Hexapla, which contained the corrected text of the Septuagint with its critical marks, and which was transcribed by Eusebius and Pamphilus, it might be in. ferred, that the Hexaplarian text of the Septuagint has descended to us only in fragments, whereas the observation is true only of the other Greek versions, which Origen applied to the emendation of the Septu. aginte

« AnteriorContinuar »