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goodman of the house, They laughed him to scorn, and They cast the same in his teeth; expressions for which the interpreters had not the apology that maj be pleaded in defence of some idioms in the Old Testament history, that they are literal translations from the original 101. That the English construction has undergone several alterations since the establishment of the Protestant religion in England, it would be easy to evince. Some verbs often then used impersonally, and some reciprocally, are hardly ever so used at present. It pitieth them 102, would never be It repented him 103
; may possibly be found in modern language, but never he repented * himself 104 There is a difference also in the use of the prepositions. In 195 was then sometimes used for upon, and unto instead of for 106. Of was frequently used before the cause or the instrument, where we now invariably use by 107 ; of was also em. ployed, in certain cases, where present use requires off or from 108 Like differences might be observed in the pronouns. One thing is certain, that the old usages in construction, oftner occasioned ambiguity than the present, which is an additional reason for preferring the latter.
101 Matth. xx. 11. oinodermoT8. ix. 24. xat bykAW auto. xxvii. 44. Το αυτο ωνειδιζον αυτω. .
102 Psal. cii. 14. Common Prayer. 103 Genesis, vi. 6.
104 Matth. xxvii. 3. 105 Matth. vi, 10.
John, xv. 7. 107 Matth. i. 18.
108 Matth. vii, 16. VOL. II.
$ 9. FINALLY, in regard to what may be called technical, or, in Simon's phrase, consecrated terms, our translators, though not entirely free from such, have been comparatively sparing of them. In this they have acted judiciously. A technical style is a learned style. That of the Scriptures, especially of the historical part, is the reverse; it is plain and fa. miliar. If we except a few terms, such as angel, apostle, baptism, heresy, mystery, which, after the example of other Western churches, the English have adopted from the Vulgate ; and for adopting some of which, as has been observed, good reasons might be offered; the instances are but few wherein the common name has been rejected, in preference to a learned and peculiar term.
Nay, some learned terms, which have been admitted into the liturgy, at least into the rubric, the interpreters have not thought proper to introduce into the Scriptures. Thus, the words, the nativity, for Christ's birth, advent, for his coming, epiphany, for his manifestation to the Magians by the star, do very well in the titles of the several divisions in the Book of Common Prayer, being there a sort of proper names for denoting the whole circumstantiated event, or rather the times destined for the celebration of the festivals, and are convenient, as they save circumlocution ; but would by no means suit the simpie and familiar phraseology of the sacred historians, who never affect uncommon, and especially learned words. Thus, in the titles of the books of Moses, the Greek names of the Septuagint, Genesis,
Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, are not unfitly preserved in modern translations, and are become the proper names of the books. But where the Greek word genesis, which signifies generation, occurs in that ancient version of the book so named, it would have been very improper to transfer it into a modern translation, and to say, for example, “ This is the
genesis of the heavens and the earth 100? In like manner, Exodus, which signifies departure, answers very well as a proper name of the second book, which begins with an account of the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt; but it would be downright pedantry to introduce the term exodus, exody, or exod (for in all these shapes some have affected to usher it into the language), into the body of the history.
I remember but one passage in the New Testament, in which our translators have preferred a scho, lastic to the vulgar name, where both signified the same thing ; so that there was no plea from necessi. ty. The expression alluded to is, “ To whom he " showed himself alive after his passion 110." Passion, in ordinary speech, means solely a fit of "anger, or any violent commotion of the mind. It is only in theological or learned use that it means the sufferings of Christ. The Evangelist wrote to the people in their own dialect. Besides, as he wrote. for the conviction of infidels, as well as for the instruction of believers, it is not natural to suppose
that he would use words or phrases, in a particular acceptation, which could be known only to the latter. His expression, META TO TASELV Autov, which is literally, after his sufferings, is plain and unambiguous, and might have been said of any man who had undergone the like fate. Such is constantly the way of the sacred writers ; nor is any thing, in language, more repugnant to their manner, than the use of what is called consecrated words. I admit, at the same time, that post passionem suam, in the Vulgate, is. unexceptionable, because it suits the common acceptation of the word passio in the Latin language. Just so, the expression accipiens calicem, in the Vul. gate 1, is natural and proper. Calix is a common name for cup, and is so used in several places of that version : whereas, taking the chalice, as the Rhemish translators render it, presents us with a technical term not strictly proper, inasmuch as it suggests the previous consecration of the vessel to a special purpose, by certain ceremonies, an idea not suggested by either the Greek notnplov, or the Latin calix. I do not mean, however, to controvert the propriety of adopting an unfamiliar word, when necessary for expressing what is of an unfamiliar, or, perhaps, singular nature. Thus, to denote the change produced on our Saviour's body, when on the mount with the three disciples, Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, a more apposite word than transfigured could not have been found.
111 Matth. xxvi. 27,
lish word transformed, which comes nearest, and is more familiar than the other, would have expressed too much.
10. To conclude, the reasons which appear sufficient to justify a change of the words and expressions of even the most respectable predecessors in the business of translating, are, when there is ground to think, that the meaning of the author can be either more exactly, or more perspicuously, rendered ; and when his manner, that is, when the essential qualities of his style, not the sound or the etymology of his words, can be more adequately represented. For, to one or other of these, all the above cases will be found reducible.