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Inons, and is twice so named in the New Testament. Every body must be sensible of the expediency of confining the Old Testament name to the captain of the host of Israel, and the other to the Messiah. There can be no doubt, that the name of Aaron's sister, and that of our Lord's mother, were originally the same. The former is called, in the Septuagint, Mapall, the name also given to the latter by the Evangelist Luke. The other Evangelists commonly say Mapia. But as use, with us, has appropriated Miriam to the first, and Mary to the second, it could answer no valuable purpose to confound them. The name of the father of the twelve tribes is, in the Oriental dialects, the same with that of one of the sons of Zebedee, and that of the son of Alpheus. A small distinction is, indeed, made by the Evangelists, who add a Greek termination to the Hebrew name, when they apply it to the Apostles, which, when they apply it to the Patriarch, they never do. If our translators had copied as minutely, in this instance, as they have done in some others, the Patriarch, they would indeed have named Jacob, and each of the two Apostles Jacobus. However, as in naming the two last, they have thought fit to substitute James, which use also has confirmed, I have preserved this distinction.
8 14. Upon the whole, in all that concerns proper names, I have conformed to the judicious rule of king James the first, more strictly, I suppose,
than those translators to whom it was recommended : “ The names of the Prophets, and the holy writers, “ with the other names in the text, are to be retain.
ed, as near as may be, according as they are vulgarly used.”
I am now to offer a few things on the form in which this translation is exhibited. It is well known, that the division of the books of holy writ, into chapters and verses, does not proceed from the inspired writers, but is a contrivance of a much later date. Even the punctuation, for distinguishing the sentences from one another, and dividing every sentence into its constituent members and clauses, though a more ancient invention, was, for many ages, except by grammarians and rhetoricians, hardly ever used in transcribing; insomuch, that whatever depends merely on the division of sentences, on points, aspirations, and accents, cannot be said to rest ultimately, as the words themselves do, upon the authority of the sacred penmen.
These particulars give free scope for the sagacity of criticism, and unrestrained exercise to the talent of investigating; in
asmuch as in none of these points is there any ground for the plea of inspiration.
$ 2. As to the division into chapters and verses, we know that the present is not that which obtained in primitive ages, and that even the earliest division is not derived from the Apostles, but from some of their first commentators, who, for the conveniency of readers, contrived this method. The division into chapters, that now universally prevails in Europe, derived its origin from cardinal Caro, who lived in the twelfth century: the subdivision into verses is of no older date than the middle of the sixteenth century, and was the invention of Robert Stevens. That there are many advantages which result from so minute a partition of the sacred oracles, cannot be de. nied. The facility with which any place, in consequence of this method, is pointed out by the writer, and found by the reader, the easy recourse it gives, in consulting commentators, to the passage whereof the explanation is wanted, the aid it has afforded to the compilers of concordances, which are of considerable assistance in the study of Scripture ; these, and
many other accommodations, have accrued from this contrivance.
3. It is not, however, without its inconveni
This manner of mincing a connected work into short sentences, detached from one another, not barely in appearance, by their being ranked under separate numbers, and by the breaks in the lines, but in effect, by the influence which the text, thus
parcelled out, has insensibly had on copiers and translators, both in pointing, and in translating, is not well suited to the species of composition which obtains in all the sacred books, except the Psalms, and the Book of Proverbs. To the epistolary and argumentative style it is extremely ill adapted, as has been well evinced by Mr. Locke 120; neither does it suit the historical. There are inconveniencies which would result from this way of dividing, even if executed in the best manner possible: but, though I am unwilling to detract from the merit of an expedient which has been productive of some good consequences, I cannot help observing that the inventors have been far too hasty in conducting the execution.
The subject is sometimes interrupted by the division into chapters. Of this I might produce many examples, but, for brevity's sake, shall mention only
The last verse of the fifteenth chapter of Matthew is much more closely connected with what follows in the sixteenth, than with what precedes. In like manner, the last verse of the nineteenth chapter, Many shall be first that are last, and last that are first, ought not to be disjoined, (I say not, from the subsequent chapter, but even) from the subsequent paragraph, which contains the parable of the labourers hired to work in the vineyard, brought merely in illustration of that sentiment, and be. ginning and ending with it. The first verse of the
120 Essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles, prefixed to his paraphrase and notes on some of the Epistles.
fifth chapter of Mark is much more properly joined to the concluding paragraph of the fourth chapter, as it shows the completeness of the miracle there related, than to what follows in the fifth. The like may be remarked of the first verse of the ninth chapter. Of the division into verses, it may be observed, that it often occasions an unnatural separation of the members of the same sentence '21; nay, sometimes, which is worse, the same verse comprehends a part of two different sentences.
That this division should often have a bad effect upon translators is inevitable. First, by attending narrowly to the verses, an interpreter runs the risk of overlooking the right, and adopting a wrong, division of the sentences. Of this I shall give one remarkable example from the Gospel of John 12 Our Lord says, in one of his discourses, Eyo Equi o
fo καλος και γινωσκω τα εμα, και γινωσκομαι υπο των εμων, καθως γινωσκει με το πατηρ, καγω γινωσκω τον πατερα και την ψυχην με τιθημι υπερ των προβατων. When the sentence is thus pointed, as it manifestly ought to be, and exhibited unbroken by the division into verses, no person can doubt that the following version is equally close to the letter and to the
I am the good Shepherd; I both know my own, and am known by them, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay
121 In Matth. xi. 2. we have a verse without a verb, and ending with a comma.
122 John, x. 14, 15.