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tihvavy of trhe trheolo^icd ^eminarjp 




Miss Anne a. Turnbull 

Mi-rs Laura F. "Trumbull 



FEB 8 1954 





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No. 1122 Chestnut Street. 

NEW YORK : Nos. 8 & 10 Bible House, Astor Place. 
CHICAGO : No. 73 Randolph St. 


These essays on the various aspects of the Anglo- 
American Bible Revision now going on, are issued by 
the American Revision Committee as an explanatory 
statement to the friends and patrons of the cause, with 
the distinct understanding that suggestions and state- 
ments in regard to any particular changes to be made, 
express only the individual opinions of the writer, but 
not the final conclusions of the two Committees, who 
have not yet finished their work. 


New York, March, 1879. In behalf of the Committee. 


A SECOND edition of this work being called for, 
some inaccuracies have been corrected. 

The book is published by the American Sunday- 
School Union at Philadelphia, and has already been 
twice republished in London during the last summer. 
The American Committee has prepared the book ex- 
clusively for the American public, and is in no way 
responsible for the English reprints; but these several 
•editions are an encouraging proof that the interest in 
the revision is rapidly growing on both sides of the 
Atlantic. ^ 

P. S. 

New York, Oct., 1879. 

Copyright, by the American Sunday-School Union, 1879. 


In the spring of 1878, Alexander Brown, Esq., Senior Member 
and Chairman of the Committee of PubUcation of the American 
Sunday-School Union, invited to his hospitable mansion in 
Philadelphia, for the purposes of consultation and impartation 
of knowledge, a number of gentlemen, clerical and lay, era- 
ployed or interested in the greatest Biblical enterprise of mod- 
ern times — the Anglo-American Eevision of the Authorized 
Version of the Holy Scriptures. 

Whilst listening to the lucid expositions given by various 
speakers of the necessity and character of the Eevision, the 
Kev. Edwin W. Rice, Editor of the Periodicals of the American 
Sunday-School Union, was impressed with the importance of 
giving a wide circulation to these expositions; and he there- 
fore addressed to the distinguished President of the American 
Revision Committee the following letter ; 

Office of " The Sunday-School World," 
Philadelphia, May 18, 1878. 

To THE Rev. Philip Schaff, D.D., L.L.D. 

President American Bible Revision Committee. 
Dear Sir: — In view of the present deep interest in the 
Revision of the English Version of the Bible now in progress, 
it has been suggested that a fresh statement of the purposes and 
aim of this work, from some of the Biblical scholars engaged 
thereon, would remove several misconceptions and undue ap- 
prehensions in the pubUc mind respecting its character. ^ Such 


a statement might include a brief account of previous Eevisions, 
the reasons for a new Eevision, and a fitting notice of the prin- 
ciples and spirit in which it is conducted. 

Any information which you and your eminent co-laborers 
feel at liberty to furnish to the public through " The Sunday- 
School World," will encourage the large body of Christian 
teachers of all denominations interested in diffusing a more 
intelligent knowledge of the blessed word of life among all 
English-speaking peoples. 

Sincerely yours, 

EDWIN W. EICE, Editor, etc. 

Appended to the letter were further suggestions as to points 
upon which the Christian public might derive special informal 
tion. These included : (1) Previous Revisions ; (2) The need of a 
new Revision ; (3) The principles and spirit of this Revision ; 
(4) Present condition and purity of the Greek and Hebrew 
texts ; (5) Inaccuracies of the Authorized Version ; (6) Import- 
ant distinctions obliterated or created by the Authorized Ver- 
sion ; (7) Archaisms, or obsolete words and phrases ; (8) Chapter, 
verse, or paragraph divisions of the Bible. Other topics have 
been added to complete the series. 

In " The World " for October, 1878, eight of the Revision arti- 
cles were published and four more appeared in " The World," 
January, 1879. All of these thoroughly revised, and seven new 
papers added, making nineteen, will be found in the present 
volume ; which not only fully answers the purpose for which it 
was originally designed,— to explain the necessity and character 
of the Anglo-American Revision, — but also, by means of its 
copious indices, will be of permanent value as a body of Biblical 
criticism, and a commentary on many passages of Scripture. 

Editor of Books, American Sunday-School Union. 
Philadelphia, April 4, 1879. 






Introductory Statement. or ^ ^a 

Philip Schaff. 14 

The Authorized Version and English Versions on 

WHICH IT IS Based. ^x, t^ t^ ,r. oo 

Chas. P. Krauth. 22 

The English Bible as a Classic. 

T. W. Chambers. 37 

Reasons for a New Revision. 

TJieo. D. Woolsey. 43 

The Current Version and Present Needs. 

G. Emlen Hare. 48 

The Hebrew Text of the Old Testament. 

Howard Osgood. 53 

Hebrew Philology and Biblical Science. 

W. Henry Green. 60 

Helps for Translating the Hebrew Scriptures at 
the Time the Ancient Version was made. 

George E. Day. 72 

Inaccuracies of the Authorized Version of the Old 

Joseph Packard. 80 

The New Testament Text. ^ .^z . o/» 

Ezra Abbot. 86 

1 * V 



Inaccuracies of the Authoeized Version in Respect of 
Grammar and Exegesis. 

A. a Kendrick. 99 

True Conservatism in Eespect to Changes in the 
English and Greek Text. 

Timothy Ihvight. 113 

The Greek Verb in the New Testament. 

Matthew B. Riddle. 126 

Unwarranted Verbal Differences and Agreements 
IN the English Version. 

J. Henry Thayer. 133 

Archaisms; or, Obsolete and Unusual Words and 
Phrases in the English Bible. 

Howard Crosby. 144 

The Proper Names of the Bible. 

Chas. A. Aiken. 151 

The Use of Italics in the English Bible. 

Tlwmas Chase. 157 

Paragraphs, Chapters, and Verses of the Bible. 

James Strong. 166 

Revision of the Scriptures and Church Authority. 

Alfred Lee. 170 


\S. Austin Allihone.\ 


I. e:n'glish reyision^ committee. 

(1) Old Testament Company. 

The Eight Rev. Edward Harold Browne, d.d., Bishop 

of Winchester (Chairman), Farnham Castle, Surrey. 
The Right Rev. Lord Arthur Charles Hervey, d.d., 

Bishop of Bath and Wells, Palace, Wells, Somerset. 
The Right Rev. Alfred Ollivant, d.d., Bishop of 

LlaiidafF, Bishop's Court, Llandaff. 
The Very Rev. Robert Payne Smith, d.d., Dean of 

Canterbury, Deanery, Canterbury. 
The Ven. Benjamin Harrison, m.a., Archdeacon of 

Maidstone, Canon of Canterbury, Canterbury. 
The Rev. William Lindsay Alexander, d.d.. Professor 

of Theology, Congregational Church Hall, Edinburgh. 
Robert L. Bensly, Esq., Fellow and Hebrew Lecturer, 

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. 
The Rev. John Birrell, Professor of Oriental Lan- 
guages, St. Andrew's, Scotland. 
Frank Chance, Esq., m.d., Burleigh House, Sydenham 

Hill, London. 
Thomas Chenery, Esq., Reform Club, London, S. W. 
The Rev. T. K. Cheyne, Fellow and Hebrew Lecturer, 

Balliol College, Oxford. 
The Rev. A. B. Davidson, d.d., Professor of Hebrew, 

Free Church College, Edinburgh. 
The Rev. George Douglas, d.d.. Professor of Hebrew 

and Principal of Free Church College, Glasgow. 
S. R. Driver, Esq., Tutor of Few College, Oxford. 
The Rev. C. J. Elliott, Winkfield Vicarage, Windsor. 



The Rev. Frederick Field, d.d., Carlton Terrace, 

Heigham, Norwich. 
The Rev. John Dury Geden, Professor of Hebrew, 

Weslejan College, Didsbury, Manchester. 
The Rev. Christian D. Ginsburg, ll.d., Wokingham, 

The Rev. Frederick William Gotch, d.d.. Principal 

of the Baptist College, Bristol. 
The Rev. William Kay, d.d.. Great Leghs' Rectory, 

The Rev. Stanley Leathes, b.d.. Professor of Hebrew, 

King's College, London. 
The Rev. Professor J. R, Lumby, d.d., Fellow of St. Cath- 
arine's College, Cambridge. 
The Very Rev. John James Stewart Perowne, d.d., 

Dean of Peterborough, Deanery, Peterborough. 
The Rev. A. H. Sayce, Fellow and Tutor of Queen's 

College, Oxford. 
The Rev. William Robertson Smith, Professor of 

Hebrew, Free Church College, Aberdeen. 
William Wright, ll.d.. Prof, of Arabic, Cambridge. 
William Aldis Wright, Esq. (Secretary), Bursar of 

Trinity College, Cambridge. 

0. T, Cornpany, 27. 

Note. — The English Old Testament Company has lost, by death, the 
Eight Rev. Dr. Connop Tiiirlwall, Bishop of St. David's, d. 27 July, 
1875 ; the Ven. Henry John Rose, Archdeacon of Bedford, d. 31 Janu- 
ary, 1873 ; the Rev.WiLLiAM Selwyn, d.d.. Canon of Ely, d. 24 April, 
1875 ; the Rev. Dr. Patrick Fairbairn, Principal of the Free Church 
College, Glasgow, d. 6 August, 1874; Professors McGill, d. 16 March, 
1871; Weir, 27 July, 1876; and DA\^ES, 19 July, 1875; and by 
resignation, the Right Rev. Dr. Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop 
of Lincoln ; the Rev. John Jebb, Canon of Hereford, and the Rev. 
Edward Hayes Plumptre, d.d., Professor of N. T. Exegesis, King's 
College, London (resigned 17 March, 1874). 

list op revisers. v 

(2) New Testament Company. 

The Right Rev. Charles John Ellicott, d.d., Bishop 

of Gloucester and Bristol (Chairman), Palace, Glou- 
The Right Rev. George Moberly, d.c.l., Bishop of 

Salisbury, Palace, Salisbury. 
The Very Rev. Edward Henry Bickersteth, d.d., 

Prolocutor, Dean of Lichfield, Deanery, Lichfield. 
The Very Rev. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, d.d., Dean 

of Westminster, Deanery, Westminster. 
The Very Rev. Robert Scott, d.d.. Dean of Rochester, 

Deanery, Rochester. 
The Very Rev. Joseph Williams Blakesley, b.d.. 

Dean of Lincoln, Deanery, Lincoln. 
The Most Rev. Richard Chenevix Trench, d.d.. Arch- 
bishop of Dublin, Palace, Dublin. 
The Rio-ht Rev. Joseph Barber Lightfoot, d.d., ll.d., 

Bishop of Durham. 
The Right Rev. Charles Wordsworth, d.c.l.. Bishop 

of St. Andrew's, Bishopshall, St. Andrew's. 
The Rev. Joseph Angus, d.d., President of the Baptist 

College, Regent's Park, London. 
The Rev. David Brown, d.d.. Principal of the Free 

Church College, Aberdeen. 
The Rev. Fenton John Anthony Hort, d.d.. Fellow of 

Emmanuel College, Cambridge. 
The Rev. William Gibson Humphry, Vicarage, St. 

Martin's-in-the-Fields, London, W. C. 
The Rev. Benjamin Hall Kennedy, d.d., Canon of Ely 

and Regius Professor of Greek, The Elms, Cambridge. 
The Ven. William Lee, d.d.. Archdeacon of Dublin, 



The Rev. William Milligan, d.d., Professor of Divinity 
and Biblical Criticism, Aberdeen. 

The Rev. William F. Moulton, d.d., Master of The 
Leys School, Cambridge. 

The Rev. Samuel E'ewth, d.d.. Principal of IN'ew Col- 
lege, Hampstead, London. 

The Ven. Edwin Palmer, d.d., Archdeacon of Oxford, 
Christ Church, Oxford. 

The Rev. Alexander Roberts, d.d.. Professor of Hu- 
manity, St. Andrew's. 

The Rev. Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener, ll.d., 
Prebendary, Hendon Vicarage, London, IS". W. 

The Rev. George Vance Smith, d.d., Parade, Car- 

The Rev. Charles John Vaughan, d.d., Master of the 
Temple, The Temple, London, E. C. 

The Rev. Brooke Foss Westcott, d.d.. Canon of Peter- 
borough and Regius Professor of Divinity, Trinity 
College, Cambridge. 

The Rev. J. Troutbeck (Secretary), Dean's Yard, 

N. T. Company, 25. 
Active members in both Companies , 52. 

Note. — The English New Testament Company has lost, by death, the 
Eight Kev. Dr. Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Winchester, d. 1873; 
the Very Rev. Dr. Hexry Alford, Dean of Canterbury, d. 1871 ; the 
Rev. Dr. John Eadie, Professor of Biblical Literature in the United 
Presbyterian Church, Glasgow, d. 1876 ; and Mr. Samuel Prideaux 
Tregelles, ll.d. (who was prevented by ill health from taking any 
part in the work), d. 1875; and by resignation, the Rev. Dr. Charles 
Merivale, Dean of Ely. 

(The Rev. F. C. Cook, Canon of Exeter, the Rev. Dr. E. B. Pusey, 
who were asked to join the O. T. Company, and the Rev. Dr. J. H. 
Newman, who was asked to join the N. T. Company, declined to serve.) 




Philip Schaff, d.d., ll.d., President. 
George E. Day, d.d., Secretary. 

(.1) Old Testament Company. 

Professor Wm. Henry Green, d.d., ll.d. (Chairman), 
Theological Seminary, Princeton, ]N'. J. 

Professor George E. Day, d.d. (Secretary), Divinity 
School of Yale College, ISTew Haven, Conn. 

Professor Charles A. Aiken, d.d.. Theological Semi- 
nary, Princeton, I^. J. 

The Rev. T. W. Chambers, d.d.. Collegiate Reformed 
Dutch Church, K Y. 

Professor Thomas J. Conant, d.d., Brooklyn, 'N. Y. 

Professor John De Witt, d.d., Theological Seminary, 
New Brunswick, N. J. 

Professor George Emlen Hare, d.d., ll.d.. Divinity 
School, Philadelphia. 

Professor Charles P. Krauth, d.d., ll.d., Yice-Provost 
of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. 

Professor Charles M. Mead, d.d.. Theological Semi- 
nary, Andover, Mass. 

Professor Howard Osgood, d.d.. Theological Seminary, 
Rochester, K Y. 

Professor Joseph Packard, d.d.. Theological Seminary, 
Alexandria, Ya. 

Professor Calvin E. Stowe, d.d., Hartford, Conn. 

Professor James Strong, s.t.d.. Theological Seminary, 
Madison, K J. 

Professor C. Y. A. Yan Dyck, d.d., m.d., Beirut, Syria. 
(Advisory Member on questions of Arabic). 

0. T. Company, 14. 

Note. — The American Old Testament Company has lost by death, 
Tayler Lewis, ll.d., Professor Emeritus of Greek and Hebrew, Union 
College, Schenectady, N. Y., d. 1877. 


(2) ITew Testament Company. 

Ex-President T. D. Woolsey, d.d., ll.d. (Chairman), 
]^ew Haven, Conn. 

Professor J. Henry Thayer, d.d. (Secretary), Theolo- 
gical Seminary, Andover, Mass. 

Professor Ezra Abbot, d.d., ll.d.. Divinity School, 
Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

The Rev. J. K. Burr, d.d., Trenton, ^ew Jersey. 

President Thomas Chase, ll.d., Haverford College, Pa. 

Chancellor Howard Crosby, d.d., ll.d., ]^ew York 
University, I^ew York. 

Professor Timothy Dwight, d.d.. Divinity School of 
Yale College, N'ew Haven, Conn. 

Professor A. C. Kendrick, d.d., ll.d.. University of Ro- 
chester, Rochester, N. Y. 

The Right Rev. Alfred Lee, d.d., Bishop of the Diocese 
of Delaware. 

Professor Matthew B. Riddle, d.d., Theological Semi- 
nary, Hartford, Conn. 

Professor Philip Schaff, d.d., ll.d.. Union Theological 
Seminary, New York. 

Professor Charles Short, ll.d. (Secretary), N". Y. 

The Rev. E. A. Washburn, d.d., Calvary Church, K Y. 

N. T. Company, 13. 
In both Companies, 27. 

Note. — The American New Testament Company has lost by death, 
James Hadley, ll.d., Professor of Greek, Yale College, Conn, (who 
attended the first session), d. 1872; Professor Henry Boynton Smith, 
D.D., LL.D., Union Theological Seminary, New York (who attended one 
session, and resigned, from ill health), d. 1877 ; Professor Horatio B. 
Hackett, d.d., ll.d.. Theological Seminary, Rochester, N. Y., d. 1876; 
and Professor Charles Hodge, d.d. ll.d.. Theological Seminary, 
Princeton, N. J. (who never attended the meetings, but corresponded 
with the Committee), d. 1878 ; and by resignation, Eev. G. R. Crooks, 
D.D., New York, and Rev. W. F. Warren, d.d., Boston (who accepted 
the original appointment, but found it impossible to attend). 


(A number of Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and Pro- 
fessors of sacred learning, who had been invited to join the American 
Committee at its first organization in 1871, declined, from want of time, 
or other reasons, but expressed interest in the work, and confidence in 
its success.) 


Hon. Nathan Bishop, ll.d., Chairman. 
Andrew L. Taylor, Esq., Treasurer 

Kev. William Adams, d.d., ll.d. Kev. Thomas D. Anderson, d.d. 
A. S. Barnes, Esq. James M. Brown, Esq. 

William A. Cauldwell, Esq. Hon. Wm. E. Dodge. 
Rev. H. Dyer, d.d. John Elliott, Esq. 

Hon. E. L. Fancher, ll.d. John C. Havemeyer, Esq. 

Morris K. Jessup, Esq. Rev. Henry C. Potter, d.d., ll.d. 

Howard Potter, Esq. Elliott F. Shepard, Esq. 

Rev. Richard S. Storrs, d.d., ll.d. Charles Tracy, Esq. 
Jno. B. Trevor, Esq. Roswell Smith, Esq. 

Norman White, Esq. F. S. Winston, Esq. 

S. D. Warren, Esq. 




Professor of Sacred Literature, Union Tlieological Seminary, New York. 

I. Origin and Organization. — The Anglo- American 
Bible Revision movement now in progress is the first 
inter-national and inter-denominational effort in the history 
of the translation of the Bible. The present and the older 
authorized English versions for public use in churches 
proceeded from the undivided national Church of Eng- 
land, before the other evangelical denominations were 
organized, and before the American people had an 
independent existence. 

The new revision took its origin, very properly, in 
the Convocation of Canterbury (the cradle of Anglo- 
Saxon Christendom), May 6, 1870, by the appointment 
of a Committee of eminent Biblical scholars and digni- 
taries of the Church of England, with power to revise, for 
pubUc use, the authorized English version of 1611, and 
to associate with tbem representative Biblical scholars 
of other Christian denominations using that version. 

The English Committee is divided into two Compa- 
nies, one for the Old Testament and one for the ISTew, 
and holds regular meetings in the historic Jerusalem 
Chamber (sometimes in the Chapter Library) in the 
Deanery of Westminster, London. 

The American Committee was organized in 1871, by 
invitation, and with the ajDproval, of the British Revisers, 
and began active work in October, 1872. It is likewise 
selected from different denominations, and divided into 
two Companies, which meet once a month, for several 
days, in their own rooms in the Bible House, at ISTevv 




York, but the American Bible Society has no part or 
responsibility in this enterprise, and can have none 
within the limits of its present constitution. 

The British and American Committees are virtually 
one organization, with the same principles and objects, 
and in constant correspondence with each other. They 
do not intend to issue two separate and distinct revisions, 
but one and the same revision for both nations. 

II. Composition. — The two Committees embrace at 
present 79 active members (52 in England and 27 in 
America). Besides, the English Committee lost by 
death and resignation 15, the American Committee 7, 
members. Adding these, the whole number of scholars 
who at any time have been connected with this work, 
amounts to 101. Among these are many of the best 
Biblical scholars and commentators of the leading 
Protestant denominations in Great Britain and the 
United States. Not a few of them are well known by 
their works, in Europe and America. We need only 
refer to the Ust at the beginning of this volume. The 
American members are nearly all Professors of Hebrew 
or Greek exegesis in the principal theological institu- 
tions of the Eastern States, and have been selected with 
regard to competency and reputation for Biblical scholar- 
ship, denominational connection, and local convenience 
or easy reach of ^w York, where they meet every 
month. Several distinguished divines in the far West 
or South, whose cooperation would have been very 
desirable had, of necessity, to be omitted ; others, from 
want of time, or other reasons, declined to cooperate. 

m. The object of this Anglo-American enterprise 
is to adapt King James's version to the present state of 
the English language, without changing the idiom and 


vocabulary, and to the present standard of Biblical 
scholarship, which has made very great advances since 
1611, especially during the last thirty years, in textual 
criticism, Greek and Hebrew philology, in Biblical 
geography and archaeology. 

It is not the intention to furnish a new version (which 
is not needed, and w^ould not succeed), but a conservative 
revision of the received version, so deservedly esteemed 
as far as the English language extends. The new Bible 
is to read like the old, and the sacred associations con- 
nected with it are not to be disturbed ; but within these 
limits all necessary and desirable corrections and im- 
provements on which the best scholars are agreed will 
be introduced: a good version is to be made better; 
a clear and accurate version clearer and more accu- 
rate; the oldest and purest text is to be followed; 
errors, obscurities, and inconsistencies are to be 
removed; uniformity in rendering Hebrew and Greek 
words and proper names to be sought. In one word, 
the re\asion is to give, in idiomatic English, the 
nearest possible equivalent for the original Word of 
God as it came from the inspired organs of the Holy 
Spirit. It aims to be the best version possible in the 
nineteenth century, as King James's version was the 
best which could be made in the seventeenth century. 

lY. The principles of the revision, as adopted at the 
outset by both Committees, are the following : — 

*' 1. To introduce as few alterations as possible into 
the text of the authorized version consistently with 

(Faithfulness to the original, which is the first duty 
of a translator, requires a great many changes, though 
mostly of an unessential character.) 


" 2. To limit, as far as possible, the exj^ression of such 
alterations to the language of the authorized or earlier 

(In a few cases it has been found best to introduce 
new words in the place of obsolete or obscure ones.) 

" 3. Each Company to go twice over the portion to 
be revised, once provisionally, the second time finally. 

"4. That the text to be adopted be that for which the 
evidence is decidedly preponderating ; and that when 
the text so adopted differs from that from which the 
authorized version was made, the alteration be indicated 
in the margin. 

(The Hebrew text followed is the Masoretic, which 
presents few variations. The text of the Isew Testa- 
ment is taken from the oldest and best uncial MSS., 
the oldest versions, and patristic quotations ; while the 
received text from which King James's version was 
made, is derived from comparatively late mediaeval 

" 5. To make or retain no change in the text, on the 
second final revision by each Company, except two- 
thirds of those present approve of the same; but on the 
first revision to decide by simple majorities. 

"6. In every case of proposed alteration that may have 
given rise to discussion, to defer the voting thereon till 
the next meeting, whensoever the same shall be required 
by one-third of those present at the meeting, such in- 
tended vote to be announced in the notice for the next 


"7. To revise the headings of chapters, pages, parar- 
graphs, italics, and punctuation. 

" 8. To refer, on the part of each Company, when 
considered desirable, to divines, scholars, and literary 
men, whether at home or abroad, for their opinions." 


If these principles are faithfully carried out (as they 
have been thus far), the people need not apprehend any 
dangerous innovations, ^o article of faith, no moral 
precept, will be disturbed, no sectarian views will be 
introduced. The revision will so nearly resemble the 
present version, that the mass of readers and hearers 
will scarcely perceive the difference ; while a careful 
comparison will show slight improvements in every 
chapter and almost in every verse. The only serious 
difficulty may arise from a change of the text in a few 
instances where the overwhelming evidence of the oldest 
manuscripts makes a change necessary; and perhaps 
also from the omission of italics, the metrical arrange- 
ment of poetry and the sectional of prose, and from new 
headings of chapters, which, however, are no part of the 
Word of God, and may be handled with greater freedom. 

Y. Mode of Operation. — The English Companies 
transmit, from time to time, confidential copies of their 
revision to the American Companies; the American 
Companies send the results of their labors to the British 
Companies, likewise in strict confidence. Then follows 
a second revision on the part of both Committees, with 
a view to harmonize the two revisions, and the results 
of the second revision are transmitted in like manner. 

If any differences should remain, after a final vote, 
they will be indicated in an appendix or preface. 
Happily, they will be few and unessential as compared 
with the large number of improvements already adopted 
by both Committees. 

The work is not distributed among sub-committees, 
as was the case with the Eevisers of King James, but 
the whole Old Testament Company goes carefully 
through all the books of the Old Testament, the New 


Testament Company through those of the ^ew ; and 
in this way greater harmony and consistency will be 
secured than was possible under the other system. 

The revision has been wisely carried on without pub- 
licity, and the actual results of the work are not yet 
made known. Any public statements, therefore, of 
particular changes are wholly unauthorized and prema- 
ture. The Committees, by publishing parts of their 
work before a final revision, would become entangled 
in controversy and embarrassed in their progress. 

When the revision is thoroughly matured, it will be 
given to the public, as the joint work of both Commit- 
tees, by the University Presses of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, which publish the best and cheapest editions 
of the Bible in England, and will insure the utmost 
accuracy in typography. When adopted by the Churches 
and Bible Societies of the two countries, the revised 
English Bible will become public property, like King 
James's version. 

VI. Expenses. — The labor of the Revisers in both 
countries is given without compensation. The necessary 
expenses for travelling, printing, etc., of the British 
Committee, are paid by the University Presses ; those 
of the American Committee, b}^ voluntary contributions 
of liberal friends, under the direction of an auxiliary 
Committee of Finance. 

VII. Progress and Probable Eesult. — It was calcu- 
lated at the beginning of the work that the revision 
could be completed in ten years of uninterrupted labor. 
It may take about two years more. At this time 
(December, 1878) the two 'New Testament Companies 
have finished the first and a part of the second revision 


(the English Company being several months ahead of 
the American); the Old Testament Companies have 
done more than half, perhaps two-thirds, of their work. 
It is probable that the revised ^N'ew Testament, at least, 
possibly also parts of the Old Testament, will be 
published in 1880, just five hundred years after John 
Wyclifie finished the first complete version of the Holy 
Scriptures in the English language. 

After they have finished their labors the two Com- 
mittees will disband. It will then be for the Churches 
and Bible Societies to take up the Revision, and to decide 
whether it shall take the place of King James's Version, 
or at least be used alongside with it, in public worship. 
It is not expected, of course, that the old version, which 
is 80 deeply imbedded in our religious literature, will 
ever go entirely out of use, certainly not for a long time 
to come. 

The Revision will, no doubt, be opposed, like every- 
thing new, and will have to pass through a severe 
ordeal of criticism. Many will condemn it as too radical, 
others as too conserv^ative, but it will be found ulti- 
mately to occupy the sound medium between the two 
opposite extremes. The Churches will have either to 
adopt this Anglo-American Bible, or to dismiss an 
oecumenical revision for an indefinite number of years. 
In the one case we shall retain the bond of inter-denomi- 
national and inter-national union in a common Bible ; in 
the other, the irrepressible task of correcting King 
James's Version will be carried on more zealously than 
ever by unauthorized individuals, and by sectarian en- 
terprise, wdiich will increase the difficulty by multiply- 
ing confusion and division. 

But we never had the least fear of the final result. 
There never has been such a truly providential combi- 


nation of favorable circumstances, and of able and sound 
Biblical scholars from all the evangelical Churches of the 
two great nations speaking the English language, for 
such a holy work of our common Christianity, as is 
presented in the Anglo-American Bible Revision Com- 
mittees. This providential juncture, the remarkable 
harmony of the Revisers in the prosecution of their work, 
and the growing desire of the Churches for a timely 
improvement and rejuvenation of our venerable English 
Version, justity the expectation of a speedy and general 
adoption of the new Revision in Great Britain and 


Vice- Provost of the University of Pennsylvania. 

I. Christianity entered Britain in the second cen- 
tury, prevailed in the third, waned with the passing 
away of the Roman power, went down before the march 
of the Pagan invaders, rose again in the sixth century, 
and was again triumphant before the close of the seventh. 
Saxon paraphrases and versions of the Psalter, of the 
Gospels, and ^ of other parts of Holy Scripture, were 
early made from the Latin. The Danish inroads checked 
the work of Saxon translation, and the Korman Con- 
quest rendered it useless. 

II. Wycliffe and the Reformation. — In the four- 
teenth century arose Wycliife (1324-1384). Called to 
the work of Reformation in faith and life, he saw, with 
the divine instincts of his mission, that nothing but the 
true rule of faith and life could remove the evil and 
restore the good, and that the restoration would be per- 
manent only in the degree to which every estate of the 
Church should be enabled, by possession of the rule, to 
apply and guard its teachings. He appealed to the 
Word, and to sustain his appeal translated the Word. 
He appealed to the people, and put into their hands the 
book divinely given to shape their convictions. The 
translation of the Scriptures as a whole into English 
first came from his hands or under his supervision. It 
was finished in the last quarter of the fourteenth cen- 
tury. It was made from the Vulgate. Even had 
Wycliife been a Greek and Hebrew scholar, it is doubt- 



ful whether he coukl have secured texts of the sacred 
orisiinals from which to transhite. That he translated 
the version universally received in the Western Church, 
quoted hy her fathers, read, and sung, and preached 
from, in her services, and that he rendered it with a 
severe closeness approaching servility, w^ould help to 
remove prejudice, and to avert or soften the suspicion 
that he w^as adapting Scripture to his own ends, against 
the Roman hierarchy. Like Luther, Wycliffe drew to 
him co-workers in his translation ; like Luther he suf- 
fered from plagiarists of his work; like Luther he saw 
his work eagerly circulated, bitterly opposed, and tri- 
umphant over opposition; like Luther he escaped the 
stake, wdth which he was threatened ; like Luther his 
enemies sought to wreak upon his bones the malice 
which survived his death, but there was no Charles the 
Fifth to respond, " I w^ar with the living, not with the 
dead." The Council of Constance ordered the dis- 
honoring of WycliiFe's remains ; Pope Martin the Fifth, 
in the cold blood of a delay of thirteen years, com- 
manded the execution of the order; the Bishop of Lin- 
coln, an apostate adherent of Wycliffe, obeyed it. The 
bones were burned, and winds and waves swept them 
into an " emblem of his doctrine, which is now dispersed 
all the world over." WycliiFe was the dayspring of the 
coming noontide of divine light. 

IIL Paper and Printing. — Two material aids were 
maturing, to bear part in the grand revolution wdiich 
was approaching. Paper made from rags began in the 
thirteenth century to take the place of parchment; 
printing from movable type, in the fifteenth, began the 
unequal contest with the pen. Paper and printing were 
to be in the struggle of thought what powder and fire- 


arras had become in the battle-field. Had it not been 
for the new arts which intellectualize man, the new arts 
which were tributary to war would only have made the 
domain of brute force complete and final. The lamp- 
black and oil were to neutralize the nitre, and charcoal, 
and sulphur. 

lY. Tyndale's Translation. — The illustrious Eng- 
lishman who was to be the father of the era to come, in 
the translation of scripture into his vernacular, was Wil- 
liam Tyndale. He was " to cause the boy who driveth 
the plow to know more of the Scriptures" than had 
been known by those who pretended to be divines. It 
is said that Tyndale met Luther at Wittenberg; it is 
certain that he met Luther in Luther's works, and that 
whether by personal or by spiritual contact, or by both, 
he drew the inspiration of a Biblical translator from the 
greatest of translators. Luther was Tyndale's exemplar 
and his master, not as the master of a slave, but as the 
master of a noble pupil. It is a legend that at Witten- 
berg Tyndale completed his translation, assisted by 
Roye, 1526. Using all the aids of the time, as fully as 
his harassed condition allowed, Tyndale used most of all 
the best of all, Luther's translations as they appeared. 
He followed Luther in the order in which his work ap- 
peared: the ]N"ew Testament, the Pentateuch, Jonah. 
Tyndale's own final revision of his New Testament was 
finished 1534. From the prison in which his last hours 
were spent in adapting his work to the humblest of the 
people, he was taken forth, strangled, and burned to 
ashes. It is no extravagance to say that to him our 
English Bible owes more than to all the other laborers. 
His name will forever stand in the roll of the supreme 
benefactors of the race. 


Y. Coverdale's Translation. — Another wave of the 
great tide is sweeping on, before the first is wholly 
spent upon the shore. Tyndale was burned 1536. 
Coverdale, who is said to have aided Tyndale in his 
work at Hamburg, 1529, put forth a complete transla- 
tion of the Bible in 1535, marking in the dedication to 
the king the change that was going on in England. 
Coverdale had neither the creative power nor Biblical 
learning of Tyndale. His translation bears internal 
evidence on every page that it was not made from the 
originals. It shows no acquaintance on the part of the 
translator with either Hebrew or Greek; it follows 
closely the translations it translates, and fully corrobo- 
rates the statement of the title-page that it is " out of 
Douche [German] and Latyn," and the honest and 
explicit account of Coverdale himself, that it was " trans- 
lated out of fyve sundry interpreters," " not onely in 
Latyn, but also of the Douche [Geruiau] interpreters." 
He says, with truth : " Lowly and faythfully have I fol- 
lowed myne interpreters;" he followed even their typo- 
graphical errors, and sometimes transfers a word with 
an English sound without translating it. The Latin 
interpreters of the Rve are the Vulgate, and probably 
Erasmus and Pagninus ; the German are Luther, and 
the Zurich Version, in part by Leo Judse (of the un- 
changed text previous to 1534). Tyndale's labors he 
has largely appropriated without acknowledgment. 
Coverdale's E'ew Testament is Tyndale's, altered at 
times to correspond especially with the German, whose 
meaning Coverdale has not unfrequently mistaken. 
But Coverdale has introduced from his interpreters 
many felicities which linger still in the Authorized Ver- 
sion. The Coverdale Bible was submitted by Henry 
VIII. to the Bishops, was approved, and ordered to be 


placed in the churches. But before the order could be 
executed Henry was absorbed anew in one of those 
loves, not worthy of so sacred a name, which dictated 
his policy in Church and State, and his zeal for the 
Scriptures abated in proportion. The Bible, neverthe- 
less, was tolerated, but the new dedication transferred 
to "the dearest just \vife, and most virtuous princess, 
Queen Jane," what had been assigned, with the same 
epithets, in the first, to Queen Anne. 

VI. Matthew's Bible. — An ineffectual attempt was 
now made by Cranmer for a revision, to be made in 
conjunction with learned bishops and others. Soon 
after, what is called the Matthew's Bible appeared, 1537. 
It is a combination of the labors of Tyndale (partly 
posthumous) and of Coverdale, revised, and published 
under the assumed name of Matthew, by John Rogers, 
the friend of Tyndale. It was sent to Crumwell, and 
through his influence received the approval of that 
same royal authority which had helped to hunt its chief 
author to the death. 

The principle of the free reading and circulation of the 
Holy Scriptures was coming to be generally accepted. 
As it became a settled conviction that the Scriptures of 
right belonged to the people, room was left for a more 
careful searching into the character of the particular 
translations. Fault was found with the Tyndale-Mat- 
thew's Bible, mainly because of its Prologues and IS'otes. 
The " Great Bible" appeared 1539, without these addi- 
tions. It was edited by Coverdale, and printed at Paris, 
by permission of Francis i. 

Vn. The Great Bible is a revision, very imperfectly 
made, of the Tyndale-Matthew's Bible. What is new is 
mainly drawn from Munster's Latin translation of the 


Old Testament (1534-35). The inspiration and material 
for English revision came almost entirely from the Conti- 
nent; England did not have an independent Bihlical 
scholar of the highest order in the sixteenth century. 
The Great Bible inserts in smaller type, at their places, 
the peculiar renderings of the Vulgate. In general it 
is marked by the features of conservatism endeavoring 
to harmonize with reformation. The Inquisition set 
itself against the civil power, and in spite of the permis- 
sion granted by the King of France, the Bibles were 
seized and most of them burned. A few, however, 
were saved and completed in London 1539. Taverner's 
Bible (1539), is also a hasty revision of Tyndale, but 
retains the marginal notes and increases their number. 
In 1540 appeared the Cranmer Bible, which is a revision 
in part of the Great Bible of the previous year. It takes 
its name from the Archbishop's prologue, and the offi- 
cial responsibility of the changes rests with him. 

Vni. Henry viii. and the Bible. — In various acci- 
dents Henry viii. seemed to be a Protestant; in substance 
he never ceased to be a Romanist ; his opposition to the 
Pope was the result of the opposition of the Pope to 
him. A compliant Papacy might have kept Henry the 
most rigorous Papist of his age. His policy was a see- 
saw of self-will. The beauty of Catharine Howard cost 
Crumwell his head. Soon after, three Protestants and 
three Papists were burned together, the former for 
asserting the doctrine of justification by faith, the latter 
for want of faith in the king's supremacy. The king 
saw to it that the Bible was circulated, and then piously 
burned men to death for believing it in any respect 
wherein it did not agree with the king's views. It was 
rather in spite of the dubious aid given by Henry, than 


in consequence of it, that God's Word was widely cir- 
culated and read. 

IX. CovERDALE AND EoGERS. — After the death of 
Henry viii. (1547) , Somerset, the Lord Protector, removed 
the restriction which had embarrassed the reading of the 
Scriptures. Coverdale was made Bishop of Exeter 1551, 
but was too poor to take possession. All things changed 
on the accession of Mary. Rogers, after his editorship 
of the Matthew's Bible, had been at Wittenberg, and 
legend affirms, " being skilled in the German language, 
took charge of a congregation there." He returned to 
England, only to lead the van of the martyrs of 1555. 
Coverdale, on the intercession of the King of Denmark, 
was allowed to take refuge in his dominion. 

X. ITew Testament of 1557. — A translation of the 
ITew Testament appeared at Geneva 1557, probably 
by "Wliittingham, whose wife was Calvin's sister. It is 
largely, but not exclusively, a careful revision of Tyn- 
dale and Cranmer, with many proofs of the influence 
of Beza's labors. It has annotations ; it marks by italics 
the words supplied, and for the first time in English has 
the division into verses, following the Greek of Ste- 
phanus, 1551. 

XL Geneva Bible 1560.— In 1560 the whole Bible, 
with annotations, appeared at Geneva. It is the work 
of a number of refugees on the Continent, and is really 
the first complete direct translation of the Bible into 
English from the originals throughout. It became the 
Bible of the people, and passed through more than a 
hundred editions. Coverdale, who had taken a promi- 
nent part in it, returned to England 1559, and died 
1568, at the age of eighty-one, very poor in this world's 


goods, but very rich in the love of good men, and the 
approval of God. 

XII. Bishops' Bible. — Under Elizabeth, the Cranmer 
Bible was in authority again. It was open, however, 
to many serious objections. One of the most vital, 
which largely contributed to the others, was, that it is 
not throughout made from the originals, that it is inter- 
polated with what are confessedly translations of a 
translation, and that much of the revision is superficial, 
and some of it purely nominal. The Puritan origin of 
the Geneva Bible and the character of its notes pre- 
vented its universal acceptance. Parker, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, distributed the Cranmer Bible among 
the " able bishops and other learned men" for revision, 
subject to his own final decision. The result of their 
labor was published in 1568, and, after a somewhat 
completer revision, in 1572, and is known as. the Bishops' 
Bible. It made a number of particular improvements 
and has brief notes, but was so devoid of elasticity, 
spontaneousness, and popular character, as to make it 
certain that its reception could, at most, be only provi- 

Xm. Rheims l^EW Testament. — The Church of 
Rome was driven at last, in self defense, to publish an 
English translation of the New Testament. Rheims 
became the Geneva of the English Romanist refugees, 
and in 1582 they issued a translation of the ITew Testa- 
ment " into English out of the authentical Latin," with 
annotations, exposures of the corruptions of other 
translations, and a great body of polemical matter. It 
is " out of" the Latin, as it claims to be, but its claim 
to be ^' into English "is at times more than doubtful. 
It exhibits traces of the influence of the Protestant 


renderings, but has given more than it has taken. 
Wychffe and his mediaeval co-workers can be distinctly 
traced in it. The Rheims, in an important class of 
religious terms, unmistakably influenced and benefitted 
the Authorized Version, and has carried over to it no few 
of the peculiarities of Wycliffe. To this is due the 
extraordinary fact that while there is hardly a seeming 
parallelism, and not a solitary demonstrable one, any- 
where, between Wycliffe and Tyndale, the parallelisms 
are many between Wycliffe and the Authorized Ver- 
sion. This is another of the points of interest and 
beauty in that remarkable version, which, in its aggre- 
gations, stands almost unique as a miracle of provi- 
dence and history, the symbol of England itself, whose 
greatness has so largely sprung from appropriating 
what others have produced and actualizing what others 
have dreamed. 

XIV. King James's Bible Begun. — When James i. 
came to the throne he found his subjects within the 
Church of Ens^land divided into Conformists and Puri- 
tans — those who were satisfied with the reformation 
already made, and those who wished a more radical one. 
The Puritans had high hopes of the King, and early 
laid their complaints before him. A^ the Hampton 
Conference, January 16, 1604, in which the two parties 
discussed the questions which divided them, a request 
came from Dr. Reynolds, a leader among the Puritans, 
for a new version of the Bible. The proposal was at first 
resisted by the churchly party, probably from a suspicion 
created by its source. The King pleased the Puritans 
by inclining to their request, and propitiated the Con- 
formists by pronouncing the Geneva the worst of the 
English versions, made more intolerable by its untrue 


and traitorous notes. Prompt and wise measures were 
adopted for a new translation. Fifty-four learned men 
were appointed by the King for the work, who were 
also to secure the suggestions of all competent persons, 
that "our said translation may have the help and 
furtherance of all our principal learned men within tliis 
our kingdom." The attitude of the King, the removal 
of their first suspicions, and the merits of the case, 
brought about a hearty acquiescence on the part of 
those who had at first opposed the movement. His 
Majesty's instructions to the translators were these : — 


" 1. The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the 
Bishops' Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the original will 

" 2. The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other 
names in the text, to be retained, as near as may be, accordingly as they 
are vulgarly used. 

" 3. The old ecclesiastical words to be kept, as the word church, not 
to be translated congregation. 

" 4. When any word hath divers significations, that to be kept which 
hath been most commonly used by the most eminent fathers, being 
agreeable to the propriety of the place and the analogies of faith. 

" 5. The division of chapters to be altered either not at all or as 
little as may be, if necessity so require. 

" 6. No marginal notes at all to be affixed, but only for the explana- 
tion of the Hebrew or Greek words, which cannot, without some 
circumlocution, so briefly and fitly be expressed in the text. 

"7. Such quotations of places to be marginally set down as shall 
serve for the fit reference of one Scripture to another. 

" 8. Every particular man of each company to take the same 
chapter or chapters ; and, having translated or amended them severally 
by himself where he thinks good, all to meet together to confirm what 
they have done and agree for their part what shall stand. 

"9. As any one company hath dispatched any one book in this 
manner, they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously and 
judiciously ; for his Majesty is very careful in this point. 

" 10. If any company, upon the review of the book so sent, shall doubt 
or difier upon any places, to send them word thereof, to note the places, 


and therewithal! to send their reasons ; to which if they consent not, the 
difference to be compounded at the general meeting, which is to be of 
the chief persons of each company, at the end of the work. 

"11. When any place of special obscurity is doubted of, letters to 
be directed by authority to send to any learned in the land for his judg- 
ment in such a place. 

" 12. Letters to be sent from every bishop to the rest of his clergy, 
admonishing them of this translation in hand, and to move and charge 
as many as, being skillful in the tongues, have taken pains in that kind, 
to send their particular observations to the company, either at West- 
minster, Cambridge or Oxford, according as it was directed before in 
the King's letter to the archbishop. 

" 13. The directors in each company to be the Deans of West- 
minster and Chester, for Westminster, and the King's professors in 
Hebrew and Greek in the two universities. 

" 14. These translations to be used when they agree better with the 
text than the Bishops' Bible: Tyndale's, Coverdale's, Matthew's 
[Rogers's], Whitchurch's [Cranmer's], Geneva." 

15. By a later rule " three or four of the most ancient and grave 
divines, in either of the Universities, not employed in translating, 
to be assigned to be overseers of the translation, for the better observation 
of the fourth rule." 

The translators, probably forty-seven in all, were 
divided into six parties, two of which met in Oxford, 
two in Cambridge and two in Westminster. In their 
number were the greatest English scholars of the time. 
The learning of that age was almost exclusively in 
connection with theological interests. The rules pre- 
scribed by the King may be accepted as a guide to the 
mode in which the translators actually proceeded. 

XV. King James's Bible Finished. — The work 
commenced, probably, before the close of 1604 : the N'ew 
Version was issued 1611. It bore the title : "The Holy 
Bible, Conteyning the Old Testament, and the New : 
T Newly Translated out of the Originall Tongues: and 
with the former translations diligently Compared and 
Ee vised." The second part of this statement is meant, in 


a certain sense, to define and qualify the first. The 
translation is new; but its newness is not that of a wholly 
independent work, but that of a revision, in which there 
has been a diligent comparison of the former English 
Translations, enumerated in the King's Instructions, 
the Bishops' Bible being laid as the general basis of 
the whole work. " Truly," say the translators, who 
were too great for the pretentiousness of a false inde- 
pendence, " we never thought, from the beginning, that 
we should need to make a new Translation, nor yet to 
make of a bad one a good one ; but to make a good 
one better, or out of many good ones, one principal 
good one." Without this confession the Authorized 
Version would tell its own story. It is only necessary 
to compare it with the older versions, to see that with 
much that is original, with many characteristic beauties, 
in some of which no other translation approaches it, it 
is yet in the main a revision. Even its original beau- 
ties are often the mosaic of an exquisite combination of 
the fragments of the older. Comparing it with the 
English exemplars it follows, we must say it is not the 
fruit of their bloom, but the ripeness of their fruit. 

The king, in endorsing the suggestion of Dr. Rey- 
nolds, had expressed the purpose that the new transla- 
tion " should be ratified by royal authority, and adopted 
for exclusive use in all the churches." The title-page 
claims that the work is done by " his Maiesties special 
commandment," and is " appointed to be read in 
churches." It comes from the press of "Eobert 
Barker, Printer to the King's most excellent Maiestie." 
Whatever may be the weight of civil authority implied 
in these statements, it is certain that the new version 
was left to win its way by its own merits purely, and 
that neither external nor moral coercion was employed 


in its behalf. The Epistles and Gospels from the 
Bishops' Bible were retained in the Prayer Book till 
the final revision in 1661 ; the Psalms from the Cover- 
dale- Cranmer translation (not made from the Hebrew) 
are still retained. 

XYI. Excellence of King James's Version. — The 
Bible of 1611 encountered prejudices and overcame 
them ; it had rivals great in just claims and strong in 
possession, and it displaced them ; it moved slowly that 
it might move surely; the Church of England lost 
many of her children, but they all took their mother's 
Bible with them, and taking that they were not wholly 
lost to her. It more and more melted indifference into 
cordial admiration, secured the enthusiastic approval 
of the cautious scholar, and won the artless love of the 
people. It has kindled into fervent praise men who 
were cold on every other theme. It glorified the' 
tongue of the worshipper in glorifying God, and by the 
inspiration indwelling in it, and the inspiration it has 
imparted, has created English literature. Its most 
brilliant eulogies have come from those who, hating 
Protestantism, yet acknowledged the grandeur of this 
Book, which lives by that Protestantism of which it is 
the offspring, that Protestantism to which, world-wide, 
it gives life as one of its roots. When to him who has 
been caught in the snare of unbelief, or drawn by the 
lure of false belief, every other chord of the old musii 
wakes only repugnant memories, its words have stolen 
in, too strong to be beaten back, too sweet to be re- 
nounced, once more the thunder of God's power, the 
pulsation of God's heart. Its faults have been hardly 
more than the foils of its beauties. It has so inter- 
woven, by the artistic delicacy even of its mechanical 

KING James's version. 35 

transfers, the very idioms characteristic of the sacred 
tono^ues, that Hebraisms and Hellenisms need no com- 
ment to the English mind, but come as parts of its 
simplest, its noblest, its deepest thought and emotion. 
Its words are nearer to men than their own, and it 
gives articulation to groanings which but for it could 
not be uttered. It has lifted the living world to the 
solemn fixedness of those old heavenly thoughts and 
feelings, instead of dragging them by low, secular 
phrase out of their high and holy thrones, down to the 
dust of the shifting present, or leaving them dim and 
dreary behind the fog of pedantry. It has fought 
against the relentless tendency of time to change lan- 
guage, and has won all the great fields ; words have 
dropped away or have deserted their meaning, as 
soldiers are lost even by the side which conquers ; but 
the great body of the army of its ancient but not anti- 
quated forms, among the sweetest and the highest 
speech beneath the voices of the upper world, remains 
intact and victorious. The swords of its armory may 
have gathered here and there a spot of rust, but their 
double edge has lost^^one of its keenness, and their 
broad surface little of its refulgence. It has made a 
new translation, as against something old and fading, 
impossible, for it is itself new, more fresh, more vital, 
more youthful than anything which has sought to 
supplant it. We need, and may have, a revision of it. 
Itself a revision of revisions, its own wonderful growth 
reveals the secret of the approach to perfection. But 
by very virtue of its grandly closing one era of struggle 
it opened another, for in human efltbrts all great endings 
are but great beginnings. A revision we may have, 
but a substitute, not now — it may be never. The acci- 
dents of our Authorized Version are open to change, 


but its substantial part is beyond it, until the English 
takes its place among the tongues that shall cease. 
The new revision will need little new English. Its best 
work will be to reduce the old English of the old Version 
to more perfect consistency with the text and with itself. 
That Version is now, and unchanged in essence will 
be, perhaps to the end of time, the mightiest bond — 
intellectual, social, and religious — of that vast body 
of nations which girdles the earth, and spreads far 
toward the poles, the nations to whom the English is 
the language of their hearts, and the English Bible the 
matchless standard of that language. So long as 
Christianity remains to them the light out of God, the 
English Bible will be cherished by millions as the 
dearest conservator of pure faith, the greatest power 
of holy life in the world. 


Pastor of the Collegiate Reformed Dutch Church, New York. 

King James's Bible. — The merits of the Authorized 
Version, in point of fidelity to the original, are 
universally acknowledged, ^o other version, ancient 
or modern, surpasses it, save^ perhaps, the Dutch, which 
was made subsequently, and profited by the labors of 
the English translators. But a version may be faithful 
without being elegant. It may be accurate without 
adequately representing the riches of the language in 
which it is made. The glory of the English Bible is 
that while it conveys the mind of the Spirit with great 
exactness, it does this in such a way that the book has 
become the highest existing standard of our noble 
'tongue. Lord Macaulay calls it a stupendous work, 
which, if everything else in our language should perish, 
would alone sufiice to show the whole extent of its 
beauty and power. 

It is true that Mr. Ilallam {Literature of Europe, ii, 
58) dissents from this view, and seems to regard it as a 
sort of superstition; but surely he is wrong. The 
praise of our version is not confined to men of any 
creed or class, but comes from nearly every eminent 
critic. Men who differ as widely in other matters as 
Addison, Swift, Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, both the 
I^ewmans, and Mr. Euskin, yet agree on this point ; 
and Mr. Huxley gave voice to a common opinion when 
he said, "It is written in the noblest and purest 
English, and abounds in exquisite beauties of mere 
literary form." It is, therefore, neither prejudice nor 
thoughtlessness which affirms this book to be the first 
4 37 


of Englisli classics. Indeed, its pages speak for them- 
selves. In simplicity and strength, in the union of 
Saxon force and Latin dignity, in idiomatic ease and 
rhythmic flow, they have no superior. 

Style of the Version. — !N'or is it difficult to account 
for this. It is true that the- style of writing which pre- 
vailed among men of letters in the reigns of Elizabeth 
and James i was not adapted to such composition. In 
many of these there was a strange fondness for allitera- 
tion, Antithesis, fanciful analogies, pedantic allusions, and 
all sorts of conceits. Even Shakspeare has verbal quib- 
bles which " make the judicious grieve." And when these 
are avoided, as in Bacon and Raleigh, there is a degree of 
stiffness, of inversion and occasionally of affectation, 
which would be an insuperable barrier in the way of pop- 
ular acceptance and favor. The authors of our Bible seem 
to have been preserved from this error by a sort of provi- 
dential preparation. In the course of the religious 
discussions which prevailed in England from the days of 
Wycliffe down there had grown up what Mr. Marsh calls 
" a consecrated diction," an assemblage of the best forms 
of expression suited to the communication of sacred 
truths. This dialect, if one may so style it, avoided 
equally the pedantry of the schools and the vulgarisms 
of the market-place. It never crawled upon the ground 
and never soared in the clouds. It was simple and 
direct, yet pure and dignified. It was intelligible to 
all classes, yet offensive to none. It seized as if by 
ingtinct the best elements of the vernacular speech, and 
moulded them into the most suitable grammatical 
forms; hence it is marked by the absence of book 
language or "inkhorn terms," and also of mere 
colloquial speech. The book was not the production 


of a single mind, but of many wise and good men, 
laboring through a series of years. The earliest and 
most influential of all was the martyr Tyndale, whose 
New Testament was issued in 1525. This was followed 
by Coverdale's Bible (1535), Eogers's (1537), Cranmer's 
(1539), the Genevan (1560), the Bishops' (1568). At 
last, in 1611, the final outcome of these years of toil 
appeared in our present Bible as it came from the hand 
of King James's translators. During all this period the 
process of revision went steadily forward, almost 
constantly gaining in every element of vigor and 

Authors of King James's Version. — The character 
of the authors had much to do with the perfection of 
their work. They were men of learning, judgment 
and piety, animated only by the sincere desire to render 
God's most holy "Word accessible to all their country- 
men. They toiled not for fame or pelf or any party 
interest, but for God's glory and the souls of men. 
They were in full and hearty sympathy with the book 
upon which they wrought. It was the guide of their 
lives, the arbiter of their diiferences, the charter of 
their hope for eternity. They prized it with reverence, 
they loved it with passion ; and because of their devo- 
tion to it not a few of them sufiered spoiling of their 
goods, bonds, imprisonments, and exile, and some even 
death itself. The grave purpose, the intense convic- 
tions, of such men lifted them above all puerilities and 
affectations. It was not for them to seek out artificial 
refinement or strive to gild refined gold; nor, on the 
other hand, could they stoop to coarseness or slang. 
They forgot themselves in their work, and hence the 
marvellous union it displays, of simplicity and majesty, 


homeliness and beauty. " They were far more studious 
of the matter than of the manner ; and there is no 
surer preservative against writing ill or more potent 
charm for writing well." (Augustus Hare.) Seeking 
merely to furnish to their fellows the divine oracles in 
an intelligible form, they not only did that, but gave to 
all succeeding generations a masterpiece of English 
composition, one that shows our language at its best, 
unfolding its varied resources both of vocabulary and 
of idiom, and offering many striking specimens of its 
melodious rhythm. 

Conservative Influence of King James's Ver- 
sion. — 'No small regard is due to our Bible for its influ- 
ence in preserving our language from corruption. 
Time and again there has been an influx of alien 
elements introduced by a capricious fashion, or by 
some able but unwise leader. But amid all the vaga- 
ries of popular taste, and the changes occasioned by 
social revolutions, or the progress of knowledge and 
discovery, this book has stood like a massive break- 
water, unyielding and invincible. Perpetually in the 
hands of the people, used in public and private worship, 
resorted to in all controversies, employed in schools 
and education, in short, a daily companion from the 
cradle to the grave, it has so shaped the tastes and 
judgments of men that, however for a time misled, 
they were always in the end recalled to the older and 
better model, and renewed their adhesion to the pure 
" well of English undefyled." 

Other Revisions. — That the book deserves what has 
been claimed for it is shown by its history. When it 
first came from the press there were two other versions 
in general use. One of these, the Bishops' Bible, was 


most prized at court and found in all tlie churches ; the 
other, the Genevan, was cherished in the household and 
the closet of the middle classes. 'Now, no royal edict, no 
decree of convocation, commanded the use of King 
James's version, yet simply by its own merits it overpow- 
ered both these rivals, and, in the course of a single gene- 
ration, became the accepted book of the entire nation. In 
after years repeated attempts were made to introduce 
a new translation ; but they all failed, whether put forth 
by coxcombs, like the man who improved "Jesus wept" 
into " Jesus burst into a flood of tears," or by profound 
and elegant scholars, such as Bishop Lowth, or Dr. 
George Campbell, of Aberdeen. The reason of the 
failure was not the perfect correctness of the author- 
ized Scripture : no one claims for it any such infalli- 
bility. The progress of Biblical knowledge in very 
many directions has shown the need of much correction. 
But the gain of the modern versions, in this respect, 
was so counterbalanced by the loss in style and tone of 
feeling that the Christian public would none of 
them ; and these amended Bibles, or parts of Bibles, 
however loudly heralded, or under whatever high 
names issued, have passed out of recollection, or are 
consulted only by curious scholars. 

Present Eevision.— -The same thing is shown by the 
principles which underlie the revision now going on in 
England and America. This is a very elaborate enter- 
prise, undertaken under the highest auspices, and repre- 
senting, as far as possible, all bodies of English-speaking 
Christians. In these respects it far exceeds anything 
of the kind ever attempted before. Yet its conductors 
announce at the threshold that they neither intend nor 
desire a new translation ; that is not needed, and if 


accomplished would prove an inevitable failure. All 
they aim at, therefore, is to make only such corrections 
as the progress of the language or of Biblical science 
may render necessary, and in all changes to preserve, 
as far as possible, the very form and spirit of the exist- 
ing Bible. Each of them heartily concurs in the judg- 
ment pronounced on this point by a late distinguished 
pervert to Eomanism, Dr. F. W. Faber, with whose 
eloquent and touching words this paper concludes : — 

Faber on King James's Version. — " Who will say 
that the uncommon beauty and marvellous English of 
the Protestant Bible is not one of the great strongholds 
of heresy in this country ? It lives on the ear, like 
music that can never be forgotten, like the sound of 
church bells, which the convert hardly knows how he 
can forego. Its felicities often seem to be almost things 
rather than words. It is part of the national mind, and 
the anchor of national seriousness. Nay, it is wor- 
shiped with a positive idolatry, in extenuation of whose 
grotesque fanaticism its intrinsic beauty pleads avail- 
ingly with the man of letters and the scholar. The 
memory of the dead passes into it. The potent tradi- 
tions of childhood are stereotyped in its verses. The 
power of all the griefs and trials of a man are hid beneath 
its words. It is the representative of his best moments, 
and all that there has been about him of soft and gentle, 
and pure and penitent and good, speaks to him forever 
out of his Protestant Bible. It is his sacred thing which 
doubt has never dimmed and controversy never soiled." 


Ex-President of Yale College. 

Valid reasons for a new revision of the Scriptures 
must be found, if they exist, either in a better acquaint- 
ance with the original texts than was possible for those 
who prepared our authorized English version, or m the 
advance of scholarship since the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, or in the changes of the English 
language within the two centuries and a half since 
King James's version appeared. Each of these consid- 
erations will form, as I understand, the subject of a 
separate article. It will not be expected, therefore, 
that the writer should say more on either of them than 
will be enough to present his case to his readers as a 
distinct whole, dependent for its justice and force on 
what others will say more fully and convincingly. 

Demand for Revisions.— There is, however, one 
other consideration, drawn from fact and experience, 
which deserves to find a place here at the beginning of 
our remarks. If a translation of a book like the 
sacred Scriptures were a very easy task, to be under- 
taken once for all— if the scholarship of the first ages 
after the conversion of a nation to Christianity could 
solve all the problems of interpretation which they 
present— what reason could there be for the repeated 
demands, in almost every country where Christianity 
has gained a foothold, for revised and corrected or for 
wholly new translations ? Does not this demand show 
at once a real want, and a strong desire to reach a 
better translation than any previous age has produced? 



Various Translations. — Let us be permitted to 
illustrate, by an example or two, the force of this 
argument, from experience. Origen, the great Chris- 
tian scholar of the third century after Christ, arranged 
in parallel columns the Hebrew text of the old Scrip- 
tures, both in Hebrew and Greek letters, and seven 
Greek translations by their side — those of Aquila, 
Symmachus, the Seventy, Theodotion, and three others, 
called the fifth, sixth, and seventh editions, of which 
very little is left on record. In the Syriac there are 
five or six versions, or recensions, beginning with the 
Peshito, which goes back to the second century. In 
our own language, the authorized version of King 
James makes the ninth translation of the whole or of 
a considerable part of the Scriptures, not to count quite 
a number since the Authorized Version appeared, and 
for which, generally, single persons are responsible. 

These illustrations show that as the Christian religion 
gains firmer hold in a nation, there is a desire felt for a 
more accurate translation than has been handed down 
from the past. They seem to show also that there are 
permanent causes for recensions or revisions of transla- 
tions, which are acknowledged, like our existing version, 
to be, on the whole, exceedingly good. Wliat are some 
of these causes ? 

1. First Eeason for a I^ew Revision. — The first is 
the gradual change to which languages — at least most 
languages — are subject. Old words drop out of use, or 
lose certain meanings, so as to puzzle many readers ; or, 
by being used in new senses, they acquire a certain am- 
biguity, which needs to be removed, for the sake of the 
common reader. It is true that a well-executed version, 
like our English one, tends to preserve a language from 


a number of changes which would otherwise be inev- 
itable ; but it is true, also, that an ancient translation, 
preserved on account of the veneration which is felt 
towards it, may even do harm to religion by obscuring 
thoughts which would otherwise be clear. 

Elevation of Biblical Style. — We would here guard 
against a wrong inference which might be drawn from 
our remarks, as if in a translation for the nineteenth 
century, the words most in use in the century, and most 
familiar to the ears of the people, ought always to take the 
place of others less in use, which, however, retain their 
place in the language. This is far from being a safe 
rule. One of the most important impressions which the 
Word of God makes is made by its venerableness. The 
dignity and sanctity of the truth are supported by the 
elevation of the style, and woe be to the translator who 
should seek to vulgarize the Bible, on the plea of ren- 
dering it more intelligible. Understood it must be, 
and this must be provided for by removing the ambi- 
guities and obscurities to which changes in society and 
changes in the expression of thought give rise. But as 
long as the English is a living tongue, the style of the 
Scriptures must be majestic, and removed from all vul- 
garity. Indeed, it must be such as it is now, with those 
exceptions, few in number, which time brings with it, 
and most of which will hardly be noticed by the cursory 

2. Greek Manuscripts. — A second reason for a new 
revision of our authorized version is found in the scanty 
knowledge of the state of the original text which was 
accessible at the time when that version saw the light. 
The main object in attempting to discover what are the 
texts followed in manuscripts of the Scriptures, or by 


early Christian writers in their citations, or by the early 
translators into foreign tongues, is to ascertain, as far as 
possible, just what was written or dictated by the sacred 
writers. The scribes and other authorities to whom we 
owe our texts were subject to the same mistakes with 
any other copyists ; and it is of the first importance that 
we should know what text, in any given case, is to 
be preferred to other readings. For the performance 
of this most laborious task there were, in the early part 
of the seventeenth century, no adequate materials ac- 
cessible. The great accumulation of readings, and the 
new conviction of the importance of the critical art, in 
its application to the sacred text, began about the eigh- 
teenth century. Since then, above all, in the later times, 
multitudes of scholars have devoted themselves to the 
collation of manuscripts and of early versions. Num- 
bers of manuscripts, and among them some of the most 
ancient, have been discovered, and the citations in the 
Fathers have been examined with care. The ages of 
manuscripts also, and the rules for estimating their 
comparative value, are fixed with greater precision. 
The skill of textual critics, and the means within their 
reach for determining the texts are such as to assure us, 
in most cases, what was the original reading ; and this 
important end has been reached by the zeal and labors 
of men who have lived long since 1611, when the first 
edition of our present English Bible was printed. 

It may frighten some of our readers to be told that 
there are many thousand different readings in the l^ew 
Testament, collected by the labors of scholars; but 
they ought to be assured that the text is more certain 
by far than if there had been only as many hundreds, 
and the mass of authorities for the text had been uncon- 


3. Defects in King James's Version. — The third 
reason for a new revision, and the last which I shall men- 
tion, is that our translators of the seventeenth century, 
in a great many instances, misunderstood the sense. To 
make this as evident as it may be made we should need 
to write a volume. Such volumes have been written ; 
among which Dr. Lightfoot's work on " A Fresh Eevi- 
sion of the English New Testament" may be commended 
as the best. In this brief paper we can only say that the 
main deficiency in our translation proceeds from want 
of exact knowledge of the Hebrew and Greek languages. 
Not only is the sense wholly misapprehended in a num- 
ber of instances — as could scarcely fail of being the case 
— but a perception of the finer rules of grammar and 
interpretation was wanting. In the use of the article, of 
the tenses and modes of verbs, and of participles, and 
in a great variety of other instances, the modern scholar 
by his revisions can repair and beautify the building 
reared by the older scholars. Thus, while no book can 
be written more fitted in style and expression to do its 
work, more truly English, more harmonious, more sim- 
ply majestic, than our authorized revision; new revisers 
of the text and the version may hope — by their salutary 
changes — to contribute to its preservation, in essentially 
the same form which it has always had, for generations 
yet to come. 

the cueeei^t yersio:^ of the scrip- 
tures, as compared with our 
prese:n^t :needs. 


Professor of Biblical Learning in the Divinity School of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, Philadelphia. 

The current version of the Scriptures is commonly 
known as the " Authorized." The epithet may have 
originated in the fact that the book bears on its title 
page the words "Appointed to be read in churches." 
But that the appointment thus mentioned — that of the 
monarch reigning in England at the time of the publi- 
cation — was not the source of the authority of the 
version, is manifest from the fact that the book did not 
come into general use in English churches for some- 
thing like half a century after the time the appoint- 
ment was made. The authority of the work came 
from its superiority to the translations previously in 
use and the general recognition which this superiority 
deserved and obtained. 

Two hundred and sixty-eight years have intervened 
between the publication of the English Bible and the 
present time. During this interval multitudes of words 
have changed their meaning. The phrases " by," " by 
and by," and " charger," may serve as examples. St. 
Paul says, in the Authorized Version (1 Cor. iv, 4), " I 
know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified." 
This seems incongruous, because " to know nothing by 
one's self" means " to know nothing originally or inde- 
pendently." In the older English, " to know nothing 
by one's self" meant " to know nothing: lying at one's 



door," and this is the only sense of which the Greek 
words in the passage which seems so incongruous are 
susceptible. He who reads the Gospel of St. Mark in 
Greek gets a vivid idea of the promptitude, the ten- 
dency to strike while the iron is hot, which cunning and 
malice may engender. A princess enters the banquet- 
ing room of a king, enchants him by the grace of her 
dancing, and evokes from his tipsy rashness the promise, 
" Ask what thou wilt and I will give it thee, even to the 
half of my kingdom." (St. Mark vi, 22.) The damsel, 
after consulting with her mother, returns to the ban- 
queting room, points, no doubt, to the dishes on the 
banqueting table, and says, " Give me forthwith, on a 
dish, the head of John the Baptist." In the English 
Bible the speech runs, " Give me by and by, in a 
charger." " By and by " means, in our century, a time 
somewhat distant from the present; the phrase has 
ceased to mean " forthwith." A charger, in modern 
English, signifies a war horse ; the word has ceased to 
signify a dish or platter from which plates are charged 
or supplied. If the Bible is intended for the less edu- 
cated of the Christian Church it needs, in many places, 
to be translated out of the older into the later English. 
Within the two hundred and sixty-eight years which 
have elapsed since the publication of the Current Ver- 
sion Biblical learning has advanced with a progress 
comparable to that which has obtained in other 
departments of learning. Ten times as many manu- 
scripts of the New Testament as were known to our 
venerable translators have been discovered since their 
time, and that kind of criticism which judges of the 
age of ancient manuscripts and determines the true 
reading where copies differ, has been reduced to a 
science. In many places textual criticism is unanimous, 


at the present day, in favor of readings more or less 
different from those which the authors of the present 
version followed. "Alexander, the coppersmith, did 
me much evil : the Lord reward him according to his 
works." (2 Tim. iv, 14.) The true reading yields the 
sense, " Alexander, the coppersmith, did me much evil ; 
the Lord will reward him according to his works." 

St. Paul, speaking of Abraham, says, " He con- 
sidered not his own body now dead, . . . neither yet 
the deadness of Sarah's womb : he staggered not at 
the promise of God through unbelief." (Eom. iv, 19.) 
This statement conflicts with the history in the book 
of Genesis. This history is so far from representing 
Abraham as not considering at the time mentioned, 
that it declares that Abraham said in his heart, " Shall 
a child be born unto him that is a hundred j^ears old ? 
and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear ?" (Gen. 
xvii, 17.) Textual critics agree in reading the lan- 
guage of St. Paul without the word " not." They so 
determine the text as to translate " He considered his 
own body now dead and the deadness of Sarah's womb, 
but staggered not at the promise of God through unbe- 
lief." Such decisions of critics are made in accordance 
with rules which recognize the more difficult of two 
readings as being, cceteris 2^ciribus, the more worthy of 
acceptance. Ought not English readers to have the 
benefit of their knowledge ? 

Our translators say, in their noble preface, that 
they have not been studious of an " identity of phras- 
ing ; " that is to say, they acknowledge that they have 
not been careful to render a Hebrew or Greek word by 
the same English phrase in the different places where 
the Hebrew or Greek word occurs. Yet an identity 
of phrasing is often necessary as a clue to the meaning. 


Moses saw an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew and he slew 
the Egyptian, says the English Bible. (Ex. ii, 11, 12.) In 
this sentence the same Hebrew word is translated in the 
first instance by the word " smiting," and in the second 
instance by the word " slew." If the Hebrew word had 
been translated " slaying " in the place where it is trans- 
lated " smiting " the meaning would have been more 
perceptible and the act of Moses less liable to miscon- 
struction. In the earlier books of the Old Testament 
a remarkable person appears under the name of the 
"Angel of the Lord." For example, when the cove- 
nant with Abraham was to be ratified the language of 
Genesis is, " The Angel of the Lord called unto Abra- 
ham, ... in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiply- 
ing I will multiply thy seed .... thy seed shall possess 
the gate of his enemies ; and in thy seed shall all the 
nations of the earth be blessed." (Gen. xxii, 15, 17, 18.) 
Here the Angel of the Lord appears as covenanting. 
In Exodus the same person under the same name 
appears as covenanted, " I send an Angel before thee, 
. . . beware of him, . . . for my name is in him." 
There is a remarkable passage in the book of Mal- 
achi (iii, 1), which, if translated with the identity of 
phrasing that our translators disregarded, would run, 
" the Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his 
temple, even the Angel of the Covenant, whom ye 
delight in." Unhappily, in this passage of Malachi 
the word " messenger " is used where the Hebrew 
word is the same as that which is rendered " Angel " 
in the places of Genesis and Exodus. He who reads 
the Old Testament in the original may come to the 
conclusion that the Angel of the Covenant, promised 
by Malachi, was to be the same being as had appeared 
in the Pentateuch, one while as covenanting, another 


while as covenanted. The common reader ought to 
have the benefit of an identity of phrasing where this 
identity is necessary in order to identify the thing or 
person meant. 

The priest's lips should keep knowledge, that the 
people may seek the law at his mouth. In 1870 priests 
awoke to this truth. The Convocation of Canterbury, 
the oldest synod in English speaking Christendom, 
appointed a Committee to revise the current version 
of the Scriptures. This Committee was to make no 
change for the sake of change. It was not to desert 
the style of the English Bible. It was to in^dte the 
cooperation of Biblical scholars of different nations and 
creeds, and was to give ten years to the important 
project. Eight of these ten years have elapsed. Scholars 
of this country, as well as scholars of Great Britain, are 
engaged in the work. "What will be the issue ? The 
Latin version of the Scriptures, made by Jerome, was 
for a thousand years the standard Bible of Western 
Christendom. Yet the making of it was earnestly 
opposed, and the work did not establish itself in general 
acceptance for two centuries. May the Revision at 
present in progress meet with earlier success : may 
Christian people give the work the benefit of their 
prayers, and when it appears give the book a candid 
reception ! 


Professor of Hebrew, in Rochester Theological Seminary. 

The History of the Text. — The Hebrew text, as 
we now find it in the best editions of the Old Testa- 
ment, is a reprint, with few and slight exceptions, of the 
text edited by Jewish scholars, and printed by Bom- 
berg, at Venice, in 1525, and reprinted by him, with 
corrections, in 1547. In some of the subsequent edi- 
tions of the text, a few manuscripts and the preceding 
printed editions were compared, and errors corrected; 
but until the latter part of the last century there was no 
text published which was founded upon a large com- 
parison of manuscripts. 

Bomberg's Hebrew text was accompanied by Rab- 
binic commentaries, and was designed for the use of the 
Jews, since few Christians at that day understood 
Hebrew, and still fewer were acquainted with Eabbinic. 
This text enjoys the great advantage of being acknowl- 
edged as the received text by Jews and Christians alike. 
That it is worthy of great confidence is the united tes^ 
timony of critics, and one of the latest and most learned, 
Strack, makes stronger statements in favor, of the pre- 
servation of the correct reading in this text than some 
of his predecessors, or than is welcome to some who 
cannot but admire his preeminent ability and learning. 

We do not know what or how many manuscripts 
were used by the editors of this text, but from the 
preface to the Bible of 1525, and from the carefulness 
5* 53 


in editing, we are assured that the principal editor, 
Jacob ben Chajim, was as thoroughly skilled in the 
text as in the then known various readings ; and that 
he was as reverent to the text as he was learned. What- 
ever manuscripts were used, they w^ere in all proba- 
bility of a late date, written under the strict and micro- 
scopic rules of the Talmud, and accompanied with the 
Various readings of the Masorites. In respect to age, 
no extant Hebrew manuscript can compare with the 
Sinaitic and Vatican Greek manuscripts; and yet, in 
verification of the text, the Hebrew possesses a line of 
witnesses that extends a long way down the centuries, 
and who have sought to guard the text with scrupulous 

Wlien the privileges of the great Jewish schools in 
Babylonia were restricted by the Persian kings, and the 
greater part of the Talmud had been collected, the 
intense activity of the Jewish brain, and Jewish devotion 
to the very letter of the word, were directed to the nota- 
tion of all diversities in the traditional reading of the 
text, as to consonants, vowels, accents, words, the com- 
mencement and close of verses and divisions of the 
text, as well as to any unusual marks found in manu- 
scripts. They marked w^ith all care mistakes in any 
of these points, but never altered the text. Even 
where the mistake was evident and trivial — a letter 
slightly out of place, or upside down, or too small, or 
too large, or a variation in the waiting of a word — they 
did not presume to change the text. This honest 
dealing with the text is represented in our Bibles to-day 
by the continuance of the mistake and its attendant 
corrective margin. These textual criticisms were 
originally contained in separate works, but were after- 
wards transferred to the margin of the manuscripts of 


the Hebrew Old Testament, and by the labors of 
scholars of our day they are again being collected and 
published in separate works. 

In the era of the Talniudists, before a.d. 500, very 
strict rules were enjoined upon copyists. These rules 
cover all the minutiae of composition, and reveal a 
method of dealing with the text tliat must have been 
traditional. The attention the Talmudists themselves 
bestowed upon the text is shown by their enumeration 
of the verses, words and letters of each book, and their 
designation of the middle verse, worcf and letter of the 

Within this same period Jerome, in his translation, 
corrects renderings of the Septuagint, and gives us a 
faithful representation of the text then received in 
Palestine. No large additions or defections from that 
text are found in our own. 

The boast of Josephus, that " during so many ages 
as have already passed no one has been so bold as 
either to add anything to them " (the sacred books), 
*' to take anything from them, or to make any change 
in them," seems to be justified by the minute tradi- 
tional rules and carefulness of the later Jews. 

All this shows us that for fifteen centuries, at least, 
it w^as a religious duty with the Jews to preserve, with 
all exactness, the sacred text as received by them: a 
duty which they zealously sought to perform. When 
the Hebrew language was unknown by Christians, 
when the Jew was under the harrow of unresting 
persecution and his name a byword, he was with 
patient fidelity keeping watch over the text, unknown 
to all but himself, and preserving a priceless inherit- 
ance for the coming centuries. As respects the 
Hebrew text, " Japheth dwells in the tents of Shcm." 


The Accuracy of the Present Text. — That there 
are passages where the text has suffered from wrong 
transcription, where there are insuperable difficulties 
or slight mistakes, where manuscripts differ, and 
versions give a rendering at variance with the present 
text, is well known to every Hebrew scholar. If with 
the superior advantages of the printing press for the 
maintenance of a given text, with our Bible societies 
and multitudes of critical readers of the English Bible, 
w^e have not preserved one and the same text in all the 
editions, is it a matter of astonishment that manuscripts 
vary ? Is it not a matter of greater astonishment if 
they agree in most respects, w^ritten, as they were, 
centuries apart? But these places where error has 
crept in are by no means so numerous as same critics 
would have us believe. Dr. S. Davidson, a very 
competent critic, in his " Revision of the Hebrew 
Text," cites between seven and eight thousand places 
where manuscripts and versions differ from our text. 
These changes, for the far greater part, refer to the 
different modes of writing or accentuating the same 
word; they include the thousand or more marginal 
notes of the Jewish mediaeval scholars, the changes of 
the vowel by the accent, etc. 

The Old Testament contains more than three times 
as much text as the New Testament, and if we put the 
diversities of readings in the Old Testament at ten 
thousand, still this would be but one-fifteenth as many 
as those found in the manuscripts of the New Testa- 
ment. As the one hundred and fifty thousand various 
readings of the New Testament dwindle to a compara- 
tively very small number when you apply the touch- 
stone of a change of signification, so the Old Testament 
ten thousand dwindle at the same test. It should be 


remembered that if for the criticism of the Old Testa- 
ment we possessed a critical apparatus as full as that 
for the E'ew the number of diversities might be largely 

That the true text may be established in every part 
and portion of the Word must be the aim of every 
earnest student. The means for establishing the text 
are the collation of all known manuscripts ; the wise 
use of the results of Jewish criticism of the text in the 
earlier centuries; the early versions, and the printed 

The utmost diligence in the search for ancient 
Hebrew manuscripts has failed to bring to light any 
manuscript of which we can be certain that its age is 
greater than a thousand years, though some have been 
discovered for which a higher antiquity is claimed. 
The Herculean labors of Kennicott and of De Rossi in 
the last century have not resulted in establishing 
beyond controversy, among critics, any material change 
in the text. They have added but little to what was 
known before. In this century Frankel, Frensdorf, 
Pinsker, Strack, and others have brought out a greater 
number of the .diversities marked by the early Jewish 
scholars, and the forthcoming work of Ginsburg 
promises to be a long step in advance in this direction. 

It is proposed by some critics to use the Talmud, the 
so-called Chaldee translations, and the Septuagint, to 
restore the Hebrew in places where they differ from it. 
But to restore the text in doubtful places we must have 
exact knowledge and abundant proof. Some great 
scholars have tried their hand at restoration, and now 
serve the excellent purpose of warnings. Cappellus, 
Houbigant, Kennicott, Lowth, and some in this 
century, have wasted their strength in mending the 


text to suit their views, and their work is rejected by 
their critics. That which seems perfectly feasible 
proves, in the doing of it, to be exceedingly difficult. 
To attempt to restore the Hebrew text by a means 
that we are not entirely sure of is certainly not wise. 
IsTeither the Talmud, nor any one of the Chaldee trans- 
lations, nor the Septuagint, has been submitted to a 
thorough critical revision. One of the crying needs of 
Old Testament study is a trustworthy edition of the 
Septuagint, and until that is obtained the Septuagint 
cannot safely be used, as of itself a strong argument for 
the change of text. 

Though scholars have not now at their command the 
means to enter upon a thorough critical revision of the 
Hebrew text, yet it is probable that the work will not 
be long delayed, for never before were there so many 
earnest and well qualified students engaged upon this 
subject, and we may look forward with hope and confi- 
dence to their results: with hope that light will be 
thrown upon difficult passages; with confidence that 
no great changes will be found necessary. 

The Duty of a Translator. — The labors of past 
centuries have proved that our present text, as a whole, 
is worthy of all confidence. The translator is not to 
suppose an error where he finds a difficulty. The 
error must be unmistakably proved before he concedes 
it. We have numerous instances of the assumption of 
error in the text because the student meets with a 
difficulty that seems to him insuperable. There is a 
striking example of this in a writer on the orthodox 
side asserting an interpolation and utter error in 
Deuteronomy, while a critic, who professes himself by 
no means orthodox, argues stoutly against the suppo- 


sition of error in the text, and has all the critical evi- 
dence on his side. 

]N'or is the translator to make his text. There are 
some who are capable of the double work of accurate 
textual criticism and translating the text obtained, but 
they are very few. The translator is to keep with all 
faithfulness to the text the best scholarship brings to 
him, and he will find all his energies tasked to the 
utmost to represent that most exactly and acceptably 
in his own tongue. Where there can be no doubt of 
an error in the text, then the text and margin of the 
translation must tell the story. 

hebrew philology a^d biblical 





Professor of Oriental and Old Testament Literature in the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton, N. J. 

Advances in Philology and Biblical Science. — 
Moses strictly charged the people, " Ye shall not add 
unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye 
diminish aught from it " (Deut. iv, 2 ; xii, 32). And 
almost the last utterance of Holy Scripture — Eev. xxii, 
18, 19 — is a like solemn admonition, neither to add 
unto, nor to take away from, the words which God had 
revealed. If, then, it is the imperative duty of the 
Church to give the heavenly oracles to men, each in 
his own language, it is equally her duty to give them 
to men in a pure and unadulterated form. The 
millions in both hemispheres who speak the English 
tongue are entitled to receive the Bible in a form 
which represents the inspired original with the utmost 
accuracy that it is possible to attain. This has always 
been recognized in the history of our English version 
thus far, which, as at present authorized, is the result 
of several successive revisions, each being an advance 
upon its predecessor. When the question is raised 
whether the time has now arrived for a fresh revision 
of the English Bible, one important consideration 
affecting the answer to be given is to be found in the 
immense strides taken in Biblical scholarship since the 



reign of King James. The object of this brief paper 
is to indicate this in a few particulars relating to the 
Old Testament. 

Hebrew Philology in 1611. — Hebrew studies were 
then in their infancy, and the entire science of Semitic 
philology has been developed since. When the first 
edition of the Authorized Version appeared, in 1611, 
the elder Buxtorf had just issued his larger Hebrew 
grammar, in 1609, his smaller grammar having been 
published in 1605, and his Hebrew lexicon in 1607. 
Buxtorf 's HebrcAv Concordance first saw the light in 
1632. The two Buxtorfs, father and son, though men 
of immense learning and indefatigable industry, repre- 
sent the first stage of investigation into the structure 
and meaning of the Hebrew language. They brought 
together all that could be gathered from Rabbinical 
lore and from traditional interpretations. But there 
their work ended. Since their time the knowledge of 
Hebrew has been greatly increased by the comparative 
study of the kindred dialects, the Syriac, Arabic and 
Ethiopic; the meanings of many of its words have 
been more satisfactorily established, and its various 
constructions have been elucidated. A long list of 
able lexicographers, from Castellus to Gesenius and 
Fuerst, and of distinguished grammarians, from Schul- 
tens to Ewald, have been pushing their researches 
more and more thoroughly into this venerable and 
sacred tongue. And commentators without end, 
approaching the subject from every different point of 
view, and of widely dissimilar opinions, have minutely 
discussed every word and sentence of the sacred text, 
and labored with various success to bring out the full- 
ness of its meaning. The great polyglotts, particularly 


that of Paris in 1645, and that of London in 1657, set 
the old Sjriac and Arabic versions alongside of the 
Hebrew text, with a view to ready comparison and aid 
to interpretation, as Buxtorf's Rabbinical Bible, in 
1618, had done with the Chaldee targums and the 
comments of the Eabbins. 

Masoretic Text. — The extensive and laborious col- 
lections of Hebrew manuscripts by Houbigant, Kenni- 
cott, and De Rossi have done little more than establish 
the substantial correctness of the received Masoretic 
text. And the long and earnest discussion relative to 
tlie Hebrew vowels has resulted in proving, if not their 
originality, at least their accuracy. We stand upon 
precisely the same text, therefore, as King James's 
translators used, only with a better knowledge of its 

ITeed of Improvement in the Version of 1611. — 
But the helps to a better understanding of this text 
have accumulated immensely. Besides the philological 
aids already referred to, there is the increased knowl- 
edge of sacred localities, and of the natural history 
and archaeology of the Bible, derived from travels 
and explorations in the Holy Land, and from the monu- 
ments exhumed in Assyria, Egypt and elsewhere. 
This, of course, assists us in the comprehension of 
passages in which such objects are referred to, and 
consequently enables us to translate them with greater 
accuracy and precision. 

Geographical Errors. — It would be clearly impos- 
sible, in a popular article of a few columns, to give an 
accurate conception of what has been accomplished, in 


these various lines of scholarship, toward the elucida- 
tion of the Old Testament, and of the extent to which 
this renders it possible now to improve a translation 
made more than two hundred and fifty years ago. Only 
a few illustrations can now be attempted, taken very 
much at random. Thus, many geographical terms re- 
quire correction. For example, " the river of Egypt," 
l^umbers xxxiv, 5, and elsewhere, would naturally lead 
one to think of the Mle ; it is not this, however, which 
is intended, but an insignificant stream that bounds 
Egypt on the east, " the brook of Egypt." The 
" Palestina " of Isaiah xiv, 29-31, and the " Palestine " 
of Joel iii, 4, is simply " Philistia," the territory 
occupied by the Philistines. The second river of the 
garden of Eden did not compass the " land of Ethiopia," 
but that of " Cush," settled by a people so called from 
their progenitor. Ezekiel xxix, 10 ; xxx, 6, does not 
speak of desolating Egypt " from the tower of Syene 
even unto the border of Ethiopia," for Syene was itself 
on that border, but " from Migdol unto Syene," 
i.e., from the extreme north to the extreme south of 
Egypt, " even unto the border of Ethiopia." The 
" mount Ephraim " of Josh, xxiv, 33, and elsewhere, is 
not a single summit, but an elevated tract, '' the hill 
country of Ephraim." " The valley " of Josh, xi, 16, 
should be " the lowland ; " " the south," Gen. xii, 9, 
and elsewhere, is not simply the general designation of 
a point of the compass, but the name of a definite tract 
of country, and as such should begin with a capital 
letter— "the South." The "rough valley" of Deut. 
xxi, 4, should be " a valley with an everflowing stream." 
The "nation scattered and peeled," "whose land the 
rivers have spoiled," Isa. xviii, 2, should be the 
" nation tall and shaven," " whose land the rivers 


divide." Samuel's father was not " an Ephrathite," 
1 Sam. i, 1, as tliougli he were from Ephrata or Beth- 
lehem, but " an Ephraimite," so reckoned because he 
resided in the territory of Ephraim, though descended 
from Levi. 

Errors in Proper !N"ames. — Proper names have some- 
times been mistaken for common nouns or other parts 
of speech, and translated accordingly ; and, conversely, 
words which should have been translated are retained as 
though they were proper names. Thus, " the house of 
God," Judges xx, 26, should be "Bethel;" "an hollow 
place that was in the jaw," Judges xv, 19, should be " the 
hollow place that is in Lehi ; " " populous I^o," ;N"ah. iii, 
8, should be " ISTo- Amnion ;" " an heifer of three years 
old," Isa. XV, 5, should have been left untranslated ; so 
should " what he did," !N'um. xxi, 14. On the contrary, 
" the book of Jasher," 2 Sam. i, 18, is not by an author 
of that name, but is simply the book of the upright. 
" Rab-saris " and " Rab-mag," Jer. xxxix, 3, are not 
names of men, but titles of office. " Belial " is not the 
name of an evil spirit, but " men of Belial " ought to 
be rendered " worthless " or " base men." " Iluzzab," 
Nah. ii, 7, is not a personification of Mneveh, or a 
name of its queen, but a declaration that the fate of 
the city " is decided." " Sheth," ^um. xxiv, 17, should 
be "tumult;" " Bajith," Isa. xv, 2, should be the 
" house " or " idol temple ; " " Gammadims," Ezek. 
xxvii, 11, should be "warriors;" " Pannag," ver. 17, is 
not a region of country, but a species of confection ; 
and there was no such place as " Metheg-ammah," 
2 Sam. viii, 1. 

Mistakes of the Meaning. — A few instances occur 
in which words of a peculiar formation have been en- 


tirely mistaken by our translators, and divided into two 
words when they are in reality one. Thus, the word 
translated " thick clay," Hab. ii, 6, is not a compound 
term yielding this sense, but a reduplicated form from 
a single root, and means " pledges," or goods taken in 
pledge by an extortionate creditor ; and " shameful 
spewing," ver. 16, is but a single word meaning " igno- 
miny." The awkward expression, Hos. iv, 18, "her 
rulers with shame do love, Give ye," should be ren- 
dered, "her rulers are in love with shame." The 
" scape goat " of Lev. xvi, 8, is one word, not two, and 
has no reference to the goat at all. 

The cases are frequent in which the meanings of 
words are altogether mistaken, although the forms are 
not misconceived nor the words improperly divided. 
Thus, the word translated " avenging," Judges v, 2, 
means " leaders ; " " the plain of Moreh," Gen. xii, 
6, ought to be " the oak of Moreh ; " " the groves," so 
frequently spoken of in connection with idolatrous 
services, as Ex. xxxiv, 13, were not groves, but upright 
pillars. Job. xxvi, 13, does not speak of the " crooked," 
nor Isaiah xxvii, 1, of the " piercing " serpent ; tha 
epithet, which is the same in both cases, is " fleet." 
The psalmist does not say, Ps. Ixxi, 22, " I will sing 
with the harp," but "I will play with the harp." 
Haldah did not dwell in the " college," 2 Kings xxii, 
14, but in the " second ward " of the city. " Since 
that time," Isa. xvi, 13, should be " of old ; " " flagons 
of wine," Hos. iii, 1, should be " cakes of pressed 
grapes; " "galleries," Cant, vii, 5, should be "curls" 
or "locks of hair." Hosea xi, 12, does not use the 
language of praise, " Judah yet ruleth with God," but 
of censure, " he roveth or runs wild in his dealings 
with him." Isaiah ix, 1, does not contrast a former 


light affliction of Galilee with, a subsequent more 
grievous affliction of the same region, but the period 
of dishonor with the glory that was to be shed upon 
that region by the coming Redeemer. "All that make 
sluices and ponds for fish," Isa. xix, 10, is a mere guess 
from the connection, and should be rendered, " all that 
work for hire are sad at heart." Samson did not go 
down to " the top of the rock," Judges xv, 8, but to 
the " cleft of the rock." The children of Israel did not 
by divine direction " borrow," Ex. xi, 2, of the Egyp- 
tians what they never intended to return ; they 
" asked " for and received gifts. " Chariots with flam- 
ing torches," JSTah. ii, 3, are " chariots with flashing 
steel ; " and " the fir trees " of the same verse are 
lances made of cypress. " Hunt souls to make them 
fly," Ezek. xiii, 20, should be rendered, " hunt souls 
as birds ; " and the " untempered mortar," ver. 10, 
should be " whitewash." 

Such mistakes are especially frequent in articles of 
dress or in objects of natural history. The " headbands, 
and tablets, and earrings," Isa. iii, 20, should be 
" sashes, and perfume boxes, and amulets." Joseph's 
" coat of many colors," Gen. xxxvii, 3, was instead " a 
lonsr tunic with sleeves." It was not a "veil" but a 
" mantle," Ruth iii, 15, in which Ruth carried the 
barley. "Pillows to all armholes," Ezek. xiii, 18, 
should be " cushions for the knuckles." The men that 
were cast into the fiery furnace were bound, not in 
" their coats, their hosen and their hats," but in " their 
trowsers, their tunics, and their mantles." The Chal- 
deans, Ezek. xxiii, 15, " exceeding with dyed attire," 
wore " flowing turbans," and the best illustration of 
the entire description is to be found in the figures 
portrayed on the palaces of Mneveh. The " mules," 


Gen. xxxvi, 24, ought to be rendered, " warm springs." 
.The "unicorn," E'um. xxiii, 22, is a wild ox. In 
Isaiah xiii, 21, 22, the "owls" are "ostriches;" the 
"satyrs" are "goats;" the "wild beasts of the islands" 
are "wolves," and the " dragons" are "jackals." 

Errors in Hebrew Grammar. — There are, besides, 
many passages in which the rendering given in the 
Authorized Version is in violation of the laws of 
Hebrew grammar. The most frequently recurring 
error is the disregard of the tenses, particularly in the 
poetical and prophetical books of the Old Testament, 
to the serious detriment, and often to the total obscura- 
tion of the sense. In Ps. iii, 4, David does not say, " I 
cried " and " he heard," and ver. 5, " the Lord sustained," 
as though he were relating what had already taken 
place ; but " I will cry," " he will hear," " the Lord 
will sustain : " it is the language of confident expecta- 
tion. Ps. xxxvii, 40, should not be translated, "the 
Lord shall help them and deliver them," but he " has 
helped them and delivered them ; " it is a fact of 
former experience, from which he then goes on to infer 
that he will do the same in the future, " he shall deliver 
them from the wicked and save them." By the 
neglect of the tenses the two clauses are made identical 
in sense, and the whole argument of faith is lost. In 
Ps. xl, 11, David does not say, " Withhold not thou 
thy tender mercies," but " thou w^ilt not withhold ; " 
it is not the language of petition, but of faith. In 
Obadiah, vs. 12-14, the verbs should be rendered, 
"look not," "rejoice not," etc., instead of "thou 
shouldest not have looked," " thou shouldest not have 
rejoiced," etc. Hab. iii, 3, should not be " God came," 
but " God will come." The language of the Authorized 


Version implies that these prophets were narrating or 
referring to what was past ; whereas they are predicting 
the future. 

This confusing of the tenses is of almost perpetual 
occurrence in the Psalms and in the Prophets, leading 
to serious inversions in the order of thought, and mar- 
ring the beauty and force of the language used. 

Disregard of the Definite Article. — ^Another fre- 
quent inaccuracy is the disregard of the definite article, 
either failing to render it where it does occur, or 
inserting it where it is not. Sometimes this is attended 
with serious detriment to the sense, as where " an 
angel of the Lord " is substituted for " the angel of the 
Lord," a created for the uncreated angel. Judges xxi, 
19, should not read, " There is a feast of the Lord in 
Shiloh," but " the feast of the Lord is in Shiloh ; " it is 
spoken of not with vague indefiniteness, but as a defi- 
nite, well-known observance. 

Inaccuracy in the Construction. — It may be added 
that there is frequently an inaccuracy in the construc- 
tion, as where possessive pronouns are attached to the 
wrong noun. Thus, Ps. iv, 1, David addresses the 
Lord not as the Authorized Version has it, " God of 
my righteousness," as though his meaning were the 
God who defends my righteous cause, but " my 
righteous God." Ps. lix, 17, not " God of my mercy," 
but " my merciful God." Ps. xlvii, 8, not " the throne 
of his holiness;" Ps. xlviii, 1, not "the mountain of 
his holiness," but " his holy throne," " his holy moun- 
tain." Isa. xiii, 3, not " them that rejoice in my high- 
ness," but " my proud exulters." Errors in relative 
constructions, e.g., Isa. vii, 16, not " the land, that thou 


abhorrest, shall be forsaken of both her kings/' but 
" the land, of whose two kings thou art afraid, shall 
be forsaken." Ps. Iv, 19, not " God shall hear and 
afflict them. Because they have no changes, therefore 
they fear not God," but " God shall hear and answer 
them, who have no changes and who fear not God," 
i.e., as he heard me in mercy, ver. 17, so he will hear 
them in wrath, answering not their prayers, for they 
do not pray, but the voice of their malignant slanders. 
And other miscellaneous constructions, which it is 
needless to particularize in further detail, e.g., Ezek. 
xxxiv, 31, not *' ye my flock are men," but "ye men 
are my flock." Ps. vii, 13, not " ordaineth his arrows 
against the persecutors," but " maketh his arrows 
burning." Ps. x, 4, not " God is not in all his 
thoughts," but " all his thoughts are. There is no God." 
Ps. xix, 3, not " There is no speech nor language where 
their voice is not heard," as though the Psalmist were 
speaking of the universality of God's self-revelation in 
nature. The insertion of the italic word "ivhere'' 
entirely deranges the relation of the clauses, and intro- 
duces a totally different thought from that which David 
intended. He means that all nature has a voice, though 
it is not addressed to man's outward ear. " There is 
no speech nor language; their voice is not heard." 
Ps. xxii, 30, not '' it shall be accounted unto the Lord 
for a generation," but " it shall be related of the Lord 
unto the next generation." Num. xxiii, 23, not 
" Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, 
neither is there any divination against Israel : accord- 
ing to the time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, 
What hath God wrought!" The meaning is not that 
God's divine power will eftectually guard Israel against 
all hostile arts of enchantment : but Israel has no need 


to resort to deceptive and unauthorized modes of 
learning the divine will, for this will is disclosed to 
them as their needs may require. " There is no en- 
chantment in Jacoh, nor divination in Israel ; at the 
time it shall be told to Jacob and Israel what God hath 
wrought." The italic words, into a trance, ]S"um. xxiv, 
4, obscure the statement of the overpowering physical 
effect produced upon Balaam by the splendor of the 
divine revelations. The italic words, to wit, improperly 
inserted in Josh, xvii, 1, precisely reverse the meaning 
of the clause. It is designed to explain why no lot was 
cast for Machir now ; the reason is, because his pos- 
session had already been assigned to him east of the 

Duty of Revisionists. — Such illustrations could be 
multiplied. Those which have been already given are 
sufficient to show that, with the light that has been shed 
upon the Hebrew language, and the increased informa- 
tion gained upon subjects collateral to the study of the 
Old Testament since the days of King James, a great 
number of passages are understood now in a sense dif- 
ferent from that given by our, translators. To make 
those corrections in the renderings which the general 
voice of the best scholars affirms ought to be made, is 
not to unsettle the Scriptures and to weaken their hold 
upon the public mind, but the reverse. Innovations 
are not to be recklessly or needlessly made. But the 
removal of palpable errors and mistakes is simply ex- 
tracting the fly from the pot of ointment. The marvel 
is not that occasional changes are needed to increase the 
perfection of the Authorized Version and to bring it 
nearer to the standard of the best biblical scholarship of 
the time, but that, considering the period when it was 


made and the scanty helps which were then possessed, 
the changes required are not more numerous and more 
radical. It is absolutely astonishing to find to how large 
an extent this grand old version must be confessed to 
be still the most adequate and accurate translation that 
can now be made ; and how vast a proportion of its 
renderings can be subjected to the most rigorous tests 
that modern learning can apply without the detection 
of a single flaw. 


Professor of Hebrew Literature and Biblical Theology in Yale College. 

Of the forty-eight scholars to whom we owe the 
present Authorized Version of the English Bible, 
twenty-five, divided into three companies, were en- 
gaged upon the Hebrew books of the Old Testament. 
There is no reason to doubt their qualifications for the 
work. Several of them were eminent in oriental 
studies. One had the reputation of being the best 
Arabic scholar of hjs time. Five of them, either 
then, or subsequently, were professors of Hebrew in 
one or the other of the two great Universities of Eng. 
land. Their renderings show that they carefully 
weighed the considerations on which the translation 
of difficult passages must depend, and exercised an 
independent judgment. To a great degree they came 
to what the critical scholarship of later times has pro- 
nounced a correct decision. In other cases, where they 
were divided in opinion, or admitted that a dififerent 
rendering from that which they adopted was worthy 
of consideration, they placed it, in a true Protestant 
spirit, in the margin. If these marginal readings 
and other renderings, in consequence of the progress 
of exegetical study, have been frequently found to de- 
serve the preference, it only shows that the scholars of 
the early part of the seventeenth century were not 
provided, and could not be, with all the helps for a 
decision which have accumulated since their day. The 
division of labor in the whole field of the Hebrew and 



its cognate languages enables a student, in our time, to 
avail himself of advantages for gaining a true knowl- 
edge of the meaning of the Old Testament which the 
most stupendous learning of a former age knew noth- 
ing of. Nothing, of course, can ever take the place of 
a familiar acquaintance with the Hebrew and other 
Semitic languages ; but it is quite possible for an in- 
terpreter now, in consequence of the far wider range 
of materials at his command, to form a judgment on a 
difficult passage more trustworthy than it was possible 
for the most eminent scholars two centuries and a half 
ago to reach. 

The force of this remark will best be seen from a 
rapid survey of the learned helps for the interpreta- 
tion of the Old Testament accessible to the translators 
of the Authorized Version. 

Less than a century had passed since the Lutheran 
Reformation, and though the impulse given to Hebrew 
studies in the Christian Church had been immense, and 
many of the principal sources of knowledge, in respect 
to the Hebrew Bible, were within their reach, yet the 
apparatus of scholarship at their command would be 
regarded in our day as quite imperfect. The text, 
indeed, had received the fixed form adopted by the 
Jewish scholars who gave to it its present punctuation. 
'No manuscripts of an earlier date exist with which we 
can compare it, and the chief superiority, therefore, of 
the modern printed editions arises from the more care- 
ful editing of the Masoretic text, with the apparatus 
of vowels and accents, and the addition of selected crit- 
ical notes, which have been transmitted to us from an 
early period. 

But when we come to the ancient translations, on 
which so much depends for the verification of the 



Hebrew text and the proper rendering of the Hebrew 
Scriptures, the case is widely different. The earliest 
of these, in Greek, — the Septuagint, so called — made, 
in part at least, in the third century before Christ and 
in common use in the early Christian Church, was 
accessible to King James's translators in the Complu- 
tensian and Antwerp Polyglots, and also in separate 
editions ; but the Alexandrian manuscript in the Brit- 
ish Museum and the Sinaitic manuscript discovered by 
Tischendorf, as well as the critical labors expended 
upon the several copies of this venerable Greek version 
by eminent scholars in England and on the Continent, 
have furnished the materials for a much more accurate 
text than any which was possible when the Authorized 
Version was made. Since then, also, the fragments pre- 
served in the works of Origen, of the translations 
into Greek by Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus, and 
others, made after the Christian era, have been placed 
at the service of scholars. 

The Latin Vulgate, another most important ancient 
version, was of course in their hands. On many pass- 
ages their decision was determined by its renderings, 
on the ground, which cannot be questioned, that the 
testimony of a learned scholar like Jerome, with the 
opportunities he enjoyed for becoming acquainted with 
the accepted Jewish interpretation of his day, is de- 
serving of special consideration. Yet this version has 
suffered so many changes and corruptions, in the course 
of ages, that it cannot be relied upon, in its present 
form, as giving in all cases the exact renderings of 
Jerome. The book of Psalms, as it stands in the Vul- 
gate, is an earlier version made by him. Whoever 
wishes to learn^his final judgment, must consult the 
more correct translation which he afterwards made. 


It is only within a few years that the Codex Amiati- 
nus, which contains Jerome's own translation of the 
Old Testament, in distinction from the text found in 
the ordinary editions of the Vulgate, has been made 
accessible to scholars. 

With the early Syriac translation of the Old Tes- 
tament, the third most important ancient version, 
the translators of our Authorized Version could have 
had no acquaintance. Its value lies in its correctness, 
and its being in a language cognate to Hebrew, and 
consequently affording special means of comparison. 
It was first printed in the Paris Polyglot more than 
thirty years after the Authorized Version appeared, 
and was followed at a later period by the publication 
of another Syriac translation, which, however, is of less 
value because made from the Septuagint. 

Without going further into details, we may say in 
general that the only ancient versions of the Old 
Testament accessible to scholars at the beginning of 
the seventeenth century, except a few single books or 
parts, were imperfect texts of the Septuagint, the Tar- 
gums or Chaldee paraphrases, and the Vulgate. The 
other ancient translations, the Samaritan version of the 
Pentateuch, the Syriac and Arabic versions, and parts 
of the Ethiopic and Persian versions contained in the 
later Polyglots, were not published until many years 
after the English translation of 1611, and could have 
made no contribution either directly or indirectly, to- 
wards determining its renderings. 

Tlie 'philological helps accessible to the scholars who 
made our Authorized Version would now be consid- 
ered quite rudimentary. The larger Hebrew Grammar 
of the elder Buxtorf appeared shortly before their 
Work was finished (1609). It was in advance certainly 


of the rude attempts of the few grammarians before 
his time, whether Rabbinic or Christian, but in con- 
trast with the elaborate and exhaustive grammars 
of Ewald and Bottcher, or the more compendious 
treatises of Gesenius and Green, it is exceedingly 
meagre. The latest and best lexicon at their com- 
mand was Buxtorfs, which appeared in 1607, just as 
they were commencing their labors. The help to be 
gained from the Eabbins and the Vulgate he diligently 
employed. Here and there he makes use of the Syriac. 
But the age of comparative philologj^, in the sense 
in which the term is now understood, had not yet ar- 
rived." The great scholars of the next sixty years, 
whose names are inseparably connected with Hebrew 
learning, as De Dieu, Pococke, and Castell (Castellus), 
rendered good service in preparing the way ; but it was 
a hundred years before Schultens in Holland, by call- 
ing attention to the roots of Hebrew existing in Arabic, 
gave the impulse to the study of the cognate Semitic 
languages, which has resulted in the far more exact 
knowledo-e of the radical idea of Hebrew words which 
characterizes the lexicons of the present century. 

The advantage gained by this wide and careful com- 
parison of the cognate languages is, that instead of 
being dependent upon Rabbinic tradition, the inter- 
preter is now able to test its correctness and expose its 
errors. He possesses the means of deciding, upon some 
solid foundation, between the divergent renderings of 
the ancient versions and on the probable meaning of 
the class of words which occur but once in the Hebrew 
Scriptures, and are therefore peculiarly difficult. The 
best results of the labors of Hebrew scholars for two 
centuries and a half in various directions and on a mul- 
titude of single points, gathered and presented in a 


compact form in the modern lexicons and grammars, 
place the interpreters of our day in possession of a mass 
of materials for forming a correct judgment on the 
meaning of the Sacred Text far beyond what was pos- 
sible when the Authorized Version was made. 

The bearing of this upon the character of the mod- 
ern versions which we know were consulted is evident 
at a glance. These versions, of which several had been 
made into Latin, varying more or less from the Vulgate, 
represented simply the Hebrew learning of the time. 
The same remark is true of the translations made into 
the principal languages of Europe in the century which 
succeeded the Reformation. Selden relates in his Table 
Talk that " that part of the Bible was given to him 
who was most excellent in such a tongue, and then 
they met together and one read the translation, the rest 
holding in their hands some Bible either of the learned 
tongues, or French, Spanish, Italian, etc. ; if they found 
any fault, they spoke, if not, he read on." With this 
agrees the statement in the original preface of the 
Authorized Version: " I^either did we think [it] much 
to consult the translators or commentators, Chaldee, 
Hebrew, Syriac, [IN'ew Testament] Greek or Latin, 
nor the Spanish, French, Italian or Dutch [German]." 
In availing themselves of these helps, in the way of 
comparison and suggestion, they acted wisely and well^ 
but the testimony of the translations into the lan- 
guages of modern Europe to which they refer would 
now be considered of limited value. One of the best 
of them, the Italian version of Diodati, which appeared 
in 1607, was issued in less than forty years in a revised 
edition. The version of Luther, which, in consequence 
of intwining itself into the language as well as the 
hearts of the German nation, has firmly held its place, 


is at last obliged, under the discovery of its numerous 
errors, to yield to the necessity of Revision. In Swe- 
den, Denmark, and Holland the same necessity is found 
to exist, although in the latter country the States' 
Translation so called, made a few years after our 
Authorized Version, is one of high and undisputed 

The commentaries on the Old Testament to which 
King James's translators were confined, aside from 
the Rabbinic expositions, were either those of the 
church fathers, who with few exceptions were wholly 
unacquainted with Hebrew, or those of the Reform- 
ers and their immediate successors. Many of the 
latter in their strong grasp of Christian truth and 
their vigorous exhibition of the thoughts of the sacred 
writers will always deserve to be studied. But on all 
questions of critical difficulty, on the decision of which 
not only the thought itself, but the whole connection 
so frequently depends, they were at a great disadvan- 
tage, and in numerous instances entirely missed the 
sense. Not one of them can now be used for the so- 
lution of a linguistic difficulty, nor be safely trusted, 
in many cases, to give the true thought of the original 
without the safeguard furnished by the more recent 
learned commentaries. This is said in no spirit of de- 
preciation, but, on the contrary, with the highest regard 
for their work. But that work must be taken for 
what it was, and not for what it was not. The style 
and possibility of the highest critical commentary of 
the present day could only exist after the labors of suc- 
cessive generations of scholars on the ancient and 
modern versions, on the comparison of languages most 
nearly related to Hebrew, and on a multitude of subjects 
of critical investigation connected with the Old Testa- 


ment. The results of these studies brought into a 
compressed form, and made to constitute a foundation 
for new and fuller explorations, constitute the peculi- 
arity, of the helps possessed by the interpreter of the 
present day, and indicate the n.ecessarily narrower 
limits within which the scholars who prepared the 
translation of the Old Testament in our Authorized 
Version were restricted. 

The nature of the parallelism found in the poeti- 
cal books of the Old Testament was also less perfectly 
understood than at present, and the abundant contri- 
butions since made to the antiquities, natural history, 
and geography of the Scriptures now offer means for 
understanding many passages which, without this aid, 
could never be correctly interpreted. 


Professor of Biblical Literature in the Protestant Episcopal Theological 
Seminary, Alexandria, Virginia. 

As the more general subjects connected with the 
Revision of the Authorized Vei'sion have been suffi- 
ciently discussed, there remains only the more special 
subject of indisputable errors in our version, which 
need to be corrected. There is no better argument for 
revision, than the existence of such errors. If they 
could not be corrected, it would be unwise and unkind 
to make them known to those to whom the English 
Bible, and the English Bible only, is the AYord of God. 
The only course to be pursued would be to hide them 
reverently, and thus not shake the faith of the unlearned. 

We assume that the English translation of the Bible 
should be as faithful as possible to the inspired original, 
80 that the unlearned reader may be as nearly as pos- 
sible in the place of the learned one. There are some 
who practically deny this self-evident proposition. 
They would have us retain time-hallowed errors in our 
version ; they appeal to popular prejudice. They remind 
us of the old priest in the reign of Henry viii., who 
used to say, 31umpsimus, Domine, instead of Sumpsimus, 
and when remonstrated with, replied, " I am not going 
to change my old mumpsimus for your new fangled 

While there is a wide spread opinion that our version 
contains errors, the only way to restore confidence in 
it is to appoint a committee of investigation to ascertain 



the exact state of the case. Even when no change is 
made the fact that examiners, in whom the Church has 
confidence, have found none necessary, must go far to 
inspire increased confidence. Isaac Walton tells us, 
" that Dr. Richard Kilbje, one of the Company of the 
Translators of the Authorized Version, heard accident- 
ally a young preacher discussing the Kew Translation, 
and giving three reasons why a particular word should 
have been translated differently. The Doctor told him, 
on meeting him, that he and others had considered the 
three reasons mentioned, and found thirteen stronger 
ones for translating it as it was." 

We proceed now to give some examples of errors in 
the English version, which are acknowledged to be such 
by the almost universal consent of critical commentators. 
The correction of these errors of translation will affect 
some texts often preached upon, and upon which a dif- 
ferent interpretation has been put by tradition. 

In the 24th chapter of Proverbs, 21st verse, we read, 
" My son, meddle not with them that are given to 
change." Now it happens that the word given belongs 
entirely to the English version, and is not found in the 
Hebrew, where the original word is a participial form, 
and means changers^ or those changiitg. Matthew Henry 
says, " He does not say, with them that change, for there 
may be cause to change for the better; but that are given 
to change, that affect it, for change sake." 

The English version of the book of Job has always 
been regarded by the best judges as very unsatisfactory. 
In Job iii, 3, where Job curses the day of his birth, he 
represents the night of his birth as saying, with joy, 
" There is a man child born ! " Our version has it, in 
which it was said, thus destroying the poetic figure, 
which personifies the night. It should have been, Let 


the night perish, which said. In the sublime address 
of Jehovah to Job, in the 39th and 40th chapters, we 
find several verses in our version which fail to give the 
sense of the original. In the description of the war 
horse, chapter 39th and 24th verse, it is said, " ^N'either 
believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet." If 
belief can be ascribed to a horse, it is the very thing 
which he believes, for he has heard the sound of the 
trumpet often enough before. The primary sense of 
the verb translated believeth is, to be firm, and adopting 
this we have this sense : IN'either can he stand still at 
the sound of the trumpet. Virgil, in describing the war 
horse, says, " When the arms clash he knows not how 
to stand still." 

In Job xl, 19, in the description of the hippopotamus, 
it is said in our version, " He that made him can make 
his sword to approach unto himJ' The translation now 
almost universally adopted by the critics is, "Plis maker 
gives him his sword," or tusk. 

In Job xl, 23, " Behold, he drinketh up a river, and 
hasteth not ; he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan 
into his mouth." This gives no congruous sense. The 
translation adopted by Fiirst, Conant and others, is — 

" Lo a river swells, he is not afraid ; 
Fearless, though Jordan rushes to his mouth." 

In Daniel ii, 5, " The king answered and said to the 
astrologers, The thing is gone from me." From the 
heading of the chapter, "Nebuchadnezzar forgetting 
his dream," etc., we infer that the Authorized Version 
understood by the thing, the dream, and that the king 
had forgotten his dream ; but in that case it would not 
have troubled him. The true reason of the king's 
them to tell the dream is given in verse 9th : 


" Tell me the dream, and I shall know that ye can show 
me the interpretation thereof." The Chaldee word, 
translated in our version thing^ is the same word, trans- 
lated, verse 9, word^ and also in chapter iii, 28, the king^s 
word. It should then have been translated, The word 
has gone from me. 

In Daniel vii, 9, " I beheld till the thrones were cast 
down," it should be exactly the reverse — were set up. 
So Gesenius, Fiirst and others, as in Jeremiah i, 15 : 
" They shall set every one his throne," or seat ; a^d in 
Apocalypse iv, 2, " Behold, a throne was set in 

In 1 Kings x, 28, in our translation it is said, " Solo- 
mon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn : 
the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price." 
The context refers to the manner in which Solomon 
obtained horses by importation from Egypt. The word 
translated linen yarn is elsewhere translated gathering 
together, Gen. i, 10, and is applied in this verse to mer- 
chants and to horses. It should be translated, "And 
the company of the king's merchants fetched each drove 
at a price." 

Much of force is lost in our translation by not 
observing the rule that where the same word occurs in 
the same context in the original it should be translated 
by the same word. There are so many cases where 
this rule is violated in our version that it is difficult to 
make a selection. In Isaiah xxviii, 15-19, where men- 
tion is made of " the overflowing scourge passing 
through," this is repeated four times in the original, with 
great emphasis. In our version the word translated 
pass through in verses 15, 18, is translated goeth forth in 
verse 19, and also pass over. The 20th verse would 
gain much in impression if translated, "As often as it 


passeth through it shall take you ; for morning by morn- 
ing shall it pass through, by day and by night." In the 
17th verse our version makes judgment, or justice, not 
the measure, but the thing to be measured. The mean- 
ing is that God would deal in strict justice. " I will 
make judgment for a line and righteousness for a plumb 
line." In the 20th verse the translation might be 
improved, " For the bed is too short to stretch one's 
self, and the covering too narrow to wrap one's self." 

The translation of the whole chapter is unsatisfactory. 
To go back to the first verses, the chapter opens with 
a woe denounced against Samaria, the capital of 
Ephraim, and alludes to its situation on a hill, at the 
head of a rich valley. " Woe to the crown of pride of 
the drunkards of Ephraim, and to the fading flower of 
his glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat 
valley." Verse third : " The crown of pride of the 
drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot; 
and the fading flower of his glorious beauty, which is 
on the head of the fat valley, shall be as the first ripe 
fruit before the summer; which he that seeth, while it 
is yet in his hand, eateth up." If one will take the 
pains to compare the new translation of the fourth 
verse with the English version, he will see how much 
is gained. 

In Isaiah vi, 13, our translation mistakes the mean- 
ing of the original. It contains a threatening of 
repeated judgment, but closes with a gracious promise, 
"And though there be left in it a tenth, it shall again 
be consumed ; as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose 
trunk remaineth, when they are felled, so its trunk 
shall be a holy seed." 

The space allowed us precludes the specification of 
any more passages, which might be greatly improved 


by a reverential and well considered revision, which 
shall amend the errors and supply the defects of our 
version. The lack of consistency in it, which cannot 
fail to strike every one engaged in the laborious yet 
most interesting task of unifying the translation of the 
same word in the original, wherever it occurs, and the 
sense permits it, will, we hope, be remedied by the 
Committee meeting in the same place. While the 
received interpretation of some texts may thus have 
to be given up, other texts, brought out into a new 
light, will take their place, and the gain Avill be greater 
than the loss. 'No one need fear that " the mingled 
tenderness and majesty, the Saxon simplicity, the pre- 
ternatural grandeur " of our Authorized Version will 
suffer an eclipse in the Revision. 





It is an unquestionable fact that the Greek text of the 
Kew Testament from which our common English ver- 
sion was made contains many hundreds of errors which 
have affected the translation ; and that in some cases 
whole verses, or even longer passages, in the common 
English Bible are spurious. This fact alone is sufficient 
to justify the demand for such a revision of the com- 
mon version as shall remove these corruptions. Why, 
when so much pains is taken to obtain as correct a text 
as possible of ancient classical authors — of Homer, Plato, 
or Thucydides — should we be content with a text of the 
I^ew Testament formed from a few modern manuscripts 
in the infancy of criticism, now that our means of im- 
proving it are increased a hundred-fold ? Why should 
the mere mistakes of transcribers still be imposed upon 
unlearned readers as the words of evangelists and 
apostles, or even of our Lord himself? 

The statements that have just been made require 
illustration and explanation, in order that the impor- 
tance of these errors of the received text may not be 
exaggerated on the one hand or under-estimated on the 
other. We will consider, then — 

I. The I^ature and Extent of the Differences 
OF Text in the Greek Manuscripts of the New. 
Testament. — The manuscripts of the I^ew Testament, 



like those of all other ancient writings, clifier from one 
another in some readings of considerable interest and 
importance, and in a multitude of unimportant par- 
ticulars, such as the spelling of certain words; the 
order of the words ; the addition or omission of par- 
ticles not affecting, or only slightly affecting, the sense ; 
the insertion of words that would otherwise be under- 
stood ; the substitution of a word or phrase for another 
synonymous with it ; the use of different tenses of the 
same verb, or different cases of the same noun, where 
the variation is immaterial; and other points of no 
njore consequence. The various readings which are 
comparatively important as affecting the sense consist, 
for the most part : (1) of the substitution of one word 
for another that closely resembles it in spelling or in 
pronunciation; (2) the omission of a clause or longer 
passage from homoeoteleuton, that is, the fact that it ends 
with the same word or the same series of syllables as 
the one preceding it ; and (3) the addition to the text of 
words which were originally written as a marginal 
note or gloss, or are supplied from a parallel passage. 
Ancient scribes, like modern printers, when very know- 
ing, have often made mistakes Avhile they thought they 
were correcting them ; but there is little or no ground 
for believing that the text of the New Testament has 
suffered in any place from wilful corruption. 

The state of the case will be made plainer by examples. 
The great majority of questions about the readings, so 
far as they affect the translation, are such as these: 
Whether we should read " Jesus Christ " or " Christ 
Jesus ; " " the disciples " or " his disciples ; " " and " 
for "but" or "now," and vice versa; "Jesus said" or 
" he said ; " " he said," or " he saith," or " he answered 
and said ; " whether we should add or omit "and," or 


*' but," or " for," or " therefore," the sense not being 
affected ; whether we shoukl read " God," or " Lord," 
or " Christ," in such phrases as " the word of God," or 
" of the Lord," or '' of Christ ; " these three words 
differing, as abbreviated in the Greek manuscripts, by 
only a single letter. Of the more important various 
readings, much the larger part consists of spurious 
additions to the text, not fraudulent, but originally 
written as marginal or interlinear notes, and afterward 
taken into the text by a very common and natural 
mistake. Most of these occur in the Gospels. For 
instance, " bless them that curse you, do good to them 
that hate you," is probably not genuine in Matt, v, 44, 
but was inserted in the manuscripts that contain it from 
the parallel passage in Luke vi, 27, 28. So the words 
*'to repentance" are wanting in the best manuscripts 
in Matt, ix, 13 and Mark ii, 17, but were introduced 
into later copies from Luke v, 32. 

For an example of omission from homoeotelcuton^ we 
may refer to 1 John ii, 23 — " Whosoever denieth the 
Son, the same hath not the Father; but he that 
acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." Here, 
in our English Bibles, the last clause of the verse is 
printed in italics, as of doubtful genuineness. It is 
unquestionably genuine; how it was accidentally 
omitted in some manuscripts will be seen if we under- 
stand that in the original the order of the words is as 
follows: "he that acknowledgeth the Son hath also 
the Father," the ending being the same as that of the 
preceding clause. The copyist, glancing at the ending 
of the second clause, supposed he had written it, when, 
in fact, he had only written the first. 

For an example of the substitution of a word for 
another resembling it in spelling, we may take Rev. i, 


5, where for '^cashed us" (A«y<7avrj), the best manu- 
scripts read " loosed/' or " released us " (Xuffavn). For 
another, see the margin of the common version, Acts 
xiii, 18. 

I will now give as full an account as is possible 
within moderate limits of the more important and 
remarkable various readings, that every one may see 
for himself to how much they amount. 

The longer passages of which the genuineness is more 
or less questionable are the doxology in the Lord's 
Prayer, Matt, vi, 13 ; Matt, xvi, 2, 3, from " when " to 
" times" (most critics retain the words) ; xvii, 21 ; xviii, 
11 ; XX, 16, last part (genuine in xxii, 14) ; xxi, 44 ; 
xxiii, 14 ; xxvii, 35 (from " that it might be fulfilled " 
to " lots ") ; Mark vi, 11, last sentence ; vii, 16; ix, 44, 
46 ; xi, 26 ; xv, 28 ; xvi, 9-20 (a peculiar and rather 
difficult question) ; Luke ix, 55, 56, from " and said " 
to " save them ; " xvii, 36 ; xxii, 43, 44 (most critics 
retain the passage) ; xxiii, 17, 34, first sentence (most 
critics retain it) ; xxiv, 12, 40 ; John v, 3, 4, from 
" waiting" to " he had" inclusive (most critics reject 
this); vii, 53 — viii, 11 (also rejected by most critics); xxi, 
25 (retained by most critics) ; Acts viii, 37 ; ix, 5, 6, from 
^'it is hard" to "unto him" (has no MS. authority; 
comp. xxvi, 14 ; xxii, 10) ; xv, 34 ; xxiv, 6-8, from " and 
would" to " unto thee;" xxviii, 29; Rom. xi, 6, second 
sentence ; xvi, 24 ; 1 John v, 7, 8, from " in heaven" to 
" in earth," inclusive (the famous text of the Three 
Heavenly Witnesses, now rejected by common consent 
of scholars as an interpolation). Most of the question- 
able additions in the Gospels, it will be seen on exami- 
nation, are from parallel passages, where the words are 
genuine ; the doxology in the Lord's Prayer probably 
came in from the ancient liturgies (compare 1 Chron. 


xxix, 11) ; the passage about the woman taken in adul- 
tery (John vii, 53 — viii, 11), and some other additions, 
especially Luke ix, 55, 56; xxiii, 34 (if this is not genu- 
ine), are from early and probably authentic tradition. 

Of questions relating to particular words or phrases, 
the following are some of the more interesting and 
important : Whether we should read in Matt, i, 25, 
" a son" or " her firstborn son" (compare Luke ii, 7) ; 
vi, 1, "alms" or "righteousness;" xi, 19, "children" 
or " works ;" xix, 16, 17, " Good Teacher," and " callest 
thou me good," or " Teacher," and " askest thou me con- 
cerning what is good ;" Mark i, 2, " in the prophets," or 
"in Isaiah the prophet;" ix, 23, " If thou canst believe," 
or simply, "If thou canst!" Luke ii, 14, "good will 
to [or " among"] men," or " among men of good will" 
(the latter expression meaning, probably, " men to whom 
God hath shown favor") ; iv, 44, " Galilee" or " Judsea;" 
xiv, 5, " an ass or an ox," or " a son or an ox;" xxiii, 
15, " I sent you to him" or " he sent him back to us;" 
xxiv, 51, omit " and was carried up into heaven ;" John i, 
18, read " the only begotten Son" or " only begotten 
God" (the words for " Son" and " God" differ in but a 
single letter in the old MSS.); iii, 13, omit "which is 
in heaven" (most critics retain the clause) ; vii, 8, read 
" not . . . yet" or " not;" xiv, 14, " ask anything in my 
name," or " ask of me anything in my name;" Acts xi, 
20, " Greeks" or "Hellenists;" xvi, 7, "the Spirit" or 
"the Spirit of Jesus;" xx, 28, "the church of God" or 
"the church of the Lord;" liom. xiv, 10, "the judg- 
ment-seat of Christ" or "the judgment-seat of God;" 
1 Cor. X, 9, "tempt Christ" or "tempt the Lord;" xiii, 
3, " to be burned" or " that I may glory;" xv, 47, omit 
"the Lord;" 2 Cor. iv, 14, read "by Jesus" or "with 
Jesus;" Eph. iii, 9, omit "by Jesus Christ;" v, 9, read 


"the fruit of the Spirit" or "the fruit of the light;" 
V, 21, " the fear of God" or " the fear of Christ;" Col. 
ii, 2, " the mystery of God" or " the mystery of God, 
Christ" (comp. i, 27; there are several other readings); 
iii, 13, "Christ" or "the Lord;" 15, "the peace of 
God" or "the peace of Christ;" 1 Tim. iii, 16, "God 
was manifest" or "who" [or " He who "] was manifest" 
(manifested) ; 1 Pet. iii, 15, " the Lord God" or " the 
Lord Christ," or rather "Christ as Lord;" Jude 25, 
" the only wise God our Saviour" or " the only God 
our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord ;" Rev. i, 8, 
"the Lord" or "the Lord God;" iii, 2, "before God" 
or " before my God;" xxii, 14, " that do his command- 
ments" or " that wash their robes." 

I have sufficiently illustrated the nature of the differ- 
ences in the text of the ISTew Testament manuscripts; 
we will now consider their extent and importance. The 
number of the " various readings" frightens some inno- 
cent people, and figures largely in the writings of the 
more ignorant disbelievers in Christianity. " One hun- 
dred and fifty thousand various readings !" Must not 
these render the text of the E'ew Testament wholly un^ 
certain, and thus destroy the foundation of our faith? 

The true state of the case is something like this. Of 
the 150,000 various readings, more or less, of the text 
of the Greek Few Testament, we may, as Mr. ISTorton 
has remarked, dismiss nineteen-twentieths from con- 
sideration at once, as being obviously of such a char- 
acter, or supported by so little authority, that no critic 
would regard them as having any claim to reception. 
This leaves, we will say, 7500. But of these, again, it 
will appear, on examination, that nineteen out of twenty 
are of no sort of consequence as affecting the sense ; 
they relate to questions of orthography, or grammatical 


construction, or the order of words, or such other 
matters as have been mentioned above, in speaking of 
unimportant variations. They concern only the form of 
expression, not the essential meaning. This reduces 
the number to perhaps 400, which involve a difference 
of meaning, often very slight, or the omission or addi- 
tion of a few words, sufficient to render them objects 
of some curiosity and interest, while a few exceptional 
cases among them may relatively be called important. 
But our critical helps are now so abundant, that in a 
very large majority of these more important questions 
of reading we are able to determine the true text with 
a good degree of confidence. AVhat remains doubtful 
we can afford to leave doubtful. In all ancient writings 
there are passages in which the text cannot be settled 
wnth certainty; and the same is true of the interpretation. 

I have referred above to all, or nearly all, of the cases 
in which the genuineness of a whole verse, or, very 
rarely, a longer passage, is more or less questionable ; 
and I have given the most remarkable of the other read- 
ings of interest which present rival claims to acceptance. 
Their importance may be somewhat differently esti- 
mated by different persons. But it may be safely said 
that no Christian doctrine or duty rests on those por- 
tions of the text which are affected by differences in the 
manuscripts ; still less is anything essential in Chris- 
tianity touched by the various readings. They do, to 
be sure, affect the bearing of a few passages on the 
doctrine of the Trinity; but the truth or falsity of the 
doctrine by no means depends upon the reading of 
those passages. 

The number of the various readings, which have 
been collected from more than five hundred manuscripts, 
more than a dozen ancient versions, and from the quo- 


tations in the writings of more than a hundred Chris- 
tian fathers, only attests the abundance of our critical 
resources, which enable us now to settle the true text 
of the I^ew Testament with a confidence and precision 
which are wholly unattainable in the case of the text 
of any Greek or Latin classical author. I say, enable 
us now to do this ; for in the time of our translators of 
1611 only a very small portion of our present critical 
helps was available. This leads us to consider — 

n. The Imperfection of the Greek Text on which 
OUR Common English Version of the New Testament 
IS Founded. — The principal editions of the Greek Tes- 
tament which influenced, directly or indirectly, the 
text of the common version are those of Erasmus, ^yq 
in number (1516-35) ; Robert Stephens (Estienne, 
Stephanus) of Paris and Geneva, four editions (1546- 
51); Beza, four editions in folio (1565-98), and five 
smaller editions (1565-1604) ; and the Complutensian 
Polyglot (1514, published in 1522). Without entering 
into minute details, it is enough to say that all these 
editions were founded on a small number of inferior 
and comparatively modern manuscripts, very imper- 
fectly collated; and that they consequently contain a 
multitude of errors; which a comparison with older 
and better copies has since enabled us to discover and 
correct. It is true that Erasmus had one valuable manu- 
script of the Gospels, and Stephens two (D and L) ; 
Beza had also D of the Gospels and Acts, and D (the 
Clermont MS.) of the Pauline Epistles ; but they made 
scarcely any use of them. The text of the common 
version appears to agree more nearly with that of the 
later editions of Beza than with any other ; but Beza 
followed very closely Robert Stephens's edition of 1550, 


and Stephens's again was little more than a reprint of 
the fourth edition of Erasmus (1527). Erasmus used as 
the basis of his text in the Gospels an inferior MS. of 
the fifteenth century, and one of the thirteenth or four- 
teenth century in the Acts and Epistles. In printing 
the Revelation he used an inaccurate copy of a mutilated 
MS. (wanting the last six verses) of little value, the real 
and supposed defects of which he supplied by translat- 
ing from the Latin Vulgate into Greek. Besides this, 
he had in all, for his later editions, three MSS. of the 
Gospels, four of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, and 
five of the Pauline Epistles, together with the text of 
the Aldine edition of 1518, and of the Complutensian 
Polyglot, both of little critical value. * In select pas- 
sages he had also collations of some other manuscripts. 
The result of the whole is, that in a considerable num- 
ber of cases, not, to be sure, of great importance, the 
reading of the common English version is supported by 
no known Greek manuscript whatever, but rests on an error 
of Erasmus or Beza {e. g. Acts ix, 5,6; Pom. vii, 6 ; 
1 Pet. iii, 20 ; Rev. i, 9, 11 ; ii, 3, 20, 21 ; iii, 2 ; v, 10, 
14 ; XV, 3 ; xvi, 5 ; xvii, 8, 16 ; xviii, 2, etc.) ; and it is safe 
to say that in more than a thousand instances fidelity to 
the true text now ascertained requires a change in the 
common version, though in most cases the change would 
be slight. But granting that not many of the changes 
required can be called important, still, in the case of 
writings so precious as those of the New Testament, 
every one must feel a strong desire to have the text freed 
as far as possible from later corruptions, and restored 
to its primitive purity. Such being the need, we will 
next consider — 

in. Our Present Resources for Settling the 
Text. — Our manuscript materials;for the correction of 


the text are far superior, both in point of number and 
antiquity, to those which we possess in the case of any 
ancient Greek classical author, with the exception, as 
regards antiquity, of a few fragments, as those of 
Philodemus, preserved in the Herculanean papyri. The 
cases are very few in which any MSS. of Greek classical 
authors have been found older than the ninth or tenth 
century. The oldest manuscript of ^schylus and 
Sophocles, that from which all the others are believed 
to have been copied, directly or indirectly, is of the 
tenth or eleventh century; the oldest manuscript of 
Euripides is of the twelfth. For the l^ew Testament, 
on the other hand, we have manuscripts more or less 
complete, written in uncial or capital letters, and rang- 
ing from the fourth to the tenth century, of the Gospels 
27, besides 30 small fragments ; of the Acts and Catholic 
Epistles 10, besides 6 small fragments; of the Pauline 
Epistles 11, besides 9 small fragments; and of the 
Revelation 5. All of these have been most thoroughly 
collated, and the text of the most important of them 
has been published. One of these manuscripts, the 
Sinaitic, containing the whole of the l^ew Testament, 
and another, the Vatican (B), containing much the 
larger part of it, were written as early probably as the 
middle of the fourth century ; two others, the Alex- 
andrine (A) and the Ephraem (C), belong to about the 
middle of the fifth ; of which date are two more (Q and 
T), containing considerable portions of the Gospels. 
A very remarkable manuscript of the Gospels and Acts, 
the Cambridge manuscript, or Codex Bezse, belongs to 
the sixth century, as do E of the Acts and D of the 
Pauline Epistles, also ^N", P, R, Z of the Gospels and H 
of the Epistles (fragmentary). I pass by a number of 
small but valuable fragments of the fifth and sixth ceil- 


turies. As to the cursive MSS., ranging from the tenth, 
century to the sixteenth, we have of the Gospels more 
than 600 ; of the Acts over 200 ; of the Pauline Epistles 
nearly 300 ; of the Revelation about 100, not reckoning 
the Lectionaries or MSS. containing the lessons from 
the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles read in the service of 
the church, of which there are more than 400. Of these 
cursive MSS. it is true that the great majority are of 
comparatively small value ; and many have been imper- 
fectly collated or only inspected. Some twenty or thirty 
of them, however, are of exceptional value — a few of 
very great value — for their agreement with the most 
ancient authorities. 

But tliis is only a part of our critical materials. The 
translations of the New Testament, made at an early 
date for the benefit of Christian converts ignorant of 
Greek, and the very numerous quotations by a series of 
writers from the second century onward, represent the 
text current in widely separated regions of the Christian 
world, and are often of the highest importance in de- 
termining (|uestions of reading. Many of these authori- 
ties go back to a date one or two centuries earlier than 
our oklest MSS. Of the ancient versions, the Old Latin 
and the Curetonian Syriac belong to the second cen- 
tury ; the two Egyptian versions, the Coptic or Mem- 
phitic and the Saliidic or Thebaic, probably to the 
earlier part of the third : the Peshito Syriac in its pre- 
sent form perhaps to the beginning of the fourth; in 
the latter part of the same century we have the Gothic 
and the Latin Vulgate, and perhaps the Ethiopic ; in 
the fifth century the Armenian and the Jerusalem 
Syriac ; and in the sixth the Philoxenian Syriac, revised 
by Thomas of Harkel, A. D. 616, to say nothing of 
several later versions, as the Arabic and Slavonic. 


Since the beginning of the present century thoroughly 
critical editions of the Greek Testament have been 
pubUshed by such scholars as Griesbach, Lachmann, 
Tischendorf, and Tregelles, in which the rich materials 
collected by generations of scholars have been used for 
the improvement of the text ; we have learned how to 
estimate the comparative value of our authorities; the 
principles of textual criticism have been in a good 
measure settled : the more important questions in re- 
gard to the text have been discussed, and there has 
been a steadily growing agreement of the ablest critics 
in regard to them. 

With this view of what has been done in the way of 
preparation, we will consider, finally — 

ly. The Ground for Expecting a Great Improve- 
ment IN THE Text from the Work now Undertaken 
BY THE British and American Eevision Commit- 
tees. — On this little needs now to be said. We have seen 
that the text from which the common English version 
was made contains many known errors, and that our 
present means of correcting it are ample. The work 
of revision is in the hands of some of the best Christian 
scholars in England and America, and their duty to the 
Christian public is plain. The composition of the Com- 
mittees, and the rules which they follow, are such that 
we may be sure that changes will not be made rashly ; 
on the other hand we may be confident that the work 
will be done honestly and faithfully. When an im- 
portant reading is clearly a mistake of copyists it will 
be fearlessly discarded ; when it is doubtful, the doubt- 
fulness will be noted in the margin ; and the common 
English reader will at last have the benefit of the de- 
voted labors of such scholars as Mill, Bengel, Wetstein, 


Griesbach, Laclimann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, who 
have contributed so much to the restoration of the text 
of the iSTew Testament to its original purity. On the 
English Committee itself there are at least three men 
who deserve to be ranked with those I have named, 
Professor Westcott and Dr. Hort, two scholars of the 
very first class, who have been engaged more than 
twenty years in the preparation of a critical edition of 
the Greek Testament ; and Dr. Scrivener, whose labors 
in the collation and publication of important manu- 
scripts have earned the gratitude of all biblical students. 
Professor Lightfoot is another scholar of the highest 
eminence who has given much attention to the subject 
of textual criticism. We may rely upon it that such 
men as these, and such men as constitute the American 
Committee, whom I need not name, will not act hastily 
in a matter like this, and will not, on the other hand, 
" handle the word of God deceitfully," or suffer it to be 
adulterated, through a weak and short-sighted timidity. 
One remark may be added. All statements about 
the action of the Revision Committees in regard to any 
particular passage are wholly premature and unauthor- 
ized, for this reason, if for no other, that their work is 
not yet ended. When the result of their labors shall 
be published, it will be strange if it does not meet with 
some ignorant and bigoted criticism ; but I feel sure that 
all intelligent and fair-minded scholars will emphati- 
cally endorse the judgment of Dr. Westcott, expressed 
in the Preface to the second edition of his History of 
the English Bible (1872), " that in no parallel case have 
the readings of the original texts to be translated been 
discussed and determined with equal care, thorough- 
ness, and candor." 


Professor of Greek in Rochester University, Rochester, N. Y. 

Among the grounds urged for a revision of our 
version of the Scriptures are the imperfection of its 
critical text, obscurities growing out of changes in 
the language, and arbitrary variations in rendering, 
springing from the lack of fixed or correct principles 
of translation. Practically, however, the most impor- 
tant reason of all arises from the progress which, 
since 1611, has been made in grammatical and ex- 
egetical science, as applied to the Scriptures. That 
such progress should be made would be but to bring 
Biblical science into accordance with all the other 
developments of the last two centuries. In every 
field of intellectual action during that period, the 
progress of the human mind has been rapid, and its 
achievements unprecedentedly great. It would be 
strange, indeed, if in this highest of all departments 
of knowledge it should have failed of corresponding 
advancement. And it has not. In all the fields of 
sacred learning the most eminent abilities and the 
most conscientious industry have been diligently 
employed, and in none, perhaps, more than in the 
sphere of the language and interpretation of the Kew 
Testament. It is then no disparagement to the merits 
of those eminent scholars who gave us our excellent 
Authorized Version that their work in these respects 
demands revision. The fault was not of the indi7 
viduals, but of the age. They lived near the border- 



land of a splendid realm of sacred discovery and 
knowledge, which it was not their privilege to enter. 
"We might well take shame to ourselves, if, however 
individually inferior, we had not been thrown by the 
age itself somewhat beyond and above them. 

Of course here, as in other branches of the general 
subject, we do not pretend that the errors which we 
point out are such as to pervert or darken the general 
teachings of the divine "Word. The most that can be 
said of them is that they obscure individual passages, 
mar rhetorical symmetry, impede the flow of a nar- 
rative or the course of an argument, and sometimes 
seriously perplex the thoughtful reader, making him 
imagine the Bible to be a much less consequential and 
logical book than it actually is. Thus to give at this 
point a single illustration. In the opening of Hebrews, 
the writer sets forth the transcendent superiority of 
the Son to the angels from the vast disparity of their 
name and office. In illustration he cites from the 
Psalms : '' Who maketh his angels [messengers] winds; " 
thus putting the angels on a level with the mere agen- 
cies of nature. This is perfectly clear. But the 
thoughtful reader, wdio reads in his Bible, " Who 
maketh his angels spirits," fails utterly to see the 
relevancy of a statement which in fact tends to give 
the angels the highest conceivable exaltation, putting 
them in essence on a level with the Deity. 

From the same connection I will adduce another 
illustration. The author just before says, in latent 
contrast with the stumbling humbleness of the Son's 
earthly manifestation, " And wdien he shall again 
bring back into the world the first-begotten, he saith " 
(proleptic for, he will say), " Let all the angels of God 
worship him." But to him who reads, " And again, 


when he bringeth the first-begotten into the world, he 
saith," etc., the passage is an entire enigma. Christ's 
entrance into the world, at his birth from the Virgin, 
was one of humiliation. The angels undoubtedly did 
worship him, but it was no occasion for the formal 
challenging of that worship. The right translation 
throws it forward to the second coming, and brings 
all into harmony. 

I. Errors in the Use of the Greek Article. — 
But I proceed to take up the passages in some order, 
and will commence with illustrations of the use of 
the ARTICLE. The Greek definite article in many re- 
spects (not in all) squares precisely with the English. 
It cannot always be rendered, but it is no more used 
without a reason than is the English article. Yet, of 
its special use and importance, the English translators 
seem to have had but the faintest notion, and they 
render or omit it in the most capricious manner. 
" Into a mountain," " into a ship," appear almost con- 
stantly for " into the mountain," and " into the ship." 
" The [one] pinnacle of the temple " becomes " a pin- 
nacle " (as if there were many). " A synagogue " 
stands for " the synagogue," which implies the only 
or the chief one in the place. Thus, Luke vii, 5, " He 
hath built us a synagogue," for " he himself built us 
our synagogue." The English version here contains 
three errors, " he " for " himself," " hath built " for 
" built " and " a " for " the," which, by a familiar 
idiom, we replace by "our." So Nicodemus (John iii, 
10) is lowered from " the teacher of Israel," to which 
rank the Saviour exalts him, to "a teacher." In 2 
Tim. iv, 7, " the good fight " (more exactly, " the no- 
ble contest," in contrast with the secular games of 


Greece), becomes " a good fight," and " the crown of 
righteousness," which follows it, becomes " a crown 
of righteousness." In Heb. xi, 10, we have " a city 
that hath foundations," for " the city that hath the 
foundations," apparently of Rev. xxi, 19. On the 
other hand, the unwarranted insertion of the article 
in John iv, 27, " wondered that he was talking with 
the woman," instead of " a woman," quite changes the 
ground of the disciples' wonder. They knew nothing 
of the woman's history. Their surprise was that he 
talked thus at length and familiarly with a woman. 
So in 1 Tim. vi, 5, " their wives " should be simply 
"women." The apostle is speaking of deaconesses, 
not of the wives of deacons. In 1 Tim. vi, 2, the 
force of the article with the participle is not rec- 
ognized, and we have "because they are faithful 
and beloved, partakers of the benefit," for the apos- 
tle's appropriate and beautiful declaration, " because 
they that partake of their benefaction are faithful and 
beloved." In 1 Tim. vi, 5, by confusion of the sub- 
ject and predicate we have " supposing that gain is 
godliness ;" the original represents them as " suppos- 
ing that godliness is [a source of] gain." In Rom. i, 
17, and iii, 21, the definite article is unhappily intro- 
duced for "a righteousness of God;" seriously dark- 
ening the argument by the changed meaning thus 
forced upon the word " righteousness." But it is 
unfortunately omitted again in the striking descrip- 
tion of John the Baptist, at John v, 35 ; " he was the 
lamp that was burning and shining." The English 
version here doubly errs both in the way of disparage- 
ment and of exaltation. Of exaltation, because it ele- 
vates to an original light him whom the Saviour desig- 
nates as only a lamp, shining with borrowed brightness. 


Of disparagement, in that it omits the emphatically 
repeated article by which Christ exalts John to a 
single and sole conspicuousness. He himself was " the 
light " (John i, 4), the fountain of all illumination. 
John was but a " lamp," shining as being shone upon ; 
but still the lamp, that was lighted and shining. 
Again, the name Christ is in the Gospels invariably an 
official, not a personal designation. Here, therefore, 
the article should always be rendered: thus, "the 
Christ," viz., the predicted Anointed one. 

I add one occasional misrendering of the article, 
produced by the influence of the Latin (which had no 
article), viz., " that " for " the." Thus in John i, 21, 
25, we have " Art thou that prophet ? " for " Art thou 
the prophet ? " and the extremely clumsy, " If thou 
art not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet," 
for " if thou are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the 
prophet." So in 2 Thess. ii, 5, 8, " the man of sin " 
and " the lawless one " become " that man of sin," and 
" that Wicked ; " while again, " the falling away," the 
definite apostasy, perhaps, of Matt, xxiv, 12, becomes 
simply " a falling away." 

II. Errors in Prepositions and Particles. — The 
PREPOSITIONS, in their variety and delicacy, are a most 
important element of the Greek language. In the 
renderino- of these the Authorized Version is not 
unfrequently at fault, but its errors are so compli- 
cated by ambiguities in the use of English preposi- 
tions, that I shall not attempt to discuss them here. 
I will simply remark that it frequently confounds 
instrumental agency {through me) with ultimate 
agency {by me) ; and sometimes the instrumental 
{through me) with the causal {because of me). "O/i 


hehalf of," at 2 Cor. v, 20, is turned to " instead of;" 
and at 2 Thess. ii, 1, it becomes " by." The prepo- 
sition Iv becomes needlessly sometimes " by," and 
sometimes " with." "On the clouds," at Matt, xxiv, 
30, becomes " in the clouds ; " and " on their hands," 
Matt, iv, 6, becomes " in their hands ; " in both cases 
to the injury of the figure. Of all the examples 
here adduced that is the most important which ob- 
literates the distinction between the ultimate agency 
of God (by) and the secondary agency (through) of 
his prophets, and even of Christ, as his commissioned 

The PARTICLES are a no less delicate element of 
the language than the prepositions. The ]S"ew Testa- 
ment uses them but sparingly, yet, in the main, its 
use of them is thoroughly classical. In rendering 
these, also, our version is open to serious criticism. 
One of the simplest of them is the connective 5s, 
meaning strictly nothing but and and but, though 
now, as a quasi-rendering, is often a harmless accom- 
modation to English idiom. Yet our English ver- 
sion renders it almost indifferently by and, but, then, 
now, nevertheless, moreover, notwithstanding, and when in 
the humor not to translate it, drops it altogether. In 
Matt, ii, 22, Joseph "was afraid to go thither, not- 
withstanding [for, and] being warned," etc. In Gal. 
ii, 20, we have the rendering, " I am crucified with 
Christ : nevertheless I live ; yet not I, but Christ 
liveth in me." The elegant Greek runs thus: "I have 
been crucified with Christ, and no longer do I live, 
but Christ liveth in me." The particle laiv has mainly 
but one meaning, that of a concessive (not an em- 
phatic) " indeed." The English often drops it, leav- 
ing its force to be given by intonation. In our ver- 


sion it is sometimes correctly given; sometimes by 
" truly," which approximates it ; sometimes it is 
properly omitted ; often omitted when its retention 
is important (Rom. vii, 25), and often rendered 
"verily," which strictly it never means. In Heb. 
ix, 1, " There belonged, indeed, now even to the first 
covenant ; " the two particles are rendered " then ver- 
ily," both of them being mistranslated. 

III. Errors in Verbs. — I pass to the verbs. The 
errors here are of various kinds, and difficult to 
. classify. I will mention first the frequent failure to 
distinguish between imperfect and absolute action. 
Thus in Matt, viii, 24, the ship was not " covered," 
but being or " becoming covered by (not vnth) the 
waves." In Mark iv, 37, the ship was not " filled," 
but "filling." In Luke iv, 6, the nets did not 
"break," but " were breaking." In Matt, xxv, 28, the 
lamps were not "gone out," but "going out." In 
Matt, ix, 2, they more picturesquely " were bringing," 
not "brought," "the paralytic." In Heb. xi, 17, 
Abraham, in the first instance (the verb is used twice 
in dift'erent tenses) " hath ofiered up," i. e., he so stands 
recorded as having in purpose ofiered up his son; and 
then the writer, reverting to the actual scene, says, 
" and he that had received the promises was offering 
[had set out to offer] up," etc. The delicate distinc- 
tions of the two tenses are swallowed up in one com- 
mon mistranslation (" offered ") of them both. The 
force of the Greek imperfect it is by no means always 
best to try to reproduce ; but it is often a pity to lose 
it. Thus in Matt, xxvi, 49, Judas " kissed " our Lord 
once, as indicated by the tense, but in Luke vii, 38, 
and in Acts xx, 37, the woman kissed repeatedly, 


" kept kissing " the feet of Jesus, and the anguished 
Ephesians the departing apostle. In Luke i, 59, the 
parents of the infant " were calling " — were about to 
call — but did not "call," his name Zachariah. 

The Greek perfect tense is very uniform in its use, 
but is dealt with upon no fixed principle by our trans- 
lators. They often confound it with the present, as 
Gal. ii, 20, " am crucified," for " have been crucified," 
Eom. V, 5, " is shed abroad," for " hath been shed 
abroad " (where the distinction is important). Rom. 
iii, 21, " is manifested," for " hath been manifested." 
It is quite as frequently, and more disadvantageously, 
confounded with the imperfect or aorist, as John i, 3, 
" was not anything made that was made," for " that 
hath been made." Matt, xix, 8, "from the beginning 
it was not so," for " it hath not been so." Matt. 
xxiv, 21, " Such as was not since the beginning of the 
world," for " such as hath not been from the begin- 
ning," etc. John iv, 38, " I sent you to reap," for " I 
have sent you to reap ; " " others labored," for " others 
have labored." Heb. iv, 2, "Unto us was the gospel 
preached," for " hath the glad message been pro- 
claimed " {L e., the promise of a rest) ; v. 3, " as he said," 
for " as he hath said ; " v. 4, " for he spake," for " he 
hath spoken." Heb. ii, 3, " For this man was counted 
worthy," for " hath been counted worthy " (referring to 
his recent glorification). 1 Cor. xv, 12, "Be preached 
that he rose," for " hath arisen," or " hath been 
raised ; " v. 21, " the first-fruits of them that slept," 
for "have fallen asleep," and hence, " are sleeping." 

Incorrect Rendering of the Aorist. — I turn to 
instances of the incorrect rendering of the aorist. In 
its strict meaning (/ ivrote, I sjyoke), it is one of the 


simplest of the Greek tenses ; its idiomatic uses, how- 
ever, by which it sometimes represents our pluperfect, 
sometimes our perfect (growing simply out of a diifer- 
ence of conception), render it somewhat difficult to 
handle. Especially is it hard sometimes to decide 
whether it should be rendered strictly by our aorist, 
or more idiomatically by our perfect. But the 
authors of our version clearly have no fixed principle 
to guide them. As they often render the perfect as 
an aorist, so they often quite unnecessarily render the 
aorist as a perfect or a present. I take two or three 
examples from the Epistle to the Romans. Ch. v, 12, 
"all have sinned," for "all sinned;" vi, 2, "we that 
are dead to sin," for "we that died to sin;" v. 4, 
" have been buried with him," for " were buried with 
him;" v. 6, " our old man is crucified with him," for 
"was crucified with him " (ideally when he was cruci- 
fied) ; V. 8, " now if we be dead with Christ," for 
" and if we died with Christ ; " v. 17, " but ye have 
obeyed," for " but ye obeyed," viz., at your conver- 
sion; V. 19, "just as ye have presented," for "just as 
ye did present." Ch. vii, 4, "ye are become dead," 
for "ye were made dead," viz., when you were united 
with Christ. In 2 Cor. v, 4, we have " if one died 
for all, then were all dead," instead of " then did all 
die." The common version refers it to their previous 
death in sin ; the correct version to their death in and 
with Christ to sin. 

Use of the AoRist Participle. — I give a few il- 
lustrations of the use of the aorist participle. It is 
well known that we have no exclusively aorist par- 
ticiple. We replace it primarily by our present parti- 
ciple used aoristically, then by our perfect, then by 


the finite verb. Thus the Greek 'iSdv dirrik'^sv is either 
seeing, or on seeing, he departed, or having seen he departed, 
or he saw and departed. The Latin, which has neither 
aorist nor perfect active participle, very commonly 
resorts to the circumlocution, " when he had seen he 
departed,^' Our English translators have sometimes 
correctly adopted one or other of the first three ren- 
derings, but unfortunately have very often followed 
the Latin in a construction almost necessary in Latin, 
but not necessary and often clumsy in the English. 
For " calling together," they say " when he had called 
together;" for "entering the house," "when he had 
entered," and so in narrative very commonly. In 
many cases this gives an air of freedom to our version, 
and may as well be retained, as it probably will be in 
the present revision. Yet we have but to read, for ex- 
ample, the narrative portions of the Acts alongside 
of the original, to see how unfortunate is this con- 
tinual Latin influence upon the naturalness of the 
diction of our English version. Take as a single and 
fiimiliar specimen. Acts xxi, 3, " Now when we had 
discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand, and 
sailed," for "and coming in sight of Cyprus, and 
leaving it, etc., we sailed ; " vs. 5, 6, " we prayed, and 
when we had taken our leave one of another," for 
" we prayed, and bade each other farewell ; " v. 7, 
" and when we had finished our course from Tyre, we 
came," etc., for "but we, accomplishing (or having ac- 
complished) our course," etc. In some instances the 
rendering involves serious misapprehension. Thus at 
Luke xxiii, 46, we have " and when Jesus had cried 
with a loud voice, he said. Father," etc., for "and 
Jesus, calling with a loud voice, said, Father." There 
is no good reason here for supposing that the crying 


or calling and the saying, are two distinct acts. 
Again, Acts v, 30, by reversal of the natural order, 
we have, " whom ye slew and hanged on a tree," 
for " whom ye hanged on a tree and slew." In Acts 
xix, 2, we have a mistranslation of both the aorist in- 
dicative and the participle : " Have ye received the 
Holy Ghost since ye believed ? " for " did ye receive 
the Holy Ghost upon believing," or "when ye be- 
lieved ? " which is a very different idea. 

lY. Unfortunate Eenderings. — I shall now select 
a few farther examples of unfortunate renderings, 
without attempt at classification. The distinction 
between the indicative and subjunctive moods in 
conditional sentences (" if it i5," and " if it he ") is 
habitually neglected, or^a, I knov), (2 Cor. xii, 2,) is 
rendered / knew. Luke xxi, 19, " In your patience 
possess your souls," should be " in your endurance 
gain (i. e., preserve) your souls." The verb to become 
(^/yvojuiai) is habitually confounded with the verb to be^ 
and sometimes improperly made passive. Thus, John 
i, 14, " The Word was made flesh," for " the Word 
became flesh." Heb. i, 4, " Being made so much bet- 
ter," for " becoming so much better," or " superior." 
Gal. iv, 5, " Made of a woman, made under law," for 
" born from a woman, coming under law." 2 Cor. iii, 
7, " Was glorious," should be " came in glory." In 
Matt, xvii, 24, seq., is an interesting account of an 
application to Peter to know whether his Master paid 
the ''tribute-money," and our Lord's explanation to 
Peter why he should be exempted from paying it. 
The word in the Greek is entirely different from the. 
ordinary word for the tribute or custom paid to the 
Eoman government, and clearly designates the Jewish 


half-shekel paid to support the temple service. Yet, 
this distinction is lost in the translation. The reader 
has no clue to the special character of the tribute re- 
quired, and the Saviour's beautiful plea for exemption, 
based on the fact that he was the Son of the Lord of 
the temple, becomes utterly unintelligible. " Tribute- 
money " should be " the half-shekel " (see Ex. xxx, 
13). Again, in 1 Cor. ix, 26, 27, the apostle refers to 
the Grecian games of running and boxing. " I, there- 
fore, so run as not uncertainly ; I so box, as not beating 
the air ; but I aim my blows at my body [literally, hit 
my body under the eye']^ and lead it in servitude." Here 
the generalizing of " box '' into " fight," and of "aim- 
ing my blows at " (or " chastising ") into " keep 
under," almost entirely obliterates the figure. 

I give a few important examples from the Epistle 
to the Hebrews. Ch. iii, 16, " For some, when they 
had heard, did provoke : howbeit not all that came 
out of Egypt by Moses," for which read : " For who, 
when they heard, provoked him ? Nay, did not all 
they that came out of Egypt through Moses ? " Ch. 
iv, 6, 7 : " Seeing therefore it remaineth that some 
must enter therein, and they to whom it was first 
preached entered not in because of unbelief: Again, 
he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To-day, 
after so long a time ; as it is said. To-day if ye will 
hear his voice, harden not your hearts." For this in- 
volved passage read: " Since, therefore, it remaineth 
that some enter therein, and they who formerly re- 
ceived the glad promise entered not in because of dis- 
obedience, he again fixeth a certain day, to-day, say- 
ing so long a time afterwards in David (as hath been 
said before). To-day, if ye shall hear his voice, harden 
not your hearts." At v. 9, the substitution of " rest " 


for " Sabbatic rest," takes the point out of the argu- 
ment. At ch. V, 1, the rendering " For every high- 
priest taken from among men," seems to select out a 
particular class of high-priests, viz., those taken from 
among men. The original, "For every high-priest, 
being taken from among men," points out, as a char- 
acteristic quality of the high-priest, that he is taken 
from among men. At ch. vii, 18, 19, is the rendering, 
"For there is verily a disannulling of the command- 
ment going before for the weakness and unprofitable- 
ness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but 
the bringing in of a better hope cUd.^'' For this read : 
"For there followeth an annulling of the preceding 
commandment because of its weakness and unprofita- 
bleness (for the law brought nothing' to perfection), 
and the bringing in in its place of a better hope." I 
select yet one more example. The Greek denarius 
(^rjvapiov) was worth about seventeen cents. Our ver- 
sion renders it by a " penny." When, therefore, the 
good Samaritan is made to take out two pence for his 
host, the English reader is not struck by his liberality. 
"When the householder agrees with his workmen for 
a penny a day, they would seem to have better cause 
for murmuring than that the unequal labors are made 
equal in compensation. And when the angel files 
through mid-heaven crying, " a measure of wheat for 
a penny" (in reality, less than a quart for seventeen 
cents), the English reader can hardly believe that he is 
not announcing extraordinary plenty instead of fam- 
ine prices. 

These examples of infelicities and errors in the Au- 
thorized Version have been taken almost at random, 
and might be indefinitely multiplied. They certainly 
are blemishes, but they only seriously mar, and by no 


means hopelessly deface, the structure of our magni- 
ficent version. They are spots on the glorious sun of 
our English embodiment of the divine Word. Thanks 
to God's gracious providence, these spots can not only 
be discerned by the telescope of knowledge, but with 
gentle hand can be taken away, causing it to shine 
with augmented brightness. 



Professor of Sacred Literature, Department of Theology, Yale College, New 
Haven, Conn. 

The Authorized English version of the New Testa- 
ment and the Greek text on which it was founded 
have attained a sort of independent existence of their 
own. They have been accepted for so many genera- 
tions as the true original and the accurate translation 
of the Sacred Books, that to multitudes of persons 
both in England and America there seems to be no 
doubt that they, and they only, are the Word of God. 
By reason of this fact the reviser of the English ver- 
sion finds himself, at the outset of his work, sur- 
rounded by a very strong conservative body, who are 
disposed to com[)lain of and contend against every 
chalige. On the other hand, however, he discovers 
another party, who have not only freed themselves 
from the bondage of such views, but have become 
earnest for great alterations and improvements, or 
even for an entirely new translation. As these two 
bodies are irreconcilably opposed to each other, he is 
compelled to consider them both, and one of his first 
and most difficult questions is as to the plan which he 
shall adopt in his undertaking, with reference to their 
confiicting demands. To the consideration of the 
proper way of deciding this question, both with re- 
spect to the English text and the Greek, a few words 
may be suitably devoted in this series of articles. 
10* 113 


I. In Regard to the English Text. If the work 
undertaken is to be a revision, and not a new transla- 
tion, it can hardly be doubted that the style and vo- 
cabulary of the old version should not be altogether 
abandoned. It would seem, indeed, that this position 
is involved in the very determination to revise, and 
to proceed no further. But not only will this be ad- 
mitted. It will also be held, as we believe, that, in 
the many changes which are necessarily introduced in 
the process of revision, it will be wiser and better to 
act upon conservative, than upon radical, principles, 
and even to err, if it be so, on the side of the former, 
rather than of the latter. 

(1.) The first reason for this has reference to the suc- 
cess of the work in meeting the public approbation. 
The conservative party in this regard is much the 
most numerous section of the religious community, 
and, unless those who make up this section are to a 
reasonable extent satisfied, the revision cannot meet 
with general acceptance. They will cling to the old 
book, and the new one will soon be forgotten. How- 
ever prudent it may be, in other cases, to disregard 
the probabilities of failure, it cannot be so here, for 
the years of labor will be almost wholly lost, unless 
the purpose with which they were entered upon shall 
be realized, namely, to introduce this revision into 
the place which has so long been occupied by the 
version of King James's time. Nor is this conserva- 
tism of the party alluded to an unreasonable one. 
The Bible, as it has been read for the last two hun- 
dred and fifty years, has so wrought itself in its indi- 
vidual words, and its general phraseology, and its 
sound as of sweet music, into the hearts and experi- 
ence of Christian believers, that it must lose a part of 


its vital force, unless these are preserved. Any other 
book may be in the language of to-day, but this Book 
of books, which binds us to all the past and all the 
future, must speak to us not only with the same 
truths, but with the same sublime words, with which 
it spoke to our fathers. 

(2.) A second reason for thus acting on conservative 
principles in respect to changes is founded in the fact, 
that the intermingling of modern words with the ear- 
lier ones is likely to destroy the harmony of the style, 
and may produce a worse result even than an entire 
remodelling of the whole after the usage of our own 
day would occasion. The great problem, indeed, 
which the reviser has to solve is how to bring in the 
new, without destroying the unity and beauty of the 
old. The fundamental rule on which the English and 
American companies are acting at present, is probably 
the best one which could be devised for the accom- 
plishment of this end. It is, that where alterations 
are necessary they shall be expressed, as far as pos- 
sible, in the language of the Authorized and earlier 
English versions. If the true meaning, that is, can 
be set forth by a word Avithin the limits of the old 
vocabulary, it should be. But if it cannot be thus set 
forth, then faithfulness to the meaning requires that 
a new word shall be introduced. It is but natural, 
and the necessary result of the progress of our lan- 
guage during two centuries and a half, that it should 
have acquired the power of expressing by newly-formed 
words and phrases, or by new uses assigned to old ones, 
a clearer and more precise translation, in some cases, 
of what is found in the original Greek, than was 
possible in 1611. It must, surely, be the duty of 
the reviser to take knowledge and advantage of this 


fact, and to consider his obligation to give the reader 
the exact meaning of the sacred writer as paramount 
to everything else. If the word self-control will con- 
vey to the English reader the true meaning, in such 
passages as Gal. v, 23, Acts xxiv, 25, while temperance, 
by reason of its limited sense as now commonly used, 
is likely to be misunderstood ; if rational gives more 
nearly the thought of Rom. xii, 1, than reasonable; if 
anxious in Luke x, 41, Phil, iv, 6, and similar cases, 
expresses the precise idea, and careful does not ; if 
Paul means in Gal. v, 20, not strife, but intrigidngs or 
caballing s ; if the result which patience, or rather 
steadfast endurance, in tribulation works out, Rom. 
V, 4, is not experience but approval, or tested and ap- 
proved character; if the uneducated reader or the 
child does not know that the carriages in Acts xxi, 15, 
were baggage ; if the prudent spoken of in 1 Cor. i, 19, 
were intelligent or sagacious, rather than prudent; if 
Jesus and the disciples did not sit down, but reclined at 
the table at the Last Supper, according to the custom 
of the times ; if the reader can be relieved from a 
frequent repetition of howbeit, by an occasional inser- 
tion of however ; it ought not, in these and in numer- 
ous other and more illustrative cases, to be regarded as 
a sufficient objection to the words suggested, that they 
are not found within the limits of the vocabulary of 
the Authorized Version, or that some such words may 
even belong only to the language of a more modern 
era. But, even in these cases, the reviser should ex- 
ercise every care and caution to select his words and 
phrases, if possible, so that they shall not break in 
harshly upon the harmony of the old stjde. One of 
his highest qualifications for his work will be shown 
by his success at this point ; and in no respect, prob- 


ably, will the new Revision, now in course of prepara- 
tion, be more carefully scrutinized or more strictly 
judged than in this. 

In the progress of time since our Authorized Ver- 
sion was published, an American language has, to 
some extent, come into being. Thoroughly English 
as we are in this regard, we have expressions peculiar 
to ourselves, which are no more provincial than the 
corresponding ones which prevail in the mother coun- 
try. As the new Revision is for the English-speaking 
world, of whom forty millions are now, and one hun- 
dred millions soon will be, on this side of the ocean, 
it would seem that some regard should be paid to 
this American usage. Fortunately, however, there are 
only a few expressions, comparatively speaking, which 
can present themselves for consideration on this ground. 
The true principles to be adopted with respect to them 
would seem to be the following : 

Firsts Wherever the one nation can readily under- 
stand the expression in common use with the other, 
but the latter cannot as readily understand that of the 
former, the one which will alone be comprehended by 
both should be chosen. Thus, for example, in Luke vi, 
1 and the parallel passages, where Jesus is spoken of as 
going through the corn-fields^ (which, according to our 
usage, means grain-fields,) the word should be left as in 
the Authorized Version, provided the English people 
understand by grain only that which is gathered in 
store-houses; but, if they also use this word in the 
same sense as ourselves, and refer it to what is in the 
fields, it should be changed to grain-fields, because corn 
with us has a special signification, which was not in- 
tended by the writer of the Gospel narrative. 

Secondly, In cases 'where there is no such difficulty 


of understanding the meaning of words, and yet there 
is a difference of usage, the form which will adapt 
itself most easily to both nations should be adopted. 
A comparatively unimportant example will illustrate 
this. The region designated, in Matt iv, 25, as beyond 
Jordan should be marked, in a new revision, as beyond 
the Jordan^ because the latter form of expression is suf- 
ficiently in accordance with the usage of the English 
people, (although they have a provincial phrase corre- 
sponding with the former,) while, on the other hand, 
in America it is the only form which is ever employed. 

Thirdly^ In the representation, in the marginal notes, 
of the value of coins, this value should be expressed 
according to the money system of both nations. It 
would seem clear, that, if the ordinary English reader 
should be enlightened as to the relation between the 
Greek coins and his own, similar information should 
also be given to the American reader. 

Fourthly^ Mere provincialisms belonging to either 
of the two countries should be excluded. Thus the 
word translated meat in Matt, iii, 4, should be ren- 
dered /oo(i, because this is undoubtedly its true mean- 
ing, and because meat^ as equivalent to food, is now, as 
Dr. Eadie states in his " History of the English Bible," 
a use of that word peculiar to Scotland. These prin- 
ciples and rules, indeed, may all be included in the 
general one, that a revision designed for the entire 
English-speaking world should employ such language 
as may best meet the wants of the whole body who 
make up that world. 

II. In Regard to the Greek Text. The principles 
which govern the work of revision here also should 
doubtless be conservative. Notwithstanding all that 


has been discovered and determined with reference to 
manuscripts and readings since 1611, it may be ques- 
tioned whether we have as yet arrived at results 
which can be so generally established, to the satisfac- 
tion of all, as to render the formation of a universally 
received text throughout the lN"ew Testament possible. 
Bat, where the leading authorities in textual criticism 
are united, it can scarcely be regarded, at the present 
day, as unwise or improper to adopt the readings 
which they accept. Eeadings of this class, as every 
one can perceive, must have such weighty and prepon- 
derating evidence in their favor, as to commend them 
to the judgment of all unprejudiced persons. It will, 
also, be clear to those who have the means of inves- 
tigating the subject, that there are cases, in which 
the leading authorities differ among themselves, where 
a determination as to the true text, and a decision 
favorable to a new reading, may safely be made. It 
will be better, however, to proceed with much care, 
and to introduce no change which cannot be very suc- 
cessfully defended, yet, in this department of the revi- 
ser's work, it is not essential that he should be as 
conservative as he is with regard to the English text. 
There are several reasons why it is not. 

First, There is, of course, no such peculiar charm or 
influence connected with the style and sound, and mu- 
sic if so it may be called, of the original text, which 
has taken hold of every Christian mind, as is found in 
the language of the English version. Changes in the 
Greek may be introduced, here and there, or indeed 
frequently, if they are of a minor character, and yet, 
provided the general style and rhythm are preserved, 
there will be no grating on the ear or the mind. 

Secondly^ The prejudice of the conservative party in 


favor of the old English text is more reasonable, than 
that which insists upon an unaltered Grreek text. 
The Greek text on which our translation was founded, 
as every person of intelligence in this matter knows, 
was derived from a few manuscripts, mostly of sec- 
ondary importance, and was prepared at a time when 
the greater part of the means which we now have at 
command was wholly unknown. The demand that 
no alterations shall be made in view of new evidence, 
which is brought by large numbers of new witnesses, 
and by witnesses of far more value than were pre- 
viously examined, is one which would not be pressed 
in any other department of knowledge or life. It 
surely cannot be one which should be listened to in 
such a work as this. Nor will the Christian church, 
as it appreciates the facts of the case, justify the re- 
visers in so far yielding to any who make this de- 
mand, as to refuse to introduce those alterations which 
ought to be adopted. 

Thirdhj^ The proper determination of the Greek text 
is a matter more vitally connected with the precise 
thought of the sacred writers, than is the decision 
whether a word of the modern or of the earlier Encr- 
lisli style shall be used. The latter question may be 
one of comparatively little importance in many cases, 
but the former is one in which all Christians, whose ear- 
nest desire must be to know, so far as may be possible, 
exactly what the Evangelists and Apostles said, have 
the greatest interest. To settle this question accord- 
ing to the evidence at command, and with a conscien- 
tious regard for the facts of the case, which shall be 
overborne neither by any extreme conservative, nor by 
any excessively radical views, should be looked upon 
by the reviser as one of his chief duties. 


Fourthly^ In most cases, it is believed, it will be found 
that the changes which the weight of manuscript and 
other evidence will introduce into the Greek text, will 
bring out the thought more clearly and forcibly and 
felicitously. Setting aside the passages in which any 
doctrinal question may be involved, the presentation of 
a few examples of minor alterations, which are favored 
by prominent textual critics, will justify this statement. 

In Matt, vi, 12, instead of Forgive us our debts ^ as we 
forgive our debtors^ the reading should be, as we also 
have forgiven our debtors ; the thought being, that the 
petitioner should not ask forgiveness for himself un- 
til he has already forgiven others. Matt, x, 23, when 
they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another, should 
read flee ye into the next, thus conveying not merely 
the idea of going to some other place, but to the 
next town, and so on until they had proclaimed the 
gospel everywhere. Mark i, 27, What thing is this? 
what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth 
he even the unclean spirits, etc., should read. What is this? 
a new teaching! with authority he commandeth even the 
unclean spirits, etc., thus expressing tlie astonishment of 
the beholders at the miracle, which they had seen, in 
a far more striking and more natural way. Mark ix, 
22, 23, where the father, asking for the healing of his 
son, says. If thou canst do any thing, have compassion on 
us, and help us, the Authorized Version makes Jesus 
reply. If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him 
that believeth. But the approved text reads. If thou 
canst! All things are possible to him that believeth. The 
force of this form, which expresses surprise that the 
question of ability should arise, when to the believer 
everything is possible, cannot fail to be felt in com- 
parison with that given in the old version. In Luke 



XV, 17 and 22, the naturalness and emphasis of the 
words are conspicuous in the additions of the modern 
text ; where the prodigal, in contrasting his condition 
with that of his father's servants, says, and I perish 
here with hunger, (Authorized Version, I j^erish^) and the 
father calls to his attendants to bring forth quickly the 
hest robe (Authorized Version, bring forth). Luke 
xxiii, 15, where the Authorized Version makes Pilate, 
after saying that he discovers no fault in Jesus, add, 
iVb, nor yet Herod, for I sent you to him, (the last clause 
being a mere parenthetical statement, not in the line 
of the main thought,) the change for the better, given 
by the new text, will be appreciated as it should be. 
No, nor yet Herod, for he sent him back to its — a proof 
that he also found nothing to condemn. In John x, 
4 and 14, the slight alterations are improvements: 
When he hath jpnt forth all his own, for his own; and, 
I know my sheep and my sheep know me, for I know 
my sheep and am knoivn of mine, in which latter verse 
the parallelism with what follows is more clearly 
bronsrht out, JEveyi as the Father knoiceth me and I know 
the Father, In Acts xviii, 5, it is more in accordance 
with the thought of the passage to read, Paul was 
engrossed or ivholly occupied with the word, than, as in the 
Authorized Version, he icas pressed in the spirit. Again, 
in Acts xxiii, 9, does not the verse gain a new force, 
if the scribes on the Pharisees* side are represented as 
saying. We find no evil in this man : and what if a spirit 
hath spoken to him, or an angel ! instead of, as in the Au- 
thorized Version, But if a spirit or an angel hath spoken 
to him, let us not fight against God. In 1 Cor. vi, 20, the 
exhortation is more completely connected with the 
subject under discussion, and therefore is more impres- 
sive, if the words of the Authorized Version, aiid in 


your spirit which are God's^ are omitted. The Apostle 
has been speaking exclusively of the body, and the best 
text makes him limit his exhortation to his converts 
accordingly, and call upon them to glorify God in 
their bodies. The somewhat obscure passage, 2 Cor. 
i, 20, is made clearer if we read, as we are authorized 
to do by the evidence in the case. For how many soever 
are the promises of God^ in him (Christ) is the yea^ (i. e. 
the confirmation of them ;) wherefore also through him 
is the Amen, (i. e. the assent of the church,) unto the 
glory of God through us. Gal. v, 1, is more felicitously 
expressed by the modern text; For freedom did Christ 
free us: standfast therefore, than in the Authorized Ver- 
sion, stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ 
hath made us free. In Heb. xii, 7, though some writers 
have held that the reading of the Authorized Version 
alone is intelligible, the careful reader will approve of 
the text as supported by the best authorities, It is for 
chastisement that ye endure ; God dealeth with you as with 
sons, i. e. when you are called upon to endure suffer- 
ings patiently, it is as a parental discipline, and this 
discipline is the end which God has in view. And 
even in Rev. xxii, 14, where the strongest evidence is 
for the reading. Blessed are they that wash their robes, as 
against the Authorized Version, that do his command- 
ments, it may fairly be questioned whether it does not 
present us with a finer and more natural thought, as it 
shows the author, at the close of his words respecting 
righteousness, turning back to the source of all true holy 
life, the blood of Jesus Christ. Other examples might 
be cited, which would be illustrative of the same point, 
but the limits of the present article will not allow their 
introduction, and those which have been adduced will 
be sufficient to establish what has been said. 


Fifthly, In the cases, comparatively few in number, 
in which the state of the evidence indicates that 
words or sentences, whose loss will be a matter of 
regret, should be changed or omitted, the sound judg- 
ment of thinking men will decide that it is better 
to give up what does not have a true place in the 
Scriptures, than to retain it merely because we have 
become familiar with it, and dislike to see it no longer. 
For example, in Luke viii, 48, (where the question 
of insertion or omission is quite unimportant, since 
these words are certainly to be found in the parallel 
passage in Matthew,) the words, he of good comfort^ 
may safely be omitted, because it can be made clear 
that the evidence against them is strongly preponder- 
ating. If the same fact can be established with regard 
to verses of far higher consequence, as those contain- 
ing the doxology in the Lord's Prayer, Matt, vi, 13, 
or the statement respecting the descent of the angel 
at the pool of Bethesda, John v, 3, 4, or the story of 
the woman taken in adultery, John vii, 53 to viii, 11, 
or the concluding passage of Mark's Gospel, xvi, 9 to 
20, it will, within a few years at the latest, and after 
the evidence has been candidly considered, be admitted 
that the rejection of them altogether, or the indication 
in some way of the condition of the case as it actually 
stands, is the right course to be taken. If, on the other 
hand, in these or other passages, the evidence is more 
evenly balanced, but yet is such as to make them doubt- 
ful, it will be held by candid men everywhere that the 
two possible readings ought to be given by the revis- 
ers; the one which they judge to be best supported, to 
be inserted in the text, and the other in the margin. 

Sixthly, In the case of passages where different read- 
ings are found in the Greek text, and where, at the 


same time, doctrines are involved, the course which 
has just been alhided to must be the fair and proper 
one. Happily these passages are few in number, and 
they are not vital to the establishment of the doc- 
trines ; but, if the Revision does not deal honestly 
with them, it cannot satisfy the enlightened judgment 
of the Church. If the evidence in any particular case 
stands as ninety or ninety-nine to one against the gen- 
uineness of a verse, the verse in question should be 
treated accordingly. If it is but as fifty to forty, the 
Revised Version should give the translation of the 
better accredited reading in the text, and should add, 
in the margin, the alternate reading with some state- 
ment as to the degree of support which it can claim. 

With respect to all these doubtful passages, and all 
those which clearly ought to be rejected, such changes 
may be introduced into the Greek text on which our 
Authorized Version was founded, as shall prove wor- 
thy of adoption either for the text or the margin of 
the new Revision, without violating the just demands 
of conservatism. On the other hand, no changes of 
a more sweeping character can be insisted upon by 
those who are not radical in an extreme and unworthy 
sense. The constitution of a body like the present 
Anglo-American Committee of Revisers, which repre- 
sents both countries and many denominations, and the 
rules of which require a two-thirds vote for every al- 
teration before it can be finally adopted, is the best guar- 
antee that, in regard to the Greek text as well as the 
English, the progressive element will be sufi&ciently 
tempered and guided by the conservative, while the 
conservative will have the truly healthful influence of 
the progressive. By reason of this fact the success of the 
New Revision may be hoped for with great confidence. 


Professor of New Testament Exegesis in Theological Seminary, Hartford, Conn. 

"No revision can present to the English reader all 
the exact shades of meaning expressed by the voices, 
moods, and tenses of the Greek verb. This must be 
admitted at the outset. Yet in many cases greater 
accuracy can be secured. It is doubtful whether the 
true theory of the Greek tenses was accepted at the 
time the Authorized Version was made. It is certain 
that a great deal of ignorance still exists on this sub- 
ject, even among those claiming some scholarship. 
If there be one point clearly established, it is that in 
Greek a writer used the aorist tense to express an 
action conceived of by him as momentary rather than 
continuous. Yet a long article in one of our prom- 
inent Reviews states that the aorist refers to past time 
of indefinite duration. This blunder arose from the 
fact that the name aorist means indefinite. But the 
indefiniteness of the tense consists mainly in its in- 
definite relation to other tenses, and not in its indefi- 
nite duration. Hence, the Greeks might express an 
action the most definite logically by this grammati- 
cally " indefinite " tense. This example of misappre- 
hension may serve as preface to some remarks on the 
difficulty of reproducing the shades of thought ex- 
pressed by the Greek verb. 

I. The Greek verb has three voices, while the Eng- 
lish has only two. It has one more mood than the 
English, but this one is of rare occurrence in the New 
Testament. The great difficulty lies in the fact that 
it not only has tenses for which the English forms 



furnish no exact equivalent, but tenses are carried into 
moods, and exist in participial forms altogether un- 
known to our grammar. It may be said that a Greek 
author had nearly twice as many forms at his com- 
mand as we have, each having its distinctive use. 
This, of itself, presents a difficulty to the translator. 

II. The difficulty is enhanced by another fact. The 
distinctions of the Greek verb, especially of the tenses, 
are not precisely identical with those of the English 
verb. A literal translation of a tense in the former 
language into one bearing the same name in the latter 
might be very inaccurate. The same is true of Greek 
and Latin, German and English. It is rare that two 
languages, even when they have the same number of 
tenses, present thereby the same distinctions. Just 
here, one who speaks a foreign language quite well, 
betrays himself most frequently before those " to the 
manner born." The Latin has fewer tenses than the 
Greek, and these not exactly equivalent to the corre- 
sponding Greek ones. Hence, the translators of the 
Authorized Version, like all the scholars of that 
period, frequently lost sight of the distinctions of the 
less familiar language, and used those of the Latin, 
which might, in the case of most of them, be called 
their second mother-tongue. 

It will not be necessary to set forth in detail 
here the theory of the Greek tenses. Suffice it to 
say, that while the distinctions of past, present, and 
future appear in the indicative mood, there is com- 
bined with these a distinction of action, whether 
as continuous or momentary. In the non-indicative 
moods, the latter distinction is the preponderant 
one, often the sole one ; as, for example, in the im- 
peratives, present and aorist. The participles pre- 


sent the same distinction, but they are often only 
condensed statements of what might be expressed by 
the indicative. Hence, it is often difficult to deter- 
mine whether an aorist participle is better translated 
by our English past or present participle, i.e., whether 
it expresses an action antecedent to or synchronous 
with the leading verb. A mechanical student of 
Greek grammar has no difficulty here ; as a school-boy 
he learned that ru-].ag meant " having struck," and so 
he regards all instances as equivalent to the English 
perfect participle. The most convenient distinction 
of tenses is that between the aorist and imperfect 
indicative — the former pointing to a past act viewed 
as momentary, the latter to a continued past action. 
But in the use of the imperfect there is generally a 
reference to some other action, up to which this " im- 
perfect" action continued. Hence, the tense may ex- 
press only the beginning of an action which was at 
once interrupted, or, on the other hand, may refer to 
an habitual or long-continued action. The perfect tense 
has no equivalent in English, since it refers to what 
took place in the past, and continues either as part of 
the same action, or as a result of it, up to the present 
time of the speaker or writer. Here we may use the 
English perfect or present, as seems most appropriate ; 
but neither of them expresses all that is indicated by 
the Greek. 

These distinctions are carried over into subjunc- 
tive, participial, and infinitive forms, and any one 
who bestows a moment's thought will see how dif- 
ficult it is for us, with our English forms, to ex- 
press such shades of thought. Then it will happen 
that, there being no exact English equivalent, two 
English forms will be equally accurate or inaccurate. 


It will appear that it is no easy task to make a faith- 
ful translation, and also that there is little danger of 
any such excellence in the revision as will supersede 
the study of the Greek Testament. 

III. It may be useful to note some examples where 
improvement seems both desirable and possible, as well 
as some where it is impossible. These might be in- 
definitely multiplied. 

1. The Authorized Version, in hundreds of instances, 
renders the Greek aorist by the English perfect. This 
is almost always incorrect. The simple English past 
tense is well-nigh the exact equivalent of the aorist. 
In many cases, indeed, the meaning is scarcely altered 
by the more exact rendering, yet frequently the cor- 
rection is of great moment. In Matt, i, 25, instead 
of " had brought forth," the Greek means " brought 
forth;" in ii, 2, *'saw" should be substituted for 
*' have seen." Every chapter of the Gospels probably 
contains an instance of this inaccuracy, which occa- 
sionally misleads. The use of "is dead" for "died" 
is allowable in Matt, ix, 24, and parallel passages, but 
in 2 Cor. v, 14, "then were all dead" leads to a mis- 
understanding of the passage ; "then [or therefore] all 
died" is correct. In Eom. v, 12, "all have sinned," 
"have " is unnecessary and misleading. There is little 
need of citing other instances, for there is general 
agreement as to the correct English equivalent of the 

2. In regard to the Greek imperfect, while its force 
is recognized by all scholars, there is great difficulty 
in determining when we ought to try and retain that 
force in English. "We can say " he did this " or " he 
was doing this" — the former equivalent to the Greek 
aorist, and the latter to the Greek imperfect. Yet 


the latter form is cumbrous, and if used constantly 
would seriously injure the style. Furthermore, even 
this form often fails to express the exact meaning of 
the Greek imperfect. In Luke v, 3, "was teaching" 
is more accurate than " taught," but it is not necessary 
to insist upon the change. In verse 7, however, " their 
net brake " is incorrect ; the imperfect here means 
"began to break," though "their nets were breaking" 
is, perhaps, the best emendation. In verse 7, "began 
to sink" is the correct translation of a present infini- 
tive, which has, in a subordinate clause, the general 
force of the imperfect. So in Matt, ii, 22, "was 
reigning" is the correct rendering of the present, 
according to the Greek conception of dependent 
tenses. In Matt, iii, 5, 6, the continued action is ex- 
pressed by imperfects, but there seems no necessity for 
altering the English tenses, which here logically sug- 
gest this. In one class of passages the distinction be- 
tween the aorist and imperfect is of importance, and 
yet can scarcely be reproduced. In the six accounts 
of the miracles of the feeding of the multitudes, the 
breaking of the bread is expressed by an aorist ; but 
in four of the passages (Matt, xv, 36, correct reading 
Mark vi, 41, viii, 6 ; Luke ix, 16) the giving of it to 
the disciples is described by an imperfect, thus hint- 
ing that the Lord kept giving the broken bread as it 
multiplied in his hands. In these cases it would 
sound harsh to say either "kept giving" or "was giv- 
ing." In Gal. i, 13, 23, 24, imperfects occur which 
occasion similar difficulty. Probably in more than 
half the cases the distinction cannot be recognized in 
a smooth translation. 

3. The Greek 'perfect is properly a combination of the 
aorist and present, expressing past action with present 


result. Hence, we must decide which element is pre- 
dominant, and translate accordingly. In the common 
phrase, "as it is written," the perfect is used, and 
properly rendered by a present ; but in Gal. ii, 20, "I 
am crucified with Christ," ought to be changed to 
" have been crucified," since the emphasis rests on the 
past rather than the present, both of them being in- 

4. Passing to the non-indicative moods, we find that 
our forms do not, as a rule, express the distinctions of 
the Greek. The present and aorist subjunctive ex- 
press respectively continued and momentary action, 
contingent on the leading clause, while our potential 
mood is not a subjunctive strictly, and by its tenses 
seeks to express past, present, and future time. 

The imperatives are distinguished in the same way, 
but we must translate them all alike, leaving to the 
reader to determine whether the action commanded is 
once for all or continued. In Matt, v, 12, vi, 1, we 
have present imperatives, but in v, 16, 17, vi, 2, 3, we 
have the aorist. Further, the imperative in form is 
like the indicative, and it is difiicult to decide which 
is meant. For example, John vi, 39, may mean " ye 
search the Scriptures " or " search the Scriptures," the 
context pointing to the former sense. In John xiv, 1, 
Matt. V, 48, and other passages, the same question 
arises. The infinitives present similar phenomena, 
but here there is opportunity for more exactness. The 
translation of the participles calls for great care. 
The present denotes continuous action, as a rule, and 
may be fairly rendered in English ; but the combina- 
tions are such as to require skilful handling. The 
aorist participle has so often been incorrectly rendered 
by an English past participle, that this, and the corre- 


spending misapprehension of the indicative, may be 
termed the chief blemishes of the Authorized Version 
as respects the verb. The cases where an emendation, 
either by the use of the present participle or by a 
change to the indicative structure, would be desirable, 
may be numbered by hundreds. The perfect partici- 
ple is frequently used in the Greek Testament, but its 
sense cannot be exactly expressed in English except 
by a paraphrase, as in the case of the indicative. 

5. The difference between "be" and "become" is 
expressed in Greek by two verbs, which are usually 
indiscriminately rendered "be" in the Authorized 
Version. In Matt, v, 45, we should read "that ye may 
become," etc. Similar cases to the number of sixty or 
seventy occur. 

6. The middle voice in Greek has no equivalent in 
English. It is reflexive, and may sometimes be ex- 
pressed by adding the pronouns himself^ themseloes, etc. ; 
but no rule can be laid down. 

It will appear from these remarks how numerous 
are the questions which come before the Eevisers, how 
difficult many of them are from their minuteness. 
The effort has been to present to the l!^ew Testament 
Company every question however minute, and to dis- 
cuss at least the possibility of expressing in English 
the shades of meanins: recoernized in the Greek. In 
one chapter of the Gospels, containing twenty-three 
verses, eleven emendations can be made involving the 
moods and tenses, probably half that number must be 
passed by. It may be estimated that greater accuracy 
can be secured in the vast majority of cases where the 
Authorized Version is faulty in its treatment of the 
Greek verb. 


Andover Theological Seminary. 

King James's translators, towards the close of 
their address " To the Reader," remark: "We have 
not tied ourselves to an uniformity of phrasing or 
to an identity of words. . . . That we should ex- 
press the same notion in the same particular word, as 
for example, if we translate the Hebrew or Greek 
word once by purpose, never to call it intent . . . thus 
to mince the matter we thought to savour more of 
curiosity than wisdom ..." 

This decision to disregard verbal identity, provided 
the sense did not suffer, was a grave error. By trans- 
lating the same word in the original by different Eng- 
lish words, distinctions are inevitably suggested where 
they do not exist ; on the other hand, by rendering dif- 
ferent words in the original in one and the same way, 
differences in the sacred writers' thought are hidden 
from the modern reader. No sensible man, it is true, 
would think of making one word in English uni- 
formly answer for each particular Greek or Hebrew 
term ; nevertheless, in translating such a book as the 
Bible, the one supreme religious authority recognized 
by all Protestant Christians — in which, moreover, the 
change of a word may involve the change of a doc- 
trine — the greatest pains should be taken neither to 
confound things which differ, nor to create differences 
where they do not exist. 

Not that, with all our pains, it is possible always to 
12 133 


reproduce in a modern tongue the precise distinctions 
of the ancient. Languages differ in this respect ; and 
even when the modern tongue is not, in general, infe- 
rior to the ancient in the capacity for nice discrimina- 
tions, it will often deviate from it widely in those it 
actually makes. The distinctions, for example, which 
the Greek makes between the various words signifying 
to know^ cannot well be reproduced in English. The 
evil spirit's reply to the sons of Sceva (Acts xix, 15,) 
might indeed be rendered, " Jesus I know and Paul 
I am acquainted ivitJu'' and our Lord's answer to Peter 
(John xiii, 7,) would be fairly represented by " What 
I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt understand 
hereafter ; " but it is not easy to mark the distinction 
in such passages as these : 1 Cor. ii, 11, " What man 
knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man 
which is in him ? even so the things of God knoweth 
no man, but the Spirit of God ; " 2 Cor. v, 16, " Hence- 
forth know we no man after the flesh : yea, though we 
have knoicn Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth 
know we him no more;" John xxi, 17, " Lord, thou 
knowest all things ; tliou knowest that I love thee." Or 
again, take the verbs denoting to love : the touching 
suggestiveness of the interchange of words in the three- 
fold " Lovest thou me ? " with its reply, in the passage 
last cited, must lie hidden from an English reader by 
reason of our poverty of speech ; so, too, must the 
delicacy with which the Evangelist in chap, xi, after 
saying (ver. 3,) " Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is 
sick," instinctively substitutes a less emotional term, 
when he comes (in ver. 5) to associate the name of 
Jesus prominently with the name of a woman : " !N"ow 
Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus." 
On the other hand, it must be confessed that our 


occidental taste in matters of rhetoric — or rather our 
English taste, for it is doubtless traceable mainly to 
the influence of the blended IsTorraan and Saxon ele- 
ments in our language — makes us like a euphonious 
change in the phraseology, even when there is no 
change in the sense. Such passages as the following : 
Matt, xii, 5,, 7, " Have ye not read how that . . . the 
priests . . . profane the Sabbath and are blameless ? . , . 
But if ye had known what this meaneth ... ye would 
not have condemned the guiltless ; " Matt xxv, 32, " He 
shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd 
divideth his sheep from the goats;" 1 Cor. xii, 4 sq., 
" Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 
And there are differences of administrations, but," etc. ; 
Rev. xvii, 6, 7, " I ivondered with great admiration. And 
the angel said unto me. Wherefore didst thou marvel ? " 
Jas. ii, 2, 3, " If there come unto your assembly a man 
with a gold ring, in goodly apparel^ and there come in 
also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect 
to him that weareth the gay clothing/' etc., most read- 
ers, looking merely at the English^ would prefer to let 
stand as they are, rather than to substitute in each some 
single identical term for the words in italics, as con- 
formity to the Greek requires. Yet, on consideration, 
we see that the biblical translator mistakes his duty, 
who compels even the ancient and oriental taste of his 
author to yield to that which is occidental and modern. 
But our translators' disregard of verbal coincidences 
and variations involves what is far more important 
than any mere question of taste. Positive obscurities, 
amounting sometimes to unintelligibility, are due to 
it. What plain reader understands the saying (John 
xiii, 10), " He that is washed needeth not save to wash 
his feet, but is clean every whit " ? Yet it becomes 


luminous when the sacred writer's change of terms is 
heeded : " He that hath taken a hath needeth not save to 
wash his feet [soiled even in coming from the water], 
but is clean every whit." What unlettered man is not 
thrown into perplexity when he reads, Matt, xxiii, 35, 
" of Zacharias son of Barachias, slain between the tem- 
ple and the altar " ? "Was " the altar," then, not in 
" the temple " ? The clue to extricate him from his per- 
plexity is given him when the translator distinguishes 
— as the original author does — " the sanctuary ^^' or 
inner shrine, from " the temple," or sacred precincts 
as a whole. To many a child our Lord, in addressing 
(Luke xxiv, 25,) the two disciples on the way to Em- 
maus as ^^Fools and slow of heart to believe," has 
seemed to lie open to the judgment pronounced by 
himself (Matt, v, 22,) upon " Whosoever shall say to 
his brother, thou fool " — the verbal identity in English 
completely hiding from a childish vision the radical 
difference between the cases. Every reader, on the 
other hand, would naturally judge that Luke makes a 
far more sweeping statement than the preceding Evan- 
gelists, when he is represented as saying (xxiii, 44), 
" There was darkness over all the earih,^' where they 
only use " land.'' 

And though this mistaken mode of translating may 
not often hide the meaning of the biblical language, it 
frequently blunts its point. That noteworthy declara- 
tion by Christ respecting himself (John viii, 58), " Be- 
fore Abraham was, I am," gains greatly in force when 
the distinction between the passing nature of the former 
half of the statement and the permanence of the latter, 
marked in the Greek by the choice of two different 
verbs, is brought out in translation : " Before Abraham 
came into being, I am." Paul's reasoning in E-om. vii, 7, 8 


— " I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou 
shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the com- 
mandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence''^ 
— seems to an English reader to halt, when, had the 
translators but followed the apostle in describing the 
sin as it is described in the commandment, the sequence 
would have been as close in appearance as it is in fact : 
" I had not known coveting except the law had said, 
Thou shalt not covet. But sin . . . wrought in me all 
manner of coveting.'^ The reiteration of " comfort " in 
the opening of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians 
has made many a believer's heart pulsate in blessed 
response ; what a pity, then, that our translators wearied 
of the word sooner than the apostle did, who writes : 
" Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all co7n- 
fort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we 
may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble 
by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of 
God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, 
so our consolation [comforf] also aboundeth by Christ. 
And whether we be afflicted it is for your consolation 
[comforf] and salvation ... or whether we be comforted 
it is for your consolation [comforf] and salvation . . . 
Knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so 
shall ye be also of the consolation [comforf].'^ 

These infelicities are too numerous to be classified 
here. Our present limits will permit us only to enu- 
merate — with the addition of an example or two by 
way of illustration — some of their unfortunate effects : 

I. They are an impediment to the study of the Bible. 

For they deprive the student of the light often shed 

on the meaning of a word by its use in other passages, 

as exhibited in an English concordance. He comes, 



for instance, upon the word " atonement " in Rom. v, 
11 ; and, so far as he can discover, it occurs nowhere 
else. But a correct translation would have enabled 
him to recognize the term made familiar elsewhere as 
"reconciliation." So in investigating the nature of 
biblical " hope," he is baffled by the fact that eighteen 
times out of thirty-two the translators have rendered 
the verb by " trust," — thus virtually confounding the 
first two of Paul's triad of graces. And as respects 
the third, " charity," why should it be known by this 
name almost invariably in the First Epistle to the 
Corinthians, and have to be looked for under the head- 
ing " love " in more than fourscore instances elsewhere ? 

II. Again, they tend to conceal from the English 
reader delicate allusions and correspondences. ]N"o 
doubt the language in 1 Pet. iii, 14 as it stands — " If 
ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye " — 
prompts a reader to think that the apostle had our 
Lord's Beatitude in mind ; but the allusion would 
have become indubitable, had the translators retained 
here the ^'-Blessed " of Matt, v, 10. And who would 
imagine that the quotation given in Heb. iv, 3, '-'-As I 
have sworn in my wrath. If they shall enter into my 
rest," agrees verbatim in the Greek with the quota- 
tion given just before (Heb. iii, 11), "aSo I sivare in my 
wrath, They shall not enter into my rest ; " while the 
hardly intelligible Hebrew idiom "• If they shalV^ is 
rendered in the Old Testament, '' Surely they shall not," 

III. Akin to the evil just mentioned is the obscurity 
thrown on some of the relations existing between the 
several parts of the sacred vokime. 

The Epistle to the Romans, for instance, has many 
points of verbal agreement with that to the Galatians, 
so has Ephesians with Colossians, 2 Peter with Jude ; 



but the English reader is hampered, in making such 
comparisons, by his uncertainty as to whether appa- 
rent agreements and differences are real or not. Does 
the Epistle to the Hebrews resemble in style the Epis- 
tles of Paul? The evidence of the best translations 
on such a point is necessarily inferior to that of the 
originals. But surely an English Bible student is en- 
titled to a more truthful representation of the facts in 
the case than is afforded by the following parallel, in 
which the italicized words and phrases are all from 
the same Greek root : 

" Thou hast put all things in 
siibjection under his feet. For 
in that he put all in subjection 
under him, he left nothing that 
\a not put under him.. But now 
we see not yet all things put un- 
der him." — Heb. ii, 8. 

"For he hath put all things 
under his feet ; but when he saith, 
All things are put under him, it 
is manifest that he is excepted 
which did put all things under 
him. And when all things shall 
be subdued unto him, then shall 
the Son also himself be subject 
unto him that put all things un- 
der him, that God may be all in 
all."— 1 Cor. XV, 27, 28. 

Learned men are discussing the relation of the first 
three Gospels to each other, and to some common oral 
or written source. But how can we follow such dis- 
cussions with our English Bibles, when verbally iden- 
tical passages are made to differ as follows; 

" Beware of the scribes, which 
love to go in long clothing, and 
love salutations in the marlcet- 
places, and the chief SQuis in the 
synagogues, and the uppermost 
rooms at feasts: which devour 
widows' houses, and for a pre- 
tence make long prayers." — Mark 
xii, 38 sq. 

" Beware of the scribes, which 
desire to walTc in long robes, and 
love greetings in the marlcets, and 
the highest seats in the syna- 
gogues, and the chief rooms at 
feasts: which devour widows' 
houses, and for a shew make 
long prayers." — Luke xx, 46 


We are not even put in a position always to judge 
correctly respecting the identity of the several incidents 
and discourses recorded by the diiFerent Evangelists. 
Surely our translators could not have had the fear of 
the modern Sunday-school superintendent before their 
eyes when they translated the Lord's Prayer in Mat- 
thew (vi, 10), " Thy will be done in earth, as it is in 
heaven,'' but in Luke (xi, 2), " Thy will be done as in 
heaven, so in earth." 

TV. Further, the translators' neglect of verbal dis- 
crimination hides in a measure from the English reader 
the individuality of the biblical writers. These writers 
may be recognized, as we recognize modern authors, 
by their favorite words and turns of expression. Take 
Mark, for example, who is sometimes represented as 
the mere epitomizer of Matthew and Luke ; his per- 
sonality as a writer manifests itself in a fondness for 
particular classes of words, yes, strikingly in the use of 
a single adverb — "immediately," or better, "straight- 
way." So familiar a word is found, of course, in the 
other two writers; but it occurs in Mark nearly twice 
as often as in both the others put together. Yet so 
characteristic and simple a term as this has received 
■^ve different renderings, viz., "straightway," " imme- 
diately," " forthwith," " anon," " as soon as," while 
elsewhere in the Kew Testament it is also translated 
"by and by" and "shortly." Still more numerous, 
and if possible more marked, are the words character- 
istic of John. Among them are the verbs to abide and 
to bear ivitness. Yet the former in our translation has 
seven diiFerent representatives, viz., abide, remain, con- 
tinue, tarry, dwell, endure, be present — the first three being 
brought together in a single verse of the First Epistle 
(ii, 24); and the latter is translated witness, bear wit- 


ness, bear record, testify, and (in the passive) have good 

Paul's peculiarities as a writer are too salient not to 
stand out even in a translation which should take no 
pains to preserve them. The truthfulness of Paley's 
description of him, '' off at a word,^' is so generally 
recognized that the phrase has become proverbial. 
" Use this world as not abusing it," (1 Cor. vii, 31,) 
and other of his pointed sayings, have taken rank as 
popular maxims. His mental agility and adroitness 
in availing himself of the very language of opponents 
is now as piquant as a repartee, now as convincing as 
an argument. An oft-quoted instance, preserved by 
our translators, is that in Acts xxvi, 28, " Almost thou 
persuadest me," etc. ; only it is to be regretted that 
they have chosen a translation which the Greek will 
not bear. But another instance on the same occasion 
they have seen fit to conceal. Paul's declaration, " I 
am not mad," is his dignified denial of the exact lan- 
guage of a charge which they have diluted into, 
" Thou art beside thyself," (Acts xxvi, 24.) Still less 
felicitously have they reproduced his retort to those 
at Athens who spoke of him as " a setter forth of 
strange gods." His allusion to this disparaging term 
is hidden, and again that to the inscription on the 
altar, " To an unknown god," is quite perverted by 
their rendering : " Whom therefore ye ignorantly wor- 
ship, him declare I unto you." 

V. But still more unfortunate is the translators' in- 
difi*erence to verbal agreements and variations when 
it aifects matters of doctrine. Not often, probably, 
is a reader found so ignorant as to infer a diff"er- 
ence of meaning from the change of rendering in 
Matt, xxv, 46, " These shall go away into everlasting 


punishment, but the righteous into life eternaV But 
the confusion occasioned by translating "Hades" and 
" Gehenna " identically in every instance but one is 
not so harmless. The uniform transfer of the quasi- 
proper name " Devil," corresponding to the Hebrew 
"Satan," to those beings called "demons" by the 
orig-inal writers is also to be rescretted. The unwar- 
ranted insertion of " should " in Acts ii, 47 (com- 
pare on the other hand, 1 Cor. i, 18 ; 2 Cor. ii, 15), — 
properly, "them that icere being saved," — has probably 
ceased to start false theological suggestions; but un- 
doubtedly most readers understand the words of Christ 
to Bartimeeus in Luke (xviii, 42), " Thy faith hath 
saved thee," to be of immeasurably higher import than 
the declaration in Mark (x, 52), " Thy faith hath made 
thee whole,^^ That the original term, indeed, may 
refer to spiritual healing is by no means impossible. 
In the case of the "woman which was a sinner" 
(Luke vii, 50), it clearly covers the forgiveness of 
sins. So that if it were a translator's desis^n to inti- 
mate that the expression is ambiguous in the Greek, 
the variation in rendering would perhaps be allowable, 
provided in each case the alternate translation were 
given in the margin (as is actually done in Mark). 
In any event, however, the English reader should 
know that the language is the same in both Evangel- 
ists, and the same which is elsewhere (Matt, x, 22 ; 
Mark v, 34 ; Luke viii, 48,) commonly rendered, "Thy 
faith hath made thee whole." A single additional 
illustration : every reader of Paul knows the impor- 
tance he attaches to the doctrine that "faith" is 
" reckoned as righteousness." But the proof-text from 
the Old Testament (Gen. xv, 6) on which the doctrine 
rests is given differently by our translation every time 


Paul quotes it (Rom. iv, 3, compare ix, 22 ; Gal. iii, 6) ; 
and the verb itself, which may be called one of his 
technical theological terms, and which constitutes the 
very warp of his argument in Rom. iv, being used 
eleven times within the compass of twenty-two Verses, 
receives there three different renderings. 

^ 'Now, let it be repeated, that it is not always prac- 
ticable to preserve identity of language in English 
where it exists in the original. Sense is more impor- 
tant than sound. The interests of the former, there- 
fore, sometimes dictate the sacrifice of the latter. 
But it is evident that any fresh attempt at revision 
must proceed upon the opposite principle to that 
which was unfortunately adopted by King James's 


Chancellor of tHe University of New York. 

The literature of a language serves to check its 
changes, but not to stop them. A living language 
must grow, and in the growth new words not only 
supply new ideas, but become substitutes for old words. 
The English of the fourteenth century had to be read 
with a glossary in the sixteenth century ; but the three 
hundred years that have elapsed since Queen Elizabeth 
have not so altered the language as the preceding two 
centuries had done. The abundant literature of the 
latter period accounts for this difference, our English 
Bible of 1611 having probably had the most influence 
in this result. 

It is not the archaisms of our English Bible which 
constitute the most important reason for a revised 
translation. Erroneous or obscure renderings form a 
far more conspicuous argument. But yet it is very 
true that there are many words and phrases in the re- 
ceived version which the ordinary reader would be 
likely to misunderstand, the words themselves having 
become obsolete, or their significations (or modes of 
spelling) having undergone a change. We append the 
following as specimens : 

I. Change in Spelling. — " The fats shall overflow 
with wine and oil" (Joel ii, 24), for "vats." "Lest 
he hale thee to the judge " (Luke xii, 58), for " haul," 
and "hoised up the mainsail to the wind " (Acts xxvii, 



40), for " hoisted." " He overlaid their chapiters with 
gold " (Ex. xxxvi, 38), for " capitals." "And sat down 
astonied " (Ezra ix, 3), for " astonished." "Or ever the 
earth was " (Prov. viii, 23), for " ere." So we find 
bewray (betray), magnifical (magnificent), and delicates 
(delicacies). Many of these archaisms in spelling have 
been omitted in more modern editions of our version, 
as leese for " lose," sith for " since," cloke for " cloak." 
The old plural " hosen,'' however, still remains, in Dan. 
iii, 21, for " hose." 

II. Obsolete Words. — "And they shall pass through 
it, hardly bestead'' (Isa. viii, 21), for "served." "Be- 
sides that which chapmen and merchants brought" (2 
Chron. ix, 14), for " market-men." " Old shoes and 
cloided upon their feet " (Josh, ix, 5) ; " took thence 
old cast clouts'' (Jer. xxxviii, 11), for " patched " and 
"patches." "]N"either is there any daysman betwixt 
us" (Job ix, 33), for "umpire." " Thou shalt make 
them to be set in ouches of gold" (Ex. xxviii, 11), 
for "sockets." "Doves tabering upon their breasts" 
(¥ahum ii, 7), for "drumming." " The lion filled his 
dens with ravin" (J^ahum ii, 12), for " plunder." "He 
made fifty taches of gold " (Ex. xxxvi, 13), for "catches." 
So earing (ploughing), escheio (shun), habergeon (coat of 
mail), hough (hamstring), kine (cows), and leasing (lying). 
We may add to these many of the names of animals, 
precious stones, etc., as giereagle, ossi/rage, behemoth, 
leviathan (these last two being the Hebrew words 
untranslated), sardius, ligure, bdellium, 

III. Words Obsolete in their Significations. — 
These are the most numerous and most important of 
Bible archaisms, because they are likely to be unno- 



ticed, and the reader will thus form a wrong notion 
of the meaning of a statement. The manifest archa- 
isms will always set one upon his guard, and lead 
him to investigate ; but these words, having a per- 
fectly familiar look, suggest no need of inquiry. 
Who would imagine that Ezekiel, saying, "as an 
adamant, harder than flint " (Ezek. iii, 9), and Zech- 
ariah, saying, " they made their hearts as an adamant 
stone^' both referred to a " diamond " ? The Hebrew 
word here translated " adamant " is translated " dia- 
mond " in Jer. xvii, 1. The ahjects^ in Ps. xxxv, 15, 
are the "dregs of the people." The apothecary^ in 
Ex. XXX, 25, 35; xxxvii, 29, and Eccl. x. 1, is not 
our druggist, or preparer of medicines, but simply a 
"maker of unguents." Aha, in Ps. xxxv, 21, and 
many other places, is not an exclamation of one catch- 
ing another in evil (as it now is used), but of one 
exulting over an enemy, and is equivalent to our 
" hurrah ! " Admired and admiration^ in 2 Thess. i, 10, 
Jude 16, and Rev. xvii, 6, have the old meaning of 
" wondered at " and " wonder," and not the modern 
one of delighted appreciation. Affect, in Gal. iv, 17, 
has the signification of " seek after zealously " (the 
Latin " aifectare," rather than " afficere "). The pass- 
age means, " They seek after you, but not well ; yea, 
they would shut you out from us, that ye might seek 
after them ; but it is good to be sought after "^ always 
in a good thing." The Greek verb is J>)X6w, " to desire 
emulously," " to strive after." In Judges ix, 53, " all 
to brake his skull " is usually understood as if it were 
" all to break his skull," ^. e., " in order to break," 
whereas, "all to" is archaic for "thoroughly," or 

* Perhaps the middle sense "to be unpelled by zeal " is correct 


"completely/*' Atonement^ in the Old Testament, is 
the translation of the Hebrew " chopher," a ransom, 
or a cover for sins. See Ex. xxix, 36, and forty or 
fifty other places. But it really means " at-one-ment," 
or " reconciliation," the result of the ransom or cover. 
In the Kew Testament the word occurs only once 
(Rom. V, 11), where it means " reconciliation," (Greek, 
xaTaXXayTJv ;) but this meaning is now obsolete. The 
modern botch is used exclusively for a clumsy patch 
or job ; but in Deut. xxviii, 27, it means " ulcer." 
Bravery, in Isa. iii, 18, signifies "splendor." Who 
recognises in the campMre of Solomon's Song i, 14 
and iv, 13 (which suggests camphor !) the sweet-smell- 
ing "cypress"? and who imagines that the caterpillar 
of the Old Testament is a locust with wings ? The 
charger, in E'um. vii, 13 and Matt, xiv, 8, is a dish, 
and not a horse ; the ladder of Gen. xxviii, 12 is a 
staircase ; the turtle of Solomon's Song ii, 12, and Jer. 
viii, 7, is not a tortoise, but a dove ; and the nephews 
of Jud. xii, 14 ; 1 Tim. v. 4 ; Job xviii, 19 ; Isa. xiv, 
22, are grandsons. The pommels of 2 Chron. iv, 12 
have nothing to do with saddles, but are "globes" 
resting on the summits of the columns. The word 
" quick " is almost always misunderstood in Ps. cxxiv, 
8, " they had swallowed us up quick,'' as if it meant 
" rapidly." The passage means, " they had swallowed 
us up alive." Prevent, in Scripture means, " not pre- 
vent" {i, e., anticipate), and let means " not let " (z. e., 
hinder), so completely have these words turned over 
in signification. The latter is still used in law phrase 
as "hinder." Deal, in "tenth deal" (Ex. xxix, 40), 
means " part." Outlandish, in I^eh. xiii, 26, means 
simply " foreign." Its modern meaning is " clownish." 
The fenced cities of ITum. xxxii, 17, are "walled" 


cities, and the hold of Judges ix, 46 ; 1 Sam. xxii, 4, 
is a " stronghold." AYe use "peep" for the eyes al- 
most altogether; but in Isa. viii, 19 ; x, 14, it is used 
of the mouth — ''the wizards that peep.'' The same 
word is translated " chatter " in Isa. xxxviii, 14. Intreat 
(which with us means " beseech") is used for " treat,'' 
as in Gen. xii, 16. Ensue (French, ensuivre) is read 
in 1 Pet. iii, 11 for ''pursue." Uvidentli/ and compre- 
hend are now used of mental conditions, but in the 
Bible we find them used of physical conditions. " He 
saw in a vision evidently " {i. e., clearly), Acts x, 3 ; 
" comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure " 
(/. e., grasped), Isa. xl, 12; so John i, 5. 

Conversation^ in Scripture, never refers to speech, 
but always means " manner or course of life." Curi- 
ous mistakes have been made even in the pulpit, by 
not observing this. Comfort^ in the present use, signi- 
fies "soothing;" but in old English it had the force 
of the Latin confortare, and meant " strengthening." 
" Comfort one another with these words," in 1 Thess. 
iv, 18, is equal to " strengthen one another," etc. 
Damn and damnation are sim[)ly " condemn " and " con- 
demnation," as in Rom. xiv, 23 and 1 Cor. xi, 29. 
" They shall dote,'' in Jer. 1, 36, is " they shall become 
foolish." In Zech. i, 21, tlie carpenters came to fray 
the horns, and the reader supposes that this must 
mean " to plane " or " to saw ; " but it means only " to 
frighten." Honest (Rom. xii, 17) and honesty (1 Tim. 
ii, 2) have not their present meanings, but are equiva- 
lent to our "honorable" and "honor." So modest 
(1 Tim. ii, 9) is our " moderate " or " seemly." Unc- 
tion, in 1 John ii, 20, has the meaning of " anointing" 
(spiritually considered), while our modern use of unc- 
tion is rather as "earnestness." Vocation (Eph. iv, 1) 


is the " calling " of God to be Christians, and not the 
trade or the occupation of life. Go to (as in James 
V, 1) is our modern "come," while "we do you to 
wit" (2 Cor. viii, 1) is the translation of two Greek 
words meaning, " we certify you." "We do you to 
wit " is, literally translated into modern English, 
" We make you to know." We might add another 
list of words whose signification has undergone a 
slight shade of change since King James's day, which 
the reader is almost sure to miss, but we have already 
surpassed our limits. 

Since writing the above. Dr. Ezra Abbot has kindly 
sent me an additional list of examples, which I append. 

1. Changes in Spelling, — In the edition of 1611 we 
find alkviit or alient for alien ; clift for cleft ; chaws for 
jaws ; cise for size ; fet for fetched (very often) ; Jiixe for 
flux (Acts xxviii, 8) ; grinne for gin ; moe for more (re- 
peatedly) ; ought for owed (Matt, xviii, 24, 28 ; Luke 
vii, 41) ; pi'ce for 79^6 (1 Cor. ix, 24 ; Phil, iii, 14) ; 
rent for rend (often); then for than (constantly); utter 
for outer. 

2. Obsolete Words. — Boiled = ^\Yo\\Qn^ podded for 
seed (Exod. ix, 31) ; broided = braided {not broidered), 
(1 Tim. ii, 9) ; bruit = report (Jer. x, 22; ^ah. iii, 19); 
neese^ neesing = sneeze, sneezing (2 Kings iv, 35 ; Job 
xli, 18). 

3. Words Obsolete in their Significations. — Artillery = 
bow and arrows (1 Sam. xx, 40) ; bg and by = im- 
mediately (Mark vi, 25 ; xiii, 21; Luke xvii, 7; xxi, 
9) ; careful = anxious (Phil, iv, 6) ; careless = free from 
care (Judges xviii, 7; and so carelessly^ Isa. xlvii, 8, 
etc.) ; carriage = baggage (1 Sam. xvii, 22 ; Isa. x, 28 ; 
Acts xxi, 15) ; coasts = borders, territory (very often), 
to fetch a compass (Acts xxviii, 13)^ set a compass 



(Prov. viii, 27); convince = convict (John viii, 46 ; James 
ii, 9); desire = regret (Lat. desiderare)^ (2 Chron. xxi, 
20); discover =MncoYer (often); frankly = freely (Luke 
vii,42); instant=^ earnest and m5to% = earnestly (Luke 
vii, 4); ^iA'm^^ condition (Job xxxix, 4); with the man- 
ner =\\). the act (Num. v, 13); ?ia?////i/'?/= applied to figs 
(Jer.xxiv, 2); occvpy=use ; deal in trade (Exod. xxxviii, 
24; Judg. xvi, 11 ; Ezek. xxvii, 9, 16, 19, 21, 22 ; Luke 
xix, 13); oz;er?^?2= outrun (2 Sam. xviii, 23); painfid^ 
not " distressing," but hard^ difficidt (Ps. Ixxiii, 16) ; 
proper = beautiful, goodly (Heb. xi, 23); purchase, not 
"buy," but gain, acquire (1 Tim. iii, 13); having in a 
readiness ^hemg ready (2 Cor. x, 6); road (make a 
road) = raid (1 Sam. xxvii, 10); sometime or sometimes = 
formerly; suddenly = Im^iWy , rashly (1 Tim. v, 22); 
take ihought=he anxious (1 Sam. ix, 5; Matt, vi, 25); 
uppermost rooms = highest or most honorable places 
(Matt, xxiii, 6); usury =interest (Matt, xxv, 27); ivealth 
= weal, welfare (Ezra ix, 12; Esther x, 3; 1 Cor. x, 
24); a wealthy place (Ps. Ixvi, 12); the ivecdthy nation 
(Jer. xlix, 31); worship ==honor (Luke xiv, 10); witty = 
wise, ingenious (Prov. viii, 12); ^ree=beara of wood, 
applied to a gallows, and especially to the cross. See 
the article Tree in the American edition of Smith's 
Bible Dictionary. 



Professor in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, N, J. 

Any complete revision of our English version of 
the Scriptures must bring under review its proper 
names. The conservative spirit which is pledged in 
connection with the Anglo-American Revision now in 
progress, must protect them from unnecessary change. 
The question, therefore, is not, "What alterations can 
be justified to scholars ? but rather, What are needed 
in carrying out the proper and declared aims of the 

Unlearned readers of our Scriptures, if at all observ- 
ant, encounter inconsistencies and are perplexed by 
obscurities that ought to be removed, ^or can it be 
regarded as a forced construction put upon the de- 
mands of " faithfulness," if, within proper limits, the 
names of persons, peoples, places, etc., be made to con- 
form somewhat more closely to their original cast. 
Bible names are often significant ; and piety may be 
helped as well as knowledge, when the religious idea 
embodied in many of these names is more clearly con- 
veyed through the improved form given to them. If 
this work were an essay in " spelling reform," the at- 
tempt would be made to carry out a rigorously con- 
sistent system of transliteration, even though the 
reader might need a new introduction to Jizchak and 
JRibhkah^ and many a family or locality besides. A 
smile would be very likely to greet Binjamin. 

Changes in Proper Names. — In many cases the 
familiar proper names of our old version, and our 



Biblical and Christian literature, will remain undis- 
turbed, although scholars may be aware that this con- 
sonant and that vowel are not represented by an exact 

He would be unwise who would disturb names like 
Abel, Job, Solomon, Balaam, Euj)hrates, Eve, even though 
some of them may conform to the Greek of the LXX 
rather than to the more original Hebrew, and others 
to neither. 

The general guiding principle should evidently be, 
that the Hebrew original ought to determine the form 
of Old Testament names, and the Greek that of names 
peculiar to the New Testament. Names common to 
both should consistently follow the older type. Ex- 
ceptional treatment will be readily allowed in the case 
of names which are quite conspicuous and familiar in 
their present form in the Biblical narratives, and also 
in the case of those which have a common modern use. 
These it would not be wise to unsettle. 

Inconsistencies in Names. — What changes are desir- 
able ? Plainly (1) changes that remove inconsistencies within 
the same Testament. When one word in the original 
is rendered by several diiFerent forms in the trans- 
lation, the common reader is led astray. What is 
asserted of one person or place he understands of a num- 
ber. When the familiar place Gaza is called Azzah in 
Deut. ii, 23 ; 1 Kings iv, 24 ; Jer. xxv, 20, the greater 
correctness of the form is no compensation for the 
loss of the identification; and for a place so well 
known the more familiar form should be retained. 
(There is room for difference of opinion as to the 
desirableness of using the margin to instruct common 
readers in such matters.) If in the New Testament 


the famous city of the Phoenicians might be called 
Sidon^ after the Greek form of its name, there is no 
reason why in the Old Testament the otherwise uni- 
form rendering Zidon should be abandoned in Gen. x, 
15, 19. While double forms like Ahiah and Abijah, 
Uriah and Urijah^ may suggest that the Hebrew name 
has two different although closely related forms (from 
both of which the Greek form differs slightly), and 
while different forms of the name might be arbi- 
trarily assigned to different persons, it only increases 
confusion when two forms are employed of the same 
person, e.g.^1 Chron. iii, 10; 2 Chron. xii, 16, and 
2 Kings xvi, 10 ; Isa. viii, 2. There is no apparent 
reason for describing the same person as Unos in Gen. 
V, and Miosh in 1 Chron i, 1, the form of the Hebrew 
name being the same in both cases ; so with Seth and 
S/ieih, There is nothing gained by calling the same man 
Phuvah in Gen. xlvi, 13, Pua in Num. xxvi, 23, and 
Puah in 1 Chron. vii, 1, although there may be two 
slight!}^ different forms to the Hebrew name. It may 
be a convenience to have three forms, Enochs Henoch, 
and Hanoch, to represent one Hebrew name as borne 
by four persons, but it is not helpful to have two of 
these forms applied to the same person (Gen. xxv, 4, 
and 1 Chron. i, 33). Common readers should be saved 
all occasion to ask whether Jared and Jered, Gazer and 
Gezer, Phallu and Pallu, Pharez and Perez, Zerah and 
Zarah, Shelah and Salah, are two names or one. The 
friendship of David and Jonathan has become prover- 
bial and typical ; why introduce the latter occasionally 
as Jehonathan, in rigid recognition of the fact that the 
Hebrew name has two forms? The same principle 
applies to Joram and Jehoraw., and several other pairs of 
names. The Cabian of Gen. v and Kenan of 1 Chron. i 


are not understood by common readers to be the 
same name of the same person. Ai and Hai^ Uz and 
Muz, are double forms, which if retained not only 
mislead, but chronicle an error. 

The inconsistent treatment of forms like Jidlaph and 
Jimnah as compared with Iscah and Ishbak, or of Jethro 
and lihran, is a matter of much less consequence ;' for 
here no confusion results. And yet whatever can be 
done quietly with inconspicuous names will justify 
itself to scholars with little disturbance to others. 
Linguistic or phonetic faithfulness is neither dishonor 
to the Word in its spirituality, nor excessive scrupu- 
lousness about its form. Yet such an endeavor should 
be cautious in its treatment of names conspicuous in 
the Biblical narratives ; and all the more if from the 
Bible they have passed to any extent into our modern 

There is, of course, no good reason why Ishmeelite 
should be conscientiously printed in Gen. xxxvii and 
xxxix, and in 1 Chron. ii, and the more correct Ish- 
maelite everywhere else ; nor why Zebuhmite should 
always be found in Num. xxvi, and Zebulonitc in 
Judo-es xii. 

In the New Testament there can be no advantage 
gained by perpetuating such double forms as Noah and 
iVbe, Sinai and Sina, Sodom and Sodoma, Canaan and 
Chanaan, Jeremias and Jeremy, Phenicia and Phenice 
(with the additional reason in this case that Phenice is 
used in Acts xxvii, 12, to translate inaccurately another 
name). The common reader does not need to be told 
in the very text of his Bible how the Greek and He- 
brew forms of such names may differ. Much less does 
he need to be drawn aside to think of the contrast be- 
tween old Eui^lish forms and the Hebrew and Greek. 


Harmonizing of ]^ames. — There may be room for 
more divided judgment in respect to (2) changes that 
2Vould harmonize the form,s of proper names common to the 
two Testaments. These discrepancies are usually due to 
differences between the Hebrew forms and those of the 
LXX and the 'New Testament Greek. Our version of 
the New Testament generally conforms its proper names 
in such cases to the Greek type. This is not, however, 
always done ; e. g., David, Reuben, Issachar, Samson, Sa- 
rah, and Sodom (except in Eom. ix, 29), are given in 
their familiar and not in their Greek form. 

To the ends for which our version exists, what is 
contributed by disguising under a Grecian garb the 
names that have already become well known ? Why 
introduce the patriarch Judah as Judas and Juda, or 
the prophet Jonah as Jonas 9 Ahijah, Ahaz, and Asher^ 
are well known ; who are Abia, Achaz, and Aser f No 
help is given to " doctrine, reproof, correction, and in- 
struction in righteousness," by confusing to common 
readers the identity of those whose words are quoted, 
or whose deeds and experiences are recorded. To pre- 
serve a more modern and unfamiliar form because it 
agrees better with the Greek, divides and weakens the 
unity and continuity of the impression which should 
be made by the two Testaments. The letter is honored 
at the expense of the substance. We would read still 
of Hagar and Boaz and Gideon, rather than of Agar and 
Booz and Gedeon; of Haran and Canaan and Midian, 
rather than of Charran and Chanaan and Madian; of 
Shem and Terah and Nahor, and not of Sem,, Thara, and 
Nachor. If I read in the :N'ew Testament of Methusaleh, 
Jephthah, Kish, and Uzziah, instead of Mathusala, Jeph- 
thae, Cis, and Ozias, I should not be delayed in recall- 
ing what I know of them by the novelty of their 


names. Elijah and Elisha, Isaiah^ Jeremiah^ and Hosea, 
I know ; with Elias and Eliseus, Esaias, Jeremias, and 
Osee, I must become acquainted. The lessons to be 
learned from the story of Joshua and of Korah, are 
often put out of mind when hidden behind the names 
of Jesus (Acts vii, 45, and Heb. iv, 8) and Core (Jude 
11). To lose from our Bibles the names, Ezekias^ Jecho- 
nias, Josias^ Unas, Zara, Sala, Saruch, Phalec^ Phares, 
JRoboam, Manasses, Joatham, Zabulon, Pachab, if these 
were replaced by the old forms that never detain us to 
look at them as mere forms, would bring no real loss. 
And when to this list we add Shechem, Zidon, and Zion, 
in place of Si/chem, Sidon, and Sion, the names that are 
common to the two Testaments are (unless something 
has escaped notice) all brought into correspondence. 

Of the far more extended list of names peculiar to one 
or the other Testament, this brief paper cannot assume 
to speak exhaustively. Our object is secured if atten- 
tion has been called to some of the ends to be aimed 
at in a revision of the proper names of the Bible, and 
some of the principles that should guide the attempt. 


President of Haverford College, Pa. 

Few need be told that the italics in the English 
Bible — with the notable exception of a single passage 
— are used to show that the words so designated do 
not actually occur in the original Hebrew or Greek, 
and have been inserted because thought necessary 
either for the clear or for the idiomatic expression of 
the sense in English. The one exception is in 1 John 
ii, 23, where the last half of the verse was printed in 
a different letter, to indicate that it was omitted by 
some editors and (inferior) manuscripts ; its genuine- 
ness, however, has since been established beyond ques- 

Origin of the Use of Italics. — While our Authorized 
Version has made probably a fuller and more consistent 
use of distinctive forms to indicate supplementary 
words than any other, it was not the first to adopt 
such a device. When Origen revised the Septuagint, 
he collated it throughout with the Hebrew, and wher- 
ever he found any words in the Greek to which there 
was nothing correspondent in the original, he marked 
them with an obelos, to denote their absence from the 
latter. Jerome used the same mark, for the same pur- 
pose, in his revision of the Old Testament in Latin, 
from the Septuagint. Sebastian Miinster, who trans- 
lated the Old Testament into Latin in 1534-5, distin- 
guished by brackets such words, supplementary to 
those of the original, as he thought it necessary to 
introduce. Arias Montanus, in his Latin version 
14 157 


founded on Pagninus, which was printed in the Ant- 
werp Polyglot of 1569-72, marked all his variations 
from the Yulgate by italics. His course was followed 
by Beza, Tremellius and Junius, and other translators. 
The Spanish version of Cypriano de Valera (1602), and 
the Italian version of Diodati (1607), present supple- 
mentary words in a distinctive character. 

Coverdale's Latin-English Testament (1538) shows 
intimations of distinguishing by brackets such words 
in the English as were in addition to the Latin; 
citing, in the epistle to the reader prefixed to the 
work, the authority of Jerome and Origen. In the 
"Great Bible" (1539) certain words are found in a 
type distinct from that of the main part of the volume, 
of which the Prologue gives the following explana- 
tion: "Whereas oftentimes ye shall find a small letter 
in the text, it signifieth that so much as is in the 
small letter doth abound, and is more in the common 
translation in Latin than is found either in the He- 
brew or the Greek ; which words and sentences we 
have added, not only to manifest the same unto you, 
but also to satisfy and content those that here before 
time have missed such sentences in the Bibles and 
New Testaments before set forth." The Geneva Bible 
was the first in English to use italics, which it em- 
ployed on the same principles as our Authorized Ver- 
sion. The Bishops' Bible also distinguished supple- 
mentary words by a different character. Finally, in 
1611, the first edition of our Authorized Version ap- 
peared, printed in black letter, with the supplementary 
words in Eoman. When, in subsequent editions, Ro- 
man type was substituted for black letter, the addi- 
tions were marked by italics, as they are printed at 
this day. 


Only in the translation of a book in which each 
word is invested with momentous interest, could men 
have deemed it necessary to specify by a characteristic 
mark, words which are actually implied in the original, 
and omitted in it simply because not required by its 
idiom. If in the use of this mark our translators 
have erred, as I think they have, by excess, their mo- 
tive deserves all praise. Even in cases where the 
words inserted are such as are plainly involved in the 
original expression, and indubitably necessary to set 
forth the same thought in English, they were unwill- 
ing to allow any term of their own introduction to go 
unlabeled, lest haply they might fail to give the reader 
due notice in some case where the necessity or propriety 
of the new word might possibly be open to dispute. 

Superfluous Use of Italics. — Yet wherever, as in 
the majority of cases of italics in our English Bible, 
there is no room for doubt that the inserted words 
express nothing more and nothing other than the 
original text was meant to convey, it is superfluous 
to point them out. It is not the office of a translator 
to present information concerning the differences of 
grammar and idiom between the languages of the 
original text and the version ; but it is his duty, avail- 
ing himself of his own knowledge of these differences, 
to give his readers the clearest and directest statement 
in their own idiom of the precise thought expressed 
in the original sentence, without addition and without 

The application of this principle would go far to 
clear our English Bible of those italics which to some 
degree strike the eye as blemishes. A very large part 
of them occur in some form of the verb "to be," 


especially in its use as a copula, a verb whicli the 
ancient languages omit readily ; of similar frequency 
is the insertion by our translators of personal, posses- 
sive, or relative pronouns, indubitably implied in the 
original. Where there can be no doubt as to the pre- 
cise form of the verb implied, or the pronoun to be 
used, it would seem unnecessary to designate the 
added words. Need the reader be informed of what 
is merely a difference of Hebrew and English idiom, 
by the italics in the sentence, ''And God saw that it 
was good"? There is no necessity of italicizing man 
or woman^ where the word is implied (if we may not 
say actually expressed) in the masculine or feminine 
terminations of adjectives, adjective pronouns, or par- 
ticiples; unless there be a possibility, in any case, that 
some order of beino; his/her or lower than human is 
referred to, or that the distinction of man and boy, 
or girl and woman, might essentially affect the sense. 
It is being over-nice also to italicize the word 7iot, 
after a preceding negative, as in Deut. xxxiii, 6; 1 
Sam. ii, 3 ; Job iii, 11 ; xxx, 20, 25 ; Ps. Ixxv. 5; xci, 
5, 6 ; Isa. xxxviii, 18. It is simply a peculiarity of the 
Hebrew idiom not to require in such cases, as does the 
English, the repetition of the negative. 

In addition to these whole classes of words, in- 
dividual instances abound in which italics have been 
needlessly used to indicate words actually implied, or 
more than implied, in the original. Thus, in Luke 
xvi, 5, and several similar passages, " he called every 
one of his lord's debtors unio him," the preposition is 
in composition with the verb, and the pronoun is im- 
plied by the middle voice ; in John xx, 5, 11, " stoop- 
ing down, and looking in" " she stooped down, and 
looked into the sepulchre," the Greek verb denotes look- 


ing as well as stooping, and should have been so trans- 
lated also in Luke xxiv, 12 ; in such expressions as 
" the first day of the week," " the next day,^^ " the day 
after," the word " day " is indubitably understood in 
the original, and is the only word that can possibly be 
used in English; in such phrases as, "hath not where 
to lay his head," " thy sins be forgiven," " lest they 
should see with their eyes," " we have Abraham to our 
father," " even as a hen gathereth her chickens under 
her wings," the possessive adjective pronouns are repre- 
sented in Greek by the article, by a familiar idiom 
common to the Greek and various modern languages. 
In some cases words inserted in italics are pleonastic, 
or simply superfluous. Thus, in Matt, iii, 15, " suffer 
it to he so now," it alone is sufficient ; in Matt, xvi, 14, 
" some 5a?/ that thou art^'^ say would be better; in Luke 
iii, 5, " and the rough ways smooth " sounds better 
than " and the rough ways shall he made smooth ; " in 
Luke xii, 58, " in the way " (that is, on the road), is 
enough without prefixing "«5 thou artf^ in John viii, 6, 
the whole phrase, '--as though he heard them not^'' is a false 
reading of the Greek text. In the following passages 
also the words in italics are unnecessarily added : Acts 
vii, 42, " hy the space of forty years ; " x, 29, " came I 
unto you;" xxiii, 22, " see thou tell no man ; " Eom. xi, 
4, " to the image of Baal ; " 1 Cor. xiv, 3, " he that proph- 
esieth speaketh unto men to edification ;" xiv, 19, "yet 
in the church I had rather speak five words with my 
understanding, that hy my voice I might teach others 
also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue;" 
xiv, 34, "but they are commanded to be under obedi- 
ence;" XV, 41, " for one star differeth from another star 
in glory ;" 2 Cor. iii, 3, ^'-forasmuch as ye are manifestly 
declared to be the epistle of Christ;" Eph. iv, 14, 


"that we henceforth be no more children;" Heb. ix, 
12, "having obtained eternal redemption for us;'' 
1 Pet. i, 22, ''see that ye love one another;" 2 Pet. i, 
21, " as they were moved by the Holy Ghost ; " 1 John 
ii, 19, " they would no doubt have continued with us ;" 
and Rev. ii, 25, " but that which ye have already hold 
fast till I come." 

Italics Introduced from False Interpretations. — 
There is another class of italicized passages, in which 
we can certainly find no fault with the translators for 
their designating the words which they have added, 
but modern scholarship discards the interpretation 
which they give of the sense of the original. Thus, 
in Ps. xix, 3, " There is no speech nor language, where 
their voice is not heard," the meaning is sadly per- 
verted by the interpolations. Another notable ex- 
ample is in Heb. x, 38, "IS'ow the just shall live by 
faith; but if any man draw back," etc. The proper 
translation is, " but if he draw back." The italicized 
words in John iii, 34, " God giveth not the Spirit by 
measure unto hiin" improperly limit the sense, and 
should be omitted. In Matt, xxv, 14, " For the king- 
dom of heaven is as a man travelling," etc., and in Mark 
xiii, 34, " For the Son of man is as a man taking a far 
journey," we should have it is in both cases ; the mean- 
ing of " it," which is to be gathered from the context, 
not being correctly represented by the inserted words. 
In Matt. XX, 23, " but to sit on my right hand, and on 
my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them 
for whom it is prepared of my Father," it is for them 
should be substituted for the italics of our translators. 
In Acts xxiii, 1, " Men and brethren " should be sim- 
ply " Brethren " or " My brethren," the word trans- 


lated " men " being used simply as a courteous prefix 
to " brethren." (The same word is used in the same 
manner at the beginning of the previous chapter, 
wrongly translated "Men, brethren, and fathers," as 
though three classes of persons were addressed, instead 
of " my brethren and fathers.") In Acts vii, 59, "call- 
ing upon God^ and saying. Lord Jesus, receive my 
spirit," we should have "calling upon the Lord" 
Scholars may differ on the translation of Eccles. xii, 
13, " for this is the whole duty of man," whether to 
accept our authorized version, or to say "for this is all 
of man," or " for this is the duty of every man." In 2 
Tim. iii. 16, many prefer the interpretation adopted 
in some of the older English versions, "All Scripture 
given by inspiration of God is profitable also," etc. 
But whatever our judgment of the correctness or in- 
correctness of the view taken by the translators of 
1611 of the meaning of any of these passages, they 
are good illustrations of the legitimate use of italics, 
as indicating words not necessarily implied in the 
original ; and we cannot but commend the scrupulous 
honesty with which the reader has been notified in all 
such cases, and thus left free to adopt a different view 
of his own. 

Felicitous Use of Italics. — Instances of the correct 
and felicitous insertion of italicized words in the Bible 
are very numerous, and will be easily recognized by 
intelligent readers. Sometimes a slight addition pro- 
motes the smoothness and rhythmic flow of the sen- 
tence ; thus the word even is often inserted, as in John 
XV. 26 ; Rom. iv, 17. In Ps. cix, 4, "For my love they 
are my adversaries, but I give myself unto prayer," the 
extreme conciseness of the original cannot be imitated 


advantageously in English, and the introduction of 
the new words is very happy. In a very few cases it 
might be an improvement to introduce italics where 
our Authorized Version gives us Roman letters ; thus 
the italicizing of the word it in 1 Cor. xv, 44, would 
obviate a possible misconception of the meaning of 
the text, which reads literally, "A natural body is 
sown, a spiritual body is raised," or " There is sown a 
natural body, there is raised a spiritual body." 

Revision of the Italics in our Version. — The italics 
in our Authorized Version have not been left without 
several revisions. The inconsistencies in their use in 
the edition of 1611, (or more properly in the use of 
the small Roman type which served the same purpose 
when the Bible was printed in black letter,) are not 
the least striking among the many indications of the 
haste and carelessness with which that edition was 
brought out. Thus in Hebrews x, 38, the words "any 
man " were printed in the same type as the rest of the 
verse. This oversight, with many others, was cor- 
rected in the carefully revised edition published at 
Cambridge, in 1638. Further modifications were 
made by Dr. Scattergood in 1683,^ and particularly 
by Dr. Blayney, in the much esteemed Oxford edition 
of 1769, which he superintended. Dr. Adam Clarke, 
in his edition and commentary in 1810, complains of 
gross corruptions in the italics of Dr. Blayney's edi- 
tions, " particularly where they have been changed 
for Roman characters, whereby words have been 

* Also by Dr. Lloyd, in 1701, and Dr. Paris, in 1762. The typo- 
graphical perfection of our Authorized Version, in conformity to its 
own standards, has been gradually achieved by the patient labor of 
many hands. 


attributed to God which he never spake," and intro- 
duces many " corrections." Dr. Scrivener, in his 
Cambridge Paragraph Bible of 1870, has endeavored 
to make the use of italics uniform and consistent; a 
work in which he found, as he says in his preface, that 
" not a little remained to be accomjDlished." 

I have already intimated my own opinion that some 
of the italicized words in our English Bible are 
gratuitous interpolations, and that a very consider- 
able reduction may be made in the remaining number 
without depriving the reader of any information con- 
cerning the original text which would be of real value 
to him. But the question of their retention or dis- 
missal is sometimes a delicate one ; and wherever it is 
not easy to decide that they are of no use, they should 
have the benefit of the doubt. 



Of Drew Theological Seminary, N. J. 

The Division of the Bible into chapters originated 
with the commentators of the Middle Ages as a con- 
venience. Cardinal Hugh, of St. Cher, adopted it in 
his Concordance to the Latin Yulgate, about A. D. 
1244, and it was thence transferred to the Hebrew and 
Greek originals. The division into verses, in the Old 
Testament, is found in the Hebrew manuscripts of the 
earliest date. In the New Testament it was hastily 
made by the printer, Robert Stephens, for the fourth 
edition of his Greek Testament, published in 1551. 
The chapters and verses in the common English Bible 
differ in but a few places from those now generally 
indicated in the printed editions of the Hebrew and 
Greek texts. They constitute the paragraph marks or 
breaks in the lines in King James's version. In the 
Hebrew Bible, however, the numerals for the chapters 
and verses are placed in the margin, and the text is 
broken into large sections for the synagogue lessons, 
and smaller ones of a more arbitrary character. This 
has been partly imitated in some editions of the Eng- 
lish Bible, by placing a paragraph mark (1[) at the 
head of verses supposed to begin a new subject; but in 
neither case has the division been convenient, uniform, 
or logical. In the original edition (1611) of the Au- 
thorized Version this mark is prefixed, in the Psalms, 
to the special titles only; in the other books it is 
interspersed most capriciously. In the new Anglo- 
American revision the marks of chapter and verse 



will be retained for reference ; but the text will be 
divided into sections, on some plan not yet fully set- 
tled. It is earnestly hoped that neither the Maso- 
retic nor any other conventional mode of division will 
be implicitly followed, but that the paragraphs will 
correctly indicate the changes of topics. The parallelism 
in the poetical books will be shown by printing in 
verse-form, which will be an immense gain in the clear- 
ness and force of meaning. For example, the earliest 
specimen of poetry extant (Gen. iv, 23, 24) illustrates 
itself if arranged in some such way as this : 

"And Lamech said unto his wives, 

Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice ; 

Ye wives of Lamech, Hearken unto my speech: 
For I have slain a man to my wounding, 
And a young man to my hurt. 

If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, 
Truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold." 

Chapter and Verse Divisions. — The present di- 
vision into chapters and verses is manifestly in- 
judicious, and some of the advantages of a just para- 
graph system are the following, which we will illus- 
trate by a few examples : 

1. The sense is greatly injured hy the one method^ and im- 
proved by the other. — Oftentimes the closest connection 
of thought is broken up by the present division, which 
is purely accidental ; and, vice versa, a connection is 
falsely suggested where there is really a break in the 
subject. Thus, at the very outset, the account of the 
general creation, in Gen. i, properly includes verses 1-3 
of Chapter ii, as every indication in the text shows ; 
while verse 4 begins the narrative of man's trial in 
Eden. So, in the last chapter of Revelation, verses 1-5 
belong to the description of the heavenly city preced- 


ing, and the remaining verses contain an entirely dis- 
tinct topic. Similar instances are innumerable, as any 
judiciously arranged " Paragraph Bible " will show. 
In like manner, the verses frequently interrupt a 
sentence, sometimes very strangely, as in Ps. xcviii, 8, 
9, " Let the hills be joyful together — before the Lord ;" 
and so Ps. xcvi, 12, 13. The mere fact of beginning a 
new verse with a capital letter, after a comma, or some 
other of the lesser punctuation marks, is calculated to 
mislead the reader, and induce a defective and errone- 
ous habit of quoting Scripture. Probably this has been 
a fruitful cause of the prevalent practice of perverting 
proof-texts, by neglecting the context. On the con- 
trary, how much more beautiful would the description 
of charity, in 1 Cor. xiii, become if read in immediate 
connection, as exemplifying the " more excellent way" 
of the last verse of the preceding chapter, and as enforc- 
ing the exhortation to " follow after charity," in the 
first verse of the following chapter. Proper paragraph- 
ing is a sort of analysis of a book or chapter, so as to 
be evident at a glance. How would a modern history, 
or poem, or epistle look, if the printer should chop it 
up in the fashion of our common Bibles ? It greatly 
impairs the significance and dignity of the sacred 

2. The present arrangement is a loss in every respect, — > 
For convenience of consultation the verse and chapter 
numbers are certainly preferable in the margin, where 
the eye can rapidly run down them in single file. 
There is surely no economy of space in losing part of 
a line at the end of nearly every verse. There is little 
beauty in the ragged-looking page that these frequent 
and irregular blanks make. The double columns which 
this method of typography almost necessitates shorten 


the measure and destroy uniformity of spacing. There 
is small comfort in reading at one time a chapter, some- 
times unduly long, sometimes very short, without be- 
ing sure that you have the whole subject together. 
Finally, on the ordinary plan, it is impossible to dis- 
tinguish the poetical from the prose portions of the 
Bible. All these things considered, it is a wonder 
that intelligent readers will tolerate the chapter-and^ 
verse mode of paragraphing, i^othing but slavery to 
custom could reconcile us to it in these days of literary 
and mechanical improvement. 



" He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully." — Jer. 

xxiii, 28. 

Objections to a Revision. — That the proposal to set 
forth a revision of the English Bible should awaken 
opposition and distrust, will surprise no one who has 
given the least reflection to the subject, or who is con- 
versant with the history of the sacred text. In pro- 
portion to the value set upon this version will be the 
anxiety and alarm at the suggestion of change. To the 
great majority of readers the Bible to which they have 
been always accustomed is the word of God, verbatim 
et literatim. Accepting all Scripture as given by inspira- 
tion of God, they have been wont to regard every sylla- 
ble with equal veneration. The words and phrases, as- 
sociated in memory with the happiest and most solemn 
hours of their lives, are redolent of that heaven from 
which they are supposed to come, and to part with the 
smallest fragment is a most painful thought. The de- 
vout reader feels as if he were to be robbed of that 
which is more precious than gold. 

Very many, who value their Bible above all price, 
scarcely ever remember that what they have before 
their eyes is not the very utterance of men moved by 
the Holy Ghost, but a translation from other languages, 
and so far, a human work. As a human work it is 
liable to the error and imperfection incident to what- 
ever is human. So also, as committed to writing, it 
has during many ages been exposed to sufier from 



errors of transcribers, and even endeavors well meant, 
however mistaken, to correct and improve the original. 
The impression has been cherished and common that 
the Holy One who gave men his word has interposed, 
by perpetual miracle, to guard it from alteration or 
corruption. So that infallibility has been virtually 
attributed not only to the prophets, apostles and evan- 
gelists who wrote the different books, but to scribes, 
copyists and translators, through whom they have been 
handed down to us. 

Now while we gratefully acknowledge the provi- 
dence of Almighty God, in preserving and watching 
over these communications of his will, so that we have 
a sure and sufficient rule of faith and practice, it is 
undeniable that no such miracle has been wrought. 
Scribes and translators have not been exempt from 
human infirmities. Errors have crept into the text, 
sometimes from design, oftener from accident. 

Our English Bible, commonly known as the Author- 
ized Version, with all its claims upon our reverence and 
confidence, does not contain the lively oracles as origi- 
nally spoken or recorded. It is God's word only so far 
as the primal text has been exactly preserved and faith- 
fully rendered into our tongue. To admit this is to cast 
no reflection upon the work itself, or upon those who 
were engaged in its preparation. All honor to the noble 
band of Christian scholars who, from Wickliffe down 
to the revisers appointed by King James, labored to 
present the Holy Scriptures in the English language. 
Many of them died for their loyalty and devotion to 
the truth which they sought to diffuse. All of them 
were men eminent for learning, as for purity and holi- 
ness of life. They left behind them a monument en- 
during and admirable. The very comparison of the 


dates 1611 and 1870 is an emphatic witness to the high 
qualifications and conscientious fidelity of those last 
named. For more than two centuries and a half their 
revision has held its place, gathering around it the 
affections of the great mass of those who speak the 
English tongue, and the homage and admiration of the 
learned. No eulogistic language has seemed to over- 
pass its merits. And those who promote and encour- 
age the revision now in progress, as well as those 
actually participating in the work, yield to none in 
sincere and enlightened appreciation of the excellences 
of the Authorized Version. 

Advances in Textual Criticism. — But the world 
has not been standing still since 1611, and among 
other advances, prodigious strides have been made in 
branches of knowledge bearing upon the right under- 
standing of the Holy Scriptures. Textual criticism 
has so improved as to be almost ranked as a new 
science. Men of varied acquirements, and of the 
richest intellectual gifts, have given years to the pa- 
tient investigation of the subject. Diligent explora- 
tion has brought to light ancient manuscripts of in- 
estimable worth. Every word and letter has been 
examined with scrupulous and painstaking care. Of 
the extent and thoroughness of these researches and 
studies, one who has not examined the subject can 
have little conception. And while the materials have 
thus been collected from all sources, the knowledge of 
the languages in which the Scriptures were written 
has been greatly enlarged and perfected. This is spe- 
cially true of Greek scholarship. Apart from striking 
and obvious corrections, sh^ides of meaning and felici- 
ties of expression are now brought to view, enhancing 


greatly the clearness and beauty of the divinely-given 

While improved scholarship has thus been enlarg- 
ing acquaintance with the ancient tongues, our own 
English has not been fixed and immovable. :N'o doubt 
the generally read version of the Scriptures has done 
much to prevent innovation, but a living, growing 
tongue experiences constant variation, and casts off 
from age to age once familiar words. To resist obsti- 
nately all recognition of these changes in a book in- 
tended to be in every hand, is to render certain portions 
obscure or unintelligible. 

Reasons for a Revision. ~ These are some of the 
reasons which have impressed upon Biblical scholars 
within the last generation the importance of a re- 
vision of the English Bible in common use. With 
all its confessed merits, the defects and errors were 
too glaring to be denied or overlooked. The con- 
science of the Christian church became more and 
more aroused. The duty of placing before the people 
a pure and unexceptionable text pressed more heav- 
ily. The assaults of gainsayers and enemies could 
not be successfully resisted. It was a painful thing 
for the teacher to be laboring to explain what, after 
all, was no part of the inspired volume, and for the 
preacher to find that the text upon which he had been 
discoursing was erroneously rendered, i^either was 
it a pleasant task to avoid misunderstandings, by en- 
cumbering a discourse with learned criticisms. Then 
the fact which could not be denied of the existence 
of thousands of various readings was magnified by 
assailants of the faith, and occasioned distrust and 
alarm in the heart of many an unlearned believer. 


The battle with infidelity was fought at a disad- 
vantage, while it was felt that there were useless 
weapons in the armory, and weak points in the walls 
of the citadel. 

The conviction, therefore, has been of late years a 
growing one that a revision must come, and come ere 
very long. That it would be encountered by alarm 
and hostility was inevitable. This had been the fate 
of every attempt of this kind from the beginning. 
Jerome's great work, afterwards elevated by the 
Church of Kome to the rank of an infallible standard, 
awoke a furious tempest of opposition at the outset. 
But the necessity was now admitted by men not less 
known for their conservative opinions than for their 

Archbishop Trench on Eevision. — Among the early 
prominent works indicating this conviction was that 
of Dr. Trench, now Archbishop of Dublin, in 1858, in 
which he says, " It is clear that the question. Are we, 
or are we not to have a new translation of the Scrip- 
ture? or, rather, since few would propose this who 
do not wish to lift anchor, and loosen from its moor- 
ings the whole religious life of the English people, 
shall we, or shall we not have a new revision of the 
Authorized Version ? is one which is presenting itself 
more and more familiarly to the minds of men." 
" Of the arguments against a revision none will deny 
the weight. Indeed, there are times when the whole 
matter presents itself as so full of difficulty and 
doubtful hazard, that one could be well content to 
resign all gains that would accrue from this revision, 
and only ask that things might remain as they are ; 
but this, I am persuaded, is impossible. However we 


may be disposed to let the question alone, it will not 
let us alone. It has been too eftectually stirred, ever 
again to go to sleep ; and the difficulties with which 
it is surrounded, be they few or many, will have at no 
distant day to be encountered. The time will come 
when the perils of remaining where we are will be so 
manifestly greater than the perils of action, that action 
will become inevitable. There will be danger in both 
courses, for that saying of the Latin moralist is a pro- 
foundly true one, 'Nunqitam periculum sine periculo vin- 
citur; ' but the lesser danger will have to be chosen." 

Difficulties of Revision.— But the importance and 
necessity of the work being admitted, the manner of 
proceeding was beset with great and obvious difficulties. 
The so-called Authorized Version was the common prop- 
erty and treasure of all who speak the English tongue. 
Its merits had commended it to almost universal ac- 
ceptance. Although issuing from the Church of Eng- 
land, it was no less prized by the different bodies oi 
non-conformists in that country, and by various Chris- 
tian communions in our own land. It was a bond of 
union among those who differed materially from each 
other ; a common standard of appeal. The wide dif- 
fusion of the Anglo-Saxon race had carried it over the 
world ; and wherever one to whom the English lan- 
guage was vernacular found himself, he heard in public 
worship the same hallowed and venerated phrases and 
expressions. Some of the most eager advocates for 
revision trembled at the thought of losing so blessed 
a testimony to the unity of our faith, and felt that 
it would be a deplorable change to substitute several 
versions for the one that had obtained such supremacy 
and acceptance. The opinion was therefore strongly 


expressed by those who discussed the subject, that, in 
securing a more accurate book, the greatest care should 
be taken not to forfeit this happy unanimity. 

This obstacle seemed at once to oppose the undertak- 
ing to supply this want by any one church. Jealousy 
and distrust would be inevitably awakened. The au- 
thority thus gained within the borders of the commun- 
ion assuming this work would he met by prejudices 
awakened in other bodies. To bring delegates from 
all these communions together for consultation seemed 
an impracticable matter. If any Church should lead 
in the enterprise, the old historic Church which had 
produced the Authorized Version would seem evidently 
to be the one to take the initiative ; and yet its ablest 
minds felt that the risk was very serious of failing to 
obtain general recognition, even if the Church of Eng- 
land could authoritatively sanction and adopt a revised 
version. Archbishop Trench remarks in the work 
above referred to, " With the exception of the Roman 
Catholics, the Authorized Version is common ground 
for all in England who call themselves Christians ; is 
alike the heritage of all. But, even if English Dis- 
senters acknowledge the necessity of a revision, which 
I conclude from many indications they do, it is idle 
to expect they would accept such at our hands. Two 
things then might happen : either they would adhere 
to the old version, which is not, indeed, very probable; 
or they would carry out a revision — it might be two 
or three — of their own. In either case the ground of 
a common Scripture, of an English Bible which they 
and we hold equally sacred, would be taken from us ; 
the separation and division which are now the sorrow, 
and perplexity, and shame of England, would become 
more marked, more deeply fixed than ever." 


It is evident that the difficulty which seemed so for- 
midable to Dr. Trench would not be lighter in case of 
any other Christian body undertaking the work. This 
would be, in all probability, merely to provide a ver- 
sion of their own, and thus to cut themselves off, so 
far as this bond is concerned, from sympathy with 

Another difficulty suggests itself, in the way of pro- 
ceeding by Church authority, and that is the danger 
of giving previous sanction to a work which, after all, 
might not prove acceptable. The safer way is evi- 
dently for a proposed version to be for a time before 
the public, subject to free examination, prior to its 
formal adoption. 

And this seems to have been the history of the 
present English Bible. The title of "Authoriz3d 
Version" conveys a not altogether correct impression. 
The work was undertaken by direction of the king, 
without any synodal action or consent, and when 
published seems to have been left to win its own way 
to acceptance and use. " The clause on the title-page 
'appointed to be read in churches,' has, so far as is 
known, no authority, no edict of Convocation, no Act 
of Parliament, no decision of the Privy Council, no 
royal proclamation " (Eadie, Vol. II., p. 204). For 
some time after it was issued the Bishops' and the 
Geneva Bible were republished, extensively circulated, 
and the former held its old place in many chiy^ches. 
So that there is very little in the history of our present 
Bible to support the claim that a revision can only be 
undertaken and consummated by church authority. 

At the same time it is evident that more is needed 
than individual enterprise or a self-constituted board 
of revisers. Men of high attainments and excellent 


judgment have made valuable contributions to a more 
faithful and exact presentation of the Divine Word, 
and eminent scholars have united to set forth different 
portions, but it is evident that none of these can ob- 
tain universal assent. The work that is eventually to 
take the place of the Bible of 1611 must not only en- 
gage the patient study of well-qualified minds, but it 
must come before the public with higher claims to at- 
tention than a self-constituted committee can command. 

First Steps towards the Present Kevision. — These 
perplexities seem to have been happily solved in the 
present movement for revising the Authorized Ver- 
sion. It originated in the Convocation of the Province 
of Canterbury, an ecclesiastical body containing repre- 
sentatives from five-sixths of the Church of England. 
This assemblage of men of the highest position and 
most eminent character and scholarship in the Church 
which gave the present time-honored book, conferred 
the desirable sanction upon the revising body, without 
committing the church absolutely to their conclusions. 
It is no spontaneous, merely voluntary undertaking, 
in which the present revisers are combined, but one 
originating in an ecclesiastical Council of the greatest 
weight and respectability. May 6, 1870, resolutions 
were unanimously adopted by the upper house of the 
Convocation of Canterbury, and concurred in by a 
large majority of the lower house, to the following 
effect : 

" 1. That it is desirable that a revision of the Au- 
thorized Version of the Holy Scriptures be undertaken. 

" 2. That the revision be so conducted as to com- 
prise both marginal renderings, and such emendations 
as it may be found necessary to insert in the text. 


" 3. That in the above resolutions we do not con- 
template any new translation of the Bible, or any 
alteration of the language, except where, in the judg- 
ment of the most competent scholars, such change is 

" 4. That in such necessary changes, the style of the 
language employed in the existing version be closely 

" 5. That it is desirable that Convocation should 
nominate a body of its own members to undertake the 
work of revision, who shall be at liberty to invite the 
co-operation of any eminent for scholarship, to what- 
ever nation or religious body they may belong." 

The language of clause 5 indicates the liberal and 
comprehensive spirit of the action that was adopted. 
The great work was not to be confined to members of 
the Anglican Church, but to be shared by representa- 
tives of the different bodies who have equal interest 
in the result. This principle was advocated strongly 
by Archbishop Trench, in the treatise above men- 
tioned, and by Bishop Ellicott, in the introduction to 
his work on the Revision of the 'New Testament, and 
was fully admitted by the Convocation. 

American Co-operation. — In accordance with this 
action, the committee appointed, consisting of eight 
members of each house of Convocation, proceeded to 
invite eminent scholars and divines, as well from 
different bodies of non-conformists as from the Church 
of England, to join in this work. Among these are 
found names the most distinguished for biblical and 
classical scholarship. The insertion of the significant 
word " nation " in the action above recited, showed 
the desire for participation in the proposed work 


beyond the bounds of the British Empire, as well as 
beyond the limits of the established Church. 

Measures were accordingly taken to obtain the co- 
operation of American scholars, in the hope of making 
the new version, like the old one, a bond of union be- 
tween two great nations speaking the same language. 
Twenty-five persons, representing the principal Prot- 
estant communions in the United States, were invited 
to act in co-operation with the English revisers, and 
have been holding regular monthly sessions for the last 
seven years. There has been constant and confidential 
interchange of results between the committees on each 
side of the Atlantic, and the joint work has been going 
forward in a harmonious and satisfactory manner. 

The final acceptance of the result is to be hereafter 
shown. The revisers do not ask or expect an imme- 
diate and inconsiderate approval. They will submit 
their conclusions to the calm and mature examination 
of the great Christian public, to be judged upon their 
own merits. It is confidently suggested to candid men 
who love God's word, and desire it to be presented in 
the greatest attainable purity, that probably no method 
of procedure could have been devised for securing that 
object, less open to objection, and combining greater 
advantage and promise, than that which has been 


Abbot, Ezra, 12, 86, 149. 

Acts, MSS. of, 95, 96. 

Adams, W., 13. 

Addison on A. V., 37. 

^schylus, MSS. of, 95. 

Aiken, C. A., 11, 151. 

Alexander, W. L., 7. 

Alexandrian MS., 74, 95. 

Alford, Dean, 10. 

American language, 117. 

American Revision Committee, 11, 14, 
15, 179. 

Ancient translations : see Versions. 

Anderson, T. D., 13. 

Anglo-American Bible Revision, 10, 

Angus, J., 9. 

Antiquities of the Holy Land, 62. 

Antwerp Polyglot, 74, 158. 

Aorist, errors in the use of the, 106, 
107, 126, 128. 

Aquila, version of, 44, 74. 

Arabic language, 61, 76. 

versions, 62, 75, 96. 

Archaisms, or Obsolete and Un- 
usual Words or Phrases in the 
English Bible, 144. 

Armenian version, 96. 

Article, definite, 68, 101. 

Assyria, antiquities in, 62. 

Authorized Version : 

a classic, 37-42. 

accuracy of, 56. 

associations of, 41. 

authority of, 48. 

authors of, 31, 39, 99. 


Authorized Version, beauties of, 34, 41. 

character of, 39. 

conservative influence of, 40. 

critical apparatus of,46,73-79,172. 

defects of, 47, 62. 

errors of, 64, 80-85, 99-112, 129- 


estimation of, 16, 34, 113, 172. 

eulogies on, 16, 34, 37, 39, 40, 113, 


excellencies of, 171. 

Faber on, 42. 

Greek text of, 17,93,113,118-125. 

helps for translating, 72-79. 

history of, 14, 15, 20, 30-37, 39, 

44, 60, 61, 70, 72-79, 99, 177. 

inaccuracies of, 68, 80-85,99-112, 

infelicities of. 111, 137. 

instructions regarding, 31. 

italics in, 157-165. 

obscurities of, 138. 

obsolete words in, 145. 

preface of, 50. 

proper names of, 151-156. 

standard of English, 35, 37, 44. 

style of, 35, 38, 39, 45, 47, 52, 119, 

140, 171. 

translators of, 31, 39. 

verbal differences and agree- 
ments in, 133-143. 

Wycliflfe and, 30. 

Babylonia, schools in, 54. 
Bacon, style of, 38. 
Barnes, A. S., 13. 
Bath and Wells, Bishop of, 7. 




Bengel, labors of, 97. 
Bensly, Robert L., 7. 
Beza, version of, 28, 93, 94, 158. 
Bible, a classic, 37-42. 

Bishops', 29, 34, 39, 40, 158. 

Chapters of, 17, 166. 

Coverdale's, 25, 26, 28, 32, 39, 158. 

Cranmer's, 29, 32, 39. 

divisions of, 166-169. 

Great, 26, 158. 

Matthew's, 26, 28, 32, 39. 

Paragraphs of, 166. 

Taverner's, 27. 

Translations of: see Versions. 

Verses of, 28, 166. 

Versions of: see Versions. 

Whitchurch's, 32. 

Biblical science, advances in, 49, 60, 

99, 172. 
Biblical style, 45. 
Bickersteth, Dean, 9. 
Birrell, John, 7. 
Bishop, N., 13. 

Bishops' Bible, 29, 34, 39, 40, 158. 
Blakesley, Dean, 9. 
Blayney's edition of the A. V., 164. 
Bomberg, Bible of, 53. 
Bottcher, Hebrew Grammar of, 76. 
Britain, Christianity in, 22. 
British Museum, 74. 
Brown, David, 9. 
Brown, J. M., 13. 
Browne, Bishop E. H., 7. 
Burr, J. K., 12. 
Buxtorf, John, Hebrew works of, 61, 

62, 75. 
Buxtorf, John, Jr., labors of, 61. 

Cambridge MS., 95. 

University Press, 19. 

Campbell, George, version of, 41. 
Canterbury, Canon of, 7. 

• Convocation of, 14, 178. 

Dean of, 7. 

revision, 178. 

Cappellus, labors of, 57. 

Castellus, labors of, 61, 76. 
Catholic Epistles, 95. 
Cauldwell, W. A., 13. 
Chaldee targums, 57, 62, 75. 
Chambers, Talbot W., 11, 37. 
Chance, Frank, 7. 
" Change, given to," 81. 
Chapters of the Bible, 17, 166. 

headings of, 17. 

Chase, Thomas, 12, 157. 

Chayim, Jacob ben, 54. 

Chenery, Thomas, 7. 

Cheyne, T. K., 7. 

Christianity in Britain, 22. 

Church of Rome and the Scriptures, 

Classical authors, text of,* 86, 95. 
Clermont MS., 93. 
Codex Amiatinus, 75. 
Codex Bezse, 95. 
Coins of the Bible, 118. 
Coleridge on A. V., 37. 
Complutensian Polyglot, 74, 93, 94. 
Conant, T. J., labors of, 11, 82. 
Conservatism in Respect to Changes 

IN THE English and the Greek 

Text, 113. 
Convocation of Canterbury, 14. 
Cook, Canon, 10. 
Coptic version, 96. 
Copyists, errors of, 97. 
— — rules of, 55. 
Corn-fields, 117. 
Coverdale, version of, 25, 26, 28, 32, 

39, 158. 
Cranmer's Bible, 29, 32, 39. 
Critical Apparatus for Anglo-Ameri- 
can Revision, 46, 94-97. 
Criticism, advances in, 49, 99, 172. 

of Old Testament, 54. 

Crooks, G. R., 12. 
Crosby, Howard, 12, 144. 
Curetonian Syriac version, 96. 
Current Version of the Scriptures 

AS Compared with our Present 

Needs, 48. 



Cursive MSS., 96. 

Davidson, A. B., 7. 
Davidson, S., 56. 
Davies, Professor, 8. 
Day, George E., 11, 72. 
De Dieu, labors of, 76. 
De Rossi, labors of, 57, 62. 
De Witt, J., 11. 
Devil, name of, 142. 
Diodati, version of, 77, 158. 
Divisions of* the Bible, 166-169. 
Dodge, William E., 13. 
Douglas, George, 7. 
Driver, S. R., 7. 
Dutch versions, 25, 37. 
Duty of Revisionists, 70. 
Dwight, Timothy, 12, 113. 
Dyer, H., 13. 

Eadie, John, 10. 
Egypt, antiquities of, 62. 

river of, 63. 

EUicott, Bishop, 9. 

Elliott, J., 13. 

Elliott, C. J., 7. 

Elizabeth, style of her time, 38. 

English Bible as a Classic, 37. 

English language and the A. V., 34, 

36, 38, 115, 127, 143, 144-150, 160, 

English Revision Company, 7, 14, 15. 
Ephraem MS., 95. 
Epistle to the Hebrews, 110, 139. 
Erasmus, New Testament of, 93. 
Errors in geography, 62, 79. 

Greek article, 101. 

Hebrew Grammar, 67. 

■ prepositions and particles, 103. 

proper names, 64. 

verbs, 105. 

Ethiopia language, 61. 
Ethiopic version, 75. 
Ewald, Hebrew Grammar of, 76. 
r- labors of, 61. 

Faber, F. W., on A. V., 42. 
Fairbairn, P., 8. 
Fancher, E. L., 13. 
Field, Frederick, 8. 
Frankel, labors of, 57. 
French versions, 77. 
Frensdorf, labors of, 57. 
Fuerst, labors of, 61, 83. 

Geden, J. D., 8. 

Geneva Bible, 28, 29, 30, 32, 39, 41, 93. 

Geography of the Bible, 62, 79. 

German language, 127. 

versions, 25, 77. 

Gesenius, Hebrew Grammar of, 76. 

labors of, 61, 83. 

Ginsburg, C. D., 8, 57. 

Gospels, MSS. of, 95, 96. 

Gotch, F. W., 8. 

Gothic version, 96. 

Grain-fields, 117. 

Great Bible, 26, 158. 

Greek article, errors in, 101. 

authors, 86, 93, 94, 95, 127. 

criticism, 16. 

imperatives, 131. 

imperfect, 129. 

language, 25, 35, 47, 50, 127, 152, 

154, 157, 172. 

manuscripts, 17, 45, 49, 54, 86, 


middle voice, 132. 

non-indicative moods, 131. 

perfect, 130. 

tenses, 127. 

Testaments, 28, 93, 94. 

text of Anglo-American Revi- 
sion, 46, 94, 118. 

text of A. v., 45, 86, 93. 

verb, 126. 

versions, 44. 

Greek Verb in the New Testament, 

Green, W. Henry, 11, 60. 

Hebrew Grammar of, 76. 

Griesbach, labors of, 97, 98. 



Hackett, Horatio B., 12. 

Hadley, James, 12. 

Hallam on the A. V., 37. 

Hare, Augustus, on the A. V., 40. 

Hare, G. Emlen, 11, 48. 

Harrison, Archdeacon, 7. 

Havemeyer, J. C, 13. 

Hebrew criticism, advances in, 16. 

Grammars, 75. 

language, 22, 25, 35, 47, 50, 55, 67, 

70, 72, 73, 75, 76, 78, 152, 154, 
157, 160. 

manuscripts, 54, 57. 

philology of the A. V., 61. 

professors of, 15. 

restorations of, 57. 

text, 17, 53, 54, 57. 

vowels, 62. 

Hebrew Philology and Biblical 
Science, 60-71. 

Hebrew Text of the Old Testa- 
ment, 53-59. 

Hebrews, Epistle to the, 110, 139. 

Helps fou Translating the Hebrew 
Scriptures at the Time the Au- 
thorized Version was made, 72-79. 

Henry VIII. and the Bible, 25, 27. 

Henry, Matthew, 81. 

Hervey, A. C, Bishop, 7. 

Hippopotamus of Job, 82. 

Hodge, Charles, 12. 

Homer, text of, 86. 

Homreoteleuton, 88. 

Hort, F. J. A., labors of, 9, 98. 

Houbigant, labors of, 57, 62. 

Humphry, W. G., 9. 

Huxley, T. H., on A. V., 37. 

Inaccuracies of the Authorized 

Version of the Old Testament, 

Inaccuracies of the Authorized 

Version in Respect of Grammar 

and Exegesis, 99-112. 
Inaccuracy in the construction, 68. 
Italian versions, 77, 158. 

Italics in the Bible, 17, 18, 157-165. 
Italics in the English Bible, 157- 

Italics, errors caused by, 162. 

felicitous use of, 163. 

origin of, 157. 

revision of the, 164. 

superfluous use of, 159. 

James I., style of time of, 38. 
version of: see Authorized Ver- 
Jebb, Canon, 8. 

Jerome, versions of, 52, 55, 74, 158,174. 
Jerusalem Syriac version, 96. 
Jessup, M. K., 13. 
Jews, criticism of, 57. 

persecution of, 55. 

schools of, 54. 

Job, day of his birth, 81. 

English version of, 81. 

Hippopotamus of, 82. 

War horse of, 82. 

John, style of, 140. 

Josephus on Old Testament text, 55. 

Juda), Leo, 25. 

Junius, version of, 158. 

Kay, W., 8. 

Kendrick, A. C, 12, 99. 
Kennedy, Canon, 9. 
Kennicott, labors of, 57, 62. 
Kilbye, Dr. R., 81. 

King James's version: see Author- 
ized Version. 
Krauth, Charles P., 11, 22. 

Lachmann, labors of, 97, 98. 
Language, American, 117. 

Arabic, 61, 76. 

English, 34, 36, 38, 115, 127, 143, 

144-150, 160, 171. 
Language, Ethiopic, 61. 

German, 127. 

of the Anglo-American Revision, 




Language, Syriac, 61, 76. 
Languages, changes in, 44, 49, 134, 

Semitic, 73, 76. 

Latin authors, 93. 

versions, 22, 25, 26, 27, 77, 96, 174. 

Leathes, Stanley, 8. 
Lectionaries, MSS. of, 96. 
Lee, Archdeacon, 9. 

Bishop, 12, 170. 

Lewis, Tayler, 11. 

Lightfoot, Bishop, labors of, 9, 98. 

on the A. V., 47. 

Llandaff, Bishop of, 7. 

London Polyglot of 1657, 62. 

Lord's Prayer, 89. 

Lowth, Bishop, labors of, 41, 57. 

Lumby, J. E., 8. 

Luther, version of, 23, 24, 25, 77. 

Macaulay, Lord, on A. V., 37. 
MacGill, Professor, 8. 
Maidstone, Archdeacon of, 7. 
Manuscripts : 

Alexandrian, 74, 95. 

Cambridge, 95. 

Clermont, 93. 

Cursive, 96. 

Ephraem, 95. 

Greek, 17, 45, 49, 54, 86, 93-98. 

Hebrew, 54, 57. 

Lectionaries, 96. 

Sinaitic, 54, 74, 95. 

Uncial, 17, 95. 

Vatican, 54, 95. 

Marginal readings, 54. 

Mark, style of, 140. 

Marsh, George P., 38. 

Masoretic text, 17, 54, 62, 73, 167. 

Masorites, 54. 

Matthew, Thomas, Bible of, 26, 32, 39. 

Mead, Charles M., 11. 

Memphitic version, 96. 

Merivale, Dean, 10. 

Metrical arrangement, 18. 

Mill, labors of, 97. 


Milligan, William, 10. 
Moberly, Bishop, 9. 
Montanus, Arias, 157. 
Moulton, W. F., 10. 
MUnster, S., version of, 26, 157. 

Names, proper, changes in, 151. 

harmonizing of, 155. 

inconsistencies in, 152. 

of the Bible, 151-156. 

Nebuchadnezzar, dream of, 82. 
New Testament : 

manuscripts of, 17, 45, 49, 54, 86, 


Rheims, 29. 

text of, 17, 57, 86-98. 

r- various readings of, 56, 91. 

New Testament Text, 86-98. 
Newman, Francis W., on A. V., 37. 
Newman, John H., 10. 

on A. v., 37. 

Newth, S., 10. 
Nile River, 63. 
Norton, Andrews, on the N. T. text, 91. 

Obsolete significations, 145. 

words, 149. 

Old Testament text, 55, 56, 57. 

various readings of, 56. 

Older English and the Authorized 

Versions, 22-36. 
OUivant, Bishop A., 7. 
Origen, labors of, 44, 74, 157, 158. 

polyglot of, 44. 

Osgood, Howard, 11, 53. 
Oxford University Press, 19. 

Packard, Joseph, 11, 80. 
Pages, headings of, 17, 18. 
Pagninus, version of, 158. 
Palestina, 63. 
Palmer, Edwin, 10. 
Paper, invention of, 23. 
Paragraphs, 17. 

Paragraphs, Chapters, and Verses 
OF THE Bible, 166-169. 



Parallelism, 79, 167. 

Paris Polyglot of 1645, 62, 75. 

Parker, Archbishop, 29. 

Participle, aorist, 107. 

Particles, errors of, in A. V,, 104. 

Paul, style of, 141. 

Pauline Epistles, 93, 95, 96. 

Pentateuch, Samaritan, 75. 

Perowne, Dean, 8. 

Persian version, 75. 

Peshito Syriac version, 44, 96. 

Philodemus, fragments of, 95. 

Philology, advances in, 60, 76. 

Hebrew, 60-71. 

Philoxenian Syriac version, 96. 

Pinsker, labors of, 57. 

Plato, text of, 86. 

Plumptre, Edward H., 8. 

Pococke, labors of, 76. 

Poetical books of Old Testament, 79, 
167, 169. 

Polyglot Bibles : 

Antwerp, 74, 158. 

Complutensian, 93, 94. 

London, 1657, 62. 

Origen's, 44. 

Paris, 1645, 62, 75. 

Potter, Henry C, 13. 

Potter, Howard, 13. 

Prepositions, errors of in A. V., 103. 

Printing, invention of, 23. 

Proper Names of the Bible, 151- 

Prose of the Bible, arrangement of, 18. 

Provincialisms, 118. 

Psalms, Jerome's version of, 74. 

Publication of Anglo-American Re- 
vision, 19, 20. 

Punctuation of the Bible, 17. 

Puritans and the Bible, 30. 

Pusey, Edward B., 10. 

Rabbinical Commentaries, 53, 61, 62, 

76, 78. 
Raleigh, style of, 38. 
Readings, various, 46, 56, 86, 93, 124. 

Reasons for a New Revision op the 
Scriptures in English, 43-47. 

Renderings, erroneous : see Author- 
ized Version. 

Restorations of Hebrew, 57. 

Revelation, MSS. of, 96. 

Revision, Anglo-American : 

auspices of, 20, 21, 41, 70, 72, 73, 

94, 172. 

demand for, 43. 

difficulties of, 175. 

materials for, 46, 94-98. 

objections to, 170. 

origin of, 14, 178. 

principles of, 16, 41. 

progress of, 19. '' 

prospects of, 21, 97. 

publication of, 19, 20. 

reasons for, 43-47, 170-180. 

Trench on, 174. 

" Revision of the Hebrew Text," by 
Davidson, 56. 

Revision of the Scriptures, 170-180. 

Revision of the Scriptures in 
English, 43-47. 

Revisionists, duty of the, 70. 

Reynolds, John, labors of, 33, 72. 

suggests the A. V., 30. 

Rheims, New Testament of, 29. 

Riddle, Matthew B., 12, 126. 

Roberts, Ahixander, 10. 

Rogers, John, version of, 26, 28, 32, 39, 

Rose, Henry John, 8. 

Roye assists Tyndale, (?) 24. 

Ruskin, John, on A. V., 37. 

Sahidic version, 96. 

Samaria, woe to, 84. 

Samaritan version, 75. 

Saxon version, 22. 

Sayce, A. H., 8. 

Schaflf, Philip, 11, 12, 14. 

Schultens, Albert, labors of, 61, 76. 

Scott, Dear, 9. 

Scrivener, Fred. H. A., 10, 98. 

Seldcn, John, Table Talk of, 77. 



Selwyn, William, 8. 

Semitic languages, 73, 76. 

Septuagint, 44, 57, 58, 74, 75, 157. 

Shakspeare, style of, 38. 

Shepard, Elliott F., 13. 

Short, Charles, 12. 

Sinaitic manuscript, 54, 74, 95. 

Slavonic version, 96. 

Smith, George V., 10. 

Smith, Henry B., 12. 

Smith, Robert P., 7. 

Smith, Roswell, 13. 

Smith, Wm. R., 8. 

Solomon, horses of, 83. 

Sophocles, manuscripts of, 95. 

Spanish versions, 77, 158. 

Spelling, changes in, 144, 149. 

Stanley, Dean, 9. 

Stephens, Robert, Greek Testaments 

of, 28, 93, 94. 
Storrs, Richard S., 13. 
Stowe, Calvin E,, 11. 
Strack, labors of, 57. 
Strong, James, 11, 166. 
Style, Hare on, 40. 
Swift on A. v., 37. 
Symmachus, version of, 44, 74. 
Syriac language, 61, 76. 
versions, 44, 62, 75, 76, 96, 

Talmud, collection of, 54. 
— — criticism of, 57, 58. 
Talmudists, rules of, 54, 55. 
Targums and A. V., 75. 
Taverner, Bible of, 27. 
Taylor, Andrew L., 13. 
Tenses, Greek, 127.- 

of A. v., 105. 

Thayer, J. Henry, 12, 133. 
Thebaic version, 96. 
Theodotion, version of, 44, 74. 
Thirlwall, Bishop, 8. 
Thomas of Harkel, revision of, 96. 
Three Heavenly Witnesses, 89. 
Thucydides, text of, 86. 
Tischendorf, labors of, 74, 97, 98. 

Tracy, Charles, 13. 

Translations : see Versions. 

Translator, duty of, 58. 

Tregelles, S. P., labors of, 10, 97, 98. 

Tremellius, version of, 158. 

Trench, Archbishop, 9, 174-177. 

Trevor, John B., 13. 

Trinity, doctrine of, 92. 

Troutbeck, J., 10. 

True Conservatism in Respect to 

Changes in the English and the 

Greek Text, 113-125. 
Tyndale's version, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 

32, 39. 

Uncial manuscripts, 17, 95. 

University Presses, 19. 

Unwarrantable Verbal Differ- 
ences AND Agreements in the 
English Version, 133-143. 

Valera, Cypriano de, version of, 158. 
Van Dyck, C. V. A., 11. 
Vatican manuscript, 54, 95. 
Vaughan, Charles J., 10. 
Verbs, errors in, 105. 
Verses of the Bible, 28, 166. 
Versions of the Bible or of parts 

Ancient, 73. 

Anglo-American, 46, 52, 94-98. 

Aquila, 44, 74. 

Arabic, 62, 75, 96. 

Armenian, 96. 

Authorized : see Authorized 


Beza, 28, 93, 94, 158. 

Campbell, 41. 

Chaldee, 57, 58, 62, 75. 

Conant, 82. 

Coptic, 98. 

Coverdale, 25, 26, 28, 32, 39, 158. 

Cranmer, 29, 32, 39. 

Curetonian Syriac, 96. 

Diodati, 77, 158. 

Dutch, 25, 37. 



Versions of the Bible or of parts 

Ethiopia, 75. 

French, 77. 

German, 25, 77. 

Gothic, 96. 

Greek, 44. 

Italian, 77, 158. 

Jerome, 52, 55, 74, 158. 

Jerusalem Syriac, 96. 

Junius, 158. 

Latin, 22, 25, 26, 27, 77, 174. 

Lowth, 41. 

Luther, 23, 24, 25, 77. 

Memphitic, 96. 

Munster, S., 26, 157. 

Pagninus, 158. 

■ Persian, 75. 

Peshito Syriac, 44, 96. 

Rheims, 29. 

Rogers, John, 26, 28, 29, 32. 

Sahidic, 96. 

Samaritan, 75. 

Saxon, 22. 

Slavonic, 96. 

Spanish, 77, 158. 

— — Symmachus, 44, 74. 

Syriac, 44, 62, 75, 76, 96. 

Thebaic, 96. 

Theodotion, 44, 74. 

Tremellius, 158. 

Tyndalc, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, 32, 39. 

Versions of the Bible or of parts 

Valera, Cypriano de, 158. 

Various, 22, 24-36, 40, 44, 73, 77, 

96, 157, 158. 
Vulgate, 22, 27, 52, 55, 74, 75, 77, 

94, 96, 158, 174. 

Whittingham, 28. 

Wyclifle, 22, 30, 38. 

Vowels, Hebrew, 62. 

War horse of Job, 82. 

Warren, S. D., 13. 

Warren, W. F., 12. • 

Washburn, E. A., 12. 

Weir, Professor, 8. 

Westcott, Brooke F., labors of, 10, 98. 

Wetstein, labors of, 97, 98. 

Whitchurch, Bible of, 32. 

White, Norman, 13. 

Whittingham, version of, 28. 

Wilberforce, Bishop, 10. 

Winchester, Bishop of, 7. 

Winston, F. S., 13. 

Woman taken in adultery, 90, 124. 

Woolsey, Theodore D., 12, 43. 

AVordsworth, Charles, Bishop, 9. 

Wordsworth, Christopher, Bishop, 8. 

Wright, William, 8. 

Wright, William Aldis, 8. 

WyclifiFe, version of, 22, 30, 38. 



Genesis 1, generally, 167 

1 : 10 83 

2 : 1-3 167 

2:4 167 

4:23, 24 167 

5, generally 153 

10:15,19 153 

12 : 6 65 

12 : 9 63 

12:16 148 

15 : 6 142 

17:7 50 

22:15,17,18 51 

25 : 4 153 

28 : 12 147 

36 : 24 67 

37, generally 154 

37 : 3 66 

39, generally 154 

46 : 13 153 

Exodus 2 : 11, 12 51 

9 : 31 149 

11 : 2 66 

28 : 11 145 

29:36,40 147 

30 : 13 110 

30:25,35 146 

34 : 13 65 

36:13,38 145 

37 : 29 146 

38 : 24 150 

Leviticus 16 : 8 65 

Numbers 5 : 13 150 

7 : 13 147 

21 : 14 64 

23 : 22 67 

23:23 69 

24:4 70 

24:17 64 


Numb. 26, generally.. 154 
26 : 23 153 

32 : 17 147 

34 : 5 63 

Deuteronomy 2 : 23.. 152 

4:2 60 

12 : 32 60 

21 : 4 63 

28:27 i47 

33 : 6 160 

Joshua 9 : 5 145 

11:16 63 

17:1 70 

24 : 33 63 

Judges5:2 65 

9:46 148 

9 : 53 146 

12, generally 154 

12 : 14 147 

15:8 66 

15:19 64 

16 . 11 150 

18:7 149 

20:26 64 

21:19 68 

Ruth 3: 15 66 

I.Samuell:! 64 

2:3 160 

9:5 150 

17:22 149 

20:40 149 

22:4 148 

27 : 10 150 

II. Samuel 1:18 64 

8:1 64 

18:23 150 


I.King:8 4:24 152 

10:28 83 

II. Kings 4 : 35 149 

16:10 153 

22 : 14 65 

I. Chronicles 

1, generally 153 

1:1 153 

1 : 33 153 

2, generally 154 

3:10 153 

7:1 153 

29:11 89 

II. Chronicles 

4 : 12 147 

9:14 145 

12:16 153 

21:20 150 

Ezra9:3 145 

9 : 12 150 

Nehemiah 13 : 26 147 

Esther 10 : 3 150 

Job3:3 81 

3:11 160 

9 : 33 145 

18 : 19 147 

26 : 13 65 

30: 20,25 160 

39, generally 82 

39 : 4 150 

39:24 82 

39 : 40 82 

40, generally 82 

r 40: 19, 23 82 

41 : 18 149 





Psalms 3 : 4, 5 67 

4:1 68 

7:13 69 

10:4 69 

19:3 69, 162 

22:30 69 

35:15,21 146 

37:40 67 

40:11 67 

47:8 68 

48:1 68 

59:17 68, 69 

59:19 69 

66 : 12 150 

71:22 65 

73:16 150 

75:5 160 

91:5,6 160 

96:12,13 168 

98:8,9 168 

109 : 4 163 

124 : 3 147 

Proverbg8:12 150 

8 : 23 145 

8:27 150 

24:21 81 

Xlccles. 10 : 1 146 

12:13 163 

Song of Solomon 

1 : 14 147 

2:12 147 

4 : 13 147 

7:5 65 

Isaiah 3: 18 147 

3:20 66 

6:13 84 

7:16 68 

8:2 153 

8:19 148 

■ 8:21 145 

9:1 65 

10:14 148 

10 : 28 149 

13:3 68 

13:21 67 

13:22 67 

14:29,31 63 

15:2 64 

15:5 64 


Isaiah 16: 13 65 

18:2 63 

19 : 10 66 

27:1 65 

28:1.3,4 84 

28 : 15-19 83 

28:17 84 

28:20 83, 84 

38:14 148 

38:18 IGO 

40:12 148 

47:8 149 

Jeremiah 1:15 83 

8:7 147 

10:22 149 

17:1 146 

24 : 2 150 

25:20 152 

38:11 145 

39:3 64 

- — 49:31 150 

50:36 148 

Ezekiel3:9 146 

13:10,18,20 66 

23:15 GO 

27 : 9, 16, 19, 21, 

22 150 

27:11,17 64 

29 : 10 63 

30:6 63 

a4:31 69 

Daniel 2:5 82 

2:9 83 

3:21 145 

3:28 83 

7:9 83 

Hosea3:l 65 

4:18 65 

11 : 12 65 

Joel 2: 24 144 

3:4 63 

Obadiah 12-14 67 

Nahum2:3 66 

2:7 64, 145 

2 : 12 145 

3:8 64 

3:19 149 


Hahbakuk 2 : 6, 16... 65 
3:3 67 

Zechariah 1 : 21 148 

7 : 12 146 

Malachi3:l 51 

Matthew 1 : 25 90, 129 

2:2 129 

2:22 104, 130 

3:4 118 

3:5,6 130 

3 : 15 161 

4:6 104 

4:25 118 

5 : 10 138 

5 : 12 131 

5:16,17 131 

5:22 136 

5:44 88 

5:45 132 

5 : 48 131 

6: 1 131 

6:2,3 131 

6:10 140 

6:12 121 

6:13 89, 124 

6 : 25 150 

8 : 24 105 

9:2 105 

9:13 88 

9:24 129 

10 : 22 142 

10:23 121 

12:5,7 135 

14:8 147 

15 : 36 130 

16:2,3 89 

16:14 161 

17:21 89 

17 : 24 109 

18:11 89 

18:24,28 149 

19:8 106 

20 : 16 89 

20:23 162 

21:44 89 

22:14 89 

23:6 150 

23 : 14 89 

23 : 35 136 

23:44 136 

24 : 12 103 




Matthew 24 : 21 106 

24:30 104 

25:7 150 

25:14 162 

25 : 28 105 

25 : 32 135 

25 : 46 141 

26 : 49 105 

27:35 89 

Mark 1 : 2 90 

1 : 27 121 

2:17 88 

4:37 105 

5:34 142 

- 6:11 89 

6:22 49 

6:25 149 

6:41 130 

7:16 89 

8:6 130 

- — 9 : 22 121 

9:23 90, 121 

9:44,46 89 

10:52 142 

11:26 89 

12:38 139 

13:21 149 

13 : 34 162 

15:28 89 

16:9-20 89, 124 

I.uke 1 : 59 106 

2:7,14 90 

3:15 161 

4:6 105 

4:44 90 

5:3,7 130 

5:32 88 

6:1 90 

6:27,28 88 

7:4 150 

7:5 101 

7:38 105 

7:41 149 

7:42 150 

7 : 50 142 

8:48 124, 142 

9 : 16 130 

9:55,56 89, 90 

10:41 116 

11:2 140 

11 : 19 90 

12 : 58 144, 161 

Luke 14: 5 90 

14 : 10 150 

15:17,22 121 

16:5 160 

17:7 149 

17 : 36 89 

18:42 142 

19:13 150 

19:16,17 90 

20:46 139 

21:9 149 

21:19 109 

22:43,44 89 

23:15 ..90, 122 

23:17 89 

23 : 34 89, 90 

23 : 44 136 

23:46 108 

24:12 89, 161 

24:25 136 

24 .'40 89 

24:51 90 

Johnl:3 106 

1:4 103 

1:5 148 

1 : 14 109 

1:18 90 

1:21,25 103 

3:10 101 

3:13 90 

3:34 162 

4:27 102 

4 : 38 106 

5:3.4 89,124 

5 : 35 102 

6:39 131 

7:8 90 


8:6 161 

8:46 150 

8:58 136 

10:4,14 122 

11:3,5 134 

13:7 134 

13 : 10 135 

14:1 131 

14:14 90 

15 : 20 163 

20:5,11 160 

21 :17 134 

21 : 25 89 

Acts 2: 47 142 


Acts 5 : 30 .-. 109 

7:42 161 

7:45 156 

7:59 163 

8:37 89 

9 : 5, 6.... 89, 94 

10:3 148 

10 : 29 161 

11:20 90 

13 : 18 .89 

15:34 89 

16:7 90 

18:5 122 

19:2 109 

19 : 15 134 

20 : 28 90 

20:37 105 

21 : 3 108 

21:5,6,7 108 

21 : 15 116, 149 

22:10 89 

23:1 162 

23:9 122 

23:22 161 

24:6-8 89 

24:25 116 

26 : 14 89 

26:24 141 

26:28 141 

27:12 154 

27:40 144 

28:8,13 149 

28:29 89 

Romans, generally... 138 
1 : 17 102 

3:21 102, 106 

4, generally 143 

4:3 143 

4 : 17 163 

4 : 19 50 

5:4 116 

5:5 106 

5:6,8 107 

5:11 138, 147 

5:12 107, 129 

5:17,19 107 

6:2,4 107 

7:4 107 

7:6 94 

7:7,8 136 

7 : 25 105 

9 : 22 143 

9 : 29 155 




Romans 11 : 4 161 

11 : 6 89 

12:1 116 

■ 12 : 17 148 

14 : 10 90 

14:23 148 

16 : 24 89 

I. Corinthians 

<* — 1 : 18 142 

. 1:19 116 

2:11 134 

4:4 48 

6 : 20 122 

7:31 141 

^ 9 : 24 149 

9:26,27 110 

^ 10 : 9 90 

^ 10:24 150 

11 : 29 148 

12:4 135 

^ — 13, generally 168 

13:3 90 

^ 14:3,19,34 :. 161 

15 :12,21 106 

15 ,27.28 139 

15:41 161 

15:44 164 

15:47 90 

II. Corinthians 

1 : 3-7 137 

^ 1:20 123 

2:15 142 

3:3 161 

3:7 109 

'4:14 90 

5:4 107 

5 : 14 129 

5:16 1^ 

5:20 104 

8:1 149 

10:6 150 

12:2 109 

Galatians, generally 138 

1:13,23,24 130 

2:20 104,106, 131 

3:6 143 

4:5 109 

4 : 17 146 


Galatians 5 : 1 123 

5:20,23 116 

Ephesians, gener- 
ally 138 

3:9 90 

4:1 148 

4 : 14 161 

5:21 91 

Fhilippians 3 : 14 149 

4 : 6 116, 149 

Colossians, gener- 
ally 138 

1 : 27 91 

2:2 91 

3:13,15 91 

I. Thessalonians 

4:18 148 

II. Thessalonians 

1:10 146 

2:5.8 103 

I. Timothy 2 : 2 148 

2:9 148, 149 

3 : 13 150 

3:16 91 

5:4 147 

5:22 150 

6:25 102 

II. Timothy 3 : 16 163 

4:7 101 

4:14 50 

Hebrews 1 : 4 109 

2:3.... 106 

2:8 139 

3:11 138 

3 : 16 110 

4:2 106 

4 : 3 106, 138 

4:4 106 

4:6,7 110 

4 : 8 156 

5:1 Ill 

5:9 110 

7:18,19 Ill 


Hebrews 9:1 105 

9 : 12 162 

10 : 38 162, 164 

11:10 102 

11:17 105 

11 : 23 150 

12 : 7 123 

James 2 : 2,3 135 

2:9 150 

5:1 149 

I. Peter 1:22 162 

3:11 148' 

3 : 14 138 

3:15 91 

3 : 20 94 

II. Peter, generally.. 138 
1 : 21 162 

I. John 2 : 19 162 

2 : 20 148 

2 : 23 88 

2 : 24 140 

5:7,8 89 

Jude, generally 138 

11 156 

16 146 

25 91 


1 : 5 88 

1 : 8 91 

1:9,11 94 

2:3,20,24 94 

2 : 25 162 

3:2 91, 94 

4:2 83 

5:10,14 94 

15:3 94 

16:5 94 

17:6 135, 146 

17 : 7 135 

17:8,16 94 

18 : 2 94 

■ 21 : 19 102 

22 : 1-5 167 

22:14 91, 123 

22:18,19 60. 



Demco, Inc. 38-i^93