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Full text of "Companion to the revised version of the English New Testament"

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COMPANION 

TO THE 

jKefaisieii Wtvmn ot^tdSnQli^f) ^eU) ^Testament. 



COMPANION 



TO THE 



3Rebi£(eti Wtv^ion of m iBnsliii) ^t\ij Cesftamtnt* 



BY 



ALEX. ROBERTS, D.D., 



NEW TESTAMENT COMPANY. 



Cassell, Fetter, Galpin & Co.: 

LONDON, PARIS <Cr NEW YORK 



(all rights reserved.] 



Ad 



CONTENTS. l?FO 



PART I. 

CHANGES ARISING FROM AN AMENDED TEXT. 
CHAP. PAGE 

I, Various Readings in the New Testament i 

II. Sources of Various Readings in the New Testament i^ 

III, History and Character of the Greek Text on which tlie 

Authorised Version was founded 34 

IV. Examples of Minor Changes caused by a Change of 

Text 46 

V, More Important Changes due to a Change of Text...... 6© 

PART II. 

CHANGES ARISING FROM AN AMENDED TRANSLATION. 

1. Correction of Mistakes in the Meaning of Greek Words 75 
II. Correction of Mistakes in Greek Grammar 89 

III. Correction of Archaisms, Ambiguities, and the Rendering 

of Proper Names and Technical Expressions 105 

IV. Correction of the Unnecessary Confounding of one 

Greek Word with another in Translation 118 

V. Correction of Needless Variations in the Translation of 

the same Greek words 135 

JNDE3( OF Te^TS ,.,,.. 155 



391 



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PREFACE. 

♦ 

The object of this little work is to explain to the 
English reader the general grounds of those many 
departures from the Authorised Version which he 
will find in the Revised translation. Not one of 
these alterations has been made without what ap^ 
peared to a majority of the Revisers an adequate 
reason. They are all to be traced to one or other 
of two causes— either to a change of the Greek 
text which it was found necessary to adopt, or to a 
change of translation which stricter fidelity to the 
original seemed to require. Under these two heads, 
all necessary explanations (so far as space permitted), 
will be found in the following pages. 

For the sake of those who are acquainted with the 
original, the Greek words referred to have been some- 
times given at the bottom of the page, but the text 
will be perfectly intelligible without these to the Eng- 
lish reader. 

It is scarcely needful to add that for what is here 
written the author alone is responsible. 

♦SA Andretps. 



PART I. 

CHANGES ARISING FROM AN 
AMENDED TEXT. 



COMPANION 

TO THE 



CHAPTER I. 

VARIOUS READINGS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

The number of various readings in the New Testa- 
ment has been differently estimated at different times. 
Nor could this have been otherwise. Every new 
manuscript which is discovered increases the amount, 
and every more accurate examination of already 
known manuscripts tends to the same result. Hence, 
while the varieties of reading in the New Testament 
were reckoned at about 30,000 in the last century, 
they are generally referred to as amounting to no less 
than 150,000 at the present day. 

This is a statement which is apt at first to be 
felt alarming by those unacquainted with the science of 
Biblical criticism. They are naturally disposed to 
ask — ^\Vhen so many differences of reading exist, 
must not the sacred text be very uncertain? But, 

B 



2 Companion to the Revised Version of 

happily, this is a question which can be very easily 
and satisfactorily answered. 

For, in the first place, the vast majority of the 
various readings are of no practical importance. 
Multitudes of them are mere errors in spelling into 
which the writer has fallen, either from his ear having 
deceived him if he wrote from dictation, or his eye 
having mistaken one letter for another in the manu- 
script which lay before him. Others consist of the 
substitution of one synonymous word for another, or 
of a mere change of order without any appreciable 
distinction of sense. As in English the meaning 
is the same, whether we say, '' He went forth," or 
*' He went out," '* Let us go on," or ** Let us proceed," 
" The enemy escaped," or " The enemy made their 
escape," so is it very frequently in the Greek. And, 
just as it makes no difference in our language, 
whether we say *^ Paul the Apostle," or " The Apostle 
Paul," "The poet Milton," or " Milton the poet,'' so 
too is it with a large number of those variations which 
occur in the text of the New Testament. 
; But, in the second place, so far from the immense 
variety of readings which have been collected giving 
rise to uncertainty, the very fact that we possess these 
constitutes our best hope of being able to approach 
to certainty with respect to the original text. This 
may appear a paradoxical statement, but it admits of 



The English Nao Testament. 3 

easy demonstration. For, let us refer to any of those 
ancient writings, in the printed text of which there 
exist no various readings. Are such texts trustworthy 
and pure ? Nay, the very opposite is the case ; they 
are all hopelessly corrupt, and the reason is evident 
There are no varieties of reading, simply because 
these works have come down to us in a single 
manuscript only. That manuscript is the sole 
authority to which appeal can be made as to their text. 
And, of course, if every printed edition is taken from 
that, without conjecture venturing to make any 
changes, all the. copies will be exactly alike. But 
nothing could be more calamitous to an ancient 
author than such a circumstance. His work having 
been transcribed so often, in the course of many 
centuries, has, of necessity, become disfigured with 
numerous errors. And, as it survives in only one 
manuscript, there is no possibility of comparison, 
and no means of correction, except by the arbitrary 
process of conjecture, which will always vary with 
different minds. The consequence is, that all sorts 
of guesses are made by editors as to the true text 
of these unfortunate writings. While there are, for 
the reason stated, no various readings, there is the 
utmost variety of conjectures. Every one feels 
that the existing text is in multitudes of passages 
corrupt, and from want of documentary evidence has 

B 2 



4 Companion to the Revised Version of 

no resource but to proceed to correct it just as his 
caprice or judgment may suggest. 

How different does the case stand in regard to the 
New Testament ! No miracle has been wrought to 
preserve its text as it came from the pens of the 
inspired writers. That would have been a thing 
altogether out of harmony with God*s method of 
governing the world. The manuscripts containing 
a record of the divine will have been left, like others, 
to suffer from those causes of error which will 
presently be mentioned. But a gracious providence 
has, nevertheless, been exerted in connection with 
the text of the New Testament. It has been so 
ordered that vastly more copies of the sacred volume 
have come down to us in manuscript than of any 
other ancient writing. We learn from the best 
authorities on the subject that no fewer than 1,760 
manuscripts of the New Testament, in whole or in 
parts, are known to scholars in our day,"^ The most 
important of these will be afterwards described. But 
it is enough at present simply to note the existence 
of such a wealth of material, in order to feel how 
abundant is the means with which it has pleased God 
to furnish us for ascertaining, through careful exami- 
nation and comparison, the true text of the New 
Testament. 

* Scrivener's Introduction^ 2nd ed., p. 269. 



The English New Testament, 5 

We may now proceed to a consideration of the 
causes which have given rise to the vast variety of 
readings that has been mentioned. These causes 
may perhaps all be embraced under one or other of 
the following heads. 

First, there are those differences of reading which 
have s^xwYig fro?n pure mistake. 

As universal experience has proved, nothing is 
more difficult than to get any large amount of mere 
copying work done with absolute correctness. The 
transcriber may be careless or incompetent, and then, 
of course, his work will be badly done. No doubt 
this has given rise to not a few of the mistakes which 
appear in manuscripts of the New Testament. Some 
of the copyists knew very little of what they were 
doing, while others disliked the drudgery; and so, 
from ignorance or weariness, they fell into error. But 
even the most skilful and patient of them might easily 
go astray in the work of transcription. One word 
might be mistaken for another. This is often found 
even in printed books at the present day. It is need- 
less to quote examples, as all are familiar with them.* 
But much more liable to this kind of error were 

* A long list of mistakes which have occurred in the printing of 
some editions of the Scriptures is given by Dr. Eadie — The English 
Bible, II. 318. Among them are such as these — ''enticed in every- 
thing," for ''enriched in everything" ''leadeth them not," for 
" leadeth them out ; " " eject," for " elect," &c. 



6 Compa7iion to the Revised Version of 

transcribers than printers. We find, accordingly, 
numerous examples of various readings due to such 
mistakes. It is, for instance, owing to this that we 
read in the Authorised English Version, at i Tim. 
i. 4, these words, " rather than godly edifying which is 
in faith," instead of "rather than a dispensation of 
God which is in faith," as in the Revised Version. 
There is in Greek only the difference of a single letter 
between the word meaning " edification," and the 
word meaning " dispensation,"* so that copyists 
readily mistook the one for the other. Sometimes a 
mistake of this kind has taken place without any 
effect upon the sense, as at Mark v. 14, where the 
change made in the Greek textf has led to no change 
in the Revised Version. 

Again, transcribers were frequently betrayed into 
error by those words of like ending which occurred in 
the manuscripts. An illustration in English may be 
found at Matt. v. 8, 9. Both these verses end with 
the word " God," and it is easy to imagine that the 
eye of a copyist might light on that word at the end 
of verse 9 instead of verse 8, and thus, after tran- 
scribing the one verse, be led to omit the next 
following. This has been a very fruitful cause of 
omission in even the best Greek manuscripts. Thus, 

♦ The two Greek words are olKoSofilav and oiKoyofiiav, 
f av-fiyyeav is now read instead o^ ai^'ffYy€t\av. 



The English New Testament 7 

in perhaps the very oldest copy of the New Testa- 
ment which we possess — Codex B, to be afterwards 
described — we find that the whole of the verse, Matt, 
xii. 47, has been left out. And the reason is quite 
obvious. Both verse 46 and verse 47 end with the 
same Greek word.* The copyist looking up at his 
exemplar, after having written verse 46, had his eye 
attracted by the word at the end of verse 47, and, 
fancying that he had just transcribed that verse, was 
led to pass it over altogether. There can be no 
question that this is the reason why the second clause 
in I John ii. 23, is omitted in several manuscripts, so 
as to stand marked in the Authorised Version of 
doubtful authority. The three last words of both the 
first and second clauses are exactly the same in 
Greek ; and hence the second clause had been over- 
looked by some transcribers. There is now no 
hesitation among Biblical scholars as to the genuine- 
ness of the clause; and it consequently stands 
unchallenged — a weighty doctrinal utterance — in the 
Revised Version. 

Further, mere glosses, doxologies, or liturgical 
formularies, written on the margin of manuscripts, 
were sometimes inadvertently introduced by tran- 
scribers into the text. Thus, an unwarranted ex- 
planation has been admitted at John v. 3, 4; the 

* Both verses end with AaA^car. 



8 Companion to the Revised Version of 

omission of which in the Revised Version, on good 
grounds of evidence, relieves the passage of an obvious 
difficulty. The doxology of the Lord's prayer, Matt. 
vi. 13, which seems to have been quite unknown to the 
early Fathers of the Church, probably crept into the 
text from the margin in like manner. And there can 
hardly be a doubt that the ecclesiastical formula, Acts 
viii. 37, found in many manuscripts, but certainly not 
genuine, owed its place to a similar mistake. Nothing 
could be more natural than that additions from the 
margin — explanatory, doxological, or rubrical — should 
occasionally fmd their way into the body of some of 
the manuscripts, while yet the mass of authorities 
remained uncorrupted, and still enable us at the 
present day to discover for ourselves the original 
text. 

Once more, under this head, error would some- 
times arise from the unconscious working of the mind 
of the copyist on the passage before him. Few tran- 
scribers could act the part of mere machines. Their 
minds accompanied their pens : they thonght about 
what they were doing ; and this sometimes proved 
fatal to the perfect accuracy of their work. Supple- 
mentary expressions, due to the exercise of their own 
mental powers, sHpped in without their perceiving it. 
Thus at Matt, xviii. 28, the true reading is simply, 
" Pay Avhat thou owest," but it was most natural for a 



The English New Testament, 9 

copyist to insert a pronoun, so as to read as in the 
text represented by the Authorised Version, " Pay me 
what thou owesf Thus, again, the reading of the 
Revised Version at Luke xxiv. 53 is, "were con- 
tinually in the temple, blessing God,*' but in not a few 
manuscripts we find, "praising and blessing God." 
There is no reason, in such cases, to imagine that the 
variation arose from design on the part of the tran- 
scribers. They were men and not machines, and 
sometimes, all unconsciously, left the impress of their 
own thoughts upon their work. Judging by constant 
experience, nothing is more certain than that unin- 
tended supplements would, in this way, be made to 
the text; and, unless he were constantly on the watch, 
there was even all the more risk that a transcriber 
would thus be led to deviate from correctness the 
farther he rose above a mere piece of mechanism, and 
executed his work with interest and intelligence. 

Hitherto we have been dealing with errors due to 
pure accident — errors with which the will of the 
copyists had nothing to do, and from which, we may 
believe, they would have gladly kept free if they 
could. But we have now to notice — 

Secondly, those differences of reading which have 
zx\?,txifrom ifitention on the part of the transcribers. 

Unusual expressions were altered. A transcriber 
meeting with an uncommon word or an ungrammati- 



10 Companioji to the Revised Version of 

cal construction, was strongly tempted to change that 
into a form with which he was familiar. It might 
naturally enough occur to him that, in such a case, 
his predecessor in the work of copying had made a 
mistake, and that he ought to remove the blemish thus 
introduced into the sacred text. This tendency to 
correction has been a very fruitful source of various 
readings. It operated in many ways. For instance, 
seeming harshnesses were smoothed. Thus, at Matt. 
XXV. 3, we read in the Revised Version, "For the 
foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with 
them." But the initial " for " in the Greek, not being 
liked or understood, was exchanged for the reading 
represented in the Authorised Version. Again, rare 
forms of words were rejected in favour of the more 
usual. An example occurs at Rom. xiv. 4, without 
having any effect upon the sense.* Grammatical 
corrections, too, were made, as at Matt. xiii. 16, Rev. 
iv. i,t and in many other places. Moreover, changes 
were sometimes introduced, in order to remove real or 
apparent difficulties. Thus, at Mark i. 2 the true 
reading is given in tne Revised Version — "As it is 
written in Isaiah the prophet." But, inasmuch as the 
quotation which follows is not wholly from Isaiah, but 

* Suyare? is now read instead of Surar^s io-riu. 
t oLKovei has been substituted for the true reading aKovouciVf 
and \f.yov(ra for Aeywr, 



The English Neiv Testament, ii 

partly also from Malachi, the words of the Evangelist 
were corrected into " As it is written in the prophets." 
And yet again, additions to the text seem at times to 
have been made with the mistaken view of promoting 
edification. Thus, at i Cor. vi. 20, the Revised 
Version simply reads, ''Glorify God, therefore, in your 
body ; " but in some manuscripts we find the addition 
represented by these words in English — *' and in your 
spirit, which are God's." However excellent the 
motive which may have prompted the appending of 
these words, they are wholly out of place, and only 
serve to blunt the point of the Apostle's exhortation. 
This must be plain to every one who considers the 
context. The same thing appears in several other 
passages, and very markedly at Rom. viii. i, where 
the insertion of the second clause does away with the 
grand simplicity of the conclusion stated by St. Paul, 
when he announces as the result of all his previous 
reasonings — " There is, therefore, now no condemna- 
tion to them which are in Christ Jesus." 

In view of what has just been said, Biblical critics 
have adopted two great principles as guides to a 
decision with respect to the true text of Scripture, 
irhe first is, that a difficult or obscure expression, nay, 
even an almost unintelligible term, or a wholly un- 
grammatical construction, is generally to be regarded 
as the genuine reading, in preference to another which 



12 Cotnpanion to the Revised Version of 

is easy, familiar, and correct. The reason is clear, 
since a transcriber was far more likely to change what 
he did not like or understand into something which 
he thought better, than to substitute for a common 
word or a correct construction that which was unusual 
or irregular. Th;i other general principle is, for the 
most part to prefer a shorter to a longer reading. As 
we have seen above, additions were apt in various 
ways to steal into the text, so that, where there are 
conflicting readings, the briefer form has, probably, 
the stronger claim to be accepted. Of course, how- 
ever, these principles cannot be carried out in every 
case, or in any hard, mechanical way, but must always 
be applied in subordination to a cautious and dis- 
criminating judgment. 

Next, a widely operative cause of various readings 
has been the practice of conforming one parallel 
passage to another. As was to be expected, from the 
amount of common matter which they present, this is 
found most frequently in the Gospels. In fact, the 
tendency might be largely illustrated from almost 
every chapter of the first three Evangelists. But the 
following examples will suffice. The true reading at 
Mark i. 1 1 is, " Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I 
am well pleased ; " but this has been so far conformed 
to the text of Matt. iii. 17, as to stand, "in whom I 
am well pleased/' Again, the true reading at Matt. 



The English New Testament, 13 

xvii. 4 is, " If thou wilt, I will make here three taber- 
nacles ; '' but it has been brought into harmony with 
Mark ix. v., and Luke ix. 33, . so as to become, " Let 
us make." Once more, the true reading at Luke viii. 
34 is, "And when they that fed them saw what had 
come to pass, they fled, and told it," &c. ; but two 
words have been inserted in the Greek, that it might 
be the same as in Matt. viii. 2iZ — " they fled, and 
went and told," &c. Now, as was most natural — and, 
indeed, without a constant miracle, inevitable — the 
Synoptics,* with all the wonderful verbal agreement 
which they exhibit, also differ occasionally in the 
reports which they give of the words of Christ and 
others. And it is most important that the charac- 
teristic readings of their respective texts should in 
every place be restored. This will be evident when it 
is considered that these minute differences clearly 
prove that the Evangelists did not copy from each 
other, as has often been maintained, but were original 
writers, and therefore independent witnesses to the 
Gospel history. In the Epistles the same tendency 
on the part of transcribers to secure a verbal har- 
mony between parallel or similar passages may also 
to some extent be detected. Thus we find Col. i. 14 
conformed to Eph. i. 7, so as to stand, " In whom we 

* By this convenient expression is meant the first three Evan» 
gelists as distinguished from the fourthi 



14 Companion to the Raised Version of 

have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of 
sins," while the true reading is, ** In whom we have 
our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins." Many 
other examples of correction for the sake of uniformity 
might be quoted from these Epistles. This was, no 
doubt, deemed a gain by the copyists. But it was, on 
the contrary, a loss ; for every Biblical student at the 
present day will acknowledge that, though the two 
Epistles are strikingly coincident both in thought and 
expression, a real interest attaches to the distinctive 
forms by which they are respectively distinguished. 

Lastly, some various readings have probably been 
due to doctrinal bias on the part of transcribers. 
Considering the many and violent controversies which 
have agitated the Church in the course of her history, 
this could scarcely fail to be the case. A doctrine 
will often hinge upon a single word. Whether, for 
example, Christ is spoken of as God at Acts xx. 28, 
seems to involve the chief point at issue between 
the Orthodox and the Arians or Socinians. A 
strong temptation was thus presented to copyists to 
tamper with the text according to their own predi- 
lections. But upon the whole this temptation was 
very successfully resisted*. We have every reason to 
believe that the ancient transcribers in general 
performed their solemn task with the utmost fidelity. 
It is pretty clear, indeed, that the substitution of 



The English New Testament 15 

** Joseph "for ^'His father," at Luke ii. '^'^^ and again 
of " Joseph and Mary," for " His parents," at verse 
41 of the same chapter, was made in the presumed 
interests of a very vital doctrine, that of the miracu- 
lous conception. And it might seem . that the 
insertion in the text of i John v. 7, 8, was plainly due 
to a desire to uphold the doctrine of the Trinity. 
Yet this famous passage may, after all, have been at 
first a mere marginal gloss, which was, at length, 
admitted to the text through inadvertence. We are 
unwilling to charge wilful perversion upon those men 
to whom we are indebted for the many manuscripts of 
the New Testament which have reached our day. 
Readers of the Revised Version will be able to judge 
for themselves how many or few of such alternative 
readings as have been placed on the margin can be 
ascribed to prejudice or unfaithfulness. For myself, 
I believe that these are exceedingly rare. 

And now having had before us the amount, the 
nature, and the causes of the various readings,* we 
proceed in the next chapter to consider their sources^ 
as found in manuscripts, ancient versions, and Patris- 
tic quotations, of the New Testament. 

* Additional illustrations of the causes of various readings 
treated of in this chapter will be found in Chapters iv. and v. of this 
Part. 



1 6 Companio7i io the Ransed Version of 



CHAPTER II. 

SOURCES OF VARIOUS READINGS IN THE NEW 
TESTAMENT. 

The most immediate and important source of 
various readings, in other words, of the materials for 
comparative criticism, is, of course, that found in still- 
existing manuscripts of the New Testament. As has 
been already suggested, a very great number of these 
are available for the settlement of the sacred text at 
the present day. There is a striking contrast in this 
respect between the New Testament and other ancient 
writings. While we have no manuscript of Sophocles 
and other classical authors that can be dated higher 
than the tenth century of our era, there are, in our 
possession, as will immediately be shown, manuscripts 
of the New Testament dating from the fourth and fifth 
centuries. And, while, in the case of the Greek and 
Latin classics we sometimes feel reduced to only one 
manuscript as the fountain-head from which all the 
others have been derived, we have, in the case of the 
New Testament, multitudes of independent copies, 
which enable us, with far greater certainty than can 



The English New Testament 17 

be felt in regard to other ancient writings, to determine 
the original text. 

The manuscripts of the New Testament are divided 
into two classes, according to the manner in which 
they are written. For many centuries after the Chris- 
tian era capital letters were employed throughout, 
hardly any distinction being made at the beginning of 
sentences, and no space being left between the words. 
The following verse in English characters will give the 
reader some idea of the appearance presented by these 
ancient manuscripts. 

THEBOOKOFTHEGENERATIONOFJESUS 
CHRISTTHESONOFDAVIDTHESONOFABRA 
HAM. Matt. i. i. 

Manuscripts thus written have been styled Uncials^ 
while the others, written more in the form common 
among ourselves, are called Cursives, The line be- 
tween the two modes of writing may be drawn some- 
where about the tenth century. When we rise beyond 
that date few indeed are the manuscripts to which we 
can appeal for the materials of criticism. Besides 
some very precious fragments, there are only five 
copies of the New Testament at all complete which 
can be referred to a higher antiquity. These are to 
be dated, as we shall see, between the fourth and the 
sixth century. 



1 8 Companion to the Rmsed Version of 

Biblical scholars have adopted the practice of de- 
signating the ancient manuscripts of the New Testa- 
ment by the letters of the alphabet. This is a concise 
and convenient mode of referring to them, and has 
been generally accepted throughout the Christian 
world. It is only to be regretted that the several 
letters have not been assigned to the manuscripts on 
any fixed principle, but simply as, in the progress of 
textual criticism, they happened to be appHed. Neither 
the value nor antiquity of the Codices is indicated by 
the letters naming them, or by the order in which they 
thus, naturally, fall to be described. 

A, or the Alexandrian Mamtscript. This is a very 
complete copy of the Greek Scriptures. It is bound 
in four volumes, of which the first three contain the 
Septuagint Version, and the fourth the New Testa- 
ment. The only passages in which this manuscript 
is defective are St. Matthew's Gospel up to chap. 
XXV. 6, beginning with the Greek word which corre- 
sponds to the English " Go ye out f St. John's Gospel, 
from " that a man,*' chap. vi. 50, to " thou sayest," 
chap. viii. 52 ; and i Corinthians, from " I believe," 
chap. iv. 13, to "of me," chap. xii. 6. The Book of 
Revelation, so apt to suffer in the manuscripts, has, 
happily, been preserved entire in the Alexandrian 
Codex, from the circumstance of its being followed 
by the Epistles of the Roman Clement This was 



The English New Testament, 19 

the first really valuable manuscript made use of for 
the purposes of criticism, and has been published in 
facsimile. It was brought to this country in 1628, 
having been sent in that year by Cyril Lucar, patriarch 
of Constantinople, as a present to Charles L It is 
preserved in the British Museum. 

Scholars are now agreed that the Alexandrian 
manuscript is to be dated in the fifth century. Many 
have thought that its birthplace was Egypt, but the 
reasons assigned for this are not conclusive. It need 
not be doubted, however, that it was, at one time, at 
Alexandria, whence it has derived its name. Cyril was 
patriarch of that city before being transferred to 
Constantinople, and probably took the manuscript 
with him on his removal. We shall afterwards have 
occasion to notice the testimony of this Codex with 
respect to the famous passage i Tim. iii. 16. 

B, or the Vatican ma^iuscript. This is a most in- 
teresting and precious manuscript. Its external history 
cannot be traced further back than the year 1475, 
when it appears in the first published catalogue of the 
Vatican Library. For a long time this manuscript, 
notwithstanding its known value, was but little used 
for the criticism of Scripture. In fact, it was not 
accessible to scholars. Many efforts were, from time 
to time, made to have it fully collated, but in vain. 
The history of these attempts has imparted a romantic 
c 2 



20 Co7npanion to the Revised Version of 

but somewhat painful interest to the manuscript. 
Like many other treasures of art and literature, it was 
removed from Rome to Paris by the first Napoleon. 
But no fully competent critic had then an opportunity 
of examining it ; and on being restored to the Papal 
authorities it was very jealously guarded. At last 
Cardinal Mai prepared an edition of it, and this was 
issued in 1859. But it was found to have been con- 
structed on the most uncritical principles, and conse- 
quently to be full of errors. Biblical critics were thus 
still left in doubt as to the true reading of this manu- 
script in many passages. This continued till the year 
1868, when the New Testament text of the Codex was 
published in facsimile by two eminent scholars, under 
the auspices of Pio Nono. This splendid edition was 
executed with the greatest care, and seems to leave 
little more to be desired in connection with the queen 
of all the manuscripts of the New Testament. 

There is no hesitation among scholars in dating 
the Vatican manuscript at least as high as the fourth 
century. Some think that it may even lay claim to a 
still higher antiquity. The late eminent palaeographer, 
Dr. Tregelles, remarks : — "How much older this manu- 
script may be than the middle of the fourth century we 
have no means of determining."* It is certain that the 
letters in which it is written bear a striking resemblance 
* Introduction to the New Testament, p. 161, 



The English New Testament, t\ 

to those in some of the Greek rolls found at Hercula- 
neum. And all the other features which it presents 
testify to its great age. Unfortunately, it now wants 
the Epistle to the Hebrews from chap. ix. 14, all the 
Pastoral Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. The 
witness which it bears to the true text in some inter- 
esting and important passages will be adverted to in a 
subsequent chapter. 

C, or the Ephraein manuscript. This is what is 
called a palimpsest^ that is a manuscript in which two 
different works are found, the one having been written 
over the other. The practice originated in the scarcity 
and deamess of parchment during the middle ages. 
And valuable works were, in this way, often sacrificed 
to others which were comparatively worthless. It 
need hardly be said how ignorant were the copyists of 
those times. Most of the clergy, even, knew scarcely 
anything about the Scriptures. According to George 
Buchanan, it was usual for the priests of his day to 
affirm that Luther had been the author of a book 
called the New Testament!* When we take this 
profound ignorance into account, we are less surprised 
than we might otherwise be at finding that the sacred 
text itself was sometimes buried beneath a different 
work. In the case of the Ephraem Codex, it was 
some of the Greek writings of the Syrian divine 

* Eadie's English Bible^ ii. 311. 



22 Companion to the Revised Version of 

Ephraem, which had been preferred to the New 
Testament, and hence the name given to the manu- 
script. It was not for a considerable period that the 
sacred text was discovered, and only in 1834 was it 
rendered generally legible by the application of a 
chemical tincture. The manuscript was soon after- 
wards published. 

It is believed that this manuscript is to be dated 
at least as early in the fifth century as the Alexandrian 
manuscript. Little is known of its history beyond the 
fact that it once belonged to a nephew of Leo X. It 
is now preserved in the National Library at Paris. So 
far as it has survived it is a very valuable copy of the 
New Testament But gaps frequently occur in it, and 
two whole epistles, second Thessalonians and second 
John, have been altogether lost. 

D, or the mamiscnpt of Beza. This manuscript 
once belonged to the eminent reformer Beza, and 
hence its name. It was presented by him in the year 
1 58 1 to the University of Cambridge, and on that 
account is sometimes referred to as the Cambridge 
manuscript. Beza tells us that he found it in 1562 
lying neglected in the monastery of St. Irenaeus at 
Lyons. This manuscript seems to have been slightly 
used by Stephens in the preparation of his third 
edition, which came out in 1550. Nothing whatever 
is known of its previous history. 



The English Netu Testament 23 

The Codex of Beza is generally referred by critics 
to the sixth century. It contains only the Gospels 
and Acts in Greek and Latin, with a few verses in 
Latin (v. 11 — 15), from the Third Epistle of John. 
Many strange interpolations and manifest corruptions 
occur in it, but it is nevertheless of great value. The 
University published a fac-nmile edition of it in 1793 ; 
and a very scholarly edition was issued in common 
type in 1864. This manuscript is remarkable as 
being the oldest which contains the section John 
vii. 53 — viii. 1 1., a passage to be afterwards considered. 

K, or the Sinaitic manuscript. The late Professor 
Tischendorf discovered this manuscript in the most 
singular manner. Being in 1844 at the convent 
of St. Catharine on Mount Sinai, his attention was one 
day caught by some leaves of vellum set aside with 
others for lighting the stove. His quick and practised 
eye detected their antiquity, and he found on 
examination that they contained a portion of the 
Septuagint. These leaves he easily obtained from 
the monks, and soon afterwards published. But it 
was not till 1859 that he first saw the great manuscript 
of which they formed a part. He was that year 
travelling under the patronage of the Emperor of 
Russia. And being once more at the above-named 
monastery, he had on the 4th of February the whole 
manuscript which he had so ardently desired to find 



24 Companion to the Revised Version of 

put into his hands. He looked at it with almost 
overwhelming joy and surprise. And the brethren 
could refuse nothing to one who was so highly- 
honoured by their great patron and protector the 
Czar. Permission was readily accorded to him to 
copy the manuscript, and the Codex itself was soon 
afterwards sent as a present to Alexander II. It is 
now in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg, and 
was published in 1862 as a fitting memorial of the 
thousandth anniversary of the Russian Empire. 

This is an unspeakably precious manuscript. For 
one thing, it has the advantage over all the others 
of containing the New Testament complete. It 
also comprises the Greek text of the Epistle of 
Barnabas, and part of that of the writings of Hermas, 
two of the Apostolic Fathers whose works had 
previously been known as a whole only through a 
Latin translation. Tischendorf was naturally disposed 
to exaggerate somewhat both the antiquity and value 
of his wonderful discovery. He even placed the 
Sinaitic earlier than the Vatican manuscript, but in 
this few scholars are inclined to follow him. He also 
adopted some impossible readings on the sole 
authority of this Codex, and, in general, allowed it 
undue weight in the establishment of the New 
Testament text. But avoiding these extremes, the 
value of the manuscript is universally and gratefully 



The English New Testament. 25 

admitted by scholars. It cannot be dated very much 
later than the Vatican Codex, belonging undoubtedly 
to the fourth century. And though it contains many 
obvious errors, it yields assistance of a kind most 
precious towards the settlement of the true text of 
the New Testament. 

Such are by far the most important of the Uncial 
manuscripts, and it is unnecessary here to describe 
any of the rest. Nor shall I enter on any description 
of the Cursives. As has been already stated, these 
are very numerous ; and though as a rule they are 
far less important than the more ancient manuscripts, 
some of them are, nevertheless, exceedingly valuable. 
It is, of course, quite conceivable that a Cursive 
manuscript should present a text really better than 
that of any existing Uncial. For, though a manuscript 
may date, say from the eleventh century, it might have 
been accurately copied from one belonging to the 
second. This is possible, though such may not be 
found actually to have been the case. And, therefore, 
all the Cursives, no less than the Uncials, must be 
most carefully examined and duly appreciated by the 
textual critic while he pursues those arduous labours 
which have it for their object to approximate as closely 
as possible to the original text of Holy Scripture. 

The next most important source of various readings 



26 Companioji to the Revised Version of 

is that furnished by ancient versions of the New Testa- 
ment We have the utmost certainty that some of 
these were made at a date considerably higher than 
can be claimed for any manuscript at present known 
to exist. They thus furnish proof with regard to the 
prevailing text of the New Testament at a very early 
period in the history of Christianity. 

The following are the ancient versions which are 
less or more available for the purposes of textual criti- 
cism. Some special drawbacks which exist to their 
use in this respect will be afterwards briefly noticed. 

Syriac Versions. Of these the most important are 
the Peshito, the Philoxenian, the Harclean, and the 
Curetonian. By far the best of these is the Peshito 
(/>., Simple),' which is truly an admirable translation. 
There is no doubt that it was made in the second 
century, and were we sure that we possessed it in its 
original form it would thus be of the very highest 
authority. The other Syriac versions do not rank 
high as translations, and the Curetonian embraces 
only fragments of the Gospels. 

Latin Versions, So prevalent was the Greek 
language in Rome for several generations after the 
commencement of our era, that no need of a transla- 
tion was felt by the inhabitants of that city. Accord- 
ingly, the first Latin version appears to have been 
made not in Italy but in North Africa. We know 



The English New Testament, 27 

nothing of its history. It was used by Tertullian and 
others about the beginning of the third century. 
Some excellent manuscripts- containing it still exist. 
The very learned St. Jerome set himself to the re- 
vision of this version about the end of the fourth 
century. He improved it greatly both in regard to 
style and fidelity to the original ; but it was not till 
two centuries had elapsed that his work took the place 
of the Old Latin^ and became the Vulgate of the 
Roman Church. 

Gothic Version. This version was made by Bishop 
Ulphilas about the middle of the fourth century. It 
is not now known to exist in its original completeness. 
There is a celebrated "Silver Manuscript" of the 
Gospels preserved in the University of Upsala. The 
letters of this handsome manuscript are marvellously 
uniform, and its name is derived from the fact that 
they are written throughout in silver, except the initial 
letters of sections, which are written in gold. Belong- 
ing, as the version of Ulphilas does, to so high an 
antiquity as the fourth century, it is possessed of great 
weight in determining the text which had then become 
prevalent in the Church. 

Egyptian Versions, There are two Egyptian ver- 
sions, which are now known respectively as the Mem- 
phitic and the Thebaic. Before the fact of their inde- 
pendence was established, they both went under the 



28 Companion to the Revised Version of 

common name of Coptic, This appellation was de- 
rived from Coptos, a very ancient city of Upper 
Egypt The term Memphitic points out the version 
which was used in Lower Egypt, and was taken from 
the capital city of the district ; while Thebaic indicates 
the version used in Upper Egypt, and was, in like 
manner, derived from the chief town of the country. 
The Thebaic version is supposed, on good grounds, 
to have been formed in the first half of the third 
century, and to have been followed by the Memphitic 
not much later. Both versions will be found more and 
more valuable for the purposes of criticism the more 
fully they are studied. Besides these, there are some 
fragments of a version which has been called the Bash- 
muric, and which was evidently related to the Thebaic. 

The Arme7iian Version. This version cannot be 
placed higher than the fifth century. It seems to have 
been begun soon after the Council of Ephesus, a.d. 431. 
Up to that period the Armenian Christians appear to 
have used the Syriac version; but two native scholars 
who had attended the Council brought home with 
them the New Testament in Greek, and from that a 
translation was made into theJanguage of the country. 
The Armenian version cannot be deemed of very 
great importance in textual criticism. 

The yEthiopic Versiofi. This is a translation of the 
Scriptures in the ancient language of Abyssinia. It 



The English New Testament. 29 

seems to have been fomied about the sixth or seventh 
century. There is every reason to believe that it was 
taken immediately from the Greek, though the mean- 
ing of the original v/as frequently mistaken. No very 
exact edition has yet been issued, and the version is 
not possessed of much authority. 

The other ancient versions of the New Testament 
are the Georgian (sixth century), the Arabic (several 
recensions, the most ancient belonging to the eighth 
century), Slavonic (ninth century), Anglo-Saxon (from 
the Latin, eighth to eleventh century), and Persian 
versions (of varying and doubtful dates). These 
versions, with all later ones, though taken from the 
Greek, are too modem to have much weight in the 
settlement of the true text. 

The deductions which must be made from the 
value of even the most ancient versions as testifying 
to the true text of Scripture are many and serious. 
First, their genuine readings are often doubtful. It is 
obvious that they were as liable to corruption in the 
process of being transcribed as the New Testament 
itself, or even more so, since greater pains would 
naturally be taken in copying the sacred original than 
a mere translation. Again, there is reason to believe 
that some of the most valuable versions, such as the 
Syriac Peshito, do not now exist in their primitive 
condition. They seem to have been conformed to 



30 Companion to the Revised Version of 

the prevalent text of the fourth century, and thus fail 
us as witnesses to that which was more ancient. On 
this account we cannot confidently press the authority 
. of the existing Peshito in behalf, for example, of the 
Doxology of the Lord's Prayer. Again, in some few 
instances the authors of the versions appear from 
doctrinal bias to have departed from the original text. 
Thus Ulphilas, who had adopted Arian views, has 
inserted in the Gothic version at Philipp. ii. 6, the 
words *' likeness to God," which would never suggest 
the true Greek text implying "equality with God." 
Lastly, even the best versions have frequently mis- 
taken the meaning of the original, and may thus tend 
only to mislead as respects the genuine text. Suppose, 
in illustration, that a question were to arise with 
regard to the Greek expression corresponding to the 
English words " in the bush," at Mark xii. 26, and 
Luke XX. 37. In that case, the Authorised Version 
would inevitably suggest a wrong preposition, since it 
has here quite mistranslated the Greek. The mean- 
ing of the original is not " i7i the bush," as if referring 
to locality, but ^^ at the Bush," denoting that portion 
of the Old Testament which was known among the 
Jews under the tide of "the Bush." On all these 
grounds, therefore, the Biblical scholar must use the 
ancient versions as witnesses to the genuine text of 
Scripture with great caution and discrimination. 



The English New Testament, 31 

The only remaining source of various readings in 
the New Testament is that found in the citations of 
its text by ancient writers. And here it might at first 
be thought that we have access to more primitive and 
therefore more valuable testimony than that which is 
furnished by either manuscripts or versions. The stream 
of quotations from the New Testament begins even in 
the first century, and flows on with ever-increasing 
volume in the succeeding generations. When we 
reflect that Clement of Rome begins to quote from 
the sacred writings so early as a.d. 97, when his 
epistle seems to have been written, and that he is 
followed by such voluminous writers as Justin Martyr 
and Irenseus in the second century, as Clement of 
Alexandria, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Origen, in the 
third century, it might well be imagined that we should 
thus obtain most valuable and trustworthy guidance 
as to the primitive text of the New Testament. 

But here again there are very serious drawbacks. 
No doubt, these early Fathers quote most copiously 
from Scripture, so that the substance of the whole 
New Testament could easily be collected from their 
pages. But important deductions must be made from 
the value of their writings as authorities in textual 
criticism. For, first, the manuscripts of their works 
which we possess are comparatively modern — few 
indeed rising above the tenth century, and thus their 



32 Companmi to the Revised Version of 

genuine readings are often doublful. And, next, they 
generally quote from memory, not feeling the need, 
and not possessing the means, of aiming at that 
verbal exactness called for at the present day. They 
had none of those facilities of reference which we 
possess. The turning to a passage and verifying it, 
would, in their case, have implied an amount of labour, 
of which, with our Bibles divided into chapters and 
verses, we can hardly conceive. Besides, there can 
be no doubt that many passages would come to be 
loosely and popularly quoted, without any suspicion 
that a departure was thus made from the true text. 
This happens constantly among ourselves with respect 
to the Authorised Version. How often will one see 
or hear Deut xxxiiL 25, quoted thus, " As thy day is 
so shall thy strength be," whereas the true reading is, 
**Asthy^^>'j, &c."* 

On the whole, then, there is reason for acquiescing 
in the following judgment with regard to the value, as 
respects textual criticism, to be attached to the quo- 
tations made by ancient writers from the New Testa- 
ment " Not only is this kind of testimony fragmentary 
and not (like that of versions) continuous, so that it 
often fails where we should most wish for information; 
but the Fathers were better theologians than critics ; 

* See for a numerous list of such misquotations Eadie's English 
Bible, ii. 328 ff. 



The English New Testament 33 

they frequently quoted loosely or from memory, often 
no more of a passage than their immediate purpose 
required ; what they actually wrote has been found 
peculiarly liable to change on the part of copyists and 
unskilful editors ; they can therefore be implicitly 
trusted — even as to the manuscripts which lay before 
them — only in the comparatively few places wherein 
their own direct appeal to their codices, or the course 
of their argument, or the current of their exposition, 
renders it manifest what readings they approved. In 
other cases the same author perpetually cites the 
self-same text under two or more various forms ; in 
the Gospels it is often impossible to determine to 
which of the three earlier ones reference is made; 
and, on the whole. Scriptural quotations from ecclesi- 
astical writers are of so much less consideration than 
ancient translations, that where they are single and 
unsupported, they may safely be disregarded altogether. 
An express citation, however, by a really careful 
Father of the first four or five centuries (as Origen, 
for example), if supported by manuscript authority, 
and countenanced by the best versions, claims our 
respectful attention, and powerfully vindicates the 
reading which it favours.' ' * 

* Scrivener's Introduction^ p. 368. 



34 Companion to the Revised Version of 



CHAPTER III. 

HISTORY AND CHARACTER OF THE GREEK TEXT ON 
WHICH THE AUTHORISED VERSION WAS FOUNDED. 

When an English version of the New Testament is put 
into our hands as furnishing a transcript in our own 
language of God's revelation of Himself through Jesus 
Christ, it is of the most vital importance to be assured 
of the trustworthiness of the text on which that 
version has been based. Without this everything 
else must be comparatively worthless. What we want 
to know is the exact message which has been addressed 
to our race by Heaven. And the first essential to 
this is purity of the original text. It matters not how 
smoothly a version may read, how pleasing may be 
its contents, or how venerable even may be the 
antiquity which it claims. The first and gravest 
question to be asked regarding it has respect to the 
faithfulness with which the text on which it was based 
represented the true and original word of God. How 
then, we anxiously inquire, does the case stand con- 
cerning this point with the Authorised English Ver- 
sion? 

Before being able to give a full answer to this 



The English New Testament, 35 

question it is necessary to trace the history of the 
earliest printed editions of the Greek New Testament. 
This history will gradually lead us on to the text 
which was made use of in the preparation of the 
Authorised Version, and we shall be enabled to form 
a judgment respecting its character. 

We cannot but feel it somewhat remarkable that so 
long a time elapsed between the invention ot the art 
of printing and the passing ot an edition of the 
Greek New Testament through the press. It is well 
known that the first book ever printed was the Bible, 
but this was in the form of the Vulgate. A Latin 
edition of the Scriptures, very handsomely got up, 
issued from the press at Mentz in 1452 ; and a few 
copies of this interesting and precious publication are 
known to be still in existence at the present day. The 
Hebrew Bible was also printed, under the auspices of 
some wealthy Jews, in 1488. But the century which 
had witnessed the invention of printing was allowed 
to close without any attempt having been made to 
prepare a printed edition of the Greek New Testament. 
Some brief passages of the Gospels from the first 
chapter of St. Luke — the sacred songs of the Virgin 
Mary and of Zacharias — had, indeed, been added to a 
Greek edition of the Psalms printed at Milan in 148 1 ; 
but no one as yet seems to have conceived the idea 
of issuing a printed edition of the whole New Testa* 
D 2 



36 Companion to the Rnnsed Version of 

ment. The cause of this probably was that the Greek 
language was still but very imperfectly known to 
theologians. The "new learning^' was as yet only 
struggling through many difficulties into acceptance, 
and gradually winning to itself the admiration and 
affection of those noble men who afterwards cultivated 
it with so much energy and devotedness. 

To the able and excellent Cardinal Ximenes, 
Primate of Spain, belongs the honour of having first 
projected an edition of the entire Greek New Testa- 
ment. His plan was to embrace it in a Polyglot 
Bible, intended to include both the Hebrew text of the 
Old Testament and the Greek Septuagint version with 
the Chaldee Targum of Onkelos and the Latin Vulgate. 
The fifth volume, which is devoted to the New Testa- 
ment, was first printed, and it bears on its last page 
as the date of its completion, January, 10, 15 14. But 
its publication was delayed, apparently, at first, with 
the view of waiting for the remaining volumes. The 
last of these, numbered as the fourth, is stated to have 
been finished on July 10, 15 17. But the exemplary 
prelate who had originated and superintended this 
great undertaking died soon afterwards (Nov. 8, 15 17), 
and the issue of the volume, was, in consequence, still 
further delayed. It was not till March 22, 1520, that 
Pope Leo X. formally sanctioned its publication. 
Thus came forth at length what is known as the 



The English Ne7U Testament 37 

Complutensian edition of the New Testament, Com- 
plutum being the Latin name for Alcala, where the 
work was prepared. 

Meanwhile, however, important steps had been 
taken m another quarter. The ilkistrious Erasmus 
comes into view, a man to whom modern thought is, 
in so many ways, under such deep and lasting 
obligations. That great scholar was in England in 
15 1 5, and on April 17th of that year he received a 
request from Froben, an eminent printer at Basle, to 
prepare for publication an edition of the Greek New 
Testament. Though encumbered by other literary 
labours, Erasmus set about this work with characteristic 
diligence, and completed it within the too short 
period of a few months — by February, 15 16. The 
work was immediately published, and thus the original 
text of the New Testament was, for the first time, 
given to the world. 

No small eagerness would, naturally, be shown by 
scholars to possess the sacred text. Accordingly, we 
find that the demand was, for those days, great. The 
first edition of Erasmus was reprinted, with corrections 
amounting to about 200, by Aldus, at Venice, in 15 18. 
A second edition, with more than 300 improvements, 
was issued by Erasmus himself in 15 19. This was 
followed by a third edition in 1522, chiefly remarkable 
as containing, for the first time, the famous text 



38 Co7npanion id the kevised Veisidu of 

I John V. 7. Erasmus had not till now seen the Com* 
plutensian edition, but he was able to avail himself of 
it in the preparation of his own fourth, which came 
out in 1527. He died in 1536, having issued a fifth 
edition in the previous year, differing only in four 
places from the preceding. The fourth edition of 
Erasmus is thus the most important, and became the 
basis of all subsequent texts, until what is known as 
the " Received Text " was formed. 

After the death ot Erasmus an edition of the 
Greek New Testament was published by Colinaeus at 
Paris in 1543. But, although this edition was cor- 
rected in more than a hundred places from the 
authority of additional manuscripts, it may be left out 
of account as having exercised little subsequent 
influence. The true successor of Erasmus in this 
department was Robert Stephens the famous Parisian 
printer. He issued two editions in 1546 and 1549, 
having availed himself in these of some manuscripts in 
the Royal Library, and ot the Complutensian text. 
But his great edition was the third, issued in 1550. 
This edition is remarkable as containing the first 
collection of various readings, amounting, it has been 
reckoned, to 2,194. But though these had been 
collected from a considerable number of manuscripts, 
no critical use was made of them. The text of 
Erasmus was closely followed, and readings found in 



The English New Testament, 39 

it were even clung to when opposed to the authority 
of all the manuscripts. The fourth edition of 
Stephens was published at Geneva in 155 1. In this 
edition the New Testament is, for the first time, 
divided into verses — an invention of Stephens. The 
text remained the same as in the previous edition. 

Beza, the Reformer, next appears as an editor of 
the Greek New Testament. He published five 
editions, the first in 1565, the second in 1576, the 
third in 1582, the fourth in 1589, and the fifth in 
1598. These editions varied somewhat among them- 
selves, but were based throughout upon the text of 
Stephens. 

And now we have reached the interesting and 
important point of this sketch, as the history of the 
printed text of the New Testament just given has led 
us very near the date at which the Authorised Eng- 
lish Version began to be made. It was commenced 
about 1604, when the above-named Greek texts were, 
in one form or another, generally circulated. Which 
of them, we ask with eagerness, formed the original 
from which our common English translation was 
derived ? To this question the answer is, that Beza's 
edition of 1589 was the one usually followed. It had 
been based on Stephens's edition of 1550, and that 
again had been derived from the fourth edition of 
Erasmus, published in 1527. Such is the parentage 



40 Companion to the Revised Version of 

of the Authorised Version — Beza, Stephens, Erasmus. 
What manuscript authority, let us ask, is thus repre- 
sented ? 

Beginning with Erasmus, we find that his resources 
were meagre indeed, and that even the materials 
which he had were not fully utilised. It has already 
been noticed how hastily his first edition was pre- 
pared; indeed, he himself said of it that it "was rather 
tumbled headlong into the world than edited." The 
manuscripts which he had in his possession are still 
preserved, one having been recovered some years ago 
after long being lost. Some of them bear in them- 
selves the corrections which he made, and show too 
obvious marks of having been used as " copy ^\ by the 
printer. They consisted of the following. In the 
Gospels he principally used a Cursive manuscript of 
the fifteenth or sixteenth century. This may still be 
seen at Basic, and is admitted by all to be of a very 
inferior character. He also possessed another Cursive 
manuscript of the twelfth century, or earlier, and 
occasionally referred to it. But though this is an 
excellent manuscript in the Gospels — one of the very 
best of the Cursives — Erasmus was ignorant of its 
value, and made litde use of it. In the Acts and 
Epistles he chiefly followed a Cursive manuscript of 
the thirteenth or fourteenth century, with occasional 
reference to another of the fifteenth century. Both 



The English New Testament. 41 

these were of the ordinary type usually exhibited by 
the later manuscripts. For the Apocalypse he had 
only one mutilated manuscript. He had thus no 
documentary materials for publishing a complete 
edition of the Greek Testament. The consequence 
would have been that some verses must have been 
left wanting had not Erasmus taken the Vulgate and 
conjecturally re-translated the Latin into Greek. 
Hence has arisen the remarkable fact that in the text 
from which our Authorised Version was formed, and 
in the ordinary uncritical editions of the Greek cur- 
rent at the present day, there were, and are, words in 
the professed original for which no Divine authority 
can be pleaded, but which are entirely due to the 
learning and imagination of Erasmus. 

As stated above, he availed himself of the Com- 
plutensian text to some extent in his subsequent 
editions. Scholars have been unable to ascertain 
with exactness the manuscripts which were employed 
in its formation. It was at one time thought that the 
famous Codex B was one of them. But this has 
been clearly disproved, and the manuscript authority 
on which it was based has been shown by internal 
evidence to have been not ancient, but modern. 
There is also some ground for suspecting that the 
editors occasionally, though rarely, allowed an undue 
influence to the Latin Vulgate. In printing the Old 



42 Companion to the Ransed Version of 

Testament they gave the place of honour in the 
centre to the Latin, surrounding it on either side by the 
original Hebrew and the Septuagint translation. On 
this they make the curious and somewhat suggestive 
remark, that the Latin thus placed was like Christ 
crucified between the two thieves ! The one thief 
was the Greek Church, which they regarded as here- 
tical ; and the other was the nation of the Jews, who 
were charged with having corrupted the Hebrew text 
wherever it differed from the Latin. 

Stephens, who succeeded Erasmus in the work of 
editing the Greek Testament, had, as we have seen, a 
number of additional manuscripts at his command. 
Among these was one at least undoubtedly ancient. 
Codex D, formerly described. But he made very 
little use either of it or of any of the others in his 
possession. Almost the only important departure 
which Stephens made from the Erasmian text was in 
the Apocalypse, in which book he took advantage of 
the far better readings supplied by the Complutensian 
edition. 

Beza received from Stephens a collection of various 
readings derived from no fewer than some five-and- 
twenty manuscripts, but he made little or no critical 
use of them. He was totally unaware of the value of the 
manuscript which bears his name, and thought that its 
publication was rather to be deprecated. He left the 



The English New Testament 43 

text substantially as he had received it from Stephens, 
who, again, for his part, rarely deserts the fifth edition 
of Erasmus. 

Thus, then, stood the text of the Greek New 
Testament when the revisers of the Bishops' Bible set 
themselves to form from it our present Authorised 
English Version. Not one of the four most ancient 
manuscripts was then known to be in existence. Even 
Codex D, which was known, had scarcely any weight 
assigned to it, and the whole Greek text had been 
based upon a very few modern manuscripts. The 
ancient versions had not been examined. No careful 
investigation had been made into the testimony to the 
primitive text borne by the Fathers. Textual criticism 
was still in its infancy, the materials for it had not 
been gathered, the principles of the science had not 
been studied, and the labours of Mill, Bentley, 
Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and 
other great scholars, to secure the purity of the text of 
the New Testament, were as yet unheard of, and only 
to be put forth in the course of many future genera 
tions. 

In these circumstances can it be wondered at that 
vast multitudes of changes will be found in the Revised 
English Version, owing to an amended text? The 
wonder really is that they are so few, or, at least, that 
they are, in general, of such small importance. When 



44 Compaiiioji to the Revised Version of 

we trace, as has been briefly done, the parentage of 
our English Bible, and when we see on what a slender 
basis of authority it rests, when we confront with this 
the enormous wealth of materials for settling the true 
Greek text which we possess at the present day, and 
the amount of labour which has been expended in 
applying them, we might well fear that the alterations 
requiring to be made in the Bible with which we have 
all our days been familiar should be of the most revo- 
lutionary character. But, blessed be God, such is not 
the case. No doctrine of the faith is in the slightest 
degree affected. False supports of important doctrines 
may be removed, and true defences of them may be 
supplied, but that is all. The Bible remains, for all 
practical purposes, totally unaffected. That is one 
grand result of the labours of the New Testament 
Revision Company, for which all English Christians 
have good reason to be thankful. They now know the 
utmost that Biblical science demands. No suspicion 
need in future haunt them that the Scriptural truths 
which they love are insecure. These have been 
proved to rest on an immovable foundation, and they 
will endure as long as the Divine Word that reveals 
them, ** which liveth and abideth for ever," 

But more than this, every loyal Christian heart 
should surely rejoice to have access, in as pure a form 
as possible, to the message sent us by our Father in 



The English New Testament. 45 

heaven. That is the great positive work which has 
been aimed at by the New Testament Company, and 
the fulfilment of which is presented in the Revised 
Version. English readers of the Scriptures have now 
the opportunity of making themselves acquainted with 
the New Testament in a form more nearly representing 
the primitive text than they ever had before. Most of 
the changes made hardly affect the sense, but many 
even of these alterations are highly interesting. Some 
few others are of great importance, and will naturally 
attract more attention from readers of the Revised 
Version. To these two classes of changes which have 
been required by an amendment of the text we shall 
advert at some length in the two following chapters. 



46 Companmi to the Revised Version of 



CHAPTER IV. 

liXAMPLES OF MINOR CHANGES CAUSED BY A CHANGE 
OF TEXT. 

It may be that at first not a few of the changes or 
omissions in the Revised Version, due to a change in 
the original text, will be felt disagreeable by the Eng- 
lish reader. The old familiar rhythm is disturbed, 
and the ear longs for the words to which it has been 
accustomed. It must be owned, too, that there are 
some changes and omissions due to the cause referred 
to which may worthily seem matter of regret. Thus, 
we can hardly exchange the beautiful precept, **Be 
courteous," found at i Pet. iii. 8, in the Authorised 
Version, for the apparently tamer expression, "humble- 
minded," in the Revised Version, without feeling that 
some loss has been incurred. And we cannot read 
Mark ix. 3, or Mark ix. 24, without wishing that the 
words " as snow " and " with tears," which add to the 
graphic style of the narrative, had been retained. In 
the majority of cases, however, the changes caused 
by a change of text, will, on consideration, commend 
themselves as improvements. They will be found to 
impart greater clearness, terseness, or force, to the 



The English New Tesiafnent, 47 

Version. Thus, there is a vividness at Mark i. 27, 
"And they were all amazed, insomuch that they 
questioned among themselves, saying. What is this ? 
a new teaching ! with authority he commandeth even 
the unclean spirits, and they obey him," which does 
not belong to the Authorised Version. Thus, again, it 
will be felt to be with the remarkable variation 
which occurs at 2 Cor. i. 20, where we read in the 
Revised Version, "For how many soever be the 
promises of God, in him is the yea : wherefore also 
through him is the Amen, unto the glory of God through 
us.'* As has been well observed, the ^^ yea " here 
" denotes the fulfilment of the promise on the part 
of God, and ' Amen ' the recognition and thanksgiving 
on the part of the Church, a distinction which is 
obliterated by the received reading."* So, at i John 
v. 13, it is an obvious gain to get rid of the clumsy 
and almost absurd repetition which occurs in the 
Authorised Version, and to read simply, "These 
things have I written unto you, that ye may know 
ye have eternal life, unto you that believe on the 
name of the Son of God." But whether the frue read- 
ings be deemed improvements or not, they should 
always be welcomed simply on the ground of their 
genuineness. To find out what is true is the supreme 
object of Biblical science ; and while, no doubt, there 
* Ughtfoot, On a fresh I^eyisiQn of the New Testament, p. 52. 



48 Companion to the Revised Version of 

may often seem an artificial attractiveness about what 
is erroneous, there should always be felt a sovereign 
majesty in truth. 

With these remarks, let us look at some of the 
minor changes which have been made in the Revised 
Version owing to a change of text. I shall first take 
a few from each of the Gospels, and then some from 
the other books of the New Testament 

St. Afatthe7v''s Gospel. At chap. v. 22, the Revised 
Version omits the words " without a cause. '^ The 
evidence from manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, is 
here not quite conclusive, but the internal evidence 
is clear. It is obvious that a strong temptation pre- 
sented itself to transcribers to insert the words, in 
order to soften the apparent harshness of the precept, 
whereas, had they existed in the primitive text, it is 
scarcely possible to account for their having been 
dropped. There is little, if any, doubt, therefore, that 
they ought to disappear. At chap, xviii. 17 we read 
in the Revised Version, " Why askest thou me of that 
which is good ? One there is who is good : but if 
thou wouldest enter into life, keep the command- 
ments." The external evidence is decidedly in favour 
of this reading, embracing, as it does, k, B, D, &c., 
but it is the internal evidence which is conclusive. 
We formerly saw how prone copyists were to conform 
parallel passages, and here St. Matthew's text, as re- 



The English New Testament. 49 

presented in the Authorised Version, has been harmo- 
nised with those of St. Mark and St. Luke. Besides 
the question of the young ruler, " What good thing 
shall I do ? " is aptly answered by the words, " Why 
askest thou me of that which is good?'' At chap. 
XXV. 6 we read in the Revised Version, " But at mid- 
night a cry is made. Behold the bridegroom : come 
ye forth to meet him." The word "cometh'^is omitted 
on overwhelming authority ; it had evidently slipped 
in as a supplement from the working of the mind of 
the transcriber on the passage before him. 

^i^. Mark's Gospel, At chap. vi. 20 we read in 
the Revised Version, " Herod feared John, knowing 
that he was a just man and a holy, and kept him safe ; 
and when he heard him, he was much perplexed^ and 
heard him gladly." Here the common reading, *'And 
did many things," is undoubtedly supported by many 
of the best authorities ; but the case is such that we 
cannot conceive of the unusual Greek word for " per- 
plexed " being substituted for the very common word 
for " did," while the converse supposition that a tran- 
scriber here meeting with an unfamiliar expression 
changed it into one with which he was well acquainted, 
is easy and natural. At chap. ix. 22, 23, we read in 
the Revised Version, " If thou canst do anything, have 
compassion on us, and help us. And Jesus said unto 
him, If thou canst ! all things are possible to him that 

£ 



50 Covipanlon to the Revised V^ersion of 

believeth." This is a beautiful emendation. Jesus 
takes up the doubting words of the father, and, after 
repeating them, adds that strong assertion of the 
power of faith which follows. The change is abundantly 
supported by ancient authority ; and it is obvious that 
the enfeebling " believe " of the common text has 
somehow slipped in as a supplement. 

St. LtMs Gospel, At chap. xvi. 9 we find the 
interesting change of " it " for " ye,'' and read in the 
Revised Version^ *' Make to yourselves friends out of 
the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when it shall 
fail, they (the friends whom you have thus made) may 
receive you into the eternal tabernacles.'' At chap, 
xxiv. 17 a somewhat different turn is given to the 
narrative by the insertion of a Greek verb in the text, 
and we read thus in the Revised Version, " What 
communications are these that ye have one with 
another as ye walk? And they stood still, looking 
sad." Again, at verse 46 of the same chapter, the 
proper reading is, ** Thus it is written that the Christ 
should suffer," the common text having been derived 
from verse 26, according to a process familiar to 
transcribers. 

St. John^s Gospel. At chap. vi. 1 1 we find in the 
common text an obvious case of accommodation to 
the parallel passage in Matt. xiv. 19, and the verse 
properly runs as in the Revised Version, "Jesus there- 



The English New Test anient, 51 

fore took the loaves, and having given thanks, he dis- 
tributed to them that were set down." At chap. xiii. 
24 we have in the Revised Version a characteristic 
utterance of St. Peter which is lost in the ordinary 
text. He seems to have imagined that John, as 
specially the confidant of Christ, would know what 
the disciples wished to ascertain, and exclaimed, " Tell 
us who it is of whom he speaketh." At chap. xx. 16 
the amended text has restored the expression " in the 
Hebrew tongue," which, by the exception which it 
specially marks out, serves to indicate the language 
generally made use of in public intercourse by Christ 
and His disciples. 

The Acts of the Apostles, At chap. xv. 23 we 
find an interesting example of the alteration which 
may take place in the meaning from a very slight 
change in the text. The words " and the " are simply 
omitted, and we then read, "The apostles and the 
elder brethren," instead of "The apostles, and the 
elders, and the brethren." At chap. xvi. 7 we find 
an exception to the general rule that a shorter reading 
is to be preferred to a longer, for the true text un- 
doubtedly is, " the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not." 
At chap, xviii. 5 we find a striking illustration of the 
tendency to replace what was unusual or not under- 
stood by what was common and familiar; for 
"Paul was pressed in the spirit" has there taken 

£ 2 



52 Companion io the Revised Version of 

the place of the true text, " Paul was constiuined by 
the word." 

The Epistle to the Romans. A very remarkable 
change has been made at chap. iv. 19. In accordance 
with all the great Uncials, the negative in the verse is 
omitted, so as to read, " he considered his own body 
now become dead," the point being that, though he 
fully took into account his own state, yet he did not 
stumble at the Divine promise. At chap. v. i, after 
long hesitation, criticism has clearly decided that 
instead of "we have,'' the true reading is "let us 
have.'* The text of B in this passage is now certainly 
known to be in favour of that which stands in the 
Revised Version, and it is supported by A, C, D, k^ 
the most important versions, and many of the Fathers. 
At chap. vii. 6 a reading was introduced by Beza into 
his third edition, which was a mere conjecture of his 
own, and is supported by not a single manuscript or 
version. It stands, however, in the common English 
Bible, which translates it, " that being dead wherein 
we were held," instead of the true text as rendered in 
the Revised Version, " having died to that wherein we 
were holden." At chap. xvi. 5 we should certainly 
read " the first fruits of Asia," instead of " the first 
fruits of Achaia," the mistaken reading having probably 
arisen from the transcriber having i Cor. xvi. 15 in 
his mind. 



The English New Testament, 53 

The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The most 
interesting changes in this Epistle are those which 
have been made in the eleventh chapter, which con- 
tains an account of the institution of the Lord's 
Supper. At ver. 24 the words "Take, eat," have 
been omitted, as having scarcely a shadow of 
authority. They were doubtless interpolated from 
Matt. xxvi. 26. In the same verse the word "broken" 
is also left out; it was probably a supplement intro- 
duced by the copyists. In ver. 26 " this cup " 
becomes "the cup" in the Revised Version; the 
common text was due to a desire for uniformity 
in the two clauses. In ver. 29 the word translated 
" unworthily " has been omitted as certainly spurious ; 
it was brought in from ver. 27, where it is as certainly 
genuine. At chap. xiii. 3 a various reading occurs, 
which, though very properly not placed in the text, 
will be found in the margin of the Revised Version as 
having very great support from excellent authorities. 
It deserves notice as illustrating how one Greek word 
might be mistaken for another which it closely re- 
sembled. Here a difference of only a single letter 
leads to the so great difference of rendering in 
English, as, "that I may be burned," and "that I 
may glory.''* 

The Scco7id Epistle to the Coriftthia7is, There are 
* The two Greek words are /((^u6^<rc«>uai and «ctvx^'''^A*«*' 



54 Companion to the Revised Version of 

no very noticeable alterations made in this Epistle 
owing to a change of text. Perhaps the most inter- 
esting is at chap. xii. 19, where quite a different turn 
is given to the passage in the Revised Version, in 
consequence of one word being altered in the original. 
The Apostle knew well that his elaborate vindication 
of himself might be misunderstood by the Corinthians, 
as if he were anxious to gain their favourable judgment 
on his conduct, and to meet this mistake he says : — 
** Ye think all this time that we are excusing ourselves 
unto you. In the sight of God speak we in Christ. 
But all things, beloved, are for your edifying. '' 

The Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians^ 
Colossians, At Gal. iv. 14 a new turn is given to the 
passage by the pronoun being changed in the original. 
St Paul, instead of there speaking of " viy temptation,'* 
says, " that which was a temptation to you in my flesh 
ye despised not nor rejected," surely far more in accord- 
ance with the context. At Eph. v. 29 we get rid in 
the Revised Version of the strange declaration, "of 
his flesh, and of his bones," and read simply, in 
accordance with the true text, " we are members of his 
body." At Philipp. i. 16, 17, the two verses must, by 
overwhelming authority, be transposed, and read as in 
the Revised Version. At Col. ii. 18 we come upon 
a passage presenting great difficulty both as to the 
true text and the right interpretation. But evidence 



The English New Testament 55 

leads us clearly to reject the "not" found before 
" seen " in the common text. The Apostle is blaming 
those who dwell in the region of sense rather than 
that of faith, and this is the meaning given to his 
words in the Revised Version. It is evident that the 
ancient copyists did not understand the passage, and 
that the insertion of the negative was due to their 
desire of making it, as they thought, intelligible. 

The Epistles to the Thessalonians^ and the Pastoral 
Epistles* Few changes worth notice have been made 
in the Epistles to the Thessalonians on account of a 
change of text. It may be noted-, however, that the 
usual designation of our Saviour in these Epistles is 
"our Lord Jesus," and not "our Lord Jesus Christ." 
See I Thess. ii. 19, iii. 11, iii. 13 ; 2 Thess. i. 12 (first 
clause); and compare ii. 8 in the Revised Version. 
The full title occurs at i Thess. i. i, v. 28, 2 Thess. 
i. 2, &c., but the shorter form seems characteristic of 
these Epistles. On the other hand, " Christ Jesus," 
and not " Jesus Christ," appears as the favourite 
appellation for our Lord in the Pastoral Epistles. 
Compare with Authorised Version i Tim. iv. 6, v. 21, 
2 Tim. i. I, ii. 3, Tit. i. 4, in the Revised Version. 
It deserves in this connection to be noticed further 
that the two versions are coincident in the use of the 
form " Christ Jesus" in the following passages : i Tim. 
i. 12, i. 14, ii. 5, iii. 13, vi. 13 ; 2 Tim. i. i (second 



56 Compa7iion to the Revised Versio7i of 

clause), i. 2, i. 9, i. 13, ii. i, ii. 10, iii. 12, iii. 
15. The title "Christ Jesus" thus seems in its very 
frequent use a marked peculiarity of the Pastoral 
Epistles, and serves as a sort of nexus to bind them all 
together. 

The Epistle to Philemon and the Epistle to the 
Hebrews, Almost the only changes of any interest 
in the Epistle to Philemon are at ver. 2, where we 
read, "and to Apphia our sister," for "and to our 
beloved Apphia," the epithet "beloved" having 
apparently been substituted to correspond to ver. i ; 
and "I had," for "we have," in ver. 7, in which some 
critics also read "grace" instead of "joy," but with- 
out sufficient authority. At Heb. iv. 2 overwhelming 
critical evidence compels us to accept the somewhat 
strange rendering of the Revised Version. Many 
critics of high name have been tempted to abide by 
the apparently far simpler and more satisfactory 
reading which is represented in the Authorised Ver- 
sion ; but faithfulness to the laws of evidence and 
grammar will not permit of such a course. At chap. 
X. 34, the personal reference to the writer of the 
Epistle is exchanged for the general reference to 
" them that were in bonds," and this change has an 
important bearing on the very difficult question of 
authorship. At chap. xi. 13 the Greek words 
rendered " and were persuaded of them " have no 



The English New Tesfafnent 57 

right whatever to a place in the text. The beautiful 
and exact rendering of the original here given in the 
Revised Version will be noticed afterwards, when we 
come to treat of mistakes of translation in the 
Authorised Version, 

The Catholic Epistles. In the Epistle of James 
the remarkable change which is found in the Revised 
Version at chap. i. 19 is due to the change of a single 
letter in the Greek.* The evidence is decisive ; and 
the principle here applies that a more difficult reading 
is to be preferred to one that is easy and frequent. 
In the first Epistle of Peter, at chap. ii. 21, the con- 
fusion of the pronouns found in the Authorised Version, 
which reads, " Christ also suffered for us^ leaving us 
an example, that ye should follow his steps," is, by 
a change of text, escaped in the Revised Version. 
The change made at 2 Pet. iii. 2, which cannot fail to 
strike the reader, has the sanction of all the great 
Uncials, and of the best versions. In like manner 
the insertion of the words ** and we are,'' in i John iii. 
I, rests on the most decisive manuscript and Patristic 
authority. In 2 John ver. 8 the confusion of pro- 
nouns again found in the Authorised Version is by a 
change of text corrected in the Revised Version. In 
3 John ver. 12 the glaring incongruity of addressing 
in the plural Gaius, to whom the Epistle is addressed, 

* The two Greek words are itrre and wo-re. 



58 Companion to the Revised Version of 

is removed by the adoption of the correct reading, 
"thou knowest." In the Epistle of Jude ver. i, 
through a mistake of one Greek word for another,* 
there is read in the Authorised Version, *^ sanctified 
by God the Father," instead of ^^ beloved in God the 
Father." 

The Apocalypse, As might be inferred from what 
has been said in the preceding chapter the text of the 
Book of Revelation on which the Authorised Version 
rests was of the most unsatisfactory character. 
Accordingly, numerous corrections of the original 
have led to change in the Revised Version. One of 
the most important of these alterations is found at 
chap. xvii. 8. The Authorised Version refers at the 
close of this verse to " the beast, that was, and is not, 
and yet is " — truly an enigmatical declaration — ^but by 
substitution of the true text we attain to the more 
intelligible statement which the reader will here find 
in the Revised Version. Some interesting changes 
have also been made in the concluding chapter of the 
Book. Thus, in the third clause of the eleventh verse 
a very puzzling reading of the common text — which, 
by the way, ought not to be rendered as in the 
Authorised Version, but can only mean, "let him be 
justified still" — has been exchanged for one which 

* The two words which have been confounded are riyaTTTj/jLivois 
and 7iyia.(TiJicvo',s. 



The English Ne7v Testament, 59 

yields a plain and satisfactory sense — " let him do 
righteousness still." And in the fourteenth verse, 
instead of these words of the Authorised Version, 
'^ Blessed are they that do his conunandments^ that 
they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter 
in through the gates into the city," we must read, far 
more in accordance with the analogy of Scripture, 
"Blessed are they that ivash their robes ^ that they 
may have the right to come to the tree of life, and 
may enter in by the gates into the city/' 



6o Companion to the Revised Version of 



CHAPTER V. 

MORE IMPORTANT CHANGES DUE TO A CHANGE 
OF TEXT. 

Probably the first great change which will strike the 
reader of the Revised Version is the entire omission 
of the doxology of the Lord's Prayer at Matt. vi. 13. 
The reasons for this omission are conclusive. First, 
the clause is not found in any of the great Uncials, m, 
B, D, which contain the passage. Secondly, it is 
not noticed by the earliest Fathers in their expositions 
of the Lord's Prayer. True, Chrysostom and others 
recognise it in the fourth century, but this cannot 
outweigh the fact that it is wholly unnoticed by 
Origen in the third. The internal evidence, too, is 
somewhat against it, as an interruption of the context. 
There is, indeed, one weighty argument in its favour. 
It is found in most of the ancient versions, such as 
the ^thiopic, the Armenian, the Gothic, and, above 
all, the Syriac. Versions, it is obvious, are far more 
valuable as witnesses to the existence of clauses than 
they can be in regard to individual words. And 
could we be sure that the doxology existed from the 
first in such an ancient version as the Peshito Syriac, 



The Efiglish New Testament 6i 

its genuineness would perhaps no longer be disputed. 
But, as was formerly remarked, we cannot insist on 
the authority of the Syriac in support of the passage. 
This is felt all the more from the varying form which 
is presented by the doxologyin the Curetonian 
version, which omits altogether the words " and the 
power." Besides, it does not exist in the Latin 
Vulgate, a very important witness. Upon the whole, 
criticism must pronounce decidedly against the clause 
as forming part of the original text; and it is, 
accordingly, not admitted into the Revised Version. 

Mark xvi. 9 — 20. The reader will be struck by 
the appearance which this long paragraph presents in 
the Revised Version. Although inserted, it is marked 
off by a considerable space from the rest of the 
Gospel. A note is also placed on the margin con- 
taining a brief explanation of this, but it may be well 
here to say something more respecting such an impor- 
tant section of the Evangelical history. The case, 
then, stands as follows. It cannot be denied that 
there is something peculiar about the paragraph. We 
find that it has no place in k, B, the two oldest manu- 
scripts in our possession. It is true that the writer of 
B has left a blank space at the end of St. Mark's 
Gospel, clearly indicating that he knew of something 
more that might be inserted, but the fact remains that 
he did not insert it; Again, as Tregelles has remarked, 



62 Companion to the Revised Version of 

"Eusebius, Gregory of Nyssa, Victor of Antiocli> 
Severus of Antioch, Jerome, as well as other writers, 
especially Greeks, testify that these verses were not 
written by St. Mark, or not found in the best copies/' * 
Moreover, it must, I think, be admitted that the 
style of the passage is not that of the Evangelist. 
Not only are there seventeen words in the compass of 
only twelve verses which are nowhere else made use 
of by St. Mark, but the general complexion of the 
paragraph is unlike that of the gospel. This much 
may be urged against the genuineness. But, on the 
other hand, in support of it we are told to reflect how 
improbable it is that a writer of the Gospel history 
would abruptly end his narrative with the statement 
contained in verse 8. That may be admitted, and 
yet there may have been circumstances unknown to 
us that compelled the author to make such a sudden 
termination. How many works might be referred to, 
such as Macaulay's " History of England," which 
close abruptly, for the too-sufficient reason that death 
arrested the pen of the writer ! But again it is 
argued that Irenaeus quotes the passage, without the 
slightest misgiving, in the second century. True, and 
that is most weighty proof of the atcthority assigned to 
the passage even from the earliest times, but does by 
no means prove the authorship of St. Mark. Nor 

* Introduction ^ p. 435, 



The English Neio Testament, d^i 

can the evidence of versions be deemed conclusive, 
for reasons which have been ah'eady stated. On the 
whole, a fair survey of all the facts of the case seems 
to lead us to these conclusions : first, that the passage 
is not the immediate production of St. Mark ; and 
secondly, that it is, nevertheless, possessed of full 
canonical authority. We cannot ascertain its author, 
but we are sure he must have been one who belonged 
to the circle of the Apostles. And, in accordance 
with this view of the paragraph, it is marked off from 
the words with which, for some unknown reason, the 
Gospel of St. Mark ended ; while, at the same time, 
it is inserted, without the least misgiving, as an 
appendix to that gospel in the Revised Version: 

John vii. 53 — viii. 11. This section of the Gospel 
narrative stands on much the same footing with that 
just considered. It is enclosed within brackets in the 
Revised Version, and is accompanied by an ex- 
planatory note on the margin; More, however, than 
that note is necessary to set forth the real authority 
belonging to the passage. It is not found in any one 
of the first-rate Uncials, nor in the Syriac and other 
ancient versions. There is no evidence that it was 
known to Origen, Chrysostom, and others of the 
early Fathers. It is obelised as doubtful by many of 
the manuscripts which contain it; The texts in which 
it has come down to us vary exceedingly among them- 



64 Companion to the Revised Version of 

selves. And, lastly, as against its being an integral 
portion of St; John's Gospel, it has no connection 
with the context, and its style is totally different from 
that of the Evangelist. On the other hand, it is found 
in the ancient Uncial D, though in a text which 
varies much from the received. It was known to 
St. Jerome in the fourth century, who expressly 
testifies that it existed in his days " in many manu- 
scripts both Greek and Latin." Augustine about the 
same date affirms that " some of but weak faith, or 
rather enemies of the true faith," had expunged it 
from their copies of the New Testament, and adds 
that they did so with an ethical purpose, fearing lest 
the passage might seem to grant impunity to sin. 
It would appear from Eusebius that even Papias, who 
lived in the early part of the second century, was 
famihar with the story, though that of course does not 
prove that he knew it as existing in St. John's Gospel. 
Finally, the narrative itself breathes the very spirit ot 
Christ and Christianity. Now, in these circumstances, 
what judgment can criticism pronounce regarding it ? 
The right conclusion probably is that it is no part of 
St John's Gospel, and yet is a perfectly true narrative 
which has descended to us from the Apostolic age. 
Some critics think that its proper place would be at 
the end of Luke xxi., where it is really placed in some 
of the best of the Cursive manuscripts. Such being 



The English New Testament, 65 

the facts of the case as regards this famous paragraph, 
it has properly been inserted in the text, but marked 
off from the context and enclosed in brackets in the 
Revised Version. 

Coloss, ii. 2. A very important departure has here 
been made, on textual grounds, from the Autho- 
rised Version. But, as the reader will observe from 
the note on the margin, this has not been done with 
much confidence. The fact is that, in the present 
conflicting state of the evidence, it is impossible to 
say, with any approach to certainty, what was here the 
original text. There are many varieties of reading. 
First, we find the very short form, " to the acknowledg- 
ment of the mystery of God," without any reference 
to Christ at all. Next, we have " to the acknowledg- 
ment of the mystery of God, Christ," nothing being 
interposed between the words " God " and " Christ." 
Thirdly, there is the form, " to the acknowledgment 
of the mystery of God, which is Christ." Fourthly, 
some good manuscripts read " to the acknowledgment 
of the mystery of God, the Father of Christ." And 
lastly, there is the reading of the mass of the Cursives 
represented in our Authorised Version, "to the 
acknowledgment of the mystery of God, and of the 
Father, ana of Chrisv.'' The three last readings are, by 
the general consent of critics, set aside, as manifest 
amplifications of the original text. We are, therefore, left 

F 



66 Companion to the Revised Version of 

to choose between the first and second forms. Such 
choice is by no means easy, and critics are greatly 
divided on the point According to a principle often 
already alluded to, the shorter form should, other 
things being equal, obtain the preference. But in 
this case there is scarcely equality. The curt form 
" of God " is supported only by one late Uncial, and 
some good Cursives. The longer form "of God, 
Christ," has the weighty authority of B, and of Hilary 
among the Fathers. The fourth form mentioned above 
is supported by k, A, C, and thus has perhaps more 
external evidence than any of the rest, but can scarcely 
be accepted on account of internal considerations. In 
these circumstances, we conclude with some confidence 
that the true text of the passage is that represented in 
the Revised Version. 

I Tim, iii. i6. The English reader will probably 
be startled to find that the familiar text, "And with- 
out controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God 
was manifest in the flesh," has been exchanged in the 
Revised Version for the following, "And without 
controversy great is the mystery of godliness ; He 
who was manifested in the flesh." A note on the 
margin states that " the word God^ in place of He who, 
rests on no sufficient ancient authority ;" and it may 
be well that, in a passage of so great importance, the 
reader should be convinced that such is the case. 



The English New Testament, 67 

What, then, let us inquire, is the amount of evidence 
which can be produced in support of the reading ^' Godf 
This is soon stated. Not one of the early Fathers 
can be certainly quoted for it. None of the very 
ancient versions support it. No Uncial witnesses to 
it, with the doubtful exception of A. The most diverse 
opinions have been expressed by critics as to the 
true text of this manuscript. To let the reader under- 
stand how this should be, it must be stated that the 
difference between two such similar forms as O C 
and decides whether the reading shall be " who " 
or " God.*' Now, it cannot be wondered at that in a 
manuscript not less than fourteen hundred years old, 
it is difficult to say whether the decisive lines exist 
or not. But this difficulty has been greatly increased 
by an unfortunate attempt to escape from it altogether. 
Some very orthodox but presumptuous hand has drawn 
a dark line in the middle of the O? so as to render 
it certain that *' God *' is the reading of the manuscript. 
But the effort must now be made to overlook that 
modern touch entirely, and decide whether or not 
there is any trace of an original line in the heart of 0« 
Hence the diversity of opinion among critics. Bishop 
Ellicott declares for C " indispiUably^ after minute 
personal inspection."^ Dr. Scrivener, on the other 
hand says, " I have always felt convinced with 
* Coftim. on I Tim.^ p. 51. 
F 2 



68 Companion to the Revised Version of 

Berriman and the earlier collators that Cod. A read 
C*'^* The truth probably is, that in the now worn 
condition of the leaf containing the passage, it is im- 
possible for any one by personal inspection at the 
present day to determine the original reading of the 
manuscript. Much weight, however, is due to the 
opinion of those who had an opportunity of examining 
the Codex soon after it was brought to England, and 
when it must have been far easier to decide the 
question at issue. Now, these appear to be almost 
unanimous that the reading was C- But even 
granting that the weighty suffrage of the Alexandrian 
manuscript is in favour of " God," far more evidence 
can be produced in support of "who." x and pro- 
bably C witness to this reading, and it has also 
powerful testimony from the versions and Fathers. 
Moreover, the relative " who," is a far more difficult 
reading than "God," and could hardly have been 
substituted for the latter. On every ground, therefore, 
we conclude that this interesting and important 
passage must stand as it has been given in the Revised 
Version. 

I Peter \\L 15. The importance of the departure 

here made from the Authorised Version may not at 

first be obvious to the reader, but will become so on a 

very little consideration. It amounts to nothing less 

* Introduction, p. 553. 



The English New Testament. 69 

than the identification of Christ with Jehovah, For, 
as all admit, the Apostle here borrows his language 
from Isa, viii. 13, where we read "Sanctify the Lord 
of Hosts himself." Since, therefore, the language made 
use of in the Old Testament with respect to Jehovah 
is here applied by St. Peter to Christ, there could not 
be a clearer attestation to the deity of our Redeemer 
than that w^hich is furnished by this passage as read in 
the Revised Version. And the necessity of the change 
here made in the text admits of no question. For the 
reading of the Authorised Version there are only a 
few manuscripts and Fathers; while for that of the 
Revised there are all the great Uncials, several of 
the Fathers, and all the best versions. This instance 
of clear gain by rectification of the text tends all the 
more to reconcile us to the apparent loss which now 
comes to be mentioned. 

I Johji V. 7,8. The whole of these verses bearing 
upon what is known as " the heavenly witnesses," has 
been omitted in the Revised Version. This omission 
is one of the most indubitable results of textual 
criticism. The words left out can be proved to have 
no claim whatever to a place in the text of Scripture. 
None of the Uncial manuscripts contain them. None 
of the ancient versions represent them. None of the 
Fathers quote them, even when arguing on the subject 
of the Trinity. There are, indeed, two passages in 



70 Companion to the Rroised Version of 

Cyprian which seem to indicate an acquaintance with 
verse 7, but even though that be granted, the fact goes 
for nothing against such powerful counter-evidence. 
As was formerly noticed, Erasmus omitted the words 
in his first two editions. But, as they had long stood 
in the Vulgate, he was, of course, subjected to much 
odium for so doing. To disarm his malignant assail- 
ants, he promised that in future editions he would 
insert the words if they were found in a single Greek 
manuscript. One was discovered in Britain which did 
contain them, and therefore Erasmus admitted them 
into the text of his third edition. But it is now agreed 
by all scholars that the ** British manuscript," on whose 
authority the words were inserted, was not more 
ancient than the fifteenth or sixteenth century. It 
once belonged to a Dr. Montfort, of Cambridge, and 
from him it has derived its name^ being still preserved 
under the title of the Codex Montfortianus in Trinity 
College, Dublin. Erasmus himself suspected that the 
disputed words contained in this manuscript had been 
translated into Greek from the Latin Vulgate, and 
this is now the fixed opinion of critics. The same 
thing must be said respecting the only other Greek 
manuscript known to contain the passage. It belongs 
to the fifteenth century, and is preserved in the 
Vatican library. The text it offers varies considerably 
in the verses referred to from that of the manuscript 



The English New Testament 71 

already spoken of, but was also undoubtedly derived 
from the Latin. The same seems clearly to have been 
the case with the Complutensian edition of the New 
Testament. That contained in Greek the disputed 
words, and Stunica, its leading editor, severely 
censured Erasmus for omitting them. But when the 
great scholar asked him to state on what authority he had 
inserted the passage in the text, Stunica appealed only 
to the Vulgate. He maintained that the Latin repre- 
sented the true original of Scripture, and that the 
Greek copies had been corrupted, a pretty conclusive 
proof that the words in question owed their place in 
his text not to their having been found in any Greek 
manuscripts, but simply to their having been translated 
into Greek from the Vulgate. 

No defender of the genuineness of i John 7, 8, 
will probably arise in the future. The controversy 
regarding the passage is finished, and will never be re- 
newed. But the literary history to which it has given 
rise will not be forgotten. A small library might be 
formed of the books and pamphlets which have been 
written for or against the words. Among the authors 
of these works some very celebrated names appear. 
That of the illustrious Sir Isaac Newton has a place in 
the list. He wrote against the genuineness of the 
words, and thus did good service in the cause of truth. 
But by far the most memorable event in this lengthened 



72 Companion to Revised Version of New TesfamenL 

and often bitter controversy was the publication of the 
letters of Professor Porson to Archdeacon Travis. 
These letters, by their acuteness and ability, whatever 
may be thought of their spirit, virtually settled the 
case against the genuineness of the passage. And 
although since then the voices of some zealous friends 
of Scripture — Bishops, Cardinals, and others — have 
been unwisely lifted up in defence of "the three 
heavenly witnesses," yet so decidedly have the minds 
of all scholars now been made up as to the spurious- 
ness of the words, that they have been omitted in the 
Revised Version without a line even on the margin to 
indicate that they had ever been admitted to a place 
in the sacred text. 



PART II. 



CHANGES ARISING FROM AN 
AMENDED TRANSLATION. 



CHAPTER I. 

CORRECTION OF MISTAKES IN THE MEANING OF 
GREEK WORDS. 

There are not very many instances in which the 
Authorised Version has positively mistaken the import 
of the original. The translators had before them the 
labours of many able predecessors, and upon the 
whole turned to good account the advantages which 
they thus enjoyed. Still, there are cases in which 
they have gone quite astray in the meaning assigned 
to the Greek, and to the chief of these we now proceed 
to direct our attention. 

Matt. X. 4 and Mark iii. i8. In these passages 
we read in the Authorised Version of "Simon the 
Catjaanite.'' This naturally suggests to an English 
reader the idea that one of the Apostles did not 
belong to the family of Abraham, but to the race of 
the Canaanites. Such a notion, however, rests upon 
an utter mistake. The epithet applied to Simon is 
taken from the Aramaic /^/^/^, then commonly spoken 
in Palestine. It is replaced by the Greek word 



76 Companion to the Revised Version of 

meaning " Zealot" at Luke vi. 15 and Acts i. 13, just 
as the same Evangelist gives the Greek equivalent at 
Luke viii. 54 for the Aramaic words in Mark v. 41. 
The meaning, therefore, is that Simon had, before he 
became a follower of Christ, belonged to the Jewish 
faction of the Zealots. Accordingly, this explanation 
has been given on the margin of the Revised Version 
at Matt. X. 4, and Mark iii. 18, while Cananaean has 
taken the place of the erroneous and misleading form 
" Canaanite," in the text. 

Matt. xiv. 8. Here we read in the Authorised 
Version, "She, being before instructed oi\\Qr mother," &c. 
But it is certain that this is a mistake. The Greek 
verb made use of has never any reference to time, but 
can only mean "urged on," or "impelled." As 
Archbishop Trench has remarked, " We may conceive 
the unhappy girl, with all her vanity and levity, 
yet shrinking from the petition of blood which her 
mother would put into her lips, and needing to be 
urged on or pushed forward before she could be 
induced to make it; and this is implied in the 
word."* Hence the rendering "put forward" in the 
Revised Version. 

Matt, XV. 27. The Greek will not here allow of 
the rendering "yet," which occurs in the Authorised 
Version. And it completely perverts the meaning. 

* On Authorised Versioti, p. 115. 



The English New Testament. 77 

The argument of the woman is derived from that very 
appellation which our Lord had given her. Granting 
its truthfulness, she saw it opened a door of hope 
before her, so that, instead of being driven by Christ's 
words to despair, she ventured to rest her whole case 
upon them, and exclaimed, as in the Revised Version, 
" Yea, luox^y for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which 
fall from their master's table." 

Matt. xxvi. 15. An interesting correction has 
been made in this verse. We cannot, indeed, affirm 
that the translation "covenanted," here found 
in the Authorised Version, is absolutely impossible. 
But it entirely breaks the connection between this 
passage and Zech. xi. 12. We there find the very 
same Greek verb in the Septuagint as here occurs 
in the Gospel. The Old Testament rendering is, 
" They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.'' 
And so it should be here, as in the Revised 
Version, "They weighed unto him thirty pieces of 
silver." 

Mark iv. 29. Here the expression "is brought 
forth," in the Authorised Version, is a very inexact 
rendering of the Greek verb. The proper translation, 
" is ripe,'* will be found in the text of the Revised 
Version. 

Luke iii. 23. Here we find in the Authorised 
Version the singular statement that "Jesus himself 



78 Companion to the Revised Version of 

began to be about thirty years of age." The Greek 
gives no countenance to such a translation. It ought 
to be rendered as in the Revised Version, "And 
, Jesus himself, when he began (to teach), was about 
thirty years of age." 

Luke ix. 32. This verse is quite misrepresented by 
the Authorised Version, "But Peter, and they that 
were with him, were heavy with sleep ; and when they 
were awake^ they saw his glory, and the two men that 
stood with him." It ought to be rendered as in the 
Revised Version, " But Peter, and they that were with 
him, were heavy with sleep \ yet having remained awake ^ 
they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with 
him." 

Lukey^M\\\. 12. Here the word " possess " in the 
Authorised Version is quite an impossible rendering 
of the Greek. It ought to be "acquire" or "get," as 
in the Revised Version. Tithes were paid not on 
what was laid up or possessed^ but on what was gained 
in the way of increase. Hence the Pharisee says, " I 
give tithes of all that I get." 

Luke xxii. 56. The exact and graphic force of 
the original is here missed in the Authorised Version. 
** But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire : 
and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man 
was also with him." The real meaning is, that she 
recognised him when a flash of the smouldering fire 



The English Neto Testament, 79 

fell upon his countenance. This is brought out in the 
Revised Version. "And a certain maid seeing him 
as he sat in the light (of the fire), and earnestly 
looking upon him, said, This man also was with 
him." 

Ltike xxiv. 25. Many readers must have been 
struck by the harshness of the words, " O fools," here 
found in the Authorised Version. Such an opening 
of his discourse seems quite out of keeping with the 
tender and affectionate way in which Christ dealt with 
these two disciples. No such incongruity appears in 
the original. It simply denotes want of understanding 
and reflection, and the Authorised Version has been 
softened in the Revised by the simple emendation, 
" O foolish men." 

John ix. 17. Here the Authorised Version is 
scarcely intelligible. " They say unto the blind man 
again. What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened 
thine eyes?" The meaning is made plain in the 
Revised Version merely by inserting "in," thus — 
" They say therefore unto the blind man again, What 
sayest thou of him, in that he opened thine eyes? 
And he said, He is a prophet." 

John X. 14, 15. The connection between these 
two verses is totally destroyed in the Authorised 
Version, which runs thus : " I am the good Shepherd, 
and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the 



So Companion to the Revised Version of 

Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; 
and I lay down my life for the sheep." The verses 
should be read as in the Revised Version : " I 
am the good Shepherd, and I know mine own, and 
mine own know me, even as the Father knoweth me 
and I know the Father ; and I lay down my life for 
the sheep." 

John xi. 20. The supplementary word "still" 
here inserted in the Authorised Version : " but Mary 
sat still in the house," is apt to produce an erroneous 
impression. By simply transposing it in the Revised 
Version, the true meaning of the tense employed in 
the original is brought out : " but Mary still sat in the 
house." 

Acts ii. 3. The Authorised Version is here quite 
wrong ; " And there appeared unto them cloven tongues^ 
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.'' The 
symbolical meaning of the appearance is thus quite 
missed. We must render, as in the Revised Version, 
"And there appeared unto them tongues parting 
asunder (or, partifig among them), like as of fire, and 
it sat upon each of them." 

Acts iii. 19, 20. An impossible translation here 
occurs in the Authorised Version, in which we read : 
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your 
sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing 
shall come from the presence of the Lord ; and he 



The English New Testament. 8i 

shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached 
unto you." For eschatological reasons it is most 
important that the true rendering of this passage 
should be presented. It is thus given in the Revised 
Version : *' Repent ye therefore, and turn again, that 
your sins may be blotted out, that so seasons of refresh- 
ing may come from the presence of the Lord ; and 
that he may send the Christ who hath been appointed 
for you (even), Jesus." 

Acts xxvi. 28. It is with some reluctance that we 
here abandon the rendering of the Authorised Version, 
^^ Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian." 
This is a text from which many eloquent and edifying 
sermons have been preached, but the Greek will not 
tolerate it. Quite a different expression must have 
been used for " almost ; " and the true rendering of 
the original, as it stands, seems to be that of the 
Revised Version : " With hict little persuasion thou 
wouldest fain make me a Christian." 

Rom. iii. 25. The Authorised translation of this 
verse is, " Whom God hath set forth to be a propitia- 
tion through faith in his blood, to declare his righteous- 
ness for the remission of sins that are past, through 
the forbearance of God." But, besides being almost 
unintelligible, this is an utterly impossible version of 
the Greek. The original can only be fairly represented 
in some such translation as that of the Revised 

G 



82 Companion to the Revised Version of 

Version : ** Whom God set forth to be a propitiation, 
through faith, by his blood, to shew his righteousness, 
because of the passing over of tJie sins done aforetime, in 
the forbearance of God." 

Ro7n. xi. 7, 25. It is remarkable that the Greek 
words which the Authorised Version translates in 
these verses, and at 2 Cor. iii. 14, Eph. iv. 18, as 
" blinded " and ** blindness," are in the Gospels (Mark 
iii. 5, vi. 52; John xii. 40) rendered *' hardened^' 
and *' hardness." The latter is their proper meaning, 
and, as such, it has been consistently maintained in 
the Revised Version. 

I Cor. iv. 4. This verse stands as follows in the 
Authorised Version, *^ For I know nothing by myself ; 
yet am I not hereby justified ; but- he that judgeth 
me is the Lord." As thus translated, the passage is 
constantly misunderstood. Even intelligent readers 
imagine that the Apostle here means to state that he 
was dependent for all the knowledge he had on the 
favour of God. But this is a total misapprehension 
of the meaning. The true sense is brought out in the 
Revised Version, '^ For I know nothing against myself; 
yet am I not hereby justified : but he that judgeth me 
is the Lord." This passage might, perhaps, have been 
more justly classed mth those archaisms which require 
adjustment to present-day usage than with mistakes 
in translation. Yet the misunderstanding of the words 



The English Neiu Testament. 83 

is so great, that it seemed important to notice them 
here. Some have deemed the expression " by my- 
self " a mere provinciaHsm, which was, through over- 
sight, admitted into the Authorised Version, but the 
phrase seems once to have been good EngUsh. Thus, 
" Cranmer says to Henry VIII., * I am exceedingly 
sorry that such faults can be proved by the queen,' 
that is, against her."* The Aposde means that though 
he was not conscious of having done any wrong in 
reference to the Corinthians, yet, after all, it was only 
God that could truly judge and thoroughly justify him. 
2 Co7'. ii. 14. Here the rendering, "Now thanks 
be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in 
Christ," seems to rest on a mistake as to the meaning 
of the Greek. Indeed, the Authorised Version con- 
tradicts itself, for the same word occurs again at Col. 
ii. 15, and is there translated " triumphing over them." 
The correct rendering is that of the Revised Version, 
" But thanks be unto God, which always leadeth us in 
triumph in Christ,'' on which Bishop Lightfoot remarks, 
that here ^'the image of the believer made captive 
and chained to the car of Christ is most expressive, 
while the paradox of the Apostle's thanksgiving over 
his own spiritual defeat and thraldom is at once sig- 
nificant and characteristic." t 

* Eadie, The English Bible, ii. 374, 

t Revision of the New Testament, p. 135, 

G 2 



84 Companion to the Revised Version of 

Gal, V. 17. The Authorised Version here reads, 
" For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit 
against the flesh ; and these are contrary the one to 
the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye 
would.'' By this rendering the flesh is represented 
as the master-principle, which succeeds in preventing 
believers from doing the things which they would. 
But the very opposite is implied in the Greek. 
The Spirit who dwells in believers is represented as 
enabling them successfully to resist those tendencies 
to evil which naturally exist within them ; and the 
correct rendering is that of the Revised Version, 
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 
Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the 
one to the other ; that ye may not do the things that 
ye would^^ 

Eph, iv. 29. Here again the Authorised Version 
presents the following impossible translation, " Let no 
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, 
but that which is good to the use of edifying^ that it 
may minister grace unto the hearers." The literal 
meaning of the Greek is " to the building up of the 
need," and its real import is, that hearers are to be 
addressed, not in commonplace generalities, but in 
special terms, as their necessities require. This is 
expressed in the Revised Version, " Let no corrupt 
speech proceed out of your mouth, but that which is 



The English New Testament 85 

good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give 
grace to them that hear/' 

Fhilipp. iv. 2, 3. The Authorised Version here 
reads, *'I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, 
that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I 
intreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women 
which laboured with me in the Gospel," &c. It would 
seem from this rendering that Euodias and Syntyche 
are referred to only in the second verse, and that the 
women afterwards spoken of are different. But the 
original shows that this is not the case, and the proper 
translatfcn is that of the Revised Version, " I beseech 
Euodias, and I beseech Syntyche to be of the same 
mind in the Lord. Yea, I intreat thee also, true yoke- 
fellow, help those women for they laboured with me in 
the Gospel," &c. 

Col ii. 8. If it cannot be said that the Authorised 
Version here is positively erroneous, it is certainly 
liable to grave misconstruction. The true meaning is 
clearly brought out, when instead of " Beware lest any 
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,'^ we 
read as in the Revised Version, " Take heed lest there 
shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his 
philosophy and vain deceit." 

2 Thess, ii. i. Here the Authorised Version 
errs, in common with many others, in the rendering, 
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming 



86 Companion to the Revised Version of 

of our Lord Jesus Christ," &c. It should be, as 
in the Revised Version, "Now we beseech you, 
brethren, in regard of the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ,'' &c. 

I Tim, vi. 5. Here the rendering of the Author- 
ised Version, "supposing that gain is godliness," is 
not only erroneous but absurd. How it could have 
ever found acceptance is very difficult to understand. 
As the original clearly indicates, " godliness " is the 
subject, and "gain" the predicate, so that the correct 
rendering is that of the Revised Version, " supposing 
that godliness is a way of gain P 

Heh. xi. 13. This verse is spoiled in the Author- 
ised Version, which runs thus, "These all died in faith, 
not having received the promises, but having seen 
them afar off, and were persuaded of them and em- 
braced them, and confessed that they were strangers 
and pilgrims on the earth." It was formerly remarked 
that the clause " and were persuaded of them " has no 
right to stand in the text. We have now to notice 
that the translation, "and embraced them," is incorrect. 
The image, as Chrysostom long ago remarked, is that 
of sailors who, catching a glimpse of the shores they 
wish to reach, salute them from a distance. It will be 
remembered how the poet notices this in our own 
language, when, speaking of a promontory by the sea, 
he says— 



The English New Testament, 87 

" His hoary head 
Conspicuous many a league, the mariner, 
Bound homeward, and in hope already there, 
Greets with three cheers exulting." - 

Such is the attitude assigned in this passage to the Old 
Testament saints, and the verse ought to be translated 
as in the Revised Version, " These all died in faith, 
not having received the promises, but having seen 
them, and greeted them from afar, and having confessed 
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." 

I Fet. iii. 21. It is certain that the Authorised 
Version is here wrong in translating the original as 
meaning " the answer of a good conscience towards 
God." The exact meaning of the clause is difficult to 
determine. It probably is the seeking after God with 
an earnest heart, as the great spiritual idea in Christian 
baptism implies. The Revised Version, with certainly 
a far nearer approach to truth than the Authorised, 
inserts somewhat doubtfully in the text, " the interro- 
gation of a good conscience toward God," while 
" inquiry " and " appeal " stand on the margin. 

Rev. iv. 6, 7, 8, 9; V. 6, 8, 11, 14; vi. i, 3, 5, 6, 7; 
vii. 1 1 ; xiv. 3 ; xv. 7 ; xix. 4. Every one must have 
heard the word "beast" or "beasts," which is the 
translation of the Authorised Version in these passages, 
quietly corrected into "living creature" or "creatures." 

* Cowper's Task, Book I. 



88 Covipanion to the Revised Version of 

The word in the original is totally different from that 
which is found in such passages as Rev. xiii. i, xiv. 9, 
&c., where the rendering ''beast" is quite proper. 
The terms will be found properly discriminated in the 
Revised Version. 



The English New Testament, 89 



CHAPTER II. 

CORRECTION OF MISTAKES IN GREEK GRAMMAR. 

Here a very wide field opens up before us. The 
Authorised Version is often most inexact in regard to 
grammatical points. This comes out in many ways, 
and will here be illustrated with reference to the article, 
the tenses of the Greek verb, and the senses assigned 
to several prepositions. 

It need hardly be said how great is the difference 
of meaning imparted to a clause or sentence in our 
language, according as one word in it is without an 
article, or has the indefinite or definite article. Thus, 
if we read, " God gave life to inan^^ that is felt to have 
a very distinct sense from " God gave life to a man," 
and the latter again to be very difi"erent in meaning 
from, " God gave life to the man." Perhaps no better 
illustration could be adduced of the difference of 
signification caused in English by the use of the 
indefinite or definite articles respectively than is fur- 
nished in the remark said to have been made by 
Charles Fox, when^ comparing his own fluency with 
that of William Pitt, he said, " I never want a word, 



90 Compajiio7i to iJie Radsed Version of 

but Pitt never wants ike word.'* These examples will 
sufficiently suggest to the reader how much may 
depend on the coiTect use of the article in our 
language. 

But in the Authorised Version this point of accuracy 
has been almost entirely neglected. The Greek 
language has a definite article, and its omission or 
insertion in a passage often has the weightiest effect 
upon the sense. Yet our translators seem to have 
been ignorant of this fact, and have treated the 
article as if it were not of the slightest importance. 
They have been guilty of every possible variety of 
error in connection with it. As will immediately 
appear, they have omitted it in their version where it 
existed in the original ; they have inserted it where it 
had no place in the Greek ; and they have sometimes 
over-translated it by giving it the force of a demon- 
strative pronoun. Let us look at some instances of 
their blundering under each of these three heads. 

First — The Authorised Version has frequently 
omitted the article where it existed in the Greek. 
There are, no doubt, cases in which the English idiom 
will not tolerate the use of an article where it is found 
in the original. This is especially true when it stands 
before proper names and abstract nouns. But, with 
these exceptions, it is generally important that the 
definite article should be represented in English when 



The English Nav Testament, 91 

it stands in the Greek. This comes out very strikingly 
in connection with the word Christ, That term is 
never used in the Gospels as a proper name, but 
always as an official title. Only once is it connected 
with the personal appellation Jesus, namely, at John 
xvii. 3, in which passage the Saviour stations himself, 
as it were, in the future, when his claim to be regarded 
as Messiah shall have been demonstrated by the 
resurrection. After that event, the term Christ might 
be used as synonymous with Jesus, but not before. 
Accordingly, we find that in the Gospels the word 
has, with very few exceptions, the article prefixed, and 
should therefore be translated ^' the Christ." Thus, at 
Matt. ii. 4, where the Authorised Version has ^*he 
demanded of them where Christ should be born," 
the proper rendering is the Ch7'ist, the promised 
Messiah. And so throughout. Many other examples 
of the improper and hurtful omission of the article by 
the Authorised Version might be quoted. I shall 
notice only these two — 2 Thess. ii. 3, where, instead 
of " a falling away,'' and " that man of sin," we should 
read " except the falling away come first, and the man 
of sin be revealed," and Heb. xi. 10, where the right 
rendering is, " he looked for the city which hath the 
foundations," the reference being to the Avell-known 
and often-alluded-to foundations, in other words, he 
looked for the New Jerusalem, of which it had been 



92 Companion to the Revised Version of 

already said, "Her foundations are in the holy 
mountains" (Ps. Ixxxvii. i ; cf. Isa. xxviii. i6); even 
as in the Apocalypse great things are spoken of these 
glorious foundations of the heavenly city (Rev. xxi. 14, 
19, 20)."* Proper regard to the insertion of the 
definite article where it occurs in the Greek will be 
found one of the marked characteristics of the Revised 
Version. 

Secondly, the Authorised Version has ijiserted the 
definite article where it had no place in the Greek. 
This is not such a frequent error as that just noticed, 
but still not a few examples are to be found. Thus, 
at I Tim. vi. 10, the Authorised Version makes St. 
Paul declare that " the love of money is the root of all 
evil," an exaggerated statement which could not be 
seriously maintained, whereas the true rendering is, 
" the love of money is a root of all evil," a sad truth 
which universal experience has confirmed. So again, 
at Luke iii. 14, we should read, " and soldiers also 
asked him ; " at 2 Cor. iii. 15, " ^ veil lieth upon their 
heart;" at Gal. iv. 31, "children of a handmaid ; " at 
Philipp. iii. 5, "a Hebrew of Hebrews;" and thus in 
several other passages which will be noticed by readers 
of the Revised Version. 

* Thirdly, the Authorised Version has sometimes 
over-translated the article by giving it the force of a 

* Abp. Trench, 0?i the Authorised Version, p. 86. 



The English New Testament, 93 

demonstrative pronoun. Examples of this error occur 
at John i. 21, where we find, ^^Art thou that prophet ? " 
instead of "Art thou the prophet?" iv. 37, ^Uhat 
saying" for "///<? saying ; " vi. 32, "///^/ bread" for 
*'//^<? bread;" at Acts xix. 9, ''that way" for ''the 
way;" 2 Cor. iii. 17, " ^//^/ Spirit " for "the Spirit;'' 
vii. II, "in this matter " for " in the matter ; " Rev. i. 
3, "words of this prophecy" for "words of the 
prophecy;" and so in some other passages which 
have been corrected in the Revised Version. 

Finally, in connection with this point there are 
several passages which serve to prove that the trans- 
lators of the Authorised Version attached little or no 
importance to the occurrence of the article either in 
Greek or English. Thus, at James v. 20 they trans- 
lated the Greek by " a multitude of sins," while at 
I Peter iv. 8 they render the very same words '^ the 
multitude of sins." Thus, too, at Matt. viii. 20 we 
find the article which stands in the original given in 
English, " The foxes have holes, and the birds of the 
air have nests," whereas at Luke ix. 58 the very same 
Greek is rendered without the article — " Foxes have 
holes, and birds of the air have nests." How detri- 
mental to the bringing out of the true meaning of 
Scripture in many passages was this unscholarly and 
inconsistent treatment of the article has already been 
sufficiently evinced. 



94 Companion to the Revised Version of 

The next point of grammatical incorrectness 
which calls for notice in the Authorised Version 
respects the rendering of the tenses of the Greek verb. 
Here, as in regard to the article, the translators were, 
no doubt, misled by their greater familiarity with the 
Latin than the Greek language. The Latin has no 
article, definite or indefinite, nor does it possess the 
elaborate tense system of the Greek. In particular, 
Latin has no means of distinguishing between 
momentary past action for ever finished and con- 
tinuous past action just completed, but which may 
still be carried on. The Latin perfect tense must 
serve both purposes, and hence it was natural that 
men who were accustomed to speak and write in that 
language, with its one tense denoting both varieties of 
past action, should fail to discriminate between the 
two tenses employed to express the two kinds of past 
action in the sister tongue. 

We find, accordingly, that little attention is paid 
in the Authorised Version to the difference between 
the Greek aorist and the Greek perfect. They are 
interchanged very much at random in the translation. 
Thus, at Matt. ii. 2 an aorist is translated as a perfect 
— "we have seen" for *Sve saw;" while at Lukexiii. 2 
a perfect is translated as an aorist — " they suffered " 
for " they have suffered." The clear principle which 
ought to be observed in regard to this matter is that 



The English New Testament 95 

the Greek tenses should always be rendered with 
strict grammatical precision in English, whenever the 
genius of our language will admit of it. But there 
are, undoubtedly, many occasions on which English 
idiom will not tolerate a strict rendering of the aorist. 
Instead of the bare and hard past tense, a perfect or 
even pluperfect rendering brings out the meaning 
better in our language. Thus at Matt. xix. 20 an 
aorist occurs in the Greek, yet the Revised Version, 
no less than the Authorised, renders it by a perfect — 
"All these things have I observed^ It is quite 
impossible to act upon the rule that the Greek aorist 
must always be rendered by the English past tense \ 
and, that being so, differences of opinion will ne- 
cessarily arise with respect to particular passages. 
But, while this is admitted, there is at the same time 
no doubt that the strict grammatical meaning of the 
tense has often been departed from in the Authorised 
Version, not only without necessity, but even to the 
detriment of the sense. Thus, at Matt. ii. 15, instead 
of ** I have called," we ought to read " I called," the 
reference being to a historic fact in the distant past. 
So at Acts xix. 2 the meaning is quite obscured by the 
rendering — " Have ye received the Holy Ghost since 
ye beheved ?" It ought to be, " Did ye receive the 
Holy Ghost when ye believed ? '' Once more, at 
2 Pet. i. 14 the striking reference by the Apostle to 



96 Companion to the Revised Version of 

the scene described in John xxi. 18, 19, is quite lost 
by the substitution of a perfect tense for the aorist of 
the original. The verse has only to be read as it 
stands in the Authorised and Revised Versions re- 
spectively to feel that such is the case. In the one 
we find the following words : " Knowing that shortly 
I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord 
Jesus Christ hath shewed me," as if the communica- 
tion had just been made. In the other we read, 
** Knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle 
cometh swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ shelved 
me" — the mind being thus at once transported to 
the shore of the Lake of Galilee, where Christ had 
so long ago forewarned his Apostle "by what 
manner of death he should glorify God." These are 
only a few examples of the many grammatical correc- 
tions which have been made with respect to the aorist 
in the Revised Version. 

Again, as has been said, perfects are translated as 
if they had been aorists. This also sometimes greatly 
mars the sense, as at i Cor. xv. 4. In the first clause 
of that verse an aorist occurs, and in the second a 
perfect \ but both are translated as past tenses in the 
Authorised Version, thus, " And that he was buried, 
and that he rose again the third day according to the 
Scriptures." The beautiful discrimination indicated in 
the original between the fact of Christ's burial and that 



The English New Testament, 97 

of his resurrection is thus lost. The former event was 
simply historical, and has passed away for ever; the 
latter is more than historical, for Christ still exists as a 
living Person who has risen again from the dead. The 
perfect, therefore, should have its proper meaning 
assigned to it, and the verse should stand thus, ^* And 
that he was buried, and that he hath been raised on the 
third day according to the Scriptures." There are 
numerous other instances in which the use of the 
perfect in the Greek has a special beauty which is lost 
in our English version. Thus, the proper rendering at 
John V. 33 imparts great additional vividness to the 
passage — " Ye have sejit unto John, and he hath borne 
witness unto the truth. ^* Of course, the perfect may 
frequently be expressed by "is" as well as by "has;" 
we may say either "my time is not yet come," or, "my 
time has not yet come." Sometimes the one form is 
to be preferred in our language and sometimes the 
other; but in one way or another, the perfect, where it 
occurs in the Greek, may generally be expressed in 
English. Thus we read at Matt. xxv. 6, "At midnight 
a cry is made," and not " was made;" at John viii. ^^, 
" have never been^^^ and not " were never," and so in 
other places which will be observed in reading the 
Revised Version. 

The imperfect tense often expresses delicate shades 
of meaning in the original which cannot, always be 
11 



98 Companion io the Raised Version of 

represented in our language. But certainly much 
more may in this respect be accomplished than is 
attempted in the Authorised Version. Thus at Matt, 
iii. 14, the word "forbad" is a very coarse rendering 
of an imperfect tense in the Greek, The meaning is 
that John laboured for a time to avoid what he thought 
the unseemliness of baptising his superior, and this has 
been expressed in the Revised Version by the words, 
"John would have hindered him." Again, at Luke 
i. 59, there is a mis-statement of fact owing to the 
neglect of the imperfect tense. It is stated that "they 
called him Zacharias," but this is not true, since they 
were prevented by the interposition of his mother from 
doing so. The passage simply implies that they in- 
tended to name the child Zacharias, and this is ex- 
pressed by the translation, " they would have dialled 
him." Once more, at Luke v. 6, we read in the 
Authorised Version that " their net b7'ake^^ where the 
proper rendering is ^'was breaking^' — the process had 
begun. Sometimes the aorist and the imperfect stand 
in the same verse, and the force of the latter is then 
very obvious, yet has not unfrequently been missed. 
Thus at Luke viii. 23 we read that "there came 
down a storm of wind on the lake, and they were filled 
with water, and were in jeopardy;'' but while the tense 
of the first verb denotes completed past action, that of 
the second implies that the threatened result was not 



The English Neiv Testament 99 

yet accomplished, and the translation should be "they 
were filling with water/' 

The manner in which the Greek tenses are rendered 
in the Authorised Version does indeed exhibit strange 
inconsistency and confusion. Present tenses are 
represented by pasts^ as at Heb. ix. 6, " the priests 
went^^ for " the priests go^^ at Rev. vii. 14, " these are 
they which came^^ for "these are they which comey^ 
and in other places ; and by futures^ as at Matt. xxiv. 
40 and 41, "the one shall be taken, and the other left,'' 
for "one is taken, and one is left;" John vii. 41, 
''Shall Christ come out of Galilee?" for ''Doth the 
Christ come out of Galilee?" and in several other 
passages. Future tenses are rendered as imperatives: 
thus, at Matt. v. 48, we find, '' Be ye perfect," for "Ye 
shall be perfect, and at i Tim. vi. 8, we read, much to 
the injury of the passage, " Having food and raiment 
let us be therewith content," for " we shall be therewith 
content." 

While the Authorised Version is thus so very in- 
exact in its rendering of the tenses, we cannot expect 
to find it free from error in various other particulars 
connected with the Greek verb. Some writers have, 
accordingly, noted that it occasionally mis-translates 
the middle or passive voice, by assigning it a meaning 
which belongs only to the active. Thus, at Philipp. ii. 
15, we find " among whom^^ shine^^ where the correct 

H 2 



loo Companion to the Revised Version of 

rendering is, " among whom ye are seefiJ' Again at 
2 Cor. V. lo, the force of the passive is not brought 
out. The original implies far more than that "we 
must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ," 
its real force is that " we must all be made manifest^ 
When the ear has once become disenchanted of the 
charm which is felt to reside in the familiar w^ords of 
the Authorised Version, it will be acknowledged that 
in the changes which regard for grammatical accuracy 
in rendering the Greek verb has demanded, much 
gain is to be derived from the more scholarly repre- 
sentation of the original presented in the Revised 
Version. 

We have now to look at some of those instances 
of mistranslation which occur in the Authorised 
Version with respect to the Greek prepositions. 
These errors are not so numerous as some writers 
have represented. It would be an utter mistake to 
demand from the writers of that Hebraised Greek in 
which the New Testament is composed the same 
grammatical precision that is found in the classical 
authors. There should be taken into account, when 
dealing especially with their use of the Greek prepo- 
sitions, the fact that they w^ere influenced by the 
analogous Hebrew words in the way in which they 
employed them. We cannot, therefore, rigidly apply 



The English Neiv Testament, loi 

to their writings those canons of interpretation de- 
rived from a study of the classics. Much allowance 
must be made for the effect of Hebrew idiom ; but, 
after that has been done, it is certain that the sacred 
writers did not use the prepositions with that laxity 
which might be inferred from the renderings given to 
them in the Authorised Version. 

We cannot, for example, imagine that they con- 
founded the two very distinct meanings which a much- 
used preposition* had, according as it governed the 
genitive or accusative. Yet this is frequently done in 
our English version. The genitive rendering "by 
means oV is substituted for the accusative rendering 
" by reason of," or the preposition is, in some other 
way, deflected from its proper import. Thus, at John 
vi. 57, we find the erroneous rendering "by" twice 
in one verse, "As the living Father hath sent me and 
I live hy the Father ; so he that eateth me, even he 
shall live by me." The great theological truth is thus 
obscured that the Father is the fountain of life, while 
the Son again is the source of all life to created beings, 
and specially of the highest life to His people ; and 
the verse should be rendered as follows, "As the 
living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father ; 
so he that eateth me shall live because of me." At 
Heb. vi. 7 we read " bringeth forth herbs meet for 

* 5ta. 



102 Companion to the Revised Version of 

them by whom it is dressed," instead of the only 
correct rendering ^^for whose sake it is dressed." 
Numerous other examples of the way in which the 
two perfectly distinct meanings of the preposition, 
according to the case by which it is followed, are 
confounded, might be produced, but that is not the 
only error which our translators have committed in 
respect to it They have rendered it ^' at " in Matt, 
vii. 13, where the usual " by " would have been more 
correct; "for" at i Cor. vii. 26, where "by reason 
of " is the clearer translation; "for" again at Rom. 
XV. 30, where, with a different case, "by" is the only 
proper equivalent ; and even " to " instead of " by " 
at 2 Pet. i. 3, where they must have been in despair 
as to the meaning before they adopted such an im- 
possible translation. They clearly show that they 
had no principles to guide them in the rendering 
they gave of this preposition, sometimes placing the 
wrong translation in the text and the right one in the 
margin, or vice versa, and being apparently induced 
to choose one English term rather than another, 
simply by what seemed to them best to suit the 
context. 

Not to dwell at any length on mis-translations of 
other prepositions, the following erroneous renderings 
may simply be noted as specimens. At Luke xxiii. 
42 we have the very serious mistake of " Lord, re- 



The English New Testament, 103 

member me when thou comest into thy kingdom," for 
" Lord, remember me when thou comest in thy king- 
dom" — in the full possession of Thy mediatorial 
sovereignty. At Matt, xxviii. 19, instead of "baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost," the true rendering is *^ baptizing 
them into the name,'' just as at i Cor. x. 2 we read 
"baptized into Moses," and as should be read at 
Acts viii. 16, ^'into the name of the Lord Jesus," and 
at I Cor. i. 13, ^^ into the name of Paul." At Matt. 
xxiv. 30 the translation should be " on the clouds," 
and not "/«the clouds;" and so in other passages 
where the same preposition is used. In the important 
doctrinal passage, i Cor. viii. 6, instead of " iii him," 
we should read " nnto him ;" and the verse runs thus 
in the Revised Version : " To us there is one God, the 
Father, of whom are all things, and we unto him ; 
and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all 
things, and we through him." 

It deserves also to be noticed that prepositions are 
sometimes mis-translated when in composition with 
verbs. Thus, to give only one striking example, 
we read in the Authorised Version, at Heb. iv. 14, 
" Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that 
is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let 
us hold fast our profession." But this is an im- 
possible translation of the preposition here used with 



104 Companion to the Revised Version of 

the verb, and the only correct rendering is, " Having 
then a great high priest, who hath passed through the 
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our 
confession." This expression, " hath passed through 
the heavens," may at first appear strange to us, but it 
will gain in significance the more it is pondered, 
denoting, as it probably does, that "as the earthly 
high priest passed through the veil into the holiest 
place, so the great High Priest through the heavens 
to God's throne."* 

Many other examples of less or more inaccuracy 
might be noticed as existing in our common English 
translation, but the above must suffice as illustra- 
tions ; and the rest will suggest themselves to every 
careful reader of the Revised Version. 

* Alford on Heb, iv. 14. 



27^ English New Testament, 105 



CHAPTER III. 

CORRECTION OF ARCHAISMS, AMBIGUITIES, AND THE 
RENDERING OF PROPER NAMES AND TECHNICAL 
EXPRESSIONS. 

No attempt has been made to modernise the style ot 
the Authorised Version. On the contrary, "innocent 
archaisms" — to use an expression which was fre- 
quently on the lips of the Company — have invariably 
been allowed to stand. It was felt that these tend to 
give a dignity and solemnity to a translation of the 
Scriptures, and that to change them into the language of 
present every-day life would have been to ensure loss 
instead of gain. As has been well remarked, "These 
(archaisms), shedding round the sacred volume the 
reverence of age, removing it from the ignoble associa- 
tions which will often cleave to the language of the 
day, should on no account be touched, but rather 
thankfully accepted and carefully preserved. For, 
indeed, it is good that the phraseology of Scripture 
should not be exactly that of our common life : should 
be removed from the vulgarities, and even the fami- 
liarities, of this 3 just as there is a sense of fitness 



io6 Companion to the Revised Version of 

which dictates that the architecture of a church should 
be different from that of a house."* 

In accordance with these sentiments, the same 
antique air which belongs to the Authorised Version 
will be found also to distinguish the Revised Trans- 
lation. Every archaism that still continues generally 
intelligible has been left untouched. Hence, such 
forms as hath^ whiles, throughly, holpen, &c., have 
been retained, and the relative "which'' has been 
allowed to stand, as in old English, when the antece- 
dent is a person. 

But it is manifest that an archaism ceases to be 
innocent when it has become altogether obsolete, or 
has wholly or to a considerable degree changed its 
meaning. And not a few such words or phrases are 
to be found in the Authorised Version. They are 
now either quite unintelligible or seriously misleading; 
and to substitute other expressions for them was 
clearly one of the plainest duties to be kept in view 
in preparing the Revised Version. 

The following words may be given as examples of 
those that have, of necessity, been replaced by others. 
" Let '' now means to permit, but is used with exactly 
the opposite meaning of hinder at Rom. i. 13 ; 2 
Thess. ii. 7. " Worship " is now used only with 
reference to the service of God, but occurs in the 

* Abp. Trench On the Authorised Version, p. 22. 



The English Nau Testament, 107 

sense of respect shoivn to man at Luke xiv. 10; while 
"room/' now meaning apartment^ is used in the same 
verse to denote a seat, "Wealth" reads strangely 
indeed at i Cor. x. 24, " Let no man seek his own, 
but every man another's wealth^' where the word means 
welfare, "Prevent" now means to hinder^ but at 
Matt. xvii. 25 and i Thess. iv. 15 it is used in the 
sense of anticipate or precede, " Quick '' is used for 
livings as at Heb. iv. 1 2, and is barely intelligible to 
the ordinary reader of that passage. " Ensue '' is 
quite obsolete in the sense oipursice^ which it has at 
I Peter iii. 1 1. " The word " conversation," as used in 
the Authorised Version, is a most fruitful cause of 
mistake. It always means conduct^ except at Philipp. 
iii. 20, where it is translated "citizenship" in the 
Revised Version, and might perhaps mean " city ^' or 
"home." The dreadful word "damnation," which 
stands at i Cor. xi. 29, has had the very worst con- 
sequences in many cases, and means no more than 
judgment, " Honest," at Philip, iv. 8, is a Latinism, 
meaning honou7'able; and the same is true of Rom. 
xii. 17, though the Greek is there different. "Affect," 
at Gal. iv. 17, is used for conrt^ and " allow," at Luke 
xi. 48, means approve — senses of the words which 
would never occur to a modern English reader. The 
words " offend " and " offence " are very misleading, 
but it is not easy to substitute for them others that 



io8 Companion to the Revised Version of 

shall be in every respect preferable. The Revised 
Version has adopted cause to stumble and stumbling' 
block for " offend '' and " offence " in some passages, 
as Matt. V. 29, xvi. 23, but in others has not been able 
to get rid of the obnoxious words. " Virtue," at Mark 
V. 30 and Luke vi. 19, vii. 46, simply means /^^e/^r. 
In the word "usury,'* at Matt. xxv. 27, there is no 
objectionable meaning, and it has been replaced by 
interest^ as our language nowjequires. ** Nephews," at 
I Tim. v. 4, really means gmjidchildren ; and when 
Moses is called "a proper child," at Heb. xi. 23, the 
meaning is what we now express by such a word as 
goodly. The singular expression " occupy," found at 
Luke xix. 13 means traffic, and "by-and-by," which 
occurs at Matt. xiii. 21 and several other passages 
in the Gospels, means immediately. " Writing table," 
at Luke i. (i2i'i denotes writing tab let , while " devotions,'* 
at Acts xvii? 23, means "objects of worship.'' To 
mention only one other example of the many misleading 
archaisms which exist in the Authorised Version, the 
word "debate " is used at Rom. i. 29 in the sense of 
strife ; and so liable is this to be misunderstood that 
we are told " a worthy member of a Scottish Church 
court once warned its members not to call their 
deliberations a Mebate,' for debate was one of the 
rank sins condemned by the inspired apostle ! "* 

* Eadie's English Bible, ii. 374. 



The English New Testament 109 

As specimens of archaic phrases or modes of ex- 
pression which are very apt at the present day to be 
mistaken the following will suffice. At Matt. vi. 34 
the injunction, "Take no thought for the morrow," 
occurs, and has proved very hurtful in modern times. 
It was a faithful enough representation of the original 
two and a half centuries ago, for " thought " was then 
used in the sense of anxiety. But the word has now 
no such meaning, and the consequence is that the 
precept of our Lord as it stands has perplexed many a 
humble believer, while it has been used by unbelievers 
as a charge against Christ's teaching, which, they 
affirm, encourages improvidence. But the Greek really 
means, " Be not anxious for the morrow," and is so 
rendered in the Revised Version. Again, to take an 
instance of a different kind, what a ludicrous notion 
are these words at Acts xxi. 1 5 fitted to suggest : " And 
after those days we took up our carriages^ and went up 
to Jerusalem." Persons of education will doubtless 
run little risk of mistaking the meaning of the passage. 
But it should ever be remembered that the Bible is, 
above all other volumes, the peoples hook, and that, it 
possible, not a single expression should be left in any 
translation of it which is at all likely to stumble or 
perplex the plainest reader. In the case before us, a 
very slight change, " we took up our baggage,'^ makes 
the meaning clear. Some strange stories have been 



no Compaiiioii to the Revised Version of 

told in connection with the words " we fetched a 
compass," which occur at Acts xxviii. 13, and whether 
these be true or not, much is gained by the rendering, 
" we made a circuit," adopted in the Revised Version. 
Some ambiguities which occur in the Authorised 
Version also deserve to be noticed. One of the most 
puzzling of these, if regard be had only to the ap- 
parently grammatical import of the words, occurs at 
2 Cor. V. 21, " He hath made him to be sin for tis^ 
who knew 710 sinj'' where it might seem that the 
sinlessness of mankind was proclaimed. This possible 
misconception is very simply but effectually obviated 
in the Revised Version, by rendering, in exact ac- 
cordance with the order of the Greek, " Him who 
knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf." At 
Luke iv. 20 the statement " He closed the book, and he 
gave it again to the minister " might suggest the idea 
of a president or preacher in the synagogue, instead 
of the attendant or officer who had charge of the 
sacred books. At Eph. vi. 12 the rendering, " spiritual 
wickedness in high places," is clearly ambiguous, as it 
might seem to refer (and has, indeed, been so taken) 
to the wickedness of persons high in rank or authority, 
whereas the true meaning is **in the heavenly places," 
as in other passages of the Epistle. There is an 
obvious misplacement of the word " also " at Heb. 
xii. I, to the obscuring of the sense: "Wherefore 



The English Neiv Testament. in 

seeing we also are compassed about with so great a 
cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside," &c., as if the 
believers named in the previous chapter were, like 
us, " compassed about," while they, in fact, are them- 
selves " the cloud of witnesses ; '' and the verse should 
run, "Let us also," &c. Finally, James ii. i, '* My 
brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ," 
is rendered clearer by translating *•' hold not," &c. ; and 
so at chap. iii. i, " My brethren, be not many masters, 
knowing that we shall receive the greater condemna- 
tion," has, with advantage, been exchanged for, " Be 
not many teachers^ my brethren, knowing that we 
shall receive a greater judgment," in the Revised 
Version. 

We now proceed to consider the rendering of 
proper 7iames. 

The common-sense principle to be observed in 
regard to these is that one form should be preserved 
throughout Scripture for the same person, so that there 
may be no doubt as to identity. But, as need hardly 
be said, this rule is grossly violated in the Authorised 
Version. We find such varieties as Noah and Noe, 
Korah and Core, Hosea and Osee, Sinai and Sina, 
Midian and Madian, Miletus and Miletum, &c., made 
use of in referring to the same persons or places. This 
is most confusing to the reader, and may sometimes 
entail serious disadvantage. "Let us just seek," it 



112 Companion to the Revised Version of 

has been well said, "to realise to ourselves the 
difference in the amount of awakened attention 
among a country congregation which Matt. xvii. lo 
would create if it were read thus : 'And his disciples 
asked him, saying. Why then say the scribes that Elijah 
must first come ? ' as compared with what it now is 
likely to create."* The procedure of our translators 
in regard to this matter of proper names is truly in- 
comprehensible. Not only do they vary the forms in 
the Old and New Testament, but they do so in 
the New Testament itself, even in the same books, 
yea, in the same chapters. Thus we find " Mark " at 
Acts xii. 12, 25 and 2 Tim. iv. it, but "Marcus" at 
Col. iv. 10, Philem. ver. 24, i Peter v. 13 ; " Cretes " at 
Acts ii. II, but "Cretians" at Tit. i. 12; "Simon, 
son of Jona," at John i. 42, but " Simon, son of 
Jonas," at John xxi. 15, 16, 17; "Luke" at Col. iv. 
14, 2 Tim. iv. II, but "Lucas" at Philem. ver. 24; 
"Jeremy" at Matt. ii. 17, but "Jeremias" at Matt, 
xvi. 14, and "Jeremy" again at Matt, xxvii. 9; 
" Timotheus" at Acts xvi. i, but "Timothy" at Heb. 
xiii. 21, and, most strange of all, " Timothy " at 2 Cor. 
i. I, but " Timotheus," at ver. 19 of the same chapter. 
It is no slight gain that these and similar inconsis- 
tencies have been corrected in the Revised Version. 
But there is another name which here calls for 
* Trench On the Authorised Version ^ p. 41. 



The English New Testament, 113 

special notice — even the "name that is above every 
name." The Greek form of Joshua is Jesus, and for 
that very insufficient reason Jesus stands in two 
passages of the Authorised Version where Joshua, 
the leader of Israel, is intended. These are Acts vii. 
45 and Heb. iv. 8, and in both passages the introduc- 
tion of the name of Jesus must have proved very 
puzzling to plain English readers. When they find it 
stated that " if Jesus had given them rest, then would 
he (David) not afterwards have spoken of another 
day," their minds are certain to form some confused 
notion of the Saviour, who is the author of rest to His 
people. And thus is a passage of Scripture obscured 
and perverted by the use of the name Jesus, instead 
of Joshua, to designate the illustrious captain of the 
children of Israel. 

The extraordinary inconsistency of the Authorised 
Version in regard to proper names admits of still 
further illustration. At Acts xvii. 19 we find the term 
"Areopagus," but only three verses after the same 
spot is referred to as " Mars' hill ;" the form " Judea'' 
occurs at Matt. ii. i, and most other places, but for 
some inconceivable reason the name appears as 
" Jewry " at Luke xxiii. 5 and John vii. i ; so, again, 
" Judas " is the usual form in the New Testament for 
the " Judah " of the Old, but the name appears as 
" Juda " at Mark vi. 3, &c., and as " Jude " in the first 
I 



114 Companion to the Revised Version of 

verse of the Epistle written by that Apostle. It is 
hardly possible to say a word in defence of such 
capricious variations, and, as a matter of course, they 
are not to be found in the Revised Version. 

With regard to all such names, the really important 
points are that the form which has through circum- 
stances become most familiar should be adopted, and 
that then this form should be adhered to with strict, 
unvarying consistency. 

On now turning to the consideration of technical 
expressions, we find much to object to in the 
Authorised Version. Several, indeed, of the render- 
ings it has given of them involve more or less of 
positive error. Thus is it with the term "deputy," 
which occurs at Acts xiii. 7, 8, 12, and xix. 38; it 
should always be translated " proconsul." Again, the 
rendering " certain of the chief of Asia," at Acts xix. 31, 
suggests quite a false impression. It is an official 
title, and should have either been transferred from the 
Greek, like "tetrarch," so as to read "Asiarchs," or 
translated " presidents," as in the Revised Version. 
At Mark vi. 27 the word rendered "executioner" 
really signifies " a soldier of the guard ; " and at Rom. 
xvi. 23 " treasurer of the city " is a preferable render- 
ing to " chamberlain " 

It is very difficult to decide what course should be 



The English New Testament 115 

followed in translating the names of coins, weights 
and measures. As need hardly be said, there are, as 
regards these, no words in our language exactly 
corresponding to the original ; and it would never do 
to present them in a strictly equivalent version, so as 
to read "a measure of wheat for eightpence-half- 
penny,'* or " six pounds five shillings would not 
purchase bread sufficient." On the other hand, every 
one feels that the " penny " and " pence '* which occur 
so often in the Authorised Version are awkward and 
misleading. Still, nothing better could be found. 
The word in the original, "denarion," might indeed 
have been transferred from the Greek into English, 
and so with all the other terms in question. But this 
would have been felt almost intolerable, and such 
words could have conveyed no meaning to the 
English reader. For the most part, therefore, they 
have been left unaltered in the Revised Version. But 
in some passages greater definiteness has been given 
to the translation. Thus at Matt. xvii. 24, instead ot 
the general word " tribute," there is read, " Doth not 
your master pay the half-shekel V^ And at ver. 27 of 
the same chapter, for the unmeaning "piece of 
money," we read "the shekel,^' which, being exactly 
double the amount mentioned before, throws light on 
the immediately following words of our Lord to St, 
Peter, "that take, and give unto \!^tm for 7ne arid thee,^^ 
I 2 



ii6 Companion to tJie Revised Version of 

It may here simply be noted that the expression 
** Easter," which occurs once in the Authorised Ver- 
sion, is quite indefensible. Our translators struck it 
out from many other places in which it stood in the 
earlier English versions, and it was probably retained 
at Acts xii. 4 by mere oversight. The word ought to 
be rendered there, as everywhere else, " passover. " 

There is one word not occurring at all in the 
Authorised Version that has simply been transplanted 
from Greek into English in the Revised Translation. 
This is the term "Hades," denoting the invisible 
world. Immense gain has been secured in several 
passages by the adoption of this word. Thus is it 
very markedly at Acts ii. 27, where these words are 
quoted from Ps. xvi. in reference to Christ : " Thou 
wilt not leave my soul in Hades, neither wilt thou 
give thy Holy One to see corruption." The common 
rendering "hell" is here wholly unsuitable. That 
word has in the Revised Version been reserved for 
a totally different term (Gehenna) in the original. 

Before concluding this chapter, I may notice the 
correction of an error in the Authorised Version which 
seems to have been due at first simply to a misprint. 
It occurs at Matt, xxiii. 24 : "Ye blind guides, which 
strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." The correct 
rendering is " strain out^^ and so, doubtless, the trans- 
lators intended their text to be, but in some way or 



The English N'ew Testament 117 

other, at instead of out found a place in the verse. 
We are told by scholars who have carefully examined 
the first edition of the Authorised Version, issued in 
161 1, that it is by no means correctly printed. The 
errors which it contained have been gradually removed 
in subsequent editions, so that the text is now very 
accurate ; but strangely enough, while other mistakes 
have been perceived and corrected, this " strain at " 
for " strain out " has maintained its place down to the 
present day. 



ii8 Cojnpaiiion to the Revised Version of 



CHAPTER IV. 

CORRECTION OF THE UNNECESSARY CONFOUNDING OF 
ONE GREEK WORD WITH ANOTHER IN TRANSLATION. 

Here it must at once be admitted that not a few 
distinctions which are well marked in the original 
cannot be exhibited in English. Strive as we may to 
the contrary, we are compelled to use the same word 
for different Greek expressions. This results from 
the comparative poverty of our tongue. It has been 
justly said that Greek can draw a clear line where 
other languages can only make a blot ; and we must, 
therefore, as a matter of necessity, abandon in trans- 
lation many of those fine distinctions which exist in 
the original. 

It is, for instance, impossible to present in English 
the delicate shades of difference in meaning which 
appear in the Greek between the two* verbs both 
rendered " love " at John xxi. 15 — 1 7. Yet the beauty 
of the passage is much impaired by the necessity 
which is felt in our language of translating the two 
words by one and the same in English. The word 

* a^aTraio and (piX^w. 



The English New Testament, 119 

first employed by Christ is a very common one in the 
New Testament, and specially denotes a pure, spiritual 
affection. It is used of God's love to man, as at John 
iii. 16 — "God so loved the world," &c. — and of man's 
love to God, as at Matt. xxii. 37 — "Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God,'' &c. The other word more par- 
ticularly implies that warmth of feeling which exists 
between friends. Thus, it is used respecting Lazarus 
at John xi. 3 : " Behold, he whom thou lovest is sick ;" 
and again, at John xx. 2, of St. John himself, when he 
is spoken of as "the disciple whom Jesus lovedP 
Now, the use of the one word at first by Christ serves 
to remind St. Peter of the claim which his Divine 
Master had upon his deep, reverential love. But the 
Apostle, now profoundly sensible of his own weakness, 
does not venture to promise this, yet, feeling his whole 
heart flowing out to Christ, he makes use of the other 
word, and assures the Saviour at least of a fervent 
personal affection. Christ then repeats His question, 
still using the same verb, and Peter replies as before. 
But on asking the question for the third time, Christ 
graciously adopts the term employed by the Apostle : 
He speaks to him again as a friend ; He clasps the 
now happy disciple afresh to His own loving heart. 
Now, all this we must, of necessity, lose through the 
meagreness of our language. In like manner, we 
miss the delicacy of the Greek in regard to the use of 



120 Companion to the Revised Version of 

the same two verbs at John xi. 3 and 5. And so is it 
in many other cases. When we observe that there 
are no fewer than seven Greek words which it has 
been found possible to translate as "child" in the 
Authorised Version, no fewer than ten which have 
been rendered "appoint," no fewer than fourteen 
which stand for "give," and no fewer than twenty-one 
which correspond to " depart," enough has been said 
to suggest how frequently subtle distinctions which 
exist in the original must be lost in every English 
translation. 

But this should only render the desire more earnest 
that where differences indicated in the Greek can be 
preserved in our language the opportunity should 
not be neglected. In many instances, indeed, there 
may not be much, if any, practical advantage resulting 
from such care in translation. Yet even then it is 
interesting and proper that distinctions observed in 
the original should, as far as possible, appear in the 
version. And, as will immediately be shown, it is 
sometimes most important, for the right understanding 
of passages, that distinctions should be clearly brought 
out which have been obliterated in the Authorised 
Version. 

Let us look, for instance, at the two words'*^ both 
rendered " fold" in John x. 16, and observe how the 

* oiJa^ and 'Koijxvn]. 



The English New Testament 121 

force of the passage comes out when they are 
distinguished, as they should be, in translation. The 
common Version runs thus : " And other sheep I 
have, which are not of this fold : them also I must 
bring, and they shall hear my voice ; and there shall 
be one fold, and one shepherd." But the Revised 
Version renders the last clause thus : " And they shall 
become one flock, one shepherd." The Jewish 
Church constituted a special fold, with its strict 
enclosure, but our Lord's words tell of the time when 
this exclusiveness should be done away, and when, 
instead of the narrowness of a fold, there should be 
the wide-spreading freedom of a flock, with one 
shepherd caring for them all. 

An interesting distinction of gender which exists 
at John i. II should not have been suppressed under 
the rendering ** his own," adopted in both clauses of 
the verse. In the first clause the neuter plural is 
found, and in the second the masculine,'^ a difference 
which has been indicated by this rendering in the 
Revised Version : " He came unto his own, and they 
that were his own received him not." 

Two different words \ are, in common, translated 
" temple '^ in the Authorised Version, and in most 
passages their confusion is not of much consequence. 
But there is a clear difference of meaning between 

* TO. 'idia and o'l idiot. f rh Upov and 5 va6s. 



122 Companion to the Revised Version of 

them, and it is sometimes important that this should 
be brought out. The one is more general, embracing 
house and courts — the whole, indeed, of the sacred 
enclosure — and is consequently used in such passages 
as John x. 23, "Jesus walked in the temple,'^ and 
Acts V. 20, " Go, stand and speak in the temple to the 
people." The other is more restricted, denoting the 
temple proper, the building or sanctuary, once called, 
at Luke xi. 51, *4he house." Now, unless these two 
meanings of the word " temple " be borne in mind, 
such a statement as that which occurs at Matt, xxiii. 
35 will not be understood. Our Lord there speaks 
to His hearers of " the blood of Zacharias, whom ye 
slew between the temple and the altar r In the wide 
sense of the word, the altar was within the temple, 
standing, as it did, in the court of the priests. But it 
is the more restricted term which is here used \ and 
the reader will have no difficulty in understanding the 
passage when he reads it, as in the Revised Version, 
" whom ye slew between the sanctuary aiid the altar T 

At I Cor. xiv. 20 the force of the Apostle's 
exhortation is weakened by two different words* being 
both rendered " children." The second expression is 
better rendered " babes ;" and thus we learn how far 
St. Paul would have Christians go in their abnegation 
of all wickedness. " Be not children in mind," he 

* /i)/ TratS/a yiueffOc and iffiirid^^re. 



The English New Testame?it, 123 

says : " howbeit in malice be ye babes ^^ guileless and 
innocuous as infants. 

There are three words rendered "son" in the 
Authorised Version, but there is a cluster of passages 
on which it is important that one"^ of these should 
rather be translated " servant." This is the meaning 
sometimes properly assigned it, as at Matt. viii. 6, 
Luke XV. 26 ; but in the passages referred to — Acts 
iii. 13, 26, iv. 27, 30 — it is translated "son," or 
" child." But it is not to the sonship of Christ that 
these passages point. It is rather to the obedience 
which, as the servant of the Father, He rendered upon 
earth, and by bringing this out an important connection 
is established between the Old and New Testaments. 
As Archbishop Trench has remarked : " Every student 
of prophecy must have noticed how much there is in 
Isaiah prophesying of Christ under the aspect of * the 
servant of the Lord,^ * Israel my servant^ * my 
servant whom I uphold' (Isa. xlii. i — 7, xlix. i— 12, 
Hi. 13, liii. 12). But it is quite certain from the inner 
harmonies of the Old Testament and the New that 
wherever there is a large group of prophecies in the 
Old there is some allusion to them in the New."t 
The Authorised Version does to some extent indicate 
the connection between fulfilment and prophecy in 
this matter by translating the word " servant " at Matt. 

* 7rar«r. t On the Authorised Version, p. 63. 



124 Companion to the Revised Version of 

xii. 1 8, where Isa. xlii. i is quoted; but the same 
rendering should have been adopted in the Acts, and 
this has been done in the Revised Version. 

There are two words, both translated "repent,"* in 
the Authorised Version which it is most desirable to 
distinguish wherever that is possible. The one word 
means simply to "rue" or "regret," a course which 
has been followed; the other implies that thorough 
change of mind which is implied in Christian repent- 
ance. Accordingly, the first term is applied, at Matt, 
xxvii. 3, to Judas, and denotes remorse rather than re- 
pentance; while the second is constantly used in such 
passages as Luke xv. lo : "There is joy in the presence 
of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth^ 
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to express the 
distinction in our language, but this has been done at 
2 Cor. vii. 8, lo, in the Revised Version, where 
"regret'' has been introduced instead of "repent," 
and the distinction has been made clear between the 
sorrow which is felt for having simply made a mistake 
and that which is experienced from a sense of nn- 
worthiness and guilt. In accordance with the differ- 
ence of meaning thus indicated, it has been remarked 
that the second verb is frequently used in the impera- 
tive, the first never. 

While the substantive for " unbelief" and the verb 

* /tera^ueAo^at and /xerauoew. 



TTie English New Testament, 125 

for " to believe not " are always correctly rendered in 
the Authorised Version, there are two other related 
words * sometimes confounded with these that should 
invariably be translated "disobedience" and '^to obey 
not/' This is the rendering given at Eph. ii. 2, 
I Peter ii. 8, and other passages; but at Heb. iv. 6, 
Rom. xi. 30, &c., we find them translated "unbeUef 
and *' believe not." This inconsistency has been cor- 
rected throughout the Revised Version ; and the point 
is of some importance, since tmbelief 2in& disobedience 
are not identical, but the one is the source of the other. 
In one passage, John xiii. 10, the rendering of two 
different verbs f by the same English word has led to 
an almost complete obscuration of the sense. Let any 
one read the Authorised Version, " He that is washed 
needeth not save to wash his feet,*' and scarcely any 
point will be seen in the words. But let him turn to 
the Revised Version, and read, "He that is bathed 
needeth not save to wash his feet," and the force of 
our Lord's statement will at once be apprehended. 
He will see that as, literally, the man who has been 
bathed needs only to wash his feet from the defile- 
ment which has been contracted since leaving the 
bath, so, spiritually, the believer in Christ, who has 
been cleansed from guilt by faith, needs not to have 
that process repeated, but simply requires, from day to 

* aTrei^eta and aTret^ew. f \e\ovfxevos and vixl/aadai. 



126 Companion to the Revised Version of 

day, to be freed from the pollution which is contracted 
as he journeys through the world. 

There are two nouns translated " knowledge,'* and 
two related verbs translated " know," * which it is 
sometimes important to distinguish. The one form of 
the words is simple, the other is a compound with a 
preposition. The compound words denote full 
Christian knowledge. In one passage, 2 Cor. vi. 9, 
the Authorised Version acknowledges the intensified 
meaning given to the verb by the preposition: "as un- 
known, and yet well kfiown ;*' but in other passages, 
as I Cor. xiii. 12, this is overlooked. We ought also 
to read at Eph. i. 17, as in the Revised Version, "the 
full k?iowledge of him," as being the great object of the 
Apostle's desire for those who already have come to a 
saving knowledge of the truth. In other passages the 
necessity for change is not so obvious. 

Much obscurity results from the manner in which 
the word "will" is used in the Authorised Version. 
It is, of course, the sign of the English future, but 
besides that it does service as the representative of 
two different Greek verbs. t These verbs cannot 
always be distinguished in our language, but at least 
it may be made sure that they are not mistaken for 
the mere sign of the future. Thus the important text, 

* yvu)(ns and imyvoxTis ; yivaxrKco and iiriyivv-CKw, 
f Q4K(o and Qo^uKouai* 



The English New Testament, 127 

John vii. 17, becomes much clearer to the English 
reader when it is read, as in the Revised Version, " It 
any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the 
teaching," &c. So the meaning of i Tim. vi. 9 
becomes more obvious when we read instead of "they 
that tvill he rich," '^they that desire to be rich." Some 
other passages, as Matt. v. 40, are made clearer by the 
use of "would" instead of "will." See again Acts 
xxii. 28, &c. 

The word* most frequently rendered " miracle," 
or "miracles," occurs seventeen times in St. John's 
Gospel, thirteen times in St. Matthew, eleven times 
in St. Luke, and seven times in St. Mark. Now, it is 
a curious fact that, while this word is rendered 
" miracle," or " miracles," thirteen times in St. John's 
Gospel, that rendering is not once given it in the 
other Gospels, except at Luke xxiii. 8. In every 
other passage it is translated sign^ or signs ; and such 
is the rendering which should have been preserved 
throughout. The wordf which properly means 
"miracles," /.^., marvellous works, occurs but three 
times in the Gospels — Matt. xxiv. 24, Mark xiii. 2^'^^ 
John iv. 48 — and never with reference to the works 
which Christ performed. It is, therefore, to be re- 
gretted that a word which simply suggests what is 
strange or wonderful should have such prominence 



123 Companion to the Revised Version of 

assigned to it in connection with the works of Christ. 
These were " signs " rather than " miracles " — signs of 
the. Divine presence fitted to impress the hearts of 
men, and not thaumaturgic acts which might excite 
only marvelling or admiration. The other word* some- 
times translated " miracle," as at Mark ix. 39, does 
not occur in St. John's Gospel at all. It is usually 
rendered "mighty work," and this translation generally 
answers well, as at chap. vi. 5, &c. But it must be 
observed that at Matt. xiv. 2 and Mark vi. 14 the 
Authorised Version is incorrect, the proper translation 
being " these powers work in him." It would have 
been well also that the rendering " mighty work " had 
been kept in many other places where it has been sup- 
planted by "miracle." This latter word, however, 
must almost of necessity be allowed to stand in such 
passages as Acts xix. 11, i Cor. xii. 29. 

In the Authorised Version, at John xvii. 12 we 
read as follows : — " While I was with them in the 
world, I kept them in thy name : those that thou 
gavest me I have kept^ and none of them is lost, but 
the son of perdition." The two Greek verbs f here 
both rendered " kept " have clearly different shades of 
meaning, and to bring out these with precision adds 
to the beauty of the verse. The first one may be 
allowed to stand as " kept," but the second means 

* SiW/tiS. t T7)p€(a and <pv\d(r<r(i}. 



The English New Testament. 129 

guarded^ and should be so rendered. It is then seen 
that the clauses are very closely connected : the 
watchful guardianship, spoken of in the second clause 
as having been exercised by Christ over His disciples, 
being the cause of the safety belonging to them which 
is spoken of in the first. 

The very impressive utterance of our Lord at John 
viii. 58 has not been altered in the text of the 
Revised Version, but a highly important note has been 
placed on the margin. When we read the words, 
" Before Abraham was^ I ani^^ there is nothing in the 
English which suggests that the word " was " means 
"came into being," while the expression "I am" 
denotes absolute existence. The two verbs* are 
totally different in the original, and a marked contrast 
is implied between Abraham, a created being, and the 
uncreated Son of God. 

There are four different words translated "people" 
in the Authorised Version. Each of these terms has 
its own special meaning, but it is impossible fully to 
preserve the distinction between the words in English. 
Two of them especially run together, and no attempt 
has bsen made to distinguish these in the Revised 
Version. The third term is generally rendered 
" Gentiles," or " nations," and is only once translated 
"people," at Acts viii. 9. But the fourtht has often, 

* yivofiai and elfj.1, f oxAos. 

J 



130 Companion to the Revised Version of 

without cause, been so rendered, as at John vii. 20 
and many other places. It always means the " com- 
mon people," as disthiguished from those possessed 
of rank or authority, and should be translated 
" multitude," or multitudes," as it has been through- 
out the Revised Version. 

We find five distinct verbs translated "teach" 
in the Authorised Version. One of these occurs 
with that rendering only in a single passage. Acts 
xvi. 21, and is there better translated, "set forth." 
Two others are found twice with the rendering 
"teach," or "taught," and may be allowed so to 
stand ; but the remaining two* should be carefully 
distinguished. One is the word properly denoting 
" teach," and occurs in multitudes of passages ; the 
other is a much rarer word, being used only four 
times in the New Testament. It means "to make 
disciples," and is clearly distinguished from "to 
teach" at Matt, xxviii. 19, 20, though the two are 
confounded in the Authorised Version. The passage 
should be rendered, "Go ye therefore, and 7nake 
disciples of all the nations ; . . teaching them to 
observe all things whatsoever I commanded you;" and 
in the other passages — Matt. xiii. 52, xxvii. 57 ; Acts xiv. 
21 — where the word occurs the same strict rendering 
will be found given to it in the Revised Version. 

* SiSatr/co) and fjLaOrjTivw, 



The English New Testament, 131 

There are some passages in which a reader of the 
Authorised Version is almost sure to imagine that 
there is some connection between different words, 
from the manner in which they have been translated. 
This may, for instance, be the case at James i. 6, 
where these words occur : " He that wavereth is Hke a 
wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." There 
is no connection whatever between the words wavedcti^, 
wavereth ; and the passage stands thus in the Revised 
Version : ** He that doubteth is like the surge of the 
sea driven by the wind and tossed." So again, at 
Rom. xii. 2, where these words occur in the Autho- 
rised Version : "Be not conformed to this world : but 
be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." 
Here there is no connection in the original between the 
terms* rendered " conformed " and " transformed," as 
might be inferred from the sound of the words in 
English. The passage is thus rendered in the Revised 
Version : " Be not fashioned according to this world, 
but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." 

It is well known that two very different Greek 
wordst are alike rendered " devil " in the Authorised 
Version. There is, first, the word which occurs in such 
passages as Matt. iv. i, John xiii. 2, &:c., and which 
has reference to the prince of darkness. Next there 

* (n;(rx>?A*aTtfeo'0ai and /JLcra/jLopcpovo-dai. 
f did^oXos and hai^oviovj or Sai/xwy. 

J 2 



132 CompanioJi to the Revised Version of 

is the word which is literally *' daemon," and which is 
so often used in connection with those unhappy beings 
who are described as daemonized^ or "possessed of 
devils." This "possession was a disease like epi- 
lepsy, for the victim was * healed,' and some kind of 
insanity, for the * right mind ' was restored. But it 
was something more — the intrusion of an alien force 
into the nervous system, impeding sensation, so that 
the patient was deaf and dumb ; with perfect organs, 
but without power to use them ; his will overlorded 
(Acts X. 2i^) by an alien might, which created the 
confusion of an apparently dual consciousness. The 
rendering of the two distinct terms by the same word 
obliterates a very marked distinction to the English 
reader."* It is, indeed, much to be regretted that the 
word " daemon " was not introduced into the earliest 
versions of the New Testament which were made 
into our language. Had that been done, the ex- 
pression would soon have established itself as clearly 
marking a distinction between the evil spirits so named 
and the great adversary — the devil. In the Revised 
Version the common rendering has been retained as 
now almost a matter of necessity, but wherever the 
word " daemon" has been translated "devil " the fact 
is indicated on the margin. 

There is a simple Greek verb which is usually 

* Eadie's English Bible^ ii. 433. 



The English New Testame?tt 133 

and properly translated " judge," but it is erroneously 
rendered "condemn'' at John iii. 17, 18. In like 
manner, the simple substantives connected with it are 
generally represented by ^'judgment " in English, but 
improperly by " damnation " at Matt, xxiii. 33, Mark 
xii. 40, and other places. On the other hand, a com- 
pound of the verb referred to with a preposition is 
somewhat inexactly rendered by " judge " at i Cor. 
iv- 3> 4j 5, although all that has there been done in 
the Revised Version is to place another translation on 
the margin. The reference seems to be to the pre- 
liminary examination of accused persons — what is 
known in Scotch law as a " precognition." We have 
an example of this at Acts xxv. 26 ; but, however 
useful this may be in human affairs, the Apostle pro- 
tests against it in matters spiritual as an unwarrantable 
anticipation of the judgment of the great day. There 
is another compound of the same verb which is also 
improperly rendered "judge" at i Cor. xi. 31; it 
should be translated "discern," as in ver. 29. A third* 
compound is correctly rendered "condemn," as at 
Matt. xii. 41 and most other passages, but "damned," 
which occurs at Mark xvi. 16 and Rom. xiv. 23, is 
now too strong an expression, and has been avoided 
in the Revised Version. 

* The several Greek terms are Kpivu, Kpi^a, Kpicris, avaKplvv 
ZiaKpivw, KaraKpivQ), 



134 Conipanio7i to the Revised Version of 

Three words'^ are in common translated *' bright- 
ness " in the Authorised Version which, nevertheless, 
admit of being easily distinguished. One of the ex- 
pressions occurs in that striking passage, Heb. i. 3, 
in which we read of Christ, " Who being the brightness 
of his glory," &c. Here the word might be mistakenly 
supposed to mean a reflected splendour, but the true 
meaning is a radiance which is flashed forth; and 
therefore the translation ^* effulgence " has been 
adopted in the Revised Version. At Acts xxvi. 13, 
on the other hand, " brightness '' is the exact trans- 
lation of the Greek, while at 2 Thess. ii. 8 it is totally 
\vrong, and must give place to some such word as 
" manifestation." 

The Greek words which denote the act of dying 
and the state of death respectively have not unfre- 
quently been confounded in the Authorised Version, 
sometimes to the great obscuration of the sense. Thus, 
the constantly recurring words "are dead," in Rom. 
vi. 2, &c., should be translated "died." This emen- 
dation is specially important at 2 Cor. v. 14, where 
the common rendering, " We thus judge, that if one 
died for all, then were all dead, ^^ completely ruins the 
sense. It should be, " We thus judge, that one died 
for all, therefore all died^^\ — that is, all believers died 
in and with Christ. 

* aTravya(riJ.a, Aa^UTrporr^y, *Tri<f)dv€ia, f Cir^davov, 



Tlie English New Testament, 135 



CHAPTER V. 

CORRECTION OF NEEDLESS VARIATIONS IN THE 
TRANSLATION OF THE SAME GREEK WORDS. 

This is the opposite error to that which was con- 
sidered in the preceding chapter, and is not less to be 
regretted. It is even more characteristic of the 
Authorised Version than the former, for it was com- 
mitted of set purpose by our translators. They do 
not say that they wilfully confounded one Greek word 
with another in their translation ; but they do tell us 
that it was one of the principles of their work to vary 
in the renderings which were given in different 
passages to the same words in the original. In their 
noble preface, entitled "The Translators to the 
Reader," they say, towards the close : " Another 
thing we think good to admonish thee of, gentle 
reader, that we have not tied ourselves to an uni- 
formity of phrasing or to an identity of words, as 
some, peradventure, would wish that we had done, 
because they observe that some learned men some- 
where have been as exact as they could that way. 



136 Companiofi to the Revised Version of 

Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that 
which we had translated before, if the word signified 
the same thing in both places (for there be some 
words that be not of the same sense everywhere), we 
were especially careful, and made a conscience accord- 
ing to our duty. But that we should express the same 
notion in the same particular word — as, for example, if 
we translate the Hebrew or Greeh once by piirp)se^ 
never to call it i7ite?it ; if one v^htxQ journeying, never 
travelling ; if one where think ^ never suppose; if one 
where /^///, ntvtx ache ; if one where y^jj^, nQWQx ghd- 
nesSy &c. — thus to mince the matter we thought to 
savour more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather 
it would breed scorn in the atheist than bring profit to 
the godly reader. For is the kingdom of God become 
words or syllables? Why should we be in bondage to 
them if we may be free ? use one precisely when we 
may use another no less fit as commodiously ? . , . 
"We might also be charged (by scoffers) with 
some unequal dealing towards a great number of good 
English words. For as it is written of a certain great 
philosopher that he should say that those logs were 
happy that were made images to be worshipped, for 
their fellows, as good as they, lay for blocks behind 
the fire, so if we should say, as it were, unto certain 
words, Stand up higher, have a place in the Bible 
always ; and to others of like quality, Get you hence 



The English New Testament, 137 

be banished for ever, we might be taxed, peradven- 
ture, with St, James's words, namely, * To he partial in 
ourselves^ and judges of evil thoughts.^ " 

Now, it must readily be granted that, to some 
extent, this variety of rendering was not only justifiable 
but necessary. It is most certain that the same Greek 
word has not always the same meaning in different 
places ', to insist, therefore, on always rendering it by 
the same word in English would be absurd. This 
appears clearly enough from the variety of senses which 
one word may possess in our own language. Take, e.g., 
the one expression " post," and consider how varied 
is its signification in such phrases as " He held that 
post," " He missed the post," " He fixed the post,'* 
" He travelled post," &c. All these varying significa- 
tions of the word would of necessity require the use of 
different terms in translating the English phrases into 
another language. And so is it with Greek when 
rendered into English. Different words must be 
chosen at different places to represent the original 
according to the exigencies of the several passages. 
Thus, the same verb which js properly rendered by 
" comfort " at Matt. v. 4, &c., must be translated by 
"beseech'' at Matt. viii. 5, &c., and by "exhort" at 
I Peter v. i, &c. Thus, too, the noun which is 
rendered "kind " at Matt. xiii. 47, &c., must be trans- 
lated by such a word as "race" at Acts vii. 13, &c., 



138 Companion to the Revised Version of 

and *' offspring" at Acts xvii. 28, &c. No one, there- 
fore, would insist on the same English word being 
used for the same Greek word in all passages. Varia- 
tion is to some extent an absolute necessity, and the 
only question is whether our translators have varied 
their renderings unnecessarily and unreasonably, so as, 
in fact, to have diminished the value of their work. 
That such is in reality the case will become plain to 
every one from the following illustrations. 

We may begin by looking at some passages in 
which an interesting or important truth is obscured 
by the needless changes of rendering which are 
adopted. 

Thus, at I Cor. iii. 17 we read in the Authorised 
Version, " If any man defile the temple of God, him 
shall God destroy P But the Greek verb is the same in 
both clauses, and thus the solemn'thought is suggested 
that, as is the sin] so will be the punishment : God 
will treat the man as the man has treated the sacred 
temple of his own soul. This correspondence between 
the guilt contracted and the penalty inflicted is entirely 
veiled from the English reader by the capricious variety 
of rendering adopted, and the same word should 
manifestly be preserved in both clauses : " If any man 
destroyeth the temple of God, him shall God destroy.'' 
Again, what reader of Mark xv. '^'},, ^^ There was dark- 
ness over the whole /and until the ninth hour," and of 



The English New Testament. 139 

Luke xxiii. 44, " There was darkness over all the earth 
until the ninth hour," would imagine that the original 
of both passages is exactly . the same ? The one 
Evangelist is made to differ from the other in a most 
important particular by the totally uncalled for and 
unwarrantable variety of rendering which is adopted. 
Either "land "or "earth" (doubtless, I think, the 
former) ought manifestly to be chosen in both passages, 
as well as at Matt, xxvii. 45. One other example of the 
darkening effect of a needless variation of rendering is 
found at Rev. iv. 4. The Authorised Version there 
reads, "And round about the throne were four and 
twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and 
twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment ; and 
they had on their heads crowns of gold." Under the 
influence of a timidity which shrank from appearing to 
make creatures equal in dignity to the great Creator, 
our translators have here failed to do justice to the 
original. The word rendered " throne " and " seats " 
is the same in Greek, so that we ought to read, " And 
round about the throne were four and twenty thrones^^ 
the great Scriptural truth being thus illustrated that 
Christ's redeemed not only see His glory, but share in 
it — they "reign together with him" (2 Tim. ii. 12). 
A like mistaken scrupulousness has prevented the 
proper rendering "throne" being given at Rev. ii. 13 
and xvi. 10. Instead of " Satan's seat " and " the seat 



I40 Companion to the Revised Ve?'sio7i of 

of the beast," we ought to read, " Satan's throne'' and 
"the throne of the beast," for this rendering is in 
keeping with the fact that in the Apocalypse, "as 
nowhere else in Scripture, is set forth the hellish 
parody of the heavenly kingdom : the conflict between 
the true King of the earth and the usurping king ; ''* the 
mimicking by Satan, in his presumptuous vain-glory of 
that real and eternal majesty which is possessed by 
Christ. 

Let us now turn to some passages in which a 
needless variety of rendering is apt to suggest a 
baseless idea to the English reader, or at least to 
blunt for him the force of the original. 

When these words are read at Matt. xxv. 46, " And 
these shall go away into everiasti?ig '^\\m.sh.mQrit -, but 
the righteous into life eternal,'' the English reader 
can hardly fail to suppose that some diversity exists in 
the original, and thus, perhaps, is led to perplex himself 
as to the difference of meaning between " everlasting " 
and "eternal." But since the Greek word is the same 
in both clauses the translation evidently ought to be 
consistent, as in the Revised Version. Again, it has 
frequently been noticed how capricious and hurtful 
are the varieties of rendering given in the fourth 
chapter of Romans to the one Greek word translated, 
first of all, " counted " in verse 3. The word occurs 

* Trench, On Authorised Version ^ p. 54, 



The English New Testament, 141 

no fewer than eleven times in the course of the 
chapter, and is variously translated " count" (ver. 3, 5), 
"reckon " (ver. 4, 9, 10), "impute" (ver. 6, 8, 11, 22, 
23, 24), the version turning from one expression to 
another in the most arbitrary and unaccountable 
manner. It is needless to say how the English reader 
is apt to be confused by such changes, and how much 
is gained in point of clearness by the retention of the 
same rendering throughout. In the seventh chapter 
of the same Epistle the force of the argument in 
ver. 7, 8 is greatly weakened through want of 
uniformity in the rendering. Words radically the 
same in the original are variously rendered "lust,'* 
"covet," " concupiscence, '' in the Authorised Version : 
thus, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? 
God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the 
law : for I had not known liist^ except the law had 
said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion 
by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of 
concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead." 
How much more clear and satisfactory does the 
argument appear when we read, " What shall we say 
then ? Is the law sin ? God forbid. Howbeit, I had 
not known sin, except through the law : for I had not 
known coveting^ except the law had said. Thou shalt 
not covet. But sin, finding an occasion, wrought in me 
through the commandment all manner of coveting. For 



142 Companion to the Revised Vei'sioji of 

apart from the law sin is dead." The same injurious 
effect of what was, no doubt, intended as an agreeable 
variety of rendering is noticeable in the second Epistle 
to the Corinthians. That Epistle is remarkable for 
the use of key-words (if we may so call them) occurring 
one after the other. In the first chapter the two 
antithetic expressions " comfort " and " affliction " are 
repeated again and again (ver. 4, 6, &c.) by the Apostle ; 
but the impression thus made on a reader of the 
original is weakened to an English reader by the 
capricious substitution of " tribulation " for ** affliction," 
and " consolation " for " comfort." So, again, where 
the Apostle introduces the word "veil" or its 
derivatives, at chap. iii. 15, 18, iv. 3, the connection 
between the verses is obliterated by the renderings 
" with open face " instead of "with unveiled face," and 
"if our gospel be hid^^ for "if our gospel is veiled,^'' 
So at several other passages of the Epistle. 

With regard to quotations from the Old Testament, 
it is obvious that where these are made in the same 
words in the Greek they ought to be similarly given 
in English. But this is far from being the case in the 
Authorised Version. Thus, the great text. Gen. xv. 6, 
is quoted four times by St. Paul in the very same 
manner (Rom. iv. 3, 9, 22 ; Gal. iii. 6), and each time 
is somewhat varied in the translation: (i) "was 
counted unto him for righteousness," (2) "was reckoned 



The English New Testament, 143 

to Abraham for righteousness," (3) *'was imputea to 
him for righteousness/' (4) " was accounted to him for 
righteousness." Again, Deut;. xxxii. 35 is twice quoted 
(Rom. xii. 19 ; Heb. x. 30) in the very same words, 
yet it is thus variously rendered in the two passages : 
(i) "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the 
Lord," (2) "Vengeance (belongeth) unto me, I will 
recompense, saith the Lord." Once more, the same 
arbitrary variation of texts quoted from the Old 
Testament in exactly the same words occurs in 
passages so near each other as Heb. iii. 11 and Heb. 
iv. 3. The words are rendered, (i) "So I sware in 
my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest," and 
(2) " As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter 
into my rest \ " while the last clause is repeated in the 
same form at ver. 5, "If they shall enter into my 
rest." It is well known that this latter form of 
expression, unintelligible in English, is, according to 
Hebrew idiom, equivalent to a strong negative, so that 
the clause should always be rendered, "They shall 
not enter into my rest." 

Not a word need be said in support of the position 
that parallel passages in the Gospels and other parts 
of Scripture, which are expressed in the same words in 
Greek, ought to be similarly given in English. Any 
other course almost amounts to unfaidifulness to the 
original and cannot fail to mislead the reader. Yet 



144 Companion to the Rrciscd Version of 

the Authorised Version is a very great offender in this 
respect. The following examples out of many may 
be quoted. At Matt. iv. 6 we find ^Uoncernmg thee," 
while at Luke iv. lo the very same words are rendered 
" ovfr thee j " and, in like manner, exactly coincident 
expressions are translated at Matt. iv. 19, ^^ Follow 
me," at Marki. 17, ^^ Come ye aftervaQ]'^ at Matt. x. 
14, "the dust," at Luke ix. 5, " the z/^ry ^^st ; " at 
Matt. x. 22, "but he that endureth to the end shall be 
saved," at Mark xiii. 13, "but he that shall endure the 
same shall be saved;" at Matt. xi. 19, "behold a 
man gluttonous," at Luke vii. 34, "behold a gluttonous 
man;" at Matt. xvii. 19, "apart," at Mark ix. 28, 
"privately;" at Matt. xix. 7, "a writing," at Mark x. 4, 
"a bill;" at Matt. xxvi. 41, "Watch and pray, that ye 
enter not into temptation : the spirit indeed is willing, 
but the flesh is weak," at Mark xiv. 38, " Watch ye 
and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly 
is ready, but the flesh is weak." And so in a mul- 
titude of other places, there not being a single chapter 
in the first three Gospels treating of the same subjects 
in which this needless and hurtful tendency to varia- 
tion is not perceptible. So is it, to some extent, with 
parallel passages in the Epistles. Ephesians and 
Colossians, 2 Peter and Jude, have many points of 
connection between themselves, but these are con- 
siderably obscured to the English reader by varieties 



Tlie English New Testament 145 

of rendering which are adopted for the same words in 
the several Epistles. Thus, the word which is trans- 
lated '•'' working^' at Eph. i. 9 is given as " operation " 
at Col. ii. 12; "lowliness'' at Eph. iv. 2 is "humble- 
ness of mind " at Col. iii. 12;" compacted " at Eph. 
iv. 6 is '' knit together '' at Col. ii. 19 ; "be obedient" 
at Eph. vi. 5 is *'obey" at Col. iii. 22; "govern- 
ment" at 2 Pet. ii. 10 is "dominion" at Jude, 
ver. 8 ; and '^mist" at 2 Pet. ii. 17 is "blackness" at 
Jude, ver. 13. It is evident to how great disadvantage 
the English reader is thus subjected in seeking to 
compare Scripture with Scripture, and to derive light 
from one passage for the full understanding of 
another. 

If not practically very important, it is at least 
interesting and desirable that uniformity of rendering 
should be preserved in regard to expressions which 
are fitted to suggest the individuality of the sacred 
writers to an English reader. They have all a more 
or less marked style of their own. St. Matthew's 
Gospel is distinguished by a strong Hebrew colouring, 
St. Mark's by a somewhat rude yet graphic character, 
St. Luke's by a comparatively close approach to 
classical models of composition, and St. John's by 
the softness and fulness of its diction. Each of the 
Evangelists also displays a predilection for certain 
forms of expression. St. Matthew generally uses the 



146 Companion to the Revised Version of 

phrase, "kingdom oi heaveti^^ where the other Evange- 
lists have "kingdom of God ;'^ the formula "gospel of 
the kingdom " is also peculiar to him, and he is very 
partial to the use of the Greek particle, for "then,'' which 
occurs no less than ninety times in his Gospel — oftener, 
that is, than in all the other Gospels taken together. 
St. Mark's favourite expression is "straightway," which 
is found more than forty times in his Gospel — that is, 
again, oftener than in all the oth^r Gospels put to- 
gether. Now, it is obvious that such marked features 
in the first two Gospels should be preserved, as they 
easily may be, in translation. But the Authorised 
Version has, to a considerable extent, failed to do this 
in the case of St. Mark, by giving the one word which 
he so constantly uses such varying translations as 
" straightway," " immediately,'' " forthwith," " anon," 
" as soon as," while the first of these renderings might 
have been preserved throughout. St. Luke evinces no 
very striking fondness for any particular term or form 
of expression : his vocabulary is far wider than that of 
the other Evangelists ; but it may be remarked that 
while he is no such mannerist as St. Matthew or St. 
Mark, the Greek preposition for "with" appears in 
his Gospel oftener than in all the others. St. John, 
again, is at once seen to delight in the repetition of 
certain words, such as to abide, and to hear witness. 
The former verb occurs ow^x forty times in his Gospel, 



The English New Testament, 147 

and the latter over thirty times, while its cognate sub- 
stantive is iom\di fourteen times. But this is, to a great 
extent, hidden from an English reader through the 
variety of renderings admitted in the Authorised Ver- 
sion. For "abide'' we have "remain," "taiTy," 
"endure,'^ "dwell," "continue,'' "being present," while 
in almost every passage "abide" is quite a satisfactory 
translation. For " witness," again, we find the need- 
less variations, " bear witness," " testify," " bear 
record," '^gave " (in the first Epistle of St. John), and 
"hath good report'' (in third Epistle), while the con- 
nected substantive, " witness," is every now and then 
replaced by "record" or " testimony." With respect 
to St. Paul, it has been observed how readily he 
catches up and uses for his own purpose an expres- 
sion which has fallen from the lips of an opponent. 
This may be illustrated by a reference to Acts 
xxvi. 24, 25, though the point is lost in our common 
English version. The same word is used in both 
verses ; and if instead of, " Paul, thou art beside thy- 
self," we read, " Paul, thou art mad,'' we then feel the 
force of the Apostle's reply : "I am not mad, most 
excellent Festus ; but speak forth words of truth and 
soberness." All such minute accuracies, though they 
may be deemed trifling, should be carefully attended to 
in translation. 

It is strange to notice what different degrees of 
K 2 



148 ComJ>anton to the Revised Version of 

force are given to the same word in different passages 
of the Authorised Version. Thus, what is " beloved " 
in Matt. xvii. 5 and Mark ix. 7 becomes "dear'' in 
Eph. V. 1, while it ascends into " well-beloved " at 
Mark xii. 6, and " dearly beloved " at Rom. xii. 19. 
No English reader would imagine that it is the same 
word in the original which is thus rendered with such 
varying degrees of intensity. So the term which 
means "palsied" (Luke v. 18, &c.) sinks into "feeble'* 
at Heb. xii. 12. This sort of caprice may sometimes 
be found in two successive verses. The word, for 
instance, which is translated simply at Gal. iv. 8 "did 
service '' rises in the following verse to this rendering, 
" to be in bondage." In parallel passages, again, we 
find a varying force given to the very same words. 
Thus, what is "much displeased" at Mark x. 41 is 
represented by " moved with indignation " at Matt. 
XX. 24, and what is simply "chief" at Matt. xx. 27 
becomes "chiefest" at Mark x. 44. A reflecting 
English reader cannot fail to be puzzled by such 
groundless variations. 

Much inconsistency exists in the Authorised Ver- 
sion with respect to the translation given of the terms 
Rahbi and Rabboni, Sometimes the original word is 
retained, as at Matt, xxiii. 7, John i. ^Z^ &c. ; at other 
times it is rendered "Master," as at Matt. xxvi. 25 . 
John iv. 31, &c. j while Rabboiii is preserved at John 



The Erigtish New Testament. 149 

XX. 16, but translated "Lord" at Mark x. 51. Being 
a well-kno\vn title of respect among the Jews, the term 
"Rabbi " should have been preserved throughout; and 
this seems specially important at Matt. xxvi. 49, Mark 
XV. 45, as suggesting the profound dissimulation of 
Judas, who spoke to Christ in this style of compli- 
mentary address while in the very act of betraying 
Him. 

There are two closely related words, which occur 
at Acts xix. 37 and Rom. ii. 22, which are so 
differently rendered in the Authorised Version that no 
English reader would ever suspect any connection 
between them. In the first passage we find " robbers 
of churches^^ and in the second " dost thou commit 
sacrilege V Heathen temples are in both cases 
referred to, so that the respective renderings should 
be " robbers of temples " and " dost thou rob 
temples ? " 

Another passage may be referred to, in the second 
Epistle to the Corinthians, in which variation of 
rendering has broken the unity and connection of the 
Apostle's train of thought. Having spoken of the 
solemn issues which hung on the acceptance or rejec- 
tion of the Gospel by those who heard it, he exclaims, 
at chap. ii. 16, "And who is sufficient for these things ? " 
After some intervening remarks, introduced in his 
own characteristic way, the Apostle returns, at chap. 



t^o Companion to the Revised Vers ion of 

m. 5, to the consideration of the " sufficiency" referred 
to, and gives an answer to his own solemn question 
in these words : — " Not that we are sufficient of our- 
selves to account any thing as from ourselves ; but our 
sufficiency is of God, who also made us sufficient as 
ministers of a new "covenant," &c. The translation 
in the Authorised Version of the last clause as 
"who also hath made us able ministers of the New 
Testament," completely mars the harmony of the 
passage. 

The above examples are sufficient to show how 
capricious, and often hurtful, are the different 
renderings often given to the same Greek word or 
phrase in the ordinary English version. Many of the 
variations are harmless so far as the meaning is con- 
cerned, but are, nevertheless, to be regretted as 
misleading to a reader who cannot consult the 
original. When such a reader finds at James ii. 2 the 
expression "goodly apparel," and in the very next 
verse "gay clothing," would he ever imagine that 
these different terms are a translation of the very 
same Greek words ? Again, would the thought ever 
occur to him that the word rendered "rule" and 
"line of things" represented the same original in the 
following enigmatical passage as it stands in the 
Authorised Version ? — " Not boasting of things with- 
out our measure, that is, of other men's labours ; but 



The English Neiv Testament. 151 

having hope, when your faith is increased, that 
we shall be enlarged by you, according to our 
rule abundantly, to preach the Gospel in the 
regions beyond you, and not to boast in another 
man's line of things made ready to our hand" (2 Cor. 
X. IS, 16). 

After all that has been said, no sufficient idea will 
have been conveyed to readers unacquainted with the 
subject of the vast amount of unnecessary variation in 
the translation of the same Greek words which exists 
in the Authorised Version. Pages might be filled 
with additional examples. The most arbitrary and 
uncalled-for changes will frequently be found in the 
compass of a few verses, or even of the same verse. 
Thus, the word rendered "profession" in i Tim. 
vi. 12 is changed into "confession" in ver. 13; 
"jailor," in Acts xvi. 23, gives place to "keeper of 
the prison" in ver. 27. "God, even the Father," at 
Rom. XV. 6, &c., becomes "God and the Father" at 
Col. iii. 17, and "the God and Father" at i Pet. i. 3, 
&c. The word rendered " truth " in the parenthetical 
clause of i Tim. ii. 7 appears as " verity '' at the close 
of the verse \ and so on, in almost innumerable cases, 
the variations generally having no ground of advan- 
tage or necessity, and serving only to bewilder and 
mislead the English reader. 

The great object to be kept in view in every 



152 Companion to the Revised Version of 

translation is to place the reader of it as nearly as 
possible on a footing of equality with one who has 
access to the original. This is especially desirable in 
regard to a version of the Holy Scriptures. Those 
who have the privilege of reading God's Word in the 
form in which it came from Himself ought to recog- 
nise it as their bounden duty to do their utmost that 
their less favoured brethren may have as exact and 
accurate a transcript of the original in their own 
language as can be furnished. To secure this object, 
scholarship may worthily put forth all its powers and 
diligence strain its efforts to the uttermost. The 
plain man's Bible— though it cannot be all to him that 
the original is to the scholar — should, at least, contain 
no obscurities or errors which erudition and pains- 
taking are able to remove. It should be such, for 
example, as that he shall have it in his power, through 
consistency of translation, to form an opinion re- 
specting the questions discussed in connection with 
the verbal agreements and differences found in the 
first three Evangelists. It should be such that he will 
be able, by means of a Concordance, to compare 
passages in which the same word occurs, and thus to 
make them mutually explanatory of each other. For 
the reasons that have been stated this cannot be done 
with any certainty while using the ordinary English 
translation, since in it there iS; on the one hand, an 



The English New Testament. 153 

unnecessary confounding of one Greek word with 
another in the rendering which is given ; while, on the 
other hand, there is a vast amount of needless varia- 
tion in the translation of the same Greek words \ but 
both these causes of possible, or certain, mistake 
have been guarded against in the Revised Version. 



INDEX OF TEXTS. 





Matthew. 


Matthew (contintud). 




PAGE 




PAGE 


i. I 


17 


X. 22 


... 144 


ii. I 


"3 


xi. 19 


.. 144 


2 


94 


xii. 41 


... 133 


4 


91 


47 - 


... 7 


IS 


95 


xiii. 16 


10 


17 


112 


21 


... 108 


iii. 14 


98 


47 ... 


... 137 


17 


12 


52 ... 


... 130 


iv. I 


131 


xiv. 2 ... 


... 128 


6 


144 


8 ... 


... 76 


19 


144 


19 ... 


... 50 


V. 4 


137 


XV. 27 


... 76 


8, 


9 6 


xvi. 14 


... 112 


22 


48 


23 ... 


... 108 


29 


108 


xvii. 4 ... 


... 13 


40 


127 


5 ... 


... 148 


48 


99 


10 


... 112 


vi. 13 


8, 60 


19 ... 


... 144 


34 


109 


24 ... 


... 115 


vii. 13 


102 


25 ... 


... 107 


viii. 5 


137 


27 ... 


... IIS 


6 


123 


xviii. 17 


... 48 


20 


93 


28 ... 


... 8 


33 


13 


xix. 7 


... 144 


X. 4 


75 


20 ... 


... 95 


14 


144 


XX. 24 ... 


... 148 



Index of Texts, 



Matthew 


{coniinurd) 


Mark {conibmei 


i\ 




PAGE 




PAGE 


XX. 27 


... 148 


vi. 20 


49 


xxii. 37 ... 


... 119 


27 


114 


xxiii. 7 


... 148 


52 


82 


24 ... 


... 1x6 


ix. 3 


46 


33 ... 


... 133 


5 


13 


35 ... 


... 122 


7 


148 


xxiv. 24 


... 127 


22, 23 


49 


30 ... 


... 103 


24 


46 


40.41 


... 99 


28 


144 


XXV, 3 


10 


39 


128 


6 ... 


... 18, 49. 97 


X. 4 


144 


27 ... 


... 108 


41 


148 


46 ... 


... 140 


44 


148 


xxvi. 15 


... 77 


51 


149 


25 ... 


... 148 


xii. 6 


148 


26 ... 


... 53 


26 


30 


41 ... 


... 144 


40 


133 


49 ... 


... 149 


xiii. 13 


144 


xxvii. 3 ... 


... 124 


32 


127 


9 ... 


... 112 


xiv. 38 


144 


45 ... 


.. 139 


XV. 33 


138 


57 ... 


... 130 


45 


149 


xxviii. 19 


... 103 


xvi. 16 


133 


9—20 


... 130 


9—20 


61 


Mark. 


Luke. 




i. 3 ... 


... 10 


i. 59 


98 


II 


... 12 


63 


108 


17 ... 


... 144 


"■ 33 


15 


27 ... 


... 47 


4^ 


15 


iii. 5 ... 


... 82 


iii. 14 


92 


18 ... 


... 75 


23 


77 


iv. 29 


... 77 


iv. 10 


144 


V. 30 ... 


... 108 


20 


110 


41 ... 


... 76 


V. 6 


98 


vi. 3 ... 


... 113 


18 


148 


5 ... 


... 127 


vi. IS 


76 


14 ... 


... 127 


19 


108 



Index of Texts. 



IS7 



Luke {continued). 





PAGE 






PAGE 


vii. 34 ... .. 


144 


iv. 


37 ... 


... 93 


viii. 23 


98 




48 ... 


... 127 


34 


13 


V. 


3, 4 ... 


7 


46 


108 




33 ... 


... 97 


54 


76 


vi. 


II 


... 50 


i-^. 5 


. 144 




32 ... 


... 93 


32 


78 




SO ... 


... 18 


33 


13 




57 ... 


... lOI 


53 


93 


vii. 


I ... 


... 113 


xi. 48 


107 




17 ... 


... 127 


SI 


122 




20 


... 130 


xiii. 2 


94 




41 ... 


... 99 


xiv. 10 


107 




53— viii. II 


... 63 


XV. 10 


124 


- viii. 


33 .. 


... 97 


26 


123 




52 ... 


... 18 


xvi. 9 


50 




58 ... 


... 129 


xviii. 12 


78 


ix. 


17 ... 


... 79 


xix. 13 


108 


X. 


14, IS 


... 79 


XX. 37 


30 




16 ... 


... 120 


xxii. 56 


78 




23 ... 


... 122 


xxiii. 5 ... 


113 


xi. 


3. 5... 


... 119 


8 


127 




20 


... 80 


42 


102 


xii. 


40 ... 


... 82 


44 


139 


xiii. 


2 


... 131 


xxiv. 17 


50 




10 


... 125 


25 


79 




24 ... 


... 51 


46 


SO 


xvii. 


3 ... 


... 91 


53 


9 




12 


... 123 






XX. 


2 
16 ... 


... 119 

51, 149 


John. 




xxi. 


15. 16, 17 


... 112, 118 


i. 11 


117 




18, 19 


... 95 


21 


93 








38 


148 








42 


112 




Acts 




iii. 16 


119 


i. 


13 ... 


... 76 


17, 18 


133 


ii. 


3 ... 


... 80 


iv. 31 


148 




II 


... 112 



John {continued). 



iS8 



Index of Texts, 



Acts [continued). 






Romans, 








PAGE 








PAGB 


ii. 27 




.. 116 


i. 


13 


... 


106 


iii. 13, 


26 


.. 123 




29 




108 


19. 


20 


.. 80 


ii. 


22 




149 


iv. 27, 


30 


.. 123 


iii. 


25 




81 


V. 20 




.. 122 


iv. 


3. 


&c.' Z, 


140, 142 


vii. 13 


... 


.. 137 




19 





52 


45 


... 


.. 113 


V. 


I 




52 


viii. 9 


... 


... 129 


vi. 


2 





134 


16 




.. 103 


vii. 


6 





52 


?n 




8 




7, 


8 


141 


X. 38 


... 


.. 132 


viii. 


1 




II 


xii. 4 


... 


.. 116 


xi. 


7, 


25 


82 


12, 


25 


.. 112 




30 




125 


xiii. 7, 


8,12 


.. 114 


xii. 


2 





131 


xiv. 21 




.. 130 




17 




107 


XV. 23 


... 


.. 51 




19 




143, 148 


xvi. I 


... 


.. 112 


xiv. 


4 




10 


7 


... 


.. SI 




23 




133 


21 




.. 130 


XV. 


6 




151 


23. 


27 


.. 151 




30 


... 


102 


xvii. 19 


... 


... 113 


xvi. 


5 




52 


23 


... 


.. 108 




23 




114 


28 




.. 138 










xviii. 5 


... 


.. 51 




I 


Corinthians. 


xix. 2 


... 


..« 95 


i. 


13 




103 


9 


... 


.. 93 


iii. 


17 




138 


11 




.. 128 


iv. 


3, 


4,5 


133 


31 


... 


.. 114 




4 




82 


37 


... 


.. 149 




13 




18 


38 


... 


.. 114 


vi. 


20 




II 


XX. 28 


... 


.. 14 


vii. 


26 


... 


102 


xxi. 15 


... 


.. 109 


viii. 


6 




103 


xxii. 28 




.. 127 


X. 


2 




103 


XXV. 26 




.. 133 




24 




107 


xxvi. 13 


... 


.. 134 


xi. 


24 





53 


24. 


25 


.. 147 




26 





53 


28 


... 


.. 81 




29 




53, 107 


jcxviii. 13 


... 


.. no 




31 





133 



bidex of Texts. 



IS9 



1 Corinthians {continued), 

PAGE 

xii. 6 i8 

29 128 

xiii. 3 53 

12 126 

xiv. 20 ... ... 122 

XV. 4 96 

xvi. 15 52 



2 Corinthians. 


i. I 


112 


4,6 


142 


19 


112 


20 


47 


ii. 14 


83 


16 


149 


iii. S 


149 


14 


82 


15 


92 


15, 18 


142 


17 


93 


iv. 3 


142 


V. 10 


100 


14 


134 


21 


no 


vi. 9 


126 


vii. 8, 10 


124 


II 


93 


X. IS, 16 


ISO 


xii. 19 


54 


Galatians. 


iii. 6 


142 


iv. 8 


148 


14 


54 


17 


107 


31 


92 


V. 17 


84 





Ephesians. 




PAGE 


i. 7 


13 


9 


14s 


17 


126 


ii. 2 


125 


iv. 2 


14s 


6 


I4S 


18 


82 


29 


84 


V. I 


148 


29 


54 


vi. 5 


145 


12 


no 


Philippians. 


i. 16, 


17 ... 54 


ii. 6 


30 


IS 


99 


iii. 5 


92 


20 


107 


iv. 2, 


3 8s 


8 


107 




Colossians. 


i. 14 


13 


ii. 2 


6s 


8 


85 


12 


14s 


18 


54 


19 


14s 


iii. 12 


145 


17 


151 


22 


145 


iv. 10 


112 


14 


112 


I Thessalonians. 


i. I 


55 


ii. 19 


55 



i6o 



Index of Texts, 



Thessalonians 


{continued). 


2 Timothy {continued). 




PAGE 




PAGE 


iii. II 


.. 55 


ii. 3 


55 


13 ... 


.. 55 


10 


56 


iv. 15 ... 


.. 107 


12 


139 


V. 28 ... 


.. 55 


iii. 12 


56 






15 


56 


2 Thessalonians. | 


V. II 


112 


i. 2 ... 


.. 55 




Titus. 


12 


.. 55 


4 


55 


ii. I 


.. 85 


12 


112 


3 ... 


... 91 






7 ... 


... 106 




Philemon. 


8 ... 


-. 55, 134 


2 


56 






7 


56 


I Timothy. 


24 


112 


I 4 ... 


... 6 




Hebrews. 


12 ... 


... 55 






14 ... 


... 55 


i. 3 


134 


ii. 5 ... 


... 55 


iii. II 


143 


7 ... 


... 151 


iv. 2 


5^ 


iii. 13 ... 


... 55 


3, 


5 143 


16 ... 


... 19, 66 


6 


125 


iv. 6 ... 


... 55 


8 


"3 


V. 4 ... 


... 108 


I? 


107 


21 


... 55 


14 


103 


vi S ... 


... 86 


vi. 7 


lOI 


8 ... 


... 99 


ix. 6 


99 


9 ... 


... 127 


X. 30 


143 


10 


... 92 


34 


5^ 


12, 13 
13 .•• 


... 151 

... 55 


xi. 10 

13 
23 


91 

56. 85 

108 






xii. I 


no 


2 Timothy. 


12 


148 


L I ... 


... 55 


xiii. 21 


112 


2 


... 56 






9 ... 


... 56 




James. 


13 ... 


... 56 


i. 6 


131 



Index of Texts, 



i6i 



James [continued). 

PACK 




2 


John. 


PAGE 


19 




57 




8 


57 


ii. I 




III 








2 





150 




3 John. 




iii. I 
V. 20 


I Peter. 


III 

93 




12 

JUDE. 


57 


i- 3 

ii. 8 

21 




151 

125 

57 




I 

8 

13 


58, 114 
145 
145 


iii. II 
15 





107 

68 




Revelation. 


21 





87 


i. 


3 


93 


iv. 8 




93 


ii. 


13 


139 


V. I 




137 


iv 


I 


10 


13 




112 




4 

6 &c. 


139 
87 




2 Peter. 




V. 


6 &c. 


87 


i. 3 
14 

ii. 10 

17 
iii. 2 




102 

95 
145 
145 

57 


vi. 
vii. 

xiii. 
xiv. 


I&C. 

II 

T4 .. 

I 

3 •• 
9 .. 




87 
87 
99 
88 

87 
88 




I John. 




XV. 

xvi. 


7 .. 
10 




87 
139 


ii. 23 




151 


xvii. 


8 .. 




58 


iii. I 




57 


xix. 


4 .. 




87 


V. 7. 


8 


15,69 


xxii. 


II 




58 


13 




47 




14 .. 




59 



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