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The following work is written to supply a need which, at 
the present time, may be felt by many. We seem to need 
a Hand-book, which, in an easy and popular manner, and 
yet, at the same time, with reasonable accuracy, might put 
before us the whole subject of the Revision of the Holy 

This work aspires to be such a Hand-book in reference to 
the New Testament. It has two main objects — Firsts to 
give the general reader that competent knowledge of the 
subject which may enable him to enter into the present 
movement with interest and intelligence. Secondly, to place 
on record some experiences that were acquired by the writer, 
when engaged with others in an attempt to revise some por- 
tions of the Authorized Version of the New Testament. 
Such experiences, it is humbly believed, will be found useful 
at the present time, and may be perhaps permitted to minister 
some guidance to individual scholars who may be called 
upon to take part in the Revision now recommended by 

viii PREFACE. 

These are the two objects of the present work — to place 
generally before the reader the work that has to be done, 
and also to offer to those who may be actually engaged in it, 
some few hints as to the mode of carrying out the work. 

It is proper to state that the work has been composed in 
the midst of many other pressing duties and occupations ; 
and that hours, snatched from daily work, or secured before 
the day's duties could commence, are all that have been at 
the disposal of the writer for the compilation of these notes 
and considerations. It is hoped that no serious inaccuracies 
will be found on the pages that follow, but it is frankly owned 
that the work has been written promptly, — for the need 
seemed real, — and that it has been written concurrently with 
some of the events to which it alludes. It was commenced 
a short time after the first meeting of Convocation this year, 
and it was concluded shortly after its second meeting. The 
time has thus been limited ; but if the book was to do any 
good, or to exercise any useful influence, its publication 
could not have been longer delayed. 

It does not seem necessary to make remarks on any part, 
except on the samples of revision that have been, somewhat 
courageously, submitted to the judgment of the reader. 
Great care has been bestowed upon them, but, it is felt very 
honestly, that they themselves will probably disclose depar- 
tures from principles that may have been urged a few pages 
before. It must be so. The individual reviser is always liable 
to subjective influences that give a tinge to his judgment when 
the special passage is under his consideration ; and the 


present reviser cannot dare to hope that he himself, even in 
these few chapters, has proved to be free from them. So the 
passages are given honestly as samples, and nothing more ; 
not as the writer's ideal of a true revision, but as the best 
exemplification he could give of his own rules. 

The critical scholar is thus asked kindly to pass his judg- 
ment on these passages, as being what is here specified, 
and as claiming to be nothing more. 

This small volume is now offered to those who are in- 
terested in the subject of Revision, and also, with all 
humility, is placed before the Church at large, as a small 
effort in a great cause that will soon largely occupy the 
thoughts, and, it is hoped, will receive the prayers of all 
earnest and devout readers of the Holy Bible. 

May the blessing of God rest on the great and holy cause; 
and, if it be not presumptuous to add the words, may it also 
be vouchsafed to this contribution to the general subject, 
humbly offered by one whose heart, at any rate, is thoroughly 
in the cause and in the work. 

C. J. Gloucester and Bristol, 

London, May 23, 1870. 










'*^^ON 53 










Page 130, line i6, for four, ivdd/ive. 





On the loth of February in the present year the following Recent 
resolution, proposed by the Bishop of Winchester and in the 
seconded by the writer of these pages, was carried unani- ^"^^^'°"' 
mously by both Houses of the Convocation of Canterbury, 
viz. : — " To report upon the desirableness of a Revision of 
the Authorized Version of the Old and New Testament, 
whether by marginal notes or otherwise, in all those passages 
where plain and clear errors, whether in the Hebrew or 
Greek Text originally adopted by the Translators, or in the 
translations made from the same, shall, on due investigation, 
be found to exist." 

That such a resolution will in due time be followed by 
systematic and organized effort in the actual work of re- 
vision can hardly be doubted. The general tone of the 
discussion, the prevaiHng unanimity, though not without a 


full recognition of the difficulties that surround the question,^ 
the deepening interest in the subject that has already shown 
itself, the expressions of public opinion in the leading 
journals,^ all point to one certain issue, — that ere long the 
serious and responsible work of revision will actually be 
taken in hand. We are the more confirmed in this view 
when we take fairly into consideration, — first, the circum- 
stances under which the subject has been brought forward, 
and secondly, the partially forgotten fact that we are now 
only resuming a discussion which seriously occupied public 
attention twelve or thirteen years ago, and which was only 
then suspended owing to a sort of general feeHng that we 
had hardly at that time the men or the materials forthcoming 
for an immediate commencement of the work. There was, 
however, a sort of tacit agreement that, whenever in God's 

1 The difficulties and leading ob- Guardian for Feb. i6, and in the 
jections were stated both by the John Bull for Feb. 12, p. 170. 
Bishop of Winchester and the Bishop ^ A leading article of some 
of St. David's. The latter, with his importance will be found in the 
usual acuteness, gave prominence to Times for Feb. 18. Various letters 
the only objection, which, as will be have also appeared in the same 
seen below (see Chap. VII.), has any paper, some of considerable ability 
real weight — viz., that such a revision and cogency of argument — e.g., on 
might involve the necessity of con- Feb. 26, by Dr. Scott, and by 
tinual revisions. The Bishop, how- a " Hertfordshire Incumbent," on 
ever, fully supported the resolution, Feb. 21 and March 10, and by 
and expressed his belief that a judi- " Anglicanus" on March 9. The 
cious revision would be a great views of Dissenters are well expressed 
advantage both in regard of the in an article in The Freeman for 
public and private reading of the Feb. 18, p. 133; and certainly de- 
Scriptures. See the report in the ser\'e attention. 


providence a fresh call should seem to be addressed to us, 
that call should be humbly and reverently attended to, and 
the discussion resumed.^ That call has certainly been made, 
and the time, as many reasons would seem to suggest, is not 
only ripe but convenient for a further consideration of the 
question, and even for the commencement of the important 
work. Let us shortly consider both the circumstances of 
the present call, and the general aspects of the former dis- 
cussion of the subject, as far as they may throw any light 
upon our present position and our hopes of further advance. 
Now, in the first place, it can hardly be denied that the 
call to reconsider the subject has been made from a very 
unexpected quarter. No one, except those who very closely 
observe the directions and librations of modern religious 
thought, could have expected that a resolution, such as we 
have already referred to, would have been proposed in the 
Convocation of the Province of Canterbury, and, when pro- 
posed, so readily and even joyfully accepted.^ It might 
have been said a priori that the way in which the question 

^ No better instance can be given a sample of the manner in which 

of the prevalence of this feeling at they believed revision ought to be 

the time than the general design and performed, than of preparing them- 

expressions of the revision of St. selves formally to undertake the 

John's Gospel and several of St. great work. See Preface to Revised 

Paul's Epistles by Five Clergymen, Translation of St. John, p. ii. sq. 

the first edition of the first part of ^ The manner in which themes- 

which appeared in 1857. The writers sage from the Upper House directing 

state clearly in their introductory the appointment of a joint Com- 

preface that they were doing their mittee was received by the Lower 

present work more by way of giving House, may be regarded as very dis- 

B 2 


had been disposed of thirteen years ago suppUed but little 
hope that it would have received better treatment at the 
present time. As the contrast is instructive, we may devote 
a few sentences to a short notice of what took place in Con- 
vocation in reference to the subject of revision when the 
question was last formally brought forward. 
Earlier On Feb. J, 1 856, notice was given by Canon Selwyn that 


in Convo- a petition would be proposed to the Upper House of Con- 
cation, vocation requesting them to take into consideration an 
Address to the Crown, praying Her Majesty to appoint a 
Commission for receiving and suggesting amendments in the 
Authorized Version of the Scriptures. The notice, it must 
be confessed, was rather wide and ambitious,^ and, not 

tinctly showing how much, in the 
thirteen or fourteen silent years that 
have elapsed since the subject was 
last discussed, the whole question 
has ripened in the general minds of 
Churchmen. See the Guardian for 
Feb. 16, p. 198. 

1 The exact terms of the notice 
of motion were as follows : — ■ 

"To propose a petition to the 
Upper House requesting His Grace 
and their Lordships to take into 
their consideration the subject of 
an address to the Crown, praying 
that Her Most Gracious Majesty 
may be pleased to appoint a' body 
of learned men well skilled in the 
original languages of the Holy 
Scriptures — 

" To consider such amendments 
of the Authorized Version as have 
been already proposed, and to re- 
ceive suggestions from all persons 
who may be willing to offer them. 

" To communicate with foreign 
scholars on difficult passages when 
it may be deemed advisable. 

" To examine the marginal 
readings which appear to have 
been introduced into some editions 
since the year 161 r. 

" To point out such words and 
phrases as have either changed 
their meaning or become obsolete 
in the lapse of time, — and 

"To report from time to time 
the progress of their work, and 
the amendments which they may 


improbably, found but moderate favour at that time among 
the members of Convocation. It had attracted, however, 
some attention, and in the July of the same year was alluded 
to by Mr. Hey wood in his speech on this subject in the 
House of Commons.^ In the February of the following 
year it reappeared, but in a more modest and practical 
form.^ The original motion was withdrawn, and the request 
limited to the appointment of a joint Committee of both 
Houses, which was to be empowered to deliberate on the 
improvement of the Authorized Version, and to publish the 
results of their inquiry. But even this proposal, moderate 
as it was, failed to secure general assent even on the part of 
those whose knowledge of sacred criticism and exegesis 
might have been supposed likely to predispose them to a 

be prepared to recommend." See was opposed by Sir George Grey and 

Journal of Convocation {or iS^6, withdrawn, ^te. Hansard's Delates 

Vol. II. p. 92. (3rd Series), Vol. cxliii. p. 122. 

The subject of the marginal read- ^ The amended proposal was as 

ings referred to in the fourth clause follows : — 

was noticed, but very briefly, three "To request the Upper House 

years later in the Upper House. to take into consideration the ap- 

See Chronicle of Convocation for pointment of a joint Committee 

1859, p. 251 sq. - of both Houses to deliberate upon 

^On July 22, 1856, Mr. Heywood the best means of bringing under 

moved an Address praying the Crown review the suggestions made during 

to issue a Royal Commission (1) to the two centuries and a half for 

consider amendments that had been the still further improvement of 

proposed in our present Version; the Authorized Version of the 

(2) to receive suggestions from those Holy Scripture, and of publishing 

willing to offer them; (3) to- point the results of the inquiry." See 

out errors and obsolete words, and Journal of Convocation iox 1856, 

to report accordingly. The motion Vol. 11. p. 362. 


favourable consideration of the movement. Though the 
subject had been abundantly discussed in the leading perio- 
dical literature of the day/ and could in no way be con- 
sidered as new either to the Church or the country, still it 
was more than the conservatism of the House was then able 
to accept. An amendment was placed on the notice-board 
by Canon Wordsworth,'' which still further limited the pro- 
posal by the provision that alterations that might be recom- 
mended were not to appear in the text but only in the 
margin. The cotip de grace was given by Archdeacon 
Denison, who added a further amendment to the effect 
that it was not desirable to give any encouragement to any 

1 Of the many articles that ap- 
peared at the period referred to, or 
shortly before it, we may specify 
those which deserved, and received, 
considerable attention, and certainly 
produced some effect at the time — 
viz., Edinhurgh Review for October, 
1855, Vol. oil. p. 419 ^^-5 Christian 
Remembrancer for Dec. 1856, 
Vol. XXXII. p. 451 sq.j M^estminster 
Review for Jan. 1857, Vol. xi. p. 134. 
In the interval between that period 
and the present time, the articles 
have been very fewj we may, how- 
ever, specify Edinburgh Revieiv for 
Jan. 1865, p. 104 sq., in which 
the subject is discussed in an easy 
and readable article, apparently by a 
writer of known reputation. The 
leading treatises that appeared about 
the time referred to will be found 

noticed in an excellent article by 
Professor Plumptre in Smith's 
Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. iii. 
p. 1680. 

^ The amendment was as fol- 
lows : — 

" That as to the question which 
has been brought under the notice 
of this House concerning the 
Authorized Version of the Holy 
Scriptures, it is not desirable to 
countenance any efforts to make 
changes in the text of the same, 
but that any alterations or addi- 
tions which it may be deemed 
expedient by competent authority 
to be adopted, should be confined 
to the margin, and not be intro- 
duced into the text." See Journal 
of Convocation, Vol. 11. p. ^6^. 


alterations whatever, whether in the text or in the margin.* 
The subject then appears to have dropped through. 

When we contrast this treatment of the question with that 
which it has lately received, we cannot help feeling sur- 
prised at the striking change of sentiment. On the present 
occasion not only has the proposal of revision been favourably 
entertained by the Southern Convocation, but even re-intro- 
duced into that conservative body, and, when thus re-intro- 
duced, warmly welcomed. Nay more, the original proposal 
of the Bishop of Winchester was at once amplified.'' Our 
resolution, as first brought before the House, was limited 
to the New Testament. It was immediately extended to 
the Old Testament with an amount of assent that could 
never have been expected, and never could have been 
given if the real necessity for revision had not been very 
sensibly felt by all present. It may indeed be doubted 
whether this enlargement of the proposal was in itself 
wholly desirable. It may be very reasonably urged that 
it would have seemed at first sight more prudent to com- 

^ The exact terms of this con- ^ The original proposal of the 
eluding amendment were : — Bishop of Winchester, as seconded 
" That it is not expedient that by the Bishop of Gloucester and 
this House give any encourage- Bristol, only extended to the New 
ment to any alteration or modifi- Testament, but was at once ex- 
cation of the Authorized Version, tended to the Old Testament by the 
whether by way of insertion in Bishop of LlandaflT and others. See 
the text, marginal note, or other- Guardian for Feb. i6, p. 193 sq. 
wise." See Journal of Convoca- The extension was agreed to una- 
tion. Vol. II. p. 363. nimously. 


mence with a portion of the Holy Scripture, with the criti- 
cism and interpretation of which we are certainly more 
familiar than with that of the remaining part/ Be this, 
however, as it may, the general feeling of the Southern Con- 
vocation has been very clearly expressed, and that too in a 
manner and with a promptitude that could hardly have 
been expected, except by those who closely watch the 
movements of public opinion. Such a fact is very signifi- 
cant, and seems certainly to point to the conclusion that 
there is in the minds of those fully qualified to form an 
opinion, and not likely to favour innovations, a growing 
conviction that the time has at length arrived, and that 
measures ere long must be taken for such a revision as will 
bring our venerable version more closely into harmony with 
the inspired Original.^ 

Former The general aspects of the former discussion of the sub- 

discussions . ... 

of the ject, thirteen years ago, seem also to pomt m the same 


direction. The eftbrts of revision at that time, as several of 
us who then took part in the work probably well remember, 
were almost confessedly preparatory and tentative. It was 

* There is, we are afraid, only too April, 1870, Vol. cxxviii. p. 129 

much truth in the remark of Prof. sq. The article, which is of con- 

Plumptre, that relatively Hebrewwas siderable interest, did not appear till 

more studied in the early part of the the text of the greater part of the 

17th century than it is now. See present volume had been written. 

^m\\h' s Dictionary of Bible, Vo\.n\. Any similarities of opinion or sen- 

p. 1682. timent may therefore be considered 

2 Some very sensible remarks on as due to the independent though 

the subject of the revision will be coincident convictions of two sepa- 

found in the Quarterly Review for rate writers. 


very generally felt at the time that the question was not ripe 
for solution, and that though it was right and proper to do 
our best in advancing the cause of revision, yet that time 
must elapse before the work could be formally and authorita- 
tively undertaken. Even those who entered with some ardour 
into the movement, and were at first unwilling to believe 
that it would ever cease till a revised version was in the 
hands of every earnest Englishman, soon showed a con- 
sciousness that there must be a time for maturation, and that 
first impulses must be content simply to prepare the way, 
and even by failure to demonstrate how and under what 
limitations the work itself was finally to be accomplished.^ 
We all saw, more or less clearly, that the movement in which 
we were then engaged would, by the nature of the case, 
become suspended, that there would be a pause, a time for 
reconsideration of the work actually done, and then after this 
pause, that the movement would recommence, and go on 
uninterruptedly to the end. This is commonly the history 

^ It may be noticed that even minds was that we were doing 

after the favourable reception of the work for the future, not for the 

Revised Version of the Gospel of St. then present time. This feeling 

John, the Five Clergymen who took had a very good efTect upon us. We 

part in it, still speak of their work did our work slowly, and without 

as fortunate if it has 'succeeded in any reference to current expectations, 

striking the key-note upon which or any desire to catch passing op- 

any authoritative Revision of the portunities. When the interest in 

English Bible, hereafter to he made, the subject died out, which it did a 

is to be based :' Pre/, to Revised few years ago, we considered it a 

Version of the Ep. to the Romans, sign that for a season, at any rate, 

p. iv. The impression on our our work was done. 


of all great undertakings, and will in all probability be 
the history of the future revision of the Authorized 

A very little consideration will show that such a forecast 
was natural and reasonable. The movement at that time 
was essentially a scholars^ movement. The works of Dean 
Alford, Archbishop Trench, and others, had awakened a vivid 
interest in the interpretation of the New Testament, but it 
had not yet extended far beyond the circle of professed 
scholars. Within the circle there was soon shown a strong 
and natural desire to give a useful turn to the newly acquired 
knowledge, and to put at the disposal of the general reader 
the results of recent exegetical experience ; and such general 
aid was commonly very thankfully received. But there was 
never much sympathy with these efforts whenever they took 
the particular form of revisions of the Authorized Version. 
Churchmen at that time were very tolerant of critical and 
grammatical comments, and even of corrections of the 
English Bible as long as they were confined to the notes or 
the margin ; but whenever they took their place in the text 
there were but few general readers who then viewed them 
with any great amount of favour. And they were right. 
The versions and specimens of versions that appeared at 
the time we are alluding to and subsequently, were sufficiently 
accurate and precise, but they wanted tone and rhythm. 
They were translations through which the original Greek 
often showed itself far too distinctly ; they were not idiomatic 
versions ; they were suited, and even in some cases specially 


designed, for the closet -^ but with general readers they never 
were and never could have been popular. 

The best of these revised versions was one that received The Five 


at the time the valuable approval of Archbishop Trench,^ revision. 
and of the distinguished American writer, Mr. Marsh,^ and 

1 Reference may, perhaps not 
improperly, be made to the writer's 
Pref. to Commentary to the Pas- 
toral Epp., p. xiii. sq., the words 
of which have been quoted from 
time to time. They were written 
about the period now alluded to, and 
show, it is believed, fairly, what the 
general mind of scholars was at 
that time. Of the small bands of 
scholars there referred to, one at the 
time was actually working, to the 
labours of which reference is made 
in the text. 

2 The friendly remarks of Arch- 
bishop Trench will be found in the 
first chapter of his useful work On 
the Authorized Version of the New 
Testament, and are as follows : — * It 
is an eminent merit in the Revision 
of the Authorized Fersion by Five 

Clergymen that they have 

not merely urged by precept, but 
shown by proof, that it is possible 
to revise our Version and at the same 
time to preserve unimpaired the 
character of the English in which it 
is composed. Nor is it only on this 
account that we may accept this 
work as by far the most hopeful con- 
tribution which we have yet had to 

the solution of a great and difficult 
problem ; but also as showing that 
where reverent hands touch that 
building, which some would have 
wholly pulled down, that it might 
be wholly built up again, these find 
only the need of here and there re- 
placing a stone which had been in- 
cautiously built in the wall, or which, 
trustworthy material once, has now 
yielded to the lapse and injury of 
time, while they leave the building 
itself, in its main features and frame- 
work, untouched' (p. 25, ed. i.). 
These words from one who is so 
well qualified to speak both on the 
English and on the scholarly ques- 
tions connected with the subject, 
may perhaps be considered to justify 
the reference in the text to the ex- 
periences derived during the progress 
of the work alluded to. 

^ The author referred to, though 
deprecating a new translation, and 
even a revision, of the Authorized 
Version, speaks of the work of the 
Five Clergymen as ' by far the most 
judicious modern recension known 
to him.' See his first Series of 
Lectures on the English Language, 
No. xxviii. p. 6^^. 


of this 

which even now has not quite passed out of sight. As it was 
produced on principles which appear to be trustworthy, and 
as it serves to indicate the path that must be followed by 
any revisers who would construct 2. popular version, we may 
pause briefly to notice its leading characteristics. It con- 
sisted of a revision of the Authorized Version of St. John's 
Gospel, the Epistle to the Romans, and the two Epistles to 
the Corinthians, by Five Clergymen, and of the Epistles to 
the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, by 
Four Clergymen; in all four separate volumes, to each of 
which a few pages of preface are prefixed, containing a 
statement of the principles mainly followed, and an enume- 
ration of passages in which special difficulties had been met 
with, and rules of revision more than usually tested. Of 
the five revisers, two at the outset of the work were 
strongly in favour of an authoritative revision of the whole 
•Testament, but ere the work came to its conclusion (it 
extended over more than two years), all, I believe, had 
come honestly and impartially to these two conclusions : — 
First, that an authoritative revision could not wisely be 
attempted at that time ; secondly, that if it afterwards were 
undertaken it must be on the principles which they them- 
selves had worked out and followed, and which more than 
two years of hard united work had proved to be trust- 

These principles will be occasionally alluded to in detail 
in the following pages. For the present it may be enough 
to notice that they were, first, a limitation of the vocabulary 



of translation to that of the Authorized Version of both 
Testaments ;^ secondly, a careful attention, and, as far as 
possible, adherence to the principles stated and followed 
by the Revisers of 161 1 ; thirdly, extreme watchfulness in 
reference to the two weaker portions of the Authorized 
Version, the translation of the particles and of the tenses f 
fourthly, and combined with this, a constant recognition in 
such cases of the frequently modifying power of the con- 
text, and of the fact that the tenses, especially the past 
tenses, in Greek and English, are not co-extensive ; fifthly, 
a sensitiveness to the noble rhythm and cadence of the 
Authorized Version; and lastly, a continual remembrance 
that a truly popular translation must always stand the test 
of being heard as well as read, and must commend itself 
not only to the cultivated scholar, but to the simple 

^ The Five Revisers distinctly state 
that they kept the earlier English 
versions, from WyclifFe downwards, 
before them, and * constantly re- 
jected words which presented them- 
selves as the most exact equivalents 
to the words of the Greek, because 
they wanted the Biblical garb and 
sound which we were anxious to 
preserve.' See Preface to Revised 
Version of St. John, p. viii. 

2 The principles adopted in the 
translation of some of the particles 
are stated in the Preface above re- 
ferred to (see p. X.). In respect of 
the tenses it is stated that the * exact 

accuracy of literal rendering which 
rigid scholarship might seem to 
require' is not always maintained 
(p. xi.). It may be now said, how- 
ever, that this accuracy was main- 
tained even too far, especially in the 
case of the aorist and perfect. Such 
at least is the judgment of Marsh, 
who seems inclined to draw the 
inference from it that the tenses 
'are coming to have in England a 
force which they have not now in 
America.' See Lectures on the 
English Language, No. xxviii. 
p. 633. Several changes however 
were made in ed. 2. 


Such were the principles of this particular revision/ and 
such, it may be said, must be the principles of any revision 
that would aspire to be popular and successful. But let it 
not be supposed that these principles were all recognised 
at once, and all systematically acted on from the first. 
They were not thought out, but felt out and worked out. 
They resulted from faithful individual labour combined with 
frequent cotiferejice a7id united efforts round a comnio7i table; 
they resulted also from the great teaching of experience, 
and from the continual testing and, it may be added, the 
frequent breaking down of rigorous canons of translation on 
which it might have seemed a priori that reliance could be 
placed. There are indeed few canons in reference to 
revision of more practical importance than those which are 
embodied in the foregoing sentence — viz., (i) That there 
must be frequent cojiference and the combined action of several 
minds ^ and (2) That experie7ice must be relied on as the only 
ultimately successful teacher in the difficult work. Few are 
willing at first to accept these canons, but all scholars of 
candid minds and of proper humility will be found in the 
sequel to acknowledge their validity. As they are of real 
importance let us devote to each of them a few sentences 
of comment and elucidation. 

1 A full account will be found in able pen of the present Bishop of 

the Preface to the Revised Transla- Salisbury, and that it will be found 

lion of St. John. It is not violating to contain a good account of the 

confidence to say that it was prin- principles followed, and certainly 

cipally the composition of the agree- deserves perusal. 


In reference to the first of these canons, we may observe ist canon: 
that it serves to remind us how it is that so very few revisions ^[j^J^ 
of the Authorized Version have been even endurable, when "^cessary. 
contrasted with that which they were designed to amend. 
Nearly all our revised versions have been produced by 
individual scholars, and, faithful to their origin, they have 
clearly enough disclosed the bias and individuality of the 
single mind and the single reviser. They have been one- 
sided and not many-sided. They have commonly been, if 
accurate, too inflexible ; if free, too loose and paraphrastic. 
The happy elasticity of diction, and the thoroughly idiomatic 
tone of our Enghsh version, — that which, in fact, so com- 
mends it to the heart as well as the head of the earnest 
reader, is just that which will be found wanting in all recent 
revisions. And it would be unreasonable to expect that it 
could be otherwise. The elasticity to which we have 
alluded is due in a great measure to the united operation of 
several minds, and to the continued modifications which the 
aspects of a passage as presented to the different minds of 
different revisers would be certain to introduce. The 
individual adheres, often far too pertinaciously in detail, to 
his principles of translation. His very precision often makes 
him very insufficiently sensitive to the exegetical current of 
the passage, and hence often to that modification which the 
context constantly tends to introduce in the translation, 
especially of tenses and particles. The requisite correction 
is supplied by another mind estimating differently the 
general current of the passage, and the ultimately chosen 


translation often accurately enough indicates, not so much 
the result of compromise, as the final decision of two or 
more minds after having so acted and reacted upon each 
other that a common translation could be agreed upon. 
For instance, an individual translator or reviser might feel 
it always, so to speak, such a grammatical duty to mark in 
translation the difference (in the same author) between two 
particles, — let us say dWa and U, that his very desire to 
adhere scrupulously to his rule might impede his perception 
of some shade of meaning in the passage that tended to 
modify the rule. Suppose, to carry on this particular in- 
stance, that he resolved that he would give dXka in transla- 
tion its inherently stronger adversative force of ' howbeit' 
or ' notwithstanding,' and so mark its distinction from the 
' but' or ' yet' of the lighter opposition of the U, and sup- 
pose further that he was a thoroughly good scholar, and 
perfectly familiar with the fact that if a definitely expressed 
negative preceded the dXkh in the contrasted clause, then 
his rule would have to undergo modification.^ Suppose all 

1 For some remarks on this prin- that we have two strictly contrasted 

ciple, which is in feet strictly clauses, as indicated by parity of 

analogous to the nicht — sondern of tenses (riyrjcraro — tKsvioaav) and by 

the German, see Donaldson, New the presence of this ovk — dWa, 

Cratylus, § 20 1, p. 376. In some The translation then of the Autho- 

passages of the New Testament rized Version, enhanced as it is by 

this principle is of very great im- the punctuation, (' thought it not 

portance. For example, in the robbery to be equal with God : but 

momentous passage, Phil. ii. 6, made Himself of no reputation') 

Qvx dpirayixiv rfyrjcraTO to tivab as failing to preserve and bring out 

laa 6£y, dWd kavrbv eKsvwaev, this contrast of clauses, may fairly 

much in regard of translation turns be considered as open to question, 

upon the due recognition of the fact See Commentary in loc. 


this, — and it will not be difficult to imagine that there might 
be many a passage in which there might be found a latent 
negative, and so a modifying element in the context, which 
our imaginary accurate scholar with his mind on his rule 
might not be sensitive enough to perceive. Put other 
minds in contact with his ; the result might easily be that 
discussion would bring out the true logical and exegetical 
aspects of the passage, that the latent negative in the pre- 
ceding clause would be properly recognised, and the trans- 
lation of the a'XXa modified accordingly. Such examples 
of the importance of having several minds in combination 
in such a delicate work as that of revising our idiomatic 
Authorized Version could be multiplied indefinitely. 

The second canon, that experience will prove the best ^"^^.^"o"' 


teacher in such a work as Revision, though not quite so the best 
obvious as the canon which we have just illustrated, will in 
practice be found quite as certainly true. It might be 
thought that competent translators and revisers might agree 
on their principles beforehand, and go regularly forward 
without much risk of lapsing from uniformity, or of so 
changing a standard that it would be continually necessary 
to go over the back-work with the light of present know- 
ledge and observation. It certainly might be thought so, but 
experience will always be found to reverse the expectation. 
General rules of course there must be, but in the application 
of them the tentative element must greatly predominate. 
The individual will find it so, and still more the combined 
body. In fact this is the sort of set-off against the advan- 



tage of the co-operation of several minds specified above, — 
the tendency of an association to change gradually a 
standard being always much more pronounced than that of 
the individual. 

A moment's consideration will show the truth of this 
remark, at any rate in such a special work as that of 
Revision. What, for instance, is the very condition of 
Revision ? Why, that errors, and perhaps also inaccuracies 
and archaisms should be removed. Good, — but then, to 
take even the most favourable case, the removal of simple 
and clear errors, is it not perfectly certain that even if the 
definition of what was to be considered an error was 
tolerably agreed on at first, it would be considerably mo- 
dified as the work went on, — so that, if there was to be 
anything like an uniform principle in the work, constant 
retrospect and reconsideration would be necessary. We 
venture very confidently to maintain that if half a dozen 
scholars sat down to revise the present version of one of 
the Gospels, and agreed beforehand, after having settled 
the distinction between errors and inaccuracies, only to 
touch the former and not the latter, it would be found, 
before they had gone half through their work, that they had 
taken in the whole fringe of cases that lies between errors 
and inaccuracies, and had even gone far into the domain 
of the latter. In revision, as in many other things, there is 
a continually accelerative and intensifying tendency which 
increased habitude in the work never fails to develop, — 
but which certainly must be closely watched, and con- 


stantly corrected. The best, and indeed the only way to 
keep this tendency under is to proceed tentatively, to feel 
out principles of revision rather than to attempt definitely 
to lay them down beforehand ; and then from time to time, 
as the principles are felt out, to go back over the work 
already done. It is only thus, it is only by this tentative and 
retrospective mode of proceeding, this continual reference 
to experience, that the subtle and delicate process of 
revision can be successfully carried out. 

We gave an illustration of tJie first canon, we may illustration 
perhaps, not unsuitably, give one of the second. Suppose canon. 
it was agreed beforehand that great care should be given, 
to distinguish, where possible, between the tenses, — say, 
for example, between the aorist and the perfect. Now, it 
may be confidently asserted that nothing but experience 
will adequately prescribe in cases of this kind when the 
' have' should be introduced in the translation of the aorist 
and when the simple past tense should be adopted. What- 
ever our rules might have been beforehand, they would 
break down in such a chapter, for example, as John xvii., 
and they would be sorely tested in those many cases in 
which, in the original Greek, particles of present time are 
foand in the same clauses, and in combination with aorists.^ 

1 For example, Phil. iii. 12, riSri auxiliary in English and to adopt a 

t\a.j3ov, and again ch. iv. 10, ■fjdij simple aoristic translation. The 

TTOTS aviOdXtre, or in the case of actual fact is, that there is not a 

vvVyEph. \n. s^fMQvvv cLTTiKaXvipOri, strict parity between the English 

— in all which cases it would be past tense and the Greek aorist : the 

simply impossible to leave out the former points back clearly to past 

C 2 


And what Is true of the aorist is almost equally true of the 
perfect. We might, for instance, begin our work by the 
general agreement that whatever might be the case of the 
aorist, we would at any rate press the translation of the 
perfect, and recognise its force, and yet when we came to 
such a passage as i John i. i, we should not be perfectly 
clear that the lines of demarcation between aorist and 
perfect were always very rigidly drawn. We should have 
in the sequel to fall back on experience. 

But to return to the present aspects of this question. 
(Growth of From what has been said, it does not seem unreasonable 
the subject, to think that there has been during the last twelve years 
a gradual ripening of general interest in the subject of 
revision. We have all had time to think well over the 
former movement, to come to unbiassed opinions upon the 
principles which seem likely to prove most trustworthy in 
the actual prosecution of the work, and, — what is especially 
important, — to arrive at some conclusions as to the limits 
within which revision should be confined. We are also in 
several respects better prepared for the work. Though it 
must be conceded that New Testament interpretation has 
not, at any rate in the Church of England, made much 
progress during the last ten years ; though in some of the 

time and commonly taken per se ; fact whether the action has or has 

remands the thought back to an not any reference to present time, 

epoch distinctly separated from pre- See esp. Donaldson, Neio Cratylns, 

sent time; the Greek aorist specifies § .^72 sq., and the useful treatise on 

posteriority to some fixed point of the force of this tense by Fritz, de 

time, but is simply silent as to the Aoristi Ft, p. 17. 


many schools of thought within the Church at the present 
time there is a retrograde movement, and a relapse to 
the easy labours of mystical commentaries and of loose 
exegesis ; though our religious newspapers often give us 
evidence, in the letters of correspondents, that there is not 
only great, but what is worse, confident ignorance on critical 
or grammatical questions; though much valuable time 
has been wasted on ritualistic controversy instead of being 
devoted to serene scholarship ; though the study of the 
ancient versions has been almost absolutely stopped for 
the last twelve or fourteen years, — still, in spite of all these 
discouraging facts^ the assertion may be fully sustained 
that we are better prepared for the work than we were at 
the close of the last movement. 

Two or three reasons may be alleged for such an opinion. Reasons for 
In the first place the majority of those who are most likely 
to be called upon to take part in any future revision will 
have matured in judgment, and have had time to reconsider 
the principles on which the former attempts had been 
based, in some of which they themselves may have taken 
part. Such scholars, who for the most part belonged to a 
somewhat sharply defined critical and exegetical school, will 
now find themselves recruited by some members of the 
more distinctly historical school of commentators and in- 
terpreters which has appeared during the last ten years. 
The keen, and perhaps, for a popular revision, unduly 
rigorous scholarship of those who were connected with the 
first movement will be now found beneficially influenced 


Increase of 

both by the wider knowledge and experience time will have 
brought with it, and by the flexibility of the later systems of 
interpretation which have appeared either at home or in 
Germany. The delay will not have been unprofitable. 

In the second place, some worthy representatives of 
sound Biblical scholarship will be now found among the 
Nonconformists. The half-generation that has now elapsed 
since revision was last under consideration has witnessed 
the gradual rise and progress of sacred exegesis in all 
the higher training colleges of Wesleyans, Baptists, Inde- 
pendents, and other communities. Scotland also, in the 
person of Professor Eadie, Dr. Brown, and others, has 
shown that Presbyterians have not been left behind in the 
general advance.^ And this is a matter of the utmost im- 
portance. It would not be hopeful to undertake such a 
truly national work as the revision of the English Bible, 
that Book of Life which is ahke dear and common to us 
all, without the presence and co-operation of the most 

^ It is pleasant to observe the 
steady progress that has been silently 
made in Biblical learning during 
the last twenty years by Noncon- 
formists. The honoured name of 
Tregelles — one who has given the 
whole energies of a life (alas, now 
seriously impaired,) to sacred criti- 
cism — will at once supply an ex- 
ample of great and successful labours 
outside of the Communion of the 
Church of England. We may also 

perhaps be permitted to specify the 
names of Dr. Gotch of Bristol, 
of Dr. Angus of the College in 
Regent's Park, and of the modest 
and singularly able translator of 
Winer's Greek Grammar, Prof. 
Moulton of Richmond, — all men 
whose learning would entitle them 
to a place at any Board of Revision, 
and who would be welcomed there 
by all Biblical scholars of the Church 
of England. 


learned of our brethren of non-conformity.* This was pro- 
perly felt and expressed by most of the speakers in the 
Upper House of the Convocation of Canterbury, and, we 
believe, would be frankly responded to by those we have 
alluded to. General questions may often keep us apart ; 
uncharitable and embittered politicians may continue, as 
we have seen not long since, their discreditable efforts to 
sow dissension and animosities, but in the calm region of 
Biblical learning such pitiful efforts will never be permitted 
to prevail. The men that may hereafter sit round the 
council table of revision will be proof against all such 
uncharitableness f they will be bound by the holy bond of 
reverence for the same Book, and adoration for the same 
Lord. Those whom God may hereafter vouchsafe to join 

^ In his excellent treatise on Re- writer justly observes that no exist- 
vision Abp. Trench alludes to ing Version "could be endured in 
this subject. He does not, how- the place of the fine old English of 
ever, seem to contemplate the pre- our translators — we must have a 
sence of Nonconformists at the restoration, not a rebuilding on a 
actual revising Board, or as sitting modern plan." He then adds — " It 
there on equal terms with others ; must also be a Catholic translation, 
and he also somewhat summarily Learned men of all Evangelical 
disposes of the claims of Baptists. Churches must be invited to co- 
See Revision of AiUh. Version, operate, and the work fully and 
ch. xi. p. 138. In the twelve years, freely canvassed before it is finally 
however, that have elapsed since accepted." The next sentence is 
the work was written, my valued specially worthy of attention — "One 
friend may very likely have modified thing we had almost forgotten to 
his opinion. We all live and learn. remark — the work must he done by 

2 The following sentences from the Churches not by the Govern- 

The Freeman for Feb. 18 seem ment." See also, as to Convocation, 

to justify this expectation. The The Times for May 6. 


together in a holy work, sectarian bitterness will never be 
able to put asunder. 

Thirdly, the great additions that by the providence of 
God have been made to the critical material for the textual 
revision of the Authorized Version may well, on the one 
hand, make us thankful that this delay has taken place, 
and yet, on the other hand, make us desirous to show our 
thankfulness by now preparing to use what has been thus 
unexpectedly vouchsafed. Every earnest man must regard 
it as something more than accident that a manuscript such 
as the Sinai tic Manuscript, so venerable, and so perfect, 
should have been discovered just at a time when such a 
witness was, in many important passages, so especially 
needed. Of an antiquity inferior only to the great Vatican 
Manuscript, in perfect preservation, and without a missing 
page, this venerable document is now in the hands of us 
all.^ Surely it asks for and requires from us our reverent 
consideration and use. Let it also not be forgotten that 
we have now at last trustworthy reprints of the Vatican 
Manuscript above alluded to f and further, that individual 

^ The general reader will find reader must be referred to the ac- 

some useful remarks on this Manu- count of this MS. by Tregelles, 

script, and especially on its relation and the elaborate P>-olegoviena of 

to the venerable Codex Vaticanus Tischendorf. 

in the Christiaji Remembrancer for ^ A good article on this MS., and 

October, 1867, Vol. liv. p. 4i4sq. on the relation to it and to the 

There is also a special article on the Codex Bezae of the Curetonian 

Imperial Edition of this Manuscript Syriac Version of part of the Gospels 

in the same periodical for April, will be found in the Christian 

1863, Vol. XL V. p. 374. For more Remembrancer for June, 1859, 

exact and special information the Vol. xxxvii. p. 467. 


scholars, through the labours of Mr. Hansell,^ and the en- 
terprise of the Oxford University Press, can now themselves 
refer to, and, what is very important in finally forming a 
critical judgment, read connectedly, all the leading manu- 
scripts of the different portions of the New Testament. 
With such aids now ready to our hand we may be thankful 
indeed to have been delayed a few years, but we can also 
hardly resist the feeling that the hour is fast approaching 
when a practical and national use should be made of these 
great aids towards arriving at the ipsissima verba of Apostles 
and Evangelists, and of bringing to the ears of all who 
speak our language the truest accents of men who wrote 
and spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 

It may be conceded that there is one department of Study of 


Biblical scholarship in which we are still very deficient, and greatly 
one of such real importance that we might well plead for " ^ ^'^ ^ ' 
longer delay if there seemed any reasonable prospect of the 
deficiency being made up by scholars of the present time. 
We are alluding to the study of the ancient Versions of the 
New Testament. If there seemed any grounds for thinking 
that these ancient witnesses would be more systematically 
consulted for exegetical as well as critical purposes, if there 
was any probability of translations being made in Latin, 
German, or English, of the Coptic, Armenian, or Pell Piatt's 

* The title of this useful and unfortunately been commenced be- 

valuable work is IVbu. Te^toTn. Greece, fore that Manuscript was accessible. 

Antiquissimorum Codicum, ed. E. It contains, however, in the third 

H. Hansell, Oxon. 1865. It does not volume a very careful collation, and 

contain the Codex Sinaiticus, having some useful critical notes. 


Ethiopic Version, it would be wise to wait patiently till 
these had come into the hands of general scholars, and 
could be freely used, as they ought to be used, in such a 
work as the revision of our own Version. But it is per- 
fectly clear that if we waited for such aids, important as they 
confessedly are, we should wait in vain. There is no dis- 
position in our o^vn quick-moving times to engage in the 
labor i?nprobus that such studies imply : there is no willing- 
ness on the part of younger scholars to devote themselves 
to what at first sight might be deemed only subsidiary and 
subordinate. And yet all experience shows that there is no 
more really valuable aid in the difficult work of deciding 
between conflicting interpretations than is supplied to us by 
the six or seven earlier Versions.* In them we commonly 
have, not so much the opinion of the individual translation, 
as the prevailing voice of the ancient Church and people 
for the use of which the Version was originally committed 
to writing. We have perhaps the combined judgment of 
many minds, and sometimes, in ,the case of the earliest 
Versions, may have traditional interpretations which date 
almost from Apostolic times. It is at any rate no stretch 
of imagination to suppose that portions of the Peshito might 
have been in the hands of St. John, or that the Old Latin 

^ The reader who may need a Commentary on the Pastoral 

summary account of these ancient Epistles, and also on the Epp. to 

Versions will find it in Smith's the Philippians and ColossiaJis for 

Dictionary of the Bible, Art. some comments from one who has 

'Versions.' He may perhaps also attempted, as for as he was able, 

be referred to the Preface to my himself to use them. 


represented the current views of the Roman Christians of 
the second century. Of these ancient witnesses, the two 
ah-eady named, the Gothic and the Polyglott Ethiopic 
Version (in the fairly accurate Latin translation of Bode) are 
tolerably available, but the best edition of the Coptic Ver- 
sion, the Ethiopic of Pell Piatt, and the Armenian, are, we 
believe, up to the present time inaccessible, except to the 
student of these unfamiliar languages. 

But to wait for accurate collations of these Versions for 
exegetical purposes is to wait in vain. There is no greater 
likelihood now than there was half a generation ago that any 
further advance will be made in them than has been already 
made, — nay, to begin the work of revision may prove the 
only hopeful way of directing attention to this portion of the 
subject. We have among us a few Coptic, Ethiopic, and 
Armenian scholars, and from them we may obtain aid when 
it becomes plain that it is really wanted. The demand may 
create the supply. 

If this be so, if there seems really good ground for thinking Division of 

,1-11 /• 1 the subject. 

that the time has at last come for, at any rate, the commence- 
ment of the work, and that longer delay is not likely to 
place us in any better position than what we now occupy, the 
present is clearly the time for some careful preliminary con- 
sideration, both in reference to the nature of the work and 
to the best mode of attempting it. Some little experience 
has been already acquired, and of this it seems prudent to 
make some use, if only by way of preparation and sugges- 
tion. Let us, then, deal in a simple and popular way with 


the general subject, and apply our attention to those leading 
questions which seem naturally to present themselves at this 
early stage of the work. 

These questions would seem to come before us for 
consideration in the following order and connexion : — First, 
what is the critical state of the text of that portion of the 
Scriptures, — the New Testament, — that we are more par- 
ticularly considering in these pages ? Secondly, what is the 
general character of the Authorized Version of the New 
Testament, and what are the principles on which it was con- 
structed ? Thirdly, what are the limits to which, with due 
regard to these principles, revision should probably be con- 
fined ? Fourthly, what is the probable amount of the cor- 
rections that would thus be introduced, — a question of great 
practical importance, and on the answer to which much will 
be found hereafter to depend ? Fifthly, what objections of 
real weight have been urged against revision ? and Lastly, 
if a revision is to be attempted, in what way, and under 
what authority would it seem best for us to proceed ? 

Such would seem to be the leading questions in connexion 
with the subject of revision, to each one of which an answer 
shall be returned in the following pages. Our first con- 
siderations shall be on the text which, as far as it can be 
ascertained, was used by the scholars and divines who were 
engaged in the work of the last revision. 




In discussing the interesting and practical question of the 
critical value of the text which was used by the Revisers of 
1611, we are naturally led into some cognate questions 
which it may be convenient to discuss in the present 
chapter. These shall now be stated and shall receive such 
answers as may be serviceable to the general reader. In no 
part of the subject is technicality necessarily more promi- 
nent, but it shall be avoided as far as is consistent with 
accuracy of treatment. Attention shall be more directed to 
actual facts and results than to the details on which they 

The main questions which have now to be considered in Main 

to be 
considered . 


connexion with the text of the Authorized Version are, it to be 

would seem, four in number. I^'irsf, it will be clearly neces- 
sary to ascertain what the Greek text actually was which was 
used by the Revisers. Was it a text they constructed for them- 
selves, or was it the text of any current edition, and if so, did 
they always adhere to it ? Secondly, it will be necessary to 
take some account of the critical material which we now 
have, and of which the Revisers had no knowledge. This 


will naturally lead us in the third place to consider the 
really practical question, How best to use this material in 
any future revision, whether to construct a critical text first, 
or to use preferentially, though not exclusively, some current 
text, or simply to proceed onward with the work of revision, 
whether of text or translation, making the current Textus 
Receptus the standard, and departing from it only when 
critical or grammatical considerations show that it is clearly 
necessary, — in fact, solvei-e ambulmido. Lastly^ it will per- 
haps be convenient to endeavour to arrive at some estimate 
of the amount and the importance of the changes that 
critical considerations alone may be likely to introduce into 
the current text, — there being on this subject much exaggera- 
tion on both sides. We may now proceed to consider these 
questions more in detail. 
The Text In reference to the first question, — What the Greek Text 
Revisers. W3,s wliich the Revisers of 1611 actually had before them 
when they were engaged in their work, — the answer can 
easily be made from inspection of the Version. The Re- 
visers used two current editions ; chiefly, as it would seem, 
Beza's fourth edition of the Greek Text, published in 1589, 
and the fourth edition of Stephens — the first of the editions 
of Stephens that was divided into verses — which was pub- 
lished in 1557. As both these editions were scarcely any- 
thing more than reprints of the editions that respectively 
preceded, and as both these preceding editions had acquired 
considerable celebrity, we shall be quite correct in saying 
that the text of the Authorized Version is that of the third 
edition of Beza's Greek Testament of 1582 [Beza 3], and 


of Stephens' Greek Testament of 1550 [Stephens 3]. On 
a close examination of the comparatively few passages in 
which Beza 3 differs from Stephens 3, it would appear that 
in some 60 places (notes included) the Authorized Version 
agrees with Beza 3 against Stephens 3, and that in some 27 
or 28 places (i Cor. x. 38 being apparently an error of the 
press) it agrees with the latter against the former ; and 
further, that in a very few passages, perhaps under half a 
dozen, it agrees with neither. 

But we shall have hardly answered our first question p^^i ^^^ ^^ 
satisfactorily unless we shortly enter into the further ques- ^^^^ '^^'^^• 
tion of the pedigree and critical value of the Greek Text on 
which our own Version thus depends. What was the history 
and critical value of Stephens 3 and Beza 3 ? Not perhaps 
very satisfactory in either case. The history, however, is as 
follows : — Beza 3 and Stephens 3 really differ so little that 
we may, writing popularly, consider them as one edition. 
Both editors had a certain amount of critical materials, the 
greater part of it in common, and collected by the son of 
Stephens. But neither of them made any real use of them. 
Beza, as we know, had in his possession the celebrated Manu- 
script that bears his name (D of the Gospels and Acts^), and 
the nearly equally celebrated Claromontane Manuscript (D 

^ This venerable Manuscript has Dec. 1864, Vol. xlviii. p. 416 sq. 

recently been published with great All the recent critical articles in 

care and accuracy by Mr. Scrivener. this learned, but we fear now sus- 

A very interesting account of the pended Quarterly Journal, are espe- 

MS. is prefixed. For a thoroughly cially good, and in most instances 

good review of this important work, very readable. They appear to come 

see Christian Remembrancer for mostly from the same hand. 


of the Epistles), but he seems to have mainly used both 
these and all his other critical aids more for exegetical pur- 
poses than anything else. The estimate he took of various 
readings was, it would seem, almost entirely a theological one. 
Stephens also, though he began well, and based the text of 
his first edition on MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris and 
on readings from the first printed (though not first published) 
text, viz., the Complutensian, and though he also published 
in his third edition a collection of some 2200 various 
readings from 15 different MSS. (one of which was the 
Codex Bezae) ; still in his third and most celebrated edi- 
tion he made the least possible use of them, and even 
lapsed back again to the text of another Editor that had 
been received with favour three and twenty years before. 
He frequently deserts the text of his own first and second 
editions to revert to that of the anterior Editor. 
The Who was this Editor ? It need hardly be said that it was 

Edirions of i , . , /• 7 7- ■ /• 7- 7, 

Erasmus. Erasmus, and that tn the fourth editioti of JtLrasmiis 7ve really 
have the mother-text of our own Authorized Version. What 
then, finally, is the history of this Erasmian text, and what 
its critical value? Its history is short. In the year 1516, 
Erasmus, after not much more than six months' labour, 
published at Basle an edition of the Greek Testament, and 
so got the start of the splendid Complutensian edition of 
Cardinal Ximenes,^ the New Testament portion of which, 
though then printed, had not been published, and was not 

1 Perhaps few of our readers may the noble volumes of this edition 
have actually inspected the exquisite present. We may mention, then, 
specimen of early typography which that a visit to the large Library in 


published till a few years afterwards. Erasmus honestly 
says that his work was a ' precipitated' one. It was so : he 
was not insensible to the value of ancient testimony, and if 
he had allowed himself time would probably have given a 
better text to the world than that which is connected with 
his name, but the excusable though unfortunate desire 
to anticipate the lingering volume of the Complutensian 
edition marred the great work, and the evil effects of that 
six months of hurry last to this very hour. It certainly is 
somewhat sad now to know that though the MSS. which 
Erasmus used were collectively of no great critical value, 
yet that there was one good authority among them which 
he never used, for the very reason, as he himself tells us^ 
that its readings were so different from the others. This 
manuscript was the cursive Codex Basiliensis, marked i in 
the usual lists of such documents, and fully deserving its 
accidentally given priority, being classed by Tregelles (with 
No. 2>Z ^i^d ^o- ^9) ^s deserving a place in the noble group 
of ancient uncial witnesses which is headed by the Vatican 
and Sinaitic Manuscripts.^ 

the new house of the Bible Society in his edition of the 4th vol. of 

will enable them to see a very fine ^ornQjntroduction to the Scriptures, 

copy of this justly celebrated edition. p. 106. Some useful remarks on 

The beauty and clearness of the this classification will be found in a 

printing of the New Testament is very careful and elaborate article on 

most striking, and the tint of the Textual Criticism in the Christian 

ink is of that welcome grey-black Remembrancer for July, 1864, Vol. 

tone which is now commonly found xlviii. p. 57 sq. See also the good 

so agreeable to modern eyes. article in Smith's Dictionary of the 

^ See the classification of Tregelles Bible, Vol. in. p. 506. 



It is vexatious also to think that with a little effort 
Erasmus might have procured through his friend Paulus 
Bombasius a transcript, or at any rate a collation, of the 
famous Vatican Manuscript (B) itself. He referred, we 
know, to it in regard of the famous text in the first Epistle 
of St. John, and had a transcript sent to him of a portion 
of the fifth chapter. How strange it seems that we were so 
near a good text, and yet that it pleased God (for such 
things are doubtless providentially ordered) that a sixteenth 
century manuscript of the ordinary late character of text 
should be the one chosen by Erasmus, and used by the 
printer (for his marks remain on it to this day) for the first 
published edition of the Book of Life. Such incidents are 
really mysterious. To speculate on them is unwise, but it 
does still seem hard to resist the conviction that the un- 
flagging industry and devotion that has been conspicuously 
shown, generation after generation, in the critical study of 
the text of the New Testament would never have been 
called forth but by these very circumstances ; and that the 
knowledge that a purer text of the Sacred Volume was 
attainable than that which, one hundred years afterwards, 
was dignified by the title of the Universally Received Text, 
is really that which has quickened scholars and critics in 
their honourable and lifelong labours even to our present 
Succeeding But to retum to our short naiTative. This first edition 
the fore- ^^ Erasmus was succeeded by a second in which there 
going- were about 400 alterations, nearly three-fourths of which 


were, in the judgment of Mill, decidedly improvements. 
This edition was followed by the famous third edition in 
which I John v. 7 first appeared ; and owing to which the 
controversial troubles of Erasmus, already sufficiently great 
owing to his Latin Version, were considerably increased. 
Soon afterwards the Complutensian edition of the Greek 
Testament at length appeared to the world, and Erasmus 
was able to compare his own work with that of Stunica 
and Lebrixa, and to correct especially what most certainly 
needed correction, the text of the Revelation, — the single 
manuscript which he used having here been imperfect, and, 
in the case of the concluding verses, actually so defective 
that, as we know, Erasmus had here to produce a text by 
retranslation of the Vulgate into his own Greek. In this 
fourth edition, which appeared in 1527, he consequently 
introduced changes in the text of the Revelation in about 
90 places, and corrected and removed, though not wholly, 
what he had himself supplied. In other portions of Scrip- 
ture there were very few changes made. The third edition 
had differed in 118 places from the second, but the fourth 
differed only in about 16 from the third. 

Such was the fourth edition of Erasmus, the mother- 
edition of the Textus Receptus and of our own Authorized 
Version. It was based, as we have seen, on scanty evi- 
dence and late manuscripts. It contains two interpolations 
which the Editor himself introduced on his own responsi- 
bility — viz.. Acts viii. 37, and words in Acts ix. 5, 6. It is 
especially unsatisfactory in the Revelation. Where in any 

D 2 


degree dependent on a Version, it is dependent only on a 
very bad and even deformed text of the Vulgate. Such it 
is, — and yet, by the providence of God the Holy Ghost, 
and through the loyalty and reverence with which the word 
of God had been transmitted, and that faithfulness which 
stirred in the hand and heart even of the writer of the 
meanest cursive manuscript, it is what it is, — so far sub- 
stantially in accordance with what now we may rightly 
deem to be the true text as justly to call forth our enduring 
thankfulness for this mercy and providence of Almighty 
Present But while we may justly retain this thankful remembrance 

critical in our hearts, while we may thus rightly bless and adore 
materia s. q^^ ^^^ ^j^^ heritage of His truth which we have in our 
Authorized Version, let us not forget that the same God 
who thus vouchsafed His providential care to the trans- 

^ This general statement has been seem to be that there are some im- 

often exaggerated. It has been said portant passages, especially of an his- 

from the days of Mill that the torical character {e.g. Mark xvi. 

"Variations, though so very many in 9 sq. ; John v. 3, 5 ; vii. 53 — viii. 1 1 j 

number, are wholly unimportant; Acts viii. 37), in which the present 

and, on the other hand, especially text must be considered either in- 

of late years, it has been implied correct or doubtful, but that there 

that the changes which textual are not many in which doctrine is 

criticism would introduce are even directly involved. A useful paper 

more important than those which on the various readings in the New 

would be introduced by scholarship Testament (by the Rev. R. B. 

and exegesis. See Westcott, History Girdlestone) will be found in the 

of English Bible, p. 170. This Christian Advocate and Revieic for 

last statement is perhaps too wide. October, 1869. It has since been 

The exact state of the case would republished. 



mission of His word has also permitted us in the 260 years 
that have passed away since that Version was published, 
and especially of late years, to have acquired a very accu- 
rate knowledge of what were probably the very words, 
which were either traced by the hands of Apostles and 
Evangelists, or dictated by them to the faithful writer. This 
knowledge we now have ; this knowledge it must be our 
bounden duty reverently and faithfully to make use of. 
No mere conservatism, no timid apprehension of unsettling 
a belief, already (God knoweth) so unsettled from other 
causes that textual criticism would rather act in a contrary 
direction — no acquiescence in well meant but really igno- 
rant prejudice, must prevent us faithfully bringing out of 
the treasures vouchsafed to us every item that will aid in 
putting before us in their truest form, what an Apostolic 
Father has not scrupled to call " the true sayings of the 
Holy Ghost." The only question will be, as we indicated 
at the beginning of this chapter, what have we now in our 
treasures that early editors had not? — what are the ma- 
terials now at our disposal for bringing the text of the 
Authorized Version more into conformity with what we 
believe to have been the original text ? 

Without entering, in a popular essay like the present, 
into detailed descriptions of MSS. or of the various critical 
materials that have accumulated in the last two centuries 
and a half, let us at any rate devote two or three pages to 
a consideration of the sources to which now we can appeal 
in any revision of a text. 


Critical Critical materials consist, on the one hand, of ancient 


uncial Manuscripts, cursive manuscripts, ancient Versions of 
the Scripture, quotations of Scripture from the best editions 
of earlier Fathers ; and, on the other hand, of all these 
technical facts and principles which the study of ancient 
documents has brought out, and which continued observa- 
tion has confirmed. 
Uncial Ma- In respect of the first-named of these materials, the 
anredit^ons Uncial Manuscripts, how much have we to be thankful for, 
of them. i^Q^ much we owe to recent industry. Not to mention the 
five and twenty or six and twenty Manuscripts, whole or 
fragmentary, of secondary importance, whether of the 
Gospels or of other portions of Scripture, — though it should 
be said some of these claim places all but the highest, — 
let us remember that we now have two Manuscripts, the 
second of which contains the whole, and the first nearly 
the whole, of the New Testament — viz., the Vatican (B) 
and Sinaitic (j«^), both of as early a date as the fourth 
century, and three following them at no distant intervals, 
the nearly complete Alexandrian Manuscript (A),^ the frag- 
mentary rescript at Paris bearing the name of the Codex 
Ephremi (C),^ both probably of the fifth century, and for 

^ The Codex Alexandrinus has ^ This Manuscript, which bears 

been recently published in a con- its name from the fact that the 

venient form by Mr. Cowper. An original writing has been in great 

article on this Manuscript will be measure erased to allow of a work 

found in the Christian Remem- of Ephrem the Syrian being written 

hrancer for June, 1861, Vol. xli. on the same parchment, has been 

p. 367 sq. edited in a handsome volume by 


the Gospels and Acts only a remarkable Manuscript that 
bears the title of the Codex Bezae (D), and which cannot 
be placed later than the middle of the sixth century. 
Besides these, we have, for the Acts of the Apostles, the 
valuable Laudian Manuscript (E), not later probably than 
the beginning of the sixth century ; — for St. Paul's Epistles, 
the first four Manuscripts already specified, the valuable 
Claromontane (D Epp.), and the later but very important 
Augiensian Manuscript (F) f — for the Catholic Epistles the 
same four, and a Manuscript of the ninth century of fair 
critical value (containing also a portion of the Acts and the 
whole of St. Paul's Epistles) bearing the tide Codex Ange- 
licus (G) ; — and even for the critically ill-supplied Apoca- 
lypse, the third and fourth of the great Manuscripts first 
named (A and C), and a Manuscript of a trustworthy character 
now in the Vatican Library (B Rev.), and of the eighth 

Of these ten Manuscripts the eight most important have 

Tischendorf, to which a very valuable a sight of, if only the better to ap- 

introduction has been prefixed. No predate the labour and skill of 

one v^ho may not have seen Manu- Tregelles, who deciphered it, we 

scripts of this nature can imagine believe, without the use of any 

the patience required to trace the chemical reagent, 
all but erased writing of the ori- ^ This Manuscript has been ex- 

ginal text. The interesting Codex cellently edited by Mr. Scrivener, 

Zacynthius (see Chr. Remembrancer and a very complete account of it 

for January, 1862, Vol. xliii. given in the introduction prefixed to 

p. 128 sq.), now in the library of the work. Some useful remarks on 

the Bible Society, is a manuscript of the Manuscript will be found in the 

this nature, which any one interested Christian Remembrancer for June, 

in the subject will do well to obtain 1859, ^o^- xxxvii. p. 500 sq. 


been published, some in a portable and convenient 
form, — as for example, the Vatican, Sinaitic, Alexandrian, 
Beza's, and Augiensian, — some in more expensive forms, 
but all in such a manner as to make it not only possible 
but easy for the student to read and study the text of each 
in its sequence and connexion^ and so to form a more 
trustworthy judgment of the peculiar character of the indi- 
vidual document. This has been facilitated still further by 
the parallel-column volumes edited by Mr. Hansell, to 
which reference has already been made. By means of this 
useful work the student is now enabled, not only to read 
continuously but readily to compare all the really great 
Manuscripts (except the Sinaitic), and thus to arrive at 
that sort of practical knowledge of these ancient witnesses 
which is ever found to be of the utmost value to the 
intelligent critic of the text of the New Testament. The 
simplicity and dignified conciseness of the Vatican Manu- 
script, the greater expansiveness of our own Alexandrian 
Manuscript, the partially mixed characteristics of the Si- 
naitic, the paraphrastic tone of the singular Codex Bezae, — 
these general facts, all not only to be ascertained but to be 
famiHarly felt and instinctively acted on in the work of 
criticism, are now brought home to the student by the 
works above specified. We have thus at the present time, 
not only in our public libraries documents of the greatest 
value of which our Revisers had no knowledge, but, owing 
to the industry of recent critics and scholars, reprints and 
editions which make them available almost for the humblest 


Student. When we pause to think of our present critical 
treasures, and the easy access that is thus afforded to them, 
and remember that of the great Manuscripts above alluded 
to, only one was in any degree used, and that in the most 
imperfect manner, by those on whom our Revisers had to 
rely for their text, it would seem impossible to doubt that, 
even if we had no additional reasons, it is now an impera- 
tive duty on all faithful scholars to combine in making 
available to all, the results of a cautious and intelligent re- 
vision of the text of our English Testament. 

But we have many more critical subsidies than those Additional 
already specified. Not to weary the general reader with ^atg^J^ls 
details, we may shortly notice that by the labours of our 
own countrymen. Dr. Tregelles and Mr. Scrivener, and the 
industry of Dr. Tischendorf and other continental critics, we 
have now arrived at a greatly improved knowledge of all 
the leading cursive manuscripts, and have learnt to assign 
to them the confessedly subordinate but still important 
place they hold in reference to textual criticism. The true 
readings of the quotations of Scripture in the early Fathers 
have also, by the really exhaustless labours of Dr. Tregelles, 
now been carefully examined and tested, and we hope, by 
the publication of the concluding parts of his Greek Testa- 
ment, will be soon made critically available to all students 
of the Sacred Text. In one department only is there still 
some deficiency. We lack a full knowledge of the Ancient 
Versions. In our knowledge of the Latin Versions, whether 
the Old Latin or Vulgate, great advance has been made by 


the publications and collations of Tischendorf and others. 
To the Syriac Versions a great and critically important 
addition has been made by the discovery and the publica- 
tion of the singular, and sometimes rather wild, Curetonian 
Syriac Version.* Much has also been done in the Gothic 
Version by De Gabelentz and Loebe, Massmann, Bosworth, 
and others, and something in the Coptic by Paul de Lagarde, 
and in the Ethiopic by Pell Piatt, — ^but it must be frankly 
admitted that what has been already said in reference to 
exegesis (p. 26) is also partially true in reference to criti- 
cism. Our great critics have had avowedly to use the eyes 
of others in ascertaining the testimony of some of these last- 
mentioned Versions and of the less important but still in- 
teresting Armenian Version. It is not unfair to say that if 
Dr. Tischendorf had devoted only the time which he has 
unfortunately spent in personal controversy to the study of 
the original languages of those two or three ancient Oriental 
Versions, which he confessedly only cites on the authority 
of others, he would have put all scholars and critics of the 
New Testament under still greater obligations to his un- 
wearied industry, and himself have been still better qualified 

^ A good account of this Version monlypresents the same paraphrastic 
and its characteristics will be found character of text as the Codex Bez2e. 
in the Christian Remembrancer for It has some interesting readings, e.g.^ 
June, 1859, ^o^- XXXVII. p. 488 sq. Matth. v. 4, 5, where it confirms the 
The text is of a very composite express statement of Origen that the 
nature; sometimes it inclines to the blessing on the meek came before 
shortness and simplicity of the that on mourners. We do not how- 
Vatican Manuscript, but more com- ever adopt the change. 


to labour for the inspired Volume for which he has done so 

But besides these great accessions of critical material it Critical 
must not be forgotten that a fully commensurate increase in propor- 
critical knowledge and in the power over materials is now ijj°"g3sgj 
distinctly to be recognised. Not only have we for the New 
Testament the completed work of three professed critical 
editors of a very high order, though of singularly different 
characteristics, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, but 
the useful and intelligent labours of several interpreters and 
commentators, some of whom, like Dr. Meyer, have shown 
considerable acumen and aptitude for textual criticism. 
What is even more important, there may now be observed 
a fairly defined consent between these critics and commen- 
tators in numberless passages in the New Testament, where 
what would seem to be the true reading differs from that of 
the Revised Text. The useful little edition of the Greek 
Testament by Mr. Scrivener shows this very distinctly in the 
case of the professed critical editors, and a very cursory 
inspection of the comments of De Wette, Meyer, Alford, 
and others, will substantiate the remark in the case of recent 
interpreters. Very many readings, — perhaps nearly one- 
half of those about which reasonable doubt may be felt, — 
would thus, if considered by Revisers of sufficient critical 
powers, be decided on at once by general consent. Manu- 
script evidence and critical judgment would be found 
clearly preponderant, and in a large portion of the work a 
text might be settled with very little difficulty. 


This is a consideration which may well weigh with us 
when the differences of opinion as to the true text are 
assumed to be so excessive that Revisers would be stopped 
171 limine by the difficulty of ascertaining what the true words 
really were of which they had to revise the translation. 
Undesirable But we are now naturally led to the third question, which 

to form a 

Textus we have already noticed as requirmg some answer, What 
ecep us. (.Q^j-gg would Rcvisers have to follow ? As we have said 
already, there are three possible courses they might take, 
which it may be well for us briefly to consider. Would it 
be well for them, in the first place, to agree on a critical 
Greek Text, and attempt to construct a second Textus Re- 
ceptus ? To this question we venture to answer very un- 
hesitatingly in the negative. Though we have much critical 
material and a very fair amount of critical knowledge, we 
have certainly not yet acquired sufficient critical judgment 
for any body of Revisers hopefully to undertake such a work 
as this. All such attempts, whether on the part of individuals 
or general bodies, are indeed at present much to be depre- 
cated as certainly premature, and as naturally tending to 
delay ultimate progress. We are steadily gravitating to a 
consent as regards a very considerable number of passages ; 
let us not interfere with that natural process by trying to 
anticipate what we shall successfully arrive at if we have but 
patience and industry.^ The failures of recent critical editors 

1 Some very good and sagacious an authoritative text will be found 
remarks on the undesirableness of in the Christian Remembrancer 
attempting at present to construct for June, 1859, ^o\. xxxvii. p. 


in their attempts to construct a text may well prove salutary 
warnings that we are not yet ready for the work, and that 
individual critics would do well to pause in their more am- 
bitious efforts. As has been said, they really check progress ; 
if only from this circumstance, that the critical editor often 
fails to give a true statement of the actual case. He probably 
on very serious deliberation places a certain reading in his 
text, but perhaps neither by typography nor by marginal 
annotation indicates to the general reader that another 
reading has nearly an equal right to occupy the position of 
honour. Possession has thus given many a reading a pre- 
ferential character to which it really has no exclusive claim. 
// is in the text; — and between that position and one outside 
of it, the difference, in the judgment of the ordinary student, 
is naturally considered to be immense. Griesbach saw this 
clearly, and very properly acted on it ; but it has been often 
otherwise with recent editors. They have only indicated 
their opinion by their text, and have not at the same time 
perceived that in assigning a place in the text to any debated 
word or clause, they really have thus been passing a judg- 
ment of a much more final character than they themselves 
would, in many cases, wish it to be considered. Let us then 
have no Textus Receptus, at any rate, at present, but pro- 

503. See also Vol. xlii. p. 114, of the translation. The latter will 

and Vol. xlviii. p. 59. Whatever gradually pave the way for the for- 

individual scholars may do it is to mer; but the process, we venture to 

be hoped that no Commission would think very decidedly, could not 

consider the formation of a text a wisely be inverted. We must wait 

preliminary duty to that of revision for a Received Text. 


ceed, as good sense seems to indicate, tentatively, and be 

content to wait. Perhaps in a very few years the remaining 

number of passages about which there is still considerable 

doubt will, by the very tentative process of the work, be 

reduced almost indefinitely. But, be it also remembered, it 

will not be so reduced, unless the work is attempted, unless 

further experience is acquired, and textual revision actually 


No recent In what has been already said we have expressed in- 
critical text 
to be taken, directly Our opinion on the second possible course — viz., that 

of adopting the text of some known critic, and of departing 
from it only where there seemed strong reason. Such a 
course would be very undesirable. No text has yet appeared 
which could be safely adopted as the text of a new revision. 
Would it be possible, for instance, to take the text of Lach- 
mann ? Would it be reasonable to base our work on a text 
composed on the narrowest and most exclusive principles, 
though constructed with fair adherence to those principles ? 
Assuming that Lachmann has by his work substantiated his 
intention of giving to the world the text that was apparently 
current in the fourth century, would Lachmann himself, if 
appealed to, have judged his own text a suitable text to form 
the basis of a popular revised Version ? Self-sufficient as 
he was, he was certainly a man of correct judgment and 
instinctive scholarship, and would have been the first to 
point out that a text, which, on the most favourable assump- 
tion, was only the text of a certain century, was not the 
most convenient to bend into the direction which a hitherto 



current and received text would often oblige a mediating 
critic to take. Lachmann's text is really one based on little 
more than four Manuscripts, and so is really more of a 
critical recension than a critical text. 

The case of Tischendorf is still more easily disposed of, as 
the question would at once arise Which of this most inconstant 
critic's texts are we to select 7 Surely not the last, in which 
an exaggerated preference for a single Manuscript, which he 
has had the good fortune to discover, has betrayed him into 
an almost child-like infirmity of critical judgment.^ Surely 
also not the seventh edition, which was issued before the 
appearance of the Sinaitic Manuscript, and which exhibits 
all the instability which a comparatively recent recognition 
of the authority of cursive manuscripts might be supposed 
likely to introduce. If any edition of this restless critic's 
Greek Testament had to be selected, perhaps we should feel 
it best to go back to the third ; but such a use of a now 
forgotten volume is never likely to be made when we have 

^ An able writer in the Christian to the Textus Receptus. When, 

Rememhrancer for April, 1866, has however, we examine his recent and 

carefully analyzed the amount of last edition, it appears that, to go no 

fluctuation which is to be observed further than the first thirty-two 

in Tischendorfs latest critical de- chapters, he reverses his judgment 

cisions as compared with those in of 1859 in as many as 168 places, 

earlier editions. From this analysis and again falls back on his earlier 

it would seem that between his opinion of 1849. This great incon- 

Greek Testament of 1849 ^"d that stancy is to be attributed to a natural 

of 1859, or his 3rd and so-called want of sobriety of critical judgment 

7th editions, there are 1296 va- and to an unreasonable deference to 

nations; and that in nearly half of the readings as found in his own 

these he returns, in the later edition. Codex Sinaiticus. 


in our own country and, it is to be hoped, soon in a com- 
plete state, such a far better text as that of Dr. Tregelles. 

And yet, though it seems hard to say so after the Hfelong 
labours of its estimable constructor, even this text could not 
wisely be chosen as the text to be used in the work of re- 
vision. In the first place, in the earlier parts of his work. 
Dr. Tregelles had not the advantage of the Sinaitic Manu- 
script. In the second place, his critical principles, especially 
his general principle of estimating and regarding modern 
manuscripts are now, perhaps justly, called in question by 
many competent scholars. Thirdly, though his materials 
have been so much more abundant, he approximates at any 
rate in some parts of his great work so closely to the same 
results as Lachmann, that any objections which may exist 
to the choice of Lachmann's as a standard text apply with 
nearly equal force to that of Tregelles. Lastly, though it 
seems an ungracious criticism, yet it must, in all frankness, 
be said that the text of Tregelles is not in all respects satis- 
factory. It is rigid and mechanical, and sometimes fails to 
disclose that critical instinct and peculiar scholarly sagacity 
which is so much needed in the great and responsible work 
of constructing a critical text of the Greek Testament. The 
edition of Tregelles will last, perhaps to the very end of 
time, as a noble monument of faithful, enduring, and accurate 
labour in the cause of Truth ; it will always be referred to 
as an uniquely trustworthy collection of assorted critical 
materials of the greatest value, and as such it will probably 
never be superseded ; but the text which is based on these 


materials is not likely ever to be a popular or current text, 
or ever to be used otherwise than as a faithful summary of 
critical principles which have by no means met with general 

We seem driven then to the third alternative in reference Received 

Text to be 

to a text, — solvere ambulando^ or, in other words, to leave the used, but to 

be revised. 

Received Text as the standard, but to depart from it in 
every case where critical evidence and the consent of the best 
editors point out the necessity of the change. Such a text 
would not be, nor deserve to be, esteemed a strictly critical 
text : it would be often too conservative ; it would also be 
occasionally inconsistent ; but if thus formed by a body of 
competent scholars it would be a critical revision of a very 
high and, probably, very popular character. It would at 
any rate be free from one great disturbing element in all 
critical labours, individual bias and personal predilections. 

Such a work would not be by any means difficult. In the 
first place, it has been attempted by five scholars working in 
combination, and found by experience not in any degree to 
be unmanageable or unsatisfactory in its results. In the 
next place, those engaged in the work would have, not 
merely the actual external critical evidence whereon to rely 
for the correction of the text on which they were working, 
but, as has been already hinted, they would also have the 
judgment, very frequently unanimous, — first of professed 
critics, and secondly of intelligent interpreters, on which 
they might often feel disposed, conscientiously to rely. 
They would have available not only the critical materials, 


but the practical judgments that had been passed on them 
in the texts of the best editors and commentators. 

This is a consideration that deserves very carefully to be 
borne in mind by any who may be inclined to over-estimate 
the difficulties which revisers would meet with in the matter 
of a text. 

It need scarcely be added that such a mode of proceeding 
would have to be tentative. Principles would be slowly 
formed as the work went on, but at length they would 
become fixed and recognised, and all that would be found 
necessary would be to review all the earlier part of the 
work, during which the experience was being acquired, and 
to bring it up to the general standard. And the results 
would be found to be satisfactory. We are bold enough to 
say this, because trial has fairly shown that what is here 
specified and recommended is feasible and hopeful. Such 
then would seem to be the best mode of dealing with the 
confessedly difficult question which stands third in the 
questions of the present Chapter. 
Amount of The last question may now be shortly answered, — On the 
timated. assumption that such a mode of dealing with the text was 
adopted, what amount of change, due purely to textual 
revision, might be expected in our present Authorized 
Version ? Such a question it certainly seems veiy desirable 
to attempt to answer, as there is evidently a very exaggerated 
idea now popularly entertained as to the amount of change 
that would be introduced by judicious textual criticism. 
But how shall the answer be made? Perhaps thus, — by 


taking account of the changes of text that actually were 
proposed in one Gospel and three long Epistles in a revision 
already alluded to, — the Revision by Five Clergymen of the 
Authorized Version of St. John's Gospel and the first three 
of St. Paul's Epistles, as arranged in our ordinary Testaments 
— viz., Romans and i and 2 Corinthians. The Gospel and 
these three Epistles amount to, estim.ated in verses, between 
one quarter and one third of the whole New Testament : 
an estimate therefore founded on the consideration of so 
large a portion of the Sacred Volume will not be very 
seriously incorrect. 

By inspection of the Revision referred to, we find that 
in the 2006 verses which the Gospel and three Epistles 
together contain, there are 253 changes of text due to 
critical considerations, being 48 for the 879 verses of the 
Gospel of St. John, 56 for the 433 verses of the Epistle to 
the Romans, 91 for the 437 verses of the First Epistle to 
the Corinthians, and 58 for the 257 verses of the Second 
Epistle to the Corinthians. In this enumeration we observe 
that there would seem to be an increase in change as the 
work went on; but it would seem ultimately to have become 
stationary, and to have finally amounted to about one change 
in every five verses in St. Paul's Epp. And that this 
seems accurate may be proved by an inspection of the 
changes in the Revision of the four succeeding Epistles, 
Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians — in all 
496 verses. Here we find 109 textual changes, or very 
nearly the same proportion. If then we assume that more 

E 2 


changes would have been made in St. John's Gospel if the 
gradually established standard of revision had been applied 
to it, though, as the nature of the text reminds us, not to 
the extent arrived at for St. Paul's Epistles, — and if also we 
take into account the increase of differences over those in St. 
John's Gospel that would be probably found in the Synoptical 
Gospels, and in the Acts and Revelation, we should hardly 
be far wrong in estimating the amount of changes that would 
be introduced in any English revised Version of the whole 
6944 verses of the New Testament, as not exceeding one 
for every five verses, or under fourteen hundred in all, very 
many of these being of a wholly unimportant character. 

Such seems the answer to the last question we have sug- 
gested in the present Chapter. The subject of the text and 
of probable textual change seems now concluded, and the 
second portion of our work to begin — viz., a consideration 
of, and finally a rough estimate of the changes that would 
have to be introduced on grammatical, exegetical, and 
possibly also some other grounds which may suggest them- 
selves in the review of the whole subject. 

This second class of changes can only be introduced 
with strict and persistent reference to the general aspect 
and characteristics of the last Revision, We proceed then 
next to consider these characteristics, and the principles on 
which the Authorized Version of the New Testament appears 
to have been constructed. 



It is obvious that no revision of the present Version can Character 

of our Ver- 

properly be undertaken that does not preserve the wisely sion must 
drawn Hues on which that Version was constructed. No se^rved' 
reasonable Englishman would tolerate a Version designed 
for popular use, and to be read publicly, that departed from 
the ground-principles and truly noble diction of the last 
Revision. Such a Version would simply pass into that 
limbus of ' improved ' and happily forgotten translations to 
which almost every generation, for the last hundred and fifty 
or two hundred years, has added some specimen. The 
present century has been more prolific than those which 
preceded it, but very few of the yet extant revisions have 
been happy in preserving the character, tone, rhythm, and 
diction of the Version they have undertaken to amend. It 
may be wise then, at the very outset, to endeavour to obtain 
a clear knowledge of the principal features and general 
characteristics of our present Version, that so, before revision 
is undertaken, we may be able to define sharply what must ' 
be its nature and limits, if it is to be a revision that is in 
any degree to meet with general acceptance. 

If it is to be hereafter a popular Version it can only become 



SO by exhibiting, in every change that may be introduced, a 
sensitive regard for the diction and tone of the present 
Version, and also by evincing, in the nature and extent of 
the changes, a due recognition of the whole internal history 
of the English New Testament. In other words, the new 
work must be on the old lines. 

And now what were those lines, and how may we best 
trace them ? Perhaps thus ; first by briefly considering what 
may be termed the pedigree of the present English Version, 
and secondly by shortly noticing the principles which in 
the last revision appear mainly to have been followed. 
Pedigree of The literary pedigree of our present Version has perhaps 
Version, never been more succinctly and, for the most part, accurately 
stated than in the following words : — ' Our present English 
Version was based upon the Bishops' Bible of 1568, and 
that upon Cranmer's of 1539, which was a new edition of 
Matthew's Bible of 1537, partly from Coverdale of 1535, but 
chiefly from Tyndale ; in other words, our present Authorized 
translation is mainly that of Tyndale made from the original 
Hebrew and Greek. '^ A little expansion and illustration of 
this sentence will enable the general reader fairly to appre- 
ciate the internal character of our present Version. 

The first fact clearly to be borne in mind is this, that after 
all changes and revisions our present EngHsh Testament is 

^ This accurate and inclusive sen- See pages xxviii., xxix. The word 

tence is taken from the Preface to 'mainl/has been italicized for the 

the scholarly work of Bosworth reasons that will appear later in this 

and Waring, entitled Gothic and chapter. The relation of the A.V, 

Anglo-Saxon Gospels, Lond. 1865. to Tyndale's is very close. 


substantially that of William Tyndale.^ This we shall deem 
it necessary to prove distinctly by a comparison in parallel 
columns of three or four passages, taken from different parts 
of the New Testament. Before, however, we give these 
specimens, let us briefly notice the characteristics of this 
Version, to which our own maintains so close a resemblance. 

Tyndale's English Testament of 1534 will remain to the Tyndale's 

1 r • r ^ • i • Vcrsioii : 

end of tmie a monument of the courage, patience, learnmg, made from 
competent scholarship, thorough faithfulness, and clear ^ ^ "^^^ ' 
EngUsh sense of its noble-hearted and devoted editor. Of 
his courage and patience history sufficiently speaks : in 
reference to his learning and scholarship, with which we 
are here more especially concerned, a few remarks may not 
unsuitably be made. That his learning was sufficient for his 
work is shown by the work itself. Besides this, however, 
we know that more than twenty years before his first edition 
of 1525 he made translations of portions of the New Testa- 
ment, and Tyndale was not a man to let those twenty years 
pass away without study and fresh acquisitions of knowledge. 
We know also that he went to Cambridge, after having spent 
some years at Oxford, most probably with the view of 

^ It has been observed by Mr. about five-sixths belong to the same 

Westcott that in several portions of faithful hand. See History of Eng- 

the New Testament Tyndale's origi- lishBible,p. 211, note. An interest- 

nal translation remains almost intact. ing and appreciative estimate of the 

For instance, in the ist Epistle of character of this good man's great 

St. John about nine-tenths are due work will be found in the current 

to Tyndale, and even in the more number of the Quarterly Review, 

difficult and (as to translation) de- Vol. cxxviii. p. 316. See above, 

bateable Epistle to the Hebrews p. 8, note 2. 


Studying under Erasmus, who himself might have been con- 
templating the great though hurried work which he did a 
very few years later. We further know that he actually 
produced evidence to Tonstall of his having competent 
knowledge of the Greek language, and Tonstall was certainly 
not a man to whom an incompetent Greek scholar would 
have been very likely to have submitted any specimen of 
his powers. Whatever may be said of Tyndale's knowledge 
of Hebrew prior to his publication of the New Testament, 
it seems perfectly clear, even from these external considera- 
tions, that he had a thoroughly competent knowledge of 
Greek, and further, that he had been studiously preparing 
himself for his responsible work. Really with his work in 
our hands it would almost seem superfluous to have adduced 
any other evidence, but as very unguarded statements have 
been made in reference to Tyndale's Testament, even by an 
authority as great as Mr. Hallam,^ and as the students of 

1 See Literature of Europe, chap. Historical Account of the English 
vi- § 37> Vol. I. p. 526, where we /•^ersions prefixed to Bagster's i^exa- 
meet with the thoroughly mistaken pla, p. 40 sq., and comp. West- 
assertion that from Luther's transla- cott. History of English Bible, 
tion, 'and from the Latin Vulgate, p. 174 sq. Fuller's summary is 
the English translation of Tyndale characteristically short and quaint : 
and Coverdale is avowedly taken.' * However, what he [Tyndale] un- 
That he was indebted to some extent dertook was to be admi red as glorious ; 
to Luther for his prologues and what he performed, to be commended 
notes in the edition of 1534 may as profitable; wherein he failed, is 
be perhaps fairly admitted, but that to be excused as pardonable, and to 
his translation was taken from that be scored on the account rather of 
of Luther may most confidently be that age, than of the author himself.' 
denied. For a full account of See Church History, Book v. 4, 39, 
Tyndale's labours, see the excellent p. 224. (Lond. 1655.) 


Tyndale's Testament are but few, it may be desirable at the 
very outset to correct the erroneous hxipression that we owe 
the real original of our present Version to German transla- 
tions and second-rate learning. It is quite reasonable to 
believe that, especially in the corrections he introduced in 
his edition of 1534, and in the substance of some of his 
terse notes, he may have owed something to the learning and 
labours of foreign reformers ; but it is also certain that his 
Version is essentially of English origin, and that the earnest 
and devoted man to whom we owe it was fully equal to 
carry through singlehanded the great work which he had 

In addition to this, it does not seem too much to say 
that Tyndale's knowledge and scholarship, as far as we can 
infer from the times and the circumstances of the times in 
which he lived, was exactly of the kind, if one man was to 
do the work, best suited for such an undertaking. Had he 
been more of a professed scholar there would have been 
some traces of pedantic accuracy, some indications of 
adherence to the general tone of the Vulgate on the one 
hand, or to the more cultivated language of the day on the 
other, not any of which are to be recognised in the noble 
homeliness of the Version of WiUiam Tyndale. As it was 
providentially ordered, he was the patient, devoted. English- 
man, competently learned, who made it his care to write for 
English eyes and English hearts ; and did so with faithfulness, 
geniality, and breadth. 

The first fact and characteristic then of Tyndale's Version 
is that it was fairly made from the Greek, and that Tyndale 


had certainly sufficient learning to do well this portion of 
the great work of his life. 
Indepen- The second characteristic of his Version is one which 

fhen extarft ^^^y ^^ ^^^^ Surprise us, but for which we may be heartily 
Versions, thankful — viz., that, as he himself tells us, he made no use 
of the then extant versions of the Scripture. The most 
popular version would no doubt then have been the easy 
and smoothed edition of Wycliffe's original Version com- 
monly associated with the thoroughly honourable name 
of Wycliffe's curate at Lutterworth, John Purvey.^ That 
neither this nor any of the Wycliffite Versions were 
made the basis of Tyndale's work is certainly a subject 
for profound thankfulness. With every desire to honour 
the name and labours of Wyclifife, and with a full recognition 
of his general accuracy as a translator, and even a critic, we 
cannot forget, — first, that his Version was from the Vulgate, 
and was thus a Version of a Version ; secondly, that it 
adheres, where possible, to the form and structure of the 
Latin, the intention of the Version being, most probably, 
not only to benefit the mere English reader, but to aid 
the student of the Vulgate ; thirdly, that though generally 
very homely in its language it still has many more words of 

^ For an account of this reviser a translator of the Scriptures con- 

and of his labours, see the Preface to siderably in advance of the times in 

Forshall and Madden, Tfydiffite which he lived. See also Historical 

Versions, p. xxviii. sq. Purvey did Account (Bagster's Hexapla), p. 28 

his work with care and judgment, sq., and Westcott, History of 

and had conceptions of the duties of English Bille, p. 16. 


Latin origin than we should have expected from WycHffe's 
avowed desire to give an English Testament to English 
readers. It must then be regarded as providential that such 
a Version did not form the basis of our present Bible: Had 
it been so ordered, the English Bible of our day would 
have become ultimately a sort of Rhemish Version, rigid, 
cold, and Latinized.^ 

It is equally providential that the Wycliffite Version that 
is attributed to Purvey and which ultimately superseded the 
earlier Version did not become either the basis or model for 
our own Version, for though Purvey's prologue to his work 
is most interesting,''' and some of his principles of translation 
thoroughly just, yet a Version so studious of English idiom 
rather than of grammatical accuracy, and so loose and 
paraphrastic as we certainly sometimes find it, would have 
been a very foundation of sand for the EngHsh Bible of the 

^ It is singular that a writer so ^ This prologue will be found in 

well informed as Marsh {Lectures Forshall and Madden, l-Fycliffite 

on the English Language) should Versions, p. xxv. sq., and a portion 

regard Tyndale's Version as little of it in Historical Account (Bagster's 

more than a recension of Wycliffe's, Hexapla), p. 28 sq. The prologue 

and 'Tyndale as merely a full-grown is thoroughly interesting and sensible. 

Wycliffe' (p. 627). It is of course He notices his obligation to ' Lire 

not only possible but probable [N. de Lyra] in the elde testamente 

that Tyndale was acquainted with that helpyd full miche in hyswerke;' 

Wycliffe's, or more probably Purvey's and in reference to translation lays 

Version, but that he used it in any down the general canon that ' ye 

way in making his own translation beste translatyng out of Latyne into 

may most justly be doubted. Tyn- Englysh is to translate after the 

dale's work seems to have been sentence, and not only after the 

perfectly independent. See Westcott, wordis.' Many a reviser may take 

History of English Bible, p. 176 sq. this hint. 


future. It is then not without just thankfuhiess that we 
find that neither of these Versions exercised any appreciable 
influence whatever either on Tyndale's Testament or on any 
of those that followed it, unless indeed it be the du-glott 
Testament of Coverdale. 
Tyndale's A third characteristic of Tyndale's Version must briefly 


thoroughly be noticed, — that it was designedly b, popular YQrsion. The 


well-known and often quoted words that ' the boy that driveth 
the plough should know more of the Scripture' ^ than the 
theologians of the day, represented tmly Tyndale's life-long 
purpose. It is to this steady aim and purpose that the 
special and striking idiomatic excellence of the Authorized 
Version is pre-eminently due. To this deep resolve we owe 
it that our own English Version is now what we feel it to 
be, — a Version speaking to heart and soul, and appealing 
to our deepest religious sensibilities with that mingled 
simplicity, tenderness, and grandeur, that make us often 
half doubt, as we listen, whether Apostles and Evangelists 
are not still exercising their Pentecostal gift and themselves 
speaking to us in the very tongue wherein we were bom. 
Verily we may bless and praise God that Tyndale was 
moved to form this design, and that he was permitted faith- 
fully to adhere to it, for, beyond doubt, it is to that popular 

' The influence exerted by Eras- a sentiment from the * Paraclesis' of 

mus and his labours on Tyndale has Erasmus, prefixed to his Testament 

often been noticed. Even in this of 15 19. See Histm-ical Account 

familiar quotation it would seem of the English Fasions (Bagster) 

that Tyndale was but reproducing p. 43, 44. 


element in his Version not only that we owe nearly all 
that is best in our present English Testament, but that there 
remains to this very hour, in the heart of all earnest English 
people, an absolute intolerance of any changes in the words 
or phraseology that would tend to obscure this special, and, 
we may justly say, this providential characteristic.^ Tyndale 
not only furnished the type for all succeeding Versions, but 
bequeathed principles which will exercise a preservative 
influence over the Version of the English Bible, through every 
change or revision that may await it, until scriptural revision 
shall be no longer needed and change shall be no more. 

We may now proceed to show by actual comparison the 
close relation that exists between Tyndale's Version and our 
present Authorized Version. Three passages have been 
chosen, not from containing any greater amount of coinci- 
dences of expressions than others, but simply as being portions 
of Scripture of familiar interest and of convenient length. 

The first shall be the parable of the Rich Man and 
Lazarus, St. Luke xvi. 19 — 31. 

• The eloquent words of Froude, natural grandeur — unequalled, un- 

when alluding to the publication of approached in the attempted im- 

Coverdale's Bible, and its close con- provements of modern scholars — all 

nexion with the labours of Tyndale, are here, and the impress of the 

may well be cited. The historian mind of one man — William Tyn- 

justly says, ' The peculiar genius — dal." History of England, Yo\. i\i. 

if such a word may be permitted — p. 84. These words the student 

which breathes through it — the will find truly deserved. The more 

mingled tenderness and majesty — Tyndale's labours are considered, the 

the Saxon simplicity — the preter- more will they be valued. 





19 Ther was a ceitayne ryche man, 
which was clothed in purple & fyne 
bysse & fared deliciously every daye. 
20 And ther was a certayne begger, 
named Lagarus, whiche laye at his 
gate full of soores ^i dessyringe to be 
refresshed with the cromes which 
fell from the ryche mannes borde. 
Neverthelesse the dogges came &* 
licked his soores. ^^ And yt fortuned 
that the begger dyed, & was carried 
by the Angelles into Abrahams 
bosome. The riche man also died, 
& was buried. 

23 And beinge in hell in tormentes, 
he lyfte up his eyes & sawe Abraham 
a farre of, & Lazarus in his bosome 
24 & he cryed & sayd : father 
Abraham have mercy on me & 
sende Lazarus that he may dippe 
the tippe of his fynger in water & 
cole my tonge for I am tourmented 
in this flame. ^^ But Abraham 
sayd vnto him Sonne, remember 
that thou in thy lyfe tyme receavedst 
thy pleasure & contrary wyse Lazarus 
payne. Now therfore is he comforted, 
& thou art punysshed. 26 Beyonde 
all this, bitwene you & vs ther is a 
greate space set, so that they which 
wolde goo from hence to you cannot: 
nether maye come from thence 
to vs. 

27 Then he sayd : I praye the 
therfore father, send him to my 
fathers housse. ^^ For I have fyve 

AuTH. Version. 

^9 There was a certain rich man, 
which was clothed in purple and fine 
linen, and fared sumptuously every 
day : 20 ^j^^j there was a certain 
beggar named Lazarus, which was 
laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And 
desiring to be fed with the crumbs 
which fell from the rich man's 
table : moreover the dogs came and 
licked his sores. 22 j^^^^ jj. came to 
pass, that the beggar died, and was 
carried by the angels into Abraham's 
bosom : the rich man also died, and 
was buried ; 

23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, 
being in torments, and seeth Abra- 
ham afar off, and Lazarus in his 
bosom. 24 And he cried and said. 
Father Abraham, have mercy on me, 
and send Lazarus, that he may dip 
the tip of his finger in water, and 
cool my tongue ; for I am tormented 
in this flame. 25 g^j. Abraham 
said, Son, remember that thou in thy 
lifetime receivedst thy good things, 
and likewise Lazarus evil things : 
but now he is comforted, and thou 
art tormented. 26 ji^^^ beside all 
this, between us and you there is a 
great gulf fixed : so that they which 
would pass from hence to you can- 
not; neither can they pass to us, 
that ivould come from thence. 

^ Then he said, I pray thee there- 
fore, father, that thou wouldest send 
him to my father's house : 28 Yoi 


Tyndale. Auth. Version. 

brethren; for to warne them, lest I have five brethren; that he may 

they also come into this place of testify unto them, lest they also 

tourment. Abraham sayd vnto come into this place of torment, 

him they have Moses & the Prophetes ^^ Abraham said unto him. They have 

let them heare them. ^^ And he Moses and the prophets; let them 

sayd : naye father Abraham, but yf hear them. ^^ And he said. Nay, 

one came unto them, from the ded, father Abraham : but if one went 

they wolde repent. ^^ He sayd vnto unto them from the dead, they will 

him : If they heare not Moses repent. ^^ And he said unto him, 

& the Prophetes nether will they If they hear not Moses and the pro- 

beleve though one roose from deeth phets, neither will they be persuaded, 

agayne. though one rose from the dead. 

In this passage we observe several interesting differences 
as well as coincidences. 

In ver. 1 9 we should have hardly expected to have found Comments 
in Tyndale's Version the Grecized ' bysse.' In Wycliffe's translation. 
Version the translation is ' whight silk,' and in Cranmer's 
* fyne whyte.' The more familiar ' linen' appears to have 
come in with Coverdale. In the same verse ' deliciously' 
held its ground in the leading English Versions till the last 
Revision. The less accurate * lay/ in the following verse, 
was only changed into the more accurate and suggestive 
*was laid' in the Bishops' Bible. The translation of the 
here somewhat peculiar dXXa Kal {ol kvveq k.t.X) is curiously 
varied. Tyndale probably alone retains the most strictly 
correct translation of the aWa, though he overlooks the 
Kcu. Coverdale takes the lighter form ' but :' Cranmer 
conveniently lets the adversative particle fall through (' the 
dogges came also'), and certainly puts the ' also' in the 



wrong place. The Genevan Version falls back on 
' yea' the A. V. adopts the general but not exact ' more- 

In ver. 2 2 the pleasantly quaint but archaic 'yt fortuned,' 
after holding its ground in one or two of the older Versions, 
is conveniently changed into the more natural translation 
by the last Revisers, who probably took it from the Rhemish 
Version, to which it is certain that they were from time to 
time indebted, though it was not one of the Versions to 
which they were specially directed to refer. 

In ver. 23, the A. V. clearly improves upon the older 

^ The same inexact rendering is 
retained by Alford, Auth. Version 
Revised {in loc). We can hardly 
doubt, however, that the words 
convey more than the mere addition 
of another item to the sorrowful 
account ; though it may be difficult 
to catch the exact idea intended to 
be conveyed by the adversative par- 
ticle. Meyer {Kommentar, p. 478, 
ed. 4) with hisusual accuracy observes 
that the aXka must mark some op- 
position, the Ka'i some enhancement; 
but we shall find it difficult probably 
to take his view of the passage, that 
the dogs increased the beggar's suf- 
ferings, — ' Howbeit (instead of being 
fed with the crumbs) the dogs also 
came and licked his sores, so in- 
creasing pain' (die unreinen Thiere, 
und ihr den Schmerz des Hiilflosen 
vermehrendes Lecken ! Mey.). De 

Wette, Ewald, and others following 
the majority of the older expositors 
rightly hold that the dogs must be 
considered to have shown a sort of 
compassion — which was not shown 
to Lazarus by his fellow-men ; but 
they obliterate the force of the dXXd. 
Bornemann gives the gloss ' egestatc 
ejus micae de divitis mensa allatae 
vulneribus succurrebant canes,' but 
the same objection remains. Can 
the meaning be, that though Lazarus 
desired (and probably received) what 
really was the portion of the dogs 
(see Matt. xv. 27) even the dogs 
7iotirithstanding showed a sort of 
pity ? Meyer urges on the contrar}- 
that the whole idea of the narrative 
is the unrelieved misery of Lazarus 
on this side of the grave. The 
exegesis of these simple words is 
certainly difficult. 


Version, and preseiTes in the simple participle the tragic 
force, not to say even the tone of the retrospective v7rdpx(ov, 
which is quite lost in the resolved ' when he was in tor- 
ments' of the Rhemish Version. 

In ver. 25 Coverdale adopts, though with an enfeebled 
order and force of words, the more literal ' good ' and 
' evil,' and appears to have suggested the change in A. V., 
all the other Versions (except the Rhemish) having followed 
Tyndale. The same hand introduced 'tormented' in the 
same verse, and passed it onward to Bishop Cox for the 
Bishops' Bible. 

The excellent change in the translation of j^aV/ia (ver. 26) 
is due apparently to the Genevan Version, and is followed 
by the Bishops'; the scarcely less important 'fixed,' im- 
mediately afterwards, appears for the first time in the 
Rhemish^ Version, and is adopted by our own Revisers. 
In the last verse the improved translation of Treicrdrjaovrcu is 
due to A. v., all the other versions without exception 
having here followed the earlier translation. 

The second passage we have chosen is of a more technical Second 
character, and useful for showing the amount of connexion a«s xxvi 
between the two Versions where more verbal change might ^7"~'^4- 

' We can hardly equally commend the Vulgate. It may be remarked 

the rendering of x^<^f^ct adopted by in passing, that the idea of a vast 

this Version, — ' a great chaos.' The chasm separating the abodes of the 

correct translation of the sad and evil and the good is not a Jewish 

monitory toTTjpiKrai is found also idea. Compare Lightfoot in loc, and 

in WyclifFe ('stablished') and is due Eisenmenger, E?itdeckt. Judenthum, 

obviously to the 'firmatum est' of Vol. 11. p. 314. 




naturally be expected. The portion chosen is the con- 
cluding part of St. Paul's shipwreck, Acts xxvii. 27-44. 


2^ But when the fourtenthe nyght 
was come, as we were caryed in 
Adria about mydnyght, the ship- 
men demed that ther appered some 
countre vnto them, ^^ & sounded, & 
founde it xx feddoms. And when 
they had gone a lylell further they 
sounded agayne & founde xv fed- 
doms. ^'^ Then fearinge lest they 
shuld have fallen on some Roche, 
they cast iiii ancres out of the sterne 
& wysshed for the daye. ^o ^s the 
shipmen were about to flee out of 
the ship & had let doune the bote 
into the see vnder a coloure as tho 
they wolde have cast ancres out of 
the forshippe : ^^ Paul sayd unto 
the under captayne & the soudiers 
excepte these abyde in the ship ye 
cannot be safe. ^^ Then the soudiers 
cut of the rope of the bote & let it 
fall awaye. 

'3 And in the meane tyme betwixt 
that & daye Paul besought them all 
to take meate, sayinge : this is the 
fourtenthe daye that ye have taried 
& continued fastynge receavinge 
nothinge at all. ^"^ Wherfore I 
praye you to take meate : for this 
is no dout is for youre helth : for 
ther shall not a heere fall from the 
heed of eny of you. ^^ And when 
lie had thus spoken, he toke breed 

AuTH. Version. 

^ But when the fourteenth night 
was come, as we were driven up and 
down in Adria, about midnight the 
shipmen deemed that they drew 
near to some country ; ^8 ^jjjj 
sounded, and found it twenty 
fathoms : and when they had gone a 
little further, they sounded again, and 
found it fifteen fathoms. ^9 Then 
fearing lest we should have fallen 
upon rocks, they cast four anchors 
out of the stern, and wished for the 
day. ^^ And as the shipmen were 
about to flee out of the ship, when 
they had let down the boat into the 
sea, under colour as though they 
would have cast anchors out of the 
foreship, *^ Paul said to the cen- 
turion and to the soldiers. Except 
these abide in the ship, ye cannot 
be saved. ^ Then the soldiers cut 
off the ropes of the boat, and let her 
fall off. 

^ And while the day was coming 
on, Paul besought them all to take 
meat, saying, This day is the four- 
teenth day that ye have tarried and 
continued fasting, having taken 
nothing. 3* Wherefore I pray you 
to take some meat : for this is for 
your health : for there shall not an 
hair fall from the head of any of 
you. 35 And when he had thus 
spoken, he took bread, and gave 




& gave thankes to God in presence 
of them all & brake it & beganne 
to eate. ^ Then were they all of 
good cheare, & they also toke meate. 
37 We were all together in the ship, 
two hundred 3 score and sixtene 
soules. 3^ And when they had eaten 
ynough they lightened the ship & 
cast out the wheate into the see. 

3^ When yt was daye they knew 
not the lande but they spied a 
certayne haven with a banke, into 
the which they were mynded (yf yt 
were possible) to thrust in the ship. 
^^ And when they had taken up 
the ancres, they commytted them 
selves unto the see, & lowsed the 
rudder bondes & hoysed up the 
mayne sayle to the wynde & drue 
to londe. But they chaunsed on a 
place, which had the see on bothe 
the sydes, & thrust in the ship. 
And the foore part stucke fast & 
moved not, but the hynder brake 
with the violence of the waves. 

*^ The soudears counsell was to 
kyll the presoners lest eny of them, 
when he had swome out shulde fle 
awaye. ^^ But the under coptayne 
willinge to save Paul kept them 
from their purpose, & commanded 
that they that could swyme shulde 
cast them selves first in to the see & 
scape to londe. *''- And the other 
he commanded to goo some on 

AuTH. Version. 

thanks to God in presence of them 
all : and when he had broken it, he 
began to eat. 3(? Then were they 
all of good cheer, and they also took 
some meat. ^7 ^nd we were in all in 
the ship two hundred threescore and 
sixteen souls. 38 a^j ^Y\tn they had 
eaten enough, they lightened the 
ship, and cast out the wheat into the 

39 And when it was day, they 
knew not the land: but they dis- 
covered a certain creek with a shore, 
into the which they were minded, 
if it were possible, to thrust in the 
ship. ^<' And when they had taken 
up the anchors, they committed 
themselves unto the sea, and loosed 
the rudder bands, and hoised up the 
mainsail to the wind, and made 
toward shore. ^^ And falling into 
a place where two seas met, they 
ran the ship aground; and the fore- 
part stuck fast, and remained un- 
moveable, but the hinder part was 
broken with the violence of the 

^2 And the soldiers' counsel was 
to kill the prisoners, lest any of 
them should swim out, and escape. 
^3 But the centurion, willing to save 
Paul, kept them from their purpose ; 
and commanded that they which 
could swim should cast themselves 
first into the sea, and get to land : 
^* And the rest, some on boards, 
and some on hroketi pieces of the 

F 2 


Tyndale. Auth. Version. 

hordes & some on broken peces of ship. And so it came to pass, that 
the ship. And so it came to passe they escaped all safe to land, 
that they come all safe to londe. 

Comments We may here again shortly notice a few of the changes. 
theThanges. ^^ '^^^' ^7 OUT owY). Version apparently has the credit of 
the more vigorous translation of diafpepo/jiiviov, the other 
Versions either following Tyndale or the very feeble ' as 
we were say ling' of Cranmer. Some good examples of the 
true force and meaning of the word will be found in that 
epccellent repertory of illustration, the notes of Wetstein. 

In ver. 28, Coverdale is apparently the only translator 
who has ventured on the longer and perhaps more pro- 
fessional ' cast out the lead' (' kesten down a plomet,' Wycl.) : 
the rest all adopt the shorter and simpler form. 

In ver. 29, the Genevan Version is the first to be a little 
more literal in the translation ofrpaxelQ tottovq ('rough places'), 
though in the A. V. the change to the plural at once shows 
the close care of the Revisers, and presents a very fairly 
approximate rendering. 

In ver. 30 we may congratulate ourselves on having 
escaped the ' mariners' of the Genevan Version, — the only 
Version that has committed itself to this somewhat vapid 
word. The professional change of gender in ver. 32 is 
found only in A. V. It might have been useful in Tyndale's 
rendering, to mark that it was not the rope but the boat that 
fell away : it is apparently unnecessary in the A. V. 

In the first words of ver. ^^, our Version is very happy in 


the delicate change from ' when' (' when the daye beganne 
to appear,' Cran., Bish. ; comp. Gov,) to 'while,' just giving 
the required shade of meaning so as to be true to the 
original. Nothing shows more clearly than these sHght 
touches the thorough care and faithfulness with which the 
last Revisers executed their work. 

In ver. 35 the resolved translation of the participle, ' when 
he had broken it,' in the A. V., and derived probably from 
Cranmer, is scarcely an improvement on the more idiomatic 
and equally accurate ' and [he] brake it and beganne to eate' 
of the older Version. No clauses are more difficult to 
translate with ease and vigour than the participial clauses in 
the New Testament, and especially in St. Luke. The varied 
relations of time, manner, and circumstance will sometimes 
all be found involved in a group of participles round one 
solitary finite verb, to exhibit which in a faithful and at the 
same time easy translation is commonly very difficult. Here 
it seems natural to mark by a resolved translation the 
action that followed the words, but it scarcely seems ne- 
cessary to mark in the same way the priority of the breaking 
of the bread to the eating of it. But after all, these are 
matters in which individual judgments will necessarily greatly 

In the next verse but one a slight difference occurs in the 
first words which also opens up a subject of some difficulty, 
Tyndale, it will be observed, with all the other early Versions 
except the Bishops', prefixes no connecting particle to the 
first words of ver. 37. In the original the particle is U. Is 


this a case where the slight change of thought involved in 
this delicate use of the particle, and the transition from the 
acts of the gathered shipmen to the fact of their number, is 
really best expressed in English by the omission of any con- 
necting particle ; or is it a case where some English particle 
seems needed ? Here again judgments will greatly vary. 
To the majority probably it would seem that a particle is 
needed, but that majority would be greatly divided whether 
the exact shade of thought was best conveyed by the 
loosely connecting ' and,' or the half-parenthetic and mainly 
transitional 'now.' The same question recurs in ver. 39, at 
the beginning of which Tyndale and the Versions prior to 
the Bishops' Bible, leave the connecting particle untranslated. 
These are niceties of translation to which it may not be un- 
desirable in passing to direct the general reader's attention. 
In the last words of verse 40, the A. V. is a slight improve- 
ment on the earlier Version, but both fail in marking that it 
was the particular shore, or rather beach, which they had 
already observed.^ The Rliemish Version has inserted the 

^ In this verse the modern reviser Ships of the Ancients' in Smith, 

would almost certainly introduce a Koyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul. 

change in the translation of aprl/iwi/. The same objection is urged against 

The most probable rendering would the supposition that it was some 

seem to be ' fore-sail,' but the ob- hinder (mizen) sail, there being a 

jection is that St. Luke in that case technical term, though perhaps not 

would have been more likely to have so well known as S6\u)v^ viz., 

used the technical word, ^oXwj/. See eTriSpofiog. Meyer notices that this 

however the elaborate arguments in sail in Italian is known by the 

the excellent dissertation ' On the technical name 'artimone,' but him. 


article. The translation in the A. V. of Kccrtixov is admirable. 
All the other Versions (except Rhem. ' they went on toward') 
retain the less expressive rendering of Tyndale. Here again 
we have another instance of the watchfulness and care of the 
last Revisers. 

In the next verse (ver. 41) the change in regard to 
ZiBaXaaffoQ is not equally for the better. It tends rather to 
confuse what St. Luke appears to specify, that the vessel 
was run on to a tongue of land lying below the surface, 
and connected with the shore by an isthmus, with some litde 
depth of water on it; hence the circumstances of ver. 43 sq. 
The slight but necessary change in the translation of eXvero 
was taken from the Rhemish Version. To the same Version 
is due the credit of marking in ver. 43 that it is there the 
simpler i^Uvai ('goe forth to land'), not as afterwards 
ciaaiddijvai. The A. V., however, having taken the hint 
improves upon it. 

In the last verse the insertion by Tyndale of the former 
verb makes the sense clearer ; Coverdale was the first to 
omit it, and is followed by the Bishops' Bible and our own 
Version. At any rate, we can hardly here take a hint from 
the Rhemish, — ' and the rest, some t/iey caried on bordes.' 
Such a proceeding would certainly have been a little difficult 
in such a locality, and with some depth of water on the 

self refers the term to some upper sail See Kommentar zur Apostelgesch. 
(• Braamsegel,' topsail) attached to p. 455 (ed. 2), and the good notes 
the presumably yet standing mast. on the whole passage. 



The third passage which we may select is a very different 
one, and so not unsuitable for testing the connexion between 
the Versions. We take the second chapter of the second 
Epistle to the Thessalonians, in which the x\postle specifies 
the signs and coming of Antichrist. 


2. We beseche you brethren by 
the commynge of oure lorde Jesu 
Christ, and in that we shall assemble 
vnto him, ^ that ye be not sodenly 
moved from youre mynde, and be 
not troubled, nether by sprete, 
nether by wordes, nor yet by letter 
which shuld seme to come from vs, 
as the daye of Christ were at honde. 
' Let no man deceave you by eny 
meanes, for the lorde commeth not, 
excepte there come a departynge 
fyrst, and that that synfull man be 
opened, the sonne of perdicion 
* which is an adversarie, and is 
exalted above all that is called god, 
or that is worshipped: so that he 
shall sitt as God in temple of god, 
and shew him silfe as god. 

^ Remember ye not, that when I 
was yet with you, I tolde you these 
thynges? * And nowe ye knowe 
what with holdeth : even that he 
myght be vttered at his tyme. 
"> For the mistery of that iniquitie 
doeth he all readie worke which 
onlie loketh, vntill it be taken out 
of the waye. ^ And then shall 
that wicked be vttered, whom the 
lorde shall consume with the sprete 
of his mouth, and shall destroye 

AuTH. Version. 
2. Now we beseech you, brethren, 
by the coming of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and hy our gathering together 
unto him, ^ That ye be not soon 
shaken in mind, or be troubled, 
neither by spirit, nor by word, nor 
by letter as from us, as that the day 
of Christ is at hand. ^ Let no man 
deceive you by any means : for that 
day shall not come, except there 
come a falling away first, and that 
man of sin be revealed, the son of 
perdition ; ^ Who opposeth and 
exalteth himself above all that is 
called God, or that is worshipped ; 
so that he as God sitteth in the 
temple of God, shewing himself 
that he is God. 

^ Remember ye not, that, when 
I was yet wnth you, I told you these 
things ? ^ And now ye know what 
withholdeth, that he might be re- 
vealed in his time. ^ For the 
mystery of iniquity doth already 
work : only he who now letteth 
will let, until he be taken out of 
the way. ^ And then shall that 
Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord 
shall consume with the spirit of his 
mouth, and shall destroy with the 




with the apearaunce of his com- 
mynge, ''even hi m whose commynge 
is by the workynge of Satan, with 
all lyinge power, signes and wonders: 
^^ and in all deceavablenes of vn- 
rightewesnes, amonge them that 
perysshe : because they receaved not 
the (love) of the truth, that thay 
myght have bene saved. ^^ And 
therfore god shall sende them stronge 
delusion, that they shuld beleve lyes : 
that all they might be damned which 
beleved not the trueth but had plea- 
sure in vnrightewesnes. 

^3 But we are bounde to geve 
thankes alwaye to god for you 
brethren beloved of the lorde, for 
because that God hath from the 
begynnynge chosen you to salvacion, 
thorow santifyinge of the sprete, 
and thorowe belevynge the trueth : 
^* wherunto he called you by oure 
gospell, to obtayne the glorye that 
commeth of oure lorde Jesu Christ. 

^^ Therfore brethren stonde fast 
and kepe the ordinannces which ye 
have learned : whether it were by 
our preachynge, or by pistle. 
^^ Oure lorde Jesu Christ hymsilfe, 
and God oure father which hath 
loved us and hath geven us ever- 
lastynge consolacion and good hope 
thorowe grace, ^^ comforte youre 
hertes, and stablysshe you in all 
doctrine and good doynge. 

AuTH. Version. 

brightness of his coming : ^ Even 
him, whose coming is after the 
working of Satan with all power, and 
signs, and lying wonders, '" And 
with all deceivableness of un- 
righteousness in them that perish; 
because they received not the love 
of the truth, that they might be 
saved. " And for this cause God 
shall send them strong delusion, 
that they should believe a lie: 
'2 That they all might be damned 
who believed not the truth, but had 
pleasure in unrighteousness. 

'' But we are bound to give 
thanks alway to God for you, 
brethren beloved of the Lord, be- 
cause God hath from the beginning 
chosen you to salvation through 
sanctification of the Spirit and belief 
of the truth : ^^ Whereunto he 
called you by our gospel, to the 
obtaining of the glory of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

'5 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, 
and hold the traditions which ye 
have been taught, whether by word, 
or our epistle. ^^ Now our Lord 
Jesus Christ himself, and God, even 
our Father, which hath loved us, 
and hath given us everlasting con- 
solation and good hope through 
grace, ^' Comfort your hearts, 
and stablish you in every good word 
and work. 

In the first verse the A. V. adopts and improves upon the Comments. 


translation of the Bishops' Bible 'our assembling unto Him/ 
and so rightly avoids a very awkward periphrasis. 

In the second verse the older Version is certainly the more 
accurate in its translation of uTro rov vooq ('from youre mynde'), 
but in what follows it is much improved upon, both in the 
Bishops' and the A. V. 

The change in ver. 3 to ' falling away' is due to the 
Bishops', and is a clear improvement, but the definite article 
ought not to have been overlooked ; it was the definite falling 
away which was to precede the coming. In the conclusion 
of the verse we owe the vigorous translation, ' the man of 
sin,' to the usually smoother Coverdale. The reading, it 
may be observed, is somewhat doubtful, as the two most 
ancient Manuscripts (the Vatican and Sinaitic) read avofiiaQ. 
This however would not affect the principle of the transla- 
tion, but only the change from ' sin' to ' lawlessness.' 

In ver. 4 there are some small changes, and all for the 
better, part due to Bishops', part to the A. V. 

In ver. 7 we find that Tyndale and most of the earlier 
Versions were induced to emphasize the article Tijg avo^iac : 
it need scarcely be said that it appears only on that well- 
known principle that if, of two nouns in regimen, the first 
has the article, the second will also have it without being 
thereby made peculiarly definite. In the latter portion of 
the verse, the Genevan Version has the merit of having first 
brought out the correct meaning. 

In ver. 8 the translation of Bishops' followed by A. V. is 
perhaps questionable. It is doubtful whether anything more 


is meant than that ' manifestation' and final ' appearance' of 
the Lord, which seems always specially marked by the word 

In ver. 9 it may also be doubted whether, in point of 
actual structure, Tyndale is not right, and whether the gen. 
\pevSov£ is not to be associated with all the three substantives, 
not, as in A. V., only with the last one : 'power,' 'signs,' 
and ' wonders ' were all marked by the same principle. 

In ver. 11, a change is made from the plural ' lies' to the 
singular, but all the Versions alike omit the article. In the 
next verse two very small changes appear, both however 
serving to exhibit that incessant care which, as we have 
already seen, so marks the Authorized Version ; the earUer 
Versions preserving Tyndale's words as they stand. 

The same remark applies to ver. 13, where there are also 
two or three small changes, one, however, of which is of some 
little importance — viz., the omission in the A. V. of the pre- 
position (' thorowe') in accordance with the Greek. This 
exactness is unfortunately not always observed in our Ver- 
sion, but in any future Revision it is to be hoped that it 
would be systematically maintained ; several passages being 
affected by the principle even in their doctrinal aspects.^ 

^ We may take a single but impor- serted before the second substantive, 

tant instance. In John iii. 5, the words though not so inserted in the Greek. 

tdv jxt) Tig ytvvTiOy l^ vdarog Kai Now it can hardly be doubted when 

IIi/£v/iarog are translated, not only in we come closely to reason on the 

the A. V. but in all the Versions, 'Ex- passage, that this insertion of the 

cept a man be born of water and of preposition te7ids to Tefer the yevvrjcrig 

the Spirit,' — the preposition being in- to two media or mediating agencies 


It is a matter of common sense that if the two substantives 
have only one preposition, the writer instinctively regards 
the subjects or ideas expressed by the two substantives as 
so far allied, that they may suitably stand under the vinculum 
of the single preposition. 

The next verse (ver. 14) presents an interesting difference. 
Here Tyndale gives a direct interpretation : he regards the 
genitive rov Kvpiov k.t.X. as a genitive of the source^ and 
marks it distinctly in translation. In this view he is followed 
by Taverner, and, as far as we remember, Taverner alone. 
Coverdale's and all the remaining Versions adopt the simple 
translation, and so rightly avoid interpretation. Christ is 
here obviously represented, in harmony with the whole tenor 
of the passage, and indeed the analogy of Scripture, as the 
possessor of the glory rather than the source of it.^ 

which need not by any means be bases an actual deduction — 'nonuna 
regarded as combined. This how- fuisse utrumque discipulum'), and 
ever the Greek does not imply. i Thess. i. 5, with John iv. 23, 
Nay, the very absence of the pre- Luke xxi. 26, and the present pas- 
position when it might have been so sage. See on this subject, Winer, 
easily inserted suggests the contrary Grammar of the N. T. § 50, p. 522 
deduction, — the rule of Winer being (ed. Moulton), and the ample list 
undoubtedly correct, that the pre- of examples there specified, 
position * isrepeatedvf\icn the nouns ^ There is no case to which more 
denote objects which are to be taken attention ought to be given in the 
by themselves, as independent, and N. T. than to the genitive. There are 
not repeated when they reduce at least 5 or 6 different u^es which 
themselves to a single main idea, or should be carefully studied, as doctri- 
(if they are proper names) to one nal deductions of considerable impor- 
common class :' contrast Luke xxiv. tance will be often found to depend 
27, John XX. 2 (on which Bengel on the view taken. We have, for 


The beginning of verse 15 brings out a polemical difference. 
The A. v., with really considerable boldness, here follows 
the Rhemish Version in opposition to all the earlier Versions, 
and gives to irapaloaeLQ its not unusual sense of ' traditions.' 
Exegetical considerations, however, make it very doubtful 
whether the Genevan ' instructions' is not more in coinci- 
dence with the general tenor of the passage and Epistle. 

We may close the comparison of the two Versions by 
noticing one important fonn of words 6 Qeoq koX narrip fj/iior, 
which, as it will be observed, is differently translated in the 
two Versions, Tyndale dropping the rat in translation, the 
A. V. on the contrary rather giving it emphasis. There is 
yet a third translation possible, which we first find in the 
Bishops' Bible, — ' God and our Father ;' which of these is 
to be preferred ? Perhaps the last, as implying that we 
regard the holy words ' God and Father'^ as a solemn title 

instance, a gen. of possession as here; Comvientaries of the writer of this 
of origin (Col. ii. 8) ; of originating note further references and corn- 
cause (Col. i. 23, I Thess. i, 6) ; of ments. In the otherwise excellent 
characterizing quality (Gal. v. i) ; Grammar of Winer the cases (and 
of material (Phil. iii. 21); of con- especially the gen.) are not treated 
tents (i Thess. ii. 5) J of opposition with the clearness which marks 
(Eph. vi. 14) ; of point of view other parts of the work. 
(Phil. ii. 30), — and the general ^ On this solemn form of words 
divisions of the gen. suljecti and see the notes on Gal. i. 5, where 
objecti, the due distinction between the subject is somewhat fully dis- 
which always tests the accuracy of cussed. Whichever view be taken, 
thought and perspicacity of the in- there certainlyought to be uniformity 
terpreter. The reader who desires in translation. This formula, as 
to pursue this subject will find in the translated in the A. V., supplies 
notes on the above passages in the one of the many proofs of the 


in which Godhead and Fatherhood were simultaneously 
recognised in the devout mind of the believer. The A. V. 
is very inconstant in its translation of these words, and would 
have here to be watched closely in any new revision. The 
passage concludes with a clearly necessary correction on the 
part of the A. V., ' good word and work,' though in this our 
Version was only following, as to the position of the epithet, 
the earlier Versions of Cranmer and of the Bishops. 

After the above compaiisons really little remains to be 
said; such passages as have just been chosen serving to 
bring out practically the actual facts of the case. In the 
first place we see clearly that our own Version is and remains 
substantially that of Tyndale. All that makes it what it 
essentially is, its language, tone, rhythm, vigour, and 
breadth, are due to this first devoted translator from the 
original. At the same time, and in the second place, we have 
observed manifold small changes, their number greatly increas- 
ing as the difficulties of the passage increase, or as we pass 
from narrative to argument. How and whence these changes 
came in is the only question that remains to be answered. 
This may be done shortly, and without entering far into the 
province of the history of the English Bible. 

Even from the passing comments that have been made, it 
would have become clear to the general reader that each 
succeeding Version contributed something by way of cor- 

undesirableness of the arrangement Scripture. All portions of the N.T. 
of different companies of translators ought to be gone over together by 
or revisers for different portions of the same body of revisers. 


rection and change to the labours of Tyndale. Much is due to 
Coverdale, who of late we think has been unduly depreciated. 
It may be that he was a second-rate man compared with 
Tyndale ; it may be too that his knowledge of the original 
languages was at first very moderate ; it may be also that he 
was appointed to his work rather than inwardly called to it, 
as was the case of his friend. But he certainly laboured 
faithfully and in many respects successfully. He was also 
thoroughly loyal to Tyndale ; he never sought to supersede 
the earlier Version, but rather by the aid of others to supply 
such contributions, by way of addition and correction, as 
God enabled him to make to a great and holy cause. At 
the same time this also seems clear that Coverdale's Version 
can hardly be considered in the line of direct descent from 
Tyndale to the Authorized Version. Though less remote 
than Taverner's, Coverdale's Version can scarcely be con- 
sidered as much more than collaterally related to our present 
English Bible. The line was clearly continued by Matthew, 
or to drop the nom de plimte^ the martyr John Rogers. In 
this edition we have little more, in regard of the New Tes- 
tament, than Tyndale's standard edition of 1534, occasionally 
coiTected by Tyndale's own edition of 1535 and the edition of 
Coverdale of the same year. Matthew's Bible appeared in 
1537, and was so far approved by authority that the cir- 
culation of it was sanctioned by the King. Thus wonder- 
fully and mysteriously was Tyndale's dying prayer of 
a few months before, ' Lord ope the King of England's 
eyes,' heard and answered. The work of one martyr, edited 


by one who afterwards wore the same mystic crowTi, was 
the first Authorized Version of the Church of England.^ 

The Hne is continued by the Great Bible, or Cranmer's 
Bible, which was published three years later. The Arch- 
The Great bishop, as we know from Fox's Manuscript preserved by 
Strype,'^ began the work by taking ' an old English transla- 
tion' of the New Testament, — almost certainly Tyndale's, — 
which he divided into eight or nine parts, and gave, copied 
out 'at large in a paper book,' to his coadjutors. This 
recension, it can hardly be doubted, was the New Testament 
of the Great Bible, which, as inspection clearly shows, was 
a revised edition of Tyndale. Among the Archbishop's 
coadjutors were probably Tonstall, Bishop of Durham, and 
Heath, Bishop of Rochester, who are subsequently specified 
in the title page of the edition of 1541 as 'overseers and 
perusers' of the work, Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, who 
appears to have been the reviser of the Gospels of St. Luke 

* The estimate of Coverdale's share authorized it, but that the intention 

in the great work of Bible-translation was never actually carried out. It 

is extremely well stated in the His- is therefore hardly correct to call 

torical Account prefixed to Bagster, it, as it has been called in a recent 

Hexapla, p. 71 sq. From this ac- essay, 'The first authorized Version.' 

count it would seem that Coverdale See Quarterly Revieic for April, 

in no way wished even to seem to 1870, p. 319. This honour cer- 

interfere with Tyndale's labours; tainly belongs to Matthew's Bible, 

that Tyndale's New Testament was See Historical Account, p. 78. 

certainly one of the authorities he ^ See Strype, Cranmer, Book i. 

used; that his Bible w^s permitted ch. 8, Vol. i. p. 48 (Oxford, 181 2) 

by the King to be used; and that and the full notice in Historical 

the King intended to have formally Account, p. 80. 


and St. John, Stokesley, Bishop of London, to whom the 
Acts of the Apostles were assigned, and four or five others. 
Coverdale was very properly chosen as the corrector of the 
press and practical editor, but there does not seem reason 
for thinking that he had much, if indeed anything, to 
do with the actual work of revision. This interesting and 
important Version maintained its ground during the whole 
of the remainder of Henry's reign, and, — after the short 
interval of Mary's reign, — during the first ten years of the 
reign of Elizabeth, until at length it was superseded by the 
Bishops' Bible in 1568. It thus was the Authorized Version 
of the Holy Scriptures for nearly a generation, and still 
maintains some place in our services (in the Prayer-book 
version of the Psalms, and in the sentences of Scripture in 
the Communion Service) unto this very day. 

Our attention must now be turned to the Genevan Version, The 
which though collaterally related to our present Version, and ^^"^^^" 
not in the line of what may be called authorized descent, 
nevertheless has been the source from which many correc- 
tions have been introduced. The New Testament was 
published first under the superintendence of William 
Whittingham, afterwards Dean of Durham, in the year 1557 
at Geneva, and afterwards, with many alterations, in 1560 
when the whole Bible was published. Among those who 
took part in the whole work, was the veteran Coverdale, 
Thomas Sampson, afterwards Dean of Christchurch, Thomas 
Cole, afterwards Archdeacon of Essex, Christopher Good- 
man, and others. The work was done well, though by no 



means without indications, in the New Testament especially, 
of bias and doctrinal prejudices. The greater part of the 
changes in the New Testament are referable to the work of 
a good interpreter though a rash and inexperienced critic, — 
the version and notes of Beza ; but there are throughout 
clear signs that great care and consideration were shown 
in the adoption of these changes, and that on the whole the 
labour was well bestowed. This Version, as is well known, 
was very popular, and maintained its ground against the 
Bishops' Bible, and, for some years, even against our present 
Version. It was the household, though not the authorized, 
Version of the Scriptures for fully two generations. 

This Version deserves our attention in three respects, — 
first, as having introduced the use of italics to supplement 
and carry on the sense, and also, though less happily, the 
separation into verses ; secondly, as showing some desire on 
the part of the revisers to follow as critically coiTect a text 
as their limited knowledge and appliances, and (it might be 
added) their deference to Beza's authority, permitted them 
to recognise ; thirdly, as being the first Version which had 
been made in co-operative union. All the preceding Versions 
had been the work, either wholly or in their separate parts, 
of individuals. In this Version we had several earnest and 
competently learned men working together, and, as might 
be expected, finally producing a work which, whatever may 
be its faults and prejudices, certainly presents an aspect of 
considerable unity and harmony in its general execution. 
This is a hint which is not now without its value and signifi- 


cance. As we have already said, it stands only in a 
collateral relation to our own Version, but it has supplied a 
fairly large contingent of corrections. 

What we have termed the authorized line of descent was The 
continued by the Bishops' Bible, from which our own Version gj^k ^ 
is legitimately derived, the general and leading instruction 
being given to the Revisers of 16 11 to introduce 'as few 
alterations as may be' in the then current Version. On this 
Version a few remarks may be made as to structure and 
general characteristics. 

It appears to have been undertaken from two different 
reasons, — first, honest dissatisfaction with Cranmer's Bible 
as expressed by distinguished scholars, such as Lawrence, 
and men of influence such as Sandys, then Bishop of Wor- 
cester; secondly, from the fear of the rapidly increasing 
influence and circulation of the Genevan Version. These 
two causes induced Archbishop Parker to call in the aid of 
eight of his sufli-agans and of other learned men of the day, 
and with them to bring out a thoroughly revised Version 
based on that of Cranmer. The work was completed in 
1568. Of the New Testament, the Gospels were revised by 
Cox, Bishop of Ely, the Romans by Guest, Bishop of 
Rochester, and the First Epistle to the Corinthians by 
Goodman, Dean of Westminster. No clue is afforded to the 
revisers of the remaining books. The work was done 
creditably though unequally, but it nowhere appears to have 
been the result of actual conference and locally united labour. 
Though confessedly showing a much more thorough revision 

G 2 


of existing materials than seems to have been the case with 
its predecessor the Great Bible, though Parker's recension 
was much more complete than Cranmer's, yet still it had all 
the faults and defects which were almost necessarily due to 
its mode of construction ; and it certainly never succeeded 
in thoroughly commanding the respect of scholars or in 
securing the sympathies of the people. So it maintained its 
position during the forty- three years of its authorized existence, 
more by external authority than by any special merits of its 
own. It probably remained in many churches several years 
after the present Version, and, as we know from extant 
sermons, still continued in many cases to be the source of 
the words of the preacher's text,^ but its real hold on the 
church and the nation was never strong, and was soon 
finally loosened by the increased recognition of the real 
excellence of the present Authorized Version. 

We have now concluded our genealogy of our present 
Version, and established, we hope, both the correctness of 
the pedigree already specified, and this important fact, — 

1 Perhaps a stronger instance could supposed likely to have adopted the 

hardly be selected than that of the new Version, especially as some of 

texts to the Sermons of Bp.Andrewes the sermons were preiched as late 

preached after i6i I, which are taken as lo years after its appearance, 

from the Bishops' Bible. And yet The slow progress of the Auth. 

Andrewes was one of the revisers of Version and the difficulties with 

that very version, and, as chairman which it had to contend in circula- 

of the first of the two companies tion have been shortly noticed by 

that sat at Westminster, and a well Disraeli, Curiosities of Literature 

known scholar, might naturally be (Series 2) Vol. iii. p. 322. 


that our English Testament of the present day, after all its 
changes, revisions, and remodellings, is still truly and sub- 
stantially the venerable Version of Tyndale the Martyi*. 
God give us wisdom ever to conduct our consultations in 
reference to the revision of such a Version with a sensitive 
remembrance of the true source of our present noble in- 
heritance. On its pages are the enduring traces of the 
labours of a noble and devoted life, and the seal with which 
it is sealed is the seal of blood. 

We may now turn to the second question of the present Principles 

of our 

chapter, and consider shortly the principles which have been present 
followed in the construction of our present Version. These 
have been already in some degree touched upon in the 
preceding pages, but may now be more distinctly specified. 
We will first notice the leading principles, and then those 
general instructions that were prescribed for the canying out 
of the work which necessarily involve matters of detail. 

The leading principles were thoroughly sound, and in First j 
perfect harmony with the past history of the English Version, labour. 
These were, first, a division of labour. Separate portions of 
the Holy Scriptures were assigned to different companies of 
scholars, and the work done by each company was reviewed 
by all the other companies, and finally passed under the 
Committee of Revision. As there were in all six companies, 
two at Westminster appointed by the King (to whom the 
credit of the plan is justly due), two at Oxford nominated by 
the University, and two at Cambridge similarly nominated, 
and as the numbers in each company varied from seven to 


ten, it has been computed that no part of the work would 
have been examined less than fourteen times and some parts 
as many as seventeen.^ With this principle of division of 
labour there was thus combined the principle of mutual 
revision of the work done. Here we observe a great im- 
provement over the plans, as far as we know them, which 
were followed in the earlier revisions. In Cranmer's and 
Parker's recensions the work was similarly broken up into 
parts, but each part was assigned merely to an individual ; and 
no arrangement seems to have been made in either case for 
any review by the rest of the work done by the individual, nor 
was there any adjustment by which united conference was 
provided for. If we may institute a rough comparison 
between the revisions, we may perhaps rightly say that the two 
earlier revisions (at any rate of the New Testament) were due 
chiefly to the action and influence of the Archbishop of Canter- 

1 See Historical Account (Bag- subsequently Bishop of Gloucester, 
ster), p. 153. Though the work and of London, was president, and 
was thus done with extreme care the other of eight persons, over 
and subjected to repeated scrutiny, whom Dr. Barlow, Bishop of Ro- 
still the system of companies of Chester and subsequently Bishop of 
translators rather than of one body, Lincoln, presided. The former sat 
or rather two bodies, the one for the at Oxford, and took the Gospels, 
Old and the other for the New Tes- Acts, and Revelation ; the latter 
tament, each body doing their whole took the Epistles and sat at West- 
work 171 union, has certainly left its minster. Had these fifteen men sat 
unfavourable traces on our present regularly together at the same place 
Version. The New Testament was the revision of the New Testament 
divided between two companies, — would have been better in itself, and 
one of eight persons, of which Dr. (what is of importance) more evenly 
Ravis, Dean ot Christchurch, and executed. 


bury for the time being/ and that the labourers in the work 
were chiefly Bishops : that the last revision was due chiefly to 
the influence of the Sovereign, and that the labourers were in 
the greater part nominated by the Universities. The first two 
revisions were thus archiepiscopal and episcopal, the last royal 
and academic. If there is yet to be another revision, it 
seems likely that a third and different agency will direct 
and carry out the work of the future, and that at length the 
Convocation of the Church of England, sustained by the aid 
and s)aTipathies of the Nation, will come forward as the faithful 
reviser of the national Version of the Book of Life. Up 
to the present time, it must be said. Convocation has failed 
in one of its great duties as a representative, imperfect it 
may be, but still a representative, of the local Church in her 
holy oflice as guardian of the archives of the Truth. Up to 
the present time Convocation has been found wanting f in 

^ This of course is not to be un- seem to justify the reference, at any 

derstood exclusively, Cromwell hav- rate of the N. T. to the Archbishop 

ing had so great a hand in the of Canterbury. See the Printed 

proceedings prior to the publication Account (Bagster), p. 83. 
of the Great Bible. From the be- ^ Convocation has more than 

ginning, however, it seems correct once moved in the subject, but 

to ascribe to Cranmer, especially in never with heartiness or success, 

reference to the New Testament, Its first indication of movement was 

the foremost place in the movement. in that very critical period in the 

The division of work above alluded history of the English Bible which 

to as marked out by Cranmer, and immediately followed the publication 

the recension which appears to have ofTyndale'sVersionof I534,and was 

resulted from it, and which ulti- just prior to the appearance of Cover- 

mately appears to have formed the dale's. Convocation then intimated 

New Testament of the Great Bible, an intention of taking up the work 


the future there seems reason to hope that Convocation will 
bear its rightful part in the holy and responsible work. 

But, to return to the Revision of 1611, the first of the 
leading principles, was, as we have seen, thoroughly sound. 
Where it might have been improved, and where probably it 
would be improved in any future attempt, would be in a 
more distinct separation between the revisers of the Versions 
of the Old and of the New Testament. Knowledge has now 
so widely increased, and the tendency to speciality in 
knowledge is now so distinct a characteristic of our present 
times, that it would now be very undesirable for the work of 
the reviser of any part of the Version of the Old Testament 
to be subjected to the correcting eye of a reviser connected 
with the New Testament. The two companies must now 
work separately, but their work might beneficially, as in the 
time of King James, be laid before a small Committee of 
Revision. It would of course also be necessary that both 
companies, before addressing themselves to their separate 
work, should come to a thorough agreement on all details as 

of a new translation. As however form a plan, but the preparations 

it was soon seen by Cromwell, that were really so very tiresome and 

the carrying out of this intention hopeless (see Fuller, Church History, 

would be delayed almost indefinitely. Book v. 4, p, 237 sq. Lond. 1655, 

Coverdale was appointed to the Joyce, Sacred Synods, Chap. xi. 

work, and the intention of Convo- p. 406) that the work was transferred 

cation fell through. Again, at to the Universities, — and when 

another important period, after the there, as might be supposed, never 

publication of the Great Bible, when allowed to be proceeded with. See, 

there was a clear desire for a new for further details. Historical Ac- 

revision. Convocation undertook to count, p. 105 sq. 


regards the nature and amount of revision, and the general 
character of the language to be used, where a change of 
rendering might be found necessary. This last matter, as 
we have already seen, is one of considerable importance, and 
one on which the general acceptance of the work would be 
found very greatly to depend. The first leading principle 
then of the last revision is to be thoroughly approved of, and 
the manner in which it was carried out may very profitably 
be borne well in mind ; but, at the present time, modifications 
would certainly be desirable, not only in what has been 
already specified, but even in the numbers employed and 
the mode of meeting. We should do the work better if 
the number (for the O. T.) were less, and especially if the 
work of revision were carried on round a common table. 
There would then be a unity in the whole, and a harmony 
in the general tone of the corrections which, it must be 
frankly said, is certainly often wanting in our Authorized 

The second leading principle was one which cannot be Secondly ; 
too strongly commended, — to introduce as few alterations as changes as 
may be into the Current Version. On the precise nature possible- 
and amount of the alterations that may from time to time 
be considered requisite, there will ever be varying opinions ; 
but it certainly was a wise as well as a charitable principle 
to make as little alteration as possible in a Version which 
had been bound up with the devotional feelings of the 
people, at least as far as the hearing of the ear went. It 
was wise too to follow that principle of minimum alteration 


which had been instinctively followed from the Edition of 
Matthew down to the time of the last revision. And what 
was deemed wise and charitable then, would be obviously 
much more so now, when the necessity for alteration has 
become diminished by successive revisions, and when that 
which is to be revised has for more than 250 years, 
unlike the Bishops' Bible, been valued in the closet, the 
household, and the Church with equal affection and vene- 

These two principles of combined labour and mini- 
mized alteration are the two that may be considered the 
leading principles of the revision of 161 1. For the most 
part they seem to have been followed out faithfully and 
Minor Of the minor principles, we may notice three, as being of 

princip es. ^^^^^ importance in forming a right estimate of the Autho- 
rized Version, and also as being worthy of consideration in 
reference to any future revision. 
Authorities The first of these relates to the authorities to which the 
consulted, revisers were to have recourse when they happened to 
agree better with the original than the Bishops' Bible. These 
are specified in the instructions, as the Versions of Tyndale, 
Coverdale, Matthew, "Whitchurch {i.e. Cranmer, — Whit- 
church and Grafton having been the printers), and the 
Genevan Version. The rule was good, but it may be said 
generally that it was not very carefully followed, except 
perhaps in the case of the Genevan Version. Had they 
followed it more closely they would have removed several 


errors which they left remaining/ and have avoided some 
which they introduced. The authorities on which the 
revisers seem mainly to have relied are Beza's Latin Version 
and notes, the Genevan, and the Rhemish Version. To this 
last Version, though it was not in the list of their authorities, 
they were certainly more than occasionally indebted. And 
commonly with advantage, — as the Rhemish, with all its 
faults and asperities, was a translation of a really good 
Version, and, at any rate, is very affluent in its vocabulary, 
and very useful in converting Latin words into English 
service.^ While then they judiciously used existing ma- 
terial, and, as we know from Selden and from their own 
preface, did not neglect Versions in other and modern 
languages, it still does seem to be a fact that they did not 
very carefully attend to the Versions that were specified ; 
inspection seeming to corroborate the remark, that when 
they made an alteration in the Bishops' Bible they rarely 
went back to an earlier Version. 

A second principle which they tell us in the preface they Variation 

in the 

had considered themselves at liberty to follow, was that of renderings. 

1 To name one out of several They would thus not only have 
instances of some degree of impor- correctly maintained the lexical dis- 
tance, we may notice the translation tinction between Troifivr] and the 
oi TToifivri in John x. 16. Our own preceding avXr], but also have pre- 
Version retains the incorrect trans- eluded an erroneous doctrinal deduc- 
lation 'fold' which had come in tion which it is obvious may be 
with the Great Bible. Had the re- made, and has often been made, 
visers turned to Tyndale they could from the passage. 
hardly have failed to have reverted ^ See Westcott, History of the 
to his correct translation 'flock.' Eiiglish Bible, p. 328. 


varying the translations of the same Greek word, even when 
the sense might seem to be identical. Now in this they 
were certainly following precedent; as in Coverdale's Bible 
especially, and indeed in all the earlier Versions there is a 
well-defined tendency to use synonyms. But it was carried 
much too far. There are passages in the Synoptical Gospels 
in which several continuous words and even sentences, 
identical in the Greek, are translated with needless diversity.* 
And there are passages of grave doctrinal import, such for 
example as Matth. xxv. 46, in which the revisers ought cer- 
tainly to have corrected the earlier Versions, and to have 
preserved the same translation of the word in both classes. 
No doubt there are many passages in which the tenor of the 
context does really prescribe a variation from the meaning 
usually assigned, and where the truest translation is not that 
which is the most mechanically consistent with some appa- 
rently similar use of the same words ; but our last translators, 
like their predecessors, seem certainly to have used a liberty 

^ A good paper on this subject translated by the same word in 

by Dean Alford with many examples English, certainly cannot always be 

will be found in the Contemprrrary maintained. The word in the 

Review for 1868, Vol. viii. p. 322 sq. original is often more inclusive in its 

Diversity of rendering within proper meaning than the English word, 

bounds is however often necessary and the context so different, that a 

for a truly faithful and idiomatic version constructed on a rigid ob- 

translation. The converse principle servance of such a principle would 

formally enunciated by Newcome frequently be found unreadable, and 

and even very recently put forward to general ears sometimes almost 

in Convocation (see Guardian for unintelligible. See some comments 

May 1 1, p. 550), that the same word on this in the Westminster Review 

in the original ought always to be for Jan. 1857, Vol. xi. p. 143. 



which occasionally degenerated into licence, and which the 
reviser of our own day would have to subject to very close 
and watchful consideration. 

The remaining principle which we may notice is embodied Retention 
in the instruction which prescribes the retention of the old ecclesiastical 
ecclesiastical words, as for example, ' Church' rather than ^°'''^^- 
' congregation ;' ' baptism,' not ' washing.' This principle has 
been as fairly followed as could have been expected in the 
case of so loose a definition as ' ecclesiastical ;' but several 
instances {e.g. '■ overseers,' Acts xx. 28) have been specified 
in which the rule has not been observed, and in which also 
there is some reason to fear that polemical considerations 
were allowed to intrude. The change in i Cor. xiii. i sq. of 
the ' love' of the older Versions to ' charity' may have 
arisen from a supposed application of the principle, but in 
this particular case at any rate we shall probably all sincerely 
wish that no such application had been made. This prin- 
ciple would require very careful consideration in any future 
revision. It appears indeed to have been the cause of some 
little solicitude at the time, as there are traces of a desire on 
the part of the King and others to have a small overlooking 
council of divines specially to see that this and a similar rule 
were attended to.^ In the revision of the future, however, 

^ See Historical Account (Bagster), Nonconformists would demand 

p. 153. Some anxiety has been changes in such words as ' Church,' 

manifested on this subject in recent and * baptize.' We venture to say for 

newspaper letters, but without any them that no fear need be entertained 

reason. It has been feared that on such a subject. The Baptist 



there would probably be less difficulty. Common consent 
has now associated a certain translation with certain doctrinal 
and ecclesiastical words. This translation would of course 
be maintained ; care only would be necessary to see that it 
was maintained consistently, dogmatical or other considera- 
tions notwithstanding. 

One minor instruction yet remains to be noticed — viz., 
that the division of the Chapters was ' to be altered either 
not at all, or as little as may be, if necessity so require.' 
Here at least we may express the hope that the otherwise 
safe principle of a minimum of alteration will be observed 
in any future revision. Convenience would seem to suggest 
that the numbering, though not the mode of printing 
the verses might still be maintained, but the whole subject of 
the present division into chapters, especially in the New 
Testament, will we hope be thoroughly considered.^ The 
recent recommendations of the Ritual Commission in refe- 
rence to the Lectionary, will probably, if they become law. 

scholar, for instance, would never 
press for a new translation of 
jSaTTTi'^w, as a Baptist — 'baptize' 
having to him and his co-religionists 
a meaning as definite as it has to 
us, and being accepted accordingly. 
All he would press for would be, 
as a scholar, that where the context 
permitted, uniformity of translation 
should be maintained in this and all 
other word^ of importance, eccle- 
siastical or otherwise. 

^ Attention may here rightly be 
called to the two forms of a Para- 
graph Bible published by the Re- 
ligious Tract Society. The divisions 
adopted are evidently the result 
of much care and consideration, 
and will commonly be found to 
commend themselves to the reader. 
An article of some interest on Para- 
graph Bibles will be found in the 
Edinburgh Review for Oct. 1855, 
Vol. on. pp. 419 sq. 



tend at once to introduce some change, and perhaps may- 
supply the general outline for a remodelling of the present 
divisions. It is well known to scholars that in the New 
Testament we have an admirable system of sections in some 
of the older Manuscripts, especially in the Vatican Manu- 
script. These, of course, would have to be carefully re- 
viewed, but it is probable that they might be found too 
short for general adoption, and that some division like 
that of the revised Lectionary might on the whole be most 

We have now fairly concluded our lengthened survey of 
the leading characteristics of the Authorized Version, and 
the interesting relations in which it stands to the Versions 
that have preceded it. We have seen, and, it is to be hoped, 
appreciated the wise and leading principle of minimized 
alteration and guarded change that has prevailed from the 
very first, amid all the varying circumstances of civil and 
ecclesiastical history.^ That this principle may be faithfully 
maintained in any future revision must be the hope and 
prayer of every earnest Englishman, and that it will be 
maintained we are as fully persuaded as we are of the per- 
petual presence of the Lord in our mother Church. 

' Even in the troublous times of Religion in the House of Com- 

which preceded the Restoration the mons in Jan. 1656, and referred to 

subject of revision was not entirely a sub-committee, which, however, 

overlooked. It is noticed by Prof. never seems to have reported. See 

Plumptre that the question was Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, 

brought before the Grand Committee Vol. in. p. 1678. 


With this feeling, and with a loyal adherence to the leading 
principles that have now been specified, we may at once pass 
onward to the difficulties which the succeeding chapter will 
present, and consider, generally and popularly, what would 
seem to be the limits to which revision should be carefully 




We have now before us a difficult portion of the subject, Different 

, , . , T • • J ^- • opinions as 

and one on which some prehmmary consideration is espe- ^^ extent of 
cially necessary. That a revision is desirable would seem •'^^'^'o"- 
to be the opinion of the majority of thoughtful and unpre- 
judiced persons, but how far that revision should extend is 
a matter in which we observe great diversity of sentiment. 
In the minds of some, revision means only sober and 
guarded change, there, and there only, where truth and 
faithfulness positively require it. In the minds of others, it 
is simply synonymous with rashness and innovation : our 
venerable Version is to be disfigured and Frenchified ; our 
familiar reUgious words are to be altered ; all that is dear to 
the simple and devout believer is to be cleared away by 
modern criticism or marred by inconsiderate change. 

That writers and thinkers of this latter class show plainly 
that they know very little of the history of the English Bible, 
and very inadequately estimate the deep conservatism in the 
English mind in regard of the one Book, is perfectly evident ; 
but that they obtain a sort of hearing is also clear, and that 
they tend to import prejudice and bias into the whole sub- 
ject is unfortunately clearer still. 

With such writers and thinkers it is impossible to argue. 



Antecedent prejudice renders them commonly impervious 
to the force of fair considerations, and leaves them only in 
the attitude of half-angry opposition. Such opponents we 
cannot hope to conciliate ; but there are many, very many, 
deeply interested in the subject, who do confessedly feel 
great anxiety as to the degree of revision to which a nine- 
teenth century might advance. Even considerations, such 
as those of the preceding chapter, drawn from the history of 
former revisions, fail to satisfy ; as the not unreasonable fear 
is ever ready to show itself, that this principle of least pos- 
sible alteration which prevailed, when revision followed revi- 
sion at no lengthened interval, might be much endangered 
now from the simple fact that more than two hundred and 
fifty years have come and gone since the date of the last ; 
and that the very lapse of time and the changes of language 
and expression necessarily due to it must, by the very nature 
of the case, seriously affect the question. 

Such anticipations are not unnatural ; such implied objec- 
tions are perfectly fair and reasonable, but the answer seems 
conclusive, — that the Version we are considering has really 
fixed to a great degree the standard of our general as well as 
of our theological language, and that the English Bible is 
really our first English classic as well as the Book of Life and 
Truth. It may be added too that, in a literary point of view, 
the whole question of language is in a far better state than it 
was a hundred or one hundred and fifty years ago.^ The 

^ See Abp. Trench, On the Auth. where some specimens are given 
Fersion of the New Test. p. 25, of the unhappy revisions of thp 



wretched attempts at revision in the past century if compared 
even with the worst and most pretentious efforts of the present 
century, will show very convincingly that the argument de- 
rived from the long interval has no real weight, and that no 
revision in the present day could hope to meet with an 
hour's acceptance if it failed to preserve the tone, rhythm, 
and diction, of the present Authorized Version.^ 

We may dismiss then this class of objections and objec- Extent of 

1 1 11 Tr^ 1 • 1 • , , revision 

tors, and now turn to the really difficult question which the considered 
present Chapter places before us — to what extent is revision ^" ^^^^''* 
to be carried ? On what principles are alterations to be in- 
troduced, and how far is exact scholarship to be allowed to 
modify when the case is not one of actual error? Unless 
some answer is attempted to primary questions such as 
these, revision will be a leap in the dark. It will be either 
so occasional and superficial that the usual argiimentuin 
inerticBy — viz., that if there is to be so little change it is 
really not desirable to disturb the minds of devout persons 
by touching the Book at all, — will certainly consign the 

eighteenth century. The remarks leading article on this subject in the 
in the work just referred to on 'the Times of May 6 the writer very pro- 
English of our Version' (Chap, ii.) perly presses on the revisers a salu- 
are especially deserving of atten- tary caution — 'that it should be 
tion. their aim not to make as many, but 
1 Nothing is more satisfactory at to make as few, alterations as pos- 
the present time than the evident sible,' and justly remarks that ' it 
feelings of veneration for our Au- will often be much better to sacrifice 
thorized Version, and the very a point of strict grammatical accu- 
generally-felt desire for as little racy than to jar the ear and lose the 
change as possible. In a recent sympathy of readers.' 

H 2 



work when done to the obUvion that fortunately has been 
the fate of so many revisions ; or on the other hand, it will 
be of such an uneven character (alteration always having a 
tendency to accelerate, and revisers being always dangerously 
open to the temptation of using with increasing freedom ac- 
quired facilities), that the uniform character of the present 
Version will always hold its own against the irregular de- 
velopment of its temporary rival. Principles then must be 
laid down, though at the same time we confess, if there is to 
be real success, there must always be in reserve a dispensing 
power for passages where from varied reasons, textual, 
exegetical, and linguistic, the old rendering must be left un- 
touched. It is here where the great difficulty of the work 
will be felt, and here also where no rules ca?i be laid down, 
but where we can ultimately trust to nothing but to sensitive 
judgment, and to the acquired tact of a watchful experience. 
Subject to such a necessary limitation we may now en- 
deavour to state and classify those cases to which revision 
may be properly appHed. We will begin uith those about 
which there will be least doubt, and advance gradually to 
the point where a just conservatism, and a due regard to the 
principles already laid down seem fairly to stop us. 

The first class of passages demanding correction will 
always be those where there is clear and plain error^ and 
where the incorrectness would be recognised by any com- 
petent scholar to whom the passage was submitted. Here 
our duty is obvious. Faithfulness, and loyalty to God's truth 
require that tl^e correction should be made unhesitatingly. 


This class of cases will however embrace many different in- 
stances ; some of real and primary importance, some in 
which the sense will be but little affected, when the error, 
grammatically great as it really may be, is removed, and the 
true rendering substituted. For instance, we shall have in 
the class we are now considering passages in which the 
error is one of a doctrinal nature, or, to use the most guarded 
language, involves some degree of liability to doctrinal 
misconception. For such passages we have not so far to go 
as it is popularly supposed. Take such a passage as 
Rom. V. 15, 17, where, as Bentley observed long ago, ^ 
the neglect of the articles in the original has not only 
obscured the sense and weakened the antithesis, but has 
left an opening for inferences on redemption and reproba- 
tion, which, to say the least, are not substantiated by this 
passage. Take again such a passage as i Cor. xi. 29, where 
if we do not go the full length of attributing definite error to 
the translation, we have at any rate a rendering of Kfi^ia 
which, combined with the intruded ava^/wc, has produced an 
influence on thousands, and even tens of thousands, of a very 
unhappy kind. We must add to such a Hst Heb. x. 38, 
where the words inserted in the Authorized Version, to say 
the very least, have nothing whatever to correspond with 
them in the Original. We may also name Acts ii. 47, where 
confessedly hard as it may be to express tovq awi^ofxevovg 

^ The passage will be found in Trench, Revision of Auth. Fers. 
Bentley's Sermon upon Popery p. 88 sq., where it is quoted at 
(Works, Vol. III. p. 245), and in full length. 


(' those who were being saved ') in an easy and idiomatic 
translation, faithfulness requires that we should change a 
rendering which not only leads to a doctrinal inference not 
warranted by the tense, but obscures the true and almost 
technical meaning which this important expression con- 
stantly maintains in passages of profound doctrinal im- 
port, e.g. Luke xiii. 23. In a passage confessedly of great 
difficulty as to its exact reference, viz.. Col. ii. 15, the mis- 
translation of aireKovaafLtvoQ has at any rate put wholly out 
of sight the mysterious connexion which this passage seems 
to have with the closing hours of our Lord's earthly life, 
and the deep significance of some incidents in the awful 
scene on Golgotha. We have before alluded to John x. 16, 
where we can certainly draw no inference as to the oneness 
of the ' fold,' and where the present translation might seem 
to lead to this unauthorized inference. 

We might easily continue this list, but as it is not our 

object to enumerate but rather to illustrate, it may be 

enough to have called attention to the fact that, in spite of 

the very common assumption to the contrary, there are many 

passages from which erroneous doctrinal inferences have 

been drawn, but where the inference comes from the trans- 

' lation and not the original. 

Errors The Hst of actual and definite errors of a less important 

"irnpomnce. ^^^^ ^^ very large. In the majority of such cases it may be 

admitted that Christian life and practice neither is nor has 

been ever affected in the slightest degree by the existence 

of these errors. For instance, if we give the proper transla- 


tion of tof-e in Gal. vi. ii, of divXii^ovreg in Matt, xxiii. 24 
(unless indeed this be due to the printer) of KapavlTTjg in 
Matt. X. 4 (comp. Mark iii. 18), of ^lafiepii^o/jLevai in Acts ii. 3, 
of eidovQ in I Thess. v. 22, of Trojpwaig in Eph. iv. 18, of 
^aheade in Phil. ii. 15, and even of (nrevlovraQ in 2 Pet. iii. 12, 
we contribute to the general faithfulness and accuracy of 
our Version, but add nothing to what could be con- 
sidered of serious moment. As far as the general reader is 
concerned, the true or the erroneous rendering might nearly 
equally well hold its place in the English text ; and this 
remark is often used as an argument for leaving things 
alone. But the remark is equally available for the con- 
trary course : if the removal of errors would so little affect 
the general reader, surely it is all the more the duty of 
faithfulness to the message of inspiration to transmit it to the 
English hearer free from incorrectness and error, on pure 
principle^ — and the more so, as there is no reasonable pro- 
bability that even what might be called prejudiced attach- 
ment to our Version as it stands would in any way be 
weakened by the change. It would be counted so small as 
to be to the general reader not a matter of conscience, but 
of indifference. 

We may then perhaps fairly conclude that all errors^ 
whether of the first or second class of those enumerated, or 
indeed of any class, should be removed, and it may be said 
with all loyalty to our Authorized Version, but yet with all 
truth, that these errors will be found to be by no means few 
in number. 


Removal of When wc comc to the more subdued shade of error that 

inaccuracies , , ^ . i .1 i • 

requires ^^X ^^ expressed for convenience by the word i7iaccnracy or 
much con- inexactness, it becomes much more difficult to decide on the 

sideration. ' 

limits to which revision should extend. If the principle of 
faithfulness to God's truth move us, on the one hand, to cor- 
rect wherever the English Version does not accurately convey 
the meaning or shade of meaning of the Original, we yet 
have, on the other hand, two countervailing considerations 
which must weigh seriously with every sober thinker. Firsts 
it must be remembered that to countless thousands the 
English Bible is the Book of Life. To them it is as though 
God had vouchsafed thus to communicate with man from 
the first : it is a positive effort to them to feel and believe 
that the familiar words as they meet the eye or fall on the 
ear did not thus for the first time issue from the lips of 
patriarch or prophet, nay, that the touching cadences in the 
Gospels were not originally so modulated by the tender and 
sympathizing voice of our own adorable Master. We have 
heard even of sermons in which such thoughts have uncon- 
sciously bewrayed themselves, and believe that at this 
moment there are numbers of earnest people who could 
easily be carried away by their deeper feelings, almost at any 
moment, into a thorough sympathy with appeals to the 
familiar language of their cherished English Testament, and 
who when reminded of the actual facts, would with a sigh 
awaken from the happy illusion, and avow their reluctance 
to part with this fnentis gratissimus error. Are we to have 
no sympathy for this large class ? Is there not something in 


the heart-affection for the ' dear old English Bible,' that 
deserves the respect even of the scholar and the theologian. 
Child-like faith is very blessed ; let us run the risk of being 
called sentimental or quixotic rather than needlessly offend 
one of these little ones that thus believe in His Word and in 

Secondly it must not be forgotten that the effort to be 
accurate often involves some sacrifice of the idiomatic turn 
and rhythmic flow of the English, and that the gain in exact- 
ness has often to be purchased at a price which even the 
most devoted scholar might on consideration hesitate to pay. 
The different idioms of the two languages, the parallelism 
rather than coincidence in respect of tenses, the much less 
logical use of particles in our own language than in Greek, 
the different principles of order and emphasis, — all these 
things really do often make accuracy only attainable on 
terms which are beyond our means, and which would in fact 
be inconsistent with the ground-principles of a Version which 
is to be XQdA publicly as well as privately, and is to be idio- 
matic as well as exact. How often it must have happened 
to many a one whose eyes may fall on these lines, to have 
made a verbal correction in our Version which, at the time 
seemed not only certain, but a clear contextual improvement, 
and then after an interval to have read it over again and 
come to the candid opinion that it was an over-correction, 
and, by being so, was really less faithful to the tone of the 
Original than that which it had displaced. This considera- 
tion is really one of very great importance, for it reaches to 

m cor 
this nature 


that very difficult question of the limits to which, in transla- 
tion, a language may be stretched without losing its idiomatic 
vigour and elasticity. 
Limitations But are we then to attempt nothing in the way of securing 
of greater accuracy in the English Version ? Is it not one of 
the most certain facts in the world, that it is in the matter of 
technical exactness and grammatical accuracy that our Ver- 
sion is most open to adverse comment ? After what we have 
already seen of the characteristics and pedigree of our Ver- 
sion, it would not be natural to expect that it could be 
otherwise. It is substantially a Version made by one faith- 
ful man long ago, under circumstances of vary^ing trial, 
revised partially at intervals, and only thoroughly revised 
two hundred and sixty years ago. Great advances in 
accuracy of scholarship have been made since that last revi- 
sion, and modern eyes detect many things that were not 
observed then. Are not many needful distinctions effaced ? 
Is there not far too much licence in the use of English 
synonyms when it is the same Greek word and a similar 
context? Are there not very many cases in which the 
force of the article is missed ? Are not important shades of 
meaning conveyed by the tenses of the Original, as for 
example the imperfect and the preterperfect, often quite 
needlessly obliterated ? Is there not often inaccuracy in the 
translation of the prepositions, and sometimes even in pas- 
sages of some little doctrinal importance? Is there not, 
occasionally at least, an instance to be found in which the 
logical connexion of a passage has suffered by a loose trans- 


lation of a leading particle ? Certainly : all this may be 
safely and frankly admitted ; the careful comparison of any 
single chapter of moderate length with the Greek would 
show the justice of probably every one of the foregoing 
queries. We do not give instances, simply because they can 
be found in any hand-book/ and because it is really difficult 
with so large a choice to make a sufficiently wide and inclu- 
sive selection. Well then, what are we to do in such cases ? 
Up to what limits are we to carry revision in the particular 
case of inaccuracy^ and yet retain that principle of least 
possible alteration which is the only principle on which 
any successful revision could be made? .... The fore- 
going paragraphs have perhaps tended to supply the true 
answer : — Inaccuracies, about which there is no reasonable 
doubt ^ may be beneficially corrected, subject to the following 
limitations — viz., that the idiom of the language is not 
affected by the change, — that the change does not introduce 
more than is implied in the original, and is in fact an over- 
correction, — that the tone of the clause or sentence, and the 
familiar rhythm are not seriously interfered with, — and lastly, 

^ We may refer especially to Abp. which the errors, inaccuracies, and 

Trench, On the Revision of the doubtful renderings in the Autho- 

Authorized Version, Chap. iv. v. vii. rized Version might be arranged on 

viii. ix., where numerous examples some scholarly and logical principle, 

will be found of inaccuracies and Newcome's fifteen rules are made 

questionable renderings. The Hijits the heads under which some useful 

for an Improved Translation of examples are grouped by a writer in 

the late Professor Scholefield will the Westminster Revieiv for Jan. 

also supply many instances. We 1857, p. 141 sq. These rules, how - 

still however need a careful work in ever, require much modification. 


that the character of the passage and its associations are not 
such that the correction of the local inaccuracy might weaken 
the general reader's real appreciation of the tenor of the 
whole passage. This last restriction is of importance, as it 
often happens that a correction of some inaccuracy of detail 
mars in some subtle manner the balance of the whole clause, 
and ultimately really introduces more inaccuracy in our 
general perception of its tenor and sentiment than has been 
removed by the alteration. In a word, the to?ie of the 
passage has been injured, and the change in the part has 
interfered with the harmony of the whole. 

If these restrictions, which we have studiously stated in 
negative clauses, are carefully observed, it would not seem 
imprudent to extend revision to indisputable inaccuracies. 
It is clear however that no rules or restrictions will be suf- 
ficient to apply to all the really numberless cases that will 
come under the observation of the reviser. Tact and 
experience, and let us not forget to add, a careful imitation 
of the manner in which the revisers of 1611 acted, in respect 
of inexactness, towards the Bishops' Bible (a truly admirable' 
portion of their work), will be found to do more for us than all 
rules. We may, however, pause for a page or two to give a 
few examples ; some of inaccuracies which might be bene- 
ficially removed, and some of cases where, for one or more 
of the restrictions above alluded to, it might seem best to 
leave the passage alone. 

It is really difficult to know how to make a selection ; 
but let us take first that large class of cases where a genitive 


of quality is found in the original, and where in our Version OenitHe of 
an adjective is used. In such a passage as Phil. iii. 21, it °"^^"y- 
seems quite clear that ' the body of our vileness ' and ' the 
body of His glory' would be more truthful and forcible 
than ' Our vile body' and ' His glorious body,' as we now 
have it in our English Version. It would be consistent too 
with the general principle of our Version, in which the 
instances are numerous where the adjectival translation of 
the older Versions is removed for the more vigorous and 
expressive genitive. Thus in Eph. i. 18, 'the riches of his 
glorious inheritance ' of Tyndale and the Genevan Testa- 
ment rightly passes under the discriminating hand of the 
last Revisers into the familiar ' riches of the glory of His 
inheritance ;' and the even more familiar ' mammon of un- 
righteousness,' in Luke xvi. 9, is the wise change from the 
' wicked mammon ' of Tyndale, and the ' unrighteous mam- 
mon ' of Cranmer. At the same time it would be hardly 
advisable to change, in the very same parable, and only one 
verse before, ' the unjust steward ' into ' the steward of in- 
justice,' or 'the steward of unrighteousness,' though it is 
certainly grammatically true that the genitive is a genitive of 
qualify^ and does very distinctly serve to mark that aZiKia 
was the ruling principle of the man's wretched life. Tact is 
here our only guide. 

Again, can we be sufficiently thankful that our last Revisers 
fell back on the rendering of Coverdale in i Thess. ii. 3, 
' the man of sin,' rather than ' the sinful man ' of Tyndale 
and all the earlier Versions, except the Rhemish ; though, 


by the way, a little lower down, in ver. 7, we may reasonably 
express regret that they did not maintain the true meaning 
of avofjiia. ' Lawlessness ' is to be the essential charac- 
teristic of Antichrist, and is a part of the mystery which was 
showing itself even in the Apostle's day, and is now so 
ominously developing itself in our own ? 

We should then only be following the precedent of our 
own Version if in many passages, such as Rom. viii. 21, 
2 Cor. iv. 4 (Cranmer keeps the genitive), Col. i. 13, 
I Pet. i. 14 (contrast the rendering in Eph. ii. 2), 2 Pet. ii. 14, 
al., we introduce the strong and expressive genitive of the 
original Greek. 

In the tenses, the cases of inaccuracy are very numerous ; 
but here again considerable caution and a due observance 
of the restrictions above alluded to will be found especially 
needed. In the imperfect, for instance, there are several 
passages in which a strict translation is absolutely required 
by the circumstances, but there are also very many more in 
which the flow of the Enghsh Version would be impeded, 
and the general aspect of the action described unduly em- 
phasized, if the more literal translation was introduced. For 
example, in Luke v. 6, luftriyvvro clearly ought to be trans- 
lated ' was breaking,' or was * beginning to break,' but if 
a few verses lower we adopted the same sort of rendering 
in the case of liiipx^To and awripxovro (ver. 15) we should 
not only be over-doing the translation, but precluding our- 
selves from marking by a special change of diction in the 
next verse the ^v V7rox*^|owv .... icai Trpoffev)(6/ji£voQ, where 


the resolved form would really seem to have been designed' 
by the Evangelist to express more strongly than the 
ordinary imperfect the continuance and, for the time, the 
habitual character of the action.^ 

In the translation of the prepositions many wise changes Prepo- 
might be made, some of them of real interest and importance. 
For instance, in Gal. iii. 1 9, much of a doctrinal nature is 
involved in the translation we assign to the quasi-preposition 
^ajOiv, while in the last clause of the same verse a really 
historical fact seems brought out by observing the true force 
of Ilcl with the genitive ; angels were the intermediate 
agencies by which the law was ordained on Sinai. As 
Theodoret remarks, they were present and assistants at the 
solemn scene. Again in 2 Pet. i. 5-7, the ethical relation 
of the substantives to each other is quite effaced by the 
translation unfortunately adopted in the Authorized Version : 
the development of Christian graces the one from the other 
is exquisitely marked in the pregnant and inclusive h oi 
the Original, and is to a great degree preserved in the 

' Two of the earlier translators make it ; especially as we have the 

mark the change of diction, and the authority of the early Versions, but 

apparent specification of the con- it would be a rule with many ex- 

tinuance of the act, by the transla- ceptions. For instance in Gal. i. 22, 

lion 'And he kepte him silfe apart' we might perhaps tolerate *I re- 

(Tynd.), 'and he kepte him silfe out mained unknown ' as marking the 

of the way' (Cranmer). As a general continuance of the state, but in 

rule, it would seem desirable, where ver. 23 aKovovrtg fiaav could 

some latent meaning is really hardly be translated otherwise than 

brought out by such a change, to * they heard.' 


simple and usual translation of the preposition as rightly 
preserved by Tyndale and Cranmer. But here again 
caution will be necessary, and a due observance not merely 
of technical identity of language, but of the tenor of 
the passage ; as for example, though the significant use of 
the preposition eIq is rightly preserved by the A. V. 
in the translation of Gal. iii. 27, eIq Xpiarov ef^aTTTtadrjTe, 
it is abundantly clear that such a translation would be very 
inappropriate in i Cor. x. 2, etc rov Mwvariy ePaTziaavTO, 
where our own Version, by its happy choice of ' unto,' at 
once relieves us from the somewhat awkward ' under ' of 
Tyndale, and at the same time marks the essential difference 
between a baptism unto Moses, and baptism info the mystical 
body of Christ. 

In the case of particles, numberless instances could be given, 
especially in St. Paul's Epistles, where the whole reasoning of 
a passage is brought out by a careful observance of the use 
of the illative and argumentative apa or ap' ovv rather than of 
the lighter and consequence-suggesting ovv ; — but even here 
caution must be used, and a very close regard paid to the 
tenor of the passage before we introduce alterations ; this 
simple fact being enough at once to warn us, — that St. Paul 
uses the simpler ovv, at least four times as often as he uses 
ctjoa, and that St. John in all his writings never uses the latter 
particle once, though he uses ovv considerably more than 
200 times. The same caution in not over -pressing will be 
found necessary in reference to most of the other particles 
used in the New Testament. In the majority of cases the 


general force of the particles has been observed in our 
Authorized Version, if not on principles of strict grammatical 
precision, yet with an instinctive feeling for their essential 
meanings, which has often led to singularly happy renderings. 
Still the cases are numerous in which a guarded change will 
bring out latent meanings that may have escaped the atten- 
tion even of observant readers of Scripture. To take a final 
instance, — we seem fairly justified in giving to the aXXa at 
the beginning of John xix. 34 its stronger adversative force, 
even though a negative, which usually somewhat modifies this 
force, is found in the preceding clause. If then we turn the 
lighter and here somewhat trivial ' but ' into the stronger 
' howbeit,' we just call up the interesting thought, that 
though the holy body was to all appearance dead, yet that 
to make it certain, the Roman soldier had thrust his spear 
into the sacred side, and shown something like the same 
rough instinctive mercy which had been shown three or four 
hours before (ver. 29, compared with Matt, xxvii. 48), per- 
haps by the same hand. While, however, such a change may 
perhaps be made in this particular instance, it would be 
undesirable to adopt such a translation, say in chap. xv. 25, 
or any similar passage, where the lighter shade of the meaning 
is, in English at least, more natural. 

We have mentioned a few instances, but the cases in Words 
which greater accuracy might be attained without the least ""nc^Jjum 
shock to the general reader, and without in any degree °^ ^ Pf^" 
affecting the flow of the English, are really very numerous. 
We have that large class of cases in which nouns stand under 






the vinculum of a single preposition, and where the inter- 
polation in English of the second preposition really some- 
times gives a tinge of meaning which is not in the Greek. 
We have that very interesting class of cases which fall under 
what is technically called Granville Sharpe's rule, where two 
substantives are similarly under the vinculum of a common 
article, and where the incorrect interpolation of it in English 
may, in some few great passages like Tit. li. 13, really 
weaken the authority of a weighty witness to a catholic truth. 

The cases again in which the force of the article is neg- 
lected, or in which it is needlessly and even erroneously 
inserted, are especially numerous. In some of these we 
really sometimes obscure a truth of deep interest and im- 
portance. Let I Thess. iv. 17 be an instance. Here by 
the translation ' in the clouds,' when it ought to be simply 
' in clouds,' we mar the whole wondrous picture. The first 
translation would make it simply a being caught up to the 
clouds above, whereas the true translation suggests the idea 
of the clouds mysteriously enwreathing and bearing upward 
each company of the faithful, and of the holy living rising 
from earth as their Master rose, when the ' cloud received 
Him out of their sight.' 

Lastly, when we take into consideration the number of 
passages in which individual words have been inaccurately 
translated, and either some doctrine affected {e.g. Xovrpov, 
Tit. iii. 5, ' laver' not 'washing'),* some important fact 

1 In this particular instance our 
venerable Version would seem to 

present some trace of doctrinal bias. 
Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Genevan 


obscured {e.g. ^av£pu>6fjvai, 2 Cor. v. 10 : every man will ' be 
made manifest,' and laid bare, as well as ' appear' before the 
Judge), some unwelcome idea called up (as for example by 
the translation of i^wa in Rev. iv. 6 al, especially when 
drjpiov occurs so often and in such an utterly different 
sense), or some striking imagery obUterated (e.g. aairaaa^tvov, 
Heb. xi. 13; they were far from having ' embraced' them : 
as Tyndale and Cranmer rightly mark in translation they 
did but ' salute' them from afar), — when we take all these 
numerous isolated cases, as well as the classes of instances 
which we have before specified, it seems impossible to resist 
the conviction that revision ought certainly to extend to cases 
of inaccuracy, but that it also ought to be subjected to 
restrictions, and that each individual case should be estimated 
on its own merits. 

Beside cases of definite inaccuracy we have a large class Insufficient 
of cases in which our translation is insufficiefit ^.wA inadequate, ^^ "^^' 
rather than positively inaccurate or inexact. Here the same 
rules mainly apply as stated above ; but still greater care is 
required, otherwise the whole texture of our Version might 
be insensibly altered. Indeed it may perhaps be safely said 
that if a case does not come clearly under the head of a 

Version all properly recognise the approximately correct translation 

purely concrete nature of the term ' fountayne (of the newe birth'). 

Xourpov (see in reference to the The Rhemish, following the Vulgate, 

termination, Bopp, Vergleichende gives the more exact 'laver.' The 

G^ramwa^iA:, § 815, Vol. III. p. 195, translation 'washing' would seem 

Donaldson, Cra^yZu5, § 267, p. 473), to have been introduced by the 

and give to the word at any rate an Translators from WyclifFe. 


definite inaccuracy it should be left untouched. We want a 
revised, not what is ambitiously called an improved trans- 

Similar care will have to be used in reference to debateable 
passages. Where the balance of opinion either way is 
nearly the same, there prudence suggests that the present 
English Version should obviously be allowed to remain. 
Even in important passages such as Phil. ii. 6, where the 
judgment of modern criticism seems clearly to preponderate 
against the rendering of apTray/ioV, adopted by the older Ver- 
sions, and retained by the A. V., we should yet consider it 
questionable whether any change should be introduced. 
The same may be said of the interesting and difficult 
passage, Rom. viii. 20, 21, where though it does seem 
required by the general tenor of the passage that the on 
should be regarded as closely dependent on the preceding 
iXTTf^t (' in hope that' &c.) rather than as causal and com- 
mencing a new clause, — we should still hesitate before we 
made the change. Even in a yet clearer case where there 
does seem something like inaccuracy, and where a change 
would certainly seem to cast some feeble light on the exe- 
getical difficulty, we should hesitate before we actually 
substituted * inasmuch as they were disobedient' for the 
* who were disobedient' of the A. V. in the celebrated passage 
I Pet. iii. 20. The grammatical certainty of the clear 
difference in thought between a participle with, and without, 
the article would weigh much with us, still even here we 
might not feel a case strong enough for an absolute change. 


In regard of the translation of iryevfiaTL in verse 18 we 
should not be so sensitive, as here the insertion of the rw is 
clearly against evidence, and the translation would have to 
follow the true text. In all such debateable passages then, 
prudence would seem to suggest the maintenance of the 
present Version, though the alternative rendering might 
most properly be placed in the margin. And if in these 
greater passages, so certainly would it seem desirable to leave 
the text untouched in passages of minor importance, — such 
for example as Luke ii. 49, iv toIq too ILaTfJog jiov (house, or 
things ?), John v. 39 epevvdre (present, or imperative ?), 
John xii. 6 efiaa-rai^ey (bare, or purloined?), Col. i. 15 
npiOTOTOKOQ 7rd(Tr}g Kriaeojg (' of every creature,' or 'before 
every creature ?). In all such passages, where the arguments 
are nearly in equipoise, conservative principles might judi- 
ciously be allowed to prevail. 

But in passages where there is an inconsistency of rendering, Inconsls- 
it would seem proper to act with greater freedom. While renderings. 
we may rightly recognise and maintain the general prin- 
ciple of our own Version, and indeed of some of the earlier 
Versions, viz., in preserving a freedom as to the rendering 
of the same Greek word, we can hardly defend the varied 
translations of the same words that are found in our Version 
of the Synoptical Gospels. There is certainly force in the 
remark of Archbishop Trench that in cases of similarity of 
language in the Greek, as for instance in the case of the 
Epistle to the Ephesians and the Epistle to the Colossians, 
a careful Version ought in some degree to reproduce the 


interesting phenomenon of the similarity of words and ex- 
pressions in the Original.* Here then there really seems 
valid reason for a reconsideration of the great variety of 
rendering which we find in the Authorized Version, and for 
the belief that not only in these more general instances, 
but in the case of particular words much improvement 
might properly be introduced. No plea for freedom can 
fully justify us in retaining all the seventeen different 
renderings of Karapyiio, when the word itself is only used 
about twenty-seven times in all, or the nine different ren- 
derings of ^r)X6(t> out of a total of twelve passages : — and that 
these are not isolated or extreme cases will be seen by any 
one who will take the trouble to examine the various 
translations that are given to almost any word of fairly com- 
mon use in the Greek Testament. We advise any one who 
may feel a doubt on this subject to look into a useful work 
called 21he EnglishmaTis Greek Concordance of the New 

^ See Rev. of Authorized Fersion, ever gives also 'dominion' as in the 

p. 59, where examples are given of latter passage) ; and the really per- 

needless changes in rendering in the verse change of rendering in Z,6(poQ, 

case of some words common to the 2 Pfet, ii. 17, Jude 13, and that in a 

Epistle to the Ephesians and Ep. clause where to the extent of eight 

to the Colossians — e.g. svepyua, continuous words St. Peter and St. 

Eph. i. 19, Col. ii. 12; raTrtivo^po- Jude are absolutely identical. These 

avvTj, Eph. iv. 2, Col. iii. 12; are cases in which, with the greatest 

(Tvnl3i(3a(^6[ievov, Eph. iv. 16, desire to make as few changes as 

Col. ii. 19. To which we may add possible, hardly any reviser could 

atreXyeta, 2 Pet. ii. 7, Jude 4 ; forbear suggesting a change in one 

KvpioTTtQ, 2 Pet. ii. 10, Jude 8 (the of the two synonyms thus found in 

margin of the former passage how- identical passages. 


Testament, and to judge for himself,^ Here at any rate 
revision would be not only desirable but necessary. Yet 
here also caution would be required. No mere mechanical 
uniformity of translation is for one moment to be advocated. 
The word that most faithfully represents the meaning of the 
passage under consideration is the word to be used and 
to be maintained, without any reference to the mere fact of 
its having been used or not having been used in other 
passages where the same Greek word may have occurred. 
Where however, not only the Greek word is the same, but 
the tenor and context of the passage is the same, there 
variation is not only undesirable but even unfaithful. It is 
only then in clear cases that this form of revision should be 
applied, but there it should be applied without hesitation. 

The last class of cases in which revision seems necessary Obscure 

,- 1 7 • 1 1 1 1 • renderings. 

is where we find obscurity, whether due to the now antiquated 
meaning of the English words, or to the difficulty or am- 
biguity of the original Greek. 

-^ This useful work is better known used in the Original, but how it is 

to scholars and interpreters than to translated in each passage. The 

the general student. It had however judgment that a sober inspection of 

reacheda third edition in i860. The this Volume would lead to, would 

plan of the work is very simple. seem to be this, — that as a general 

The Greek word is given, and under rule the variations of rendering in 

it the passages where it is used; but our Version are certainly numerous, 

the passages so cited are not, as in and even in excess, but that in the 

Bruder's Coricordance, in Greek, great majority of cases, the meaning 

but in English, and in the words directly or indirectly conveyed by 

of the Authorized Version. The the context has been felt and recog- 

student can thus see at a glance not nised, and the English word chosen 

only how many times a word is accordingly. 


There are a few cases of the latter kind in which the 
Revisers of 1611 seem to have studiously left the difficulty 
as they found it, and to have made the English only too 
faithful a rendering of the Greek.^ Such a verse for instance 
as ver. 36 of i Cor. vii. can hardly convey any meaning 
whatever to the English reader, whereas by the simple in- 
sertion of the word ' daughter' in italics after the word 'virgin' 
some clue to the meaning of the verse is at once given. 
Col. ii. 23 is perhaps another instance. In such cases 

' It is very doubtful how far such 
a principle as this can be justified — 
viz., of leaving the English transla- 
tion in the same state of ambiguity 
as the Greek, so that if two meanings 
should be fairly compatible with the 
words of the Original, they should 
be equally so with the words of the 
translation. It may be urged that 
it is literally faithful; but, on the 
other hand, it must be felt to be an 
evasion. Let us take an instance. 
In the very doubtful words John i. 9, 
Tjv TO <l>u)Q TO aXr}9iv6v, <pu)Ti(^ti 
irdvTa dvOpcoirov tpx^fitvov eig 
TOP Koafxov, — there are obviously 
three constructions possible. Either 
ipxofitvov may be joined (i) with 
^v as a sort of resolved imperfect, 
or (2) with dvOpMTTov as a tertiary 
predicate (see Donaldson, Greek 
Grammar, § 489 sq.), or (3) with 
ipS)Q as a secondary predicate (see 
Donaldson, New Cratylus, § 304, or 
Greek Grammar, § 436 sq.). As- 

suming, — which may be assumed, — 
that the choice mainly lies between 
(2) and (3), are we to adopt a trans- 
lation which would leave the English 
as doubtful as to structure as the 
Greek, eg. ' every man coming 
into the world' (so the Five Clergy- 
vien), or are we to make the meaning 
distinct by translating either accord- 
ing to (2) 'when he cometh into 
the world' (the A. V. is inexact), or 
according to (3) * by coming into the 
world' — 'i.e. by the Word's coming 
into the world'? The answer is 
not easy. The decision however of 
most interpreters would we think 
be this : Do not adopt the evasive 
translation, but place one of the 
two latter translations in the text 
and the other in the margin. The 
result in this individual case would 
probably be, that (3) would obtain 
the place in the text, and that (2) 
would stand in the margin. To 
evade is never satisfactory. 


however two good rules must be systematically followed : 
First, the translator must be careful not to pass into the 
province of the interpreter and to give a paraphrase instead 
of a faithful rendering. All that he can or ought to do is, 
by some word in italics or some happy choice of expression 
or subtle change of collocation, to make the probable mean- 
ing of the Greek as clear and appreciable as the nature of 
the passage will admit. Secondly, if there be difference of 
opinion as to the meaning of the words, one or more of the 
alternative renderings should be placed in the margin. 

In the case of archaisms which tend to obscure the Archaisms, 

if obscure, 

meaning, revision should certainly be adopted. But here should be 
this very obvious rule should be followed, — archaisms should 
be removed, not wherever they occur, simply because they 
are archaisms, but in those cases only where they leave the 
general English reader in doubt as to the meaning of the 
words or passage. For instance, few general readers or 
hearers know what St. Paul means when he tells the 
Corinthians that he knows ' nothing by himself (i Cor. iv. 4) 
or would suppose that the words in the Greek were ovciv 
kp.avT^ (Tvvoila. Here a change of preposition ('against* 
for ' by') would be quite enough, without turning for aid to 
the wordy ' I am not guilty in conscience of anything ' of 
the Rhemish Version. The ' by myself is found in all the 
old Versions, and is an heir-loom from Tyndale. It would 
still be understood in some parts of England, but is certainly 
misunderstood by the majority of English readers. The 
often-quoted 'took up our carriages' of Acts xxi. 15 is 


another instance. Here the archaism has no such pedigree 
as the former, but was due to the last revision : Tyndale's 
rendering is ' we made ourselves ready,' which under Cover- 
dale's hand became the very vague 'were ready.' Cranmer, 
followed by the Bishops' Bible, adopts the not very feHcitous 
' we took up our burdens ;' the Genevan the more exact but 
certainly homely, ' we trussed up our fardels ;' while the 
Rhemish comes very badly out of it with the frigid and 
scarcely accurate ' being prepared,' due to the ' prseparati' 
of the Vulgate. Tyndale's rendering is really perhaps the 
best of those already given, and has on its side, what perhaps 
its author was little aware of, the authority of the venerable 
Syriac Version. Many similar instances might be cited, 
such for example as Matt. vi. 25, ' take no thought,' 
Acts xvii. 23, 'devotions,' i Tim. v. 4, 'nephews,' in all of 
which change is clearly required owing to the change of 
meaning which the lapse of time has introduced into the 
words. It may be doubted also whether a passage which a 
few years ago was quoted in the House of Commons^ as a 
mistranslation, 'not slothful in business' (Rom. xii. 11), 
does not really involve an archaism, and whether the ' busy- 
ness' of 161 1 did not approach more nearly to the (nrovcrj of 
the Original than it certainly does now. There is a little 
doubt however in the matter, as Tyndale by his ' let not the 

* This particular passage was re- and cited as being erroneously trans- 
ferred to by Mr. Heywood in his lated. See the speech as given in 
speech on Revision when moving the Hansard's Debates (3rd Series) 
Address above referred to (see p. 5), Vol. cxliii. p. 122 sq. 


business which ye have in hand be tedious to you,' though 
showing praiseworthy exactness as to the article (rjj critovl^ 
fxrj oKVTjpoi), has apparently used ' business' in the sense in 
which it is now used, and which a popular preacher on this 
sermon found to his cost, was certainly not the sense which 
St. Paul intended to be assigned to it in his practical and 
ever-seasonable precept. Love and zeal in the hearts of the 
very best of us are ever in danger of growing dull and 

We have now concluded our general survey of the limits Concluding 
to which revision might properly be carried. We have seen 
that not only where error is plainly to be recognised, but 
even in cases where inaccuracy, inconsistency, or obscurity 
may be distinctly visible, there it would seem the duty of a 
faithful revision to introduce corrections. There may be 
also other cases hardly falling exactly under any one of the 
classes just specified where an attentive reviser might feel 
that a change was necessary to bring out the full meaning of 
the holy Original, — but these probably would not be many, 
and when the great principle of f/ie least possible change con- 
sistent with faithfulness was borne properly in mind, would 
often be reconsidered on a final review. We may fairly 
assume then that we have specified the hmits beyond which 
no revision of the future would ever be likely to go, and to 
which, if the revision were undertaken by authority, it ought 
certainly to be restrained by definite preliminary instruc- 

Into the minor matters of the spelling of proper names^ 



correction of doubtful English (Matt. xvi. 15, John ix. 31, al), 
use of italics (Col. i. 19, Heb. x. 38, al), punctuation 
(i Cor. XV. 29, 32, 2 Cor. v. 19, al), and other matters of 
detail, it does not seem here necessary to enter.^ In all, the 
same general principles of restriction above alluded to would 
commonly be found applicable, but as the likelihood of dis- 
turbing existing prepossessions by such changes would be 
but small, the restrictive principle would not need to be very 
rigorously applied. Perhaps we may shortly say that on the 

^ All these questions however are 
of importance, especially the intro- 
duction of italics and punctuation. 
In regard of the former, a very 
careful inquiry would have to be 
instituted as to what are to be con- 
sidered the italics of the Authorized 
Version, if indeed, the * previous 
question' would not have to be 
raised as to whether they might not 
be dispensed with altogether. The 
edition of 1611 has never been 
held to be a valid authority, many 
instances occurring in which sup- 
plementary words are inserted and 
not, as usually, printed in italics: 
see for example. Gal. i. 8, 9, where 
there is a distinct inconsistency in 
printing ('preach any other Gospel') 
in two consecutive verses. There 
appears to have been a thorough 
revision of these additions in the 
Cambridge folio edition of 1638. 
Between that time and 1769 many 

additions seem to have crept in, but 
since the latter date, when the italics 
were again revised, few if any fresh 
introductions appear to have been 
made. In a few passages {e.g. 
Acts vii. 9, 'calling upon God') it 
may be doubted whether the gloss 
supplied by the added word is not 
exegetically incorrect. In the equally 
important question of punctuation 
there would be need of careful pre- 
liminary consideration. In many 
passages {e.g. i Cor. xv. 29, 32; 
2 Cor. v. 19) the punctuation 
depends on previous exegetical de- 
cision. A careful paper on this 
subject will be found in the Biblio- 
theca Sacra for Oct. 1868. The 
fullest information on the subject of 
italics will be found in an excellent 
treatise by the late Bishop of Ely 
(Dr. Turton), entitled The Text oj 
the English Bible as printed at the 
Universities, Cambr. 1833. 


first of the cases above-mentioned (spelling of proper names) 
but little change would be desirable, but that in the last 
(punctuation) considerable improvements might be intro- 
duced. Even here, however, caution would be required. 
Punctuation is not by any means in so satisfactory a state, 
even in our modern historical works, that we could presume 
over much on modern theories. Under any circumstance 
it is to be hoped that no toleration would be extended to 
that objectionable though, as we fear our own pages bear 
witness, occasionally serviceable modern mark, the dash. 
The revisers, we think, would be wise to make the Cam- 
bridge edition their standard, and to adhere to its punc- 
tuation unless the exegesis of the passage clearly required a 

We may now pass onward to the actual application of 
the principles above laid down. 





We have now come to a very practical question, and one 
that can only be satisfactorily answered in a practical manner, 
and by actual samples of revision in accordance with the 
foregoing rules. It is indeed a question of primary im- 
portance. If it should appear that the amount of change 
necessary to bring our present Version up to a reasonable 
standard of faithfulness and accuracy is really not so great 
as is assumed by popular writers and thinkers on the 
subject, then much of the prejudice against a revision would 
disappear. The question in fact would then not assume the 
invidious form. Is it wise to tamper with our existing noble 
Version ? but would simply be this. With such an amount of 
change before us as the foregoing principles would seem to 
involve, is it wise or unwise to disturb our existing transla- 
tion? On the amount of change the whole subject will 
mainly be found to turn, and till that be approximately 
estimated all dealing with current objections will be futile. 
Our present opponents, even those, it may be said, who at 
least ought to be better informed, at once assume that there 
will be a great amount, and then proceed to state all the 
evils that will follow. 


We must then deal with the question, however roughly, of How it 
probable amount. But how can this best be done ? Pro- Remained, 
bably in two ways : first, as in the case of the amount of 
change likely to be introduced by grammatical and exegetical 
considerations, by taking some current revision made on 
general principles of distinct avoidance of change except 
where accuracy required it, and by making a calculation from 
actual inspection of the sum total of corrections that would 
be likely on such a system to be introduced in the whole of 
the New Testament. Secondly, by giving actual samples of 
revision based on the principles of the foregoing chapter, and 
checked by all the limitations which we have already spe- 
cified. We shall then have before us, a system in which 
generally unnecessary change is avoided, and also one in 
which limiting and conservative considerations are still more 
allowed to prevail. 

For a rough estimate of the greatest amount of change Amount of 
that it would seem reasonable to expect in any revision of revisioVof 
the present day, we may turn to one already used in reference p,^^ 
to textual change, — The Revised Translation by Five Clergy- 
men. In this work though change has been very freely 
introduced wherever faithfulness and accuracy seemed to 
require it, yet it certainly may be considered as a fair 
specimen of a revision in which unnecessary change is 
avoided. The amount of change is greater, especially in the 
case of inaccuracies, than would result from an observance 
of the principles of this chapter ; as scarcely any instance, 
however slight, has been allowed to pass without emendation,. 


If then we first make our calculation from this particular 
translation, we shall probably have arrived at results, as to 
the amount of change, beyond which it may be considered 
certain that no careful and conservative revision of the present 
time would ever advance. We shall in fact have arrived at 
what mathematicians call the superior limit, the inferior limit 
being either change only where it would simply be impossible, 
on any principle of faithfulness, to maintain the present 
Version, or no change at all. 

Let us take two different portions, one from the Gospels, 
the other from the Epistles, so as to form as fair an estimate 
as we can for the whole of the New Testament. If we take 
the first four chapters of St. John's Gospel and count all the 
changes (except those due to textual criticism, which have 
been estimated already) we shall find that they amount to 
about 172. The majority of these changes, however, is of so 
slight a kind as regards the general tone and rhythm of the 
verse (insertions of the article, changes of perfect to the 
simple preterite, &c.) that they would probably escape the 
notice of the general hearer. The number of verses in the 
four chapters is 166. 

If we now take a short epistle, St. Paul's Epistle to the 
Galatians, and similarly count the changes, we shall find 
them about 167, the number of verses being 149. If we 
now combine the results so as to form a rough estimate for 
the whole New Testament, this result is arrived at, — about 
339 changes in 315 verses, or very little more on the 
average than at the rate of o?te change for each verse. Such 



a result cannot fairly be considered very alarming, when we 
remember that this amounts, on an average, to a change 
of a single word in certainly not less than every twenty. At 
any rate, even if it should seem alarming,^ it may be considered 
sufficient to dispose of the greater part of the current argu- 
ments against revision, which are founded on the assumption 
of a far greater per-centage of change. When it is quite 
clear that no revision would be tolerated in excess of that of 
the Five Clergymen, and when cool calculation shows that 

^ It is worthy of notice, and cer- 
tainly not unsatisfactory, that this 
amount of change has already been 
thought very alarming, not only by 
episcopal speakers in the recent 
sitting of Convocation (see The 
Guardian for May ii), but even 
in public journals where thorough- 
ness of work is more often recom- 
mended than purely conservative 
change. The fears, however, are not 
altogether well founded. In the 
first place it may be said that no 
present Revision for public use 
would be likely to go so far as that 
of the Five Clergymen, on which 
the calculation was based. Still 
when all the small changes, not 
only in the text and translation, but 
also in the italics and even punctua- 
tion, which would almost certainly 
be introduced even by the most 
conservative Revisers, are taken into 
the calculation, it does not seem 
likely that the aggregate of changes 

great and small (the majority will 
certainly be of this description) will 
numerically be much less than has 
been specified, though the whole 
Version will be revised to a de- 
cidedly lower key than that of the 
Five Clergymen. The comparison 
in an article in The Times (for May 6) 
between one change in every verse, 
and one note in every bar in a piece 
of music, is hardly fair. In the first 
place, the ratio of the one change to 
the average number of elements un- 
changed is very different in the two 
cases, and, in the next place, it is 
certainly true that we may express 
the same sentiment by different 
forms of words, whereas the same 
air can only be expressed by the 
same sequence of notes. After all, 
calculation will show, as is indicated 
in the text, that such a standard of 
revision will only involve change to 
the amount oj Jive per cent. Can 
this be thought very serious ? 



in that particular revision the amount of change would 
appear to be about one word, and that often a little word, in 
each verse, surely it is idle to call this recasting or re- 
modelling, and to argue accordingly. 

It cannot be pleaded that other portions of Scripture 
would show very different results to those derived from the 
portions now chosen. In St. Paul's Epistles, in the work 
referred to, the amount of change is very steady. 

If the Epistle to the Hebrews had been translated, the 
change in it would probably have risen above the standard, 
but this would have been more than balanced by the smaller 
amount of change in other Gospels, in two of which it 
would have probably fallen below. If then we may assume 
that any future revision would certainly not overstep the 
limits practically observed in the work referred to, we arrive, 
for our superior Hmit, at this result, — one change in every four 
verses due to textual criticism^ and about one change in each 
verse due to grammar and general exegesis. But this, let it be 
remembered, is the superior limit, below which it is perfectly 
clear that any revision of the present time would certainly 
fall. If every petty change due to every cause were to be 
taken into account, the result would be as above, but, in the 
foregoing estimate, notice is only taken of the greater fomis 
of change due to textual and grammatical considerations. 

We have now to try and estimate how far below this 
superior limit any modern revision would be likely to fall. 
This can only be done by giving some samples of revision, 
textual and grammatical, based on the principles of the last 


chapter, as far as a single mind can do it : but it must be 
well borne in remembrance by the intelligent reader that he 
has here only the judgment of a single mind, and that the 
results would probably be different in the case of several 
minds in union. The difference, however, would not perhaps 
ultimately be in excess. On first going over the work the 
amount of change would be great ; but on a reconsideration 
of it, experience, maturity of powers, conviction of the 
impossibility of following rigid rules, and, — best of all 
teachers, — consciousness in many passages of failure and of 
over-correction, would finally reduce the changes, on the 
second revision, almost by one-half. All united companies 
of revisers, whatever their work may be, commonly begin with 
timidity, rapidly advance to boldness and excess of change, 
and end with caution and conservatism. When the TraXivrpoiroQ 
avpa in revision, as the Greeks call it, once begins to blow, it 
continues with all the steadiness of a trade wind. It does 
not then by any means follow that a mixed company of 
Revisers would introduce in the long run more changes in 
actual amount than any one single scholar of moderation 
and sobriety. The changes introduced by the company 
would undoubtedly be better than those of the individual, 
but they would not be more numerous. 

The portions of Scripture chosen are the Sermon on the Sample 
Mount, and four of the most difficult chapters of St. Paul's chosen for 
Epistle to the Romans : the first as being a portion of Scrip- '■^^'^'°"- 
ture in which the change needed is very little ; the second as 
being a portion where necessary change reaches a maximum. 

K 2 


Except in cases where the reason for the change is obvious, 
the principles on which it is made are shortly specified in the 
footnotes. The changes due to textual criticism are indi- 
cated by spaced printing, and the reading of the Authorized 
Version given in the lefthand margin ; the changes due to 
grammar and other principles are indicated by blacker type, 
and the words which have been affected by the changes 
are given in the righthand column. The amount as well as 
the nature of the changes can thus easily be seen. It may 
be added that italics are left as we find them in what may 
be called (for these added words) the first really standard 
edition (Cambridge, 1638). 

We begin then with our blessed Lord's Sermon on the 


CRITICAL. I And seeing the multitudes, he grammatical. 
went up into the^ mountain : and a 

^ Here a change seems positively Hebrew, and almost certainly not 

required not merely on grammatical here generically (* the mountain 

grounds, but on general and exegeti- country'), opoQ being always used in 

cal grounds. It was * the mountain,' the N. T. to denote a single moun- 

not necessarily 'the known moun- tain, and 7) opeivi) (Luke i. 39, 65) 

tain' (De Wette), but simply the the mountain-country. All the 

mountain near to which and on the English Versions adopt the inde- 

sides of which the multitudes then finite article; the Anglo-Saxon, 

were gathered ; to opog to irXijaiov, however, has properly retained the 

Euthymius. The article is cer/azn^y definite translation, 'THonemunt.' 

not used indefinitely either in Greek See Bosworth, Anglo-Saxcm Gospels, ' 

(see Hermann, on Viger, p. 703) or in loc. p. 16. 



when he was set, his disciples came 
unto him. 2 And he opened his 
mouth, and taught them, saying, 

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit : for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

4 Blessed are they that mourn : for 
they shall be comforted.^ 5 Blessed 
are the meek : for they shall inherit 

the earth. 6 Blessed are they that^ which do 
hunger and thirst after righteousness : 
for they shall be filled. 7 Blessed 
are the merciful : for they shall ob- 
tain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure 
in heart : for they shall see God. 
9 Blessed are the peacemakers : for 
they shall be called the sons' of God. children 

'*■ This verse is placed after ver. 5 & thirst' more closely together, — 

by Lachmann, Tregelles, and other why there should be a change from 

editorsontheauthority of the Codex the translation in ver. 4. Tynd. 

Bezae, the Curetonian Syriac, and a Cran. and Gen. similarly vary as 

definite comment of Origen ; but to ' which ' but not as to the inser- 

it is almost certain that the authority tion of the ' do/ as in the A. V. 
would be considered by all sober ^ Probably a desirable change, 

critics as far too weak to justify any The distinction between ' children ' 

change. and 'sons' may usually be main- 

- One of those rer?/ small changes tained with advantage both in this 

which will often have to be made. and in other passages of the New 

There is really no reason, — except Testament. The reference of course 

it can possibly be that the insertion is to the vloOsffia, but no argument 

of 'do' was thought to bind 'hunger can be founded on the general 




10 Blessed ^r^ they which are per- 
secuted for righteousness' sake : for 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

1 1 Blessed are ye, when men shall 
revile you, and persecute you, and 
shall say all manner of evil against 
you falsely,^ for my sake. 1 2 Re- 
joice, and be exceeding glad,'* for 
great is your reward in heaven : for 


translation of this word, as it is 
translated in three ways in the A. V. 
— viz., 'adoption' in Rom. viii. 
15, 23 ; 'adoption of sons,' Gal. iv. 5; 
'adoption of children,' Eph. i. 5. 
We may remark that there is no 
need to displace the article, there 
being at least two good grammati- 
cal reasons (the nuncupative verb 
KXr]9ri(TovTai and the absence of 
the article before Oeov) why it 
should not be expressed in the 
Original, though presumably latent. 
It may be added that throughout 
the paragraph the translation of on 
is maintained as in the A. V. No 
doubt on more commonly gives 
the reason ('because') while yap 
rather confirms (' for'), but to press 
such a principle here would be quite 
needless : comp. ver. 36. In ver. 12 
where on and yap appear together 
the matter is more doubtful. 

^ The word 'falsely' {^l/tvdofievoi) 
would not appear if the translation 
were made from the text of Lach- 
mann or Tischendorf (ed. 7), but 
its omission is very feebly supported, 
and could not be accepted when the 
evidence for and against the omis- 
sion is soberly considered. Meyer 
is evidently influenced by purely 
internal and subjective considera- 
tions. These have their just weight 
both here and generally, but few 
would deem them sufficient to make 
up for the small amount of evidence 
against the word. 

2 We have placed a comma after 
this word for the sake of more 
closely connecting the clause with 
the words that follow, and so of 
thus marking the slight change of 
ratiocination involved in the on and 
yap, and of avoiding the heavier 
' because.' 




SO persecuted they the prophets 
which were before you, 

13 Ye are the salt of the earth : 
but if the salt have lost his savour, 
wherewith shall it be salted ? it is 
thenceforth good for nothing, but to 
be cast out, and to be trodden under 
foot of men. 14 Ye are the light 
of the world. A city set^ on an hill that is set 
cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men 
light a candle, and put it under the'' ^ 
bushel, but on the'^ candlestick ; and a 
it giveth light unto all that are in 
the house. 16 Even so^ let your Let your light so 

^ The relative is here omitted 
with Wijcliffe, it being really a prin- 
ciple of some importance to main- 
tain, where possible, the translation 
of the participle when thus used 
without the article, and being thus 
what is called a secondary predica- 
tion : see Donaldson, New Cratylus, 
§ 301. The relatival or directly 
predicative translation is found in all 
the older Versions (except JVycl.) 
and even in Alford, Auth. Fers. Re- 
vised (in loc), but it is not logically 
or grammatically correct. What our 
blessed Lord says is this, *A city 
cannot be hid when it lieth on a 
mountain.' The words that most 

nearly say this, with the least possible 
disturbance of the A. V., are those 
in the text. No doubt both bpovg 
and Kunkvrj could be more literally 
translated, but the principle of mini- 
mum change suggests the present 

^ These two changes seem posi- 
tively required, if any account is 
really to be taken of the article. 
The slight difficulty that the reader 
feels is not so much owing to the 
translation, as to the fact that a 
bushel is not one of those articles 
which are commonly found in houses 

2 The correction is really required 



light shine before men, that they 
may see your good works, and 
glorify your Father which is in 

17 Think not that I am come to 
destroy the law, or the prophets : I 
am not come to destroy, but to 
fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, 
Till heaven and earth pass, one jot 
or one tittle shall in no wise pass 
from the law, till all be fulfilled. 

19 Whosoever therefore shall break 
one of these least commandments, 
and shall teach men so, he shall be 

called least^ in the kingdom of the least 
heaven : but whosoever shall do and 
teach them, the same shall be called 
great in the kingdom of heaven. 

20 For I say unto you. That except 
your righteousness shall exceed 
the righteousness of the scribes and 

for perspicuity. Nine English readers forward, and make it the first word 
out of ten think that the ' so' refers in the sentence. 
to what follows and not to what ^ So Wycliffe : Tynd. and the re- 
precedes. Tyndale and all the later maining Versions prefix the definite 
Versions except Rhem. coincide with article. Consistency seems to require 
the A. V. The Anglo-Saxon and the omission, — ' shall be called great 
Pf^ycL both properly throw the 'so' .... shall be called least.' 



Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter 
into the kingdom of heaven. 

21 Ye have heard that it was 
said to^ them of old time, Thou 
shalt not kill : and whosoever shall 
kill shall be in danger of the judg- 
ment 2 2 But I say unto you, That 
whosoever is angry with his brother 
Many ancient without a cause^ shall be in danger 

authorities omit ^ , . , , , 

of the judgment : and whosoever 
shall say to his brother, Raca, shall 
be in danger of the council : and^ 
whosoever shall say. Thou fool, shall 
be in danger of hell fire. 23 If 

without a 




1 The translation here adopted is 
not perfectly certain, the ablatival 
use ('by them') being grammati- 
cally defensible (see Winer, Gramm. 
§ 31. 10, p. 275, ed. Moulton, Meyer, 
Kommentar, in loc), but not exe- 
getically probable, the clause ' but I 
say u7ito you,' ver. 22, seeming to 
stand in such clear parallelism to the 
precedingwords. The Gothic, Anglo- 
Saxon, and all the English Versions 
adopt the dative : so also the Margin. 
There seems then full reason for the 

2 The words * without a cause' are 
vei-y doubtful. The Vatican and 
Sinaitic MSS. supported by several 

Versions omit: the remaining Uncial 
MSS. with the Old Latin, Syriac, 
and Coptic Versions retain the 
words. In a case of such clear doubt 
it would seem right to leave the 
words in the text, but to notice 
in the margin the doubtfulness of 
the reading. 

^ This change is necessary for con- 
sistency. There can be no reason 
for translating the Sk by 'and' 
in one clause and 'but' in the 
next, when the first four words 
in both clauses are the same. The 
Genevan and Rhemish alone adopt 
'and.' The rest agree with the 
Authorized Version. 




therefore^ thou bring thy gift to Therefore if 
the altar, and there remember^ that rememberest 
thy brother hath ought against thee ; 
24 Leave there thy gift before the 
altar, and go thy way; first be re- 
conciled to thy brother, and then 
come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree 
with thine adversary quickly, while' whiles 

1 This change might seem at first 
sight needlessly minute. It is how- 
ever very desirable to avoid, as far 
as possible, giving ovv the strong 
illative force which the position of 
' wherefore' at the beginning of the 
sentence certainly seems to imply. 
This, as we shall find in St. Paul's 
Epistles, is better reserved for aga. 
We are also preserving the same 
position for the illative particle which 
it occupies in ver. 19. The exegesis 
of the passage seems also to require 
the subordination of the inference. 
It was the remembrance of the 
grave punishment that overhangs 
the unloving and evil-speaking, that 
suggests the solemn counsel in ver. 
23. It does not so much directly 
follow from it as indirectly, and by 
natural consequence. The older 
Versions preserve the order in 
Auth., except Genev., which adopts 
the thoroughly correct * if then' 
(though not always to be pressed). 

and Rhem., which here adopts ' if 

^ The change to the subjunctive 
is apparently necessary on the prin- 
ciple of a parity of moods in the 
two clauses. Here again Rhem. is 
with the change. The remaining 
Versions maintain the indicative; 
but in the first clause Tynd. and 
Cra?i. both preserve the indicative, 
and so far are consistent. The 
somewhat doubtful question as to 
when the indicative rather than 
the subjunctive should follow ' if,' 
is answered succinctly and with 
very good sense by Latham, English 
Language, § 536, Vol. n. p. 42/; 
(ed. 4). 

3 ' Whiles' as an archaic form 
(see Johnson, Dictioiiary, ed. La- 
tham s.v.) may be properly changed 
into the more usual form. All 
the Versions have 'whiles' except 
Coverdale, which agrees with the 
form in the text. 




in the way thou art with him in the way:^ 

with him 

lest at any time^ the adversary de- 
liver thee to the judge, and the judge 
deliver thee to the oflEicer, and thou 
be cast into prison. 26 Verily I 
say unto thee, Thou shalt by no 
means come out thence, till thou 
hast paid the uttermost farthing. 
27 Ye have heard that it was said^ 
by them of a ' Thou shalt not commit adultery, 
old time 28 But I say unto you, That 
whosoever looketh on a woman 
to lust after her hath committed 
adultery with her already in his 

J This slight transposition is preserved in translation (Matt. iv. 6) 

necessitated by the changed order sometimes omitted (Matt. vii. 6). As 

which critical considerations seem a rough rule perhaps it may be said 

clearly to require in the Original. — that where the idea of time is 

The emphasis thus falls more on expressed (as here, emq otov) or 

the iv Ty 6d({i, and should be pre- distinctly implied in the sentence 

served in the translation. The place there the longer form should be 

of emphasis in English is frequently used ; where it is only latent, then 

at the close of the sentence. See the shorter form * lest' will be sufR- 

Bain, Rhetoric, p. lOO. Some cient. The longer form here first 

valuable remarks on the importance appears in Cranmer. 
of the order in an English sentence ^ The reading of the text is 

will be found in Marsh, Engl. supported by very distinctly pre- 

Language, Lect. xvi. p. 347 sq. ponderating evidence. The Cure- 

^ The translation of firjirore is by tonian Syriac and Vulgate are among 

no means uniform in the A. v., the the minority, but their evidence 

temporal adjunct being sometimes cannot turn the scale. 



be cast 



heart. 29 Yea^ if thy right eye and 
offend thee, pluck it out, and cast 
it from thee : for it is profitable for 
thee that one of thy members should 
perish, and not that thy whole body 
should be cast into hell. 30 And 
if thy right hand offend thee, cut it 
off, and cast it from thee : for it is 
profitable for thee that one of thy 
members should perish, and not 
that thy whole body should go^ into 
hell. 3 1 It hath also* been said, it hath been 
Whosoever shall put away his wife, 
let him give her a writing of divorce- 
ment. 32 But I say unto you, 
That whosoever shall put away his 

> This is not a certain correction, 
as perhaps it is nearly as much too 
strong as the A. V. is too weak. 
It however does seem to bring out 
the meaning, that not only must the 
particular sin be avoided but even 
the first motions of it in the heart 
checked. This is clearly felt by 
Tynd. and (?en., in both of which 
the translation is ' therefore.' 

' The critical evidence for the 
text distinctly preponderates. The 
Rec. Text is apparently an emen- 
datory repetition from ver. 29. 

^ Not a certain correction, but 
still apparently necessary to mark 
that this is a fresh example of the 
contrast between the old and new 
dispensation. The particle Sk has 
here the force which its etymology 
suggests (*in the second place'), 
and which often marks its use both 
in the Greek Testament and else- 
where. Compare Donaldson, New 
Cratylus, § 155, p. 284. The 
change from ' hath been' to * was' 
(Alford) does not, in this particular 
case, seem necessary. 



wife, saving for the cause of forni- 
cation, causeth her to commit adul- 
tery : and whosoever shall marry her 
when^ divorced, committeth adul- that is 

2fZ Again, ye have heard that 
it hath been said to them of old by 
time. Thou shalt not forswear thy- 
self, but shalt perform unto the Lord 
thine oaths. 34 But I say unto 
you, Swear not at all ; neither by 
heaven, for it is God's throne : 
35 Nor by the earth, for it is his 
footstool : neither by Jerusalem, for 
it is the city of the great King. 36 
Neither shalt thou swear by thy 
head; for thou canst not make because 
one hair white or black. 37 But 

^ An important correction. The See De Wette and Meyer, in Inc. It 

participle has not the article, and must however always remain an 

must not be translated definitely. important fact in the great con- 

Whether, however, it should be troversy connected with this verse 

translated ' a divorced woman' that St. Matthew has not inserted the 

generally, or, as in the text, is by article. Had he done so it would 

no means certain. The most have been certain that the reference 

natural view would seem to be that was to the special case above- 

aTToXtXw/Asvjjv is what grammarians mentioned: as it is, the utmost 

call a tertiary predicate, and that that can fairly be said in regard 

thus the reference is to one unlaw- of the exact inference to be drawn 

fully divorced as above specified. from the words, is — nan liquet. 



let your speech^ be, Yea, yea ; Nay, communication 
nay : whatsoever is more than for whatsoever 
these cometh of evil.'* 

38 Ye have heard that it hath 
been said, An eye for an eye, and a 
tooth for a tooth. 39 But I say 
unto you, That ye resist not evil : 
but whosoever shall smite thee on 
thy right cheek, turn to him the 
other also. 40 And if any man 
will sue thee at the law, and take 
away thy coat, let him have thy 
cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall 
compel thee to go a mile, go with 
him twain. 42 Give to him that 
asketh thee, and from him that 
would^ borrow of thee turn not thou 

43 Ye have heard that it hath 

' Not an important change, but 'word;' Rhem., 'talke.' The rest 

apparently desirable to mark that as Auth. 

it was oral communication here ^ On the translation of this 

referred to, and conveying by speech word, see the notes on chap. vi. 13. 

the convictions or facts asserted ^ Attention may be called to this 

either affirmatively or negatively. translation of tov QiXovra. It can 

Comp. Meyer, in loc. The comment hardly be doubted that this form 

of Bengel in reference to the repeated * would' which, strictly considered, 

' yea' and * nay* is very good ; ' est implies contingent determination 

rei, sit est dicti : non rei, sit non (see Bain, Eiigl. Grammar, p. 104), 

dicti.' ^ycZ. gives as the translation, approaches more nearly and idio- 




been said, Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But 
Abless them I Say unto you. Love your enemies,\ 
do\oo?^to°''' ^^^ P^^y fo^ them which ^ persecute 
hltr o^u^^ ^^^ • 45 That ye may be the sons' children 
Adespitefully of Y^ur Father which is in heaven : 
use you and ^^^ ^^ maketh his sun to rise on the 

evil and good,^ and sendeth rain on on the good 
the just and unjust. 46 For if ye on the unjust 
love them which love you, what re- 
ward have ye ? do not even the 
publicans the same*? 47 And if ye 

matically to the meaning of the 
original than any other expression. 
The translation 'that desireth* 
(Alf.) is heavy, and better suited 
to the stronger form ^ovXofiai : 
' that wisheth' is weak ; and ' that is 
willing' too purely independent of 
all latent purpose, to suit, at any 
rate, the present passage. 

^ This is one of the many cases 
in which the 2 or 3 oldest MSS. with 
the best cursives and some few Ver- 
sions of high character are opposed 
to the Codex Bezae supported by all 
the second-class Uncial MSS. and 
many Versions. Nearly all modern 
critics, in both cases in this verse, 
agree with the older witnesses, and 
adopt the shorter reading. 

2 See note on ver. 9. 

^ Here a very rigidly accurate 

translation would perhaps mark the 
absence of the article ' on evil men 
and good' (comp. Wycl. 'on good 
and evil men') and similarly in the 
next clause. This however would 
seem to be unnecessary, the general 
sense being expressed fully and fairly 
by the text, especially when the re- 
petition of the preposition is dis- 
pensed with. The evil and good 
and the just and unjust are here 
considered as a whole class to whom 
the benefits are equally vouchsafed. 
See above, p. 114, note. 

* The best critical editors here 
read ovtioq, but, as it would seem, 
not on distinctly sufficient evidence. 
In the next verse the balance is 
much more decided, the Vatican, 
Sinaitic, and Codex Bezae being all 
on the same side. 



salute your brethren only, what do 
ye more than others? do not even 
publicans so? the heathen the same? 48 Be 
ye therefore perfect, even as your 
Father which is in heaven is perfect. 


I Take heed that ye do not your 
alms righteousness^ before men, to be 

seen of them : otherwise ye have no 
reward of your Father which is in 
heaven. 2 When therefore^ thou Therefore when 
doest alms, do not sound a trumpet tkim alms 
before thee, as the hypocrites do in 
the synagogues and in the streets, 
that they may have glory of men. 
Verily I say unto you, They have 
their reward. 3 But when thou 
doest alms, let not thy left hand 
know what thy right hand doeth ; 
4 That thine alms may be in secret : 

1 This is a textual change in ^ Change made on the same prin- 

which the state of the critical evi- ciple as in chap. v. 23. The in- 

dence is much about the same as in sertion of * thine' in italics in the 

chap. V. 44. AH the best modern A. V. is clearly unnecessary; see 

editors adopt the reading in the below ver. 3. It is found in Tynd. 

text : iXtrjfioavvtfV yvas a very and Gen., but not in Cranmer nor 

natural gloss. in Rhem. 


thou prayest, 
thou shalt 



and thy Father which seeth in secret 
himself shall reward'' thee^ /^. 

5 And when ye pray, ye shall 
not be as the hypocrites are: for 
they love to pray standing in the 
synagogues and in the corners of the 
streets, that they may be seen of 
men. Verily I say unto you. They 
have their reward. 6 But thou, 
when thou prayest, enter into thy 
closet, and when thou hast shut thy 
door, pray to thy Father which is in 
secret ; and thy Father which seeth 
in secret shall reward thee ^. 7 But 
when ye pray, use not vain repeti- 
tions, as the heathen do : for they 



^ The reading is here very doubt- 
ful. On the whole, due regard being 
had to the principles of the above 
revision, to the state of the evidence, 
and to the possibility of a conforma- 
tion to ver. 18, it seems best to re- 
tain the pronoun. 

^ The change here to 'requite' 
(Alford) is unnecessary. No doubt 
* reward ' is now commonly referred 
to the idea of repaying for good, and 
has lost its neutral sense of simple 
requital : with passages, however, 
such as I Sam. xxiv. 17 before us it 
does not seem necessary to disturb 

the familiar words. Here again is 
a case in which the principle of least 
possible change seems to influence 
our decision. 

^ The omission of ' openly' seems 
consistent with the principles of this 
revision. The three great MSS. 
(observe that the Alexandrian is de- 
ficient throughout the portion now 
before us) are in favour of the omis- 
sion both here and in ver. 6, and are 
supported by valuable cursive mss. 
and several important Versions. The 
best critical editors also agree in the 







think that they shall be heard for 
their much speaking. 8 Be not ye 
therefore like unto them : for your 
Father knoweth what things ye have 
need of, before ye ask him. 9 After 
this manner therefore pray ye : Our 
Father which art in heaven, Hallowed 
be thy name, i o Thy kingdom come. 
Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth 

as it is 

also upon earth.^ t i Give us this in heaven, 
day our daily bread. 1 2 And forgive 
us our debts, as we also have for- we 
given our debtors.^ 13 And lead 

^ It may be thought bold to 
change such famiUar words, but the 
original Greek seems positively to 
require it, the clause ytvijQrjTU) to 
QkXrjfid (Tov being thus preserved in 
more solemn parallelism with the 
two preceding clauses. The defining 
words do not thus, as in Auth., 
form in effect a substantive part of-* 
the whole clause, but preserve their 
true logical position. The transition 
to the second part of the holy prayer 
and to our earthly needs is thus also 
better defined. This, however, is 
one of those changes which, if made 
by any committee, would provoke 
the most unfavourable criticism. It 
is well for us then to have samples 
of such corrections before us, that we 

may make up our minds on the sub- 
ject beforehand, and not be swayed 
by the sudden prejudices of the time 
when they first appear. Some striking 
remarks on these three great clauses 
and their import, considered logi- 
cally, will be found in an article by 
Hanne, in the Jahrlnicher fur 
Deutsche Theologie for 1866, p. 507 

* The reading is very doubtful on 
account of the division of authorities, 
some reading a^it/i£v, some a^iojwfv, 
and the remaining (among which 
are the Vatican, Sinaitic, and Dublin 
Rescript) the perfect, a.<pr)Kafitv. 
We adopt this with the chief critical 
editors. In the case of the con- 
cluding words of the verse, the pre- 



US not into temptation, but deliver 
^For thine is US from evil.^ /\ 14 For if ye forgive 
and th? °'"' ^^^ *^^^^ trespasses, your heavenly 
power, and Father will also forgive you : i c. But 

the glory, for o j d 

ever. Amen, if ye forgive not men their trespasses, 
neither will your Father forgive your 

16 Moreover when ye fast, be 
not, as the hypocrites, of a sad 
countenance : for they disfigure 
their faces, that they may appear 
unto men to fast. Verily I say unto 
you, They have their reward. 17 
But thou, when thou fastest, anoint 
thine head, and wash thy face ; 
18 That thou appear not unto 
men to fast, but unto thy Father 
which is in secret : and thy Father 

ponderance for the omission is a introduce a change, although the 

little more distinctly defined, there balance of exegetical evidence seems 

being no division among the authori- in fevour of the masculine, ' from the 

ties on either side in favour of any Evil One.' Consider Rom. xvi. 20, 

third reading (as above), and the Eph. vi. 16, 2 Thess. iii. 3, i John 

Old Latin, Coptic, and Vulgate iii. 8, and compare above chap. v. 37. 

joining with the three most ancient In both these cases it is well worthy 

MSS. in favour of the omission. of notice and consideration that the 

These words, however, it may again great Greek interpreters are in fevour 

be observed, will not be surrendered of the masculine. Under any cir- 

without much controversy. cumstances the alternative rendering 

^ Here it is perhaps best not to ought to be placed in the margin. 

L 2 



which seeth in secret, shall reward 

^openly. thee ^\ 

19 Lay not up for yourselves 
treasures upon the^ earth, where earth 
moth and rust doth corrupt, and 
where thieves break through and 
steal : 20 But lay up for yourselves 
treasures in heaven, where neither 
moth nor rust doth corrupt, and 
where thieves do not break through 
your nor steal. 21 For where thy^ trea- 

your sure is, there will thine heart be 

also. 22 The light of the body is 
the eye : if therefore thine eye be 
single, thy whole body shall be full 
of light. 23 But if thine eye be 

^ The weight of authority for the ii. 15, seems to depend on a due 

omission is here more decided than recognition of this principle, 

in ver. 4 and ver. 6, and the omission ^ These two corrections are not 

may be deemed a certain correction. quite certain, though very probable. 

2 Accuracy seems to require this Here the Codex Bezae and Dublin 
very trifling insertion. It is always Rescript both have lacunae. We 
a safe rule to observe the article in are thus left with the Vatican and 
translation when it appears after a Sinaitic against the great bulk of 
preposition. Prepositions, as is well the second-class Uncial mss. The 
known, so often obliterate the article strong support given by the Versions 
(see Winer, Grammar, § 19, p. 157, to the two older MSS., and the agree- 
ed. Moulton), that when it does ment with them of the valuable cur- 
appear it may safely be pressed. The sives marked i and 28 seem to justify 
true interpretation of the difficult the correction. Comp. ver. 1 7 for a 
words ha rfjg rtKvoyoviag, i Tim. like change to the singular. 



evil, thy whole body shall be full of 
darkness. If therefore the light that 
is in thee be darkness, how great is 
that darkness ! 

24 No man can serve two 
masters : for either he will hate the 
one, and love the other ; or else he 
will hold to the one, and despise the 
other. Ye cannot serve God and 
mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto 
you, Be not carefur for your life, T^'^^ "°, 

■^ ' -^ ' thought for 

what ye shall eat, and what ye shall or 
drink ; nor yet for your body, what 
ye shall put on. Is not the life 
more than the meat, and the body meat 
than the raiment? 26 Behold the raiment 
fowls of the air ; that^ they sow not, for 
neither do they reap, nor gather 
into barns ; yet your heavenly Father 
feedeth them. Are ye not much 

^ On the reasons for this change of the two definite articles is re- 
see the remarks of Trench, On the quired on the principles of reasonable 
Auth. Version,'^. 13. In this same accuracy. 

verse there is some doubt as to the ^ 'phe word in the Original is 

reading. The evidence seems in on, and has obviously here not its 

favour of i?ec. ((cairt TTtTjre), but in causal but its explanatory meaning 

the translation of the text so taken * that.' As Meyer observes, it is in 

the A. V. is slightly inaccurate. In the effect equivalent to dg eicelvo on, 

concluding words the introduction Comp. Joh. ii. 18, 2 Cor. i. 18, al. 



better than they ? 27 Wliich of 

you by being careful can add one taking thought 

cubit unto his lifetime ?^ 28 And stature ? 

why are ye careful for raiment? take ye thought 

Consider the lilies of the field, how 

they grow ; they toil not, neither do 

they spin. 29 And yet I say unto 

you, That even Solomon in all his 

glory was not arrayed like one of 

these. 30 But,'^ if God so clothe Wherefore, 

the grass of the field, which to day 
is, and to morrow is cast into the 
oven, shall he not much more clothe 

you, O ye of little faith ? 3 1 Be Therefore take 

not therefore careful, saying, "° °"^ ' 
What shall we eat ? or, What shall 
we drink ? or. Wherewithal shall we 
be clothed ? 32 For after all these 
things do the Gentiles seek : for 

' Clearly required by the context. cubitis metitur.' Here again the 
The idea of supporting life specially alternative rendering should be put 
by means of food in ver. 25, is in the margin, 
expanded in ver. 26, and continued ^ The strong ratiocinative ' where- 
in its more general form in the fore' of Auth., though found in 
present verse. All the English Tynd., Cranmer, Gen., al., cannot 
Versions, howrever, adopt the current properly be maintained as the 
view. So also Bengel, whose com- translation of the simple ^£. Wycl. 
ment on Luke xii. 26 is, *hanc and Rhem. adopt 'and,' but the 
(scil. longitudinem aetatis) nemo copula is here too weak. 



your heavenly Father knoweth that 
ye have need of all these things. 
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of 
God, and his righteousness ; and all 
these things shall be added unto 
you. 34 Be not therefore care- Take therefore 

J, 11 f 1 r ^ "O thought 

fill for the morrow : for the morrow 

^the things of shall be Careful for ^ itself. Suf- shall take 
r ■ 11-1 -1 thought 

ncient unto the day is the evil 

I Judge not, that ye be not 
judged. 2 For with what judg- 
ment ye judge, ye shall be judged : 
and with what measure ye mete, 
^again. it shall be measured to you'^ ^ . 3 

And why beholdest thou the mote 
that is in thy brother's eye, but con- 
siderest not the beam that is in thine 

' The translation in the text is be thought one of the cases where 

somewhat heavy but is adopted to idiomatic force may set aside verbal 

preserve a consistent rendering of consistency. 

fiepiiivdv throughout the paragraph. ^ There is here no doubt whatever 

Tyndale and the older Versions that fierprjOrjcrerai, not avTijierpr]- 

translate, alike easily and forcibly, Br]atTai is the true reading. The 

* Care not then for the morrow, but latter has only the support of 

(for, Cov., Gen.) let the morrow cursive manuscripts and a few 

care for itself Perhaps this may Greek and Latin Fathers. 



own eye ? 4 Or how wilt thou say- 
to thy brother, Let me pull out the 
mote out of thine eye ; and, behold, 
the beam is in thine own eye ? ^ 
5 Thou hypocrite, first pull^ out cast 
the beam out of thine own eye ; and 
then shalt thou see clearly to pull cast 
out the mote out of thy brother's 
eye. 6 Give not that which is holy 
unto the dogs, neither cast ye your 
pearls before swine, lest they trample 
them under their feet, and turn again 
and rend you.'^ 

7 Ask, and it shall be given 
you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, 
and it shall be opened unto you. 
8 For every one that asketh re- 
ceiveth ; and he that seeketh find- 
eth ; and to him that knocketh it 
shall be opened. 9 Or what man 
^\f is there of you, of whom ^ his son 

' It clearly cannot be desirable perfectly clear. Perhaps the verse 

to vary the translation of tK^aXiiv has a limiting character ; Do what 

in two consecutive verses, maybe done to improve others with 

2 We have removed the mark of all humility, but do not carry it to 

paragraph in the usual editions and such an excess, that it would only 

connect verse 6 with ver. 5, but it too clearly be a very provocative to 

may be admitted that the exact profanation and rejection. See Meyer, 

connexion of thought does not seem Kommentar, in loc. 



ask shall ask bread/ — will he give him a 

he ask stone? 10 Or if he al SO ask a fish, 

will he give him a serpent ? 1 1 If ye 
then, being evil, know how to give 
good gifts unto your children, how 
much more shall your Father which 
is in heaven give good things to 
them that ask him ? 12 Therefore 
all things whatsoever ye would that 
men should do to you, do ye even 
so to them : for this is the law and 
the prophets. 

13 Enter ye in through the at the strait 
narrow^ gate : for wide is the gate, 
and broad is the way, that leadeth 
to destruction, and many there be 
which go in thereat: 14 Because^ 

1 The reading is doubtful. The Tyndale and the early Versions, 
critical balance seems in favour of the would not be maintained in any 
omission of iav, and the change of revision. At the same time we are 
aiTtjay into aiTrjtTSi. The transla- enabled by the change to give 
tion is adjusted accordingly, the rtOXiixfisvi], ver. 14, a much more 
particle 'of being introduced to accurate rendering. 

make the regimen a little more ^ The reading is here very doubt- 
perspicuous, ful. The second hand of the 

2 The corrections in this and the Vatican MS. and the Codex 
following verse are for the sake of Ephremi read ri (how !) ; the first 
making the meaning more distinct ; hand of the Vatican, and the Sinaitic, 
but it may be doubted whether the on, the Alexandrian MS. (as has 
old rendering, which is that of been already observed) and Codex 

154 RE n SI ON OF THE 


narrow is the gate, and straitened strait narrow 

is the way, which leadeth unto Ufe, 

and few there be that find it. 15 

But^ beware of false prophets, which Beware 

come to you in sheep's clothing, but. 

inwardly are ravening wolves. 16 they are 

Ye shall know them by their fruits. 

Do men gather grapes from" thorns, of 

or figs from thistles ? 17 Even so of 

every good tree bringeth forth good 

fruit ; but the corrupt tree bringeth a 

forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree 

cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither 

can a corrupt tree bring forth good 

fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth 

not forth good fruit is hewn down, 

and cast into the fire. 20 Where- 

Bezae bdng defective. This would is ' dum ipsi datis operam ut 

seem clearly a case where the prin- intretis, cavete eos qui claudunt.' 

ciple of least possible change might At the close the pronoun * they' is 

be allowed to decide the question. perhaps omitted with advantage. 

' The omission in translation of The outward garb and inward 

the particle Si tends to obscure the nature are thus kept more closely 

connexion. It would seem that in antithesis. 

ver. 15 is to be connected in thought ^ A slight change, but probably 

with ver. 14, and that the current necessary. In some passages, the 

of the Divine thought is, — 'If so, use of the particle 'of as synony- 

then beware of those who might mous with ' from' causes consider- 

add to your difficulties in finding able difficulty to the general reader, 

the true path.' Bengel's comment See especially Luke xvi. 9. 



fore by their fruits ye shall know 

21 Not every one that saith 
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter 
into the kingdom of heaven ; but he 
that doeth the will of my Father 
which is in heaven. 22 Many will 
say to me in that day. Lord, Lord, 

J • J A. t 1-^1 -> li^ve we not 

did we not prophesy' m thy name ? prophesied 
and in thy name cast out devils ? have cast 
and in thy name do many wonderful done 
works? 23 And then will I profess 
unto them, I never knew you : de- 
part from me, ye that work iniquity. 
24 Therefore whosoever heareth 
these sayings of mine, and doeth 
them, I will liken him unto a wise 

' The futurity implied in this terite respectively, will commonly 

verse {■qfik.pav fKtivijv tiTTi. rrjv rrjQ be observed in three forms of sen- 

KpiaeijjQ, Euthym.) seems to suggest tences as particularly serviceable — 

an alteration, that marks, somewhat viz., emphatic, interrogative, and 

more distinctly than the ordinary negative. In the last case especially 

compound perfect, that what is here this compound form will be found 

referred to is past, and belongs to very serviceable. See especially the 

the past. Itmaybe here conveniently clear remarks and distinctions in 

observed that 'did' when thus used Pickbourn, Dissertation on the 

is purely aoristic and equivalent English Ferh, pp. 25 sq.; 37 sq. 

when united with any verb to the (London, 1789); and comp. Latham, 

English preterite. This useof'do' English Language, § 510, Vol. 11. 

and ' did' for the present and pre- p. 394 sq. 


man, which built his house upon 
the^ rock : 25 And the rain de- 
scended, and the floods came, and 
the winds blew, and beat upon that 
house ', and it fell not : for it had 
been^ founded upon the rock. 
26 And every one that heareth 
these sayings of mine, and doeth 
them not, shall be likened unto a 
foolish man, which built his house 
upon the sand : 2 7 And the rain 
descended, and the floods came, 
and the winds blew, and beat upon 
that house ; and it fell : and great 


^ Not a certain correction, it 
being somewhat doubtful whether 
the article with this particular 
substantive can be used as idio- 
matically in reference to class and 
category as with the more familiar 
substantive 'sand/ ver. 26. It is really 
a matter of individual judgment. 
That the English article can be used 
generally we well know : the ques- 
tion, however, is whether it can be 
here idiomatically so used with this 
particular substantive. It may also 
be observed, as a general and safe 
rule for a translator, that in English 
the definite article (which in fact is 
really the unemphatic form of the 

demonstrative 'that,' Bain, Engl. 
Grammar, p. 34) is particularly 
definite, and does commonly and 
most naturally refer to something 
well known and defined previously. 
Comp. Latham, English Language, 
§ 368, Vol. II. p. 208. 

^ The change to the pluperfect 
seems required, as emphasizing the 
antecedent fact. It will always be 
observed, however, that this tense is 
one of the least flexible of our tenses, 
and often gives a rigidity to a 
clause, which, in a general narrative 
especially, mars the idiomatic ease 
of expression. It is not clear that 
this is not the case here. 




was the fall of it. 28 And it came 
to pass, when Jesus had ended these 
sayings, the multitudes^ were as to- people 
nished at his doctrine : 29 For he 
taught them as 07ie having authority, 
the and not as their^ scribes. 

Such would seem to be the amount of revision actually 
necessary, on the principles already laid down, in the im- 
portant portion of Scripture on which we have been dwelling. 
Such too would probably be the average amount of correc- 
tion that would be required in the Gospels generally, in a 
revision of the nature contemplated. The differences of 
reading are more and more important than at first might 
have been expected, but the exegetical changes few and un- 
important. In the III verses we have 19 changes due to 
textual considerations, an amount not in excess of the esti- 
mated standard ; but in these same verses the changes due 
to grammar and exegesis are only (if we count each single 
correction) about 56, or just one-half of the estimated 
maximum amount for the New Testament generally. 

' Clearly desirable to mark what reading in the text seems distinctly 

we know is so constantly expressed preponderant. Not only the Vati- 

in the Gospels — viz., that our can and Sinaitic Manuscripts, but 

blessed Lord's teaching attracted, the best cursives and the great 

and produced great effect upon, the majority of ancient Versions (al- 

masses of the people. Compare ways very important witnesses) all 

Luke xii. i, Mark xi. 18, al. concur in the insertion of the 

^ The evidence in favour of the pronoun. 


We now pass to a very different portion of Scripture, in 
which the balance is the other way, and in which the 
amount of the grammatical corrections is considerable, and 
their general character of by no means slight importance. 

We subjoin, as before, a few notes ; but as the changes 
are numerous and in many cases self-explanatory, it does 
not seem desirable to comment on every individual altera- 
tion. The tenor of all is the same, — not only to be faithful 
to the Original, but also to set forth the reasoning more 
clearly to the general hearer and reader. 



I Being justified therefore^ by Therefore being 


have faith, let ushave peace with God 
through our Lord Jesus Christ : 

^ The transposition(i) gives the re- proximately correct 'then.' Seehow- 

quisite prominence to diKaiujOkyTsg, ever the comments on p. 112. 

and marks the close connexion with ^ The weight of evidence is so 

the concluding words of the prece- decidedly in favour of the reading of 

ding chapter. It also (2) places the the text that we seem bound to adopt 

'therefore' in that subordinated posi- the hortatory ex(^fiiv rather than the 

tion in which it seems more nearly simply declaratory txontv. The 

to express that idea of retrospective liability to change of vowels even in 

reference, which is usually implied by the best manuscripts, technically 

the ovv. See Klotz, Devarius, Vol. called itacism, must, however, always 

II. p. 717. It may be doubted leave us — especially in such passages 

whether in the stricter logic of these as the present, where the internal 

epistles accuracy does not require arguments for the less supported 

that the ' therefore' should not give reading are very strong — rather in 

way in many places to the more ap- doubt as to the positive correctness 




2 Through whom also we have By 

had our^ access by faith^ into this have access 

grace wherein we stand ; and we 

glory in the hope of the glory of rejoice hope 

God. 3 And not only so, but we 

glory in our* tribulations also : know- tribulations 

ing that tribulation worketh patience; 

4 And patience, approval;* and experience (^«) 

of our decision. The whole subject 
of the orthography of the N. T. re- 
quires very careful reconsideration. 
See Winer, Grammar, § 5, p. 54 sq. 
ed. Moulton, and comp. Scrivener, 
Introduction to the New Testament, 
p. 417. 

* The perfect must be marked. It 
is not merely 'habemus' but 'habui- 
mus,' viz., when we became Chris- 
tians, and now while we are such. 
As Bengel rightly observes, — * prae- 
teritum, in antitheto ad habemus, 
ver. I.' Cranmer marks this but 
very paraphrastically. The two other 
changes in the verse are slight, but 
necessary. It seems better to retain 
the same translation both for did and 
for the verb KavxaaOai in consecu- 
tive verses. There is no doubt an 
inconvenience in the use of the same 
word 'glory' in two different senses in 
the same clause ; but ' boast' is an 
unpleasant translation, and 'rejoice' 
is not exact. The insertion of the 

article before 'hope' (in the Greek 
it is latent, and elided by the preposi- 
tion) seems also to clear up the mean- 
ing. Comp. Heb. iii. 6. 

2 The reading is doubtful; the 
words 'by faith' being omitted by 
the Vatican MS. and authorities of 
considerable weight. The addition 
of the Sinaitic to the retaining autho- 
rities, and the preponderance of the 
Versions, seem to justify our main- 
tenance of the Received Text. 

' The article seems very clearly to 
have here its pronominal force — 'der 
(uns betreflFenden) Leiden," Meyer. 
So also in ver. 11, and not uncom- 
monly in this Epistle, and elsewhere. 
Few points require more judgment 
than the adoption of this pronominal 
translation in English. The context 
alone must be our guide. 

^ This translation of SoKifirj is sug- 
gested by the context. The word 
may refer to what is antecedent 
(' proving, ' fVycL ; ' probation,' 




approval, hope : 5 And hope 
maketh not ashamed ; because the 
love of God is shed abroad in our 
hearts by the Holy Ghost which 
was given unto us. 6 For when 
we were yet without strength, in due 
season^ Christ died for the ungodly. 
7 For scarcely for a righteous man 
will any one die : yet peradventure 
for a good man some one doth even 
dare to die. 8 But God commendeth 
his own love toward us, in that, 
while we were yet sinners, Christ 
died for us. 9 Much more then, 
being now justified by his blood, 
shall we be saved through him from 
the wrath'^ fo come. 10 For if, 


will one 
some would 

his love 

we shall be 
saved from 

Rhem. — following the Vulgate), or, 
as here, to the resultant state, and to 
what is consequent. Bengel, with his 
usual acuteness, observes, — ' doKiixr] 
est qualitas ejus qui est doKifiog.' 

1 The exact meaning of these 
words is greatly contested, there 
being at least four different shades 
of meaning that have been assigned 
to the simple words Kara Kaipbv. 
Such being the case, the more exact 
translation of the word Kaipog seems 
required on the principle of faith- 

fulness. The idea, that the death of 
our blessed Lord was verily at the 
critical time, is thus perhaps a little 
more clearly brought out. 

2 The article prefixed to opy^f 
must certainly be noticed in trans- 
lation. This can only be done, as 
in the text, or by translating * God's 
wrath,' the insertion being sug- 
gested and justified by the anti- 
thetical idea in ver. 7, The change 
adopted in the text seems to be the 




when we were enemies, we were 
reconciled to God through the by 
death of his Son, much more, being 
reconciled, shall we be saved by we shall 
his life. 1 1 And not only so, but 
we also glory in God through our joy 
Lord Jesus Christ, through whom by 
we have now received the recon- atonement 

12 For this cause, ^ as by one wherefore 
man sin entered into the world, and 
by sin, death ; and so death passed and death by sin 
through' unto all men, for that all upon 
sinned.' 13 For until the law sin have sinned 

^ This change seems desirable. In 
a connexion so closely logical as 
that of St. Paul, it is clearly of great 
importance to maintain, as far as 
consistent with our idiom, a correct 
translation of the particles of in- 
ference and reasoning. The stronger 
word 'wherefore' (equivalent to ' and 
therefore,' according to Bain, Eng^ 
lish Grammar, p. 67) is best re- 
served for dpa or dpa ovv. 

^ It is hardly possible to avoid 
noticing in translation the carefully 
chosen Sir}\9iv, especially when fol- 
lowing the dcrrjXOfv just above. 
The pervasive power of death seems 
here specially marked. 

^ The translation of the simple 
word^jwaproi/ is here extremely diffi- 
cult. The true idea ' omnes peccarunt 
peccante Adamo' (Beng.) seems to be 
best brought out by the omission 
of the auxiliary. At the same time 
it may be admitted that the idea of 
individual sins (see especially Theo- 
doret, in loc), which it seems also 
theologically correct to include, is 
not so distinctly maintained as in 
the * have sinned' of the older Ver- 
sions. This then cannot be con- 
sidered by any means a certain cor- 
rection, though it seems preferable 
to the A. v., and to the ' were 
sinners,' of the Five Clergymen. 



was in the world ; but sin is not 
imputed when there is no law. 

14 Nevertheless death reigned from 
Adam to Moses, even over them that 
had not sinned after the similitude 

of the transgression of Adam, who Adam's transgr. 
is the type of him that was to come, figure 

1 5 Howbeit not as the trespass,^ But offence {bh) 
so also is the free gift. For if by the through 

- , , one, many 

trespass of the one, the many died; be dead, 
much more did the grace of God, more the 
and the gift by grace, which is by 
the one man, Jesus Christ, abound °"^ 

hath abounded 

unto the many. 16 And not as //many 

was through one that sinned, so is by 

the gift : for the judgment caine ot^ ivas by one to 

one unto condemnation, but the 

free gift came of many* trespasses « offences 

unto justification. 17 For if by the 

one man's 

trespass of the one, death reigned offence 

1 It seems necessary to maintain generally, but in passages such as 

a careful translation of 7rapd7rrw/ia. the present, where every word in 

The translation of A. V. (* offence') the inspired Original is of doctrinal 

does not preserve the latent anti- importance, great accuracy would 

thesis to the vTraKoi) that was appear to be required. This remark 

shown by Christ. Comp. ver. 19. may be extended to many of the 

^ The slight change is to mark changes in this very profound and 

the change of preposition. Such difficult chapter. No part of the 

alterations would not be introduced N. T. is more trying to a reviser. 


through the one; much more 
shall they which receive the abun- 
dance of the grace and of the gift of 
righteousness, reign in Hfe through 
the one, even Jesus Christ. i8 
Wherefore, as through one tres- 
pass // came^ unto all men to 
condemnation ; even so through 
one righteous act'' it came unto 
all men to justification of life. 
19 For as by* the disobedience 



by one 

they abundance 


shall reign 

by one 

as by the 
offence of one 
judgment came 

upon by 

the righteous- 
ness of one, the 
free gift came 
upon all men 

^ Here the principle of faith- 
fulness seems to require that as 
little as possible should be im- 
ported into the context. Winer sug- 
gests the simple introduction of the 
purely neutral cnck^ri, i.e. 'cessit/ 
' the result was' (' the issue was,' 
Five Clergymen), — and correctly. 
See Grammar, § 64. 2. b, p. 734, 
ed. Moulton. The common_ sup- 
plement is TO Kpiiia f.ysvtTo for the 
first clause, and to xopiff/xa sysvsTO 
for the second, but this is interpre- 
tation rather than translation. 

2 On the translation of OiKaiojfia, 
SiKaiou), S'lKaiog, and diKaioavvrj, 
see the prefatory notes to the trans- 
lation of this Ep. by the Five 
Clergymen, p. ix. sq. 

2 Here it does not seem necessary 
to change the ' by' into * through,' as 

in ver. 18 and elsewhere. It is almost 
impossible to lay down any rules, 
but it perhaps may be said that 
though in certain formulae {e.g. 
'through Jesus Christ'), and in 
passages where there are clear or 
even latent distinctions between 
direct and mediate agency, there it 
may be desirable to use 'by' in 
reference to the primary agent (Bain, 
-E?ig-/.GraOT??mr, p. 5 5),and 'through' 
in reference to the ' causa medians ;' 
but where there are no such distinc- 
tions, there the A. V. may be retained, 
unless, as in ch. v. i, 2, consistency 
suggests the change. To carry out 
the principle further than this (as in 
Alford, Neiu Testament, and fre- 
quently in the revision of the Five 
Clergymen) is to obliterate so far, 
an idiomatic usage of the preposition 

M 2 



of the one man, the many were ope man's 

disob. many 

made smners, even so, by the obe- so 
dience of the one, shall the many one many 
be made righteous. 20 Moreover 
the law also entered, that the law entered 
trespass might be multiplied, offence 


But where sm was multiplied, abounded, 

grace did much more abound : 2 1 

That as sin reigned in death, hath reigned 

. , ... unto 

even so might grace reign through 
righteousness unto eternal life, 
through Jesus Christ our Lord. by 

I What shall we say then? are 
shall we we to^ continue in sin, that grace 
may abound ? 2 God forbid. How 
shall we, who died^ unto sin, live that are dead to 
any longer therein ? 3 Or^ know Know 

which was current in our earlier necessary, as helping to direct the 

literature, and is, in this particular thought to the past epoch of baptism, 

instance, radically to change our when the death took place (ver. 3). 

Version. The Auth. points more to the con- 

^ Change to express the delibera- tinuing state, which is true ('inbap- 

tive subjunctive (Winer, Grammar, tismo e< justificatione,' Bengel), but 

§ 41. 4), the reading of the Textus not here the prominent idea. 

Receptus, tTrifxevovnev, having only ^ In some cases, and in this par- 

the support of cursive manuscripts, ticular formula, the force of the par- 

and being probably a conformation tide seems obliterated. Here, how- 

in tense to the ipovfiev just before. ever, the force may be brought out ; 

2 The change though trifling seems ' Or, if ye do not recognise this prin- 



ye not, that so many of us as were 
baptized into Christ Jesus, were bap- Jesus Christ 
tized into his death ? 4 We were Therefore we 


buried therefore with him by our 

baptism into death : that like as baptism 

Christ was raised from the dead by raised up 

the glory of the Father, even so we 

also should walk in newness of life. 

5 For if we have become united' been planted 

together in 

to the likeness of his death, surely^ death, we 


we shall be also to the Iike?tess of his in 
resurrection. 6 Knowing this, that 
our old man was crucified with him, is 
that the body of sin might be 
destroyed, in order^ that we should that 

, T" 1 j^i ^ henceforth we 

serve sm no longer. 7 For he that sho^y not 
is dead is made free from sin. freed 

ciple (ver. 2), do ye not know, &c.' and illustrated in Klotz, Devarius, 

(ver. 3). See Hartung, Partikel- Vol. 11. p. 93. 

lehre, Vol. 11. p. 61. ' The insertion of the two words 

' The translation of the A. V. ' in order* renders the passage a little 

seems actually erroneous, avfi^vTos clearer, and just calls attention to the 

being connected with ^vu), not with change of construction from the par- 

<pvTtv(t). In the latter case it would tide of purpose with the subj. to the 

have been avfKpvTfVToi, the verbal favourite N.T.genitival infin. of pur- 

(pvrevTOQ being a recognised form. pose. See Winer, Grammar, §44. 4. 

See Plato, Repuhl. vi. p. 510. In the remaining words of the verse 

■•^ The emphatic introduction of the more usual translation of the em- 

the contrary aspect by means of the phatically placed ixrjKsn is adopted, 

aWa Koi ought to be marked in and the emphasis secured by placing 

translation. The formula is noticed it at the close of the sentence. 



8 Now if we be dead with Christ, 
we believe that we shall also live 
with him : 9 Knowing that Christ 
being raised from the dead dieth no 
more ; death hath no more dominion 
over him. 10 For in that^ he died, 
he died unto sin once : but in that 
he liveth, he liveth unto God. 

1 1 Even so'' reckon ye also your- Likewise 
selves to be dead indeed unto sin, 

^our Lord, but alive untoGod,in Christ Jesus ;^. through j. c. 

12 Let not sin therefore reign in 
your mortal body, that ye should 

^it in obey ^ the lusts thereof 1 3 Neither 

yield ye your members as instruments 
of unrighteousness unto sin : but 
yield yourselves up to^ God, as unto God 

1 This is one of the instances in ' The application of the principle 
which the A. V. would probably not in ver. 10 to the readers is rather 
be changed by any Revisers who obscured by the ' likewise.' So, how- 
followed the principle of the least ever, Tynd. and the older Versions, 
possible change. It may be observed, except M'ycl. and Rhem., which 
however, that is more probably the follow the * ita' of the Vulgate, 
cognate accusative under the regimen ^ An attempt to mark the change 
of aTTsOavf, scil. *the death that He to the more emphasized aorist im- 
died,* and similarly, ' the life that perative -TrapatTTTjaaTS, ' do it at 
He liveth.' This is a case then where once, and decidedly.' This change 
this alternative rendering ought cer- did not escape the vigilant eye of 
tainly to find a place in the margin. Bengel ; ' majorem vim habet mox 
See above. Chap. iv. p. 116. aor. 1 vapaarriaaTt.' 



alive from the dead, and your mem- those that 

are alive 

bers as instruments of righteousness 
unto God. 14 For sin shall not have 
dominion over you : for ye are not 
under the law, but under grace, 
shall we ^5 What then? are we to sin, 

because we are not under the law, 
but under grace ? God forbid. 

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye 
yield yourselves servants to obey, 
his servants ye are to whom ye obey ; 
whether it be of sin unto death, or whether of 
of obedience unto righteousness? 

17 But God be thanked, that ye 
once^ were the servants of sin, but ye were 

ye obeyed from the heart that form have obeyed 
of doctrine which was delivered you.^ 

1 8 Now being made free from sin. Being then 
ye were made the servants of right- became 
eousness. 1 9 I speak after the man- 
ner of men, because of the infirmity 

^ This italicized word seems re- relative clause admitting 2 or even 3 

quired to mark the emphasis that forms of resolution. This latter is, 

clearly rests on the »)r£ : the bondage for grammatical reasons, the most 

is over; the chain snapt. probable (see Meyer, in Zoc.),and has 

^ Here again we have an alterna- in its favour the authority of Chry- 

tive rendering, 'the form of doctrine sostom. Hereagain the margin would 

w hereunto ye were delivered,' the have to be used. 



of your flesh : for as ye yielded your have yielded 

members servants to uncleanness 

and to iniquity unto iniquity ; even 

so now yield your members servants 

to righteousness unto sanctification. hoUness. 

20 For when ye were the servants 

of sin, ye were free in regard to^ from 

righteousness. 2 1 Wliat fruit then fruit had ye then 

had ye at that time in those things 

whereof ye are now ashamed ? for the 

end of those things is death. 2 2 But 

now being made free from sin, and 

made servants to God, ye have your become 

fruit unto sanctification, and the holiness 

end everlasting life. 2'3 For the 

wages of sin is death ; but the gift of 

God is eternal life 'in Christ Jesus through Jesus 


our Lord. 

I Know ye not, brethren, (for I 

1 If an attempt is to be made to teenth century appear to have drawn 

express the idiomatic use of the a distinction in meaning between the 

dative ry diKuiotrvvy (see Winer, two phrases, the former implying 

Grammar, § 31. 6) it can only be * in reference to,' the latter 'by reason 

by this adverbial phrase. It seems of.' See the acute remarks on these 

propertouse the form 'in regard ^0,' and similar forms of Marsh, On 

rather than the more famihar ' in the English Language, Lect. xxix. 

regard of,' as the writers of the seven- p. 660 sq. 




Speak to men that know the law,) them 

how that the law hath dominion over 

a man as long as he liveth ? 2 For 

the woman which hath an husband 

is bound by the law to her living i>er husband so 

long as he liveth 

husband;^ but if the husband be dead, 


So then 



she is loosed from the law of her 
husband. 3 Wherefore if, while 
her husband liveth, she be joined'^ 
to another man, she shall be called 
an adulteress : but if her husband be 
dead, she is free from that law ; so 
that she is no adulteress, though she 
be joined to another man. 4 So !?}^,''"^'l 


then,* my brethren, ye also were are become 
made dead to the law by the body 

of Christ ; that ye should be joined married 

to another, even to him who was is 

» The translation of the A. V. is 
here actually erroneous, the position 
of the participle being between the 
article and the noun, and not, as the 
A. V. would suggest, after the noun, 
and so a tertiary predicate. See, 
on the three kinds of predicates, 
Donaldson, New Cratylus, § 30T sq. 

'^ This is not a correction of any 
moment, but seems desirable on ac- 
count of the verses that follow, where 
the expression recurs. Tyndale and 

the older Versions translate ' couple 

^ The particle wort has more of 
a consecutive rather than of a strongly 
ratiocinative force. As * wherefore' 
appears to be a very convenient trans- 
lation for ap' ovv, we may perhaps 
properly interchange in English the 
first words of ver. 3 and ver. 4. Tyn- 
date and the older Versions had ' so 
then' in the former verse, and ' even 
so' in the latter. 



raised from the dead, that we should 
bring forth fruit unto God. 5 For 
when we were in the flesh, the 
stirrings of sins, which were by the motions 
law, did work in our members to 
bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But 
now we have been loosed^ from are delivered 
that being the law, having died^ unto that 

wherein we were held ; so that we that we should 
serve in the newness of the spirit "^.^"^ss 

^ spirit 

and not in the oldness of the letter. 

7 What shall we say then? Is 
the law sin ? God forbid. Howbeit,® Nay, 
I had not known sin, but by the 
law : for I had not known lust, ex- 
cept the law had said, Thou shalt 
not covet. 8 But sin, taking occa- 
sion* by the commandment, wrought 

^ Here we have a word of great only due to an error of Beza's : see 

variety of meaning in the N. T., and Tischendorf, hi loc. This the A. V. 

one never easy to translate. The places in the margin, 

change suggested is not of impor- ^ This change seems positively 

tance, but seems to help the sense. necessary to bring out the reason- 

2 The reading is slightly inte- ing of the passage. The law was 

resting as showing that our revisers certainly not sin, but it stood so far 

must have had before them the edi- in connexion with it that it made it 

tionofBeza 1565, and here preferred known; afiapTia fikv ovk tan, 

it (see the margin) to the 3rd edition yviopitrriKbg de afiapriaQ. Theoph. 

of Stephens, though it would seem ^ Perhaps it might be a little more 

that the reading ajroOavovTOQ is accurate, both here and in ver. u, to 



in me all manner of coveting. For concupiscence. 

without the law sin is dead. 9 And nvas For 

I was alive without the law once : 

but when the commandment came, 

sin revived, and I died. 10 And 

the very commandment, which was the comm. 

for life, I found to be for death. ^J-^^^j"^^ ^« 

1 1 For sin, taking occasion by the 

commandment, deceived me, and 

by it slew me. 1 2 So that the law wherefore 

indeed is holy, and the command- h 

ment holy, and just, and good. 

13 Is then that which is good Was 
become death unto me ? God for- made 
bid. But sin became so, that it might But sin, that 
appear sin, working death to me by in 
that which is good ; that by the that sin by 

the comm. 

commandment sin might become 
exceeding sinful. 14 For we know 
that the law is spiritual: but I am 
carnal, sold under sin. 15 For 

' that which 

what I perform,^ that I know i do I allow 

translate ' having taken/ as the act we may retain the looser translation, 

specified by the participle was prior On the translation of participles, 

to that of the verb, ' took occasion when thus with finite verbs, see 

and, &c.,' but where there is nothing Commentary on Phil. n. ^o. 

in the context that requires the time ' There is nearly an insurmount- 

of the actions to be specially marked, able difliculty in marking properly 



not : for what I would, that do I 
not ; but what I hate, that I do. do I. 
1 6 But if I do that which I would if then 
not, I consent unto the law that it is 
good. Now then, it is no more I 
that perform it, but sin that dwelleth do 
in me. i8 For I know that there that in me 
dwelleth not in me, that is, in my dwelleth no 
flesh, any good thing : for to will is ^°° 
^hozu present with me ; but /^ to perform 

I find not. that which is good i s n o t. 19 For 
the good that I would, I do not : but 
the evil which I would not, that I do. 
20 Now if I do that I would not, it 
is no more I that perform it, but do 
sin that dwelleth in me. 2 1 I find 
therefore this^ law, that, when I then a 

in translation the shades of meaning various changes in this verse are all 

in the KaTtpyd^ofiai, Trpdffffoj, and slight, but seem to bring out the 

TToiw. For the first and strongest meaning with more distinctness than 

of the three we may retain the trans- the Authorized Version, 

lation adopted by Juth. in ver. 18; Mt is very rarely that the article 

but between the two last it seems can properly be so translated. Here, 

hopeless to attempt to discriminate however, it seems required by the 

in English. All that can be said is, idiom of our language. The trans- 

that 7rpdff(Tw is the stronger of the lation, * the law,' would also lead to 

two, and appears to involve the idea confusion. Tyndale and all the early 

of accomphshment. Comp. Rom. i. Versions (except Wycl. and Rhem.) 

32, and see Buttmann, Lexilogus, appear to have been misled by this 

§ 95> 3» P* 493 (Transl.). The use of the words. 



would do good, evil is present with 
me. 22 For I delight in the law of 
God after the inward man : 23 But I 
see a different' law in my members, another 
warring against the law of my mind, 
and bringing me into captivity to 
the law of sin which is in my mem- 
bers. 24 O wretched man that I 
am ! who shall deliver me from the 
body of this death? 25 I thank 
God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
Wherefore with the mind I myself So then 
serve the law of God ; but with the 
flesh the law of sin. 

I There is therefore now no con- 
demnation to them which are in 
;\who walk Christ Jesus ;^. 2 For the law of the 
not after the ^ -^ ^f ijfg j^ Christ Jesus hath 

flesh, but after ^ *' 

the Spirit.^ made me free from the law of sin 

^ Here it seems certainly necessary ^ There is considerable diversity 

to give the accurate translation of in the readings of these words in 

iTipoQ. It was not merely dWog those authorities in which they or a 

vofjLOQ but 'irtpoQ vofiog. See Titt- part of them are contained. The 

mann, Synmi. p. 155 sq. and, on evidence for their complete omission 

the difference between the words, is, however, perfectly distinct and 

comp. notes on Gal. \. 6, preponderant. 



and of death. 3 For what the law and death. 
could not do, in that it was weak 
through the flesh, God sending his 
own Son in the likeness of the flesh sinful flesh, 
of sin/ and for sin, condemned sin 
in the flesh : 4 That the righteous righteousness 
demand'^ of the law might be ful- 
filled in us, who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For 
they that are after the flesh do mind 
the things of the flesh ; but they that 
are after the Spirit, the things of the 
Spirit. 6 For the mind of the to be carnally 


flesh zs death : but the mind of , . . ,, 

■^^ ' to be spiritually 

• the Spirit is life and peace. 7 Be- minded 
cause the mind of the flesh is camai mind 
enmity against God ; for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither 

1 Here there seems no sufficient gate ('justificatio') with StKaiwffig. 

reason for departing from the strict The etymological form of the word, 

translation. For remarks on this however, precludes both forms of 

form of genitive, see above, p. 109. translation, and limits us to the 

All the older Versions adopt the ad- meaning adopted in the text. It is 

jectival translation, except fl^ycl. and worthy of notice that Tyndale and 

iJ/iem., both having had the guidance Coverdale both recognised the true 

of the Vulgate. meaning-, though they adopt a some- 

'^ The translation of diKaiiofia is what paraphrastic translation — viz., 

by no means easy. The Auth. con- * the righteousness required of the 

founds it with diKaioffvvt], the Vul- law.' 




indeed can be. 8 And^ they that So then 
are in the flesh cannot please God. 
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in 
the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of 
God dwelP in you. But if any man Now 

1 This correction is necessary for 
the logic of the passage, as well as 
for the removal of the thoroughly 
erroneous assumption that ^£ can 
ever be equivalent to ovv. The 
particle has here its usual transi- 
tional force. It reverts to the 
abstract statement in the first clause 
of ver. 8, and adds to it the illustra- 
tion of actual experience, the second 
clause of that verse being paren- 
thetical. In English we have pro- 
bably no better translation than the 
simple 'and,' but it is confessedly 
defective, as not marking the transi- 
tion (from the abstract to the con- 
crete) that is brought out by the ^s, 
and very fairly expressed by the 
' autem' of the Vulgate. The only 
other translation * now,' as used in 
our ordinary argumentative English, 
is too strong, and suggests too much 
the commencement of a fresh 
argument, whereas we have here 
only the continuation under a 
slightly changed form of foregoing 
statements. These may seem at 
first mere niceties, but on sober 
consideration it will be seen that 
our appreciation of the mind of the 

inspired writer depends on our due 
recognition of them. All correc- 
tions of this nature are important 
and necessary. 

2 It might at first seem doubtful 
whether this mood is strictly correct. 
Consideration would seem to show 
that it is ; as the particle in the 
Original (t'iTrep) involves no decision 
(Winer, Grammar, § 53. 9), and 
the case is one that may or may 
not be as stated. In such cases 
English idiom appears to require 
the subjunctive: where, however, 
a case is contemplated as actually 
in existence, then the indicative is 
most usual. See Latham, Engl. 
Lang. § 537, and the comments 
in my notes on 2 Thess. iii. 14 
(TransL) As Meyer acutely ob- 
serves, the words carry with them 
an indirect exhortation to test the 
fact. We retain then the subjunc- 
tive throughout. On the true 
meaning of eiirep ('si omnino') see 
Klotz, Devarius, Vol. 11. p. 308, 
528, and the very good note of 
Moulton in Winer, Gramm. l.c, 
p. 561 sq., on the uses of direp 
and iiys. 



have not the Spirit of Christ, he is 

none of his. lo And if Christ be 

in you, the body indeed is dead be- body h 

cause of sin ; but the Spirit is life 

because of righteousness, ii But 

if the Spirit of him that raised up 

Jesus from the dead dwell in you, 

he that raised up Christ from the 

dead shall quicken also your mortal also quicken 

bodies by^ his Spirit that dwelleth in 


1 2 Wherefore brethren, we are Therefore 
debtors, not to the flesh, that we to 
should'^ live after the flesh. 13 For 
if ye live after the flesh, ye must^ shall 

. if ye through the 

die : but if by the Spirit ye mortify sp. do 

' This is another interesting proof arbiter, and so, with that ancient 

that the Revisers of 161 1 were witness, retain the genitive, and the 

probably using the text of fourth translation as existing in our own 

edition of Beza, with some preference Version. 

over that of Stephens. The diffe- ^ See above, notes on ch. vi. 6, 

rence is that the former reads Sia note 3, p. 165. 

with the genitive throughout the ^ Necessary to express the explicit 

clause; the latter ^la with the words in the Original, ftlXXcrf 

accusative, which, however, is no- diroOvfjaKtiv. In the second clause 

ticed in the margin. As it is it is the simple future ^r)(Te<T9e. 

extremely difficult to decide which The change in the remainder of 

way the critical balance turns, we the verse is to remove the emphasis 

may perhaps rightly fall back upon which Auth. seems accidentally to 

the Sinaitic Manuscript as an give to the * ye,' by the prominence 



the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 
14 For as many as are led by the 
Spirit of God, they are the sons^ of 
God. 15 For ye received not the 
spirit of bondage again unto fear; but 
ye received the Spirit of adoption, 
wherebywe cry, Abba, Father. 16 The 
Spirit itself beareth witness with our 
spirit, that we are the children of God : 



have not 



have rec. 

of its position. The pronoun is 
not (as is usual in cases of em- 
phasis) expressed in the Greek, and 
the emphasis, it may be added, is 
obviously on Hvtvfia. 

^ There is no necessity, with 
some revisers, to remove the article. 
It is not found in the Greek, but it 
may here be properly retained in 
the English : First, because, as has 
been already hinted, the use of the 
article in English is by no means 
coincident in all cases with that of 
the Greek. The presence or absence 
of the article in the case of the latter 
noun, when, as here, two nouns 
are in regimen, influences its use 
with the governing noun much 
more distinctly than is the case even 
in the best English. Secondly, 
there are several cases in Greek, 
especially, as here, after verbs im- 
plying name, existence, &c., where 
the article, to speak strictly, becomes 

latent. See Bp. Middleton, Greek 
Art. in. 3. 2, p. 43 (ed. Rose), and 
Green, Grammar, p. 35 sq., where 
there are some acute remarks on 
this usage. There are also several 
other cases — e.g. art. with abstract 
nouns, omission (a) after a prepo- 
sition, (/') when a dependent genitive 
supplies sufficient definition, (c) 
before certain well-known nouns 
(see the long list in Winer, Gram- 
mar, § 19, p. 149 sq., ed. Moulton), 
in which the idioms of the two 
languages are not the same, and 
where the reviser must be especially 
on his guard. We notice this at 
length, as, in our very best specimens 
of scholarly revision, many instances 
will be found of a want of full 
appreciation of the difFerences of 
usage in English and Greek as to 
the absence or the presence of the 
article. The whole subject requires 
accurate consideration. 



1 7 And if children, then heirs; heirs 
of God, and joint-heirs with Christ ; 
if so be that we suffer with him^ that 
we may also be glorified with him. ^^ also 

•' ^ together. 

1 8 For I reckon that the sufferings 
of this present time are not worthy 
io be compared with the glory which 
is to be revealed in us. 1 9 For the shall be 
earnest expectation of the creation creature walteth 
is tarrying^ for the revelation of manifestation 
the sons of God. 20 For the 
creation was made subject to vanity, creature 
not willingly, but by reason of him 
who hath subjected thesai?ie in hope ; 
2 1 Because^ the creation itself also creature 

' Here the double compound getical argument seems in favour 

OLTTiK^kx^Tai seems to require, both of the translation ' in hope that the 

as to tense and meaning, the change creation, &c., ' the on being not 

suggested in the text. It is, how- causal but demonstrative. See esp. 

ever, a change which perhaps is to the good note of Meyer, in loc. The 

be considered a so-called improve- same remark applies also to the 

ment rather than a correction; and particle in ver. 27. This, however, 

so might be judged by many to be isjust one of those doubtful passages, 

unnecessary. The change in the in which the exegetical preponde- 

almost technical word that follows ranee hardly seems quite sufficient to 

is perhaps of more moment, as justify the substitution in a revision 

serving to bring out still more clearly made on principles such as the 

the time and circumstances of the present. The alternative reading 

manifestation. Compare Col. iii. 4. should, however, certainly be placed 

I John iii. 2, al. in the margin. It is so placed by 

2 Here the preponderance of exe- the Translators in ver. 27. 




shall be delivered from the bondage 
of corruption into the liberty of 
the glory of the children of God. glorious liberty 
22 For we know that the whole 
creation groaneth and travaileth in 
pain together until now. 23 And not 
only they, but ourselves also, which 
have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even 
we ourselves groan within ourselves, 
tarrying for the adoption, to wit, waiting 
the redemption of our body. 24 For 
we are saved by hope : but hope 
that is seen is not hope : for what a 
man seeth, why doth he also hope yet 
for it ? 25 But if we hope for that 
we see not, then do we with patience 
tarry for it. 26 In like manner Likewise 
the Spirit also helpeth our weak- 
infirmities: ness:^ for we know not what we 
should pray for as we ought : but 
the Spirit itself maketh intercession 
for us {ox us with groanings which cannot 

be uttered. 2 7 But he that searcheth And 

' The reading requires a change 
from the plural to the singular. 
As a change has thus to be made, 
we have taken advantage of it to 

substitute the simpler word used 
by Coverdale ('weakness') for the 
less easy though Scripturally fa- 
miliar term * infirmity.' 

N 2 



the hearts knoweth what is the mmd 
of the Spirit, because he maketh 
intercession for the saints according 
to the will of God. 

28 Moreover^ we know that all And 
things work together for good to them 
that love God, to them who are the 
called according to his purpose. 29 
Because whom he foreknew, he did'^foreknow, 
also foreordained'^ to be conformed did predestinate 
to the image of his Son, that he might 
be the firstborn among many brethren. 
30 And whom he foreordained, ^T^'^^r • 

^ did predestinate 

them he also called : and whom he 
called, them he also justified : and 

1 This seems a necessary change, perhaps hardly be adopted by any 

it being designed to mark the com- body of revisers. Still it does seem 

mencement of another and third desirable to remove a word of theo- 

clause illustrative of the main state- logical controversy, when a simpler 

ment. The connexion would seem and better word is at hand. It 

to be as follows. The last words of seems also best to preserve the simply 

ver. 17 form the kind of text. Ar- aoristic translation throughout the 

guments of consolation and encou- pronoun. In regard of the pre- 

ragement then follow, — the first, ceding pronoun it might perhaps be 

ver. 18 — 25 ; the second, ver. 26, 27 ; clearer if we adopted the longer form 

the third, ver. aS — 31. Thetransi- 'those whom,' as in some of the 

tions are, however, so easy, that it earlier Versions ; but this is one of 

does not seem desirable to mark each those many cases where, the meaning 

one off by a separate paragraph. being quite plain, the A. V. may be 

^ Such a change as this would left untouched. 



whom he justified, them he also glo- 

31 What then^ shall we say to then say 
these things ? If God be for us, who 
can be against us? 32 He that 
spared not his own Son, but delivered 
him up for us all, how shall he not 
also with him freely give us all with him also 
things ? 2>2> Who shall lay any thing 
to the charge of God's elect^ ? // is 
God that justifieth ; 34 Who is he 
that condemneth ? // is Christ that 
died, yea more, that is risen again, rather, 
who is also^ at the right hand of even 
God, who also maketh intercession 
for us. 35 Who shall separate us 
from the love of Christ ? shall tribu- 
lation, or distress, or persecution, or 

1 This slight change of position condemneth ?' In what follows the 
seems desirable as marking the com- term diKaiiov seems to have at once 
mencement of the paragraph, and introduced the mention of the name 
the statement of logical consequence of the Justifier, which thus appears 
which now follows. in an appended clause, ' As regards 

2 The exact punctuation of this Christ, He it is verily who died, &c.' 
passageand the relation of the clauses Then follows the noble and trium- 
to each other is much contested. phant question in ver. 35. 
Perhaps the most probable punctua- 3 This trivial change seems re- 
tion is, 'Who shall lay anything to quired to continue evenly the climax, 
the charge of God's elect ? God is The ' even' rather tends to import a 
He that justifieth, who is He that thought not in the context. 



famine, or nakedness, or peril, or 
sword? ^6 Even^ as it is written. As 
For thy sake are we killed all the we are 
day long; we are accounted as 
sheep for the slaughter. 37 Yet,^ Nay, 
in all these things we are more than 
conquerors through him that loved 
us. 38 For I am persuaded, that 
neither death, nor life, nor angels, 
principalities, nor principalities, nor things present, 

nor powers, 

northings ^or thmgs to come, nor powers, 
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any 
other creature,^ shall be able to 
separate us from the love of God, 
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

^ The two changes in this verse ^ Here it seems clearly necessary 

apparently help the general context. to preserve unambiguously (the ' nay' 

They again stand on the debateable is rather of doubtful meaning) the 

ground of being merely ' improve- contrast specified in this verse : 

ments;' but, being small changes, 'Though thus persecuted, yet, &c.' 

and not appearing in any way to inter- In some of the older Versions * never- 

fere with the rhythm of the verse, theless' is adopted. This, however, 

they perhaps may appear. The seems here a little too heavy, 

second just hints at the change of 3 The translation, ' created thing,* 

tenses in the Original. An aoristic would make the meaning more plain; 

translation of i\oy iaOrjfiev (comp. but change is perhaps not necessary. 

ver. 24) would seem to be an over- The student may be reminded that 

correction, as tending to turn the the difference between verbals termi- 

reader's thoughts more definitely to nating in -aig and -fia is, as in this 

the past, as the past, than the con- word, sometimes obliterated in the 

text requires. N. T. Comp. notes on Phil. iv. 6. 


The amount and nature of the corrections in the foregoing Result of 
portion is, as we have already observed, considerable on the 
right-hand margin, but inconsiderable on the left. The 
changes due to textual revision, in the 108 verses, are only 11, 
or much below the average ; but the amount of grammatical 
corrections is very decidedly above it, the number of such 
changes being about 1 70 in all. When we combine, however, 
these results with those derived from the former portion of 
Scripture, and observe the actual amount in the 219 verses, 
we have finally 30 changes owing to critical considerations ; 
and about 226 changes which see7n^ to be required, on the 
principles already laid down, by grammar and general inter- 
pretation ; or, in other words, not quite the estimated 
amount of one correction for every five verses in the 
matter of criticism and text, and slightly more than one for 
every verse in respect of general revision. 

We are now at length able to proceed onward, and are in 
a position fairly to test the justice and cogency of current 
objections to revision. We now know approximately the 
extent to which revision would probably extend, and are 
certainly justified in declining to answer objections which are 
founded on the assumption that revision would be so great 

1 We italicize the word, as we are served. It is hard to resist the temp- 
quite conscious that there may be tation to introduce a change, when 
several changes in these 219 verses it is clear that the change brings out 
in which the shadowy line between more distinctly the meaning of the 
mere improvement and necessary inspired words, but this is a feeling 
correction has not been always ob- which revisers must watch. 


as distinctly to alter the tone and character of the present 
Version. Six changes in every five verses, and probably 
three at least of these of a very slight kind, could by no stretch 
of imagination produce the results which are so justly 

As will be seen in the next chapter, the resultant question 
will really be, — whether the arguments derived from con- 
siderations of the faithfulness due to God's word, do fairly 
preponderate over those which rest on the general unde- 
sirableness of introducing changes, when they will not be 
more than what has been already specified. 




We are now at length in a position to discuss the current 
objections to Revision, and may shortly notice what has 
been urged by sober thinkers against the course which has 
been advocated in these pages. 

• Of these objections some are invahd and unreasonable, Nature of 
and are of such a nature, considered logically, that we may objections. 
wonder that they stand in connexion with the honoured 
names with which they have been recently associated. 
There are, however, as we have indicated at the close of the 
last chapter, some objections of real force and validity, which 
have lately beer urged against revision, and to them we shall 
give, as far as we are able, respectful answers ; but to the 
majority of current objections really no answer need be 
returned. They are based on the assumption that great 
changes are contemplated, and that no revision could be 
undertaken without involving them ; whereas what has been 
suggested in the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury 
is very different, and much more historically probable. The 
argument assumes usually the form of a dilemma. Either 
there must be great change, or comparatively little change : 
if the former, it is obviously undesirable ; if the latter, it is 


not worth while moving in a matter where the principle of 
quieta non movere is commonly considered to have great 
weight. The latter portion of this dilemma is that only 
with which we are here concerned. 
^, . . It must be observed, however, that the opponents of 

Objections _ ' . . 

not always revision have not kept these two considerations properly 

fairly urged. . • i i 

apart. Even m the Northern Convocation, where the 
learning and weight of the speakers might have led to the 
expectation that the subject would be discussed with calmness 
of thought and with fairness of reasoning, several of the 
speakers not only used arguments which belong to one 
portion of the dilemma, when really the other portion was 
that only which was properly under consideration ; but even 
adopted expressions which would seem to indicate some 
amount of bias and prejudgment. For instance, when one 
Prelate urges as an objection, that the power of writing clear 
and dialectic English had failed, — ^what connexion can such 
a comment have with a proposal for introducing a limited 
number of verbal changes ? Or again, when another Prelate 
begins his speech by saying, that touching the English Bible 
is like touching the Ark, — what can we feel but that strong 
prejudice is imported just where scholars and theologians 
would most deprecate its introduction ? A tacit appeal is 
really made to strong predilections, which, however rightful 
in themselves, are commonly found inconsistent with the 
coolness and sobriety of judgment which no subject needs 
more imperatively than the present. Even the President of 
the venerable body used language and adopted a simile, — 


viz., that of the rider by a precipice at night, which to his 

clear and logical mind must have seemed, on consideration, 

to have involved some amount of antecedent bias. Other 

expressions too were used, which we must venture to consider 

as unduly strong when taken in connexion with the proposals 

actually before the deliberative assembly. Surely no one 

contemplates, or ever did contemplate, except in the days 

of Purv^er and Harwood, ^ sending down our beloved Bible 

into the crucible to be melted down.' At any rate the 

resolution of the Province of Canterbury, with its distinct 

specifications and guarded language, stood in no degree of 

connexion with any such unreasonable and extravagant 


Now when we pass from the arguments to the counter-pro- Counter- 
posals with which they were associated, — such, for instance, as urged in 

to encourage independent scholars to make their revisions, Convoca- 
or to wait for the lingering Speaker's Commentary, as it has ^°"' 
been called, what do they amount to but to proposals practi- 
cally to encourage that which experience has proved valueless, 
and which subsequently the most reverend speaker himself 
very properly deprecated, — the so-called improved Versions 
of individual revisers ? If we were to take the indirect sug- 
gestion of another Prelate, and wait patiently for the Speaker's 
Commentary, what really would our gain be? It would 
amount to no more than the opinion of another competent 
scholar to be added to the many that, in the New Testament 
at least, have already been given as to the true translation 
of the passages under consideration. What we now want is 


not any increase of individual opinions, but the collective 
opinion of a full company of Scholars on the best transla- 
tion in passages where the Authorized Version is judged to 
need revision. If the Speaker's Commentary were to give 
us corrections of this kind we should be wise to wait 
patiently for it, but if we are only to wait for suggested cor- 
rections emanating from individuals, who may be very good 
commentators, but very unpractised revisers, why, we wait 
really for very little. The Speaker's Commentary will pro- 
bably be a great addition to our exegetical literature, and a 
most welcome aid to the theological student; but it absolutely 
can give little more, and professes to give little more, in 
each place, than the judgment of the single commentator. 
With such a work as is under present contemplation — viz., a 
revision of our Version by a body of competent scholars, 
it really has scarcely anything in common. A commentar}^ 
is probably always done best by a single mind ; a revision, 
as we have already especially endeavoured to show in a former 
chapter, must be, if it is to be successful, the result of the 
judgment of several minds conferring together, and doing their 
work, as much as possible, round a common table. 
Three We may then, without any disrespect to the speakers^ 

obStions. pl^ii^ly dismiss these various arguments and proposals as 
being really only the old argumenta ineriicB, reproduced with 
some degree of vigour ; and at once proceed to those real 
objections which no one can afford lightly to pass by. 
These objections are only three in number; first, that 
revision would tend to unsettle; secondly, that it would 


probably loosen the bond between ourselves and Noncon- 
formists, and indeed between the Church of England and 
the American and Colonial Churches, the present Authorized 
Version being common to all; thirdly, that it would en- 
courage still further revisions, and that the great changes in 
our Version, which we all agree to deprecate, would be 
brought about by successive revisions, — in a word, that there 
would be no finality. 

These three objections certainly require thoughtful con- Antecedent 

sideration, and to them it may be well to devote the re- sideration : 

mainder of this chapter. One preliminary consideration, oV^ections- 
however, must be borne in mind, that even were these 
objections greater than they really will be found to be, there 
still remains on the other side the great argument of duty, 
which with some minds will outweigh every other considera- 
tion, whether of convenience or of religious policy. Now, if it 
be conceded that there are errors in our present Version, and if 
it also be conceded that they are fairly removable, and that 
any competent body of scholars could hopefully address 
itself to the work, then surely every principle of loyalty 
to God's word requires that this work should be done. It is 
not an answer to say that each expounder of Scripture may 
do this for himself and for his audience ; for, in the first 
place, it is highly probable that the correction of the in- 
dividual will reflect some bias or some want of that many- 
sidedness of consideration which only several minds, working 
together, can be expected to exhibit. Secondly, nothing 
really does more dishonour to the inspired word than to 


leave it confessedly in a state in which there is practically a 
sort of standing invitation to the ordinary preacher to correct 
before his audience what he himself would probably designate 
as our ' otherwise admirable Version.' It is no use saying 
that the corrections needed will not affect great principles, 
or that no errors have been produced, as a speaker at York 
expressed it, ' inconsistent with the truth of God.' There 
are errors in our translation which involve such inconsistency, 
and involve it too in the way in which vital truths are most 
seriously affected — viz., by the inferences drawn from the 
^vritten words. Suppose it be true, though even this we 
do not concede, that there is no obvious error in our Ver- 
sion, whether in the text or in the translation, affecting any 
distinct definition of doctrine, yet can any one, with the 
most moderate knowledge of theology, undertake to deny 
that a great number of current deductions, commonly made 
and commonly accepted, affecting such vital doctrines as 
the doctrine of personal Salvation, and the doctrine of the 
Last things — what is technically called soteriology and 
eschatology, — rest upon mistranslations of words, and mis- 
conceptions in exegesis, which might be greatly reduced, if 
not wholly removed, by a fair and scholarly revision. There 
are favourite proof-texts, as the Bishop of St. David's pointed 
out with his usual acuteness, though, as we subsequently 
learn from him, to his own great personal inconvenience, 
which would certainly disappear from their present pro- 
minence in current homiletical teaching? There are passages, 
not few in number, which revision would certainly relieve 



from much of their present servitude of misuse in reHgious 
controversy. It really would form a just subject for wonder 
that perhaps the greater portion of those who are loyally 
attached, even to extreme views as to verbal inspiration, 
are now found among the opponents to revision, if the 
reason were not intelligible and somewhat easy to divine. 
When we simply call to mind the many passages in 
which certain shades of certain opinions, not in the original 
words nor in the context, were still permitted to linger, — 
if indfeed, here and there, they were not introduced,— we may 
perhaps cease to be surprised at the almost passionate 
language with which all attempts to exhibit with greater 
faithfulness the real mind of the inspired Original are depre- 
cated and condemned. The truth is often unpalatable, and 
we fear it may be so in this case, but the fact is certain, — 
some extreme views, especially in reference to some deeper 
doctrines, would lose some amount of the support which 
they now find in the translated words of the English 
Version of the New Testament, if those words were fairly 
reconsidered by impartial and competent scholars. 

If this be so, then the counter-argument of faithfulness Real weight 

. , of the argu- 

comes back to us agam with mcreased force. At any rate, ment of 
be this as it may, the counter-argument must ever be fully 
borne in mind before we enter into the objections. With 
some minds the duty of faithfulness to God's word will out- 
weigh every other consideration ; and with most minds it will 
be admitted to be an antecedent argument which, at any 
rate, requires enhanced force in the arguments on the other 


side. Most people very quickly assume that revision is a 
sort of professional matter, and that the advocacy of it only 
arises from some commingled desire of presenting the sacred 
documents in a better form, and at the same time of airing 
our scholarship ; and never seriously consider that with some 
it is a matter of deepest moment, and that it appeals to the 
most conscientious convictions, as to Christian duty and 
Christian faithfulness, that can be found in any heart. On 
this subject there should be no mistake. With all those who 
seriously advocate combined and authoritative revision it is 
a question of simple duty. They are persuaded that the 
Church, ' the pillar and ground of the truth,' the guardian of 
the inspired archives, and the transmitter of them to her 
children, is bound to give them to those children in the purest 
and truest form, and that the Convocation of the Southern 
Province has only done her duty in moving in this holy 
cause without any reference to the popular arguments of 
prejudice or expediency. 

With a recognition then, at any rate, of the deep convictions 
of those who are now moving for a revision of the present 
Version of the Holy Scriptures, and especially of the New 
Testament, let us now soberly consider the three objections 
which we have already specified. 
First The first argument, that a revision of the Scripture would 

coSered. ^^^^ ^° unsettle men's minds, and shake their faith in the 
inspired Word itself, is, we regret to write it, the weakest of 
the three arguments. It was a fairly valid objection no 
more than a few years back, but alas, it has ceased to be one 



now. It sounded fairly convincing in the House of Com- 
mons, some thirteen or fourteen years ago, from the mouth 
of a Minister of the Crown, in answer to an ill-considered 
proposal of one who scarcely could be considered an 
authority on such a subject. Approbation probably was 
given to the answer ; but would that approbation be given 
now ? Nay, would any Minister of the Crown ever dream 
of using such a counter-argument now ? No ; faith, not 
merely in the words and expressions of Scripture, but in its 
very historical foundations, has of late been so seriously 
shaken, that few could be found who in any popular assembly 
could expect such an argument would be deemed now to 
have any real weight. What would verbal changes, often 
very trivial, at the rate of one a verse, amount to, in regard 
of unsettling men's minds, when compared with the earth- 
quake-like movements which have taken place since the 
last-mentioned argument was used in the House of Commons. 
In an age that has welcomed Essays aftd Reviews, and 
passionately praised such a semi-Socinian treatise as Ecce 
Homo, we must feel that such an objection as this cannot 
possibly be admitted to hold any place. Even if it were to 
be urged in reference to those who at present have not 
seriously felt the movement to which we have alluded, — the 
pure, tender, and loving souls that yet believe with all the 
trust and devotion of the days that are now no more, it 
would hardly have much weight, as it would be balanced by 
the consideration that we should tend most to reassure such 
spirits, by showing to them by the very facts of the revision 







how blessed a heritage was the EngHsh Bible, and how little 
heed was to be paid to attempts to vilify it. Instead of 
being liable to the insidious advance of apprehensions that 
the English Bible was not to be relied on as a faithful 
translation, they would see ultimately what little change, 
even in an age of doubt as well as of advanced scholarship, 
was deemed necessary to be made in the Volume they loved 
so well. Far from unsettling, we are convinced that a wise 
and authoritative revision would at the present time act 
exactly in the contrary way, and that it would probably tend 
more than can now even be imagined, to tranquillize and to 

The second objection is of greater weight ; but there are 
several countervailing considerations which it is desirable 
not to leave unnoticed. In the first place, the alterations 
that would probably be introduced, would almost certainly 
be very limited both in number and in degree. When 
made, however, they would generally be found to be clear 
and even necessary improvements. If then we are to make 
the extreme assumption that Nonconformists as a body 
would be likely publicly to disavow the revised Volume, we 
must not fail to observe that they would thus find themselves 
committed to a disavowal of a certain number of corrections 
which every scholar in the world would pronounce necessary, 
if the duty of faithfulness to God's word is in any degree to 
be accepted as a principle. But in the second place, there . 
is no reason whatever for thinking that Nonconformists 
would act in such a narrow spirit ; nay, there is positive 


evidence to the contrary. This very year opened with a 
very able article in the January number of the British 
Quarterly on the subject of revision, from which it is perfectly 
clear that all the more intelligent Nonconformists not only 
would interpose no sectarian obstacles, but would even readily 
take their part in the great work, if invited by competent 
authority, and on the equal terms of common scholarship. 
The subject has also been noticed in several of the public 
organs of the different dissenting bodies, and in none, so far 
as they have fallen under our observation, in other than 
temperate and even favourable terms. Just views seem to 
be entertained of the nature of the work ; and no indications 
have yet appeared of any desire to gain party triumphs by 
assaults on received ecclesiastical terms, or by changes in 
the existing religious vocabulary. A few years ago it was 
different. Able writers like Marsh^ seemed to consider it 
impossible for revisers of different denominations to act in 
proper concert, and have used, at a period no further back 
than 1 86 1, the strongest language as to the hopelessness of 
united action. It is just, however, to the intelligent critic 
whose name has been mentioned, to add, that he expressed 
a belief that a time certainly was coming, when there might 
be such an increase in harmony and in knowledge as to 
make a union in revision a possibility. 

And we verily believe that the time is now close at hand, churchmen 
Not only is there an apparent willingness in Nonconformists co-operate. 

^ See Lectures on the English Language, p. 641. 

O 2 



to take part in the work, but there is clear evidence on the 
part of the Church that she is fully prepared to ask for their 
aid and co-operation. No clearer proof can be given of 
this than the recommendations of an important Committee 
of the Southern Convocation which have been recently 
accepted by both Houses, and we trust will shortly be acted 
upon.! There the readiness to co-operate is specified in 
clear and authoritative words. 

^ The resolutions referred to are 
as follows : — 

" I. That it is desirable that a Re- 
vision of the Authorized Version of 
the Holy Scriptures be undertaken. 

" 2. That the Revision be so con- 
ducted as to comprise both marginal 
renderings, and such emendations as 
it may be found necessary to insert 
in the Text of the Authorized Ver- 

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

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

" 5. That it is desirable that Con- 
vocation should nominate a body of 
its own members, to undertake the 
work of revision, who shall be at 

liberty to invite the co-operation of 
any eminent for scholarship, to what- 
ever nation or religious body they 
may belong." 

The names of the Committee who 
were appointed to draw up the Re- 
port are as follow : — Bishop of Win- 
chester, Bishop of St. David's, Bishop 
of LlandafF, Bishop of Gloucester and 
Bristol, Bishop of Ely, Bishop of 
Lincoln, Bishop of Salisbury, Bishop 
of Bath and Wells, The Prolocutor 
(Dr. Bickersteth), Dean of Canter- 
bury (Dr. Alford), Dean of West- 
minster (Dr. Stanley), Dean of Lin- 
coln (Dr. Jeremie), Archdeacon of 
Bedford (Mr. Rose), Archdeacon of 
Exeter (Mr. Freeman), Archdeacon 
of Rochester and St. Alban's (Dr. 
Grant), Chancellor Massingberd, 
Canon Blakesley, Canon How,Canon 
Selwyn, Canon Swainson, Canon 
Woodgate, Dr. Jebb, Dr. Kay, and 
Mr. de Winton. We are glad now 
to subjoin, that the report was ac- 
cepted unanimously by the Upper 


But, in the third place, it may be observed, that not only Example of 
are there these evidences on either side of willingness to ^o-^P^^a- 

° tion. The 

co-operate in making yet more perfect the translation of our Tamil 


common Bible, but there are actual examples of the work 
having been done in perfect harmony, in the case of transla- 
tions of the Scripture into foreign languages for missionary 
purposes. A very striking instance of this has been recently 
given by the completion of the Tamil Version. This very 
important work has now been finished, after more than eleven 
years of united labour, in which missionaries from the 
Church of England have worked in perfect harmony with 
missionaries from other religious bodies. In the narrative 
of their labours w^hich has lately been published^ there are 
no traces of those dissensions on ecclesiastical words which 
recent writers in newspapers have confidently predicted 
will be the case at home. No notices or even hints of 
any sectarian difficulties, which certainly might have been 
expected to show themselves in a new work, and in a period 
so long as eleven years, find any place in the interesting 

House, and with substantial unani- ^ See the very interesting account 

mity by the Lower House. A Com- of this important work recently pub- 

mittee has been appointed consisting lished by the Bible Society. This 

of eight Bishops and eight Presbyters pamphlet is especially commended to 

to take the necessary steps for giving the attention of the impartial reader, 

effect to the resolutions. The Com- It is singularly illustrative of many 

mittee consists of the eleven names of our supposed present difficulties, 

first specified in the above list, and and shows how, by the blessing of 

those of the Archdeacon of Bedford, the Holy Ghost, they have been sur- 

Canon Blakesley, Canon Selwyn, Dr. mounted by the earnest and faithful 

Jebb, and Dr. Kay. men who took part in the work. 


pamphlet which gives the record of the progress and com- 
pletion of the labours. The men did their work on the 
basis of Tamil scholarship, and with a true sense of their 
responsibiHties, and they have been permitted to bring their 
faithful labours to a successful close. And as it has been 
with them; so we are persuaded it will now be among 
ourselves. The bonds will be reverence for God's Word 
and God's truth, and sound and practised scholarship ; and 
these will be found too strong even for religious prejudices, 
if indeed they are to be considered as likely to be shown 
by men of disciplined minds in matters of English and 
Hellenic grammar and criticism. Again and again must the 
general reader be reminded of the great difference between 
a commentary and a revision. The former work could not 
be executed by such a mixed body as is now under con- 
sideration; the latter certainly could, because the appeal 
would lie in all cases to scholarship ; and here, thank God, 
there is neither High Church nor Low Church, neither 
Conformity nor Dissent If the mass of general readers 
could once be persuaded of this simple fact — that the more 
accurate the scholarship, the more tolerant and charitable 
are men found to be when in co-operation, we should hear 
far less gloomy anticipations of the animosities and ruptures 
that we are told would show themselves in a mixed body of 
scholars of differing religious persuasions. But those who 
indulge in such anticipations are not scholars, and have 
never done an hour's work of revision in co-operation with 
others. Their words, however, have some power to do harm. 


We may come to the conclusion then that there is not, at 
the present time at any rate, much force in the second ob- 
jection. A few years back it would have had much weight, 
but these few years have brought with them many changes, 
both for good and for evil. The utmost that can be urged is 
that a revised Version might not win its way by equal rates 
of progress among Churchmen and Dissenters, but the an- 
ticipation that there would be a Church Bible and a Dis- 
senter's Bible, is really an anticipation only fit for a common- 
place in a popular speech, or an argument in a newspaper- 

The question of our relation to the American and Colonial Relation to 


Churches is very different, and confessedly is not without its Churches 
difficulties. These two considerations, however, go far to America, 
modify them ; — first, that the changes will, as we have shown, 
probably be few ; and secondly, that there will not be any 
antecedent jealousies and prejudices (such as between the 
Church and Dissent), which could hinder the changes being 
accepted, if really good. The result probably will be, that any 
changes that ultimately obtain full acceptance at home will 
very readily be adopted both by the American and Colonial 
Churches. The question will really turn on the amount of 
and nature of the changes. If they are few and good, they 
will be accepted ; if not, they will not meet with acceptance 
either at home or abroad. 

The third objection is perhaps the most important of the The 3rd 
three, but it is one which, by the nature of the case, it is not beiongs"o 
very easy to meet. We are transferred into the future and ^^^ future. 


have very few data derived from the past on which to hazard 
a forecast. Former revisions certainly succeeded each other 
after no lengthened intervals, but then they were revisions 
which were suggested by the existing state of the translation, 
and the changeful character of the times. We have now, as 
all are ready to admit, a thoroughly good, though not a perfect 
translation. It has maintained its ground in its present form 
for 260 years. It has secured a firm hold on the affections 
of the people. It has become also a sort of literary monu- 
ment of which every Englishman and every English critic of 
eminence (if we except a few ill-natured remarks of Mr. 
Hallam^) is justly proud. These are facts which certainly 
seem to suggest the persuasion that one cautious and 
reverent retouching of the old picture might be tolerated, 
but that all parties, after they had accepted the work, — and 
this it would take time to bring about, — would very dis- 
tinctly concur in deprecating any further manipulations. 
The really 7?i07iu7ne?ital character of our Version is its best 
protection against progressive change, and this protection, 
we cannot help feeling persuaded, as long as England is 
England, will be always found available and sufficient. 
But, as we have already said, these are but forecasts in 

Faithfulness ' ^ 

requires the auswcr to forccasts. Different thinkers would probably come 
to different conclusions. Bias again may influence very 
seriously our predictions and anticipations. So it may be best, 
perhaps, to leave the objection as we find it, and rather to 

See his Literature of Europe, Vol. iii. p. 134 (Lond. 1839). 


put on the other side what many feel to be their bounden 
duty, — viz., to place before our people God's truth in as 
faithful a fomi as the nature of the work permits. If there 
are errors, they ought to be removed for the truth's sake. 
If there are inaccuracies which give false tinges to deduced 
doctrines, surely we seem called upon to revise them now, 
whatever may be done in the future, in accordance with the 
known and, for the most part, fixed principles of grammar 
and scholarship. Surely, whatever may be our anticipations 
of future proceedings, whatever our hopes of further dis- 
coveries, we do seem bound, for very thankfulness, to take 
the critical aid that has been so mysteriously extended to us, 
and with the Sinaitic Manuscript, and the vast accumulated 
knowledge of other Manuscripts that has of late been made 
available, to prepare ourselves reverently to bring up our 
English Testament to that standard of correctness which is 
now clearly attainable. 

If this is the duty of the present, then we must be content 
to leave the morrow to be careful for the things of itself We 
might justly have been anxious if the amount of change had 
seemed likely to have been greater than we have now found 
it likely to be. After the estimate we have formed, and the 
results arrived at, when taken in combination with the calls 
of duty to which we have just adverted, it does seem 
proper, whatever the future may be, cautiously and reverently 
to go forward, and if the third objection weighs with us, to 
set now an example to the future of our circumspectness, 
our sense of responsibility, and our guarded reverence for 


England's greatest treasure. The nature of our action now 
may exercise vast influence on the future ; nay, it may not 
only give the tone to all changes in days yet to come, but 
may prevent rash and sweeping changes, which inaction, at 
the present time, may only too probably bring about. 

So let us reverently and cautiously go forward, and now, 
lastly, consider how and in what manner we may best pursue 
our onward way. The consideration of this question will 
form the subject of our concluding chapter. 




We may now suitably bring our considerations to a close by 
a few remarks on the authority under which it would seem 
best that a revision of the Holy Scriptures should be under- 
taken, and on the most hopeful mode of proceeding with 
the actual work. 

In reference to the first question, — the authority under Convoca- 
tion the 
which the work should be undertaken, — we have now happily, proper au - 

and we may also rightly say, providentially, no necessity for ^^^ ^^k. 

any lengthened comments. The question has recently, and 

even subsequently to the printing of the early pages of this 

work, been answered for us. The Convocation of Canterbury 

has not only given its weighty approval to the undertaking, but 

has also appointed a Committee of sixteen men,^ with power 

' The names have been specified House to be double that from the 
above: see the note on p. 197. In Upper. In the present case, how- 
reference to this number of 16, it is ever, on its being pointed out that so 
right here to notice the vrisdom and large a body as 16, in addition to the 
forbearance shown by the Lower 8 Bishops, would practically much 
House. Several of our readers may limit the numbers that could be 
know that when a joint Commission co-opted from the general company 
of both Houses of Convocation is of Biblical scholars not belonging to 
appointed, it is customary for the Convocation (the Committee other- 
number appointed from the Lower wise being likely to become utterly 


to add to their number, to make a beginning, and in due 
time to place some specimens of their work before Convoca- 
tion and the Nation at large. That Committee will have 
met and decided on its future plan of operations before these 
lines will come before the eye of the reader. 

So the Convocation of Canterbury has taken up the great 
and national work. Yes, the work is marked out, and some 
of the future labourers are already called forth to commence 
it. At such a time and in such a cause, is it too much 
humbly to ask that the prayers of all those that love the 
word of God in sincerity may constantly be offered up for 
all those who, in these anxious times, either are now or here- 
after shall be called to take part in the work, and who, in 
the prosecution of that work, will need all the support that 
such prayers are especially permitted to minister ? 

Convocation has undertaken the work. And with this 
issue many at first will be, and will probably avow themselves 
to be, utterly dissatisfied. Such a work they will urge ought to 
have been committed to a Royal Commission ; the highest 
earthly authority in this realm should have summoned 
together the Revisers of the future, and assigned to them 
their duties and their work. The National treasure should 
have been entrusted to men chosen out from the Nation at 

unwieldy), — the Lower House, alike from the Upper House. See the 

with good sense and good feeling, recent debates in Convocation, and 

accepted the suggestion that the num- the very sensible speech of Lord 

her from their body should be re- Alwyne Compton in The Guardian 

duced to the same number as that for May i8, p. 585. 


large, not to the members of an antiquated body, and to the 
precarious aid that might be extended to them by those who 
are without. Such thoughts are natural, and such thoughts 
will find pubhc expression ; but they will not be, after all, the 
thoughts of the sober observers of the days in which we now 
are living : they will not be the expressions of those who 
best and most intelligently appreciate the mighty changes 
which each year that is passing is now silently bringing with 
it. Convocation is really the best authority under which 
such a work could be undertaken, and (not to mention others) 
for this one, simple, and homely reason — that what we want 
is a revised Version, and not an improved Version ; and that 
the latter would almost certainly be the result of the labours 
of such a Royal Commission as would inevitably be called to 
the work in these present days. It would be constructed, 
almost certainly, on the principle of including all representa- 
tive men who had any sufficient claim to scholarship, — and 
a very representative Version would such a body most 
assuredly produce. No, we may be certainly thankful that 
those who stand highest in the national councils have shown 
no disposition to encourage these ambitious and ultimately 
self-frustrating designs. We may almost trace the provi- 
dential ordering of God in the turn that the Revision ques- 
tion has lately taken. We have now, at any rate, no fear of 
an over-corrected Version. The men now appointed, and 
those who will be invited to join them will all feel alike, that 
they are entering upon a work, in which that which will most 
commend them to public favour will be the least possible 


amount of change consistent with faithfulness} A Royal 
Commission would conceive itself to be independent, and 
would act accordingly. A body, constituted as the body of 
Revisers now will be constituted, will have soberly to consult 
public religious feeling. It will always have before it this 
plain fact, — that their work can only hope to take the place 
of the venerable Version now in our hands, by being that 
Version, not only generally and substantially, but that Ver- 
sion in all its details, save only those where amending hands 
may have removed some scattered errors and imperfections. 
Such a body will, by the very nature of the case, even inde- 
pendently of those higher principles by which it will, beyond 
all doubt, be influenced, know perfectly well that to achieve 
any success it must labour patiently, vigilantly, and sympa- 
thizingly ; and such a knowledge will act as a healthy incen- 
tive. It will only have itself and its own eiforts to trust to. 
To succeed is really little more than its very condition of 
existence. To fail is to be disbanded and dissipated. 

When we thus soberly consider the problem and the pro- 
posed mode of solving it, we can hardly doubt that even 
those who may at first have felt the strongest prejudice 
against a so-called National work being attempted by 
members of the Convocation of Canterbury (and we hope, 
ultimately, of York) and those scholars who may be invited 
to join them, will in the end admit that it is best that 

' See the comments in The Times p. 99. This will probably be one 
for May 6, already referred to on of the leading rules. 



matters should have taken this their present and almost 
unlooked-for turn. We may honestly even more than ac- 
quiesce in the present arrangement, and wish all concerned 
in it a hearty God-speed. 

Of course at present many things are uncertain, and must The future 
be considered as yet in the realm of hope, rather than that f^l^^J^'^ 
of knowledge and experience. We cannot tell confidently 
to what extent those without will join in the work,^ nor, if 
they do join, can we certainly predict that all will act together 

' It is especially cheering to ob- 
serve that the practical invitation of 
Convocation to those w^ho are not 
members of the Church of England 
has been responded to in the spirit 
in which it was given. The writer 
of a thoroughly friendly article in 
The Freeman of May 13, expresses 
the hope that 'Nonconformists will 
not be slow to respond to any in- 
vitation to co-operate in the task 
inaugurated by Convocation,' and 
closes his remarks with the follow- 
ing wise and conciliatory words : — 
*We earnestly hope that, should 
any of our number be summoned 
to the assistance of the Committee 
of Convocation, they will imme- 
diately respond. Their task is 
simplified by the determination to 
revise, and not to re-translate. A 
new translation would raise the 
vexed question of the rendering of 
the words which relate to baptism. 

Revision, we conclude, leaves that 
question where it was. In any case, 
fidelity to the original text must be 
the ruling principle, and he that 
hath the Divine Word in the lan- 
guage in which it was originally 
written should give it faithfully, in 
its exact equivalent, to the English- 
speaking peoples of the world. We 
wish the enterprise the Divine 
blessing and acceptance with the 
churches, and counsel our readers 
to follow the wise and liberal lead 
of the Bishops (whose recommenda- 
tions we cordially endorse) in the 
proposed revision of the English 
version of the Bible.' It may be re- 
marked that we had ourselves an- 
ticipated this very expression of 
opinion, and had ventured positively 
to say for Baptist scholars what is 
here said by themselves. See above, 
p. 93, note I, which was written 
prior to the words here quoted. 


with easiness and harmony. We cannot be sure that they 
may not all be disposed to attempt a far more sweeping re- 
vision than the Church and even Nation would tolerate. 
We dare not confidently say that they may not begin with 
caution and moderation, and be accelerated into innovation. 
All such things are possible ; but we may reasonably have 
hope, and even well-grounded hope, that it will be otherwise, 
and that both Confomiity and Nonconformity will act in this 
matter both wisely and fraternally ; and will only vie with 
each other in reverent solicitude to do faithfully that which 
they have been called to undertake, and in that wise fear 
and trembling with which the devout scholar of the nineteenth 
century should approach the revision of the noblest Version 
of the written words of Patriarchs, Prophets, Evangelists, and 
Apostles that the v/orld has ever known. 

We may now pass, secondly and lastly, to a brief conside- 
ration of the manner in which the work should be undertaken 
and performed. 
The work The chief principles have already been laid down in the 
done to-' foregoing pages. We have already specified the leading 
s^^^^^- canons which reflection and experience alike seem to suggest 
as the fundamental rules that must be followed in a work 
such as that to which we are now definitely pledged. These 
we have already seen are — Firsf, that the work must be done 
round a common table. Mind must act on mind ; thought 
on thought. We must have no ambitious schemes of col- 
lecting opinions by correspondence or otherwise, unless 
those collected opinions are to be discussed by the gathered 


body of revisers. We must not delegate to any small Com- 
mittee the work of consolidating or harmonizing the opinions 
of the many that may with profit be called into counsel. 
No, both the revisers of the Old and of the New Testament 
respectively must do their work together, and discuss not only 
their own proposals, but also all the suggestions of others, in 
their own common rooms of council. On this, taught by ex- 
perience, we lay the greatest stress. And not only the present, 
but the past confirms this view. We have seen that, in a great 
degree, the success of our present Authorized Version was 
due to co-operative union, and that the points in which it 
partially failed — viz., consistency of renderings, and harmony 
in the application of grammatical principles, are just those 
points in which a system which gave the New Testament to 
two different companies, under two different chairmen, might 
beforehand be expected to fail. But if we thus press for 
union in work, we also insist, with equal earnestness, on the 
necessity of individual labour in private. To make such a 
union a truly co-operative union, every member of it would 
have to work privately as well as publicly. Each scholar 
belonging to the body would of course come with his cor- 
rections carefully made in private, reconsidered, and formally 
committed to writing. With these he would take his place 
at the council-table, and these he would compare with the 
corrections similarly made by the rest of his brethren. The 
changes ultimately agreed upon would be the result of the 
comparison, and of the discussion which each item in the 
comparison would be liable to call out. Many corrections 



would be found to have been made by the majority, and 
would at once be accepted by all present ; others would 
require consideration ; a certain portion would call out dis- 
cussion, and could only be finally settled by a formal vote. 

While then we thus urge, as the first principle, co-operative 
union, we not the less insist upon previous and for7nal pre- 
paration i?i private^ so as to concentrate attention on what 
might seem on deliberation to require it, and to obviate all 
improper waste of time in discussion of mere proposals of 
the moment 
Experienc: If this would Seem to be our first principle, the secofid 
^ \^t^^ would certainly seem to be the due recognition of experience 
as the surest guide. In other words, the work at first must be 
done tentatively. A careful record of principles apparently 
arrived at, and even of renderings of passages marked by 
certain grammatical characteristics, e.g. hypothetical sen- 
tences, involving what could not or would not happen,^ past 

^ We may give as an instance such ciple for translating these, and he 

passages as John v. 46, viii. jo, al,, will find it extremely difficult to 

where we have the imperfect in both carry it out in easy and idiomatic 

clauses, when contrasted with such English. Even in the simplest 

passages as Matt. xi. 21, where both case, — imperfect in both clauses and 

clauses have the aorist, or with such aorist in both clauses, — if we try 

passages as Heb. iv. 8, where there always to trans ate the former by 

is an aorist in the first clause and an 'would' and the latter by 'would 

imperfect in the second, or con- have' (not an unreasonable principle) 

versely, as John xiv. 28, where the we shall find many a passage that 

imperfect is in the first clause and will put even this rule to a test that 

the aorist in the second. I et any it will not in practice be found able 

one try to lay down a settled prin- successfully to bear. 


participles with finite verbs, the use of ' shall' or ' shall have' 
in the translation of the aorist subjunctive after certain 
temporal particles, &c. — all would require to be noted down 
at the time and to be carefully registered. There would 
thus be a large and increasing amount of general principles 
which would be continually tested by actual practice, and 
ultimately confirmed and consolidated. With these thus 
acquired and thus verified, the whole work would be recon- 
sidered, and the result thus arrived at accepted for that 
edition as final. 

The //z/r^ principle would be to preserve the mean between Revision 
pretermission of what ought to have been corrected, and ^„^^^^^^ but 
mere improvement in renderings when the necessity for the sufficient, 
change was not distinctly appreciable. In other words, the 
revision would have to be alike conservative and sufficient ; 
carried out on the general principle of the least possible 
change on the one hand, and yet honourably imitative of that 
extreme vigilance, which (in the comparison in Chap. iii. of 
those passages as given in our own Version, with the same 
passages as given in Tyndale and the early Versions) we 
have already observed to be such a special and honourable 
characteristic of the Revision of 161 1. To innovate, or, 
what is called ' improve,' is a grievous mistake on the one 
side ; but it must not be forgotten that there is a directly 
contrary mistake, which, if made, might lead to very un- 
welcome consequences. If the revision were not fairly a 
sufficient one, it would certainly be followed at no great 
length of time by another attempt, and the very evil, of 

p 2 


which we have been forced to admit the possibility in our 
last chapter, would become real and actual. To use a 
homely simile, if we create an appetite for revision we must 
be careful to satisfy it. No doubt this canon is a far easier 
one to state than to follow. This golden mean of correcting 
just what ought to be corrected is excessively hard to main- 
tain ; still we feel confident that if the general reasonableness 
and truth of this principle be fairly recognised, and if the 
attempt be made, as far as possible, to act on it, experience 
will gradually make the observance of it more and more 
easy and instinctive. The principle, of course, really in- 
volves all that has already been said on the limits of revision, 
and includes numberless degrees of application : yet, we 
are persuaded, if once the reviser clearly appreciates the 
difference between a mere debateable improvement and a 
thoroughly necessary correction, he will be enabled, after a 
moderate amount of practice, to decide with approximate 
success in those many cases which lie on the border-land, and, 
in the just estimate of which, the strongest call is made upon 
the intelligence and judgment of the reviser. Our own cor- 
rections in the fifth chapter will, we have no doubt, supply 
the acute reader with several instances in which we ourselves 
have unwittingly crossed the frontier, and have introduced 
unnecessary corrections ; still, if it be so, we shall have, at 
any rate, illustrated the truth of another principle, often 
insisted on in these pages, that no single mind can produce 
a thoroughly good and consistent revision. 

T\i.t fourth principle, which it would seem most desirable 


carefully to observe, and in every case strictly to act upon The old 
tliroughout the work, has been already briefly alluded to in J'^^^ JJ^^J 
the introductory chapter, and may now be stated more fully 
and precisely. It relates to the language and vocabulary to 
be used in the corrections and alterations that may be intro- 
duced ; and it may be expressed as follows : In corrections 
limit the choice of words to the vocabulary of the presetit 
Versio7i combined with that of the Versions that preceded 
it -^ and in alterations preserve as far as possible the rhythm 
and cadence of the Authorized Version. This principle 
cannot be too strongly insisted upon. It is in the choice 
of words, and the juxta-position of the w^ords when chosen, 
that the success of any revision will be found in a great 
degree to depend. And for these three reasons : the revised 
Version must be a popular Version ; it must also be a Ver- 
sion that reads well, and can be heard with the old and 
familiar pleasure with which our present Version is always 
listened to ; it must, thirdly, be such that no consciousness 

' It seems desirable especially to regard of the language in which the 
include the earlier Versions, with the corrections are to be clothed. Pre- 
caution only that theRhemish Version, quently they will be found to con- 
from the peculiar nature of its Ian- tain the very alteration we might 
guage, must commonly be excepted. wish to introduce. And herein we 
It is often, as has been already re- shall supplement the work of 161 1. 
marked (see p. 91), useful in its The translators of that day were 
vocabulary, but so Latinized that it bidden to revert to the older Versions, 
can only be used with the utmost but it has been already observed that 
caution. The other Versions, espe- they did this very imperfectly. See 
cially those of Tyndale and Cover- p. 90, and Westcott, History of the 
dale, may be used very freely in English Bible, p. 339. 


of novelty of turn or expression is awakened in the mind of 
hearer or reader. In a word, we must never be reminded 
that we are not hearing the old Version ; and must only be 
brought to perceive the revision, when we read it over 
thoughtfully in private. Such a result can only be obtained 
by making the correction in words chosen out of (so to 
speak) a strictly Biblical vocabulary, and also by the 
mechanical but very necessary proceeding of having eabh 
chapter, when completed, read aloud, slowly and con- 
tinuously, by one of the body of Revisers to his assembled 
brethren. Many a correction which the eye and inward 
feeling might have been wilHng to accept will be beneficially 
challenged by the simple yet subtle process of the hearing 
of the outward ear. This very homely suggestion will be 
found of some practical usefulness. 
Vote not to Tht fifth principle is more one of detail, but still it seems 

be hurried. 

to involve in it so much of common sense and practical 
wisdom that it perhaps deserves a place among the leading 
principles we are now specifying, and it may be stated in 
the following rule : — In every passage where there may be 
distinct differences of opinion, and decided expressions of 
it, reserve the taking of the vote thereon till the beginning of 
the next meeting. Let the arguments for the different 
renderings be fully stated and concluded at the prior meet- 
ing, so that nothing remains but the decision between two 
or more competing corrections. But let that decision, as 
we have said, be made at the subsequent meeting, after 
time has been taken for private reconsideration, and after 


every trace of that slight irritation which is often called out 
in the very best of us by opposing argument and by the 
keenness of discussion, has entirely disappeared. It should 
be a fixed rule that the discussion should not be reopened 
when the vote is taken, unless with the consent of two- 
thirds ; as, otherwise, the very evil which this rule is de- 
signed to repress would be again called into existence and 
operation. Such a rule requires but few comments to 
recommend it. It is based on the recognition of some 
amount of poor human infirmity, which, in such a calm and 
holy work as the revision of the Scriptures, should ever be 
sensitively provided against. There should be no tinge of 
temper or party spirit in any correction, however slight, that 
may hereafter find its place on the pages of the English 

Our sixth principle relates to the use of the margin, and '^e^t should 

^ ^ always be 

is founded on a due recognition of the importance of two better than 
practically opposing considerations. On the one hand, we 
have already distinctly expressed the opinion, and have acted 
upon it in more than one passage of the sample-revisions in 
a foregoing chapter — that, in a doubtful passage, the present 
rendering should be maintained, unless there was a distinct 
preponderance of argument and authority against it; and 
that the competing rendering should be placed in the 
margin. On the other hand, no principle seems more dis- 
tinctly to commend itself to us than this, — that the margin 
should not, in the general judgment of scholars, be con- 
sidered to be exegetically or critically superior to the 



text.^ Such is the judgment commonly entertained in refe- 
rence to our present margin ; such certainly should not be the 
judgment of scholars and divines in reference to the margin of 
the future. But how can we harmonize these partially con- 
flicting considerations ? How can we combine conservatism 
with loyalty to the calm decision of an intelligent majority ? 
Perhaps thus, — J^'irsf, by considering each existing marginal 
rendering as so 7iearly of the same authority as that of the 
text, that if the majority, even by a single vote," decided 
for the margin, the margin and the text should at once 
change places. Secondly^ in cases where there may be 

It is with some degree of regret 
that we observe that the Bishop of 
Lincoln, in his recent speech in 
Convocation (see Guardian for 
May II, p. 550), still advocates 
what, we have seen, he recom- 
mended in Convocation thirteen 
years ago. See above, p. 6, note 2. 
There is nothing we may more 
justly deprecate than any plan which 
might contemplate placing the cor- 
rections that may be proposed in the 
margin. Any plan more likely to 
invite imperfectly considered cor- 
rections can hardly be conceived. 
It would in fact be thoroughly to 
misuse the margin; it would give 
(if the Bi; hop's suggestions were 
adopted) veiy undesirable liberty to 
individual ministers — viz., as to 
whether they would read publicly 
he text or the margin; and it 

would also at once relieve the Re- 
visers of a large portion of that deep 
feeling of responsibility, which a 
continual remembrance that what 
they are recommending is for the 
Text, would be certain to bring 
with it. How soberly and how 
thoughtfully men would form their 
decisions, when those decisions were 
to settle (if their Revision was ac- 
cepted) what was ultimately to take 
the place of the present words, and 
hereafter to be read publicly as a 
portion of the Book of Life. 

2 We may illustrate this by an 
instance in one of the two sample- 
portions of the Authorized Version 
which we have revised in Chap. v. 
In Romans viii. 27, it is doubtful 
whether oti is causal or simply 
demonstrative, whether, in feet, it 
is to be translated 'because' or 



no marginal rendering, by providing that some fixed pro- 
portion of votes, for example two-thirds, should always be 
required before any portion of the present Version should 
finally be displaced, whether to be transferred to the margin 
or no. The transference to the margin would obviously 
apply only to cases of real importance, and in which 
all would agree, whichever side they might take, that the 
alternative rendering ought specially to be recorded. On 
a final revision, then, two-thirds might with profit be required, 
in reference to all differences from the A. V., but in z. first 
revision the decision of a simple majority should always be 
allowed to prevail.^ No committee would be wise to begin 
their work with self-tied hands. Reverence, experience, 

* that.' Here the A. V. places the 
second of these two translations in 
the margin. On the principle then 
above laid down, a bare majority 
would be entitled to take this latter 
translation if they thought fit. They 
perhaps would take it, as the clause 
really does not strictly contain the 
reason for the assertion in the fore- 
going clause, but seems rather to 
explain more precisely what is just 
before stated generally — namely, 
thatHe'maketh intercession, &c.' So 
Grotiusand Estius, and, among more 
recent expositors, Fritzsche, Meyer, 
Reiche, and others. 

^ We do here earnestly repeat the 
hope, already expressed in substance 
in an earlier portion of this work 

(seep. 26), that the judgment of the 
Ancient Versions will especially 
be considered. In doubtful cases, 
and where the grammatical and 
exegetical arguments are very nearly 
in equipoise, the judgment of the 
early Versions is of great moment. 
Every pains therefore should be 
taken to ascertain their opinions; 
and those opinions ought to be ac- 
counted as votes of a very preroga- 
tive character. Great weight may 
also justly be laid on the express 
decisions of the Greek Fathers. 
The deliberate opinion of men who 
spoke the language of the New 
Testament cannot fail to exercise 
considerable influence on the judg- 
ment of every sober interpreter. 


and let us not fail to add, prayer for spiritual guidance, 
would always be found to be of more avail than elaborate 
rules, which the stress of practice and the diversity of cir- 
cumstances would soon show to be utterly nugatory. Such 
a body as the Revisers should be jealously careful to reserve 
to themselves all proper freedom. Rules and canons are 
good, but elasticity is better ; and in no undertaking that 
can readily be conceived, will elasticity be found a more 
necessary element than in the translation of Scripture or 
the revision of translations already made. Elasticity is the 
characteristic of every Version from the days of Tyndale 
down to the date of the last revision, and elasticity must be 
the characteristic of the revised Version of the future, if it 
is ever to displace or even rival the fresh, vigorous, and 
genuinely idiomatic translation that bears the honoured 
name of the Authorized Version. 
Follow the The seventh and last principle may be very briefly stated, 
dd rules. ^^^^ conveniently embodied in the following recommendation, 
viz., that, mutatis mutandis^ the Revisers of our own day 
should consider themselves as bound by the spirit of the 
rules laid down for the guidance of the Translators of 1611. 
In several points they might even be bound by the letter \ 
but, as the circumstances are different, and the problem now 
to be solved not perfectly the same as it was then, it would 
seem enough to suggest a loyal adherence to the spirit of 
the rules, and especially a careful imitation of the manner 
in which those rules were applied. To say more would be 
to pass into details which have either been already noticed 


and illustrated in the foregoing pages, or which can only 
properly be discussed when all the varied exigencies of the 
work shall have displayed themselves in actual practice. 
The rules of the revision of 161 1 may form the basis for the 
rules of the new revision ; but they must be read subject to 
the inherent differences between the work of the past and 
the work of the future. The former Revisers had to deal 
with a Version of but moderate pretensions (the Bishops' 
Bible), and but doubtfully holding its own against its Genevan 
rival. The Revisers of these days have to deal with a Ver- 
sion of the highest possible strain, and that deservedly stands 
unique and unapproached. It may be wise, then, for our 
present Revisers to avail themselves of the wisdom of past 
rules, but it must nearly always be rather in the newness of 
their spirit, than in the oldness of the letter. 

To sum up all, then, in a single sentence, we would re- 
spectfully and deferentially say to the learned and faithful 
men that will shortly address themselves to this great under- 
taking : — Do your work together ; consider experience your 
truest guide; dorUt try to Hmpi-ove' our present Version^ but be 
satisfied with correcting it; use the old words., and have an ear 
for the old rhythm; don't decide till afterthought has exercised 
its due influence; make the text better than the margin; and 
lastly, ^//(?w the spirit of the old rules. 

We may now close this chapter, and with it the present Conclusion, 
work. There are numberless details which might yet be 
specified. There are many suggestions, only partially de- 
veloped, which perhaps it might not be wholly out of place 


to specify in a chapter that has for its heading — The best 
manner of proceeding with the work. But all these things we 
may now leave to the learned body of men who either have 
been, or are about to be called to the important work. Let 
us trust all details to their wisdom and faithfulness, and 
support them by our prayers. Their work is arduous ; much 
is expected from them ; the object at which they are aiming 
is almost discouragingly high : success is what is demanded 
of them, and implied in the very fact of their being called 
together ; failure is an individual as well as a collective re- 
proach. Yes, the work is arduous. Never since the last 
revision have scholars and theologians girded up their loins 
to a work in which more faithfulness was required in pre- 
paration ; more vigilance in execution ; more patience in 
discussing ; more wisdom in discerning ; more sobriety in 
judging. Never, during the two centuries and a half that 
have now passed away, has English learning and good sense 
been called upon to submit themselves to a severer test. 
Never was there a work in which could be needed not only 
for the general body, but for every individual member of it, 
more patient energy, deeper humility, and a fuller sense of 
duty and responsibility. 

Let us pray, then, for our Revisers and their work. Let 
us pray that their work may bring a blessing to this Church 
and Nation, and make wiser unto salvation not only us at 
home, but all those that sj^eak our common tongue — those 
countless thousands whose inner and spiritual life the de- 
cisions of these Revisers may affect, and whose knowledge 


of God's message to mankind their deliberations may be 
permitted to further. But those results are not yet. That 
future is still distant. Even with the most prospered issues, 
a generation must pass away ere the labours of the present 
time will be so far recognised as to take the place of the 
labours of the past. The youngest scholar that may be 
called upon to bear his part in the great undertaking will 
have fallen on sleep before the labours in which he may 
have shared will be regarded as fully bearing their hoped-for 
fruit. The latest survivor of the gathered company will be 
resting in the calm of Paradise ere the work at which he 
toiled will meet with the reception which, by the blessing of 
God the Holy Ghost, it may ultimately be found to deserve. 
The bread will be cast upon the waters, but it will not be 
found till after many days. 

And it is good that it should be so. Such work as the 
revision of the noblest Version of the Word of God that 
this world holds, is not for the fleeting praise or blame of 
contemporaries, but for the calm judgment of the holy and 
the wise in distant days and generations yet to come. . . . With 
such mingled feelings, with these humbly implied aspirations 
on the one hand, and these chastening remembrances on 
the other, — with the quickest sense of frailty and weakness, 
and yet with the consciousness of deepest responsibility, let 
our Revisers now address themselves to their work, and in 
the end all may be well. Let us remember that our best 
and highest powers are vouchsafed to us in this world only 
for labour while it is day, but let us also verily remember 


that such labour, if faithfully bestowed, will abide, for that 
on which it is to be bestowed is changeless and eternal. 
All flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the 


flower thereof falleth away j but the word of the 
Lord endureth for ever. 

THE end. 


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Life and Letters 

Southky's Doctor 

Poetical Works 

Stanley's History of British Birds 

Stkbbixg's Analysis of Mill's Logic 

Stephks's Essays in Ecclesiastical Bio- 
graphy v;;----, 

Stirling s Secret of Hegel 

Stombhbnge on the Dog 

on the Greyhound 

Strickland's Tudor Pnncesses 

Queens of England 

Strong and Free 

Sunday Afternoons at the Parish Church of 
a Scottish Unirersity City (St. Andrews). . 

Sytkbtman'S Through the Night, and 

TATLOR's History of India 3 

(Jeremy) Works, edited by Eden 22 

Thirlwall's History of Greece 2 

Thompson's (Archbishop) Laws of Thought 7 

(A. T.) Conspectus 15 

Paraguayan War 23 

Three Weddings 2^ 

Todd (A.) on Parliamentary Gorernment 1 
Todd and Bowman's Anatomy and Phy- 
siology of Man 15 

Trench's Realities of Irish Life 3 

Trollope's Barchester Towers 24 

Warden 24 

Twiss'S Law of Nations 27 

Tyndall on Diamagnetism 12 

Heat H 

Sound 12 

TYNDALL'sFaraday as a Discoverer 4 

Lectures on Li^rht 12 

Uncle Peter's Fairy Tale 24 

Una's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, 

andMines 17 

Van Dbr Hobven's Handbook of Zoology 12 

Warburton's Hunting Songs 

Watson's Principles and Practice of Physic 

Watts's Dictionary of Chemistry 

Webb's Objectsfor Common Telescopes ,. 

Webster and Wilkinson's Greek Testa- 
men t 

Weld's Notes on Burgundy 

Wellington's Life, by the Rev. G. R. 

West on Children's Diseases 

Whatkly's English Synony mes 


WiiATELY on a Future State 

Religious Worship 

Truth of Christianity 

Whist, what to lead, by CAM 

White and Riddle's Latin-English Dic- 

Wilcock's Sea Fisherman 

Williams's Aristotle's Ethics 

History of Wales 

Williams on Climate of South of France 


Willis's Principles of Mechanism 

WiNSLOW on Light 

Wood's Bible Animals 

Homes without Hands 

Woodward's Historical and Ghronoltjgical 

Encyclopaedia i 

Yeo's Manual of Zoology 12 

YoNGE's English-Greek Lexicons 8 

Editions of Horace 26 

YOUATT on the Dog 27 

on the Horse 27 

Zeller'8 Socrates ...•• 

1 Stoics, Epicureans, and Sceptics. 




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