(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "On the authorized version of the New Testament in commection with some recent proposals for its revision"


1 



1 


I 


1 




■IP 1 


i: 




i iii Hiiiillijjiiiiiiiliiiiii!: 



jjl;,' 







'^J^Dif ON A r l"xV "' '"'^ 



Part of the ^ 






' w;t. 






VA.V/; 



1^ /.V>f>/. 






'Action 



o 



^><>/.-, 



/Vc 



^^e^2>Vi 



ifer^^^i 



ON THE 



AUTHORIZED VERSION 



OF THE 



]S"E^V^^ TESTA.MEisrT. 



Works hy R. C. Trench, D. D., Dean of Wcslminster. 

IN UNIFORM STYLE WITH THIS VOLUME. 
I. 

ON THE STUDY OF WORDS. 

1 vol. 12mo. Price 75 tents. 
II. 

ON THE LESSONS IN PROVERBS. 

1 vol. 12mo. Price 50 cents. 
III. 

SYNONYMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. 

1 vol. 12ino. Price 75 C(>nt3. 

IV. 

ON THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, 

PAST AND PRESENT. 

1 vol. 12mo. Price 75 cents. 

V. 

POEM S. 

1 vol. 12mo. Price one dollar. 

VI. 
CALDERON, HIS LIFE AND GENIUS, 

WITH SPECIMENS OF HIS PLATS. 
1 vol. 12mo. Price 75 cents. 

VII. 

SERMONS ON THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST. 

1 vol. 12mo. Price 50 conts. 

VIII. 

ON THE AUTHORIZED VERSION OF THE 
NEW TESTAMENT, 

IN CONNECTION WITH RECENT PROPOS.XLS FOR ITS REVISION 

1 vol. 12mo. Pric-' 75 cento. 

PUBLISHED BY J. S. REDFIELD, NEW YORK. 



ON TIIE 



AUTHORIZED VERSION 



OF THE 



NEW TESTAMENT 



IN CONNECTION WITH SOME RECENT PROPOSALS 
FOR ITS REVISION 



RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH, D. D. 

DEAN OF WESTMINSTER 
AUTHOR OF " SYNONYMS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT" — " THE STUDY OF WORDS" 
" THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE PAST AND PRESENT"—" THE LESSONS IN 
PaOVEBBS" — " SEBMONS" — " POEM9" — " CALDEKON," ETC. 





R E D F I E L D 

3 4 B E K K M A N S T It K E T, NEW YORK 

1858 



PREFACE. 



A WORD or two, which is all that I have to say by- 
way of preface, will not refer so much to the book as 
to the form of the book. Were the materials of this 
little volume to be disposed over again, I should cer- 
tainly prefer to follow in their disposition that sim- 
pler arrangement which Professor Scholcfield adopted 
in his Hints for an Improved Translation of the New 
Testament. He has there followed throughout the 
order of the books of Scripture ; and, as these passed 
in succession under his review, he has made such ob- 
servations as seemed to him desirable, without at- 
tempting any more ambitious arrangement. After I 
had advanced so far as to make it almost impossible 
to recede, I found continual reason to regret that I 
had chosen any other plan. I am not, indeed, with- 
out the strongest conviction that a book, well and 
happily arranged on the scheme of rather bringing 



6 PREFACE. 

subjects to a point, and considering together matters 
which have a certain unity in themselves, both ought 
to be, and would be, more interesting and instructive 
than one in which the same materials were disposed 
in such a merely fortuitous sequence. But this ar- 
rangement is very difficult to attain. I can not charge 
myself with having spared either thought or pains in 
striving after it ; but am painfully conscious how little 
has been my success, and how unsatisfactory the re- 
suit. Some things, indeed, already, as they escape 
the confusion of MS., and assume the painful clear- 
ness of print, I see might be in fitter place than they 
are ; but much refuses still to group itself in any sat- 
isfying combination. This acknowledgment is not 
made with the desire to anticipate and avert the cen- 
sure which this fault in the composition of the book, 
to speak nothing of other more serious faults, may 
deserve ; but only to suggest that a better and happier 
distribution, though doubtless possible, was yet not 
so easy and obvious as one who had never made the 
endeavor to attain it might perhaps take for granted. 

Westminster, June 24, 1858. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Introductory Remarks page 9 

CHARTER II. 
On the English of the Authorized Version 19 

CHAPTER III. 
On some Quesions of Translation 49 

CHAPTER IV. 
On some Unnecessary Distinctions introduced 65 

CHAPTER V. 
On some Real Distinctions effaced 84 

CHAPTER VI. 

On some Better Renderings forsaken, or placed in 

the Margin 97 

• CHAPTER VII. 
On some Errors of Greek Grammar in our Version. . .113 



8 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER VIII. 
On some Questionable Rendekings of Words... page 135 

CHAPTER IX. 
On some Words wholly or partially mistranslated.. 148 

CHAPTER X. 
On some Charges unjustly brought against our Ver- 



164 



CHAPTER XL 
On the Best Means of carrying out a Revision 173 ^ 



CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

It is clear that the question, '' Are we, or are we 
not, to have a new translation of Scripture ?" or ra- 
ther — since few would propose this who did not wish 
to loosen from its anchors the whole religious life of 
the English people — " Shall we, or shall we not, have 
a new revision of the Autlrorized Version?" is one 
which is presenting itself more and more familiarly 
to the minds of men. This, indeed, is not by. any 
means the first time that this question has been ear- 
nestly discussed ; but that which differences the pres- 
ent agitation of the matter from preceding ones is, 
that on all former occasions the subject was only de- 
bated among scholars and divines, and awoke no in- 
terest in circles beyond them. The present is appa- 
rently the first occasion on which it has taken the 
slightest hold of the popular mind. But now indica- 
tions of the interest which it is awakening reach us 
from every side. America is sending us the iustal- 



10 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

ments — it must be owned not very encouraging ones 

— of a New Version, as fast as she can. The wish 
for a revision has for a considerable time been work- 
ing among Dissenters here ; by the voice of one of 
these it has lately made itself heard in Parliament, 
and by the mouth of a Regius Professor in Convoca- 
tion. Our Reviews, and not those only which are 
specially dedicated to religious subjects, begin to deal 
with the question of revision. There are, or a little 
while since there were, frequent letters in the news- 
papers, urging, or remonstrating against, such a step 

— few of them, it is true, of much value, yet at the 
same time showing how many minds are now occupied 
with the subject. 

It is manifestly a question of such immense impor- 
tance, the issues depending on a right solution of it 
are so vast and solemn, that it may well claim a tem- 
perate and wise discussion. Nothing is gained on the 
one hand by vague and general charges of inaccuracy 
brought against our Version ; they require to be sup- 
ported by detailed proofs. Nothing, on the other 
hand, is gained by charges and insinuations against 
those who urge a revision, as though they desired to 
undermine the foundations of the religious life and 
faith of England ; were Socinians in disguise, or Pa- 
pists — Socinians who hoped that, in another transla- 
tion, the witness to the divinity of the Son and of the 
Spirit might prove less clear than in the present — 
Papists who desired that the authoi'ity of the English 



INTRODUCTORY REiMARKS. H 

Scripture, the only Scripture accessible to the great 
bod}' of the people, might be so shaken and rendered 
so doubtful, that men would be driven to their Church, 
and to its authority, as the only authority that re- 
mained. As little is the matter advantaged, or in 
any way brought nearer to a settlement, by sentimen- 
tal appeals to the fact that this, which it is now pro- 
posed to alter, has been the Scripture of our child- 
hood, in which we and so many generations before us 
first received the tidings of everlasting life. All this, 
well as it may deserve to be considered, yet as argu- 
ment at all deciding the question, will sooner or later 
have to be cleared away ; and the facts of the case, 
apart from cries, and insinuations, and suggestions of 
evil motives and appeals to the religious passions and 
prejudices of the day — apart, too, from feelings which 
in themselves demand the highest respect — will have 
to be dealt with in that spirit of seriousness and ear- 
nestness which a matter affecting so profoundly the 
whole moral and spiritual life of the English people, 
not to speak of nations which are yet unborn, abun- 
dantly deserves. 

In the pages which follow, I propose not mainly to 
advocate a revision, nor mainly to dissuade one, but 
to consider rather tlie actual wortli of our present 
Translation — its strength, and also any weaknesses 
which may afiect tliat strength — its beauty, and also 
the blcmislies which impair that beauty in part — the 
grounds on which a new revision of it may be de- 



12 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

manded — the inconveniences, difficulties, the dangers 
it may be, which would attend such a revision ; and 
thus, so far as this lies in my power, to assist others, 
who may not have been able to give special attention 
to this subject, to form a decision for themselves. I 
will not, in so doing, pretend that my own mind is 
entirely in equilibrium on the subject. On the whole, 
1 am persuaded that a revision ought to come ; I am 
convinced that it will come. Not, however, I would 
trust, as yet ; for we are not as yet in any respect 
prepared for it ; the Greek and the English which 
should enable us to bring this to a successful end 
might, it is to be feared, be wanting alike. Nor cer- 
tainly do I underrate the other difficulties which would 
beset such an enterprise ; they look, some of them, the 
more serious to me the more I contemplate them : 
and yet, believing that this mountain of difficulty will 
have to be surmounted, I can only trust and believe 
that it, like so many other mountains, will not on 
nearer approach prove so formidable as at a distance 
it appears. Only let the Church, when the due time 
shall arrive, address herself to this work with earnest 
prayer for the Divine guidance, her conscience bear- 
ing her witness that in no spirit of idle innovation, 
that only out of dear love to her Lord and his truth, 
and out of an allegiance to that truth which overbears 
every other consideration, with an earnest longing to 
present his Word, whereof bhe is the guardian, in hU 
its sincerity to her children, she has undertaken this 



INTRODUCE )11Y REMARKS. 13 

bard and most perilous task, and in some way or other 
every difficulty will be overcome. Whatever pains 
and anxieties the work may cost her, she will feel 
herself abundantly rewarded if only she is able to 
offer God's Word to her children, not indeed free 
from all marks of human infirmity clinging to its out- 
ward form — for we shall have God's treasure in 
earthen vessels still — but with some of these blem- 
ishes which she now knows of removed, and altogether 
approaching nearer to that which she desires to see 
it — namely, a work without spot or wrinkle, or any 
such thing ; a perfect copy of an archetype that is 
perfect 

In the meantime, while the matter is still in sus- 
pense and debate — while it occupies, as it needs must, 
the anxious thoughts of many — it can not misbecome 
those who have been specially led by their duties or 
their inclinations to a more close comparison of the 
English Version with the original Greek, to offer 
whatever they have to offer, be that little or much, 
for the helping of others toward a just and dispas- 
sionate judgment, and one founded upon evidence, in 
regard to the question at issue. And if they consider 
that a revision ought to come, or, whether desirable 
or not, that it will come, they must wish to throw in 
any contribution which they have to make toward the 
better accomplishment of this object. Assuming that 
tliey have any right to mingle in the controversy at 
all, they may reasonably hope, that even if mucli which 



14 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

they bring has long ago been brought forward by 
others, or must be set aside from one cause or an- 
other, yet that something will remain, and will sur- 
vive that rigid proof to which every suggestion of 
change should be submitted. And in a matter of such 
high concernment as this the least is much. To have 
cast in even a mite into this treasury of the Lord, to 
have brought one smallest stone which it is permitted 
to build into the walls of his house, to have detected 
one smallest blemish that would not otherwise have 
been removed, to have made in any way whatever a 
single suggestion of lasting value toward the end here 
in view, is something for which to be for ever thank- 
ful. It is in that intention, with this hope, that I 
have ventured to publish these pages. 

The work, indeed, which I thus undertake, can not 
be regarded as a welcome one. There is often a 
sense of something ungenerous, if not actually unjust, 
in passing over large portions of our Version, where 
all is clear, correct, lucid, happy, awaking continual 
admiration by the rhythmic beauty of the periods, the 
instinctive art with which the style rises and falls 
with the subject, the skilful surmounting of difiQculties 
the most real, the diligence with which almost all 
which was happiest in preceding translations has been 
retained and embodied in the present ; the constant 
solemnity and seriousness which, by some nameless 
skill, is made to rest upon all ; in passing over all 
this and nuicli more with a i'aw general words of rec- 



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 15 

ognition, and then stopping short and urging some 
single blemish or inconsistency, and dwelling upon 
and seeming to make much of this, which often in 
itself is so little. For the flaws pointed out are fre- 
quently so small and so slight, that it might almost 
seem as if the objector had armed his eye with a mi- 
croscope for the purpose of detecting that which oth- 
erwise would have escaped notice, and which, even 
if it were faulty, might well have been suffered to 
pass by, unchallenged and lost sight of in the general 
beauty of the whole. The work of Momus is never, 
or at least never ought to be, other than an unwel- 
come one. 

Still less do we like the office of faultfinder, when 
that whose occasional petty flaws wc are pointing out, 
has claims of special gratitude and reverence from us. 
It seems at once an unthankfulness and almost an im- 
piety to dwell on errors in tliat to which we for our- 
selves owe so much ; to which the whole religious life 
of our native land owes so much ; which has been tlie 
nurse and fosterer of our national piety for hundreds 
of years ; which, associated with so much that is sad 
and joyful, sweet and solemn, in the heart of every 
one, appeals as much to our affections as to our 
reason. 

But admitting all this, we may still reconcile our- 
selves to this course by such considerations as the fol- 
lowing : and first, that a passing by of the very mucli 
which is excellent, witli a dwelling on the very little 



16 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 

wliicli is otherwise, lies in the necessity of the task 
undertaken. What is good, wliat is perfect, may have, 
and ought to have, its goodness freely and thankfully 
acknowledged ; but it oficrs comparatively little mat- 
ter for observation. It is easy to exhaust the lan- 
guage of admiration, even when that admiration is 
intelligently and thoughtfully rendered. We are not 
tempted to pause till we meet w^ith something which 
challenges dissent, nor can we avoid being mainly 
occupied with this. 

Then, too, if it be urged that many of the objec- 
tions made are small and trivial, it can only be replied 
that nothing is really small or trivial which has to do 
with the Word of God, which helps or hinders the 
exactest setting forth of that Word. That Word 
lends an importance and a dignity to everything con- 
nected with it. The more deeply w^e are persuaded 
of the inspiration of Holy Scripture, the more intol- 
erant we shall be of any lets and hinderances to the 
arriving at a perfect understanding of that which the 
mouth of God has spoken. In setting forth his Word 
in another language from that in which it was first 
uttered, we may justly desire such an approximation 
to perfection as the instrument of language — to which, 
marvellous organ of mind as it is, there yet cleaves 
so much of human imperfection — w^ill allow; and 
this not merely in greatest things, but in smallest. 

Nor yet need the occasional shortcomings of our 
Translators be noted in any spirit of irreverence or 



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. 17 

disparagGDicnt. Some of the errors into which they 
fell were inevitable, and belonged in no proper sense 
to them more than to the whole age in which they 
lived — as, for instance, in the matter of the Greek 
article. Unless we were to demand a miracle, and 
that their scholarship should have been altogether on 
a different level from that of their age, this could not 
have been otherwise. We may reasonably require 
of such a company of men, undertaking so great a 
work, that their knowledge should approve itself on 
a level with the very best which their age could sup- 
ply ; even as it was ; but more than this it would be 
absurd and unfair to demand. If other of their mis- 
takes might have been avoided, as is plain from the 
fact that predecessors or contemporaries did avoid 
them, and yet were not avoided by them, this only 
shows that the marks of human weakness and infirm- 
ity, which cleave to every work of men, cleave also 
to theirs. Let me also observe, further, that he who 
may undertake in any matter to correct them does not 
in this presumptuously affirm himself a better scholar 
than they w^ere. He for the most part only draws on 
the accumulated stores of the knowledge of Greek 
which have been laboriously got together in the two 
liuudred and fifty years that have elapsed since their 
work was done ; he only claims to be an inheritor in 
some sort of the cares specially devoted to tlie eluci- 
dation of the meaning of Holy Scripture during this 
period. It would ])e little to the honor of these ages 



18 INTRODUCTORY REMARKS. ^ 

if they had made no advances herein ; little to our 
honor, if we did not profit by their acquisitions. This 
much premised, I shall proceed to consider our Au- 
thorized Version of the New Testament under certain 
successive aspects, devoting a chapter to each. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 19 



CHAPTER II. 

ON THE ENGLISH OF THE AUTHORIZED VERSION. 

The first point which I propose to consider is the 
English in which our Translation is composed. This 
has been very often, and very justly, the sul)ject of 
highest commendation ; and if I do not reiterate in 
words of my own or of others these commendations, 
it is only because they have been uttered so often and 
so fully, that it has become a sort of commonplace to 
repeat them ; one fears to encounter the rebuke which 
befell the rhetorician of old, who, having made a long 
and elaborate oration in praise of the strength of Her- 
cules, was asked, " Who has denied it ?" at the close. 
Omitting, then, to praise in general tcnns what all 
must praise, it may yet be worth while to consider a 
very little in what those high merits, which by the 
confession of all it possesses, mainly consist ; nor shall 
I shrink from pointing out what appear to me its oc- 
casional weaknesses and blemishes, the spots upon the 
sun's face, which impair its perfect beauty. When 



20 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

we seek to measure the value of any style, there are 
two points which claim to be considered : first, the 
words themselves ; and then, secondly, the words in 
their relations to one another, and as modified by 
those relations ; in brief, the dictionary and the gram- 
mar. Now, I should not hesitate in expressing my 
conviction that the dictionary of our English Version 
is superior to the grammar. The first seems to me 
nearly as perfect as possible, the other not altogether 
faultless. 

In respect of words, we recognise the true delectus 
verhorum on which Cicero* insists so earnestly, and 
in which so much of the charm of style consists. All 
the words used are of the noblest stamp, alike re- 
moved from vulgarity and pedantry ; they are neither 
too familiar, nor on the other side not familiar enough ; 
they never crawl on the ground, as little are they 
stilted and far-fetched. And then how happily mixed 
and tempered are the Anglo-Saxon and Latin voca- 
bles ! No undue preponderance of the latter makes 
the language remote from the understanding of sim- 
ple and unlearned men. Thus, we do not find in our 
Version, as in the Rheims, whose authors seem to 
have put off their loyalty to the English language 
with their loyalty to the English crown, ' odible' 
(Rom. i. 30), nor ' impudicity' (Gal. v. 19), nor 
* longanimity' (2 Tim. iii. 10), nor ' co-inquinations' 
(2 Pet. ii. 13, 20), nor ' comessations' (Gal. v. 21), 

* De Oral., 3, 37. 



ON THE ENGLISH OP OUR VERSION. 21 

nor ' contristate' (Epbes. iv. 80), nor ' zealatours' (Acts 
xxi. 20), nor ' aguition' (PhilcDi. 6), nor ' suasible' 
(Jam. iii. 17), nor ' domesticals' (1 Tim. v. 8), nor 
' repropitiate' (Heb. ii. 17).* And yet, while it is 
tlms, there is no extravagant attempt on the other 
side to put under ban words of Latin or Greek deri- 
vation, where there are not, as very often there could 
not be, sufficient equivalents for them in the homelier 
portion of our language ; no affectation of excluding 
these, which in their measure and degree have as 
good a right to admission as the most Saxon vocable 
of them all ; no attempt, like that of Sir John Cheke, 
who in his version of St. Matthew — in many respects 
a valuable monument of English — substituted ' hun- 
dreder' for ' centurion,' ' freshman' for ' proselyte,' 
* gainbirth' (that is, againbirth) for ' regeneration,' 
with much else of the same kind. The fault, it must 
be owned, was in the right extreme, but was a fault 
and affectation no less. 

One of the most effectual means by which our Trans- 
lators have attained their happy felicity in diction, 
wliile it must diminish to a certain extent their claims 



♦ Where tho word itself which the Rheims transhitoi-s employ is a 
perfectly good one, it is yet curious and instructive to observe how 
often tlicy have drawn on the Latin portion of the lanjj^uaf^e, where 
we have drawn on the Saxon ; thus, tliey use 'corporal' where we 
have 'bodily' (1 Tim. iv. 8), 'incredulity' where we have 'unbelief 
(Heb. iii. 19, and often), 'precursor' wlierc we have 'forerunner' 
(Hcb. vi. 20), 'doininator' where we have 'Lord' (Judc 4), 'coj^ita- 
tion' where we have ' thou^'ht' (Luke ix. 46), 'fraternity' where we 
have 'brotherhood' (I IVt. ii. 17). 



22 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

to absolute originality, enhances in a far higher de- 
gree their good sense, moderation, and wisdom. I 
all ude to the extent to wiiich they have availed them- 
selves of the work of those who went before them, 
and incorporated this work into their own, everywhere 
building, if possible, on the old foundations, and dis- 
placing nothing for the mere sake of change. It has 
thus come to pass that our Version, besides having 
its own felicities, is the inheritor of the felicities in 
language of all the translations which went before. 
Tyndale's was singularly rich in these, which is the 
more remarkable, as his other writings do not surpass 
in beauty or charm of language the average merit of 
his contemporaries ; and though much of his work has 
been removed in the successive revisions which our 
Bible has undergone, very much of it still remains : 
the alterations are for the most part verbal, while the 
forms and moulds into which he cast the sentences 
have been to a wonderful extent retained by all who 
succeeded him. And even of his Xs'^i^ very much sur- 
vives. To him we owe such phrases as " turned to 
flight the armies of the aliens,"* " the author and fin- 
isher of our faith ;" to him, generally, we owe more 
than to any single laborer in this field — as, indeed, 
may be explained partly, though not wholly, from the 
fact that he was the first to thrust in his sickle into 
this harvest. Still, while King James's Translators 

* It may be said that this is obvious ; yet not so. The Rheiras does 
not get ueai-er to it than " turned away the camp of foreigners." 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 23 

were thus indebted to those who went before them in 
the same sacred office, to Tyiidale above all, for innu- 
merable turns of successful translation, which they 
have not failed to adopt and to make their own, it 
must not be supposed that very many of these were 
not of their own introduction. A multitude of phrases 
which, even more than the rest of Scripture, have be- 
come, on account of their beauty and fitness, " house- 
hold words" and fixed utterances of the religious life 
of the English people, we owe to them, and they first 
appear in the Version of 1611 ; such, for instance, as 
*'the Captain of our salvation" (Heb. ii. 10), "the 
sin which doth so easily beset us" (Heb. xii. 1), " the 
Prince of life" (Acts iii. 15). 

But in passing, as I now propose to do, from gen- 
erals to particulars, it is needful to make one prelimi- 
nary observation. He who passes judgment on the 
English of our Version, he, above all, who finds fault 
with it, should be fairly acquainted with the English 
of that age in which this Version appeared. Else he 
may be very unjust to that which he is judging, and 
charge it with inexactness of rendering, where indeed 
it was perfectly exact according to the English of the 
time, and has only ceased to be so now through sub- 
sequent changes or modifications in the meaning of 
words. Few, I am persuaded, who have studied our 
Translation, and tried how far it will bear a strict 
comparison with the original whicli it undertakes to 
represent, but have at times been tempted to make 



24 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

hasty judgments here, and to pass sentences of con- 
deranation which they have afterward, on better knowl- 
edge, seen reason to recall. Certainly, in many places 
where I once thought our Translators had been want- 
ing in precision of rendering, I now perceive that, 
according to the Englisli of their own day, their Ver- 
sion is exempt from the faintest shadow of blame. It 
is quite true that their rendering has become in a 
certain measure inexact for us, but this from circum- 
stances quite beyond their control — namely, through 
those mutations of language which never cease, and 
which cause words innumerable to drift imperceptibly 
away from those meanings wliich once they owned. 
In many cases, no doubt, our Authorized Version, by 
its recognised authority, by an influence working si- 
lently, but not the less profoundly felt, has given fixity 
to the meaning of words, wliich otherwise they would 
not have possessed, has kept them in their places ; 
but the currents at work in language have been some- 
times so strong as to overbear even this influence. 
The most notable examples of the kind which occur 
to me are the following : — 

Matt. vi. 25. — '•^ Take no thought for your life, 
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink." This 
" take no thouglit" is certainly an inadequate transla- 
tion in our present English of fjo.^ jixspijxvaTs. The words 
seem to exclude and to condemn that just, forward- 
looking care which belongs to man, and diflerences 
him from the beasts which live only in tlic present ; 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 25 

and *' most Englisli critics have lamented the inadver- 
tence of our Authorized Vcrt^ion, which, in bidding us 
' take no thought' for the necessaries of life, prescribes 
to us what is impracticable in itself, and would be a 
breach of Christian duty even were it possible."* But 
ther3 is no ' inadvertence' here. When our Transla- 
tion was made, " take no thought" was a perfectly 
correct rendering of m iispiixvxrs, ' Thought' was then 
constantly used as equivalent to anxiety or solicitous 
care ; as let witness this passage from Bacon :f " Har- 
ris, an alderman in London, was put in trouble, and 
died with thought and anxiety before his business 
came to an end ;" or still better, this from one of the 
Somas Tracts (its date is of the reign of Elizabeth) : 
" In five hundred years only two queens have died 
in childbirth. Queen Catherine Parr died rather of 
though t.''^^ A better example even than either of 
these is that occurring in Shakespeare's Julius Ccssar\\ 
(''take thought and die for Caesar"), where " to take 
thought" is to take a matter so seriously to heart that 
death ensues. 

Luke xiii. 7. — "Why cumbereth it the ground?" 
' Cumbereth' seems here too weak and too negative a 
rendering of xarapysT^ which is a word implying active, 
positive mischief; and so no doubt it is in the present 
acceptation of " to cumber ;" which means no more 

* ScRiVKXER, Notes on the Ntu; Testament, vol. i., p. 1G2; and cf. 
Alford, in loco. 

t History of Htnry VII. J Vol. i., p. 172. || Act. ii., sc. 1. 
9 



26 ON TEE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

than " to burden." But it was not so always. " To 
cumber" meant once to vex, annoy, injure, trouble ; 
Spenser speaks of " cumbrous gnats." It follows that 
when Bishop Andrews quotes the present passage,* 
" Why troubleth it the ground ?" (I do not know from 
whence he derived this ' troubleth,' which is not in 
any of our translations), and when Coverdale renders 
it, " Why hindereth it the ground ?" they seem, but 
are not really, more accurate than our own Transla- 
tors were. The employment by these last of ' cum- 
ber,' at Luke x. 40 (the only other place in the Au- 
thorized Version where the word occurs), is itself 
decisive of the sense they ascribed to it. Tic^\B(i<T!aro 
(literally " was distracted") is there rendered by 
them, " was cumbered."! 

Acts xvii. 23. — ' Devotions.'' This was a perfectly 
correct rendering of cs/SaCfxara at the time our Trans- 
lation was made, although as much can scarcely be 
affirmed of it now. ' Devotions' is now abstract, and 
means the mental offerings of the devout worshipper ; 
it was once concrete, and meant the outward objects 

* Worhs^ vol. ii., p. 40. 

t I have no doubt that most readers of that magnificent passage in 
Julius Ccesar, where Antony prophesies over the dead body of Cajsar 
the ills of which that murder shall be the cause, give to * cumber' a 
wrong sense in the following lines : — 

"Domestic fury and fierce civil strife 
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy." 

They understand, shall load with corpses of the slain, or, as we say, 
' encumber' — so at least I understood it long. A good, even a grand 
sense, but it is not Shakespeare's. He mcuns, shall trouble or mis- 
chief. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 27 

to which these were rendered, as temples, altars, im- 
ages, shrines, and the like ; ' Heiligthiimer' De Wette 
has very happily rendered it ; cf. 2 Thess. ii. 4, the 
only Other passage in the New Testament where the 
word occurs, and where we have rendered -Travra 
X£^o>£vov 0SOV rj (j'£/5aa'fAa, " all that is called God or 
that is ico?'shippedJ^ It is such — not the ' devotions' 
of the Athenians worshipping, but the objects which 
the Athenians devoutly worshipped — which St. Paul 
affirms that he ' beheld,' or, as it would be better, 
*' accurately considered" (dvai)swpojv) : yet the follow- 
ing passage in Sidney's Arcadia will bear out our 
Translators, and justify their use of ' devotions,' as 
accurate in their time, though no longer accurate in 
ours : " Dametas began to look big, to march up and 
down, swearing by no mean devotions that the walls 
should not keep the coward from him." 

Acts xix. 37. — "Ye have brought hither these 
men, who are neither robbers of churches, nor blas- 
phemers of your goddess." I long counted this " rob- 
bers of churches," as a rendering of Ispotfj'Xouc:, if not 
positively incorrect, yet a slovenly and indefensible 
transfer of Christian litnguage to heathen objects. 
But it is not so. ' Church' is in constant use in early 
English for hcatlien and Jewish temples as well as 
for Christian places of worship. I might quote a 
large array of proofs, but two will suffice. In the 
iir^t, which is from Holland's Pliny * the term is ap- 

* Vol. ii., p. 502. 



28 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

plied to a heathen temple : " This is that Latona 
which you see in tlie Church of Concordia in Rome ;" 
while in the second, from Sir John Cheke's transla- 
tion of St. Matthew, it is a name given to the temple 
at Jerusalem : "And lo the veil of the Church was 
torn into two parts from the top downwards" (Matt, 
xxvii. 51). 

Acts xxi. 15. — " After three days we took up our 
carriages and went up to Jerusalem." A critic of 
the early part of this century makes himself merry 
with these words, and their inaccurate rendering of 
the original : " It is not probable that the Cilician 
tent-maker was either so rich or so lazy." And a 
more modern objector to the truthfulness of the Acts 
asks, " How could they have taken up their carriages, 
when there is no road for wheels, nothing but a 
mountain-track, between Caesarea and Jerusalem ?" 
But ' carriage' is a constant word in the English of 
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries* for baggage, 
being that which men carry, and not, as now, that 
which carries them. Nor can there be any doubt 
that it is employed by our Translators here, as also 
in one or two other passages where it occurs, in this 
sense (Judg. xviii. 21 ; 1 Sam. xvii. 22) ; and while 
so understood, the words " took up our carriages" are 
a very sufficient rendering of the ^crjcrxsuatfaixsvoj of the 
original. The Geneva has it correctly, though some- 
what quaintly, " trussed up our fardels." 

* See North's Plutarch, passim. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 29 

Ephes. iv. 3. — ^'Endeavoring' to keep the unity 
of the Spirit in the bond of peace." Passages like 
this, in which the verb ' endeavor' occurs, will some- 
times seem to have been carelessly and loosely trans- 
lated ; when, indeed, they were rendered with perfect 
accuracy according to the English of that day. " En- 
deavor," it has been well said, " once denoted all 
possible tension, the highest energy that could be 
directed to an object. With us it means the last, 
feeble, hopeless attempt of a person who knows that 
he can not accomplish his aim, but makes a conscience 
of going through some formalities for the purpose of 
showing that the failure is not his fault."* More 
than one passage suffers from this change in the force 
of ' endeavor ;' as 2 Pet. i. 15, and this from the Ephe- 
sians still more. If we attach to ' endeavor' its pres- 
ent meaning, we may too easily persuade ourselves 
that the Apostle does no more than bid us to attempt 
to preserve this unity, and that he quite recognises 
the possibility of our being defeated in the attempt. 
He does no such thing ; he assumes success. 2:'rou(5a. 
^ovrej means " giving all diligence," and ' endeavoring' 
meant no less two centuries and a half ago. 

1 Tim. V. 4. — "If any widow have children or 
nephev^sy But why, it has been asked, are gx/ova, 
or descendants, translated ' nephews' here ? and why 
should ' nephews' be specially charged with this duty 
of supporting their relatives ? The answer is that 

* Lincoln's Jnn Sermons, hv F. D. Maurice, p. 156. 



30 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

' nephews' (= ' nepotcs') was the constant word for 
grandchildren and other lineal descendants, as wit- 
ness the following passages ; this from Hooker : " With 
what intent they [the apocryphal books] were first 
published, those words of the nephew of Jesus do 
plainly signify : ' After that my grandfather Jesus 
had given himself to the reading of the Law and of 
the Prophets, he purposed also to write something 
pertaining to learning and wisdom ;' "* and this from 
Holland : " The warts, black moles, spots, and freck- 
les of fathers, not appearing at all upon their own 
children's skin, begin afterward to put forth and show 
themselves in their nephetvs, to wit, the children of 
their sons and daughters."! There is no doubt that 
' nephews' is so used here, as also at Judg. xii. 14. 
Words which, like this, have imperceptibly shifted 
their meaning, are peculiarly liable to mislead ; though 
by no fault of the Translators. This one has misled 
a scholar so accurate as the late Professor Blunt; 
who, in his Church of the First Three Centimes, 
p. 27, has urged the circumstance that in the apos- 
tolic times the duties of piety extended so far, that 
not children only, but even nephews, were expected to 
support their aged relations. Words of this character 
difl'cr from w^ords which have become wholly obsolete. 
These are like rocks which stand out from the sea ; 
we are warned of their presence, and there is little 
danger of our making shipwreck upon them. But 

* Ecclesiastical Polity, b. v., c. xx. t Plutarch's Morals, p. 555 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 31 

words like those which have been just cited, as famil- 
iar now as when our Version was made, but employed 
in quite different meanings from those which they then 
possessed, are like hidden rocks, which give no notice 
of their presence, and on which we may be ship- 
wrecked, if I may so say, without so much as Ijcing 
aware of it. It would be manifestly desirable that 
these unnoticed obstacles to our seizing the exact 
sense of Scripture, obstacles which no carelessness of 
our Translators, but which Time in its onward course, 
has placed in our way, should, in case of any revision, 
be removed. ''Res fugnunt, vocahula manent''^ — 
this is the law of things in their relation to words, 
and it renders necessary at certain intervals a read- 
justment of the two. — 
In thus changing that which by the silent changes 
of time has become liable to mislead, we should only 
be working in the spirit, and according to the evident 
intention, which in their time guided the Translators 
of 1611. They evidently contemplated, as part of 
their task, the removing from their revision of such 
words as in the lapse of years had become to their 
contemporaries unintelligible or misleading. For in- 
stance, ' to depart' no longer meant to separate ; and 
- just as at a later day, in 1661, " till death us depart 
was changed in the Marriage Service for that which 
now stands there, " till death us do part^'* so in 
tlieir revision ' separate' was substituted for ' depart' 
C-' depart us from the love of God") at Rom. viii. 39. 



6Z ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

At jMatt. xxiii. 25, we have another example of the 
pamc. Tlie words stood there up to the time of the 
Geneva version, " Ye make clean the outer side of the 
cup iind of the platter ; but within they are full of 
bribe?'?/ and excess." ' Bribery,' however, about their 
time was losing, or had lost, its meaning of rapine or 
extortion — was, therefore, no longer a fit rendering 
of ap-ffayr) ; the ' bribour' or ' briber' was not equiva- 
lent to the robber : they, therefore, did wisely and 
well in exchanging ' bribery' for ' extortion' here. 
They dealt in the same spirit with ' noisome' at 1 Tim. 
vi. 9. In the earlier versions of the English Churcli, 
and up to their revision, it stood, '' They that will be 
rich fall into temptation and snares, and into many 
foolish and noisome (^(3Xa,3spag') lusts." ' Noisome,' 
that is, when those translations were made, was sim- 
ply equivalent to noxious or hurtful ;* but in the be- 
ginning of the seventeenth century it was acquiring a 
new meaning, the same which it now retains, namely, 
that of exciting disgust rather than that of doing act- 
ual hurt or harm. Thus, a tiger would have been 
' noisome' in old English, a skunk or a polecat would 
be ' noisome' in modern. Here was reason enough 
for the change which they made. 

Indeed, our only complaint against them in this 
matter is, that they did not carry out this side of 

* " He [the superstitious person] is persuaded that they be gods 
indeed, but sucli as be 7wisome, hurtful, and doing mischief unto 
men." — Holland, Plutarch's Morals, p. 260. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 33 

their revision consistently and to the full. For in- 
stance, in respect of this very word, they have suffered 
it to remain in some other passages, from which, also, 
it should have disappeared. Three or four of these 
occur in the Old Testament, as Job xxxi. 40 ; Ps. 
xci. 3 ; Ezek. xiv. 21 ; only one in the New, Rev. 
xvi. 2 ; where xaxov eXxo.c is certainly not " a noisome 
sore" in our sense of ' noisome,' that is, offensive or 
disgusting, but an ' evil,' or, as the Rheims has it, " a 
cruel sore." It is the same with ' by-and-by.' This, 
when they wrote, was ceasing to mean immediately. 
The inveterate procrastination of men had caused it 
to designate a remoter term ; even as ' presently' does 
not any longer mean, at this present, but, in a little 
while ; and " to intend anything" is not now, to do it, 
but to mean to do it. They did well, therefore, that 
in many cases, as at Mark ii. 12, they did not leave 
' by-and-by' as a rendering of su^iwj and sxi^Cg ; but they 
would have done still better if they had removed it in 
every case. In four places (Matt. xiii. 21 ; Mark vi. 25 ; 
Luke xvii. 7 ; xxi. 9) they have suffered it to remain. 
Again, ' to grudge' was ceasing in their time to 
have the sense of, to murmur openly, and was already 
signifying to repine inwardly ; a ' grudge' was no 
longer an open utterance of discontent and displeasure 
at the dealings of another,* but a secret resentment 

* " Yea, without gnidf/iny Christ suffered the cruel Jews to crown 
Him with most sharp thorns, and to strike him with a reed." — Ex- 
amination of William Thorpe, in Fox's Book of ^farh]rs. 



34 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

thereupon entertained. It was only proper, therefore, 
that they should replace ' to grudge' by ' to murmur,' 
and a ' grudge' by a ' murmuring,' in such passages as 
Mark xiv. 5 ; Acts vi. 1. On two occasions, however, 
they have suffered ' grudge' to stand, where it no longer 
conveys to us with accuracy the meaning of the origi- 
nal, and even in liieir time must have failed to do so. 
These are 1 Pet. iv. 9, where they render avsu yoyyv(fixCJv 
" without grudging ;" and Jam. v. 9, where m drsvuX^sTs 
is rendered " Grudge not." These renderings were 
inherited from their predecessors, but the retention 
of them was an oversight. 

On another occasion, our Translators have failed to 
carry out to the full the substitution of a more appro- 
priate phrase for one which, indeed, in the present 
instance, could have been at no time worthy of praise, 
or other than more or less misleading ; I allude to 
Acts xii. 4 : " Intending after Easter to bring him 
forth to the people." They plainly felt that ' Easter,' 
which had designated first a heathen, an^ then a Chris- 
tian festival, was not happily used to set forth a Jew- 
ish feast, even though that might occupy the same 
place in the Jewish calendar which Easter occupied 
in the Christian ; and they therefore removed ' Easter' 
from places out of number, where in the earlier ver- 
sion it had stood as the rendering of lia.<^x^i, substitu- 
ting ' passover' in its room. With all this they have 
suffered 'Easter' to remain in this single passage — 
sometimes, I am sure, to the perplexity of the English 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 35 

reader. ' Jewry' in like manner, which has been re- 
placed by ' Juda3a' abnost everywhere, has yet been 
allowed, I must needs believe by the same oversight, 
twice to remain (Luke xxiii. 5 ; John vii. 1). 

In dealing with obsolete words, the case is not by 
any means so plain. And yet it does not seem diffi- 
cult to lay down a rule here ; the difficulties would 
mainly attend its application. The rule would seem 
to me to be this : Where words have become perfectly 
unintelligible to the great body of those for whom the 
translation is made, the ISiCj-rai of the Church, they 
ought clearly to be exchanged for others ; for the 
Bible works not as a charm, but as reaching the heart 
and conscience through the intelligent faculties of its 
hearers and readers. Thus it is with * taches,' ' ouches,' 
' boiled,' ' ear' (arare), * daysman,' in the Old Testa- 
ment, words dark even to scholars, where their schol- 
arship is rather in Latin and Greek than in early 
English. Of these, however, there is hardly one in 
the New Testament. ' There is, indeed, in it no incon- 
siderable amount of archaism, but standing on a quite 
different footing ; words which, while they are felt 
by our people to be old and unusual, are yet, if I. do 
not deceive myself, perfectly understood by them, by 
wise and simple, educated and uneducated alike. 
These, shedding round the sacred volume the rever- 
ence of age, removing it from the ignoble associations 
which will often cleave to the language of the day, 
should on no account be touched, but rather thank- 



36 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

fully accepted and carefully preserved. For, indeed, 
it is good that the piiraseology of Scripture should 
not be exactly that of our common life ; should be re- 
moved from the vulgarities, and even the familiarities, 
of this ; just as there is a sense of fitness which dic- 
tates that the architecture of a church should be dif- 
ferent from that of a house. 

It might seem superfluous to urge this ; yet it is far 
from being so. It is well-nigh incredible what words 
it has been sometimes proposed to dismiss from our 
Version, on the ground that they " are now almost or 
entirely obsolete." Synionds thinks '' clean escaped" 
(2 Pet. ii. 18) " a very low expression ;" and, on the 
plea of obsoleteness, Wemyss proposed to get rid of 
' straightway,' ' haply,' ' twain,' ' atliirst,' ' wax,' 
'lack,' ' ensample,' 'jeopardy,' 'garner,' 'passion,' 
with a multitude of other words not a whit more 
apart from our ordinary use. Purver, whose New 
and Literal Translation of the Old and New Testa- 
ment appeared in 1764, has an enormous list of ex- 
pressions that are " clownish, barbarous, base, hard, 
technical, misapplied, or new coined ;" and among 
these are 'beguile,' 'boisterous,' 'lineage,' 'perse- 
verance,' ' potentate,' ' remit,' ' seducers,' ' shorn,' 
' swerved,' ' vigilant,' ' unloose,' ' unction,' ' vocation.' 
For each of these (many hundreds in number) lie pro- 
poses to substitute some other. 

This retaining of the old diction in all places where 
a higher interest, that, namely, of being understood 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 37 

by all, did not impcralivoly require the substitution 
of another phrase, would be most needful, not merely 
for the reverence which attaches to it, and for the 
avoiding every unnecessary disturbance in the minds 
of the people, but for the shunning of another and not 
a trivial harm. Were the substitution of new for old 
carried out to any large extent, this most injurious 
consequence would follow, that our Translation would 
be no longer of a piece, not any more one web and 
woof, but in part English of the seventeenth century, 
in part English of the nineteenth. Now, granting that 
nineteenth-century English is as good as seventeenth, 
of which there may be very serious doubts, still they 
are not the same ; the differences between them are 
considerable : some of these we can explain, others 
we must be content only to feel. But even those who 
could not explain any part of them would yet be con- 
scious of them, would be pained by a sense of incon- 
gruity, of new patches on an old garment, and the 
one failing to agree with the other. Now, all w411 
admit that it is of vast importance that the Bible of 
the nation should be a book capable of being read 
with delight — I mean quite apart from its higher 
claim as God's Word to be read with devoutest rev- 
erence and honor. It can be so read now. But the 
sense of pleasure in it, I mean merely as the first 
English classic, would be greatly impaired by any 
alterations which seriously affected the homogeneous- 
ness of its style. And this, it must be remembered. 



38 ON THE ENGLISFI OF OUR VERSION. 

is a danger altogether new, one which did not at all 
beset the former revisions. From Tyndale's first edi- 
tion of his New Testament in 1526 to the Authorized 
Version there elapsed in all but eighty-five years, and 
this period was divided into four or five briefer por- 
tions by Cranmer's, Coverdale's, the Geneva, the Bish- 
ops' Bible, which were published in the interval be- 
tween one date and the other. But from the date of 
King James's Translation (1611) to the present day 
nearly two hundred and fifty years have elapsed ; and 
more tlian this time, it is .to be hoped, will have elapsed 
before any steps are actually taken in this matter. 
When we argue for the facilities of revision now from 
the facilities of revision on previous occasions, we 
must not forget that the long period of time which 
has elapsed since our last revision, so very much 
longer than lay between any of the preceding, has in 
many w'ays immensely complicated the problem, has 
made many precautions necessary now which would 
have been superfluous then.* 

* It is an eminent merit in the Revision of the Authorized Version 
by Five Clergymen, of which the Gospel of St. John and the Epistle to 
the Komans have already appeared, that they have not merely urged 
by precept, but shown by proof, that it is possible to revise our Ver- 
sion, 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 contribution 
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 replacing a 
StouG which had been incautiously built into the wall, or which, trust- 
worthy material once, has now yielded to the lapse and injury of time, 



ON THE. ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 39 

Certainly, too, when we read what manner of stuff 
is offered to us in exchange for the language of our 
Authorized Version, we learn to prize it more highly 
than ever. Indeed, we hardly know the immeasura- 
ble worth of its religious diction till we set this side 
by side with w^hat oftentimes is proffered in its room. 
Thus, not to speak of some suggested changers which 
w^ould be positively offensive, w^e should scarcely be 
gainers in perspicuity or accuracy, if for James i. 8, 
which now stands, " A double-minded man is unstable 
in all his ways," we were to read, " A man unsteady 
in his opinions is unconstant in all his actions" (We- 
myss). Neither would the gain be very evident, if, 
" I have a baptism to be baptized with" (Luke xii. 50) 
gave place to, " I have an immersion to undergo." — 
" Wrath to come" we may well be contented to re- 
tain, though we are offered " impending vengeance" 
in its place. " In chambering and wantonness" would 
not be improved, even though we were to substitute 
for it " in unchaste and immodest gratifications." Dr. 
Campbell's work " On the Four GospeJs^^ contains dis 
sertations which have their value ; yet the advantage 
would not be great of superseding Mark vi. 19, 20, as 
it now stands, by the following : " This roused Hero- 
while they leave the building itself in its main features and framework 
untouched. Diflering as the Revisers occasionally do even among 
themselves, they will not wonder that others sometimes differ from 
the conclusions at which they have arrived ; but there can, I thinks 
be no difference upon this point, namely, that their work deserves the 
most grateful recognition of the Church. 



40 ON THH ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

dias' resentment, who would have killed John ; but 
could not, because Herod respected Mm, and, know- 
ing him to be a just and holy man, protected him, and 
did many things recommended by him, and heard him 
with pleasure." I have only seen quoted in a news- 
paper, and, therefore, it may possibly be a jest, that 
in the American Bible Union's Imjiroved Version such 
improvements as the following occur : " That in tlie 
name of Jesus, every knee should bend of heavenlies, 
and of earthlies, and of infernals" (Phil. ii. 4) ; " Ye 
have put on the young man" (Col. iii. 10). Of Har- 
wood's Literal Translation of the New Testainent 
(London, 1768) and the follies of it, not far from 
blasphemous, it is unnecessary to give any example. 

When we consider, not the words of our Version 
one by one, but the words in combination, as they are 
linked to one another, and by their position influence 
and modify one another ; in short, the accidence and 
the syntax, this, being good, is yet not so good as the 
selection of the words themselves. There are, un- 
doubtedly, inaccuracies and negligences here. Bishop 
Lowth long ago pointed out several faults in the gram- 
matical construction of sentences ;* and although it 
must be confessed that now and then he is hypercriti- 
cal, and that his objections will not stand, yet others 
which he has not pressed would be found to supply 
the place of those which must therefore be withdrawn. 

* In his Short Introduction to English Grammar. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 41 

But here, too, and before entering on this matter, 
there is room for tlie same observation which was 
made in respect of the words of our Translation. 
Many charges have here also been lightly, some igno- 
rantly,made. Our Translators now and then appear 
un grammatical, because they give us, as they needs 
must, the grammar of their own day, and not the 
grammar of ours. It is curious to find Bishop New- 
come* taking them to task for using ' his' or ' her,' 
wliere they ought to have used ' its ;' as in such pas- 
sages as the following : " But if the salt have lost his 
savor, wherewith shall it be salted ?" (Matt. v. 13.) 
" Charity doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not 
her own." (1 Cor. xiii. 5 ; cf. Eev. xxii. 2.) " This 
sometimes," he says, " introduces strange confusion." 
But this confusion, as he calls it, when they wrote was 
inevitable, or at least could only be avoided by cir- 
cumlocutions, as by the use of ' thereof.' Nor, more- 
over, did this usage present itself as any confusion of 
masculine and neuter, or of personal and impersonal, 
at the time when our Translators wrote ; for then that 
very serviceable, but often very inharmonious, little 
word, ' its,' as a genitive of ' it,' had not appeared, or 
had only just appeared, timidly and rarely, in the 
language,! and ' his' was quite as much a neuter as a 
masculine. 

* Historical View of the English Biblical Translations. Dublin, 1792, 
p. 289. 

t I have elsewhere entered on this matter somewhat more fully 
{English Past and l^rcscnt, 3d cd., p. 124 sqq.), and have there ob- 



42 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

Others have in other points found fault with the 
grammar of our Version, where, in like manner, they 
" have condemned the guiltless," their objections fre- 
quently serving only to reveal their own unacquaint- 
ance with the history and past evolution of their na- 
tive tongue — an unacquaintance excusable enough in 
others, yet hardly in those who set themselves up as 
critics and judges in so serious and solemn a matter 
as i^ here brought into judgment. This ignorance is, 
indeed, sometimes surprising. Thus. Wemyss* com- 
plains of a false concord at Rev. xviii. 17 : " For in 
one hour so great riches is come to nought." He did 
not know that ' riches' is properly no plural at all, 
and the final ' s' in it no sign of a plural, but belong- 
ing to the word, in its French form, ' richesse,' and 
that ' riches' has only become a plural, as ' alms' and 
' eaves' are becoming such, through our forgetfulness 
of this fact. When Yv^iclif wants a plural, he adds 
another ' s,' and writes ' richessis' (Rom. ii. 4 ; Jam. 
V. 2). It is true that at the time when our Version 

served that 'its' nowhere occurs in our Authorized Version. Lev. 
XX. 5 ("of its own accord") has been since urged as invalidating my 
assertion ; but does not do so really : for reference to the first, or in- 
deed to any of the early' editions, will show that in them the passage 
stood " of it own accord." Nor is ' it' here a misprint for ' its ;' for 
we have exactly the same " by it own accord" in the Geneva Version, 
Acts xii. 10 ; and in other English books of the beginning of the sev- 
enteenth century, which never employ ' its.' There is a fuller tr^t- 
ment of this word and the first appearance of it, in Mr. Craik's very 
valuable work, On the English of Shakespeare, p. 91, and I should 
desire what I have written on the matter to be read with the correc- 
tions which he supplies. 

* Biblical Gleanings, p. 212. 



ON THE ENGLISH OP OUR VERSION. 43 

was made, ' riches' was already commonly regarded 
and dealt with as a plural ; it is there generally so 
used, and therefore it would have been better if, for 
consistency's sake, they had so used it here ; but there 
is no grammatical error in the case, any more than 
when Shakespeare writes, " The riches of the ship is 
come to shore." The same objector finds fault with 
*' asked an alms'^ (Acts iii. 3), and suggests, '' asked 
some ahns,''^ in its room, evidently on the same as- 
sumption that ' alms' is a plural. Neither can he 
tolerate our rendering of 1 Tim. v. 23 : " Use a little 
wine for thine often infirmities ;" but complains of 
* often,' an adverb, here used as though it were an 
adjective, while, indeed, the adjectival use of ' oft,' 
' often,' surviving still in ' o//times,' ' oftentimes,'' is 
the primary, the adverbial merely secondary. 

But all frivolous, ungrounded objections set aside, 
there will still remain a certain number of passages 
where the grammatical construction is capable of im- 
provement. In general the very smallest alteration 
will set everything right. These are some : — 

Heb. V. 8. — " Though He were a Son, yet learned 
He obedience by the things which He suffered." If 
the Apostle had been putting a possible hypothetical 
case, this would be correct ; for example, " Though 
He slay me, yet will I trust in Him" (Job xiii. 15), 
is without fault. But here, on the contrary, he is 
assuming a certain conceded fact, that Christ was a 
Son, and though He vjas such, yet in this way of suf- 



44 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

fering He learned obedience. ' Thougli' is here a 
concessive, conditional particle, the Latin ' etsi' or 
' etiamsi' as followed by an indicative, and should 
have itself been followed by such in our Version. It 
ought to be, " Though He was a Son," &c. 

John ix. 31. — "If any man be a worshipper of 
God, and doeth his will, him He heareth." As in the 
passage just noted, we have a subjunctive instead of 
an indicative, an actual objective fact dealt with as 
though it were only a possible subjective conception, 
so here we have just the converse, an indicative in- 
stead of a subjunctive. It is true that in modern 
English the subjunctive is so rapidly disappearing, 
that " If any man doeth his will" might very well 
pass. Still it was an error when our Translators 
wrote ; and there is, at any rate, an inconcinnity in 
allowing the indicative ' doeth,' in the second clause 
of the sentence, to follow the subjunctive ' be' in the 
first, both equally depending upon ^ if ;' one would 
gladly, therefore, see a return to "<:/o his will," which 
stood in Tyndale's version. 

Matt. xvi. 15. — " Whom say ye that I am ?" The 
English is faulty here. It ought plainly to be, " Who 
say ye that I am ?" as is evident if only * who' be put 
last : " Ye say that I am ivho .^" The Latin idiom, 
" Quem me esse dicitis ?" probably led our Transla- 
tors, and all who went before them, astray. Yet the 
cases are not in the least parallel. If the English 
idiom had allowed the question to ae^sume this shape. 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 45 

" Whom say yc mc to be ?" tlicn tlie Latin form would 
have been a true parallel, and also a safe guide ; the 
accusative ' whom,'' not, indeed, as governed by ' say,' 
but as corresponding to the accusative ' vie,'' being 
then the only correct case, as the nominative ' who,' 
to answer to tlie nominative ' I,' is the only correct 
one in the passage as it now stands. The mistake 
repeats itself on several occasions : thus, at Matt. • 
xvi. 13 ; Mark viii. 27, 29 ; Luke ix. 18, 20 ; Acts 
xiii. 25. 

Heb. ix. 5. — " And over it the Cherubims of glory." ^ Hot i^^ 
But ' Cherubim' being already plural, it is excess of 
expression to add another, an English plural, to the 
Hebrew, which our Translators on this one occasion 
of the word's occurrence in the New Testament, and 
constantly in the Old, have done. " Cherubi/^s of i p 
glory," as it is in the Geneva and Rheims versions, is 
intelligible and quite unobjectionable. The Hebrew 
singular is then dealt with as a naturalized English 
word, forming an English plural ; just as there would 
be nothing to oV)ject to ' automatons' or ' terminuses,' 
which ultimately, no doubt, will be the plurals of 
' automaton' and ' terminus ;' but there would be much 
to ' automatas' or ' tcrminis,' or to ' erratas,' though, 
strangely enough, we find this in Jeremy Taylor, as 
we do ' synonymas' in Mede. It miglit be free to use 
either ' geniuses' or ' genii' as the plural of ' genius' 
(we do, in fact, employ both, though in diflferent 
senses), but not ' gcniis ;' and it is exactly this sort 
of error into which our Translators liave liere fallen. 



46 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

Rev. xxi. 12. — " And had a wall great and high." 
The verb ' had' is here without a nominative. All 
that is necessary is to return to Wiclif s translation : 
" And it had a wall great and high." 

Again, we much regret the frequent use of adjec- 
tives ending in ^y,' as though they were adverbs. 
This termination, being that of so great a number of 
our adverbs, easily lends itself to the mistake, and at 
the same time often serves to conceal it. Thus, our 
Translators at' 1 Cor. xiii. 5 say of charity, that it 
" doth not behave itself unseemly.''^ Now this, at first 
hearing, does not sound to many as an error, because 
the final ' ly' of the adjective ' unseemly' causes it to 
pass with them as though it were an adverb. But 
substitute another equivalent adjective ; say, " doth 
not behave itself imjiroj^e?',^^ or " doth not behave 
itself unbefilting,''^ and the violation of the laws of 
grammar makes itself felt at once. Compare Tit. ii. 
12 : " sobei-ly, righteously, and godly in this present 
world." It ought to be ' godlily' here, as ' unseem- 
lily' in the other passage ; or if this repetition of the 
final * ly' is unpleasing to the ear, as indeed it is, then 
some other word should be sought. The error recurs 
in 2 Tim. iii. 12 ; Jude 15 ; and is not unfrequent in 
the Prayer Book. Thus, we find it in the thirty-sixth 
Article : " We decree all such to be rightly, orderly, 
and lawfully consecrated."* 

* It is curious to note liow frequent the errors are arising from 
the same cause. Thus, I remember meeting in Fox's Book of Mar- 



ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 47 

Should a revision of our Version ever be attempted, 
it seems to me that the same principle should rule in 
dealing with archaic forms as I have sought to lay 
down in respect of archaic words. Nothing but ne- 
cessity should provoke alteration. Thus, there can 
be no question that our old English praeterites, ' clave,' 
' drave,' ' sware,' ^ brake,' ' strake,' should stand. They 
are as good English now as they were two centuries 
and a half ago : they create no perplexity in the minds 
of any ; while at the same time they profitably difler- 
ence the language of Scripture from the language of 
common and every-day life. But it is otherwise, as 
it seems to me, with archaisms which are in positive 
opposition to the present usage of the English tongue. 
Thus, ' his' and ' her' should be replaced by ' its,' at 
such passages as Matt. v. 13 ; Mark ix. 50 ; Luke xiv. 
3-1: ; llev. xxii. 2 ; 1 Cor. xiii. 5 ; which might be done 
almost without exciting the least observation ; so also 
' which' by ' who,' wherever a person and not a tiling 
is referred to. This, too, might be easily done, for 

tyrs (I have not the exact reference) the words, "if this be perpend," 
Here it is clear that Fox was for the moment deceived by the termi- 
nation of 'perpend,' so like the usual termination of the past parti- 
ciple; and did not observe that lie ought to have written, "if this be 
perpended." In our own day Tennyson treats 'eaves' as if the final 
*s' were the sign of the plural, which being dismissed, one might 
have 'eave'for a singular; and he writes the " cottage eaye." But 
'eaves' ('efese' in the Anglo-Saxon) is itself the singular. With the 
same momentary inadvertence Lord Macaulay deals with the final ' s' 
in ' Cyclops' as though it were the plural sign, and speaks in one of 
the late volumes of his history of a ' Cyclop ;' and pages might be 
filled with mistakes which have th^ir origin in similar causes. 



48 ON THE ENGLISH OF OUR VERSION. 

our Translators have no certain law here ; for instance, 
in the last chapter of the Romans, ' which' occurs seven 
times, referring to a person or persons, ' who' exactly 
as often. The only temptation to retain this use of 
* which' would be to mark by its aid the distinction 
between o'rnj and o», so hard to seize in English. At 
the same time a retention with this view would itself 
involve many changes, seeing that our Translators did 
not turn ' which' to this special service, but for og and 
oWif employed ' who' and ' which' quite promiscuously. 
But upon this part of my subject that which has been 
said must suffice. 



ON SOME QUKSTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 49 



CHAPTER III. 

ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

How many questions at once present themselves, 
many among them of an almost insuperable difficulty 
in their solution, so soon as it is attempted to transfer 
any great work from one language into another ! Let 
it l^e only some high and original work of human ge- 
nius, the Divina Commedia, for instance, and liow 
many problems, at first sight seeming insoluble, and 
which only genius can solve, even it being often con- 
tent to do so imperfectly, to evade rather than to 
solve them, at once offer themselves to the translator !* 
The loftier and deeper, the more original a poem or 
other composition may be, the more novel and unusual 
the sphere . in which it moves, by so much the more 
these difficulties will multiply. They can therefore 
nowhere be so many and so great as in the rendering 

* Only to few translators, and to them only on rare occasions, is it 
pivcn to flcservc the ma<;niticent praise which Jerome pjivcs to Hilary, 
and to his translations from the Greek {Ep.^ 33) : " Quasi caj)tivos 
smsiis in suam linjnain vicluris jure tnttisposiut." 

3 



50 ON SOME QUESTIONS OP^ TRANSLATION. 

of that Book which is sole of its kind ; which reaches 
far higher hciglits and far deeper depths than any- 
other ; which has words of God and not of man for 
its substance ; while the importance of success or fail- 
ure, with the far-reaching issues which will follow on 
the one or the other, sinks in each other case into ab- 
solute insignificance as compared with their impor- 
tance here. 

Thus, the missionary translator, if he be at all aware 
of the awful implement which he is wielding, of the 
tremendous crisis in a people's spiritual life which has 
arrived, when their language is first made the vehicle 
of revealed truths, will often tremble at the work he 
has in hand ; tremble lest he should be permanently 
lowering or confusing the whole religious life of a 
people, by choosing a meaner and letting go a nobler 
word for the setting forth of some leading truth of 
redemption. Even those who are wholly ignorant of 
Chinese can yet perceive how vast the spiritual inter- 
ests which are at stake in China, how nmch will be 
won, or how much lost, for the whole spiritual life of 
that people, it may be for ages to come, according as 
the right or the wrong word is selected by the trans- 
lators of the Scriptures into Chinese for expressing the 
true and the living God.* As many of us as are igno- 
rant of the language can -be no judges in the contro- 
versy wliicli on this matter is being carried on, but 

* See the llcv. S. C. Mulau's Who is God in China, Shin or Shang- 
te? 



OiN SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 51 

we can all foci how enormous the interests which are 
at stake. 

And even wlicre the issues arc not so vast and 
awful as in this case, how much may turn on having 
or not having tlie appropriate word ! Very often 
there is none sucli ; and some common, some profane 
word has to be seized, and set apart, and sanctified, 
and gradually to be impregnated with a higher and ho- 
lier meaning than any which, before its adoption into 
this sacred service, it knew. Sometimes, when the trans- 
fer is being made into a language which has already 
received a high development, the embarrassment will 
not be this, but the opposite to this. Two, or it may 
be more, words will present themselves — each inade- 
quate, yet each with its own advantages, so that it 
shall be exceedingly difficult for the most skilful mas- 
ter of language to determine which ought to be pre- 
ferred. Thus, it was not indifferent whether Ao^oj 
should be rendered in ecclesiastical Latin ' Sermo' or 
' Verbum.' The fact that ' Yerbum' has from the be- 
ginning been the predominant rendering, and that 
' Verbum' is a neuter impersonal, possessing no such 
mysterious duplicity of meaning as Ao'^og, which is at 
once the ' Word' and the ' Reason,' has, I do not hesi- 
tate to affirm, modified the whole development of Latin 
theology in respect of the personal *' Word of God." 
I do not, indeed, believe that the advantages which 
in ' Verbum' arc lost, would have been secured by the 
choosing of ' Sermo' rather ; any gains from this would 



52 ON SOME. QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

have been accompanied by more than countervailing 
losses. I can not, therefore, doubt that the Latin 
Church did wisely and well in preferring ' Verbum' 
to ' Sermo ;' indeed, it ultimately quite disallowed the 
latter ; but still the doubts and hesitation which ex- 
isted for some time upon this point* illustrate well the 
dif&culty of which I am speaking. 

Or take another question, not altogether unlike 
this. AVas the old ' poenitentia,' or the ' resipiscen- 
tia,' which some of the Reformers sought to introduce 
in its room, the better rendering of |y.sravoi« ? should 
lisTavosTrs be rendered ' poenitete' or ' resipiscite' ?f 
The Roman Catholic theologians found great fault 
with Beza, that instead of the ^ poenitentia,' hallowed 
by long ecclesiastical usage, and having acquired a 
certain prescriptive right by its long employment in 
the Vulgate, he, in his translation of Scripture, sub- 
stituted ' resipiscentia.' Now Beza, and those who 
stood with him in this controversy, were assuredly 
right in replying, that while a serious displeasure on 
the sinner's part at his past life is an important ele- 
ment in all true jasravoia or repentance, still ' poeniten- 
tia' is at fault, in that it brings out nothing but this, 
leaves the changed mind for the time to come, which 
is the central idea of the original word, altogether 
unexpressed and untouched ; that, moreover, ' resipi- 

* See Petavius, De Trin., vi., 1. 4. 

t See Fred. Spanheim's Dub. Evangelica, pars 3'*, dub, vii. ; Camp- 
bell, On the Four Gospels, vol. i., p. 292, sqq. 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. TjS 

scentia' was no such novelty, Lactantiiis having al- 
read}^ shown the way in a rendering Avith which now 
SO much fault was found. Taking his ground rigidly 
on etyniulogy, Beza was quite right ; but it was also 
true, wdiich he did not take account of, that fj-sravcja, 
even before it had been assumed into scriptural usage, 
and nmch more after, had acquired a superadded 
sense of regret for tlie past, or ' hadiwist' (had-I-wist), 
as our ancestors called it ; which, if ' poenitentia' 
seemed to embody too exclusively, his ' resipiscentia,' 
making at least as serious an omission, hardly embod- 
ied at all. On the whole, I can not but think that it 
would have been better to leave ' poenitentia' undis- 
turbed, while yet liow much on either side there was 
here to be urged ! 

It may be wortli wliile to consider a little in what 
ways our own Translators have sought to overcome 
some of these difficulties of translation, w^hich have 
met tlieni, as they have met all others, so to speak, 
on the tlireshold of their work. Of course, wherever 
they acquiesced in preceding solutions of these diffi- 
culties, they adopted and made them their own ; and 
we have a right to deal with tliem as responsible for 
such. 

Let us take, first, a question which in all transla- 
tion is constanfly recurring — this, namely : In what 
manner ought technical words of the one language, 
whicli have no exact equivalents in the other, to be 
rendered ; measures, for instance, of wet and dry, as 



54 ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

the /3aTocr and xopo- of Luke xvi. 6, 7 ; the t^sr^r^rr^s of 
John ii. 6 ; coins, such as the didpa-x^ixoM of Matt. xvii. 
24 ; the rf-rar)-^ of Matt. xvii. 27 ; the SpaxM of Luke 
XV. 8 ; titles of honor and authority which have long- 
since ceased to be, and to which, at best, only remote 
resemblances now exist, as the /fa/xjaare.V and v;cjKopo^ 
of Acts xix. 35 ; the 'A(fi^pxoii of the same chapter, 
vcr. 31 ; the dvd^^itaros of Acts xiii. 7 ? 

. The ways in which such words may be dealt with 
reduce themselves to four, and our Translators, by 
turns, have recourse to them all. The first, which is 
only possible when the etymology of the word is clear 
and transparent, is to seize this, and to produce a new 
technical word which shall utter over again in the 
language of the translation what the original word 
uttered to its own. This course was chosen when 
they rendered /Aps.oc: 'rrayog, " :Mars-hiir' (Acts xvii. 
22), Aj^orfr^wrov, ' the Pavement' (John xix. 13) ; w^hen 
Sir John Cheke rendered haTovra^x^c, ' hundreder' 
(Matt. viii. 5), (fiM^ia^oixhog, ' mooned' (Matt. iv. 24). 
But the number of words which allow of this repro- 
duction is comparatively small. Of many the etymol- 
ogy is lost ; many others do not admit the formation 
of a corresponding word in another language. This 
scheme, tlierefore, whatever advantages it may possess, 
can of necessity be very sparingly applied. 

Another method, then, is to choose some generic 
word, such as must needs exist in botli languages, the 
genus of which the word to bo rendered is the species, 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 55 

and, without attempting any more accurate designa- 
tion, to employ tliis. Our Translators have frequently 
taken this course ; they have done so, rendering /3'cTc.cr, 
xopo?, x^'^'L alike l)y ' measure' (Luke xvi. 6, 7 ; Rev. 
vi. 6), with no endeavors to mark the capacity of the 
measure; <Jpap^fx>3 by "piece of silver" (Luke xv. 8), 
fl'Tar;^p by " piece of money" (Matt. xvii. 27), dv^^irarog 
by 'deputy' (xVcts xiii. 8), dr^wrriyoi by 'magistrates* 
(Acts xvi. 2:^), juoa^oi by "wise men" (Matt. ii. 1). 
A manifest disadvantage which attends this course is 
the want of a close correspondence between the origi- 
nal and the copy, a certain vagueness which is given 
to the latter, with the obliteration of strongly-marked 
lines. 

Or, thirdly, they may seek out some special word 
in the language into which the translation is being 
made, which shall be more or less an approximative 
equivalent for that in whose place it stands. We 
have two not very happy illustrations of this scheme 
in ' town-clerk,' as the rendering of ypa^fxarslg (Acts 
xix. 35), ' Easter' as that of nao';/a (Acts xii. 4). 
The turning of >i,\PT;iJAg into 'Diana' (Acts xix. 24), 
of 'Epiir,g into ' Mercurius' (Acts xiv. 12), are, in fact, 
Other examples of the same, althougli our Translators 
themselves, no doubt, were not aware of it, seeing 
that in their time the essential distinction between 
the Greek and the Italian mythologies, and the fact 
that the names of the deities in the former were only 
adapted with more or less fitness to the deities of the 



56 ON SOME QUKSTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

latter, was unknown even to scholars. This method 
of tran!:^Uiting has its own serious drawback, that, al- 
though it often gives a distinct and vigorous, yet it 
runs the danger of conveying a more or less false, 
impression. Except by a very singular felicity, and 
one which will not often occur, the word selected, 
while it conveys some truth, must also convey some 
error bound up with the truth. Thus, xo5pavTr,g is not 
a 'farthing' (Mark xii. 42), nor 6-i)vapiov a 'penny' 
(Matt. XX. 2), nor ij^st p-n-ris a 'firkin' (John ii. 6); 
not, I mean, our farthing, or penny, or firkin. So, 
too, if " piece of money" is a vague translation of 
SpciYM (Luke XV. 8), Wiclif's ' bezant' and Tyndale's 
* grote' involve absolute error. Add to this the dan- 
ger that the tone and coloring of one time and age 
may thus be substituted for that of another, of the 
modern world for the ancient, as when Holland, in 
his translation of Livy, constantly renders " Pontifex 
Maximus" by ' Archbishop,' and it will be seen that 
the inconveniences attending this course are not small. 
There remains only one other way possible : To 
take the actual word of the original, and to transplant 
it unchanged, or at most with a slight change in the 
termination, into the other tongue, in the trust that 
time and use will, little by little, cause the strange- 
ness of it to disappear, and that its meaning will grad- 
ually be acquired even by the unlearned reader. We 
have done this in respect of many Hebrew words in 
the Old Testament, as 'Urim,' ' Thummim,' ' ephod,' 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 57 

' shekel,' ' cherub,' ' seraphim,' ' cor,' ' bath,' ' ephah ;' 
and with some Greek in the New, as ' tetrarch,' ' prose- 
lyte,' ' Paradise,' 'pentecost,' ^ Messias ;' or, by adopting 
these words from preceding translations have acqui- 
esced in the fitness of tliis course. The disadvantage 
of it evidently is, that in many cases the adopted 
word continues always an exotic fur the mass of the 
people : it never tells its own story to them, nor be- 
comes, so to speak, transparent with its own meaning. 

It is impossible to adhere rigidly and constantly to 
any one of these devices for representing the things 
of one condition of society by the words of another ; 
tliey must all in their tuvn be appealed to, even as 
they all will be found barely sufiicient. Our Trans- 
lators have employed them all. Their inclination, as 
compared wiih others, is perhaps toward the second, 
the least ambitious, but at the same time the safest, 
of these courses. Once or twice they have chosen it 
when one of the other ways appears manifestly pref- 
erable, as in their rendering of uvd^-zarog by ' deputy' 
(Acts xiii. 7, 8, 12), ' proconsul' being ready made to 
their hands, with Wiclif 's authority for its use. 

There is another question, doubtless a perplexing 
one, wliich our Translators had to solve ; I confess 
that I much regret the solution at which they have 
arrived. It was this : how should they deal with the 
Hebrew proper names of the Old Testament, which 
had gradually assumed a form somewhat difi'erent from 
their original on the li])s of Greek-speaking Jews, and 



58 ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

which appeared in these their later Hellenistic forms 
in the New Testament ? Should they bring them back 
to their original shapes ? or suffer them to stand in 
their later deflections ? Thus, meeting 'HXia? in the 
Greek text, should they render it ' Elias' or ' Elijah' ? 
I am persuaded that for the purpose of keeping vivid 
and strong the relations between the Old and New 
Testament in the minds of the great body of English 
hearers and readers of Scripture, they should have 
recurred to the Old Testament names ; which are not 
merely the Hebrew, but also the English names, and 
which, therefore, had their right to a place in the 
English text ; that 'HXlaj, for instance, should have 
been translated into that which is not merely its He- 
brew, but also its English equivalent, ' Elijah,' and so 
with the others. Let us just seek to realize to our- 
selves the difference in the amount of awakened atten- 
tion among a country congregation, which Matt. xvii. 
10 would create, if it were read thus, " And his dis- 
ciples asked him, saying. Why then say the Scribes 
that Elijah must first come ?" as compared with what 
it now is likely to create. As it is, we have a double 
nomenclature, and as respects the unlearned members 
of the Church, a sufiiciently perplexing one, for a 
large number of the kings and prophets, and other 
personages, of the earlier Covenant. Not to speak of 
' Elijah' and ' Elias,' we have ' Elisha' and ' Eliseus,' 
' Hosea' and ' Osee,' ' Isaiah' and ' Esaias,' ' Uzziah' 
and * Ozias,' ' Hezekiah' and ' Ezechias,' ' Korah' and 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 69 

' Core' (commonly proiiouiiccd as a monosyllable in 
our National Schools), ' Rahab' and ' Racliab,' and 
(most unfortunate of all) ' Joshua' and ' Jesus.' 

It is, indeed, hardly possible to exaggerate the con- 
fusion of which the ' Jesus' of Heb. iv. 8 must be the 
occasion to the great body of unlearned English read- 
ers and hearers, not to speak of a slight perplexity 
arising from the same cause at Acts vii. 45. The 
fourth chapter of the Hebrews is anyhow hard enough ; 
it is only with strained attention that we follow the 
Apostle's argument. But when to its own difficulty 
is added for many the confusion arising from the fact 
that ' Jesus' is here used, not of Him whose name is 
above every name, but of the son of Nun, known ev- 
erywhere in the Old Testament by the name of ' Josh- 
ua,' the perplexity to many becomes hopeless. It is 
in vain that our Translators have added in the mar- 
gin, " that is Joshua;" for all practical purposes of 
avoiding misconception the note, in most of our Bibles 
omitted, is useless. In putting ' Jesus' here they have 
departed from all our preceding Versions, and from 
many foreign. Even if they had counted that the 
letter of their obligation as Translators, which yet I 
can not think, bound them to this, one would willingly 
have here seen a breach of the letter, that so they 
might better keep the spirit. 

There is another difficulty, entailing, however, no 
such serious consequences, even if the best way of 
meeting it is not chosen : how, namely, to deal with 



60 ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

Greek and Latin proper names? to make them in 
their terminations English, or to leave them as we 
find them ? Our Translators in this matter adhere to 
no constant rule. It is not merely that some proper 
names drop their classical terminations, as ' Paul,' 
and * Saul,' and ' Urban,'* while others, as ' Sylvanus,' 
which by the same rule should be ' Sylvan,' and ' Mer- 
curius,' retain it. This inconsistency is prevalent in 
all books which have to do with classical antiquity. 
There is almost no Roman history in which ' Pompey' 
and 'Antony' do not stand side by side with 'Augus- 
tus' and ' Tiberius.' Merivale's, who always writes 
' Pompeius' and ' Antonius,' is almost the only excep- 
tion which I know. If this were all, there would be 
little to find fault with in an irregularity almost, if 
not quite, universal, and scarcely to be avoided with- 
out so much violence done to usage as to make it 
doubtful whether the gain exceeded the loss.f But 
in our Version the same name occurs now with a Latin 
ending, now with an English ; as though it were now 
' Pompeius' and now ' Pompey,' now 'Antonius' and now 
' Antony,' in the same volume, or even the same page, 
of some Roman history. Consistency in such details 
is avowedly difficult ; and the difficulty of attaining it 

* So it ought to be printed in our modern Bibles, not * Urbane/ 
whicli is now deceptive, though it was not so according to the orthog- 
raphy of 1611 ; it suggests n trisyllable, and the termination of a 
female name. It is OiajSufov in the orjgina}. 

t See an article with the title, Orthographic Mutineers, in the Mis- 
cellfiucous Esisntjs of De Quincey. 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 61 

must have been much enhanced by the many hands 
tliat were engaged in our Version. But it is strange 
that not in different parts of the New Testament only, 
which proceeded from different hands, we have now 
' Marcus' (Col. iv. 10 ; Philem. 21 ; 1 Pet. v. 13), and 
now ' Mark' (Acts xii. 12, 25 ; 2 Tim. iv. 11) ; now 
' Jeremias' (Matt. xvi. 14), and now ' Jeremy' (Matt, 
ii. 17) ; now ' Apollos' (Acts xviii. 24 ; xix. 1), now 
' Apollo'* (1 Cor. iii. 22 ; iv. 6) ; now " Simon, son of 
Jona" (John i. 42), and now " Simon, son of Jonas" 
(John xxi. 15, 16, 17) ; now ' Timotheus' (Acts xvi. 
1), and now ' Timothy' (Heb. xiii. 21) ; but in the 
same chapter we have Tiixo^sog rendered first ' Timothy' 
(2 Cor. i. 1), and tlien 'Timotheus' (ib., ver. 19). 
In like manner the inhabitants of Crete (Kpr,Tsg') are 
now ' Cretes' (Acts ii. 11), which can not be right, 
and now ' Cretians' (Tit. i. 12). 

Tliere are other inconsistencies in the manner of 
dealing with proper names. Thus, >Apsio^ Uayos is 
' Areopagus' at Acts xvii. 19, while three verses fur- 
ther on the same is rendered ' Mars-hill.' In which 
of these ways it ought to have been translated may 
very fairly be a question ; but one way or other, once 
chosen, should have been adhered to. Then, again, 
if our Translators gave, as they properly did, the Latin 
termination to the names of cities, ' Ephesz/s,' ' Mile- 

* This latter form, which was manifestly inconvenient, as confound- 
ing the name of an eminent Cliristian teacher with that of a h.eathen 
deity, has been tacitly removed from later editions of our Bible, but 
existed in all the earlier. 



62 ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

tws,'* not ' Ephesos,' ' Miletr^s,' they should have done 
this throughout, and written ' Assws' (Acts xx. 13, 14), 
and ' Ferganiws' (Rev. i. 11 ; ii. 12), not ' Assos' and 
' Pergamos.' In regard of this last, it would have 
been better still if they had employed the form ' Per- 
gamwm ;' for while no doubt there are examples of 
the feminine Ils^/a/jLoc: in Greek authors,! they are 
excessively rare, and the city's name is almost always 
written ni^yaixov in Greek, and ' Pergamum' in Latin. J 
It is the carrying of one rule through which one 
desires in these matters, and this is not seldom ex- 
actly what w^e miss. Thus, seeing that in the enu- 
meration of the precious stones which constitute the 
foundations of the New Jerusalem (Rev. xxi. 19, 20), 
all with the exception of two, which are capable of 
receiving an English termination, do receive it, ' beryl' 
and not ' beryllus,' ' chrysolite' || and not ' chrysolithus,' 
* jacinth' and not ' jacinthus,' we might fairly ask that 
these should not be exceptionally treated. It should 
therefore be.' chrysoprase,' and not ' chrysoprasus.* 

* A singular mistake, the use of 'Milet»/«' at 2 Tim. iv. 20, has 
been often noted. This is one of the error-; into which our Transla- 
tors would probably not have fallen themselves, but have inherited it 
from the Versions preceding, all which have it. Yet it is strange that 
they did not correct it here, seeing that it, or a similar error, ' Mileton/ 
had at Acts xx. 15, 17, been by them discovered and removed, and 
the city's name rightly giA'-en, ' Miletus.' 

t Ptol., V. 2, cf. Lobeck's Pkrynichus, p. 422. 

X Xenophon, Anab., vii. 8, 8 ; Strabo, xiii. 4 ; Pliny, //. N,, xxxv. 
46. 

II Mi-i-spelt ' chrysolj/te,' and the etymology obscured, in all our 
modern editions, hut correctly given in the exemplar edition of Ifill. 



ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 63 

laeciog is somewliut more difficult to deal with ; but 
the word is as much an adjective here as (f\p5i^os at 
Rev. iv. 3, X'^of, which is there expressed, being here 
understood (we have " Sardius lapis" in TertuUian), 
and it would have been better to translate " a sardine 
stone" here as has been done there ; da^^m, not d'x^^iog, 
is tlic Greek name of this stone, and * sarda' the Latin, 
wliich last Holland has naturalized in English, and 
written ' sard.' The choice lay between " sardine 
stone" and ' sard ;' unless, indeed, they had boldly 
ventured upon ' ruby.' ' Sardius,' which they have 
employed, as it seems to me, is anyhow incorrect, 
tliough the Vulgate may be quoted in its favor. 

Hammond affirms, and I must needs consider with 
reason, that '' Tres Taberna?" should have been left in 
its Latin form (Acts xxviii. 15), and not rendered 
** The Three Taverns." It is a proper name, just as 
much as "Appii Forum," which occurs in the same 
verse, and which rightly we have not resolved into 
'- The Market of Appius." Had we left " Tres Ta- 
l^erna?" untouched (I observe De Wette does so), we 
sliould then have only dealt as the sacred historian T^ 
himself has dealt with it, who has merely written it in 
Greek letters, not turned into equivalent Greek words. 
As little should we have turned it into English. 

Sometimes our Translators have carried too far, as 
I can not but think, tlie turning of qualitative geni- 
tives into adjectives. Oftentimes it is prudently done, 
and witli a duo recou'nition of tlie Hel.)rew idiom whicli 



64 ON SOME QUESTIONS OF TRANSLATION. 

has moulded the Greek phrase with which they have 
to deal. Thus, " forgetful hearer" is unquestionably 
better than " liearer of forgetfulness" (Jam. i. 25) ; 
^' his natural fiice" than " face of his nature," or " of 
liis generation" (ib.) ; " unjust steward" than " stew- 
ard of injustice" (Luke xvi. 8). Yet at other times 
they have done this without necessity, and occasion- 
ally with manifest loss. " Son of his love," wliich 
the Rheims version has, would have been better than 
"beloved son"* (Col. i. 13), and certainly "the 
body of our vileness," or " of our humiliation," bet- 
ter than " our vile body ;" " the body of his glory'' 
than "his glorious body" (Phil. iii. 21). "The un- 
certainty of riches" would be better than " uncer- 
tain riches" (1 Tim. vi. 17), " children of the curse" 
than "cursed children" (2 Pet. ii. 14). " The glo- 
rious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. viii. 21), 
not merely comes short of, but expresses something 
very diflerent from, ^^ the liberty of the glory of the 
children of God" (see Alford, in loco). Doubtless 
the accumulated genitives are here awkward to deal 
with ; it was probably to avoid them that the transla- 
tion assumed its present shape ; but still, when higher 
interests are at stake, such awkwardness must be en- 
dured, and elsewhere our Translators have not shrunk 
from it, as at Rev. xvi. 19 : " The cup of the wine of 
the fierceness of his wrath." 

* Augustine (De Triir, xv. 19) lays a dogmatic stress on the geni- 
tive (" Fi/ias caritatis ejus nullus est alius, quam qui de substantia Ejus 
est genitus"), bui iliis may be quesiioiied. 



UNNi:CE?SARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 05 



CHAPTER IV. 

ON SOME UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

Let me here, before entering on this subject, make 
one remark, which, having an especial reference to 
the subject-matter of this and the following chapter, 
more or less bears upon all. It has been already ob- 
served that the advantages doubtless were great, of 
coming, as our Translators did, in the rear of other 
translators, of inheriting from those who went before 
them so large a stock of work well done, of successful 
renderings, of phrases consecrated already by long 
usage in the Church. It was a signal gain that they 
had not, in the fabric which they were constructing, 
to make a new framework throughout, but needed only 
liore and there to insert new materials where the old 
from any cause were faulty or out of date ; that of 
them it was not demanded that they should make a 
ti'anslation where none existed before ; nor yet that 
they sliould ]>ring a good translation out of a bad or 
an indifferent one ; but only a best, and tliat not out 



66 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

of one, but out of many good ones, preceding. None 
who have ever engaged in the work of translating but 
will freely acknowledge that in this their gain was 
most real ; and they well understood how to turn these 
advantages to account. 

Yet vast as these doubtless were, they were not 
without certain accompanying drawbacks. He who 
revises, especially when he comes to the task of revis- 
ion with a confidence, here abundantly justified, in the 
general excellency of that which he is revising, is in 
constant danger of allowing his vigilance to sleep, and 
of thus passing over errors, which he would not him- 
self have originated, had he been tlirown altogether 
on his own resources. I can not but think that in 
this way the watchfulness of our Translators, or revi- 
sers rather, has been sometimes remitted ; and that 
errors and inaccuracies, which they would not them- 
selves have introduced, they have yet passed by and 
allowed. A large proportion of the errors in our 
Translation are thus an inheritance from former ver- 
sions. This is not, indeed, any excuse, for they who 
passed them by became responsible for them : but is 
merely mentioned as accounting for the existence of 
many. With this much of introduction, I will pass 
on to the proper subject of this chapter. 

Our Translators sonu-times create distinctions such 
as have no counterparts in their original, by using 
two or more words to render at different places, or it 
may be at the same place, a single word in the Greek 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 67 

text. I would not l)y any means affirm that such va- 
rieties of rendering are not sometimes, nay frequently, 
inevitable. It manifestly would not be possible to 
represent constantly one word in one language by one 
in another. If this has ever been proposed as an in- 
flexible rule, it must have been on the assumption that 
words in one language cover exactly the same spaces 
of meaning which other words do in another, that they 
have exactly the same many-sidedness, the same elas- 
ticity, the same power of being applied, it may be, 
now in a good sense, now in a bad. But nothing is 
further from the case. Words are enclosures from 
the great outfield of meanings ; but different languages 
have enclosed on different schemes, and words in 
different languages which are precisely co-extensive 
with one another, are much rarer than we incuriously 
assume. ' 

It is easy to illustrate this, the superior elasticity 
of a word in one language to that of one which is in 
part its equivalent in another. Thus, we have no 
word in English which at once means heavenly mes- 
sengers and earthly, with only the context determin- 
ing which is intended. There was no choice, there- 
fore, but to render dyyeXoi by ' messengers' at Luke 
vii. 24 ; ix. 52 ; Jam. ii. 25 ; however it was translated 
' angels' in each other passage of the New Testament 
wliere it occurs. xVgain, no word in English has the 
power which fxayoc: has in Greek, of being used at will 
in an lionorable sense or a dishonorable. There was 



68 UNNECESSAJiY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED 

no help, therefore, but to render i^uya by * wise men,'* 
or some such honorable designation, Matt. ii. 1 ; and 
ixayog by ' sorcerer,' Acts xiii. 6. 

Thus, again, it would have been difficult to repre- 
sent llapi^ixXrjTo;, applied now to the Holy Spirit (John 
xiv. 16, 2G), and now to Clirist (1 John i. 21), by any 
single word. ' Paraclete' would alone have been pos- 
sible ; and such uniformity of rendering, if indeed it 
could be called rendering at all, would have been 
dearly purchased by the loss of ' Comforter' and ' Ad- 
vocate' — both of them Latin words, it is true, but 
much nearer to the heart and understanding of Eng- 
lishmen than the Greek ^ Paraclete' could ever have 
become. t 

So, too, it would have been unadvisable to render 
xjpis as the compellation of one person by another, al- 
ways ' Sir,' or always ' Lord.' The word has a wider 
range than either of these two ; it is only the two to- 
gether which cover an equal extent. ' Sir,' in many 
cases, would not be respectful enough ; ' Lord' in some 

* Milton, indeed, speaks of these wise men as tlie "star-led iviz- 
ards," iuid ' wizard' is the word which Sir John Cheke employs in his 
translation of St. JNIattliew ; but the word is scarcely honorable enoujjjh 
fv)r the f(U)";< of this j)lacc, nor opprobrious enough for the iid)Os of the 
Acts. 

t We should not forL,'Ct, in measuring the fitness of * Comforter,' 
that the fundamental idea of ' Comforter,' according to its etymology 
and its early use, is that of ' Strengthener,' and not ' Consoler;' even 
a-! tiie TTiipiUXiiTog is one who, being summoned to the side of the ac- 
cused or imi)erilled man Ca^^'^t-ntu-;), stands by to aid an<l to encour- 
age. See tlie admirable note in Hare's Mission of the Comfurter, pp. 
521-J27. 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 69 

would be too respectful (John xx. 15). Our Trans- 
lators have prudently employed both ; and in most 
cases have shown a fine tact in their selection of ono 
or the other. My only doubt is, whether, in the con- 
versation of our Lord with the Samaritan woman (John 
iv.), they should not have changed the ' Sir,' which is 
perfectly in its place at ver. 11, where she is barely 
respectful to her unknown interrogator, into ' Lord' 
at ver. 15, or, if not there, yet certainly at ver. 19. 
The Rheims version, beginning, as we do, with ' Sir,' 
already has exchanged this for ' Lord' at ver. 15 ; and 
thus delicately indicates the growing reverence of the 
woman for the mysterious stranger whom she has met 
beside Jacob's well. 

We do not, then, make a general complaint against 
our Translators that they have varied their words 
where the original does not vary ; oftentimes this va- 
riation was inevitable ; or, if not inevitable, yet was 
certainly the more excellent way ; but that they have 
done this where it was wholly gratuitous, and where 
sometimes the force, vigor, and precision of the origi- 
nal have consequently suffered not a little. It is true 
that the adoption of this course was not on their parts 
altogether of oversight ; and it will be only fair to 
hear what they, in an " Address to the Reader," now 
seldom or never reprinted, but, on many accounts, 
well worthy of being so,* say upon this matter ; and 

* Their " podantic and uncouth preface" Symonds calls it. There 
would certainly be pedantry in any one now writing with such rich- 



70 UKNKCESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

liow they defend what they have done. " Another 
thing," they say, " we think good to admonish thee 
of (gentle reader), that we have not tied ourselves to 
an uniformity of phrasing, or to an identity of words, 
as some peradventure would wish that we had done, 
because they observe, that some learned men some- 
Avhere have been as exact as they could that way. 
Truly, that we might not vary from the sense of that 
which we had translated before, if the word signified 
the same in both places (for there be some words be 
not of the same sense everywhere), we were especially 
careful, and made a conscience according to our duty. 
But that we should express the same notion in the 
same particular word ; as, for example, if w^e translate 
the Hebrew or Greek word once by purpose^ never to 
call it intent; if one where journeT/ing', never travel- 
ling' ; if one where think^ never suppose ; if one where 
pain^ never ache ; if one where joy, never gladness^ 
&c., thus to mince the matter, we thought to savor 
more of curiosity than wisdom, and that rather it 
would breed scorn in the atheist, than bring profit to 

ness and fullness of learned allusion, a pedantry from which our com- 
paratively scanty stores of classical and ecclesiastical learning would 
effectually presence most among us. But this preface is, on many 
grounds, a most interesting study, as giving at considerable length, 
and in various aspects, the view of our Translators themselves in 
regard of the work which they had undertaken ; and 'uncouth' as this 
objector calls it, every true knower of our language will acknowledge 
it a masterpiece of English. Certainly it would not be easy to find a 
more beautiful or affecting piece of writing than the twenty or thirty 
lines with which the fourth paragraph, "On the praise of the Holy 
Scriptures," concludes. 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 71 

the godly reader. For is the kingdom of God become 
words or syllables ? wliy should we be in bondage to 
them, if we may be free, use one precisely when wc 
may use another no less fit, as commodiously ? Wc 
might also be charged (by scoffers) with some unequal 
dealing toward a great number of good English words. 
For as it is written of a certain great philosopher, 
that he should say, that those logs were happy that 
were made images to be worshipped ; for their fellows, 
as good as they, lay for blocks behind the fire : so if 
we should say, as it were, imto certain words, ' Stand 
up higher, have a place in the Bible always,' and to 
others of like quality, ' Get ye hence, be banished for 
ever,' we might ])e taxed pcradventure with St. James's 
words, namely, ' To be partial in our selves and judges 
of evil thoughts.' " 

This is their explanation — to me, I confess, an in- 
sufficient one, whatever ingenuity may be ascribed to 
it ; and for these reasons. It is clearly the office of 
translators to put the reader of the translation, as 
nearly as may be, on the same vantage-ground as the 
reader of the original ; to give him, so far as this is 
attainable, the same assistances for understanding his 
author's meaning. Now, every exact and laborious 
student of his Greek Testament knows that there is 
almost no such help in some passage of difficulty, doc- 
trinal or other, as to turn to his Greek Concordance, 
to search out every other passage in which the word 
or words wherein the difficulty seems chiefly to reside, 



72 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

occur, and closely to observe their usage there. It is 
manifestly desirable that the reader of the English 
Bible should have, as nearly as possible, the same re- 
source. But if, where there is one and the same word 
in the original, there are two, three, half a dozen, in 
the version, he is in the main deprived of it. Thus, 
he hears the doctrine of the atonement discussed ; he 
would fain turn to all the passages where ' atonement' 
occurs ; he finds only one (Rom. v. 11), and of course 
is unaware that in other passages where he meets ' rec- 
onciling,' and ' reconciliation' (Rom. xi. 15 ; 2 Cor. 
V. 18, 19), it is the same w^ord in the original. In 
w^ords like this, which are, so to speak, sedes doctrince^ 
one regrets, above all, variation and uncertainty in 
rendering. 

Thus, it will sometimes happen, that when St. Paul 
is pursuing a close train of reasoning, and one which 
demands severest attention, the difficulties of his ar- 
gument, not small in themselves, are aggravated by 
the use of different words where he has used the 
same ; tlie word being sometimes the very key of the 
whole ; as, for instance, in the fourth chapter of the 
Romans. Ao/i'^o^a* occurs eleven times in this chap- 
ter. Y\'e may say that it is the key-word to St. Paul's 
argument throughout, being everywhere employed most 
strictly in the same sense, and that a technical and 
theological. But our Translators have no fixed rule 
of rendering it. Twice they render it ' count' (ver. 
3, 5) ; six times ' impute' (ver. G, 8, 11, 22, 23, 24) ; 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. . 78 

and tlirco times ' reckon' (ver. 4, 9, 10) ; while at 
Gal. iii. 6, they introduce a fourth rendering, ' ac- 
count.' Let the student read this chapter, employing 
everywhere ' reckon,' or, which would be better, ev- 
erywhere ' impute,' and observe how much of clearness 
and precision St. Paul's argument would in this way 
acquire. 

In other places no doctrine is in danger of being 
obscured, but still the change is uncalled for and in- 
jurious. Take, for instance, Rev. iv. 4 : " And round 
about the throne (^^ovo-j) were four-and- twenty seats^^ 
(^Y^'vo')- I^ is easy to see the motive of this variation ; 
and yet if the inspired Apostle was visited with no 
misgivings lest tlie creature should seem to be en- 
croaching on tlio dignity of the Creator, and it is clear 
that he was not — on the contrary, he has, in the most 
marked manner, brought the throne of God and the 
thrones of the elders together — certainly the Trans- 
lators need not have been more careful than he had 
been, nor made the elders to sit on ' seats,' and only 
God on a ' throne.' This august company of the four- 
and-twenty elders represents the Church of the Old 
and the New Testament, each in its twelve heads ; 
but how much is lost by turning their ' thrones' into 
' seats ;' for example, the connection of this Scripture 
witli Matt. xix. 28 ; and with all the promises that 
Christjs servants should not merely see his glory, but 
share it, that they should be c-v;^pcvoi with Him (Rev. 
iii. 21), this little change obscuring the truth that 

4 



74 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

they are here set before us as (rviJ^l3a(riXsCovTsg (1 Cor. 
iv. 8 ; 2 Tim. ii. 12), as kings reigning with Him! 
This truth is saved, indeed, by the mention of the 
golden crowns on their heads, but is implied also in 
their sitting, as they do in the Greek but not in the 
English, on seats of equal dignity with his, on ' thrones.' 
The same scruple which dictated this change makes 
itself felt through the whole translation of the Apoca- 
lypse, and to a manifest loss. In that book is set 
forth, as nowhere else in Scripture, the hellish parody 
of the heavenly kingdom ; the conflict between the true 
King of the earth and the usurping king ; the loss, 
therefore, is evident, when for " Satan's throne^'' is 
substituted " Satan's seat'^ (ii. 13) ; for " the throne 
of the beast," " the seat of the beast" (xvi. 10). 

A great master of language will often implicitly 
refer in some word which he uses to the same word, 
or, it may be, to another of the same group or family, 
w^hich he or some one else has just used before ; and 
w^here there is evidently intended such an allusion, it 
should, wherever this is possible, be reproduced in 
the translation. There are two examples of this in 
St. Paul's discourse at Athens, both of which have 
been eifaced in our Version. Of those who encoun- 
tered Paul in the market at Athens, some said, " He 
seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods" (Acts 
xvii. 18). They use the word xara^ysXsJc:; and he, 
remembering and taking up this word, retorts it upon 
them : " Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, Him 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 75 

set I forth Q'^arayyiKh.'^i) unto you" (vcr. 23). He has 
their charge present in his mind, and this is his an- 
swer to their charge. It would more plainly appear 
such to the English reader, if the Translators, having 
used " setter forth" before, had thus returned upon 
the word, instead of substituting, as they have done, 
' declare' for it. Tlie Rheims version, which has 
* preacher' and ' preach,' after the Vulgate ' annuntia- 
tor' and ' annuntio,' has been careful to retain and 
indicate the connection. 

But the finer and more delicate turns of the divine 
rhetoric of St. Paul are more seriously affected by 
another oversight in the same verse. We make him 
there say, "As I passed by, and beheld your devo- 
tions, I found an altar with this inscription. To the 
Unknown God (a^va-Crc-j GscZ'). Whom, therefore, ye 
i^noranthj (a^voo^vrsc) worship. Him declare I unto 
you." But if anything is clear, it is that St. Paul in 
ctyvoouvre^ intends to take up the preceding a^vc^crw; 
the chime of the words, and also, probably, the fact 
of their etymological connection, leading him to this. 
He has spoken of their altar to an " Unknown God," 
and he proceeds, " whom, therefore, ye w^orship un- 
knowing^ Him declare I unto you." ' Ignorantly' has 
the further objection that it conveys more of rebuke 
than St. Paul, who is sparing his hearers to the utter- 
most, intended. 

In other passages also the point of a sentence lies 
in the recurrence and repetition of the same word, 



70 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

which yet they have failed to repeat ; as in these which 
follow : — 

1 Cor. iii. 17. — "If any man defile ((p^slpsi) the 
temple of God, him shall God destroy (cp^sps?)." It 
is the fearful law of retaliation which is here pro- 
claimed. He who ruins shall himself be ruined in 
turn. It shall be done to him, as he has done to the 
temple of God. Undoubtedly it is hard to get the 
right word, which will suit in both places. ' Corrupt' 
is the first which suggests itself; yet it would not do 
to say " If any man corrupt the temple of God, him 
shall God corrupt ^ The difficulty which our Trans- 
lators felt, it is evident that the Vulgate felt the same, 
which, in like manner, has changed its word : " Si 
quis autem templum Dei violaverit, disperdet ilium 
Deus." Yet why should not the verse be rendered, 
" If any man destroy the temple of God, him shall 
God destroy^' ? 

Matt. xxi. 41. — A difficulty of exactly the same 
kind exists here ; where yet the xaxouc: xaxwj of the 
original ought, in some way or other, to have been 
preserved ; as in this way it might very sufficiently 
be : " He will miserably destroy those miserable men." 
— Neither would it have been hard at 2 Thess. i. 6, 
to retain the play upon words, and to have rendered 
Tor^ ^JXi/SouCiv ifxac: ^xr^jv, '-'affliction to them that afflict 
you," instead of ''tribulation to them that trouble 
you," there being no connection in English between 
the words ' tribulation' and ' trouble,' though some- 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 77 

thing of a likeness in sound : while yet the very pur- 
pose of the passage is to show that what wicked men 
have measured to others shall be measured to them 
again. 

Let me indicate other examples of the same kind, 
where the loss is manifest. Thus, if at Gal. iii. 22, 
(jovix\sijsv is translated 'hath concluded,' (fvyxXsio^isvoi 
in the next verse, which takes it up, should not be 
rendered ' shut up.' The Vulgate has well, ' conclu- 
sit' and ' conclusi.' Let the reader substitute ' hath 
shut up' for ' hath concluded' in ver. 22, and then 
read the passage. He will be at once aware of the 
gain. In like manner, let liiin take Rom. vii. 7, and 
read " I had not known lust (:Vif)jjUL;av) except the law 
had said. Thou shalt not lust (oJx iTrj^j/xTjCsic:) ;" or 
Phil. ii. 13 : " It is God which icorketh (6 svspyojv) in 
you both to will and to ivork (to sv^p^erv) ;" and the 
passages will come out with a strength and clearness 
which they have not now. So, too, if at 2 Thess. ii. 6, 
TO xo.'ri'^as, is rendered " what loithholdeth^'' o xo.ri-^uv in 
the verse following should not be '' he who lettethy 
"While, undoubtedly, there is significance in the imper- 
sonal TO xflTip^ov exchanged for the personal o xaTs'p^wv, 
there can be no doubt that they refer to one and the 
same person or institution ; but this is obscured by 
the change of the word. So, too, I would have gladly 
seen the connection between Xjitojjsvo, and XciVsTai at 
Jam. i. 4, o, re})roduccd in our Version. 'Lacking' 
and ' lack,' which our previous versions liad, would 



78 " UNNECESSARY DISTINXTIONS INTRODUCED. 

have done it. The " patience and comfort of the 
Scriptures" (Rom. xv. 4) is derived from " the God 
of patience and comforC (ver. 5) ; this St. Paul would 
teach, who uses both times ira^axkridig : but there is a 
slight obscuration of the connection between the ' com- 
fort' and the Author of the ' comfort' in our Version, 
which, on the second occasion, has for ' comfort' need- 
lessly substituted ' consolation.' 

How many readers have read in the English the 
third chapter of St. John, and missed the remarkable 
connection between our Lord's words at ver. 11, and 
the Baptist's taking up of those words at ver. 32 ; 
and this because ixuprvpla is translated ' witness' on the 
former occasion, and 'testimony' on the latter! — 
Why, again, we may ask, should v[3pig xal j7]/x,'a be 
" hurt and damage" at Acts xxvii. 10 ; and " harm 
and loss," at their recurrence, ver. 21 ? Both ren- 
derings are good, and it would not much import which 
had been selected ; but whichever had been employed 
on the first occasion ought also to have been employed 
on the second. St. Paul, repeating in the midst of 
the danger the very words which he had used when 
counselling his felloAv-voyagers how they might avoid 
that danger, would remind them, that so he might 
obtain a readier hearing now, of tliat neglected warn- 
ing of his, which the sequel had only justified too well. 

These are less important, and miglit well be passed 
by, if anything could be counted unimportant which 
helps or hinders ever so little the more exact setting 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 79 

forth of the Word of God. Thus, in the parable of 
the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt. xx. 1), o/xoosC'TroTrjj 
is ^ householder,' ver. 1 ; it should scarcely be " good 
man of the house" at ver. 11.* As little should the 
<" g^ovcrnor of the feast" of John ii. 8, be " the ruler 
of the feast" in the very next verse ; or the " goodly 
apparel," of Jam. ii. 2, be the "gay clothing" of the 
verse following, the words of the original in each case 
remaining unchanged. 

Again, it would have been clearly desirable that 
where in two or even three Gospels exactly the same 
words, recording the same event or the same conver- 
sation, occur in the original, the identity should have 
been expressed by the use of exactly the same words 
in the English. This continually is not the case. 
Thus, Matt. xxvi. 41, and Mark xiv. 38, exactly cor- 
respond in the Greek, while in the translation the 
words appear in St. Matthew : " Watch and pray, that 
ye enter not into temptation ; the spirit indeed is wil- 
ling, but the flesh is weak ;" in St. Mark : " Watch 
ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation ; the spirit 
truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." So, too, in a 
quotation from the Old Testament, where two or more 
sacred writers cite it in identical words, this fact 

* Scholefield {Hints, p. 8) further objects to this last rendering: as 
having "a quaintncss in it not calculated to recommend it." But it 
had nothinf:^ of the kind at the time our Translation was made. Com- 
pare Spenser, Fairy Queen, iv. 5, 34 : — 

" There entering in, they found the goodman self 
Full busily upon his work ybent." 



80 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

ought to be reproduced in the version. It is not so 
in respect of the important quotation from Gen. xv. 6 ; 
but on the tliree occasions that it is quoted (Rom. iv. 
3 ; Gal. iii. 6 ; Jam. ii. 23) it appears with variations, 
slight, indeed, and not in the least affecting the sense, 
but yet which would better have been avoided. Again, 
the plirase off^x-^ suwfL'ac:, occurring twice in the New 
Testament, has so fixed, and, I may say, so teclinical 
a significance, referring as it does to a continually- 
recurring phrase of the Old Testament, that it sliould 
not be rendered on one occasion, " a sweet-smelling 
savor" (Eph. v. 2), on the other, " an odor of a sweet 
smell" (Phil. iv. 18). 

Sometimes interesting and important relations be- 
tween different parts of Scripture would come out 
more strongly, if what is precisely similar in the ori- 
ginal had reappeared as precisely similar in the trans- 
lation. The Epistles to the Ephesians and to the Co- 
lossians profess to have been sent from Rome to the 
East by the same messenger (cf. Eph. vi. 21,22; 
Col. iv, 7, 8) ; they were written, therefore, we may 
confidently conclude, about the same time. Wlien 
we come to examine their internal structure, this ex- 
actly bears out what under such circumstances we 
should expect in letters proceeding from the pen of 
St. Paul — great differences, but at the same time re- 
markable points of contact and resemblance, both in 
the thoughts and in the words wliich are the garment 
of the thoughts. Paley has urged tliis as an internal 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 81 

evidence for the truth of those statements which these 
Epistles make about themselves. This internal evi- 
dence doubtless exists even now for the English read- 
er ; l)ut it would press itself on his attention much 
more strongly, if the exact resemblances in the origi- 
nals had been represented by exact resemblances in 
the copies. This oftentimes has not been the case. 
Striking coincidences in language between one Epistle 
and the other, which exist in the Greek, do not exist 
in the English. For example, svipysia is * working,' 
Eph. i. 19 ; it is ' operation,' Col. ii. 12 ; roit£i\/o:ppo(f6vr\ 
is * lowliness,' Eph. iv. 2 ; " humbleness of mind," Col. 
iii. 12 ; rfi;.a;'?(,'3a^6ixevGv is ' compacted,' Eph. iv. 16 ; 
' knit together,' Col. ii. 19, with much more of the 
same kind ; as is accurately brought out by the late 
Professor Blunt,* who draws one of the chief motives 
why the Clergy should study the Scriptures in the 
original languages, from the shortcomings which exist 
in the translations of them. 

It may be interesting, before leaving this branch 
of the subject, to take a few words, and to note the 
variety of rendering to which they are submitted in 
our Version. I liave not taken them altogether at 
random, yet some of these are by no means the most 
remarkable instances in their kind. They will, how- 
ever, sufficiently illustrate the matter in hand. 

'A^ETs'w, ' to reject' (Mark vi. 26) ; ' to despise' (Luke 

* Duties of the Parish Priest, p. 71. Tlie whole section (pp. 47- 
70) is finiiicntly instnirtive. 



82 UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 

X. 16) ; ' to bring to nothing' (1 Cor. i. 19) ; ^ to frus- 
trate' (Gal. ii. 21) ; ' to disannul' (Gal. iii. 15) ; ' to 
cast off' (1 Tim. v. 12). 

'Avatfrarow, ' to turn upside down' (Acts xvii. 6) ; 
' to make an uproar' (Acts xxi. 38) ; ' to trouble' 
(Gal. V. 12). 

'AcoxotXuvj.ic:, ' revelation' (Rom. ii. 5) ; ^ manifesta- 
tion' (Rom. viii. 19) ; ' coming' (1 Cor. i. 7) ; ' ap- 
pearing' (1 Pet. i. 7). 

AsXsa^w, ' to entice' (Jam. i. 14) ; ' to beguile' (2 
Pet. ii. 14) ; ' to allure' (2 Pet. ii. 18). 

Zo;poc, ' darkness' (2 Pet. ii. 4) ; ' mist' (2 Pet. ii. 
17) ; 'blackness' (Jude 13). 

KaTap>6'c»i, ' to cumber' (Luke xiii. 7) ; ' to make with- 
out effect' (Rom. iii. 3) ; ' to make void' (Rom. iii. 31) ; 
' to make of none effect' (Rom. iv. 14) ; ' to destroy' 
(Rom. vi. 6) ; 'to loose' (Rom. vii. 2) ; 'to deliver' 
(Rom. vii. G) ; ' to bring to nought' (1 Cor. i. 8) ; ' to 
do away' (1 Cor. xiii. 10) ; ' to put away' (1 Cor. xiii. 
11) ; ' to put down' (1 Cor. xv. 24) ; ' to abolish' (2 
Cor. iii. 13). Add to these, ycciTapyioiiai, ' to come to 
nought' (1 Cor. ii. 6) ; 'to fail' (1 Cor. xiii. 8) ; 'to 
vanish away' (ibid.) ; ' to become of none effect' (Gal. 
V. 4) ; ' to cease' (Gal. v. 11) ; and we have here sev- 
enteen different renderings of this word, occurring in 
all twenty-seven times in the New Testament. 

Kara^Ti'^w, ' to mend' (Matt. iv. 21) ; ' to perfect' 
(Matt. xxi. IG) ; ' to fit' (Rom. ix. 22) ; ' to perfectly 
join together' (1 Cor. i. 10) ; ' to restore' (Gal. vi. 



UNNECESSARY DISTINCTIONS INTRODUCED. 83 

1) ; ' to prepare' (Ileb. x. 5) ; ' to frame' (Heb. xi. 3) ; 
' to make perfect' (Heb. xiii. 21). 

Kau;;(;ao|uiai, ' to make boast' (Rom. ii. 17) ; ' to re- 
joice' (Rom. V. 2) ; 'to glory' (Rom. v. 3) ; ' to joy' 
(Rom. V. 11) ; ' to boast' (2 Cor. vii. 14). 

Kpa-i'c.', ' to take' (Matt. ix. 25) ; ' to lay hold on' 
(Matt. xii. 11) ; ' to lay hands on' (Matt, xviii. 28) ; 
' to hold l\ist' (Matt. xxvi. 48) ; ' to hold' (Matt, 
xxviii. 9) ; ' to keep' (Mark ix. 10) ; ' to retain' (John 
XX. 23) ; ' to obtain' (Acts xxvii. 13). 

napaxa-Xsw, ' to comfort' (Matt. ii. 18) ; ' to beseech' 
(Matt. Tiii. 5) ; ' to desire' (Matt, xviii. 32) ; ' to pray' 
(Matt. xxvi. 53) ; ' to entreat' (Luke xv. 28) ; ' to ex- 
hort' (Acts ii. 40) ; ' to call for' (Acts xxviii. 20). 

Let me once more observe, in leaving this part of 
the subject, that I would not for an instant imply that 
in all these places one and the same English word 
could have been employed, but only that the variety 
might have been much smaller than it is. 



84 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 



CHAPTER Y. 

ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

If it is impossible, as was shown at the beginning 
of the last chapter, in every case to render one word 
in the original by one word and no more in the trans- 
lation, equally impossible is it to render in every case 
different words in the original by different words in 
the translation. It will continually happen that one 
language possesses, and fixes in words, distinctions 
of which another takes no note. The more subtile- 
thoughted a people are, the finer and more numerous 
the differences will be which they will thus have seized, 
and to which they will have given permanence in 
words. "What can an English translator do to ex- 
press the distinction, oftentimes very significant, be- 
tween dvri^ and av&^wjtos? — the honor which lies often 
ill the first (Acts xiii. 16 ; xvii. 22), the slight which 
is intended to be conveyed in the second (Matt. xxvi. 
72) ? At this point the Latin language, with ' vir' 
and ' homo,' is a match for the Greek, but not so our 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 85 

own. Ill like manner the differences, oftentimes in- 
structive, occasionally important, between Upov and 

vao'f, fSios and ^w»;, aXXo^ and sVs^oj:, viog and xorivocr, akr,Dr,g 

and aX-A;^ivo<:, (piXs'o) and a^a-raw, mostly disappear, and 
there seems no help but that they must disappear, in 
any English translation of the Greek Testament. Such 
facts remind us that language, divine gift to man as 
it is, yet working itself out through human faculties 
and powers, has cleaving to it a thousand marks of 
weakness, and infirmity, and limitation. 

To take an example of this, the obliteration of dis- 
tinctions, which is quite unavoidable, or which could 
only have been avoided at the cost of greater losses 
in some other direction, and to deal with it somewhat 
more in detail — the distinction between "AiSr,g, the 
under-world, the receptacle of the departed, and 
ys'svva, the place of torment, quite disappears in our 
Version. They are both translated ' hell,' a^jris being 
so rendered ten times, and yiswa twelve ; the only at- 
tempt to give ad-rig a word of its own, being at 1 Cor. 
XV. 55, where it is translated ' grave.' The confusion 
of which this is the occasion is serious ; tliough how 
it could have been avoided, or how it would be pos- 
sible now to get rid of it, I do not in tlie least per- 
ceive. It would not be possible to render u'hs, wher- 
ever it occurs, by ' grave,' thus leaving * hell' as the 
rendering of ysswa. only ; for see Matt. xi. 23 ; xvi. 
18, the first two }>laces of its occurrence, where this 
}>lainly would not suit. On the other hand, the popu- 



86 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

lar sense links the name of ' hell' so closely with the 
place of torment, that it would not answer to keep 
' heir for a'hs, and to look out for some other render- 
ing of /csvva, to say nothing of the difficulty or impos- 
sibility of finding one ; for certainly ' gehenna,' which 
I have seen proposed, would not do. The French 
have, indeed, adopted the word, though it is only 
* gene' to tliem ; and Milton has once used it in poetry ; 
but it can not in any sense be said to be an English 
word. It is much to be regretted that ' hades' has 
never been thoroughly naturalized among us. The 
language wants the word, and in it the true solution 
of the difficulty might liave been found. 

Yet freely granting all wliich this example illus- 
trates, it is evident that the forces and capacities of a 
language should be stretched to the uttermost, the 
riches of its synonyms thoroughly searched out ; and 
not till this is done, not till its resources prove plainly 
inadequate to the task, ought translators to acquiesce 
in the disappearance from their copy, of distinctions 
which existed in the original from which that copy 
was made, or to count that, notwithstanding this dis- 
appearance, they have done all that lay in them to 
do. More assuredly might have been here accom- 
plished than has by our Translators been attempted, 
as I will endeavor by a few examples to prove. 

Thus, one must always regret, and the regret has 
been often expressed, that in the Apocalypse our 
Translators should have rendered ^tj^Iov and Jwov by 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 87 

the same word, ' beast.' Botli play important parts 
in the book ; both belong to its higher symljolism ; 
but to portions the most different. The ^wa or " liv- 
ing creatures," which stand before the throne, in which 
dwells the fullness of all creaturely life, as it gives 
praise and glory to God (iv. 6, 7, 8, 9 ; v. 6 ; vi. 1 ; 

and often) form part of the heavenhj symbolism ; the 

• 

<5ii^<a, the first beast and the second, which rise up, one 

from the bottomless pit (xi. 7), the other from the 
sea (xiii. 1), of which the one makes war upon the 
two Witnesses, the other opens his mouth in blasphe- 
mies, these form part of the hellish symbolism. To 
confound these and those under a common designa- 
tion, to call those • beasts' and these ' beasts,' would 
be an oversight, even granting the name to be suita- 
ble to both ; it is a more serious one, when the word 
used, bringing out, as this must, the predominance of 
the lower animal life, is applied to glorious creatures 
in the very court and presence of Heaven. The error 
is common to all the translations. That the Rheims 
should not have escaped it is strange ; for the Vulgate 
renders ^wa by ' animalia' (' animantia' would liave 
been still better), and only ^v]pi'ov by ' bestia.' If ^wa 
had always been rendered '' living creatures," this 
would have had the additional advantage of setting 
these symbols of the Apocalypse, even for the English 
reader, in an unmistakable connection with Ezok. i. 
5, 13, 14, and often ; where '' living creature" is tlio 
rendering in our English Version of n^rtj fi« ?^^^ is in 
the Septungint. 



88 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

In like manner, in the parable of the Marriage of 
the King's Son (Matt. xxii. 1-14), the <JouXoi who sum- 
mon the bidden guests (ver. 3,4), and the yjaxovoi who 
in the end expel the unworthy intruder (ver. 13), 
should not have been confounded under the common 
name of ' servants.' A real and important distinction 
between the several actors in the parable is in this 
way obliterated. The (^ouXo» are men^ the ambassadors 
of Christ, those that invite their fellow-men to the 
blessings of the kingdom of heaven ; but the ^jaxovoi 
are angels, those that " stand by" (Luke xix. 24), 
ready to fulfil the Divine judgments, and whom we 
ever find the executors of these judgments in the day 
of Christ's appearing. They are as distinct from one 
another as the " servants of the householder," who in 
like manner are men, and the ' reapers,' who are an- 
gels, in the parable of the Tares (Matt. xiii. 27, 30). 
In the Vulgate the distinction which we have lost is 
preserved ; the hZ\oi are ' servi,' the ^i ^xovoi ' ministri ;' 
and all our early translations in like manner rendered 
the words severally by ' servants' and ' ministers ;' 
the Rheims by ' servants' and ' waiters.' 

There is a very real distinction between v-tridrla and 
a'Tfs'ikia. It is often urged by our elder divines ; I re- 
member more than one passage in Jackson's works 
where it is so ; but it is not constantly observed by 
our Translators. 'A'^arlci is, I believe, always and 
rightly rendered, ' unbelief,' while a-Trsi'^Jsja is in most 
cases rendered, and rightly, ' disobedience ;' but on 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 89 

two occasions (Hob. iv. 6, 11) it also is translated 
* unbelief.' In like manner, diri(frs7v is properly '• to 
refuse belief, ^^ uT^sidslv "to refuse obedience;''' but 
diesiSsTv is often in our Translation allowed to run into 
the sense of drrKTrsTv, as at John. iii. 36 ; Acts xir. 2 ; 
xix. 9 ; Rom. xi. 80 (the right translation in the 
margin) ; and yet, as I have said, the distinction is 
real ; d-ff^iStia. or disobedience is the consequence of 
drtKr-Tiu or unbelief; they are not identical with one 
anotlier. 

Again, there was no possible reason why (focpog and 
(ppov»,aoff should not have been kept asunder, and the 
real distinction which exists between them in the 
original maintained also in our Version. We possess 
' wise' for (fo:p6g, and ' prudent' for (ppoviixog. It is true 
that c^vjroc has taken possession of * prudent,' but 
ini^-lit liave better been rendered by ' understanding.' 
Our Translators have thrown away their advantage, 
rendering, I believe in every case, both co^oc: and 
(^povii^og by ' wise,' although in no single instance are 
the words interchangeable. The (?povi,aoj is one who 
dexterously adapts his means to his ends (Luke xvi. 
8), the word expressing nothing in respect of the 
ends themselves, whether they are worthy or not; 
the (fo:p6g is one whose means and ends are alike wor- 
thy. God is (fo:pos (Jude 25) ; wicked men may be 
(p^o'vi.ao(, while Cofo', except in the (focpia rov xoV/aou, they 
could never be. How much would have been gained 
at Luke xvi. 8, if (?)^oyi|jLwc: had been rendered, not 



90 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

' wisely,' but ' prudently ;' how much needless offence 
would have been avoided ! 

The standing word which St. Paul uses to express 
the forgiveness of sins is a^psi^is u^a^nCJv ; but on one 
remarkable occasion he changes his word, and instead 
of a(ps(fis employs -Tra^scfic: (Rom. iii. 25). Our Transla- 
tors take no note of the very noticeable substitution, 
but render 'rrapcfiv ap^^rjwv, or rather here ajxa|r7]|Lca.Twv, 
'^ remission of sins," as everywhere else they have 
rendered the more usual phrase. But it was not for 
nothing that St. Paul used here quite another word. 
He is speaking of quite a different thing ; he is speaking, 
not of the ' remission' of siiis, or the letting of them 
quite go, but of tlio ' prastermission' QitSl^sc^is from 
•^«^'V0? the passing of them by on the part of God 
for a while, the temporary dissimulation upon his part, 
which found place under the Old Covenant, in consid- 
eration of the sacrifice which was one day to be. 
The passage is further obscured by the fact that our 
Translators have rendered Sil rriv -Tta^saiv as though it 
had been 5^1 t^? ita^k s'^jg — "/or the remission," that 
is, with a view to the remission, wiiile the proper ren- 
dering of (5<a, with an accusative, would, of course, 
have been " because of the remission," or rather " the 
pretermission," or, as Hammond proposes, " because 
of the passing- by, of past sins." What the Apostle 
would say is this : " There needed a signal manifesta- 
tion of the righteousness of God on account of the 
long pretermission, or passing by, of sins in his infi- 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 91 

iiitc forbearance, with no adequate expression of his 
righteous wrath against them, during all those ages 
which preceded the revelation of Christ : which mani- 
festation of his righteousness at length found place, 
when He set forth no other and no less than his own 
Son to be the propitiatory sacrifice for sin." But the 
passage, as we have it now, can not be said to yield 
this meaning. 

There are two occasions on which a multitude is 
miraculously fed by our Lord ; and it is not a little 
remarkable that on the first occasion in every narra- 
tive, and there are four records of the miracle, the 
word xo(pjvoj is used of the baskets in which the frag- 
ments which remain are gathered up (Matt. xiv. 20 ; 
Mark vi. 43 ; Luke ix. 17 ; John vi. 13) ; while on 
occasion of the second miracle, in the two records 
which are all that we have of it, rf-r-jpiV is used (Matt. 
XV. 37 ; Mark viii. 8) ; and in proof that this is not 
accidental see Matt. xvi. 9, 10 ; Mark viii. 19, 20. 
The fact is a slight, yet not unimportant, testimony 
to the entire distinctness of the two miracles, and that 
we have not here, as some of the modern assailants 
of the liistorical accuracy of the Gospels assure us, 
two confused traditions of one and the same event. 
What the exact distinction between xo^pivoj and c-rupic: 
is, may be hard to determine, and it may not be very 
easy to suggest what second word should have marked 
this distinction ; yet I can not but think that where, 
not merely the Evangelists in their narrative, but the 



92 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

Lord in his allusion to the event, so distinctly marks 
a difference, we should have attempted to mark it 
also, as the Vulgate by ' cophini' and ^ sparta3' has 
done. 

Again, our Translators obliterate, for the most part, 
the distinction between iraTg Gsov and lIo; 0£oi~, as ap- 
plied to Christ. There are five passages in the New 
Testament in which the title iruT; ©sou is given to the 
Son of God. In the first of these (Matt. xii. 18) they 
have rendered TraH: by ' servant ;' and they would have 
done well if they had abode by this in the other four. 
These all occur in the Acts, and in every one of them 
the notion of ' servant' is abandoned, and ' son' (Acts 
iii. 13, 26), or ' child' (Acts iv. 27, 30), introduced. 
I am persuaded tliat in this they were in error, 
riarcr 0£o{J might be rendered " servant of God," and I 
am persuaded that it ought. It miglit bo, for it needs 
not to say "TtaTg is continually used like the Latin ' puer' 
in the sense of servant, and in the LXX. i:^a7g Gsov as 
the " servant of God." David calls himself so no 
less than seven times in 2 Sam. vii. ; cf. Luke i. 69; 
Acts iv. 25; Job i. 8; Ps. xix. 12, 14. But not 
merely it might have been thus rendered ; it also 
should have been, as these reasons convince me: 
Every student of propliecy must have noticed how 
much there is in Isaiah prophesying of Christ under 
the aspect of " the servant of the Lord ;" " Israel my 
servant;'^ "my servant whom I uphold" (Isai. xlii. 
1-7 ; xlix. 1-12 ; Iii. 13 ; liii. 12). I say, prophesy- 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 93 

ing of Christ ; for I dismiss, as a baseless dream of 
those who a pri >ri arc determined that there are, and 
therefore shall be, no prophecies in Scripture, the no- 
tion tliat " the servant of Jehovah" in Isaiah is Israel 
according to the flesh, or Isaiah himself, or the body 
of the prophets collectively considered, or any other 
except Christ Himself. But it is quite certain, from 
the inner harmonies of the Old Testament and the 
New, that wherever there is a large group of prophe- 
cies in the Old, there is some allusion to them in the 
New. Unless, however, we render iralg CdsoZ by " ser- 
vant of God" in the place where that phrase occurs 
in the New, there will be no allusion throughout it all 
to that group of prophecies which designate the Mes- 
siah as the servant of Jehovah, wlio learned obedience 
by the things which He suffered. I can not doubt, 
and, as far as I know, this is the conclusion of all who 
have considered the subject, that -Trar^ ©sou should bo 
rendered " servant of God," as often as in the New 
Testament it is used of Christ. His sonship will re- 
main sufficiently declared in innumerable other pas- 
sages. 

Something of precision and beauty is lost at John 
X. 16, by rendering auX-;j and -Tro.'fxvr) both by ' fold :' 
" And other sheep I have, which are not of tliis fold 
(aj\~r,i) ; these also I must bring, and they shall hear 
my voice ; and there shall be one fold Qzol^M-rt^^ and 
one shepherd.' It is remarkable that in the Vulgate 
there is the same obliteration of the distinction be- 



94 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

twecn the two words, ' ovile' standing for both. Sub- 
stitute ' flock' for ' fold' on the second occasion of its 
occurring (this was Tyndale's rendering, which we 
should not have forsaken), and it will be at once felt 
liow much the verse will gain. The Jew and the 
Gentile are the two ' folds,' which Christ, the Good 
Shepherd, will gather into a single ' flock.' 

As a further example, take John xvii. 12 : " While 
I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy 
name. Those that Thou gavcst me I have kept, and 
none of them is lost." It is not a great matter, yet 
who would not gather from this ' kept' recurring twice 
in this verse, that there must be also in the original 
some word of the like recurrence ? Yet it is not so ; 
the first ' kept' is £T7;^ouv, and the second s^jXa^a : nor 
are ttj^su/ and {puXao'Ctiv here such mere synonyms, that 
the distinction between them may be efiaced without 
loss. The first is ' servare,' or better, ' conservare,' 
the second ' custodire ;' and the first, the keeping or 
preserving, is the consequence of the second, the 
guarding. What the Lord would say is : "I so guard- 
ed, so protected (s^u^a^a), those whom Thou hast 
given me, that I kept and preserved them (this the 
T';;py](ric:) unto the present day." ThusLampe: "<r>]p£rv 
est generalius, vitaeque novjB finalem conservationem 
potest exprimere ; (pjXarfcrsiv vero specialius mediorum 
pragstationem, per qua3 finis ille obtinetur." He 
quotes excellently to the point, Prov. xix. 6 : hg 



ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 95 

Before leaving this branch of the subject, I will 
give one or two examples more of the way in which 
a single word in the English does duty for many in 
the Greek. Thus, take the words 'thought' and 
* think.' The Biblical psychology is anyhow a sub- 
ject encumbered with most serious perplexities. He 
finds it so, and often sees his way but obscurely, who 
has all the helps which the most accurate observation 
and comparison of the terms actually used by the sa- 
cred writers will afford. Of course, none but the 
student of the original document can have these helps 
in their fullness ; at the same time it scarcely needed 
that ' thought' should be employed as the rendering 
alike of i\/&jixy}(fig (Matt. ix. 4), SiaXoyKf^oc: (Matt. xv. 
19), (JiavoTijaa (Luke xi. 17), e-TTi'voia (Acts viii. 22), 
XoyK^txog (Rom. ii. 15), and vovj^jua (2 Cor. x. 5) ; or that 
the verb " to think" should in. the passages which fol- 
low be the one English representative of a still wider 
circle of words, of ooxiuj (Matt. iii. 9), vo^il^u (Matt. 
V. 17), £v5u/xs'ojxai (Matt. ix. 4), SicxXoyi^rj^ai (Luke xii. 
17), ^jev^ufxeVa' (Acts X. 19), uitovoew (Acts xiii. 25), 

riyiofxai (Acts XXVi. 2), x^/vw (Acts XXvi. 8), (p^ovs'w 

(Rom. xii. 3), Xo/ijofxai (2 Cor. iii. 5), vos'w (Ephes. 
iii. 20), c)'o.aai (Jam. i. 7). 

One example more. The verb " to trouble" is a 
very favorite one with our Translators. There are 
no less than ten Greek words or phrases which it is 
employed by them to render ; these, namely : xoVou? 
ffapc'^^oj (Matt. xxvi. 10),(rx:.'XXw (Mark v. 35),(5iaTapa(j'(3'cd 



96 ON SOME REAL DISTINCTIONS EFFACED. 

(Luke i. 29), rvp(3a^u) (Luke x. 41), -Tfapsvo^j^xiw (Acts 

XV. 19), 6o^v(3ioixai (Acts XX. 10), TaparfCw (Gal. i. 7), 
dvaCTarrJw (Gal. V. 12), ^Xi/5w (2 Thcss. i. 6), svoxXs'w 

(Heb. xii. 15). If we add to these sxrapacfo'w, "ex- 
ceedingly to trouble" (Acts xvi. 20), ^posV«', " to be 
troubled" (Matt. xxiv. G), the word will do duty for 
110 fewer than twelve Greek words. Now, the Eng- 
lish language may not be so rich in synonyms as the 
Greek ; but with ' vex,' ' harass,' ' disturb,' ' distress,' 
' afflict,' ' disquiet,' ' unsettle,' ^ burden,' ' terrify ;' al- 
most every one of which would in one of the above 
places or other seem to me more appropriate than the 
w^ord actually employed, I can not admit that the pov- 
erty or liniiled resources of our language left no choice 
here, but to efface all the distinctions between these 
words, as by the employment of ' trouble' for them all 
has, in these cases at least, been done. 



ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN. 97 



CHAPTER YI. 

ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN, OR PLACED 
IN THE MARGIN. 

Occasionally, but rarely, our Translators dismiss 
a better rendering, wliicli was in one or more of the 
earlier versions, and replace it with a w^orse. It may- 
be said of their Version, in regard of those which went 
before, that it occupies very much tlie place which 
the Vulgate did in regard of the Latin versions pre- 
ceding. In the whole, an immense improvement, 
wliile yet in some minor details they are more ac- 
curate than it. This is so in the passages which 
follow. 

Matt, xxviii. 14. — "And if this come to the gov- 
enior's cars, we will persuade him, and secure you." 
The Geneva version, but that alone among the previ- 
ous ones, had given the passage rightly : " And if this 
come before the governor (xa/ sav dxou(rSf, toCto iiri tou 
>;/ e/jLcvoj ) , we will pacify him, and save you harmless." 
The words of the original liave reference to a judicial 
5 



98 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN, 

hearing of the matter before the governor (" si res 
apud ilium judicem agatiir," Erasmus), and not to the 
possibility of its reaching his ears by hearsay, but this 
our Translation fails to express. In ■jrs'o'o/j.sv, I may 
observe, lies a euphemism by no means rare in Hel- 
lenistic Greek (see Krebs, Obss. e Josepho^ in loco) : 
*' We will take effectual means to persuade him ;" as, 
knowing the covetous, greedy character of the man, 
they were able confidently to promise. 

Mark xi. 17. — " Is it not written. My house shall 
be called, of all nations^ the house of prayer? but ye 
have made it a den of thieves." In Tyndale's ver- 
sion, in Cranmer's, and the Geneva : " My house shall 
be called the house of prayer unto all nations ; but 
ye," &c., and rightly. There is no difficulty what- 
ever in giving ■jrao'j Toig Uvz(ii, a dative rather than an 
ablative sense ; while thus the passage is brought into 
exact agreement with that in Isaiah, to which Christ, 
in his " it is written," refers, namely, Isai. Ivi. 7 ; 
and, moreover, the point of his words is preserved, 
which the present translation misses. Our Lord's in- 
dignation was aroused in part at the profanation of 
the holy precincts of his Father's house ; but in part, 
also, by the fact that, the scene of this profanation 
being the Court of the Gentiles, the Jews have thus 
managed to testify their contempt for them, and for 
their share in the blessings of the Covenant. Those 
parts of the temple which were exclusively their own, 
the Court of the Priests, and the Court of Israelites, 



OR PLACED IN TEiE MARGIN. 99 

tliey had kept clear of these buyers and sellers ; but 
that part assigned to the Gentile worshippers, the 
tfs/Soxivoi Tov Bgc'v, they were little concerned about the 
profanation to which it was exposed, perhaps pleased 
with it rather. In a righteous indignation Christ 
quotes the words of the prophet, which they had done 
all that in them lay to defeat : " My house shall be 
called the house of prayer unto all nations ;" all which 
intention on his part in the citation of the prophecy 
our Version fails to preserve. Mede* ascribes to the 
influence of Beza this alteration, which is certainly 
one for the worse. 

Ephes. iv. 18. — " Because of the blindness of their 
hearts." The Geneva version had given this rightly, 
" because of the hardness of their heart ;" which bet- 
ter rendering our Translators forsake, being content 
to place it in the margin. But there can be no doubt 
that cujpw(rij is from the substantive 'xCjpog, a porous 
kind of stone, and from -r^po:^, to become callous, hard, 
or stony (Mark vi. 52 ; John xii. 40 ; Rom. xi. 7 ; 2 
Cor. iii. 14) ; not from cw^oV, blind. How much bet- 
ter, too, this agrees with what follows — " who being 
past feeling-''' (that is, having, through their hardness 
or callousness of heart, arrived at a condition of mis- 
eral)le avaicrc'yitfi'a), "have given themselves over to 
work all uncleanness with greediness." I may ob- 
serve that at Rom. xi. 7, they have in like manner 
put ' blinded' in the text, and ' hardened,' the correct 

Works, p. 45. 



100 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN, 

rendering of s-Trwpw^rjcrav, in the margin ; while at 2 Cor. 
iii. 16, where they translate aXX' s-rcipw^*] -rot vo-^jixara 
aoTOJv, *' but tlieir minds ivere blinded,^^ the correcter is 
not even offered as an alternative rendering. Wiclif 
and the Rheims, which both depend on the Vulgate 
(" sed obtusi sunt sensus eorum"), are here the only 
correct versions. 

1 Thess. V. 22 — "Abstain from all appearance of 
evil." An injurious translation of the words, diro 
'Ka.Mrhc. s]5ovc: itovripov d'jt5-)(S(f&£, and a going back from the 
right translation, "Abstain from all kind of evil," 
which the Geneva version had. It is from the realify 
of evil, and t!5% here means this (see a good note in 
Hammond), not from the appearance, which God's 
"Word elsewhere commands us to abstain ; nor does it 
here command anything else. Indeed, there are times 
w^hen, so far from abstaining from all appearance of 
evil, it will be a part of Christian courage not to ab- 
stain from such. It was an " appearance of evil" in 
the eyes of the Pharisees, when our Lord healed on 
the Sabbath, or showed himself a friend of publicans 
and sinners ; but Christ did not therefore abstain from 
this or from that. How many " appearances of evil," 
which he might have abstained from, yet did not, must 
St. Paul's ow^n conversation have presented in the 
eyes of the zealots for the ceremonial law ! I was 
once inclined to think that our Translators used ' ap- 
pearance' here as we miglit now use ' form,' and that 
we therefore had here an obsolete, not an inaccurate, 



OR PLACED IN THE MARGIN. 101 

rendering ; but I can find no authority for this use of 
the word. 

Ileb. xi. 13. — " These all died in faitli ; not having 
r. cjived the promises ; but having seen thcni afar oft", 
and were persuaded of tliem, and embracpcl them." 
]3ut witli all re?})ect be it said, this " embracinfr the 
promises" was the very thing wliicli tlie worthies of 
the Old Testament did not do ; and which the sacred 
writer is urging throughout tluit they did not do, who 
only saw them from afar, as things distant and not 
near. Our present rendering is an unfortunate going 
back from Tyndale's and Cranmer's " saluted them," 
from Wiclif 's " greeted them," The beautiful image 
of mariners homeward-bound, who recognise from afar 
the promontories and well-known features of a beloved 
land, and ' greet' or ' salute' these from a distance, is 
lost to us. Estius : " Chrysostomus dictum putat ex 
metaphora navigantium qui ex longinquo prospiciunt 
civitates desideratas, quas antequam ingrediantur et 
inhabitent, salutatione pra^veniunt." Of. Virgil, JSn., 
iii. 524 :— 

"Italiam lajto socii clainorc salutant.'* 

In other respects our Version is unsatisfactory. The 
words, " and were persuaded of them," have no right 
to a place in the text ; while the " afar off" ('7rop|oj(3cv) 
belongs not to the seeing alone, but to the saluting as 
well. How beautifully the verse would read thus 
amended! '' These all died in faith; not having re- 
ceived the promises, but having seen and saluted them 



102 

from afar." We have exactly such a salutation from 
afar in the words of the dying Jacob : " I have waited 
for thy salvation, Lord" (Gen. xlix. 18). 

1 Pet. i. 17. — "And \^ ye call on the Father, who 
without respect of persons judgeth according to every 
man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in 
fear." Here, too, it must be confessed, that we have 
left a better, and chosen a worse, rendering. The 
Geneva had it, "And if ye call Him Father, who 
without respect of persons," &c. ; and this, and this 
only, is the meaning which the words of the original, 

xa/ £j ITaTspa S'TTixaXsrc^s <rov d'7rpofl'w<rroX?j'7rTwj xpivovra, x.t.X., 

will bear. 

It must not be supposed from what has been here 
adduced that our Translators did not exercise a very 
careful revision of the translations preceding. In ev- 
ery page of their work there is evidence that they did 
so. Yery often our Authorized Version is the first 
that has seized the true meaning of a passage. It 
would be easy for me to bring forward many passages 
in proof, only that my task is here, passing over the 
hundred excellencies, to fasten rather on the single 
fault ; and I must therefore content myself witli one 
or two illustrations of this. Tims, at Heb. iv. 1, none 
of the preceding versions, neither our own, nor the 
Rheims, had correctly given xaraXsi-sroixsviij sifoiyysXias: 
they all translate it " forsaking the promise," or some- 
thing similar, instead of, as we have rightly done, " a 
promise being left us." Ag'ain, at Acts xii. 19, the 



OR PLACED IN THE MARGIN. 103 

technical meaning of a'ra;^^7,va», that it signifies to be 
led away to execution, is wholly missed by Tyndale 
(" he examined tlie keepers and commanded to de- 
parC^ )^ by Cranmer, and the Rheims ; it is only par- 
tially seized by the Geneva version, but perfectly by 
our Translators. Far more important than this is the 
clear recognition of the personality of the Word in 
the prologue of St. John by our Translators : " All 
things were made by Himf '' In Him was life" (John 
i. 3, 4) ; while in all our preceding versions it is read, 
" All things were made by zY," and so on. Our Ver- 
sion is the first which gives (ruva>j^o'fA£vog (Acts i. 4) 
rightly. 

Improvements are also very frequent in single words 
and phrases, even where those which were displaced 
were not absolutely incorrect. Thus, how much bet- 
ter " earnest expectation" (Rom. viii. 19) than " fer- 
vent desire," as a rendering of d-roxapaJoxia ; ' tattlers' 
instead of ' triflers,' as a rendering of (pXuapo< (1 Tim. 
V. 13 ; indeed, the latter could hardly be said to be 
correct.* " Whited sepulchres" is an improvement 
upon '^painted sepulchres" (Ti^oj xc^ovi • eve/, Matt, 
xxiii. 27), which all our preceding versions had. 
" Without distraction'^ (1 Cor. vii. 35) is a far better 
rendering of >^-- < -rc-ug than "without spparation.''^ 
It was slovenly to introduce ' Candy,' the modern 

* Unless, indeed, ' trifler' once meant " utterer of trifles," and thus 
* tattler ;' which may perlm i^ be, as I observe in the fragment of a 
Nominale published by Wright, National Antiquities, vol. i., p. 216, 
' nugigerulus' given as the Latin equivalent of ' trifler.' 



104 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN, 

name of Crete, which all the Anglican versions before 
our own had done at Acts xxvii. 7,12, 21 ; but which 
in ours is removed. " Profane person'' is a singularly 
successful rendering of (Bi'i^y] o; (Heb. xii. IG), while 
yet none of our preceding versions had lighted upon 
it ; at the same time it is possible that we ourselves 
owe it to the Rheims, where it first appears. 

But, further, our Translators sometimes put a bet- 
ter rendering in the margin, and retain a worse in the 
text. It may perhaps be urged that here at least they 
offer the better to the reader's choice. But practi- 
cally this can not be said to be the case. For, in the 
first place, the proportion of our Bibles is very small 
which are printed with these marginal variations, as 
compared with those in which they are suppressed. 
They are thus brought under the notice of very few 
among the readers of Scripture, not to say that by 
these they are very rarely referred to. How many, 
for instance, among these even know of the existence 
of a variation so important as that at John iii. 3 ? 
And even if they do refer, they commonly attach com- 
paratively little authority, to them. They acquiesce 
for the most part, and naturally acquiesce, in the ver- 
dict of the Translators about them ; who, by placing 
them in the margin, and not in the text, evidently 
declare that they consider them the less probable ren- 
derings. Then, too, of course, they are never heard 
in the public services of the Church, which must al- 



OR PLACED IN THE MARGIN. 105 

ways be a chief source of the popular knowledge of 
Scripture. It is impossil^le, then, to attach to a right 
interpretation in tlie maigin any serious value, as re- 
dressing an erroneous or imperfect one in the text, 
^rorpnal variations arc quite witliout influence as 
modifying the view wliich the body of English readers 
tiike of any passages in the Engliirh Bible ; and this 
leads me to observe tliat the suggestion which has 
been sometimes made of a large addition to these, as 
a middle way and compromise between leaving our 
Version as it is, and introducing actual changes into 
its text, does not seem to me to contain any real so- 
lution of our difficulties, not to say tliat it would be 
attended with many and most serious objections. 

But to return. The following are passages in which 
I can not doubt that we have placed the better ren- 
dering; in the margin, the worse in tlie text : — 

Matt. V. 21. — " Ye have heard that it was said by 
them of old time." This rendering of f^lr^h to^^ d^aloig 
is grammatically defensil3le, while yet there can be no 
reasonable doubt that " to them of old time," which was 
in all the preceding versions, but which our Transla- 
tors have dismissed to the margin, ought to relume its 
place in the text. 

Matt. ix. 36. — "They fainted and were scattered 
abroad, as sheep having no shcplierd." But " scat- 
tered abroad" does not exactly express s^^ija.afvoj, any 
more than does the ' zcrstreut' of Luther's version. 
It is not their dispersion one from another, but their 



106 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN, 

prostration in themselves, which is intended. The 
J^^jfA|xsvoj arc the ' prostrati,' ' temere projecti ;' those 
that have cast themselves along for very weariness, 
unable to travel any farther. The Yulgate had it 
rightly, 'jacentes,' which Wiclif follows, "lying 
down." Our present rendering dates as far back as 
Tyndale, and was retained in the subsequent versions ; 
while the correct translation is relegated to the mar- 
gin. 

Matt. X. 16. — "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, 
and harmless as doves." Wiclif, following the Yul- 
gate, had "•simple as doves." ' Simple' our Transla- 
tors have dismissed to the margin ; they ought to have 
kept it in the text, as rightly they have done at Rom. 
xvi. 19. The rendering of axi^mog by ' harmless' here 
and at Phil. ii. 15, grows out of wrong etymology, as 
though it were from d and xi^a?, one who had no horn 
with which to push or otherwise hurt. Thus, Bengel, 
who falls in with this error, glosses here : " Sine 
cornu, ungula, dente, aculeo." But this " without 
horn" would be dx'paTog; while the true derivation of 
dxi^aioc;, it needs hardly be said, is from a and xs^dvwiii, 
unminglcd, sincere, and thus single, guileless, simple, 
without all folds. How much finer the antithesis in 
this way becomes ! " Be ye therefore wise (' prudent' 
would be better) as serpents, and simple as doves" — 
having care, that is, that this prudence of yours do 
not degenerate into artifice and guile ; letting the 
columbine simplicity go hand in hand with the ser- 



OR PLACED IN THE JIARGIN. 107 

pentine prudence. The exact parallel will then be 
1 Cor. xiv. 20. 

Mark vi. 20. — "For Herod feared John, knowing 
that he Was a just man and an holy, and observed him.''^ 
This may be after Erasmus, who renders xa; (fwsr-fjpsi 
ajTov, " et magni cum facicbat ;" so, too, Grotius and 
others. Now, it is undoubtedly true that Cuvrrjpsrv to, 
dixa.icx. (Polybius, iv. 60, 10) would be rightly trans- 
lated " to observe things righteous ;" but here it is 
not things, but a person, and no such rendering is 
admissible. Translate rather, as in our margin, " kept 
him or saved him," that is, from the malice of Hero- 
dias ; ^he laid plots for the Baptist's life, but up to 
this time Herod Cuvc-rrp.-j, sheltered or preserved, him 
(" custodiebat cum," the Yulgate rightly), so that her 
malice could not reach him. See Hammond, in loco. 
It will at once be evident in how much stricter logical 
sequence the statement of the Evangelist will follow, 
if this rendering of the passage is admitted. 

Mark vii. 4. — ' Tables.^ This can not be correct : 
our Translators have put ^ beds' in the margin, against 
which rendering of xx<vwv nothing can be urged, ex- 
cept that the context points clearly here to these in a 
special aspect, namely, to the ' benches' or ' couches' 
on which the Jews reclined at their meals. 

Luke xvii. 21. — " The kingdom of heaven is loithin 
you''' Doubtless, the words l^rlg vfxuv may mean this ; 
but how could the Lord address this language to the 
Pharisees ? A very different kingdom from the king- 



108 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN 



dom of heaven was within them, not to say that this 
whole language of the kingdum of heaven being within 
men, rather than men being within the kingdom of 
heaven, is, as one has justly observed, modern. The 
marginal readhig, " among you," should have been 
tlie textual. " He in whom the whole kingdom of 
heaven is shut up as in a germ, and from whom it will 
unfold itself, stands in your midsty 

Col. ii. 18. — " Let no man beguile you of your re- 
vmrd.^'' It is evident that this xaTa/Spa/SsuaVw ufjia^ 
seriously perplexed our early translators, and indeed 
otiiers besides them. Thus, in the earlier Italic we 
find, " vos superet ;** in the Vulgate, '' vos decipiat ;" 
Tyndale translates, " make you shoot at a wrong- 
mark ;" the Geneva, " bear rule over you ;" while our 
Translators have proposed as an alternative reading to 
that which they admit into the text, "judge against 
you." The objection to this rendering, which marks 
more insight into the true character of the word than 
any which went before, is that it is too obscure, and 
does not sufficiently tell its own story. The meaning 
of ;'5pa/3s.'sjv is, to adjudge a reward ; of xa=ra/3pa/3£Jsiv, 
out of a hostile mind (this is implied in the xara), to 
adjudge it away from a person, with a subaudition 
that this is the person to whom it is justly due. Je- 
rome (ad Alg^as. Qu. 10) does not quite seize the 
moaning ; for he regards the xara/Spa/Ssjwv as the com- 
petitor who unjustly bears away, not the judge who 
unjustly ascribes, the reward : otherwise his explana- 



OR PLACED IN THE MARGIN. 109 

tion is good : " Nemo adversura vos bravinm accipiat : 
hoc enim Gra)ce dicitur xctTa/'^pa'SeusVw, quum qiiis in 
certamiiie positus, iniqnitatc agonothctse, vel insidiis 
magistrorum, (^fa/^sw et palmam sibi debitam perdit." 
It is impossible for any English word to express the 
fullness of allusion contained in the original Greek ; 
while long circumlocutions, which should turn the 
version in fact into a commentary, are clearly inad- 
missible. If "judge against you" is too obscure, and 
too little of an English idiom, and ''judge away the 
reward from you" would underlie the second at least 
of these objections, the substitution of ' deprive' for 
' beguile' (which last has certainly no claim to stand), 
might, in case of a revision, be desirable. 

1 Thess. iv. 6. — " Let no man go beyond or defraud 
his brother In any matter.''^ But -cj here is not = t^ 
= Tj'vi, which would alone justify the rendering of ^v 
Tw nrpayixari, " in ani/ matter." A more correct trans- 
lation is in the margin, namely, " in the matter," that 
is, " in this matter," being the matter with which the 
Apostle at the moment has to do. The difference 
may not seem very important, but, indeed, the whole 
sense of the passage turns on this word ; and, as we 
translate in one way or the other, we determine for 
ourselves whether it is a warning against overreach- 
ing our neighbor, and* a too shrewd dealing with him 
in the business transactions of life, strangely finding 
))lace in the midst of warnings against uncleanness 
ond a libertine freedom in the relation of the sexes; 



no 

or whether an unbroken warning against this is con- 
tained through all these verses (3-9). I can not 
doubt that the latter is the correct view, that to 
irpay^a is an euphemism, and that our marginal ver- 
sion is the right one ; the Apostle warning his Thes- 
salonian converts that none, in a worse crXso vs^i'a than 
that which makes one man covet his neighbor's goods, 
overstep the limits and fences by which God has 
hedged round and separated from him his brother's 
wife. See Bengel, in loco. Accepting this view of 
the passage, ' overreach,' which the margin suggests 
inst-ad of * defraud,' as the rendering of itXzovzxrziM, 
would also be an undoubted improvement. 

1 Tim. vi. 5. — " Supposing that gain, fv godliness.''^ 
It is difficult to connect any meaning whatever with 
this language. But Coverdale, and he alone of our 
translators, deals with these words, vojut-i^ovTt^ cropiCfjuov 
srvai T^v sJtfs'/^siav, rightly — ''which think that godli- 
ness is lucre^^ that is, a means of gain. The want of 
a thorough mastery of the Greek article and its use, 
left it possible here to go back from a right rendering 
once attained. 

Heb. V. 2. — "Who can have compassion on the 
ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for 
that he himself also is compassed with infirmity." 
But is, it may fairly be asked, " who can have com- 
passion," the happiest rendering of M-s'pio'Tra^srv Juvafxsvoj? 
and ought im-sTpioTra^srv to be thus taken as entirely sy- 
nonymous with rfuja-ra^srv ? The words /xsTpjoTa^erv, f^.e<rpi. 



OR PLACED IN THE MARGIN. Ill 

o-ra/Jeia, belong to the terminology of the later schools 
of Greek philosophy, and were formed to express that 
moderate amount of emotion (the iJ.srplug 'rrcKf-x^siv^ which 
the Peripatetics and others acknowledged as becom- 
ing a wise and good man, contrasted with the d-rra^sia, 
or absolute indolency, which the Stoics required. It 
seems to me that the Apostle would say that the high 
priest taken from among men, out of a sense of his 
own weakness and infirmity was in a condition to 
estimate mildly and moderately, and not transported 
with indignation, the sins and eiTors of his brethren : 
and it is this view of the passage which is correctly 
expressed in the margin : " who can reasonably hear 
with the ignorant," <fcc. 

Heb. ix. 23. — " It was therefore necessary that the 
patterns of things in the heavens should be purified 
with these, but the heavenly things themselves with 
better sacrifices than these." The employment of 
* patterns' introduces some confusion here, and is not 
justified by the use of the word in the time of our 
Translators, any more than in our own. It is, of 
course, quite true that ■o':r/j5siyixa may mean, and, in- 
deed, often does mean, ' pattern' or * exemplar' (John 
xiii. 15). But here, as at viii. 5 (Cco^si^fxa xc/J dxlu')^ 
it can only mean the copy drawn from this exemplar. 
The heavenly things are themselves " the patterns" or 
archetypes, the ' Urbilden ;' the earthly, the Levitical 
tabernacle, with its priests and sacrifices, are the 
copies, the similitudes, the ' Abbilden,' which, as such, 



112 ON SOME BETTER RENDERINGS FORSAKEN. 

are partakers not of a real but a typical purification. 
This is, indeed, the very point which the Apostle is 
urging, and his whole antithesis is confused by calling 
the earthly things tlienisclves " the patterns." The 
earlier translators, Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Gene- 
va, had 'similitudes,' which was correct, though it 
seems to me that ' copies' would be preferable.* 

•2 Pet. iii. 12. — '' Has tins: unto the coming of the 
day of God." The Vulgate had in like manner ren- 
dered the C'7rs:(5ovTscr <r-i^v -Trapourfi'av, " propcrantes in ad- 
ventum. ;" and this use of dr.s'j^siv may be abundantly 
justified, although " hasting toicard the coming" seems 
to me to expi'css more accurately what our Transla- 
tors probably intended, and what the word allows. 
This will then be pretty nearly De Wette's ' ersehn- 
end.' Yet the marginal version, " //a.9/zw^ the com- 
ing" (accelcrantcs adventum," Erasmus), seems betr 
ter. The faithful, that is, shall seek to cause the day 
of the Lord to come the more quickly by helping to 
fulfil those conditions, without which it can not come 
— that day being no day inexorably fixed, but one, 
the arrival of which it is free to the Church to help 
and hasten on by faith and by prayer, and through a 
more rapid accomplishing of the number of the elect. 

* It is familiarly known to all students of English that ' pattern' is 
ori<;iiially only another spelling of 'patron' (the client imitates hia 
pLttron ; the copy takes after its pattern), however the}' may have now 
separated oft" into two words. But it is interesting to notice the word 
when as yet this separation of one into two had not uttered itself in 
ditfereiit orthography. We do this Ileb. viii. 5 (Geneva Version) : 
" which priestes servo unto \\\q pat rone, and shadow of heavenly things," 



ERRORS OF (JREEK GRAMMAR IN OUR VERSION. 113 



CHAPTER YII. 

ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR IN OUR VERSION. 

I HAVE already spoken of the English Grammar of 
our Translators ; but the Greek Grammar is also oc- 
casionally at fault. The most recurring blemishes 
wliich have been noted here, are these: 1. A failing 
to give due heed to the presence or absence of the 
article ; they omit it sometimes, when it is present in 
their original, and when, according to the rules of 
thj language, it ought to be preserved in the transla- 
tion ; they insert it, when it is absent there, and has 
no claim to have found admission from them. 2. A 
certain laxity in the rendering of prepositions ; for 
example, iv is rendered as if it was nVr and vice versa. ; 
tlie different forces of oi>-, as it governs a genitive or 
an accusative, are disregarded, with other inaccura- 
cies of the same kind. 3. Tenses are not always ac- 
curately discriminated ; aorists are dealt with as per- 
fects, perfects as aorists ; the force of the imperfect 
is nut alwavs jiiven. Moods, ton, and V(jices, are oc- 



114 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

casionally confounded. 4. Other grammatical lapses, 
wliicli can not be included in any of these divisions, 
are noticeable. These, however, are the most seri- 
ous and most recurring. I will give examples of 
them all. 

I. In regard of the Greek article, our Translators 
err in both excess and defect, but oftenest in the lat- 
ter. They omit it, and sometimes not without serious 
loss, in passages where it ought to find place. Such 
a passage is Rev. xvii. 14 : " These are they which 
came out of great tribulation." Rather, " out of the 
great tribulation" (sx t^j: ^X»>|.ewg ttjj ixs^gcXt;?). The 
leaving out of the article, so emphatically repeated, 
causes us to miss the connection between this passage 
and Matt. xxiv. 22, 29; Dan. xii. 1. It is the char- 
acter of the Apocalypse, the crowning book of the j 
Canon, that it abounds with allusions to preceding 
Scriptures ; and, numerous as are those that appear 
on the surface, those which lie a little below the sur- • 
face are more numerous still. Thus, there can be 
no doubt that allusion is here to '' the great tribula- 
tion" (the same phrase, ^W-^.ig ixsyaXr,') of the last days, 
the birth-pangs of the new creation, which our Lord 
in his prophecy from the Mount had foretold. 

Heb. xi. 10. — "He looked for a city which hath 
foundations." Not so ; the language is singularly 
empliatic. " He looked for the city which hath the 
foundations" (^rY,v touct (^3iJ.s\io-j^ h^oxjaav -roXjv), that is, 
the well-known and often-alluded-to foundations — in 



IN OUR VERSION. 115 

other worcl?, he looked for the New Jerusalem, of 
which it had been already said, " IJer foundations 
are in the holy mountains" (Ps. Ixxxvii. 1 ; of. Isai. 
xxviii. 16) ; even as in the Apocalypse great things 
are spoken of tliesc glorious foundations of the Heav- 
enly City (Rev. xxi. 14, 19, 20). Let me here ob- 
serve that those expositors seem to me to be wliolly 
astray who make the Apostle to say that Abraham 
looked forward to a period when the nomad life which 
he was now leading should cease, and his descendants 
be established in a well-ordered city, the earthly Je- 
rusalem. He may, indeed, have looked on to that as 
a pledge of better things to come ; but never to that 
as " the City having the foundations ;" nor do I sup- 
pose for an instant that our Translators at all intended 
this ; but still, if they had reproduced the force of the 
article, they would, in giving the passage its true 
emphasis, have rendered such a misapprehension on 
the part of their readers well-nigh impossible. 

John iii. 10. — "Art thou a teacher of Israel, and 
knowest not these things ?'' Middleton may perhaps 
make too much of 6 (Jidao'xaXoj here, as though it singled 
out Nicodemus from among all the Jewish doctors as 
tlie one supereminent. Yet it is equally incorrect to 
deny it all force. It is, as Erasmus gives it, " ille 
magister ;" " Art thou that teacher, that famed teacher 
of Israel, and yet art ignorant of these things ?" and 
the question loses an emphasis, which I can not but 
believe, with Winer and many more, it was intended 



116 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

to have, by the obliteration in our Version of the 
force of the article. 

In other passages it is plain that a more complete 
mastery of the use of tlie article would have modified 
the rendering of a passage which our Translators have 
given. It would have done so, I am persuaded, at 
1 Tim. vi. 2 : " And they that have believing masters, 
let them not despise them, l)ccause they are brethren, 
but rather do them service, because they are faithful 
a7id beloved, i)ar takers of t/ie benefiC^ (■>! "rjirro/ s/Vi 

■Kil a.ya-z'/]To', oi r'r^g zlB^yidK'c, avrr* a^a/5avo/;.tvojV It is 

clear that for them " partakers of the benefit" is but 
a further unfolding of " faithful and beloved," the 
' benefit' being the grace and gift of eternal life, com- 
mon to master iind slave alike. But so the article in 
this last clause has not its rights, and the only correct 
translation of the passage will make 'Tudrol xa,i dyatnToi 
the predicate, and oI T';g s-jqys:fias avTjXaja/Savofjisvoi the 
subject. St. Paul reminds the slaves that they shall 
serve believing masters the more clieerfully out of the 
consideration that they do not bestow their service 
on unconverted, unthankful lords, but rather that 
they who are '^ partakers of the benefit," that is, the 
benefit of their service, they to whom this service 
is rendered, are brethren in Christ. The Vulgate 
liglitly : " quia fidclcs sunt et dilccti, qui benelicii 
jiarticipes sunt." It needs only to insert the words 
*' who are" before ' partakers,' to make our Version 
correct. 



IN OUR VERSION. 117 

But more important than in any of these passages, 
au rendering serious doctrinal misunderstandings pos- 
sible, is tlie neglect of the article at Rom. v. 15, 17. 
In j)lace of any observations of my own, I will here 
quote Bentley's criticism on our Version. Having 
found fault with the rendering of oi toXXoi, Rom. xii. 5, 
lie proceeds : *' This will enable us to clear up another 
place of much greater consequence, Rom. v .; where 
after the Apostle had said, ver. 12, ^ tliat by one man 
sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so 
death passed iijion all men (jlg "Travrac: av^p-Jj-rouj), for 
that all have sinned,' in the rendition of this sentence, 
ver. 15, he says, ' for if through the offence of one 
(rou Ivor) many (ci 'ToXXoj) be dead' (so our Transla- 
tors), ' much more tlie grace of God by one man (-oiJ 
svo?) Jesus Christ hath abounded unto many'' (jk roZg 
^oXXo.V). Now, who would not wish that they had 
kept the articles in the version which they saw in the 
original ? ' If tlirougli the offence of the one' (that 
is, Adam) ' the many have died, much more the grace 
of God by the one man hath abounded unto the many.'* 
By this accurate version some hurtful mistakes about 
partial redemption and absolute reprobation had been 
happily prevented. Our English readers had then 
j-cen, what several of the Fathers saw and testified, 
that oi CO .//', the many, in an antithesis to the onc^ 
arc equivalent to crivr^r, «//, in ver. 12, and comprc- 
liend tlie wliole multitude, the entire species of man- 
kind, exclusive only of the one, So, again, ver. 18 



118 ON SOME p:rrors of greek grammar 

and 19 of the same chapter, our Translators have 
repeated the like mistake ; where, when the Apostle 
had said ' that as the offence of one was uiwn all men 
(j]g liciMTOLg otvOpwTroug) to condemnation, so the righ- 
teousness of one was upon all men to justification ; 
for,' adds he, 'as by the one man's (rou evoV) disobedi- 
ence the many (oi toXXoi) were made sinners ; so by 
the obedience of the one (joZ Iv'cr) the many (oi -jtoXXo") 
shall be made righteous.' By this version the reader 
is admonished and guided to remark that the many^ 
in ver. 19, are the same as -ravrsj, a//, in the 18th. 
But our Translators, when they render it, ' many were 
made sinners, many were made righteous,' what do 
they do less than lead and draw their unwary readers 
into error ?"* 

By far the most frequent fault with our Translators 
is the omission of the article in the translation when 
it stands in the original ; yet sometimes they fall into 
the converse error, and insert an article in the Eng- 
lish where it does not stand in the Greek ; and this, 
too, it may be, not without injury to the sense and 
intention of the sacred writer. It is so at Rom. ii. 14, 
where we make St. Paul to say, " For Avhen the Gen- 
tiles^ which have not the law, do by nature the things 
contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a 
law unto themselves." One might conclude from this, 
that the Apostle regarded such a fulfilling of the law 
on the part of the Gentiles, as ordinary and normal. 

* A Sermon upon Popery. Works, vol. iii., p. 245; cf. p. 129. 



IN OUR VERSION. 119 

Yet it is not r,x ctKr, but :<5.ri, and the passage must be 
rendered, "For when Gentiles^ which have not the 
law," (fee., the Apostle having in these words his eye 
on the small election of heathendom, the exceptions, 
and not the rule. 

St. Paul has been sometimes charged with exag- 
geration in declaring that " the love of money is the 
root of all evil" (1 Tim vi. 10) ; and there have been 
attempts to mitigate the strength of the assertion, as 
that when he said *' all evil," he only meant " much 
evil." The help, however, does not lie here ; but in 
more strictly observing what he does say. " The love 
of money," he declares, "is" — not '^the root," but 
— " a root, of all evil." He docs not affirm that this 
is the bitter root from which all evil springs, but a 
bitter root from which all evil may spring ; there is 
no sin of Avhich it may not be, as of which it has not 
been, the impulsive motive. 

But perhaps at another place. Acts xxvi. 2, the 
insertion of the article in the English, where there is 
no article in the Greek, works still more injuriously. 
St. Paul would by no means have affirmed or admit- 
ted that " the Jews" accused him ; all true Jews, all 
who held fast the promises made to the Fathers, and 
now fulfilled in Christ, were on his side. He is ac- 
cused " of Jeivs,'^ unfaithful members of the house of 
Abraham, by no means "of the Jews." The force 
of ver. 7 is still more seriously impaired. In that 
verse St. Paul puts before Agrippa, a Jewish prose- 



120 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

lyte, and therefore capable of understanding him, the 
monstrous, self-contradicting absurdity, that for cher- 
ishing and asserting tlie Messias-hope of his nation, 
he should now be accused — not of heathens, that 
would have been nothing strange — but "of Jeivs^^^ 
when that hope was indeed the central treasure of the 
whole Jewish nation. — Before leaving this point, I 
may observe that " a Hebrew of Hebrews" (Phil. iii. 
5), one, namely, of pure Hebrew blood and language 
(*E,'3pa?oj s^ 'E/3pa~wv), while it is more accurate, would 
tell also its own story much better than " a Hebrew 
of the Hebrews," as we have it now. 

II. Our Translators do not always seize the precise 
force of tlie prepositions. They have not done so in 
the passages which follow : — 

John iv. 6. — "Jesus therefore being wearied with 
his journey, sat thus 07i the well." It should be ra- 
ther, ''b?j the well" (i^; tyj rr-tiyfi), in its immediate 
neighborhood. On two other occasions, namely, Mark 
xiii. 29 ; John v. 2, they have rightly gone l)ack from 
the more rigorous rendering of S'^-l with a dative, to 
which they have here adhered : cf. Exod. ii. 15, 
LXX.* 

Heb. vi. 7. — " Herbs meet for them b?/ whom it is 
dressed." The Translators give in the margin as an 
alternative, '''for whom.'''' But it is no mere alterna- 
tive ; of oj' o'J.c (not (J«' wv), it is the only rendering 

* Yet it ouf;ht to be said that Winer (Gramm., § 52, c.) is on the 
side of our Vertjion as it stands. 



IN OUll VERSION. 121 

which can be admitted. The rendering which has 
been preferred, besides being faulty in grammar, dis- 
turbs the spiritual image which underlies the passage. 
The heart of man is here the earth ; man is the dres- 
ser ; but the spiritual culture goes forward, not tliat 
the earth may bring forth that which is meet for him, 
the dresser bij whom, but for God, the owner of the 
soil, /or whom, it is dressed. The plural o«' o'Jr, instead 
of ^j' ov, need not trouble us, nor remove us from this, 
the only right interpretation. The earlier Latin ver- 
sion had it rightly ; see Tertullian, De PucHc, c. 20 : 

"Terra enim quae peperit herbam aptam his, 

propter qvos et colitur," <fcc. ; but the Vulgate, " a 
quibus,''^ anticipates our mistake, in which we only 
follow the English translations preceding. 

Luke xxiii. 42. — "And he said unto Him, Lord, 
remember me when Thou comcst into thy king-dom.''* 
But how coidd Christ come into his kingdom, when 
He is Himself the centre of the kingdom, and brings 
the kingdom with Him ? The passage will gain im- 
mensely when, leaving that strange and utterly un- 
warranted assumption that c-.V, a preposition of motion, 
is convertible with sv, a preposition of rest ; and thus 
that £v Trj /SatfiXejf/, which stands here, is the same as 
els Tr/V /BacTiXEiav, we translate, " Lord, remember me 
when Thou comest in thy king-dom,^^ that is, "with 
all thy glorious kingdom about Thee," as is so sul> 
liraely set forth. Rev. xix. 14 ; cf. Jude 14 ; 2 Thess. 
i. 7: Matt. xxv. 31 (iv ^fi n:-n). It is the sti-anger 



122 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

that our Translators should have fallen into this er- 
ror, seeing that they have translated spx'^H'Svov iv tyJ 
fSadiAsia airoZ (Matt. xvi. 28) quite correctly, " com- 
ing in his kingdom^ The Vulgate has " in regno 
tuo" there, although it shares the error of our Trans- 
lation, and has '-' in regnum tuum" here. The exe- 
getical tact of Maldonatus overcomes on this, as on 
many other occasions, his respect for his authentic 
Vulgate, and he comments thus : " Itaque non est 
sensus. Cum veneris ad regnaudum, sed, Cum veneris 
jam rcgnans, cum veneris non ad acquirendum reg- 
num, sed regno jam acquisito, quemadmodum venturus 
ad judicium est." The same faulty rendering of sv, 
and assumption that it may have the force of £.'?> oc- 
curs. Gal. i. 6 ; and indeed this, or the converse, in 
too many other passages as well.* 

2 Cor. xi. 3. — "But I fear lest .... your minds 
should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in 

Chrisf'' (aTTo rr^g a<7rXoTy)-o^ Tr.g slg tov Xpitf-rc'v). Here, 

again, the injurious supposition that slg and iv may be 
confounded, has been at work, and to serious loss in 
the bringing out of the meaning of the passage. The 
a^XoTTjj here is the simple, undivided afiection, the sin- 
gleness of heart, of the Bride, the Church, Btg Xpitr-rov, 
toivard Christ. It is not their " simplicity in Christ,''^ 
or Christian simplicity, which the Apostle fears lest 

* See Winer's Gramm., § 54, 4, where he enters at length into the 
question whether eU is ever used for tc, or ev for eig, in the New Tes- 
tament. He denies boih. 



IN OUR VERSION. 123 

they may through addiction to worldly wisdom forfeit 
and let go ; but, still moving in the images of espousals 
and marriage, that they may not bring a simple, undi- 
vided heart to Christ. If after «,;rXoV/]To^ we should 
also read xal r~;S ayvorrirog, wliich sooms probable, it 
will then be clearer still what St. Paul's intention w^as. 
2 Pet. i. 5-7. — " Add to your faith virtue, and to 
virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and 
to temperance patience, and to patience godliness," 

&C. Q'nrxjj^fiy'n'io.TB sv tt) ajV-rci vihu)v rr,v dpSrriVy x. t. X.) 

Tyndale had rendericd the passage: ''In your faith 
minister virtue, and in your virtue knowledge," &c., 
and all translations up to the Authorized had followed 
him. Henry More (On Godliness, b. 8, c. 3) has 
well expressed the objection to the present version : 
" Grotius would have iv to be redundant here ; so that 
his suflrage is for the English translation. But, for 
my own part, I think that iv is so far from being re- 
dundant that it is essential to the sentence, and inter- 
posed that we might understand a greater mystery 
than the mere adding of so many virtues one to an- 
other, which would be all that could be expressly 
signified if iv were left out. But the preposition here 
signifying causality, there is more than a mere enu- 
meration of those divine graces. For there is also 
implied how naturally they rise one out of another, 
and that they have a causal dependence one of anoth- 
er." See this same thought beautifully carried out 
in detail by Bcngel, in loco. 



124 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREKK (GRAMMAR 

III. Our Translators do not always give the true 
force of tenses, moods, and voices. 

Oftentimes the present tense is used in the New 
Testament, especially by St. John in the Apocalypse, 
to express, the eternal Now of Him for whom there 
can be no past and no future. It must be consid- 
ered a fault, when this is let go, and exchanged for a 
past tense in our Version. Take, for instance, Rev. 
iv. 5 : " Out of the throne proceeded lightnings, and 
thunderings, and voices." But it is much more than 
tliis ; not merely at that one moment when St. John 
beheld, but evermore out of his throne proceed Qy-rf^- 
^s.'ovraj) these symbols of the presence and of the ter- 
rible majesty of God. Throughout this chapter, and 
at chapter i. 14-16, there is often a needless, and 
sometimes an absolutely incorrect, turning of the pres- 
ent of eternity into the past of time. 

Elsewhere a past is turned without cause into a 
present. It is so at Acts xxviii. 4 : " No doubt tliis 
man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped 
the sea, yet Vengeance suffereth not to live." A fine 
turn in the words of these barbarous islanders has 
been missed in our Version, and in all the English 
versions except the Geneva. The (SapiSapoi, the ' na- 
tives,' as I think the word might have been fairly 
translated, who must have best known the qualities 
of the vipers on the island, are so confident of the 
deadly character of that one which has fastened itself 
on Paul's hand, that they regard and speak of him as 



IX OUR vp:rsion. 1*25 

one already dead^ and in this sense use a past tense ; 
he is one whom " Vengeance suffered not (ojx e/a^sv) 
to live/' Bengel : '^ Non sivit ; jam nullum putant 
esse Paulum ;" De Wotte : " niclit liabt leben lassen." 
Let me observe here, by-the-wa}^ tliat our modern 
editions of the Bible should not have dropped the 
capital V with which * Vengeance* was spelt in the 
exemplar edition of IGll. These islanders, in tlieir 
simple but most truthful moral instincls, did not con- 
template ' Vengeance' or ^.xt] in the abstract ; but 
personified her as a goddess ; and our Translators, 
who are by no means prodigal of tlieir capitals, in 
their manner of spelling the word, did their best to 
mark and reproduce this personification of the divine 
Justice, although the carelessness of printers has since 
let it go. 

Elsewhere there is confusion between the uses of 
the present and the perfect. There is such, for ex- 
ample, at Luke xviii. 12 : " I give tithes of all that 
I possess.'^ But oca x-C)i.on is not " all that I possess,'^ 
but " all that I acquire'^ ('' qua? mihi acquiro, quae 
milii redeunt"). Thj Vulgate which has ' possideo,* 
shares, perhaps suggested, our error. In the perfect 
xsWo/xai the word first obtains the iorce of '' I possess," 
or, in other wurds, "I haue acquired/^* The Phari- 
see would boast him. elf to be, so to say, anotlicr 
Jacob, such another as he who had said, '• Of all that 
T/iou s/ui/t give me, I will surely give the tentli unto 

* See Winer's Gramin., \ 41, 4. 



12G ON SOME ^ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

Thee" (Gen. xxviii. 22; cf. xiv. 20), a careful per- 
former of that precept of the law, which said, " Thou 
shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that tlie 
field bringeth forth year by year" (Deut. xiv. 22) ; 
but change ' acquire' into ' possess,' and how much of 
this we lose ! 

We must associate with this passage another, name- 
ly, Luke xxi. 19 : " In your patience possess ye your 
souls ;" for the same correction ought there to find 
place. It is rather, " In your patience make ye your 
souls your own" — that is, " In and by your patience 
or endurance acquire your souls as indeed your own" 
('' salvas obtinete"). Thus Winer: " Durcli Aus- 
dauer erwerbt euch cure Scelen ; sie werden dann 
erst euer wahres, unverlierbares Eigenthum werden." 
It is noticeable that our Translators have corrected 
the ' possess' of all the preceding versions at Matt. 
X. 9, exchanged this for the more accurate ' provide' 
(x<r>j(j'*3(r^s), or, as it is in the margin, '-^^i'^ wiiich 
makes it strange that they should have allowed it in 
these other places to stand. 

Imperfects lose their proper force, and are dealt 
with as aorists and perfects. The vividness of the 
narration often suffers from the substitutio'n of the 
pure historic for vvhat may be called the descriptive 
tense ; as, for example, at Luke xiv. 7 : " He put 
forth a parable to tliose that were bidden when lie 
marked liow they chose out tlie chief rooms." Read, 
*' how they ivere choosing- out (■^jXi}ovro) the chief 



IN OUR VERSION. 127 

rooms" — the sacred historian placing the Lord's ut- 
terance of the parable in the midst of the events 
which he is describing. So Acts iii. 1 : " Now Peter 
and John went up together into the temple." Read, 
'^ were g'oing- np^^ (av:';?«ivov). Again, Mark ii. 18: 
" And the disciples of John and of the Phapisees used 
to fast.'" Read, '-^ ivere fasting''' (-^fav vigCrc-JovTSf), 
namely, at that very time ; wliich gives a special 
vigor to their remonstrances ; they were keeping a 
fast while the Lord's disciples were celebrating a 
festival. Tlie incomplete, imperfect sense, which so 
often belongs to this tense, and from which it derives 
its name, they often fail to give ; the commencement 
of a work which is not brought to a conclusion, the 
consent and co-operation of anotlier party, which was 
necessary for its completion, having been withheld ; 
in such cases the will is taken for the deed.* Thus, 
Luke i. 59: "And they called him Zacharias." It 
is not so, for Elizabeth would not allow this name to 
be given him ; but with the true force of the incom- 
plete, imperfect tense, " they luere calling (sxaXojv) 
him Zacharias." Once more, Luke v. 6 : " And their 
net braked Had this been so, they would scarcely 
have secured the fish at all. Rather, " was in the 
act of breaking," or " was at the point to break'* 
(oit^^Tj^vuTo). Other passages wliere they do not give 
the force of the imperfect, but deal with it as though 
it had been a jtcrfect or an aorist, are John iii. 22; 

* Sco Jclf 's Kitlmn's Gramm., § 398, 2. 



128 ON SOME KRRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

iv. 47 ; vi. 21 ; Luke xxiv. S2 ; Matt. xiii. 3-i ; xVcts 
xi. 20. 

Aorists are rendered as if they were perfects ; and 
perfects as if they were aorists. Thus, we have an 
example of the first, Luke i. 19, where li-KS^TUXriM is 
translated as though it were aca'CraXxai, " I am sent," 
instead of " I was sent." Gabriel contemplates his 
mission, not at the moment of its present fulfilment, 
but from that of his first sending forth from the pres- 
ence of God. Another example of the same occurs 
at 2 Pet. i. 14 : " Knowing that shortly I must put 
off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ 
hath shewed me." By this ''Iiaih shewed me," we 
lose altogether the special allusion to an historic mQ- 
ment in the Apostle's life, to John xxi. 18, 19, which 
would at once come out, if soyyXc^c; jaoj had been ren- 
dered, '' shewed me." Doubtless there are passages 
which would make difficult the universal application 
of the rule that perfects should be translated as per- 
fects, and aorists as aorists ; thus, Luke xiv. 18, 19, 
where one might hesitate in rendering iyopac^a " I 
bonght,^^ instead of " I haue boug-ht,'" and some at 
least in the long line of aorists, iot^ac^a, sTsXs'.c^^ga, i^a- 
vs'pwCa, tXa/3ov (vcr. 4, G, 8), in the high-priestly prayer, 
John xvii. Still, on these passages no conclusion can 
be grounded that the writers of the New Testament 
did not always observe the distinction.* 

Again, the force of the aorist is missed, though in 

* See Winer, Grainin., ^ 41, 5. 



IN OUR VERSION. 129 

another way, at Mark xvi. 2, where dvars.'Xavroc: toJ 
vjXt'oj is traiisUited, '' al the rising- of the sun." It can 
only be, " when the sun was risen.^'' Did the anxiety 
to avoid a slight seeming discrepancy between this 
statement and that of two other Evangelists (Matt, 
xxviii. 1 ; Mark xvi. 2) modify the translation here ? 

Examples, on the other hand, of perfects turned 
into aorists are frequent. Thus, at Luke xiii. 2 : 
'' Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above 
all the Galileans, because theij suffered such things ?" 
Rather, " because they have suffered (Trs'jrov.'ao'iv) such 
things." Our Lord contemplates the memorable ca- 
tastrophe by which they perished, not as something 
belonging merely to the historic past ; but as a fact 
reaching into the present ; still vividly presenting 
itself to the mind's eye of his hearers. 

One other example must suffice. In that great doc- 
trinal passage. Col. i. 13-22, St. Paul declares, ver. 
16, that " by Christ ivere all things created^ The 
aorist hTla^-n has its right force given to it here ; but 
the Apostle in a most remarkable way, when in the 
last clause of the verse he resumes the doctrine of the 
whole, changes the aorist sxrlad-i] for the perfect cxriaroLi. 
And why ? Because he is no longer looking at the 
one historic act of creation, but at the permanent re- 
sults flowing on into all time and eternity therefrom. 
Our Translators have not followed him here, but, as 
if no change had been made, they render this clause 
also : '' All things were created by Him, and for Him ;" 

G* 



130 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

but read rather: "All things have been created by 
Him, and for Him."* 

Imperfects and aorists are turned without necessity 
into pluperfects. It is admitted by all tluit an aorist, 
under certain conditions, may have tliis sense of a past 
behind another past ;t nor, according to some, can 
this force be altogether denied to tlic imjierfect ; but 
a pluperfect force is given in our Aversion to these 
tenses, where certainly no sort of necessity requires 
it. Thus, for the words, " because He had done these 
things on the sabbath" (John v. IG), read, "because 
He did (sVoi£») these things on the sabbath." And, 
again, in the same chapter read, " for Jesus conveyed 
Himself aivaiy (s^s'vsutfev) ; that is, so soon as this dis- 
cussion between the Jews and the healed man arose, 
not, ^' had conveyed Himself aw ay'^ previously, as our 
Version would imply. 

Neither do our Translators always give its right 
force to a middle verb. They fail to do so at Phil, 
ii. 15 : " among w^hom ye shine as lights in tlie world." 
To justify these words, "t/c shine,^^ wdiich are shared 
by all the Versions of the Englisli Ilcxapla, St. Paul 
ought to have w^rittcn cpa.'vs-rs, and not 9ai'vco',^s, as ho 
has written. 'Pa/vstv, indeed, is to shine (John i. 5 ; 

* The fact that we almost all learn our grammar from the Latin^ 
and that in the Latin the perfect indicative docs its own duty and that 
of the aorist as well, renders us very unobservant of inaccuracies in 
this particular kind till we have been specially trained to observe 
them. 

t What these conditions are, see Winer's Gramm., § 41, 5. 



IN OUR VERSION. 131 

2 Pet. i. 19 ; Rev. i. 16) ; but (paivsa&ai to appear (Matt, 
xxiii. 27 ; 1 Pet. iv. 18 ; Jam. iv. 14). It is worthy 
of note that while the Vulgate, having ' lucetis,' shares 
and anticipates our error, the earlier Italic Version 
was free from it ; as is evident from the verse as quoted 
by Augustine ( Enarr. in Psalm. ^ cxlvi. 4) : " In qui- 
bus apparetis tanquam luminaria in mundo." 

Sometimes the force of a passive is lost. Thus is 
it at 2 Cor. v. 10 : " For we must all appear before 
the judgment-seat of Christ." The words contain a 
yet more solemn and awful announcement than this : 
" For we must all he rnade manifest'^ (-ravraj Yt^ug 
(pavcpw^^vai (Jsr) , " exhibited as what we indeed are, 
displayed in our true colors, the secrets of our hearts 
disclosed, and we, so to speak, turned inside ouV 
(for the word means as much as this) " before the 
judgment-seat of Christ." There is often reason to 
think that the exposition of Chrysostom exercised 
considerable influence on our Translators. Here it 
might have done so with benefit ; for, commenting on 
these words (in Cor. Horn., 10), he says: "ou- yap 
'jrapadTYtvai r,ix,us o.irXCJg 6iT, aXkd xal (pavspw^^vaj," 

showing that he would not have been satisfied with 
what our Translators have here done. 

With one or two miscellaneous observations I will 
conclude tliis chapter. It would be very impertinent 
to suppose that our Translators, wlio numbered in 
their company many of the first scholars of their time, 
were not perfectly at home in tlie use of ttuc:, and 



132 ON SOME ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR 

familiar with the very simple modifications of its 
meaning as employed with or without an article ; and 
yet it must be owned that they do not always observe 
its rules. One example may suffice. 

Acts X. 12. — " Wherein were all manner of four- 
footed beasts of the earth." But -Tf^^cL tj. TSTpaito^a 
can not possibly have the meaning ascribed to it here. 
Translate rather : " Wherein were all the four-footed 
beasts of the earth" — " omnia animalia," as the Vul- 
gate rightly has it. Here, probably, as Winer ob- 
serves, they were tempted to forsake the more accu- 
rate rendering from an unwillingness to ascribe some- 
thing which seemed to them like exaggeration to the 
sacred historian : how, they said to themselves, could 
" all the four-footed beasts of the earth" be contained 
in that sheet ? For, indeed, this shrinking from a 
meaning which an accurate translation would render 
up, is a very frequent occasion of mistranslation, and 
also of warped exegesis. It is much better, liowever, 
that the translator should go forward on his task 
without regard to such considerations as these. The 
Word of God can take care of, and vindicate itself, 
and does not need to be thus taken under man's pro- 
tection. 

It is remarkable how little careful our Translators 
are to note the difference between tlie verb of being- 
and that gf b^ coming ; between £<V* ^^^d yiywo.. It 
would not be easy to lind the pasbagc in the New Tes- 
tament where these are confounded, but they confound 



IN OUIi VERSION. 133 

them frequently, and often to our loss. Thus, at Heb. 
V. 11, the Apostle complains of the difficulty of un- 
folding some hard truths to those whom lie addresses, 
" seeing ye arc dull of hearing." But the rebuke is 
sharper than this — "seeing yQ have become dull of 
hearing" (J-ksI vw^po; ^s^o'vars ^aXg dxoa~i) . This would 
imply that it was not so once, in the former days, 
when they first were enlightened (x. 32) ; but that 
now they had gone back from 4hat liveliness of spirit- 
ual apprehension which once they had (see Chrysos- 
tom). The Vulgate has it rightly : " Quoniam imbe- 
cilles facti estis ad audiendum ;" being followed by 
the Rheims : " Because ye are become weak to hear ;" 
so, too, De Wette : "Da ihr trage von Yerstande 
geworden seid.'' xit Matt. xxiv. 32, there is the 
same loss of the true force of the word. Not the 
being- tender of the branch of the fig-tree, but the 
becoming- tender, is the sign of the nearness of sum- 
mer. 

In other points our Translators are without fault, 
where yet the modern copies by careless reproduction 
of their work involve them in apparent error, which 
indeed is none of theirs, but that of the too care- 
less guardians of their text. They have their own 
burden to bear ; they ought not to be made to bear 
the burden of others. But they do so at Matt. xii. 
23. Correcting all our previous translations, they 
rendered the words, [kr^n olr/^g kriM 6 uioj Aao J, with 
perfect accuracy : " Is this the Son of David ?" fully 



134 ERRORS OF GREEK GRAMMAR IN OUR VERSION. 

understanding that, according to the different idioms 
of the Greek and P]nglish, the negative particle of the 
original was not to reappear in the English ; cf. Acts 
vii. 42 ; John viii. 22. I am unable to say when the 
reading, which appears in all our modern Bibles, " Is 
not this the Son of David ?" first crept in ; it is already 
in Hammond, 1659 ; but it is little creditable to those 
who should have kept their text inviolate, that they 
have not exercised a stricter vigilance over it. It is 
curious that, having escaped error here, our Transla- 
tors should yet have fallen into it in the exactly simi- 
lar phrase at John iv. 29, (xtitj ouroj ?tfT<v o xpicro^; 
where they do render, " Is not this the Christ V but 
should have rendered, "Is this the Christ?" The 
Samaritan woman in her joy, as speaking of a thing 
too good to be true, which she will suggest, but dare 
not absolutely afi&rm, asks of her fellow-countrymen, 
" Is this the Christ ? — can this be He whom we have 
looked for so long ?" — expecting tn reply not a nega- 
tive but an affirmative answer. 



QUESTIONABLE RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 135 



CHAPTER YIII. 

ON SOME QUESTIONABLE RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 

There are a certain number of passages in which 
no one can charge our Translators with error, the 
version they have given being entirely defensible, and 
numbering among its defenders some, it may be many, 
well worthy to be heard ; while yet another version 
on the whole will commend itself as preferable to that 
which they have adopted. Let me adduce a few pas- 
sages where, to me at least, it seems there is a greater 
probability, in some a far greater, in favor of some 
other translation rather than of that which they have 
admitted. 

Matt. vi. 27 (cf. Luke xii. 25). — " Which of you 
by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature?''' 
Erasmus was, I believe, the first who suggested the 
rendering of r^Xula not by ^ stature,' but by " Icngtli 
of life ;" and this his suggestion has since found ac- 
ceptance with a large number of interpreters ; with 
Hammond, Wolf,01shausen, Meyer, and others. While 



13G ON SOME QUESTIONABLE 

the present translation may be abundantly justified, 
yet this certainly appears far preferable to me, and 
for the following reasons : «• In that natural rliotoric 
of which our Lord was the great master, He would 
have adduced some very small measure, and reminded 
his hearers that they could not add even this to tlieir 
stature ; He would not have adduced a cubit, whicli 
is about a foot and a half; but He would have de- 
manded, " Which of you with all your carking and 
caring can add an inch or a hair's breadth to his 
stature ?" (3. Men do not practically take thought 
about adding to their stature ; it is not an object of 
desire to one in a thousand to be taller than God has 
made him ; this could scarcely therefore be cited as 
one of the vain solicitudes of men. On the other 
hand, everything exactly fits when we understand our 
Lord to be asking this question about length of life. 
The cubit, which is much when compared with a man's 
stature, is infinitesimally small, and therefore most 
appropriate, when compared to his length of life, that 
life being contemplated as a course, or opc>o. , wliich 
he may attempt, but ineffectually, to prolong. And 
then, further, this the prolonging of life is something 
which men do seek ; striving, by various precautions, 
by solicitous care, to lengthen the period of their 
mortal existence ; to which yet they can not add a 
cubit, no, not a hand's breadth, more than God has 
apportioned to it. 

Luke ii. 49.—-'' Wl. t ye not that I must be about 



RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 137 

wy Father'* s business ?" But iv roTg tou Uarp'.g will as 
well mean, " in my Father's house :" and if the words 
will mean tliis as well, they will surely mean it bet- 
ter. We shall thus liave a more direct answer on 
the part of the Child Jesus to the implied rebuke of 
his blessed Mother's words, " Behold thy father and 
I have sought Thee sorrowing ;" to which he answers, 
"How is it that ye sought Me?'' — that is, in any 
other place ? " Wist ye not that I must be in mij 
Father's house ? here in the temple ; and here without 
lengthened seeking ye might have found me at once." 
There was a certain misconception in respect of his 
person and character, which had led them to look 
for Him in other places of resort rather than in the 
temple. 

John xii. 6. — " He was a thief, and had the bag, 
and bare what was put therein." I can not but think 
that it was St. John's intention to say not merely that 
Judas " bare," but that he " bare away'' purloined, 
or pilfered, what was put into the common purse. It 
has the appearance of a tautology to say that he " had 
the bag, and bare what was put therein;'' unless, 
indeed, the latter words are introduced to explain 
the opportunity which he enjoyed of playing the thief; 
hardly, as it appears to me, a sufficient explanation. 
On the other hand, the use of /Sa^rrljciv, not in the 
sense of ' portare,' but of ' auferre,' is frequent ; it is 
so used by Josephus, Antt., xiv. 7. 1, and in the New 
Testament, John xx. 15 ; and sucli, I am perb^uaJed, is 



138 ON ROME QUESTION A BLR 

the use of it here. We note that already in Augus- 
tine's time the question had arisen which was the right 
way to deal with the words ; for, commenting on the 
' portabat' which he found in his Italic, as it has kept 
its place in the Vulgate, he asks : " Portabat an ex- 
portabat ? Sed ministerio portabat, furto exportabat." 
Here he might seem to leave his own view of the pas- 
sage undecided; not so, however, at Ep., 108. 3: 
*' Ipsi [Apostoli] de illo scripserunt quod fur erat, et 
omnia quae mitteb^ntur de dominicis loculis avfere- 
haty After all is said, there will probably always 
remain upholders of one translation and upholders of 
the other ; yet to my mind the probabilities are much 
in favor of that version which I observe that the 
" Five Clergymen" have also adopted. 

Rom. i. 26, 27. — I speak with hesitation, yet in- 
cline strongly to think that in this awful passage 
where St. Paul dares to touch on two of the worst 
enormities of the heathen world, and with purest lips 
to speak, and that with all necessary plainness, of the 
impurest things, we should have done well, if we had 
followed even to the utmost where he would lead 
us. For 'men', and 'women,' as often as the words 
occur in these verses, I should wish to see substituted 
' males' and ' females ;' a^asvsg and t)^Xtia< are through- 
out the words which St. Paul employs. It is true 
that something must be indulged to the delicacy of 
modern Christian cars ; our Translators have evidently 
so considered in rendering more than one passage in 



RENDERIXrJS OF WORDS. 139 

the Old Testament ; but, reading these verses over 
with this substitution, while they gain in empliasis, 
while they represent more exactly the terrible charge 
which St. Paul brings against the cultivated world 
of heathendom, they do not seem to me to acquire 
any such painful explicitness as they ought not 
to have, hardly more of this than they possessed 
before. 

2 Cor. ii. 14. — "Now thanks be unto God which 
always causeth us to triumph in Christ." Here, too, 
our Translators may be right, and, if they are wrong, 
it is in good company. I must needs think that for 
" causeth us to triumph" we should read, " leadetli 
us ia triumph ;" and that the Vulgate, when it ren- 
dered &pia.ij.[3sjuv r,ixag, "qui triuuiphat nos," and Jerome 
(which is the same thing), " qui triumphat de nobis," 
tliough even he has failed to bring out his meaning 
with clearness, were right. 0pja|x/csJ;iv occurs but on 
one other occasion in the New Testament (Col. ii. ")). 
No one there doubts that it means, to lead in triumpli, 
to make a show of, as vanquished and subdued ; and 
it is hard to withdraw this meaning from it here, being 
as it also is the only meaning of tlie word in classical 
Greek; tlius Plutarch, Thes. et Rom.,\y.: iSwriXs^s 
£<JpiafjL/3£ua'£ xa» r,jsix!j\a^: he led kings and captains in 
triumph ; and see other examples in Wetstein. But, 
it may be asked, what will St. Paul mean by the dec- 
laration, " who everywlicre leadeth us in triumpli in 
Christ" ? The meaning is, indeed, a very grand one. 



140 ON SOME QUESTIONABLE 

St. Paul did not feel it inconsistent with the pro- 
foundest humility, to regard himself as a. signal trophy 
and token of God's victorious power in Christ. Lying 
wilh liis face upon the ground, he had anticipated, 
though in another sense, the words of another figliter 
against God, " Vicisti, Galilase ;" and now his Al- 
mighty Conqueror was leading him about through all 
the cities of the Greek and Roman world, an illustri- 
ous testimony of his power at once to subdue and to 
save. The foe of Christ was now, as he gloried in 
naming liimself, tlie servant of Christ ; and this, his 
mighty transformation, God was making manifest to 
the glory of his name in every place. The attempt 
of some to combine the meanings of being led in tri- 
umph, which they feel that the word demands, and 
triumphing or being made to triumph, which it seems 
to them the sense demands, is in my judgment an at- 
tempt to reconcile irreconcileable images ; as, for 
instance, when Stanley says, " The sense of conquest 
and degradation is lost in the more general sense of 
' making us to share this triumph.' " But in the lit- 
eral triumph who so pitiable, so abject, so forlorn, as 
the captive chief or king, the Jugurtlia or Yercingeto- 
rix, doomed often, as soon as he had graced the show, 
to a speedy and miserable death ? But it is not with 
God as with man : for while to be led in triumph of 
men is the most miserable, to be led in triumph of 
God as the willing tro])hy of his power, is the mo^t 
gUr'.ous and blessed lot which could fall to any ; and 



RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 141 

it is this, I am persuaded, which the Apostle claims 
for his own. 

2 Cor. ii. 17. — "For we are not as many, ichich 
corrupt the Word of God." Doubtless there is much 
to be said in favor of this version of xo.i{Y;kzCw'rz- tov 
X070V rou ©sou. KaTrjXs.'sjv is often to adulterate; vo(U-J- 
f<v, as Chrysostom expounds it, to mingle false with 
true, as the xacviXo.c, or petty huckster, would frequently 
do. Still, the matter is by no means so clear in favor 
of this meaning of xa-r^iXsi^'fiv, and against the other, 
" to make a traffic of," as some in later times would 
have it ; and the words s^ sl\iy.^v.B'.ag, which Meyer con- 
ceives decisive, seems to me rather an argument the 
other way. What so natural as that St. Paul should 
put back the charge of making a traffic with the Word 
of God ; above all, seeing how earnestly elsewhere in 
this Epistle he clears himself from similar clmrges 
(xii. 14, 17) ? I believe when Tyndale rendered 
xa-rr^x^'Eiv here, '• to chop and change with," he was 
on tlie right track ; and many will remember the re- 
markable passage in Bentley's Sermon vpon Popcri/, 
which is so strong in this view, that, long as it is, I 
can not forbear to quote it: "Our English Transla- 
tors have not been very happy in their version of this 
passage. We are not, says the Apostle, xairnXslovrs; 
TOV X070V Tou 0SCU, which our Translators have rendered, 
' We do not corrupt' or (as in the margin) deal de- 
ceitfully with ' the Word of God.' They were led to 
this by the parallel place, c. iv. of this Epistle, ver. 2, 



142 ON SOME QUESTIONABLE 

' not walking in craftiness,' ij^vSs ooXovvrsg rov Xo^ ov rou 
Giov, ' nor handling the word of God deceitfully ;' 
they took xaitYiXslovrsg and ^oXoiJvrsj in the same ade- 
quate notion, as the vulgar Latin had done before 
them, which expresses both by the same word, adid- 
terantes vcrbum Dei ; and so, likewise, Hesychius 
makes them synonyms, sxxa-jniXsjsjv, (JoXouv. AoXoCv, in- 
deed, is fitly rendered adulterare ; so 6oXgGv <rov x?^^^^'^* 
Tov o^vov, to adulterate gold or wine, by mixing worse 
ingredients with the metal or liquor. And our Trans- 
lators had done well if they had rendered the latter 
passage, not adulterating, not sophisticating tlie Word. 
But xait^r^ksiovrsg in our tcxt has a complex idea and a 
wider signification ; xa-rrrjXsJsiv always comprehends 
^oXouv; but (^oXouv never extends to xaTrTjXs.'sjv, which, 
besides the sense of adulterating, has an additional 
notion of unjust lucre, gain, profit, advantage. This 
is plain from the word x^.ity\\<g, a calling always infa- 
mous for avarice and knavery : ' perfidus hie caupo,' 
says the poet, as a general cliaracter. Thence xa-n-r,- 
Xsi^sjv, by an easy and natural metaphor, was diverted 
to other expressions where cheating and lucre were 
signified : xa-xfiXs'.eiM -rov X070V, says the Apostle here, 
and the ancient Greeks, xa'jcnksleiv rag (J.'xacr, Tr,v s\^Y,Yf\Vy 
TYiv tfo^i'av, Ta ixaSr,i.:aTa, to Corrupt and sell justice, to 
barter a negotiation of peace, to prostitute learning 
and philosophy for gain. Cheating, we see, and adul- 
terating, is part of the notion of xa'7r'>^>g.'6iv, but the 
principal essential of it is sordid lucre. So cauponari 



REiNDK'UlNGS OF WORDS. 143 

in the famous passage of Enuius, where Pyrrhus re- 
fuses the offer of a ransom for his captives, and restores 
them gratis : — 

' Non mi aurum posco, nee mi pretium dederitis, 
Non caupoiumti bellumt sed belligeranti/ 

And so the Fathers expound this place. ... So that, 
in short, what St. Paul says, xa^'/iXe.'ovrsi; tov X670V, 
might bo expressed in one classic word — Xo;.f|X'^opoi, 
or Xoyoir^xTai, where the idea of gain and profit is the 
chief part of the signification. Wherefore, to do jus- 
tice to our text, we must not stop lamely with our 
Translators, ' corrupters of the word of God ;' but 
add to it as its plenary notion, ' corrupters of the 
word of God for filth ij lucre.^ "* ' 

Col. ii. 8. — '' Beware lest any man sjioil yotc through 
philosophy and vain deceit." This translation may 
very well hold its place: CjXa^w/erv docs mean to rob 
or spoil : this, however, is its secondary meaning ; its 
first, and that which agrees with its etymology (criJXov 
and a^w), would be, to lead away the spoil, '• praedam 
abigere ;" and certainly the warning would be more 
emjjhatic if we understood it as a warning lest tliey 
themselves should become the spoil or booty of thebe 
false teachers : " Beware lest any man make a booty 
of you, lead you away as his spoil, through philosophy 
and vain deceit." Bengel : " tfjXa/a-^ojv, qui non so- 
lum de vobis, sed vos ipsos spolium faciat." 

Col. ii. 23. — ^' Which things have indeed a shew 

WorLs, vol. iii., p. 242. 



144 ON SOME QUESTIONABLE 

of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and neglect- 
ing of the body, not in any honor to the satisfying' 
of the flesh.'''' The first part of this verse, itself not 
very easy, appears to me to be excellently rendered 
in our Version. Perhaps, if the thing were to do 
over again, instead of " a shew of wisdom," " a repii- 
tation of wisdom" would more exactly express X070V 
(ro:pia$: and there may be a question whether ' neglect- 
ing' is quite strong enough for d^fsiola ; whether ' pun- 
ishing' or ' not sparing,' which are both suggested in 
the margin, would not either of them have been well 
introduced into the text. But in the latter part of 
the verse, where its chief difficulties reside, our Trans- 
lators leave us in a certain doubt as to what their 
exact view of the passage was. About the Geneva 
Version I have no doubt. Its authors, evidently un- 
der the leading of Beza, have seized the right mean- 
ing : " [Yet] are of no value, [but appertain to those 
tilings] wherewith the flesh is crammed." At the 
same time, their version is too paraplirastic ; the 
words which I have enclosed within brackets having 
no corresponding words in the original. Did our 
Translators mean the same thing ? I am inclined to 
think not ; else they would have placed a comma after 
* honor ;' but that rather they, in agreement with many 
of the best Interpreters of their time, understood the 
verse thus : " Which things have a shew of wisdom, 
&c., but are not in any true honor, as things serving 
to the satisfying of the just needs of the body." 



RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 145 

Against this it may be urged that rr^r^rrixn^,-;- has a con- 
stant sense of filling overmuch, of stuffing (Tsai. i. 14 ; 
Ps. cv. 16 ; Ezck. xvi. 48) ; and followed by (TapxoV 
could scarcely have any other sense ; it being impos- 
sible that (f('.^t here can be used in an lionoraljle inten- 
tion as equivalent to cToj/.-o', but only in tlie constant 
Pauline sense of the flesh and mind of the flesh. Some 
rendering which should express what the Geneva Ver- 
sion expresses, but in happier and conciser terms, is, 
I believe, here to be desired. "A golden sentence," 
as he calls it, which Bengel quotes from the Commen- 
tary of Hilary the Deacon on this passage, " Sagina 
carnalis sensus traditio humana est," shows that this 
interpretation of it was not unknown in antiquity. 

1 Tim. vi. 8. — "Having food and raiment, let us 
be therewith content." Would it not be better to 
translate, " Having food and covering, let us be there- 
with content" ? It is possible that St. Paul had only 
raiment in his eye ; and (rxiVaCf a is sometimes used 
in this more limited sense (Plato, Polit., 279 d) ; but 
seeing that it may very well include, and does very 
often include, habitation, this more general word, 
which it would have been still free for those who 
liked to understand as ' raiment' alone, appears to 
me preferable. The Vulgate, which translates, " Ha- 
bentes alimenta et quibvs tegamur,^^ and De Wette, 
* Bedeckung,' give the same extent to the word. 

Jam. iii. 5. — " Behold how great a matter a little 
fire kinilleth I" Tliis may be right. Our Translators 



146 ON SOME QUESTIONABLE 

have the high authority of St. Jerome on their side, 
who renders (in Esai., 66}: "Parvus ignis quam 
grandem succendit materiam ;-'' and compare Ecclus. 
xxviii. 10 ; yet certainly it is much more in the spirit 
and temper of this grand imaginative passage to take 
i5X7)v here as ' wood' or ' forest :' " Behold how great 
a forest a little spark kindleth !" So the Yulgate 
long ago : " Ecce quantus ignis quam magnam silvam 
incendit !" and De Wette : " Siehe, ein kleines Feuer, 
welch einen grossen Wald ziindet es an !" It need 
hardly be observed how frequently in ancient classi- 
cal poetry the image of the little spark setting the 
great forest in a blaze recurs — in Homer, i/., xi. 155 ; 
in Pindar, Pyth,^ iii. 66^ and elsewhere ; nor yet how 
much better this of the wrapping of some vast forest 
in a flame by the falling of a single spark sets out 
that which was in St. James's mind, namely, of a far- 
spreading mischief springing from a smallest cause, 
than does the vague sense which in our Version is 
attached to the word. Our Translators have placed 
' wood' in the margin. 

Rev. iii. 2. — " Strengthen the things ivhich remain, 
that are ready to die." The better Commentators are 
now pretty well agreed that tx Xoira, thus rendered 
^Hhe thing's which remain," should be taken rather 
as = ToJj: XoiTToV. and that the Angel of the Sardian 
Church is not bidden, as we generally understand it, 
to strengthen the graces that remain in his own heart, 
but the few and feeble believers • that remain in the 



RENDERINGS OF WORDS. 147 

Church over which he presides ; the allusion being 
probably to Ezek. xxxiv. 2. Vitringa : *' Commendat 
vigilantiam, qua sibi a mortc caverent, et alios ab 
interitu immiiiente vindicarent." The use of the neu- 
ter, singular and plural, where not things but persons 
are intended, is too frequent in the New Testament, to 
cause any difficulty here (Winer, Gramm., § 27, 4). 



148 ON SOME WORDS 



CHAPTER IX. 

ON SOME WORDS WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY MISTRANSLATED. 

Our Translators occasionally fail in part or alto- 
gether to give the true force of a word or phrase. In 
some cases it is evident they have assumed a wrong 
etymology. These are examples : — 

Matt. viii. 20. — " The birds of the air have nesis.'^ 
It stood thus in the versions preceding ; the Yulgatc 
in like manner has * nidos ;' some of the earlier Latin 
versions, however, instead of ' nidos' had ' diversoria,' 
and Augustine, using one of these, has ' tabernacula,'* 
and these, with their equivalent English, are on all 
accounts the preferable renderings. For, in the first 
place, birds do not retire to their ' nests,' except at 
one brief period of the year ; and then, secondly, 
xa,Ta(fxr]vC)(fsis will not bear that meaning ; or at all 
events has so much naturally the more general mean- 
ing of shelters, habitations (' Wohnungen,' De Wette), 
that one must needs agree with Grotius, who here 

* Qucest. xvii. in Matt., qu. 5. 



WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY MISTRANSLATED. 149 

remarks : " Quin vox hoec ad arborum ramos pcrti- 
ncat, diibitatururn non puto qui loca infra, xiii. 32, 
Marc. iv. 32, et Luc. xiii. 19, inspexerit." He might 
have added to these, Ps. civ. 12; Dan. iv. 18, LXX. 
Matt. X. 4 ; cf. Mark iii. 18. — " Simon the Canaan- 
itey I have often asked myself in perplexity what 
our Translators meant by this * Canaanite ;' which 
they are the first to use ; although Cranmer's " Simon 
of Canaan^"^ and probably Tyndale's " Simon of Ca- 
nan^'' come to the same thing. Take ' Canaanite' in 
its obvious sense, and in that which everywhere else 
in tlie Scripture it possesses (Gen. xii. 6 ; Exod. xxv. 
28; Zech. xiv. 21, and continually), and the word 
would imply that one of the Twelve, of those that 
should sit on the twelve thrones judging the tribes of 
Israel, was himself not of the seed of Abraham, but 
of that accursed stock which the children of Israel, 
going back from God's commandment, had failed ut- 
terly to extirpate on their entrance into the Promised 
Land ; and which, having thus been permitted to live, 
had gradually been absorbed into the nation. This, 
of course, could not be ; to say nothing of the word 
in the original being KavaviVr.cr, and not Xavavarocr, as 
would have been necessary to justify the rendering of 
tlie Authorized Version. There can be no doubt that 
KavaviVr.j here is = Jr.XwTy,^, Luke vi. 15 ; Acts i. 13 ; 
and expresses the fact that Simon had been, before 
he joined himself to the Lord, one of those stormy 
zealots- who, professing to follow tlie example of Phin- 



150 ON SOME WORDS 

eas (Num. xxv. 9), took the vindication of God's out- 
raged law into their own hands. There is, indeed, 
another explanation sometimes given of the word ; 
but the manner in which our Translators liave spelt 
* Canaanite' will hardly allow one to suppose that by- 
it they meant, " of Cana," the village in Galilee. 
This is Jerome's view, and I suppose Beza's (' Ca- 
naanites'), and De Wette's (' Der Kananit') ; yet 
Kavix would surely yield, not Kuvavlrr,c, but Kav.Vr;^:, as 
"A;5(Jr]pa, 'A/'S'(J/]c^«Vy]j. I confess myself wholly at a loss 
to understand the intention of our Translators. The 
same difficulty attends the '' Simon Chananccus'^ of 
the Yulgate. 

Matt. xiv. 8. — "And she, being- before imtructed 
of her mother, said. Give me here John Baptist's head 
in a charger." A meaning is given here to cpo,,5»/3a- 
tf^sKTa which the word will not bear. I do not think 
that the Yulgate exercised much influence on our 
Translators ; yet the ' praemonita' of it may have led 
the way to this error. n^o/3j,3;^.j5jv is to urge on, or 
push forward, to make to advance, or sometimes, in- 
transitively, to advance ; the '^po not being of time, 
but of place; thus, -Trpo/ojjS . Jsiv tt^v -rarpjla, to set for- 
ward the might of one's country (Polyb., ix. 10, 4) ; 
and it is sometimes used literally, sometimes figura- 
tively. On the one otlier occasion when it occurs in 
the New Testament, it is used literally; -Trpoc.^t i^acrav 
'AXe'^av'Ipov (Acts xix. 33), " they pushed forward," 
not, " they drew out, Alexander ;" here figuratively 



WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY xMISTRANSLATED. 151 

and morally. We may conceive the uiiliaj)i)y girl 
with all her vanity and levity, yet shrinking from the 
petition of blood, which her mother would put into 
her lips, and needing to be urged on, or pushed fur- 
ward, before she could be induced to make it ; and 
this is implied in the word. I should translate, '* And 
she, being urged on by her mother/' 

Matt. xiv. 13. — "They followed Ilira on foot out 
of the cities." lit J;^ might very well mean " on foot ;" 
yet it does not mean so here ; but rather, " by land." 
There could be no question that the multitude who fol- 
lowed Jesus would in the main proceed " on foot," and 
not in chariots or on horses, and it is not this which 
the Evangelist desires to state. The contrast which 
he would draw is between the Lord who reached the 
desert place by ship (see the earlier part of the verse), 
and the multitude who found their way thither by 
land. Compare the use of '^c^gJsiv at Acts xx. 13, by 
the Rheims rightly translated, " to journey by land ;" 
but in our Translation, not with the same precision, 
" to go afoot." 

Mark xi. 4. — "A place where two ways met." 
"AfjKpotJoj (otfjupj and o^oV) is rather, a way round, a 
crooked lane. 

Mark xii. 26. — *'Have ye not read in the book of 
Moses, how in the bush God spake unto liim ?" But 
kirl Tr,g iSuTovj as all acknowledge now, is not, " in the 
bush," as indicating the place from which God spake 
to Moses, but means, " in that portion of Scripture 



152 ON SOME WORDS 

which goos l)y tlic name of The Buslf — tlie Jews 
being wont to designate different portions of Scripture 
by the most memorable thing or fact recorded in them ; 
thus, one portion was called h /3a.Toc. How, indeed, 
to tell this story in the English Version is not easy to 
determine, without forsaking the translator's sphere, 
and entering on that of the commentator. I may ob- 
serve that £v 'llXiot (Rom. xi. 2) is a quotation of the 
same kind. It can never mean, " of Elias," as in our 
Translation ; but is rather, " in the history of Elias," 
in that portion of Scripture which tells of him ; so Do 
Wette : " in der Geschichte des Elia." 

Acts xiv. 13. — " We also are men of like passions 
with you." This fact would not have disproved in 
the eyes of these Lycaonians the right of Paul and 
Silas to be considered gods. The heathen were only 
too ready to ascribe to their gods like passions, re- 
venge, lust, envy, with their own. 'Oxoio'jraihTg ujjJv 
means rather, " subject to like conditions," that is, of 
pain, sickness, old age, death, " with yourselves." 
Translate, " We also are men loho suffer like things 
with yourselves." The Yulgate, " Et nos mortales 
sumus," is on the right track ; and Tyndale, '' We 
are mortal men like unto you." The only other pas- 
sage in the New Testament in which './L-ojora^.c occurs 
(Jam. V. IT), will need to be slightly modified in the 
same sense. 

Acts xvii. 22. — ''I perceive that in all things ye 
are too superstitious y This, as Luther's " allzu aber- 



WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY MISTRANSLATED. 153 

glaiibisch," is a rendering very much to be regretted. 
Whatever severe things St. Paul might be obliged to 
say to his hearers, yet it was not his way to begin by 
insulting, and in this way alienating them from him- 
self, and from the truth of whicli he was the bearer. 
Rather, if there was anything in tJiem which he could 
praise, he would praise that, and only afterward con- 
demn that "which demanded condemnation. So is it 
here ; he affirmed, and no doubt they took it for praise, 
that by his own observation he had gathered they 
were '^s SttaiSaiixovBtfri^o-.s, as men greatly addicted ta 
the w^orship of deities, '' very religious," I should 
render it, giving to ' religious' its true sense, and not 
the mischievous sense which it has now acquired. So 
Beza, ' religiosiorcs ;' and De Wette, " sehr gottes- 
fiirchtig." This was the praise which all antiquity 
gave to the Athenians, and which Paul does not with- 
hold, using at the same time with the finest tact and 
skill a middle word, capable of a good sense, and 
capable of a bad — a word originally of honorable 
meaning, but which had already slipped in part into 
a dishonorable sense ; thus finely insinuating that this 
service of theirs might easily slip, or have slipped 
already, into excess, or might be rendered to WTong 
objects. Still, these words are to be taken, not as a 
holding up to them of their sin, but as a captatio be- 
nevolenticc, and it must be confessed they are coarsely 
rendered in our Verj^ion. 

Acts XXV. 5. — " Let them therefore, said he, which 

It « 
i 



154 ON SOME WORDS. 

among you are able, go down." But oi dwaroi is not 
'' those which are able," but " those which are in au- 
thority," as the Vulgate rightly, " qui potentes sunt ;" 
see Losner, Obss. in N. 7\, in loc. 

Rom. ii. 22. — "Thou that abhorrest idols, dost 
thou commit sacrilege .^" This is too general, and 
fails to bring out with sufficient distinctness the charge 
which the Apostle, in this ispo(j'uX£l:, is making against 
the Jew. The charge is this : *' Thou professest to 
abhor idols, and yet art so mastered by thy covetous- 
ness, that, if opportunity offers, thou wilt not scruple 
thyself to lay hands on these gold and silver abomi- 
nations, and to make them thy own" (see Chrysostom, 
in loco). Read, " Thou that abhorrest idols, dost 
thou rob temples T^ 

Rom. xi. 8. — "According as it is written, God 
hath given them the spirit of slumber^ Our Trans- 
lators must have derived x^to-v.^jj from voCra^eiv, as 
indeed many others have done, before they could have 
given it this meaning. Yet they plainly ha\'e their 
misgiving in respect of the correctness of this etymol- 
ogy, for they propose ' remorse' in the margin, evi- 
dently on the corrector hypothesis that the word is 
not from vutfr^^siv, but v.Vcrsjv. Still, even if they had 
put ' remorse,' as the compunction of the soul (the 
Vulgate has ' compunctio'), into the text, though they 
would have been etymologically right, they would not 
have seized the exact force of xaravu^i?, at least in 
Hellenistic Greek ; as is plain from the service whicli 



WHOLLY OR PARTLVLLY MLSTRANSLATED. 155 

it does in the Septuagint, and from the Hebrew words 
which it is there made to render. This is no place 
for entering at length into all (and it is much) which 
has been written on this word. Sufficient to say that 
it is properly the stupor or stupefaction, the astonish- 
ment, bringing * astonishment' back to its stronger and 
earlier meaning, the stunnedness (' Betaubung,' -De 
Wette) consequent on a wound or blow, vJo'o'ejv, as I 
need hardly observe, being to strike as well as to 
pierce. ' Torpor,' only that this so easily suggests the 
wrong etymology, and runs into the notion of deep 
sleep, would not be a bad rendering of it. * Stupor,' 
which the " Five Clergymen" have adopted, is perhaps 
better. Hammond, whose marginal emendations of 
the Authorized Version arc often exceedingly valuable, 
and deserve more attention than they have received, 
being about the most valuable part of his book on the 
New Testament, has suggested ' senselessness ;' but 
this is not one of his happiest emendations. 

Gal. i. 18. — "I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter." 
'iCTopsrv is not merely ' to see,' but properly, to inquire, 
to investigate, to interrogate, to arrive by personal 
knowledge, ocular or other, at the actual knowledge 
of past events : and then, secondarily, to set down tho 
results of these investigations, just as i^'ropja is, first, 
this investigation, and then, in a secondary sense, the 
result of it duly set down, or, as we say, ' history.' 
Here, indeed, it is a person, and not things, which 
is the object of tliis closer knowledge. " I went up 



156 ON SOME WORDS 

to Jerusalem," says Paul, " to acquaint myself with 
Peter" (" accuratius cognoscere ; itaque plus inest 
quam in verbo I^sXj :" Winer). 

Gal. V. 20. — ' Seditions.'' It is at first perplexing 
to find this as tlie rendering of Qr^o^'rctelcj.i, which is 
evidently a word of wider reach ; but Archdeacon 
Hare has admirably accounted for its appearance in 
this place.* I will quote his words : " When our 
Version is inaccurate or inadequate, this does not 
arise, as it does throughout in the Rhemish Version, 
from a coincidence with the Vulgate; yet its inade- 
quate renderings often seem to have arisen from an 
imperfect aj)prehension of some Latin substitute for 
the word in the Greek text — from taking some pecu- 
liar sense of the Latin word different from that in 
which it was used to represent the Greek original. 
Let me illustrate this by a single instance. Among 
the works of the flesh St. Paul (Gal. v. 20) numbers 
Jj;)(;oa'Tacr;a(, wliicli we render ' seditions.' But ' sedi- 
tions' in our old, as well as our modern language, are 
only one form of the divisions implied by (^i^^oCraCiai, 
and assuredly not the form which would present itself 
foremost to the Apostle's mind when writing to the 
Galatians. At first, too, one is puzzled to understand 
how the word ' seditions' came to suggest itself in the 
place, instead of the more general term ' divisions,' 
which is the plain correspondent to ^i-^^odTa-lai, and is 
SO used in Rom. xvi. 17, and in 1 Cor. iii. 3. Here 

* Mission of the Comforter, p. 391. 



WHOLLY OR PARTL\LLY MISTRANSLATED. Ih'i 

the thought occurs tliat the Latin word ' scditio,' 
though in its ordinary acceptation equivalent to its 
English derivative, yet primarily and etymologically 
answers very closely to Sixocfraalu ; and one is natu- 
rally led to conjecture tliat our Translators must have 
followed some Latin version, in wliich the word ' sedi- 
tiones' was used, not without an affectation of archaic 
elegance. Now, the Vulgate has ' dissensiones,' but 
in Erasmus, whose style was marked by that charac- 
teristic, we find the very word ' seditiones.' Hence 
Tyndale, whom we know, from his controversial wri- 
tings, to have made use of Erasmus' version, took his 
* sedition,' not minding that the sense in which Eras- 
mus had used the Latin word was alien to the Eng- 
lish ; and from Tyndale it has come down, with a 
mere change of number, into our present Version ; 
while Wiclif and the RhemLsh render the Vulgate by 
' dissensions.' " 

Ephes. iv. 29. — "Let no corrupt communication 
proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to 
the use of edifying ^ But to justify these last words, 
to which Beza's " ad aedificationis usum" may have led 
the way, we should have found, not -n-po^ o/xc(5o/x7^v t% 

p^pSiajT, but 'TT^oc: or ^k XP^'^^ '^"'"'^ olxoOc^r,g. Xo ouc wiU 

affirm that we have such an hypallage here. There 
is much more in the words than such a translation, 
even were it allowable, would educe from them. It 
is not very easy to give, without circumlocution, a 
satisfactory English rendering ; but the meaning is 



158 ON SOME WORDS 

m 

abundantly clear. " Let such discourse," St. Paul 
would say, " proceed from your mouths as is fitted to 
the present need or occasion ; do not deal in vague, 
flat, unmeaning generalities, which would suit a thou- 
sand other cases equally well, and probably, therefore, 
equally ill ; let your words be what the words of wise 
men will always be, nails fastened in a sure place, 
words suiting the present time and the present per- 
son, being for the edifying of the occasion." " Edi- 
fication of the need," Ellicott has it ; and De Wette, 
'' zur Erbauung nach Bediirfniss." An admonition of 
a similar character is couched in the slSsvai -ttwj 5sT hi 
kxadru) d'Toxpi'vsj'^aj of the parallel passage in the Co- 
lossians (iv. 6). Each man must have his own an- 
swer, that which meets his difficulties, his perplexities. 
There must not be one unfeeling, unsympathizing an- 
swer for all. 

Col. i. 15. — ^' Who is the image of the invisible 
God, the first-born of every creature y This is one 
of the very few renderings in our Version, I know not 
whether the only one, which obscures a great doctri- 
nal truth, and, indeed, worse than this, seems to play 
into the hands of Arian error. For does it not legiti- 
mately follow on this " first-born of every creature," 
or " of all creation," that He of whom this is predi- 
cated must be Himself also a creature, although the 
first in the creation of God ? But in the phrase 
■rpwroVoxoj itadrig xTi(f=u)g, we are not to regard m'cKfrjg 
icTidec^s as a partitive genitive, so that Christ is in- 



WHOLLY OR PARllALLY MISTRANSLATED. 159 

eluded in the " every creature," though distinguished 
as being the first-born among them, but rather as a 
genitive of comparison, depending on, and governed 
by, the -Trpojroj (see John i. 15, 30) which lies in 
flrpwToToxocr. I am not quite satisfied with " born be- 
fore every creature," or " brought forth before every 
creature ;" because there lies in the original words 
a comparison between the begetting of the Son and 
the creation of the creature, and not merely an 
opposition ; He is placed at the head of a series, 
though essentially differing from all that followed, in 
the fact that He was born and they only created ; the 
great distinction between the yz^jvlv (or rUrsiv, as it is 
here) and the jcn'^jiv, which came so prominently for- 
ward in the Arian controversy, being here already 
marked. Still, I could have no question as between 
it and the " first-born of every creature" of our Ver- 
sion, which obviously suggests an erroneous meaning, 
though it may be just capable of receiving a right one. 
It was nothing unnatural that Waterland, who in the 
beginning of the last century fought the great battle 
of the English Church against the Arianism which 
claimed a right to exist in the very bosom of that 
Church, should have been very ill-content to find a 
most important testimony to the truth for which he 
was contending, foregone and renounced, so far at 
least as the English Translation reached — nay, more 
than this, tlie verse not merely taken away from him, 
l)ut, jn appearance at least, made over to his adver- 



160 ON SOME WORDS 

sarics. In several places he complains of tins, as in 
the following passage : " In respect of the words, 
* first-born of every creature' comes not up to the force 
or meaning of the original. It should have been l)orn 
(or begotten) before the ichole creation^ as is mani- 
fest from the context, which gives the reason wliy He 
is said to be -rpwroToxo^ 'v^a.dyig xr'Kfsojg. It is because He 
is ' before all things,' and because by Him were all 
things created. So that this very passage, wliich, as 
it stands in our Translation, may seem to suppose the 
Son one of the creatures, does, when rightly under- 
stood, clearly exempt Him from the number of crea- 
tures. He was before all created being, and conse- 
quently was Himself uncreated^ existing with the 
Father from all eternity."* 

. Heb. xi. 29. — "Which the Egyptians assaying to 
do, were droivnedy Did our Translators prefer the 
reading xa^rsTrovTiV^yjtfav ? This is not very probable, 
th(5 authority for it being so small. If they did not, 
and if they read, as is most likely, xars'Tro.^Tio'av, they 
should have rendered it by some word of wider reach ; 
as, for instance, " were swallowed up," or " were en- 
gulfed" (" devorati sunt," Vulgate ; " verschlungen 
wurden," Bleek). " Swallowed up," l)esides being a 
better rendering, would more accurately set forth the 
historic fact. The pursuing armies of the Egyptians 
sunk in the sands quite as much as they were over- 
whelmed by the waves of the Red Sea, as is expressly 

* Serin. 2, Clii-isl's Divinity proved from Creation. 



WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY MISTRANSLATED. IGl 

declared in the bynin of triumph which Moses com- 
posed on the occasion: xarsmsv avro-og yy,, Exod. XV. 
12 ; cf. Diodorus Siculus, i. 32: C-tt' ajXf^.ou xarartlvsrai. 

Jam. i. 20. — "If any man among jou seem to he 
religious, and bridleth not his^ tongue, but deceiveth 
his own heart, this man's religion is vain.'* This 
verse, as it here stands, must, I am persuaded, have 
perplexed many. How can a man " seem to be reli- 
gious," that is, present himself to others as such, 
w^hen his religious pretensions are belied and refuted 
by the indulgence in an unbridled tongue ? But the 
perplexity has been introduced by our Translators, 
who have here failed to play the part of accurate 
synonymists, and to di-aw the line sharply and dis- 
tinctly between the verbs SoxsTv and (palvstfSai. AoxsTv 
expresses the subjective mental opinion of anything 
which men form, their S'^c/. about it, which may be 
right (Acts xv. 28 ; 1 Cor. iv. 9), or wdiich may be 
wrong (Matt. vi. 7 ; Mark vi. 49 ; Acts xxvii. 13) ; 
(pa.ivs>rdai, the objective external appearance which it 
presents, quite independent of men's conception about 
it. Thus, when Xenophon writes, scpa'rjsro I'^via IWwv 
(Anab., i. 6, 1), he would affirm that horsGs had 
been actually there, and left their tracks. Had he 
employed the alternative word, it would have implied 
that Cyrus and his company took for tracks of horses 
what mi gilt have been, or what also very possibly 
might not have been, such at all.^ "^oxsrv cernitur in 
():piniope, quae falsa esse potest et vana. Sed (pa/veo'dai 



162 ON SOME WORDS 

plcrumquc est in re extra mentein ; quamvis nemo 
opinatur." Apply this distinclion to tlio passage be- 
fore us ; keep iu mind that SoxsTv, and not ^a-'vi^tJa;, is 
the word used, and all is plain : " If any man among 
you think' himself religious (" se putat religiosum 
esse," Vulgate), and bridleth not his tongue," &g. 
It is his own subjective estimate of his spiritual con- 
dition which the word implies, an estimate which the 
following words declare to be entirely erroneous. — 
Let me observe here that the same rendering of SoxsTvy 
Gal. ii. 6, 9, gives a color to St. Paul's words which 
they are very far from having ; as though there was 
a certain covert irony upon his part in regard of the 
pretensions of the three great Apostles whom he met 
at Jerusalem (" who seemed to he something" — " who 
seemed to be pillars") ; whereas he does express, not 
what they seemed or appeared, but what they by oth- 
ers were, and were rightly, held- to be. The Geneva 
is here, as so often, correct ; correct also in making 
JoxoCvTS^ in both these verses a present, and not an 
imperfect, participle. 

Jude 12. — "Trees whose fruit withereth.'''' But 
(p^jvo-n'wpivoV has here a meaning ascribed to it, which it 
nowhere possesses, as though it were = wXs(ruap'roc:, 
the (p^ivoxa^-TToj of Pindar (Pyth.^ iv. 265) ; or the 
* frugiperdus' of Pliny. The (p^ivr^w^ov is the late au- 
tumn, the autumn far spent, which succeeds the oidi^a, 
or the autumn contemplated as the time of the ripened 
fruits of the earth ; and which has its name, -^a^a t6 



WHOLLY OR PARTL^LLY MISTRANSLATED. 163 

(p^/vE-T^aj rr^v UCj^uv, from the waning away of tlie au- 
tumn and the autumn fruits, themselves also often 
called the os-wpa ; and ^^ivoTroupjvc'^ is always used in the 
sense of belonging to the late autumn. The Latin 
language has no word which distinguishes the later 
autumn from the earlier, and, therefore, the " arbores 
autumnales^^ of the Yulgate is a correct translation, 
and one as accurate as the language would allow, 
unless, indeed, it had been rendered " arbores senes- 
centis autumni^'' or by some such phrase ; as De Wette 
in his German translation has it, * ^joo^herbstliche.' 
We, I think, could scarcely get beyond " autumnal 
trees,*' or " trees of autumn^'' as the Rheims version 
gives it. These deceivers are likened by the Apostle 
to trees as they show in late autumn, when foliage 
and fruit alike are gone. Bengel : " Arbor tali spe- 
cie qualis est autumno extremo, sine foliis et pomis." 
The ipdivo';r'wp;va, axap-ra, will then, in fact, mutually com- 
plete one another : " without leaves, without fruit." 

Tyndale, who throws together (3ivOpa (p<3jvo';rwp»va axap-ra, 

and renders the whole phrase thus, " trees without 
fruit at gathering time^^' was feeling after, though he 
has not grasped, the right translation. 



164 ON SOME CHARGES UNJUSTLY BROUGHT 



CHAPTER X. 

ON SOME CHARGES UNJUSTLY BROUGHT AGAINST OUR 
VERSION. 

Some charges have been, and are still, not unfre- 
quently made against our Version, which I am per- 
suaded are unjust. There is one which so nearly 
touches tlie honor and good faith of its authors, that 
it can hardly be passed over. They are accused, as 
is familiar to many, with snatching at unfair advan- 
tages, slurring over statements of Scripture which 
seemed to make for an adversary, giving to others a 
turn which the truth would not warrant, and compel- 
ling them to bear a testimony in tlieir own favor which 
these passages did not properly contain. They have 
been charged with this from two quarters. Thus, the 
Roman Catholics oftentimes complain that they have 
made passages of Scripture to tell against Roman 
doctrine, which, fairly translated, would yield no such 
testimony against it ; while they have weakened or 
destroyed the witness of other passages, which, in a 



AGAINST OUR VERSION. 165 

more honest version, would be found on the side of 
Rome, in the points at issue between her and the 
Reformed Church. The charge, a most grave and 
serious one indeed, of such deceitful handling of the 
Word of God, does not seem to me to have any foun- 
dation whatever. It was, of course, free to our Trans- 
lators, and only natural, that in a passage like Ueh. 
xiii. 4, they should incline to that interpretation, and 
adopt that rendering, which justified the abolition in 
the Reformed Church of the compulsory celibate of 
the clergy. The rendering of iv -ru<^i, " in all," that 
is, *' inter omues" (a masculine and not a neuter), was 
open to them ; it was the interpretation of tlie words 
adopted by many of the ancient Fathers ; grammati- 
cally, it can be perfectly justified ; it is accepted to 
the present day by many who are not in the least 
drawn to it by doctrinal, but purely by philological 
interests, and it is very idle to complain of them that 
they preferred it. 

It would be quite impossible to go through the sev- 
eral passages on which this charge is grounded ; such 
a course would carry me too far from the main pur- 
pose of these pages. I may, however, just mention 
one or two. The first is one where this charge has 
been sometimes allowed by writers of our own com- 
munion. Thus, Professor Stanley is inclined to as- 
cribe to " theological fear or partiality" the render- 
ing of 1 Cor. xi. 27, where, in St. Paul's statement, 
*^ Whosoever shall eat this bread or drink this cup of 



166 •ON SOME CHARGES UNJUSTLY BROUGHT 

the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and 
blood of the Lord," they have substituted ' and' for 
* or.' I have no suspicion that they did this '' in or- 
der to avoid the inference that the Eucharist might 
be received under one kind." Li the first place, there 
is authority for ' and ;' I do not think sufficient au- 
tliority, but so much that an eminent scholar, like 
Fritzsche, with no theological leaning on one side or 
the other, even now prefers it. Moreover, such an 
inference from these words is so extravagantly absurd, 
so refuted by several other statements in this very 
chapter, that I can not see how they should have 
cared to exclude it ; even had they been willing to 
sacrifice truth and honesty, they were under no tempt- 
ation to do so. They probably accepted xai as the 
right reading. 

Gal. V. 6. — "Faith which loorketh by hve.^^ It 
was for a long time a favorite charge of the Roman- 
ists, even in the face of their own Vulgate, which has 
rightly, " fides quae per caritatem operatur^^^ that we 
had given to £v£p^'ou|x?vri an active sense, when it ought 
to have a passive, and that we had done so in the fear 
lest there should be found here any support for their 
doctrine of the " fides formata," as that which justi- 
fies. They would have had the words translated, 
" faith which is wrought on, that is, animated, stirred 
up, by love." Other unfriendly critics have repeated 
the charge. There is no need, however, to refute it, 
as the later Roman Catholic expositors — Windiech- 



AGAINST OUR VERSION. 167 

man, for instance, in his valuable Commentary on this 
Epistle — have acknowledged the accuracy of our 
translation, have accepted it as the true one ; and 
thus implicitly allowed the injustice of this charge. 

Indeed, it is not too much to say, that if, in the 
heat of earlier controversy, any shadow of unfair ad- 
vantage might seem to have been taken by the first 
Protestant translators after the Reformation, those of 
King James's Bible were careful to forego and re- 
nounce everything of the kind. Thus, it was a com- 
plaint, and, as I must needs regard it, not an unrea- 
sonable one, on the part of Romish assailants of our 
earlier versions,* that they rendered hI'o^jXov ' image,' 
and not ' idol ;' and s^■h}y.o\aT^)r|g '' worshipper of m- 
ages,''* and not " worshipper of idols''^ or ' idolater ;' 
that they thus confounded the honor paid in the Ro- 
man Church to images with the idol-worship of hea- 
thenism. They urged that however Protestants might 
reprobate and condemn the first, yet it was confes- 
sedly an entirely difi"crent thing from the last ; while 
yet our Translators went out of their way, and de- 
parted from the more natural rendering of eloooXov, for 
the purpose of including both under a common re- 
proach ; that by such renderings as this, " How agreeth 
the temple of God with linages V (2 Cor. vi. 16), they 
suggested and helped forward the destruction of these 
in all the churches through the land. The complaint 
was a just one, and our Translators seem to have so 

* Se6 Ward's Errata of the Proteatant Bible, Dublin, 1810, p. 63. 



168 ON SOME CHARGES UNJUSTLY BROUGHT 

regarded it. They have nowhere employed the offen- 
sive rendering, but always used ' idolater' and ' idol.' 
Thus, compare 1 Cor. x. 7 ; 1 John v. 21, in our Ver- 
sion, with the same in the earlier Protestant versions ; 
in the latter passage, indeed, the Geneva had antici- 
pated this correction. 

Then, too, it has been sometimes said, I was inclined 
at one time to think with some reason, that other the- 
ological leanings, Calvinistic as against Arminian, 
were occasionally to be traced in our Translation, 
modifying consciously or unconsciously the rendering 
of some passages in it. These charges, I am now per- 
suaded, are entirely without foundation. They mainly, 
though not exclusively, rest on the rendering of the 
two following places : Acts ii. 47 : Ilcb. x. 38. But 
what in each of these passages there is, or what some 
have considered there is, to find fault with, is capable 
of much easier explanation. It may be worth while 
to consider these passages. 

Acts ii. 47. — Our Translators make St. Luke to 
say, " The Lord added to the Church daily such as 
should be saved.''* It is urged against them that in 
the original it is not rove, <i'.&r^rf,,^-\jry^c., which would 
alone have justified this rendering ; but roOj cw^ofxt'vou^. 
The explanation, however, is sufficiently easy of their 
slight departing from an accurate rendering, without 
ascribing to them, or those who went before them in 
this translation, any dogmatic bias. They were per- 
plexed with a language which spoke of those as already 



AGAINST OUR VERSION. 169 

saved, who only became e^aved through being thus 
added to the Church of the living God. They proba- 
bly did not clearly perceive that by this language 
the sacred historian meant to say that in this act of 
adherence to the Church, and to Christ its Head, 
these converts were saved, delivered from the wrath 
to come ; " those that did escape," Hammond renders 
it. They had no wish, except to avoid a fancied dif- 
ficulty ; and I do not believe that the thought of pre- 
destination in the least entered into their minds, how- 
ever others may have since employed the words as a 
support for the doctrine. Indeed, it is well worthy 
of note that tlie Rhemish version gives precisely the 
same future meaning to to-.V cw^ofAsvou^, and renders, 
" they that should be saved." 

Heb. X. 38. — ^' Now the just shall live by faith; 
but if an?/ man draw back, my soul shall have no 
pleasure in him." Here, too, it has been often as- 
serted, last of all by Professor Blunt, that the doctri- 
nal tendencies of the Translators exercised an unwar- 
rantable influence on the translation. No unpreju- 
diced person, it has been said, can road the verse in 
tlie original, and not acknowledge that the person 
whose drawing back is supposed possible in the sec- 
ond clause of the verse is ' the just' of the first clause. 
So Tyndale had translated it : " But the just shall 
live by faith ; and if he withdraw himself," &c. — Cov- 
erdale and Cranmcr in the same way. But tliis verse, 
so rendered, would have contradicted the doctrine of 

8 



170 ON SOME CHARGES UNJUSTLY BROUGHT 

final perseverance ; and therefore, it is said, in the 
Geneva version ' any' was substituted for ' he,' and 
' any man,' in our Version. No objection to the en- 
tire good faith of our Translators is oftener urged 
than this. Now, I certainly think myself that Sixaiog 
is the nominative to viro(fTsi\r]Tai, and that the passage 
does contradict the doctrine of final perseverance in 
its high Calvinistic or necessitarian shape. But to 
the present day, the other view of the passage, that 
namely of our Translation, which would disengage an 
av^pw-rroj or a rls from Sixaiog, and make U the nomina- 
tive to vifocfrsiXriTon, is maintained by scholars such as 
De Wette and Winer, who are certainly as remote as 
well can be from any Calvinisticleanings. 

Leaving these passages which involve doctrine, I 
may just mention one other which has no such signifi- 
cance. In this, fault may be justly found, and has 
been found, with the words as they stand in our Ver- 
sion ; while yet I am convinced, though it is impossible 
to bring this to absolute proof, that the incorrectness 
is with the printers, and not with the Translators. I 
allude to Matt, xxiii. 24. " Which strain at a gnat" 
has been often objected to there. Long ago Bishop 
Lowth complained, " The impropriety of the preposi- 
tion has wholly destroyed the meaning of the phrase." 
I can not doubt, as I have expressed elsewhere, that 
we have here a misprint, which, having been passed 
ovei in the first edition of 1611, has held its ground 
ever since; nor yet that our Translators intended. 



AGAINST OUR VERSION. 171 

" which strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel ;" this 
being at once intelligil)le, and a correct rendering of 
the original ; while our Version, as at present it stands, 
is neither ; or only intelligible on the suppositipn, no 
doubt the supposition of most English readers, that 
" strain a^" means, swallow with difficulty, men hardly 
and with effort swallowing the little insect, but gulp- 
ing down meanwhile, unconcerned, the huge animal. 
It need scarcely be said that this is very far from the 
meaning of the original words, ol giu/.i^ovtsj tov xwvwra, 
by Meyer rendered well, " percolando removcntes 
muscam ;'' and Ijy the Vulgate also not ill, " excolantcs 
culicem ;" for which use of (5ii;Xi^eiv, as to cleanse by 
passing through a strainer, see Plutarch, S//7np., vi. 7. 
1. It was the custom of the more accurate and stricter 
Jews to strain their wine, vinegar, and other potal)les, 
through linen or gauze, lest unawares they should 
drink down some little unclean insect therein, and 
thus transgress Lev. xi. 20, 23, 41, 42 — just as the 
Buddhists do now in Ceylon and Hindostan — and to 
tliis custom of theirs the Lord refers. A recent trav- 
eller in Nortli Africa writes in an unpublished com- 
munication which he has been good enough to make 
to me : " In a ride from Tangier to Tetuan I observed 
that a Moorish soldier who accompanied me, when ho 
drank, always unfolded the end of his turban and 
placed it over the mouth of his bota, drinking through 
the muslin, to strain out the g-nats, whose larva3 swarm 
in the^water of tliat country." The further fact that 



172 UNJUST CHARGES AGAINST OUR VERSION. 

our present Yersion rests to so great an extent on the 
three preceding, Tyndale's, Cranmer's, and the Ge- 
neva, and that all these have " strain ow^," is addi- 
tional evidence in confirmation of that about wliich 
for myself I feel no doubt, namely, that we have here 
an uncorrected error of the press. There was no such 
faultless accuracy in the first edition, as should make 
us unwilling to suppose this ; on the contrary, more 
than one mistake was subsequently discovered and 
removed. Thus, it stood in the exemplar edition of 
1611, at 1 Cor. iv. 9 : " God hath set forth us the 
apostles last, as it were approved to death ;" yet ' ap- 
proved' was afterward changed for the word no doubt 
intended, ^ appointed.' In another passage, I mean 
1 Cor. xii. 28, the misprint, " helps in governments," 
after having retained its place in several successive 
editions, was afterward in like manner removed, and 
the present corrector reading, " helps, governments" 
(avrjX^jvjxSjf, yu^epv»30'sjcr)j substituted in its room. 



BEST MEANS OF CARRYING OUT A REVISION-. 173 



CHAPTER XI. 

ON THE BEST MEANS OF CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 

I HAVE thus endeavored to make as just an estimate 
as 1 could of the merits, and, where such exist, of the 
defects, of our Authorized Version. In pointing out 
some of these last, I trust I have nowhere spoken a 
word inconsistent with the truest reverence for its 
authors, the profoundest gratitude to them for the 
treasure with which they have enriched the English 
Church. Such word I certainly have not intended to 
utter ; and I can truly say that if a close and minute 
examination of parts of their work reveals flaws which 
one had not suspected before, it also discovers a more 
than counterbalancing amount of merits, of which one 
had not hitherto been aware. 

A few words in conclusion. They shall be — first, 
on tlie difficulties and dangers which manifestly beset 
a revision ; and, secondly, on the manner in which 
these might be best overcome. 

Among these difficulties, I will not more than touch 



174 ON THE BEST MEANS OP 

jj^ on tliat of the formation of a Greek text wliich the 
revised Version should seek to represent ; and yet it 
is a difficulty of the most serious character. Let it 
once be recognised tliat any change is to take place, 
and it will be manifestly impossible to rest content 
with the text which our Translators used. Take 
cases, for instance, where every critical edition of 
later times, and on overwhelming evidence, lias pre- 
ferred some other readings to theirs. And yet these 
cases of overwhelming evidence will not by any means 
be the hardest. It might not be so difficult to deal 
w^ith them ; but how determine where the authorities 
are at all nearly balanced ? But, satisfying myself 
with merely indicating this difficulty which presents 
I * itself at the very outset, I pass on to others. 

^yv^.rr^e must never leave out of sight that for a great 
multitude of readers the English Version is not the 
translation of an inspired Book, but is itself the in- 
spired Book. And so far, of course, as it is a per- 
fectly adequate counterpart of the original, this is 
true ; since the inspiration is not limited to those 
Hebrew or Greek words in which the Divine message 
was first communicated to men, but lives on in what- 
ever words are a faithful and full representation of 
these ; nay, in words which fall short of this, to the 
extent of their adequacy. There, and there only, 
where any divergence exists between the original and 
the copy, the copy is less inspired than the original ; 
indeed, is not, to the extent of that divergence, in- 



CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 176 

spired at all. But these distinctions are exactly of a 
kind which the body of Christian people will not draw. 
The English Bible is to them all which the Hebrew 
Old Testament, which the Greek New Testament, is 
to the devout scholar. It receives from them the 
same undoubting aJHance. They have never realized 
the fact that the Divine utterance was not made at 
the first in those very English words which they read 
in their cottages, and hear in their church. Who will 
not own that tlie little wliicli this faith of tlieirs in the 
English Bible has in excess is nearly or quite harm- 
less ? On the other hand, the harm would be incal- 
culable, of any serious disturbance of this faith, sup- 
posing, as might only too ea!^ily happen, very much 
else to be disturbed with it. 

Neither can I count it an indifferent matter that a 
chief bond, indeed the cliicfest, that binds the E;iglish 
Dissenters to us, and us to them, would thus be snapped 
asunder. Out of the fact that Nonconformity had not 
for the most part fixed itself into actual and formal 
separation from the Churcli till some time after our 
Authorized Version was made, it has followed that 
when the Nonconformists parted from us, they carried 
with them this Translation, and continued to use and 
to cherish it, regarding it as much their own as ours. 
The Roman Catholics and the Unitarians are, I be- 
lieve, the only bodies who have counted it necessary 
V) make versions of their own. With the exception 
of thqse, the Authorized Version is common ground for 



170 ON THE BEST MEANS OP 

all in EnoLaiHl who call tlienisclvos Cliristians, is alike 
the heritage of all. But even if English Dissenters 
acknowledged the necessity of a revision, which I con- 
clude from many indications that they do, it is idle 
to expect that they would accept such at our hands. 
Two things then might happen. Either they w^ould 
adhere to the old Authorized Version, w^hich is not, 
indeed, very probable ; or they w^ould carry out a 
revision, it might be two or three, of their own. In 
either case the ground of a common Scripture, of an 
English Bible which they and we hold equally sacred, 
would be taken from us ; the separation and division, 
which are now the sorrow, and perplexity, and shame 
of England, would become more marked, more deeply 
fixed than ever. Then, further, while of course it 
would be comparatively easy to invite our brethren 
of the Episcopal Chui-ch in America to take share in 
our revision, yet many causes might hinder their ac- 
ceptance of this invitation, or their acquiescence in 
the work as we found it expedient to do it. Thus, 
the issue might only too easily be, that we should lose 
in respect of them also the common ground of one 
and the same Scripture, which we now possess. Such 
a loss, either in regard of the English Dissenters, or 
American Churchmen, would not by a slight one, nor 
one deserving to be regarded with indifference. 

Another most serious consideration presents itself, 
Will one revision satisfy ? If conducted with moder- 
ation, it will probably leave much untouched, about 



CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 177 

which it will still be possible to raise a question. Is 
it not inevitable that after a longer or shorter period 
another revision, and on that another, will be called 
for ? Will not in this way all sense of stability pass 
away from our English Scrii)ture ? And to look at a 
mere material fact — The Bibles in the hands of our 
people, in what agreement with one another will they 
be ? It is idle to expect that the great body of our 
population will keep pace with successive changes, 
and provide themselves with the latest revision. In- 
ability to meet the expense, or miwillingness to do 
so, or a love of tlie old to which they have grown 
accustomed, a foregone conclusion that the changes 
are for the worse, or that they are immaterial, lack 
of interest in the subject, will all combine to hinder 
this. The inconveniences, and much more than in- 
conveniences, of such a state of things, assuredly will 
not be slight. This prospect, indeed, so little alarms 
the author of an article in the Edinburgh Revieiv, 
" On the State of the English Bible," that he proposes 
the institution of a permanent Commission, which shall 
be always altering, always embodying in a new and 
improved edition the latest allowed results of Biblical 
criticism. It was startling enough to read somewhere 
else a proposal that the Authorized Yerson should be 
revised once in every fifty years ; but this proposal, 
if one could suppose there was the slightest chance 
that it would be acceded to, is most alarming of all. 
These are the main arguments, as it seems to mo, 
8* 



178 ON THE BEST MEANS OP 

against a revision of our Version. None will deny 
their weight. Indeed, there are times when the whole 
matter presents itself as so full of difficulty and doubt- 
ful hazard, that one could be well content to resign 
all gains that would accrue from this revision, and 
only ask that all things might remain as they were. 
But this, I am persuaded, is impossible ; however we 
may be disposed to let the question alone, it will not 
let us alone. It has been too effectually stirred ever 
again to go to sleep ; and the difficulties, be they few 
or many, will have one day to be encountered. The 
time will come when the inconveniences of remaining 
where we are will be so manifestly greater than the 
inconveniences of action, that this last will become 
inevitable. There will be danger in both courses, for 
that word of the Latin moralist is a profoundly true 
one, " Nanquam periclum sine pericio vincitnr f^ but 
the lesser danger will have to be chosen ; and that 
will be in the course which I desire, not that we 
should now take, but should prepare ourselves for 
hereafter taking, should regard as one toward which 
we are inevitably approaching. 

In respect of the actual steps which it will be then 
advisable to take, I can not think that even when the 
matter is seriously undertaken, there should be for a 
considerable time any interference with the English 
text. Let come together, and if possible not of self- 
jvill, but with some authorization, royal or ecclesias- 
tical, or both, such a body of scholars and divines as 



CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 179 

would deserve and would obtain the confidence of the 
whole Church. Fortunately, no points at issue among 
ourselves threaten to come into discussion or debate ; 
so that the unhappy divisions of our time would not 
here add any additional embarrassment to a matter 
embarrassed enough already. Nay, of such immense 
importance would it be to carry with us, in whatever 
might be done, the whole Christian people of Eng- 
land, that it would be desirable to invite all scholars, 
all who represented any important portion of the 
Biblical scholarship in the land, to assist with their 
suggestions here, even though they might not belong 
to the Church. Of course, they would be asked as 
scholars, not as Dissenters. But it were a matter so 
deeply to be regretted, that these should revise, and 
we should revise, thus parting company in the one 
thing which now holds us strongly together, while it 
would be so hopeless, indeed so unreasonable, to ex- 
pect that they should accept our revision, having 
themselves had no voice in it, that we ought not to 
stand on any punctilios here, but should be prepared 
rather to sacrifice everything non-essential for the 
averting of such a catastrophe. Setting aside, then, 
the so-called Baptists, who of course could not be 
invited, seeing that they demand, not a translation of 
the Scripture, but an interpretation, and that in their 
own sense, there are no matters of doctrine or even 
of discipline likely to come into debate, which should 
render it impossible for such Dissenters as accept our 



180 ON THE BEST MEANS OF 

doctrinal articles to take a share in this work — as 
regarded not from its ecclesiastical, buf its scholarly 
point of view. All points likely to come under "dis- 
cussion would be points of pure scholarship, or would 
only involve that universal Christianity common to 
them and us ; or if more than this, they would be 
points about which there is equally a difference of 
opinion within the Church as in the bodies without it, 
for instance, as between Arminian and Calvinist, which 
difference would not be avoided by their absence. 

Let, then, such a body as this, inspiring confidence 
at once by their piety, their learning, and their pru- 
dence, draw out such a list of emendations as were 
lifted beyond all doubt in the eye of every one whose 
voice had any right to be heard on the matter ; avoid- 
ing all luxury of emendation, abstaining from all which 
was not of primary necessity, from much in which they 
might have fitly allowed themselves, if they had not 
been building on foundations already laid, and which 
could not without great inconvenience be disturbed — 
using the same moderation here which Jerome used 
in his revision of the Latin. Let them very briefly, 
but with just as much learned explanation as should 
be needful, justify these emendations, where they were 
not self-evident. Let them, if this should be their 
conviction, express their sense of the desirableness 
that these should at some future day be introduced 
into the received text, as bringing it into more per- 
fect accord and harmony with the original Scripture. 



carryint; out a revision. 181 

Having done this, let tlicin leave these emendations to 
ripen in the public mind, gradually to commend tliem- 
sclves to all students of God's holy Word. Suppo- 
sing the emendations such as ought to, and would, do 
this, there would probably ere long be a general de- 
sire for their admission into the text ; and in due time 
this admission might follow. All abrupt change would 
thus be avoided — all forcing of alterations on those 
not as yet prepared to receive them. That which at 
length came in would excite no surprise, no perplex- 
ity, or at most very little, having already in the minds 
of many displaced that of which it now at length took 
openly the room. 

It is quite true that " no man having drunk old 
wine, straightway desireth new ; for he saith. The old 
is better ;" but it is on that word ' straightway' that 
the emphasis, in this saying of our Lord, must be laid. 
In those spiritual things to which we transfer this 
saying, a man may, and will, if he is wise, after a 
while desire the new. It may have a certain unwel- 
come harshness and austerity at the first ; the man 
may have to overcome that custom which is as a sec- 
ond nature, before he heartily affects it. But still, 
just as our ancestors grew gradually in love with our 
present Translation, Churchmen weaning themselves 
from the Bishops' Bible, and Puritans from the Ge- 
neva — just as one and the other of these versions fell 
quite out of use, though living on, the latter esjje- 
cially, for some time after they had been formally 



182 ON THE BEST MEANS OF 

superseded by the present Version, Churchmen and 
Puritans finally agreeing in the decision, not that the 
old was better, but the new— so will it be here. 
What amount of difficulty those who lived in the 
reign of James the First found in reconciling them- 
selves to the change, it is hard to say. We have 
curiously little on the subject in the contemporary 
religious literature, the very absence of such notices 
seeming to imply that the difficulty was not very 
great ; but in one respect it ought to be much less 
now, inasmuch as, careful as our then Translators 
were not to change wantonly for mere change's sake, 
still the alterations which they made were consider- 
able, many times more than would be necessary or 
desirable now. 

And even if it were never thought good that this 
final step should be taken, that these emendations 
should be transferred to the text, what an invaluable 
help to students of Scripture such a volume might 
prove ! With a little management, its more learned 
portions might be so separated off in notes as to leave 
the chief part of it accessible even to the English 
reader, who might thus be put in possession, though 
in a somewhat roundabout and less effectual way, of 
all which a revision would have given him. If, t(3o, 
he had ])een shaken by rumors of the inaccuracy of 
his English Bible, he might here see, on the warrant 
of those best qualified to judge, how very little way 
this inaccuracy reached, in wl^at cojuparatively un- 



CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 183 

essential matters it moved. Granting that nothing 
else sliould come of it, such a volume might prove an 
effectual check to wanton and mischievous agitations, 
if such there have been, or hereafter shall be, in this 
matter. 

In another way it might be found that the very un- 
settlement of men's minds, consequent upon the stir- 
ring of this question, might not be itself without a 
compensating gain. That very unsettlcment in regard 
of the words in which God's message has hitherto 
been conveyed to them, miglit it not prove for some 
a motive to a more accurate considering of the mes- 
sage itself, a happy breaking of that crust of formality 
which by long habit so easily overgrows our reading 
of the Scripture ? It would not be, I think, for most 
of us unprofitable to discover that the words m which 
the truth has been hitherto conveyed to us, are ex 
changeable for other, in some places, it may be, for 
better words. Tlic shock, unpleasant as it might 
prove at the first, might yet be a startling of many 
from a dull, lethargic, unprofitable reading of God's 
Word ; while in the rousing of the energies of the 
mind to defend the old, or, before admitting, thor- 
oughly to prove the new, more insight into it might 
be gained, with more grasp of its deeper meaning, 
than years of lazy familiarity would have given. For, 
indeed, according to a profound proverb, '' What i^ 
ever seen i^ never seen ;" and a daily familiarity with 
Scripture, full as it is of unutterable blessings, carries 



184 BEST MEANS OP CARRYING OUT A REVISION. 

its dangers with it, dangers which the course that is 
here urged might effect much to remove. 

This much I have thought it desirable to say on 
this momentous subject. I am not so sanguine as to 
believe that, with all these precautions, great and se- 
rious, it might be unexpected, difficulties would not 
attend the undertaking. There would need no little 
wisdom and prudence to bring it to a successful end. 
Still it might be humbly hoped, that by Him who is 
ever with his Church this prudence and this wisdom 
would be granted. And, lastly, let me observe that 
when we make much of the inconveniences which must 
attend any such step, we ought never to leave out of 
sight their transitory character, as contrasted with 
the permanent character of the gain. How large an 
amount of inconvenience men have willingly encoun- 
tered with only some worldly object in view, where 
they have felt that the inconvenience would be only 
temporary, the gain enduring — as in the rectification 
of the coinage, the readjustment of the calendar ! And 
here, too, serious as the inconvenience might be at 
tlie first, and for a time, still it would every day be 
growing slighter : it would be but for a few years at 
the longest ; while the gain, always supposing the 
work to be well and wisely done, would be for ever ; 
it would be riches and strength for the English 
Church to the end of time. 



ri 



INDEX OF PRINCIPAL TEXTS CONSIDERED. 



18i 



INDEX UF PRINCIPAL TEXTS CONSIDERED. 



Matt. v. 21 page 105 

•• vi.27 135 

" viii. '20 148 

" ix. 30 105 

" X.4 148 

" X. 10 106 

" xih 23 133 

'' xiv. 8 150 

•' xiv. 13 151 

" xvi. 15 44 

" XX. 1, 11 79 

" xxi. 41 76 

*' xxii. 1-15 88 

" xxiii. 24 170 

" xxiii. 25 32 

" xxviii. 14 97 

Makk ii. 18 127 

" iii. 18 149 

" vi. 20 1U7 

" vii.4 107 

" xi. 4 151 

" xi. 17 98 

" xii. 20 151 

" xvi. 2 129 

Luke i. 19 128 

" i. 59 127 

♦' ii. 49 136 

" v.O 127 

" xii. 25 135 

" xiii. 2 129 

'• xiii. 7 25 

" xiv. 7 126 

•' xvii. 21 107 

" xviii. 12 125 



Luke xxi. 19 page 126 

" xxiii. 42 121 

John ii. 8, 9 79 

iii. 10 115 

iii. 11,32 78 

iv. 6 120 

iv. 29 134 

V. 10 130 

i.v. 31 44 

X. 16 93 

xii. 6 137 



XVll. 12. 



Acts ii. 47 
" iii. 1. 



94 



108 



iii. 13, 26 92 

iv. 27, 30 92 

vii. 45 59 

X. 12 132 

xii. 4 34 

xii. 19 102 

xiv. 13 152 

152 

26 

27 



xvii. 22 

xvii. 23 

xix. 37 

xxi. 15 

XXV. 5 

xxvi. 2, 7. . . 
xxvii. 10, 21 
xxviii. 4 . . . . 
xxviii. 15 . . . 



RoM.i. 20, 27 138 

" ii. 14 118 

" ii. 22 154 



186 



INDEX OF PRINCIPAL TEXTS CONSIDERED. 



Rom. iii. 25 page 90 

" V. 15, 17 117 

" viii. 21 64 

" xi. 8 154 

" xi, 2 152 

" XV. 4 78 

1 Cor. iii. 17 76 

" iv.9 172 

" xi. 27 165 

2 Cor. ii. 14 139 

" ii. 17 141 

" V. 10 131 

" xi.3 122 

Gal. i. 18 1.55 

" ii. 6, 9 162 

" iii. 22 77 

" V. 6 166 

" V. 20 156 

Ephes. iv. 3 29 

iv. 18 99 

iv. 29 157 

Phil. ii. 15 130 

Col. i. 13 64 

" i. 15 158 

" i.l6 129 

'' ii. 8 143 

" ii. 18 108 

" ii. 23 143 

1 Thess. iv. 6 109 

" v. 22 100 

2 TiiESS. ii. 6 77 

1 Tim. v. 4 29 

" vi. 2 116 



1 Tim. vi. 5. 
" vi. 8.. 
" vi. 9 . . 
" vi. 10. 



PAGE 110 

145 

32 

119 



Hkb. 



iv. 1. 
iv. 8. 
v. 2 . 
V. 8 . 
v. 11 
vi. 7. 
ix. 5. 



102 

59 

110 

43 

133 

120 

.... 45 



ix. 23 Ill 

X.38 109 

xi.lO 114 

xi. 13 101 

xi.29 160 

xii. 16 104 

xiii. 4 165 



Jam. i. 4, 5 , 

" i. 26.. 
" iii. 5. . 
" v. 9.. 



I Pet. i.l7, 
" iv.9, 



77 
161 
145 

34 

102 
34 



2 Pet. i. 5-7 123 

" i. 14 128 

" iii. 12 112 

JuDE 12 162 

Rev. iii. 2 146 

73 

124 

87 

33 

114 

46 

62 



IV. 4 

iv. 5 

iv. 6-9 

xvi. 2 

xvii. 14 

xxi. 12 

xxi. 19, 20. 



INDEX OF GREEK WORDS. 



187 



INDEX OF GREEK WORDS. 



'AtSrji PAGE 85 

dxipaios 1 06 

afiipoiof 151 

drreiQiia 88 

diTiaria 88 

diroKapaioKia 1 03 

"Aorf/zij 55 

av\f\ 93 

Paara^u) 137 

Pdroi 152 

pe3n\oi 104 

yicvva 85 

6tiai6aiyiUiv 153 

iioLKovoi 88 

6i)(^oaTaaia 156 

6)Keu 161 

6o\6(o 142 

SovXui 88 

Juvurdj 1 54 

elSo; 100 

£.J 121 

h 121 

'I'^Pftni 55 

i'lpifj^ii'Oi 1 05 

^uioi' 86 

f]\iKiii 135 

dnpiov 86 

dpiaii/Scvo) 139 

Bpovoi 73 

\ipoav\iu) 1 54 

\jropiuj 155 

K(ii'ai'('r/7J 149 

KaiTt\\ci(i} 141 

KarappiiiJivu) 1 08 

<f jran'^jj 1 54 

Kurairiyii 1 60 



Kampyecj PAGE 82 

(ruruaA./jKjffjf 148 

'cXiV;? 107 

Kdpit'OS 91 

>iTa:IU„i 125 

xvpiui 68 

'\6yoi 51 

\oyi^oj.iat 72 

ffiyof 67 

fisri'ivoia 52 

pCTpioiraQii,) 110 

huotorraSng 1 52 

raTj Qejv 92 

TrupdxXrjToj 68 

naocaii 90 

^^{'J 1^1 

TToijxvt) 93 

rp()/?</?u^w 1 50 

TTjOWrO 7(5(00 J 1 58 

TrojjOwo-ij 99 

adpSioi 63 

aap6ivoi 63 

a iiixufia 26 

ffKtiTaafia 145 

(ro0of 89 

crrvpii 91 

avXnywyid} 143 

<T 'fTXJpt'cj 107 

rrjpcoj 94 

v\n 146 

VTrdJciy/iQ Ill 

(palyoftai 161. 

ip\vapoi 1 03 

i^'JuoTrwpu'dj 1 62 

ippdvipoi 89 

tjjiXdaau) 94 



188 



INDEX OF OTHER WORDS. 



INDEX OF OTHER WORDS. 



Alms page 43 

Apollo, ApoUos 61 

Beast 87 

Bribery 32 

By-and-by 33 

Canaanite 149 

Carriiiije 28 

Clierubini 45 

Church 27 

Chrysolite 62 

Chrysoprasus 62 

Comforter 68 

Cretes, Cretiaiis 61 

Cumber 25 

Depart 31 

Devotion 26 

Diana 55 

Easter 34 

Elias, Elijah 58 

Endeavor 29 



Goodman, 
Grudo-e . . . 



Idol . . 
Image. 
Its.... 



33 

167 

167 

41 



Jksus 
Jewry. 



Joshua PAGE 59 

Miletus 61 

Mercurius 55 



Nephew 
Noisome . 



29 
32 



Oftex 43 

Pergamos 62 

Poeniieiitia 52 

Pattern Ill 

Religious 153 

Resipi.seentia 52 

Riches 42 



Sardine stone 

Sardius 

Sedition 

Sermo 



63 

63 

156 

51 



Thought 24 

Timotheus, Timothy 61 

Three Taverns 63 

Trouble 95 

Urbane 60 

Verbum 51 



59 Which 47 

35 Wizard 68 



THE END. 



ri:ufield's plblipations. — hij?toky ^^.) biography. 



HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY 

Ancient Egypt under the Pharaohs. By Joii.n Kknkk^k, 

M. A. In 2 vols., 12mo. rricc $2 50. 

Newman's TJegal Tvonie. An Introduction to Ilonuiii 

History. By Francis W. Newman, Professor of Latin in the University 
College, London. 12nio, cloth. Priec 63 cents. 

The Catacomhs of Rome, as Illustrating the Chnrcli of 

the First Three Centuries. By the Right Rev. "VV. Ingraham Kip, I). D., 

Missionary Bi^<hop of Califoniia. Author of " Cliristnias Holidays in 
Rome," " Early Conflicts of Christianity," &c., &c. With over lOU Illus- 
trations. 12mo, cloth. Price 75 cents. 

The History of the Ciusades. By Juskph Fraxcois 

MicHAUD. Translated by W. Robson. 3 vols., 12mo, Maps, i'rice 
$3 75. 

Napoleon in Exile ; or, a Voice from St. Helena. Ecing 

the Opinions and Reflections of Napoleon, on the most important l.vrnts 
in his Life and Government, in his own words. ByBARRV E. O'Mkaua, 
his late Surgeon ; with a Portrait of Napoleon, after the celebrated j»i<iuro 
of Dolaroche, and a view of St. Helena, both beautifully engraved on steel. 
2 vols., 12mo, cloth. Price $2 00. 

Joniini's Campaign of Waterloo. The Political .-md 

Militaiw History of the Campaign of Waterloo, fp'"»m the French of (Jen 
eral Baron Jomini. By Lieut. S. V. Benet, U. S. Ordnance, with a Map. 
12mo, cloth. Price 75* cents. 

N'a])ier's Peninsular War. History of the War in the 

Peninsula, and in the South of France, from the Ynar 1807 to 1814. B/ 
Major Gen. Napier, C. B. Complete in I vol., 8vo. Price $2 5(i. 

The History of the War in the Peninsula. By Ma.tor (J kn. 

Sir \V. F. P. Napier, from the author's last revised edition, with fifty-Hva 
M.ips and Plans, live Portraits on Siccl, and a complete index, 5 vols. 
12mo, cloth. Price 7 50. 

Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi YnPoy. 

With the Original Narratives of Marquette, Alloucz, Membre, Henii.-pin, 
and Anastase Douay. By John Gilmaut Shea. With a fa c-si mile of 
the Original Map of Marquette. 1 vol., 8vo, cloth, antique. Price 52. 

N^arrative of a Toyage to the Northwest Coast of Ameri- 
ca, in the Years ISll-'lb-'lS and 1814; or, the First Sert'ement <>ii the 
Pacific. By Gabriel Frar.t. ere. Translated and Edited by J. V. IIcnt- 
INOTON. 12mo, cloth. Plates. Price $1 00. 

f.MS Cases' Na]>oleon. Memoirs of the Life, Exile. ;nid 

Conversations of the Emperor Napoleon. By the Count LAb C*HKf». 
With Portraits on steel, wood^-uts, &c. 4 vols., 12mo, cloth, $4 00 hul/ 
calf or mon.cco f.\*r% J8 00. 



kCDFIELD'S PTBLICATIOX.'^. — HISTORY AND BIOGRAPHY 



Life of tlie Rt. Hon. John Philpot Curran. By his Son, 

Wm. Heniy Curran ; with Notes and Additions, by Dr. R. SnELTOir Mac- 
kenzie, and a Portrait on Steel. 12rao, cloth. Pcicc SI 25. 

Sketches of the Irish Bar. By the Kiglit lion. Kichard 

Lalor Sheil, M. P. Edited, with a Memoir and Notes, hy Dr. E, Siielton 
Mackenzie. Fourth Edition. In 2 vols. Price $2 00. 

Harrington's Sketches. Personal Sketciies of liis 0^vn 

Time. B- Sir Jonah Barrington, Judge of the High Court of 
Admiralty in Ireland; with Illustrations by Darley. Third Edition. 
12mo, cloth. Price $1 25. 

Moore's Life of Sheridan. Memoirs of the Life of the 

Rt. Hon Richard Bnnsley Sheridan. By Thomas Moore; with Por- 
trait after Sir Joshua Reynolds. 2 vols., 12ino, cloth. Price S2 00. 

Men of the Time, or Sketciies of Living Rotables, Au- 
thors, Architects, Artists, Composers, Demagogues, Divines, Dramatists, 
Engineers, Journalists, Minister':, Monarchs, Novelists, Politicians, Poets, 
Philanthropists, Preachers, Savans, Statesmen, Travellers, Voyagers, War- 
riors. 1 vol., 12mo. Containing nearly Nine Hundred Biographical 
Sketches. Price $1 50. 

Lorenzo Benoni ; or, Passages in the Life of an Italian. 

Edited by a Fnend. 1 vol., 12mo. $1 00. 

The Workingman's Way 'n the World. Being the Au- 
tobiography of a Journeyman P nter. By Charles Manbt Smith, 
Author of " Curiosities of London ^Afc.'" 12mo, cloth. Price $1 00. 

Classic and Historic Portr\its. By James Bruck. 

12mo, cloth. Price $1 00. 

Ladies of the Covenant. Memoirs of Distinguished 

Scottish Females, embracing the Period of the Covenant and the Perse- 
cution. 3y Rev. James Anderson. 1 vol., 12mo. Price $1 25. 

Tom Moore's Suppressed Letters. Notes from the Let- 
ters of Thomas Moore to his Music-Publisher, James Power (the publican 
tion of which was suppressed in London), with an Introductory Letter 
from Thomas Crofton Croker, Esq., F. S. A. With four Engravings on 
steel. 12mo, cloth. Price $1 50. 

Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres; or, Reminiscences of 

a Merchant's Life. By Vincent Nolte. 12mo. Price $1 25. (Eighth 
Edition.) 

Men and Women of the Eighteenth Cenfurv. By 

Arsene Houssate. With beautifully-engraved Portraits of Louis XV. 
and Madame de Pompadour. 2 vols., 12mo, 450 pages each, extra supe^ 
fine paper. Price $2 50. 

Philosophers and Actresses. By Arsfne Houssaye. 
With beautifully-engraved Portraits of Voltaire and Madame Parabira 
2 vols., 12mo. "Price $2 50. 

Life of the Honorable William II. Seward, with Selec- 
tions from his Works. Edited by George E. Baker. l2mo, cloth 
Portrait. Price $1 00. 



4 FlKDKlF.LnS P JBLICATIONS HISTORY A^D BIOGRAPHY 

The Ilistin-y of Texas, from its Settlement in 16S5 to its 

Annexation to the United States. By H. Yoaktm. Esq., of the Texas 
Bar; with Pcrtmits, Maps, and Plans. 2 vols., 8vo, cloth I'lice 

S5 011. Sheep ?'). 50. 

Tlie History of Louisiana — Spanisli Domination. V>y 
CiiARLES Gay \rr£. 8vo, cloth. Price $2 50. 

Tlie History of Louisiana — French Domination. "By 
Charles Gayarre. 2 vols., 8vo, cloth. Price $3 .50. 

The Life of P. T. Barniim, written by liimself ; in wliich 
he narrates his early history as Clerk, Merchant, and Editor, and his later 
career as a Showman. With a Portrait on steel, and numerous Illustra- 
tions by Darley. 1 vol., 12mo. Price 50 cents. 

A Memorial of Horatio Grccnoiififh, consisii nfr of a 
Memoir, Selections from his Writings, and Tri)>utcs to Iiis Genius, by 
Henry T. Tuckermax, Author of " Sicily, a Pilgrima^'C," " \ Month 
in England," &c., &.c. 12nio, cloth. Price 75 cents. 

The Private Life of an Eastern King. By a member of the 

Household of his Late Majesty, Nussir-u-dccn, King of Dude. 12mo, 
cloth. Price 75 cents. 

Doran's Queens of Euiiland. The Queens of England, of 

the House of Hanover. By Dr. Dokax, Author of " Talile Traits," 
" Habits and Men," &c. 2 vols., I2mo, cloth. Price S2 00. 

Autobiography of a Female Slave. 12mo, clotli. Price 

Si 00. 

Vv^it and Wisdom of tlie "Rev. Sydney Smith. Being Srlec- 

tioiis from his Writings, and Passages of his Letters and Table-Talk. 
With Notes and a liiographical Memoir by Evert A. Duyckinck ; a 
Portrait on Steel after G. Stuart Newton, and an Autograph Letter. 12 
mo, cloth. Price 1 25. 

Sinai and Palestine, in connection with their History, by 

Arthur Picxriiyn Stanley, M. A., Canon of Canterbury, whh Colored 
Maps and Plates. 8vo, loth, $2 50 ; half calf or morocco, S4 00. 



Rii,DF1ELD'S PUHLICATIONS. — SCIENCE AND ART. 



SCIENCE AND ART. 

Giificom OTi Ventilation. The IIscb and Ahnses of Air*, 

sliowing its Influence in Sustaining Life, and Producinfr Disca'ie, with re- 
marks on the Ventilation of Houses, and the best Methods of S^emini: a 
I'urc and Wholesome Atmosphere inside of Dwcllinixs, Churclx-s, Work- 
shops, &c. By John H. Griscom, M. D. 1 vol., 12mo. Triee 7."j cents. 

Droncliitis, and Kindred Diseases. In language M.!;i]>t(Ml 
to common readers. By W. W. Hall, M. D. 1 vol., l2n>o. Price 
$1 00. 

Consumption. By W. W. Hall, M. D. 1 vol. 12mo, cloth. 

Price 7.5 cents. 

Bodenhamer on the Diseases of the Rectum and Consump- 
tion. By W. Bodenhamer, M. D. Second edition, with plates, l^c. In 
I vol., 8vo, cloth. Price $2 00. 

Comparative Flijsiognomy ; or, Eesenihlances betw'cn 
Men and Animals. By J. W. Redfield, M. D. 1 vol., 8vo, with sev- 
eral hundred Illustrations. Price $2 00. 

F>)>isodes of Insect Life. By AcnKTA Domesttca. Tn 

three Series: — 1. Insects of Spring, 2. Insects of Summer. 3. In<<vt5 
of Autumn. Beautifully Illustrate'd. Crown 8vo, cloth, gilt, $2 00 ^avh. 
The same beautifully colored after Nature, extra gilt, $i 00 each. 

Narratives of Sorcejy and Magic, from the most Auth«'n- 
lic Soiu'ces. By Thomas Wright, A. M., &-c. I vol., 12mo. I'rice 
SI 2.5. 

The Night-Side of Nature ; or, Ghosts nnd Ghost-S^-ers. 
By Catharine Crowe. 1 vol., 12mo. Price $1 00. 

Art and Industry, as represented in the Exhibition at the 

Crystal Palace, New York. Revised and Edited by Horace Gkki;i.ey. 
12mo, cloth, fine paper, $1 00. Paper covers, 50 cents. 

Chapman's American Drawing-Book. The American 

Drawing-Book, intended for Schools, Academics, and Self-Insti iiction. 
By John G. Chapman, N. A. Three Parts now published. I'rice 50 
cents each. 

Chapman's American Drawing-Book. Part IV. Contain- 
ing Sketches from Nature, Painting in Oil and Water Colors, with numer- 
ous Illustrations. Price 50 cents. (Now ready.) 
Parrs V. and VI. completing the Work, are in Press. 

Chapman's Drawing Copy Books, Nos. 1 and 2. Per 

doz. $1 50