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Full text of "The philogy of the Greek Bible, its present and future,"

THE PHILOLOGY OF THE 
GREEK BIBLE 



THE PHILOLOGY OF THE 
GREEK BIBLE 

ITS PRESENT AND FUTURE 



By 
ADOLF DEISSMANN 

D.Theol. (Marburg), D.D. (Aberdeen); Professor of New Testament 

Exegesis in the University of Heidelberg; Professor 

Designate in the University of Berlin 



TRANSLATED FROM THE AUTHOR'S MS. BY 
LIONEL R. M. STRACHAN, M.A., ENGLISH 
LECTURER IN THE UNIVERSITY OF HEIDELBERO 



HODDER AND STOUGHTON 
LONDON MCMVIII 



Butler and 1 anner, T/te Scltuotd Printing Wotk*, l'roinf. t ami London 



TO 

MY FRIEND 
DR. J. RENDEL HARRIS 



255332 



PREFACE 

WHEN Dr. Rendel Harris invited me to give 
a series of lectures to the Cambridge Sum- 
mer School of the Free Churches (July and 
August, 1907) on the present state of the 
study of the Greek Bible, I hesitated to 
accept the invitation because I am only 
able to speak English very imperfectly. 

But three material considerations tri- 
umphed over the one formal objection. 

In the first place, my subject, namely 
the Greek Bible and its scientific, particu- 
larly its linguistic study, is regarded with 



Vll 



viii PREFACE 

singularly great interest by wide circles 
in the countries where English is spoken. 

Secondly, it is in no small measure 
British scholars who, by the discovery and 
publication of important linguistic material, 
have made the most valuable contributions 
to Biblical philology. 

Thirdly, it is to the industry and energy 
of British scholars that we owe a number 
of great works of fundamental importance 
to the study of the Greek Bible. These 
were reasons enough for me to regard the 
invitation to Cambridge not only as a great 
honour but also as a welcome opportunity 
to discharge a debt of gratitude to British 
Biblical scholarship. 

There was added, moreover, the pleasant 
prospect of a few days spent in company 



PREFACE ix 

with many prominent Christians of a 
friendly country in the discussion of various 
great problems of both scientific and prac- 
tical interest. I felt that I should be able 
to learn a great deal from the exchange 
of ideas, and I should be helping, according 
to my weak ability, to forge another small 
link in the chain of Anglo-German recipro- 
city and friendship. 

These considerations were stronger than 
my first hesitation. I accepted, therefore, 
and the lectures were duly delivered at 
Cambridge. I look back with great pleasure 
to the time I spent there and the innumer- 
able impressions, interesting and instructive, 
that I received. This little book, contain- 
ing my lectures, goes forth with a hearty 
greeting to all my friends on the other side 



x PREFACE 

of the Channel my old friends and also 
the new ones whose acquaintance I made 
at Cambridge. 

The lectures were first published in The 
Expositor (October, 1907-January, 1908), 
and the present edition in book form en- 
ables me to make a few additions that re- 
cent publications have rendered necessary. 

ADOLF DEISSMANN. 

HEIDELBERG, 
1908. 



CONTENTS 

PAGE 

I 

THE GREEK BIBLE AS A COMPACT UNITY 

THE NEW LINGUISTIC RECORDS . . 3 

II 
THE PROBLEM OF " BIBLICAL " GREEK . . 39 

III 

SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY .... 69 

IV 

NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY . 10) 



XI 



THE GEEEK BIBLE AS A COMPACT 

UNITY THE NEW LINGUISTIC 

RECORDS 



P:O.B. 



THE GREEK BIBLE AS A COMPACT UNITY 
THE NEW LINGUISTIC RECORDS 

" THE Greek Bible ! "There, in the bril- 
liant sunshine of the south, stretched out 
before the student's eye, lies the Hellen- 
istic world as it was at the great turning- 
point of religious history. Alexander, the 
conqueror and moulder of the world, had 
marched with his armies towards the 
rising sun, bearing with him the spirit of 
the Greek race, and round about the 
Mediterranean basin the seeds of a world- 
wide Greek civilization had been planted 
in the ancient soil. In the State and in 



TSffi GREEK BIBLE 

society, in science and art, in language 
and religion, the Mediterranean world was 
in process of more or less vigorous Hellen- 
ization and consequent levelling towards 
uniformity. 

About this time, say at the end of the 
second or beginning of the first century 
B.C., it happened that two Jewish girls, 
named Heraclea and Marthina, were mur- 
dered in the island of Delos. Their inno- 
cent blood cried aloud for vengeance, but 
the murderers were unknown. On the 
Great Day of Atonement, therefore, the 
relatives made their petition to the God 
of their fathers. With fervent prayers 
they consigned the cruel murderers to the 
vengeance of God and His angels, and 
their imprecations were immortalized on 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 5 

marble tablets above the graves where the 
murdered girls lay buried in the island of 
Kheneia, which was the cemetery of Delos. 
The original text of these Jewish prayers 
for vengeance, found at Rheneia 1 and now 
preserved at Athens and Bucharest shows 
us the Jews of Delos, about the year 100 
B.C., in possession of the Greek Old Testa- 
ment. This single picture is typical. The 
Old Testament, as you know, had been 
translated from Hebrew into Greek at 
different times and by different persons in 
Egypt, beginning in the third century B.C., 
and the complete version is known as the 
Septuagint. We see then that by 100 



1 Cf. my essay, " Die Rachegebete von Rheneia," 
in Philologus, Ixi. New Series, xv. (1902), pp. 252- 
65 ; reprinted in my book Licht vom Osten, Tub- 
ingen, 1908. 



6 THE GREEK BIBLE 

B.C. the Septuagint Bible had already 
found its way from its home on the Nile 
to the remoter Jews of the Dispersion 
a book from the Hellenistic world for the 
Hellenistic world. 

It is true that in spirit it was an Eastern 
book, but as regards form and subject 
matter it was adapted to the needs of the 
Western world ; it was a book both of the 
East and the West. 1 It was not a book 
according to the professional ideas of the 
artistic literature of that age, for it was not 
clad in the garb of the literary language. 
But it was a book for the People ; for on the 
whole, though in many passages that would 
seem strange to the Greeks it did not 



1 Cf. my little sketch Die Hellenisierung des 
semitischen Monotfieismus, Leipzig, 1903. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 7 

conceal the peculiarity of the original text 
it spoke the colloquial language of the 
middle and lower class, as is shown especi- 
ally clearly by its vocabulary and accidence. 
Here and there, less in some of the single 
books and more in others, it was unintel- 
ligible to the men of the Hellenistic world ; 
but taken as a whole it must not be dis- 
missed with the hasty criticism that it was 
an unintelligible book. Such criticism is 
the result of looking at the artistic Attic 
prose instead of at the contemporary 
popular language. Taken as a whole the 
Septuagint became emphatically a popular 
book we may even say a universal book. 

If the historical importance of things is 
to be estimated by their historical effects, 
how paltry must, for example, the History 



8 THE GREEK BIBLE 

of Polybius appear beside the Septuagint 
Bible ! Of all pre-Christian Greek litera- 
ture Homer alone is comparable with this 
Bible in historical influence, and Homer, 
in spite of his enormous popularity, was 
never a Bible. Take the Septuagint in 
your hand, and you have before you the 
book that was the Bible of the Jews of the 
Dispersion and of the proselytes from the 
heathen ; the Bible of Philo the philo- 
sopher, Paul the Apostle, and the earliest 
Christian missions ; the Bible of the 
whole Greek-speaking Christian world ; the 
mother of influential daughter- versions ; 
the mother of the Greek New Testament. 

But is that true ? Is the Septuagint 
really the mother of the Greek New Testa- 
ment ? It seems a bold statement to 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 9 

make, but it is not difficult to show what 
I mean by it. 

The Septuagint was not necessary for 
the coming of the Lord Jesus. The Semitic, 
not the Greek, Old Testament was a con- 
stituent factor in His Gospel. The historical 
Jesus of Nazareth takes His stand firmly 
on the non-Greek Old Testament. But 
Paul, the preacher and propagator of the 
Gospel, is not comprehensible without the 
Septuagint. He is not only the great 
Christ-Christian but also the great Septua- 
gint-Christian. And the whole of Primitive 
Christianity, so far as it is missionary 
Christianity, rests on the Lord and the 
Gospels as one pillar, and on the Septuagint 
Bible as the other. Through the Pauline 
Epistles and all the other earliest Christian 



10 THE GREEK BIBLE 

writings the words of the Septuagint run 
like veins of silver. 

We shall not, however, speak of the 
Septuagint as the mother of the New 
Testament in the sense that without it 
the separate parts of the New Testament 
would not have been written. They arose 
as echoes of the prophecies of Jesus and as 
the reflex of His personality. But in 
respect to their contents they are immensely 
indebted to the Septuagint Bible, and 
this is for us the matter of most importance 
the parts would never have grown into 
the New Testament as a whole the Canon 

but for the Septuagint. The Old Greek 
Canon of Scripture is presupposed by the 
New. The history of religion displays 

the marvellous spectacle of the Old Bible, 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 11 

encircled by the apparently unscalable 
walls of the Canon, opening wide her 
gates and admitting a New Bible to the 
sacred precinct : the Saviour and His 
disciples take their places by Moses and the 
prophets. This cohesion between the New 
Testament and the Old was historically 
possible only because the Old Testament 
by its Hellenization had become assimilated 
in advance to the future New Testament. 

The daughter belongs of right to the 
mother ; the Greek Old and New Testa- 
ments form by their contents and by their 
fortunes an inseparable unity. The oldest 
manuscript Bibles that we possess are 
complete Bibles in Greek. But what his- 
tory has joined together, doctrine has put 
asunder ; the Greek Bible has been torn in 



12 THE GREEK BIBLE 

halves. On the table of our theological 
students you will generally see the Hebrew 
Old Testament lying side by side with the 
Greek New Testament. It is one of the 
most painful deficiencies of Biblical study 
at the present day that the reading of the 
Septuagint has been pushed into the back- 
ground, while its exegesis has been scarcely 
even begun. 

All honour to the Hebrew original ! But 
the proverbial Novum in Vetere latet cannot 
be fully understood without a knowledge 
of the Septuagint. A single hour lovingly 
devoted to the text of the Septuagint will 
further our exegetical knowledge of the 
Pauline Epistles more than a whole day 
spent over a commentary. 

We must read the Septuagint as a Greek 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 13 

text and as a book of the people, just as the 
Jew of the Dispersion would have done who 
knew no Hebrew, and as the converted 
heathen of the first and second century 
would have read it. Every reader of the 
Septuagint who knows his Greek Testament 
will after a few days' study come to see 
with astonishment what hundreds of threads 
there are uniting the Old and the New. 
By underlining all the parallels and recipro- 
cally illustrative passages it is easy to render 
this impression concrete and permanent. 

Many pages there are which we shall be 
able to read without difficulty. Then, it is 
true, we shall meet with obscurities here and 
there, peculiarities and rare words, where 
our lexicons give us no real information. 
For the present let us simply pass over 



14 THE GREEK BIBLE 

whatever is doubtful. After all the total 
impression will not be, " Here is a book 
unintelligible to a Greek but containing 
some things that he could understand," 
but, " Here is a text intelligible to him as 
a whole but with some obscurities." These 
obscurities did not prevent the Septua- 
gint from influencing the Graeco-Jewish 
and Graeco-Christian world, and even to- 
day only pedants will be deterred by them 
from reading the Septuagint. 

He who does read, however, will be 
amply rewarded. An empty abstraction 
will have acquired reality ; a forgotten 
Bible will have been re-discovered ; a sacred 
relic, buried in sand and dust and unob- 
served by hundreds of passers by, will have 
attracted the pious eye for which it waited. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 15 

And that eye'perceives that the re-discovered 
Septuagint is the sanctuary leading to the 
Holy of Holies, namely the New Testament, 
and that both together make up the one 
great temple, the Bible. 

This connexion between the two Greek 
Testaments will be recognized more and 
more with the progress of scientific research. 
In the study of Hellenistic civilization, 
i.e., the civilization of the Hellenistic world 
of the Mediterranean in the post-Alexan- 
drian and Imperial ages, a study which 
has developed so enormously during the 
last twenty or thirty years, it will be more 
and more clearly recognized that amid 
the vast mass of witnesses to that civiliza- 
tion the Greek Bible (Old and New Testa- 
ment) is the chief. 



16 THE GREEK BIBLE 

It deserves to be so regarded not only for 
the special character of its form and contents, 
betokening as they do a union of the 
Eastern with the Western spirit altogether 
remarkable in the history of the world, 
but also on account of the mighty influence 
it exerted. To see things in their true 
historical perspective we must place the 
Greek Bible in the midst of the other wit- 
nesses to the contemporary Hellenistic 
world. This restoration of the Greek Bible 
to its own epoch is really the distinctive 
feature of the work of modern Bible scholar- 
ship ; and by utilizing the newly discovered 
texts of the Hellenistic age fresh vigour has 
been infused into Bible scholarship, reviving 
and rejuvenating that somewhat torpid 
and inactive organism. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 17 

What are these newly discovered texts ? 
Your thoughts fly at first perhaps to newly 
found books or fragments of ancient authors. 
But valuable though these discoveries are, 
the chief importance attaches to the non- 
literary texts, especially those on stone, 
papyrus, and fragments of pottery, which 
have been brought to light in their thou- 
sands and ten thousands. The inscriptions, 
papyri, and potsherds form a great store- 
house of exact information, from which 
Biblical research has recently drawn as 
rich supplies as any other branch of the 
science of antiquities. 

The Inscriptions are found in astonishing 
numbers on the site of the ancient seats of 
civilization on the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean, either in their original positions or 



P.O.B, 



18 THE GREEK BIBLE 

lying under ruins and mounds of rubbish. 
In the latter case they have to be excavated, 
and some of them find a home in our 
museums. They are rendered accessible 
by publication in great cyclopaedic works, 
the two largest of which are the Corpus 
Inscriptionum Latinarum and the Inscrip- 
tiones Graecae, the latter gradually replacing 
the older and now obsolete Corpus Inscrip- 
tionum Graecarum. 

The period of the discovery of new 
inscriptions is by no means ended. The 
researches and excavations of the European 
and American archaeological institutes, and 
the archaeological expeditions sent out by 
various governments or by private indivi- 
duals, bring to light innumerable inscribed 
stones year by year. To these agencies we 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 19 

must add the engineering enterprises for 
opening up the old Mediterranean countries 
to modern industry and commerce, which 
are not always harmful but in many 
cases helpful to the study of antiqui- 
ties. 

A particularly interesting example of an 
unexpected find came under my notice in 
the spring of 1906. My friend Theodor 
Wiegand showed me among the extensive 
ruins of ancient Miletus, now being exca- 
vated by him, the remains of a temple of 
Apollo Delphinios, the paving stones of 
which consisted chiefly of highly impor- 
tant ancient documents in stone. The en- 
croachments of the surface water had at 
some period made it necessary to raise the 
level of the floor, and to effect this a number 



20 THE GREEK BIBLE 

of old inscribed slabs had been laid face 
downwards on the original marble pave- 
ment. By turning them up Wiegand had 
discovered quite a collection of entirely 
new inscriptions the archives, one may 
almost say, of ancient Miletus. 

The student of the Greek Bible is of 
course most interested in the inscriptions 
found in Egypt, the country that gave 
birth to the Septuagint, and in the centres 
of early Christianity, i.e., Syria, Asia Minor, 
and Greece. At the present moment exca- 
vations are in progress that are certainly 
full of promise in this direction, not only 
at Miletus and at Didyma, where the 
oracle of Miletus was situated, but also at 
Ephesus, Pergamos, and Corinth. The 
total wealth of the epigraphical material 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 21 

from the oldest seats of Greek Christianity 
will be appreciated when the great Corpus 
of the Inscriptions of Asia Minor as planned 
by the Austrian archaeologists is completed. 
Some conception of it can be formed even 
now by reading the books of Sir William 
Ramsay 1 or by studying the inscriptions 
of a single small town, such as those of 
Magnesia on the Maeander, published by 



i Works by Sir William Mitchell Ramsay : The 
Church in the Roman Empire before A.D. 170, London, 
1893 ; 7th ed., 1903. The Cities and Bishoprics of 
Phrygia, Oxford, 1895. St. Paul the Traveller and 
the Roman Citizen, London, 1895; 3rd ed., 1897. 
Was Christ born at Bethlehem ? A Study on the 
Credibility of St. Luke, London, 1898. A Historical 
Commentary on St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, 
London, 1899. The Education of Christ, London, 
1902. The Letters to the Seven Churches of Asia, 
London, 1904. Pauline and other Studies in Early 
Christian History, London, 1906. Studies in the 
History and Art of the Eastern Provinces of the Roman 
Empire, London, 1906. The Cities of St. Paul : their 
Influence on his Life and TJiought, London, 1907. 



22 THE GREEK BIBLE 

Otto Kern, 1 or those of Priene by Hiller 
von Gaertringen. 2 

Neither in form nor in subject-matter 
do the inscriptions make a uniform group. 
When they are of official origin, the work 
of kings, emperors, high dignitaries, civic 
authorities, they are usually very carefully 
expressed and written in literary Greek. 
When they are the work of private indivi- 
duals they are not infrequently done rather 
carelessly and are more or less specimens 
of the colloquial language. This is particu- 
larly the case with the private inscriptions 
of the Roman Imperial period, which for 
this reason are valuable for Biblical purposes, 

1 Die Inschriften von Magnesia am Maeander, 
herausgegeben von Otto Kern, Berlin, 1900. 

2 Inschriften von Priene, herausgegeben von F. 
Frhr. Hiller von Gaertringen, Berlin, 1906. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 23 

since the Greek Bible itself is for the most 
part a monument of the spoken, not of the 
written language. The inscriptions are 
fruitful to Biblical philology chiefly from 
the lexical point of view. 

These epigraphical remains of antiquity 
have for centuries attracted the attention 
of scholars, and Biblical exegesis has turned 
them to account since the end of the 
eighteenth century. During the last quar- 
ter of the nineteenth century they were 
reinforced by a large new group of texts 
written on what would seem to be a most 
perishable material, viz., the Papyri. 

Suppose that in the course of casual 
excavations in a mound of absolutely dry 
sand we were to find to-day whole bundles 
of original private letters, contracts, wills, 



24 THE GREEK BIBLE 

records of judicial proceedings, and govern- 
ment documents, emanating from our ances- 
tors of the tenth century A.D. the whole 
of the learned world would be interested in 
the discovery. How few original letters, 
for example, written by humble individuals 
have come down to us from the olden time. 
The record of history has taken notice only 
of the great. The scanty memorials of the 
common people are found scattered here 
and there on a weathered tombstone, 
maybe, or noted by chance in the reports of 
legal cases or in the account books of towns 
or shires. 

So was it formerly with our knowledge of 
antiquity. In so far as it was based on 
literary tradition it was, roughly speaking, 
the history of great things, the history of 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 25 

nations and their leaders in politics, learning, 
art, and religion. Records of humble life, 
written memorials of the masses, were 
wanting. At best we caught glimpses of 
such insignificant persons in the comedies 
and some other literary works, but then 
they were seen in the light thrown on them 
by their social superiors. And so far as 
the tradition was non-literary, the upper 
classes again took the lion's share, for the 
majority of the inscriptions come from the 
privileged powerful and cultured class. 

The discoveries of papyri have made 
good this deficiency in a most unexpected 
manner. Though they, too, throw a flood 
of light on the upper, cultivated class, yet 
in innumerable cases these scraps of papy- 
rus are records of the middle and lower 



26 THE GREEK BIBLE 

classes. They possess for the study of 
antiquity the same eminent degree of 
importance as that sandhill we imagined 
just now alas that it is undiscoverable ! 
would possess for our own earlier history 
if it contained original letters of the tenth 
century. 

It is owing to the Egyptian climate that 
such mounds exist beside the Nile, On the 
outskirts of ancient Egyptian towns and 
villages there were, as in our towns, places 
where rubbish and refuse might be de- 
posited. Whole bundles of old time- 
expired official documents, instead of being 
burnt or otherwise destroyed, were cast 
out by the authorities on these rubbish 
heaps. Private persons did the same when 
clearing out their accumulations of old and 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 27 

therefore worthless written matter. The 
reverence of mankind in antiquity for writ- 
ing of any kind may have been a reason for 
rejecting the more convenient method of 
destruction by fire. The centuries have 
covered these rubbish heaps with thick 
layers of dust and sand, which, in conjunc- 
tion with the dryness of the climate, have 
preserved even papyrus most admirably. 

Egyptian peasants, digging in these 
mounds for earth to manure their fields 
with, were the first chance discoverers 
of ancient papyri. The news of such 
discoveries first reached Europe in the 
eighteenth century ; the nineteenth wit- 
nessed the gradual arrival here and there 
of a small number of papyri in the Euro- 
pean museums. There they were looked 



28 THE GREEK BIBLE 

upon as curiosities until in the last quarter 
of the century the great and astounding 
discoveries began. 

These discoveries immediately led to 
systematic searches, and even excavations ; 
and here it is chiefly British investigators 
who have done the greatest service in 
enlarging and publishing our store of papyri. 
Flinders Petrie l has recovered magnificent 
old specimens, particularly from mummy- 
wrappings, which were made by sticking 
sheets of papyrus together. Grenfell and 
Hunt, 2 the Dioscuri of research, have 

1 Cf . J. P. Mahaffy, On the Flinders Petrie Papyri. 
With transcriptions, commentaries, and index. Royal 
Irish Academy, Cunningham Memoirs, 1891, vol. ii. 
1893. 

2 By B. P. Grenfell : An Alexandrian Erotic 
Fragment, and other Greek Papyri, chiefly Ptolemaic, 
Oxford, 1896. By B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt : 
New Classical Fragments, and other Greek and Latin 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 29 

carried out epoch-making excavations at 
Oxyrhynchus and other places, and have 
published their treasures with astonishing 
promptitude and masterly accuracy. 

Thus during the last twenty years a new 
science, Papyrology, has grown up and has 
undergone division into numerous branches 
according to the various languages in 
which the documents are written. The 
oldest documents, going back to more than 
2500 B.C., fall within the province of 
Egyptology. There are also Aramaic papyri, 

Papyri, Oxford, 1897. Aoyia 'Irjaov . . . From 
an early Greek Papyrus, London, 1897. The Oxy- 
rhynchus Papyri, London, 1898-1907. Fayum Towns 
and their Papyri (with D. G. Hogarth), London, 
1900. The Amherst Papyri, London, 1900-1. The 
Tebtunis Papyri, London, 1902-7. New Sayings of 
Jesus and Fragment of a lost Gospel from Oxyrhynchus, 
London, 1904. The Hibeh Papyri, London, 1906. 
Fragment of an Uncanonical Gospel from Oxyrhyn- 
chus, London, 1907. 



30 THE GREEK BIBLE 

and great interest has been aroused by 
those of the fifth century B.C., which were 
recently published by Sayce and Cowley, 1 
and supplemented still more recently by 
the texts deciphered by Sachau. 2 

With the fourth century B.C. begins the 
main body of the papyri. Greek documents, 
of the most various contents, they run 
through the whole Ptolemaic period i.e., 
for us the period of the origin of the Greek 
Old Testament ; they run on through the 
earliest Imperial period i.e., for us the 
period of the origin of the New Testament ; 

1 A. H. Sayce and A. E. Cowley, Aramaic Papyri 
discovered at Assuan. With appendices by W. 
Spiegelberg and Seymour de Ricci. London, 1906 
(pp. 79 ; 27 plates). 

2 Eduard Sachau, Drei aramaische Papyrusurkunden 
aus Elephantine ( Abhandlungen der Kgl. Preussischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1907). 
Berlin, 1907 (pp. 46, 1 plate). 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 31 

they continue from the second to the fourth 
century, A.D. i.e., for us the age of the 
persecutions ; and finally they extend over 
another five hundred years of Christian 
Byzantine civilization. Together with them 
are found also a number of Latin papyri ; 
hi the later periods numerous fragments 
in Coptic, Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and 
other languages. 

The great published collections of these 
treasures confront us like some high moun- 
tain that has just been discovered, and 
from whose summit we shall be able to see 
farther than ever our ancestors could ; 
but we have not yet climbed one tenth part 
of the ascent. Papyrological students have 
found a rallying-point in the Archiv fur 
Papyrusforschung, a journal founded by the 



32 THE GREEK BIBLE 

greatest of German papyrologists, Ulrich 
Wilcken. 1 

Students of the Greek Bible are indebted 
principally to the Greek papyri for additions 
to their knowledge. There are of course 
numerous fragments of Biblical and early 
Christian manuscripts, but of these I do 
not intend to speak here. I am concerned 
with the non-Christian texts. They are not a 
uniform group. Side by side with documents 
of the lower and middle class we find also 
and in the pre-Christian period find most 
commonly official texts written in official 
style and in the unvarying language of 
legal formularies. Even these afford us 
deep insight into the civilization of their 
time. But freshest and most direct in their 

1 Archiv fur Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete, 
hrsg. von U. Wilcken, Leipzig, 1900, etc. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 33 

appeal are those written in the colloquial 
language, often in the crudest of vulgar 
Greek. Here truly are the great store- 
rooms from which Biblical philology draws 
its new knowledge. 

Still more " vulgar " are the texts newly 
discovered on the Ostraca. The ostracon or 
potsherd, obtainable from any broken jug 
or vessel, was the writing material of the 
poor, a favourite even with the authorities 
in then 1 dealings with the poorer classes, 
and used especially often for tax-receipts. 
Formerly almost unnoticed and even despised 
by investigators, the ostraca have now 
attained a place of honour thanks especi- 
ally to the labours of Wilcken 1 on the 

1 U. Wilcken, Griechische Ostraka aus Aegypten 
und Niibien. Ein Beitrag zur antiken Wirtschafts- 
geschichte, Leipzig and Berlin, 1899 (2 vols.). 

P.G.B. 3 



34 THE GREEK BIBLE 

Greek, and of Crum x on the Coptic ostraca 
and large collections of them have been 
rapidly formed in the European museums. 
In 1819 an architect named Gau, who was 
working at Dakkeh in Nubia, threw away 
nearly all the ostraca he found there as 
worthless rubbish, but nowadays these 
little texts are properly respected. Only 
the dealers in antiquities have not yet 
learnt to set a high value on them. A short 
text written on an ostracon would cost 
twenty times as much if it were on papyrus, 
though there is no difference in the historical 
value of its contents. 

The number of Biblical fragments on 

1 Coptic Ostraca from the collections of the Egypt 
Exploration Fund, the Cairo Museum and others. 
The texts edited with translations and commentaries 
by W. E. Crum, London, 1902. 



AS A COMPACT UNITY 35 

ostraca is not large at present. The most 
important find hitherto consists of twenty 
ostraca from Upper Egypt, some large and 
some small, with fragments from the Gospels. 

But the ostraca, like the papyri, possess 
a greater indirect value. As linguistic 
memorials of the lower classes these humble 
potsherd texts shed light on many a detail of 
the linguistic character of our sacred Book 
that Book which was written not by learned 
men but by simple folk, by men who them- 
selves confessed that they had their treasure 
in earthen vessels (2 Cor. iv. 7). And thus 
the modest ostraca rank as of equal value 
with the papyri and inscriptions. 

In the following lectures we shall have to 
speak of the great changes which Biblical 
philology has undergone as a consequence 



36 THE GREEK BIBLE 

of the employment of these texts. But I 
may say here that the autograph evidence 
of the world contemporary with the Greek 
Bible helps us to understand that Bible 
not only linguistically, but also in other 
ways. The most important thing of 
all perhaps is that we become better 
acquainted with the bright and dark side 
of the men to whom were addressed the 
propaganda of cosmopolitan Graeco-Juda- 
ism and the missions of cosmopolitan 
Christianity, and that we thus learn to 
judge more justly of both the contact 
and the contrast in which Primitive Chris- 
tianity stood with the surrounding world. 



THE PROBLEM OF "BIBLICAL" 
GREEK 



II 



THE PROBLEM OF " BIBLICAL " GREEK 



IN our first lecture we called attention to 
the close connexion between the Greek Old 
Testament, represented by the Septuagint 
translation, and the Greek New Testament ; 
and we described the new sources for the 
philological investigation of the Greek Bible. 
To-day we are to discuss briefly the great 
fundamental problem of Biblical philology, 
the problem of the language of the Greek 
Bible. 

The essence of the problem is indicated 
at once by our manner of formulating it. 
We are to inquire not about Biblical Greek 



40 THE PROBLEM OF 

but about the language of the Greek Bible. 
This distinction is not a mere playing with 
words ; it points to a fundamental principle 
of great importance. 

Most of the earlier books on the subject 
were devoted to the investigation not of 
the language of the Greek Bible but of 
Biblical Greek, or of a part of it, namely, 

New Testament Greek. 
Let us glance at a few title pages. Edwin 

Hatch wrote Essays in Biblical Greek, 1 and 
H. A. A. Kennedy wrote on the Sources of 
New Testament Greek. 2 Hermann Cremer's 
work, even in the ninth edition, hi spite 
of the sharp criticism it has undergone, 

1 Edwin Hatch, Essays in Biblical Greek, Oxford, 
1889. 

2 H. A. A. Kennedy, Sources of New Testament 
Greek : or the Influence of the Septuagint on the Voca- 
bulary of the New Testament, Edinburgh, 1895. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 41 

remains what it was before, a " Biblico- 
Theological Lexicon of New Testament 
Greek." 1 The new German revision of 
Winer's Grammar appeared under the old 
title, Grammar of the New Testament Idiom, 2 
and the late Friedrich Blass presented us 
with a Grammar of New Testament Greek. 3 
We even find this kind of title used by 
more recent scholars Dr. J. H. Moulton, 4 
for example but hi these cases it is merely 

1 H. Cremer, Biblisch-theologisches Worterbuch der 
neutestamentlichen Grdcitdt, Gotha, 1866-8 ; neunte 
vermehrte Auflage, Gotha, 1902. 

2 G. B. Winer, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen 
Sprachidioms als siohere Grundlage der neutestament- 
lichen Exegese : achte Auflage, neubearbeitet von 
P. W. Schmiedel, Gottingen, 1894, 1897, 1898. 

3 F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen 
Griechisch, Gottingen, 1896 ; zweite Auflage, Gottingen, 
1902. 

4 J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament 
Greek, based on W. F. Moulton's edition of G. B. 
Winer's Grammar. Vol. I. Prolegomena. Edin- 
burgh, 1906. Second edition, 1906. 



42 THE PROBLEM OP 

a formal concession to the older phraseology. 
With the older scholars, however, such a 
form of the title indicated a distinct pecu- 
liarity of scientific method, as is proved by 
such pointed sentences as the following. 
Hatch 1 writes, " Biblical Greek is thus a 
language which stands by itself." Cremer 2 
adopts the words of Richard Rothe : " We 
can indeed with good right speak of a 
language of the Holy Ghost. For in the 
Bible it is manifest to our eyes how the 
Divine Spirit at work in revelation always 
takes the language of the particular people 
chosen to be the recipient and makes of it a 
characteristic religious variety by trans- 
forming existing linguistic elements and 

1 Op. cit., p. 11. 

2 In his Preface of 1883. The quotation is from 
Rothe, Zur Dogmatik, Gotha, 1863, p. 238. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 43 

existing conceptions into a shape peculiarly 
appropriate to that Spirit. This process 
is shown most clearly by the Greek of 
the New Testament." And Blass, though 
the statements in his Grammar show, 
notwithstanding its title, that he afterwards 
altered his theoretical views on this ques- 
tion, remarked once in a review 1 that 
New Testament Greek was "to be recog- 
nized as something peculiar, obeying its 
own laws." 

These quotations could be increased by 
no small number of similar ones from 
other books. I believe that they are the 
expression of an opinion, still widely pre- 
valent even at the present day, which, 
whether openly avowed or not, is far- 

1 Theologisohe Literaturzeitung, 1894, xix., col. 338 



44 THE PROBLEM OF 

reaching in its effects, particularly on exe- 
gesis. The Greek Bible, or at least the 
New Testament, is thus separated off from 
the bulk of the monuments of the Greek 
language that have come down to us from 
antiquity, in just the same way as, for 
example, the inscriptions in the Doric 
dialect might be collected into a special 
volume or section by some one who was 
editing all the Greek inscriptions extant. 
The Bible is thus isolated, because it is 
supposed to be written hi " Biblical " 
Greek, and the New Testament because it 
is in " New Testament " Greek, in a 
" language," an " idiom," a " Greek," that 
must be sharply distinguished from the 
rest of what people have been so fond of 
calling " profane Greek." They could only 



:c BIBLICAL " GREEK 45 

commit one more blunder by speaking of 
a Biblical or New Testament dialect. I 
have never met with this term in the 
literature of the subject, but I am sure it 
represents the popular conception in many 
quarters as to what the " language " of 
the Bible or the New Testament is. 

This Greek, so people go on to argue, is 
outwardly, in comparison with other Greek, 
of unmistakable individuality, and inwardly 
it is uniform, subject to laws of its own, 
and possessing its own vocabulary. Even 
those words which are not to be reckoned 
among the specifically " Biblical " or " New 
Testament " words show for the most part 
a change of meaning that is often consider- 
able and not infrequently is owing to the 
influence of the Hebrew or Semitic genius. 



46 THE PROBLEM OF 

To sum up : the two fundamental notions 
most commonly met with in the older 
literature of the subject concerning the 
linguistic character of the Greek Bible 
are firstly the peculiarity, and secondly 
the uniformity of Biblical, or at least of 
New Testament Greek. 

Those who support these two fundamental 
notions show more or less clearly by so 
doing their connexion with the earlier 
stages of research. The second idea in 
particular, that of the uniformity of 
Biblical Greek, is very old as old as the 
earliest scientific speculation about the 
language of the Greek Bible. In the 
controversy of the Purists and Hebraists 
in the seventeenth century it was never 
for one moment questioned ; it was a 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 47 

postulate for the theories of both par- 
ties. 

And it is historically not difficult to 
understand ; it is the simple consequence 
of the mechanically conceived doctrine 
of inspiration as applied to the New Testa- 
ment. The extension of the idea to the 
Greek Old Testament, which is no doubt 
of recent date, probably originated in an 
equally simple backward inference from 
the New Testament. The idea, once estab- 
lished, was supported by the concept, also 
quite logical in its way, of what is Biblical 
in the literary sense, the concept of what is 
Canonical. 

But how does this doctrine of the peculiar 
and uniform nature of Biblical Greek 
square with the facts ? One thing seems 



48 THE PROBLEM OF 

clear to me from the outset : it is, to say 
the least, incautious to make this doctrine 
the starting-point of research. 

And if we have given up the theory of 
mechanical inspiration, a glance at the 
history of the growth of the Greek Bible 
in its separate parts will make us still 
more distrustful. For this history shows 
us the possibility and the probability of 
temporal and local differentiation. 

But the sacred texts themselves speak 
most clearly of all. They call emphatically 
for division on linguistic lines into two 
great groups original Greek writings, and 
translations of Semitic originals. Any one 
who does not respect this boundary line 
soon loses his bearings, especially in criti- 
cizing the syntactical phenomena of the 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 49 

Greek Bible. The boundary line, it is 
true, does not run in such a way that the 
Septuagint lies on one side and the books 
of the New Testament on the other. On 
the contrary, the sayings of Jesus in the 
synoptic Gospels, and perhaps more of the 
New Testament, must be counted with the 
examples of translators' Greek, while several 
of the so-called apocryphal books of the 
Old Testament, adopted by the Septuagint, 
go with the Greek originals. 

These two groups differ very remarkably 
from each other in respect to their linguistic 
character. We might compare, for example, 
the Second Epistle to the Corinthians with 
the Greek version of Job. The original 
Greek writings are examples of Greek as 
it was really spoken ; the Greek of the 

P.Q.B. 



50 THE PROBLEM OF 

translations often shows traces of being 
influenced by the language of the original, 
and may sometime^ be described as abso- 
lutely artificial, for it was not a spoken 
language but invented by the translators 
for their immediate purpose. We must 
not say, therefore, that this translators' 
Greek was so spoken by the Jews of Alex- 
andria and Asiatics ; we must not call it 
"Jewish Greek." The real spoken language 
of the Greek Jews is illustrated in the 
writings of Philo, who inclined rather to 
the use of the literary language, and in 
the Pauline Epistles, Jewish inscriptions 
and papyri, where we find more the collo- 
quial language in its various grades. 

Yet the non-Greek character of the 
translated books must not be exaggerated. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 51 

I myself have formerly been less reserved 
in expressing my opinion on this point 
than I should be now. The Septuagint 
in many of its parts is not a non-Greek 
book if only we take as our standard not 
the classical Attic of the fifth and fourth 
centuries B.C. but the popular cosmopolitan 
Greek of the last three centuries B.C. Much 
that is non- Attic in the Septuagint is not 
necessarily non-Greek, but is proved by 
contemporary " vulgar " texts to be popular 
Greek. 

We find, moreover, remarkable differ- 
ences within the two main groups them- 
selves, as was only to be expected. The 
translations were not made by one and the 
same hand, nor on a uniform method ; for 
example, the sayings of our Lord in the 



52 THE PROBLEM OF 

Gospels are in general better translated 
than many parts of the Septuagint. How 
characteristic is the language of the Gospel 
and Epistles of St. John as compared with, 
say, the Epistle to the Hebrews. The 
Johannine Epistles are classical examples 
of the simplest popular language ; the 
Epistle to the Hebrews exhibits a strong 
leaning towards the literary language. 

In the face of these facts, therefore, we 
cannot assume that under the Ptolemies 
a uniform Greek for religious purposes 
grew up among the Egyptian Jews, and 
that under Tiberius, Claudius, etc., until 
right into the second century, this was also 
the language of Christians in Syria, Asia, 
Achaia, and Rome. These assumptions 
are now seen to be fictitious. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 63 

On the contrary, if we examine histori- 
cally the language of the Old and New 
Testaments, our decided impression can 
only be this : Here we have side by side 
linguistic elements of essentially dissimilar 
types ; and in stating and in solving our 
problem there can be no other point of 
view to be adopted except the histori- 
cal. 

A good deal of the uncertainty, however, 
which does nevertheless undoubtedly exist 
on this matter, arises from people's con- 
fusing the religious with the linguistic 
point of view in their historical examina- 
tion. From the point of view of the history 
of religion the sacred books, despite their 
want of linguistic uniformity, must be 
taken together as documents and memorials 



54 THE PROBLEM OF 

of two phases of revelation that are insepar- 
able from one another. That is beyond 
doubt, and no less certain is it that the 
thoughts, the concepts, the spirit of the 
Greek Old Testament and of the New 
Testament are related, and that they differ 
characteristically in their main lines from 
the average faith of Graeco-Roman religion. 
But these are considerations dictated by 
the history of religion ; they can play no 
part in the determination of a specifically 
Biblical or Christian Greek. 

One single consideration drawn from 
the history of language speaks for a certain 
linguistic peculiarity and uniformity of 
the Biblical writings, though only in a 
formal sense. They must all be criticized 
as monuments of late Greek, and most of 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 55 

them as monuments of non-literary Greek, 
and with the express reservation that 
" late Greek " does not mean something 
sharply defined, always recognizable at 
once and with precision, but something 
fluctuating, often problematical, something 
which we do not fully know, a piece of 
living and therefore mysterious linguistic 
history. 

There is no formula by which to describe 
briefly the characteristics of late Greek, 
and qualitative judgments describing it 
as " bad " Greek, and so on, are either 
uttered by doctrinaires regardless of history 
or echoed from the grammarians who 
fancied themselves able by their authority 
to prevent the changes and chances of things. 

Greek philologists, enslaved to the pre- 



56 THE PROBLEM OF 

judice that only the so-called classical 
Greek is beautiful, have long treated the 
texts of the later period with the greatest 
contempt. A good deal of their false 
judgments about late Greek is the simple 
consequence of their complete ignorance 
of it. The renaissance of Greek philology 
in our own day, owing to the progress of 
Epigraphy and Papyrology, has made 
amends for the neglect of late Greek by the 
older generation of scholars. At the present 
day there are plenty of accurate workers 
engaged in investigating philologically the 
newly discovered specimens of cosmopolitan 
Greek of the period from Alexander the 
Great to Constantino. I will mention only 
the most important : Dr. Wilhelm Cronert 
of Gottingen (Memoria Graeca Hercula- 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 57 

nensis) ; x Dr. Karl Dieterich, of Leipzig 
(Investigations on the History of the Greek 
Language) ; 2 Dr. Hatzidakis, the well- 
known Professor at Athens (Introduction 
to Modern Greek Grammar) ; 3 Dr. van 
Herwerden, the veteran Dutch philologist 
(Lexicon Graecum Suppletorium et Dialec- 
ticum) ; 4 Dr. Jannaris, the St. Andrews 
lecturer (Historical Greek Grammar) ; 5 Dr. 
Kretschmer, of Vienna (The Origin of the 



1 Memoria Graeca Herculanensis. Cum titulorum 
Aegypti papyrorum codicum denique testimoniis corn- 
par -atam proposuit Guilelmus Cronert. Lipsiae, 1903. 

2 Karl Dieterich, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte 
der griechischen Sprache von der hellenistischen Zeit 
bis zum 10. Jahrh. n. Chr., Leipzig, 1898. 

3 Georgios N. Hatzidakis (=Chatzidakes), Ein- 
leitung in die neugriechische GrammatiJc, Leipzig, 1892. 

4 Henricus van Herwerden, Lexicon Graecum 
suppletorium et dialecticum, Lugduni Batavorum, 1902, 
1904 (two parts). 

5 Antonios N. Jannaris ( = Giannares), An Historical 
Greek Grammar, London, 1897. 



58 THE PROBLEM OF 



; i Dr. Mayser, a Stuttgart school- 
master (Grammar of the Greek Papyri of the 
Ptolemaic Period) ; 2 Dr. Meisterhans and Dr. 
Schwyzer, two Swiss scholars (Grammar of 
the Attic Inscriptions) ; 3 Dr. Nachmanson, a 
Swede (Phonology and Morphology of the 
Inscriptions of Magnesia) ; 4 Dr. Wilhelm 
Schmid, the Tubingen Professor (The 
Atticists) ; 5 Dr. Wilhelm Schmidt, a Prus- 

1 Paul Kretschmer, Die Entstehung der Koine, 
Sitzungsberichte der Kais. Akademie der Wissen- 
schaften in Wien, philos.-hist. Klasse, Band cxliii., 
Nr. 10. 

2 Edwin Mayser, Grammatik der griechischen Papyri 
aus der Ptolemderzeit, mil Einschluss der gleichzeitigen 
Ostraka und der in Agypten verfassten Inschriften. 
Laut- und Wortlehre. Leipzig, 1906. 

3 K. Meisterhans, Grammatik der attischen In- 
schriften, Berlin, 1885 ; zweite Auflage, Berlin, 1888 ; 
dritte vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage, besorgt 
von E. Schwyzer, Berlin, 1900. 

4 Ernst Nachmanson, Laute und Formen der 
magnetischen Inschriften, Upsala, 1903. 

6 Wilhelm Schmid, Der Atticismus in seinen 
Hauptvertretern von Dionysius von Halikarnass bis 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 59 

sian schoolmaster (De Flavii Josephi elo- 
cutione) ; 1 Dr. Wilhelm Schulze, a member 
of the Berlin Academy (Graeca Latino) ; 2 
Dr. Schweizer (Grammar of the Inscriptions 
of Pergamos), 3 who now calls himself 
" Schwyzer " and has been already men- 
tioned as the reviser of Meisterhans ; Dr. 
Thumb of the University of Marburg 
(The Greek Language in the Hellenistic 
Period) ; 4 Dr. Wackernagel, the Gottingen 



auf den zweiten Philostratus, Stuttgart, 1887-97 
(5 vols.). 

1 Guilelmus Schmidt, De Flavii losephi elocutione 
observations criticae, Lipsiae, 1893 ; (from Fleckeisen's 
Jahrbiicher, Suppl. xx., pp. 345-550. 

2 Guilelmus Schulze, Graeca Latina (Einladung 
zur akademischen Preisverkiindigung), Gottingen, 
1901. 

3 Eduard Schweizer, Grammatik der pergamenischen 
Inschriften, Berlin, 1898. 

4 Albert Thumb, Die griechische Sprache im 
Zeitalter des Hellenismus : Beitrdge zur Geschichte 
und Beurtheilung der Koivr]> Strassburg, 1901. 



60 THE PROBLEM OF 

Professor of Comparative Philology (Hel- 
lenistica), 1 and other scholars. 

In this renaissance of Greek philology 
the Greek Bible has also been regarded 
with new eyes. It may now be described 
as the central object of the investigations 
into late Greek. Whereas formerly the 
qualitative judgments, " good " or " bad," 
prevented the clear recognition of its 
linguistic character, now, owing to its 
being brought into vital connexion with 
late Greek, floods of light are being shed 
upon the Bible. We may say that the 
Greek Bible is now seen to be, in its very 
nature and in its influence, the noblest 
monument of cosmopolitan late Greek. 

1 Jacobus Wackernagel, Hellenistica (Einladung 
zur akademischen Preisverkiindigung), Gottingen, 
1907. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 61 

This late Greek, including the original 
Greek of the Bible, is neither good nor bad ; 
it bears the stamp of its age and asserts 
its own distinctive position in a grand 
process of development in the language, 
which, beginning in the earliest times, has 
lasted down to the present day. Late 
Greek has stripped off much that was 
customary in the earlier period, and it 
contains germs of future developments 
destined to be completed in Modern Greek. 

We may then speak of a certain pecu- 
liarity and uniformity in original " Bible " 
Greek, but solely as opposed to earlier or 
later phases of the history of the language, 
not as opposed to " profane Greek." 

The peculiarities of late Greek are most 
clearly discernible in the accidence. We 



62 THE PROBLEM OF 

are now so far advanced as to have estab- 
lished almost completely the morphology 
of the popular and colloquial forms of 
Hellenistic Greek. And we find that there 
is remarkable agreement between these 
forms and the forms that used to be con- 
sidered peculiar to New Testament or 
Septuagint Greek. 

From the lexical point of view there is 
also found to be great community between 
the Biblical and non-Biblical Greek. 

As for the syntactical and stylistic 
peculiarities that formerly were considered 
the chief reason for isolating " Biblical " 
Greek, they also appear now in a different 
light. We have come to recognize that 
we had greatly over-estimated the num- 
ber of Hebraisms and Aramaisms in the 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 63 

Bible. Many features that are non-Attic 
and bear some resemblance to the Semitic 
and were therefore regarded as Semiticisms, 
belong really to the great class of interna- 
tional vulgarisms, and are found in vulgar 
papyri and inscriptions as well as in the 
Bible. 

The number of real Semiticisms is there- 
fore smaller than was supposed, and smaller 
than Julius Wellhausen, 1 for example, has 
recently declared it to be. But not one of 
the recent investigators has dreamt of 
denying the existence of Semiticisms . They 
are more numerous in the Septuagint 
than in those parts of the New Testament 
that were translated from the Aramaic ; 

1 Julius Wellhausen, Einleitung in die drei ersten 
Evangelien, Berlin, 1905, p. 9 ff. 



64 THE PROBLEM OF 

but in the original Greek texts they are 
very rare. 

In pronouncing on them philologically a 
distinction must be observed that was 
formulated by Hermann Paul * in a case 
of the same kind : the distinction between 
what is occasional and what is usual. 
Semiticisms are " occasional," for example, 
if they are brought about in a translation 
by the accidental influence of the original 
from which the translation is made ; they 
are " usual " if, for example, they have 
become stereotyped in " sacred formulas " 
or other phrases. A certain number of 
these " usual " Semiticisms were moreover 
coined by the Septuagint, and may there- 

1 Hermann Paul, Prinzipien der Sprachgeschichte, 
3. Auflage, Halle, 1898, pp. 67, 145. 



"BIBLICAL" GREEK 65 

fore, as Theodor Nageli 1 well suggested, 
be called Septuagintisms. 

What we do deny is merely this : that 
the Semiticisms, particularly those of the 
New Testament, are sufficient reason for 
scholars to isolate the language of our 
sacred texts. Our opinion of the Biblical 
language is reached by considering its 
innumerable coincidences with the cosmo- 
politan language, not its numerable differ- 
ences from it. The Semiticisms do not 
place the Bible outside the scope of Greek 
philology ; they are merely birthmarks. 
They show us that in this great cosmopolitan 
Book the Greek cosmopolitan language was 
spoken by men whose home lay in the 

East. 

1 Theodor Nageli, Der Wortschatz des Apostels 
Paulus, Gottingen, 1905, p. 74. 

T.G.B. 5 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 



Ill 

SEPTTJAGINT PHILOLOGY 

OUR discussion in the second lecture on 
methods of studying the language of the 
Greek Bible may be said to result in two 
requirements, one for specialization of the 
study, the other for its incorporation as a 
branch in the larger complex of studies 
dealing with late Greek. 

For future linguistic work on the Greek 
Bible, particularly the Septuagint, on these 
lines we now possess an auxiliary of more 
than ordinary importance in a great three- 
volume concordance that has recently been 
completed : the Concordance to the Septua- 



70 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

gint and the other Greek Translations of the 
Old Testament, by Edwin Hatch and Henry 
A. Redpath. 1 Apart from the " Indices " 
to some classical authors and concordances 
to the more important English poets books 
of this sort are really a speciality of the 
theological tool-basket. Originally, no 
doubt, they were designed to assist in 
practical exegesis, but they now form part 
of the indispensable apparatus of scientific 
investigation. They enable us to take 
a rapid survey of the uses of words, forms, 
and constructions, and though they may 
seem to be a satire on the saying that the 
Scripture cannot be broken, if rightly used 
they do indeed promote the more intimate 
knowledge of the Bible. 

r l Oxford, 1892-1906, 3 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 71 

The chief requisites indispensable in any 
concordance are trustworthiness and com- 
pleteness of statement. The old Septua- 
gint Concordance by Tromm, 1 to which 
one was formerly obliged to have recourse, 
did not fulfil these requirements. It was 
published in 1718, and is responsible for a 
good deal of original sin in the quotations 
to be found hi commentaries. 

The new Concordance was prepared and 
begun under the auspices of Hatch, who, 
however, did not live to witness the publica- 
tion of even the first instalment. He died, 
according to human reckoning, much too 
early, on the eleventh of November, 1889, 
at Oxford. I consider the preparation of 

1 Abraham Tromm, Concordantiae Graecae versionis 
LXX. Inter pretum, Amstelodami et Trajecti ad 
Rhenum, 1718 (2 vols., folio). 



72 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

the Septuagint Concordance to have been 
his greatest service to learning. That mon- 
umental work is the abiding fulfilment of 
the simple aspiration that Hatch himself 
once expressed in verse : 

For me . . . 

To have been a link in the chain of life : 

Shall be immortality. 

Like all human work, it is not free from 
errors, but it is on the whole thoroughly 
trustworthy. One of its chief advances 
on its predecessor is shown in the attention 
paid to those minute words, the particles, 
which are of such great interest philologi- 
cally. Schmiedel, 1 however, is certainly 
right in wishing that in the case of particles 
the editors had not only noted the passages 
but also printed them in full. It is really, 
1 Winer-Schmiedel, p. xv. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 73 

in some cases, of more importance to be 
able to inform oneself rapidly concerning 
the uses of the particle av than to be able 
to trace in long lists the occurrence of such 
a word as ai>6pw7ros. 

It is a defect, in my opinion, that the 
principle of absolute completeness has not 
been carried out. Thus, for example, the 
personal pronouns are not given, or rather 
they are only recorded with the addition 
of the word passim a remark which may 
of course mean very much or very little. 
Not long ago I had occasion to examine the 
uses of the solemn formula " I am," eyw 
V, which occurs in the Gospel of St. 
John and in inscriptions relating to the 
cult of Isis. Here the Concordance, article 
ey<*>, failed to assist me, for the ey> 



74 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

which it records is something different. 
In this case of course it was possible to look 
for ei/uu in the article elvai ; but what is 
to be done when the grammarian wishes 
to examine the use of the emphatic ey 
or <rv ? 

I am unable to agree with the aggrieved 
complaint of Cremer, 1 to whom the statis- 
tical system followed in the Concordance 
seems to be a mistake. On the contrary, I 
consider it an advantage that we now obtain 
more rapid information as to the linguistic 
usages of the separate books. The numbers 
appended always will afford information 
as to the Hebrew original for which the 
Greek word stands. We must also be 
grateful for the notice taken of the chief 

1 Bibl.-Theol. Worterbuch, 8th ed., p. xv. f. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 75 

variants in the manuscripts. Many details 
of importance in the history of the language 
are concealed in them. For example, the 
word SoKijjLios, of great importance in two 
places l in the New Testament where it 
was not recognized, can be established 
from Septuagint variants, and its occur- 
rence is then confirmed by the papyri. 

The third volume is particularly valuable. 
It contains a Concordance of proper names 
in the Septuagint and other translations 
which may be called epoch-making as 
regards the study of Semitic and Greek 
sounds and pronunciation. It contains 
further a Concordance of the parts of the 
Greek Ecclesiasticus where corresponding 
Hebrew equivalents can be given. Thirdly, 
1 Jas. i. 3, 1 Pet. i. 7. 



76 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

there is new Hexaplaric material, chiefly 
from the discoveries of Dr. Mercati in the 
Vatican Library ; and finally there is an 
Index to the Hebrew words in the whole 
work. 

This last index possesses an importance 
that has not yet been generally recognized. 
We knew already from the Greek Concord- 
ance that the Septuagint exhibits a striking 
simplification of the vocabulary of its 
original. One single Septuagint word 
serves not infrequently to translate a hun- 
dred and more different words in the 
Hebrew. How far this reduction of the 
copiousness of the Hebrew was neutralized 
by Hebrew words receiving a variety of 
Greek translations, it was hitherto, except 
by very troublesome work with the Hebrew 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 77 

Concordance, impossible to ascertain. The 
Hebrew index of the Oxford Concordance 
has now made it possible to examine with 
both speed and accuracy this not unim- 
portant question in the statistics of the 
language. We see that there are also 
Hebrew words which the translators have 
rendered in over a hundred different ways. 
The same index will also prove of excellent 
service for investigating the peculiarities 
of the individual translators. 

The work is printed with simple English 
elegance and will remain for years and 
perhaps for centuries the only one of its 
kind. Remembering this we can only 
repeat with deep gratitude the words of the 
surviving editor, Henry A. Redpath, in his 
last preface, dated May, 1906, where he 



78 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

describes the work as a labour of love. 
Truly, such a monumental work could not 
have been created without love and 
enthusiasm. 

A Concordance does not pretend to be a 
positive advancement of philology ; but 
it can be the stimulus to a revival of the 
study, for it is to the scholar the same as a 
large, well-arranged herbarium is to the 
botanist material for research in con- 
veniently accessible form. 

Other equally important auxiliaries for 
students of the Septuagint are the new 
editions of the text. Oxford presented us 
with the new Concordance, and Cambridge 
is giving us the new text. First Henry 
Barclay Swete produced a highly successful 

manual edition of the Vatican text, 1 with 
1 The Old Testament in Greek according to the Sep- 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 79 

the variants of the other most important 
manuscripts, and supplemented it with the 
first Introduction to the Old Testament 
in Greek. 1 His labours are the most 
important that have been bestowed on the 
Septuagint since Lagarde's valuable work 
in the last third of the nineteenth century. 
His Introduction in particular is at once a 
compendium of all the earlier Septuagint 
philology and a stimulus for all future work 
on the subject. 

Then the " large " Cambridge Septua- 
gint 2 began to appear, Genesis being 

tuagint. Edited by H. B. Swete, 3 vols., Cambridge, 
1887-94 ; 2nd ed., 1895-1900 ; 3rd ed., 1901-7. 

1 An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, 
by H. B. Swete. Cambridge, 1900 ; 2nd ed., 1902. 

2 The Old Testament in Greek according to the text 
of Codex Vaticanus, supplemented from other uncial 
manuscripts, with a critical apparatus containing 
the variants of the chief ancient authorities for the 



80 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

published in 1906 as the first part of the first 
volume. This great work was also origin- 
ally under the management of Swete, but 
when he was obliged to relinquish the 
execution of the larger plan in 1895 it was 
entrusted to Alan England Brooke and 
Norman McLean. The Cambridge Septua- 
gint does not aim at determining the primi- 
tive text the time is not yet ripe for that 
but it tries to give a collection, as complete 
and trustworthy as possible, of all the 
materials for the text, which, since the 
great Oxford edition of Holmes and Parsons, 1 
have been greatly increased. Such a col- 
text of the Septuagint. Edited by Alan E. Brooke 
and Norman McLean. Vol. i., Part 1., Genesis. 
Cambridge, 1906. 

1 R. Holmes and J. Parsons, Veins Testamentum 
Graecum cum variis lectionibus, Oxonii, 1798-1827 
(5 vols.). 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 81 

lection of the materials was as necessary 
as daily bread to Biblical philology. I 
was at the Hamburg Congress of Oriental- 
ists in 1902, when Professor Nestle made the 
first authentic announcement concerning 
the forthcoming work based on an article 
by Brooke and McLean, and there can be 
no doubt that all present were impressed 
by the extreme importance of the matter. 
The Genesis which has since appeared has 
not disappointed our highest expectations. 
The editors have worked with the greatest 
accuracy. All the available witnesses to 
the text have been cited, down to the 
most recently published papyri, includ- 
ing the most important cursive manu- 
scripts, the old translations, Philo, the New 
Testament, and the quotations in the old 



P.G.B. 



82 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

ecclesiastical writers. The thread upon 
which everything is strung is usually, as in 
Swete's edition, the Codex Vaticanus. The 
typography is a masterpiece of the Cam- 
bridge University Press. 

It is to be hoped that, as we now possess 
such splendid new auxiliaries, Biblical phil- 
ology will address itself to the great task 
of compiling a Septuagint Lexicon. It 
would be quite mistaken policy to postpone 
work on the Lexicon till we have something 
like a critical text. That would be putting 
it off till the Greek Kalends. But we can 
begin at once. A Lexicon is not intended 
to last for centuries ; it does duty only until 
it is relieved by a better one, and the textual 
critic is the last person who can afford to 
do without a Lexicon. Hitherto we have 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 83 

had only the old Septuagint Dictionary by 
Biel, 1 or the revision of it by Schleusner, 2 
which is a rather insipid adaptation of 
Tromm's Concordance, useless at the present 
day except as a collection of material. 
The Key to the Old Testament Apocrypha 

by Christian Abraham Wahl 3 is better in 
its way, but also no longer up to the stan- 

1 Joannes Christianus Biel, Novus Thesaurus 
Philologicus : sive Lexicon in LXX. et alias interpretes 
et scriptores apocryphos Veteris Testamenti. Ex Bielii 
autoris manuscripto edidit ac praefatus est E. H. 
Mutzenbecher. Hagae Comitum, 1779-80 (3 parts). 

2 Johann Friedrich Schleusner, Novus Thesaurus 
philologico-criticus : sive Lexicon in LXX. et reliquos 
interpretes Graecos ac scriptores apocryphos Veteris 
Testamenti. Post Bielium et alios viros doctos con- 
gessit et edidit J. F. Schleusner. Lipsiae, 1820-1 (5 
parts) ; editio altera, locupletata, Londini, 1829 
(3 vols.). 

Lexici in Interpretes Graecos Veteris Testamenti, 
maxime Scriptores Apocryphos spicilegium. Post 
Bielium congessit et edidit J. F. Schleusner. Lipsiae, 
1784-6 (2 vols.). 

3 C. A. Wahl, Clavis librorum Veteris Testamenti 
Apocryphorum philologica, Lipsiae, 1853. 



84 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

dard of modern requirements. Particularly 
for the Septuagint Lexicon the inscriptions 
and papyri are of the very greatest import- 
ance. 

Recent years have produced only prelim- 
inary studies for the future lexicon. Those 
contributed by Hermann Cremer in his 
Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testa- 
ment Greek 1 must on no account be for- 
gotten. Yet I cannot help feeling that 
partly at least they are influenced by the 
belief in " Biblical" Greek, and I consider 
critical revision to be imperative. The 
same applies to the lexical work in 
Hatch's Essays in Biblical Greek, 2 which are 
full of fine observations. H. A. A. Ken- 

1 See above, p. 41, n. 1. 

2 See above, p. 40, n. 1. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 85 

nedy, in his Sources of New Testament 
Greek* a book which is unfortunately not 
always correct in its detailed statements, 
supplies many correct illustrations of the 
vocabulary of the Septuagint, and after- 
wards of the New Testament, from con- 
temporary Greek sources. A gratifying 
piece of work in the form of a ^doctoral 
dissertation was published at Halle in 
1894 by Heinrich Anz, 2 investigating the 
relation of two hundred and eighty-nine 
verbs in the Pentateuch with the popular 
language. The conception of " Biblical " 
Greek, which might so easily have been an 
obstacle to the work, obviously causes 

1 See above, p. 40, n. 2. 

2 Heinrich Anz, Subsidia ad cognoscendum Grae- 
corum sermonem vulgarem e Pentateuchi versione 
Alexandrina repetita. Dissertationes Philologicae 
Halenses, vol. XII., Halis Sax., 1894. 






86 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

the author few misgivings. He takes the 
Book of the Seventy frankly for what it is 
and what it claims to be, and treats it as a 
specimen of popular Greek. His investiga- 
tions into the history of the words selected 
impress one as thoroughly sound, and may 
be regarded as preliminary studies for the 
Septuagint Dictionary. It is a pity that 
the more recent papyrus discoveries were 
not then accessible to the author. 

In 1897 and 1899 the Professor of Theo- 
logy at Utrecht, J. M. S. Baljon, 1 published 
a Dictionary of Early Christian Literature, 
which as regards the New Testament 
articles was founded on Cremer. It pro- 
fesses to contain the vocabulary of the 

1 J. M. S. Baljon, Grieksch-theologisch Woordenboek 
hoofdzakelijk van de oud-christelijke letterkunde, 
Utrecht, 1895-9 (2 parts). 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 87 

Septuagint and its satellites, besides that of 
the New Testament and of Early Christian 
literature in general. The idea of construct- 
ing a common dictionary for the whole of 
this large field is undoubtedly a good one, 
but one cannot help suspecting that the 
idea is too great for the present time. A 
lexicon, whether to the Septuagint or to 
the New Testament, cannot be constructed 
off-hand, if it is to contain what we have a 
right nowadays to expect. Blass criticized 
the book l and found in it not a little that 
a philologist could not approve. With all 
admiration for Baljon's industry it must 
nevertheless be said that he does not even 
touch, much less solve, the really great 
problems of a Septuagint Dictionary. 
1 Theologische Liter aturzeitung, 1897, xxii. col. 43 f. 



88 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

In 1895 a Cambridge committee drew up 
a plan for a Dictionary of the Septuagint, 
but Swete some time ago informed us that 
the plan had been suspended for the present. 
This is highly regrettable, but the reasons 
for the suspension are intelligible to any 
one who knows the present position of 
research. The difficulties are very great, 
and those peculiar to a Septuagint Diction- 
ary are commonly underestimated. People 
think that the problem is solved by ascer- 
taining what Hebrew word or words are 
represented by the Septuagint word. They 
then look up the meaning of the Hebrew 
and thus obtain what they consider the 
" meaning " of the Septuagint word. Equiv- 
alence of the words an obvious fact, easily 
ascertainable is taken without further ado 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 89 

to denote equivalence in the ideas conveyed. 

People forget that the Septuagint has 
often substituted words of its own rather 
than translated. All translation, in fact, 
implies some, if only a slight, alteration of 
the sense of the original. The meaning of 
a Septuagint word cannot be deduced from 
the original which it translates or replaces 
but only from other remains of the Greek 
language, especially from those Egyptian 
sources that have lately flowed so abund- 
antly. Even Professor Blass, I am glad to 
say, took up this position at last a position 
which, unfortunately, is not conceded at 
once, but has to be slowly won by combat 
with an unmethodical school. 

To give one example : Baljon in his 
Lexicon gives as meanings for the Septua- 



90 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

gint word apitevOos " olive tree " and 
" cypress tree." The Hebrew words for 
these two trees are certainly sometimes 
rendered apKevOos by the translators, and 
so Baljon concludes that in the language 
of the Septuagint apicevQos had these 
meanings. No, says Blass 1 very truly, 
apicevOos means " juniper," and " a wrong 
translation does not turn the juniper into 
an olive or a cypress." There can be no 
doubt about that. 

I can perhaps make my point clearer by 
an analogy. In the English Authorized 
Version the " terebinth " of the original 
is usually translated " oak " (Isa. i. 29 ; 
Gen. xxxv. 4). On the analogy of Baljon's 
article a Dictionary of the Authorized 
1 Col. 44. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 91 

Version would have to say that " oak " 
meant " terebinth," whereas the truth of 
the matter is that the English translators, 
like Luther in the German translation, have 
rendered the Hebrew I will not say 
wrongly, but inexactly. They have 
Anglicized and Luther has Germanized 
the Oriental tree. 

In the case of Septuagint words of 
importance in the history of religion the 
unhappy confusing influence of the mechan- 
ical equating process is shown still more 
clearly ; the apparent and external equival- 
ence of words is made the basis of far- 
reaching deductions. Even a Septuagint 
scholar like Eberhard Nestle, whose scat- 
tered notes are usually most instructive, 
does not keep altogether clear of this 
method. 



92 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

As an example to illustrate this whole 
subject I may mention the word IXao-Trjpiov. 
You will read of this word in many respect- 
able books on theology that in Septuagint 
Greek or in " Biblical " Greek it " means " 
" the lid of the ark of the covenant/' 
because the corresponding Hebrew word 
" kapporeth " is in most cases so translated 
by modern scholars. Now the etymology 
of the word, confirmed by certain inscrip- 
tions, shows that IXaa-rripiov means "ob- 
ject of expiation or propitiation." In 
choosing the word IXaa-rripiov to denote 
the lid of the ark of the covenant the 
Septuagint has not translated the concept 
of " lid " but has replaced it by another 
concept which brings out the sacred purpose 
of the ark. The lid of the ark of the 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 93 

covenant is an iXaa-Trjpiov, but it does not 
follow that tXavTvpiov means " lid " either 
in the Septuagint, in St. Paul, or anywhere 
else ; it can only mean " expiatory or 
propiatory object." 

A large proportion of the so-called "Bib- 
lical " meanings of words common to all 
forms of the Greek language owe their 
existence in the dictionaries solely to 
this mechanical equating process. In 
order to effect such comparisons of words 
there is no need of a lexicon at all ; the 
concordance is sufficient. The lexicon has 
very different and much more complicated 
tasks before it. It must exhibit the Greek 
word in the history of its uses, availing 
itself specially of the linguistic remains 
that are locally and temporally most appro- 



94 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

priate. It must try to discover and explain 
the discrepancies of meaning between words 
equated with one another by the compara- 
tive method. 

This task is as profitable as it is vast. 
It will be discovered that the translators, 
despite their reverence for the syntactical 
peculiarities of their original, have made 
liberal use of their own everyday vocabu- 
lary, especially in the case of technical and 
expressive phrases. This has been shown 
in an instructive essay by B. Jacob l 
on the Book of Esther. Various details 
will be found in the writings of Jean 
Antoine Letronne 2 and Giacomo Lum- 

1 B. Jacob, Das Buck Esther bei den LXX., Zeit- 
schrift fur die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 1890, x. 
p. 241 fit. 

2 J. A. Letronne, Recherches pour servir a Vhistoire 
de rEgypte pendant la domination des Grecs et des 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 95 

broso * on Egyptian history under the 
Ptolemies, and in the still valuable work 
of H. W. J. Thiersch on the Greek 
Pentateuch. 2 

As examples of the Egyptianizing and, 
from their point of view, modernizing 
tendency of the translators, I may quote 
the following. In the book of Esther (ii. 
21) certain officials are mentioned who 
bear the title of " keepers of the thresh- 

Romains, tirees des inscriptions grecques et latines, 
relatives a la chronologic, a 1'etat des arts, aux usages 
civils et religieux de ce pays. Paris, 1823. Recueil 
des Inscriptions Grecques et Latines de Vfigypte, 
etudiees dans leur rapport avec 1'histoire politique, 
Padministration interieure, les institutions civiles et 
religieuses de ce pays, depuis la conquete d'Alex- 
andre jusqu'a celle des Arabes. Paris, 1842-8. 

1 G. Lumbroso, L'Egitto dei Greci e dei Romani ; 
seconda edizione . . . accresciuta di un appendice 
bibliografica. Roma, 1895. Recherches sur V economie 
politique de VBgypte sous les Lagides. Turin, 1870. 

2 Heinrieh Wilhelm Josias Thiersch, De Pentateuchi 
versione Alexandrina libri ires. Erlangae, 1840. 



96 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

old." The Septuagint renders this title 
by apxio-(0juLaTo<pv\a% 9 that is " chief of the 
body-guard," a designation that occurs in 
Egyptian inscriptions and papyri l as the 
title of an official in the court of the 
Ptolemies. 

In Joel i. 20, describing the distress of 
the land, it is said that the rivers of waters 
are dried up. The Egyptian translators 
have turned the " rivers of waters " into 
" canals," thus making the description 
much more life-like to Egyptian readers. 

In Genesis 1. 2 ff. it is written that the 
physicians embalmed the body of Jacob. 
The Septuagint says evrafaaa-Tai instead 

of " physicians " (iarpol), for cvTCKpiaa-n]?, 

as we know from a papyrus 2 of the first 

1 Deissmann, Bible Studies, 2nd ed., p. 98. 

2 Ibid., p. 120 f. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 97 

century B.C., was the technical term for 
members of the guild that looked after 
embalming. 

Thiersch's little book, already mentioned, 
consists chiefly of grammatical studies of 
the translation of the Pentateuch. It is in 
every respect a most excellent performance, 
and was in many points decidedly in advance 
of its times. Unfortunately, for a long 
period Thiersch had practically no followers. 
Purely grammatical investigations of the 
Septuagint were altogether wanting except 
what was now and then contained in 
Grammars of the New Testament, especially 
Schmiedel's. 1 The spell was broken by 

Swete in his Introduction. 2 His fourth 



1 See above, p. 41, n. 2. 

2 See above, p. 79, n. 1. 



98 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

chapter, containing an account of the Greek 
of the Septuagint, includes an outline of 
the grammar ; another is given by Cony- 
beare and Stock x in their Selections from 
the Septuagint, which will be referred to 
again presently. A larger Septuagint 
Grammar is announced as in prepara- 
tion by Thackeray, the editor of the 
Epistle of Aristeas in Swete's Introduc- 
tion. 

In the autumn of 1907 there was pub- 
lished, after years of preliminary labour, a 
German Septuagint Grammar by R. Helb- 
ing, 2 closely in touch with the recent 
developments of Greek philology, and based 
upon an exact study of the enormous 

1 See below, p. 101, n. 2. 

2 Robert Helbing, Orammatik der Septuaginta 
Laut- und Wortlehre, Gottingen, 1907. 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 99 

materials drawn from the three parallel 
sources inscriptions, papyri, and late 
authors. The extent of the material 
furnished merely by the papyri of the 
Ptolemaic age, contemporary with the 
Septuagint, may be judged from the highly 
meritorious Grammar of Greek Papyri of 
the Ptolemaic Epoch recently published 
by Edwin Mayser, 1 who, like Helbing, has 
turned his attention in the first place to 
the Phonology and Accidence. The syn- 
tactical problems will be treated in separate 
volumes by both scholars. 

The exegesis of the Septuagint forms by 

itself a special department of Septuagint 

philology. Its aim is to interpret the Greek 

Old Testament as the Greek Bible. The 

1 See above, p. 58, n. 2. 



100 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

Seventy represented a Hellenization of 
Semitic monotheism on a great scale, and 
their work became a force in literature and 
in the history of religion, just like Luther's 
Bible in later times. But, apart from 
commentaries on the Old Testament by 
ancient fathers of the Church, exegetical 
works on the Septuagint compiled in earlier 
times are unknown. Such work was neg- 
lected probably because the Septuagint was 
generally used simply as a means for the 
reconstruction of the Hebrew original text, 
and because the few who were interested in 
the contents of the book for its own sake 
were much too strongly inclined to believe 
that the sense of the Greek text was one 
and the same with that of the Semitic 
original. In countless instances, however, 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

the sense of the two texts does not coincide 
and then is the time for Septuagint exe- 
gesis to step in : it is a fine large field, 
and until lately was quite un worked. 

Three beginnings have recently been 
made: one by R. R. Ottley in his Book of 
Isaiah according to the Septuagint 1 ; the 
second by F. C. Conybeare and St. George 
Stock, who in their Selections from the 
Septuagint 2 have provided a series of 
stories from the historical books of the 
Septuagint with a detailed introduction 
and exegetical notes; and the third by 
F. W. Mozley, who wrote a commentary 

1 The Book of Isaiah according to the Septuagint, 
Codex Alexandrinus. Translated and edited by R. R. 
Ottley. With a parallel version from the Hebrew. 
Cambridge, 1904, 1906. (2 vols.) 

2 Selections from the Septuagint according to the 
text of Swete. Boston (U.S.A.) and London [1905]. 
(Ginn & Co.'s College Series of Greek Authors.) 



102 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

on the Septuagint Psalms. 1 The English 
translation of the Septuagint by Charles 
Thomson, 2 which I have not yet seen 

1 The Psalter of the Church, Cambridge, 1905. 

2 [Translator's Note]. Charles Thomson (1719- 
1824) was Secretary to Congress, United States of 
America. His translation of the Septuagint was 
printed at Philadelphia, 1808, and was apparently 
the first English version of the Old Testament made 
from the Greek. It has recently been reprinted : 
" The Old Covenant, commonly called the Old Testa- 
ment : translated from the Septuagint. By Charles 
Thomson. A new edition by S. F. Pells," London 
(Skeffington), 1904 (2 vols.). A " second issue," with 
the introductory matter increased from thirty-four 
to sixty- two pages was " published by the Editor, 
Hove, England, 1907." Stamped on the cover of 
each volume are the words : " The Septuagint. The 
Bible used by our Saviour and the Apostles. Used 
in the Christian Church for a thousand years." In 
the Editor's preface we read (p. xi.) : "It was out 
of this version that our Saviour was taught when a 
child, and out of which He read in the synagogue 
the things concerning Himself (Luke iv. 18, 19)." 
A similar statement is repeated in the second issue, 
p. li. : " The language of Christianity in Palestine 
was Greek, and the language of the Synagogue was 
Greek. When our Saviour ' stood up for to read ' 
in the synagogue of Nazareth, it was from the Greek 
Septuagint, Luke iv. 16-21 (not Hebrew) ; the 
ordinary speech of the country at this period was 
Aramaic, or Syriac." The inscription on the covers 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 103 

myself, ought to be mentioned here, al- 
though the assertion in the preface to the 
new edition that the Septuagint was the 
Bible used by Christ is not correct. 

The Bible that our Lord used was a Semitic 
Bible. Paul, however, a child of Hellenized 
Judaism, used the Septuagint, and with 
him and after him Greek Christianity, 
before ever there was a New Testament, 

of the second issue is altered to read : " Used in 
the Churches of England for a thousand years," it 
being a fond delusion of Mr. Pells that the Bibles in 
use before the Reformation were derived from the 
Septuagint and therefore more authentic than our 
present translation from the Massoretic text ! 
Other English translations of the Septuagint are : 

(1) The, Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, 
according to the Vatican text, translated into English, 
with the principal various readings of the Alexandrine 
copy, and a table of comparative chronology. By 
Sir L. C. L. Brenton. London, 1844 (2 vols.). 

(2) The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament, 
with an English translation : and with various readings 
and critical notes. London (S. Bagster), [1870]. 
Reissue, 1879, pp. vi., 1130 + 4 pp. Appendix ; 
Apocrypha paged separately, iv. 248. 



104 SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 

reverenced the Septuagint as the Bible 
and made it more and more a possession 
of its own. It has served the Christian 
Church of Anatolia in unbroken continuity 
down to the present day. It is peculiarly 
moving to a Bible student of our own day 
when, in a remote island of the Cyclades, 
he passes from the glaring noonday sunshine 
into the darkness of a little Greek chapel 
and finds the intercessory prayers of the 
Septuagint Psalms still as living on the 
lips of a Greek priest as they were two 
thousand years ago in the synagogues of 
Alexandria and Delos. 

One who has experienced that will return 
with new devotion to the Book of the 
Seventy, strengthened in the conviction 
that this monument of a world- wide religion 



SEPTUAGINT PHILOLOGY 105 

is indeed worthy of thorough and profound 
investigation on all sides, not only because 
of its Hebrew original but also for its own 
sake. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 



IV 

NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

WE concluded our third lecture with a 
short mention of the beginnings that are 
just being made in the exegesis of the 
Greek Old Testament. The exegesis of 
the Greek New Testament can look back 
upon a history of many centuries. The 
fact, however, that the New Testament 
as distinguished from the Greek Old Testa- 
ment possesses an international exegetical 
literature of its own which promises soon 
to attain unmanageable dimensions, is not 
necessarily a proof of a revival of interest 

109 



110 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

in its philological investigation. The more 
recent commentaries, indeed, leave much 
to be desired from the philological point of 
view. 

How greatly the exegesis of the New 
Testament is able to profit by the progress 
of classical archaeology in the widest sense 
is shown by the writings of Sir William 
Ramsay, 1 the Commentary on the Epistle 
to the Romans by Hans Lietzmann, 2 the 
Commentary on the Gospel according to 
St. Matthew by Th. Zahn 3 and by W. C. 
Allen, 4 and the excellent Commentary on 

1 See above, p. 21, n. 

2 Hans Lietzmann, Handbuch zum Neuen Testa- 
ment, vol. iii., pp. 1-80, Tubingen, 1906. 

3 Theodor Zahn, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament, 
vol. i., Leipzig, 1903 ; zweite Auflage, 1905. 

4 W. C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commen- 
tary on the Gospel according to S. Matthew. Edinburgh, 
1907. (The International Critical Commentary.) 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 111 

St. Paul's Epistles to the Thessalonians by 
George Milligan. 1 

Any further discussion of the enormous 
output of Commentaries in the last few 
years is beyond our present scope. Nor 
is this the occasion to review the work 
accomplished in New Testament textual 
criticism, important as it is to the New 
Testament philologist and tempting as it 
would be to speak of it here in Cambridge, 
where great traditions in textual criticism 
have been inherited and made greater by 
men and women of distinguished learning. 

We may, however, mention in the first 

place as a book of great value to the New 

Testament philologist the Concordance to 

the New Testament by W. F. Moulton and 

1 London, 1908. 



112 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 
A. S. Geden. 1 A revised edition of an 
older work, the excellent Concordance of 
Bruder, 2 is also being prepared by Schmiedel. 
But the most remarkable fact that strikes 
us on reviewing recent work is that, after 
a long period of stagnation in the gram- 
matical department, we have had in the 
last twelve years three new Grammars of 
the New Testament, by Paul Wilhelm 
Schmiedel, Friedrich Blass, and James 
Hope Moulton, and that the publication 



1 A Concordance to the Greek Testament according 
to the text of Westcott and Hort, Tischendorf, and the 
English Revisers. Edited by Rev. W. F. Moulton 
and Rev. A. S. Geden. Edinburgh, 1897. 

2 Ta/jbieiov TWV rr}s Kaivfjs Aiadr)K7]<$ Xefecov sive 
Concordantiae omnium vocum Novi Testamenti Graeci, 
primum ab Erasmo Schmidio editae, nunc secundum 
critices et hermeneutices nostrae aetatis rationes emen- 
datae, auctae, meliori ordine dispositae cura C. H. 
Bruder, Lipsiae, 1842 ; editio stereotypa quarta, 
Lipsiae, 1888, sexta 1904. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 113 
of a fourth, by Ludwig Kadermacher, is 
impending. 

Schmiedel's book claims only to be a 
revised edition (the eighth) of G. B. Winer's 
Grammar. 1 The old Winer, when first 
published, was a protest of the philological 
conscience against the caprices of an arro- 
gant empiricism. For half a century it 
exercised a decisive influence on exegetical 
work which is a long time for any Gram- 
mar, and for a Greek Grammar in the nine- 
teenth century a very long time indeed. 
While most warmly appreciating its merits 
we may yet say, without prejudice to the 
truth, that it has had its day. If you use 
the old edition of Winer now and it is 
still to some extent indispensable it is 
1 See above, p. 41, n. 2. 

P.G.B. g 



114 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

possible to find yourself thinking that 
what was once its strength constitutes also 
the weakness of the book. And I believe 
the feeling is not without foundation. 
Often you feel that something is represented 
as regular where there is no such thing as 
regularity, or uniform where the charac- 
teristic individuality of the single fact calls 
for recognition. In short you receive too 
much the impression of a " New Testament 
idiom " as a sharply defined magnitude in 
the history of the Greek language. 

If in speaking of Schmiedel's new Winer I 
may be allowed to begin with an objection, it 
is a fault, so it seems to me, that there is still 
too much Winer and too little Schmiedel 
in the book. This applies, however, only 
to the introductory paragraphs, where 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 115 

Schmiedel has allowed much to remain 
that is afterwards tacitly contradicted by 
his own statements. On the whole the 
new edition or new book, as it is really 
marks a characteristic and decisive turning 
point in New Testament philology. The 
phenomena of the language of the New 
Testament are exhibited conscientiously, 
and as a rule adequately, in relation 
with the history of the Greek language. 
The sources accessible to Schmiedel, especi- 
ally the inscriptions and papyri, are made 
exhaustive use of. Unfortunately the 
majority of the papyrus discoveries did 
not come until after the appearance of 
Schmiedel's Accidence in 1894. Such 
preliminary studies as existed for the philo- 
logist were used by Schmiedel, and, sad 



116 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

to say, there were not many. All the more 
must we admire the industry, the faithful- 
ness in detail, and the eye for the great 
connexions traceable in the history of 
language, to which the book bears witness. 
Schmiedel's minute accuracy is well known. 
It does one's heart good in this false world 
to meet with such trustworthy quotations. 

It is a pity that Schmiedel has not yet 
been able to complete the work ; but as a 
splendid Greek scholar, Eduard Schwyzer 
of Zurich, the grammarian of the Pergamos 
inscriptions, has been recently engaged 
as a collaborator, it may be hoped that 
" Winer and Schmiedel " will not have 
to remain a torso much longer. 

In his review 1 of Schmiedel's Accidence 

1 Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1894, xix. col. 
532-4. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 117 

Friedrich Blass was not so warm as he 
might have been in acknowledging the 
merits of the work. In his own Grammar, 1 
however, he openly acknowledges that he 
owed very much to Schmiedel. 

And, indeed, without Schmiedel's book 
Blass's Grammar would not have been 
possible. In the review mentioned Blass 
observed that the gulf between theology 
and philology was noticeable here and 
there in Schmiedel, and by saying so invited 
the use of the same standard on his own 
Grammar. Now in my opinion the separa- 
tion between theology and philology is 
altogether without justification in this field 
of research, and the controversy that 

1 See above, p. 41, n. 3. Translated into English by 
H. St. J. Thackeray, London, 1898 ; 2nd ed., 1905. 



118 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

occasionally flares up is most regrettable. 
But as things are at present, the professed 
Greek scholar who takes up the study of 
the Bible has generally the advantage of a 
larger knowledge of the non-Biblical sources 
of the language, while the theologian is 
better acquainted with the Biblical texts 
and their exegetical problems. Prejudiced 
though it may sound to say so, my impres- 
sion on comparing the two Grammars was 
that Schmiedel's defects in philology were 
slighter than those of Blass in theology. 
To speak in the language of mankind that 
knows no Faculties, as regards the positive 
interpretation of the texts of the New 
Testament Schmiedel is the more stimu- 
lating, so far as can be judged from the 
first instalment of his Syntax. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 119 

A Grammar must not be wanting in 
cheerful willingness to leave some things 
undecided. It must be seriously recognized 
and admitted that there are such things as 
open questions. That Blass theoretically 
held this view is shown by the following 
chance remark in his Grammar. 1 " The 
kind of relation subsisting between the 
genitive and its noun can only be recognized 
from the sense and context ; and in the 
New Testament this is often solely a matter 
of theological interpretation, which cannot 
be taught in a Grammar." But this prin- 
ciple, so extremely important methodologi- 
cally, is not always followed. In passages 
where it is certain that the phraseology is 
peculiar, and where the exegetical possi- 
1 Zweite Auflage, p. 97, 35, 1. 



120 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

bilities are equal, Blass often comes and 
smooths away with his grammatical plane 
something that seems like an irregularity 
but is really not so. 

Beginners in exegesis are apt to content 
themselves with what they find by help 
of the index of texts in Blass. That is 
certainly not at all what Blass intended, 
but it is probably the consequence of what 
must be complained of as the theological 
deficiency of the book. A Grammar, especi- 
ally when it bears the name of a famous 
philologist, is easily regarded by the average 
person who uses it as a compendium of all 
that is reducible to fixed laws and therefore 
as absolutely dependable. If Blass could 
have brought himself to rouse up energeti- 
cally this easy-going deference of the youth- 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 121 

ful reader, as he might have done in many 
parts of the Syntax, his book would have 
gained decidedly in value as a book for 
students. 

I count it as one of the excellencies of 
the book that in the introduction the 
author adopts a definitive attitude on the 

4 

question of " New Testament " Greek. In 
spite of the title, and in spite of some 
occasional relapses (which must not be 
regarded too seriously) to the method 
formerly championed by Blass, it is made 
plain that there is no such thing as a special 
" New Testament " Greek, and that there- 
fore the claim of the New Testament to 
have a special grammar of its own can 
only be based on the practical needs of 
Bible study. As was only to be expected 



122 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

from Blass, the book contains many fine 
observations in the details. The Syntax, 
however, is decidedly the weakest part 
of the book. The comparatively small 
number of examples from secular sources 
is particularly striking there. On the other 
hand and this undoubtedly deserves our 
thankful attention Blass makes ample 
use of the Shepherd of Hernias, the Epistle 
of Barnabas, and the Clementine literature. 
This is putting into practice the excellent 
remark in his grimly humorous dedication 
to August Fick, where he writes : " The 
isolation of the New Testament is a bad 
thing for the interpretation of it, and 
must be broken down as much as pos- 
sible." 

In very different fashion the latest of 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 123 

the grammarians, James Hope Moulton, 1 
has broken down the isolation of the New 
Testament . He introduces himself modestly 
as inheritor of the work of his late father, 
W. F. Moulton, whose English edition of 
Winer's Grammar 2 had for almost forty 
years favourably influenced exegetical 
studies in England and America. His aged 
mother, who compiled the copious index 
of texts for him as she had done forty years 
before for her husband, may symbolize 
to us the personal continuity between the 
elder and the younger generation of gram- 
marians. The son has inherited firstly 
the scholar's instinct for research, united 
with fervent love of the New Testament. 

1 See above, p. 41, n. 4. 

2 Edinburgh, 1870. 



124 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

He has further inherited the solid founda- 
tion of the book itself, Winer and Moulton's 
Grammar. But he was also equipped with 
a modern training in Greek, and by his own 
industry he has created on that foundation 
an entirely new book. In the second 
edition, therefore, which was called for 
within a few months, the title has rightly 
been simplified. 1 The first volume bears 
the descriptive title of Prolegomena ; a 
second volume, containing the grammar 
proper, is yet to follow. With intentional 
avoidance of systematic severity and con- 
cision the nine chapters of the Prolegomena 
aim at making clear by a selection of 
especially striking linguistic phenomena 

1 A Grammar of New Testament Greek, by James 
Hope Moulton, vol. i., Prolegomena, Edinburgh, 1906. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 125 

the general character of the Hellenistic 
cosmopolitan language and the position 
of the New Testament in the history of 
that language. These chapters are partly 
based on earlier publications of the author's 
in the Expositor, and his articles in the 
Classical Review are also made use of. 
What the learned doctrinaire may carp at 
as a fault in the character of the first volume 
is for the reader, and especially for the young 
reader, a great advantage. The opinion 
that a Grammar can only be good if it is 
dull, is completely refuted by these Prole- 
gomena. You can really read Moulton. 
You are not stifled in the close air of 
exegetical controversy, and you are not 
overwhelmed in a flood of quotations. 
The main facts and the main questions are 



126 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 
* always seen distinctly and formulated 
clearly. It is an important work, in many 
points stimulating to research, and it should 
leave one great conviction behind it, namely, 
that the New Testament, from the linguis- 
tic point of view, stands in most vital 
connexion with the Hellenistic world 
surrounding it. The earlier grammatical 
treatment of our sacred Book was above 
all dominated by a sense of its contrast with 
the surrounding world, and the new method, 
conceived and followed more energetically 
by Moulton than by Schmiedel and Blass, 
emphasizes above all the contact with the 
surrounding world. The last word has not 
yet been said about the proportion of 
Semiticisms. A large number of miscon- 
ceptions in earlier exegetists come from 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 127 

failure to notice the fact that the speech 
of the people in Greek and in non-Greek 
languages had many points in common. 
Thus many phrases which strike both the 
classical Greek scholar with his public 
school and university training and the 
divinity Hebrew scholar, and which they 
triumphantly brand as Semiticisms, are 
not always Semiticisms, but often interna- 
tional vulgarisms, which do not justify the 
isolation of " New Testament " philology. 
Excellent indices only the Greek one 
is too modest afford a convenient sum- 
mary of the results of the Prolegomena. 
The list of papyri and inscriptions quoted 
shows the author's wide reading and makes 
it possible to use the New Testament as a 
source for the study of papyri and epigraphy. 



128 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

The accuracy of the printing and the 
beautiful get-up of the book are very 
pleasing. The only thing that caused me 
misgivings was the praise given to a German 
scholar who had lighted by chance upon 
the papyri and there seen what of course 
would have been seen by anybody else. 
It is to be hoped that the publication 
of these three great works, to be followed, 
as already mentioned, by a fourth, does not 
mean that the grammatical study of the 
New Testament will come to a standstill 
for a time. There are plenty of detached 
problems, both in accidence and syntax ; 
for example, it seems to me that a close 
examination of the syntax of the preposi- 
tions and cases, especially in St. Paul, 
would be particularly desirable and fruitful. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 129 

In his inaugural lecture at Manchester 
two years ago on "The Science of Language 
and the Study of the New Testament," 1 
Moulton gave a short sketch of the present 
state of New Testament problems. 

Edwin A. Abbott's Johannine Grammar, 2 
a special Grammar of the writings of St. 
John, which appeared recently, is a work of 
great merit. I have not yet been able to 
examine this book, nor the same author's 
Johannine Vocabulary, 3 but I can rely upon 
the opinion of Dr. Moulton, who praises 
the book highly and would only have 
liked to see in it a closer acquaintance 
with the facts of late Greek. 

1 Manchester, 1906, p. 32. 

2 E. A. Abbott, Johannine Grammar, London, 1906. 

3 E. A. Abbott, Johannine Vocabulary : a com- 
parison of the words of the Fourth Gospel with those 
of the three. London, 1905. 



P.G.B. 



130 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Two detached investigations, not, how- 
ever, purely grammatical, are contained 
in two Heidelberg dissertations presented 
for the licentiate in theology, by Arnold 
Steubing * on the Pauline concept of 
" sufferings of Christ," and by Adolph 
Schettler 2 on the Pauline formula " through 
Christ." The latter especially is very 
instructive, and by proving that St. Paul 
in that formula always means the risen 
Lord constitutes a great simplification and 
deepening of our conception of the personal 
religion of St. Paul. 

An American book from the earlier years 
of the modern period of research, Ernest 

1 Arnold Steubing, Der paulinische Begriff 
" Christusleiden" Darmstadt, 1905. 

2 Adolph Schettler, Die paulinische Formel 
" Durch Christus" Tubingen, 1907. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 131 

de Witt Burton's Syntax of the Moods and 
Tenses in New Testament Greek, 1 deserves 
honourable mention, while the two very 
detailed grammatical works of the French 
Abbe, Joseph Viteau, 2 entitled Etudes sur 
le Grec du Nouveau Testament, must be 
used with great caution. Burton's book 
has moreover been recently translated into 
Dutch by J. de Zwaan, 3 a Dutchman, who 
enriched it with good additions of his own. 
As a proof that also the Roman Catholic 

1 E. de Witt Burton, Syntax of the Moods and Tenses 
in New Testament Greek, Chicago, 1893 ; 2nd ed., 
London (Isbister), 1893 ; 3rd ed., Edinburgh, 1898. 

2 Joseph Viteau, Etudes sur le Grec du Nouveau 
Testament. Le Verbe : Syntaxe des Propositions. 
(These.) Paris, 1893. Ettule sur le greo du Nouveau 
Testament compare avec celui des Septante : Sujet, 
Complement et Attribut. Paris, 1896. (Bibliotheque 
de 1'Ecole des Hautes Etudes, fasc. 114). 

3 J. de Zwaan, Syntaxis der Wijzen en Tijden 
in het Grieksche Nieuwe Testament . . ., Haarlem, 
1906. 



132 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Church in German lands is at least not 
wanting in good will to assist in the 
grammatical work I may mention two 
" Programms " by Alois Theimer, 1 an 
Austrian schoolmaster, on the prepositions 
in the historical books of the New Testa- 
ment. 

The greatest task for the philologist of 
the New Testament is again a Dictionary. 
Excellent in the main as was Wilibald 
Grimm's revision 2 of Wilke's Clams Novi 
Testamenti Philologica (as may be seen 

1 Beitrdge zur Kenntnis des Sprachgebrauches im 
Neuen Testamente, Programm, Horn in Niederoster- 
reich, 1896 and 1901. 

2 C. G. Wilke, Clavis Novi Testamenti Philologica, 
Dresdae et Lipsiae, 1841, 2 vols. ; another, Roman 
Catholic edition, Lexicon Graeco-Latinum in libros 
Novi Testamenti, by V. Loch, Ratisbonae, 1858 ; 
another Protestant edition by C. L. W. Grimm, 
Lipsiae, 1868, vierte Auflage, 1903 ; translated by 
J. H. Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New 
Testament, Edinburgh, 1886; New York, 1887. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 133 

especially in the much more correct English 
edition by Joseph Henry Thayer), and 
much as Cremer's Lexicon has improved 
in the course of years, both these works, 
Grimm and Cremer, to say nothing of 
others, are no longer adequate. We now 
have the right to expect of a Dictionary 
that it shall take account of the results 
of modern philology, and that it therefore 
in particular shall not ignore the splendid 
additions to our knowledge due to the 
discoveries of the last twenty or thirty 
years. As far as the inscriptions are 
concerned, both Grimm and Cremer might 
have derived much information from them, 
and it is regrettable that they did not do 
so. Already a large number of words 
formerly considered " Biblical " or " New 



134 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Testament " can be struck off the list on 
the authority of inscriptions, papyri, or 
passages in authors that had escaped 
notice. 

It used to be a favourite amusement of 
the older lexicographers to distinguish words 
as specifically Biblical or New Testament, 
and the number of such words has been 
enormously overestimated. Even Ken- 
nedy l calculates, from the lists in Thayer's 
Lexicon, that among the 4,800 to 5,000 
words used in the New Testament (omitting 
proper names), about 550 are " Biblical," 
that is, words " found either in the New 
Testament alone, or, besides, only in the 
Septuagint. That is, about twelve per cent, 
of the total vocabulary of the New Testa- 
1 P. 93. See above, p. 40, n. 2 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 135 

ment is ' Biblical.' ' But this estimate 
will not bear close examination. 

Many of these 550 words are quoted by 
Thayer himself from non-Christian authors, 
and though these authors are often post- 
Christian, there is no probability of their 
having learnt the words from the New 
Testament or from the mouth of Christians. 
A large number of other words have since 
then turned up in the inscriptions, papyri, 
and ostraca, and as regards the rest we 
must always ask in each case whether there 
is sufficient internal reason for supposing 
the word to be a Christian invention . Where 
one of these words is not recognizable at 
sight as a Jewish or Christian new formation 
we must consider it as a word common to 
all Greek until the contrary is proved. 



136 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

The number of really new-coined words 
is in the earliest Christian period very small. 
There can hardly be more than 50 Christian 
new formations among the round 5,000 
words of the New Testament vocabulary, 
that is, not 12 per cent, but 1 per cent. 
Primitive Christianity was a revolution of 
the inmost life of man, but not a revolution 
of the Greek lexicon so might we, as 
modern philologists, vary the old witness 
of St. Paul, that " the kingdom of God is 
not in word but in power " (1 Cor. iv. 20). 
The great enriching of the Greek lexicon 
by Christianity did not take place till later 
in the ecclesiastical period, with its enormous 
development and differentiation of the 
dogmatic, liturgical, and legal vocabulary. 
In the religiously creative period the power 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 137 

of Christianity to form new words was not 
nearly so large as its effect in transforming 
the meaning of the old words. 

The New Testament lexicographer will 
therefore have to make himself familiar 
above all with the great range of sources 
for the Greek popular language from Alex- 
ander the Great to Constantine. His field 
is the world that world which from the 
most ancient seats of Greek culture in 
Hellas and in the islands, in the little country 
towns of Asia Minor and in the villages of 
Egypt, as well as from the cosmopolitan 
trading centres on the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean and the Black Sea, presents us year 
by year with memorials of itself, i.e., with 
actual documents of the living language 
which was the missionary language of St. 
Paul. 



138 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Studies such as those of E. L. Hicks 
in the Classical Review, 1 James Hope 
Moulton's lexical work in the Expositor, 2 
Theodor Nageli's Examination of the 
Vocabulary of the Apostle Paul, 3 Wilhelm 
Heitmiiller's book 4 on the formula " in 
the name of Jesus/' Gottfried Thieme's 
Heidelberg dissertation on The Inscriptions 
of Magnesia on the Maeander and the New 
Testament, 5 Wendland's essay on the word 
Saviour (crornjjo), 6 and the excellent " Lexi- 
cal Notes from the Papyri " 7 just begun 



1 Vol. i., 1887, pp. 4-8, 42-6. 

2 April, 1901 ; February, 1903 ; December, 1903. 

3 See above, p. 65, n. 1. 

4 W. Heitmiiller, Im Namen Jesu, Gottingen, 1905. 
6 G. Thieme, Die Inschriften von Magnesia am 

M dander und das Neue Testament, Gottingen, 1906. 

6 Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, 
1904, v., pp. 335-53. 

7 The Expositor, January, 1908, and following 
numbers. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 139 

by J. H. Moulton and George Milli- 
gan, have all by this method obtained 
accurate results and laid the founda- 
tions for the future new Lexicon. Georg 
Heinrici 1 in his examination of the 
Sermon on the Mount from the point of 
view of the history of ideas has made 
valuable contributions by drawing materials 
from the old philosophical and ethical 
writers. Baljon 2 also, at least in the 
Appendix to his Dictionary, was able to 
incorporate some of the results of recent 
investigations. It will also be possible 
for synonymic studies to receive a new 
impetus from the new sources. Archbishop 

1 Georg Heinrici, Die Bergpredigt . . . begriffs- 
geschichtlich untersucht, Reformationsfestprogramm, 
Leipzig, 1905 (and as vol. iii. of Heinrici's Beitrdge, 
Leipzig, 1905). 

2 See above, p. 86, n. 



140 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Trench's l well-known work is the classical 
representative of the older philological 
method. Though in many points out of 
date, it is still the best work on New Testa- 
ment synonymy, and a selection from it 
has lately been published in a German trans- 
lation by Heinrich Werner. 2 The German 
Synonymy of New Testament Greek by 
Gerhard Heine 3 is quite elementary. 

Any one who shall in future pursue 
studies in synonymy based on an intimate 
knowledge of the late Greek popular lan- 
guage, will without doubt come to the 

1 R. C. Trench, Synonyms of the New Testament, 
Cambridge, 1854 ; 7th ed., 1871, last edition, 1906. 

2 Synonyma des Neuen Testaments, von R. Ch. 
Trench, ausgewahlt und iibersetzt von Heinrich 
Werner. Mit einem Vorwort von Prof. D. Adolf 
Deissmann. Tubingen, 1907. 

3 Gerhard Heine, Synonymik des neutestamentlichen 
Crriechisch, Leipzig, 1898. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 141 

conclusion that the stock of concepts 
possessed by Primitive Christianity was 
much more simple and transparent than 
used formerly to be assumed. The con- 
cepts have hitherto been too much isolated ; 
for example, the differences between " Justi- 
fication," " Reconciliation," and " Redemp- 
tion " in St. Paul have been much more 
strongly emphasized than the relationship 
which before all things is recognizable 
between them. In particular the person- 
ality and the piety of the Apostle Paul 
appear much more compact and more 
impressive, if, avoiding the failings of the 
doctrinaire method as commonly employed 
in Germany by the Tubingen School and 
their opponents, we consider him against 
the background recoverable from the new 



142 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

sources of the Graeco-Roman world as the 
great hero of the faith from the East. 

Finally, there is great need for critical 
studies of the style of the separate books 
of the New Testament. In Eduard Nor- 
den's book l on The Artistic Prose of the 
Ancients will be found a number of fine 
observations, although his whole procedure 
in connecting the New Testament with 
Greek artistic prose is not correct. The 
greater part of the New Testament writings 
is not artistic prose but artless popular 
prose ; which, however, is often of greater 
natural beauty than the artificial products 
of the hollow rhetoric of post-classical 
antiquity. The words of Jesus and many 

1 Eduard Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa vom vi. 
Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis in die Zeit der Renaissance, 
Leipzig, 1898. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 143 

utterances of St. Paul and the other 
apostles are either instinct with a calm, 
chaste beauty that is aesthetically worthy 
of admiration, or else they are written 
with truly lapidary force, worthy of marble 
and the chisel. The importance of the 
New Testament in the history of style rests 
on the fact that through this book the 
language of natural life, that is, of course, 
language as it lived upon lips specially 
endowed by grace, made its entry into a 
world of outworn doctrine and empty 
rhetoric. It was a great mistake of Fried- 
rich Blass 1 to try to represent St. Paul as 
an adherent of the Asian rhythm, so that, 
for example, the Epistle to the Galatians 

1 F. Blass, Die Rhythmen der asianischen und 
romischenKunstprosa, Leipzig, 1905. See Theologische 
Literaturzeitung, 1906, xxxi., col. 231 ff. 



144 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

would be supposed to be written with due 
observance of the rhythmical rules of 
art. This error ranges Blass with a number 
of older writers by whom the Apostle Paul 
was praised for his great knowledge of 
classical literature. 



Primitive Christianity this is one of 
the main results of the modern philology 
of the New Testament Primitive Christi- 
anity in its classical epoch is set in the 
midst of the world, but it still has very 
little connexion with official culture ; in- 
deed, as an energetic and one-sided reli- 
gious movement it is distrustful in its 

attitude towards the " wisdom " of the 
world. 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 145 

It rejects this is the second result of 
our inquiry it rejects, in this epoch, all 
the outward devices of rhetoric. In gram- 
mar, vocabulary, syntax, and style it 
occupies a place in the midst of the people 
and draws from the inexhaustible soil of 
the popular element to which it was native 
a good share of its youthful strength. 

In opposition to its later developments 
towards dogma, differentiation, and com- 
plexity and this is the third result in 
opposition to these later developments it 
is, in that classical epoch, in spite of the 
glowing enthusiasm of its hope, entirely 
simple and forceful, intelligible in its appeal 
to the simple and the poor in spirit, and 
therefore appointed to a mission to the 
whole world. 

P G.B. 10 



146 NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 

Modern New Testament philology, there- 
fore I may say in conclusion does not 
mean any impoverishing of our conceptions 
of the beginnings of our faith. On the 
contrary, although apparently concerned 
only with the outward form of the New 
Testament, it opens up new points of view 
as regards its inward meaning, deepening 
our knowledge of Primitive Christianity 
and strengthening our love of the New 
Testament. 

And if this study has brought together 
a band of workers from all Protestant 
countries on one common field workers 
whom enthusiasm for Christ and His Cause 
and the desire for knowledge have united 
in one great brotherhood then the phil- 
ology of the New Testament, with this 



NEW TESTAMENT PHILOLOGY 147 

international alliance in work, is helping 
in little to fulfil the great hope of the New 
Testament " that we may all be one in 
Christ." 



Butler and Tattntr t The Selwood Printing Works> Frome, ana Lyndon 



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J! 



LIBRARY USE 




tft.G i 1958 




MA! tm'df m A 




23Jan*59^ 




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&.C.V& 

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LD 21A-50m-9,'58 
(6889slO)476B 



General Library 
University of California 
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