Page images
PDF
EPUB

ver. 2, and is justly observed by bishop Pearce. All the La. translators say rightly," Nihil amplius respondit,” or what is manifestly equivalent. All the foreign translations I have seen give the same sense. Yet, to show how difficult it is to preserve an uniform attention, and how liable at times even judicious persons are to run blindfold into the errors of their predecessors, it may be observed, that Wes. is the only modern Eng. translator who has escaped a blunder, not more repugnant to the fact, as recorded in the verses immediately preceding, than contradictory to the import of the Gr. expression here used. His version is, “ Answered nothing any more.” The rest, without exception, say, “ Still answered nothing," or words to that purpose. Yet, in the G. E. the sense was truly exhibited, “ Answered no more at all.”

7. “ Who in their sedition had coinmitted murder," Oïtives {v in ordoel qóvov TENOLÚXELOav. Vul. “Qui in seditione fecerat homicidium.” No MS. authorizes this rendering.

8. “With clamor the multitude demanded,” 'Avaßonous ö öxdos ñočato uitrio fui. Vul. “ Cum ascendisset turba cæpit rogare.” Accordingly the Vat. MS. has avaßas for avaporoas. Agreeable to which are also the Cop. and Eth, versions. The Cam. reads dvasás ökos, and is followed by the Go. but not by the Sax. which has nothing answering to the first clause, "cum ascendisset," but is in what follows conformable to the Vul.

12. “What then would ye have me do with bim whom ye call king of the Jews ?” Ti oủv OÉEte nonow öv nézete Baordia tov 'lovdarov; Vul. “ Quid ergo vultis faciam regi Judæorum ?” But in this omission the Vul. is singular. There is no Gr. MS. known as yet, which has not öv heyata : no version except the Sax. which does not translate it,

25. “ Nailed him to the cross,” torajowoav aúróv. E. T. « Crucified him.” The Eng. verb to crucify, denotes properly to put to death by nailing to the cross. The word oravoow, bere, means no more than 'to fasten to the cross with nails. In strict propriety, we should not say a man cried out after he was crucified, but after he was nailed to the cross.

2 « The third hour.” J. 19: 14. N.

34. “ Eloi," 'Elwi. This is the Sy, as well as the Heb. word for my God. See J. 20: 17, in the Sy. version. It is there pronounced Elohi; but the aspiration must be dropped when written in Gr. letters, as it suits not the analogy of the Gr. language to admit it in the middle, or at the end of a word. For this reason they say Abraam, not Abraham; Judas, not Judah.

42. “ When it was evening,” xai non oylas yevouévns. The word answering to evening is used with some latitude in Scripture. | The Jews spoke of two evenings, Mt. 14: 23. N. It is probably the former of these that is ineant here and Mt. 27: 57, for at six

the preparation ended and the Sabbath began, when they durst no longer be so employed.

43. “Senator.Bovlevins. L. 23: 30. N.

44. “ Pilate, ainazed that he was so soon dead,” ó nehéros Savuacev, či ñón tél vnxe. E. T. “ And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead.” Raphelius, with whom agrees bishop Pearce, has shown, by examples froin Xenophon and Eusebius, that the conjunction ei is, in some cases, properly translated that. We have a strong evidence that this is the meaning here, from the question put to the centurion," whether Jesus had been dead nádat, any time,” not ñån, " already.” That there are two MSS. which read ñon, is perhaps not worth mentioniny.

CHAPTER XVI.

ing for let it be obed by the evangelis copies), nor in any seems,

2. “ About sunrise," avataídavtos toù rdiov. E. T. “ At the rising of the sun.” Vul. “Orto jam sole.” This expresses too much; for let it be observed, that it is not the preterperfect parti-, ciple that is bere used by the evangelist, but an aorist. Nor is there a word in the Gr. (except in a few copies), nor in any other ancient versions, answering to jam in the L. The E. T. seems, in this place, to follow the Cam. which reads ávateadovios in the present. But this reading is peculiar to that copy.

8. “Getting out, fled," FELDOūral tayu čovyov. E. T. “ Went out quickly, and Aed.” But the word taxù is wanting in a great number of MSS., some of them of principal note, in several of the best editions and ancient versions, particularly the Vul. and both the Sy. It is also rejected by Mill, and Wet.

16. “ He who shall believe," o riotevoAS. E. T. “ He who believeth.” The Gr. aorists have not always the power of the preterite : but agreeably to the import of the name, are frequently indefinite in regard to tirne. Here they are better rendered by the present, as in the E. T. than by the past ; the present, with us, being often used indefinitely. Had the words immediately preceding related to a judgment to come, the most proper tense here, in Eng. for expressing the Gr. aorist, would have been the future perfect : that is, a future which is past, in respect of another future referred to: “He who shall have believed, shall be saved." In this manner all the La. translations except Ar. bave expressed it : " Qui crediderit.” But, as the words immediately preceding are an order to the apostles, with which the words of this passage are connected as regarding what is necessarily consequent on the execution of that order, (sor of necessity they would be either believed or disbelieved), the time is, in our idiom, best expressed by a simple future. Though the future perfect could not be accounted im

VOL. II.

31

proper, it is so complex, [. He who shall have believed, and shall have been baptized'], that, unless where perspicuity renders it necessary, it is better to avoid it. The later Fr. translators (though that tense be, in their language, a degree simpler than in ours) take this method. P. R. Sa. and Si., though translating from the Vul. and Beau, say, “ Celui qui croira," not “ qui aura cru."

? « He who shall believe-he who will not believe," Ó Tuoteúgas-ó arlotnous. E. T. “He that believeth—be that believeth not.” The change of the future from shall to will may, to a superficial view, appear capricious; but I imagine the idiom of the language requires this distinction between a positive and a negative condition. It is accordingly expressed in the same manner in the G. E. A sovereign might properly say to his minister, · Publish, in my name, ibis edict to the people: if they shall obey it, they shall be rewarded, but if they will not obey, they shall be punished. In the former part of the declaration, it is not the will that is required, so inuch as the performance : in the latter part, a threat is annexed to the non-performance, merely on account of the obstinacy, that is, pravity of will, by which it is occasioned. This distinction particularly suits the nature of the present case. The belief that results not from evidence, but from an inclination to believe, is not styled faith so properly as credulity, which is always accounted an extreme. Nor is that unbelief, or even disbelief, criminal, that is not justly imputable to a disinclination to believe in spite of evidence; which is termed incredulity, and is as much an extreme as the other. It is required, not that our will operate in producing belief, (ample evidence is afforded for this purpose, as mentioned in the two subsequent verses), but that our will do not operate in a contrary direction, to prevent or obstruct our believing. God alone gives light, he requires of us only that we do not shut our eyes against it. It may be thought an objection to this explanation, that it would iinply that there is a demerit in the unbelief that is punishable, at the same time that there is no merit in the faith that is to be rewarded. This is doubtless the case. There is po positive meril in faith ; and if, when compared with infidelity, there may be ascribed to ii a sort of negative merit, the term is evidently used in a sense not strictly proper. But this is no objection to the explanation given above. These contraries do not stand on a footing entirely similar. Death, we know, is the wages of sin; but eternal life, which is the same with salvation, is the gift of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 Shall be condemned,” xatarocinostat. E. T. “Shall be damned.” But this is not a just version of the Gr. word. The term damned, with us, relates solely to the doom that shall be pronounced upon the wicked at the last day. This cannot be affirmed, with truth, of the Gr. xatoxoivw, which corresponds exactly to

the Eng. verb condemn. It may relate to that future sentence, and it may not. All the La. translations I know, Vul. Ar. Zu. Er. Cas. Cal. Be. say "condemnabitur.” But if the word had been damnabitur, it would have made no difference, as these two La. verbs are synonymous. It is not so with the Eng. words, to damn and to condemn. I cannot help observing, that though the lin. and Fr. languages bave verbs exactly corresponding, in the difference of their meanings, to the two Eng. verbs, their translators have, very properly, preferred the more general term. Dio. says, “ Sara condannato ;" G. F. L. Cl. Beau. P. R. Si. Sa. “Sera condamné.” In regard to the more modern Eng. versions, they have all replaced the proper word condemned, except Wes. who retains the term of the common translation. Chap. 12: 40. N. It is still worse to render the simple verb xolv&iv (2 Thess. 2: 12, 'to damn ;' that verb properly signifying not so much as to condemn, but 'to judge,' to try :' though sometimes used by a figure, the cause for the consequence, to denote 10 punish.

Jerom has observed, that there were few of the Gr. copies he had seen, which had the last twelve verses of this chapter. They are still wanting in inany MSS., and are not comprehended in the Canons of Eusebius. But they are in the Sy. version, the Ara. and the Vul. and were in the old Itc. and other ancient versions. They are in the Al. and Cam. MSS. They are also in The.'s Commentaries. But what weighs most with me, I acknowledge, is, that the manner wherein so ancient a writer as Irenæus, in the second century, refers to this Gospel, renders it highly probable that the whole passage was read in all the copies known to him: “In fine autem evangelii, ait Marcus, . Et quidem Dominus Jesus, postquam locutus est eis, receptus est in cælos, et sedet ad dexteram Dei.'” Adv. Hær. lib. jïi. cap. 11. The verse quoted is the nineteenth, and the chapter has but twenty. It deserves our notice, that there is not a single MS. which has this verse, that has not also the whole passage from the eighth to the end ; nor is there a MS. which wants this verse, that does not also want the whole. No authority of equal antiquity has yet been produced upon the other side. It has been conjectured, that the difficulty of reconciling the account here given of our Lord's appearances after his resurrection, with those of the other evangelists, has imboldened some transcribers to omit them. The plausibility of this conjecture, the abruptness of the conclusion of this history without the words in question, and the want of any thing like a reason for adding them if they had not been there originally, rendered their authenticity at least probable. Transcribers sometimes presume to add and alter in order to remove contradictions, but not as far as I can remember, in order to make them.

PREFACE

TO

ST. LUKE'S GOSPEL.

LUKE, to whom this Gospel, the third in order, has been, from the earliest ecclesiastical antiquity, uniformly attributed, was for a long time a constant companion of the apostle Paul, and assistant in preaching the gospel, as Mark is said to have been of the apostle Peler. Of Luke we find honorable mention made once and again in Paul's Epistles ; Col. 4: 14. 2 Tim. 4: 11. Philem. 24. But the most of what we can know of his history must be collected from the Acts of the Apostles, a book also written by him in continuation of the bistory contained in the Gospel. Though the author, like the other evangelists, has not named bimself as the author, he has signified plainly in the introduction of his work that he is not an apostle, nor was himself a witness of what he attests, but that he had his intelligence from apostles and others who attended our Lord's ministry upon the earth.

2. It has been made a question whether he was originally a Jew or a Pagan. The latter opinion has been inferred from an expression of the apostle Paul to the Colossians, chap. 4: 10-14, where, after naming some with this addition, who are of the circumcision, he mentions others, and arnong them Luke, witbout any addition. These are, therefore, supposed to have been Gentiles. But this, though a plausible inference, is not a necessary consequence from the apostle's words. He might have added the clause who are of the circumcision, not to distinguish the persons from those aftermentioned as not of the circumcision, but to give the Colossians particular information concerning those with whom perhaps they had not previously been acquainted. If they knew what Luke, and Epaphras, and Demas, wliether Jews or Gentiles, originally were, the information was quite unnecessary with regard to them. It will perhaps add a little to the weight of this consideration to observe, that, in those days, in introducing to any church such christian brethren as were unknown to them before, it was a point of some importance to inform them, whether they were of the circumcision or not; inasmuch as there were certain ceremonies and observances wherein the Jewish converts were indulged, which, if found in one

« PreviousContinue »