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former prophets are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings; the latter prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiahı, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. And the Hagiographa consists of the Psalms, the Proverbs, Job, the Song of Solomon, Ruth, the Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, the Chronicles. Under the name of Ezra they comprehend Nehemiah: this order has not always been observed, but the variations from it are of no moment. The five books of the law are divided into forty-five sections. This division many of the Jews hold to have been appointed by Moses himself; but others, with more probability, ascribe it to Ezra.
The design of this division was, that one of these sections might be read in their synagogues every sabbath day : the number was fifty-four, because, in their intercalated years, a month being then added, there were fiftyfour sabbaths: in other years, they reduced them to fiftytwo, by twice joining together two short sections. Till the persecution of Antiochus Epipbanes, they read only the law; but, the reading of it being then prohibited, they substituted in the room of it fifty-four sections out of the prophets; and when the reading of the law was restored by the Maccabees, the section which was read every sabbath, out of the law, served for their first lesson, and the section out of the prophets for their second. These sections were divided into verses; of which division, if Ezra was not the author, it was introduced not long after him, and seems to have been designed for the use of the Targumists, or Chaldee interpreters; for after the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when the Hebrew language ceased to be their mother tongue, and the Chaldee grew into use instead of it, the custom was, that the law should be first read in the original Hebrew, and then interpreted to the people, in the Chaldee language; for which purpose these shorter sections were very convenient.
II. History. It is thought that Ezra published the scriptures in the Chaldee character, for, that language being generally used among the Jews, he thought proper to change the old Hebrew character for it, which has since that time been retained only by the Samaritans, among whom it is preserved to this day. Prideaux is of
opinion, that Ezra made additions in several parts of the Bible, where any thing appeared necessary for illustrating, connecting, or completing the work; in which he appears to have been assisted by the same Spirit in which they were first written.
Among such additions are to be reckoned the last chapter of Deuteronomy, wherein Moses seems to give an account of his own death and burial, and the succession of Joshua after him. To the same cause, our learned author thinks, are to be attributed many other interpolations in the Bible, which created difficulties and objections to the authenticity of the sacred text, no way to be solved without allowing them. Ezra changed the names of several places which were grown obsolete, and, instead of them, put their new names by which they were then called in the text. Thus it is that Abraham is said to have pursued the kings who carried Lot away captive as far as Dan; whereas that place in Moses' time was called Laish, the name Dan being unknown till the Danites, long after the death of Moses, possessed themselves of it.
The Jewish canon of scripture was then settled by Ezra, yet not so, but that several variations have been made in it. Malachi, for instance, could not be put in the Bible hy him, since that prophet is allowed to have lived after Ezra; nor could Nehemiah be there, since that book mentions (chap. xii. v. 22) Jaddua as high priest, and Darius Coddomannus as king of Persia, who were at least a hundred years later than Ezra. It may be added, that, in the first book of Chronicles, the genealogy of the sons of Zerubbabel is carried down for so many generations as must necessarily bring it to the time of Alexander: and consequently this book, or at least this part of it, could not be in the canon in Ezra's days. It is probable the two books of Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, and Malachi, were adopted into the Bible in the time of Simon the Just, the last of the men of the great synagogue.
The Jews, at first, were very reserved in communicating their scriptures to strangers: despising and shunning the Gentiles, they would not disclose to them any of the treasures concealed in the Bible. We may add, that the people bordering on the Jews, as the Egyptians, Phænicians,
Arabs, &c. were not very curious to know the laws or history of a people, whom in their turn they hated and despised. Their first acquaintance with these books was not till after the several captivities of the Jews, when the singularity of the Hebrew laws and ceremonies induced several to desire a more particular knowledge of them.
Josephus seems surprised to find such slight footsteps of the scripture history interspersed in the Egyptian, Chaldean, Phænician, and Grecian history; and accounts for it hence, that the sacred books were not as yet translated into Greek or other languages, and consequently not known to the writers of those nations. The first version of the Bible was that of the Septuagint into Greek, by order of that patron of literature, Ptolemy Philadelphus; though some maintain that the whole was not then translated, but only the Pentateuch; between which and the other books in the Septuagint version, the critics find a great diversity in point of style and expression, as well as of accuracy.
IJI. MODERN DIVISIONS. The division of the scriptures into chapters, as we at present have them, is of modern date. Some attribute it to Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, in the reigns of John and Henry III. But the true author of the invention was Hugo de Sancto Caro, commonly called Hugo Cardinalis, because he was the firšt Dominican that ever was raised to the degree of cardinal. This Hugo flourished about A. D. 1240: he wrote a comment on the scriptures, and projected the first concordance, which is that of the vulgar Latin Bible.
The aim of this work being for the more easy finding out any word or passage in the scriptures, he found it necessarz to divide the book into sections, and the sections into subdivisions; for till that time the vulgar Latin Bibles were without
division at all. These sections are the chapters into which the Bible hath ever since been divided; but the subdivision of the chapters was not then into verses, as they are now. Hugo's method of subdividing them was by the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, placed in the margin, at an equal distance from each other, according to the length of the chapters.
The subdivision of the chapters into verses, as they
now stand in our Bibles, had its original from a famous Jewish rabbi named Mordecai Nathan, about 1445. This rabbi, in imitation of Hugo Cardinalis, drew
up concordance to the Hebrew Bible, for the use of the Jews. But though he followed Hugo in his division of the books into chapters, he refined upon his invention as to the subdivision, and contrived that by verses : this being found to be a much more convenient inethod, it has been ever since followed. And thus, as the Jews borrowed the division of the books of the holy scriptures into chapters from the christians, in like manner the christians borrowed that of the chapters into verses from the Jews. The present order of the several books is alınost the same (the Apocrypha excepted) as that made by the council of Trent.
IV. REJECTED Books. The apocryphal books of the Old Testament, according to the Romanists, are the book of Enoch (see Jude xiv,) the third and fourth books of Esdras, the third and fourth books of Maccabees, the prayer of Manasseh, the Testament of the twelve Patriarchs, the psalter of Solomon, and some other pieces of this nature.
The apocryp!ial books of the New Testament are the epistle of St. Barnabas, the pretended epistle of St. Paul to the Laorliceans, several spurious gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelations; the book of Hermas, entitled the Shepherd; Jesus Christ's letter to Abgarus; the epistles of St. Paul to Seneca, and several other pieces of the like nature; as may be seen in the collection of the apocryphal writings of the New Testament made by Fabricius. Protestants, while they agree with the Roman catholics in rejecting all those as uncanonical, have alsɔ justly rejected the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and 1st and 2d Maccabees.
SECT. II. TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE.
We have already mentioned the first translation of the Old Testament by the LXX. Both Old and New Testaments were afterwards' translated into Latin by the primitive christians; and while the Roman empire subsisted in Europe, the reading of the scriptures in the Latin tongue, which was the universal language of that empire, prevailed every where : but since the face of affairs in Europe has been changed, and so many different monarchies erected upon the ruins of the Roman empire, the Latin tongue has by degrees grown into disuse; whence has arisen a necessity of translating the Bible into the respective languages of each people; and this has produced as many different ver- . sions of the scriptures, in the modern languages, as there are different nations professing the christian religion.
1. ANGLO-Saxon. If we inquire into the versions of the Bible of our own country, we shall find Adelm, bishop of Sherburn, who lived in 709, made an English Saxon version of the Psalms; and that Edfrid, or Ecbert, bishop of Lindisferne, who lived about 7:30, translated several of the books of scripture into the same language. It is said, likewise, that venerable Bede, who died in 785, translated the whole Bible into Saxon. But Cuthbert, Bede's disciple, in the enumeration of his master's works, speaks only of his translation of the gospel, and says nothing of the rest of the Bible. Some say that king Alfred, who lived about 890, translated a great part of the scriptures. We find an old version in the Anglo Saxon of several books of the Bible, made by Elfric, abbot of Malmesbury: it was published at Oxford in 1699. There is an old Anglo Saxon version of the four gospels, published by Matthew Parker, archbishop of Canterbury, in 1571, the author whereof is unknown. Mr. Mill observes, that this version was made from a Latin copy of the old Vulgate.
The whole scripture is said by some to have been translated into the Anglo Sason by Bede, about 701, though • others contend he only translated the gospels. We have
certain books or parts of the Bible by several other translators; as, 1. the Psalıns, by Adelm, bishop of Sherburn, cotemporary with Bede, though by others ihis version is attributed to king Alfred, who lived two hundred years later. Another version of the Psalms, in Anglo Saxon, was published by Spelman in 1610.–2. The evangelists, still extant, done trom the ancient Vulgate, before it was revised by St. Jerome, by an author unknown, and published by Matthew Parker in 1571. An old Saxon version of several books of the Bible made by Elfric, abbot of Malmesbury, several fragments of which were published by Will. Lilly, 1638 ; the genuine copy by Edm. Thwaites, in 1699, at Oxford.
II. ENGLISH, The first English Bible we read of was