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in the original, but are necessary to give the sense and meaning of it; thus in avoiding one error they have fallen into another, and whilst on the one hand they maintain the integrity of the Hebrew text, they on the other impeach it as deficient and wanting
The text of the Church Bibles is the authentic text: from this text the Word of God is read in all churches, and the word of man is not admitted in it; but if the reader should be tenacious, and equally scrupulous with the translators who have devised these interpolations, how shall such a reader consult with his conscience, should he pass over those Italic insertions sub silentio, as not being the Word of God, or read them in the audience of the people as the Word of God, knowing them to be devised by men? Certainly he cannot but read the whole text as he there finds it written or printed, and no such reserves and distinctions can in this case be admitted.
That alone is denied to the Bible, which is allowed to all the learned books of the ancients in the translations of their works, if such interpolations are to be persisted in; and that which is allowed in the translation of common Hebrew books is denied to the Bible.
Having remarked, that all the interpolary words may be resolved into two classes, Grammatical and Explanatory, I shall now offer some pertinent examples; and first of the former of these two:
1. Joseph says to his brethren, “ I am Joseph your brother,” Gen. xlv. 4. The interpolated word is here marked in Italics, as if it had no warrant in the original; but here a manifest violence is done to the original in excluding the avowed sense in all similar cases, granted according to the rule of the Hebrew tongue; and therefore, when Joseph thus addresses his brethren, he positively and without reserve says, “I am Joseph your brother.” The rule of the original language has no other form of expression for the present tense in this construction of speech, and that translation is not justified in the interpolation which excludes the affirmation contained in it. But of how much greater consequence are those repeated affirmations of the Almighty in sealing his word to his precepts in the most solemn form, “I am the LORD!" Surely the testimony of the whole Hebrew tongue can never justify any translator for interpolating in forms of speech like these, and rendering them imperfect. In like manner the Almighty affirms himself to be the Saviour and Deliverer of the Israelites, in that form of words so often repeated in the Pentateuch, “I am the LORD your God.”
the Lord thy God.” Exod. xx. Prayer Book Version, “ I am the LORD thy God,” &c. By the same rule as the Prayer Book Version translates, ought the Bible Version to be revised, and these objections would cease.
The Prayer Book Version of Joel, ii. 12–17. Isa. Ixiri. 1. 5–11. Jer. xxiii. 5-8. Mal. ii. 1-5. Isa, vï. 10–15. xl. 1-11. affords no example of interpolated words by Italics, but renders the original text and Bible Translation complete and entire, after the ancient manner.
Now the reason why the translators have introduced the Italic among the Roman letter of the text, is the Hebrew ellipsis of the verb to be, and hence they have so commonly and perpetually supplied the text in the words am, are, art, is, was, were, &c. whereas the construction of the language in the Hebrew always directs to the words called elliptical by the noun or pronoun, and by the verb or participle with which it is found; and unless this rule be made a principle in a Translation, as it is in the original, the Translation cannot but be defective. These remarks extend to the grammatical construction only, and to such interpolated words as conje under this head.
All the Italic words in the first chapter of Genesis in the English Translation should be revised and printed in the textletter, excepting those which come under the second class, or are Explanatory: viz. he made, ver, 16. I have given, ver. 30. land, ver. 9, 10.
The words “ dry land” in some editions, and in others with Italics, “ dry land,” ver. 9, 10. show a want of uniformity in the printing, and we shall see that the earlier editions have the advantage. Barker's Bible, Basket's Bible,
Oxford Bible, 8vo. 1639. 8vo. 1754.
4to. 1800. Gen. i. 9. dry land dry land
dry land ibid. ,10. dry land
dry land Exod. iv. 9. dry land
dry land ibid. xiv. 29. dry land
dry land ibid. xv. 19. dry land
dry land Jos. iv. 22. dry land
dry land Neh. ix. 11, dry land
dry land Psa. lxvi. 6. dry land Jonah i. 9. dry land
dry land ibid. ii. 10. dry land
dry land Hence the words “ dry land” ought to be restored in these verses of Genesis, and the present Italics exchanged.
The Italics in verse 16th expose a defect, not in the original,
dry land dry land
but in the Translation, for “the stars” are here mentioned in apposition with “ the great lights” which God made to rule the day and the night; and should be rendered thus,
" And God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day: and the lesser light, and the stars, to rule
the night." The Italics in verse 30th are explanatory, and find their authority from the words going before, “ And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb, &c.—And to every beast of the earth, &c. I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so:"--but the sense is complete without this interpolation.
The Hebrew verb which signifies to bring forth children, should be accordingly rendered, ch. vi. ver. 4. " and they bare children to them :" there is no propriety in mutilating this text with Italics. See ch. x. 21. Nor is there the least occasion for Italics in ch. vi. ver. 15.; the passage may be rendered as follows:
“ And this is it which thou shalt make: the length of the ark three hundred cubits: the breadth of it fifty
cubits: and the height of it thirty cubits." From these remarks which have been made, and innumerable are the examples which might be produced, it appears, that the Translation of the Bible, as it is now received, is capable of great and extensive improvement in the restoration of all those numerous Italic words which are essential to strict grammatical sense, and in a careful revisal of many words, thought necessary to clear the reading from obscurity and ambiguity.
There is, moreover, wanting an adjustment of the paragraphs, by which the argument of the Sacred Text may be more correctly pointed out, and in which there is found no small difference in comparing together the same in different editions of the Bible; there are also many instances of these paragraphs being wrongly placed in all editions, of which an instance may be found in the 6th chapter of Genesis. The command of God to Noah for building the ark, and the decreed destruction of the earth, begins with the 13th verse: “ And God said unto Noah.” Here begins the paragraph, which ends with the chapter.
With regard to the reading points, the later editions afford some examples of alteration not for the better: in the second verse of the first chapter of Genesis, the Oxford 4to. edition of 1800 has made a division, which the Hebrew critics call a verse within a verse, marked with a capital after a full point, thus,
“ And the earth was without form and void; and darkness
was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God
the face of the waters."
Edition by Barker, 1639. “ And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the waters.” This verse in the old editions conforms with the Hebrew more correctly than in the edition above-mentioned; but the pointing in both examples is incorrect. The verse divides itself into three parts, and requires the colon points thus
“ And the earth was without form and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit
of God moved upon the face of the 'waters.” Edition 1639.
darkness he called, Night: and the evening and
the morning were the first day." Edition 1800. “ And God called the light Day, and the Ibid. darkness he called 'Night. And the evening
and the morning were the first day.” Edition 1639.
and the evening and the morning were the se
cond day." Edition 1800. « And God called the firmament Heaven. Ibid. And the evening and the morning were the se
cond day. Edition 1639.
Exam. 4. “ And God saw every thing that he had made: and behold, it was very good. And the
evening and the morning were the sixth day.” In neither of these editions is the pointing correct, and the dividing of one verse into two gives the appearance of an interpolation. Edition 1639.
Exam. 5. Gen. iv. 5. ~ But unto Cain, and to his offering he had
not respect: and Cain was very wroth, and his
countenance fell." Edition 1800. “But unto Cain and to his offering he had Ibid. not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and
his countenance fell.” Edition 1639.
“ If thou do well, shalt thou not be ac
cepted ? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door: And unto thee shall be his desire,
and thou shalt rule over him.” Edition 1800 “ If thou doest well, shalt thou not be acIbid. cepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at
the door. And unto thee shall be his desire,
and thou shalt rule over him.” In these examples, the old edition of 1639 has the preference to the new; and for this reason ; the pre-eminence of Cain, on account of his transgression, depended on his repentance, but the condition is made absolute in the present pointing of the verse: the translation of the verse is obscure, and should be revised thus :
" If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him; and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Examples of the Paragraphs. In the beginning
Edition 1639. 1800. 3. P. And God said
1800. 6. P. And God said
1639. 1800. 9. P. And God said
1639. 1800. 14. P. And God said
1699. 1800. 20. P. And God said
1800. 24. P. And God said
1639. 1800. 26. P. And God said
1639. 1800. 29. And God said
1639. 1800. Thus the heavens 4. P. These are the generations 1639. 1800. 8. P. And the Lord God
1639. 1800. 10. P. And a river went out
And the Lord God took 1639.
1800. 18. P. And the Lord God said 1639. 1800. 21. P. And the Lord God caused
1800. Now the serpent was 6. P. And when the woman
1800. 9. P. And the Lord God called
1800. 14.' P. And the Lord God said
1800. 16. P. Unto the woman
Gen, i. 1.
Ch. ii. 1.
Ch. iii. 1