Page images


Testimony of Ancient Versions.


if they were able, one instance of such departure. Now let the reader ask himself whether Jerome (or any other man of sense or integrity) could have thus challenged such a scrutiny, and in a case where so glaring an error would, to his shame and mortification, have been at once detected by his bitter opposers, the Jews, if in such a wellknown instance as the one before us he had been conscious of having corrupted the text? The supposition is out of all question. Jerome knew that the Jews had fastened Jesus to the cross, and the Jews knew also that they had thus fastened him by piercing his hands and feet; and they likewise knew that all Christians applied this passage to that transaction. And yet under such circumstances Jerome thus challenges their scrutiny, and defies them to come forward and show that he had mistranslated a single word! The conclusion seems irresistible, that was either the reading of the then approved text,


in Ps. xxii. was universally regarded as a verb.

To all this may be added the strong fact that Aquila the Jew (a man of great industry and thoroughly acquainted with Hebrew) who in the second century of the Christian era translated the Old Testament into Greek, renders the word not as a noun but verb; not indeed by ovğar, but by joyvver, a word whose import in this connection (though Hengstenberg has strangely questioned it) involves the signification of pierced. At all events he translates it as a verb, for this is the point before us. Here, then, was a most learned and eminent Jew thus translating from the approved text, or Kethibh of the Jews. What, then, must the reading of the Kethibh have been? Will any one say that it was, and that this word is a noun?

Further: The old Syriac version, which every intelligent man admits was made directly from the Hebrew text, translates the word in question by one whose signification is perforarunt or transfixerunt. Now this version was probably made during the latter part of the first century; and of course its authors either found in the text, or regarded as a verb.

The old Arabic version, likewise, renders it by perforarunt; and the Aethiopic by perforarunt mihi pedes, etc. The Latin Vulgate by foderunt; and if we come down to the later versions we find them equally harmonious here; Junius and Tremellius render the word foderunt; Castalio, perfoderunt; Luther by durchgraben; the Belgic

1 His words are "Certè confidenter dicam, et multos hujus operis testes citabo, me nihil duntaxat sententiae Hebraica veritate mutâsse;" and, a little further on, he adds "Interroga quemlibet Hcbraeorum.”

[blocks in formation]

by doorgraven. So also Munster, Pagnini, Piscator, Genebrard, Muis, etc.

It may be added, also, that is the reading of the Kethibh of the Complutensian Bible, published in 1520 by the patronage of Ximenes and with the privilege of Leo X. Genebrard, also, as above remarked, has proved by the testimony of the most learned Jews that this was the reading of the best and most ancient copies of the Hebrew text. Capito (Inst. Heb. lib. I. cap. 13) testifies that in a very ancient copy of the Hebrew Scriptures he found this reading in the Keri. Others equally eminent, sustain the statement of Genebrard; as, for example, Pagninus, Vatablus, and Müller in loco. Galatinus, also, (De Arcanis Catholicae Veritatis, lib. 8, c. 17,) and John Isaac (lib. 2, cont. Lindanum), together with Andradius (Defens. Conc. Trident. lib. 4). These all aver that they had seen copies of the Hebrew Scriptures of the same character with the above. These copies have not come down to us, but no one will question that they once existed. And what is the only correct and legitimate inference from these facts, added to the consideration that all the versions, as above shown, translate the word referred to as a verb?

Not less conclusive is the Jewish testimony, of which a part has already been cited. The Masora parva at this place observes that "occurs twice with Qamets, although the words themselves differ in their signification." Now the only other place in which it so occurs is Is. 38: 13, where it indisputably means "as a lion;" of course, therefore, such cannot be its meaning here according to this authority. So, too, in the Masora Magna. The last chapter of this work treats of words that are but twice employed in the Bible, though with different significations. The catalogue of these numbers 98. For example, 28, occurs in Is. 17: 6, where it signifies a high branch of a tree; and also in Hos. 4: 7, where it is a verb, and signifies, I will change (an instance of usage strikingly analogous to that of the word). So, too, occurs in Exod. 1: 15, and Jer. 18: 4, with different significations. 21, and Ezra 4: 6, in the same manner. thus enumerated, is ; which in page 2, column 2, the authors of this work mention as occurring in Ps. 22: 17, and Is. 38: 13; and as no one will question that in the last of these places, it means as a lion, and as the Jews uniformly thus explain it, the conclusion is irresis tible that the Masorites did not attach to it this signification in Ps. 22:17. The argument could still be strengthened by other testimony

also occurs in Gen. 26: Now, amongst the words


Remarks of Luther.


of the same kind, but it is needless, and we must hasten to draw these remarks to a close.

There is one more consideration which certainly is of weight, and ought not to be overlooked in this connection. We refer to the following: In this same Psalm, everything else which our adorable Redeemer suffered while enduring the death of the cross, is mentioned, and why then should not the piercing of his hands and feet be referred to? When in the deepest agony on the cross, he repeated at least the first verse of the Psalm.1 In vs. 8 and 9, he is represented as saying, "All who see me, laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him," etc. In v. 14, "They gaped upon me with their mouths as a raging lion." In v. 16, he complains of thirst, and in v. 19, says, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots for my vesture." Is it credible, then, that no reference should have been made to the excruciating agony which he endured from the piercing of his hands and feet? If Dr. Alexander's exposition of the word in question be the true one, then there is no direct reference to this matter in the whole Psalm. Can this be believed?

Not less forcible than touchingly beautiful, are the following words of Luther: "To us who believe in Christ, and who hold by the authority of the Gospel, that this whole Psalm was spoken concerning him, it is easy to perceive that the proper reading of the passage is, 'they have pierced my hands and my feet,' instead of 'as a lion my hands and my feet.' For we would not endeavor by means of the mysteries of the Scriptures, to explain the things which are known to have occurred; but on the contrary would clear up the mystery, by a reference to such things; that is, we would illustrate the Old Testament by the New, (and not the New by the Old,) and would determine what is the sense of the former, by the obvious import of the latter: thus making them both to look towards Christ, as the two cherubim looked towards the mercy-seat. For God said by the prophet, (Jer. 23: 30,) In the last days, ye shall understand my counsel;' but to Moses he said, 'Ye shall discern only my hinder parts.' Since, therefore, we are assured that Christ's hands and feet were pierced, and are equally certain also, that this whole Psalm ap

[ocr errors]

1 Osiander (Dr. Lucas) and others of ancient times, believed that Christ repeated the whole psalm while hanging on the cross; "creditur Christus hunc Psalmum totum in cruce recitasse," says he,- - an idea which Coleridge and others in modern times have adopted.

plies to him; and since the sense of the passage not only strikingly accords herewith, but absolutely demands that the word be read, they pierced,' (especially since no rule of grammar forbids it); we may, without violence, and with perfect propriety, adopt this as its proper signification." Comment. in Ps. xxii.



Translated by Prof. H. B. Smith.

[THE following Article was originally delivered by Dr. Hagenbach as an Academical Address before the University of Basle, apparently at the opening of his course of lectures, Nov. 4, 1850. It speaks of Neander exclusively as a Church Historian. The author is amply qualified to do this by his own proficiency in the department, as shown in his lectures on the Reformation, and on the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. His name was also prominent as a successor to the chair of Neander. In the translation the introductory paragraph was omitted. He then states that in order to get a clear view of Neander's services it is necessary to give a somewhat long sketch of what his predecessors, especially the German church historians, had accomplished. Long as this sketch is, comprising rather more than half of the Article, it is written with so much animation that it can hardly fail to be of interest to any who take an interest in Church History, or in Neander as a Church Historian.]

CHURCH HISTORY, like all history, has come to be a science only by a gradual growth. The collection of the materials preceded the sifting of them; and this sifting again in all its separate parts went before the organic combination into a whole, and the spiritual mastery and artistic shaping of the masses of materials. Three centuries of the Christian era had already run their course when Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, was called to write the first Christian Church History, not only by his external position at the court of Constantine the Great,

1 By K. R. Hagenbach, Professor in Basle. Translated from the Studien und Kritiken, 1851 drittes Heft, by Henry B. Smith, Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Seminary of New York.


Greek and Latin Historians.


but also, with all his failings, by an inward fitness for the work. He made use of Flavius Josephus, for he took a large part of the Jewish history into his plan; he also used the History of Hegesippus, a Jewish Christian, which is now lost. The other Greek historians, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, Philostorgius the Arian, together with Theodorus and Evagrius wrote continuations of the work of Eusebius. This whole Hellenistic group of church historians gives us, from the nature of the case, an insight into the still continuing struggle of Christianity with Judaism and Heathenism. As the whole theology of the first centuries was of a preponderating apologetical character, so was it with their ecclesiastical histories. We may call them partizan they must be so. It was necessary to bring into full consciousness the antagonism between the old and the new order of things, between what the world had till then considered sacred and what was now to be received as the salvation of the world. What wonder, then, that the glow of the persecutions just undergone casts its reflection upon the historical narration, and that this bears upon itself the very moles of that "great revolution of time," as the warrior bears the scars of the wounds with which he was smitten in battle; what wonder, yet again, that in the consciousness of a hardbought victory the admiration of the conquerors now and then breaks forth into high-wrought panegyric!

[ocr errors]

In comparison with the Greeks, the occidental historians of the first centuries take a subordinate place. Eusebius was with them too the chief source, made accessible to the West by the Latin translation of Rufinus. Orosius, Sulpicius Severus and Cassiodorus stand here alone still on the basis of the old times. It was only later, when in consequence of the migration of the nations the German church began to influence the popular life, that there grew up that mode of writing history peculiar to the chroniclers, which brings together the affairs of both State and church in their concrete unity, and which laid the basis for the history of the general culture of the German national races. In this style Jornandes (550), Gregory of Tours (†595), Venerable Bede (†735), Paul Warnefried (†799), Einhard, Haymo of Halberstadt (†853) and others, wrote the history of the church and extolled the exploits of kings, and later writers described the lives of popes and saints with enthusiastic love. Chronicles and legends are the forms in which the mediaeval church history was first of all composed, and for the most part it is monks that use the pencil. Thanks, however, to the assiduity of these monks! They have brought massive building-stones to the edifice. The cloisters of Ful

« PreviousContinue »