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GENERAL EDITOR :-J. J. S. PEROWNE, D.D.,
DEAN OF PETERBOROUGH.
London: CAMBRIDGE WAREHOUSE, 17, PATERNOSTER Row.
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The general design of the Commentary, to which this is the first contribution, has been elsewhere stated. But it may be permitted me for the sake of clearness to name some of the points kept in view in the preparation of these notes.
One of the objects aimed at has been to connect more closely the study of the Classics with the reading of the New Testament. To recognise this connection and to draw it closer is the first task of the Christian scholar. The best thoughts as well as the words of Hellenic culture have a place, not of sufferance, but of right in the Christian system. This consideration will equally deepen the interest in the Greek and Latin Classics, and in the study of the New Testament. But the Greek Testament may become the centre towards which all lines of learning and research converge. Art, or the expressed thought of great painters, often the highest intellects of their day, once the great popular interpreters of Scripture, has bequeathed lessons which ought not to be neglected. Every advance in science, in philology, in grammar, in historical research, and every new phase of thought, throws its own light on the words of Christ. In this way, each successive age has a fresh contribution to bring to the interpretation of Scripture.
Another endeavour has been to bring in the aid of Modern Greek (which is in reality often very ancient Greek), in illustration of New Testament words and idioms. In this subject many suggestions have come from Geldart's Modern Greek Language; and among other works consulted
have been : Clyde's Romaic and Modern Greek, Vincent and Bourne's Modern Greek, the Modern Greek grammars of J. Donaldson and Corfe and the Γραμματική της Αγγλικής γλώσσης υπο Γεωργίου Λαμπιση.
I have wished also to call attention to the form in which St Matthew has preserved our Lord's discourses. And here Bishop Jebb’s Sacred Literature has been invaluable. His conclusions may not in every instance be accepted, but the line of investigation which he followed is very fruitful in interesting and profitable results. Of this more is said infra, Introd. ch. v. 2.
The works principally consulted have been: Bruder's Concordance of the N. T. and Trommius' of the LXX; Schleusner's Lexicon, Grimm's edition of Wilkii Clavis, the indices of Wyttenbach to Plutarch and of Schweighäuser to Polybius, E. A. Sophocles' Greek Lexicon (Roman and Byzantine period); Scrivener's Introduction to the Criticism of the N.T. (the references are to the second edition); Hammond’s Textual Criticism applied to the N. T.; Dr Moulton's edition of Winer's Grammar (1870); Clyde's Greek Syntax, Goodwin's Greek Moods and Tenses; Westcott's Introduction to the Study of the Gospels; Bp Lightfoot, On a Fresh Revision of the N. T.; Lightfoot's Hore Hebraicæ; Schöttgen's Horce Hebraico et Talmudice, and various modern books of travel, to which references are given in the notes.
I have to thank very sincerely several friends who have helped me with suggestions, and have looked over the sheets as they passed through the press. In the preparation of the text and in the revision of the notes I owe a great deal to the kind assistance and accurate scholarship of Dr W. F. Moulton.
December 21, 1880.