Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


The New Testament, carefully collated with the Greek, and correEled;

divided and pointed according to the various subjeits treated of by the inspired writers, with the common divisí:n into chapters and verses in the margin; and illustrated with notes critical and explanatory. By Richard Wynne, A. M. Rector of St Alphage. Svo. 2 vols. 12 s. Dodsley.

S the principal and declared intention of the Author, in

this edition of the New Testament, is to rescue the sacred writings from the confusion into which they have been thrown by the modern division of them into chapters and verses, and to restore them to their primitive form and native fimplicity; * we prefume it will not be unacceptable to fome of our readers, if we introduce this article with a more full and particular account of the state of the sacred text in the antient MSS. than they will meet with in the preface to this translation : in doing which, we fhall not only attend to the modern divisions, but to those which were introduced into the Bible in general, in times of the earliest antiquity.

It is probable that the most antient MSS. of the Dible were written without any divisions or distinctions at all ; without even any spaces to separate, not only one paragraph, but one word from another. In this the Scripture agrees with all the antient books and writings of the Greeks and Romans, which we find written in the same manner. As this was the case, it seemned necessary, for the more convenient reading of the luw in the fynagogues, that certain Pauses or Breaks thould be agreed upon; and that these should be distinguished by some known.

• Vid. Preface, at the beginning.

Rey, Dec, 1764.



marks and characters. Accordingly we are told that, about the time of Ezra, the five books of the Law were divided into a number of Sections, corresponding with the number of Sabbaths in the year : * and that one of these Sections was publickly read every Sabbath-Day: This agrees with the account we have in the Acts of the Apostles, † where we are told that Moses had of ald time them that preach him, being read in the synagogue every Sabbath-Day. Till the time of the persecution of Antiochus 'Epiphanes, the Jews only read the Pentateuch.

But there being forbidden to read the Law any more, I in the room of it they substituted an equal number of Sections out of the Prophets; and continued the use of these ever after.

So that, as the learned Prideaux obferves, when the reading of the Law was again restored by the Maccabees, the Section which was read every Sabbath-Day out of the Law was their first leffon; and the Section out of the Prophets their second : and thus the practice seems to have been in the times of the Apostles, where we read of Paul's standing up to preach after the reading the Law and the Prophets.

In process of time not only the Law, but the Prophets, and those books, viz. Job, Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclefiaftes, which 'Fearned men have distinguished by the name of Hagiographa, came also to be divided into Sections.

But besides these greater divisions, thefe Sections themselves were divided into verlas, which the Jews called Pesukim. They are marked out in the Hebrew. Bibles, by two great points at the end of them, and called from hence Soph-Pafak, i. e. the end of the verse. The necessity of this provision will immediately appear, if the manner in which the Law, and afterwards, the other parts of Scripture were read and explained to the people, be confidered.

After the Babylonish captivity, the Chaldee language became the mother-tongue of the Jews; and the custom was, in the public reading of the Law to the people, for a person, appointed for this service, to read a verse of the Lawin its original language, which was immediately rendered by an interpreter into the Chaldee, that it might be fully understood then the reader rcad another portion, which the interpreter also explained, and ON,

till the section was finished. It is from hence highly grobable that this method of dividing the Scripture, very diffece • Buxtorfii Tiberias & Synagoga Judaica.

Acts xv. 21.
| Elias in Tilbile, Buxtorfius, &c.
Prideaux's connect. pt. i. kook so


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ent indeed from our present form, was as antient as the time of interpreting them into the Chaldee language in their synagogues, which was not long after their return from the captivity.

Some writers seem to have confounded these inicrior divisions of the sacred Text, which we have here called Verses, with the Gligo of the Greeks, which we apprehend was of a totally different nature. The olixoseems to answer most exactly to our Line ; and it was a common thing with antient Authors to set down at the end of their works how many of these Lines or Verses they contained : and this was not only a practice among the poets, but we find also the works of prose writers computed in the same manner. The olixo of the Greeks is doubtless the same with the Latin Versus, and both exactly correspond with what we call a line in writing : the former a military al. lufion from the rank and order in which the letters are placed ; the latter à vertendo, because the writer when he is got to the end of one line, returns back and begins again. The state of the most ancient books of the writers of the N. Teftament, is very similar to what we have found in the Jewish Scriptures, without accents, without punctuation, and not divided into chapters. It is not probable that they should continue very long in this form ; the conveniency of reading these facred. books in Christian assemblies, of comparing the different accounts of the Evangelists and Apostolic writers, and of citing the words of the text itself, in the controverfies that arose, would naturally make way for fome regular and orderly division of them : and accordingly we meet with references to fuch divifions, as early as in the writings of Justin Martyr and Tertullian. The first division we meet with was among the Greeks, who divided the books of the N. Teftament into KQxca, according to which it appears from Eufebius, Euthymius, and others, that Matthew was divided into LXVIII greater Sections ; Mark into XLVIII; Luke into LXXXIII, and John into XVIII. These are called the greater divisions, and are marked in the margin by the capital letters, A, B, C, &c. to which correrpond, at the top or the bottom of the page, certain eniypapai, or Titov, tituli, giving a short account of the subject or argument; c.g. In the Gospel of Matthew, ch, 2 & 1, to the mar: 182, ginal letter A, corresponds, at the top of the page, like a kind of running title, Περι των μεγων και to the letter B, Περι των avanced sur ww Taidwv; and so of the rest.

* Of thefe τιτλοι οΣ Tuyaqxn, Suidas tells us there were in Matthew 355 ; in Mark 236 ; in Luke 348, and in John 232,- Fabricius lays, that other kinds of division cook place in the Latin Church, and

Mill's prolegoe ena, P. 39.

DI 2


particularly mentions St Hilary, as dividing the Gospel of Marthew, in his Commentaries, into 33 canons : and that others divided it into 94 sections; and Luke into 107,

* The prin cipal and most antient division of the books of the N. Testament was into tithes and repunaid ; the intent of which, says Dr. Prideaux, was rather to point out the sum or contents of the text, than to divide the books; and they were vaftly different from the present chapters : for many of them only contained a very few verses, and some of them no more than one.

Much in the same view does F. Simon seem to have confidered this subject, in his learned Critical History of the Bible. The word chapter, says he, in its original, signifies nothing but a Summary or an abridgment, and this the Greeks called XEQaralov, and the Latins capitulum. These summaries or chapters, were placed before each book, and were distinguished by letters or cyphers; and these same letters or cyphers were also put into the margin of the text, just over against the place where the fection began ; which was marked with a point, and a little void space that was left to shew the section. What was hereiofore called chapter, was not any thing like to the sections, or chapters at present; but for the rendering of the books more intelligible, men thought of making little abridgments, and putting those abridgments or summaries, which the Greeks called xiornatok, at the beginning of each book. + Caffiodore, adds the Father, calls thefe chapters Titles, and they are sometimes confounded one with another, because one and the other were only summaries of what was contained in the sections. There feems, however, to be the same difference between Title and Chapter, as there is betwixt the general title or inscription of the section, and the titles and more particular summaries of the same section : so that Title, in relation to Chapters, is the tame as totho, taken from the Latin word titulus, is in relation to what the Greeks called παρατίθλα. !

We now come to speak of the division of the Holy Scriptures into chapters and verses, as we now have them, and which is of much later date than what we have been considering.

Some have ascribed the present form of our Bibles to the Schoolmen: others say it was the invention of Langton, abp. Canterbury, 1220: and Heidegger affigns it to one Arlott, an Hetrufcian general, of the order of Minims, who Aourished about 1290. But

* Fabricii Biblioth. Gr. lib. iv. ch. 5: + See an example of this in an Edir.. of N. Test, printed at Venice others, and those the ablest and most judicious critics, ascribe the invention to Hugo de Sancto Claro, a Dominican monk, beft known by the name of cardinal Hugo, who wrote about the year 1240, and died in 1262. This celebrated monk was the first who made a concordance of the vulgar Latin Bible. In doing this, he found it necessary in the first place to divide the books into fections, and these sections into under-divifions, that he might make his references with greater ease; and point out in the Index with greater exactness, where every word or passage might be found in the text, which till then was extremely difficult, if not impoflible. These sections are the chapters into which ihe Bible hath ever since been divided. But as to the underdivisions of these sections, or chapters, Hugo's way of making them was by the letters A, B, C, D, &c. placed in the margin, at equal distance from each other, according as the chapters were shorter or longer ; which method was imitated by our firft Englifh translators of the Bible.

1538 ; and in R. Stephens's Edit.
F. Simon's Crit. Hift, Bib. B. i. ch. 28.



Robert Stephens, the learned and famous French printer, taking the hint from Hugo, subdivided his under-divisions, and instead of letters, placed numeral figures in the margin of a Greek Teftament, which he printed 1551 ; and afterwards in an edition of the vulgar Latin Bible, which Conrad Bodius printed for him four years after. But now, whereas Stephens had only put numeral figures in the margin, the Editors of an English N. Testament about this time, printed the several little subdivisions with breaks, and placed the number at the begining of every one of them. * Thus was the present state of our English Bibles fixed above two hundred years ago ; since which time, it hath not received any improvement whatever, from public authority.

We shall conclude these strictures, with the judgment of the learned Isaac Casaubon, who said, he did not entirely disapprove the present method ; yet did not doubt but there might be another far more convenient, if some great divine would undertake the work. + Which brings us to our proper business of representing to the public, what Mr. Wynne hath done in the Edition before us.

It is proper that his design be given in his own words. "The Gospels and Acts of the Apostles are here divided into sections and paragraphs, according to the various transactions related by the Evangelists; and the epistles agreeably to the subjects they treat of, without destroying the connection, or huddling to. gether a variety of matter : in both I have followed Bengelius's

[blocks in formation]


« PreviousContinue »