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For MAY, 1781.
ART. I. Account of Dr. Kennicott's Bible, and general Differtation, CONTINUED. See Rev. March.
HE Jewish teftimonies which are produced by our learned Editor, and of which we have already taken notice, are fucceeded by the teftimonies of the Chriftian writers; the firft of whom are the Evangelifts and Apoftles. And here Dr. Kennicott enters upon a very interefting difquifition, as to the quotations made in the New Teftament from the Old. With regard to thefe quotations, he infifts, that whenever they are brought for proofs (as for inftance that Jefus was the Meliah), they were always made juftly, and agreeably to the true fenfe of the Old Teftament. He obferves, that these first difciples of Chrift claim from us great refpect as very ancient writers; but as writers infpired, and confirming their doctrine by their miracles, they demand our affent and veneration. That they fometimes only alluded to, and merely accommodated, the words of the Old Teftament, he allows; but he will not allow, that any one prophetic paffage, when urged by an Apoftle as proof, is urged in a fenfe different from the true fenfe of the prophet. As to the contrary opinion, he maintains, that it has been founded on the fuppofed purity of the printed Hebrew text: whereas a juft correction of that text, grounded on the authorities of Hebrew manufcripts, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the ancient verfions, will in many places reftore to the Old Teftament that harmony with the New which it has long wanted.
The firft example produced is Gen. ii. 24.; where the Samaritan text, and the four ancient verfions, confirm the reading quoted twice by St. Paul; and twice alfe
gives the words as fpoken by God him"
the word in Pfalm xvi. ; where 180 Hebrew copies eftablish the reafoning of two Apoftles. A farther inftance is Pfalm xl. where a reading, neceffary to the argument in the 10th chapter to the Hebrews, is confirmed not only by the Greek verfion, but by fome copies, likewife, of the Syriac and Arabic. In confirmation of St. John (xix. 36, 37.), Dr. Kennicott has recovered to us a prophecy, before very obfcure, if not quite unintelligible, by correcting a word now fingular into the plural number, in Pfalm xxxiv. 22. ; in confequence of which, we fee (in verte 21.) the Just One, that is the Meffiah, a bone of whom was not to be broken; and the fecond quotation of the Apoftle is authorifed by forty Hebrew copies. The laft example is feremiah xxxi.; where, though the New Teftament (Heb. 8.) quotes it as fpeaking of a law then future, the printed Hebrew fpeaks of a law before given: yet twenty Hebrew manufcripts juftify the Apoftle. A Jewish Rabbi had remarked, that the paft fenfe makes against the Chriftians.
There can be no doubt of the rage of the Jews, soon after the deftruction of Jerufalem, against all who embraced the religion of Jefus. As the Chriftian doctrine, in particular, of the call of the Gentiles was very odious to the Jewish nation, the corruption of Amos, chap. ix. in oppofition to Acts chap. xv. is eafily accounted for: whilft the true reading, refidue of men, inftead of remnant of Edom, is confirmed by the context, by the Greek verfion, and by fome manufcripts of the Syriac. During the second and third centuries, the Hebrew text was almost entirely in the power of the Jews: and as the old Greek verfion was used by the Chriftians, we fee the reason why three new Greek verfions were made by the Jews, in order to disgrace the old one, Thus, in the new verfions, they put veaus for Gevos in Ifaiah vii. 14. Nor was greater attention paid to the prophetic description of the Meffiah's birth, than of his death: for a ftriking proof is given, that the Hebrew text, in Isa. liii. is corrupted to that very fenfe which the Jews wanted, but could not produce, in their difpute with Origen. After giving four inftances of the old Greek verfions being corrupted out of oppofition to Chriftianity, Dr. Kennicott remarks, that fome important alterations have been made only by transposing the Hebrew words or letters: as Pfal. lxviii. 19. Hof. xiii. 14. Amos v. 26. Deut. xxxii. 5. and Hab. ii. 4.-on which laft place it is obferved, that the New Teftament is confirmed by Hebrew manufcripts five times in the compass of ten words.
Our able critic next proceeds to the Chronology from the Creation to Abraham, where the Jews have either taken away, or added, 1300 years. Here many arguments are offered to we that this great corruption is not in the Greek verfion, and that it was contracted in the fecond century,
century. The following is the reafon given by Oriental writers: It being a very ancient tradition that the Meffiah was to come in the fixth Chiliad, because he was to come in the last days (founded on a mystical application of the fix days creation), the contrivance was to shorten the age of the world from about 5500 to 3760; and thence to prove, that Jefus could not be the Meffiah, becaufe at his birth the time for the Meffiah's Advent was not come. As to the time of this great corruption, Dr. Kennicott hath afterwards fhewn, with wonderful precifion, that it was made between the years 175 and 200. To the authorities firft quoted, namely, Jofephus, Demetrius, Origen, Abul-Pharajius, the Samaritan Pentateuch (after the Deluge), and the Jews themfelves, it is added afterwards-that fome Hebrew copies, having the larger chronology, were extant till the time of Eufe bius, and fome till the year 700.
The old Italic verfion, made from the Greek about the year 100, is fhewn to be of great ufe in confirming fome ancient readings of the Greek verfion; particularly, as to the larger chronology. After fome remarkable quotations from Ignatius, Juftin Martyr, and Irenæus, notice is taken more at large of Tertullian. It relates to Ifa lii. 4. in proof, that in his time this verse expreffed the very fenfe afcribed to it in the 8th chapter of St. Matthew, where the Evangelift quotes it as foretelling that the Meffiah fhould heal bodily difeafes. It is here fhewn, that the pretent Hebrew words fairly admit this fenfe; that they are fo expreffed by Tertullian; and therefore, that they were fo expreffed in the old Greek verfion, though fince ftrangely altered there out of oppofition to the Gospel.
Origen furnishes many interefting notices, as to the differences. in the Hebrew copies, and the true readings of the Greek verfion. Great ufe is alfo made of Eufebius, Theophilus Antiochenus, and Ephraim Syrus; but more copioufly ftill, of ferom. Indeed, our fagacious Author's obfervations on this eminent Father are as interefting as they are copious; though they fill nearly fix folio pages, few parts of which can be here specified. Remarks are made on Jerom's ftudy of the Hebrew language; on his acquaintance with learned Rabbis, and his deference to them; on the hatred of the Jews to the Christians; on the wilful alterations of the Jews in their Hebrew text, and the variations of their copies; and on the excellence of the Samaritan manufcripts, from which this Father cited fome valuable readings, fince loft: particularly the numbers 187 and 182, now 67 and 53, in Gen. v. 25. and 28. With regard to Deut. xxxii. 43. quoted in Rom. xv. 10. many obfervations are here made on manuscripts, confirming the Apoftolical quotation. It is added, that Jerom himfelf must have had the fame reading (though fince altered) in Deuteronomy, because he elsewhere
twice fays, Latamini gentes cum populo ejus; and that he must have confidered this as a prophecy, becaufe he adds, IMPLEBITUR illud Deuteronomii, &c.
It is impoffible to avoid taking particular notice of the 8th fection, which contains matter of fingular moment, with respect to the confirmation of a quotation in Matth. xiii. 35. According to the Evangelift, it had been foretold that the Meffiah fhould fpeak in parables; and he infers, that Jefus, fpeaking in parables, gave one proof of his being the Meffiah. But where is fuch a prophecy to be found? No where, at prefent, but at the head of a Pfalm, which is void of every thing parabolical, and entirely hiftorical: fo that whilft fome have doubted, others have denied that this introduction to fuch a Pfalm could have any relation to the Meffiah. But that these two verfes are now out of place, and that they belong to Ifaiah, is here proved on the authority of PORPHYRY; for he fpeaks of the word Ifaiah as the true reading in the Gospel. So wonderfully doth this famous unbelieving philofopher confirm the Evangelift! These, with many other remarks upon Jerom, are followed by the teftimonies of Epiphanius, Augustin, and Sulpicius Severus. The first period of the Chriftian Writers finishes with the oldest manufcripts of the Greek verfion; particularly the Vatican and Alexandrian manufcripts, written about the year 400.
The period from 500 to 1000 begins with the Milan manufcript; which is a Syriac verfion from the Greek, with the marks ufed by Origen. It is fuppofed to have been written about the year 800, and is in the Eftrangelo character. In the fame hiftory, and the fame character, is another Syriac manufcript, tranflated from the Hebrew, and probably of equal antiquity. But another Syriac manufcript is mentioned, containing Kings and Daniel, which is ftill older; having the date 704, one of the oldeft dates affixed to any manufcript by the writer of it. The utility of these manufcripts is here proved, by obfervations on Pfal. xl. 6, 7. 9.; and alfo on 2 Kings viii. 16. In this laft place, three words are now interpolated in the Hebrew text; which words, though found alfo in the Vatican and Alexandrian manufcripts, are not in the Complutenfian and Aldine editions. The Hexaplar manufcript of Kings before mentioned has not these words; nor are they in fome of the best manufcripts and earliest editions of the Vulgate. The excellence of this manufcript appears farther from fome remarks on 2 Kings, vii. 13. and xxiii. 16. Thefe obfervations on the importance of the Greek and Greco-Syriac manufcripts, are concluded with Pfalm lxv. 2.; where the words, in Jerufalem, omitted now in the Hebrew copies, and alfo in the Vatican manufcript, are preferved in fourteen other Greek manufcripts.
About the year 700 flourished venerable Bede, who was confidered as an heretic, for defending the Hebrew chronology against the Greek and the Greek continued, long after that time, to have very powerful advocates; fuch as Syncellus, in 792; Eutychius Alexandrinus, about 900; and Ebn-Raheb, in 1257. Laftly, the Vulgate verfion of Jerom was greatly altered, about the year 800, by command of Charlemagne; and it was probably much corrupted, by being brought nearer to the Hebrew text, where that text was become erroneous. This verfion, after fuffering other fimilar corrections, was altered in 8oco places by Ifidore Clarius, in 1542. Its final corrections were made in the editions of Sixtus and Clement.
From the year 1000 to 1450 the teftimonies of Christians are few. Yet foon after the Jews fled from the Eaft into Europe, in 1040, the Hebrew language was learned by feveral Chriftians; and particularly by Lanfranc and Anfelm, Grofthead and Roger Bacon. This laft great man, with his Francifcan brethren at Oxford, bought many Hebrew manuscripts, when the Jews were expelled from England in 1289. In the 13th century lived Raymund Martini, who accufed the Jews of corrupting the Hebrew text. this Author fpeaks of the manufcripts differing in Zach, xii. 10. Dr. Kennicott takes notice, that forty copies have here the very reading expreffed in John xix. 37. The other writers here quoted are Nic. Lyranus, Radulph. Armachanus, Toftatus, Perez de Valentia, and Marfilius Ficinus.
Under the laft period, from 1450 to 1780, the first eminent teftimony is that of Zuinglius; who extols the Greek verfion, and remarks the corrupt addition of Fer. chap. 52. Luther is next mentioned, and well vindicated from fome charges brought against his German verfion: because it is here proved, that his own copy of the Hebrew Bible (printed in 1494) agrees with his verfion, where the latter Bibles differ from it. Bibliander is celebrated on account of his excellent criticism on Ezech. xiii. 21. And whoever confiders the great improbability that the news of Jerufalem's being taken fhould be nearly eighteen months in reaching Babylon, will be glad to know, on the authority of the Syriac verfion, and eight Hebrew manufcripts, that it was not more than fix months. The editions of Sixtus and Clement are next defcribed. The prefent English verfion is then fhewn to exprefs frequently, not what the tranflators found in their Hebrew text, but what they thought should have been there. A remark is added, with regard to the Liturgy of the Church of England, that the fourteenth Pfalm, as there inferted, contains three verfes, which the Hebrew text of that Pfalm does not contain at prefent; but which, according to our able Critic (in one of his remarks upon Jerom), are probably genuine.