« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
the confidence that he shall stop the mouths of gainsayers. Wɗ wish it every possible success in effecting so good a purpose. But has Mr. Bellamy never heard of a translation of this passage, similar to his own, and as powerfully supporting the moral consistency of the Bible? Was this passage, in the import which it bears in Mr. B.'s version, never heard of till he arose to demolish the strong holds of infidelity? He who will be at 'the pains to consult the original, will quickly find, that the words may be rendered, God does, or rules all things so as 'that they agree, or, answer one to another, and even the wicked agree to (or are fitted for) the day of evil, i. e. for punishment.' It is a duty which we feel ourselves impelled conscientiously thus to discharge, to meet the high and unqualified pretentions of Mr. Bellamy, with the evidence of the preceding pages, since he every where, in the most ostentatious manner, solicits the credence of his readers to suggestions of his own originality, as a remarker on erroneous translations in the Common Version, and an opponent, on new ground, of the rejecters of Revelation. We shall have farther occasion in the course of our examination of his version, to investigate his claims. We proceed to notice the contents of the introduction prefixed to the present part of the work.
Mr. Bellamy (p. x.) speaks of Pagninus being sensible that Jerome had committed many errors, in revising the Latin version; and in A. D. 1528, full twenty years before a copy of the Hebrew Bible was printed, attempting to rectify them. He is here in error; the Hebrew Bible was first printed at Soncini so early as 1488. Pagninus's Latin Bible therefore, instead of being published twenty years before a copy of the Hebrew Bible was printed, was preceded by the Biblia Hebraica of Soncini, forty years.
'Christ quoted from the Hebrew'-is the title to one of the divisions of this introduction. (p. xii.) This proposition, we venture to affirm, is too arduous for Mr. Bellamy's dialectics tó establish. It is, he asserts, a serious mistake to suppose that Christ and the Apostles quoted from the Septuagint; they always, he affirms, made their quotations from the Hebrew. His attempt to prove this position is very singular, and utterly fails. He quotes Luke xxiii. 46, from Psalm xxxi. 5,
PER 7 beyaudka apkkid rouchi, "Into thy hand I 'commend my spirit,' as a passage in which the Septuagint agrees with the Hebrew; from which agreement he concludes that we have authority to say it is quoted from the Hebrew. We profess ourselves unable to perceive the necessity of this sequitur. Why may not the citation have been made from the Septuagint? How can the accordance of a quotation with two distinct authorities, be a proof of its exclusive derivation from
one of them? But in this example Mr. Bellamy is very unfortunate, for how sufficient soever it may be as evidence of another doctrine, it is not sufficient to prove that for which it is alleged, that the citations made by Christ and the Apostles from the Old Testament, are verbally quoted from the Hebrew text. The Hebrew text, Ps. xxxi. 5. reads in the singular 77 Into thy hand' the reading in the Evangelist is plural is xpás σou, into thy hands,' with which the Septuagint exactly accords, sxps cou, into thy hands.' In his next example, Mr. Bellamy is still more unfortunate. We shall do him the justice of transcribing the entire paragraph in which it is exhibited.
In the following passage we find the quotation is made from the Hebrew verbatim, and not from the Septuagint: Matt. xxvii. 46. Ἠλί, Ηλί, λαμά σαβαχθανί
Eli אלי אלי למה עזבתני .1 .Psalm xxii.
Eli laama gnazabthani, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?
It is we think most extraordinary, and not to be accounted for by any common reason, that Mr. Bellamy, in the very teeth of a passage which is utterly opposed to his hypothesis, should assert that the quotation is made from the Hebrew verbatim. oaßaxlaví is certainly not in Greek the verbal representative of nay what verbal agreement can be perceived in aßax-and - none whatever. It is therefore evident by demonstration, that the quotation in the Evangelist is not made verbatim from the Hebrew text of the xxiid. Psalm. If Mr. Bellamy had cited the whole passage from Matt. xxvii. 46, he might have furnished the most superficial readers of his work with the means of detecting his imposition: we shall supply the deficiΗλί Ηλί λαμα σαβαχθανι. τουτ ἔστι θεέ μου ency. DEE ἱνατί μου, 'ynaréimes. It would we think occur to a reader of this entire passage, to inquire into the usage of the words which are thus explained, and his investigation would assuredly produce another result than the classing of the verb caßaxban as the immediate offspring of any. Would it not conduct him to the conclusion, that the Chaldee or Syriac paw is the very word which Christ uttered, and which the Evangelist has inserted in the Greek form? Nothing can be more evident than the real derivation of this word. Mr. Bellamy writes on this, as he does on almost every other subject, with the greatest hardihood of assertion; he must however be checked in his impetuous career, and his presumptions, like those of other men, must be examined by the tests proper for their trial; if they are founded on truth they will stand on the basis of their own authority; if they are erroneous, it is not either his name or his boldness, that will procure respect for them.
Integrity of the Hebrew text. We agree with Mr. Bel
lamy in all that he says on the importance of Biblical learning in general, and particularly in the sentiment that a critical knowledge of the Hebrew language is desirable for those who are designed for the ministry. But there are many things in this division of the Introduction, with respect to which we must differ from him. He attempts to perplex his readers by ringing changes on Hebrew consonants, and asking them, as he imagines, very puzzling questions. The word 7 dobeer,' he remarks, having the same consonants as dabbeer, 27 daabaar, 7debar, dibber, and 7 deber, no person could possibly 'tell whether it meant suith, speak, thing, word, spake, or pes'tilence.' As well might he state that bar, in English, having the same consonants and vowel as bar, no person can possibly tell whether it it means bar of a river, bar of an inn, bar of a court of justice, bar a bolt, bar to fasten, or bar to exclude. Mr. Bellamy stoutly declaims against the anti-punctists, and insists that the vowels give to the words of the language a definite and unalterable meaning. But he must be told that in his hands at least the language is, notwithstanding his decisions respecting Hebrew points, vague and changeable. now he most positively assured us, means, they do rejoice,' and that it can, with the vowels attached to it in Mr, Bellamy's Bible, mean nothing else; and now he as positively assures us, that this very word with the identical vowels, means, and can only mean, they have rejoiced! At one time, Mr. B. pronounces authoritatively that a certain expression is alone proper as the rendering of a term; and at another, he decides in the same dogmatical manner, that it cannot possibly be admitted. The sibi constet does not belong to Mr. Bellamy's system; and the reader of his productions is always sure of being convinced, long before he reaches the conclusion of them, (should be indeed ever proceed so far,) that Mr. Bellamy is, in pretension, the least fallible, but, in reality, the most erring, the most vain, and the most audacious writer that ever used a pen.
Mr. B. frequently asserts, that in the early ages of the Church, the knowledge of the Old Testament among Christians, was limited to the perusal of it as it existed in the Greek versions; a position which we do not at present dispute. But when this same person, in opposing the opinions of 'soine learned 'men who have supposed that the Jews, about the year 125, altered various parts of the Hebrew Bible which were in favour of the Christian religion,' assures us, that at this period there 'were so many copies of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures in the hands of the Christians in many nations, that such a thing was 'impossible; and that had it even been attempted by the Jews, 'such copies would never have been received by the Christians,' we cannot help pausing to wonder at the contradiction which he thus publishes. If many copies of the Hebrew Bible were in
the hands of the Christians of the second century, we should suppose that Christians might have been found in that age, who understood Hebrew, and consequently that their knowledge of the Scriptures was not confined to their acquaintance with the Septuagint. Mr. Bellamy assigns the knowledge which the Christians of that age possessed of the Hebrew Bible, as the circumstance which made it impossible for the Jews to alter it; but how could alterations in the Hebrew Bible be detected by persons who had no acquaintance with it? If the Christians never would have received altered or mutilated copies from the Jews, they must have been able to distinguish them from complete and accurate copies. If they possessed' so many copies of the Hebrew Bible, they must have used the Hebrew Bible, for if they had them in possession as objects of curiosity only, it could not be impossible for the Jews to furnish them with altered copies. It might probably be very practicable to put into Mr. Bellamy's hands an imperfect and altered Chinese Bible. We have no intention of disputing the assumed fact, that the Jews are guiltless of wilfully corrupting the Scriptures; but Mr. Bellamy's glaring inconsistency and self-contradiction cannot escape our notice.
Mr. Bellamy having quoted Jonathan, the Paraphrast, and the learned Rabbi Kimchi, remarks, that these writers living when the Hebrew language was better understood than it is at this day, must have perfectly understood the true meaning of its terms. But if these writers must have understood the language better than it is known at the present day, there were other persons besides them to whom it must have been as well known. Onkelos surely knew Hebrew as well as did Jonathan, the Paraphrast. Kimchi lived in the thirteenth century, and there are many writers between the times of Jonathan and Kimchi, who have left us their writings on the Bible, to which we may therefore have recourse, with Mr. Bellamy's hearty consent, for the true meaning of Hebrew words. We shall have occasion to use this liberty in considering Mr. Bellamy's translation, and shall not scruple to oppose him with authority which he has thus acknowledged. He refers his reader (p. 20.) to unquestionable "authorities, to those masters of the language, Onkelos and Jonathan, who lived before the dispersion of the Jews.' As we are not disposed to quarrel with him on this ground, we shall submit some points of Hebrew literature to the arbitration of 'these masters of the language;' in the choice of whom for the settling of differences we so entirely and cordially agree with Mr. Bellamy.
Mr. Bellamy has prefixed to his translation forty pages of Introduction, in which he makes an unusual and truly wonderful display of his accomplishments in Hebrew learning. He is a
rara avis; the only person who for nearly two thousand years has acquired the knowledge of the Hebrew consonants and vowels, and accents, and the tenses of Hebrew verbs. And surely he may be allowed a little flourishing in exhibiting his great and singular riches. We, however, who are reviewers by profession, must proceed sans ceremonie to do our duty, by examining this said introduction.
Verbs in the Future form, not to be translated in the past time. Under this division, (Introd. p. xxiv.) Mr. Bellamy's remarks will excite the wonder of the Critical Hebrew scholar.' They may be selected not only for the purpose of exhibiting the extraordinary talents of the Author, but as substantial evidence of the injuries which the Bible must receive from the application of them to its contents. Exod. xv. i. is, in the Common Version, translated: "Then sang Moses and the Chil"dren of Israel this song," &c. and so the Hebrew
.has uniformly been rendered משה ובני ישראל את השירה הזאת
translation, however, is attributed by Mr. Bellamy, to a total 'ignorance' in the translators, of the order of the divine com'munication under that representative dispensation.' The verb
is in the future form; but, as in many other instances, is translated in the preter time. This example, certainly not a solitary one of the usage, is so irrefragable a proof of the future verb being employed in relation to past time, that Mr. Bellamy finding it impossible to support his canon by philological reasons, attempts the desperate work of so interpreting and modifying the whole preceding narrative, as that it may be accommodated to his own crudities.
In the 26th verse, God commands Moses to stretch out his hand. The 27th verse, to the end of the 31st verse, are a complete parenthesis; for the first clause of the first verse of the 15th chapter, is a part of the divine command connected with, and given in the above 26th verse of the preceding chapter, and which, connected without the parenthesis, reads truly, without being under the necessity of translating the future form of the verb in the preter time. I shall give the clause in this first verse connected with the 26th verse, verbatim, according to the Hebrew. And the Lord said before Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen, ver. i. Then Moses shall sing this song with the children of Israel."
And so Mr. Bellamy may give any thing he pleases. And for this new modelling of the Scriptures, we must take the assertion-the AUTOS EQ-of this Hebrew Pythagoras! Such violence as this was never exceeded by any of those critics whom Mr. Bellamy has attempted to stigmatize as 'Hebrew menders.' Such a parenthesis as the one in question, has no existence in the Hebrew Bible; and the spirit of emendation from which it