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General Library System
THE PEOPLE'S EDITION.
THOUGH the death of one of the writers of this book has
now thrown the sole responsibility of revision on the survivor, the plan of a “People's Edition” was contemplated by both writers from the time when the first edition was published.
The survivor, in doing his best, while his life was yet spared, to prepare for a wider circle of readers a book which has been received with remarkable favor, has found, however, the execution of the plan beset with peculiar difficulties. The simplest course would have been to give the text of the work without the notes; but it was soon seen that many parts of the narrative would thus have been left destitute of important illustration, and many passages of the Epistles would have embarrassed, rather than helped, the mere English reader. On the assumption, then, that some of the notes must be retained, a question arose as to the selection. The writer of this preface might easily have cut down his own notes to a very narrow compass; but how was he to deal with the notes of a friend whom he could not consult? To have omitted nearly all the former, and to have retained all the latter, would have been to disturb the whole symmetry of the book. Then came the further difficulty, - that, so far as the
notes were criticisms of passages in the New Testament, they were, in the two former editions, based on the original texto Exclusion or adaptation in all such cases was necessary for the reader who is presumed not to know Greek. · But criticisms of this kind are, of course, by far the most frequent in the notes on the Epistles, which were not translated by the present editor: so that some change was most required precisely where, to him, adaptation was most difficult of execution, or where he was naturally most unwilling to assume the responsibility of exclusion.
It is hoped, that, under all these circumstances, general appro bation will be secured for the arrangement which has been. adopted. Those readers have throughout been kept in view, who, though well educated, would not find it easy to refer to Greek or German books. Some few technical Greek terms are retained; and here and there there is a reference to classical authors, which has seemed peculiarly important, or which it was hardly worth while to remove: but, on the whole, there are few citations except from books which are easily within reach. The references to Scripture are very frequent; and it is believed that such references can hardly be too frequent. It is presumed that the reader has the Authorized Version before him; at the same time, it is hoped that the notes will continue to be useful to students of the Greek New Testament. Some criticisms must necessarily, however, be taken for granted; and, in such cases, occasional reference has been made to the two larger editions. In Mr. Conybeare's part of the work, no alteration whatever has been made, except as regards the verbal adjustments requisite for leaving out the Greek. It is impossible to know whether his
1 The first edition, in quarto, and with course of a thorough reperusal: but, besides very numerous illustrations, was completed in the modifications mentioned above, the notes 1852 : the second, with fewer illustrations, but in the narrative portion are very considerably after careful revision, was published in 1856. retrenched. Thus each of the three editions In this edition, the illustrations are still few. has a character of its own. er; the text is unaltered, with the exception ? This remark applies to the general body of slight verbal changes suggested in the of the work. The Appendices, written by Mr