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respect of the room occupied, consists in the relation of what was said more than of what was done; I thought it of consequence to distinguish the narrative part which comes directly from the evangelist, from the interlocutory part, (if I may use the expression,) or whatever was spoken either by our Lord himself, or by any of the persons introduced into the work. To the former I have assigned the Italic, to the latter the Roman character. Though the latter branch in this distribution much exceeds in quantity the other, it is but a, very inconsiderable part of that branch which is furnished by all the speakers in the history, Jesus alone excepted. Pretty long discourses, which run through whole successive chapters, are recorded as delivered by him without any interruption.
12. Now, my reasons for adopting this method are the two following:-First, I was inclinable to render it evident to every reader, at a single glance, how small a share of the whole the sacred penmen took upon themselves. It is little, very little, which they say as from themselves, except what is necessary for connecting the parts, and for acquainting us with the most important facts. Another reason for my taking this method was, because in a few instances, a reader, through not adverting closely, (and what reader is always secure against such inadvertency?) may not sufficiently distinguish what is said by the historian from what is spoken by our Lord himself, or even by any of the other speakers, in a conversation reported of them. But it may be objected, May not this method sometimes, in dubious cases, confine the interpretation in such a way as to affect the sense? I acknowledge that this is possible; but it does not at present occur to my recollection, that there are cases in these histories wherein any material change would be produced upon the sense, in whichsoever of the two ways the words were understood. In most cases it is evident, with a small degree of attention, what are the words of the evangelist the relater, and what are the words of the persons whose conversations he relates.
13. The principal use of the distinction here made is to quicken attention, or rather to supply a too common deficiency, which most readers are apt at intervals to experience, in attending. And even at the worst, it does not limit the sense of the original in one instance out of twenty wherein it is limited by the pointing, which is now universally admitted by critics to have been in later times superadded. Indeed, there can be no translation of any kind, (for in translating there is always a choice of one out of several meanings of which a word is susceptible,) without such limitations of the sense. Yet the advantages of pointing and translating are too considerable to be given up, on account of an inconvenience more apparent than real.
14. All that is necessary in an interpreter, when the case is doubtful, is to remark in the notes the different ways in which
passage may be understood, after having placed in the text that which appears to him the most probable. In like manner, in the case under consideration, wherever there is the least scope for doubting whether the words be those of the evangelist, or those of any of the speakers introduced into the history, I assign to the passage in this version the character which to the best of my judgment suits it, giving in the notes the reasons of my preference, together with what may be urged for viewing it differently. It is, in effect, the same rule which I follow in the case of various readings, and of words clearly susceptible of different interpretations; also, when an alteration in the pointing would yield a different sense.
15. It is proper to add a few things on the use I have made of the margin. And first of the side margin. One use has been already mentioned, to wit, for marking the chapters and verses of the common division. Beside these, and a little further from the text, I have noted, in the outer margin, the parallel places in the other Gospels, the passages of the Old Testament quoted or alluded to, and also the places in the Scripture, and those in the apocryphal writings, where the same sentiment occurs, or the like incident is related. In this manner, I have endeavoured to avoid the opposite extremes into which editors have fallen, either of crowding the margin with references to places whose only resemblance was in the use of a similar phrase or identical expression, or of overlooking those passages wherein there is a material coincidence in the thought. To prevent, as much as possible, the confusion arising from too many references and figures in the margin, and at the same time to omit nothing useful, I have at the beginning of every paragraph referred first to the parallel places, when there are such places, in the other Gospels. As, generally, the resemblance or coincidence affects more than one verse, nay, sometimes run through the whole of a paragraph, I have made the reference to the first verse of the corresponding passage serve for a reference to the whole; and in order to distinguish such a reference from that to a single verse or sentence, I have marked the former by a point at the upper corner of the figure, the latter by a point at the lower corner, as is usual at the end of a sentence. I have adopted the same method in references to the Old Testament, to mark the difference between those where only one verse is quoted or alluded to, and those wherein the allusion is to two or more in succession.-These are the only purposes to which I have appropriated the side-margin.
To give there a literal version of the peculiarities of idiom, whether Hebraisms or Grecisms, of the original, and all the possible ways in which the words may otherwise be rendered, has never appeared to me an object deserving a tenth part of the attention and time which it requires from a translator. To the learned, such information is of no significancy. To those who
are just beginning the study of the language, it may indeed give a little assistance. To those who understand only the language of the translation, it is in my judgment rather prejudicial than useful, suggesting doubts which readers of this stamp are not qualified for solving, and which often a little knowledge in philology would entirely dissipate. All that is requisite is, where there is a real ambiguity in the text, to consider it in the notes. As, therefore, the only valuable purpose that such marginal information can answer is to beginners in the study of the sacred languages, and as that purpose so little coincides with the design of a translation of the Scriptures into the vulgar tongue, I could not discover the smallest propriety in giving it a place in this work.
16. The foot-margin I have reserved for different purposes; st, for the explanation of such appellatives as do not admit a proper translation into our language, and as, by consequence, render it necessary for the translator to retain the original term. This I do not consider as a proper subject for the notes, which are reserved chiefly for what requires criticism and argument; whereas all the explanations requisite in the margin, are commonly such as do not admit a question among the learned. Brief explanations, such as those here meant, may be justly considered as essential to every translation into which there is a necessity of introducing foreign words. The terms which require such explanations, to wit, the names of peculiar offices, sects, festivals, ceremonies, coins, measures, and the like, were considered in Dissertation VIII. Of certain terms, however, which come under some of these denominations, I have not judged it necessary to give any marginal explanation. The reason is, as they frequently occur in the sacred books, what is mentioned there concerning them sufficiently explains the import of the words. The distinction of Pharisee and Sadducee, we learn chiefly from the Gospel itself; and, in the Old Testament, we are made acquainted with the sabbath, circumcision, and passover. Those things which stand most in need of a marginal explanation, are offices, coins, measures, and such peculiarities in dress as their phylacteries and tufts or tassels at the corners of their mantles. In like manner, their division of time, even when it does not occasion the introduction of exotic terms, is apt to mislead the unlearned, as it differs widely from the division which obtains with us. Thus we should not readily take the third hour of the day to mean nine o'clock in the morning, or the sixth hour to mean noon. Further, when to Hebrew or Syriac expressions an explanation is subjoined in the text, as is done to the words. Talitha cumi, Immanuel, Ephphatha, and to our Lord's exclamation on the cross, there is no occasion for the aid of the margin. When no explanation is given in the text, as in the case of the word Hosanna, I have supplied it on the margin. Of the
etymological signification of proper names, I have given an account only when there is in the text an allusion to their etymology, in which case to know the primitive import of the term is necessary for understanding the allusion.
17. There is only one other use to which I have applied the foot-margin. The Greek word kupioç was employed by the LXX, not only for rendering the Hebrew word adon, that is, lord, or master, but also to supply the word JEHOVAH, which was used by the Jews as the proper name of God, but which a species of superstition, that by degrees came generally to prevail among them, hindered them from transplanting into the Greek language. As the name Jehovah, therefore, was peculiarly appropriated to God; and as the Hebrew adon and the Greek kyrios, like the Latin dominus and the English lord, are merely appellatives, and used promiscuously of God, angels, and men-I thought it not improper, when a passage in the New Testament is quoted or introduced from the Old, wherein the word rendered in Greek kyrios is in Hebrew Jehovah, to mark this name in the margin. At the same time let it be observed, that I have made no difference in the text of the version, inasmuch as no difference is made on the text of the Evangelists my original, but have used the common English name Lord, in addressing God, where they have employed the common Greek name kyrios.
I SHALL now conclude with laying a few things before the reader, for opening more fully my design in the notes subjoined to this version. I have in the title denominated them critical and explanatory; explanatory, to point out the principal intention of them, which is to throw light upon the text, where it seems needful for the discovery of the direct and grammatical meaning; critical, to denote the means principally employed for this purpose, to wit, the rules of criticism on manuscripts and versions, in what concerns language, style, and idiom. I have called them notes rather than annotations, to suggest that as much as possible I have studied brevity, and avoided expatiating on any topic. For this reason, when the import of the text is so evident as to need no illustration, I have purposely avoided diverting the reader's attention by an unnecessary display of quotations from ancient authors, sacred or profane. As I would withhold nothing of real utility, I recur to classical authority when it appears necessary, but not when a recourse to it might be charged with ostentation. A commentary was not intended, and therefore, any thing like a continued explanation of the text is not to be
expected. The criticisms and remarks here offered are properly scholia, or glosses on passages of doubtful or difficult interpretation; and not comments. The author is to be considered as merely a scholiast, not a commentator. Thus much may suffice as to the general design. In regard to some things, it will be proper to be more particular.
2. From the short account of my plan here given, it may naturally and justly be inferred, that I have shunned entirely the discussion of abstract theological questions, which have afforded inexhaustible matter of contention, not in the schools only, but in the church, and have been the principal subject of many commentaries of great name. To avoid controversy of every kind, is, I acknowledge, not to attempted by one who, in his remarks on Scripture, often finds himself obliged to support controverted interpretations of passages, concerning the sense of which there are various opinions. But questions of this kind, though sometimes related to, are hardly ever coincident with the speculative points of polemic theology. The latter are but deduced, and for the most part indirectly, from the former. Even controvertists have sometimes the candour (though a class of men not remarkable for candour) to admit the justness of a grammatical interpretation which appears to favour an antagonist; no doubt believing that the deduction made by him from the text may be eluded otherwise than by a different version. But my reasons for keeping as clear as possible of all scholastic disputes, are the following:
First, If in such a work as this a man were disposed to admit them, it is impossible to say how far they would or should carry him. The different questions which have been agitated, have all, as parts of the same system, some connexion, natural or artificial, among themselves. The explanation and defence of one draws in, almost necessarily, the explanation and defence of another on which it depends. Besides, those conversant in systematic divinity scarcely read a verse in the Gospel, which they do not imagine capable of being employed plausibly, or which perhaps they have not seen or heard employed, either in defending or in attacking some of their dogmas. Whichsoever of these be the case, the staunch polemic finds himself equally obliged, for what he reckons the cause of truth, to discuss the controversy. I know no way so proper for escaping such endless embarrassments, as to make it a rule to admit no questions but those which serve to evince either the authentic reading or the just rendering of the text.
4. My second reason is, I have not known any interpreter, who has meddled with controversy, whose translation is not very sensibly injured by it. Disputation is a species of combat; the desire of victory is natural to combatants, and is commonly, the further they engage, found to become the more ardent. The