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grievous multiplication of Christian profession. If powerlessness is any evidence of want of adaptation, then that evidence is plentifully forthcoming to convince any one that the gospel is not adapted to modern life. In regard to believers all being one, as Christ and God are one, we see nothing of it. We find, on the contrary, that wars and fightings exist among the body of professing Christians on matters of faith and practice, and that' frequently greater stress is laid on shibboleths of sects than sabbatic sanctity of soul. If the gospel were adapted to the age, these divisions would cease, and Christian profession would imply Christian practice. The effects of the gospel would be felt and shown and known in change of life, purity of social intercourse, honesty of relations, commercial and otherwise. But to affirm that the gospel of the Prince of Peace, of the allpowerful heavenly Father, and of the all-prevailing Spirit of comfort is adapted and effective in this age of sectarian contention, cant, hypocrisy, and discord, is to fly in the face of facts, and is quite sufficient to show that the spirit of truth is not in him who utters it. The gospel, therefore, we assert, has signally failed in adaptation to mode life.
Those who have followed us thus far in our remarks will see that we do not admit what A. A. affirms, that the gospel is adapted to modern life politically (p. 36); for we affirm that law is as opposed to the gospel now as it was in the days of the Saviour; and we contend that politics are little more than a competition of classes, interests, and sects. We equally earnestly deny the social adaptation of the gospel which he asserts (p. 36). Sociality is loving alliance, but competition is the very opposite, and competition is the custom and form of modern life. A. A. also, at p: 37, says that “the gospel is adapted to modern life individually ;.", but surely every one can see that individuality can scarcely be said to exist in such a state of competitive excitement and submission to law as modern life demands. Competition and legislation are enslavers, and do not at all tend to freedom. A. A.'s assertion about the moral adaptation of the gospel to the present age is equally erroneous. We see that the habits, manners, customs, requirements, and tendencies of modern life are opposed to those of the gospel; that men are drifting away more and more from the morality of the gospel. Were the gospel adapted to the age, it would restrain these tendencies, and quicken men to the new life which they require to live ; but we know that, even among professing Christians, there is little of the pure morality of the gospel, and much conformity to the world. The gospel has lost its hold on the age, and this proves that it is not adapted to modern life.
A. F. F.
OUGHT THE AUTHORIZED VERSION OF THE HOLY
SCRIPTURES TO BE REVISED BY A ROYAL COM.
“An erroneous rendering of a Scripture phrase may have been so well put into words, may carry a sound so terse and epigrammatic, as to have sunk deep into the mind of a nation, and to have become one of its household sayings. But who would accept the excuse of beauty or aptness in the case of anything else wrongly come by ? It is strange that in this case only has any such argument been used and allowed.”—Dean Alford on « Revision.”
“And here let it never be forgotten, that though we believe Scripture to be a thing divine, a version, every version of Scripture, must of necessity be a thing human ; must be liable to imperfection and error, and capable of correction and improvement.”—Ibid.
The question as above stated involves the consideration of two separate inquiries : first, Ought the Authorized Version to be revised ? and second, Should the revision be conducted under the auspices of a Royal Commission ? and it will therefore be as well to look at the subject in that order.
Tbe reasons that there should now be a revision are numerous, and appear to be unanswerable.
I start with a proposition which has been very well put by a writer on this subject thus :- -“ Biblical criticism in general is as far in advance of what it was when that (the Authorized) version was made, as our modes of travelling at the present day are supe. rior to those of the seventeenth century.”
Not only has Biblical criticism thus advanced, but the bases upon which all Biblical criticism must proceed have also advanced to a similar extent. In the first place, all language is a science, and the original languages of the Bible individually are as much better known now than they were at the time the Authorized Version was made, as are the various natural sciences; and as a correct version must depend upon the knowledge of the translators in this respect, this fact, which must be, and indeed is, admitted on all hands, is of itself highly important.
But as the knowledge necessary for a translation of the Scriptures must be derived, in a great degree, from ancient manuscripts, it is evident that it is in the highest degree necessary that the version of the Scriptures should be derived from the most ancient and most valuable and reliable manuscripts. And if this proposition be a sound one, what answer can be made to the fact that the most valuable manuscripts of the New Testament have been discovered since the present Authorized Version was made ?
The present version was founded upon what is known as the Textus Receptus,compiled by Erasmus and his followers, who had but & very few manuscripts to work upon. No doubt they did the best they could with the materials within their reach, but the result of their labours--this Textus Receptus, which was the basis of the present version—is now, from the much superior materials within reach of the Biblical scholars of the present day, altogether rejected by them. Let us contrast for a moment the materials upon which Erasmus had to work, with those upon which a revision could now be much more safely founded. Erasmus had only one manuscript of the Book of the Revelation, and that an incomplete one, 80 that to make his text complete he was driven to translate what is known as the Latin Vulgate into the Greek, and the consequence was that portions of that book were inserted admittedly upon conjecture only.
At the present time there are five manuscripts, of the existence of which the translators of the Authorized Version were entirely ignorant. These five manuscripts are- (1) The Alexandrian manuscript (now in the British Museum), presented to Charles I. in the year 1628, by Cyril, of Constantinople. This manuscript belongs to about the middle of the fifth century, viz., about 450 A.D. (2) The Vatican manuscript (now in the Vatican at Rome), about one hundred years older than the Alexandrian, which would make its date about the middle of the fourth century. (3) The “Codex Ephræmi," now in the Bibliothèque Impériale, at Paris. Owing to the scarcity of parchment at the time this manuscript was written, the material on wbich the sacred text was inscribed was afterwards used for the purpose of writing on it some of the poems of Ephrem, a Syrian theologian. This manuscript dates from the early part of the fifth century. We should be thankful that this very valuable addition to our Biblical literature has not been rendered useless by the subsequent inscription on it of the writings mentioned. This writing of one work over another was customary at the period referred to. (4) The“ Codex Bezæ," now in the possession of the University of Cambridge, to which body it was presented by the reformer Beza, in the year 1581. This contains only the Gospels and the Acts, and it is believed that it was written about the beginning of the sixth century. (5) The “ Codex Sinaiticus, recently discovered by Tischendorf in a monastery on Mount Sinai, and the date of which he places at about the middle of the third century. This manuscript possesses a great advantage over all others from the fact that it alone is complete. The reader will obtain very interesting information as to this manuscript by referring to "The New Testament: the Authorized English Version, with introduction and various readings from the three most celebrated manuscripts of the original Greek text, by Constantine Tischen. dorf,” which may be had for the sum of two shillings.
But besides these more important manuscripts, a host of others of later date bave been discovered since the issue of our Authorized Version.
Although the facts just narrated form of themselves a strong argument in favour of revision, yet I am prepared to carry the matter further by showing that the numerous and serious omissions, defects, and mistranslations in the present version render it in the highest degree essential, to the complete comprehension of the Word, that a revision should be made. The opponents of revision must not think that by this it is in any way sought to disparage the present version-admirable in every respect-or the labours of those by whom it was made; but while entertaining a genuine admiration for it, the last thing we should do would be to shut our eyes to its admitted errors; and so far from doing so, it is, as I think, a duty incumbent upon us to insist on the correction of these wherever they can be found.
Take Tischendorf's publication, already referred to, and it will be seen that there is not a single page of the New Testament in which our version does not differ from one or more of the most ancient manuscripts. “And since God has been graciously pleased, in these later times, to furnish us with means which men of former days did not possess, of making a closer approach to the ipsissima verba of inspiration, it must argue an undutiful and ungrateful spirit if we should neglect to employ them. Shall we not, with reverent hand, do what we can to remove the dust which, in the course of ages, has settled down on the precious jewel of sacred truth P Shall we not rejoice to restore to it, as far as lies in our power, its original resplendence? Or will any one say that no effort should be put forth with this end in view, because, forsooth, the beauty of the gem can still be perceived, and because its substantial value would not be affected by any changes in its aspect that might be made ?"
This last inquiry is really the proper method of stating the question. I find that a great many persons have a repugnance to revision because they fancy that the words of the present version are the exact words as they fell-to use a figure of speech-from the lips of the Almighty. This view is impressed on their congregations by the ministers of some Dissenting bodies, and I dare say
in the Establishment also, not only in small chapels and by comparatively ignorant ministers--which would make it, to some extent, pardonable,--but by the ministers of large congregations; and the latter too readily receive the words of their pastors as next to infallible.
I proceed now to show a few of the numerous omissions, defects, and mistranslations in cur version. Take first 1 John v. 7: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.' is a pure invention. It is not to be found in any of the ancient manuscripts, none of the patriarchs of the Christian Church allude to it, and Erasmus did not give it in his first and second editions. But, being much pressed on the subject, he promised to insert it if a single Greek manuscript could be found containing it. An unim
portant manuscript now in Trinity College, Dublin, called the * Codex Montfatianus," containing the passage, was thereupon raked
up and produced, and Erasmus unwillingly included it in his later editions, from which it was, without any better authority, and in fact against all authority, transferred to our version. But it is an utter interpolation, and all scholars are agreed that it ought to be erased from the Scriptures, Tischendorf, in his foot-note to this chapter, agreeing with them. A writer on this subject has recently said, " Truth in everything must at last prevail; and as surely as the first verse of St. John's Gospel, which contains such an illustrious testimony to our Saviour's deity, is genuine, so surely is this verse a forgery, and ought never to be quoted or referred to as possessed of the authority of the word of God.” The seventh chapter of the Acts narrates the circumstance of the conversion of the eunuch by Philip; and the 37th verse says, “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine_heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." This passage cannot be found in any of the ancient manuscripts. In John V., 3rd and 4th verses, are these words, “ In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first, after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made whole, of whatsoever disease he had.” The words commencing with "waiting to the end of the passage are entirely omitted from four of the manuscripts above referred to, viz., those numbered 2, 3, 4, and 5, and the authorities are now almost unanimous in entirely rejecting them.
A multitude of other similar instances might be given, and one has only to consult Tischendorf's edition of the English New Testament, to see how almost innumerable they would be; but it is unnecessary to multiply examples, and I must therefore content myself with only a few more of the same character. Referring to 1 John ii. 23, the following words will be found :
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." The words here put in italics are also italicized in our version, thereby convey. ing the belief of the translators that there was not sufficient autho. rity for the admission of the words as a portion of the inspired writing. But, strangely enough, all the ancient manuscripts con. tain this passage, and there is not the least doubt as to their authenticity. Ņery numerous and desirable alterations in the present reading of the Scriptures would be made by a revision; e.g., in Ephes. vi. 9, instead of “knowing that your Master also is in heaven," we should have that which is sanctioned by the oldest manuscripts, viz., " knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven.” These alterations would accomplish very necessary changes in the meaning of many passages ; thus, instead of reading in Jude 1, "To them that are sanctified by God the Father," we