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from the events which he relates. At such a distance of time, the mind is enabled to look back with composure, and to represent with serenity,
, transactions which could not be narrated soon after they had happened, without warm and passionate expressions. It seems to be owing partly to this cause, that the Evangelist is seen to relate in so cool a tenour of style, in the Gospel, those sufferings of his beloved Lord which he had witnessed, and which, if related by him immediately after the events had taken place, could not have been told otherwise than with commotion and indignation. But the Apocalypse was written by its author immediately after he had seen the vision ; the impressions on his mind had no time to cool; his expressions kept pace with his feelings, and his style became vivid and glowing:
Many other causes, unknown to us, might operate to produce a variety in the style of St. John. Ile might use an amanuensis, or corrector of his language, at one time, and not at another. For, a tradition prevailed in the ancient Church, that the Apostles in their writings had used amanuenses, and Jerome accounted for the
apparent difference of style between the first and second Epistles of Saint Peter, by his having employed different persons in this office*. The Apostle John may have used an amanuensis, or a corrector of his Greek, in one of his works, and not in another. In the opinion of Lardner, * Tom. iv. p. 183.
founded upon sound reasons, to which Michaelis allows great weight, (though he is disposed to contend for a later date,) St. John's Gospel was written about the year 68. But at this period, Saint John being but newly arrived from Palestine, cannot be supposed (as Michaelis has observed*) to have written that fluent Greek in which his Gospel is composed. He might therefore at that time have employed an amanuensis or corrector. But after thirty years residence at Ephesus, where the Greek was principally spoken, he might not feel the want of such assistance, and he might have written the Apocalypse in his own Greek; a Greek tinged with the Hebrew idiom. This is only conjecture ; which I do not propose as any sure method of accounting for this difficulty; but as a probable means of shewing that this, or perhaps other circumstances unknown to us, may have occasioned a dissimilarity in this Apostle's language at so great a distance of time.
But no difference of style, will justify us in denying St. John to be the author of the Apocalypse. The Fathers of the Church, who first received this work, might probably know the causes of this apparent dissimilarity. They were satisfied : and on such a point it is vain for us to dissent from them. And, in truth, this difference of style between the Gospel of St. John and the Apocalypse, nearly considered, is far Introduction to the N.T, ch. vii. sect. 10.
from being so much in its disfavour, as, at first view, we are apt to imagine. For it is such a style as St. John may have written, circumstances considered : but it is not such a style as an impostor, an imitator of St. John would have written, Such an one would have gone to the Gospel and Epistles for his model of imitation.
V. This observation may serve to introduce the fifth objection, which is stated by Lardner from Dionysius, and repeated by Michaelis *,
That the Gospel of St. John is elegant Greek; but " that the Apocalypse abounds with barbarisms and $ solecisms.” For the same general answer may still be given, even if we admit the fact alleged. Various causes may have operated to produce this difference, many of them unknown to us, but known, perhaps, to the ancients of the second century, who seem not to have objected to this dissimilarity. More than a hundred years had elapsed, from the first reception of the book by the Church, before any such objec, tions appear to have been advanced against it.
But the attention of modern critics has tended greatly to lessen the force of this objection. For such irregularities, in point of Grammar, as are objected against the Apocalypse, are observed also in the Septuagints, and in other writings of the New Testament; and the Gospels and Epistles of Saint John are now so far from being accounted that perfect Greek, which # P. 529, 530.
+ See page 530.
Dionysius represents them to be; that Blackwall (who in his Sacred Classics has attempted to vindicate the Scriptures from the charge of being written in an impure and barbarous style) has found himself obliged to defend the Gospel and Epistles of this Apostle in more than forty passages, in some of which only he has succeeded.
But such vindication of the Holy Scriptures is unnecessary; they must be allowed to speak a language of their own, " not with the enticing 6 words of man's wisdom*.” They use, for the most part, an Asiatic Greek, plentifully mixed with Hebraisms. A pure Attic language would by no means give them greater credibility ; for in these days we should not admit the appeal of Mahomet, and conclude them divine, because elegantly composed.
Many of the expressions, which, upon this ground, have been objected to in the Apocalypse, have been shewn to convey the sublime meaning of the sacred inditer more forcibly and effectually, than a more exact and grammatical Greek f. Of this character is apto o wy, nau o nv, xar ó spousvos I, which cannot be so corrected into
* 1 Cor. ii. 4.
+ This is observed by Michaelis, (Introd. vol. i. part 1. chap. iv. sect. 3.) who says, “ The very faults of grammar in the Apo
calypse are so happily placed as 10 produce an agreeable $ effect."
Chap. i. 4.
later that yeti derg this
granımar as to express, with equal force, that sublime attribute of God, by which he fills eternity.
The instances of irregularity, in point of grammar, produced from the Apocalypse by Bengel, and repeated by our author *, are all of one kind, and of a kind which is found in the Septuagint, and in Greek translated from the Hebrew. In these instances, the original (or nominative) case, is used inmediately after a word, which, having been expressed in one of the oblique cases, seems to require, in purer Greek, the continuation of the same oblique case. This might happen, either if the text were translated from St. John's Hebrew, or if St. John had translated into Greek the Hebrew words of Jesus and of the angels
The instances produced by Michaelis are taken chiefly from ancient MSS. of the Apocalypse, and are not to be seen in the common and
* P. 529.
+ Instance ch. i. 5. &750 ?Inox~ó useplus, which may be rendered strictly grammatical by supplying • ist, and this ellipsis is so coinmon in our English language, (and, I believe, in most modern ones,) that the places objected to, pass in literal translation without any apparent offence to grammar. The offence then is not against universal grammar, but against the particular idioin of the Greeks, and yet not against the idiom of the Oriental Greeks. See the observations of our author on the language of the New Testament, with the judicious reinarks of his translator; Introduct. vol. i. ch. iv. As suggested in p. 155.