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your correspondent B. It seems plain that the Apostle is avowing a distinction for which he accounts, by showing the ground upon which it rests.--"For what have i to do to judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within ? Them that are without God judgeth."
I have proceeded upon the supposition that the original would bear the translation of B. But this, I am confident, is not the case. The apostle's precept was prohibitory, and as a prohihition it is to be understood before και ου παντως.
. “I wrote to you in an epistle μη συναναμιγνυσθαι πoρνoις, but my prohibition did not apply TOLS Topyors 78 KOOP8 7878, for if it had, this consequence would have followed οφειλετε άρα έκ το κοσμο έξελθειν. The words in Italics, in my judgment, connect the different steps of the argument together; and to me the sense is very plain, and very important.
Let us suppose that one of the saints who were of Crsar's household were in doubt how he was to act, as a member of the imperial family, under certain circumstances. He has, we will suppose, to eat at the same table with such persons as those described in versell. He consults the apostle, and the apostle tells him by what principle he was to be guided in his conduct: “If any man that is called a brother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a one no not to eat.” But with respect to others, he need entertain no scruple, for, says he, “what have I to do to judge them also which are without.'
But what seems to make the apostle's meaning quite clear is, that, in the enumeration of characters, he does not confine himself to gross offenders, but includes others such as railers and covetous, who, if called brethren, were to be discountenanced by a described mode of proceeding, but could not reasonably be supposed to be included as objects of similar treatment if of the world. For then, indeed, as the apostle says, must they needs go out of the world.
Upon the whole I look upon it that the general sense of the passage requires that we should abide by the translation as it stands in our version, it being clear that the apostle meant to recognize a difference of conduct toward different persons guilty of the same offence, but standing in a different relation to the church of God. But while I think “B” under a mistake respecting the meaning of the present passage, I can fully concur with him in his doctrine of separation from the world. This important obligation cannot be too earnestly or too frequently pressed upon the consciences of Christians.
I am, Sir, very truly yours,
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-1 Cor. v. 9, 10.-1 John v. 16.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir—In the present improved state of Biblical criticism, few things are more calculated for utility, than publications which
draw attention to the sacred record, in passages wherein the sense may hitherto have escaped observation, or been misconceived; but, on the other hand, considering the awakened posture of the religious public, the individual inquiry, concerning the truth, which is every where on foot, the proneness of the human mind to the adoption of doctrinal opinions, and its extreme readiness to build up for itself erroneous systems, upon any foundation which possesses the attraction of novelty, it must be allowed that an evil of commensurate magnitude may be engendered by bringing publicly forward criticisms, upon passages, which would set al once aside the hitherto universally received interpretations, criticisms, it may be added, which are any way superficial, which argue but one side of the question, and which have not been placed in that analogy either with other parts of Holy Writ, or with the construction used by prophane writers, which should authorize our acquiescence in their soundness. Your readers, perhaps, are not generally aware of the extreme care used in the translation and revision of the authorized version of James the First, now in use, previously to its publication ;* shortly after that event, a circumstance took place, (it is narrated in the life of Bishop Sanderson) which affords a fair illustration of the way in which proposed emendations of the text should not be brought before those of whom the generality may not have either the means, or the ability, to estimate the contrary of the proposition, unless furnished therewith at the time by the objector : it occurred to Dr. Kilbie, tutor to the bishop, and one of the most eminent, for learning, ofour translators, to be presentat a sermon in which the preacher launched forth, at some length, against a passage in the then new version, and for rendering which, in his own way, he enforced upon his hearers three substantial reasons,-doubtless they appeared so to many not conversant with the elements for the investigation, and would be deemed conclusive ;-Dr. Kilbie, however, took an opportunity of hinting to him, in the course of the day, “ that he might have preached more useful doctrine and not have filled his auditors' ears with needless exceptions," telling him, that “where he had offered three reasons why the text should have been translated as he said, he (Dr. K.) and others, had considered them all, and found THIRTEEN more considerable ones why it was translated as printed.”
I have, Mr. Editor, been induced to these reflections, chiefly, by the observations of a correspondent, in your June number, upon the passage contained in 1 Cor. v.; "the notion,” embobied in which, is stated by him to have been “hastily adopted by the translator,” and to have led to the present erroneous rendering of the text. ' I would, upon this, only remark that the translators of each portion of our version were in number eight; were occupied upon it upwards of three years; that the labours of each division were then revised by a committee of six taken from their entire
* The instructions to our translators are to be found at length in Lewis' History of Translations, p. 317. and Fuller's Church History, b. 1o. p. 46.
body; the whole work, again being reviewed by two of their number for final approval ; and, that the interpretation now objected to is that found in all the versions to which, by their instructions, the translators were directed to look for guidance in difficulty ; viz. those of Tyndal, Matthew, Coverdale, Whitechurch, Geneva, and the Bishops' Bible,-not to mention that it is in consonance with the rendering of the Syriac, of the Latin Vulgate, of Junius and Tremelliús, and Beza. This, Sir, only goes to refute the supposition of our text
having acquired its present form inadvisedly and through hurry; I would proceed to examine the objections alleged against it, as it stands, by your correspondent B., which are briefly, Ist, That it is nonsense ; and 2ndly, That it is inconsistent with the original Greek; -of these, the one would indeed, appear to be included in the other,-if inconsistent with sense, how can we conceive the translation to consort with the original Greek ? while if it really gives the sense of the Greek we should be slow, I conceive, to disqualify it for use, under the denomination of nonsense. More particularly, however, to the first point; commentators have heretofore found pretty fair meaning in the passage, abstractedly from the
comnion sense now restored to it by your correspondent; they have considered it thus; the Apostle, whether in a former letter, * or in the one then addressed to the Corinthian Church, had desired them not to associate with fornicators; if in a former letter, however clearly his injunction had been expressed, its meaning had not been fully understood ; this he now enlarges upon, distinguishing also the persons to whom it was to apply; if, on the other hand, reference was had only to what he had written, or was about to write, in his then letter, he was induced by the information received of their disorderst to add to the catalogue of crimes the sins of railing and drunkenness, telling them that it was brethren who were thus noted whom he would have them particularly avoid. With such persons, the members of the Church were not only to abstain from social intercourse and fellowship, I but according to his present directions they were not so much as to eat. This limi
* The discussion of this question would draw the argument to an unreasonable length: it is one, concerning which, men of the greatest repute for depth of learning, and accuracy of criticism, have ranged theniselves upon contrary sides ; and, perhaps, the soundest conclusion to which we can come is, that it cannot be determined upon the internal evidence of the passage, (vide Valpy in loco,) while we are wholly destitute of any external evidence of such a letter having ever had existence; it is a question, moreover, which is necessary to be resolved, for those only, who think themselves bound to maintain, that every sentence ever written by the Apostles was by them consigned to the Churches generally to form the canon of Scripture, while it is allowed on all hands that the whole of their inspired discourses were not so handed over to Christians as requisite for the manifestation of the counsel of God.
+ Vide Whitby and Hammond in loco, the latter of whom parallels the reference made by the Apostle to his writing, with the expression of Gal. i. 9.
| Such seems to be the force of ouvuvaucyvumi, it seems to denote a perfect familiarity and identity of interests, it occurs in 2 Thess. iii. 14, and is also used in the Septuagint version of that expressive passage in Hosea, “ Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone,” (c. iv. 17.)
tation of the precept to persons who were called brethren is considered by your correspondent to be absurd; but, to a limitation we must come at last, if the comment be continued to the end of the chapter, where the right of censure and judgment upon unclean persons is restricted to those who are in the church; while it is manifest, that the very intercourse from which the church is here restrained, as regarded its own members,—that of eating with them, -js conceded to them by the Apostle (c. X. 28.) as touching heathen who were altogether without the church. Where, then, is the absurdity of the limitation ? We may at once perceive its utility, without recourse “ to a middle species of sinners more safe io handle,”or“ in another sphere of existence,” if we consider the Apostle's warning to them that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump ;" we see, that danger might be brought upon the church, (Heb. xii, 15.) as well as destruction upon the individual, by harbouring within her bosom those who were thus guilty, and we may conclude that the distinction was necessary, whether to ward dishonor from the church, to withdraw stumbling-blocks from the weak, or to enforce correction upon offenders by bringing them to repentance through shame.
Having thus shown, I trust, that the passage bears some sense, as hitherto translated, I would remark briefly upon the objections of your correspondent to its being so derived from the original Greek ;—and would first notice an obstacle to his proposed translation of Etel Opeldete apa, from the recurrence of the phrase a little further on in the epistle, where Enel apa with the present, followed by vvv de with the same tense, as in the passage under consideration, has invariably been, and must be, rendered adversatively, by alioquin, *—“ Else were your children unclean, but now they are holy;" the analogy, then, ofthe apostle's language seems to authorize the common interpretation, which is intimated by Dr. Whitby to have been the sense put upon it by all the Greek fathers who, I suppose, may be taken as likely to have had an acquaintance with Greek. Further, the phrase óv mavrws is proposed to be rendered, “an emphatic negative,” to bear out your correspondent's translation, and its meaning is instanced as it stands in Romans iii. 9; to which I would say, that an emphatic negative, whether hand omnino, or non omnino, suits well the language in either place.
“What then ? are we (the Jews) better than they ? No, not at all,”-not in any wise,—or according to Parkhurst and Whitby, “not entirely, not in every respect, not wholly or altogether." "I wrole to you not to associate with fornicators, yet not (i. e. I wrote not, I meant not, that you should abstain from intercourse) altogether, in every respect, in any wise, at all, with the fornicators of the world" -and then comes the reason for this limitation.
Thus, Sir, while the doctrine of separation from an ungodly world, which lieth in wickedness, will be derived from other parts of Scripture, for each doctrine to be stable must be derived from
* Quoniam ideo. Viger, de Id. Græc. p. 330. Herman. Glasg.
a legitimate source, that implied in the passage before us, will also bave its due place in the Christian's view; and I would observe that it is a direction not applicable to the Christian Church in those countries at the present day, where all have put on the profession of Christ, and who, if they walk in such practices, are disorderly, and should be severed from communion and inter:
The rule is applicable only to cases where a Christian body is surrounded by unbelievers who have never been within the pale of the sanctuary, and any accommodation of it to the circumstantial walk of different professing Christians seems a plain perversion of its meaning and intent;—it is to be observed further regarding the passage, that individual interpretation, has, in the present day, much restricted its sense by confining it to one or two crimes of a heinous nature, whereas it embraces, as given, the sins of covetousness and evil speaking, the whole catalogue exhibited elsewhere by the Apostle Paul, by which man may dishonour God, injure his neighbour, and destroy himself.
In connexion with the subject of criticism I would further take the liberty of observing upon another communication, (in the same number of the Examiner as that above noticed,) upon 1 John v. 16. ;--the writer of which, from not pursuing his subject far enough, appears, with a sound interpretation of the passage, at last inconsistent with himself. I call it an inconsistency, inasmuch as, after contending against the application of the passage to the sin against the Holy Spirit, because « no single sin is recognized by it as involving the punishmentof death,”-heintroduces a "specific exception of the case of a sin unto death,” making the Apostle (justly) say, “I do not mean that he should ask concerning that," but leaving it in doubt what the sin thus excepted was, i. e. how it was to be recognized; having trespassed so far upon your indulgence, I would, instead of commentary, take the liberty of concluding with Valpy's view of the text, which seems to free the subject from all difficulty. “As in the first age the open miscarriages of individuals were often punished with visible temporal judgments, I Cor. xi. 30," (sometimes concluding with death) when he directs any one, who saw his brother sinning a sin not unto death, to ask God to give him life, he does not mean any ordinary Christian, but any spiritual man who was endowed with the gift of healing diseases ; and the brother for whom the spiritual man was to ask life was not every brother who had sinned,--but the brother only who had been punished for his sin with some mortal disease, but to whom having repented of his sin, it was not a sin unto death. And the life to be asked for such a brother was not eternal life, but a miraculous recovery from the mortal disease under hich he was labouring. St. John seems to be here treating briefly of the subject which St. James has treated more at large, xotiv å papria mpos davatov, i. e. a sin obstinately continued in, or at least not repented of, the punishment of wbich is, therefore, io end in the sinner's death. This the spiritual man knowing, by his not being inwardly moved of the Holy Ghost to pray for his recovery, the Apostle in the subsequent clause forbade him, in such a case, to ask it of God.”
The specific sin, then, would be any unrepented sin, under the given circumstances.