Obrazy na stronie

can, and vulgate or xoin; the Alexandrian is evidently derived from Origen's; the Vatican from that of Hesychius, and the Vulgate from that of Lucian.

Besides these there are two other editions, but of much inferior note. The Complutensian and the Aldine; the Complutensian, printed in the year 1515, adheres to no particular copy, but is taken out of all the readings that came nearest to the Hebrew text; and may therefore be looked upon rather as a new translation, than the ancient Greek version of the seventy. The Aldine, published at Venice in 1518, chiefly follows the Alexandrian, but contains many and frequent glosses, together with mixtures from the other versions, and therefore is of no great value.

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The Syriac version was made not long after the time of the Apostles, according, as Walton tells us, to the constant tradition of the Eastern churches ; and is of great value ; not only on account of its antiquity, but likewise because of the scrupulous exactness with which it follows the Hebrew text.

Rabbi Saadias translated the Pentateuch into Arabic about the year 900; he was master of a. Jewish academy at Sora, near Babylon, and was surnamed Gaon, or the Illustrious, on account of his great erudition. But the Arabic version in the Polyglot of Paris iş of much greater antiquity and value,


according to Starck, and was made by Said Faiunen, a Coptic Monk. The very close agreement beween this version and the Greek shews strongly that it could not have arisen from


reformation or subsequent adapting of the one to the other; but that the Arabic interpreter had actually made his translation from the Greek version. It is true that this version does in some places desert the lxx. to follow the Hebrew; but it will be found that these differences subsist chiefly between it and the Vatican, whilst with the Alexandrian it preserves a very close coincidence. This last circumstance is accounted for by considering that Christianity passed from Egypt into Arabia ; and that there was always the strictest connection kept up between the Alexandrian and Arabian Bishops.

The period assigned to the Æthiopic version is, according to most critics, the Apostolic age ; and it

appears also to have been made from the Greek. The Chaldee paraphrase of the Hagiographa, containing the Psalms, was not made earlier than the year of Christ 600, as Buxtorf thinks, who says that, from the diversity of style, it appears to be the work of various authors. But the Talmudical traditions which are introduced or alluded to in this paraphrafe, evidently prove its modern date : as for instance, the Ox sacrificed by Adam, Psalm Ixix. 32. The ox that feeds every day upon a thousand mountains, Psalm 1. 10. The cock which stands on the earth while his head touches the Heavens, Psalm 1. 11. The Rabbinical descent of the tribes into the Red Sea, mentioned by Bartenora and Maimonides, Psalın lxviii. 28. This paraphrase also seems to be a kind of cento, composed of different interpretations made by different authors; for sometimes it adheres closely to the original, following it tamely word for word ; at other times it deviates from it in a vague and wild commentary; and we often meet with two different explanations of the same passage combined together,

All the versions are of great authority ; even the Chaldee paraphrase is of very considerable value ; and they furnish us with a variety of readings, from which the sacred text may be corrected. For the diversities of these translations must have arisen from diversities in the original, produced either by the fimilarity of some of the Hebrew letters ; or from the copyists having transposed sometimes single letters, sometimes

parts of words, and sometimes whole words, and even sentences ; from their having injudiciously supplied, by conjecture, words or letters which the injuries of time or accident had effaced from the original, or their not supplying them at all. There is likewise reason to believe, that some copies were made by an amanuensis, who wrote down the words as they were given him by a reader without seeing the prototype ; and that thus letters, and even words, somewhat alike in sound, but very dif ferent in appearance, have been erroneously written for each other. See Kennicott's State of Heb. Text, page 24, 56, 341; and Prelim. Difc. to Lowth's Isaiah, page 57, 58.

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Doctor Owen indeed, in his enquiry into the . present state of the Septuagint version, adds another source of various readings, to wit, the wilful corruption of the sacred text by the Jews. However he may be thought to have established this charge in other parts of the Old Testament, it certainly does not seem to me to apply to the Book of Psalms ; from which though there are forty-nine quotations in the New Testament, there is not one of them except Psalm xl. 7. that does not agree in fense with the Hebrew and Greek, and most of them in the very words. Doctor Randolph, it is true, seems inclined to think that the false reading in Píalm xvi, 10. is a wilful corruption by the Jews ; but we can scarcely subscribe to this opinion, when we consider that the reading 77*017 thy holy one, in the singular number, is not only supported by 180 copies of Dr. Kennicott, and 96 of De Rosli's, but by the Targum also. And Mr. Street remarks that the following observation, made by De Rossi on this word, appears to him very curious ; more especially as it tends to shew the corruption to be a mere error of the transcribers.

“ The common reading

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" itself has the points of the singular number; and

many copies and editions, as well as Hooght's, ob“ serve in the margin that yod is redundant; but ma

ny other manuscripts and editions have as a Keri

77401 thy holy one; very few copies have the points “ of the plural reading.”

With respect to Psalm xl. 7. on which the greatest stress is laid, and the most direct charge, as far as relates to the Psalms, of wilful corruption made against the Jews; it will appear that they are entirely innocent of the charge, and that in fact, the error lies in the Greek version, as it now stands. The Latin version of the Psalter called the Vulgata Antiqua, or the Verfio Itala, was that which was in use in the Church until the time of St. Jerom ; this version had been made from the Greek, but several errors having crept into it, St. Jerom corrected it from the lxx. at the instance of Damasus, Bishop of the Roman Church, about the year 372. This is the Roman Psalter, and is used to this day in the Vatican and Mediolanenfian Churches, and at St. Mark's Venice. Many errors having insinuated themselves into this edition likewife, he gave a new one about the year 384, while he lived at Bethlehem.

This latter edition of St. Jerom is called the Gal lican Psalter, because used in the Gallican Church, having been introduced by Gregory of Tours, as

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