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occasion on which it was written prefixed. This
. That the same opinion with respect to these titles antiently prevailed amongst the Jews, may be inferred from their custom, handed down it should seem from a very remote period, of singing the inscription or title together with the Pfalm, and by no means suffering them to be separated. The connection likewise of some of the Psalms is such as evidently to point out the occasion on which they were written, and with which the titles exactly correspond ; as in Psalm iii. which the title says was written when David fled from his son Abfalom: also in Psalm cxlii, which is said to have been written by David when he was in the cave. But as most of the Psalms were dedicated to the public worship of God, and sung on various occasions, the
original occasion of writing the Psalm was of course omitted, and thus the genuine title lost.
Those who came after, endeavouring to repair this breach, added titles without due regard to the connection of the Psalms ; so that as they now stand, we can only by critical enquiry endeavour to ascertain whether they are authentic or not. Theodoret, whose opinion is chiefly followed, thinks that the Hebrew titles alone are to be considered authentic ; but even they will be found not always correct. Thus Psalm li. is said to have been written on occasion of David's adultery with Bathsheba ; but from verse 6, it
appears very evident that this could not have been the occasion of the Pfalm. It is also generally admitted that the Psalms xiv. lxiii. lxix. which are in the titles attributed to David, were written at a later period. So also Psalm 1. is attributed to Asaph, though all the Psalms in the first book, ending with the lxxii. are said to be “the prayers of David.” The lxxix. Pfalm also which is ascribed to Afaph, who was contemporary with David, 1 Chron. xv. 17. xxv. 2. 2 Chron. xxix. 30. is by Archbishop Newcome supposed to have been written during the captivity. The titles therefore, though of very high antiquity, are nevertheless of little or no authority.
As to the canonical authority of the Psalter there can be no doubt, since we find it often referred to
by the Apostles, as well as by Chrift himself; and it may be presumed, that the Psalms existed in their time, in the present form also; for the second Psalm is cited as the first, in Acts xiii. 33 ; and it appears that the first was prefixed as a kind of preface to the whole book; for Michaelis informs us, that in the Caffel manuscript, which he himself collated for Kennicott, the first Pfalm is not numbered, but is placed as a kind of preface; and that which is usually noted Pfalm ü. or 3 is here marked N: fee Marsh's Michaelis, vol. I. page 488 ; and this is confirmed by the discovery of another manuscript, written in 1298: see ibid, page 244.
The Pentateuch was first translated into Greek by certain Alexandrian Jews, in the reign of Ptolomy Philadelphus, about 285 years before the birth of Christ. Some of the other books, as Kennicott thinks, were translated after the reading of the law was prohibited by Antiochus Epiphanes, anno 170 before Christ; and the rest were translated previous to the year 130 before Christ; for the prologue to Ecclefiafticus, in that year, speaks of the other books as being translated, which is the earliest period of any
translation of these books on record : This is called the Septuagint Version, from an ancient tradition, that it was completed by seventy or seventytwo interpreters.
The first edition of the Greek version of Aquila of Pontus, a proselyte of the Jewish religion, was published in the year of Christ 128 ; and the second, with Rabbinical notes and commentaries, about the year 130. This version of Aquila was made with the view of ferving, as far as possible, the Jews in their controversies with the Christians. The version of Theodotion, who was also a convert to the Jews from the Marcionites, was made about the
I So; and that of Symmachus, about the year 200. Of the difference between these three latter translations, St. Jerome thus speaks : “Aquila, Symmachus & “ Theodotion diversum pene opus in eodem opere prodiderunt, alio nitente verbum de verbo expriredundant and deficient, supplying at the same time the deficiencies from the other versions ; 6. The version of Theodotion. After this edition had lain fifty years concealed or neglected at Tyre, Pamphilus and Eusebius copied out the fifth column, and having made fuch alterations as they thought necessary, they delivered it to the churches of Palestine, whence it was afterwards called the Palestine Edition. The second column might perhaps at first view appear entirely useless at present; but in truth it furnishes a clue to discover the mode of reading Hebrew in his time, and to ascertain the rules according to which vowels were to be inserted, previous to the Masoretic invention of the points.
mere, alio sensum potius sequi, tertio non multum a 6 veteribus discrepante. A few fragments only of chefe versions have come down to us. Origen, between the years 230 and 250 of Christ, having observed many corruptions in the Septuagint, endeavoured to restore it as nearly as he could to its original integrity. He therefore took the pains to collate the copies, and make out a more perfect edition, forming all doubtful and discordant passages by the concurring sense of the other versions. This being done, he proceeded to the work called the Hexapla, which consisted of fix columns, the 1. Hebrew in its proper character ; 2. Hebrew in Greek characters; 3. Aquila's version; 4. Symmachus's; 5. the Septuagint, with marks denoting what was
About the same time two other editions of the lxx. were published; one by Lucian, compiled from the various editions of the young or common Greek version, which he collated and corrected by the Hebrew text; and which was afterwards read in all the churches from Conftantinople to Antioch, and adopted by the Syrians. The other by Hesychius, formed by copies of the roun collected in Egypt; and which he is supposed to have brought still nearer to the Hebrew standard than Lucian. This edition was read throughout Egypt, and in the church of Alexandria. These three editions, says St. Jerom, divided the world between them. The celebrated editions now are the Alexandrian, Vati