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Testament, the corresponding Greek word is always rendered Christ, and commonly without the article. In this our interpreters have been so uniform, that they have even employed the word Christ, where the passage is a quotation and literal translation from the Old Testament, in which the Hebrew word, though perfectly equivalent, had been by themselves rendered anointed. Thus", the rulers were ga. thered together against the Lord and against his Christ, κατα τ8 Χρις8 αυτ8. The words are quoted from the second Psalm, where they had said, against his anointed. The change here is the more remarkable, as there is a plain reference to the meaning of the word in the very next sentence: For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, 'ov
έχρισας, , both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and people of Israel, were gathered to: gether.
$5. In the Vulgate, in all the places of the Old Testament above referred to, it is translated Christus. So it is also in Houbigant, except where it is applied to Cyrus, as mentioned į 2. Whereas, in regard to Cyrus, it is in the Vulgate, Hæc dicit Dominus Christo meo Cyro. The same appellation is also given to King Saul, Dixitque David ad viros suos, Propitius sit mihi Dominus, ne faciam hanc rem domino meo, Christo Domini, ut mittam manum me. am in eum, quia Christus Domini est. In the
Psalms, Nolite tangere Christos meos, and adversus Dominum et adversus Christum ejus. In Daniel also the word is in the same way rendered. Here indeed, and in the last-mentioned passage from the Psalms, as no Christian can well doubt the reference to the Messiah, there is not so great an appearance of impropriety ; yet, when applied to the high-priest, they have not said christus, but unctus, giving the import of the word as it was literally applicable to him. Otherwise the term Christus might have been used, at least, as properly of the high-priest, who was, in one respect, a figure of our Lord, as either of a heathen prince, or even of a bad king of 'Israel. All the other Latin translators, except Leo de Juda, if I remember right, use unctus, not only in speaking of the priest, but also in relation to Cyrus and Saul; and wherever they have not observed a direct reference to the Lord Jesus. Leo, in the passage above quoted from Samuel, uses both words, messias and unctus, in relation to Saul, where he
probably introduces the latter word for explaining the former. Servet me Dominus, ne rem istam designem contra dominum meum messiam Domini, ut scilicit inferam ei manum; est enim unctus Domini. To Cyrus also he applies the word messias. In Daniel, Leo, Castalio, and Houbigant, all use the word messias: Junius chuses christus with the Vulgate, both there and in the second Psalm, in which last mentioned place Leo also uses christus. About other modern translations it is not necessary here to inquire. It is sufficient to observe that, at the time of
our Lord's appearing, and for many years before, the term was understood to denote the great Deliverer and Prince whom God, by his prophets, had promised to send, for the comfort and redemption of his people.
8 6. Let us now consider a little the use of the term in the New Testament. If we were to judge by the common version, or even by most versions into modern tongues, we should consider the word as rather a proper name than an appellative, or narne of office, and should think of it only as a surname given to our Lord. Our translators have contributed greatly to this mistake, by very seldom prefixing the article before Christ, though it is rarely wanting in the original. The word Christ was at first as much an appellative as the word baptist was, and the one was as regularly accompanied with the article as the other. Yet our translators, who always say the baptist, have, one would think, studiously avoided saying the Christ. This may appear to 'superficial readers an inconsiderable difference; but the addition of the article will be found, when attended to, of real consequence for conveying the meaning in English, with the same perspicuity and propriety with which it is conveyed in Greek, So much virtue there is in the article, which, in our idiom, is never prefixed to the name of a man, though it is invariably prefixed to the name of office, unless where some pronoun, or appropriating expression, renders it unnecessary; that, without it, the
sense is always darkened, and sometimes marred. Thus, in such expressions as these, This Jesus whom I preach unto you is Christ ** : Paul testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ“: Showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ 50 : the unlearned reader forms no distinct apprehension, as the common application of the words leads him uniformly to consider Jesus and Christ, as no other than the name and surname of the same person. It would have conveyed to such a reader precisely the same meaning to have said, Paul testified to the Jews that Christ was Jesus; and so of the rest. The article alone, therefore, in such cases, adds considerable light to the expression ; yet no more than what the words of the historian manifestly convey to every reader who understands his language. It should be, therefore, Paul testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ, or the Messiah, &c. Many other exam . ples might be brought to the same purpose ; but these are sufficient.
§ 7. But it may be asked, Is the word Christ then never to be understood in the New Testament as a proper name; but always as having a direct reference to the office or dignity ? I answer that, without question, this word, though originally an appellative, came at length, from the frequency of application to one individual, and only to one, to supply the place of a proper name. What would contribute
45 Acts, xvii. 3.
49 xviii, 5.
to hasten this effect, was the commonness of the name Jesus among the Jews at that time, which rendered an addition necessary for distinguishing the person. The remark of Grotius is not without foundation, that, in process of time the name Jesus was very much dropped, and Christ, which had never been used before as the proper name of any person, and was, for that very reason, a better distinction, was substituted for it ; insomuch, that, among the heathen, our Lord came to be more known by the latter, than the former. This use seems to have negun soon after his ascension. In his lifetime, it does not appear that the word was ever used in this manner; nay, the contrary is evident from several passages of the Gospels. But the Evangelists wrote some years after the period above mentioned, and therefore, the more perfectly to notify the subject of their history, they adopted the practice common among
Christians at that time, which was to employ the word as a surname for the sake of distinction. This was especially proper in the beginning of their narrative, for ascertaining the person whose history they were to write. Thus Matthew begins, The lineage of Jesus Christ 5l; and a little after 52, Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened thus. Mark, in like manner 53, The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In all the three places it is Inox Xpise, Jesus Christ, not Inod to Xp15o, Jesus the Christ, or the Messiah.