Acts Of The Apostles.
This book furnishes such an abundant harvest of various readings, as well as of questionable renderings that those pointed out, whether for commendation or for censure, must be regarded rather as samples than a complete review.
Acts 1 calls for no special notice, though there is laxity in verses 14, 18, 19; correctness in verses 7, 17, 22. Why should
πνοή in Acts 2:2 be translated “wind,” as in the Authorised Version? The sound out of heaven seemed like the rush of an impetuous blast or blowing. And why should
φωνή in verse 6 be confounded with the
ἦχος of verse 2, instead of the more natural Septuagintal sense of “report,” adopted in the Authorised Version? The rumour of what had occurred to the disciples might well attract people from all parts to the spot where they were gathered; how could the sound from heaven do so? T. S. Green takes it as “gift of speech,” Bloomfield as the noise of the multitude; but the former seems without example in the LXX, or New Testament, and the loud noise would be when the strangers flocked rather than that which drew them together. Another point by no means clear is the “parted” or “parting asunder” of verse 3, which they alternate in the margin with “parting asunder among them,” or “distributing themselves” — a very different meaning. Alford and the Authorised Version follow Erasmus’ dissectae, rather than the Vulgate dispertitae, which Wiclif neglected wholly. But Wiclif was right as to men of Crete, where Tyndale and the Geneva by a strange error gave “Grekes” in chapter 2, and the Authorised Version “Cretes,” not the singular “Cretians,” of Titus 1:12. Again, is it desirable in verse 22 to continue “approved” (
ἀποδεδειγμένον), seeing that the word is never used now in the sense of “shown plainly forth,” “proved,” “appointed,” but judged worthy or pleasing, which wholly misleads? To this the Vulgate and Beza contributed, giving “approbatum,” rather than Erasmus’ “exhibitum,” or “demonstratum,” or “designatum.” In verse 23 the Revisers very properly give “by the hand of lawless men,” and leave out of verse 30 a clause as unauthorised as it is unnecessary; equally good is their omission of
ἀσμένως in verse 41, an evident insertion from Acts 21:17. Verses 42, 46 are more correctly represented, though the close of verse 47 might be better than “And the Lord added to them, day by day, those that were being saved.” The marginal alternative is not more literally true to the Greek than requisite. “And the Lord kept adding together day by day, those that should be saved.” This formed “the assembly;” and so the words
τῃ ἐκκλησιᾳ crept in, and drove out
ἐπὶ τὸ αὐτό Which then and there became useless, so as to introduce Acts 3, where they are not wanted. For the true force of
τοὺς σ., let me appeal to the respectable Company themselves in their version of Luke 13:23 (not to speak of 1 Cor. 15:2). Correct accordingly not only Acts 2:47 but 1 Corinthians 1:18, and 2 Corinthians 2:15,
τῶν σ. in Revelation 21:24 being beyond a doubt spurious. It has been often pointed out that
οἱ σ. is a technical expression of the LXX for the Jewish remnant destined to salvation out of the ungodly people, and that the present participle is here used (as the indicative no less frequently) apart from time for the class; for the same persons at the same time have predicated of them the aorist and perfect as well as the present. This proves that the present must be used, not historically, but as the description of a class; the present cannot otherwise apply, as well as the two past tenses; abstractedly of the character it might. Compare the use of “sanctified” in Hebrews 10:10, 14, to which the same principle applies.
In Acts 3:18, 26, as in Acts 4:27, 30, the Revisers rightly give, not Son or Child, but “servant,” referring to Isa. 42:1; (Matt. 12:18); Isa. 52:13; Isa. 53:11. Verses 19, 20 are given accurately, “Repent ye, therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that so there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord; and that he may send the Christ who hath boon appointed for you, even Jesus.”
In Acts 4-6 there are changes requisite, but not perhaps of any great importance.
In Acts 7:38 is perpetuated the old error of “church” in the wilderness, with “congregation” in the margin, the converse of Hebrews 2:12, where “congregation” appears in the text, “church” in the margin. There is a good deal of uncertainty in the treatment of verse 53, the law “as it was ordained by angels,” or “as the ordinance of angels,” Greek “unto ordinances of angels.” Undoubtedly
εἰς διαταγὰς ἀγγ. is not an easy phrase, but means at injunctions or ordering of angels. (Cf. Matt. 12:41; Gal. 3:19.) In verse 59 if words must be intercalated, they are more right in saying “the Lord” than the Authorised Version, which detracts from His glory by inserting “God;” better leave out either and give, “invoking and saying, Lord Jesus,” etc.
In Acts 8 verse 37 is with good reason expunged. Still stronger is all textual authority against the interpolated clauses in Acts 9:5, 6, from “persecuted” to “Arise,” or rather, “But arise;” for in error the conjunction has been omitted. This is a notable instance of Erasmus’ temerity, misled by the Vulgate, the source of the corruption, founding the words in part on Acts 22:10; Acts 26:14. The Complutensian text is right,
διώκεις ἀλλὰ ἀνάστηθι κ. τ. λ., and so all modern critics, and of course the Revisers. But the Complutensian is as wrong as Erasmus, and the rest who follow the inferior MSS in giving “Christ” rather than Jesus ( A D C E, fifteen cursives, Vulg., Syrr., Sah., Memph., Theb., Armen., Aeth. etc.) which the Revisers follow, as also “church” rather than “churches” in verse 31, the Compluten. giving the plural form in Greek, the singular in Latin.
In Acts 10 the most remarkable change seems the omission of “and fasting” in verse 30, the most ancient MSS and Versions omitting the words, the mass sustaining them.
In Acts 11:12 is a very questionable adoption, “making no distinction”
μηδὲν διακρίναντα4 which rests on corr. A B and half-a-dozen cursives. The primary reading of the Sinait. with Laud’s and a few cursives is
μ. διακρίνοντα, but the bulk of MSS with all the versions support
μ. διακρινόμενος, as in Acts 10:20 where the MSS are not at all at variance. D and Syrp. omit the words, as Griesbach thought probable and Alford and Green certain. But the rendering is right in verse 17, as is the reading
Ἕλληνας, Greeks, (not
Ἑλληνιστάς, Grecians,) in verse 20, as many have pointed out long ago. There would have boon no great moment in mentioning the gospel going out to Hellenists, for there was no question from the first about Greek-speaking Jews. The grand point is the free action in the Spirit of these scattered brethren in preaching to the Gentiles, besides and apart from the formal mission of Peter to Cornelius; and that the Lord’s hand was with them.
There is nothing to detain us in Acts 12, but Acts 13 presents many matters of question and interest. Would it not be better to have distinguished between” sent” in verses 3 and 4? The first is only let go, the second is really “sent forth,” which when not distinguished might lead to false inferences in clerical minds. Still stranger is the adoption with Tregelles of
ἐτροποφόρησεν which is the vulgar or Stephano-Elzevirian text and has high authority (
B etc.) with the great mass of cursives and other witnesses.
Ἐτροφ. has not only A C p.m. E and some cursives and almost all the ancient versions save the Vulgate, but Deuteronomy 1:31 in Hebrew and the LXX (save a few copies of the latter), the intrinsic sense being in my judgment beyond comparison in its favour: and so Alford, Bloomfield, Griesbach, Green, Lachmann, Mill, Scholz, Tischendorf, Wells, and Wordsworth. Bengel too even thinks that the other word means the same thing, an alternative only in form, the context pointing to the sense of Deuteronomy 1 and Numbers 12, especially as Jehovah, whatever His grace, chastised their manners in the wilderness as is written for our admonition. Again, though the critical reading of verses 19, 20, is that of the Revisers, they involve themselves in an ungrammatical rendering of
ὡς ἔτεσιν κ. τ. λ. as if it were
ὡς ἔτη “for about four hundred and fifty years,” instead of “in about four hundred and fifty years.” The distinctive use of the dative and accusative in questions of time should not be overlooked in the version, as it is not in the context. On the other hand they rightly drop again” in verse 33, as the participle cannot mean “up” and “again,” though it may mean either; which is expressly distinguished in verse 34. In verse 34 they draw no attention to the peculiarity of
ὅσιος for “holy” or the preceding
In Acts 14 there is scarcely anything to change; in Acts 15:34 is not now read by any critic of note, as not appearing in A B E H L P, some sixty cursives, etc.
In Acts 16:7 they rightly give “the Spirit of Jesus;” but why in verse 12 “a city of Macedonia, the first of the district,” when a principal city of the district of Macedonia” strictly represents the Greek text? Amphipolis had been for some time the capital of the district, and Neapolis was first in geographical order for one arriving from the East like the apostle. It is known however that a Greek city might be designated
πρωτή without being the metropolis of the region, as for instance, Smyrna and Pergamos were so styled, though Ephesus was the capital of the province. And reasons were not wanting quite sufficient for such a claim on the part of Philippi, especially as Augustus had shown himself ready to show it uncommon favour.
Again in Acts 17:1 why should
ὡς δ. be translated “somewhat superstitious”? Very religious, devoted to higher powers, or given up to demon worship, seems rather the force of the word here. They rightly change “the Lord” into “God” in verse 27; but
θεῖον, the divine, or what is divine, in verse 29, should not be confounded With
θειότης or still less
In Acts 18:5 they correctly substitute “by the word” for “by the Spirit,” whilst Alford would render it “earnestly occupied in preaching,” and T. S. Green similarly.
In Acts 19:16 it is “both of them,” not the seven, but two of them, easily made into all, but not the converse.
In Acts 20:7 it is correctly “when we came together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them,” etc., and in verse 30 “the disciples.”
In Acts 21:15 “our baggage” or “effects” is right instead of “carriages.”
Acts 22 affords little to remark on, but Acts 23:9 ends correctly with “and if a spirit hath spoken to him, or an angel?” So A B C E and other good authorities, though the addition of the common text is not without numerous attestations. In verse 27
σὺν τῳ στρ. is not “with an army,” but with the soldiery, or my soldiers.
In Acts 24:14 the Revisers rightly say “a sect,” or faction or parties, as they should have said, not heresies but sects or factions in 1 Corinthians 11:19, and in Galatians 5:20, as Titus 3:10 should be factions rather than “heretical.”
The only thing one would now notice in Acts 25: is in verse 5, where the Authorised Version deserts Erasmus and Stephens for the Complutensian and Beza (at least in his later editions, for up to that of 1565 he too omitted
ἄτοπον). Only the modern critics (Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles) exclude
τούτῳ “this, as well as adopt
ἄτοπον “amiss.” It may be added that
δυνατοί here does not refer to ability, as in the Authorised Version, following Erasmus and Beza, but to power, influence, or authority, as in the Vulgate potentes, not qui . . . . possunt.
In Acts 26:17
ἐξαιρ. does not seem to mean deliverance or rescue, but taking Paul out from the people, and from the Gentiles. Verses 28, 29 are given correctly in the main. “In a little thou art persuading me to become a Christian. And Paul, I would to God, both in a little and in much, that not thou only but also,” etc.
Acts 27 stands singularly in the ordinary Authorised Version. Verse 9 is “the voyage,” not sailing or navigation; and down south-west or down north-west (verse 12) means the opposite point of the wind, i.e. looking north-east and south-east. In verse 17,
χαλ. τὸ σκεῦος is not “strake sail,” but “lowered the gear,” and so scudded
(οὕτως ἐφ.). In verse 30 the sense is to lay or carry out, not to “cast out,” anchors; nor does verse 40 mean “taking up” but casting off the anchors; nor committing themselves but letting the anchor go into the sea; as also by
τὸν ἀρτ. is meant the foresail, not the “mainsail.” The revision in all this seems quite correct.
In Acts 28: the doubtful authority of the central part of verse 16 is acknowledged, and the whole of verse 29, the best witnesses being adverse, not only in MSS but in the ancient versions.
The apostolic epistles afford quite another test of our Revisers; for doctrine far more than narrative materially affects our judgment, as in the earlier half of the New Testament, where a choice of reading or of rendering lies otherwise open to me. A right decision is, if possible, as much more momentous as it is more delicate. Of course we take the epistles as they stand in the English Bible.
The first verse of the first chapter of Romans affords an instance of loose or wrong views. “Called to be an apostle” is no less mistaken than “called to be saints” in Rom. 1:7. As he was then an apostle, so were they saints. There is no need of supplying any words in either case; and in both the supply of “to be” rather weakens and falsifies, instead of justly defining the sense. It was for the saints in their call, as for the apostle in his, a fact. In neither case was it a birthright, nor was it a human acquirement; but they became, what they were, apostles or saints by calling. It was the call of grace, according to divine purpose, but an actual relationship, which “to be” at least obscures. So it is also in 1 Corinthians, Jude, and the Revelation, as well as in Romans 8:28. Again,
γρ. singular or plural, for “the scripture” or “the scriptures,” regularly takes the article; so that, in Greek, there must be a specific reason here to render the word anarthrous. The epithets here and in Rom. 16:26 are supposed by some to account for this, as others allege the propositions; but neither ground seems satisfactory; and it is weak to say that it was indifferent to insert or omit the Greek article. The expression here then appears to be purposely general. Further, the characteristic description of, not God’s gospel only, but His Son, in verses 3, 4, is not as faithfully reflected in the Revision as one might desire: see also verse 16. So, in verses 17, 18, one doubts the need of saying either “a” righteousness or “the” wrath, the phrases being alike characteristic.
But the Version of
κατεχόντων in verse 18 calls for the more notice, as the Company adopt a sense which has prevailed extensively among ancients and moderns; yet is it not the primary force of the word but rather a possible contextual modification, which the context here in my judgment proves inadmissible. The word means, not simply like
ἔχειν, to have, but to have thoroughly, to take (Matt. 21:38, Luke 14:9), to possess (1 Cor. 8:30), to hold, or keep if there be danger of losing, to hold fast (Luke 8:5; 1 Cor. 11:2, 1 Cor. 15:2; 1 Thess. 5:21, etc.); if there be an opposing power, to withhold or hinder. (2 Thess. 2:5, 6.) What then is the connection of the passage helping us to determine which of these shades of meaning is best here? The apostle (ver. 16) was not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power unto salvation to every one that believeth, both Jew first and Greek. For God’s righteousness is revealed therein from faith unto faith, according as it is written, But the righteous shall live by faith, verse 17. This may be fairly regarded as the subject-matter of the epistle. The next verse states summarily why such an intervention of grace was requisite if a man was to be saved righteously. For there is revealed God’s wrath from heaven against (or upon) all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men that possess or hold the truth in unrighteousness. This is precisely what is unfolded in what follows to the end of Rom. 3:20: first, every sort of ungodliness in the Gentile world, gross to the end of chapter 1, and more refined in the first half (vers. 1-16) of Rom. 2; where secondly he turns to the proof of unrighteousness in those that hold the truth in unrighteousness, which marks the self-satisfied and unbelieving Jew.5 Nor is anything more common in Christendom than truth, or orthodoxy, held ever so firmly along with total disregard of practical righteousness. It was notoriously so at that time among the Jews. Assuredly this is a phase of evil against which God’s wrath is revealed; and the warning is as solemn as it is instructive in the most comprehensive treatise inspiration furnishes on the foundation of Christianity. Stifling or hindering the truth is a part of men’s ungodliness no doubt; but for this very reason it does not fit in so strikingly with the Spirit’s distinction between every sort of ungodliness and unrighteousness of those that hold the truth in unrighteousness. It appears to me then that “hold down” or hinder,” as the Revisers (English and American) say, does not give the true sense, nor does the marginal alternative “withhold” of the previous English Versions, still less “detain” of the Rhemish, with the Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic. The Coptic is right, if I may judge from Wilkins. The Ethiopic is there quite unreliable, I believe therefore that the Authorised Version is right, not the Revision.
The Company have, as almost all allow, properly cast out “of Christ” (ver. 16), “also” (ver. 24), “of and fornication” (ver. 29), “implacable” (ver. 81). In verse 28 they render
οὐκ ἐδ. “refused,” which is beyond question more correct than “did not like” of the Authorised Version. From “proving,” in the sense of assaying, the word comes to mean “approve,” or think good, or choose; and “hateful to God” is the true force rather than “haters of God” in verse 30. Whether they are not deceived by sound in giving
πρ. rather than
ποι. the sense of “practise” is a grave consideration, though they stand not alone in their judgment; it affects the bearing of many scriptures from Matthew to Revelation as well as Romans frequently.
In Rom. 2 there is much less to arrest us. “Incorruption” is right, not immortality, in verse 7, as in Ephesians 6:24 morally, and 2 Timothy 1:10, as well as 1 Corinthians 15:42, 50, 53. But “a” law in verse 13 seems objectionable, if they discard the article with the first
νόμου and accept it with the second where Mr. Palmer gives the article. With Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Wordsworth, the article should be in neither, and the version accordingly be “the law-hearers” and “the law-doers,” or “the hearers of law” and “the doers of law” as Mr. Green. We all know that Bishop Middleton in his celebrated treatise repeatedly pronounces this form inadmissible; but it is his oversight of cases not in the New Testament only (Matt. 11:13; Heb. 9:13) but in the purest Attic Greek. (Plat. Phaedr. 808, 811, edd. Bait. Orell. et Winck.) Equally wrong was Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who tries to account for the absence of the article in the sentence of Mark where it is well established. The governed noun need not therefore take the article, because the governing noun has it; whether it should take it or not depends on general principles. In verse 27 they have followed others in correcting the strange inaccuracy of the Authorised Version “by” the letter, etc. for which they give “with” to express the condition, not the instrument. The medium through which the act was done is not in question. But here again why not “who with letter and circumcision art a transgressor of law”? Of course the blunder of
ἴδε “behold,” for
εἰ δέ “but if” (ver. 17) in the vulgarly received text, is corrected.
Rom. 3 offers more frequent and grave matter for inquiry. Thus the Authorised Version in the end of verse 4 is corrected into “comest into judgment,” and “taketh vengeance” into “visiteth with wrath.” But why should not the Revisers adhere to their usual “judgment” in verse 8? In the following verse they render
προεχόμεθα “are we in worse case than they?” instead of the generally preferred “better,” with the marginal alternative of “do we excuse ourselves?” The active voice may mean to have the advantage or surpass, the passive to be excelled; and so Wetstein suggested here, whom substantially the Company follow in their text, whilst giving the view of Hemsterhuis, Venema, Koppe and Wahl, in the margin, founded on one sense of the middle voice as such is beyond question of common usage. As the word occurs but once in the New Testament, we have no direct help to decide; but it has been pointed out that
παρέχεσθαι is used (Acts 19:24; Col. 4:1; Titus 2:7) where it differs from
παρέχειν only by a delicate shade. Hence in not a few passages there is a conflict of readings between the active and the middle form of verbs, as in Luke 15:9, John 14:23, Acts 23:13. Whether in the simple verb or in its compounds, the active and the middle in some cases approximate, though no doubt each has its appropriate application. In the present instance the middle voice suits the force intended, far more than the active
προέχομεν: “are we on our part better?” And as the context favours this rendering, so it condemns the version of the Revisers beyond all others as well as their margin.6 For in the previous verses the apostle had shown clearly that the Jews possessed signal advantages of an exterior sort over the Gentile; and this he was careful to press as aggravating their responsibility: for the argument towards the close of Rom. 2 might have seemed to place them all on one dead level. But if we, the Jews, have superior privileges, specially in having the scriptures, are we in ourselves better? Not so certainly; for we before charged both Jews and Greeks with being all under sin; and then scriptures are quoted from the Psalms and the Prophets exposing their sins in every way and in the highest degree. Thus the very law in which they boasted was the irrefutable witness of their universal and heinous guilt; that, as the Gentiles were already proved abominable, and the Jews were now convicted by what the law speaks to those within its scope, every mouth might be stopped and all the world come under God’s judgment. And this serves to show the mistaken division here; — for verses 19 and 20 close this paragraph, the opening words being bound up with the citations from the law, or Old Testament. Sin was universal; law, far from delivering, wrought only full knowledge of sin. Man had nothing but unrighteousness for God: had God anything for man but wrath and judgment?
“But now apart from law God’s righteousness hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all that believe.” Such is the fresh subject, though in resumption of the great keynote just raised for a moment in Rom. 1:17, but interrupted to let in the demonstration of man’s state which called forth God’s wrath. It will be noticed by the reader what havoc is made by the omission of
καὶ ἐπὶ π. “and upon all” in verse 22. No doubt four or five of the oldest uncials with two cursives and some ancient versions and fathers leave the words out; and they are followed by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort. But the Homoeoteleuton simply and satisfactorily accounts for the slip, aided as it may have been by the inability of many to see the double bearing of the truth enunciated. For how readily the mind swerves to Calvinistic views, or to Arminian; and how few accept the truth in its fulness, of which extreme partisans see but one part, unintelligently opposed to the other part! The main body of uncials, cursives, versions, and fathers declares for the text as rendered in the Authorised Version. Even the mutilated form of some of the best Latin copies (“super omnes”) bears witness against that abbreviation which has found favour. And though the expositions of Greeks and Latins have little worth or point, they show the fact; for it is no question of Jews and Gentiles, but of God’s righteousness manifested unto all, going out toward all indiscriminately, and taking effect actually on all those that believe. To overlook the difference of the prepositions is unworthy, and yet more so to confound “all” with “all that believe.” The old writers who state but misapprehend the difference were certainly not the men to foist in a clause which, giving both comprehensiveness and precision, falls in as strikingly with this epistle in particular as with all scripture generally. God’s righteousness could not but be for all; but in fact none but believers profited by it through faith in Christ. Its direction was towards all, not merely in believers, but all mankind; its application was upon all that believe. To take away the former is to deprive it of breadth; to blot out the latter is to deny its depth and strength. “Unto,” not “upon,” all that believe is far short of divine truth. The ordinary reading just suits the gospel of God; that of the Revisers seems equally one-sided and useless. To say that God’s righteousness is unto all that believe would be a truism.
On the other hand it is strange to see that they retain “a propitiation” with the Authorised Version in verse 25, instead at best of presenting a “propitiatory” or mercy-seat as the Greeks generally understood, and they themselves do elsewhere (Heb. 9:5) and Tyndale did here. — The rendering also that follows, “through faith, by his blood,” is by no means sure. In verse 28 it seems peculiar that “for” (
A Dp.m. E F G, many cursives, versions, and fathers, and hence received by almost all, notwithstanding B C K L P and the Syrr. etc. which favours “therefore”) is not approved by the Company, but “therefore” as in the received text. What misled was the supposition that it is a conclusion from the argument preceding, but rather a reason in support of verse 27. They are bold men who reject the judgment of Alford, Bengel, T. S. Green, Griesbach, Harwood, Koppe, Mill, Scholz, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Wells, Wordsworth, and the Five Clergymen. Is it that Drs. Westcott and Hort have changed their opinion? Judging by Dr. Vaughan’s text of Romans (1st ed.) they did not then oppose the critics. — Nor do the Revisers, seem successful in dealing with the anarthrous form of verses 31, 32, nor with the distinctive force of the prepositions, etc. in verse 30. It is not “the” circumcision and “the” uncircumcision, which would imply these bodies of people, but persons of either class as such: “by faith,” not by works of law which Jews might plead, and “through their faith” if Gentiles believed in Christ: the one excluding legal pretension, the other honouring faith where it existed.
In Rom. 4 the main blemish is one perpetuated from the Authorised Version in verse 12, and probably due to not seizing the force of
π. π., which means chief, or first characteristic, type of true separation to God; “father of circumcision, not to those of circumcision only [Jewish], but also to those that walk in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision [Gentile believers].” The erroneous version appeared in Tyndale, but not in the other English translations (Wiclif, Cranmer, Geneva, and Rhemish), which rightly give two classes, not one only characterised doubly.
In Rom. 5 none can be surprised to hear that the Revisers adopt for their text “let us have” for “we have,” though in Greek it is only the question of a long for a short
ο, letters habitually confounded (Itacism as it is called) in the best and oldest MSS. The diplomatic groundwork, though seemingly strong beyond measure, is therefore really precarious, unless the context be also clear and sure. But in my judgment the dogmatic or inferential, not exhortatory, character in this part of the epistle decidedly demands the indicative rather than the subjunctive in Rom. 5:1, 2, 3, as is strongly confirmed by the structure of verse 11, which does not admit of the latter. But souls weak in the gospel would naturally incline to the subjunctive of old as now. — Of course, “reconciliation” displaces “atonement” in verse 11. But it seems strange that the Company have not adopted, even in the margin, the excellent suggestion of the famous Dr. Bentley (Ellis, p. 28) presenting the first clause of verses 15, 16 in the interrogative form. The sense is clearer thereby. They correct the confusion of
εἰς as if it were
ἐπί in the elliptical verse 18, and rightly say “unto all men to condemnation,” etc.; also of course “the one” and “the many” are accurately given throughout, with other corrections of interest.
In Rom. 6 the revision of verse 3 may dispel the delusion that all were not baptised, only many: a strange oversight of the force of the phrase. But baptism was to or unto, not “into,” a person, though that of the Spirit was “into one body.”
The revision of Rom. 7:3, 4, “be joined to,” is certainly better than the too definite “married” of the Authorised Version. The Greek exactly answers to the Hebrew, as for instance in Hosea 3, “To be, or belong to” is the literal and precise force. Again, it is high time that the doctrinal error involved in the editions of Beza, and repeated in the text of the Authorised Version, should be expunged. Indeed, it seems to lack the support of a single MS or even version, and to have been a mere conjecture of Beza founded on a misconception of Chrysostom, who really, like every other early ecclesiastical writer, had
ἀποθανόντες (not -
τος). That the law died is Antinomian in tendency; that the Christian died to law (Gal. 2:19; Col. 2:20, Col. 3:8), is sound and fundamental truth. There is a various reading here
(τοῦ θανάτου) supported by Graeco-Latin uncials, and mentioned by Origen as then extant in some Greek copies, and followed by the Vulgate (except the Amiatine, which gives morientes, though it should be mortui), and many Latin fathers. But this is to miss the means of discharge or quittance from the law. Of course the Rhemish, like Wiclif, adheres to the less correct form of the Vulgate, whilst all the other English Versions were right in this till the Authorised Version went farther astray than ever. Erasmus, not in his first but in a later edition, had paved the way for Beza’s rash conjecture through a misuse of Chrysostom’s comment on the passage. Dr. Bloomfield, in his Recensio Synoptica, v. 580, attributes
ἀποθανόντος to accident. But this is beyond controversy a mistake, from not knowing the facts. Had it been found in Greek copies, it might have been so; but we can trace its first appearance to the intentional alteration of Théodore de Bèze. — Toward the close of the same verse (6) do not the Company go too far in translating
ὥστε δουλεύειν ἡμᾶς, “so that we serve,” and not “so as to serve,” or “so that we should serve”? — There seems no effort on the Revisers’ part to distinguish between
σαρκινός (ver. 14) and
σαρκικός as in 1 Corinthians 3:3; 9:12, though there is in 2 Corinthians 3:3.
Rom. 8 is of mingled character. The Revisers are justified in excluding the last clause of verse 1, which, even if genuine, is incorrectly rendered in the Authorised Version. But why print “Spirit” with a capital in verses 2, 9 (twice), 11 (twice), 14 and 16, while they print it with a small letter in verses 4, 5 (twice) 6, 9 (twice more), 13, 15? Again, in verse 4 the textual rendering and the marginal should change places; and so perhaps in verse 11. In verse 24 they have adopted “who hopeth for that which he seeth?” on the authority, as far as I am aware, of the great Vatican uncial (1209) supplemented by the margin of a Bodleian cursive, Roe 16, conventionally cited among the Pauline copies as 47. No editor has as yet ventured to put this forward as the true text, though no doubt the resulting sense seems simple and suitable — indeed so much so as to look like the smoothing down of a rather rugged phrase. And it may be mentioned that Mr. Hansell’s Oxford edition of the more famous uncials does not represent B aright, any more than older editors,
ὅ γὰρ βλέπει τις, τί ἐλπίζει ; whereas Tischendorf reports its text (p.m.) as
ὅ γὰρ βλ., τίς ἐλπ. The margin of verse 47 is the less trustworthy here as reading
ἐλπ. though, strange to say, p.m. and A do the same. Is it not strange that under such circumstances so ill-sustained a reading should be the ground of a change in so grave a work as the publicly revised version of the New Testament? — In verses 27, 28, the added words in Italics only encumber and enfeeble the sense. The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God and His nature, yet more than His will, which comes very short of the truth. And though the “purpose” be without doubt of God, still it has pleased Him not to qualify it here in any way, as the fullest explanation follows in verses 29, 30. The conformity to the image of His Son is in resurrection glory, far beyond and distinct from any transformation meanwhile by the Spirit as described in 2 Corinthians 3:18. — The punctuation of verses 33-35 is better than in the Authorised Version, but not quite uniformly correct. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth [or shall condemn]? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us: who shall separate from the love of Christ? shall tribulation,” etc. In the close of this part of the apostle’s profound communication there is good and full authority, as is well known, for placing “nor powers” after (not before) “nor things present nor things to come.”
The opening verses of Rom. 9 are fairly rendered in the Revised V. as in the Authorised, being substantially alike. The marginal alternatives are of no real weight; the last, like the American suggestion, being unidiomatic. For in such cases the predicate ought to have the emphatic position, and the subject should have the article in Greek, the only apparent exception being the LXX’s rendering of Psalm 68:19, which is acknowledged as corrupt. Mr. T. S. Green has inadvertently dropt the rendering of
καὶ ἡ νομοθεσία, “and the law-giving” out of this portion. Verse 9 runs “For this word is of promise” or [one] of promise, the Revised seeming looser than the Authorised Version. And ought there not to be “one” vessel (not “a” merely) in verse 21, to express the first
ὅ ? Verse 28 is presented in the abridged form of the oldest MSS and versions, which most modern editors prefer; the larger form seems assimilated to the LXX. Other omissions of loss moment occur here and there. The Authorised Version alone fell into the unmeaning error of “that” stumbling-stone in the last verse.
In Rom. 10:1 all critics of weight on ample evidence, instead of “for Israel,” read “for them,” as following up Rom. 9. But the Revisers also adopt the briefer reading in verse 5, on small but ancient and good testimony. In verse 12 the Revisers go back in substance, though more correctly, to the English versions older than the Authorised Version, with a copulative perhaps needlessly inserted. They also drop as not duly authenticated one of the last clauses of verse 15 (“of those that announce glad tidings of peace”) with the noble quaternion, A B C, supplemented by a few cursive witnesses, ancient versions, and early writers.
The latter part of Rom. 11:6 is rejected by p.m. A C D B F G P, etc., with the ancient versions, save the Syrr. and Eth., and so is properly left out of text and margin by the Revisers, notwithstanding its presence (p.m.) in the favourite Vatican, L, and the mass of cursives. In verse 17 they adopt, on the doubtful authority of p.m. B C with the Coptic, the singular exclusion of
καὶ “and.” That the copyists took liberties with the verse is plain from D F G omitting
τῆς ῥίζης καί altogether, and in Latin as well as Greek. In verse 21 they discard (as do some modern critics)
μήπως, and with the best copies read simply
οὐδε σοῦ φείσεται in the face of Chrysostom’s express contradiction. (iv. 338, Field, Oxon, 1849.) Certainly the preferred text is far easier than that commonly received, which is opposed to the well-known canon of diplomatic criticism. In verse 22
Θεοῦ “God’s,” is now given on weighty grounds. Verse 31 is an unhappy instance of misrendering; the comma if inserted should follow, not precede,
τῳ ὑμ. ἐλέει, as the true force is “even so have these also disbelieved your mercy, that they also may be objects of mercy.” The older English versions were right, following with the Pesch. and the Philox. Syrr., the Coptic, and the Vulgate, till the Geneva misled under the false guidance of Beza. Luther on the one hand and Estius on the other were nearer the truth; and so apparently Green, Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles.
There is little to arrest in the revision of Rom. 12. To render
ὁ πρ. in verse 8 “ruleth” is a deduction from the close meaning of “presideth,” though perhaps allowable and true; as in verse 10 the word translated “preferring” means being the first, or leading the way in the honour paid to each other. It is one of the strange phenomena of ancient copies that some (Dp.m. F G) should be found with the monstrous reading
καιρῳ “time” or “season;” that Erasmus should have adopted it in his editions ii.-v. after having “the Lord” in his first edition; and that Stephens, Mill, and even Griesbach should have followed in his wake. The weight of external evidence as well as internal propriety so decidedly preponderates against this heathenish maxim that one is surprised to see greater weight attached to it by the marginal note of the Revisers than in the Authorised Version. Every recent editor of weight rejects it with A B Dcorr E L P and almost all the cursives, ancient versions and fathers, save some Latins. To buy up the fit time is one thing; to serve it is another, which wrongs the Lord to whom alone we owe allegiance unlimited. In verse 16
τοῖς ταπ. συναπαγόμενοι is rendered worse than in the Authorised Version, which adheres to the personal application prevalent with the Greek commentators. But the Revision on too narrow a view of the antithesis decides with some moderns for the neuter, “condescend to things that are lowly,” adding in the margin the impossible literal rendering “be carried away with.” Now condescension is not a christian feeling, but rather of Gentile patrons (cf. Luke 22:25, 26). it supposes the maintenance in the saints of what Christ destroys and displaces by grace in a new creation; whereas “going along with,” or some such rendering stronger than the “inclining” of the Five Clergymen, seems to me required by the word as modified by the context. It would be too much to expect in heathen writings the expression of a feeling there unknown; but Chrysostom (in loc.) fairly explain.7 Theodoret’s
συγκατιέναι falls into the idea of condescension (Opera Omnia ex recens. Jac. Sirmondi, v. 134). Mr. Green gives “assert yourselves with the lowly.”
In Rom. 13 are a few inconsiderable but warranted changes from the Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version, as in verses 1, 3, 7, 9.
In Rom. 14 they rightly omit the second clause of verse 6, as well as “both” . . . . “and revived” in verse 9. They also properly substitute “God” for “Christ” in verse 10. Then again they duly distinguish between “destroy” in verse 15, and “overthrow” in verse 20, which is neglected in some careful versions. On rather slender authority they leave out “or is offended, or is weak” at the end of verse 21. But they are certainly justified in relegating to the end of chapter 16 the doxology which some 200 cursives with L and others foist in here, though two uncials A P have it in both, and some in neither.
In Rom. 15 some few slight differences from the Authorised Version are adopted, as in verses 4, 7, 8, 17, 19, 29. In verse 16 is not some of the force of the apostolic phrase lost in the vague “minister of Christ Jesus . . . . ministering the gospel of God”? It is “serving sacrificially” as just after explained in an allusion to Numbers 8 — Mr. Green by the way leaves out of his version the English corresponding to
εἰς τὰ ἔθνη in this connection.
Rom. 16 furnishes but inconsiderable variations. In verse 1 it should be “Cenchreae.” — The “also” of verse 2 should be with “she herself,” not with “myself.” — “Prisca” is the true form in verse 3; as in verse 5 it should be “Asia,” not “Achaia,” and in verse 6 “you” rather than “we.” Junias and Urbanus are preferable to Junia and Urbane.” — In verse 16 the apostle added “all,” which slipt out of the received text and Authorised Version. — “Amen” should disappear from the end of verse 20, after a benediction which some repeat with
πάντων added as verse 24, contrary to A B C and other good authorities; as others omit it at verse 20. — “By the scriptures of the prophets” in verse 26 misleads: read “by prophetic writings” or scriptures, meaning thereby his own epistles on “the mystery,” or the inspired writings in general of the New Testament. For the church is built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. (Eph. 2, 3.)
The First Epistle To The Corinthians.
It is only needful to call attention to “called to be,” in 1 Cor. 1, 2, as the error of the Rhemish version, followed by the Authorised Version and Cranmer. Wiclif seems better, But especially Tyndale and the Geneva version, as they gave “by vocation,” and “by calling,” which reflect the sense justly enough, though (strange to say) in Romans 1 both were wrong in verse 1, right in verses 6, 7. — Verse 24 helps to prove that the addition of “to be” is not only needless but wrong. — Again in verse 18 the Company gives us “are being saved” from not bearing in mind that the present participle may be, and often is, employed to present a class stamped with the character of salvation, rather than the process or fact going on. Compare the remarks made on the revision of Acts 2:47. They forget the absolute present, which this must be, not an actual present, as already shown. — They are right in verse 21, “the preaching” or thing preached, as also “signs” for “a sign,” in verse 22, as has been generally allowed; so also in the imperative force “behold,” in verse 26 — They are justified again in their rendering of verse 30.
But in the first verse of 1 Cor. 2 occurs an extraordinarily violent change, the “mystery” instead of “testimony” of God. This of course turns on the adoption of
μυστήριον (as in p.m. A C, some seven or eight cursives, the Pesch. Syr., and Memph., with some early citations, whereas all the editors of note, even the most extreme, properly adhere to
μαρτύριον, with the great stream of authority early and later. Alford and Meyer treat it as a gloss from verse 7, Lachmann and Tregelles, bold as they were, reject it from their text. None but Drs. Westcott and Hort admit it. Was it not strange that a company of grave men, under the call to provide a version aspiring to general acceptance, should yield to so precarious and generally rejected a reading? The context is, in my judgment, certainly and irreconcilably opposed to the innovation. For the apostle distinguishes between his first announcing at Corinth the glad tidings, apart from every human effort to make the truth palatable, not knowing anything among them save Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and the speaking wisdom among the perfect or full-grown, God’s wisdom in a mystery. This evident and most momentous contradistinction is ruined by endorsing the blunder of scribes, who confounded two words similar in appearance, and easily interchanged by any whose spiritual senses were not exercised to discern the difference. Hence Bengel gave this variant his lowest mark in the Appar. Crit., while in his Gnomon he expounds, with his usual fine tact, the difference between verses 1 and 7 in a way which shows how rightly must vanish from any place in the first. Griesbach gave a better mark to the reading than it deserves. Pott pertinently remarks that not
λαλῶν would suit
μυστ. whereas it exactly fits in with
μαρτ. — Omitting lesser points, the last clause of verse 13 appears to be inadequately rendered if we take the context into account. The marginal “combining” is the simple unmodified force of
συγκρίνειν, to which is opposed
ἀνακρ. directly afterwards. Now if the aim of the verse had been duly weighed, it would have been seen that it is a question, not here (as in verse 14) of receiving and knowing, but of communicating. Hence the conveyance of spiritual things by spiritual [words] is the meaning, rather than expounding or interpreting special things to spiritual men, though otherwise the words might quite bear this. Thus the source that revealed, the means of communication, and the power of reception, are shown to be in the Spirit of God. “Combining” is too vague; “comparing” or “interpreting” would do well for the receiver; but neither expresses properly the conveyance of the truth or spiritual things by the inspired agents in a medium of spiritual words.
In 1 Cor. 3:3 they have rightly dropt “and divisions,” and in verse 9 rendered the phrase “God’s fellow-workers,” instead of “labourers together with God,” which is very objectionable, as irreverent and feeding human vanity. It is the more peculiar therefore that in 2 Corinthians 6:1 our Revisers should there introduce the obnoxious idea in italics. So do the Five Clergymen, and Dean Alford in his version. They were fellow-labourers doing God’s work; but to say “fellow-workers with God” is false and presumptuous, and so of course is “with him.” — In verse 16 they make the apostle say, “a temple of God,” as does Mr. T. S. Green. No doubt the phrase is capable of being so rendered in itself; but the truth forbids. It should be God’s temple. The same oversight of the anarthrous construction often occurs. The Company were not masters of the use or absence of the Greek article. Whether the English should have the indefinite article or not depends on the nature of the case, and often on the truth as defined elsewhere. A similar error occurs in Ephesians 2:22; it is common in other subjects also.
In 1 Cor. 4:1 they have, like others, rightly added “Here” (
ὧδε), though Mr. Green adheres to the received reading (
ὅ δὲ), and translates “And for the rest of the matter.” — And in verse 6 they follow the critical omission of
φρονεῖν, which would then give “that in us ye may learn the [lesson], Nothing above what is written.” There seems no need to depart from the historic force of the aorist in verse 18 (compare also their rendering of the aorist in vers. 8, 17).
The received reading “is named” in 1 Cor. 5:1 gives place to the true and nervous sense resulting from its simple omission according to the best authorities. — In verse 9 they retain the Authorised Version, instead of the epistolary aorist, which, however, they express in verse 11. This insinuates the idea of some that the apostle had written a previous letter which we have not. Grammatically there is no doubt that both may refer to the epistle he was then writing, as every scholar must know; and
νυνί may have a logical force, or a temporal, as required. Of course
τῃ ἐπιστ. cannot mean “an epistle,” as in the older versions, but “the,” or “mine.” — The revision properly omits “therefore,” in verses 7, 13. It is a direct call in both, not a consequence.
The most important change in 1 Cor. 6, well known and fully sustained by authority, is the omission of the latter half of the last verse. Unspiritual men thought “the body” too low, and must needs foist in, “and in your spirit, which are God’s,” which distracts from the aim in view. The body of the Christian, which is even now God’s temple by the Spirit’s dwelling, soon to be conformed to the body of Christ’s glory, is claimed meanwhile for his glorifying God therein, whatever be the difficulties or doubts or unbelief of philosophy.
In 1 Cor. 7 there are unwarranted additions of the common text struck out with good reason from verses 3, 5, and 39. — The chief mistranslations in the chapter, are, however, not rectified in the text, and in one weighty case at least not even in the margin. Thus “abusing,” in verse 31 would answer to
παραχρώμενοι, not to
καταχρώμενοι (as the margin corrects, and the text in 1 Cor. 11:18), and the great difficulty created by not extending “virgins” to virginity in both sexes (cf. Rev. 14:4) is left without help, especially in verses 36-38, where the estate seems meant. Doddridge was more perplexed by this passage than by any other in the epistle; and no wonder, if he followed the Authorised Version, which the Revisers also follow. Verse 47, as he admits, “puts the issue of the matter on the man’s own mind, the power he had over his own will, and his having no necessity; whereas if a daughter or a ward were in question, her inclination, temper, and conveniency were certainly to be consulted; and it would be the same if the virgin spoken of were one to whom the man was himself engaged.” That
παρθένος should be extended from the person to the condition (
παρθενία) is easy to see, though it may want proof. Perhaps we should hardly look for it in the classic language of the corrupt Greek mind. The difficulty of
ἐκαμίζων, or rather of
γαμ., the critical form, is null; were it
γαμῶν, as Mr. Slade thought, in the case of his own virginity, it would be insuperable, for how could a man be said to marry it? If he took a wife, he might be said to give it in marriage by an easy figure, from just before speaking of keeping his own virgin estate — an emphasis very hard to apply to one’s ward or daughter as assumed. The addition of “daughter” three times, in my opinion, makes the revision worse than the Authorised Version.
In 1 Cor. 8:7 the Company, like Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles, have adopted
συνηθεία, “through their habituation,” with A B P, four or five cursives, Memph. Basm. etc., against
συνειδήσει, “through their conscience,” with the great mass of other authority. — They have also reversed the ordinary order in the latter part of verse 8.
A similar inversion occurs in 1 Cor. 9:1. — Passing over minor matters, they have rightly inserted the omitted clause of verse 20. — Yet why translate
ἀδόκιμος here “rejected,” but in 2 Corinthians 13 “reprobate” as in Romans 1:28? “Worthless” would be yet better than “rejected” in Hebrews 6: where it is a question of “land” or “ground.”
From 1 Cor. 10 the Revisers have struck out some additions long abandoned on good authority, and substituted particles (or other words as in verse 9) more in accordance with the context, which had got changed by careless or meddling scribes. See verses 1, 10, 13, 23, 24, 28, 80.
“Traditions,” in 1 Cor. 11:2, though lawful otherwise, seems objectionable as exposing the unwary reader to a serious assumption of Rome, which tends and is even boldly used to subvert the authority of scripture. — In the margin of verse 19 they give “factions” or “sects,” which more truly represents
αἱρέσεις than heresies” or heterodoxies, which does not seem meant. They were parties in separation from the assembly, which the apostle warns must result from the “schisms or divisions already within. This is very important for many mistake the truth here taught and imagine that “schism” is the fruit of heresy;” whereas on the contrary splits without, or heresies” as here shown (that is, factions or sects), come from splits within (that is, “schisms” or divisions). Differences within are dangerous and bad; but when self-will and impatience burst all the bands of unity and boldly take shape as a party without, how much worse? The kindred word, “an heretical man” in Titus 3:10, is thus rendered plain, as not necessarily heterodox, but independent and self-willed, impatiently breaking through unity in his self-confidence and disregard of the assembly. It is strange that the Revisers, or any one else, should continue the misleading “heretic,” when it really means a sectary or party-leader. Hence it is no question of putting him out; for he was gone out; and Titus after a first and second admonition was simply to have done with him, “knowing that such a one is perverted and sinneth, being selfcondemned.” The main mistranslations in the section relating to the Lord’s Supper are corrected by the Revisers, though “guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord” in verse 27 may still leave the door open to mistake. But “Take, eat” and “broken” are rightly gone from verse 24, “covenant” appears in verse 25, “or” displaces “and” in verse 27, “the” supplants “that” twice in verse 28, above all “judgment” expels “damnation” which was always an inexcusable error refuted by verse 32, and “discern” is rightly used both for “the body” that is, the Lord’s, and “ourselves” in verses 29, 31. These corrections, long known and sure, are none the less to be thankfully received in what is now so largely disseminated where the English language is used or known. Evil and superstitious doctrine, too common, will hence be detected; and by grace the truth will get in where it has long been obscured.
1 Cor. 12 affords much less scope for remark, as there was less disposition in the copyists or translators. In verse 2 the Revisers rightly read “when ye were Gentiles, ye were led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever” etc. — Verse 3 is also rendered better. — Needless additions of the received text vanish from verses 6, 12, 21.
I cannot but coincide with the Revisers in preferring “love” to charity in 1 Cor. 13 as elsewhere.
The changes in 1 Cor. 14 are almost as few as in 1 Cor. 12, but those made (5, 18, 25, 85, 37) seem well-founded, though it is strange that
τὰ πν. in verse 1 and
πν. in verse 12 should be alike translated “spiritual gifts.”
Nor is there much to remark as to 1 Cor. 15. In verse 2 “are saved” is right, though not consistent with the work elsewhere. — One omission, of
ἐγένετο, is notorious in verse 20. — “To God even the Father,” in the Revised as in the Authorised Version, is not a happy rendering; and still less is Mr. Green’s “to God the Father;” because both tend to lower the Son, as if the Father only were God, or as if the Father might be all in all, whereas it is really God (i.e., Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Hence “to him that is God and Father” appears less objectionable. “To God and the Father” say the Five Clergymen, which sounds as if the Father were not God; yet this none can mean. There is a double correction though slight, in verse 41, as also in verse 47; see also verse 55.
In 1 Cor. 16 it is surprising that the Revisers support the various old English versions (Wiclif excepted) in verse 8, against the more natural sense which the Greek commentators prefer. His recommending them by letters is the point. — There is nothing else that strikes me as notable save in verse 22: “if any one loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha [that is, Our Lord cometh].”
The Second Epistle To The Corinthians.
In 2 Cor. 1:9 the margin seems better than the text, which seems to betray ignorance of the truth conveyed. — In verse 12 the Revisers are pretty bold in absolutely discarding “simplicity” for the alternative “holiness” without even a marginal note. — In verse 20 they give the sense, if not perfectly, far better than the Authorised Version.
It is not at all clear, to say the least, that the apostle refers, in 2 Cor. 2:3, 4, to the same letter. But in verse 3 he may speak of the present or second, and in verse 4 of the first, which would affect the version. Here the two are identified. — Verse 10 is rendered from a better text than the received. — “Leadeth us in triumph” in verse 14 is correct; but “in” them that “are being saved” does not agree with “are saved” in 1 Corinthians 15:2 any more than with the truth. — Is not “retailing,” or “trafficking with” the word, the point in verse 17? “Which” is an error, and rightly dropt in the revision.
In 2 Cor. 3:3 is a bold adoption of the reading
καρδίαις, with the version “tables that are hearts of flesh.” It is to be presumed that the two Bishops Wordsworth, Dr. Scrivener, and other sober scholars in the Committee did not tamely give in, without a severe struggle, to what one of them not long ago called a “perfectly absurd reading.” Yet that reading externally has the strongest authority. The Five Clergymen adopt the reading of the most ancient copies, but adhere to the Authorised Version, explaining it by “heart-tables of flesh.” — But a grievous error follows in the very arrangement of the paragraph. The vital thread of connection is cut through by closing one section at the end of verse 11, and beginning a new one at verse 12. Now, whether we do or do not use parenthetical marks, there is one of the apostle’s frequent parentheses in this chapter, embracing verses 7-16; so that, for the sense, verse 6 is followed (with a most instructive digression helping on the truth between) by verse 17: “for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life . . . . Now the Lord is the spirit.” It is not that the Lord is the Spirit, as they print, which tends to confound the Lord Jesus, the spirit underneath the letter in question, with the Holy Ghost. I am convinced that spiritual intelligence of this most instructive scripture, as a whole, is impossible without seizing this; and it is, I submit, equally evident that the Committee cannot have perceived it: else they had not so divided what ought at least to have been left unbroken, if they did not supply the aid of the usual parenthetical signs to help the reader, as they do sometimes, but too sparingly. — Again occurs the strange version “a” new covenant, through their not apprehending the characterizing force of the anarthrous construction, to the detriment of the meaning. — “Came with glory” is right, only stating that it was “so brought in, and contrasted with the ministration of the Spirit (for it should be thus, not “spirit”) being, or subsisting in glory. Compare verse 11 also.
In 2 Cor. 4 there are some peculiar changes, especially in verse 6, where they represent the apostle thus: “Seeing it is God that said, Light shall shine out of darkness, who shined,” etc. Here they follow Tischendorf’s eighth edition against his seventh, or rather p.m. A B Dp.m. and a few other witnesses against the great mass of manuscripts, versions, etc. — They are right of course in giving “the gospel of the glory,” not “the glorious gospel:” a most unhappy rendering, which leads into all sorts of wrong thoughts, besides missing the truth. — In verses 10, 11 it is “Jesus” all through, not “the Lord,” as the received text adds in verse 10.
In 2 Cor. 5:3 they rightly adhere to the Authorised Version, rejecting the perversion of Dean Alford and others, as also in verse 7. — Of course they avoid the equivocal language of our version in verse 9. — But there are grave questions in verse 14, where, with the critics, they follow the stream of the most ancient manuscripts, and drop the hypothetical particle represented in the Rescript of Paris and many other copies, with the best versions, and, I think, most early citations. But in my judgment, whatever the reading or translation, the Bishop of Durham is not warranted in saying that a death to sin is meant, but death through sin, to interfere with a revelation so foreign to Christendom.
It is not true that all men have died with Christ to their former selves and to sin, so as to be therefore bound to lead a new life — His life. Nor is this said here; but Christ’s dying for all is used as a proof of death in all. There is even a contrast, “they which live,” with all who died; and
οἱ ζῶντες means not merely that they were alive, but that they lived spiritually, and of these as distinguished from all who died — of these only is it added that they should no longer live unto themselves, but unto Him who, for their sakes, died and rose again. The “all” who died are all men, who are naturally lost; “they who live” are the saved who are called to live to the dead and risen Christ, and no longer (as once) to themselves. It is true that these died with Christ to sin; but this is the doctrine of Romans 6, and not, of 2 Corinthians 5. It is here death through, and not to, sin; and the making it “to sin” introduces the confusion and heterodoxy evident in Dr. Lightfoot’s doctrine. All men have not participated potentially, as he says, in Christ’s death; for this is true only of those who live through faith, in contrast with all who died through sin. I doubt not that all are bought; but only believers have in Him redemption. through His blood, the forgiveness of their trespasses. The righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ is toward all, and upon all that believe. The gospel is not limited, as some would make it; but it is efficacious, though for faith only, unlike what others say. — In verse. 19 the Revisers avoid the error of the Five Clergymen, but the omission of the comma after Christ vitiates their rendering as compared with that of the Authorised Version. — The last verse is more energetic without “for,” which some Greek scribes thought proper to insert rather early.
For 2 Cor. 6:1 compare the remarks on 1 Corinthians 3:9; and with verse 16 compare those on 1 Cor. 3:16.
The Revisers are assuredly justified in connecting closely 2 Cor. 8 with the preceding chapter, the rest returning to what he had said in 2 Cor. 2, the end of which had led him out in a grand unfolding of the gospel, which some were even then quick to clog and adulterate by mixing the law with it; and the gospel led him out into an admirable setting forth of the service of Christ according to His death, resurrection, and glory in the power of the Spirit. From this rich digression he comes back to his question with the Corinthian saints. — Verses 8-10 are in general far closer than in the Authorised Version, though one may question the taste of “which bringeth no regret,” in verse 10: not, or never to be regretted seems simpler. Verse 13 is more correct now.
In 2 Cor. 8:3 and 4, stand more correctly in the revision; as also verses 7, 12, 19, 21, 24.
In 2 Cor. 9 there is, if possible, less to note: verses 4, 10, 13, 14.
Of 2 Cor. 10 the reader can compare verses 7, 13, 16, which give the sense better than the Authorised Version.
Their judgment as to the true text of chapter 11:3 seems very questionable; but I do not argue it here, nor specify more.
2 Cor. 12:1 should be weighed: see also verses 11, 12, 14, 18, 19.
Nor is there much to be noticed in 2 Cor. 13. But it seems strange that the Revisers should fail here also to preserve the force of the scriptures from ruin through vicious punctuation. Verse 3 ought to begin a new sentence, interrupted by a digression which begins with the latter half of that verse. and includes also verse 4; and the conclusion or apodosis of the sentence, which answers to the protasis of the first half of verse 3, follows in verse 5. So that if by external marks, we are to help readers who easily let slip the connection of thought, it would run thus — “Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me (who to youward is not weak but is powerful in you; for indeed he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by God’s power; for we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him through God’s power toward you), try your own selves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves,” etc. The arrangement, bad in the Authorised Version, is no better in the Revised; and perhaps this has contributed to the singular misconception which has prevailed as to the passage. How many misuse it to consecrate their inward workings of question and doubt as to God’s grace toward them, as if this scripture set them so to work! It is really an irrefragable argumentum ad hominem and a withering rebuke to Corinthian vanity if they had any heart for Christ and His apostle. Since they sought a proof of his apostleship, why not examine themselves? They were their own selves the proof, unless they were reprobate — the last thing they thought. As surely, then, as they were in the faith, he was an apostle — to them without doubt who, through his speaking, had Christ in them. The whole force of this argumentative appeal turns on their assurance of being in the faith to the certainty of his apostleship; and this, generally misunderstood through stops which ruthlessly surrender all the links and ignore the parenthesis essential to be noted, is perverted by unbelief to prove that the apostle calls on the believer to search and see whether he be not an unbeliever after all! The Revisers certainly cannot boast of rescuing the passage from the confusion which here reigns in the Authorised Version, and almost all others. They probably just followed mechanically in the wake of their predecessors; for had they previously understood the reasoning of the apostle or stopped to consider the meaning of the text they were translating, it is hard to see how they could have overlooked the facts, that verse 2 closes the previous subject, and that the new sentence passes from 3 to 5, with an intervening digression.
οὐδὲν διέκρινε is the phrase for this in Acts 15:9.
5 Chrysostom (Hom. in loc. pp, 36, 37, Field, Oxon. 1849) seems rather unusually wide of the mark, taking verse 18 of one class, evil in dogma and life, of which the proof follows in verse 19 etc. Nor is he alone in the mistake of thus limiting “the truth” to the testimony of creation.
6 Besides, will the Greek even bear the marginal sense, any more than Meyer’s, “what then, have we an excuse?” The verb in this sense demands an object: and hence grammatically Wahl, etc. were compelled to find it in
τι. But this construction would require the answer to be, not
οὐ π., but
7 Webster and Wilkinson (ii. 439) suggest the singular idea that it may mean “carried off with,” as if they could not resist the attraction of low company! But though undoubtedly used elsewhere (Gal. 2 and 2 Peter 2) in a bad sense, it means what is truly noble here.