In this Epistle the critical changes are few.
In 1 Thess. 1:1 “from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Origen expressly noted the words as not read in his day, though they are supported by the Sinaitic, Alexandrian, and many other good MSS and versions, etc. B F G and the best versions reject the words. — There are slight corrections in verses 8 and 10.
In 1 Thess. 2:2 an expletive
expunged, as also
γάρ in verse 9. — There is an omission of
καί supplied at the beginning of verse 13, as of
ἰδίους in verse 15 and of “Christ” in verse 19. As to translation, is not verse 13 awkwardly rendered? Translate rather, “when ye received God’s word of message (or report) — God’s word heard — from us, ye accepted not men’s word, but as it is truly God’s word,” etc.
1 Thess. 3:2 brings before us a text variously found in the MSS. But if
συνεργὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ be read, as in the margin, “fellow-worker with God” will not do, for reasons already stated in discussing 1 Corinthians 3, etc. It is not the thought at all, however pleasing to man’s nature. God employs labourers as work-fellows; but He is no work-fellow of theirs. It is irreverent. In the text they read
διάκονον, “minister,” as the Vatican copy omits
τοῦ Θεοῦ, and thus either way the difficulty is avoided. But there is really none when the word is rendered, not as by mere scholarship, but in the knowledge of God. — A few lesser points might be spoken of, but the chief is the exclusion of “Christ” which Text. Rec. introduced on insufficient grounds.
In 1 Thess. 4:1 there is a short clause omitted in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version which is here rightly given, “even as ye do walk.” — The Revisers, I think, aptly render verse 4 “to possess himself of,” as also of course verse 6. — In verse 8 it is “you,” not “us.” In verse 13 it is “we,” not “I” as in Text. Rec. — In verse 14 the margin is right, “through Jesus.” — The peculiarity of the “shout” is left out in verse 16.
In 1 Thess. 5:3 the particle “for” disappears properly, as it should appear in verse 5. There is little else to note but the omission of
ἁγίοις “holy” in verse 27, where if we take MSS, versions and citations into account, external authority is rather evenly balanced. If it were a solitary expression in the Pauline epistles, this would not really weigh against its occurrence in his earliest, and in so solemn a connection. I doubt the wisdom or certainty of casting it out here. It occurs also in Hebrews 3:1.
The rendering of 2 Thess. 1:8 is correct, not that of the Authorised Version which overlooks the two articles in the Greek, expressive of two distinct classes of men with whom the day of the Lord is to deal: those that know not God (the nations or heathen); and those that, if they know Him after a sort, obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus (unbelieving Jews). The addition of “Christ” here is questionable; B D E G K L P, some thirty cursives, half the ancient versions, and many ancients who cite, being adverse. — In verse 10 it should be “believed.” — In verse 12 the weight of authority omits “Christ” at the beginning.
In 2 Thess. 2:1 “touching” or “in behalf of” the coming or presence of our Lord Jesus Christ seems to be founded on a misapprehension of the contextual requirement. Nobody doubts that either is a good rendering of the proposition in itself. But the connected language may modify, as well as the subject. matter; and all this has to be weighed. Was it not assumed by the Revisers, as in Alford’s Commentary, that the coming of our Lord was the theme which he was about to explain to the Thessalonians? “It is most unnatural,” says the Dean in objection to the rendering of the Vulgate, Authorised Version and many ancient commentators, “that the apostle should thus conjure them by that, concerning which he was about to teach them.” This however is exactly opposed to the fact; for he is beseeching them
ὑπὲρ τῆς π. τ. κ. ἡ. Ἰ. Χ. κ. ἡ. ἐ. ἐ. ἀ. not to be quickly shaken by a false impression about the day of the Lord. This, not His presence, is the real subject in hand. They are so distinct, that the apostle entreats
ὑπὲρ the one not to be troubled about a wrong view of the other. It is the confusion of the two which led to the wrong rendering, as it also forbids the right understanding of the argument and of the truth in the context. It is impossible to read attentively the chapter before and the following verses without perceiving that the apostle is treating of that day, as the Authorised translators rightly saw in verse 3. And therefore it is that in verse 8 we have, not of the Lord’s coming merely, but “of the manifestation of his coming,” which really for the sense coalesces with His day. The one is for the gathering to Him of His friends; the other, for the destruction of His foes. Hence it is most intelligible to beseech the brethren, for the sake or on account of that blessed hope, not to be soon agitated nor yet troubled by the error that the day of the Lord was there. He begs them by a motive of deepest comfort not to be upset by the delusion that the day was present. How could this be, as the Lord had not yet come and gathered His own to Himself on high? How could it be, seeing that the apostasy and the man of sin were not yet developed in all their matured and manifested lawlessness, as they must be for the Lord to execute His judgment on them when that day dawns? This may serve to convince serious readers that the actual misunderstanding was about the
ἡμέρα or day, not the
παρουσία or presence, as has been erroneously taken for granted.
Accordingly too the rendering, with a verb of entreaty as here, is properly “for the sake of,” “by reason of,” or, more tersely, “by,” as in all the well-known English versions (Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, Geneva, Rhemish, and Authorised Version). It is uncritical to confound
ἐρωτᾳν περί with
ἐρ. ὑπέρ, as the Revisers have done; and the New Testament abounds with proof that, when it was a question of beseeching for a person or asking about a thing, the former is the constant and correct phrase. We are therefore entitled to infer that
ἐρ. ὑπέρ has its own distinctive force; and as “on behalf” or “instead of” is excluded by the nature of the case, so the bearing of the context most naturally points to some such rendering as is in the Authorised Version, and beyond just doubt disproves “touching” in the Revised Version or any other rendering of like import. The Revisers however have correctly expunged the “by” of the Authorised Version in the same clause for the one article of course forms the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ into one closely connected object of thought with “our gathering together unto him,” instead of dissociating them as the unwarranted insertion of “by” does.
- In verse 2, in the endeavour to be literal have they not missed our own idiom? Dr. Angus ought to be able to say whether “shaken from your mind” is good English. The Authorised Version is at least idiomatic. But they have restored the true reading of “the Lord,” not of “Christ,” and they have given the correct version “is now present” or rather “is present,” instead of the misleading “is at hand,” which has darkened expositors, preachers, and readers without end. — In verse 3 they rightly say “the falling away” or apostasy, and as rightly discard “as God,” though it is hard to tell why they did not render more literally
ὅτι ἐστὶν θεός at the end, instead of repeating the English phrase which represents the interpolated
ὡς θεόν. — In verses 7, 8 they are quite right in giving us “lawlessness,” and “the lawless one,” instead of the words in the Authorised Version which would answer to
πονηρός. The latter half of verse 7 is also better rendered as a whole; and “Jesus” is added on excellent authority, of moment to set aside pseudo-spiritual applications of the verse, as “slay” or destroy is better than “consume,” which is popularly employed to aid false interpretation.
- In verse 11 “sendeth them a working of error” rightly displaces “shall send them strong delusion” in the Authorised Version. But could they not do better for the force of
τῳ ψεύδει than perpetuate the old “a lie”? How strange that both Bishop Ellicott and the late Dean Alford should so little comprehend the truth here set out as to fancy, because of verse 7 and the present tense, that God’s sending this judicial delusion is now! What about the lawless one’s presence in verse 9? It is the ethical, not the historical, present, an usage quite common in all philosophical and indeed other writings, as well as in holy scripture. The error in this case affects, not the translation, but the intelligence of scripture; but it does affect the version in “them that are perishing” as in verse 10 and often in other words elsewhere, where they convert a moral present into a direct or historical one under the illusion that this only is correct. — “Work and word” rightly take the place of “word and work” in the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version.
In 2 Thess. 3:4 the “you” of Text. Rec. disappears. — There is a conflict of readings at the end of verse 6, whether it be “he” as in the Authorised Version, “they” as in the Revised Version, or ye” as in the margin. The singular is ill-attested; they” has the better claim. — In verse 12 they rightly change from “by our” to “in the.” — The form of verse 14 “that ye have no company with him” may be right; but in so doubtful a case, does it seem wise or fair to commit the Revision to it?
In 1 Tim. 1:1 the omission of the italics supplied in the Authorised Version brings out better the force: “Christ Jesus our hope;” and “true” or “genuine” is better than “own” in 2. — The misreading of the Text. Rec. in 4 is the source of the wrong thought in 4, where the real point is God’s dispensation or administration, not “godly edifying,” which ought to be an effect of it. — In 5 they have well given “charge,” as in 3 and 18, where “commandment” misleads, as many ignorantly think of the law, especially as this follows, not seeing the contrast. — It seems surprising that the Revisers in 9 should consign “smiters” twice to the margin, and give “murderers” in their text. The simple verb certainly means to thresh, or beat, rather than to kill; and the compound in well-known pieces of classic Greek is distinguished, as here, from man-slayers or murderers. (See Lysias, 116; Plat. Phaed. 114; Aristoph. Nub. repeatedly. — They rightly present the “gospel of the glory,” instead of the unmeaning or wrong-meaning “glorious gospel.” The glory of God into which Christ has entered is ‘the true and full standard of judgment by which the apostle, who had beyond any other beheld it, measures that which is unsuitable for God and His own. How little those who desire to be law-teachers enter into this! — “King of the ages,” in the margin, seems preferable to “King eternal” in the text of 17. Law had been just contrasted with the gospel: God was the sovereign disposer of the ages for His own glory. But here He is the only God; not “only wise,” as in Romans 16, where the mystery is not revealed, but His righteousness in the gospel of indiscriminate grace, and the law is vindicated yet set aside in Christ dead and risen, and all is conciliated with the fulfilment of His special promises to Israel; none but the “only wise God” could. Here He is the “only God;” He may act in creation or in judgment, in promise, law, or gospel, but He is the only God, whatever be the difference of dealing or dispensation.
In 1 Tim. 2:3 why should the Revisers give “desiring” (
θέλ.) in 1:7, and “willeth” (
θ.) here, but “desire”
βούλομαι in 8? In 2 Peter 3:9 they render
β. “wishing.” Why this looseness and caprice? Buttmann’s distinction (Lexil. i. 26), that
ἐθέλω] is not only the more general expression for willing, which is true, but that kind especially where a purpose is included, as compared with
β., which implies a mere acquiescence in the will of others, seems to be quite untenable even in Homer. It is
β. which is used especially to express mind or purpose if required. Mr. Green is also faulty in giving just the same force to the two different words in 1 Tim. 2:3 and 2 Peter 3:9; so indeed are the old well-known English versions. — Is not the rendering of 5 clumsy, though close? — In 8, 11, the twofold mistake of the Authorised Version is rectified. Read “the men” and a woman.” In 9 it is rather “deportment” than dress,” which follows in 10. — In 12 a woman is forbidden to exercise (not merely to usurp) authority. Such full power over man is not hers. — In 14 the emphasis is not expressed in English, “quite deceived.” It is a mistake to refer 15 to salvation through the birth of Christ. Bishop Ellicott has said what he can in detail as well as contextually for that application, as Dean Alford for “the higher meaning” of
σωθήσεται as in the Revision, but I think in vain. To compare it with 1 Cor. 3:15 shows a strange cast of mind.
In 1 Tim. 3:3 the Revisers rightly omit “not greedy of filthy lucre,” which was introduced from Titus 1, The caution here follows in 16 no lover of money.” But is there no intended reference to disorder through excess of wine in
πάροινον, which they give simply as “brawler,” especially as “striker” follows? — Is “condemnation” of the devil correct in 6?
κρίμα was either a suit, the matter for it, or the sentence. Mr. Green takes it as “strong impeachment from the devil;” but it seems rather his charge or fault. — In 16 there is little doubt that the true reading is
ὅς, He who, rather than
θεός, though this be implied. B is wanting, but A C F G, with some cursives and very ancient versions, support
ὅς, as D and the Latins read
ὅ, K L P and most cursives giving
The Revisers render aright the beginning of 1 Tim. 4:2, so strangely misunderstood in the Authorised Version and elsewhere. Demons might speak lies, of course but how can we fairly speak of their “hypocrisy,” or of their own conscience?” It is instructive to see that beside the demons there are the misleaders and the misled. Translate, therefore, “in (or through) hypocrisy of men that speak lies, cauterised in their own conscience,” etc. — “Saviour” goes too far in 10, which should rather be “preserver” but “both” is rightly dropped in an earlier clause of the verse, as “in spirit” is in 12.
In 1 Tim. 5:4 they have with good reason omitted “good and.” To say “acceptable” is just the truth. — The old error, “having condemnation,” instead of at most “guilt,” recurs in 12. Why should they not have said “an” ox when treading out corn? The Authorised Version is doubly in fault, “the ox that,” etc. — In 23 they rightly give “Be no longer a drinker of water.” The Authorised Version, “Drink no longer water,” goes too far. — But in 25 ought they not to have rendered it “the good works also [are] manifest” (or, evident beforehand, etc.)?
1 Tim. 6 has not a few misreadings in the Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version. “The” teaching or doctrine is right in 1; and the close of 2 should be, “they that partake in (or profit by) the good service are believing and beloved.” — The Authorised Version of 5 is opposed to all intelligence of the usage of the article. It should be that godliness is gain, or a way of gain, as in the Revised Version, where “from such withdraw thyself” is rightly omitted. In 7 the Revisers are probably right in excluding “it is manifest”, (
δῆλον), or the equivalent, in the various MSS. So also in 10 the Revisers properly say “a root of all kinds of evil,” or of all evils. “The root,” as in the Authorised Version, is good neither in doctrine nor in fact nor in grammar. — In 12 “also” only encumbers the sense. — It is surprising that the Revisers should in their text confound the sense of
ζωογονοῦντος (A D F G, P, etc.) with that of the Text. Rec.
ζωοποι. ( K L, the cursives in general, etc.) “Preserving alive” is admirably in keeping with the Epistle: cf. Ex. 1:17, 18, 22, Judges 8:19, Luke 17:33, Acts 7:19. To suppose a reference, as Alford, to “eternal life” above is outrageous, any more than to resurrection with Chrysostom or others. — In 17 they are justified in omitting “living.” — In 19 it is “that which is really life,” rather than “eternal life” after the Text. Rec.
There are no remarkable changes which occur to my mind in the early verses of 2 Tim. 1. “Beloved child” in 2 displaces “dearly beloved son,” and “supplications” stands in lieu of “prayers” in 3. — “Stir up” still appears in 6, instead of “stir into flame” (or “rekindle”) in the margin. — It is hard to see why “discipline” should supplant a sound mind,” in 7. — In 8 the truer force appears, suffer hardship with the gospel,” etc. — What is the meaning of “before time eternal,” in 9? — In 10 “incorruption” is right, the body being in question, not the soul, life for the soul and incorruption for the body brought to light by the gospel. — The omission of
ἐθνῶν Gentiles or nations in 12 rests on the meagre testimony of A 17, contrary to all other authority; but no doubt the Cambridge professors favoured the omission, though Lachmann read the word in his later edition, while Tischendorf in his eighth edition joined Tregelles, swayed overmuch as usual by the Sinaitic, as well as by the idea that it may have been borrowed from 1 Tim. 2:7. But the context would incline me to its acceptance. In the former Epistle it falls in with the testimony of grace: the glad tidings of a ransom for all could not but go forth to the nations. So here, the power of Christ in death and resurrection gives occasion to the manifestation of eternal counsel, wholly above the course of dispensation to Israel; and accordingly the gospel meets men universally in the grace and power of God, and hence in a life superior to death, and a love which no sufferings could daunt or quench.
- Why should the Revisers repeat the inaccuracy of the Authorised Version in 13? Timothy had heard the truth from the apostle in words taught of the Holy Spirit, and is exhorted to have an outline or pattern of sound words which he had thus heard, an inspired expression of what God has revealed, and this in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. For this power is needed, and Timothy is told to guard the good deposit by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us (i.e., Christians) — both the more urgently wanted because it is a time of departure, as Paul experienced before his decease. Hold “the pattern” misleads, as if Timothy had some well-known formula distinct from apostolic teaching.
In 2 Tim. 2:3 the Revisers rightly adopt the ancient reading
συγκακοπάθησον, but their margin gives a sense preferable to their text. The apostle is not here speaking of his own sufferings. The Text. Rec.
οὺ οὖν (as in the Authorised Version, “Thou therefore,” etc.) crept in early, as it is found in a few uncials, most cursives, and some ancient versions; but it is a mere clerical blunder. — In 7 it is correctly “shall give thee.” — In 13 “for” is rightly added. — In the first clause of 19 they give, quite properly, “the firm foundation standeth,” and “the Lord,” instead of “Christ” in the last clause. — But the last verse affords an extraordinary sample of baldness in the Committee, which can hardly have been satisfactory to the Bishop of Gloucester and others. It is the sense preferred by Wetstein and G. Wakefield, and, singular to say, Bengel. It seems to me distinctly ungrammatical on the face of it, that a past act in contrast with present state should be represented by
ἐζωγρημένοι, which really implies the present result of what has been done. To bear the sense given, the former ought to have been
ζωγρηθέντες, as another has justly remarked. Doubtless the pronouns are distinguished, but it seems harsh indeed to refer
αὐτοῦ to the Lord’s servant with so much intervening. Beza’s proposal seems best — “that out of the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him, they may awake for [or, unto] His will,” that is, to do God’s will. In the margin they do give substantially this alternative; but does it not seem extraordinary that the Committee was found pliant enough to endorse the actual text?
In 2 Tim. 3 there is little to notice for general readers till we come to 10, where the Revisers appear to me rightly to read the aorist with A C F G 17 rather than the perfect of the Text. Rec. with the mass of inferior authority (which probably slipt in through 1 Tim. 4:6): “But thou didst follow up my teaching,” etc. — In 14 they decide for the plural, as the margin explains, and so the most ancient MSS., though the ancient versions lean with slight dissent to the singular “whom,” as in the Text. Rec. — The version of 16 is questionable. As it stands it might imply that some scriptures are not divinely inspired, which is certainly opposed to the scope. “Every scripture, being divinely inspired, [is] also profitable,” etc., differs from the more usual rendering in the margin only in assuming, instead of asserting divine inspiration. In any case it is “every” scripture, which would apply in due time to what was yet to be written as well as to what had been already. It is purposely thrown into axiomatic form. If assumed to be God-inspired, it seems needless to say that it is useful or profitable. I therefore prefer in this the construing of the Authorised Version.
In 2 Tim. 4:1 the Revisers reject
οὖν ἐγώ and
τοῦ Κυρίου of the Text. Rec. as well as
κατά, followed by the Authorised Version, though sustained by the later uncials, almost all the cursives, and all the old versions, even the Latin and Coptic. The testimony of Chrysostom is perplexing, for he seems to support
καί ( A D F G., etc.) as well as
κατά. But assuming the critical reading, ought we not to render “I charge both by His appearing and His Kingdom?” And why say “the” living and “the” dead? — In the end of 4, have they reflected justly or fully
ἐκτραπήσονται? Of course they correct “a” into “the” crown, etc. in 8, and that “love” into “have loved.” — In 15 they adopt the reading “withstood” for “hath withstood.” — In 18 they drop the initiatory copulative, and read only “the Lord” in 22.
Epistle To Titus.
In Titus 1:4 the Revisers on first-rate authority read “grace and peace” instead of “grace, mercy, peace,” as in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version. “Lord” is also omitted. — The first copulative is left out on high authority in 10.
In Titus 2:5 “workers at home,” not merely “keepers” there, as the Authorised Version following Text. Rec. a letter easily omitted makes the difference. — In 7 the true text is “uncorruptness, gravity,”
ἁφθορίαν, σεμνό τητα, not
ἁδίαφθορίαν, σ., ἀφθαρσίαν, which last even the Elzevirs and Griesbach, with all modern critics, reject, though Stephanus received it in his edd. of 1546, 1549, and 1550, misled by the Complutensian editors not Erasmus. — In 13 the Revisers translate rightly “the appearing of our great God,” etc.
Titus 3:1 is right, “to be obedient,” not “to obey magistrates,” which is already implied. — In 5 they rightly follow the Authorised Version, and give “washing.” “Layer” ought not to be even in the margin. (See Eph. 5:26.)
Epistle To Philemon.
ἀγαπητῃ, “beloved,” of the Text. Rec., followed by the Authorised Version, is properly excluded, and
ἀδελφῃ, “sister,” takes its place on ancient and ample, authority. The internal superiority of the critical reading is obvious. But the rendering of 6 seems very dubious in every English version save Tyndale’s, the worst perhaps being the Rhemish and the Authorised Version, followed by the Revisers for the sense, though with the change of “fellowship” for “communication.” I believe it ought to be “thy fellowship (or participation) in the faith.” They appear to me no less unhappy in the perpetuating of the Text. Rec.
ὑμῖν, you,” in the same verse, though supported by F G P, many cursives, etc.; but
ἡμῖν, “us,” has the excellent authority of A C D E K L, about fifty cursives, and other authorities. This would involve the alternative rendering of “acknowledgement” rather than “knowledge.” “Jesus” should probably be omitted. — In 7 the true reading seems to be, as they prefer,
χαρὰν γὰρ π. ἔσχον, “for I had great joy.” Even the Elz. (1624) has
χαράν instead of the Stephanic
χάριν, though both gave
ἔχομεν, “we have.” — The peculiar emphasis of
αὐτόν instead of the vulgar
σὺ δέ is well given.
προσλαβοῦ in the Text. Rec. was borrowed from verse 17, though many good authorities supply it here. — “Lord” should disappear from the end of 20.
The Epistle To The Hebrews
The opening of this Epistle seems to me unworthily represented in the Revised Version. In ver. 1 “Divers” twice is to make bad worse, though not so incorrect as the “diversely” of Tyndale, the one being obsolete for more than one, the other really meaning differently. They have, of course, substituted
ἐσχάτου for the Text. Rec.,
ἐσχάτων, which has not the support of a single uncial; and they have avoided the error of “times” instead of parts or portions. “God having of old spoken in many measures and in many modes to the fathers in the prophets, at the end of these days spake to us in [the] Son.” The last expression is evidently the truth of especial weight; and here the Revisers conspicuously fail. Indeed, the anarthrous construction is their habitual stumbling-block, as is the abstract usage of the Greek article, which requires the absence of the definite article in English. Their text is wrong in bringing in “his,” which is not all the idea bore, though, of course, true in itself; whilst their margin, “a Son,” is yet worse in every way, as being liable to grave misconstruction anywhere, and peculiarly at issue with a context which has for its aim to set forth His sole, intrinsic, and unapproachable glory as Son of God. The true idea is as Son, or in the person of Him who is Son, contrasted with His servants the prophets. Our tongue, however, does not admit of this characterising style of speech, like the Greek, after a preposition, but only in the nominative; and hence we must insert our article or even paraphrase it. But can there be any doubt that here, as too often in such cases elsewhere, the Revisers have missed the mark in a very essential point of truth?
- In 3 they give rightly the very image, or impress, “of His substance.” “Person” is quite wrong, not only in translation, but in doctrine. For a wonder they are right about purification “of sins,” perhaps to avoid the appearance of reading
ἡμῶν as in Text. Rec. contrary to m p.m. A B Dp.m. all and many other witnesses. They ought to have translated similarly in Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14, where they have ruined the sense by treating the article as a possessive four times in error. Nor is the omission of
δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ [“by himself] by any means so sure as to justify not even a notice in the margin. E K L M
are no doubt inferior to A B P, Dp.m. giving
δι᾽ αὐτοῦ, but both the Syriac, the AEthiopic and the Coptic are at least equal to the Vulgate and the Armenian. Indeed, Theodoret in his comment expressly says that
δι᾽ αὐτοῦ should be read with an aspirate for
δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ (δασέως ἀναγιγνώσκειν προσήκει, ἀντὶ τοῦ, δι᾽ ἑαυτοῦ, B. Theod. Opp. ed. Sirmond. v. 549). Nor is there the least hint of the middle voice in the aorist participle, the more striking as the purification made was of the sins of others — assuredly not His own. The favourite Vulgate (factus) is here out of the way false, as it is in the next word, and often to the subversion of the truth in this epistle. In 4 the Revisers have improved on “being made” of the Authorised Version, which is very objectionable, but “having become” is not much better.
- The doubtful point of 6 is the Revisers’ adoption of the margin of the Authorised Version, and consigning its text to their margin; the improvement is “first-born” for “first-begotten.” In 7 and 8 and 13 it is better to assimilate if not render the same (for the first
πρός is indirect, the second direct), instead of giving “of and “unto,” as in the Authorised Version. Whether “of” in both cases is better than “as to” seems doubtful. But there is as little doubt that
καί is wrongly dropt in the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version of 8 as that the Authorised Version is more correct than the Revised Version in not making a reciprocal sentence of the clause that follows, where the predicate by poetical inversion precedes the subject — a matter of no moment where the latter is defined by the article. — In 8 they have not adhered to the preterite rendering of the aorists, though there seems no reason why they might not have said, “Thou didst love righteousness and hate iniquity (or lawlessness). Therefore God, thy God, anointed,” etc. And so in 10 “didst say,” etc. — But it does seem strange that the advocates of the Vatican and a few others (MSS. A D p.m. etc. should have induced the Company to adopt
ὡς ἱμάτιον, which reads so unmeaningly in the second clause of 12. Even Tregelles bracketed, and Lachmann alone adopted the gloss. It is a wonder they did not heed Tischendorf’s reading
ἐλίξεις, which adheres to the Hebrew, though resting only on p.m. Dp.m., Latin auxiliaries, etc., “as a vesture wilt thou change them, and they shall be changed,” but the Vatican does not favour this. — In 13 why not “a” rather than “the” footstool?
In Heb. 2:1 “lest haply we drift away” is a better rendering than in either the text or the margin of the Authorised Version, both of which are ungrammatical. But is “recompense of reward” well here, because it suits, though cumbrously Heb. 10:35, Heb. 11:26? Would not requital or retribution in our text, and recompense elsewhere be better English? The Authorised Version misled the Revisers’ Version in this unusual excess of sameness. — In 4 it is hard to see why the Authorised Version should be followed in the text and the margin. — In 5 the “habitable” world as it really is would dispel some vague impressions which “the world” is apt to leave on ill-taught minds. — The version of Ps. 8:4 is kept in 6, not quite in unison with Heb. 13:3; but the preterite which prevails in 7 was forgotten in 6, — And why should we have “the” angels in 9 is in 7, where it is no question of the whole class but of beings thus characterised? Our language allows corresponding precision. And is it certain that
ὑπὲρ πάντος means “for every man?” Why not for every [thing]? We have just heard of
πάντα, τὰ πάντα, and
τὴν οἰκ., and afterwards in ver. 10, but these of men also, not as
πάντας but as
πολλοὺς υἱούς. It is not that there is the least dogmatic difficulty as to all mankind, at least for one who applies Christ’s death for all in 2 Cor. 5:14, as His death through and for sin, rather than to it, which last is exclusively true of believers. It is a question only of what best suits the context. — In 12 “the congregation” is decidedly better than “the church,” as in the Authorised Version. — In 13 they desert their preterite, perhaps owing to the Authorised Version of Isa. 8:18. — In 14 is it not strange to consign the true order “blood and flesh” to the margin, and to adopt the other and commoner order in the text? — In 16 there is a well-known correction of the Authorised Version adopted; for it is a question not at all of having taken the nature of man, but of interest and succour for Abraham’s seed, not angels. — In 17 “reconciliation” gives place very properly to “propitiation.”
In Heb. 3:1 “Christ” of the Authorised Version, following Text. Rec., disappears rightly. — But why in 2 “who was” or “who is”? “As being” is more correct. It is hardly to be supposed that Mr. Green meant to omit
ὅλῳ with the Vatican, especially as he gives “all” in his version. — In 6 surely it is Christ as “Son over His house,” not “a Son.” Nor is there ground to say “our,” but “the” boldness and the boast, rather than boasting or glorying, which would be rather
καύχησις. — In 9 “wherewith,” not “when,” or “where,” also “by proving,”
δοκιμασία, rather than
ἐδοκ. as in the LXX. and Text. Rec., which adds
με twice. — In 10,
ταύτῃ, “this,” not
ἐκείνῃ, “that.” — Is not the connection of
διό (7) with
βλέπετε (12)? If so, it is neglected in the Revised as much as in the Authorised Version. — In 14 as “partakers of Christ” has quite a different meaning, would it not have been better to have adopted throughout, as in Heb. 1:9, a more suitable rendering? “Fellows” from Ps. 45 is scarcely desirable. Partners or companions might be used. In 16, for
τινές of the Text. Rec., they read with most critics
τίνες. For who when they heard, or in hearing, did provoke? In the end of 18 the disobedient means those who did not listen to the word. Hence in 19 it is “unbelief.” See Heb. 4:6, 11.
Heb. 4:2 presents a notable instance of temerity. I do not speak of the clumsy literality of the word “of hearing,” but of what follows, “because they were [in the margin it was according to some] not united by faith with them that heard.” No doubt Alford, Tregelles and Lachmann were blinded by their fidelity to the more ancient MSS. Tischendorf, strengthened by the Sinaitic which rejects the pl. acc. form, corrected his early change from the Text. Rec. because of the paucity of witnesses in its favour, save the Syriac and some of the Latin. But a more monstrous result than the sense flowing from that which pleased the ancient copyists and the modern critics, as well as the Revisers, it is hard to conceive. Besides, even the marginal alternative fares hardly at their hands. What is the sense from “it was?” “Because the word was not united by faith with them that heard.” How greatly inferior to the Authorised Version! If the ordinary reading, or its form in , had a place in the margin, the Revisers ought to have given it a decent rendering, not one which sounds almost ridiculous. Nothing can be more confused and incoherent with the argument than the sense attached to the favourite reading; and even most modern commentators who adopt it on diplomatic grounds give it up, save the late intrepid Dean of Canterbury, who will have no special reference to Caleb and Joshua, yet fairly owns that his own interpretation does not satisfy himself Without dwelling on minor points, 10 appears to be only in part corrected. The Authorised Version was misled by Tyndale and that of Geneva, and the rendering falls in with the evangelical misapplication of the chapter to a present rest for the soul by faith, instead of the rest of God, which we are to enter at Christ’s coming, a stimulus to present labour and to fear of taking our rest now. It ought to be “ceased from his works as God from His own.” It is clear that it can be no question here of Christ giving rest to all those that labour and are heavy-laden, but to those who already believed in, or at least professed, His name; else they would have been called to believe, not to fear, still less to diligence in every good work. One need say nothing of Owen’s wild idea adopted by Ebrard and Alford that so describes Christ. Not so; it is the general statement that he who has entered into God’s rest has himself to rest from his works — a truth which applies even to God, who rested after His works in creating. It is no question of bad works: God’s own were certainly good. It is a mistake that this view converts the aorist into a perfect or present. For if any tense but the aorist were used in Greek, it might, nay must, have misled. Believers now are viewed as
εἰσερχ and in no way as
εἰσελθόντες and the finite verb is properly in the same tense. It is the case supposed when the rest is entered, not at all the present result of a past act in the perfect. If the present had been used, as often expressive of a general principle, it was obviously liable to mislead the reader, for the entrance is unquestionably future.
- In 14 is not “the” better than “our” confession? — But the close of 15 is more serious. To say “yet” as in the Authorised Version, following others since Tyndale, leaves the door open to misconstruction of the true meaning and even to heterodoxy. Indeed, not a few have drawn, what they scarcely could have done from
χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, that it means the Lord, however tempted, never sinned; whereas the true sense is that He has been in all things tempted in like sort, sin excepted. He never had our sinful temptations from a fallen nature such as James (James 1:13-15) speaks of. For this He suffered on the cross, and now sympathises with us in out dangers, difficulties, and weakness. He knew these trials incomparably more than we; but there was no sin in Him, no evil proclivities in His nature as in ours. — In 16, why not “for seasonable help?” “Time of need” limits the succour too much to the moment of trespass; the former is the larger and more worthy sense, as it is the most faithful version.
In Heb. 5 the first thing we would note is the right omission of
ὁ in 4, which would make it not hypothetic, but actual, which really is in the clause following. It is not therefore “he that is,” as in the Authorised Version, following the Text. Rec., but, “as” or “when” called. — In 8 “though He were Son,” or “Son as He was.” is better than “a” Son, but there is no need of “the” before “author.” — In 7, as in Heb. 11:17,
προσφέρω is confounded with
ἀναφέρω, which does mean offer up as well as bear. — In 12 “the rudiments” do not go well with “the first principles” as may be made plainer by Heb. 6:1, where our Revisers give us “let us cease to speak of the first principles of Christ.” There is nothing better than “the beginning.” First principles are never to be left; but the word of the beginning of Christ might safely be left to go on to the knowledge of His redemption and glorification, which are the true power for acting by the Holy Ghost on the new man. Without this is no “full growth” to which one is pressed on in Heb. 6:1. Solid food is for “full-grown men,” as in 14.
In Heb. 6:6, “If they shall fall” in the Authorised Version is brought back to the true and literal force, “and have fallen.” It was a fact described. — In 7 it is ground, or land, not “the” land. — In 10 they omit “the labour” on high and ample authority. — Is not “desire” defective unless more strongly qualified in 11? — There is no need of “a” forerunner in 20.
In Heb. 7 there is extremely little to criticise: a particle struck out in 4, the article in 5, 10, change of form in 11, 16, 18, and priests instead of priesthood in 14, a quotation curtailed a little in 21, and a particle added in 22, are almost all. — Of course, the mistranslation in the Authorised Version of ver. 19 is avoided by the Revisers. The Old English Versions in general treat it wretchedly, from Wiclif down, Rhemish and all. Not one seems to have heeded the plain fact that 19 is the correlative to 18, marked carefully by the regular
μὲν . . . δέ, with the first parenthetic clause at the beginning of 19, which explains why the foregoing commandment was annulled. Think of Tyndale making 18 a period, so as to predicate of the law, that it not only made nothing perfect, which is true, but was the introduction of a better hope, which is not only untrue but utterly false. Cranmer follows him in this; but even Wiclif had avoided it, as the Geneva Version more. The Rhemish is, as often, ambiguous, and suggestive of wrong more than of right, probably the fruit of sheer blank ignorance of the truth. If the Authorised Version kept clear of positive error in the text, they brought it into their margin. The parenthesis of which they did not think would have proved a safeguard, as well as seeing the contrast between the foregoing commandment and the better hope, the one abrogated and the other brought in. Of the ancient version, the Peschito Syriac is perhaps the nearest, save the Philoxenian, which is closer still. Lachmann, in his early and later editions, punctuates the Greek correctly, but not the Vulgate, which may, if rightly divided, intend the true thought. Theophylact is more distinct than Theodoret or Chrysostom.
In Heb. 8:1 there is no need to say more than “a” chief point or summary. — In 2 why “sanctuary “in text or “holy things” in margin? Surely it should be uniformly the holy [place] or holies here, Heb. 9:8, 12, 24, and Heb. 10:19. A needless “and” is rightly excluded. — In 4 the
γάρ, “for,” of the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version yields to the
οὖν of the Revisers, or rather of the best ancient witnesses. “If then he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there are those that offer the gifts according to law”; for here again the article is no more desirable in English than in Greek, though it might have been used in both. It is not that it is optional for the same shade of sense; on the contrary, it is due to exactness in expressing character rather than mere fact. But the Revisers seem not at all alive to this refinement in either language. It will be noticed that
τῶν ἱέρεων of the Text. Rec. with its counterpart in the Authorised Version disappears as the mere gloss of inferior and later copies. — Why “Testament” should be given in the margin of 8, 9, 10 is inconceivable, since the context, as well as the Hebrew, point only to “covenant.” It is quite a different case in Heb. 9:16, 17 but even there neither before nor after, “testament” there too being quite wrong in the margin of 15 and 20. — In 11 citizen or “fellow-citizen” is right on the best authority. There is no attempt at distinguishing the call to objective knowledge from the promise of inward knowledge or consciousness, though it has been often pointed out. The omission of “and their iniquities” or lawlessness is supported by but two great uncials (p.m. B.) and two cursives (17, 23), but by almost all the ancient versions.
In Heb. 9:1 the Authorised Version did not follow the Text. Rec. in acknowledging
σκηνή, Tabernacle. Like the Revisers it supplies “covenant.” No doubt the former was mistaken from 2. The rendering at the close in the Authorised Version is untenable it should be, “the sanctuary a worldly one,” rather than the Revisers’ form, “its sanctuary, a sanctuary of this world.” Mr. Green takes it as “the holy garniture,” which is at least grammatical. — In 6-9 the present form is rightly given by the Revisers, “go in,” “offereth,” “hath not yet,” etc., “is yet,” “which (or, “the which”) is,” “are offered,” “that cannot.” Again, is it correct to confound
προσκυνεῖν? No doubt
λ. is not
δουλεύειν, but divine service is the idea, and this whether of the Jew as here or of the Christian as in 14, Heb. 10:2. — In the margin of 11 they give that strange reading of some old witnesses, “that are come,” the spiritual sense of most, no doubt, controlling the hard drivers of diplomatic authority. At the end of this verse they give properly “creation,” instead of “building,” as in the Authorised Version. — But have they seized the true force of
διά in 12? No one denies that the preposition from a local and temporal rises to a causal force, and so to accompaniments, mode, or manner, etc. — In 15 it seems very questionable to say “a” death.
- The famous passage in 16, 17, is fairly rendered, though not so close as might be, and with an interrogation at the end which had better not have been. “Doth it ever avail,” etc., is poor. The validity or force is more suitable here. That the alternative of “covenant” in the margin should not enter this parenthetic digression is to my mind plain from the fact that death of the covenanter is needless to a covenant’s validity, whereas it is essential to the operation of a will that the testator die; as is here expressly argued by the inspired writer. Before and after these two verses it is a question only of “covenant.” — In 21 the Revisers rightly say with “the” blood, whereas in a general statement, as in 22, it is in English as in Greek anarthrous. — In 24 “before the face of God is more energetic. — In 26 it is the consummation of the ages,” not the equivocal and misleading end of the world” as in Authorised Version. It was when the past dealings of God in all ways of moral trial conveyed that Christ died as a sacrifice for putting away of sin. The new heavens and earth throughout eternity will display this. — 27 is feebler in the Revised than in the Authorised Version, “cometh” being quite uncalled for; judgment is as much the portion of men as once to die. — Then comes in 28 what grace gives to faith in Christ once offered and to appear a second time. At His first coming He bore sins of many (not of all: else all would be saved, but of all believers); He will appear again to those that look for Him, as far as regards them apart from sin, unto salvation, i.e., of their bodies, then to be changed into the likeness of the body of His glory.
In Heb. 10:1 several obvious blunders of the Authorised Version are corrected: “the” coming good thing, “the same” sacrifices, they “offer.” But how rash to endorse in such a work “they can”! It is known that this plural form is supported by A C D . . . corr P, and probably thirty or more cursives, etc., whereas the singular as in the Text. Rec. and with most critics has the suffrages of Dp.m., E H K L, and a fair number of cursives, some of the most ancient versions, etc. — Of course in 2
οὐκ is read with an interrogation on the best and fullest authority: so Erasmus, Stephens, and all the modern critics, contrary to the Complutensian editors, Beza, and Elzevirs, who omit it with some cursives, some Latin copies (not the oldest), the Syriac etc., which Wiclif and the Rhemish follow. — “In them” would be quite enough in 3, and better than “in those as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. — In 4 “blood,” not “the” blood. — In 5 rightly “didst thou prepare.” — But why in 6 “sacrifices for sins?” Why not adhere to the Old Testament familiar “sin-offerings?” So of course in 8. In both the Peschito shows how soon the knowledge of scripture evaporated after the Apostles, for that venerable version actually confounds the burnt-offering with that for sin. I purposely quote from Etheridge, “entire burnt-offerings for sin Thou hast not required. . . . entire burnt-offerings for sins Thou hast not willed.” No offerings stood in more complete contrast than the holocaust and that for sin; and by this confusion also one loses the four classes here distinguished — burnt-offering, the minchah or unbloody corn oblation, the sacrifice of peace-offering, and the sin-offering. — In 9, as in 7, it is “I am come,” not “I come” as in Authorised Version, and “O God” from the Text. Rec. is rightly dropt on the best authority.
- In 10 they correct the blunder of the Authorised Version, and read “once ‘for all’“ without italics. — In 12 it is rightly “he” (though it be
αὐτὸς), not” this man” as in the Authorised Version. But the connection of “for ever” with the offering ono sacrifice for sins, instead of with “sat down,” is an error of the first magnitude, common to Wiclif, the Rhemish, the Authorised Version, and the Revised Version, but not Tyndale, Cranmer, or Geneva. The sense of the phrase
εἰς τὸ διηνεκές being continually or in perpetuity, rather than “for ever,” is in its own nature incapable of being combined with the aorist, and can only go with such tenses as the present and perfect, which suppose continuance. To make the present construction orthodox, one must conceive some such ellipse “as [the efficacy of which lasts] for ever,” which would be intolerable. The only party which the misrendering can serve is the sacerdotal one, which pretends to offer a continual sacrifice for the living and the dead; but in order to have the least real weight the Greek should have been
προσφέρων, and we should have been landed back into the Judaism of verse 11, with which the Apostle is contrasting Christianity, which mainly depends on the completed act taught by
προσενέγκας as in our verse. It is hardly possible to conceive a blunder in more direct issue with the entire teaching of this Epistle. — It is evident that the Authorised Version is not justified in giving the same force “are sanctified” to
ἡγιασμένοι ἐσμέν in 10 and to
ἁγιαζομένους in 14. The Revisers rightly say in the one case “we have been sanctified,” and in the other “them that are sanctified,” not those that are (or were) being sanctified as in the analogous case of Acts 2:47, 1 Cor. 1:18, which we saw they happily forgot in 1 Cor. 15:2. There is a moral present, and not merely an historical one of actual time. O si sic omnia. The late Dean Alford was consistently wrong in saying even here, in the face of 10, “them who are being sanctified.” — Is there any need for marking the apodosis, formally at the end of 16, “then saith he?”
“Before” is certainly wrong in 15. — And why in 20 “by” the way? Why not “the new and living way which he dedicated for us,” etc.? — In 21 a great “priest” is right. — But why “fulness” here and in Heb. 6:11, when they gave in their text of Col. 2:2 “full assurance?” — It is of course “hope” in 23. — Would not 28 open more correctly thus, “When one set at nought Moses’ law,” etc.? “A man that hath set,” etc., offends against more than one point of importance. — In 34 it is not as in Text. Rec. “of me in my bonds,” but on good authority “on those in bonds;” also
ἐν of the Text Rec. disappears, and the true force is either “that ye yourselves,” or “that ye have for yourselves,” according to the reading preferred. — In 38 it is correctly “any righteous (or just) one.” It may not be needful to interpolate “one” or “any man;” but there is no real ground for inferring that the same man is meant. The Hebrew and the Septuagint exclude such a thought, and certainly the Apostle did not intend differently. But the form differs according to Divine wisdom to warn the Jewish professor who professed faith but might not live by it.
It is a nice question as to Heb. 11:1 whether
ὑπόστασις here means grounded assurance as in Heb. 3:14, or substantiating which more approaches the older view. The Peschito’s “realisation” might express it best in this, as “demonstration” in
ἔλεγχος. — In 2
ἐν τ. means “in virtue of this,” or “by it” briefly. — In 3 the perfect is twice misrendered by the Authorised Version. It should be “have been framed,” and “What is seen hath not come into being;” for the true reading is
τὸ βλ. with the best authorities, not
τὰ βλ. an accommodation to
φ. which is in the plural. — In 5 “he hath had testimony” . . “that he had,” not “he had” . . . “that he,” as in Authorised Version. It is also before “the” translation, not “his” as in Text Rec. — In 6 it should be “draweth near” (
προσερχ.), as usually, not “cometh” as in Revised Version, following Authorised Version. So also at the end of Heb. 10:1, where the Revisers have draw “nigh,” a rendering they give to
ἐγγίζειν. 5 — Prepared “for” seems in our day better English than “to” in 7. — In 8 “was going” is preferable to went, especially after
ἐξῆλθεν just before. -” Even “in” seems out of place; is it not “Sarah herself also?” Is not this a common mistake of the Revisers? “Even” is used properly where one means to express anything strange, as in 19; is this the idea here? They are right in excluding “and been persuaded of them,” an addition of Text. Rec. in 13 on the slenderest testimony. — In 14 the Revisers render
ἐπιζητοῦσιν, “seek after,” which is all well; but would it not have been better to have given “seek out,” not “after,” to
ἐκζ. in 6? — Here again in 17 we have twice over the confusion of
ἀναφ. offering, and not offering “up.” — In 26 it is “of,” not “in” Egypt; Lachmann with the Alexandrian copy reading
Αἰγύπτου as the Text. Rec. has
ῳ. — It was not needful to alter “for” into concerning “in 40, as the Revisers render
περί in Heb. 13:18.
In Heb. 12:2 “faith,” or the faith, seems to be the thought, not our faith as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. The Revisers say “hath sat down” for
κεκ., having given “sat down” for the
ἐκαθ. in Heb. 1:2, Heb. 8:1, Heb. 10:12. The Authorised Version had said “is set” in Heb. 8:1 as well as in the passage before us, so that they do not seem to have distinguished on principle. — But how was the Company persuaded into deserting
αὐτόν, accepted even by Alford, Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, on ample authority? Was it not by the strong pressure of Cambridge admirers of paradox if it be only ancient? No doubt they can cite D E, all p.m. with the same old Latin copies, the Pesch., etc. The resulting sense in this connection is not only inferior beyond comparison, but intolerable.
- 7 affords a remarkable departure from the Text. Rec.
εἰ “if” for
εἰς in the sense of “for.” “For chastening endure (or, better, ye are enduring); as with sons God is dealing with you.” The ancient MSS. and Versions remarkably consent against the text adopted by Erasmus, the Complutensian editors, Colinaeus, Stephens, Beza, Elzevirs. Bengel, whose critical insight was great, here failed, thinking the true reading to be the slip of a Greek pen, though he was well aware that the widespread testimony of the old version told a different tale. Even Matthaei, who loved to fight Griesbach, was here compelled to reject the few minuscules and accept the united voice of antiquity; and of course Alford, Lachmann, Scholz, Tischendorf, and Tregelles follow. Is it sound to say that if ye endure chastening God dealeth with you as with sons? Does His fatherly course depend on our patience? On the other hand, it is important to feel that we endure as chastening, not as punishment:
οὐκ εἰς κόλασιν, οὐδὲ εἰς τιμωρίαν, as Chrysostom pertinently observes. It is as certain as such a thing can be that the text of his comment (Epp. Paulin. vii. 330, ed. Field, Oxon.) has been tampered with to make it accord with
εἰ. — The version of 10 is properly cleared of obsolete speech, save that “us” and “our” rather enfeeble the form. — Ought not “to be” No chastening,” etc.?” — “The” many in 15 is a doubtful reading sustained by two great uncials and as many cursives, etc., against all the other authorities. Cf. Mark 9:26. — In 17 the Revisers have by the parenthesis set out duly the true meaning. It was not repentance, but the inheritance of blessing which Esau sought out with tears. — In 18 the Revisers omit
ὄρει on fuller evidence than their insertion in 15; but they supply it from 20 in the general sense instead of adopting Mr. Green’s singular turn, “to a fire to be touched and glowing.” — If the true meaning of
παρῃτήσαντο in 19 had been borne in mind, “deprecated,” “declined,” “excused” (see 25), it would perhaps make the absence of
μή more probable as in P, 10, 73, etc., — Of course the last clause of 20 in the Text. Rec. is dropt.
- In 22, 23 the Revisers have failed to give the true connection,
καί really indicating each new object, and consequently misrepresented the sense of this weighty passage. The myriads of angels are the general assembly, and “church of firstborn ones” are a new and wholly distinct group, here confounded with
παρηγύρει, which really goes with
ἀγγέλων. — How absurd to connect, as the margin does, a Mediator with a testament! With a covenant it is all right. — And why “than that of Abel?” According to Heb. 11:4 it is Abel, as it were, speaking in his blood or death;
παρὰτό in L. and others, but it seems a mere gloss for facility. — In 26 it should be “I will shake” instead of the present in the Text. Rec. — In 28 there is strong and abundant testimony for “we serve,” where the Revisers rightly cleave to the common text.
In Heb. 13:3 the Revisers correctly in general render a verse probably mistranslated through anti-Romanist zeal. But
ἐν π. may, and probably does, mean “in all things,” or every way, as in verse 18, and often elsewhere; whereas the masculine sense, though popular among Protestants, is here harsh in construction and can hardly be laid down absolutely if we bear in mind 1 Cor. 7. The imperative is right, and “undefiled” a predicate as “in honour.” — The beginning of 5 is loosely translated. Surely
ὁ τρόπος is the way of dealing without going further to make a smooth construction with the following clause. But the energy of the quotation is far better represented in this and the succeeding verse 6. It is not “may” but do say; and the interrogative is not only correct, but gives real point. — In 7 they have correctly treated the words as referring to their guides, not “who” but “the which” or such as spoke to them the word of God, whose faith they were to imitate, contemplating the issue of their career or behaviour. It was terminated, and they were to be recalled to mind, no longer to be obeyed like their living leaders (17). — “Jesus Christ” is the subject of the distinct proposition that follows. Indeed verse 8 might fittingly open a new parenthesis which would close with 16, though it is no bad transition from the teaching of the deceased leaders to the abiding sameness of the Lord Jesus. But the apposition insinuated in the punctuation of ordinary English Bibles is false. The unchangeableness of Christ is the guard against being carried away.
- In 9 the received reading followed by the Authorised Version
περιφ. rightly gives place to
παραφ. as in the Revised Version. It is not carried about as in Eph. 4:14, but carried away out of the straight course. Here, however, as in Heb. 1:1, the Authorised Version has misled the Revisers into “divers,” not now for “many” but for various,
ποικίλαις. “Diverse” would at least approximate, and perhaps the Revisers meant this, for their spelling is peculiar. As they interpolate an “e” into judg[e]ment, they may cut off an “e” from “divers.” But the word really means motley or various. “Teachings” is unusual as a plural in our tongue, though in the singular it is all right. Probably Dr. Angus found it hard to resist the innovators. — In 14 we have no abiding city here, but are seeking after the coming one, for there is but one heavenly Jerusalem. “One” to come as in the Authorised Version is too vague, and incorrect. — Why should the Revised Version of 15 be more remote from the Greek than the Authorised Version in the last clause? Does the punctuation of 17 help the sense? “That they may do this” refers to the watching. The chiefs or leaders are to give account of their own duty, not of others’ souls.
- In 20 they give “in the” instead of “through” for
ἐν. It expresses the power or virtue in that blood in which God brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus. — In 21 the omission of
ἔργῳ is precarious, even Alford, Lachmann, and Tregelles accepting it. On the authority of A C Dcorr. K M P, the cursives, Syriac AEthiopic, Armenian, etc., sustain it against Dp.m., the Vulgate, which none follow but Tischendorf abroad, and Westcott and Hort at home. The difference, however, seems right as to sense. There is rather better evidence in favour of
ἡμῖν instead of
ὑμῖν as in the Text. Rec., though none but the same editors adopt the change. Lachmann had in his early edition added
αὐτός, and in his later
ποιῶν, the latter of which has A C to support it, though manifest glosses. — In 24 it is “from,” not “of,” Italy.