The Revelation Of John.
Rev. 1 - 5.
The closing book of the New Testament stands less correctly than any other in the received text. Hence there is much more comparatively to be noted in comparing the Revised Version with the Authorised. Happily among critics the agreement is unusually great, as few can justify the Erasmian editions, which he only partially corrected by the help of the Complutensian. Hence many errors have been perpetuated through R. Stephens, Beza, and the Elzevirs, of which no scholar acquainted with the more ancient authorities can doubt the correction. So great has been the effect of better copies (MSS. or Vv.), that perhaps no book in the New Testament now commands more consent among scholars as to its text.
Rev. 1:1 affords an early specimen of rash innovation effected by punctuation, which has not commended itself generally, no not even to Lachmann. It was probably due to the influence of Drs. Westcott and Hort, who adopt it in their Greek text. Wiclif’s is the only English version which preceded them in so strange a view; but J. H. Heinrichs contends for it in the tenth vol. of Koppe’s edition, and wrongly, as I cannot but think with Dean Alford. — But there can be no doubt that they are justified with almost all critics, and on ample authority, in excluding
τε “and” in the closing clause of 2. For the witness of John was the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ, but visions seen by him: not consisting of visions in addition to the other two descriptions. He is here, not an apostle only, but emphatically a seer. Such is the character of the book. — In 3 there is no need as in the Authorised Version to say “this” and “those,” but “the” in both instances. Some of the ancients and even a pair of cursives (7. 16.) give the demonstrative; but there is no real ground. — In 5 the change from “prince” to “ruler” is not much; “loveth” for “loved” is good; loosed” for “washed” is hazardous, though here Tischendorf too was swayed by the Sinaitic in addition to A C, etc., to give in to Lachmann and Tregelles. The vowel might easily have displaced the diphthong, especially as the rendering is thereby easier, though less akin to the Johannean style. The Greek commentators try to incorporate both figures. — In 6 the Revisers rightly say “a kingdom,” and “the” glory.
- In 7 they purposely give “the” clouds, but might well have put “land” for earth in the margin. — They have also omitted the clause “the beginning and the ending,” brought in from the end of the book, though the Sinaitic, etc. support it here. — In 9 they omit “also” of the Authorised Version following the Text. Rec., and “in the” before kingdom, to the great detriment of the force. “Of Jesus Christ” as in the common text cannot stand; but “in Jesus,” though highly supported, is unexampled as to usage, which would seem rather to require “in Christ,” or “in Christ Jesus,” with excellent authority, and in the latter case very large. But “Christ” should disappear from the end of the verse, on the authority of A C P, etc. — In “a long interpolation after the first word in the common text disappears, and another after “churches.” — In 14 “white as white wool” is self-evidently the sense intended; “white like wool” as in the Text Rec. and Authorised Version is not intelligible.
- It would seem also from Rev. 3:18 that red hot, and so “refined” is meant in 15 also. “And the Living One and I was dead,” opens 18 rightly. “Amen” should vanish, and Hades follow death. In 19 it should be “Write therefore” as is generally known; but why the vague “hereafter, at the end, and in Rev. 4:1, instead of the more precise after these things,” which is favoured by the context? John was to write (1) the things which he saw, (2) the things which are, and (3) the things which are about to happen after these (i.e., the seven churches as set out in the seven letters of our Lord): not, as Dean Alford so strangely says, the things seen supplemented by what they mean, which would demand
τίνα instead of
ἅ. In this, however, the Revised Version is right, like the Authorised Version and almost if not all others. — In 20 is not our tongue capable of reflecting the anarthrous usage of “angels,” no less than of “seven churches”? If there is a defining genitive in the one case, there is a numeral in the other, which renders the predicate sufficiently definite without the insertion of our article in the one more than in the other.
In Rev. 2:1 of course the Revisers correct “of” to “in” Ephesus, following a better text than the received one. — The confusion and addition in 3 are corrected on good authority. “And thou didst bear” shifts from being the first member to the second place, and is connected with “for My name’s sake,”“ and hast laboured” being expelled. — In 4 there is rightly the omission of “somewhat,” but why omit “this”? It is better without addition. — Still more important is the exclusion of “quickly” from 5 on the authority of A C P, the Vulgate, Memphitic, and AEthiopic, though the Basilican Vat. and perhaps all the cursives support it as did the earlier editors. It was an addition of the copyists, perhaps from 16. — In 7 it is not in “the midst of” the paradise of God, but “in” it, “my” being probably a gloss.
In 8 the Revisers correct “is alive” to “lived.” — In 9 they omit “works and.” — In 10 for “none” they have “not,” and “the” (not “a”) crown of life.
In 13 they leave out “thy works and,” but they refer in their margin to the uncertainty of the Greek text in the clause about Antipas; and assuredly, — as it stands in the Alexandrian and Parisian or even Sinaitic Uncials, it is hardly translateable. The later Vatican, and many cursives add
αἷς as the Porphyrian and others have
ἐν αἷς which removes the difficulty. I do not dwell here or generally on the effort to avoid the English perfect indefinite where the aorist occurs in Greek, as it is of such frequent occurrence. — In 14 “some,” or persons, that hold is better than them that hold; and a similar remark applies to 15, which closes with “in like manner” instead of “which thing I hate,” a mere blunder of some copies. — In 15 there is the curious fact of a reading (
ἔγνω) introduced by Erasmus, whose MS. here failed, without one known witness, followed in the Greek Bible of Aldus (1518), Cephaloeus (1524), and by Colinaeus (1534); also in the editions of R. Stephens, of Beza, and of the Elzevirs. In the Complutensian it is of course
οἶδεν, and so in all critical editions, Gratz following it, but not Goldhagen. Bengel avoided the error. Yet it is remarkable that all the English translations are right in giving “knoweth,” which answers not to
ἔγνω which they read, but to
οἶδεν, a reading which few of them saw, or thought of.
In 19 a better text is followed by the Revisers, which the reader may see by comparison. “Service” should follow “faith,” and the closing clause should be “and thy last works [to be] more than the first.” — In 20 “a few things” is all wrong, and on slender ground. Indeed and some cursives give “much,” some others “many things”; but the weight of authority is decisively against any qualifying term here. — In 21 the Revisers rightly say “willeth not to repent.” Tyndale misled the English who followed him into the feeble, if not false, “repented not.” — In 22 “cast,” not merely “will,” as it is also “her” works. — In 24 “and” if not “unto” also should vanish: an error in the Text Rec. as in the Authorised Version. So the “and” before “which” is spurious. — In 26 “authority” is better than “power”; as it should also be “he that” keepeth my works. — In 27 the highest witnesses support the present, not future, 4 “are broken to shivers,” and “they” of the Authorised Version and the margin is questionable as the subject, instead of the vessels of pottery as in the Revised Version.
In Rev. 3:2 the Revisers give “was” ready to die, reckoning from the time of strengthening, as “are” would be from the epoch of writing. Further, they omit the article on the testimony of A C and the margin of them Codex Reuchlini, which Erasmus too followed; but all others are adverse, including B P and the body of cursives, etc. Hence the Revisers translate “no works of thine.” — “On thee” in 3 after “come” has very good authority, if not the best. — “But” should surely open 4, and “even” retire, both on excellent ground, Cod. Reuchl. misleading in both. — In 5 for “the same” read “thus,” the adverb, not the pronoun.
In 7 there is a measure of uncertainty in the readings, but the sense is only affected in a slight degree. — But surely in 8 the latter half gives the reason, “because,” not “that” as the Revisers say, connecting what follows with “I know thy works,” and treating the intervening words as a parenthesis. Also is not “little power” more suitable to the context than “a” little, meaning some? Weakness characterised the Philadelphian assembly, but they kept Christ’s word and denied not His name. — There seems no change of moment in 8, though a marked literality of rendering in the Revised Version, save that they depart from their usual preterite for the aorist at the close. — Nor is there anything to detain in 9. — In 10 they, with the critics, reject the opening “Behold” on ample and ancient authority. — In 12 I am not aware of any authority for the curious slip here in the Elzevir editions of the New Testament which read
λαῳ people, for
Of course the error in 14 is corrected, and “in Laodicea” takes its place. — In 16 the true order is “hot nor cold.” — In 17 there is good authority for repeating the article before “miserable,” which certainly gives marked emphasis; but the chief MSS. omit, which makes the construction regular, as in the Revised Version. There is no doubt the Authorised Version erroneously omits it before “wretched,” — Nothing calls for special notice in 18-22.
In Rev. 4:1 a door “opened” is correct, as in Rev. 3:8 The double “was of the Authorised Version is not necessary any more than “a voice” of the Revised Version. Compare 1:19 for “hereafter.” — The copulative disappears rightly from 2. — There is no effort made to distinguish
κύκλῳ. Yet distinction it is hard for any one to believe not intended, if one compare 3, 4, 8 with 6, Rev. 5:11 in the true text, and Rev. 7:11. Another has suggested “round” for the first, and “around” for the second, which admits more of detached objects surrounding, while the first may apply to connected objects though not exclusively. — In 4 the Revisers rightly give “thrones” not “seats,” as in the Authorised Version. — But in 6 why a “glassy” sea? Does not
ὑαλίνη point to the material in the vision, and not to its mere smoothness? “Glassy” answers to
ὑαλῶπις. It is the more important, because its force symbolically depends on its true meaning; and those who miss that meaning slip into all sorts of aberrations from the truth intended, as one may see in Elliott’s Horae Apoc. and other works. Of course by “living creatures” is justly displaced the strange “beasts,” which, given by Wiclif, survived in all the successive English versions down to the Authorised Bible. — In 9 and 10 the future form is correct, not the English present as in the Authorised Version. — In 11, “were,” not “are,” is the right word.
In Rev. 5:3, “no one” is better than “no man,” as in the older versions. — “And to read” in 4 is a gloss. So is “to loose” in 5. — In 7 “the book” is not duly authenticated; so that the Revisers rightly supply “it.” — In 8 it is “the” saints. — In 9 it is “sing,” not “sung.” But the very material change is the quasi-absolute use of
ἡγόρασας by the omission of “us,” for which the Revisers substitute “men.” This is not only sustained by A 44, Aeth., but confirmed in the strongest way by the verse following, as we shall see presently. “Purchase” is right, not “redeem.”
Rev. 5:10-Rev. 9.
In 10 the true reading is not
αὐτούς, “them,” which falls in with the omitted object in the preceding verse, and the verb that follows, “they (not we) shall reign.” But “over the earth” is surely the right rendering of
ἐπὶ following a verb of rule. When the place in which one reigns is required, it is
ἐπὶ implies the sphere or subject over which the rule extends, as any one can verify in the Greek version of Kings and Chronicles, and indeed in any correct Greek writing. Apart from government or authority,
ἐπὶ τῆς γ. might well mean “on the earth,” but not when so connected as here. There is another question of moment in the verse which the Revisers seem to have decided wrongly, the present instead of the future of the last verb. The reign of the saints over the earth (or, if they will, upon it) — by the showing of the Revelation itself was not yet come till Rev. 20, after most weighty and striking changes, and it can only be anticipated here. It is untrue, even if the church were in question, (which it is not) that we are yet reigning, though made priests and kings in title. Compare 1 Cor. 4:8, and Rev. 3:21: even our Lord sits, the rejected but exalted King, with His Father on His throne, and has as yet only, given us the promise of sitting with Him on His own throne. He will come in His kingdom; and it is in the resurrection or changed state that we shall reign with Him, not in our natural bodies, nor yet in the disembodied condition. “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?” (1 Cor. 6:2, 3.) That the church now reigns in Christ, all things being put under her as under His feet, is Popery, not Christianity. True doctrine therefore confirms P and some thirty cursives, some of the best versions and early comments, as against A B, some twenty-six cursives, etc., especially as it is but the question of a central letter easily dropt. This can be readily seen in Rev. 20:6, where the Alexandrian alone has the present against all other authority and the context, though it is not really so absurd there as in Rev. 5:10. Yet the Revisers have introduced this violent and really unreasonable change, without even a marginal note to record the protest of one dissenting voice that understood its bearing. The Americans are equally silent.
- Naturally they correct in 13 the singular confusion of the Authorised Version, and give “on” the sea. They also mark the article “the” blessing, etc. Another important correction long known is the omission not only of “twenty four” in the middle but of the object at the close of 14, the effect of which is to imply that the elders fell down and did homage to the Lamb as well as to Him that sitteth on the throne, in accordance with the verse before. “Him that liveth for ever and ever” has not a known Greek copy to warrant the addition, which is due to Western influence. It is noted as singular that Ewald in his Comm. (Lipsiae, 1828), after drawing out well the critical correction of 9, 10, should have wound up his remarks by an irreverent and heterodox note on the verse before us, based on this unfounded reading due to Erasmus, who translated Primasius or a later copy of the Vulgate, and translated it ill, for he omitted the article before
ζῶντι. The Complutensian text printed before Erasmus’ first edition rightly omits the words.
In Rev. 6:1 it is hard to see why the Revisers should render their correct text “with” a voice, as it is a nom. pend. They rightly read “seven,” and as rightly omit “and see,” though B and near forty cursives support the sense, not one known MS., the precise form (
βλέπε, a conjecture of Erasmus) of the Text. Rec. The correction here is valuable; for the call of each living creature is not to the prophet or any other than to each horsemen, who thereon does come. Some have thought that the copyists were influenced by Ezek. 8:9; possibly it was John 1:39: if so, it was a strange blunder. Even if
καὶ ἴδε, as is most likely, was inferred from the immediately following
καὶ εἶδον (ἴδον), it was a baseless and fraudulent addition. A similar remark applies to 3, 5, 7. — In 2 there is no more to remark in the text than
αὐτόν instead of
αὐτῳ as in 4, 5 also, which is required by ample authority. The differing force can be a good deal better felt than expressed. The genitive would be the fact simply; the dative, a permanent relation; the accusative, activity on the part of the sitter. Here is of course no question of a state or fixed position as in Matt. 16:18, Mark 6:35, Luke 12:44, John 8:7, but there is an object actively in view. All three occur in connection with the throne in Rev. 4:2 (acc.) 10 (gen.), Rev. 5:1, 7 et 13 (dat.) as in Rev. 4:9, Rev. 6:16, used with marked precision, the more remarkable as in a book abounding with anomalous Hebraistic forms, yet disproving any imputation of ignorance. Dean Alford, in a note on the first, notices how the acc. is used uniformly on the first mention, thus bearing trace of motion toward; but then at sight of Rev. 11:16, where it is not a first mention, he wavers, and gives up the gen. and dat. as seeming to have no rule at all: a conclusion due to his own defect of analysis. “Came” is better than “went.”
- In 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, and in Rev. 8:1, “had” should be omitted as in Authorised Version of 1. — In 4 “power” of the Authorised Version is needless. — In 5 “a balance” is right. — In 6 “as it were” a voice is required by the most ancient witnesses, though ancient versions, save Vulgate, omit it like our Authorised Version. — The Revisers are right in 8 as in 5 giving “saw,” not “beheld” and “looked,” as in the Authorised Version of 1 and 9. “By” is right in indicating direct agency, not “with,” a general character of destruction. — In 9 the perfect participle, expressive of a permanent character or state, ought not to have been as in the Authorised Version merged in a simple preterite. For “were” read “have been.” — In 10 it is rightly, “O Master, the” etc. — In 11 “a white robe was” given is alone true according to the MSS., and
αὐτοῖς ἑκάστῳ is probably if not certainly right. For one could readily understand one or other left out by design as if needless, and the omission of
ἐκ. would next lead to the plural form in the versions. It has been thought that
ἑκάστοις as in Text. Rec. had the support of many cursives; but not one is known as yet. There is a curious lacuna in the Complutensian edition, marked in the Greek text in the way so characteristic and common in their accompanying Vulgate, so that we cannot cite that work as to the point. They have marked the defect wrongly however, for their line should have been after
καὶ ἐδόθη αὐτοῖς and before
ἵνα ἀναπ. κ.τ.λ., not before all. It was Erasmus probably who invented the plural, as well as
ἑκάστοις. The marginal rendering of the Revised Version answers to the reading of B P and some fifty cursives; that of the Text. Rec. is probably Erasmus’ guess once more, as we know of no Greek copy that warrants it. We know from Dr. F. Delitzsch’s collation that Cod. Reuchlini, the great Rotterdam scholar’s MS., has a lacuna similar to that which the Complutensian edition must have had, (doubtless from the
αὐτοῖς), and that it gave
πληρώσωσιν and not
πληρώσονται. The active sense is unsuitable. The Authorised Version is right; but how they drew it, unless from the Complutensian, it is hard to conceive, as the ordinary text conveys no such meaning. The critical reader can compare a similar conflict of readings in Rev. 9:5, as to
ἵνα β. 13. where the Complutensian editors give
βασανίσωσι. — In 12 “lo” rightly vanishes, and the “whole” moon is read, on excellent authority. — There are changes in 13, 14, but too slight to detain us. — In 15 “the rich” properly follows the chief captains or chiliarchs; and the “caves” is better than “dens.” — In 16 “said” was the mere carelessness of Tyndale, followed by the other Protestant English translations, Wiclif and the Rhemish being right. — But “their” or “his” wrath in 17 is a nice question, for high authorities support each, as in the case of “them” or “his” in 8; and it does seem singular that the Revisers do not notice the alternative in their margin.
In Rev. 7:1 the omission of “and” is a strong measure, resting on A. C. and the Vulgate against all other authority; and here again no notice in the margin. “This,” not “these things,” is right. “At” instead of “upon” as at the end of this verse, is questionable. — In 2 we have “sunrising” for “east.” — In 3 “in” is changed rightly to “on.” — But “children,” not “sons,” is still the word in 4. — In 5-8 “sealed” disappears rightly, save at the beginning and at the end. — In 9 “these things” we find correctly for “this”; “out of every nation”; and “standing. “In 10 it is “they cry,” not “cried.” — In 11-13 there is scarce anything notable; but in 14 it is rightly “come out of the great tribulation.” — In 15 “dwell among” is very properly changed into “shall spread his tabernacle over.” — In 16 “strike” or “fall” is better than “light.” — In 17 we have very literally “be their shepherd and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life,” as also “every tear. “
“Followed” in Rev. 8:1 seems taken from the Authorised Version of 7. — In 2 “stand” is right, not “stood.” The marginal “at,” as in the text of the Authorised Version, seems more suitable than “over” the altar. But both Revised Version and Authorised Version miss the force of
δώσει here. The Authorised Version might have drawn it from their own rendering of Rev. 11:3, though efficacy is perhaps better than power, especially here. — The supply of the ellipse by Lyra and Corn. a Lap. and by Beza is erroneous; and “it” or nothing is too vague. “The saints” is correct. — In 4 “which came” should be dropt. — In
εἴληθεν here as in Rev. 5:7, one may be slow to believe that the perfect does not involve a continuance which the aorist does not express; but it is hard to say more than “took” as the Authorised and Revised Versions. But “the” fire is right. The order of the words at the end is not certain. — In 7 “And the first” is better than “The first angel,” which was assimilated to 8, 10, and 12. “And the third part of the earth was burnt up,” should be added as in the Revised Version. — In 10 it should be as a “torch.” — In 13 the important variant “eagle” on ample authority displaces “angel.”
In Rev. 9:1, “fallen” is right, not “fall,” as in Authorised Version, a fault of rendering rather than of reading, for
πίπτοντα is given by not even one cursive. Pit, “of the abyss” is also better; and so throughout. — In 4 “said” is right, and “such” represents
οἵτινες better than the Authorised Version, as being character and not more fact. — In 6 also the force is given more. — But why not put “shapes” in the margin, if it must be given, and have “likenesses” in the text of 7? “Was” is right; and again in the end of 9. The Complutensian, Griesbach, and Scholz have
χρυσοῖ (not without considerable authority, but the true text is “like gold” as in the Authorised and Revised Versions. — In 10 have, “not had”; also the true text as in the Complutensian is “and stings” etc., as in the Revised Version, according to the best authorities. — In 11 “They have over them as king the angel” etc. is the correct rendering. In 12 “the first” woe is right. — In 13 the omission of “four” is questionable. — In 14 “one” saying seems uncalled for, even on the critical reading; but “at,” not “in.” — In 15 “the” hour, etc. — In 16 “armies” is correct, “and to be omitted. — In the latter part of 17 as of 19 the present is well. — In 19 “their” should be “of the horses.” — In 20 and 21 the force is given more literally.
Rev. 10, Rev. 11.
The “rainbow” in Rev. 10:1 is right, but of no great weight; nor the omission of “foot” in 2, nor “the” seven thunders in 3, nor “their voices” in 4, nor “right” hand in 5. Why in 3 have the Revisers suppressed “own”? They might have left the reason or measure of emphasis to the expositor. — But it is surprising that the Revisers should perpetuate in. their text so gross a misrendering as “time” in 6. The natural inference from that word is that eternity immediately succeeds to the sounding of the seventh trumpet; whereas it is certain from the book that a millennium and more must intervene after the seventh angel’s blast before the great white throne and the new heavens and earth (i.e. the eternal state.) The marginal correction “delay” should have been in the text, meaning in this connection not time but lapse of time or space as in Rev. 6:11. — They have, however, well rendered the Hebraistic cast of 7, “then is finished” etc., where “would have been” is more according to usual phraseology; and so in fact the Greek stands in the Text. Rec. as reflecting the Basilican Vatican and some eight cursives, several ancient versions, etc., but surely rather the correction of a copyist than the original text.
- The Revisers in 8 try to make regular another of the anomalous forms of the Apocalypse by inserting “I heard it.” But why in some cases when it is clearly impossible in all? It seems better to translate freely in all these peculiar forms, which the received text, following the later scribes, has also essayed to present according to regular grammar; whereas it is clear that they were written intentionally in their ruggedness, the writer knowing well how to express himself in correct Greek. And why should the Revisers have departed from the “little” book of their predecessors? No doubt Griesbach, Lachmann, Alford, and Tregelles support them, following A C 6.14; but P, a few cursives etc., agree with the Erasmian and received reading, and the Compl. is only another form of the diminutive (as in 2) with B, the body of cursives, etc. This difference is not unimportant, but meant expressly in contradistinction from Rev. 10:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. The verses that follow (9, 10) in Rev. 10 support the diminutive. It must be remembered, too, that “book” is wrongly, given for “little” book by B, and some 35 cursives in 2, and that and others read it in 9 and with still more support in 10, where all critics adhere to the dim. as the Authorised and Revised Versions do. — No doubt the infinitive is a better text than the imperative, as in the Text Rec. of 9, as it is also the best attested. — In 10 when “displaces” as soon as.” — In 11 “they say is, according to both numerous and the most ancient copies, instead of
λέγει in the Text. Rec. wrongly translated he “said” with some of the Latins. And is not prophesy “over” a singular rendering? Granted that “before” as in the Authorised Version, and Tyndale’s “among,” and Wiclif’s “to,” are unusual with the dative “As to” or “concerning” is more suitable. The Revisers say “of,” not “over,” in John 12:16, and quite rightly they seem inconsistent and pedantic here.
In Rev. 11:1 the Revisers have rightly struck out the interpolation “the angel stood, saying.” But here again they try to soften the singularity of the construction by their rendering of
λέγων “and one said.” The Bishop of Lincoln’s comment allegorises the reed, speaking as Andreas in the Catena does in another way. — Surely the margin is better than the weaker text in 2. — With 3 compare the remark on Rev. 8:3. — In the critical text of 4 we have another sort of irregularity, when in the same clause appears formal and rational concord; and the Revisers attempt no reflection of it. “Lord” of the earth is right according to ample and ancient witnesses. In 5 “desireth,” or “willeth,” is better than the ambiguous “will” of the Authorised Version; but “shall” desire rests on slight evidence ( A. 38). — In 6 may or “shall” desire is right. — In 8 why should it not be “their body, or carcase [shall be] on,” etc.? Of course the Revisers rightly say “their” Lord. — 9 is not ill translated though worthily: “And from among the peoples do men.” etc. “And some,” or “men,” or — “they,” as in the A. V. is more compact. — In 10 “rejoice” without “shall” stands on full authority (save 38), and so the Complutensian edition, but not so “make merry,” though in the best copies, still less “send,” where even the Revisers give the future with A C, etc. — In 11 it should be “the” three; but why “the” breath of life? “That behold” or “beholding” is right.
- In 12 the Revisers adhere to “they” heard, as in the Authorised Version. But there is no inconsiderable testimony to “I heard.” “The” cloud is the correction of simple mistranslation. — In 13 “that,” not “the same.” — In 15 it should be either “that” of our Lord, or “of our Lord etc. is come.” Notoriously the plural form as in the Text. Rec, and the Authorised Version is the mistake of a few cursives. — In 16 “sit,” not “sat.” — In 17 “which,” or “who,” “wast” (without “and art to come”,) stand on good authority. They change “hast reigned” of the Authorised Version into “didst reign.” — In 18 “came” and several other minute changes are adopted. — The Revisers are right of course in separating 19, as indeed it is the introduction to the vision that follows, rather than the conclusion of chapter 11. Probably “that is” (
ὁ) is right, as later critics think on good authority, though the omission of the article in B and most cursives, etc. must make it doubtful. “Testament” is all wrong, and everywhere save in Heb. 9:16, 17, as already noticed.
In Rev. 12:1 “sign” as in the old margin takes the place of “wonder,” as in 3. The Authorised Version should have been consistent with its own rendering in Rev. 15:1. Tyndale ought not to have departed from Wiclif in this. The order of the Greek also is better kept in the Revised Version, as will appear from comparing 1 and 3; but there is no great reason for dropping “appeared” here after adopting it almost everywhere else in the Now Testament. No doubt the Authorised Version had preceded them in giving 4 “was seen,” in Rev. 11:19, and so they might have given in Rev. 12:1 and 3, as both give in Acts 13:31, and 1 Tim. 3:16. Generally both give “appeared.” Further, “arrayed” and, “clothed” are interchanged as in the Authorised Version, though the Revisers use the former. — In 2 the Committee adopt a view of the text, in the insertion of an additional copulative, on the authority of C. 95, apparently confirmed by, some of the Latin copies, more extreme than most, including: Tischendorf, till the Sinaitic carried him away. Lachmann, in his lesser edition, followed the Alexandrian in having the copulative before
ὠδ — In 3 “diadems” is right, as in Wiclif and the Rhemish, not “crowns” as in the Authorised Version, etc. — “Drew” in 4 is an error, not of text but of translation in all the English versions from Wiclif down to the Authorised Version. All the English versions, the Revised included, have “stood” for “standeth.” It was Tyndale who misled the early translators in giving “as soon as it was born,” instead of Wiclif’s more correct “when she had borne a child” or “been delivered” as in the Revised Version. — In 5 all the previous translations avoid the simple a son, a man child,” as in the Revision; as all give “was to” or “should” rule, and omit “the” nations. The better text would give the last “to” in Roman letters, not italics as in the Authorised Version.
- In 6 the replaced
ἐκεῖ of the old Manuscripts makes a scarce sensible difference save perhaps in emphasis Hebraistically. — In 7 the anomalous construction
τοῦ π. μετά “went to war,” or “going forth to war with,” is unquestionably genuine. The received reading
ἐπολέμησαν is that of the known copy” and probably a more guess of Erasmus from Arethas or the context. Cod. Reuchlini and the Complutensians give
τοῦ π. - 9 is now accurately rendered by the Revisers in the main; and so yet more plainly 10. — In 11 it cannot be as in the Authorised Version “by,” but “because of,”
διὰ τό, nor their “lives unto the” death. — In 12 it is “woe to the earth and to the sea,” not to “the inhabiters of,” as in the Text. Rec. from Erasmus’ Codex Reuchlini or 1. The Complutensian editors are right so far. But the Revisers follow the older form as in A C P and a few cursives, and hence say, “woe for,” etc. At the end of the verse it is not mere lapse of time, which would be
καιρός or season. Erasmus’ manuscript of Reuchlin had the article like A C P and many cursives. It seems the more strange that he omitted it like B, and most without comment.
- In 15 the Revisers have not improved on the Authorised Version. They might easily have done so by closing the verse with “by a river,” instead of “the stream.” — They are right in giving “of Jesus” in 17, omitting “Christ,” which has only inferior Latin support. The oldest and even the most numerous juniors do not give “Christ.” The Sinaitic and the Canonici 34 in the Bodleian (98) strangely read
θεοῦ. It is a pretty bold step of the Revisers to decide the question of what follows, and put what commonly stands at the beginning of chapter 13 in the close of chapter 12, adopting “he,” (not “I”) stood, without a marginal note. No doubt there is good and ancient authority for this departure from the Text. Rec. and Authorised Version; but excellent judges decide for the common text, and in such circumstances change without a word of caution seems hazardous.
In Rev. 13:1 the Revisers follow authority in “horns” and heads as against the Vulgate and Arm. Erasmus probably had no other ground for the erroneous order of the Text. Rec. than, besides these, the fact of Codex Reuchlini; having omitted by inadvertence
κέράτα δέκα καί. They try to represent
ἐπὶ τῶν κ. by “on,” and
ἐπὶ τὰς κ. by “upon.” The received reading, answering to “name” in the Authorised Version, is not without good support (C P, several cursives, ancient versions, etc.); but the plural form has yet more, and was the first printed reading in the Complutensian edition. — There are critical questions in 2, but they do not claim attention here as the Revisers raise none in text or translation, save in their change from “seat” to “throne.” — In 3 they rightly print I saw in italics, in accordance with the Complutensian edition; whereas the Reuchlin copy gave no authority to Erasmus, who ventured to insert
εἶδον, probably following Latin copies (and not the best). I am unaware of any cursive save the valuable Parham 17 (95) which reads the word; but it was only brought from Mount Athos in 1837.
ἐσφ. is not “wounded,” as in the Authorised Version, nor yet “smitten,” as in the Revised Version, but “slain,” as in both margins; but “death-stroke” well renders
πλ. τοῦ θ.
- In 4 the true reading is
τῳ δ. ὄτι ἐδ., certainly not the Erasmian conjecture
τὸν δ. ὅς ἐδ. as the Reuchlin MS. fails here. B and many cursives, however, had
τῳ δεδ. Probably the Rotterdam scholar translated the Vulgate here, and so forgot the article before
ἐξουσίαν following. There is an omission in the Text. Rec. followed by the Authorised Version of
και before the second
τίς, which the Revisers of course supply as amply justified. — In 5 there is considerable discrepancy as to
βλ., but the ordinary text has the most ancient and best witnesses, though Lachmann adopted one shade of difference, and Tischendorf in his seventh edition another. But surely
ποιῆσαι here is more than “continue,” and means (as Dan. 8:24; Dan. 11:28, 30, 32 may illustrate) to do, act, work, practise, or pursue his course for 42 months.
πόλεμον is a mere gloss from 7, though in B and most (as the Sinaitic has
ὃ θέλει), and followed in the Complutensian and Elzevir editions, not in Erasmus, R. Stephens, etc. The Armenian version, etc., cut the knot by dropping the infinitive altogether. — In 6 too the plural has higher authority than the singular
βλ. But the chief change is the discarding on good ground of “and” before the last clause especially if with Alford we take it as in apposition with God’s name and dwelling-place. The Revisers, it seems, regard it as exegetic of the dwelling-place only. In 7 must be added “and people.”
- In 8 it is certainly “name,” emphatically singular, and indeed needing some means of expressing this, like “everyone” in the Revised Version, or “whose name soever,” as Mr. T. S. Green proposes. Whether Dean Alford’s reasoning influenced the Revisers is best known to themselves; but it is impossible to admit the soundness of bringing forward 1 Peter 1:19, 20 as the same thing with our passage, for it expressly speaks of Christ foreknown before the world was founded but manifested before the end of the times. Here there is no question of Christ, purposed, — but of the name having been written from the world’s foundation in the book of the Lamb that has been slain. To say that Rev. 17:8 is cited irrelevantly here is surely idle. Christ’s death is nowhere said to have taken place in divine counsels; it was foreknown, but took place in time. The Lord does the things known from of old, but they are nowhere said to have been done then. Is then the Authorised or Revised Version happy? It seems to be equivocal, if not misleading. A comma before “from” would have guarded the truth. The marginal note gives the right view; from which it would appear that the majority of the Committee preferred the wrong. The MSS. are in strange confusion as to 10. The common reading seems to give the sense; and the margin of the Revised Version expresses it better perhaps than the text.
- In 11 Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus to edit in all his editions
ὅμ. ἀρνιου (instead of
ἀρνίῳ) followed in R. Stephen’s first and second editions, but corrected in his third. It was right in the Complutensian edition. — Matthaei edited the gloss
τοῦς ἐμούς “my people” that dwell. — Here in 14 “by the means of,” in the Authorised Version as in other English versions, should be “by reason of”; also “who hath” is right. And truly eccentric is the preference with Lachmann of
αὐτῃ (A C P) to
αὐτᾳ ( B and almost all other copies). There is little here to remark in 15, 16; but the Revisers rightly with others strike out the first “or” of the two in 17,
τὰ ὄν. τ. θ. ἢ τὸν ἀρ. being in apposition with
In Rev. 14:1 it should be “the” Lamb on preponderant authority, though the Porphyrian uncial and at least seven cursives, etc., are known to omit the article which the Complutensian edition as well as Erasmus followed. But the Complutensian had better guidance in reading
αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ ὄνομα, as the Revisers translate, omitted by
ὁμοιοτελευτον no doubt in Codex Reuchlini as by Erasmus, Stephens, and Beza, so in the Authorised Version. Hip name and His Father’s name is right. For “written” scriptum, (
γεγ) Erasmus had
καιόμενον, the odd error of Cod. Reuchlini. in his editions 1, 2, and 3, reproduced in the editions of Aldus, Cephalaeus, etc. But if the idea of “burnt,” inustum, had been meant, the form would have been
καιόμενον which of course means burning. — In the last clause of 2 it should be
ἡ φ. ἣν. . ὧς, “the voice which” . . “was as,” etc., on the fullest authority, though the Text. Rec. is not without support. The Complutensian edition is right. — Ancient as well as modern versions, like the English, misled the Authorised Version here as elsewhere in “sung” for “sing,” as of course it stands in the Revised Version. But a very nice question is suggested by the conflict of the witnesses: should it be “a new song,” as in Rev. 5, or “as it were” etc. as in the Authorised and Revised Versions? BP, most cursives and versions, omit
ὡς, whereas some good cursives, Vulgate, etc., insert it. As to editions Alford and Tregelles bracket the word, Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, down to Lachmann adopt it, while the Complutensians, Bengel, Griesbach, Heinrich, Tischendorf (finally as at first), reject it. “Purchased” is right here, and in the following verse, as in Rev. 5:9. — The third “are” in 4, expressed in the received text, is probably to be understood only as in A C P, etc.; but this makes no difference in sense. — In 5 not “guile” but “lie” is the word. The MSS. (save A C P, 12) confirm “for,” but the words “before the throne of God” seem to have not one known Greek witness.
- In 6 “in mid-heaven” is right. But “set” or “settled” seems better than “dwelt” for
καθημένους. — The anomalous
λέγοντα, at the beginning of 7, the Revisers try to express by “And he saith.” The omission of
τήν, “the,” before
θ. sea is very doubtful, though three uncials and at least as many cursives favour it. — The Revisers rightly omit “city,” in” 8, and give “which,” rather than “because,” on good authority, though others not to be despised omit both, and make a new sentence begin here. The omission of the article as in Text. Rec. is unfounded, and due to Erasmus’ carelessness, for the Reuchlin copy before him had no such barbarism. — There is little to note in 9, save departure from order, and in 10 the article wrongly inserted, which may have led to
ἁγ. ἀγγ., instead of
ἀγγ. ἁγ. or the omission of the epithet altogether, as in A, 26. etc. Is it a happy rendering to say “an eternal gospel”? Would not “everlasting gospel” or glad tidings be better? Neither here, nor in Rom. 1:1, nor anywhere else is the phrase anarthrous because it had become technical, but because the object was to present it characteristically, in distinction from the good news, at a special time, of God’s grace or of Christ’s glory. This, true from the garden of Eden, is to be enforced by the solemn warning of judgment at the doors. The Revisers go back to Tyndale and the Geneva version. Did any of these appreciate its exact force? — Nor is there more to observe in 11; but 12 shows us
ὧδε, inserted before the latter clause, to get rid of an anomaly.
- From 13 “to me” should vanish, though not without the countenance of cursives, versions, and commentators. Both Erasmus and the Complutensians endorsed it. The Revisers in the margin give the unmeaning division which some of the ancients espoused and Wiclif expresses, and the Rhemish. Tyndale, followed by Cranmer and the Geneva version, gave “which hereafter dye in the lorde,” i.e., die in the Lord. But this is singularly far from the scope. On the contrary there was to be, when this epoch arrives, no more dying in the Lord: hence their blessedness is come, rest and reward assured. The Son of Man reaps the earth, and the vintage of unmingled wrath follows. It is the public award at the Lord’s appearing, for those who had laboured and suffered for Him, and with especial view to the comfort of the saints dying in the Apocalyptic crisis. There was to be no more dying in the Lord, but rather the blessedness of such thenceforward. “For,” not “and,” their works, etc. — But ought not the Revisers, in accordance with their practice elsewhere, as in Rev. 4:2, 4 (compared with 9, 10, and Rev. 13:1, 16, Rev. 14:9, 11), to have said “upon,” not “on,” the cloud? Cf 15, 16, in which last no doubt the genitive is right, not the accusative nor the dative. Neither
σου is to be read in 15. — In 18 the Revisers boldly adopt
ὁ with A C, “he that,” etc. But whence did our authorised translators get
τῆς ἀμπέλου “of the vine”? Not from Erasmus or Stephens, but from Beza who refers to Arethas and the Complutensian edition, as well as two of his own copies and the Vulgate — O si sic omnia. — “As far as” fairly represents
ἀπό in 20.
Rev. 15, Rev. 16.
In Rev. 15:1 the Revisers give rightly “seven plagues, the last” (i.e., such as are the last), not “the seven last plagues” as in the Authorised Version. The reason is annexed why they were the last — because in them was finished the wrath of God. It is scarce necessary to add that “finished” is the true rendering Of
ἐπελέσθη, not “filled up,” which would answer rather to
ἐπληρώθη, the reading of no copy whatever. In 2 occurs again the error of “glassy” in the Revised Version, — whereas the Authorised Version “of glass” is correct, as pointed out in the remarks on Rev. 4:6. It is the symbolic material in contrast with the sea of water in the temple: no longer the means of cleansing, but the sign of fixed purity. The misrendering destroys the doctrine, as far as it goes, and insinuates either more sentiment or a false thought in lieu of the truth intended. Unlike the vision of Rev. 4, this sea was mingled with fire: those who reached it had passed through God’s judicially inflicted tribulation, as their enthroned predecessors had not (having been caught up before it). “Them that come victorious from” is certainly more literal and pregnant like the Greek than “them that had gotten the victory over.” It is the usual form of designating a class apart from time. But surely the marginal “upon” or the Authorised Version “on” the glass sea is right, not the mere “by” of the Revised Version. “On the shore” of the sea is a perversion, if the sea refer to the temple; and it would be hard to bring in the Red Sea among the allusions of Rev. 4. And if the Red Sea be excluded there, the beauty of the same image here, with the characteristic difference of mingled with fire, would be lost by including the Red Sea in it. To my mind the intention was to show these later overcomers as distinct, not only from the twenty-four elders, but also from the earlier martyrs of Rev. 6:9-11. If so, there is no reason from the imagery of Rev. 4 in favour of “by” or “at as against “on,” any more than from Exodus 15. “Over his mark” in the Authorised Version is the Erasmian misreading, with a few cursives, an addition opposed to all the best authorities. The Complutensian editors were right. “The” harps of gold seems to have been the blunder of all the English versions from Wiclif to the Authorised Version. Certainly neither Erasmus nor the Complutensians, neither Stephens nor yet Beza, receive the article, though given in B 2, 7, 8, 16, 29, 32, 35, 38, 39, 43, 47, 48, 50, 87, 94, 97, not to speak of Andreas and Arethas. But there appears to be no doubt that it is an error, probably from repeating the last syllable of the preceding word.
- It is hard to conceive why the Revisers preferred
αἰώνων “ages,” to
ἐθνῶν “nations,” in the face of Jer. 10:7. No doubt the authorities are conflicting; but the Old Testament allusion is evident, and the context confirms it in the verse that follows. Probably the absurdly false reading which Erasmus (not the Complutensians) gave against his own MS. 1, and without any known Greek copy was due to confounding some abbreviation of seculorum for sanctorum, as Tischendorf conjectures; as it is likely that the Revisers’ reading is due to 1 Tim. 1:17. No wonder then that Bengel, Griesbach, Heinrich, Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, T. S. Green, Alford, Wordsworth, hold to
ἐθνῶν, if Westcott and Hort alone, or nearly so, prefer
αἰώνων. But. should such a reading have found its way into the text of the Revised New Testament? Surely what has been discredited by so many and various critics of the highest eminence, on ample authority, ought not to be brought by Cambridge influence into a work which seeks universal acceptance. — In 4 the pronoun is not found in the best witnesses, though in most of the cursives etc., 95 shifting its place. The Greek for “holy” differs in the MSS., the best reading that which implies mercy in God (or piety in men), and not what means separation to God. So also the Revisers rightly say “the” nations; for they shall all come yet and pay homage before God, but this as the fruit of the manifestation of His righteousnesses or righteous acts, not of the gospel as now preached. The gospel of His grace calls and separates the believer to Christ in heaven.
- It is hardly “I looked” as in the Authorised Version of 5, but “I saw,” as “behold” should vanish; for not even Erasmus’ Codex Reuchlini has it and, of course, not the Complutensian edition. — But in 6 we have the portentous reading
λίθον “a stone!” (A C 38, 39, 48, 90, 4) favoured by Lachmann and Tregelles, as lately by the Cambridge professors, against all the other authorities, though some support the plural form of linen. Ezek. 28 seems a poor ground in the gorgeous description of Tyre’s prince for the holy executors of God’s last plagues. No doubt, in Rev. 19:14 the word used is
λ. But this is as it should be; for angels are quite distinct from saints, however much superstitious ignorance, never Scripture, tends to merge them together. Here again, what were the Committee about to let the redoubtable twain with their satellites persuade competent and independent minds into such a vagary, or at least so questionable a word? In the editions of L., Tr., and of W. & H., it is not so singular. A public work should have been better safe-guarded. — It is “bowls” in 7 rather than “vials”; and so throughout Rev. 16, etc. — In 8 it is “finished” as in 1. It was not yet Christ coming to execute judgment in person, and to reign righteously over the earth; but the ministers of divine providence come out to complete the seven plagues of God’s wrath before the day of His appearing. It is no question of saints on earth drawing near into the sanctuary (as now by the blood of Jesus in full assurance of faith), but of none able to enter till the angels have finished their task of judgment.
In Rev. 16:1 the Revisers give it literally “into,” not “upon,” and so in 2, 3, 4. The difference is maintained in the Greek, for it is strictly “upon” in the latter part of 2, 8, 10, 12, (of 4), 17. — In the Text Rec. of 2 it is wrongly
εἰς in the latter part, but
ἐπί is unquestionable. — Near the end of 3
τά seems omitted, as indeed B P and most cursives support the commonly received text. But A C, etc., give
τά which might easily be dropt. The sense is substantially the same. — In 4 they say “it” became blood. — The change in 5 is greater, and on excellent authority. “O Lord” is omitted, and “thou Holy One” appears instead of “and shalt be.” — In 6 “for” is dropt rightly. — In 7 it should be “I heard the altar say” on first-rate authority; as no doubt “another out of” is an interpolation due to the desire of softening so bold a figure. — In 8 “it” is probably right, rather than “him,” as in the Authorised Version, which is put in the margin. — In 9 why not “the” men 9 on the other hand they say “the” God, etc. — In 10 as in 3, 4, 8, 10, 12, and 17 “angel” is excluded on very good grounds. Of course “throne” should displace “seat.”
- In 12 it is “from the sun-rising,” not “of the east.” The article in the Greek is probably right. — In 16 the Revisers, like many, render “they,” not “he.” Grammatically, it might be either. If “they,” it is the evil spirits as instruments; if “he,” it is the One who employed them. — “Of heaven” in 17 is very doubtful, though read by the later B and most cursives. — In 18 are some slight corrections; and so there are in verses 19-21, but nothing calls for especial mention. “A man” has ancient and excellent authority in both MSS. and Versions, 99 men” rather more in Greek copies; and the Revised Version gives better the anarthrous form, as the Authorised Version would rather express the Received Text
οἱ ἄνθ. with the mass of cursives. — In 30 the Greek means, not “the mountains were not” as in the Authorised and Revised Versions, but “no mountains were,” etc. It is the old feebleness, or worse, in respect of the article.
Rev. 17, 18.
In Rev. 17:1
μοι “to me” rests on the witness of a few cursives, etc. The omission is assuredly right, and has all the higher authorities, and the mass too. But there is conflict as to the articles in the last phrase; and Tischendorf would not have decided against A P, etc., which omit them, without very good reason. C. is here defective. It seems doubtful. — But the Revisers seem to give rightly a preterite or aoristic expression in 2 rather than a perfect. — In 3 it is “a,” not “the,” wilderness. — In 4 “precious stone.” But why in the Revision, “even the unclean things of her fornication”? No doubt the Authorised Version renders loosely “and filthiness,” etc., or rather follows the Received Text, — which was probably only Erasmus’ guess, as Codex Reuchlini reads
τὰ ἀκάθαρτα with almost all witnesses, and so the Complutensian editors and all the critics. — (6) “The” harlots, etc., say the Revisers rightly; and “of the” abominations also. This was a case, not of reading, but of mistranslation in all the older English versions, save that of Rheims. Besides, they had from Latin influence the “whoredom” or fornications of the Authorised Version margin as their text. In 6 why do the Revisers here perpetuate the “martyrs” of the Authorised Version? They give “witness” in Acts 22:20, and in Rev. 2:13, and of course everywhere, I believe, as indeed elsewhere “martyr” would be a ridiculous blunder; but why here? An oversight it is presumed. “A” great wonder seems strange English.
- In 7 “wonder” is no doubt better retained than “marvel.” The Authorised Version erred in omitting “the” ten horns. — Erasmus too had no reason to leave out the article at the beginning of 8, for his copy had it all right; and so the Complutensian edition of course. But the translators rendered as if it were there. It was a strange freak of Lachmann to edit
ἐγέγραπτο on the slip of A (
ἐγέγραπται), which clearly should have been
γέγραπται with all other authorities, save perhaps a cursive or two. The “name” or “names” is a fair question, as the witnesses are divided. But there is no doubt about the important correction at the end of the verse,
παρέσται “shall come” or be present, A B P, more than 40 cursives, etc., as in the Complutensian edition. Even Erasmus’ copy had
πάρεστι as in C W, and at least half a dozen cursives besides; his
καίπέρ ἐστιν which crept into the Received Text, and led to the Authorised Version, “and yet is” is simply baseless and absurd. The Vulgate, like the AEthiopic, gives nothing here: so of course Wiclif and the Rhemish, and also, strange to say, Tyndale and Cranmer. The Geneva followed the Stephanic Text. Only some of the copies joined
ὧδε in 9, which last B omits and joins
ὁ νοῦς , and so perhaps the Vulgate and the English Versions that followed it. — In 10 the Revisers are justified, I think, in giving “they” for “there”; but are they right in “the” five, “the” one? They well drop the copulative after “five are fallen.” — “is given rather better, “even he is an eighth,” etc.
- So is 12 less equivocal in the Revised Version. — In 13 the Authorised Version gave erroneously “strength” as the equivalent of
ἐξουσία. It should be “authority.” — The ellipse in 14 is filled up cumbrously by the Revisers; I doubt that any supply is needed in English, and the briefer the better, if intelligible. — In 16 not “upon” but “and” the beast is the true reading and sense, as in all known MSS., uncial and cursive, and in the ancient versions, etc., save a few Latin copies, and Arethas, some omitting it altogether. The truth conveyed is of high moment; for thus it appears that the ten horns, instead of supplanting the beast, as in the past, are in the future to join him (cf. ver. 12) in destroying the harlot: a death-blow to the mere historicalist theory. The empire once ruled in unity; the divided kingdoms have ruled since; never yet has there been an imperial head guiding them all in vengeance on the harlot of Rome, any more than the destruction of the Emperor and his satellite kings under the Lamb and the glorified saints from heaven. (cf. Rev. 19.) If history records the two first, prophecy bids us await the two last: to treat these as past is trifling with scripture. It is for the beast at least a divinely executed and everlasting destruction, instead of being, as with the previous empires, a providential overthrow only. Compare Dan. 7:11, 12. Babylon falls otherwise, as we have seen. — In 17 the reading of the Received Text is found in no known manuscript
τὰ ῥη. τελεσθῃ and is probably due to Erasmus, even Andreas and Arethas refusing support. The true is
οἱ λ. τελεσθήσονται, but the version is unaffected substantially. — I think that the peculiar sway of Rome is marked peculiarly in the Greek of 18, and not justly reflected in the Authorised and Revised versions any more than in the other older Protestant translations. Wiclif and the Rhemish cleaving to the Vulgate are more literal, but as usual crude enough.
In Rev. 18:1 the copulative which introduces the chapter in the Received Text and the Authorised Version is supported by some cursives and ancient versions, and stands in the Complutensian edition as well as in those of Erasmus; but the best authorities discard it. But
ἄλλον, “another,” omitted in Codex Reuchlini and two or three more is read by all the uncials, the cursives generally, the ancient versions, and the Greek and Latin commentators, its it rightly appears not in the Received Text but in the Authorised Version. — In 2 it should be “cried with a strong voice,” not
φ. μ. as in the Received Text without known authority, but
ἰσχυρᾳ φ. with the best and most. A and many cursives and versions have
ἔπεσεν as fallen” twice, P has it thrice; but B, very many cursives and old versions and writers, read it but once. There are various insertions and omissions in the copies which call for no special notice here. “Hold”=
φ. the prison where they are forcibly kept. “Foul” and “unclean” in the Authorised version represent
ἀκαθάρτου. — In 3 occurs a singular discrepancy among the copies. Should it be
ασιν)? “Drunk” or “fallen by”? Alford hesitated, Lachmann gave the last in his lesser and the first in his larger edition, Tischendorf and Wordsworth the first, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort the last, Bengel, Griesbach, and Scholz adhering to the same sense in
πέπωκε of the Received Text. Here again are sundry variations in the copies, omitting or inserting strangely. “Luxury” or “wanton pride” seems better than “delicacies.”
- In 4 are changes of order from that of the Received Text, but we may leave this. — In 5 Received Text (with 33, 34, if we trust Alter) is
ἠκολούθησαν “followed,” instead of the unquestionable
ἐκολλήθησαν “were joined, heaped up, clave.” The Authorised and Revised Versions both give “have reached” rather singularly. — In 6 “you” disappears for ample reason, as does “unto her” though the Received Text has here better support. “The” double is doubtful, even Lachmann omitting it with A B P and many cursives. — The
ὅτι omitted before A:. in the Received Text of 7 makes no substantial difference in the version. — In 8 the best authorities (p.m. A B C P, about 35 cursives, good ancient versions, and ecclesiastical writers) concur in “judged,” rather than “judgeth,” as in the Received Text, with several cursives, etc. — In 9 “her” vanishes after “bewail” or “weep,” though not without authority; and
ἐπ᾽ αὐτήν “over her” displaces
ἐπ᾽ αὐτῆ “for her,” and again in 11. — In 12 the Revisers rightly leave out “the” merchandise (lit. lading or cargo); they also say “stone,” and correct like small blemishes in this verse and the following 13, from which last fell out of many copies and the Received Text
καὶ ἄμωμον “and amomum,” or spice, after cinnamon, no doubt from similarity of ending. — In 14 “the splendid” instead of “goodly” are “perished” rather than “departed,” which is an inferior reading. — “And” should not begin 16.
- In 17 is not
κυβ. a “helmsman,” or “pilot,” rather than “shipmaster,” as in the Authorised and Revised Versions?
Ναύκληρος was rather the skipper or shipmaster. But
ἐπὶ τῶν πλοίον ὁ ὅμιλος “the company in ships” (Received Text from Codex Reuchlini) is a wild departure from
ὁ επὶ τόπον πλέων “that saileth to a place,” meaning every passenger for a place, rather than, with M. Stuart, a coaster (i.e., one who does not go out to sea), as the last clause embraces as many as ply the sea. — In 13 it is of course “the,” not “this,” great city. — In 19 “their” ships in the sea. The article is omitted in the Received Text on slender ground. In 20 it should be “ye saints and” on excellent and abundant authority, also “ye” apostles, and “ye” prophets, but certainly not “thou” heaven, which is less correct than the Authorised “thou.” But how came the Revisers to render
ἔκρινεν “hath” judged, like the Authorised Version? In 21
ὅρ.=with a rush, or even “violence” as in the Authorised Version answers better to the usage of the Septuagint (Ex. 32:21, Deut. 28:49, Hosea 5:10, Amos 1:11, Hab. 1:11, not to speak of the apocryphal 1 Macc. 4:8, 30; 6:33, 47), than the “mighty fall” of the Revisers. lit the classical writers it is used for “passionate feeling,” or “indignation,” never that I know for a great fall. — In 22
μ. is well given as “minstrels” or “singers,” for it must mean something more distinctive than musicians.” — In 23 “lamp,” rather than “candle, and assuredly “sorcery,” not “sorceries.” — In 24 that “have been” slain or slaughtered. If the Hebraistic
αἵματα be right, rather than the singular form, it is against the concurrence of the most ancient MSS., A C P, with some cursive support, etc. In Rev. 16:6 36. 39. support
αἵματα but A B C P and almost all the juniors read
“And” should disappear from the beginning according to the best and fullest authority ( A B C P, thirty-five cursives, Vulgate, Memph. Syr. etc., as against several cursives, Arm., Aeth., etc., followed by Erasmus, Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. But there is as good authority for inserting
ὡς “as it were” after “I heard”; and here the Complutensian and Elzevir differ from Erasmus, and Stephens whom the Authorised Version followed. The ancient order too has been departed from, and the grammatical form with perhaps not one copy by Erasmus, and so Stephens, Beza, Elzevir, but not the Complutensian editors who adhered to the constr. ad sens. of
λεγόντων. καὶ ἡ τιμή “and honour” is an addition from preceding ascription of praise, but not without some small support of inferior authorities here. The Complutensian edition rightly left it out, but Erasmus followed his Codex Reuchlini in its insertion.
τοῦ θ. ἡμ. θ. “of our God” with the best, and so the Complutensian, not “to”
τῳ as some copies and ancient versions, etc., still less
κυρίῳ τ. θ. ἡμ. as in Codex Reuchlini, Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. — In 2 there is little to note, though the copies differ a good deal. The Complutensian editors omit the article before
χ. as is done in the best copies, but the Codex Reuchlini with others reads it and misled the other early editors.
- In 3 there is yet less to say though the copies differ somewhat in form. — The order of words in 4 also differs even in the better copies, as of forms also.
τῳ θρ., I doubt not, is here more correct than
τοῦ θρ. as in the Received Text. The Complutensian here is no better than Erasmus. The Porphyrian uncial has
τῶν θρ. — probably a mere lapse for
τῳ θρ. The other uncials give the dative, not the genitive. With the saints they have the accusative, as in chap. 4 and 20; with God or Christ, the accusative the first time as in Rev. 4:2, and Rev. 20:11 (as in Rev. 14:14, and Rev. 19:11 also) the genitive or the dative afterwards, and not without a distinction. — The Sinaitic is very wrong in reading the plural in 5 “voices” for “a voice”; as the common text
ἐκ is superior to
ἀπό in A B C five-and-twenty cursives, etc., some of which add the further error of changing
τῳ θ. is supported by the best copies against
τὸν θ. as in many cursives followed by Erasmus, the Complutensian, etc.
οἱ φ. wants the excellent authority of C P, but it has the very large support of A B, perhaps all the cursives and ancient versions. “Both” should vanish before “small,” as in the Complutensian against Erasmus and those that went in his wake with Codex Reuchlini, etc. Compare Rev. 11:18, which confirms the copulative in the first case, not in the last.
- In 6 the Complutensian edition has
ὡς “as it were,” after
ἤκ. not Erasmus though his own copy has it corrected in red above. A Vienna cursive (36) has it after
φ. The best copies give it, and of course before
φ.; and so the Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, Elzevir. Singular to say, Lachmann omitted the second “as” with A and a few cursives, contrary to all other authority.
λεγ. is only a question of form
οντες, or —
οντων, as in the Complutensian, which last has the best authority, the others arising from desired smoothness. The Revisers are here obliged to content themselves like the Authorised Version, with “reigneth” for
ἐβασίλευσεν. In Rev. 11:17 they have “didst reign” for “hast reigned” of the Authorised Version. It is not easy to convey in English its aoristic force; and such a case may have misled our old translators into a lower view of its meaning than is just. To represent it always in English as a simple preterite is a delusion. “Our” is lacking in the last clause of the Received Text, and hence in the Authorised Version, through Erasmus and the Codex Reuchlini, though not alone, for even A and others omit it. But there is ample proof for it.
- In 7 there is little but difference of form to note, as in 8 change of order. — In 9 copies strangely insert and omit, and shuffle; but such minute points are not my present object. — In 10 there is little textual to remark. The chief matter is that the best copies omit
τοῦ before the first
Ἰ, where Erasmus is right, not Stephens, Beza, or Elzevir; and so before the second where the Complutensian joins them, with undoubtedly much cursive support, but not the best authority. It may be here noticed that the meaning of the last clause is to affirm that the Spirit of prophecy (not merely the Spirit in the apostolic epistles, but in the Revelation also) is the witness of Jesus. This might, from its Old Testament character, have been otherwise doubted. The prophecy too is His testimony; it is very different from the gospel, but it is His witness none the less. And further, it seems an assumption that it is a testimony to Him; for this would be either the dative in Greek (as in English), or the genitive after
περί as a regular rule. It is the testimony Jesus is rendering in the book, whoever may receive or repeat it. Compare Rev. 1:2, Rev. 12:17. Tischendorf says that Lachmann omits
καλούμενος (11), but it is only so in his earlier small edition (not in his later) with A etc. Indeed some of the best Latin copies add “vocatur” to “vocabatur,” as Tregelles edits the Vulgate; and so it stands in Buttmann’s contribution to the larger work.
- In 12 Lachmann agrees with the Received Text and Authorised Version in reading
ὡς “as” with A, many cursives, and versions. The Revisers rightly discard this on ample grounds; and give “diadems” rather than “crowns.” Tischendorf in his latest edition rejected his own previous yielding to B, five and twenty cursives, Septuagint, etc., in the addition of
ὀνόματα γεγραμμένα καί as in the Complutensian also. The Sinaitic is too careless here to weigh much; the Alexandrian and Porphyrian preserve the true text; C here fails. — In 13 the vesture dipt in or sprinkled with blood marks Him as coming in vengeance, as in Isaiah 63, which it is utter unintelligence to apply to His own blood. He is the holy Avenger, as once the spotless Lamb. The Hebrew of Isaiah strengthens the value of “sprinkled”; but the Septuagint is little or no help. The MSS. fluctuate painfully. p.m. has
περιρεραμμένον which Origen and the Latins confirm; P 36
ῤεραντισμένον — The majority with A B support, in the Received Text,
βεβαμ. So reads the Complutensian, and
καλεῖται like Erasmus; but the best have
κεκλητο being a slip).
- In 14 the article repeated before
ἐν is omitted by B and many cursives, to which the last syllable preceding probably contributed), as in Erasmus, Stephens, and Beza; but it appears in A P and many cursives as in the Complutensian and Elzevir, which the Revisers rightly prefer. “The armies that are in heaven” are the same glorified saints who had been in Rev. 17:14 described as
οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ, not angelic but saintly, as is plain also from what follows; they were clothed in
βύσσινον, fine linen, white, pure. Compare Rev. 15 where angels are said to be arrayed in linen (
λίνον), or if we believe the Revisers with “stone” (
λίθον) pure, bright; a still farther remove from the clothing of the saints. — In 15 the only notable change is the exclusion of
καί “and” before “wrath” which the Received Text had with most from Erasmus’ Codex Reuchlini, and a few others, Andr. in some copies, contrary to all the rest and the Complutensian edition. — In 16 the article is wrongly in T. R. from Erasmus downwards before “name”; but all English have rightly “a” name, perhaps from the Complutensian. — In 17 the Revisers have rightly “birds” rather than “fowl,” and “mid-heaven,” for “the midst of heaven.” But the change of moment is “the great supper of God,” on the authority of A B P, more than 35 cursives, and most ancient versions, etc., instead of “the supper of the great God” as in the Received Text from Erasmus (not the Complutensian) following Codex Reuchlini and a few others.
- In 18 the Uncials exhibit all three possible forms after
ἐπί, genitive B P and most, dative
, accusative A and a few followed by Lachmann. Our Authorised Version prints “both” in italics, following the Received Text, which was due to Erasmus. But the Complutensian had
τε rightly with the best and most which warrant “both.” But the
μικρῶν “small” is not read by the more ancient, though in B and more than thirty juniors which the Complutensian edition follows, not Erasmus. or the Received Text. — In 19 Lachmann with A and a few cursives has the strange “his” for “their” armies. It may be a mere slip from the end of the verse. The article should be heeded before
π. “war,” the or their war, though the Received Text after Erasmus and the Complutensian is not without support (1. 6. etc.) and lately the Porphyrian uncial.
- In 20 the reading of Erasmus and so of the Received Text is
μετὰ τ. which is not so good Greek as
μετ᾽ αὐτ. but makes no sensible difference in English. It rests on 1. 49. etc., against all of value. Tischendorf in his eighth edition abandons
ὁ μετ᾽ αὐτ. as in B, many cursives, etc., for
μετ᾽ αὐτ. ὁ as in P, etc. The reading in A 41 Cop. is a blunder
οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτ. ὁ. and still more in 34.
οἱ μετ᾽ αὐτ. ψευδοπροφῆται, “the false prophets with him.” The article should be expressed before “miracles” or rather “signs”; but it as in the Received Text should disappear before
θ. at the close, though the Codex Reuchlini was not alone in misleading Erasmus. Is it correct to say with the Revisers as well as the Authorised Version that “had” received etc.? His deceiving was not after, but before, they received the mark of the beast. B and most correct the solecism of A P, etc.
τὴν λ. τοῦ π. τῆς κ. which Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford adopt. — In 21 how strange too that Erasmus in his first and second editions should not have
τοῦ (right in his MS.) before
καθημένου. In his fifth edition it is corrected. The true reading is
ἐξελθ. ( A B P and almost if not all known authorities;
ἐκπορ. “goeth” or “proceedeth” was Erasmus’ guess, perhaps founded on the Vulgate, but contrary to his MS., Codex Reuchlini. The Complutensian is right, not Steph. nor Beza.
The Revisers in 1 have rightly “coming,” not “come,” as in the Authorised Version, and “abyss” as before for “bottomless pit,” here and in verse 3. English idiom perhaps requires “in” his hand, rather than “upon” literally. The angel was seen in vision with the chain hanging on his hand. — In 2 “the” old serpent is more correct than the demonstrative “that,” a not infrequent fault in the Authorised Version. But would not “who” be better than “which” following? “For” completes the sense before “a thousand years.” — In 3
αὐτόν “him” has such slender authority after
ἔκλ. that all critics feel bound to expunge the word, and translators rightly supply “it” as after “sealed.” The copulative rightly disappears before
μ. τ. which should be distinguished from the singular form, as the Revisers do in Rev. 7:1, 9 (the only true case in the book); elsewhere it is plural, but even so the Revisers might have held to uniformity with advantage save in that case.
- In 4. even here Wiclif, Tyndale, Cranmer, as well as the versions of Geneva and Rheims, give “seats,” instead of “thrones,” most incongruously. Would not a semicolon have been preferable to a comma after “the word of God”? For the Seer has before him two classes of sufferers in the disembodied state, and there the dividing line is marked by a change of construction. The colon is all right after “unto them” in the earliest part of the verse; because these were already changed and had followed the Lord in glorified bodies out of heaven, as seen in Rev. 19:14, and consequently were described as seated upon thrones. The saints who were slain after the translation of those symbolised by the twenty-four elders might seem to have lost all. They were too late for the rapture to heaven, and they do not survive till the Lord appears in glory to introduce His kingdom over the earth. And a distinction answering to the two classes of martyrs described in our verse had been laid down when the first of the two were seen at an early point of the Apocalyptic visions, the souls of those that had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. To their cry, “How long?” it was said that they should rest yet for a time, until both their fellow-servants and their brethren that were about to be killed as they should be fulfilled. Thus the second class is anticipated in verse 11, where the first are seen to have poured out their lives under the altar. In our verse they both are seen still to be in the separate state, the earlier and the later martyrs of the Apocalyptic period; “and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” They therefore lost nothing by being slain, whether those before the beast was manifested or those after that apostate power persecuted to death in all variety of antagonism to God and His saints. They now lived and reigned with Christ before the thousand years began, no less than the glorified assessors with Christ who knew the resurrection of life before either suffered. The glorious position of the Old and the New Testament saints in general appears in those previously seated on thrones. It was unnecessary to say that they lived and reigned, seeing that there they were long before risen, caught up to heaven, and are now seated on thrones when the world-kingdom of our Lord and His Christ was evidently come. The needed assurance is given in the later clauses for those who only appeared and suffered after the rapture and before Christ’s reign on His own throne. Compare Rev. 3:21. These too had His portion. As He died, lived, and will reign; so they too had been slain for His sake and now reign with Him, as do all saints from the beginning. And all are brought in one way or another into this verse, which does contemplate these special martyrs, but leaves room in its first clauses before the Revisers’ colon for all the saints who had gone before, martyrs or not.
May I add that one could hardly conceive, if one did not know, interpreters so benighted as to suppose that “judgment was given to them” means that these saints were judged? No believer comes into judgment, but in the risen state all are destined to judge the world. How strange that orthodox men should blot this out! To make it the same as Eph. 2:6, a present reign of the saints, is to confound prophecy with doctrine and lose all the special truth of the reign with Christ; as it is an utter mistake to take
ψυχάς of bodies and apply
πεπ. to all sorts of martyrdom. Every word seems in my judgment to convey the truth of what is abundantly set forth elsewhere — a resurrection not merely of dead persons, but also “from among” the dead. All must rise, unjust as well as just, but not all together, which is taught nowhere in Scripture, but rather what denies it. Christ rose from out of dead persons: so will the saints at His coming, leaving the rest of the dead undisturbed in their graves. And such is the plain teaching of 5. They await the resurrection of judgment, instead of rising from the dead a thousand years before to judge the world according to the wonderful purpose of God for the earth, before the judgment of the wicked dead and the eternal scene. What can be more emphatic than the words, “This is the first resurrection”? It is not the vision, but the explanation of it, not the riddle, but the solution. Indeed it is remarkable what plain language the Spirit uses here, which men have wished to allegorise.
But I turn from exposition to the less genial task of criticism. The Revisers like others have rightly omitted “But” at the beginning. — In 6 we have words which correspond admirably with the apostle’s earnest desire in Phil. 3:11,9 which would be unaccountable if there be only a general resurrection when all rise simultaneously. “Blessed and holy is he that hath part” in it. There seems no escape from this but the desperate expedient of explaining it to mean some present Christian privilege, or a future state of Christendom, as many divines have done. The former idea is perilously near those who taught that the resurrection is past already; the latter is the unworthy dream of glory on the earth for the church without Christ, instead of contentment in suffering with Him and waiting to be glorified together. Almost all the witnesses read “reign” in the future, The Alexandrian alone here commits the blunder of the present tense, though it is really more inexcusable in Rev. 5:10, where it had too many companions, which misled the Revisers. Here they rightly join the Authorised Version. In 7 there is little or nothing to note. — In 8 the Revisers say “to the war,” rather than “to battle,” the reading of
αὐτῶν, omitted in the Received Text, not affecting the version. — So in 9 “over” is more correct than “on.” There is no need to add “about” after “compass,” or surround. “From God” is questionable, and probably imported from elsewhere, though many authorities insert the words as in the Received Text.
- In 10 “both” the beast, etc., should be there, though the Sinaitic omits. — In, 11 the order in the Received Text is not the best, but the Authorised Version has not suffered; nor in the reading
αὐτοῦ for the better
αὐτόν, the difference of which has been already before us. The insertion of
τοῦ is right, but so are all versions. — In 12 it should be “the great and the small,” as in the Complutensian edition and the Revised Version, though some good. copies favour “the small and the great.” It is curious that all the other early Greek editions are wrong, all the early English versions right before the Authorised Version, save in omitting the article. But the omission of the articles in the phrase as in the Received Text has no support from any known manuscript. More than a dozen cursives omit the entire phrase, among them Erasmus’ copy, Codex Reuchlini. Before “the throne” should supplant “God,” which has trifling authority. Forms and order slightly vary from the Received Text, but do not affect the sense. — The critics from good copies improve the order twice in 13, but there is nothing to show in the rendering. — The only remarkable change in 14 is the addition at the end of “the lake of fire” on ancient and ample evidence.
- In 15 there is no change of reading to note, but the Revised Version is simpler than the Authorised Version. We may observe that here (11-15) it is not a judgment of the quick, as far as the nations. are concerned, as in the end of Matt. 25. Hence no question is raised how they treated the King’s messengers, His brethren, who are to go out yet, ere the close of this age, and test the sheep and the goats according to the figure in the Gospel. Here it is a judgment of the dead, “the rest of the dead” left by the resurrection of the righteous, with the addition of the wicked devoured by divine judgment after Satan’s last muster of the unrenewed Gentiles (7-9). Not a trace of a saint is seen in the dead before the great white throne. They had to answer in judgment for their sins, and not one is said to have been found written in the book of life; and no wonder, for it is the resurrection of judgment.
It is well that in the Revised Version the first eight verses form a separate section. Nowhere in the book is such a division more imperatively called for, though probably even the Revisers themselves do not all appreciate the importance of their own arrangement, which tends to guard the reader from confounding the eternal state with the millennial to the loss of their marked distinctiveness. For as Rev. 20 gave us the thousand years, during Which on the one hand Satan seduces no more and on the other the risen saints reign with Christ, as the power and pride. of man were put down at the beginning, so the last uprising of the nations when Satan is loosed at the end will come to nought, and heaven and earth depart, and God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ the Lord.
After this judgment of the dead a new heaven and a new earth are seen, for the first were gone away, and the sea, it is said, exists no more: a most weighty contrast with the world that now is, and also with the world as it is to be during the thousand years. Vegetable and animal life could not be without the sea, unless by a perpetual miracle which would be absurd. The sea is the greatest of separating barriers for the nations, as it represents the restless masses of mankind not subject to regular government. Then heaven and earth is in everlasting order and harmony, all the wicked being consigned to the lake of fire, and God all in all (1 Cor. 15:28). Hence in these verses we have neither nations nor kings any longer; whereas we have both, and a state of things, however new and blessed, suited to both, in the section that begins with verse 9 down to Rev. 22:5. But this is really retrogressive; when the Lamb is put forward prominently, and the governmental relation of the Bride, the Lamb’s wife (the holy and heavenly city having the glory of God), to the nations and kings of the earth. In short, as we may see more when we come to the later section, it is as clearly millennial, as the previous short section now before us is post-millennial, when provisional dealings have no more place, and all is fixed for ever.
Hence there is an absoluteness of blessing in 3, 4, and a universal extent, strikingly distinct from the beautiful picture of the favoured complement out of all nations on the earth looking to the reign of Christ in Rev. 7:15-17. Here it is a question of “men,” and God Himself with them, tabernacling with them (not merely spreading His tabernacle over them), and they His people (or peoples) and He with them, their God. Nor is it only every tear wiped by Him from their eyes, but death no more and mourning and crying and pain no more, the first things being gone away and all things made new, which is but relatively true of the millennium. So all the wicked are seen to have their part in the lake of fire, which cannot be till the thousand years are over. The distinctive traits point therefore unmistakably here, not in the vision that follows, to the eternal state, of which Scripture says little, but that little full of pregnant instruction.
ἀπῆλθον (or —
αν) is right, not
παρῆλθε as in the Compl. edition as well as the Received Text following Codex Reuchlini and a few other cursives. The true reading is more energetic. The last clause is singularly tampered with in the Alexandrian uncial, “I saw the sea no more,” which is quite short of the truth conveyed. So Dusterdieck is all wrong in talking about a new sea, for the text clearly distinguishes “the sea” from what is said of the first heaven and the first earth. — In 2 is one of those unseemly additions for which Erasmus appears to be responsible, following no known Greek copy but the Clementine edition and inferior manuscripts of the Vulgate. For the more ancient Latin copies (Am. Demid. Fuld. Tol. etc.) reject “I John” with ABP, more than forty cursives, and all or nearly all the ancient versions. And so also for putting
καινήν at the end, not the beginning, of the phrase, which would perhaps admit of the marginal rendering of the Revised Version, though the text seems to me correct as in the Authorised Version. “Out of heaven from God” is the true order, though P 1.49. 79. and other cursives support the Received Text and the Authorised Version. It was not earthly, but “‘out of heaven;” it was not of human source, but divine, “from God;” and, what is noticeable (though the marriage was recorded not here but in Rev. 19 more than a thousand years before), “made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
- In 3, consequent on the descent of the holy city, a great voice is heard out of the “heaven” (or “throne”). It is hard to decide, and ought not to be closed up, as in the Revised Version, without even a marginal note, that some ancient authorities support the former, B P, almost all the cursives, and the ancient versions (save the Vulgate and margin of the Armenian as) against A 18. and the exceptions just stated. “The tabernacle of God [is] with men,” His presence in the church now glorified and come down for the eternal state; and thus God will tabernacle (not “over” but) “with” them. On general principles we can say that men are changed thus to have God dwelling with them. “Peoples” is the reading of A 1.79.92. and perhaps others; but the mass, with B P and the old versions, supports, as in the Complutensian edition, the singular, which Tischendorf thinks more probably an emendation. It appears to me that
αὐτοί might rather influence a scribe in favour of the plural and thus bring in the various reading. Tischendorf also omits with B, more than thirty cursives and several ancient versions, etc.,
θεὸς αὐτῶν or
αὐτ. θ. and so the Complutensian edition, Tregelles, Westcott, and Hort.
- In 4 the Received Text, with A 1. etc., adds “God,” but authority in general omits, as well as
ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν in B and some fifteen cursives. Before
θάν. and a few cursives etc. read no article, the effect of which would be to say “there shall be no death more,” not “death shall be no more,” as with the article in A B P and most. It is strange that
ὅτι should be left out of the last clause, and that Tregelles should cite p.m. as omitting it, for there it is, but not the previous
ἔτι, by an obvious slip, with the strange blunder of
πρῶτα. Even Alford and Tregelles bracket
ὅτι, and Tischendorf accepts, as Lachmann, and Westcott and Hort reject it. But this is a narrow line for the Revised Version without a note to the reader that the mass of authority is opposed to A P, and some old Latin copies, though Am. and Fuld. may be doubted. — In 5
ἐπὶ τῳ θ. is right and best supported against
τοῦ θ. as in the Received Text. The dative best expresses proper and permanent relationship. The variety is great as to
κ. τ. πάντα, as it should be. “To me” is questionable; though P, most cursives and versions sustain it. “Faithful and true” is best supported.
- In 6 discrepancy again abounds. “It is” (as in the Received Text), or “they are” (A etc.), “done”; or “I am become,” as in B P, etc. Yet the best supported reading which the Complutensian edition adopted is intrinsically the worst. The first seems to be only formed by Erasmus according to the Vulgate. The second appears to be right. The omission of
εἰμι or insertion of
αὐτῳ is scarce felt in translation. — In 7 “these” (not “all”) things hardly can be questioned: so good is the authority. It is rather God’s everlasting glory in Christ than the special glory of reigning with Christ, the Heir of all things, the final unchanging blessedness of the redeemed, each overcomer having God his God, and he His son, where the article is quite wrong. — In 8 the Received Text fails to give the article, though in Codex Reuchlini Erasmus ought to have seen it written above in red. The better authorities ( A P, some cursives, and old versions, etc.) support Erasmus and the Received Text (as against the Complutensian edition, Griesbach, Scholz, with B, very many cursives, and other ancient versions, etc.) in omitting
καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς, “and sinners.” The emphatic form is right in the last clause, where Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus, etc., and P has only “death.” No; it is exactly not death merely because of sin as in Eden at the beginning, nor destructive judgments on the earth as in the past or the future; but now at the end “the second death,” because of grace and truth fully come yet rejected, despised, or corrupted. God is not mocked. If life in Christ be refused, all ends in endless separation and wrath from God; their part is in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone.
The words “unto me” in 9 are rightly struck out as having no known authority in Greek MSS. Erasmus’ Codex Reuchlini opposes the learned editor himself who ventured to father them. The Complutensian editors (save in 1 John 5:7, 8) adhered to their witnesses, such as they were; and of course here the words do not appear. The Armenian Version has the words, and also Lips.4 as the first of the three Latin versions of the Apocalypse in the. Univ. Library of Leipzig is designated. “Quibus ergo (says C. F. Matthaei, x. 303, ed. Rigae, 1785) Codicibus nititur
πρός μὲ Responsio apud Wetstenium in promptu est. Scilicet Codd. 1. 3. 5. 6. 13. 14. 15. Et qui semper Erasmo interroganti respondent: 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 28. Ergo omnino XIII. Cujus ergo hi recensionis sunt 9 Roterodamensis credo, aut Basileensis.” It may be bitterly ironical — but is too true. Did Erasmus know of Armenian or Lips.4? If not, the same root of imagination bore the same wild fruit. In the Complutensian edition
ἐκ τ. ἀγ. is rightly given, omitted not without the support of a few cursives by Erasmus, etc., down to the Received Text, but not affecting our versions. One cannot be surprised that copyists softened the solecism of
τῶν γόμοντων in p.m. A P. 12. 19. etc. into
τῶν γεμουσῶν as in corr. and as this was unsatisfactory into
τὰς γεμούσας (as in 1. 7. etc.) or
τὰς, as in B, and at least twenty-two cursives, etc., and so the Complutensian. B. and many omit
ἑπτά, The copies greatly vary in the order of the last words. But “the bride the wife of the Lamb” has the best authority, and the substantial sense is the same.
- In 10 “the great” should disappear, though Codex Reuchlini misled Erasmus, Complutensian editors, etc., not without six or more other cursives, and all the copies of Andreas’ Comm. The manuscripts differ slightly as to the last words, but all the edd. are right, and so the versions, unless one except Wiclif, who has “from heume of God.” — In 11 there is no copulative before
ὁ φ. save in a few cursives and versions, which misled Erasmus etc., and the Authorised Version. The best authorities have it not. But Erasmus does give
ὡς λίθῳ though wanting in Codex Reuchlini and other cursives, etc. — In 12 one cannot be surprised that Erasmus did not follow Codex Reuchlini, in
ἔχουσα τε. But critics generally adhere to the solecism without
τε as read in the best copies, and largely. Codex Sinaitic has the strange
ἔχοντι in the first place, and
ἔχουσα) in the second, where the best also give that correction as their text, and Erasmus again gave
ἔχουσαν. Lachmann alone of editors was bold enough to leave out “and at the gates twelve angels,” a mere omission through similar ending in the Alexandrian, a few Latin copies, and the later Syriac. Some of the Latin commentators, through a slip of copyists, were actually led to imagine “angles” for “angels.” And many and ancient copies support the addition of
ὀνόματα (with or without
τά) in the last clause, — which misled Lachmann, Matthaei, Tregelles (bracketed in his ed. N.T.), Alford (bracketed), and Tischendorf till his last or eighth edition. The latest criticism returns to the reading of Erasmus and the Complutensians, the common text in short, as represented in P 1. 37. 39. 47. 49. 51. 79. 91. 96. etc., save that
τῶν should vanish before
υἱῶν on good and full authority as against 1. 7. etc., a few giving
τοῦ, and others omitting.
- In 13 Codex Reuchlini and Latin copies led Erasmus, etc., to omit
καί three times, but the Complutensian is right. — In 14 Erasmus departed from
ἔχων in 1, which is also read in A B P and several cursives, for
ἔχων as in most with corr. ( p.m. omitting like the Aeth.) But it is doubtful if any MS. authorises
ἐν αὐτοῖς as in Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, (1. like 7. omitting
καὶ ἐν αὐτοῖς probably due to the Vulgate, but the margin of 1. adding in red
καὶ ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν). The Received Text from Erasmus also omits
δώδεκα, “twelve, “before “names,” though it stands in the margin of 1. The Complutensian is correct. — Erasmus followed 1. (which has other support) in dropping
μέτρον in 15, though there can be no doubt of its genuineness; and so all critics. — In 16 Codex Reuchlini is defective, for it has not
καὶ τὸ μῆκος αὐτῆς ὅσον τὸ πλάτος. Hence Erasmus seems to have translated from the Vulgate
κ. τ. μ. ἀ. τοσοῦτόν ἐστιν ὅσον καὶ τ. πλ. displaces the first words. The Complutensian edition has
σταδίους, and so A B and most, with Elzevir. But Erasmus etc., gave
σταδίων, and so P 1, etc. — In 17 there is nothing that calls for our notice. — In 18
ἦν of the Received Text has large support, but is left out by the best, though Codex Sinaitic.p.m. omits
ἡ and reads the substantive verb.
ὅμοιον (Compl.) displaces
ὁμοία as in 1. etc., as it has by far the best and most witnesses. — At the beginning of 19
καί stands in 1. 7. and many more, and so in the Received Text, as well as the Complutensian but not in the best MSS., or even the oldest Latin.10
- In 20 A B P and about 25 cursives have
σάρδιον for —
ος as in Erasmus, the Complutensian etc., with many cursives. Other shades of difference may be left. — But, in 21 how came Erasmus to give us
διαφανής instead of the true reading
διαυγής in 1. and forty more cursives, etc., as well as the uncials A B P? — Was it not odd of a scholar like Lachmann to edit after A
ναὸς αὐτῆς in 22? The last clause proves that it could not be correct Greek; and apart from this to make it not a predicate but reciprocal has no just sense. — In 23
ἐν is not in 1. and many other juniors, beside p.m. A B P, etc. Erasmus probably followed the Vulgate. But the Complutensian has it, and several cursives, as well as corr. Some have
αὐτήν. — But in 24 there is the serious error in the Received Text of
τῶν σωζομένων in accordance with the Codex Reuchlini. Probably it is due to some Greek comment as in Cramer’s (Cat. P. Gr. vi. 577, Oxon. 1840, though
τὰ μὲν οὖν σωζόμενα ἔθνη does not justify the confusion of the received text. And such I see is the opinion of Matthaei (x. 198) who cites a scholium of Andreas, which Tischendorf borrows.
ἐν (1. omits)
τῳ φ., as in the Received Text, should be
διὰ τ, φ. on the amplest evidence; and
καὶ τὴν τιμήν, though edited by the Complutensians as well as Erasmus, and not without more support than they knew, should disappear on better testimony. No doubt the words were imported from verse 26, which furnishes itself no other occasion for remark, save that Codex Reuchlini leaves it out altogether. — In 27 Erasmus found
κοινων in his copy, which he changed into
κοινοῦν without authority, and so it went on to the Received Text. The Complutensian had the true reading
κοινόν as in A B P, and the mass of cursives etc.
ποιοῦν is in 1. etc., but —
ῶν is fully justified.
In 1 “pure” is rightly expunged as an expletive added by several cursives and other authorities, and, as adopted by Erasmus from the Reuchlin copy, current in the received text, but not in the great uncials, A B P (C being here as often defective) as well as in some thirty juniors and most of the old versions. — The first clause of 2 is connected singularly by the Revisers with verse 1: “out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the midst of the street thereof.” Of course it is possible grammatically; and, if allowed, it would strengthen De Wette’s severance of
τοῦ ποταμοῦ from
ἐν μ. and connection of it only with
ἐντ. καὶ ἐντ. But it seems a strange and poor conclusion to the grand picture of the river of life proceeding out of the throne. That no version is known to us generally as favourable to such a construction is serious, when one considers the responsibility of a Revision intended for ordinary use, and not merely what an individual or two might suggest to students. Is it not going beyond the limits of what is fair, especially if it were the impression of a few men confident in their own judgment and ready in overthrowing the pleas of others?
Let me suggest the spiritual propriety as in my opinion confirming here the rendering hitherto and everywhere approved. The beautiful truth is laid down in the opening verse that at the epoch intended the throne is now styled the throne of God and the Lamb. It was not so before He came to reign; it will not be so when He delivers up the kingdom to God even the Father, when God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) shall be all in all. And out of what is now first called the throne of God and the Lamb proceeds a river of life bright as crystal, the full unhindered power of enjoying that life eternal which the believer has here in utter weakness and with manifold hindrances. Such is its source, character, and time.
Then follows in verse 3 the weighty and interesting communication, that in the midst of the street or broadway of the heavenly city and of the river, on this side and on that, was the tree of life according to the promise of Christ in Rev. 2:7. The paradise of God coalesces with the now Jerusalem. Life’s tree producing twelve fruits, each month yielding its fruit, not merely on either side of the river, but in the midst of the street, points to the accessibility as well as full and varied supply of bounteous refreshment — this spiritually for the favoured on high. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, here again pointing to the administration of the fulness of the seasons, when God will in Christ sum up all things, or put them all under His headship, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth — in Him in whom also we obtained inheritance. For the characteristic of that day will not be either the earth alone, or the heavens alone, but both, the scene of blessing and glory, and this in suited measure of character: the heavens supremely and absolutely, evil thence expelled for ever and never more to recur; the earth filled with glory in a form and measure adapted to a scene where not curse but blessing reigns in righteousness, even if a final uprising of the nations be in store at the end, when Satan is let loose once more to seduce, before the white throne judgment of the wicked raised for their everlasting doom. But under the reign of. Christ the coexistence is plain of the heavens and the earth with. their suited inhabitants and in due order to the glory of God. Hence, as we see, whatever be on high, the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. Where weakness was still, remedial grace was not wanting. The nations had the leaves, not a word for them about the fruits.
As an instance of the danger of speculation, through ignorance of the true bearing of these scriptures, let me call attention to the late Dean Alford’s note on the end of 21 to which his comment on Rev. 22:2 refers us. “There may be, — I say it with all diffidence, — those who have been saved by Christ without ever forming a part of his visible organised Church.” Of course, if he meant, when the church is glorified above, at Christ’s appearing and kingdom, the kings and nations of the earth form no part evidently of that higher object of divine mercy; why he should speak with diffidence of this, if it be all that is meant, is hardly intelligible. All that look with ordinary intelligence for Christ’s coming to introduce the kingdom of God over the earth, assert this without hesitation; and as Alford so believed, it is scarce accountable that he should adopt shyness so unusual. Can he by some confusion of mind have meant that people have been saved by Christ without ever forming a part of it, while the church has been on the earth? “And so perhaps some light may be thrown on one of the darkest mysteries of redemption.” I cannot comprehend such language in juxta-position, unless this last be his thought. If so, it is groundless, false, and mischievous; and the whole connection unjustifiable. Not a word is said about the salvation of these nations (
τῶν σωζ. in 24 being notoriously spurious and even absurd); and “the mysteries” of God, being now revealed by Christ, and since redemption especially, are in no wise “dark.” But the question raised is never in Scripture treated as a “mystery” at all, but as a plain and solemn warning to conscience in contradiction of the Dean’s imaginary “light.” “The darkest mysteries of redemption” are to a scripturally instructed mind a monstrosity.
It reminds one of the no less unhappy language on 1 Peter 3:19, 20, which he applies, like the mass of men who do not understand the gospel, to Christ’s preaching in His disembodied state to the disembodied spirits that refused God’s voice at the flood! which, he says, “throws blessed light on one of the darkest enigmas of divine justice, the cases where the final doom seems infinitely out of proportion to the lapse which has incurred it.” And then he even goes on to limit that it would be presumption in us to limit its occurrence or its efficacy! If I had not spoken plainly of such perilous language during the writer’s life, I might scruple to denounce it now that he is gone. The true inference to be drawn by every intelligent reader is that men of learning are peculiarly liable, if not solidly built up in the truth of Christ, to be carried away by appearances of erudition, especially if they plume themselves on superior honesty, which is often no more at bottom than a rash confidence in themselves and contempt of others. The worst of all is ignorance of redemption, and hence sacrificing foundation truth. If the reader desires a full view of the passage on all sides, he may find it in the “Bible Treasury,” ix. pp. 11, 30, 46, 58, 89, 138, 169, 265, 278, 334. Could Dean Alford have so much as realised his own words? The true stumbling-block for unbelief is, not the flood coming on ante-diluvian violence and corruption, but the unending doom of all who believe not. Now the passage speaks not of the latter, which was really in Alford’s mind, but of the former which is independent of “the darkest enigma,” as it certainly throws not a ray of what he calls “blessed light” on it. For what is implied in the inspired words is that those disobedient to the preaching of Christ’s Spirit not only suffered a great temporal punishment, but are now kept like unbelievers generally for the final judgment. The entire comment is as illogical as heterodox; and the philology is no better. Truth in all naturally goes together. Archbishop Leighton had the soundest reasons to treat the notion of Christ’s descent into hell as a dream; and that this passage if duly weighed proves no way suitable, and cannot by the strongest wresting be drawn to fit such a purpose. Heartily, and after the most careful scrutiny do I agree with that able, learned, and pious prelate against a baseless if superficially plausible assumption.
Singular to say, Erasmus in 3 rightly deserted the Codex Reuchlini, where it, 7. 30., and some fifteen more, etc., read
ἐκεῖ “there,” for which the Rotterdam scholar conjectured, it is to be presumed in accordance with the Vulgate,
ἔτι “more,” or “longer”: a dangerous device, though here in fact the great mass of the best authorities, unknown to him, were found afterwards to justify the word. The Complutensian edition gives the erroneous reading
ἐκεῖ. There was no reason for the Authorised Version to say “but,” which the Revisers have replaced with “and.” Absence of curse in the New Jerusalem is accompanied by the throne of God and the Lamb; and if we have their distinctness thus preserved, the next words involve or rather convey their oneness: “and His (God and the Lamb’s) servants shall serve Him.” So it is habitually with St. John. — In 4 the Revisers rightly say “on,” (not “in”) their foreheads.” — So in 5 they as properly explode the vulgar “there” (
ἐκεῖ) which Erasmus introduced from his copy, perhaps assimilated to 21:25, though not unsupported and they follow the true
ἔτι “more,” as in A P, etc. There is yet another variety without either in the Basilian Vatican (2066) with considerable assent of other witnesses. The copies vary also in other particulars of no great moment, as “shall” give them light, in the best copies and even the Codex Reuchlini instead of the present as in Erasmus, and the Received Text, and the Authorised Version; and “upon” them, as in
A etc. “Lamp” is better than “candle.”
In 6 the first
ὁ is doubtful, though given in A 35. 92. The usual formula is
κ. ὁ θ. as in B P and the cursives generally, as well as the Greek commentators. Rev. 21:22 may be judged favourable to the repeated article. But there need be no hesitation in adopting
πνευμάτων τῶν “spirits of the” (instead of the vulgar “holy,
ἁγίων 1. 79. etc.) with the Complutensian on the most ancient and ample authority, all the uncials, etc. The Sinaitic is not quite alone in the addition of
με after “sent.” — 7 begins rightly with the copulative, as in the Complutensian, though Erasmus’ Codex Reuchlini is sustained by many MSS., Versions, etc. — The Revisers in 8 correctly say “am he that heard and saw,” not saw and heard. It is a characteristic fact apart from time. The best authorities also read
τ. at the end of the clause. There are other differences of form not worth recording here. — In 9 the
γάρ. “for” has no known authority in a, Greek MS., and is probably due to Latin influence. It is not in the Codex Reuchlini. Of course the Complutensian edition is right. Tischendorf mentions the omission of
καί by the Codex Reuchlini before “thy crown,” but not again before “of them which keep.” Erasmus supplied them rightly, though not from his copy. — In 10 however the Complutensian agrees with Erasmus on the authority of a few copies (1. 49. 91. etc.) in reading
ὅτι ὁ κ. instead of
ὁ κ. γάρ with the best. Some manuscripts, as 4. 16. 27. 39. 48. 68. omit
ὅτι. — In 11
ῥυπῶν of the commonly received text is Erasmus’ conjecture, his copy being defective from
ὁ ῥ to
δικ. ἔτι. The word should be
ῥυπωρός as in all the well known Greek copies; but
ῥυπωσάτω is likewise a similar guess, though the manuscripts divide between
ῥυπανθήτω as in 18. 32. and
ῥυπαρωθήτω as in B and more than 30 cursives. The Alexandrian omits the clause, Cod. Eph. Resc. is defective,
There need be no doubt that
δικαιωθήτω as in the Received Text from Erasmus, etc., must give place to the Complutensian reading
δικαιοσυνὴν ποιησάτω, which of course the Revisers follow, with the sense “do” or “practise” righteousness, not be justified or “be righteous” as in the Authorised Version. They are right also in rendering
ἁγ. “be made holy,” or sanctified. — Again, at the beginning of 12 the copulative has no real place, though Erasmus found it in his copy and did not conjecture it; but it is excluded by the mass of versions, and cursives. And the true reading is represented by “is,” not “shall be,” though B and more than 20 cursives favour the future form. — “Am” in 13 is all right in sense, but implied rather than expressed in the best copies. Without dwelling on lesser points, the chief difference is in the presence or absence of the article before
πρ. first and
ἔσχ last, as well as before
ἀρ. “beginning,” and 7. “end,” which by the best authorities close the sentence. — The most extraordinary variant is in 14 where “that wash their robes,”
οἱ πλύνοντς τὰς στολὰς αὐτῶν (
A 7. 38. Vulg. Aeth., etc.) seems to be the true text. But it got changed into
οἱ ποιοῦντες τὰς ἐντολὰς αὐτοῦ “that do his commandments” in the common texts, Erasmus and the Complutensian, Stephens, Beza, and Elzevir. One could understand, as in Rom. 2, the unchanging character of God as reflected in His children, if the common reading were assuredly right; as it is, the critical text gives prominence to that washing11 by grace which supposes not more the shedding of Christ’s blood than the guilt that demanded it if expiation were to be righteously. Such are they who have title to the tree of life and go in by the gates into the city. — Verse 15 points out who are “without,” the dogs and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolators, and every one that loves and makes a lie. There is no evil so desperate as refusing or giving up the truth when the full revelation of grace is come. There is no ascertained authority in any Greek copy for
δέ, even the Codex Reuchlini giving no warrant to Erasmus, who transmitted it to our ordinary text. The article is rightly excluded from the last phrase. Tischendorf inverts the making and loving with and half-a-dozen cursives, and a few ancient citations.
In 16 there is the variety of reading
ἐπί, ἐν, and neither before
τ. ἐκκ. respectively, in B, most cursives, Syr., in A 18. 21. 38. 79. Vulgate, and in 1. 4. 11. 12. 31. 47. 48. Arm., etc. “in” or “for” the churches. The reading
καὶ ὀρθρινός is doubtless Erasmus’ coinage from the Vulgate, for
ὁ πρ. “the morning.” — Why in 17 the Sinaitic omits the articles so requisite before
ν. it is hard to say, but so it is. Erasmus knew better without a copy; for the Codex Reuchlini is defective from “David” in 16. But he wrongly introduced
ἐλθέτω where the Holy Spirit has
ἐρχέσθω. Nor should the copulative precede
ὁ θ. though at least two cursives and many ancient versions etc. favour it. For
λαμβ. τὸ ὑδ. the copies give
λαβ. ὑδ. — There is a threefold error in the common text at the beginning of 18:
γάρ, which answers to nothing, as well as the suppression of
ἐγώ, the guess-work of Erasmus from following the Latin copies. So also the omission of
τῳ (though some copies omit it),
τῆς, τοῦ, and the form
ἐπιτιθῃ instead of
ἐπιθῆ, and for
ἐπ᾽ αὐτά, πρὸς ταῦτα, and
ὁ θ. before instead of after
The omission of
β. is due to the same Latinizing source. Aldus, in his reprint of Erasmus’ New Testament for his Greek Bible of 1518, did venture on the supply of
τοῦ, but not, strange to say, of
τῆς, nor of
τῳ (bis), though of course the principle is the same. So in
19 ἀφαιρῃ is an evidently faulty effort to express the guilt of taking from the words of this inspired book, for which every manuscript has
βιβλίου is the correct form rather than
ἀφαιρήσει is not the right expression but
ἀφελεῖ. The next error goes beyond the form; for, as the Revisers agree with all critics, it is a question of “the tree,” not of the “book” of life here, an error due to Latin influence, though even then the form would be incorrect as before. Erasmus mistakenly added
τ. γ. and omitted
τῳ in the last clause. All these points are of course rectified in the Revision. The Complutensian edition is right, save in
ἀφέλοι though this is not without good support of MSS. In 20 Erasmus, the Complutensian, as well as Stephens with many cursives, read
Αμήν, for which Beza substituted
But even this was less daring than his notable proposal, founded on wholly unfounded premisses, to dislocate verses 12 and 13 from their place and foist them in, the latter before the former, between that which is printed as verse 16 and verse 17, to the utter destruction of the context, and particularly of the vital tie which binds 17 to 16, one of the loveliest touches in a book abounding with beauty in this kind. — In 21 A 26. omit χριστοῦ, a rather slender ground for excluding “Christ.” Still less (A and the Amiatine Latin) has Tischendorf for ending with
μ. π. Even the Sinaitic says “with the saints,” as B. and the mass of cursives and versions say “with all the saints.” With “you” all is a guess of Erasmus, as far as Greek copies are concerned, though here again he was influenced by some of the Latins. It is not to be supposed that he knew of
ἡμῶν (30. etc.) for “our” Lord in the earlier part of the verse, but there too was misled by the Vulgate, etc. It is curious how the earliest, as well as the great multitude of copies, and versions etc., add
ἀμήν, which nevertheless the critics generally drop.
9 The Bishop of Durham in loco (p. 151, Fourth edition) admits of course that the vulgar reading is wrong, and that the true is the final [but why final?] resurrection of the righteous to a new and glorified life. And then he speaks of “the general resurrection whether good or bad,” which is a mere tradition opposed to Scripture. 1 Cor. 15 speaks only of the saints. There are two special resurrections, not one general.
10 It may interest the reader to know that the most learned of modern or indeed ancient writers, in the Natural History of Precious Stones, avows his wonder at the arrangement of the twelve foundation courses of the New Jerusalem. Notoriously it differs wholly from that of the High Priest’s breast-plate, or Rationale as the Latins strangely render the
περιστήθιον. “Instead of this St. John has most ingeniously disposed of them according to their various shades of the same colour, as the following list will demonstrate, taking them in order from the bottom upwards.”...”So minute an acquaintance with the nicest shades of colour of the precious stones will more forcibly impress the reader, if he should attempt to arrange from memory, and by his own casually acquired knowledge alone, twelve gems, or even half that number, according to their proper tints. The ‘sainted seer’ alludes in other passages...in a very technical manner” [iv. xxi: 11]...”Such allusions display that exact knowledge of particulars only possessed by persons either dealing in precious stones or from other circumstances obliged to have a practical acquaintance with their nature, which could never have been found in a Galilean fisherman, unless we choose to cut the knot of the difficulty with the ever ready sword of verbal inspiration.” O the helplessness of unbelief in a man, however able, when he surrenders the true secret of holy writ!
11 Yet the Vulgate was not warranted in adding “in sanguine Agni” which the oldest Latin copies omit. But Beza was quite wrong in supposing that the rest of the Vulgate text was unfaithful to the best Greek copies.