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and that the names, if not the same, do at least so closely resemble, that they can hardly be mistaken for the names of different persons. But I have had occasion to discover that many of the unlearned, though neither ignorant nor deficient in understanding, know not that Elias, so often mentioned in the New Testament, is the Elijah of the Old, that Eliseus is Elisha, that Osee is Hosea, and that Jesus mentioned once in the Acts (7: 45), and once in the Epistle to the Hebrews (4:8), is Joshua. Had the names been totally different in the original, there might have been some reason for adopting this method. The old oriental names are often of use for pointing out the founders of nations, families, and tribes, and the more recent Greek names serve to connect those early notices with the later accounts of Greek and Roman historians. If they had, therefore, in the translation of the Old Testament, given, as in the original, the name Mizraim to Egypt, Aram to Syria, and Javan to Greece, much might have been urged in desence of this manner. But when all the difference in the words results from an insignificant alteration in the spelling, in order to accommodate the Hebrew name to Grecian ears ; to consider them on that account as different names, and translate them differently, does not appear susceptible of a rational apology
What should we think of a translator of Polybius, for example, who should always call Carthage Karchedon, and Hannibal Annibas, because the words of his author are Καρχηδων and 'Αννίβας; or, to come nearer home, should, in translating into English from the French, call London Londres, and Hague La Haye. It can be ascribed solely to the almost irresistible influence of example, that our translators, who were eminent for their discernment as well as their learning, have been drawn into this frivolous innovation. At the same time, their want of uniformity in using this method, seems to betray a consciousness of some impropriety in it, and that it tended unnecessarily to darken what in itself is perfectly clear. Accordingly, they have not thought it advisable to exhibit the names in most frequent use differently in different parts of Scripture, or even differently from the names by which the persons are known in profane history. Thus he whom they have called Moses in the New Testament, is not in the Old Testament made Mosheh, nor Solomon Shelomeh ; nor is Artaxerxes rendered Artachshasta, nor Cyrus Choresh, agreeably to the Hebrew orthography, though the names of the two last mentioned are not derived to us from the New Testament, but from Pagan bistorians.
12. Not that I think it of any moment whether the names be derived from the Greek or from the Hebrew, or from any other language. The matters of consequence here are only these two; first to take the name in the most current use, whether it be formed from the Hebrew, from the Greek, or from the Latin; secondly, Vol. I.
to use the same nanie in both Testaments, when the difference made on it in the two languages is merely such a change in the spelling and termination as commonly takes place in transplanting a word from one tongue into another. Nothing can be more vain than the attempt to bring us, in pronouncing names, to a stronger resemblance to the original sounds. Were this, as it is not, an object deserving the attention of an interpreter, it were easy to show that the methods employed for this purpose have often had the contrary effect. We have in this mostly followed German and Dutch linguists.
Admitting that they came near the truth according to their rule of pronouncing, which is the utmost they can ask, the powers of the same nominal letters are different in the different languages spoken at present in Europe; and we, by following their spelling, even when they were in the right, have departed further from the original sound than we were before. The consonant j sounds in German like our y in the word year; sch with them sounds like our sh, like the French ch, and like the Italian sc when it immediately precedes i or e; whereas sch with us has generally the same sound with sk, and the consonant j the same with g before i ore. Besides, the letters which with us have different sounds in different situations, we have reason to believe were sounded uniformly in ancient languages, or at least did not undergo alterations correspondent to
Thus the brook called Kidron in the common version in the Old Testament, is for the sake I suppose of a closer conformity to the Greek, called Cedron, in the New. Yet the c in our language in this situation is sounded exactly as the s, a sound which we have good ground to think that the corresponding letter in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, never had.
13. The rules, therefore, which I have followed in expressing proper names are these.
First, When the name of the same person or thing is in the common translation, both in the Old Testament and in the New, expressed in the same manner, whether it be derived from the Hebrew or from the Greek, I uniformly employ it, because in that case it has always the sanction of good use.
Thus Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon, Jerusalem and Jericho, Bethlehem and Jordan, and many others, remain in the places of which they have had immemorial possession, though of these Moses and Solomon are directly from the Greek, the rest from the Hebrew. Secondly, When the name of the same person or thing is expressed in the common translation differently in the Old Testament and in the New, (the difference being such as results from adapting words of one language to the articulation of another), 1 have, except in a very few cases, preserred the word used in the Old Testament. This does not proceed from the desire of coming nearer the pronunciation of the Hebrew root, for that is a matter of
no consequenee; but from the desire of preventing as far as possible all mistakes in regard to the persons or things spoken of. It is from the Old Testament that we have commonly what is known of the individuals mentioned in it, and referred to in the New. By naming them differently, there is a danger lest the person or thing alluded to be mistaken.
For this reason, I say, Elijah, not Elias ; Elisha, not Eliseus; Isaiah, not Esaias ; Kidron, not Cedron. For this reason also, in the catalogues of our Lord's progenitors, both in Matthew and in Luke, I have given the names as they are spelt in the common version of the Old Testament. From this rule I admit some exceptions. In a few instances the thing mentioned is better known, either by what is said of it in the New Testament or by the information we derive from Pagan authors, than by what we find in the Old. In this case the name in the New Testament has a greater currency than that used in the Old, and consequently, according to my notion of what ought to regulate our choice, is entitled to the prefer
For this reason I say Sarepta and Sidon, not Zarephath and Zidon, as the former names are rendered by classical use, as that of the New Testament, more familiar than the latter. Thirdly, When the same name is given by the sacred writers in their own language to different persons, which the English translators have rendered differently in the different applications, I have judged it reasonable to adopt this distinction made by our old interpreters as conducing to perspicuity. The name of Jacob's fourth son is the same with that of two of the apostles. But as the first rule obliges me to give the Old Testament name Judah to the patriarch, I have reserved the term Judas, as used in the New, for the two apostles. This also suits universal and present use, for we never call the patriarch Judas nor any of the apostles Judah. The
proper name of our Lord is the same with that of Joshua, who is, in the Septuagint, always called 'Ingoūs, and is twice so named in the New Testament. Every body must be sensible of the expediency of confining the Old Testament name to the captain of the host of Israel, and the other to the Messiah. There can be no doubt that the name of Aaron's sister, and that of our Lord's mother, were originally the same. The former is called in the Septuagint Mupidu, the name also given to the latter by the evangelist Luke. The other evangelists commonly say Magia. But as use with us has appropriated Miriam to the first and Mary to the second, it could answer no valuable purpose to confound them. The name of the father of the twelve tribes is, in the oriental dialects, the same with that of one of the sons of Zebedee, and that of the son of Alpheus. A small distinction is indeed made by the evangelists, who add a Greek termination to the Hebrew name when they apply it to the apostles, which, when they apply it to the patriarch, they never do.
If our translators had copied as minutely in this instance as they have done in some others, the patriarch they would indeed have named Jacob, and each of the two apostles Jacobus. However, as in naming the two last, they have thought fit to substitute James, which use also has confirmed, I have preserved this distinction.
14. L'pon the whole, in all that concerns proper names, I have conformed to the judicious rule of King James the First more strictJy, I suppose, than those translators to whom it was recommended: - The names of the prophets and the holy writers, with the other names in the text, are to be retained, as near as may be, according as they are vulgarly used.”
THE OUTWARD FORM OF THE VERSION. I am now to offer a few things on the form in which this translation is exhibited. It is well known, that the division of the books of holy writ into chapters and verses does not proceed from the inspired writers, but is a contrivance of a much later date. Even the punctuation, for distinguishing the sentences from one another, and dividing every sentence into its constituent members and clauses, though a more ancient invention, was for many ages, except by grammarians and rhetoricians, hardly ever used in transcribing; insomuch, that whatever depends merely on the division of sentences, on points, aspirations, and accents, cannot be said to rest ultimately, as the words themselves do, upon the authority of the sacred penmen. These particulars give free scope for the sagacity of criticism, and unrestrained exercise to the talent of investigating, inasmuch as in none of these points is there any ground for the plea of inspiration.
2. As to the division into chapters and verses, we know that the present is not that which obtained in primitive ages, and that even the earliest division is not derived from the apostles, but from some of their first commentators, who, for the conveniency of readers, contrived this method. The division into chapters that now universally prevails in Europe, derived its origin from Cardinal Caro, who lived in the twelfth century; the subdivision into verses is of no older date than the middle of the sixteenth century, and was the invention of Robert Stephens. That there are many advatages which result from so minute a partition of the sacred oracles, cannot be denied. The facility with which any place, in consequence of this method, is pointed out by the writer and found by the reader; the easy recourse it gives, in consulting commentators, to the passage whereof the explanation is wanted; the aid it has afforded to the compilers of concordances, which are of considerable assistance in the study of Scripture; these, and many other accommodations, have accrued from this contrivance.
3. It is not, however, without its inconveniences. This manner of mincing a connected work into short sentences, detached from one another, not barely in appearance, by their being ranked under separate numbers and by the breaks in the lines, but in effect, by the influence which the text, thus parcelled out, has insensibly had on copiers and translators, both in pointing and in translating, is not well suited to the species of composition which obtains in all the sacred books, except the Psalms and the book of Proverbs. To the epistolary and argumentative style it is extremely ill adapted, as has been well evinced by Mr. Locke ;* neither does it suit the historical. There are inconveniences which would result from this way of dividing, even if executed in the best manner possible ; but, though I am unwilling to detract from the merit of an expedient which has been productive of some good consequences, I cannot help observing, that the inventors have been far too hasty in conducting the execution.
The subject is sometimes interrupted by the division into chapters. Of this I might produce many examples, but, for brevity's sake, shall mention only a few. The last verse of the fifteenth chapter of Matthew is much more closely connected with what follows in the sixteenth, than with what precedes. In like manner, the last verse of the nineteenth chapter, “ Many shall be first that are last, and last that are first,” ought not to be disjoined (I say not, from the subsequent chapter, but even) from the subsequent paragraph which contains the parable of the laborers hired to work in the vineyard, brought merely in illustration of that sentiment, and beginning and ending with it. The first verse of the fisth chapter of Mark is much more properly joined to the concluding paragraph of the fourth chapter, as it shows the completeness of the miracle there related, than to what follows in the fifth. The like may be remarked of the first verse of the ninth chapter. Of the division into verses it may be observed, that it often occasions an unnatural separation of the members of the same sentence;t nay sometimes, which is worse, the same verse comprehends a part of two different sentences. That this division should often have a bad effect
translafors is inevitable. First, by attending narrowly to the verses, an in
* Essay for the understanding of St. Paul's Epistles, prefixed to his Paraphrase and Notes on some of ihe Episiles.
+ In Matt. 11: 2, we have a verse without a verb, and ending with a comma.