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Union, as the great enterprise of the age. And in this opinion, we have no doubt that posterity hereafter will concur with the wise and good of our own day, in so regarding it. As for ourselves, we feel assured that the revision now being made, will, when completed, aid much in the advancement of the present religious reformation.
But in conclusion, we would say to all the lovers of the truth, who desire its universal prevalence, "Give us your aid in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, which those who had taken us captive have demolished. The Lord's Anointed bas issued a decree, authorizing his people to return and to rebuild the waste places of Zion.
We build upon the foundation of Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. While we build with one hand, we hold in the other the sword of the Spirit, with which we keep aloof the Sanballats of the age.
And while we speak together of the peace and prosperity of Zion, let us avoid the provincialisms of Ashdod, the shiboleths of party, and let us adopt the pure language of Canaan, speaking of spiritual things in words dictated by the Holy Spirit.
Then shall the watchmen on the walls of Zion see eye to eye, and His people, as a flock, shall feed upon the green pastures, and be led by the still waters of his grace and love. Then shall be seen the reign of Truth and Righteousness, the millennial glory of the church, and the happy subjects thereof be heard to sing, “Beautiful for situa. tion, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion." “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved."
A. W. C.
N. Y. OBSERVER AND THE REVISION OF JOB.
December 22, 1855. Messrs. EDITORS—The N. Y. Observer, of November 8th last, con. tained a very ungracious notice of the revised version of the Book of Job, as now being published by the American Bible Union. The statements of the writer were so adapted to convey impressions contrary to the facts, that, considering the reputation and influence of the Observer, and the intelligence of its readers, a reply, by request of the officers of the American Bible Union, was prepared by the Rev. Dr. Judd, of New York. His reply was delivered to the conductors of that journal nearly three weeks since, by the Treasurer of the Union, William Colgate, Esq., with a respectful request to have it appear as soon as practicable.
Notwithstanding great injustice had been done to the Union, and although the claims of truth required an early publication of the reply
of Ds. Judd, an article appears in the Observer, of December 13th, from an anonymous correspondent, who signs himself “ Justitia," and who is allowed again to attack the Bible Union, while our article in reply to the Editorial attack is not even noticed.
You will do a favor to us and the cause of truth, by publishing the Editorial of the Observer, and the reply, both of which we enclose, on behalf of the American Bible Union.
Wm. H. WYCOFF, Corresponding Sec'y,
JOB'S WIFE AND THE CRITICS.
[From the New York Observer, November 8, 1855.] The first time that the new version of the Bible has been brought into pulpit use, was at the funeral services of the late Rev. Dr. Cone. As he was one of its fathers, it was meet that his obsequies should be signalized by the inauguration of his favorite work. The Rev. Dr. Maclay read selections from the Book of Job, according to the new version, in the midst of which occurred the following passage:
“And Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah, and smote Job with grievous ulcers, from the sole of his foot to his crown. And he took a potsherd to scrape himself therewith, as he sat among the ashes. Then said his wife to him: Dost thou still hold fast thy integrity? Bless God and die! But Job said to her: Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaks. The good shall we receive from God, and shall we not receive the evil?"
If these astute and professedly learned critics have found any sufficient reason for substituting “grievous ulcers” for "sore boils," we will not quarrel with them for the liberty they have taken. Sore boils are grievous ulcers, if not vice versa, and we are always glad to let them pass. The least said the better, about the boils. But not so with the new phase they give to the language and sentiment of Job's wife.
Our translation reads: “Then said his wife unto him: Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die." The new-version translators render it, Bless God and die.” Is there any thing to favor this change? We are aware that some modern critics (as Dr. Good) have given it, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity, blessing God and dying;” and this reading preserves the wife's idea, for she complains of Job for still trusting in God even in his extremity, and then we see the force of his reply, “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What! shall we receive good at the hands of God, and shall we not receive evil?" But if we make Job's wife to advise her husband to BLESS God and die, as there was every reason to suppose he was about to die, his reply to her is inhuman and wicked; and it could not be affirmed of him, as it is affirmed, “In all this did not Job sin with his lips ?”
" The response of Job," says Barnes, "shows that he understood her as exciting him to reject, renounce, or curse God. The sense is, that she regarded him as unworthy of confidence."
It requires no great knowledge of the ancient Scriptures to expose the glaring absurdity and positive wrong of this Baptist version's alteration of God's holy word. We know that the word rendered
curse may, also, be translated bless, as its more precise meaning is, to invoke, i. e., either good or evil, to be determined by the context. The same word in the Hebrew is used in 1 Kings xxi. 10–13, where the sons of Belial are hardly to be suspected of charging Naboth with blessing God and the King. In the case of Job and his wife, the whole conversation proceeds on the presumption that she exhorts the patient and submissive patriarch to curse God, and not to bless him, as he had done (chap i. 21) with all the fervor of his soul, in words that are even to this day the language only of a heart perfectly resigned to God's will. Such, too, has been the uniform sentiment of the church in all ages and climes. Job's wife has been remembered for her wicked assault upon her husband in his calamity, as truly as Lot's wife for looking back when she and her husband were fleeing from Sodom.
We have called attention to this obvious alteration of the sacred text, to expose, not only the incompetency, but the recklessness, of these new-version tinkers. If they will thus mar the beauty and de stroy the meaning of God's word in portions of holy Scripture where there is no difference of opinion among Christians, what will they not do when the powerful motive of sectarian prejudice urges them to tamper with the sacred text. It is evident that they have no claims whatever to consideration on the score of learning or ability, and we predict that their new Bible will react upon the cause they are hoping to serve by getting it up.
DR. JUDD'S REPLY.
To the Editor of the New York Observer :
In the editorial critique which appeared in your paper of November 8, 1855, you have made very grave charges against the American Bible Union, and against the men employed by the Union as translators; especially against the translation of Job. I have been requested to answer these charges; and, considering the number and character of your readers, who, without some answer, would rely on your statement as unquestionable, I have thought it worth while to comply; presuming that you stand ready, as every honorable man must, to allow those so charged the opportunity of vindicating themselves before your readers.
Your allusion to Dr. Cone as father of the new version, which you hold up to contempt, and by which you say, "it was meet that his obsequies should be signalized," seems to me extremely unkind, partaking of something very unlike that beautiful charity of the Bible which "covers a multitude of sins” while men are living, and buries every fault of the dead in eternal oblivion. Dr. Cone was a good and great man; and, whether he was right or wrong in the mutter of translating the Scriptures, such odious reflections upon his life, now that he is dead and can no longer answer for himself, are unjust.
Your insinuation that the American Bible Union is getting up a "new Bible" to subserve some sectarian purpose, is without foundation in truth, and altogether gratuitous in assumption; as the purposes, principles, and practices of the Union are as unsectarian as pos. sible, and the rendering which you make the occasion of this insinua
tion, you admit, involves " no difference of opinion among Chris. tians," as regards their distinctive sentiments.
You characterize those engaged in translating for the American Bible Union, as "astute and professedly learned critics," whose incompetency and “recklessness” you feel called upon to “expose;": and whose ill-directed efforts “mar the beauty and destroy the meaning of God's holy word.”. You stigmatize them as "new-version tinkers," who have no claims whatever to consideration on the score of learning or ability.”
You impeach their principles and moral honesty, by insinuating that they would intentionally pervert the word of God, "when the powerful motive of sectarian prejudice urges them to tamper with the sacred text."
Now the men employed by the American Bible Union to translate the Scriptures, belong to some eight or ten different sects. They have unquestionable testimonials of Christian character, scholarship, and ability; and Dr. Conant, whose translation is the special object of your animadversion, is well known throughout the world, as preeminent among the best oriental scholars and biblical critics in America.
Even admitting, then, that a mistake has been made in the translation of a single passage, (which is all you allege,) is it becoming you as editor of a newspaper, to sit in jndgment upon such men, to de. nounce them as incompetent, illiterate, reckless, and dishonest tinkers?
You say that "the common version of Job, ii. 9, .curse God,' is sustained by the uniform sentiment of the church in all ages and climes;” that the translation of Dr. Conant, as published by the American Bible Union, "bless God,” is a “new prase" given to the language and sentiment of Job's wife; "an obvious alteration of the sacred text;" and that "it requires no great knowledge of the ancient Scriptures to expose the glaring absurdity and positive wrong of this Baptist version's alteration of God's holy word.”
Now, such statements, so contrary to the facts in the case, would be unaccountable to me had you not, at the same time, stated that “no great knowledge of the ancient Scriptures is requisite to expose the error of Dr. Conant;" leaving us to infer that ihey were made without the knowledge which you deemed superfluous for the proper interpretation and translation of the passage in question. The facts in the case are these:
The Hebrew verb berekh, which the common version renders * "curse,” in Job ii. 9, and which Dr. Conant has there translated *bless,” occurs very often in the Hebrew Scriptures, and, with but few exceptions, it is everywhere rendered “bless," in the common English version; which all Hebrew scholars admit to be its usual meaning. And some interpreters,” says Gesenius, “as Schultens, are not fully satisfied that the sense of cursing belongs to the verb.” Indeed, Hengstenberg, one of the best biblical critics of Germany, commenting on 1 Kings xxi. 10, the very passage cited by you, 10 prove that the word means curse, says: “To curse is a signification forced upon berekh, by those who had taken only a superficial view of this passage, without at all perceiving its reference to the Pentateuch. If it loses its support here, no one will think of applying it to Job i, 5, ii. 5, and Psalm 8.3, where it is not at all suitable." And Dr. Adam
Clarke, a critic of no mean reputation, in his commentary on Job ii. 9, takes this verb in its usual sense of bleising, and says, “it is not clear that it has the meaning of cursing in any part of the Sacred Writings." Gusset, in his excellent Hebrew Lexicon, of 1702, takes this verb in Job ii. 9, in its usual sense, to bless. And Gesenius, the most celebrated Hebrewist of Germany, in bis Hebrew Lexicon, translated by Dr. Robinson, of New York, says: “ Job ii. 9, berekh Elohim oamuth. •bless God and die;' i. e., bless and praise God as thou wilt, yet thou must now die; thy piety towards God is in vain.” Dr. Gill, in his celebrated commentary on Job ij. 9, says: “The sense is, bless God." Dr. Boothroyd, in his English version, a work of great learning, renders the phrase, “blessing God." In the authori. zed version, as published in London in 1843, with 20,000 emendations, made by several learned men, it is rendered "bless God." In the English version, made by learned professors of the Catholic Col. lege at Douay, in 1610, it reads "bless God." Olvetan, in his French version, made about 1535, renders it "bless God," (benis Dieu;) wh version after being revised first by Calvin, then by a College of Pastors and Professors at Geneva, (embracing Begu, Crulart, Jaquemot, Bertram, La Foye, and Rotan.) and at last by Martin, is now adopted and published by the American Bible Society, with the original rendering of Olvetan in this passage unchanged.
The same rendering is found also in the French version of Diodati. In Portuguese, the excellent version of Almeida, made about 1681, and now published by the American Bible Society, renders it, “bless God," (benedize a Deos.) In Spanish, the version of Valera, made about 1602, renders it "bless God." (bendize al Dios;) that of Scio, as published by the American Bible Society in 1823, renders it in the same sense "bless God," (benedica a Dios;) and that made at Ferrara, in 1553, by learned Jews, who may be presumed to have onderstood the true meaning of Hebrew words, renders it "bless God," (benedize al Dio.) The Danish version of 1644, as now published by the American Bible Society, renders it "bless God," (velsign Gud.) The Swedish version of 1541, now patronized by the Ameri. can Bible Sociery, renders it "bless God," (walsigna Gud.) The Dutch version, made about 1632, by some of the best scholars in Europe, and now patronized by the American Bible Society, renders it "bless God," (zegen God.) The admirable German version made by Luther, Melancthon, and other learned men, about 1530, and now patronized by all the Bible Societies in the world, renders it "bless God," (segre Golt.) In Italian, the version of Martin, made about 1779, and patronized by the British and Foreign Bible Society, renders it " bless God," (benedici Dio;) and that of Diodati, which the author of " the Bible in every Land," pronounces “one of the most important translations of modern times," and which s now patronized by the American Bible Society, renders it "bless the Lord," (benedici Iddio.) in Latin, Castalio renders it “thank God forsooth," (age sane Deo gratias;) Dathe, "praise God,” (lauda Deum;) Janius and Tremellus, Cocceius and Bronghton, “ blessing God," (benedicendo Deo;) Moatanus, Piscator, Schmidt, Michaelis, Paguinus, and Le Clerc, in modern times, and Jerome, of the fourth century, (whos revision has been the authorized version of the Latin church in all ages,) render it all alike, "bless God," (benedic Deo.) In Greek,