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in the present list of Scholiasts on the Bible. His notes are selected with great judgment from the labours of Bishop Patrick, Lowth, Whitby, and others; and his mode of printing the text is admirable. The historical parts, which are in prose, are printed in continuous paragraphs; and the poetical parts are divided into verses. Each book is divided into sections, conformable to the natural divisions of the several subjects; and to facilitate reference, the chapters and verses are distinctly pointed out in the margin. There is a learned preface to all the editions. In our analysis of the different books of Scripture, particularly of the Old Testament, we have frequently adopted Mr. Reeves's sectional divisions, which are for the most part very judiciously made. It may be proper to add that the printing of Mr. Reeves's editions was executed by Messrs. Bulmer & Co., and by Mr. Bensley, and may safely challenge competition with the most beautiful specimens of British typography. There are some copies extant in four volumes, 8vo., without the Scholia.



A FEW only of the Jewish Rabbins have illustrated every individual book of the Old Testament: the following are those held in the highest estimation by the Jews.1

RABBI SOLOMON JARCHI, Ben Isaac, usually cited as RASCHI from the contraction of his names, was a native of Troyes in Champagne : he wrote commentaries on the entire Bible, as well as the chief part of the Talmud, and from his extensive learning is accounted one of the most learned Jewish expositors. His style, however, is so exceedingly obscure as to require an ample comment to make it intelligible. He died A. D. 1180. Many of his commentaries have been printed in Hebrew, and some have been translated into Latin by Christians; as that on Esther by Philip Daquin, that on Joel by Genebrard, and those on Obadiah, Jonah, and Zephaniah, by Pontac. A German version of his entire Commentary on the Pentateuch, and on some other books of the Old Testament, was published by Breithaupt, in 4to. at Gotha, in 1710.

2. Rabbi ABRAHAM ABEN EZRA was a native of Spain, and flourished in the twelfth century; his Commentaries on the Scriptures, written in an elegant style, are much esteemed both by Jews and Christians.

3. Rabbi DAVID KIMCHI was also a native of Spain, and flourished towards the close of the twelfth century; he wrote Commentaries on the Old Testament, which are highly valued, particularly that on the prophet Isaiah.

4. Rabbi LEVI BEN GERSHOM, a Spanish Jew, was contemporary with Kimchi: his Commentaries on the Scripture, especially on the Pentateuch, are much esteemed. He accounted for the miracles from natural causes.

5. Rabbi ISAAC ABARBANEL, or ABRAVANEL, (as he is sometimes called) a Portuguese Jew, flourished in the fifteenth century, and wrote Commentaries on the Pentateuch, the whole of the Prophets,

1 In this account of the Jewish Expositors, we have chiefly followed Carpzov, in his Introductio ad Libros Canonicos Veteris Testamenti, pp. 35. et seq. and De Rossi's scarce work, entitled Bibliotheca Judaica Antichristiana, quâ editi et inediti Judæorum Libri recensentur. Royal 8vo., Parma, 1800. Wolfius has also treated on the Jewish Commentators, in his Bibliotheca Hebræa, tom. ii. p. 368. et passim. For an account of the Chaldee Paraphrases, see Part I. pp. 157–163. of this vo lume, supra.

and some other Books of Scripture: notwithstanding his inveterate enmity against Christianity, his writings are much valued by Christians, and are highly extolled by the Jews.

6. Rabbi SOLOMON ABENMELECH, a native of Spain, flourished in the sixteenth century, and wrote Scholia on the whole of the Old Testament, in which he has interspersed the best of Kimchi's Grammatical Observations.

The Commentaries of these Rabbins are inserted in the Biblia Rabbinica, published by Bomberg at Venice, in 4 vols. folio, 1518, and again in 1525 and 1526, and in Buxtorf's edition, printed at Basle, 1618, in 4 vols. folio.

7. Rabbi MOSES BEN MAIMON, usually called Maimonides, though not a Commentator on the whole of the Old Testament, ought not to be omitted, on account of his Moreh Nevochim, or Teacher of the Perplexed, a valuable work that explains difficult phrases, passages, parables, and allegories. The best edition of this work is that of Basil, 1629, 4to. His Porta Mosis was edited by Pococke (in Arabic and Latin) at Oxford, 1645, 4to. and his Treatises, De Jure Pauperis, &c. (Heb. and Lat.) by Prideaux, Oxford, 1679; and De Sacrificiis, 4to. London, 1683.

Several parts of the works of the above-mentioned Rabbins have been printed in a separate form, viz.


Commentarius in Pentateuchum, curâ Henrici Van Bashuisen. Hanover, 1710. folio.

Ejusdem, Commentarius in Prophetas priores, curâ Augusti Pfeiffer. Lipsiæ, 1686. folio.

Ejusdem, Commentarius in Hoseam, Latine, cum notis, Fr. ab Husen. Lugd. Bat. 1686.

Ejusdem, Commentarius in Nahum, curâ J. D. Sprecheri. Helmstadt, 1703. 4to.

2. ABENMELech. Ex Michlal Jophi seu Commentario R. Salom. Abenmelech in Veteris Testamenti Libros, una cum spicilegio R. Jac. Abendanæ, particula, complectens prophetiam Jonæ. Heb. et Lat. edente Ernest. Christ. Fabricio. Gottingen, 1792. 8vo.

3. JARCHI.—R. Sal. Jarchii Commentarius in omnes Veteris Testamenti Libros, versus et illustratus a Jo. Frid. Breithaupto, 3 vols. 4to. Gothæ, 1713.

4. KIMCHI.-R. D. Kimchii Commentarius in Jesaiam, Latine versus a Cæsare Malamineo. Florence, 1774. 4to.

5. MALACHIAS, cum Commentariis Aben Ezræ, Jarchii et Kimchii disputationibus. Curâ Sam. Bohl. Rostock, 1637. 4to.

6. HOSEAS, illustratus Chaldaica Versione et philologicis celebrium Rabbinorum Raschi, Aben Ezræ, et Kimchii Commentariis. Helmstadt, 1702. 4to. Reprinted at Gottingen, 1780.

7. JOEL et OBADIAH, cum paraphrasi Chaldaica, Masora, et Commentariis trium Rabbinorum. Heb. et Lat. curâ Jo. Leusden. Utrecht, 1657. 4to.

8. JOHANNIS MERCERI Commentarii in Vates quinque priores, quibus adjuncti sunt R. Sal. Jarchi, Aben Ezra, et Dav. Kimchii Commentarii, ab ipso Latinitate donati, editio altera, curâ G. C. Bürklini. Gissæ, 1695.

9. J. B. CARPZOVII Collegium Rabbinico-Biblicum in libellum Ruth. Heb. et Lat. Lipsia, 1703. 4to.

This work contains the Hebrew text of the book of Ruth, the Targum, the great

and little Masora, and four Rabbinical Commentaries, together with Latin versions, and copious notes by the editor, J. B. Carpzov. Calmet states, that this book will be found of great service to those who are learning Hebrew, and will also serve as an introduction to the reading of the rabbinical writers.




LEARNED men are by no means agreed as to the degree of authority to be conceded to the writings of the fathers of the Christian Church; by some they are depreciated beyond measure, while on the other hand they are estimated as repositories of every thing that is valuable in sacred literature. It is however a singular circumstance, that, in almost all theological controversies, both parties are desirous of having the fathers on their side. Considering the question, then, without prejudice or predilection, we may safely assume, that the primitive fathers were men eminent for their piety and zeal, though occasionally deficient in learning and judgment; that they may be relied upon in general for their statements of facts, but not invariably for the constructions which they put upon them, unless in their expositions of the New Testament, with whose language they were intimately acquainted; and that they are faithful reporters of the opinions of the Christian Church, but not always the most judicious interpreters of Scripture. "The labours of the fathers," says Luther, "demand our veneration; they were great men, but nevertheless they were men liable to mistake, and they have committed mistakes." As repositories, therefore, of Christian antiquity, as preachers of Christian virtue, and as defenders of the true Christian doctrine, they may still be very advantageously consulted; but it is in the character of expositors of Holy Writ that we are now to consider the fathers of the church; and in this character we may profit by them, if we do not expect that from them which they could not have. The fathers applied themselves to the reading of the Scriptures with undivided attention, with intense thought, and with holy admiration, as to that which was alone worthy to be studied. No part of Scripture was neglected by them; they were so earn arnestly intent upon it, that not a jot or tittle escaped them. This, with the advantages which they had (especially the Ante-Nicene fathers) in point of languages and antiquities, could not fail to produce remarks which it must be very imprudent in any age to neglect. The mistakes, charged upon the fathers in their expositions of the Old Testament, originated in their being misled by the Septuagint version, which their ignorance of Hebrew, together with their contempt of the Jews, and their unwillingness to be taught that language by them, induced them to trust implicitly. And that excess of allegorical interpretation into which some of the antients ran, was probably occasioned by their studying, with a warm imagination, prophecies and types, parables and allu

1 Labores patrum venerari decet; fuerunt magni viri, sed tamen homines qui labi potuerunt, et lapsi sunt. Martin Luther. Comment. in Gen. ii. p. 27.

sions, and by our Saviour's not developing the whole of his plan during his lifetime.1

The following are the principal Commentators on the sacred writings, who are to be found among the primitive fathers and doctors of the Christian Church: but, in consulting their writings, the best editions only should be referred to, especially those by Protestants; as the editions, superintended by divines of the Romish Church, are not only frequently corrupted, but spurious writings are also often ascribed to the fathers, in order to support the anti-scriptural dogmas of that church.2

1. ORIGEN flourished in the latter part of the second and through the first half of the third century: he was a native of Alexandria, where he chiefly resided, and was distinguished not more by his learning than by his piety and eloquence. He wrote Commentaries on the Old and New Testaments, the greater part of which is now lost the best edition of what has been preserved was published by Huet at Rouen, 1668, in 2 vols. folio; and in the Benedictine edition of his works, in 4 vols. folio, Paris, 1733-1759. He also wrote Scholia or short notes explanatory of difficult passages of Scripture, in which he chiefly attended to the literal sense. Of these Scholia some extracts only are preserved in the collection made by Gregory Nazianzen and Basil the Great, entitled Philocalia, and published at Paris, in 1618, 4to. His Homilies, in which he addressed himself to the capacities of the people, as well as his numerous other works, both practical and controversial, our limits permit us not to detail; and his critical labours on the sacred writings are noticed in another part of this work. In the Commentaries above mentioned, Origen gave full scope to his learning and imagination, in what appeared to him to be the historical, literal, mystical, and moral sense of the Bible. Origen's grand fault is that of allegorising the Scriptures too much; and this method of interpretation he adopted from the Alexandrine philosophers, in the hope of establishing an union between Heathen philosophy and Christian doctrine. His fundamental canon of criticism was, that, wherever the literal sense of Scripture was not obvious, or not clearly consistent with his peculiar tenets, the words were to be understood in a spiritual and mystical sense; a rule by which he could easily incorporate any fancies, whether original or borrowed, with the Christian creed. Mosheim has justly characterised this father as one of the most eminent of the writers of the third century, who distinguished themselves by their learned and pious productions; and as a man of vast and uncommon abilities,


1 Dr. Hey's Norrisian Lectures, vol. i. pp. 105–118. Quarterly Review, vol. xiii. pp. 183-188. See also some admirable observations of the learned Dr. Gregory Sharpe, in his Argument in Defence of Christianity, taken from the Concessions of the most antient adversaries, pp. 90-99.

⚫ 2 See numerous proofs of this remark in James's Treatise of the Corruption of Scripture Councils and Fathers by the prelates, &c. of the church of Rome, for maintenance of popery, pp. 1-271. London, 1688. 8vo.

3 See Part I. pp. 172-176. of this volume.

4 Jahn's Enchiridion Hermeneutica Generalis, pp. 163, 164. A further account of Origen's expository labours may be seen in Ernesti's Institutio Interpretis Novi Testamenti, pp. 286, 287., and in Morus's Acroases super Hermeneutica Novi Fœderis, tom. ii. pp. 230-236.; in Rosenmüller's Historia Interpretationis Librorum Sacrorum, tom. iii. pp. 17-156., and Simon's Hist. Crit. du Vieux Test. liv. ii. ch. ix. pp. 439–442.


to view.

the greatest luminary of the Christian world that this exhibited Had the justness of his judgment been equal to the immensity of his genius, the fervour of his piety, his indefatigable patience, his extensive erudition, and his other eminent and superior talents, all encomiums must have fallen short of his merit. Yet, such as he was, his virtues and his labours deserve the admiration of all ages; and his name will be transmitted with honour through the annals of time, as long as learning and genius shall be esteemed among men."1

The best edition of Origen's works is that of Father De la Rue, in 4 vols. folio: Paris, 1733-59: reprinted by M. Oberthür at Wurceburg, in 15 vols. 8vo. 1780, and following years.

2. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, who flourished in the fourth century, was a pupil of Diodorus of Tarsus, who had himself been a disciple of Origen's. He wrote homilies on the greater part of the Old Testament, and on the whole of the New Testament, with the exception of the Catholic epistles. His homilies on the New Testament are every way preferable to those on the Old. Ernesti is of opinion, that none of the productions of the fathers are equal to those of Chrysostom on St. Paul's Epistles; and that all subsequent Greek commentators on them have exclusively followed him. On the historical books, his commentary on St. Matthew is incomparably the best and most copious, and is particularly worthy of being perused. Chrysostom's manner of expounding is this: he first takes a verse of Scripture, which he explains; and then investigates and elucidates the meaning of particular words, pointing out the scope of the sacred author, whose style and genius he examines, and rendering all Hebraisms by equivalent intelligible Greek expressions. He throughout adheres to the literal sense, which he maintained to be the true one. The homilies are found in the beautiful Editio Princeps of his works published by Sir Henry Savile, in 8 vols. folio, Eton, 1612; and Montfaucon's edition, which is the best, published at Paris in 13 vols. folio, 17181738. An admirable French translation of a selection from Chrysostom's Homilies, and other works, was printed by Auger, at Paris, 1785, in 4 vols. 8vo. In 1807, Matthæi published 52 of his homilies at Moscow, in 8vo. with various readings, a commentary and index.2

3. THEODORET, Bishop of Cyrus or Cyropolis in Syria, wrote in the fifth century: though he chiefly follows Chrysostom in his commentary on St. Paul's Epistles, he has added many new and striking observations of his own, and has successfully vindicated many passages against the Arians, and other sectaries of his time. The best edition of his works is that published by Schulz and Noesselt, Halæ, 1769-1774, in 5 vols. 8vo.

4. THEOPHYLACT, metropolitan of Bulgaria, flourished in the 11th century his Scholia on the principal books of Scripture are chiefly abridged from Chrysostom. Those on the Gospels, Acts, and St. Paul's Epistles, are particularly valuable. The best edition of his works is that published at Venice, 1754-1763, in 4 vols. folio. The

1 Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. i. p. 270. edit. 1806.

2 Several editions of Chrysostom's Homilies are enumerated by Harles, in his Brevior Notitia Literaturæ Græcæ, pp. 739-741.; to which work, as well as to those of Ernesti and Morus, above referred to, we ate chiefly indebted for the following notices of the Greek fathers.

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