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edged, but not allowed to possess the same authority as the five books of Moses. That the old Samaritans did not entirely reject all the other books of the Jewish Scriptures, is evident from their expectation that the Messiah would not only be a prophet or instructer like Moses, but also be the Saviour of the world (John iv. 25. 42.); titles these (Messiah and Saviour) which were borrowed from the Psalms and prophetical writings.
What is of unspeakable value, they preserve among themselves, in the antient Hebrew character, copies of the Pentateuch; which, as there has been no friendly intercourse between them and the Jews since the Babylonish captivity, there can be no doubt were the same that were in use before that event, though subject to such variations as will always be occasioned by frequent transcribing. And so inconsiderable are the variations from our present copies (which were those of the Jews), that by this means we have a proof that those important books have been preserved uncorrupted for the space of nearly three thousand years, so as to leave no room to doubt that they are the same which were actually written by Moses.
The celebrated critic, Le Clerc,1 has instituted a minute comparison of the Samaritan Pentateuch with the Hebrew text; and has, with much accuracy and labour, collected those passages in which he is of opinion that the former is more or less correct than the latter. instance
1. The Samaritan text appears to be more correct than the Hebrew, in Gen. ii. 4. vii. 2. xix. 19. xx. 2. xxiii. 16. xxiv. 14. xlix. 10, 11. 1. 26. Exod. i. 2. iv. 2.
2. It is expressed more conformably to analogy in Gen. xxxi. 39. xxxv. 26. xxxvii. 17. xli. 34. 43. xlvii. 3. Deut. xxxii. 5.
3. It has glosses and additions in Gen. xxix. 15. xxx. 36. xli. 16. Exod. vii. 18. viii. 23. ix. 5. xxi. 20. xxii. 5. xxiii. 10. xxxii. 9. Lev. i. 10. xvii. 4. Deut. v. 21.
4. It appears to have been altered by a critical hand, in Gen. ii. 2. iv. 10. ix. 5. x. 19. xi. 21. xviii. 3. xix. 12. xx. 16. xxiv. 38. 55. xxxv. 7. xxxvi. 6. xli. 50. Exod. i. 5. xiii. 6. xv. 5. Num. xxii. 32.
5. It is more full than the Hebrew text, in Gen. v. 8. xi. 31. xix. 9. xxvii. 34. xxix. 4. xliii. 25. Exod. xii. 40. xl. 17. Num. iv. 14. Deut. xx. 16.
6. It is defective in Gen. xx. 16. and xxv. 14.
It agrees with the Septuagint version in Gen. iv. 8. xix. 12. xx. 16. xxiii. 2. xxiv. 55. 62. xxvi. 18. xxix. 27. xxxv. 29. xxxix. 8. xli. 16. 43. xliii. 26. xlix. 26. Exod. viii. 3. and in many other passages. Though
7. It sometimes varies from the Septuagint, as in Gen. i. 7. v. 29. viii. 3. 7. xlix. 22. Num. xxii. 4.
III. The differences between the Samaritan and Hebrew Pentateuchs may be accounted for, by the usual sources of various readings, viz. the negligence of copyists, introduction of glosses from the mar
1 Comment. in Pentateuch, Index, ii. See also some additional observations on the differences between the Samaritan and Hebrew Pentateuchs, in Dr. Kennicott's Bemarks on Select Passages in the Old Testament, pp. 43-47.
gin into the text, the confounding of similar letters, the transposition of letters, the addition of explanatory words, &c. The Samaritan Pentateuch, however, is of great use and authority in establishing correct readings in many instances it agrees remarkably with the Greek Septuagint, and it contains numerous and excellent various lections, which are in every respect preferable to the received Masoretic readings, and are further confirmed by the agreement of other antient ver
The most material variations between the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Hebrew, which affect the authority of the former, occur first, in the prolongation of the patriarchal generations; and secondly, in the alteration of Ebal into Gerizim (Deut. xxvii.), in order to support their separation from the Jews. The chronology of the Samaritan Pentateuch has been satisfactorily vindicated by the Rev. Dr. Hales, whose arguments however will not admit of abridgement; and with regard to the charge of altering the Pentateuch, it has been shown by Dr. Kennicott, from a consideration of the character of the Samaritans, their known reverence for the law, our Lord's silence on the subject in his memorable conversation with the woman of Samaria, and from various other topics; that what almost all biblical critics have hitherto considered as a wilful corruption by the Samaritans, is in all probability the true reading, and that the corruption is to be charged on the Jews themselves. In judging therefore of the genuineness of a reading, we are not to declare absolutely for one of these Pentateuchs against the other, but to prefer the true readings in both. "One antient copy," Dr. Kennicott remarks with equal truth and justice, "has been received from the Jews, and we are truly thankful for it; another antient copy is offered by the Samaritans; let us thankfully accept that likewise. Both have been often transcribed; both therefore may contain errors. They differ in many instances, therefore the errors must be many. Let the two parties be heard without prejudice; let their evidence be weighed with impartiality; and let the genuine words of Moses be ascertained by their joint assistance. Let the variations of all the manuscripts on each side be carefully collected; and then critically examined by the context and the antient versions. If the Samaritan copy should be found in some places to correct the Hebrew, yet will the Hebrew copy in other places correct the Samaritan. Each copy therefore is invaluable; each copy therefore demands our pious veneration and attentive study. The Pentateuch will never be understood perfectly till we admit the authority of BOTH."
Although the Samaritan Pentateuch was known to and cited by Eusebius, Cyril of Alexandria, Procopius of Gaza, Diodorus of Tarsus, Jerome, Syncellus, and other antient fathers, yet it afterwards fell into oblivion for upwards of a thousand years, so that its very existence began to be questioned. Joseph Scaliger was the first who excited the attention of learned men to this valuable relic of antiquity; and M. Peiresc procured a copy from Egypt, which, together with the ship
1 Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 80, et seq.
that brought it, was unfortunately captured by pirates. More successful was the venerable archbishop Usher, who procured six copies from the East; and from another copy, purchased by Pietro della Valle for M. de Sancy,1 Father Morinus printed the Samaritan Pentateuch, for the first time, in the Paris Polyglott. This was afterward reprinted in the London Polyglott by Bishop Walton, who corrected it from three manuscripts which had formerly belonged to Archbishop Usher. A neat edition of this Pentateuch, in Hebrew characters, was edited by the late Rev. Dr. Blayney, in 8vo. Oxford, 1790.
IV. Of the Samaritan Pentateuch two versions are extant; one in the Aramæan dialect, which is usually termed the Samaritan version, and another in Arabic.
The Samaritan version was made in Samaritan characters, from the Hebræo-Samaritan text into the Chaldæo-Samaritan or Aramæan dialect, which is intermediate between the Chaldee and Syriac languages, before the schism took place between the Jews and Samaritans. Such is the opinion of Le Jay, who first printed this version in the Paris Polyglott, whence Bishop Walton introduced it into the London Polyglott. The author of this version is unknown; but he has in general adhered very closely and faithfully to the original text.
The Arabic version of the Samaritan Pentateuch is also extant in Samaritan characters, and was executed by Abu Said, a. D. 1070, in order to supplant the Arabic translation of the Jewish Rabbi Saadia Gaon, which had till that time been in use among the Samaritans. Abu Said has very closely followed the Samaritan Pentateuch, whose readings he expresses, even where the latter differs from the Hebrew text in some instances however both Bishop Walton and Bauer have remarked, that he has borrowed from the Arabic version of Saadia. On account of the paucity of manuscripts of the original Samaritan Pentateuch, Bauer thinks this version will be found of great use in correcting its text. Some specimens of it have been published by Dr. Durell in "the Hebrew text of the parallel prophecies of Jacob relating to the twelve tribes," &c. (Oxford 1763, 4to.), and before him by Castell in the fourth volume of the London Polyglott; also by Hwiid, at Rome, in 1780, in 8vo., and by Paulus, at Jena, in 1789, in 8vo.2
1 Then ambassador from France to Constantinople, and afterwards archbishop of St. Maoles.
2 Bishop Walton, Pro. c. xi. §§ 10-21. pp. 527-553. Carpzov, Critica Sacra, pp. 585-620. Leusden, Philologus Hebræus, pp. 59–67. Bauer, Critica Sacra, pp. 325-335. Dr. Priestley's Notes on the Bible, vol. ii. pp. 82, 83. Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, article SAMARITANS. Dr. Harwood's Introduction to the New Testament, vol. ii. pp. 239, 240. Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem Novi Testamenti, pp. 466-471. See also a learned treatise intitled Pentateuchi HebræoSamaritaní Præstantia, in illustrando et emendando Textu Masorethico ostensa, &c. Auctore P. Alexio A. S. Aquilino. LL. Orient. P. P. O. Heidelbergæ 1784; and likewise G. Gesenii De Pentateuchi Samaritani Origine, Indole et Auctoritate, Commentatio philologico-critica, Halæ. 1815. 4to.
ON THE GREEK LANGUAGE.
I. Similarity of the Greek Language of the New Testament with that
I. IF a knowledge of Hebrew be necessary and desirable, in order to understand the Old Testament aright, an acquaintance with the Greek language is of equal importance for understanding the New Testament correctly. It is in this language that the Septuagint version of the Old Testament was executed and as the inspired writers of the New Testament thought and spoke in the Chaldee or Syriac tongues, whose turns of expression closely corresponded with those of the antient Hebrew, the language of the apostles and evangelists, when they wrote in Greek, necessarily resembled that of the translators of the Septuagint. And as every Jew, who read Greek at all, would read the Greek Bible, the style of the Septuagint again operated in forming the style of the Greek Testament. The Septuagint version, therefore, being a new source of interpretation equally important to the Old and New Testament, a knowledge of the Greek language becomes indispensably necessary to the biblical student.
II. A variety of solutions has been given to the question, why the New Testament was written in Greek. The true reason is simply this, - that it was the language best understood both by writers and readers, being spoken and written, read and understood, throughout the Roman empire, and particularly in the eastern provinces. In fact, Greek was at that time as well known in the higher and middle circles as the French is in our day. To the universality of the Greek language, Cicero, Seneca, 3 and Juvenal bear ample testimony: and the circumstances of the Jews having had both political, civil, and commercial relations with the Greeks, and being dispersed through various parts of the Roman empire, as well as their having cultivated the philosophy of the Greeks, of which we have evidence in the New Testament, all sufficiently account for their being acquainted with the Greek lan
1 Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part iii. pp. 30, 31. The question relative to the supposed Hebrew originals of Saint Matthew's Gospel, and of the Epistle to the Hebrews, is purposely omitted in this place, as it is considered in the subsequent part of this work.
2 Orat. pro Archia Poeta, c. 10. Græca leguntur in omnibus fere gentibus ; Latina suis finibus, exiguis sane, continentur. Julius Cæsar attests the prevalence of the Greek language in Gaul. De Bell. Gall. lib. i. c. 29. lib. vi. c. 14. (vol. i. pp. 23. 161. edit. Bipont.)
3 In Consolat. ad Helviam, c. 6. Quid sibi volunt in mediis barbarorum regionibus Græcæ urbes? Quid inter Indos Persasque Macedonicus sermo? Scythia et totus ille ferarum indomitarumque gentium tractus civitates Achaia, Ponticis impositas litoribus, ostentat.
4 Nunc totus Graias nostrasque habet orbis Athenas. Sat. xv. v. 110. Even the female sex, it appears from the same satyrist, made use of Greek as the language of familarity and passion. See Sat. vi. v. 185-191.
guage to which we may add the fact, that the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament had been in use among the Jews upwards of two hundred and eighty years before the Christian æra which most assuredly would not have been the case if the language had not been familiar to them. And if the eminent Jewish writers, Philo and Josephus, had motives for preferring to write in Greek, (and the very fact of their writing in Greek proves that that language was vernacular to their countrymen,) there is no reason— at least there is no general presumption—why the first publishers of the Gospel might not use the Greek language. But we need not rest on probabilities. For,
1. It is manifest from various passages in the first book of Maccabees, that the Jews of all classes must at that time (B. c. 175-140.) have understood the language of their conquerors and oppressors, the Macedonian Greeks under Antiochus, falsely named the Great, and his successors.
2. Further, when the Macedonians obtained the dominion of western Asia, they filled that country with Greek cities. The Greeks also possessed themselves of many cities in Palestine, to which the Herods added many others, which were also inhabited by Greeks. Herod the Great, in particular, made continual efforts to give a foreign physiognomy to Judæa; which country, during the personal ministry of Jesus Christ, was thus invaded on every side by a Greek population. The following particulars will confirm and illustrate this fact.
Aristobulus and Alexander built or restored many cities, which were almost entirely occupied by Greeks, or by Syrians who spoke their language. Some of the cities indeed, which were rebuilt by the Asmonæan kings, or by the command of Pompey, were on the frontiers of Palestine, but a great number of them were in the interior of that country and concerning these cities we have historical data which demonstrate that they were very nearly, if not altogether, Greek. Thus, at Dora, a city of Galilee, the inhabitants refused to the Jews the right of citizenship which had been granted to them by Claudius. 2 Josephus expressly says that Gadara and Hippos are Greek cities 2ληνιδες εἰσι πόλεις.3 in the very centre of Palestine stood Bethshan, which place its Greek inhabitants termed Scythopolis. Josephus 5 testifies that Gaza, in the southern part of Judæa, was Greek and Joppa, the importance of whose harbour induced the kings of Egypt
1 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. Proem. § 2. says, that he composed his history of the Jewish war in the language of his country, and afterwards wrote it in Greek for the information of the Greeks and Romans. The reader will find a great number of additional testimonies to the prevalence of the Greek language in the east, in Antonii Josephi Binterim Epistola Catholica Interlinealis de Linguâ Originali Novi Testamenti non Latinâ, &c. pp. 171-198. Dusseldorpii, 1820. It is necessary to apprise the reader, that the design of this volume is to support the absurd Popish dogma, that the reading of the Holy Scriptures, in the vulgar tongue, ought not to be promiscuously allowed.
Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xix. c. 6. § 5.
3 Ant. Jud. lib. xvi. c. 11. § 4.
4 Ekvwv Пodes, Judges, i. 27. (Septuagint Version.) Polybius, lib. v. c. 70. § 4.
3 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 11. 3 4.