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THE TEXT,

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For the sake of clearness, it may be right to state that, in the course of the last year, a Committee was formed, of some of the most eminent Dissenting Ministers resident in London and its environs, for the Restoration and Protection of the Authorized Version of the Bible:" that a Sub-Committee was afterwards appointed, “ to verify and report upon the various collations of the Secretary of the general Committee:” and that Mr Curtis, the Secretary alluded to, has recently specified, in the postscript to his Four Letters to the Bishop of London, the cases of “ intentional departure from the Authorized Version," which were examined by the Sub-Committee; and has at the same time published the Report of the Sub-Committee on the subject of inquiry.

A Report, which represents the deliberate opinion of three learned and able men, appointed by their Brethren to ascertain the merits of a matter of some consequence, is, at the first view of it, entitled to respect; but as even a Judge on the Bench, who gives reasons for his decision, must be content to have his reasons canvassed by the world so the Sub-Committee will naturally conclude that the grounds of their opinion, as pointed out by Mr Curtis, as well as their opinion itself, may be the objects of public animadversion.

The Report is, in substance, that " an extensive alteration has been introduced into the text of our Authorized Version, by changing into Italics innumerable words and

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phrases, which are not thus expressed in the original editions of King James' Bible printed in 1611;" and that these alterations “greatly deteriorate” the Translation, and expose it to many serious objections.

answer.

By and by, I shall give in detail the cases of “intended departure from the Authorized Version,” on which the Report of the Sub-Committee is founded, and also present to the reader the Report itself; but I must previously request a few moments' attention to some of the purposes which the Italics, in our English Bibles, may have been intended to

It is to be recollected that many of the words in Italics, in the Bibles now published, were equally distinguished, in the text of 1611, from the other words in the same sentence. The inquiry therefore relates, in the first instance, to the reasons which seem to have induced our Translators to direct certain words to be printed in a character different from that in which the greater part of the Bible appeared. I say, seem to have induced, because I am not aware that they have left their reasons on record ; so that it is only by an examination of the text of 1611, that we can satisfy our minds on that point.

On referring to the text of 1611, we find, in the very first page, the following expressions, marked as here pointed out: “And darkness was upon the face of the deep”. “And God saw the light, that it was good” — “ The fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself :" -and wherever the Book is opened, we find the same peculiarity: “ And the men are shepherds.” Gen. xlvi. 32 ;“ Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant.”..." The Lord, he is the God, the LORD, he is the God.” i Kings xviii. 36, 39. In this manner is the copula very frequently distinguished throughout the Volume.... The verb is also very often marked in the same way. Though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished”—“Pride goeth before destruction.” Prov. xvi. 5, 18; “So then faith cometh by hearing.” Rom. x. 17.

iii. 9;

Pronouns are presented to us in the same type: “Against whom hast thou exalted thy voice ?” 2 Kings xix. 22 ;“ And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”. Isai. lv. 12;_“We have Abraham to our father.” Matt.

They did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” Rom. i. 28;—" And knowest his will.” Rom. ii. 18;

“Whomsoever you shall approve by your letters.” 1 Cor. xvi. 3;-" The author and finisher of our faith." Heb. xii. 2 ;—“That they may by your good works.” 1 Pet. ii. 12.

In like manner are nouns singled out: " The time that women go out to draw water.” Gen. xxiv. 11 ;“And you dig a pit for your friend.” Job vi. 27; “Let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice.” Isai. xlii. 11 ;—“He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.” Ps. ciii. 9 ;—“Which covenant he made with Abraham.” Ps. cv. 9;. “ Terrible as an army with banners.” Cant. vi. 4;-" For the children being not yet born.” Rom. ix. 11;—“For God is not the author of confusion.” 1 Cor. xiv. 33.

וי

וי

Prepositions and connecting particles of all kinds are very often printed in the same way. The following passages are given as I find them: “ The table, and all the vessels thereof." Exod. xxxix. 36;—“So Hiram gave Solomon cedar trees, and fir trees, according to all his desire." 1 Kings v. 10;—“Blessed is the nation, whose God is the LORD: and the people, whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.” Ps. xxxiii. 12;—“They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression.” Ps. lxxiii. 8;“ That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born : who should arise and declare them to their children.” Ps. lxxviii. 6... In some of these passages, as in numberless others, we find the relative pronoun similarly marked out. In short, there is no part of speech, I believe, which is not frequently distinguished, by the type in which it is printed, from the rest of the sentence. A few instances of phrases marked in the same way may be adduced : “ He was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle.” Gen. iv. 20;-"A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.” Prov. xviii. 19;—“He bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows." Ps. lviii. 7;—“Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine.” Isai. v. 22 ;—“Having received—the things which were sent from you.” Phil. iv. 18;—" And in as much as not without an oath he was made Priest.” Heb. vii. 20.

לי

לל

I have put down the foregoing instances, as they presented themselves in turning over the leaves ; in order that the reader may be in some measure aware of the various kinds of words and phrases which are really found, in the text of 1611, printed in a manner equivalent to our Italics. Instances, somewhat different from the preceding, I shall hereafter have occasion to produce ; but the examples, already laid before the reader, will, I think, be sufficient for my immediate purpose.

Why, it is natural to ask, have such words and phrases been thus distinguished by the mode in which they are printed? The answer is easy. On examining, in the Hebrew and Greek Originals, the passages in which the words occur, it is universally found that there are no words strictly corresponding to them in those Originals. It is, therefore, manifestly on this account, that words so circumstanced have been distinguished by a peculiar type... Are we then to conclude that the meaning is in such cases imperfectly expressed in the Original Languages ? Far from it. Considering, for a moment, the Hebrew and Greek as living languages, the sentiments would be perfectly intelligible to those to whom they were addressed. The expression might be more or less full; but the idiom would still be familiar. Even taking the Hebrew and Greek as dead languages, the elliptical brevity of expression (at least, what appears such to us) is, to men of learning, not always productive of obscurity. But when a translation, from Hebrew or Greek

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