« PreviousContinue »
It is with feelings of honest satisfaction that the Editor of SCIENTIA'
To those persons who are tolerably versant in the Scriptures,
blessing, he will become learned in every thing relating to bis religion in such a degree, that he will not be liable to be misled either by the refined arguments or the false assertions of those who endeavour to ingraft their own opinions upon the Oracles of God. He may safely be ignorant of all philosophy, except what is to be learned from the Sacred Books; which indeed contain the highest philosophy adapted to the lowest apprehensions. He may safely remain ignorant of all history, except so much of the first ages of the Jewish and of the Christian Church as is to be gathered from the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testaments. Let him study these in the manner I recommend, and let him never cease to pray for the illumination of that Spirit by which these Books were dictated, and the whole compass of abstruse philosophy, and recondite history, shall furnish no argument with which the perverse will of man shall be able to shake this learned Christian's faith. The Bible, thus studied, will indeed prove to be what we. Protestants esteem it--a certain and sufficient rule of faith and practice, a helmet of salvation, which alone may quench the fiery darts of the wicked.” *
That the advantages resulting from such a mode of studying the Sacred Volume are not here over-rated, will be apparent upon the slightest consideration. In the Holy Scriptures, as in every other dollection of ancient writings, there must of necessity be some parts which at first sight appear to us obscure and uncertain, resulting from allusions to customs and babits with which we are now unacquainted,' and references to facts and circumstanoes which have long since ceased to exist. In allsuch cases a diligent collation of parallel passages will, be found of singular service, and will not unfrequently do more toward removing such difficulties than all the commentaries which learning and ingenuity have united to produce. “On almost every 'subject in the Scriptures,” says a competent jadge, "there will be found a mul-' titude of phrases, that, when diligently collated, will afford mutual illustration and support to each other; the truth which is more obscurely intimated in one place being expressed with greater precision, in others. Thus, a part of the attributes or circumstances, relating to both persons and things, is stated in one text, and part in another; so that it is only by searching out several passages, and connecting, them together, that we can obtain a just apprehension of them.”+
The first collection of parallel passages the editor believes to have boen that publisbed with the third edition of Tyndale's Testament, in 1634. Coverdale's Bible, also, the first edition of which appeared in 1535, has a few marginal references. These were augmented and improved in the various editions of the Bible and New Testament, which were published subsequently to that time: the first edition of the present" Authorized Version" containing nine thousand references,
• Nipe Sermons on the Resurrection, pp. 221–228. + Horge's Introd. lo the Critical Study of the Scriplares, vol. ii. p. 518, 4th edit.
But the most copious and judicious collection of parallel passages was that published by John Canne, with an edition of the Bible, at Amsterdam, 1644. The title is as follows:
“ The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New, Newly translated out of the Origioal Tongues, and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised. With marginal Notes, shewing Scripture to be the best interpreter of Scripture.” • In a “ Preface to the Reader,” the Editor quaintly observes, “I do not know any way whereby the Word of God, as to the majesty, authority, truth, and perfection of it, can be more honoured and held forth, and the adversaries of it of all sorts so thoroughly convinced and silenced, as to have the Scripture to be its own interpreter. This I am sure, did men in their expositions on the Scriptures speak less themselves, and the Scripture more, the Scripture would have more honour and themselves less."
In 1683, the “ Authorized Version" was corrected, and many additional parallel texts were added by Dr. Scattergood;* and in 1690, Samuel Clark published “ The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New, with Annotations and Parallel Scriptures," &c. In the Preface to this edition of the Scriptures, the Editor states that he took a great deal of pains in collecting parallel texts, and that not only for words and phrases, but for sense and matter. For this purpose, besides places which he added from his own observations, he examined all those which are in Curcellæus's Greek Testament, which are also printed in the Oxford edition, with the various readings, but with many errata. He also examined those in Canne's Bible.
Notwithstanding the intrinsic value of these collections of parallel references, something further was absolutely necessary to facilitate the labour of an extensive collation of the Sacred Writings. The immense time which was of necessity consumed in consulting all the passages to wbicb a reference is made, to say nothing of the impossibility of remembering them so distinctly as to see their aptness and propriety, rendered them of but little service to the generality of Scripture readers. This consideration induced the pablication of
“ The New Testament, with References under the Text in words at length; so that the Parallel Texts may be seen at one View," &c., by Francis Fox, M. A. London, 1748, 2 Vols. Svo.
The following table, though extremely deficient, will suffice to shew the progressive increase of parallel texts, in the various editions of the Bible. It is taken from Bishop Wilson's Bible. The editor does not think the sobject of sufficient importance to jastify the vast expenditure of time requisile to render it a perfect exhibition of the progress made in this department of sacred literature. In the 1st. edit. of 1611
1,527 9,000 J. Hayes's, 1677
These were in the
In the Apocrypha.
25,895 Dr. Scattergood's, 1678
11,371 33,145 Bishops Tennison and Lloyd's, 1699 24,352 1,419
39,488 Dr. Blayney's, 1769..
43,318 1,779 19,893 64,983 Bishop Wilson's, 1785
45,190 1,772 19.993 66,955
In the New
This Work, although allowed to be executed with considerable judgment, has many important defects; as, indeed, must be expected considering the time when it appeared, and the few helps wbich the editor possessed. Although Mr. Fox professed to give the parallel passages in words at length, this is only partially done, the references, alone, being given in very many cases to parallel passages, varying in a few words, a close comparison of which is frequently of the utmost importance in ascertaining the genuine meaning of the inspired re. cords. Nor is the collection so large as is desirable for the biblical student, or as is requisite to exhibit, fully, the harmony of the inspired writers on the subjects of which they treat. To say nothing of the complex nature of the references, the inpumerable typograpbical errors, or the disadvantages to the student, resulting from the editor not having attended to the words supplied, and printed in italics in our version, one objection with many persons, to Mr. Fox's Testa-' ment, still remains, i. e. that the Author espouses, and advocates with considerable warmth, one side of a controversy which is now happily subsiding, and the parties in which are uniting for the promotion of Scriptural knowledge.
In 1769, a revised edition of the “ Authorized Translation" was published from the Oxford press. In this edition, wbich was revised by Dr. Blayney, under the direction of the Lord Chancellor and de-, legates of the Clarendon press, the marginal references were reexamined and corrected, and thirty thousand four hundred and ninety-, five new references were inserted in the margin.
In 1790, the Rev. C. Cruttwell published, in a 4to volume, “A Concordance of Parallels collected from Bibles and Commentaries, which bave been published in Hebrew, Latin, French, Spanish, and other languages, with the authorities of each." This is unquestionably the most elaborate collection of texts that has ever appeared, but it is doubtful whether it will repay the labour of even occasional consultation. In addition to the objections which lie against every mere collection of references, Cruttwell's Concordance is objectionable on the following grounds:-Ist. The arrangement is faulty. Instead of taking the several members of a passage separately and as they lie in order, parallels are given in succession from different authorities referring to the whole, in consequence of which the attention is divided, and the object of consulting them totally defeated. 2dly. The multiplicity of references which are made to passages in which it is, impossible to trace the slightest parallelismo tends only to perplex and
The parallelism in many of these references, which were taken from different versions of the Scriptures, being merely verbal, is entirely lost in the English Bible. Of this indeed the editor appears to have been fully aware, observing in his Preface, “ many of the references, especially where they are in a great measare imaginary, might (some persons may think) have been rejected without impropriely; but where the opinions of so many learned men are concerned, the author has not taken upon bim to discriminate."
bewilder the mind; while the omission of reference to important and really parallel texts renders the collation extremely defective.
Nor should the “Scripture Harmony,” a laborious compilation of balf a million of Scripture references, published by Mr. Bagster as a Supplement to his beautiful and valuable “ Polyglott Bible," be omitted in this place. In this compilation the Editor has brought together the marginal references of Canne, Blayney, Browne, Scott, and other valuable writers on parallel Scriptures, and has arranged their various contributions into regular order. In this last particular it differs from Cruttwell, but in every other, the remarks upon his “Concordance" may be applied to the “Scripture Harmony." • For an extensive collection of references to parallel passages, the Editor has no hesitation in saying, that in the margin of Scott's Commentary is by far the best bitherto published; although the subtraction of a few thousands would not render this the less valuable to the Biblical student To this Collection the Editor has been greatly indebted for much valuable assistance in the progress of these volumes. For a collection of parallel references on a smaller scale than Scott's, that in the margin of Mr. Bagster's English version of the Bible, forming part of the Polyglott above referred to, will be found the most judicious extant.
From this rapid sketch of the rise and progress of works in this department of biblical literature, it will be sufficiently apparent that the assistance bitherto afforded has been inadequate to any thing like a general or extensive collation of parallel passages of Scripture, and that the difficulties to be surmounted in such a task are so considerable, that but few will be induced to enter upon it, or at furthest, to continue their labours to any considerable extent.
To obviate these difficulties, and to render a collation of the Scriptures at once pleasing and useful, is the object of the present Work. Such a collection of passages is here given as will elucidate and con. firm the text; and, to save the vast trouble attendant on a reference to the Bible, to consult many passages, they are printed in words at length. It has been the endeavour of the Editor to bring together all such as are really parallel and illustrative ; to furnish a commentary on the Bible from its own resources; and to exbibit the delightful harmony which subsists between the sacred writers on the subjects of which they treat.
'Ουκ εν διδακτούς ανθρωπίνης σοφίας λόγους:
'Αλλ' εν διδακτοϊς Πνεύματος αγίου.
But wbich the Holy Gbost teacheth ;" How far be has succeeded must be left for others to determine; but be thinks it due to himself to observe, that he has neither avoided personal labour nor mental anxiety in order to render his