" the Council gave the Preference, among " all the Latin Tranflations to the mod an-<c cient, which had been approved of in the <c Church for many Ages before, which c< could not be charged with any Error in " Point of Faith or Morality, and which <c was morally conformable to the Original " Text: This Verfion is commanded to be %t made ufe of as the only one in all Ser-<{ mons, Conferences, or other PubKck A&s, <c without the leaft Diminution of the Au-<c thority and authentic Qualification of the <c Original Text, or the Chapter in the <c Canon Law, Diftinti. 9. cap. 6. Ut ve-u terum lihroriim Fides de Hebrais volumi-" nibus examinanda eft, it a novorum Veritas, " Graci Sermonis nor mam defideratHe confirms this Interpretation of the Canon of the Council of Trent from the Council it felf's having acknowledged fome Defe&s in the Vulgatey and having ordered them to be correded. The Divines alfo who were pre-fent at the Council, or who have written Apologies for it have, he fays, maintained, " The whole Intention of the Council was, <c that this Verfion ihould be made ufe of in <c publick Lefions, Difputes, Sermons and " Conferences, to avoid Variety and Multi-plicity of Citations: And that it was not f< the Intention of the Council to prefer it " to the Original/Text, or to declare it free

" from

from all Errors. After the Council of ^ Trent had approved and preferred the c: <>i *"r Vulgate before others, they ordered rc that a new and very correft Impreflion ihould be made of the fame. But ^

from the Time of this Decree, made in the Year 1546, till the Pontificate of ' 9 Sixtus the Fifth, which began in the Year 1585, there was no new Edition of the Vulgar Verfion correfted and authorized as fuch. But that Pope caufed a new correfted Edition to be made. Thofe who were employed in that Work, followed this Method: They revifed the Texts after the ancient Manufcripts, and in cafe of any Ambiguity, they had Recourfe to the Hebrew and Greek, to determine which Le&ion ought to be preferred in the Text of the Verfion. This Work being finiihed, Pope Sixtus the Fifth didfpare nothing to have it carefully printed in the Printing-Houfe of the Vatican , and he allures us that he had with his own Hand corrected the Faults of the Prefs: After which he declared by a Bull prefixed to this Edition, which appeared to the World in the Year 1590 at Rome, ^^

with the Advice of the Cardinals deputed ¿^

for that Purpofe by his own Confent, and ^ ^ . c according to the Plenitude of his Power, (7 ^

f that this Vulgar Edition of the Old and /

" New Teftament which he had cattfcd to " be pabliflied, being without doubt the <c feme Vulgar Vcrlion declared authentic " by the Council of Trenty and printed with " all the Exa&neis imaginable, ihould be <c read only in all the Churches, forbidding " any Impreflion to be made for the future " of this new Edition of the Vulgar Verfion " that ihould not be conformable to this, or " t0 any various Leftions in the Mar-" £in* ordaining at the fame Time, that 0* " thz Offices of the Church

(ru Hia hi*** 1110111(1 be corredted according to this ¿m ttCcr Vulgar Verfion, under Pain of the greater e V- Excommunication incurred ipfo faSfo, to i wrtlsil? be referved to the Pope, and other Penal-vftO - **cs ment*oncd in the fame Bull given at ^ ' ' cc St Maria Majori the Firft Day of March €€ in the Year 1589. After fome few Co-" pies of this Edition had been difperfed, it " was foon after fupprefled j and in two Au Ivrki/u " Years after Pope Clement the Eighth, S ^ vci 1 *( <c publiihed another very different from this t f+t* in many Places, which he backed by his

Authority as the only authentic one, for bidding by his Bull dated the Ninth of A/V f7cll/November, _

" any others for the future. Mr James, an

A/V , 7c November, in the Year 1592, to print IH

Englijh Protejlant has been very exaft in collefiing even the leaft Differences of thefe: two Editions, which he makes to

" amount

, . ( 4» ) " attroimt to above Two ttooufand : 'Tis u true, ibrxie of thém are about Trifles, but <c many of therri ate likewifé of no fmall tx Conference. Clement the Eighth has " followed the Hebrew Text, and his Edi-fC tion is much more corredt than that of w Sitfttft the Fifth, tho# he expreffes him-" fetf ïri fer more moderate Terms in the w Preface prefixed to hfe Edition?' Thé Tràèftdnts hate juftly taken Notice of theft two Bulb of Stxtus the Fifth and demerit thé Eighth being fo contta^y the one to the either : For if Pope Clement's Bull he right, that of Pope Stxtus was wrong, and vice verfa : Wnich is a Demon ftration that the Pope is not infallible even tn Cathedra. However, Du fin proceeds and fays, ~

« M'cfrebver, tW the Vulgat Verfion be c< nbt altogether free from Errors and De-* fefts, it niuft neverthelefs be confefTed, *c that the Cotmcil of Trent had fufficient «* fceafon to prefer this before all the other u Latin Veffibns, as fome of the more mo-f< derate among the Protêjlarits have been u forced to cbnftfs. Firft, Becaufe this f 4 Verfion is the moil ancient of afl thoifc " extant at the Time of this Counciî. " Secondly, Becaufe the greateft Part of it " was done by St Jerom, who was a very 11 exafit and faithful Interpreter. Thirdly; " Becaufe the fame had been ufed for many F ^ Ages

" Ages patted in the LatinChuxch. Fourthlyi " Becaufe this Verlion is written in a iimple " and natural Style, free from Affedlation, " and yet full of noble Expreflions. Fifthly, " That all taken together, this is the beft " and mod perfedt Verfion. Thus far Du Pin 5 and I cannot but think his Rea-fons are juft, and this Verfion, on account of its Antiquity, may be of Ufe in afcertain-ing the true Reading and Senfe of the Original, when that has fuffered by the Fault of .Tranfcribers, in the fame manner as the Arabic, Syriacx and other ancient Verlions may do.

But to return to the Septuagint. A little after St Jerom's Time, the Goths, Vandals9 Huns, Burgundians, Francs, and Saxons, broke in and over-run this TVeJlern Part of the Roman Empire, and eredted diverfe Kingdoms Jn the feveral Parts of it, by which means Learning was almoft wholly loft, and Religion much coi^upted. The Greek Language was hardly at all known in the Wefiern Church, and the Latin was deT generated into Barbarifm. So that we hear very little of the Septuagint in thefe Parts of the World. But when the Turks had taken Conflantinople, about the Year 1450, many Greeks fled into Italy, by whom the Knowledge of the Greek Tongue was again revived in the Weft And the Art of Prints ing being about the fame Time invented, made Books, and confequently Learning eafier to be obtained than they had been. Thus Learning began to flourifli, and learned Men endeavoured, by collating fuch Manufcripts as they could find of old Authors, to give us correct Editions of them in Print. Amongft thefe the Bible was not neglected. The Manufcripts of the Latin Vulgate were innumerable, every Church *

and Monaftery having one or more, befides what were in private Hands. But as the Greek Language had been fo long a Stranger to thefe Parts of the World, when Printing was invented, and when alone it was ufed, (the Turks, under whofe Dominion the poor Greeks lead an unhappy Life, allowing no Printing in their Dominions) there were not many Manufcripts of the Septuagint. However, feveral were found, from which WGi^ the Complutenfian Divines in Spain, (being r ft\ ^

an Edition of the Septuagint, together with the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Latin Vulgate in (rftcUuj; «<< the Year 15155 but the Cardinal dying 0m/fr/v/7* about that Time, and fome Differences (pUkffll , arifing between thofe who had the Care ^ Yft«*

of the Edition and the Cardinal's. Executors, Y+j fafi,^ the Book was not publiihed 'till four Years cr fr after. And in the mean time Aldus Manu* . " a

F z tius

tSffet, iff J.

„(]+. I, . tius puhliibed aa Edition pf.thSepwgfnt \C4fiur fliau u,e<r ^ ^ D. , $ ^ ^ fc^f federal fyuUnM* I W«TVianufcripts which he collated. But what

Manuscripts the CarnphtenjUn Editors* or [AMi.** Manutius made ufe of we knoyr pot. The 16J) eo&ccLT* Complutenfian Edition, as Aweft agreeing to a the prefent Hebrew Copies, was for lame

^ / Time highly efteemed, and from th^Lt was

Jit* oiyLyc, ru rd* printed the Septuagint in the Polyglotsprinted


!$yi. // ft**1 Jay, 1645. And the Septuagint, printed at £***«f* fa luhi* Heidelburgb by Comelin, 1599.

m/ But nptwithftanding tfye Complutenfian

& fa* J9«**' %P<rC<f- Edition has been chofen for tfa Septuagint a *> ¿c*"* C/kf publiihed in two Royal Polyglots, y$t it is */yC}C. oU Jf-tft ikifj ¿not judged by the Learned to bp a good lf<fj* Edition, being not a genuine Edition of the

/ ^ Septuagint, but a Medley of feveral Greek

(y%U Htc ¿'¿"'«Tranflations, and is the iarthcft of any from

29 tit***, /V #^vv'2/2that Edition of the Septuagint fo often quoted * y% uustt* Cj by the Ancients. Nova enm & mixta eft hac (rUc - verjio (fays Biihop Walton in his Prrfegm.

to his Polyglot > p. 64. § 28 ) partim ex Septuagint a, partini ex Qrigenis Addit arteritis ' ' * * 1 ex \Theodotme, partim ex Aquifa, Symmacbi, • aliorumque Interpretum, imo & comweutato-

t rum Gracorum Verbis confarcinata, ui hoc v. modo textui Hebrao per columnar aptius re->

ft* i\ic% (i*u fiil/^ffondeant,. Th$ Venetian, Edition, publiftied, a cl uittcCu under

under die Care of Andrew Afubnus, the Father-in-Law to Afdus Manviius* the Printer, is much purer than the Cmbhi-tenfian. Abfunt enim (fays Biihop JVamn) plerumque additives qua fab Afimfcis pofuit . Origem s abfurU qua per Obelos notavit: Tranfpofitmes etiam capitwi G? verfuum, quas commemor^m veteres in Edhione Sep-tuaginta fuiffe, in bac Edition* invmuntur. Ab bac Aldina Editioneßuxerunt wines Edi- .'t tiones Germanic§um plerumque quoad verba AJdinam fequuntury niß quod or dine* librorum, capitum & verfuum qmrundam, qua alio or dine quam in Hebrap poßa fuijfe, omnesantiqui codices teßantar, ad norrnam textüs Hebrai plerumque mutdrint & tranf pofuerint. Liiri etiam qua vulgb Apocrypbi dicuntur% wn fparßm inter reliquos fecun-dum ordinem Hißoria, ut omnes antiqui co~ dicesy babenf j fed feparttim pofi reliquos po-^ fuerunt.

After tbefe two Edition*, a very ancient Manufcript of the Septuagint was found in the Pope's Library in the Vatican, which was publiflied in the Year 1587. Cardinal (/&/ Anthony Qirafa, and other learned Men V. . , were employed nine Year* in perfecting ¿L this Edition. The Manufeript, as was V judged by (he form of Letter, which is v«ry large, aqd what they call Uncialis, and Uc where q\(q there fe net Diftin&ion either of fuß.

of Chapters, Verfes or Words, but all written in one continued Series, was concluded (f1 to be at lead twelve hundred Years old, and

C* that it was written before the Time in which

U't+C* St Jerom lived. This Manufcript was im-

iv b+in^ty perfedt in fome Places, where Leaves had

0 {i « heen torn or fo eaten by the Worms as not to be legible. But they were fupplied by it t>n± a hvo two other Manufcripts, one of which was / ffi+9Sf fufpfaborrowed from Venice, out of the Library a ^ of Cardinal Bejfarion, who had been Arch-

ji * fa ft, tnoc biihop of Nice: But coming with other

, 4 . / Greek Biihops to the Council of Florence, £ *<">< A#D< I43g> ¡n ordcr tQ unite thc Greek

( Church to the Latin, he forfook the Greeks p-j and joined wholly with the Latins, and continued in Italy to his Death, where he had Preferments beftowed upon him, and / was made a Cardinal. This Manufcript was

, / alfo of great Age, as being written in Uncial

(- '/Uc £r(rua, i- Letters. They alio procured another Manu-t! it criU oj: fcript out of Calabria, which agreed fo ex-* a&ly with that of the Vatican, that it was m believed to have been copied from it. Car dinal Carafa alfo procured all the Manu-fcripts he could throughout Italy, and r u£4 (rU* ¿hfau, chiefly from the Medicean Library at Flo-f<*&*tprence> which he took care to collate with ' | ktfC&StttAt Vatican> and noted the various Read-

1 i fc^ y&f'l if *nSs> but Text *s cxprefled every where ft* ffa i/fa't+u. according to the Vatican Copy as near as j/7 might

might be. Scopus buius Editionis (fays Biihop Walton) ut fcribit idem Carafa, non erat, ut ex Interpretationum aliarum per-mixtione Latince Fulgatœ, vel Hebrœœ re-fpondeat : Sed ut ad eamy quam Septuaginta Interprétés ediderunt, quantum per veteres Libros fieri poßt> proximè accedat. Pope Sixtus the Fifth alio, (in the Time of whofe Pontificate this Edition was firft publiihed) prefixed his Bull to it, wherein he decreed, ^ XJt Fetus Gr tecum Teftamentum juxta Sep-tuaginta, it a recognitum & expolitum, ab .

omnibus recipiatur ac retineatur, quo potijfi- f* ' mum ad Latina Fulgata Editionis & Fete-rum SanSlorum pätruz^Jntelligentiam utan-tur : Neque quis de bac nova Grceca Editione audeat in pofterum vel addendo vel demendo quicquam im mut are. Si quis autem aliter fecerit, quam bac noßra fanötione compreben-fum eft, noverit fe in Dei omnipotentis, bea-torumque Apoftolorum Petri G? Pauli indigna-tionem incurfurum. The next Year after a Latin Verfion of this Edition was publiihed at Rome, with the Annotations of Flaminius Nobilius. Morinus printed both together at Paris, A.D. 1628. According which Edition was printed in Greek only at London in à large .8° 1653. And by Biihop Walton in his Polyglot, 1657. It was alfo printed at Cambridge by John Field, 1665, in 120. To/this Edition the learned Biihop Pearfon prefixed prefixed an excellent Preface. Add John Hayes, who fbcceeded Field as Printer to that Univetfity, reprinted the Setituagint there in the Year 1684. But as ne took care to print it Page for Page, and, I fup* pofe, Line for Line with Field's, fo he put Field's Name to it, and dated it as Field?s was, 1665. By which he put a Cheat upon the World : His Letter being not fo clear, nor his Book fo correct as Field's is. This Edition of Field?s and Hayes's does moto exadtly give us the Roman Edition, than that of London in 1653, though both differ* in fome Particulars. One of thofe Particulars is, that they have numbered the Pfalms according to the Hebrew. For the ninth and tenth Pfalms, according to the Hebrevb and mxEnglijh Bibles arid Comttion-Prayer, are joined in the Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, making there but one Pfalm; by which means our eleventh Pfalm in thofe Books is but the tenth in theirs, and fo they proceed to number the Pfalmfc one lefs than vfc do, unto that which in them is the 113th, and in ours the 114th. Then they again joiii our 114th and 115th into one Pfalm; lb that our 116th is but their 114th. Then they divide our 116th, which istheir 114^ and begin their 115th P&lm with that which is the tenth Verfe of our 116th Pfalm: So out 117th Pfalm becomes the 1 lftfh with them.

thetn. from whence they prbteed tb auto-ber the Pfalms one léfs thab wfe do till they come to the 147th Pfalffi, which is thé 146th in theirs. This Pfalm thêy end dt thé i 2 th Verfe in oUr Books, and at thfe 13 th Verfe begin theît ttfth Kalm i Antî iheti atirttber the three hit is we do. Î have thought it prôpet to.nÔte: this, bécâtife ï bé-JifeVe .âll Quôtàtiofiâ froni thé fcfàlms rtiadé before the Reformation,'follow the Dlvifion ôf thé Septuagint and Latin Vulgàtè * and finie the fceformafiôn thé tiebrèiso Dïvifioà Is feldôth followed, txCépt by Protèjiahts. About the Time that Hayes reprinted Pieti's Edition, there was alio an Edition âgteèàblè thereto printed ât ÂinjlèràaM, and hot long after another at Léipfitk. But the lateft and béft Édition, jùXtâ èXèfnplat Vaticàhunl, was piiblifhed ât Ffànêquèr, by thé Caré of Lambert Bos, 1709.

Cyril Lucar, Patriarch ôf Alexandria having been kindly entertained in England\ in the Reign of King Charles the Firft; when hé réturfied tb his own Coimtry, and before, ôr foon aftéf, hé was irànllated to the Patriarchate of Conjlantinoplè, ferit à moft valuable Manufcript of the Septuagint, (fuppofed to have beén written about the Time of . thé Council of Nice, which was held in tfee Year 325) as a Prefcht to that Prince -, âûd it is ft ill préférved in the'Royal

G Library

Library at St James9*, which differs very much from the Vatican Copy. Bifhop Wal-ton, when he publiihed the Polyglot in the Year 1657, wherein to the Hebrew he fubr joined the Chaldee Paraphrafe, the ancient Syriac, Arabic, Perficy and Latin Vulgate Verfions/ printed the Septuagint alio with them, according lo'lhz Vatic an Copy. However,. upon a ftrider Examination, it was found that learned Prelate had not obferved all the Variations between thefe two Copies: And the Learned often exprefled their De-iire to fee an Edition of the Septuagint taken immediately from the Alexandrian Copy. And Dr Grabe, a mod learned and indu-ftrious Prufliany was employed by Queen Anne (who gave him a Salary of 100 /.. per Ann. on that Occasion) to publifh an Edition of the Septuagint from that Manufcript. Dr'Grabe accordingly fet himfelf to this Work,. and fairly trartfcribed the whole Manufcript in Order to print and publiih it. And in the Year 1707, the five Books of Mofesy with JoJhuay Judges, and Ruth were printed and publiihed at Oxford: And in the Year 1709 the Pfalms, Joby Proverbs, Ecclefajles, Song of Solomon, Wifdom of Solo-'mony and Ecclefiajticus> were printed at the lame Place. But .Dr Grabe dyipg in the Year 1711, no more was publiihed 'till the Year 1719. And then, by the Care of Dr

Lee, (a Phyjkian by Profeffion, and an excellent Grecian; alio well ikilled both in the Hebrew Language and Divine.Studies) the Books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Eft her, Tobit, Judith, Ezra, EJdras, Nehemiah, and , four Books of Maccabees were printed. And he alfo dying foon after, the next Year, that is 1720, the Twelve minor Prophets^ and Ifaiah, Jeremiah, Ezechiel and Daniel were printed, but by whofe Care I know not, only that they were printed from Dr Grabe's Tran-fcript, and with the Origenian Bars and Afteriiks, as the other Parts were, and printed like them at Oxford. There are very large and ufeful Prolegomena prefixed to each Part, but more particularly to the firft Part publifhed by Dr Grabe himfelf, and to that publiihed by Dr Lee. As the Folio Edition of this Book was printed in two Columns, which would make iour Pages in Oftavo, the fame Types were eafily divided in fuch manner as without any ways difordering the Letters, the Book might be, and was publiihed at the fame Time both in Folio and Odlavo, in fuch a manner that the one fhould not differ from the other in a Letter or Point.

But altho* the Apocryphal Books, that is, * all thofe Books which were never received into the Canon of the JewiJh Church, have been joined to the Septuagint, and made a G z Part

Part oj it, <is probate fifom l#fbr* the Birth, pf O&r^f, fince we fipd fpflie of them quoted by very yclept. Cbriftiw Writer » yet. it fc certain they dfcj not prigi^Ily belong tp it. For the §eptuagint was translated in the Reign pf PtoJemy Pbiladtlpbus i abd it was ^fterthatTipje, that tnoft of the Book* called dfQ<;ry$b4y ww written But the Alexandrian being defirous to propagate ths HtftQry and moral Principles of their fiatiop, joined them tof th^it: Bibles : And from tnencq they were received by the Chrifiian Church together; with the Septuaginty and (as. our Church tells from. St Jerom, in her axth Article) read them for Example of Life and InftruSiion of Manners; but did not apply them ta ejlablifh any DoSfa-ine. But they did aot do a? we have thought it proper to dp ever fince tjhq Reformation, that is, place them all together by tbem-ftlves. under the Tifle. of Apocrypha, but intermingled them with, the Books of Holy Scripture according to the Matters treated of io them : And in. the lame manner they ate alfo placed i^ tfcq Latin Vulgate. Thus the Books otTobit, Judith, of Efdxas^ and of the Maccabees, being Hiftorical Books, are joined, with the Historical; Bpok^.of die 01d Teflaipent, and follow the Book of Chronicles, IJut I muft obferve, that, the fecond, Apocrypha! Efdras is. not in the Sep* tudgint,

tvagint, any more than in the Hebrew, neither can I find that k is in any other ancient Tranflation but the Latin Vulgate only : From whence it was tranftated and joined with the other Apocryphal Books in our Mnglijh Bibles. Nay, I have a Latin Vulgate with the Comments of Lyra and Brugenfa in four Volumes in Folio, printed in 1492, which has not this fécond Apocryphal Efdras in it. The Book of Barucb immediately follows the Book of Jeremiah in the Alexandrian Septuagint, and after the Lamentations follows the Epiftle of Jeremiah. Before the firft Chapter of Daniel is placed the Hiftory of Sufornta-, and to the End of the twelfth Chapter is added the Story of Bel and> the Dragon. The Prayer of J ifik is placed m the Alexandrian Copy at the End of the Book of P&lms, as is alfo the Song of the three Children. The Church oí Rome, in the Council of Trent, decreed all tbcfe- Books (which we, agreeable to the Jewtand the Primitive Cbriftians, hold Apocryphal) fhooId he received a& Canonical, excepting the two Books of Efdras, But Arias Msntanus, in his imerlineary Bible printed at Antwerp 1583, many Yeats after that Council, expeefely ftyles then* Apocryphal. His Words in the Title Page ot his Book are, Actefferunt & huic &titi§m. Liiri Grcecé fcripti, quos Eeclejui

Orthodox a y

Orthodox a, Hebraorum Canonem fecuta, inter Apocrypha recenfet. And Du Pin, in his Canon of Scripture, gives them the Title of Deutero-Canonical; which {hews that the Learned of the Roman-Communion, judge the fame of them that we do in pur fixth Article, only they dare not fpeak fo plain.

I have before obferved, that there were three ancient Editions of the Septuagint made in the Third Century, one by Lucian a Martyr of Antioch, which was ufed in the Churches of Syria and Greece, another by Hefycbius an Egyptian Biihop, and ufed in Egypt, a third by Eufebius and his Friend Pamphilus, according to Origeris Correftions before-mentioned, ufed in the Churches of Paie-fine. Before the Publication of the Alexandrian Copy by Dr Grabe, it was the Opinion of many learned Men, that the Vatican Manufcript was a Copy of the Edition published by Lucian, and the Alexandrian of that publiihed by Hefycbius: But Dr Grabe, in his printed Letter to Dr Milks in the Year 1705, about two Years before he publiihed the firft Part of the Alexandrian Septuagint, tells us that he had compared the Vatican and Alexandrian Manufcripts with large Quotations found in the Works of St and St Cyril, both Biihops of Alexandria; who certainly followed the Edition of Hefycbius, which was ufed in their -

Church i

Church; and he found the Quotations from thefe Fathers agreed with the Vatican Copy, and not with that now goes by the Name of the Alexandrian Manufcript: From whence he juftly concludes that the Vatican is indeed a Copy of the Edition of Hefycbius, and not of Lucian, as before this Comparifon it was fuppofed to be by Morinus and VoJJius, and other learned Men. Alfo by comparing the Vatican and Alexandrian Copies with the Quotations of Scripture he found in Theophi-lus Antiochenus, Origen, Methodius, EufeBius Cafarienjis, Gregory Nazianzen, and others, who certainly ufed that Edition which was publiihed by Origen, he found the Alexandrian Manufcript to be agreeable to that Edition, and that the Vatican was different from it: And from thence he infers, that the Alexandrian Manufcript now by him publiihed, or from his Tranfcript, is the fame with the Edition of Origen, Eufebius, and Pamphilus, which St Jerom fays is the beft and neareft to the Hebrew. But in his Prolegomena to the laft Volume of the Sep-tuagint which he publiihed, he tells us, that the Book of Job in the Alexandrian Manufcript is taken from Luciaris Edition, which he infers from the Quotations in St Chry-fojlom's Works, which he compared with it. And as that Father was bred at Antioch, and a Prefbyter of that Church, and afterwards

Patriarch is*)

Patriarch of ConftanttMple, in' both whicl* Churches that Edition was tifed, he concludes his Citations are from this Edition. And Origen, Lucian, and Hefychius made their Corre&ions of the Septuagint from Hebrew Copies written two hundred Years before the Maforites finger'd the Hebrew Text which we have, and from which our Englijh Bible was tranflated.

You may fay, If the Hebrew and the Septuagint are thus different from each other, and that we cannot be fure that the Hebrew Copies we now have are exaftly agreeable to the authentic Copy preferved in the Temple at Jerufalem, till the Deftru&ion of that Temple by the Romans > and that we muft depend upon the Judgment and Cat* of the Maforites, as the only Evidence we have for the Authenticknefi of therprefent Hebrew Text of the Old Teftament 5 and that as fhey did not live till 400 Years after the Original Copy of thefe Scriptures was de-ftroyed, how (hall we be fure that we have the true Scriptures which were written by Mofes and the Prophets ? If it be faid that we have an authentic Tranflation of thofe Scriptures made fome Ages before the De-* ftru£tioaof the Temple, it may be anfwered, that admitting thefe Tranflators have been guilty of no Miitakes, and that this Translation was originally as free from Faults as

that which was kept in the Temple, which cannot reafonably be fuppoied, unlefs we be* lieve the Tranfiators to have been infpired as well as the Original Penmen; yet.we have not that Tranilation pure and entire as it came out of the Hands of thofe Tranflators. This is manifeft from the feveral Corrections it has received a? early as the Beginning of the Third Century, by Origen, and alfo before the End of that Century by Lucian and HefycbiuSy and about the fame Time by Eu-Jebius and his Friend Pampbilus, and from the Mixture of it with the Tranflations of Aquila, Symmachus, and Tbeodotion : And is alfo apparent from the feveral Editions we Hill have, the Complutenfian, Manutian, Vatican, and Alexandrian Editions, all differing from one another, not in iingle Words only, but alfo in whole Sentences. And as all other Tranilations, whether ancient or modern, are made either from the Hebrew or the Septuaginty how ihall we know that we have the true authentic Scriptures of the Old Teftament ?

I anfwer; the Cafe is the fame as to all old Books that have from Time to Time been copied by diverfe Hands. The fame maybefaid of Livy, Tacitus, Suetonius, of Demoftbenes, Cicero, Virgil, Horace, &c. there are various Readings in all of them, even as to whole Sentences, as well as iingle H * Words,

Words. And if we had Tranflations of thefe Books as old almoft as the Books themfelves, no doubt but we ihould find various Readings there alfo. Shall we therefore fay that we have not the genuine Works of thefe Authors ? If there be not found lb many various Readings in thefe Authors as are to be found in the Bible, the Reafon is, becaufe there were never fo many Copies or Tranfcripts of them, as there have been of the Bible. Therefore, tho' we cannot lay that either the Hebrew or the Septuagint, which we now have arc without Fault, we muft neverthelels acknowledge that there is no confiderable Fault, even tho' whole Sentences are left out or inferted. There are no Faults which affeft the Delign for which thefe Holy Scriptures were given to os; no Article of Faith, no Divine Inftitution, no moral Dottrine is altered by any of thefe various Readings: Nor is any material Part of the Hiftory rendered uncertain. Moll of the Differences between one Copy and another, or between the Original and the Verfions, confift only in different Ways of exprefling the fame Thing, the Expreffion !n one Copy being more plain or clear than it is in another, and more agreeable to what •goes before and follows after, and may make the Senfe more perfeft. There is none where the Hebrew or Septuagint contains a mani-

feft Falsehood, or dangerous Error. Or if in ibrae one Copy iucb a Thing (hould pot fibly have happened, it will be apparent to every body to have been occaiioned by the Careleflhefs of the Tranfcriber, and will be found contrary to all other Tranfcripts, and to what goes before and follows after, and to the whole Tenor of the Scripture and Common Senfe. Thus I have heard, than in an Impreffion of our Engtijb Bible, the word not was omitted in the Seventh Commandment ; and inftead of, Thou Jhalt not commit Adultery, it was printed, Thou Jhak commit Adultery. But in this Cafe the Blunder was too apparent to deceive any one. And I have alio feen feveral Englijh Bibles in which A3s vi. 3. the word ye has been put for we 5 which though it be but the change of a fingle Letter, makes a great Alteration in the Senfe. And this Alteration was made in the Time of the Rebellion agpirtft King Charles the Firft, to make the Scriptures authorize the Doitrine then in Vogue, viz* That the Minijlers, in the Chriftian Church were to be made or appointed by the People or whole Congregation, and not by the Bijhops or fuperior Officers of the Church. And therefore where it was written whom We, that is, We the Apojlles or Governors of the Church may appoint ? they wilfully and designedly falfified the Text, H 2 to

to make it fpeak agreeably to their own Do&rine ; and by the bare change of a Letter, turned it to ye9 and fo read it, whom, ye, that is the People or Congregation, may appoint. But fuch Falfifications as this are eafily difcovered from their apparent Différence from the Original, and all Tranflations ancient or modern ; and from the more ancient and following Impreffions of that very Tranflation fo defignedly falfi-fied. Now if any fuch Blunder as the former of thefe I have mentioned, fhould happen to be found in any Copy of the Hebrew or Septuaginty every one would fee that it could proceed from no other Caufe than the Overfight of the Tranfcriber : And if there ihould be fuch a wilful Corruption or Falfification made in any Copy of the Hebrew or Septuagint, as my latter Inftance in our Englijh Bibles, the moft it could do 'would be to caufe a various Reading, and the Doârine drawn from fuch a Text muft be tried by other Texts, which have no various Reading, and by the Tenor of the Scripture, and thereby the true Reading may alfo be afcertained.

But I am perfuaded the Differences between the Hebrew and the Septuagint, even where they have been apparently made with Defign, will not be found to affeét either Faith or Manners. As particularly of thé


Time each Patriarch lived before he begat his Son from Adam to Abraham, the Sep-tuagint making for the moft Part each Patriarch an hundred Years older at the Birth of his Son, than the Hebrew does. For what fignifies it either to our Faith or Morals, whether Adam was an hundred and twenty, or two hundred and twenty Years old when he begat Seth : Whether it was 2262 Years from the Creation to the Flood, or but 1656 Years; or whether it was 352 Years from the Flood to Abraham, or 1132 Years. Follow which Chronology you like beft, the Faith defigned to be taught in this Hiftory is the fame: That is, that God created the World: That he made every Thing good : That Evil was introduced by a wicked Tempter : That Adam fell and corrupted himfelf and his Pofterity by Dif-obedience 5 that God, when the World was overfpread with Wickednefs, deftroyed it by a Flood of Waters, preferving only eight Perfons in an Ark, with a fufficient Number of all living Creatures, to repeople it again in due Time; and other Matters requifite for us to know, in order to diredt us how we ought to behave, that we may do what is pleaiing and acceptable to God. But whether more or fewer Years paft while thefe TranfiwEtions happened, is Matter of no great Moment, And as the Septuagint was was certainly tranflated from a Hebrew Copy different from any now extant, and as it appears from the Chronology in the Samaritan Copy of the Pentateuch, and by the Chronology Jafephus has followed, that the Hebrew Bibles did anciently differ very much from one another« in this particular > we cannot certainly determine on which Side the Error lies. But as it affe&s not our Faith or Morals, it is of little Moment, and invalidates no Part of the Defign for which the Holy Scriptures were written.

Many times the Difference which is found between the Verfion and the Original, and between different Verfions, as between the Septuagint and our Englijh Bible, comes from this; that Interpreters have not tied themfelves clofe to the literal and ftridt Meaning of the Words, but have taken the Liberty to give them a Senfe which they took to be true, tho' not literal. If a Word or Phrafe will bear two Senfes in the Original Language, the Interpreter is obliged to take one of them; two Interpreters mayiu that cafe tranflate it differently, yet neither be blameable. If the Original have a particular Turn peculiar to itfelf, and which would be no ways graceful, perhaps not Senfe in a literal Verfion, the Tranflator muft make ufe of fome other Phrafe j but fuch as has the fame Energy and Senfe in

the Language he tranilates into that thg Words have in the Original. . This is more peculiar to the Hebrew, becaufe (as tbofc who are verfed in that Language fay) it ia full of particular Turns and Expreffions, which in other Languages, at lead in thefe Wejiern Parts, will not bear, a literal Tranf-lation. This may be feen in Mr Ainfwrtb'% Tranflatioir of the P&lms into Englijh literally. I will give you but one Inftance, Pfal. lix. 13. The Sin of their. Mouth, the Word of their Lips: When they Jhall be taken in their Haughtinefs, and of their Curfing. \ and of Falfe-denial let them tell. Now what Senfe can be made of fuch a Tranflation ? There are certainly Occafions which oblige a Tranflator to vary from the ftridt Letter of the Original: And this will caufe Difference between two Tranflations of the lame Book* And thefe Differences diminiih npt the Authority either of the Verfion or Original, and hinder not but both may be received as a Rule of our Faith and Morals. Thofe fmall Faults which are generally met with in all Books, facred and profane, both in the Original and in the Verfions do not prevent our certainly having the authentic Works of the Authors, nor hinder our knowing their true Sentiments: Becaufe the Ori~ ginal Text of the Old and New Teftament has been fubjcft to the common Law of all


Books, (which they neceflarily mud be, except all the Copiers of them were divinely infpired as well as the Penmen:) to conclude from thence that we have not now any more the Word of God, or the Holy Scriptures divinely infpired, would be as great a Folly as to fey we have not now the Works of Herodotus, Tbucydides, Livy> Tacitus, or any other Greek or Latin ancient Authors, becaufe there are various Readings in all thefe Works. To lay down this as a Principle, is to over-turn all our Hiftorical Knowledge, and to introduce an unwar-rantable Scepticifm.

Whatever Differences have happened thro' the Careleffnefs, or Ignorance, or Raflinefs of Copiers, or by any other Means, with regard to the Hebrew Text we now have, or the various Copies and Editions of the Septuagint, they are by no means fufficient to invalidate the Authority of the Old Teftament, or to give any one juft Occa-iion to fay that the Scriptures of the Old Teftament, which we have at this Time, are not the Word of God. For notwith-ftanding thofe various Readings, even as to whole Sentences, the Providence of God has taken Care that no fuch Errors have crept in, either to the Hebrew or Septuagint, as may lead Men into Principles or Practices contrary to the Deiign of the Revelation given.

given.' Âs for. other Things of lefs Cônfe-quence, where neîthér the Intereft of the Divine Government, or the tlappinefs. of Men are concerned, to aflert it neceffairy that God (hould interpofe in an extraordinary manner to prevent all Miftakes, fo thai there ihould'be no Difference between one Copy and another, is to affirm it neceflàry that God fhould interpofe in an extraordinary manner, where there is no extraordinary Occafldn for it. * The great End of à Revelation from bod can only be to acquaint Men with his Wiiriii Reference to their Duty td Hiinfelf, arid to each other j and to encouragé them by proper Motives to perform it ; that fo they may obtain his favour, and fectfre their own Happinefs. This End is equally to be obtained, whether we follow the Reading of the prefent Hebrew, br of the Sepiuâgint, or of any ôthér Verfion received by the Chrijiiah Church. And therefore all the Objections founded on thefe various Readings to" bë found either in the Hebrew Copies, or the ISeptuaginty or other Tranflations ufed in the Cbrijitan Church, will appear to be of no Force to prove that the Scriptures' wé how have, were not written by Divine Authority and Influence ; 'till it can be proved that the original Defign of them is hereby obfeured, and that therefore they are infuf-

I ficient ficient to make Men yirtyQiW gnd happy. And indeed, till this b$ madp out% tfce Qb-ie£lion carries this tpanifeft pQ^r^^ipa ip |t, STAtf/ tt>? Scriptures now. have ]cqriw# be the Word of God, bfcwft there h iff tkm fuck a Number of various Readings as render (hem infuffic\ent to a<x<wt>lijb that gr&t for which they are abundantly fqficiwt*

However we may io many Cafe* H»« lieye I may lay |n njiofl;,. wheje tlw Reading* ?re various, f?tisfy pqffelv^ COfl? cerning the true Reading, \>y ob^ryipjj th* Following- Ryles:. As fi?ft> whe/i my Part pf the Old Teftanjient $ it* tkf

Teftam^ntA whether it be q^ojfccji ^QijdiMg to the Hebrew ox th%,Septu^nt% \yp wy ^ tisfy purfelves that is the ttttfc Reading; ^.nrf whereaf the Old TeftamenJt $ often qupjqi in the New a^ccprdin^ to (hp and opt ' according to the Letter eifcbeiS pf the. tytfefr Hebrew or pf the Septuagin^ tjba^ comes neajeft tQ. thp Senfe pf the Q^ta^ip^ in, thje New TelW^ent is. to be, pijef<qrr$& In the next Place, when, the Hebrew \Pqr4 has one. Signification jppjri$ed bytheMar forties, and may well b^ai; pother tion, of which Bilhop Pwjrjop has giv^p feveral Inftancesrin hfe excellent Prefect to the Septuagwt, there I goi^ceive it fysft to fqU low the SeptuaginU becaufe the tjrue Rea4pg of the Heiireiq, and the,ti;ue Signincatipm of the Latogitege was better underftood when thd Sdptuagint Verfion was made, than yrheri the Maforites affixed their Points to the Lettef s. Ahd ihe fame may be faid whdn thfe Letters 2 and 3, H and n, 1 and r % 1 dnd f fnight be miftaken the one for the other : Becaiife the Tranflators of the Septuagint had Opportunity to confult the Original preferved in the Temple, or correct Copies 'taken immediately from it, Which the Maforites had not, and were therefore leis liable to be miftaken. In the next Place", where we find a Sentence or Period in Hebrew, which is not in the Septuagint, or in the Septuagintand not in thfe Hebrewf if we find it agreeable to what g66s before and follows after in the Context, rfia/ conclude that Sentence or Period to Katfe been in the Original, ami omitted in tHtf Copy we now have either of the He-brm of Septuagint thro' the Overfight of tfit Tranfcribers : As particularly Exod. xii. 40. we read in our Engli/h Bibles, tranflated f?Om the prefent Hebrew Copies, Now the fojoufriirig of the Children of lfrael, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty Tears. But ¿ccordin^.to the Septuagint it is, H Si * 1irdgoiKYifris roov tjcSV 'ItrgaiiA if» Tfcbfoixaiazy iv yy'AiyvTrlw Xfivyri Xcax&p, ¿VTO) $ at irecli^ avwSv, It* *nT%<xKQ<fi<z rgidxopja. Now the Ja*. jdurnim of the Children of lfrael, whojojourn-

( 68 h ed in theLatid of Egypt and in thf Land qf Canaan, they and their Fathers, was 430 Tears. I cannot doubt but the Words, and in the Land of Canaan, they and their Fathers, which are in the Seftuagint,'but. riot in our prefent Hebrew Copies, was in the Original preferved in the Temple. For it was but 430 Years from the Calling of Abra-ham to the Departure of the Children of Ifrael out of Egypt-, and he and his Son. Jfaac and Grandfon Jacob fojourned in the Land of Canaan about 200 years of that. Time ; neither could thofe three Patriarchs be called the Children of Ifrael, becaufe they were not the Children, but the Fathers of the . Israelites. The Hebrew Text therefore is by no means fo agreeable to the Hiftory Mofes has given us as the Septuagint is in this Place: And for this Reafon I make no doubt but the Omiffion of what thc Septua-gint had retdiried proceeded from the Over-light or CarelefTnefs of Tranfcribers. For the Omiffion of a Sentence may eafily hap7 pen thro* Overfight, but the Addition of fuch a Sentence mud be made on Purpoie. However, if the Sentence which is found in the Hebrew and'not in iht Septuagint, or in the Septuagiht and riot in the Hebrew be manifeftly incoherent, and breaks the Senfe of the Context, then it is reaionable to believe it an Addition, and to have been only ' a mar-

a marginal Note fome Perfon had written in his Book, which an ignorant Copier, who tranfcribed from that Book put into the Text. By thefe and fome other critical or rational Obfervations, we "may form a pretty -good Judgment .which Reading we ought • to follow, whether, of the Hebrew or Sep-tuagint, where, they differ the one from the ; other,cin molt Places, tho' not in all, parti-' cularfy the Genealogies: And there, I think» ' every Man is free to follow which Genealogy he pteafes. Fpr.ndy; own Part, I prefer the Septuagint in this Point, for Reafons too many to be given here; Butihall find Fault;: with no body for being of another Opinion. * We have great Reaibn to admire and' adpre the Divine Providence, and . to blefs and.jyaife the Lord our God, not only for giving us the Holy Scriptures, but ior.pre-ferving them for our Ufe in the .Condition -we,now, have them: Infomuch, as notwith-Aandingjthe Differences between the preient Hebrew Copies and the Septuagint, and the xgapy various Readings in both,' occafioned by the innumerable. Tranfcripts they have, undergone, and that in fome Tranfcripts there is Region to believe Alterations have been yrilfully and defignedly made to ferye ; a Caufe, yet not any Article of Faith, any Doitrine or Duty, any Promife or Threat-npg, has been affeited thereby, or rendered! , ' " precarious

piccarioos by ulcans of any var tottsResdifl'g; " or Corruption . The moft that c&ti be t&flkfc of any fuchvarious Reading where it tA&f occur, is that the Teat fo Vaflotifly raad, will not be d ¿efficient Proof of what k may be produced lor, and th* ttaarifl* deduced it wotaW be tiflcemk^ if it could bo proved item M. Other Tew wherein all Copies (except focft ftfe ^fM patently faulty) axe agreed. Bat (¡64 be praifed, aft the D©arine£ of Cbrijiiaftitf, ai received apri taughtrfey the ififttttivfc Catholic and Apoftoiic* Chfcrdi, atid M* ri»cd fronathenfcer by the 0uStch df &tytM^ may be clfciriy. proved from? fod* fttflfigBtf both of tfae Old and New TdfeAtfrt'as , aw ftee frbn* any various Read&Ags^ it from any whicfo make a Var&tio&ifr'ftlte , Sen£r. For I nmift ofcteva to yot¥, ttet very many, I may iay twuch die ¿fctftBT Part of the various Kfojdiiig* ©bfe^d; by learned Men, in the fevml Copies Holy Scriptures make not-auy? Alterktk»¿ft the Senfe : Thofe thar do altdr: thd Stm ace but a few, a. very few/ -

Thus, Sir, I hare anffrefceiy&ttr QaeiHor* at well as I can, and petfhapb more gely than you defined or expand! Indeed, if I had only laid, that thef Reaibn of the Difference between our Mngtijh Trantiation^

and the Septuagint, was becanfe thefe Ver-fions were made from two different Copies of the Hebrew, it had been a full Anfwer to your Query. But I hope my enlarging upon it may be more to your Satisfaâion : And that, confidering the length of it, you will excufe me for not fending it fooner ; for I have made as much Hafte as my other Affairs would conveniently permit.


Oftob. i7; Your mojt

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment